Books of 2015

I wasn’t able to read as much as I would have liked last year. 30 books seems like a good tally, but a number of these books were very short, and I don’t think I tackled any books bigger than around 400 pages. Rather than go for the traditional ranked list, the books listed below are notable / memorable to me for some reason.

Best Audio Experience – The Vagrant by Peter Newman. Narrated by Jot Davies.
If not for the excellent performance by Jot Davies, I would have given up on this book about a third of the way in. The start of The Vagrant is slow and a little confusing with a steep learning curve, a problem that seems to always be exacerbated in the audio format. Jot Davies allowed me to overcome these obstacles, and by the end I couldn’t believe just how much I enjoyed the story crafted by Peter Newman. The Vagrant is a simple story on the surface, a mute man with a baby and a goat trying to outrun a demon horde and reach sanctuary in the north, but look a little closer and you can see just how deep and complex this book actually is.

Best Young Adult Book – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

This book is marketed as Young Adult but could easily slot into many marketing labels such as straight up fantasy or maybe even “Grim Dark”. It is a heist story set in a world based upon Northern European / Scandinavian / Russian countries, full of magic, humour, adventure, torture, romance, and cunning, where the stakes are high but the rewards are worth it. I’m not really a fan of Bardugo’s previous trilogy, a friend of mine describes it as Russian Twilight, but I could barely put this book down.

Best Non-Fiction Book – Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

This biography of the enigma that is Elon Musk is equal parts inspiring and revealing. It’s hard not to be swept away by the romanticism surrounding Musk and his vision for the future, hard not to be inspired by his work ethic and his single-minded drive to make things happen that others would say is impossible. But as Vance peels back the layers, you get to see that Musk is a damaged person, a man incapable of empathising with people, a man whose inability to rein in his arrogance results in continual undermining of his vision and work as foolish and insincere. Regardless of what you think about Elon Musk, there is no doubting his drive to reshape the world.

Most Painful Book To Read – Twenty Trillion Leagues Under The Sea by Adam Roberts

I like the way Adam Roberts writes. I like his big ideas and his bold execution. I did not like this story. An obvious homage to the Jules Verne classic, this book is designed for scholars of Verne and those literary classics, and offers very little to those who have not studied the classics. That’s fine, it doesn’t make this book a bad book, it just means most of the story went over my head.

Biggest Disappointment – The Heartland Trilogy by Chuck Wendig

The Heartland Trilogy was Wendig’s first attempt at writing stories targeting the Young Adult market. That’s not a bad thing, and that wasn’t the problem with this book. Or maybe it was. The problem with this trilogy was the weak plot, shitty characters, and the fact that my enjoyment would go from bottom of the basement to soaring then back to bottom of the basement again. I’ll keep reading Wendig because he has great style with his prose, but I’ve been burned, and will now be forever cautious.

Biggest Shoutout – Aftermath by Tim Marquitz

I find it difficult to put things on a list that are either by Ragnarok Publications (given my associations with them) or by my good friend Tim Marquitz (because I act as a sounding board for all the crazy ideas he wants to fit into his books). I’m aware that I have an inherent bias when it comes to Ragnarok and Tim. But fuck it, Tim’s books are awesome and Aftermath, the ninth book in his Demon Squad series, shows just how far he has come in such a short amount of time. I cannot speak highly enough of the series or the author, you just have to trust me on this.

Best Character – Darrow from Red Rising by Pierce Brown

People like to have a whinge about “Mary-Sue / Gary-Stu” types of characters (those characters that are good at everything). They whinge about Kvothe in The Kingkiller Chronicles, the whinge about Rey in The Force Awakens. I pity those people and their inability to find joy in awesome people doing awesome things. Darrow is a Gary-Stu, born in the Red caste on the planet Mars, forced into a life of servitude in the Martian mines, Darrow is chosen to become the leader of the uprising, to have his modify physically modified so that he can pass as one of the Gold caste. Oh damn he is one competent dude, oh boy does he fuck some people up, and oh my how glorious it is to read about.

Best Cover – Residue by Steve Diamond – Cover design by Shawn King

The best thing about my association with Ragnarok Publications is seeing all the covers that Shawn and Joe Martin have put together and keep putting together. The evolution of their work has been amazing. I’m not talking about the art they commission, which is also awesome, I’m talking about how they come up with a design for the cover, how they decide on colour schemes, how they put together lettering that makes sense. The art belongs to the artist, but the cover belongs to the person who conceptualised what it should look like, and Shawn deserves as much praise as can be handed to him. Residue is my favourite cover by Shawn that is out there for everyone to see. There are some covers that will be revealed this year that blow Residue out of the water, and that’s saying something.

