Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Omsider

September Omsider is a song (by Norwegian black metallers Taake, which I love to listen to from time to time), meaning something like "September, At Last". I've been saying 'september omsider' all day because it's a month I've been excited about for some time, as it promises a number of entertainment products I have been anxiously awaiting (there goes my tirade from yesterday about the capitalistic industry).


Monday, August 31, 2015

The Week in Geek

Summer decided to arrive precisely on the day I went back to work, and the sun continues to glare accusingly at me through the office window. I'm not complaining - the world is so full of wrong these days that being forced to stay inside becomes...nothing. 

To avoid worrying overly much about things I can do little about, I have, of course, a bunch of other worlds to escape into. I've almost finished Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, currently fighting my way through the excellent Durlag's Tower (originally part of the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion). The game is almost twenty years old, but has lost none of its charm. I simply love it. GOG released eleven even older Forgotten Realms video games and so I am looking forward to explore, for the first time in the case of many of these titles, games that look so old that I have trouble understanding what I'm actually supposed to see. Weird how fast computer graphics have developed in twenty plus years. Not even sure I'll be able to play through these titles - except the three classic Eye of the Beholder games which I find are still tolerable. Barely.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

[Re-read] Brienne I, "Of Mad Mice and Cardboard Men"

Why haven't I been hired to do Martin's covers yet??
It's been a really long time since I last dipped my nose into the combined re-read of A Feast of Crows and A Dance with Dragons, which I have elected to call A Feast with Dragons, for simplicity's sake. Partially due to other commitments, partially due to me losing a little interest - an interest that I suspect won't flare up again until the actual imminent release of The Winds of Winter. I also believe the lackluster fifth season of Game of Thrones somewhat diminished my otherwise passionate obsession over Martin's work. And yet, at least for the first three books, it remains my favorite work of fiction. I've also decided to stop following news on the sixth season of Game of Thrones, to try and keep the experience of reading book six as pure as possible. I felt that season five already spoiled more than enough for me.

I do admit, however, that re-reading books four and five (so far) is proving to be a better experience than I expected. I was confused about Feast during the first read, at times feeling that I was reading someone else's work (and I still have my suspicions), and Dance I disliked outright. But years of reading fan theories and analyses of the text has shown me that there's more to these books than what I caught at first read, thus the enhanced experience now. Martin sure slips a lot of detail and between-the-lines stuff in his last two books, and he's still a master at juggling a cast of thousands and all that...it just seems that the editor has less of a say in the matter now that Martin is a superstar (kind of).

ANYway, it's time for A Feast with Dragons, the eighth chapter in the re-read, which is Brienne I, from A Feast for Crows. Join me in a trip ten years back in time, when the world eagerly accepted the fourth book, finally getting to read the continuing adventures of...Brienne?!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Week in Geek

I'm complaining about George being slow and I can't even find the time to do a re-read post. I know. Siiick buurn.
I did have the time to write an article for Tower of the Hand, though, about Green Ronin's A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying Game. Go check it out! It even features my beloved dice bag.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

George R.R. Martin: Signs of Life!

Martin's So A Blog has not been updated yet in August 2015, but fortunately the man behind the arguably greatest fantasy series ever has returned to his computer to once again tell his loyal devotees how progress on The Winds of Winter is coming along.

We are only one day back from the east coast, having even finished unpacking yet, and yet Spokane and worldcon are only a week away.

Well, great - one week to continue work on The Winds of Winter. A whole week! Yay and chirp chirp.

Sometimes all this does leave me feeling rather ragged.

Oh. That's not good for your motivation, though. Perhaps a few days of rest first. Let's try to keep four days for Winds, at least. Surely some progress would be desirable.

It was a great trip, though.

Hey, that's good! Maybe it revitalized the old batteries, let's say five days of writing, then. Five solid days could get an author a lot of pages under the belt. 


My nephew Jeffrey and his lady Kristin got married in Bayonne

Very interesting! Congratulations. Also, I read that as "Joffrey". It's funny 'cause it's a character from your story but which your fans seem to think more about than you.

I enjoyed delightful meals at wonderful restaurants with editors and publishers from Random House, from Tor, and from Simon & Schuster.

