Monthly Archives: December 2012

Ever wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons against some of Fantasy’s best (and coolest) authors? Of course you do. Last year, thanks to Justin Landon, we were privy to a documented game of D&D featuring Patrick Rothfuss, Peter V. Brett, Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, Elizabeth Bear and a whole bunch of other awesome people. The saliva lost by drooling Fantasy fans was enough to fill the Dead Sea (and just as salty). You can read Brent Weeks’ account of the game right here on A Dribble of Ink, in fact. Now, this time around, you (yes, you), have an opportunity to take part in the next D&D game, alongside many of these same authors, including Patrick Rothfuss and Peter V. Brett, and newcomers like Sam Sykes. How? By auction. Read More »

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Far over the Misty Mountains cold,

Today marks the worldwide release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. To celebrate, I’ve gathered together some of my favourite art, professional and amateur, together to celebrate the wonderful legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s best (yep, best) work.

To dungeons deep and caverns old,

We must away, ere break of day,

To seek our pale enchanted gold.

I will fully admit to nicking most of these images from a post at Tor.com, also celebrating some of the wonderful art created in celebration of The Hobbit. So, have you seen the film? What did you think? And, what are some of your favourite pieces of art from The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings?

Jo Fletcher BJo Fletcher BooksooksThere used to be a time, way back when, that I used to run interviews with authors. They were fun, challenging and people liked to read them. Then I stopped for some reason. Well, today, the interviews are back, but the tables are turned. I was asked by Jo Fletcher Books, a great genre imprint from the UK, to be subject to an interview. Mostly, we talk about blogging, but there is also discussion about some of the novels that really opened my eyes to the world of Fantasy literature. Since its terribly topical and popular, here’s a taste from the interview that discusses one of my favourite novels, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien:

What are your all-time favourite reads?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

As I grew from childhood and into adolescence, I veered away from Fantasy, magic and adventure, replacing them instead with laser guns, time portals and spacefaring. Science Fiction ruled much of my pre-adolescence. I still remember being in grade four, I was nine, and getting gruff from my teacher because I wasn’t reading the assigned novel during silent reading. It was The Cay by Theodore Taylor, appropriate for most readers my age. Instead of reading The Cay, I was reading Jurassic Park. I lost touch with Fantasy because, well . . . I was a boy and Fantasy was full of princesses, unicorns and other such girly stuff. I don’t know where I got such ideas, certainly not from my parents, but there they were.

At age eleven, however, my mom finally convinced me to give The Hobbit a shot. She was an avid reader of both Fantasy and Science Fiction, and rarely steered me wrong. I expect the only reason I gave The Hobbit a shot, however, was because of the languorous, fiery Smaug, stretched out atop his pile of gold, scrolls of gold-etched dwarfish runes capped the top and bottom of the book’s cover. It was pretty cool. I still own that copy of The Hobbit I read it, and fell in love. The rest, if you’ll pardon the expression, is history.

You can read the rest of the interview on Jo Fletcher Books’ website. I hope you enjoy it.

Morningstar, developed by Industrial Toys

Set 120 years in the future, the premise revolves around a plausible future Earth, one that has developed near space flight, but nothing much faster. The story opens with Earth discovering a signal from an alien life. This discovery kicks off something called the Morning Star protocol, an agreement that outlines what to do if alien intelligence is discovered. The research vessel MSRV-Joplin is outfitted with military weapons and sent to Saturn, where the signal is coming from, to explore.

It’s not so much an announcement, as knowledge of Scalzi’s involvement with the creation of a videogame has been floating around for a while, but this is the first concrete information about the title. Scalzi reports on the project:

As most of you know, for the last year or so I’ve been working on a video game with Industrial Toys, the new video game studio formed by former Bungie founder Alex Seropian. We’ve been quietly chugging along in the background putting the game together; my job has been working with them to create an overall game concept as well as the narrative that fits into that concept. It’s been a hell of a lot of fun, in no small part because my co-workers at Industrial Toys are some of the smartest and most creative people in the video game business.

[...]

As the trailer notes, the video game is a first-person shooter, but with a bit of a twist: It’s designed specifically for mobile gaming on tablets, which means that everything — gameplay, controls, story — was put together incorporating both the physical layout of tablets and the gameplay dynamic of mobile gaming. It’s not a port from another video game medium, in other words: It’s at home in mobile. Which is also very exciting.

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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold

You guys/gals criticized me for saying that the cover for Peter V. Brett’s The Daylight War wasn’t over-sexualized. Maybe you were right, maybe I was right. Maybe we both were. I think there’s a line between positive sexual energy and being over-sexualized, but it’s a thin one and often hard to discern. But, to follow up, I thought I’d post this absolute gem from Baen Books for Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold. You know, the author with 10+ Hugo nominations, and various other lauded awards, to her name. Doesn’t she, and don’t we, deserve better? Sadly, this is hardly new territory for Baen.

In somewhat related news, it worth following the recent discussion titled #1reasonwhy about the struggle that women face while trying to find equality and fair representation in the videogame industry. The coverage on Giant Bomb is a good starting point for following the discussion.