Category Archives: Fantasy

The Most Awesome Thing, Today

This is probably the most awesome thing I have ever seen, today.

A fan made a screenshot of a “Game of Thrones” fighting game. It breaks my heart that it isn’t real.

Oh intertrons, why do you hurt me?

Most awesome thing, today.

Source

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Some People Don’t Get Game of Thrones

New York Times wrote another piece sweepingly snubbing Game of Thrones. Last time it was called “boy-fiction” and raised an uproar from the legion of fans – most of which were of the lady variety. This time it is more informed and articulate, but ultimately misses something important. I think this oversight is generally what lies beneath the sweaty keyboard pounding when fans take to defending their interests.

After I read the article I wrote a long blog that basically amounted to “YOU DON’T LIKE WHAT I LIKE, YOU’RE A DOO-DOO HEAD!”, but when I hovered over the Publish button I recanted. I think there is something going on that is larger than what I think critics and the arbiters of taste realize; it is something as old and old itself. Perhaps I am late to the party on this, but I just realized it.

There is a shift going on in societies’ taste, genre is becoming accepted and mainstream. The old and stodgy snubbing of the fantastic is becoming dated, like a geriatric wildebeest falling behind the rest of the pack, waiting to be picked off by a hungry lion. If GoT did indeed only appeal to the small D & D audience and the fans of the books, I don’t think it would have been as successful as it is.

If we look at the top twenty highest grossing movies of all time, excluding “Titanic” and “The Passion of the Christ”, the other movies are steeped in fantasy and science fiction. If we go back in time and adjust for inflation we see less movies with strong fantastic elements dominating the top twenty. So what has changed? I can’t help but notice a trend between the super hero movies and the revamping of classic fairy tales.

I think as time progresses we will see fewer reviews of this nature; dismissing and brushing off shows/movies based on heritage of appeal and unconventional means of story telling. I understand that it is easier to dismiss something out of hand because of unfamiliarity, say that it should get with the program because this is how these things work, but everything changes and sometimes . I’m predicting in a couple of years people will look back on Game of Thrones and remark on how different and ground breaking it was, and the people raising that banner will be the same people who scoffed at it.

Despite having a lot names to follow and killing off the “main character”, there is still a sense of something. It feels big, nasty and oddly cold. This sense of wonder is what I think drives at the heart of the show, and ultimately drives the audience. We love a good underdog story, we love when good conquers all, but perhaps we want to see the more visceral side of humanity. Maybe we want to know how much hell a character went through so when they finally find heaven we can equally share in their moment. Whether or not GoT will deliver that feeling, book or show, is yet to be determined but for now the ride is entertaining. Until the conclusion of this epic story, I can’t forget that winter is coming.

 

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I Was Kidding……

So remember my post about the all purpose zombie tool? Well somebody decided to actually make and market one.

Time to break that piggy bank open and squee with nerdy glee.

It is called the The DoubleStar Zombie-X AK-47 and it means serious business ( *insert drum rift*).

AK47 + Chainsaw =

Of course if you are a manly lumberjack that oozes masculinity this can be used to defend yourself from Gentle Ben and hippies. You know, for the kids.

 

The DoubleStar Zombie-X AK-47 is a weapon specially customized to battle zombie hordes by attaching a battery-charged chainsaw to the end of the barrel, as well as a EOTech Zombie Stopper XPS2-Z Holographic Sight which puts a biohazard symbol on your target instead of the classic red dot. DoubleStar hasn’t announced when or if this will go on sale, but its less fancy DSC Zombie Slayer predecessor sells for $1,249.99, so the Zombie-X is likely to be a bit pricier.

I particularly like the holographic sight side mounted, so you can shoot zombies with style.

Source.

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My Rage Comic

Got bored, decided to make a rage comic. Actually I’ve made a few now, but I will show you this one.

You can make your very own over at the Rage Comic Builder

 

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Randy Savage + Dragon = Awesome, Skyrim in Real Life, and Unicorn Poop.

Do you play Skyrim? There is a mod that takes the game’s perfect ten and ever so calmly cranks it up to 11.

Somebody took the  dragon god and replaced his scaly toothy face for Randy “Macho Man” Savage’s glorious face. Just when you thought the phrase ‘Oh yea!’ couldn’t get even more deadly.

You’re welcome.

 

Also check out Skyrim in real life.

 

 

Ever wanted to eat a cookie modeled after unicorn poop? Watch this video and check out the recipe here.

 

 

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Andrzej Sapkowski

I’ve been reading the second installment of Mr. Sapkowski’s english translated Witcher universe, and I must say that it is quite awesome. It is interesting to read on several fronts, but before I go into why let me explain a little about Andrzej Sapkowski.

Mr. Sapkowski is a Polish fantasy writer of some note in Europe. His books are the foundation for The Witcher games, which are very popular in their own right. His books are slowly being translated and shipped over to the new world, where I (not so)patiently wait. So far just The Last Wish and Blood of Elves are available in English. The third installment, Times of Contempt, is due out sometime in 2012.

The Last Wish is a collection of short stories revolving around a man( the main character in the universe) named Geralt of Rivia. He is in the business of killing nazis monsters, and business is booming. He is a mutant with white wavy, feathered hair rolling from town to town assassinating monsters and breaking curses. He is the local bad ass; women love him and men want to be him – kind of not really, he is fairly ostracized. At an early age Witchers undergo some upgrades that mutate them into being the million dollar man and because Geralt and by extension his brethren are so good at their jobs, monsters are disappearing at an alarming rate.

The first book rolls across seven short stories that involve the death and/or maiming of some very intriguing and unique monsters. Wrap your head around a  half spider – half crocodile, yea that just happened. There is also a Djinn, which is what Genie from Aladdin is loosely based off of, that is essentially a giant floating head. For those who don’t know, Djinn’s are evil and fiery and do horribly evil things.

The second book, Blood of Elves, picks up a little time after the events of the last book. There is a prophecy and a child, fairly standard stuff, but what separates this book above most others for me is the structure and style of the book. I don’t know if it is Sapkowski’s particular style, the translation, or the language that it was written in but the book has a unique flow to it. Some grammatical tenets that are generally avoided are used quite effectively throughout the book. I guess it goes to show that there isn’t really a hard set of rules in writing, the biggest rule is to just be effective. Which this book does in handfuls.

I won’t talk too much about the second book because it would ruin the first book for some people, but I suggest picking it up if only to dissect the differences and structure from how English story telling is done. If that doesn’t interest you then just pick one up and take it for a spin, both are damn good books to start with anyway.

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Skyrim – Cancel Your Life


 

Skyrim is awesome, that is the first order of business you need to know.

 

Instead of going into how the graphics are great, the blanket snow falls are amazing, the random dragon attacks make your ass pucker, or how you can literally wander around for days and days on end I will instead list some of the awesomeness that is Skyrim

  • You can climb any mountain with a horse. Seriously, these giant Clydesdales have four-wheel drive. Hop off the horse, lock in the tires, and make sweet climbing love to the mountain.
  • Walk around the woods, minding your own business and get your ass ripped off by a saber-toothed cat.
  • Buy a house and decorate it.
  • You can fill an entire house with troll skulls.
  • Fireball in one hand + fireball in other hand = REALLY big fire-ball. The dual-wielding combat system is awesome. You can dual-wield spells or weapons, this makes for more interesting game play compared to Oblivion.
  • Fatality style kills scenes. I stared open-mouthed when I chopped a Falmer’s head off like something out of Mortal Kombat or when I punted a wolf in the throat and snapped its neck.
  • Join the revolution, pretend to be Braveheart. FREEEEEDOOOOOMMM! If you are like me, magically inclined play style, I have been consuming the Imperials with fireballs from my eyes and shooting lighting out of my arse.
  • Make a dragon crash-land. There is something gratifying about watching a giant winged fire-breathing lizard crash into the ground and skid 30 yards.
  • Big ass scary dragons that will royally #%*@ your day up.
  • Use your shout to send a group of enemies skydiving off of a mountain. Unrelenting Shout has to be one of the best d-bag moves to pull in a game.
  • Zombie Vikings
  • Fighting a giant is a quick way to learn if you can fly. There is a bug in the game the sends you miles high into the atmosphere when a giant tries to test his strength on your face. Even though it kills you, it is always entertaining.
  • Stealth attack a bad guy standing shoulder to shoulder with another bad guy. You would think that when you picked off Baddie A, Baddie B would be like, “Where did Steve go?”, but no. If you are quiet enough they just stand there like idiots. I find it comical.
  • Start a brawl, introduce somebody to Florence and Nightingale. Give them the ole one-two punch.
  • Become a werewolf. Disembowel some people, play jump rope with their entrails, then pounce on the next helpless guy and rip his head off.
  • Marry somebody.
  • Get a pet dog.
  • Explore that massive and vast land of Skyrim.

