May 31, 2014

Rogues Pre-Ordered!


Last night, after taking a video game break, I pre-ordered the giant cross-genre anthology by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois called Rogues for my Kobo ereader.  It's coming out June 17. This their follow-up to Dangerous Women.

This is what all the excitement is about:

A thrilling collection of twenty-one original stories by an all-star list of contributors—including a new A Game of Thrones story by George R. R. Martin!
 
Twenty-one all-original stories, by an all-star list of contributors, will delight and astonish you in equal measure with their cunning twists and dazzling reversals. And George R. R. Martin himself offers a brand-new tale chronicling one of the biggest rogues in the entire Ice and Fire saga.

Follow along with the likes of Gillian Flynn, Joe Abercrombie, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Scott Lynch, Cherie Priest, Garth Nix, and Connie Willis as well as other masters of literary sleight-of-hand in this rogues’ gallery of stories that will plunder your heart—and yet leave you all the richer for it.

George R.R. Martin “Everybody Loves a Rogue” (Introduction)
Joe Abercrombie “Tough Times All Over”
Gillian Flynn “What Do You Do?”
Matthew Hughes “The Inn of the Seven Blessings”
Joe R. Lansdale “Bent Twig”
Michael Swanwick “Tawny Petticoats”
David Ball “Provenance”
Carrie Vaughn “The Roaring Twenties”
Scott Lynch “A Year and a Day in Old Theradane”
Bradley Denton “Bad Brass”
Cherie Priest “Heavy Metal”
Daniel Abraham “The Meaning of Love”
Paul Cornell “A Better Way to Die”
Steven Saylor “Ill Seen in Tyre”
Garth Nix “A Cargo of Ivories”
Walter Jon Williams “Diamonds From Tequila”
Phyllis Eisenstein “The Caravan to Nowhere”
Lisa Tuttle “The Curious Affair of the Dead Wives”
Neil Gaiman “How the Marquis Got His Coat Back”
Connie Willis “Now Showing”
Patrick Rothfuss “The Lightning Tree”

George R.R. Martin "The Rogue Prince, or, the King's Brother"

And now, I believe it's time to finally return to Kalvel.... 




A note for Parents About the Wii U


This is a post forany parents who may be getting the wii u for their kids. And I mean 10 or under.


May 30, 2014

Mario Kart 8 (U)


Today the long awaited Mario Kart 8 is finally out. And I must say, it could very well be the best Mario Kart yet for a console.

I enjoyed the games on the wii, but not the console itself. So, with Mario Kart 8, I'm using the gamepad and U Pro Controller. 

The biggest difference or newest feature about the game is antigravity. You can race in all directions, as per how the track moves. Switching is easy and seamless and automatic in-game. The gliders re-appear, as do bikes. Basically, Nintendo put all the best parts from past Mario Kart games into this one. And coins! Coins are back.

Another feature I quite like is fast recovery. If you get hit, getting back into it doesn't take nearly as long as in past games. There is also a defence against the dreaded Spiny Shell....

There are loads of courses and characters to unlock, a few new items and tons of replayability due to mulitpplayer, and trying to unlock each and every item. 

With all the 'new', the game feels great, and looks even better. Mario kart (wii) was fun, but not one of the series best games - many feel that Double Dash and / or Mario Kart 7 were the best.

This could easily be the best Mario Kart since Mario Kart 64, or ever. It definitely belongs in company such as Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart DS, Mario Kart 7, and Double Dash (depending on if you liked that one).

Character / vehicle of choice: Larry Koopa, ATV
controller preferred: gamepad or U Pro controller

It's out to buy as both a physical and digital edition. The digital eshop version is just under 5GB (approx). I went for the physical one but for Smash Bros U, I hope to get the digital if it's not too large in file size.

Grab the crowd and the controllers because Mario Kart is back with a vengeance. 

Oh, don't have a U yet? Here:

 



And now, back to the game....

May 29, 2014

"The Lightning Tree" Sample



From Pat's Fantasy Hotlist

"Thanks to the cool folks at Bantam, here's an extract from Rogues, a new anthology edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois." 

I myself will be getting the ebook (should Kobo ever post it to their site for pre-order...)

Here's the preview of "The Lightning Tree" by Patrick Rothfuss:

Interview With Anne Groell, GRRM's Editor at Bantam

The following is an interview by Anne Groell, George R.R. Martin's editor at Bantam.The Q&A was with Suvudu Universe, and is re-transcribed here....


May 28, 2014

An Appreciation of Tolkien


We all know the tales J.R.R. Tolkien wrote in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings many times, over many years. There is even more detailed accounts of his creation in The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, and Children of Hurin. He created his own world - language, culture, history, myth...everything. Unknown to the common reader who may be more (or only) familiar with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, he was also a Professor at Oxford, and gave many lectures on subjects of Old English, Anglo Saxon, and others. He also translated and gave his own accounts on various poems over during his academic career.

Some of these were abandoned in favor of writing The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, and is entirely possible that he may not have created those works in favour of more poems. For instance, The Fall of Arthur could have been fully completed if he had not been so busy at the time preparing The Hobbit for publication. Suppose Tolkien never wrote The Hobbit : instead, The Fall of Arthur may have been fully realized.

There are quite a few 'what if' scenarios in regards to Tolkien and various projects he was working on. What if The Lord of the Rings was published as one physical book instead of three? Or if instead of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers  and The Return of the King it as The Return of the Shadow, The Treason of Isengard and The War of the Ring? Or if The Lord of the Rings was published with The Silmarillion and titled "The Saga of the Jewels and the Rings"? Or if Instead of writing The Hobbit and The Lird of the Rings Tolkien worked on and completed The Silmarillion with "the Fall of Gondolin" and "the Children of Hurin" being fully realized? Those are some interesting scenarios to ponder.

Tolkien greatly adored Old English and Anglo Saxon literature, languages and poems. There are some similarities between some of the old stories and myths, and Tolkien's own Middle-earth realm. One would notice there are parallels between Beowulf and The Hobbit. Not to saying against Tolkien nor his work, but it is fitting to point out that some articles examine this. 

Tolkien greatly appreciated Beowulf, and held it in high regard. Aside from certain similar aspects here and there in his own writing, let's look at Beowulf and the Critics, and Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. The latter is a collection of academic papers (essays and lectures) in which Tolkien defends Beowulf 

As you may very well know, this year Tolkien's very own translation of Beowulf is being published.  

Here is a listing of some of the poems translated by Tolkien, as well as some info about them:



Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (can be publised with Sir Orfeo and Pearl)



Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Pearl are two poems by an unknown author written in about 1400. Sir Gawain is a romance, a fairy-tale for adults, full of life and colour; but it is also much more than this, being at the same time a powerful moral tale which examines religious and social values.

Pearl is apparently an elegy on the death of a child, a poem pervaded with a sense of great personal loss: but, like Gawain it is also a sophisticated and moving debate on much less tangible matters.

Sir Orfeo is a slighter romance, belonging to an earlier and different tradition. It was a special favourite of Tolkien’s.

The three translations represent the complete rhyme and alliterative schemes of the originals.


Finn and Hengest



Professor J.R.R.Tolkien is most widely known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but he was also a distinguished scholar in the field of Mediaeval English language and literature. His most significant contribution to Anglo-Saxon studies is to be found in his lectures on Finn and Hengest (pronounced Hen-jist), two fifth-century heroes in northern Europe.
The story is told in two Old English poems, Beowulf and The Fights at Finnesburg, but told so obscurely and allusively that its interpretation had been a matter of controversy for over 100 years. Bringing his unique combination of philological erudition and poetic imagination to the task, however, Tolkien revealed a classic tragedy of divided loyalties, of vengeance, blood and death.

Tolkien’s original and persuasive solution of the many problems raised by the story ranged widely through the early history and legend of the Germanic peoples. The story has the added attraction that it describes the events immediately preceding the first Germanic invasion of Britain which was led by Hengest himself.

This book will be of interest not only to students of Old English and all those interested in the history of northern Europe and Anglo-Saxon England, but also admirers of The Lord of the Rings who will be fascinated to see how Tolkien handled a story which he did not invent.


Finn and Hengest are two Anglo-Saxon heroes appearing in the Old English epic poem Beowulf and in the fragment of "The Fight at Finnsburg". Hengest has sometimes been identified with the Jutish king of Kent. He and his brother Horsa (the names meaning "stallion" and "horse") were the legendary leaders of the first Anglo-Saxon immigrants to Britain as mercenaries in the 5th century.

The book is based on an edited series of lectures Tolkien made before and after World War II. In his lectures, Tolkien argued that the Hengest of "The Fight at Finnsburg" and Beowulf was an historical rather than a legendary figure and that these works record episodes from an orally composed and transmitted history of the Hengest named in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.[1] This view has gained acceptance from a number of medieval historians and Anglo-Saxon scholars both since Tolkien's initial lectures and since the publication of this posthumous collection.

Tolkien's lectures describe what he called the "Jutes-on-both-sides theory", which was his explanation for the puzzling occurrence of the word ēotenas in the episode in Beowulf. Tolkien read the word as Jutes, and theorised that the fight was a purely Jutish feud, and Finn and Hnæf were simply caught up by circumstance. Tolkien explained both their presence and their ambiguous loyalty with his interpretation of the story.


The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun



Written by Tolkien during the 1920s and the 1930s, inspired by the legend of Sigurd and the fall of the Niflungs from Norse mythology. It is composed in a form of alliterative verse inspired by the traditional poetry of the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century.

“Many years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien composed his own version, now published for the first time, of the great legend of Northern antiquity, in two closely related poems to which he gave the titles The New Lay of the Völsungs and The New Lay of Gudrún.

“In the Lay of the Völsungs is told the ancestry of the great hero Sigurd, the slayer of Fáfnir most celebrated of dragons, whose treasure he took for his own; of his awakening of the Valkyrie Brynhild who slept surrounded by a wall of fire, and of their betrothal; and of his coming to the court of the great princes who were named the Niflungs (or Nibelungs), with whom he entered into blood-brotherhood. In that court there sprang great love but also great hate, brought about by the power of the enchantress, mother of the Niflungs, skilled in the arts of magic, of shape-changing and potions of forgetfulness.

“In scenes of dramatic intensity, of confusion of identity, thwarted passion, jealousy and bitter strife, the tragedy of Sigurd and Brynhild, of Gunnar the Niflung and Gudrún his sister, mounts to its end in the murder of Sigurd at the hands of his blood-brothers, the suicide of Brynhild, and the despair of Gudrún. In the Lay of Gudrún her fate after the death of Sigurd is told, her marriage against her will to the mighty Atli, ruler of the Huns (the Attila of history), his murder of her brothers the Niflung lords, and her hideous revenge.

“Deriving his version primarily from his close study of the ancient poetry of Norway and Iceland known as the Poetic Edda (and where no old poetry exists, from the later prose work the Völsunga Saga), J.R.R. Tolkien employed a verse-form of short stanzas whose lines embody in English the exacting alliterative rhythms and the concentrated energy of the poems of the Edda.”

— Christopher Tolkien


The Fall of Arthur




The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur King of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skilful achievement in the use of the Old English alliterative metre, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur’s expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere’s flight from Camelot, of the great sea-battle on Arthur’s return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle.
Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that he abandoned in that period. In this case he evidently began it in the earlier nineteen-thirties, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him ‘You simply must finish it!’ But in vain: he abandoned it, at some date unknown, though there is some evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of the publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that ‘he hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur’; but that day never came.

Associated with the text of the poem, however, are many manuscript pages: a great quantity of drafting and experimentation in verse, in which the strange evolution of the poem’s structure is revealed, together with narrative synopses and very significant if tantalising notes. In these latter can be discerned clear if mysterious associations of the Arthurian conclusion with The Silmarillion, and the bitter ending of the love of Lancelot and Guinevere, which was never written.

The poem is alliterative, extending to close to 1,000 verses imitating the Old English Beowulf metre in Modern English. Though inspired by high medieval Arthurian fiction, the historical setting of the poem is early medieval, both in form (using Germanic verse) and in content, showing Arthur as a Migration period British military leader fighting the Saxon invasion, while it avoids the high medieval aspects Arthurian cycle (such as the Grail, and the courtly setting); the poem begins with a British "counter-invasion" to the Saxon lands (Arthur eastward in arms purposed).

Tolkien, who was at the time Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, Oxford, wrote the poem during the earlier part of the 1930s. He abandoned it at some point after 1934, most likely in 1937 when he was occupied with preparing The Hobbit for publication.


When the poem had been abandoned for nearly 20 years, in 1955 (after the publication of The Lord of the Rings was complete), Tolkien expressed his wish to return to his "long poem" and complete it in a letter to Houghton Mifflin, but in spite of this the poem remained unfinished.

After Tolkien's death, his Arthurian poem would come to be one of the longest-awaited unedited work of his. According to John D. Rateliff, Rayner Unwin had announced plans to edit the poem as early as 1985, but the edition was postponed in favour of "more pressing projects" (such as The History of Middle-earth edited 1983–1996), answering the demand for background on Tolkien's legendarium more than his literary production in other areas.

Beowulf

       

This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.

From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.

But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf ‘snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup’; but he rebuts the notion that this is ‘a mere treasure story’, ‘just another dragon tale’. He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is ‘the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history’ that raises it to another level. ‘The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The “treasure” is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.’

Sellic Spell, a ‘marvellous tale’, is a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the ‘historical legends’ of the Northern kingdoms.

As one can see, Tolkien had a great interest in poems, lectures and essays for publication purposes. He is most well known for his stories of Middle-earth, but reading more about him, as a professor and lover of poetry, it is astounding to discover how, as detailed and thought iut the Middle-earth material is, remains small by contrast to the rest of his studies and interest. It is a shame that many of his works had to go unfinished or unpublished due to his death.
 
His son Christopher is the literary executor, and has edited, assembled, compiled and made many of Tolkien's legacy available for publication. Christpher himself has knowledge of translating poems, as in 1960 he translated The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise:

Heidrek’s Saga is a medieval entertainment - a ‘romance’, but a romance that derives little of its matter from the literature of France or Germany. It is an example of a kind of story-telling that was flourishing in Iceland by the beginning of the twelfth century, and which (in contrast to the more celebrated ‘Sagas of the Icelanders’) told of legendary figures whose origins lie far back in time beyond the settlement of the country. The elements of the story, diverse in age and atmosphere, are unified in the theme of a possession bearing an ancestral curse, as it passes down the generations; but the saga’s peculiar value lies in the older poems which the unknown author set into the framework of his narrative, including The Battle of the Goths and the Huns, perhaps the oldest of all the Northern heroic lays, The Waking of Angantyr, source of many eighteenth-century ‘Gothic Odes’, and the unique riddle-contest between King Heidrek and the god Odin in disguise.

Translated from the Icelandic with Introduction, Notes and Appendices by Christopher Tolkien, then Lecturer in Old English at New College, Oxford, The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise was first published in 1960 in Nelson’s Icelandic Texts series. This translation is of interest to J. R. R. Tolkien readers as it contains references to the Sword "Tyrfing", a parallel to Túrin Turambar's sword "Anglachel", which is cursed and will not be sheathed until it sheds blood. "Brego" is the name of the Second King of the Rohan. "Durin" is used by Tolkien as "Durin the Deathless" one of the Fathers of the Dwarves. "Dwalin" is a variation of "Dvalin" and "Mirkwood" is a variation of "Myrkvior". The inclusion of lines of genealogy and the pattern of riddles and songs is well known to Tolkien readers. J. R. R. Tolkien and his son Christopher spoke Icelandic. J. R. R. Tolkien also spoke Welsh, Gothic, Anglo-Saxon (Old English), Finnish and Elvish.

The title was re-published exclusively by tolkien.co.uk to mark it's 50th anniversary, as a print-on-demand book. The poems mentioned in this post are available at that web site also (under "Middle-earth & Beyond" or by search) or through book retailers.

At this time, it is unknown to me how much more material by Tolkien can be published, or what Christopher Tolkien's plans are for 'new' material are in the future. This is not addressing anniverary editions of already published works, but unreleased texts. For instance, Ihighly believe that Children of Hurin may very well be the last 'new' material from Middle-earth we'll ever see. I hope I'm wrong. 
Many thanks to Wikipedia and Tolkien.co.uk for reference purposes

May 27, 2014

Book Review: "Knife of Dreams" (Wheel of Time book 11)



....and now, I've finished reading the last Wheel of Time book Robert Jordan wrote (on his own, before Brandon Sanderson helped finish off the series.) 


May 21, 2014

'Beowulf' by J.R.R. Tolkien


Tolkien's version of Beowulf will soon be released. There has been some scholary controversy over this release from those who study Anglo-Saxon literature, as well as Beowulf scholars. The Tolkien scholars have been waiting awhile for this one for a while. 

Tolkien's expertise on Beowulf and his own literary powers have made this translation a work every Tolkien fan will want to treasure.

This edition includes the translation in prose and an illuminating commentary, based on a series of lectures given by J.R.R. Tolkien at Oxford in the 1930s.

Through Tolkien’s clarity of vision, it is as if you entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.

This edition also includes Sellic Spell, a ‘marvellous tale’, a story written by Tolkien suggesting what might have been the form and style of an Old English folk-tale of Beowulf, in which there was no association with the ‘historical legends’ of the Northern kingdoms. 



‘The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication. This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the written form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.
From his creative attention to detail in these lectures there arises a sense of the immediacy and clarity of his vision. It is as if he entered into the imagined past: standing beside Beowulf and his men shaking out their mail-shirts as they beached their ship on the coast of Denmark, listening to the rising anger of Beowulf at the taunting of Unferth, or looking up in amazement at Grendel’s terrible hand set under the roof of Heorot.
But the commentary in this book includes also much from those lectures in which, while always anchored in the text, he expressed his wider perceptions. He looks closely at the dragon that would slay Beowulf “snuffling in baffled rage and injured greed when he discovers the theft of the cup”; but he rebuts the notion that this is “a mere treasure story”, “just another dragon tale”. He turns to the lines that tell of the burying of the golden things long ago, and observes that it is “the feeling for the treasure itself, this sad history” that raises it to another level. “The whole thing is sombre, tragic, sinister, curiously real. The ‘treasure’ is not just some lucky wealth that will enable the finder to have a good time, or marry the princess. It is laden with history, leading back into the dark heathen ages beyond the memory of song, but not beyond the reach of imagination.”

Harper Collins is to release two print editions of this book (as well as an ebook) : a hardback, and the typical deluxe edition.

Here is the cover art for the standard edition hardback:


978-0-00-759006-3

And the deluxe edition:


978-0-00-759007-0

As you can see, during the past few years Harper has been doing some nice deluxe editions for those who like to collect those. I myself will most likely get the paperback when it's released next year sometime. 
These editions will be available wherever you can buy books, and most notably, off of tolkien.co.uk . 

For other poem translations that Tolkien did, check out The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun and The Fall of Arthur. Both of those have been published in similar editions in hardback, deluxe, and paperback. 

Other poem translations include Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise (done by Christopher Tolkien and is only available at this time as a print on demand title from tolkien.co.uk ), and Finn and Hengest. There have been a few others but it seems they are no longer in publication. 

May 17, 2014

WORLD OF ICE AND FIRE EXCERPT: THE RHOYNAR

This was posted on Westeros.org. Here is another sample from The World of Ice and Fire coming out later this year...


May 12, 2014

Ottawa Comic Con 2014

What a great weekend.
I attended my second Comic Con (I don't count the first day I was there for the very first time) here in Ottawa, and what a great time it was!
This time, my group was prepared - we got deluxe passes instead of regular for the weekend, which cut down on line times (but not as much as the much-higher priced VIP). Also, I had a good idea of what I wanted to see and do. But of course, so many panels and signings, things change a bit....

Saturday kicked off with a slightly late arrival by Summer Glau. She was scheduled for last year but couldn't make it because she lost her passport. She found it this year, and head a good turnout. After which, I saw The Doc himself, Christopher Lloyd. Following his panel (and bear in mind I walked the floor between lining up for panels) was one of the big ones for me - Sean Astin, best known lately as Samwise the Brave in Lord of the Rings. Immediately after his panel (in which I asked a question) I almost ran to his signing and got my extended edition Lord of the Rings blu-ray signed. Following that, just hung out.
Then there was Sunday. I wanted to get Summer Glau to sign my Serenity DVD (Nathan Fillion signed it last year). I had a decent spot in a huge line. And she was running a few minutes behind schedule. She was set to appear at 10. Problem was, I wanted to attend Karl Urban's panel which was at 11. So at about 10:35, I had to leave the line (after seemingly getting no progress) However, I saw that...*looks up name* Giancarlo Esposito had a very small line so I went over for a signing by him. I love Breaking Bad, but don't any of the blu-rays, as the complete series is coming out in June. So, I had him sign a picture of 'the face' moment. Very iconic.
Something else happened in the Summer Glau line. I'm not a fan of Dr Who, but I admit that the Dalek robots are impressive, cool, and funny that they have at the cons. They patrolled the floor, and approached the Summer Glau while we were waiting and made us all laugh. Technically, I may have gotten exterminated as I got partially blasted by the Dreadnaught model. (if I'm not mistaken, it wasn't on the series but made 'outside of canon'. Like something you'd only see at the cons.) 
After that I attended the Karl Urban panel, which was great. Following the Karl Panel, the next one on the list was the Stargate (SG-1) panel. I'm working my way through season 1, and the show ran for 10 seasons so I knew I would be lost at any in-depth talk about story arcs or characters. It was also a great panel. Amanda Tapping and Christopher Judge were a hoot. Following their panel, my lovely lady got Amanda Tapping's signature on her Sanctuary blu-ray. But that was a bit of a wait so we wandered a bit, and I discovered Tony Moore of The Walking dead (comics) at the artist area. I purchased an art print by him, and had him sign it. I was surprised that they were very reasonably priced. For those wondering, the print is of Michonne and her two zombies (armless and jawless).
Anyway, it was after the Amanda Tapping signing that I noticed that Summer Glau's line was significantly shorter. So over I went and got her signature added to my Serenity DVD.
So it was a  great con. Lots of talent on display in the costumes, artistic talent in some of the vendors, and an impressive guest list. In short, if you are geeky or like geeky things, lots to see and do.
And it didn't hurt my wallet too much - aside from the Deluxe pass, I budgeted around $120, and got everything I mentioned above (ok, so I needed to borrow a little extra cash - maybe $140 in total, as mostly everything was cash only.)
Sometimes it's tricky to time things in regards to panels and signings (especially if there's lines) and Rogers did not like the EY centre - was annoying tog et a hold of anyone. 
So my advice for next year?
- get the weekend pass 
- wear comfortable shoes (which hopefully go with your costume if you dress up.)
- be prepared to wait
- bring CASH
- do your best to time yourself in regards to 'the window of opportunity' which hopefully opens in regards to what panels and signings you wish to attend. VIPs benefit here: minimal wait times and early access. 
- if you need a t-shirt, head to the Tower of T-Shirts. 
- have fun!! 
Some pictures (not by me) to show a few....

May 7, 2014

Spring into Fantasy

Well, the weather is for the most part much nicer. That means more reading, potentially outdoors for those who like to take books or e-readers outside. The books I recommend throughout my blogging history won't change much. I may highlight certain genres or authors or series from time to time, but this season let's spring into some fantasy.


You all know how much I like George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series by now...so I won't talk about it that now. All you need to know is that the name of the first book is called A Game of Thrones.


I'm going to recommend a few other fantasy titles for you to check out. I promise you'll most likely like them:



THE KINGKILLER CHRONICLE (Trilogy) by Patrick Rothfuss
The Name of the Wind
The Wise Man's Fear
Book 3 (being written)
THE DAGGER AND THE COIN by Daniel Abraham
The Dragon's Path
The King's Blood
The Tyrant's Law
The Widow's House
Book 5 (The Spider's War? Last book)
STORMLIGHT by Brandon Sanderson
The Way of Kings
Words of Radiance
Skybreaker (next one to come.....)
MALAZAN by Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont

Gardens of the Moon
Deadhouse Gates
Memories of Ice
House of Chains
Midnight Tides
Night of Knives
Bonehunters
Reaper's Gale
Toll the Hounds
Return of the Crimson Guard
Dust of Dreams
Stonewielder
Crippled God
Orb, Scepter, Throne
Blood and Bone
Assail

Bottom line: check out The Name of the Wind, The Dragon's Path, The Way of Kings and Gardens of the Moon.

UPDATE: (re-wrote this section because it was mis-worded. See my comment) 
I have a few others to pick up myself. I'm interested in Red Rising (in hardback) by Pierce Brown, (Book 2, Golden Son, is due out in Jan.); The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (in trade paperback); The Fall of Arthur by Tolkien; The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (both in trade paperback). In the near future I'll most likely purchase the last four I mentioned. Red Rising and some leatherbounds (here's looking at you Sherlock Holmes, Edgar Allan Poe, The Iliad + The Odyssey, and War and Peace) I'm asking for for my birthday. Should I not get them as gifts, I'm buying them anyways shortly after.