Most Memorable Sex Scene – The Barrow by Mark Smylie

The sex scene involves two women in the middle of a brothel, a ribbon harness suspended from the roof, and a strap-on unicorn horn. Let your imagination do the rest…

Most Gruesome Scene – Andersonville by Edward M. Erdelac

Men are digging an escape tunnel from the civil war prison camp at Andersonville, Georgia. Our main character is being pursued by a demonic entity. The demonic entity decides to flood the tunnels with human blood. It’s messy, and made me want to read more.

Best Book – The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Looking back on 2015, I could not split these two books. Harry August was an alternate history novel with fantasy twist unlike any I had read before. Station Eleven on the other hand was a far future post apocalyptic novel that focused on an idea that is often skipped over in these post-apocalyptic stories – once you get past the survival stage, how to do you actually go about living a normal life? Both books were published in 2014, but I only found out about them in 2015 because they both nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke award. All I can do is recommend that you read both books, because both of these books have so much to offer, will make you think about things from a different perspective, and might help you to appreciate the little things just a little more.

Advertisements

Beyond: Two Souls – It’s All About The Experience

Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond: Two Souls is the latest game from David Cage and the team at Quantic Dream. I really enjoyed Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain (I never played The Nomad Soul) so my expectations were reasonably high for this game, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. Before I go any further I will say that Beyond: Two Souls, like its predecessors, is a title that challenges the standard definition of “game” by prioritizing the in-depth connective experience first, and adding “gameplay” after that. This is not a game that rewards skilful play-throughs, it is a game that rewards you with depth of character and layered story telling where your choices matter. You get out what you put in.

Okay, so I picked up this game on Saturday night and finished it before lunch on Sunday. That may not seem like a particularly lengthy game (which many critics have picked up on), but what you may not appreciate is that you are continuously moving forward in this game. You dont get bogged down in repetitive fire fights, you dont have to worry about dying and retrying each level again and again, you just keep moving forward and the story adapts depending on your choices and to a small extent how well / poorly you perform. Not a single minute is wasted in this game, and I think they got the length exactly right.

Young Jodie

But what exactly is Beyond: Two Souls about? You play as Jodie, a young girl who is different to everyone else she knows. Jodie is connected umbilically to a spiritual entity called Aidan – he’s been there since Jodie was born, the only constant Jodie can cling to in what has been a tumultuous life. Aidan resembles your typical poltergeist – he can pass through walls, he can possess objects and people, he can relay information back to Jodie, and he can defend Jodie from other dangerous spirits that pass through the veil. When the CIA find out about Jodie’s “condition” they take custody of her and start conducting experiments, with one eye on the pursuit of knowledge, and the other eye on potentially militarising their game-changing asset. You play as Jodie from young child to young adult. You get to influence her life choices as she progresses through the most formative stages of life. You also get to play as Aidan and do some cool poltergeist stuff, but this is Jodie’s story, Jodie’s life, and while Aidan is there Jodie cannot truly live.

In terms of gameplay, the one thing I want to discuss is the removal of the skill level barrier. I could talk about things like how the movement controls are very clumsy, or that the gameplay is almost entirely quick-time events, but removing the skill level barrier is, in my opinion, the biggest element that challenges conventional gaming. There are no try-fail cycles, there are no resets, there are no do-over opportunities. What you do and how you perform, in the moment, determines how your story plays out. This may sound like a bad idea, but what makes this work (for me) is that the outcome is not better or worse depending on how you perform – it is just different. I think this is the point that turns off many gamers, that you are not explicitly rewarded for beating up all those enemies without taking a single hit. It is not why they play games, they expect to get a quantifiably better experience as their mastery of the game increases. And that’s fine, but for me, I was so deeply immersed in the story that the only thing I cared about was how the gameplay worked together with the choices I had to make when progressing the story.

Somalia

Beyond: Two Souls is a story driven game, and David Cage succeeded in making it one of the most expansive yet engaging stories that I’ve ever played through. The story is told in a series of non-linear scenes, jumping back and forth through different moments of Jodie’s life, providing you the information you need when you need it. While loading each scene the game displays a timeline to provide a frame of reference for when each scene takes place. It is very handy, and makes the story much easier to follow during the early stages. The story explores a number of heavy themes, the most prominent of which is the duality between life and death, and how different people react when a loved one passes from life into death. The story also explores the duality between ethical and unethical experimentation, blurring what should be a very clear line by introducing dangerous situations that demand the unethical solution for the “greater good”. The recruitment of child soldiers to help take out a Somalian warlord is one, the raising of an abandoned child in a laboratory to see if they can militarise her paranormal abilities is another. David Cage doesn’t shy away from the hard hitting moments either – in my playthrough there was a scene where Jodie was sexually assaulted at a bar after her friends failed to show up, and another scene where Jodie reaches the lowest point of her life and upon finding a knife the player is given the option of dragging that knife across her wrists. It is not to say that this is a story without hope, because there are plenty of hopeful, uplifting, and redemptive moments in this story, but these hard hitting moments are the ones that impacted me the most and had the greatest influence of the choices I made when playing the game.

Somalia2

Beyond: Two Souls is one of the best games I have ever played. Is it the future of gaming? No. Has it impacted the future of gaming? Undeniably. Beyond: Two Souls has pushed the boundaries of gaming, changed how we define games, and demonstrated that you can successfully implement a story driven experience that does not require point scoring or levels. Oh and there is also those little things like how amazing this game looks, and how great the acting was from stars like Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. Play this game to experience it, not to beat it.

Ryan and Nicole’s USA Bucket List

I have really been neglecting my blog as of late. Everytime I go to write a post, something more important always seems to pop up. Well not this time… take that world.

So for those who don’t know, Nicole and I are packing up our stuff again and moving… to Daytona Beach, Florida! It’s a whole ‘nuther country, can’t get there by bus. Nicole and I have been thinking about all the things we would like to do while we are over there, things like:

  • Spew on every ride at Disney World
  • Spew on every ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  • Spew on every ride at Universal Studios
  • Collect a tooth from an ice hockey game
  • Catch a ‘gator in Louisiana
  • Heckle some rednecks at the NASCAR Daytona 500
  •  etc, etc, etc.

Then it hit us – how about we create a USA Bucket List based on all the comments by you the reader. That’s right, you tell us what we should be doing during our year abroad and we will write a blog post everytime we tick something off the list. Sound like a good plan? I love it when a plan comes together.

Fifty Shades of Jealousy

Love them or hate them, the “Fifty Shades” books are bestsellers. Everyone is reading them and, of course, everyone has an opinion about them. And that’s fine, because of free speech and suchlike.

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, #1)

The thing is, people have long memories. There is a time and a place to voice your opinions, and when it comes to opinions about the industry you work in, you should probably think twice before you click that submit button. This is particularly important for genre authors because book publishing is a rather small and tight knit industry, and that comment you just submitted will be forever associated with your name.  That comment may stop you from ever getting a deal. The following is a quote from an author on what they think about Fifty Shades of Grey:

Why did you buy this book? Your review isn’t anything we don’t already know about this book. It is crap, “Oh my, did I say Crap?”

I write much better than crap and I can’t get a soul to even blink at my novel, BUT every wanna-be reviewer has something to say about this turd.

I didn’t buy this book– here is my review. “It Sucks. Quit buying it.” 

Now I know this author, he is a nice guy and he can write quite well, but a comment like this shows an alarming about of jealousy and ignorance. This “turd” is the #1 bestseller in many countries around the world. It must be doing something right. And maybe, just maybe, it would be worth some effort figuring out what it is doing right and you might be able to apply it to your own writing.

The Avengers – A Study In Character Development

I’ve seen this movie twice already, on Thursday date night with Nicole and again yesterday with my nephew. I wholeheartedly agree with my friend Josh’s statement over on Fantasy Book Review that this is the best comic book movie ever.

While Josh talks about the movie as a whole, what I want to touch on a bit is the characters and the acting, because I think every single person has lifted their game for this movie, and they were allowed to do so because their characters were written so well. When you look back on this movie you will remember those epic action sequences, but when you watch it a second time you realise it is the interactions between the characters that make you laugh, that make you smile, that make you anxious, that even make you sad. I’m going to come out and say it, Joss Whedon is a freaking genius and watching this movie you can just tell that everyone had a lot more fun.

Definitely lives up to the hype!

We have gotten to know Tony Stark as Ironman over a couple of movies now, and while the second movie had a great story, the characterisation was poor. In this movie, Whedon lets Stark play the billionaire playboy philanthropist, lets him be the arrogant smart ass. Unlike Ironman 2 where Stark is forced to grow up and stop being a dick, Whedon says go ahead Tony, be a dick, because I am going to put you into situations that make you choose whether or not you become a hero, and whatever you choose, you might want to hang onto something comfortable. Downey Jr. looks a lot more comfortable doing this, he is given free rein to be himself, and it works.

Thor has been given a small personality makeover in this movie, he has been given a dry wit which combines well with his archaic way of speaking, he makes well reasoned decisions, and he just acts like a god. He is just there to bring his brother to justice, he laughs at the petty leadership squabbles between the other heroes, but over time he comes to appreciate his new companions and readily accepts his place in the team. The big change is in his dialogue – it makes much more sense, it shows that there are multiple dimensions to his character, and because of this is delivered much more fluently by Hemsworth.

Ok I'll put my hammer down, on your face!

Captain America is so noble it hurts, and Evans plays him exactly the same way as he did in the Captain America movie. He is a natural leader and it is this side that Whedon decides to grow. On my second viewing I started to notice all these little moments where it was Captain America who would take charge to stop the squabbling between heroes. So when it comes time for the final battle, it comes as no surprise when Captain America steps up and starts directing all the heroes around the battlefield.

Renner and Johansson are awesome as Hawkeye and Black Widow. You can tell that there is a lot of history between these two characters, and Whedon uses that to his advantage, putting one in danger to evoke a response from the other, and vice versa. It could have been very easy for them to become completely overshadowed by the empowered heroes, but they are given tasks designed specifically for their skill sets that make sense within the context of the movie, and in the end you cheering just as much for them as you are for all the big names.

Hey Hawkeye, you know the Black Widow kills her mate after sex right?

But not everyone can be an avenger, and the support cast does get outshone a little by the big personalities. That said, Samuel L. Jackson owns the screen as Nick Fury for the few brief moments that he gets it, Clark Gregg gives his best performance yet as the very likeable Agent Coulson and I would have loved to see him get more screen time, and Cobie Smulders is a great addition as Agent Hill always there prodding and prying at the motives and actions of her boss Nick Fury while also showing some kickass driving and flying skills.

Hey, we're important too!

Tom Hiddleston gives a much better performance as Loki this time around, and I think that has a lot to do with the writing and directing. Loki just oozes super villain this time around, from the very first scene where he effortlessly wipes out a bunch of SHIELD agents, he is mean, he is powerful, he is charming, he is funny, and he is desperate for vengeance. From the snivelling coward he was in Thor, Loki has truly grown in stature and ability, his well formed motivations are a complex reflection of a mind that he is trying to rebuild after it was shattered in the Thor movie, and I think all this makes him the best villain I have seen in any comic book movie.

Kneel humans, it is more becoming of you.

But it is Mark Ruffalo who steals the show here, who with the assistance of Whedon has brought The Hulk back from that dark and gritty place he was taken to in the previous two Hulk movies. Not to say that Ruffalo’s portrayal does not have dark and gritty, just that in this movie Bruce Banner is allowed to show more emotions than just depression. We get to see the resilience and good nature of Dr Banner, and these two emotions contrast brilliantly against the raw destructive nature of The Hulk.

And somehow Whedon manages to weave all these big personalities together, not into a cohesive team but into a cohesive movie. Whedon doesn’t try to force them into a mould, he just puts them all together on a flying aircraft carrier and lets them work out their own mould. They are allowed to argue, they are allowed to fight, they are allowed to tear each other apart, and that is what grounds this movie in reality, and that is why people will go back again and again to see this movie. Because these characters act as if they are part of their own special family, and you can draw parallels between watching that family grow and watching your own family grow.

HULK SMASH!!!

Is Michael Bay Really Destroying Your Childhood?

He is the director who polarises audiences one explosion at a time. He is the director who gave us the awesomeness that is Transformers, the nonsensical Transformers 2, and the diabolical Transformers 3. He is the director who gave us the most amazing scenes ever with Megan Fox pretending to know stuff about cars and bikes.

It squirts the fuel in so you can go faster.

I think I broke the drive shaft.