Skyrim is a great RPG. It has the same successful formula as Oblivion, but slightly tweaked areas that offer a different feel. The combat systems is robust, but by design. It pushes the player to strategize and think about how to approach an enemy. That is until the player is so damn powerful that one shots are a certainty.

The perk-skill leveling system is MUCH MUCH better from Oblivion’s. You aren’t as limited in how to customize your play as in the previous game, this offers more of a unique experience. While it is possible to reach 100 in EVERYTHING, you can’t have perks in all the skills. So pick your particular game play style and max it out.

Dungeons are more unique. This time the developers spent more time giving dungeons a more special feel and not a regurgitated theme. The quests are randomized; while basic elements might be the same, the NPCs, dungeon, and item/person is randomly selected. This offers a custom experience but plays victim to RNG (random number generated).

The depth in which a person can fully immerse themselves in this game is mind-boggling. The scope is large and that little whizzing sound you hear while playing is time zipping past. Blink and you spent 5 hours helping children and returning ancient artifacts.

Go buy the game, now. Seriously, go get it. You won’t be disappointed.

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Religion In Science Fiction

Something I have run across in my vast undertaking of trying to read and conquer every Science Fiction book ever written, there appears to be a lot of mono-religions for aliens. My question is why? This also occurs in the Fantasy genre.

Perhaps if an author tells us that a world has ten religions, but only explains one, the rest is left for us to color in with our imagination?

Is it because the universe in which the story is written is so large that it is not only unnecessary  but detrimental to explore the vast religions and sects of an alien culture? Or is it the simple and easy answer, too much work.

Occam’s razor points me to the latter, which worries me.

I can understand a hive-mind like alien species having one religion, if any at all. A society where a single or total consciousness controls the thoughts and physical movements for an entire species. That makes sense to me.

What I don’t understand is how a large, intergalactic civilization that expands several planets and moons can only believe in one religion, say a golden potato. This strikes me as very odd. If evolution has tought us anything, genetic drift among the different colonies would occur over time. The alien’s bodies would evolve to adjust to the conditions on the planet or moon.

Say that takes place over a period of a few hundred years, I would almost bet that enough difference between the colonies would result in skewed political and religious views, necessity playing a large part in the equation.

We don’t even have to look very far here on Earth to see that villages a few miles apart have similar but ultimately different religious ideologies. Expand countries and continents and the difference grows.

So why would it be any different for an alien species? Am I over simplifying the unknown by applying human conditions and parameters to something incalculable?

Culture is something that does interest me. I enjoy reading about other societies and the differences in perspectives that can differ so radically from my own. Introduce a creature with different needs and biological functions than a human, we have a recipe for extreme shifts and differences from our own. The potential to explore this in a soft science fiction universe feels like trying to find where the ocean meets the sky, an endless journey.

The amazing part is after religion, we have politics and social class to explore. Perhaps I just haven’t read as widely as I would like to think I have, or is there a kernel of truth to this?

What do you think? Can you point me to any Fantasy and Science Fiction books that explore in greater detail the softer exploits or a civilization?

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Skyrim Trailer…. This Time With Real People!

So here is the new Skyrim trailer. If it was a serious movie, I would say that the production value and general badassness is very high. Hollywood, I hope you are taking notes.

 

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Dragon Age: Redemption Trailer

So the lovely Felicia Day (The Guild, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog, and general geek goddess) has been allowed to run around and make a Dragon Age web series. What isn’t all that surprising because it is Ms. Day, but in my opinion unusual for a web series, is that it looks really really damn good. Maybe it takes a fellow nerd to deliver the goods on something like this.

I know I know, apparently all the Mortal Kombat webisodes have led to an actual movie. That is fine and dandy. I don’t particularly care for the look of the characters but I do think the sense of ‘realism’ the series is shooting for is a step in the right direction. Anything is better than the last Mortal Kombat movie….. yuck.

Anyway….

Ms. Day plays an elf assassin stock with cartwheels, flips, and dual blades. There isn’t a shortage of blood splatter in the trailer, which I like, and the production value gives me a sense of nostalgia. It looks like a Xena of Hercules TV show level of quality, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The first episodes comes out in Oct 11th and I for one will be watching it.

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