Archive for the 'Books' Category

Mar 31 2014

Debate of the Day: Do You WANT To Read a Full Chapter of ‘The Winds of Winter’?

Published by under Books,Debate


To prove that he’s actually still working on it, George RR Martin just posted a full chapter of the Winds of Winter on his blog here. I haven’t read it, and I’m not going to, because I don’t particularly like this sort of thing.

It’s kind of common now, most often seen when you can watch the first ten minutes of a movie before it airs. It’s like a long uber trailer, though usually just one impressive intro sequence that’s supposed to get you hooked on the rest of it.

TV does this too with HBO airing free pilots of its shows on YouTube where it hopes you’ll subscribe after watching. Video games have demos, but far and away not as much as they used to, as they’ve mostly been abandoned as marketing tactic.

I don’t like this idea with books. Every novel I read that has the next few chapters of the next book in the series at the end, I skip in favor of buying the whole thing. If the series is good, I know I’m going to read it, and if it’s not, I have no interest anyway and a few more pages probably isn’t going to change my mind. In Martin’s case, I know I’ll be buying The Winds of Winter day one, so why torture myself by reading snippets ahead of time? I believe he’s working. I don’t need empirical proof.

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Mar 28 2014

Black Milk Goes Back to Hogwarts

Published by under Books,Images


Another month, another line of killer nerd-clothing from the ever-creative Black Milk. They’ve already done one round of Harry Potter-based clothing, and this is their “Hogwarts 2.0″ collection. Dresses, pants, vests and all other sorts of things branded with Harry Potter newspapers, the Deathly Hallows symbol and a whole host of other stuff from the franchise. If you’re a nerdy girl (or rather shapely dude), you’re going to have quite the array of options on your hands April 8th, which is when the collection debuts.

For my money? Can’t beat that Marauder’s Map dress. Continue Reading »

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Mar 21 2014

Some Excellent Stephen King Tribute Art

Published by under Books,Images


These are previews from the Stephen King tribute show, King For a Day, opening Friday, March 21st 2014 at Hero Complex Gallery. The artists have take their favorite piece of King work and brought it to live in poster-ish form. I really love the above Mist piece, but there are a lot of great ones here from It, Misery, Shawshank and more.

Check out the full gallery below, with many more to come at the show itself. One of the rare times I wished I lived in LA so I could see it live. Hero Complex Gallery sounds amazing. Continue Reading »

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Mar 19 2014

The Jungle Book Gets a Cyberpunk Upgrade

Published by under Books,Images


You know, I never thought either Kipling’s original book nor the Disney movie that followed really needed more machinery attached the forest animals, but I’m not going to complain when it happens.

Artist Freakyfir got it in his head that the Jungle Book would be much cooler if it was a sort of cyberpunk dystopia, and I’m certainly willing to hear him out. He has a whole collection of concept drawings that redesign the most famous animals (and Mowgli himself) with a metal influence.

Check out the gallery below, and imagine how much more terrifying Shere Khan would be with a TITANIUM JAW. Continue Reading »

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Mar 19 2014

Why Is the A Song of Ice and Fire Series So Darn Long?


The question on everyone’s mind is “When the hell does the next Game of Thrones book come out?” This has been the narrative for years ever since George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series started popping up on bestseller lists in 1999 with his second installment, A Clash of Kings. Fans didn’t have long to wait for the next installment, A Storm of Swords, which arrived only a year later despite weighing in at a hefty 992 pages. As the series gained traction in literary hype circles, people clamored for the next volume to be published which would satiate their addiction for sultry and scandalous sword crossing. I mean, how long could it possibly take?

11 years. That was the ultimate answer. While working on his manuscript for volume four, George R.R. Martin originally intended to write a shorter book set five years into the future. Once he began filling in the blanks between this hefty gap, though, he realized he had stacks of manuscript pages containing stories that would either have to be addressed in flashback sequences or expository dialogue. He decided instead to scrap the “time gap” idea and continue where he had left off after A Storm of Swords.

Three thousand or so manuscript pages later, after sweating over stipulations from publishers regarding time and page count, Martin compromised by splitting the story into two volumes based on geography. The first, A Feast for Crows, came out after a five-year publishing gap, and the second installment A Dance with Dragons, was published six years after that. That is one hell of a production queue. For comparison, the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy was written in twelve years, and that was only because World War freakin’ Two happened in the middle of the process.

So while many people question “What’s taking him so long?” what I would rather know is “Why so many pages?” Continue Reading »

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Mar 17 2014

A Fascinating Interview with George R.R. Martin on How the Books Won’t Catch Him

Published by under Books,Television


Usually I feature videos or artwork or cosplay, and rarely do I focus on something that’s purely text-based, but if you’re a fan of either Game of Thrones or A Song of Ice and Fire, you’ll probably want to stop what you’re doing and read this ridiculously long interview with George R.R. Martin in Vanity Fair.

It’s a fascinating insight into how the series was created, how he plans to end it, and how he’s going to fight back against he show catching up to his books. I especially like his thoughts about unpredictability in storytelling:

“Too many stories are too structured and too familiar. The way we read, the way we watch television, the way we go to movies, all give us certain expectations of how a story is going to go. Even for reasons that are totally unconnected with the actual story itself. You go to a movie, who’s the big star? O.K., if Tom Cruise is the star, Tom Cruise is not going to die in the first scene, you know? ‘Cause he’s the star! He’s got to go through. Or you’re watching a TV show and its name is Castle. You know that the character Castle is pretty safe. He’s gonna be there next week, too, and the week after.”

I’d quote the entire thing if I could, but you should probably just read it here.

2 responses so far

Mar 04 2014

How Harry Potter Could Have (Should Have?) Ended

Published by under Books,Images


As much as I loved the Harry Potter series, the ending always felt a bit too…neat to me. Spoiler alert (but come on, read them already, or at least see the movies), the good guys win, only minor characters die, and everyone grows up and has little kids named after their parent’s heroes.

It works within the context of the story, and I never thought Harry should die in the end, but there needed to be just a bit more to it, I thought. Perhaps this is that something. A Harry Potter uber-fan (via io9)came up with this alternate ending that’s based on the central prophecy of the books. Between Harry Potter and Voldemort, neither can live while the other survives. What if that was taken a step further? What if Harry killing Voldemort had an…unintended side effect?

See the full image that explains everything below. It’s a bit too trippy for the existing series, but it’s a cool thought: Continue Reading »

4 responses so far

Mar 03 2014

Gravity, Oscars, and the Science Fiction Renaissance


Gravity just won 300 Oscars, and this confirms what I was already thinking. I think I was in denial about it for a long time, but I can finally admit. The 2000′s have been a huge boom for the science fiction genre. I truly believe that after Star Wars, people were afraid to touch the genre. That is like trying to paint something amazing after watching Matisse work. People knew they could not touch Star Wars and how it represented science fiction, so for a long time, they didn’t even try. But then something very strange and unexpected happened, which was also a result of Star Wars. People watched the prequels and thought to themselves: Wait a minute, I can do WAY better than that! I think this opened the door for a decade and a half of some really high quality science fiction we may not have otherwise gotten. Dare I call the era we are in a sci-fi renaissance? Yes, yes I do. Read on and allow me to tell you why. 

Continue Reading »

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Feb 07 2014

February Potpourri: Crooks, Books, and Hooks


Unreality Magazine’s Paul Tassi recently discovered and wrote about the testosterone goodness that is all things Banshee – Cinemax’s hyper-violent Friday night drama set in a sleepy li’l Pennsylvania town – and I wanted to chime in with my very own enthusiastic thumbs up. (Not that it’s needed …) I’ve been with Banshee since its humble but bumpy beginnings. I was there when faux-sheriff Lucas Hood (pictured above) killed his first baddie with a bottle of steak sauce. Through the mouth. I wanted to assure you that the show – now in its second season – only keeps getting better.

And bloodier.

Despite all of the gunplay and fisticuffs (there’s at least one bare-knuckled brawl that’ll knock your socks off in every episode), what keeps me coming back isn’t the action: it’s the characters. They’re just all so … so … so … broken. These are deeply flawed individuals. Severely traumatized. Immeasurably unfixable. In fact, one could argue that’s precisely why their fights are so bad: when you’re this low on the food chain, all you can do is fight back with everything you’ve got.  They come out kicking and scratching and swinging for dear life.

Whether it’s Sugar (the town barkeep who knows where to bury a few bodies) or Job (the computer hacker who can’t decide which gender he’d rather most be) or even Gordon Hopewell (the district attorney who’s not above bending a few laws if it produces the desired results), each and every one of Banshee’s resident misfits will do what it takes to serve and protect their own interests … and, in that uniquely odd twist of fate, each and every one of them are exactly who you’d want to have in your corner were your back against the wall.

You hate yourself for it.

That’s the Banshee way.

There’s so much more worth exploring. If you haven’t yet discovered the show, then (as they say) you’ve no idea what you’re missing. Continue Reading »

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Feb 03 2014

JK Rowling Admits I Was Right All Along and Harry Should Have Ended Up with Hermione

Published by under Books,Editorials


It’s rare for an author to publicly admit that something was outright wrong with one of their famed books, but this weekend JK Rowling did just that, and made me very happy in the process. Speaking to Wonderland, Rowling admitted that the screwed up with her pairing of Ron/Hermoine and Harry/Ginny.

“I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment,” she says. “That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione ended up with Ron.”

“I know, I’m sorry,” she continued, “I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.”

This is a really interesting case, as Rowling admits she essentially refused to adapt to her own story. The entire series always felt like it was building to an eventual Harry and Hermoine pairing, and the sudden forcing together or Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermoine never, ever felt right, and for me, was the biggest, most obvious problem with the series. Kind of a big deal because the epilogue has them all growing up and having kids together.  Continue Reading »

6 responses so far

Jan 23 2014

Why SyFy’s Bitten Demands Attention


It’s funny how things work out sometimes. Last week marked the return of both Lost Girl and Being Human for Powerful Mondays on the Sci-Fi channel (I will only use the doofy “Syfy” nu metal spelling for article titles to avoid confusion). While watching these season premieres, I couldn’t help but notice the commercials advertising another show in their supernatural series block, and the third to feature werewolves in the cast. Turns out Christmas came late.

It just so happens that the new show is an adaptation of one of my favorite novels, Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten. If you have not read it and consider yourself a fan of such things as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you are possibly a lesser person because of this and you should correct this grievous oversight quickly. As I picked my dropped jaw up off of the floor having realized I was seeing a literal dream come true (okay, technically in my dreams it was animated, but I’ll take it), the first thing I thought was “why wasn’t I told?” I had no idea Bitten TV series was happening until it was already airing. Then I realized that I got to skip all of the anticipation and trepidation and simply had this amazing thing dropped into my lap one day as a wonderful surprise.    

Bitten is the first novel in Armstrong’s exceptionally imaginative Women of the Otherworld series, which has spawned some thirteen novels and many more novellas and short stories. I’ve read almost all of them and they make decorated modern fantasy/horror works like Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series and Robin McKinley’s Sunshine look like child’s play. I’ve sang their praises for years, the whole time imagining the possibilities of a television series, and now it’s finally happening. This makes up for a lot of unwatchable Sci-Fi original movies. Not all of them, but a lot. Continue Reading »

3 responses so far


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