Sunday, September 25, 2011

This quote by George R. R. Martin sums up why I am a fantasy nerd

The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real... for a moment at least... that long magic moment before we wake. Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smoke-stacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the song the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever, somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I'd sooner go to Middle Earth.
(via George R. R.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

AD&D boners for everybody!

The Retroist
I have never played Dungeons & Dragons, let alone the Advanced version, and I know those tomes are all very outdated, but goddamn, I would love to have them.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Currently reading: Mort

Both as part of my continued quest to read all of the Discworld novels and because it's relatively short, I've decided on Mort, the third book in the Discworld series. According to the back, the book concerns Mort, a human who becomes Death's apprentice. This ought to be good.

The People of the Black Circle

I just finished reading the first story in the Bloody Crown of Conan and it was good. The reason why it took me so long was because I would stop, go back and reread parts of it in order to absorb the story and really enjoy it. The plot of The People of the Black Circle involves the death of the King of Vendhya and at the hands of the Black Seers, powerful magic users that no one wanted to tussle with, and the swearing of revenge by his sister and subsequent Queen of Vendhya, Yasmina. Conan gets involved because seven chiefs of the Afghuli tribes he leads are captured and held prisoner by a regional governor. Yasmina arrives in secret with the intent to use the hostages to force Conan to hunt down and kill the Black Seers. Conan, on the other hand, just shows up the same night and kidnaps Yasmina, intending to use her as a bargaining chip to get his people released and what follows is one big ole adventure that takes both through treacherous mountains, against wild hill tribes and evil wizards. I don't want to spoil what happens, but I highly recommend reading it.

I've also decided to skip the other two stories in the book, since a quick Google shows that they're not as good as the first. I'm still deciding what the read next, but that shouldn't take long.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another book down and finally the Cimmerian will be read!

I finished Equal Rites, the third book in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, last night. I give it an "eh". It was a bit too short for my tastes (213 pages) and sort of meandered off from the plot. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't all that good either, the weakest of the three Discworld books I've read so far.

Now though, I can move on to a book I've been wanting to read for a while - The Bloody Crown of Conan by Robert E. Howard. It's part of a three volume series that was released a number of years ago, collecting all of the Conan stories Howard wrote for magazines. Unfortunately, The Bloody Crown is the second volume and my local library doesn't have the first and third, which is a shame because the first volume contains notable Conan tales like The Frost Giant's Daughter and Tower of the Elephant. Oh well, still enjoying it. The book contains three stories: The People of the Black Circle, Hour of the Dragon, and A Witch Shall Be Born, along with some extras, like the synopsis that Howard had written for the three stories, an untitled draft and a some other things. I'm probably just going to read the three stories and maybe peruse the other stuff.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Review: Dragons of Autumn Twilight (spoilers)

Dragons of Autumn Twilight, the first book in the Dragonlance Chronicles and written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, follows a group of heroes as they reunite after spending five years apart, looking for signs of the gods of old and of impending war. Their reunion and the chance encounter with a barbarian and her lover leads them on an adventure that turns into a quest to save the world of Krynn.

Just finished Dragons of Autumn Twilight

 Review coming tomorrow, since it's too late now. Good book though, was worth the read. Now I have to decide what to read next: Equal Rites (Discworld), a Conan story collection, or take a break from reading fantasy and read a history book. I'm leaning towards the first two.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Topless Robot's Ten badass women from fantasy lit is worth checking out

Admittedly, I've never heard of some most of the women on the list, being somewhat new to the fantasy scene, but I recognize a few, like Eowyn and Arya "HBIC" Stark. I don't much like Polgara; I read Pawn of Prophecy and she came off as a bit of a...well, she came off as a bitch, to be frank. In my opinion, she dragged the story a little.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Getting that writing Jones.

You'll fear the kilt almost as much as the halberds.
I've been thinking about writing lately. I used to do it a lot, about ten years, until I stopped about a year or so ago. Nothing ever came of it, just random fantasy and scifi stories that never got anywhere. However, since getting into fantasy fiction and starting this blog, I've been tempted to write again - not full length stories and probably not even short stories, just bits and pieces of whatever comes to mind. How does this relate to the above picture? I'm toying with the idea of writing a brief tale about a group of halberdiers during a battle. Obviously, it won't be LOTR quality, but that's not the point. The point is just to write something that's fun to both write and read. Anyway, if I do go through with it, I'll be sure to post it here first and only.


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