A gentler soul than me would take this as a hint that Great Stuff is forthcoming. I on the other hand only see Martin's obsession with food.

I also went on a pizza crawl of Manhattan and Brooklyn with X-Ray and Raya. Nothing beats New York City pizza... well, unless it's New Jersey pizza, and maybe New Haven's.

There you go.

And we visited the training camp of the New York Jets,

I just love the irony of Martin showing off his love for baseball and not understanding how his fans can be so infatuated with his story (and want to see it to its conclusion). Also, more time no Winds.

And then of course there was Staten Island, and the showdown between the SI Direwolves and the Lannister Renegades.

Of course!

All in all, a great trip.

If only there wasn't so much work awaiting me when I came home...

Sorry, but BOO fucking HOO. What's wrong with this man? He's earning, what, 15 000 000$ a year and he has to complain about it on his blog. Man, I have never experienced a less grateful, less arrogant author than Martin. It's such a shame he has to be the one behind A Game of Thrones et al. I wish Erikson could have Martin's success instead. POOR Georgyboy aww has work to do. What a fucking slap to the face of his readership who patiently monitor his blog for any - any - breadcrumb of a newsbit on The Winds of Winter. And that so many fans just take it up the tailpipe - it's beyond my comprehension. It has nothing to with entitlement or any of the other tired excuses. It has everything to do with the author's lack of communication and crude manners online. Sigh. This literally makes me un-want to read anything from his hand / WordStar.

Monday, August 10, 2015

[Review] Azure Bonds

Summer is once more at an end, and from today it's back to ye olde regular schedule - which means I'll be diving back into A Feast with Dragons pretty soon, refocusing this blog toward George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. It's been a dreadfully slow season for Westeros, though, with barely anything news-worthy happening. Sure, there's a Game of Thrones casting announcement here and / or there, and the world is of course anxiously awaiting yet another re-release of Martin's The Hedge Knight-tales...and there's this "story-telling video game" series that's going on (though it doesn't really make much waves, does it?)...as always, the radio silence is interpreted by many fans as a 'silence before the storm', the storm being, of course, the announcement of The Winds of Winter. Martin himself is busy flying these new-fangled aeromachines, though, so progress is not being made for the time being and nobody has a clue how far he's actually come, because Martin has become wary of saying anything about it on his blog, because...I don't know, because people ask about it? Fortunately he's become so popular that now journalists can ask him the same question instead. From bad PR-stunts to no PR-stunts. I don't know, I liked it more when Martin occasionally fed us a cryptic "update" on A Dance with Dragons. At least we had something to talk about. With nothing to keep my unhealthy passion for Ice & Fire warm, summer's precious few moments of geekery have instead been devoted to other franchises and fantasy-related pastimes, as noted in previous posts, with the Forgotten Realms turning out to be the place I've spent the most time in, with the occassional foray into the Star Wars-galaxy, mainly to check out news on The Force Awakens (129 days to go!) - and, when in a more creative mood, I've spent time in my home-brew world, the one I eventually want to write stories in (and occasionally do, though it's been almost half a year since I last wrote a story from start to finish).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

[Review] The Red Knight

Wow, this holiday is just flying by, and while I haven't had time to continue my re-read of A Feast with Dragons, I did finally - finally - manage to finish up Miles Cameron's The Red Knight. It seems that "Miles Cameron" is but one of several pen names belonging to author Christian Cameron, and that The Red Knight isn't nowhere near being his debut novel - which surprised me when I found out, because by all accounts this novel feels like an author's somewhat stumbling first book, a little gem of a story that could have needed some heavier editorial management. At the same time, The Red Knight in several ways is the novel I've read post-A Song of Ice and Fire that comes closest in capturing some of the magic George R.R. Martin has kept in his bottle all by himself. Following Martin's success there has of course been a whole slew of fantasy slanting toward a grittier style with more subdued magic, but The Red Knight somehow hews closer to Westeros in feel even though it has a veritable (and literal) onslaught of fantastic creatures that perhaps would feel more at home in Steven Erikson's The Malazan Book of the Fallen or even J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings...