Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Time of Renewal

Easter again. Nothing against it, really. Lots of days off, and with the weather being as fantastic as it's been the last couple of days, well, you wouldn't think it of a nerd perhaps but I've spent most of the time outdoors,  skiing up and down forested mountains, bringing something nice to drink and eat and just enjoy the nature. This in turn leads to less time for geeking out, but whenever I come back from a long trip in the fresh air I feel so inspired, either to read something, play something or write something. So far this Easter I've been reading a couple more Forgotten Realms novels (mostly out of curiosity to see if they're as bad as the one I read a while ago, Red Magic - which they, so far, are not), tried out the free-to-play yet-another-fantasy-MMO Wizardry Online for a couple of minutes (and yes, there's a reason the try-out lasted only a few minutes) and of course kept an eye on the ever closer premiere of Game of Thrones: Season Three. They've been spewing out all these clips and yes, I've devoured them and I am thrilled about another season no matter that once I see it, it'll be all awkward and I'll be wondering why they changed this or changed that, and then I have to watch it again to get comfortable with it. Four days to go as of writing. Very exciting. Not new-book-in-the-series exciting, but exciting none the less. I've also watched with some interest the various interviews and panels that have been cropping up, but I'm still not wiser when it comes to George R.R. Martin or how far he's progressed with The Winds of Winter

I did notice today, however, that the good man's website finally got a face-lift. I have to say it was about time. Now it doesn't feel as if I'm using the Wayback Machine when I sneak over there to check out on the latest sales or sports commentaries. I did also notice that the new design allows for more content on the front page, which I guess is good, and that they have opted for a website about the author with no focus on the A Song of Ice and Fire saga specifically. And I understand that decision, totally. He wants recognition for more than just the books that happen to be his masterpieces and for which he gains 99,99% of the attention. What I don't understand is why so much of the front page's space is devoted to selling stuff. Oh, all right, I get that too, but it's a bit... I don't know, it's kind of a confirmation to people who feel Martin is more interested in money these days, than his art. Going to the site, I'm offered Valyrian steel swords, DarkSword miniatures, and a FevreDream comic before I've gotten my bearings. I just think it would've been nicer if there was simply one window leading to a marketplace-type of page. It would look and feel nicer, if you know what I mean. But then again, he's the millionaire while my wallet is covered in hoary cobwebs. Anyway, whatever one thinks of it, the mere fact that his site has received an overhaul is in itself interesting. It might just mean that he's finally gotten someone to work on the PR side of things. The vintage look is gone, then, and we're in a new era, the post-vintage Martin era. No longer the author of those great books that sold mostly because his fans recommended them to others who in turn became fans; now he is George R.R. Martin, "the man behind Game of Thrones", for good or for ill.

Oh, I'm still playing Game of Thrones: Ascent, the game that isn't really a game and which has so many technical problems it's a wonder anyone - let alone myself - is still playing. What is it that makes me come back every morning to check on my fief? I really don't know. It's the continual "surge", I guess; everytime you log back on, there's more money in the treasury and always something new to build to get even higher power ratings and stats. It's like a MMO but they've stripped away the game-play and left you with the dings (if that makes any sense). Oh well, that's three GoT-games not really worth the time. And the next one up is a MMORPG. What are the chances it will actually be good? A man wonders. And while Martin is renewing his presence online, I'm going old school with a week now where I've been listening to my old, scratchy Iron Maiden records. Lovely.

Coming up: More re-reading from A Storm of Swords

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