So today it was announced that Michael Bay will be taking his turn at bringing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the big screen. Spoiler Alert – The turtles turn out to be aliens. This has incensed a lot of people from every corner of the globe, with one former voice actor for the cartoon series saying that Michael Bay is “sodomizing” the TMNT legacy.

Time to get over it guys. It’s probably going to hurt a little bit inside but modern kids just don’t get the old school TMNT cartoons that our childhood was blessed with. Take off those rose-tinted glasses, appreciate the past for all it’s worth, and be a true fan by helping as many kids as you can to experience the awesomeness of TMNT with this new movie. Nobody is going to take your childhood away, the personal experiences you had with this great show have helped to define who you are and will stay with you forever.

This notion of reboots and adaptations destroying childhoods is a tired one,  one for people who are so caught up by that favourite TV show or book they loved that they refuse to acknowledge any reimagination of that TV show or book that does not match the lingering memories in their head. Oh no they left out Tom Bombadil out of Lord of the Rings – whoop-dee-doo. Harry and Hermione never shared an intimate dance in the books – no but it was a nice touch that showed how deep their relationship had become better than any dialogue could have done.

I can understand why people get upset when the movie version leaves out their favourite part or adds in new material that never existed in the original works, but not including that one scene that meant something deeply personal to you does not mean that the movie sucks. It’s time to appreciate that the original material is just that, material, and the writers / director are going to use that material as the basis for their own story that makes sense as a film. The book / TV show movie adaptations that fail are the ones that try to stick exactly to the book and make no effort to turn the material into their own story ie Eragon. If you want some good examples of film makers making the material their own, look no further than the Harry Potter films directed by David Yates, or the new 21 Jump Street movie written by Jonah Hill. Awesome movies that stay true to the essence of the source material but with their own style and flare.

Michael Bay is not destroying your childhood, he is just using certain aspects of it as a setting for his explosions. And I am comfortable with that, TMNT is a cartoon show that could have used more explosions.

Vale Mike McKay

Today I learned that one of my online friends Mike McKay passed away over the weekend. I never met Mike in the twelve months we chatted online, but I can certainly attribute a lot my current enthusiasm for writing to his incessant nagging emails asking for more chapters. Michael just wanted me, and the entire Defence Writing community for that matter, to just keep writing. He was a wonderfully positive and optimistic sci-fi and fantasy geek, and I will miss him greatly.

This year he traded in his smoke breaks for writing breaks, and would often entertain us with 150 word bursts of raw unedited stories, and then berate us for not doing the same. Here is an example of one of his “Afternoon 150’s”:

The Captain hadn’t agreed that it was a life form.  The doctor was angry.

 “It’s Carbon Chauvinism.”

 “Huh?”  Cam looked at the Doc.

“Nicolas Chauvin.”  The lights in Cam’s eyes went out.  The Doc frowned.  “Nicolas Chauvin?”

“He fought alongside Napoleon.  He was a French patriot”.  Doc sighed.  “He dismissed all things that weren’t French; said they were wasteful nonsense.  He couldn’t see the big picture. His name is synonymous with a loathing of foreign things.  Come on.” 

“I mean…why does it have to be carbon-based?” 

 He pointed.  “There’s no reason!  This is just Carbon Chauvinism.”

They were standing over a thing.  An ugly thing.  A dormant thing. It wasn’t composed of carbon.  It was a thing of silicon.  It was made of a tetravalent metalloid, not unlike carbon…but unlike any life on Earth.

“Well?” 

“Well what?”, the Doc responded.

 “How do we tell?  Is it alive?  Is it dead?”

To honour my friend, I decided to write my own “Afternoon 150”. This is for you Mike, for pushing me to keep on writing and writing and writing when I should have been working. RIP buddy, may you have plenty of Stargate episodes to watch in sci-fi heaven.

I cheered with the utmost delight as I flew through the air, my hands grasping at the invisible reins while my feet pushed against invisible stirrups. I rode the wind with an easy confidence, soaring over mountain tops at exhilarating speeds before plunging down the other side like a bird of prey. I flew just inches from the ground, bending blades of grass and stripping seeds from dandelions as I displaced the air around me. It was incredible.

I closed my eyes, stood in the stirrups, and pulled back on the reins, my knees gripping against the buffeting air as I climbed and climbed. I opened my eyes and beheld the most beautiful of sights, the curvature of the Earth spread out before me as if I belonged in one of those sci-fi stories. With a smile on my face and joy in my heart, I let go.

