Monday, October 22, 2012

Our Man In the Sudan - Sarah Pinborough

Haboob horseride, maybe.

3.5 out of 5

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Red Country 2 - Joe Abercrombie

"‘Indeed! I lose count of the number of times my death has been prematurely declared by one optimistic enemy or another. Forty years of trials, struggles, challenges, betrayals. Live long enough . . . you see everything ruined.’ Cosca shook himself from his reverie. ‘But it hasn’t been boring, at least! What adventures along the way, eh, Temple?’ Temple winced. He had borne personal witness to five years of occasional fear, frequent tedium, intermittent diarrhoea, failure to avoid the plague, and avoiding fighting as if it was the plague. But he was not paid for the truth. Far from it." 3.5 out of 5

Valetta City of Guild - Michael Vella

Gaw Gaw ring. 3.5 out of 5

Science Fiction Horizons: on Science Fiction as Literature It Came From Riverside - David Brin

3.5 out of 5

So Why Do I Write Sword and Sorcery? - Violette Malan

"I don’t think it’s a coincidence that sword and sorcery stories, as written by Leiber, Moore, Kuttner, de Camp, et al, were appearing in print at pretty much the same time as stories by people like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. In both we have protagonists (certainly not heroes in the classical sense) who inhabit places dangerous and dark, and who yet know how things operate, how to get by – and how to behave. The society around them is corrupt and cynical – hell, they might be a bit corrupt and a bit cynical themselves. So, they’re not heroes, but they are heroic, by the standards of their own worlds." 3.5 out of 5

It's A Good Life - Jerome Bixby

When Anthony is born, he uses his abilities to transport his whole town to somewhere else. After that, everyone is extremely careful around him, as when he comes across something he doesn't like his extreme powers of transmutation and transfiguration can do bad things, and he is also somewhat telepathic and has degrees of animal control. Basically a young, sociopathic supervillain.

3 out of 5 3 out of 5

Zero Hour - Ray Bradbury

Zero Hour - Ray Bradbury Martian kid games. 3.5 out of 5

Red Country 1 - Joe Abercrombie

"‘They’re scum to a man, and I’ll hold ’em up ’til Juvens gets back from the land of the dead if it means thirty-five.’ ‘Thirty-two.’ ‘Thirty-five.’ ‘Thirty-three and you might as well burn my store down on the way out!’ ‘Don’t tempt me, fat man. Thirty-three and you can toss in a pair o’ those new shovels and some feed for my oxen. They eat almost as much as you.’ She spat in her palm and held it out." 3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Saying Goodbye To "The Boys" Part 1 - Garth Ennis

"Let's take a look at the Boys themselves. Hughie really stepped into the series as the consummate everyman -- just a normal guy in a horrible situation. Yet over the course of the series, he's forced to be a lot more than a victim of circumstance. What do you think is the most important thing Hughie's learned about himself through all of this? That he'll never change, never become a tough guy, never have one of those "no more" moments that fictional characters have when they stop taking shit and go out to do what a man's got to do. In other words, he'll be like most people in real life and remain resolutely who he is, no matter how hard he yearns to be someone different. This was something I began to realize about Hughie early on, and became more convinced of the further I went with him. Towards the end he does manage to at least act like he's changed, but as we'll see at the true climax of the story in #71, it's his (largely unwitting) adherence to his true nature that does him the most good." 3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Walkthrough: Openly Gamer - Mike Tanier

"Long ago, when computer power was measured in kilobytes and John Madden was just another color commentator, football gaming didn't require a console, computer, or controller. It required a sturdy tabletop and dice. The football games of that era had odd, retro-techie names: Strat-o-Matic, APBA, Statis Pro. They were highly complex, though they were oversimplifications of the sport, and though they had childlike elements they attracted an adult following. Each game had its own elaborate rules, quirky codes, arcane charts. Gamers called plays, rolled dice, referred to cards and charts, sometimes rolled again, interpreted play results, then moved cardboard football and down markers across a gridiron-shaped field. Football teams were bundled into rubber-banded piles or small manila pouches. Gaming sessions lasted for hours around the dining room table, opponents cross-checking each other's cards and arguing rules while being careful not to spill soda, Eric Dickerson's 1984 card still brown-stained and blurry from someone's clumsiness. There was no Madden video game back then, no high-def graphics, no fantasy football Web sites with up-to-the-second information. Those games were all we had. They were immersive. They were awesome. And they are still with us." 5 out of 5