Friday, June 26, 2015

The Week in Geek

Dat cover. Doth no justice to story.
This week there's been precious little A Song of Ice and Fire-related geekery on me, and I haven't really felt that something was missing last Sunday either. Game of Thrones season five just kind of came and went, didn't it, without that much of an impact on the geek-senses.

2015 is still shaping up to be a pretty good year for me, as there's stuff coming out that I count among my favoritest entertainment - my favoritest band My Dying Bride release a new album in September, as do the kings of melodic galloping heavy metal that really is a bit samey Iron Maiden; there's finally coming a new computer game set in the Forgotten Realms, Sword Coast Legends, (blind pre-order is in) and of course, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is less than half a year away. The only thing missing is, of course, The Winds of Winter. Even an announcement would be enough to make 2015 my perfect entertainment year. I better go check mr. Martin's blog in case he's announced it and I haven't been paying attention..

He's editing Wild Cards.


Oh well. I still have The Red Knight to get through - right now, at 70%, it is really good (except for the incredibly many typos - this must be the least edited fantasy novel I ever read), I have bought the new Mark Lawrence novel (The Liar's Key, sequel to Prince of Fools), and the to-read pile beyond those two just keeps on growing faster than I can read. Well, I could of course read more, but I also need some time for Pillars of Eternity, which I'm still playing and it really, really is a fantastic game and story; I love it a long time. There's an expansion coming out too, but I gather I still have much to explore and experience. And, of course, I always spend some time tinkering with my homebrew tabletop RPG campaign world, or read bits and pieces of realmslore in sourcebooks and online, and other assorted geeky stuff. And I've been teaching a relative the art of Magic: The Gathering of all things. And listened to a lot of music, always. And I'm writing a module for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, now that I think about it.

I'll be reading me some A Feast with Dragons during the summer, but I can't promise I'll be very active (not that I ever was) on the blog in the coming weeks, Hopefully come fall we will know when to expect The Winds of Winter and the passion for Ice and Fire rekindles in a blaze that makes me furiously re-read books four and five in preparation of the oncoming winter.

Have a fantastic and pain-free summer, and may we soon be reading that book we're all so anxious about!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Now what?

Well, here we are.

Game of Thrones is over. Season five is done. We've come to a point where book readers and show viewers are almost on equal footing in terms of not knowing what's going to happen next. And still not a a slight, chilly breeze to foreshadow The Winds of Winter.

In hindsight, I am left with the feeling that season five was a less coherent, less consistent, and less interesting season than the previous four, even though it brought some exciting revelations even for a fellow who's been into this saga for fifteen years. I will probably do a re-watch binge sometime, and hopefully it will be easier to just enjoy the season for what it is. Am I interested in season six? I'm curious, but no longer excited as I was through seasons one and three.

The best thing about Game of Thrones right now is that I appreciate A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons a little more; even though I find the books much weaker than the first three novels in the saga, they are still a lot better than the show.

I'll be reading the first Brienne chapter of Feast later this week (unless real life gets in the way proper) - maybe tomorrow - and of course put up a post on it.

Meanwhile I'd like to thank you for reading my musings and announce that, while it has been postponed again, Waiting for Winter: Re-reading A Clash of Kings Part II is still definitely going to come out as an ebook. I'm not the one who decides when and how it gets published, but at least I haven't reached George R.R. Martin levels yet.

The Long Wait continues.. but boy will it feel good once we have The Winds of Winter in our hands, eh?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Game of Thrones 5.10, "Mother's Mercy"

Yeah I broke down an hour after writing my previous post. Now I have seen it. 
Here are my full-of-spoilers for everything under the Dornish sun, unedited thoughts as I watched Game of Thrones definitely pass Martin's novels in all storylines but Sansa's and Jon's. 

The Week in Geek

So the last episode of the season is already out, but I have not watched it - because I am not sure I want to watch it. I saw the "Last on..."- bit which showed a certain character long lost (well, two actually, if you want to be precise about it) and I can't decide whether I want HBO to spoil it for me, or if it's better to drop it and wait for The Winds of Winter. I will probably cave in sometimes during the day, I'm so very weak.
So while I ponder the ramifications of watching the finale of season five, I might as well do a breakdown of the week that was in my little geek bubble.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Winds of Winter almost done?