The Art Of Reviewing

I feel like I haven’t had a good rant in a while, so when I came across the following review of Theft of Swords on Strange Horizons and skimmed all of the comments in response to that review, I felt like I needed to get my rant on.

To review is to provide an opinion, an appraisal based on a set of criteria that is personal to the reviewer. I like books that are fun, set in strange places, and full of colourful characters. If you want to call a book garbage, you should provide evidence based on the criteria by which you judge a book. Similarly if you want to provide lavish praise of you new favourite book, tell me why you think it is deserving of your lavish praise.

In the Strange Horizons review, reviewer Liz Bourke says the book is rubbish and one of the worst books she has ever read. She then goes on to provide evidence of why she thinks it is one of the worst books she has ever read. And that should be fine with everyone, because if you apply her criteria for what makes a good book then you will see that Theft of Swords does not perform so well. If you apply my criteria for what makes a good book then you will see that Theft of Swords performs quite admirably. We are different people, we have different tastes, and it is differences like this that make us unique individuals, a quality that should be celebrated.

For reviewers like myself and Liz, writing a scathing review of a very popular book makes the fans of that book very angry. They take it as a personal affront, a well publicised article that calls them stupid for liking a book that they shouldn’t, and they come together from all corners of the internet to vent their fury via the comments section. Rarely do they try and understand the reviewer’s criteria or point of view, more often they accuse the reviewer of bias,  accuse them of a failure to understand what the book is all about, or assert that because the reviewer does not like the given genre they are not qualified to have an opinion on the genre. They do not want to engage with the reviewer on the content of the review, they want the reviewer to change their core values so that they align with their own values.

For me the choice is easy, find a reviewer whose values you can relate to, and appreciate that other people have different values. Liz is well within her right to review the book, and for those share her values (ie. the regular readers of Strange Horizons) the review will act as a handy guide not to bother with that book. This is not a bad thing, and for the author Michael Sullivan, he now knows if he wants to appeal to the target audience that Liz is a member of, he will have to fix all the issues she identified with the book.

In the end I had a couple of problems with the review, not that she disagreed with me, but because of her not so subtle attack on a group of people based on their personal choice, and her lack of consistency. It can be hard for people to see past the emotion when they see something like “I want to hunt down every single soul associated with the decision to give this series the imprimatur of a major publishing house and rub their noses in it like a bad puppy”. In this case Liz has gone away from critiquing the book based on her own person criteria and has decided to take aim at a group of people because they dared to have a different opinion to her.

As for her lack of consistency, it appears that after reading a few of her previous reviews the criteria Liz used to judge Theft of Swords is not the same as what she has used to judge similar books in the past. Consistency is a very important part of being a reviewer as it demonstrates a level of competency and integrity, instilling a measure of worth in your reviews. If you are the sort of person who will change your criteria to give a book a bad review because you disliked it that much, how are people supposed to take stock in the words you write? You will find people quickly losing respect for your reviews, and to be honest how could you ever feel satisfied providing an opinion on something when absolutely nobody is willing to respect it?

 

 

Movember – It’s All About Mens Health

As human beings we like to do things for discrete periods of time while giving the whole process a catchy name. Dry July, Octsober, and the latest but most popular, Movember. The objective is simple, spend a month growing a moustache as a way of raising awareness of men’s health issues. As a secondary objective, moustache growers will also be asking for anyone who is able to make a small contribution to the Movember cause, supporting research into various men’s health issues include the most prominent one, prostate cancer.

The Halfway Mark

The thing about us men is that we rarely see a professional whenever we are experiencing health issues. We will live in denial, prolonging that inevitable visit to the doctor until we can no longer function or until its too late to do anything about. Call it stubbornness, call it simple male psychology, but whatever you call it, there is no denying that men die from treatable illnesses because they do not get a check up.

Go And Get A Check Up!

As I have been completing my Weight Loss Journey this month, men’s health issues have become far more prominent in my mind and it feels good to be doing something positive about my health. This Movember I want you to make an appointment with your doctor for a routine health inspection and check-up. It doesn’t take long, it doesn’t cost much, and it could save your life. If you have a few dollars to spare, please make a contribution to the Movember cause. You can find my MoSpace here: http://mobro.co/ryanl86