Because the folk at Centives.com have too much time on their hands, we now have a vague idea of how much it would cost to produce the Death Star in our current currency/economy. It’s not cheap.
Oh, and the cost of the steel alone? At 2012 prices, about $852,000,000,000,000,000. Or roughly 13,000 times the world’s GDP.*
And how many Death Stars could we theoretically produce, regardless of cost?
[W]e’ve calculated that from the iron in the earth, you could make just over 2 billion Death Stars.
So, let’s see, $852,000,000,000,000,000 x 2,000,000,000 *pulls out calculator.*
Anyone got $1.69683934 × 1027 sitting around burning a whole in their pocket? If so, I think we could take over the known universe.
After several years of voracious fans re-reading Harry Potter and waiting impatiently for the sometimes-enigmatic author to breath a word about her next novel, J.K. Rowling has finally announced her next novel. It’s coming from Little, Brown, doesn’t have a title, isn’t related to Harry Potter and is aimed at an adult audience. I can almost hear you salivating with unbound excitement and lust.
“Although I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry’s success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher. I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life.”
Of course, we find out little-to-nothing about the book, but it’s nice nonetheless to know that Rowling’s ready to break her relative radio silence and has proceeded far enough along with the novel to sign a deal. Any guesses what type of novel she’ll write? More importantly, though, do you think she will fall victim to Stephen R. Donaldson’s theory that fans follow series around, rather than authors?
Oh victory, you taste so sweet.
Thanks to the fine folks at XSEED Games, North American gamers are going to have the chance to experience The Last Story, an action-based RPG from Mistwalker, a Japanese developer/publisher headed by Hironobu Sakaguchi, creator of the legendary Final Fantasy series. This is, of course, the result of much hard work from dedicated fans operating under the Operation Rainfall umbrella, which was already successful in convincing Nintendo of America to publish Xenoblade Chronicles in North America (though with a very limited release).
Of the game, NintendoLife, awarding the game an 8/10, said in their recent review:
The Last Story is, in many ways, a significant achievement on Wii. With gameplay that is both simplified and complex, solid controls, attractive presentation, online multiplayer and a touching, well-paced plot, this title can be considered as a definitive entry in its genre. Technical problems with the performance, in particular regular and punishing drops in frame rate, unfortunately drag the experience back. When the game engine performs it’s terrific, but too often it struggles and significantly impacts your ability to control the action. The Last Story’s many strengths, however, ensure that it’s a story that can’t be missed.
The Last Story was just released in Europe by Nintendo of Europe. The North American version will presumably use the European English translation and voice acting, with XSEED doing the heavy lifting in localizing the game to American English and publishing/distributing the game to its North American audience. No release date has been set, but expect The Last Story to land on North American soil sometime this year.
Well, it’s official, and likely to annoy some fans of The Wheel of Time:
A Memory of Light will release on January 8, 2013, in the final month of the Year of the Dragon.
Consider that the first draft of the novel has completed for a few months (and some parts of it, including the ending, for years), a lot of us expected that the book would hit shelves this holiday season, somewhere between September and November. To see it pushed into 2013 is a bit of a surprise. No surprise gifts underneath the Christmas tree, I guess. Oh well, though, at least that gives me a few extra months to catch up to the series and read the final volume alongside the rest of the fans.
Now, the real question is, when will we get the cover art and who will be the artist responsible?
This is a great post by Arnie Fenner on the Muddy Colours blog about the history of Fanzine art.
In the pre-Internet era, young artists, writers, and entrepreneurs often combined their interests to produce fanzines (or “semi-pro zines” if they paid for content), small press publications that filled a void in the marketplace and actually advanced the appreciation for the subjects (comics, SF, film, horror, etc.) highlighted in the magazines. Artists and authors were able to hone their craft or, if they were already working professionals, experiment with subjects or ideas they normally didn’t have the opportunity to explore; publishers wet behind the ears were able to learn the ins and outs of the business while refining their design and editorial skills; readers were able to get something more than what the professional houses were putting on the news stands. Win, win, win.
Fanzines are the precursor to blogs like A Dribble of Ink and use a medium that really allows the editors to embrace Fantasy and SF artwork, something that many blogs struggle with. It’s a great read, especially if you love the art aspect of the genre as much as I do. For that matter, Muddy Colors is a must-follow blog for those interested in art. It features great content from Daniel Dos Santos, Donato, Justin Sweet and many other artists.