Life is impossibly busy right now. I am wrestling with the Son of Kong (that is, working on THE WINDS OF WINTER), trying to wrap up a final round of edits and revisions on the twenty-third Wild Cards book (HIGH STAKES), developing three new series concepts for HBO and Cinemax, hiring writers and directors for three short low-budget films I am hoping to produce based on some classic SF short stories (more on that in the months to come), making my way through the Hugo Packet to prepare to vote, looking forward to opening JURASSIC WORLD at the Cocteay and to hosting a ten-author special event for the release of Steve Stirling's new "Emberverse" anthology, THE CHANGE. In a week's time, we'll be flying off to Europe for long-planned appearances in Germany (Hamburg) and Sweden (Stockholm), en route to Archipelacon on the island of Aland, where I am to be the Guest of Honor...
At least he mentioned The Winds of Winter first. 
Meanwhile, over at Tower of the Hand, people are guessing how next week's final (final already!!) episode of the season will end. A nice thread to read.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Game of Thrones 5.9, "The Dance of Dragons"

The actually most impressive warriors of the setting.
After finishing up my re-read post on Daenerys I (ADWD 3) I couldn't help it. Just had to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode, bedtime be damned. I'm regretting it now, after only five hours of sleep, but I'll just have to suffer through the day and remember that there are worse fates. Which of course brings us to (heavy spoilers after the break!) ...heavy spoilers and some speculation to boot.
And wondering how the Sons of the Harpy can be so good at what they're doing, considering they're random citizens. It's got to be the masks.

[Re-read] Daenerys I (ADWD 3) - War for the Yawn

No, really. How do all these days just fly by, with me not being able to even read one chapter from A Feast with Dragons? And how come there's already a new, ninth episode of Game of Thrones Season V available? Well, I can only blame myself for not being able to keep up with the world of Westeros - I've been indulging myself with my own stuff, spending what little free time I've had tinkering with my role-playing game world. But today! Before watching episode nine, and before reading any online commentaries for that episode, I am going to try and cram in a chapter re-read. It's been a while. One good thing can come from this slow-down, though - I might still be blogging A Feast with Dragons when The Winds of Winter is announced, or even published. Once the announcement hits, I'm certain to speed up, because I do want to get through this combined re-read of books four and five just to feel ready for book six. It's been quiet on the Not a Blog-front for a while, which I take as a sign for Martin actually working on the book (until he announces he's been editing some anthology, of course), so maybe I should get my pace up - set a goal of one chapter a week, at least. For this week, at any rate, I have arrived at Daenerys' first chapter in A Dance with Dragons, the seventh of the combined re-read A Feast with Dragons. I'm already convinced that combining the two novels makes for a better read; while I'm only on the seventh overall, it already feels as if the story flows better. To my surprise, I found Tyrion's previous chapter to be better on a re-read, too, if a bit slow, so it seems as if I'm slowly turning around - at least a little - on my initially pretty negative view on these books. Let's go!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

[Musings] Game of Thrones 5.8 "Hardhome"

Right. Right. I'm not even interested in the eighth episode of Game of Thrones, even though last week saw me being more positive. It's not really the show, though - it's just that there's so much stuff going on that I haven't had the opportunity to watch it.
Been trying to catch up with some of the books I'm reading, been tinkering a lot with my own stuff, been reading through the new, fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, which I happen to think is by far the best version of the game produced. The books, while pricey, are of a very high standard, except for the horridly bad covers (sadly). I've always loved reading RPG books, particularly setting books, I like kind of immersing myself into a setting this way, and often I find some idea or concept that I can drag out, rebuild and use for my own stories or games. As I've mentioned before I really like reading non-fiction Forgotten Realms books, they are brimming with material. A lot of it too silly for my tastes, but there is also a lot of evocative material that gives me that good nostalgia feeling. Which is why I keep turning to Realms novels, hoping against hope that there are some actually good stories there, stories that paint the picture that the sourcebooks suggest. Last time it was R.A. Salvatore's The Companions, which I was not able to finish because it was so bad (and this book has sold in the millions, I can't get over that). The last week I've been reading an anthology of novels called Realms of Valor. It is as if the editors said to the authors, "Read all these books on writing, and don't follow any suggestions." That's how bad it is. While the stories vary in quality, the best is only barely managing to climb to the lowest tier on my fantasy novel ranking list. The worst is so bad it feels like pages are missing because the author is all over the place, lol. I better finish The Red Knight, a book that for the first half was a very promising title, but which is kind of slowing down to a point that I must force myself to open it before going to bed. Anyway, enough chit-chat, time for episode eight of Game of Thrones. "Hardhome." Oh. Jon Snow and stuff. Right. Not promising a lengthy review, just a few thoughts. A new re-read post should be forthcoming this week as well, given time and opportunity.