Monthly Archives: November 2011


The Centennial Monster…

That monster will appear without fail once every 100 years, devour everything, and continue to multiply… It is a fearsome beast. In order to prepare for the Centennial Monster, the Holy Ionian Empire has extended its reach to suppress the entire empire by forcing heavy burdens upon it.

But as time passes, the regional towns and cities have become dissatisfied with these heavy burdens and declared independence. In the beginning, a large-scale military battle between Holy Ionian Empire and the Regional Force occurred. There were massive casualties on both sides, but ironically, the existence of the Centennial Monster forced both sides to reconcile and work together.

Beneath the Ionian Banner, the Holy Ionian Empire, faced with an emergency, acknowledged the Regional Force’s independence as a condition of combining their forces. Ever since, time has passed peacefully, at least on the surface…

This year, it will have been exactly 100 years…

In Terube Village, three youths–the hero, Miyura, and Gino–are spending their days training to prepare for the coming of the Centennial Monster. One day, on their way back from training in the barricade ruins, the Hero and his friends encountered monsters they’d never seen before. No matter how many they defeated, the monsters continued to multiply. Unable to move forward or escape, the companions retreated back to the ruins.

Once inside, a mysterious boy named Zephon suddenly appears in front of them and sends them 100 years into the past. There, they will meet the heroes who defeated the previous Centennial Monster…

A newly-woven story of the Infinity that transcends time…

And the first trailer for the game, complete with crazy moon language:

My immediate reaction is disappointment, a feeling that’s becoming increasingly common where the once legendary Suikoden franchise is concerned. The cover art is classic and easily recognizable as a Suikoden game, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, but one look at the trailer or a brief scan through the synopsis makes it clear that this is another game in the tradition of Suikdoen Tierkreis, a step away from the layered, politically-charged setting explored in the first five games of the series. Instead, fans are left to explore a brand new world with no connections to the previous games besides the 108 Stars. Regardless, I enjoyed Tierkreis for what it was and will no doubt be picking up Suikoden: The Woven Web of a Century when (if) it’s released in English.

More art from the game, including full character portraits, can be found HERE.

Boneshaker by Cherie PriestVia Variety:

Cherie Priest’s steampunk sci-fi novel “Boneshaker” is coming to the bigscreen with Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media Group and Hammer Films onboard.

The companies said Wednesday that Hammer has acquired the rights to the novel. Project will be co-produced by Hammer and Cross Creek Pictures and co-financed by Exclusive and Cross Creek.

John Hilary Shepherd (“Nurse Jackie”) is writing the screenplay. Hammer head of production Tobin Armbrust is overseeing.

Priest’s novel is set in an alternate version of 1880s Seattle, where the city has been walled in and a toxic gas has turned many of its remaining residents into “Rotters,” more commonly known as zombies. A young widow hunts for her teen son in the Seattle underworld while dealing with airship pirates, a criminal overlord and heavily armed refugees.

The novel, published in 2009 by Tor Books, is the first in a series set in the period, which has Priest has dubbed the Clockwork Century. Second novel “Dreadnought” was published in 2010, and the third, “Ganymede,” was recently released.

Tor Books is releasing the fourth in the series, “Inexplicables,” in 2012, and last week announced a deal with Priest for her to write a fifth. That book will be called “Fiddlehead.”

“It’s like Jules Verne meets ‘Resident Evil,’ and we’re thrilled to have such a fun, commercial potential franchise in Boneshaker,” said Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver.

Cherie’s an absolute sweeheart and this couldn’t happen to a better person. Though I haven’t read Boneshaker, my impression of it indicates that Priest’s Zombie-filled, alternate history version of Seattle will traslate wonderfully to the screen. As always, take the news with salt; it’s Hollywood, afterall.

Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Theft of Swords

By Michael J. Sullivan
Pages: 704 pages
Publisher: Orbit Books
Release Date: 23/11/11
ISBN: 0316187747


Michael J. Sullivan has a story that every aspiring writer would love to tell. It’s not about trolls or princesses, vanquishing evil or finding treasure (at least not in the literal sense), but it is a tale of perseverance and personal triumph, of overcoming obstacles that prove impossible for so many others. See, Sullivan’s most interesting story isn’t that of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn, the protagonists of Theft of Swords, which consists of Sullivan’s first two self-published novels, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha, and the eponymous pair behind The Riyria Revelations, it’s the story behind his success, of his rocky and self-driven path to publication, first under his own publishing label (ostensibly a self-published writer) and selling several thousand eBooks a month to signing a full-fledged publishing deal with a major New York City publisher (and potentially leaving tens- or hundreds-of-thousands of dollars on the table.) Michael J. Sullivan is a self-made success story and it shows in Theft of Swords’ utter disregard for the current trends that are sweeping the Fantasy genre (and are so important in the minds of the major publishers.)

In this post-GRRM (George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire) world, popular Epic Fantasy is dominated by so-called ‘gritty’ writers like Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch or R. Scott Bakker. Even the ‘good guys,’ like Brandon Sanderson, author of The Alloy of Law are known for attempting to subvert the tropes of the genre by taking common building blocks and flipping them on their heads in a way that’s supposed to upend the reader’s expectations. Theft of Swords, on the other hand, is a delightful throwback to the Fantasy of the ‘80s and ‘90s that took the concepts and thematic structures first popularized by Tolkien and helped solidify the genre’s place in popular geek culture. These days it’s cool to hate on Terry Brooks, David Eddings and Raymond E. Feist, but Theft of Swords proves that the building blocks used by those authors are still effective today when wielded by a careful author.
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Game of Thrones PosterVia

A Storm of Swords US paperbackWe reported on this in another post, but the rumors continue to swirl and so we thought it deserved its own post. We are now hearing from multiple sources that HBO plans to order both seasons three and four and film them back-to-back (à la Lord of the Rings). It has already been confirmed that A Storm of Swords would be covered in more than one season. From what we have heard, much of the film crew in Northern Ireland has been told of this plan and has been advised to expect nine months of filming next year.

Matt Staggs at Suvudu believes there’s truth to the rumour:

While I’ve not received any confirmation regarding this rumor, I don’t find it out of the realm of the possible. For one thing, the show is doing really, really well. I know people who haven’t read George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire or even read fantasy in general who won’t miss an episode of the program, and those who have read the series already know that the later books would require more than a season of episodes each for a faithful adaptation.

Really, it makes sense for all the reasons Staggs indicates. The show is becoming something of a cultural phenomenon and the last I heard A Dance with Dragons was the best-selling novel of the year. Not best-selling Fantasy novel, but best selling novel. Period. It might be dethroned by by Paolini’s Inheritance, Grisham’s The Litigators or King’s 11/22/63, but the point remains that a big, juicy adult Fantasy is making waves among mainstream readers in a way that hasn’t happened since, perhaps, Tolkien broke through with Lord of the Rings. What’s not to like for HBO?

Filming back-to-back also isn’t surprising given that seasons three and four of Game of Thrones are rumoured to cover the events of Storm of Swords, the longest volume of the still-to-be-completed series.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Ever wondered why John Steinbeck’s classic American novel East of Eden has proved so popular over the decades since it’s release? Maybe it’s the cover art.

Recently, Publishers Weekly awarded East of Eden with the coveted prize of “Best Book Covers Ever.” PW looked back at the many editions of Steinbeck’s novel and declared it as the king of the hill where consistently great cover art is concerned. They also made some interesting observations about the effect cover art has a reader’s experience with a novel:

A book cover has to both draw you into the book when you first pick it up as well as stand as an aesthetic representation of the story’s heart. For many of us, book covers are a big reason why we’re still holding onto physical books, and there’s something about the best of them that conveys the transportive ability we find in our favorite books.

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