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For all you Game of Throne fans and computer geeks, which I am one, I thought you would find this interesting, I sure did. This is a video about how the special effect are made and all the different layering that goes into them. No talking at all, but gives you a pretty good idea how things are done.
Word has been swirling around for a few years now that Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation books are being made into a show for HBO‘s. Now comes word that Hollywood is looking to make another Asimov book, The Caves of Steel, into a movie. No word on who will star in the movie, but it does have a screen writer, Akiva Goldsman. Apparently this isn’t the first time this book has tried to make it’s way onto the big screen. Upon reading this news, I bought the ebook and will hopefully get around to reading it…soon…later this year…maybe. Read More
So, I did some digging and it appears that there is a book coming out for the new Rogue One movie, but it won’t be out until mid December. Also, as the Lengends books go, Timothy Zahn is coming out with a new Thrawn book in April of 2017. Not really clear about what the specifics of this book are, but given how much of a fan I am of the Heir to the Empire trilogy, I’m more than thrilled to see more new material coming out. Also, there is a second Rogue One book being written by James Luceno, who has written a few books in the Legends world and has apparently jumped over to the official cannon universe of Star Wars. There new titles can be found here, here and here.
I’ve been snooping through the web trying to figure out what is new in the Science Fiction world – books, movies, etc – and what I have found is…not much. And at the same time, a lot. We have known for some time that HBO is making a show based on Asimov‘s science fiction classic, Foundation series, but as of today, there is no release date. The same goes for other books that are thought to be in pre-production to be brought to the small screen such John Scalzi‘s Old Man‘s War and Redshirts, Frederik Pohl‘s Gateway, and Ann Leckie‘s Ancillary Justice. Although, the Old Man’s War television series does seem to have a show name of The Ghost Brigades after the second book in that series. The only thing we do know is that 3001 by Arthur C. Clarke does seem to have a tentative release date of 2017, which is good because I’m currently reading 2061 and will move onto 3001 when I’m done. New additions to the list of soon-to-be T.V. shows are Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, The Dark Tower by Stephen King (which has actually been thrown around for several years as possible T.V. show), Lock In by John Scalzi, and Hyperion by Dan Simmons. So…yeah, a lot happening without much of anything happening, all at the same time. Being a huge Old Man’s War fan, though, I can’t wait to see that story being told on television. So I guess stay tuned. As for movies, well…apparently re-bootes for both The Mummy and Interview with a Vampire are in the works. And Pacific Rim 2 has been delayed.
Every year I come up with a list of books that I would like to read. This year is a little different as I have finally put pen to paper and organized which books are at the top of my list. The list is rather large, but I least I have all these books together and which format the books are in so they are easy to reference when it comes time to start reading a new book.
For example, I have been meaning to read the Foundation trilogy for a while now, and with the series/Movie looming on the horizon, this is the year to start. For those books on my list I have organized them in which order they should be read and in which format I have them – nook, Kindle, Hardback, Paperback, etc.
This list also helps me keep a list of not only which books are in a series and how that series should be read, but I know which books in said series I have already read. Sounds silly, I know, I mean everyone should know which books they have already read, right? Well, maybe, maybe not. Take my Jack McDevitt books for example. The first book of his that I read was Chindi even though The Engines of God and Deepsix came first in that series. But that was several years ago. The book Omega of his is next on my list to read. Also with McDevitt books, you have two character series that he writes in: The Priscilla Hutchins and the Alex Benedict series.
This makes things easier for me as I find it difficult to keep track of what I would like to read next, since my house is filled with books making is distracting; but also, since Science Fiction and Fantasy books all seem to come in trilogies or larger, it’s easy to sometimes forget where I am in my reading.
What I am reading at the moment is The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler, neither Science Fiction or Fantasy, but still a book that I have heard nothing but good things about and have been trying to find the time to read for years. Another reason for the list. Also on the list of things to at least try and read this year are A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin; The Shining and The Dead Zone by Stephen King; Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey; and Write-A-Thon by Rochelle Melander.
There will be more to that list as I also like reading history and true crime books as well, but for now that’s what I’ve been up to and/or ready.
I am also trying to make an effort to finish books that I have started reading. There have been more than a few books that I have started in the past few years – last year especially – that I have started and then not finished, and thus have to start again. The Sword of Shannara is one such book that springs to mine, which is a shame because it was a book I got about 150 pages into and really enjoyed, but then got side tracked with other life emergencies.
With the New Horizons space probe making it’s flyby of Pluto, it’s interesting to note that everything we thought we new about the planet is quickly being re-thought. For example, many suspected that Pluto was like the Moon or other dwarf and/or minor planets, in that it was grey and pock marked by craters, but had little else in the way of “character” that the real planets do. But as we get closer, and learn more, we see that this is far from the truth. Pluto is red…ish, not grey like the Moon. And far from being riddle with impact craters, Pluto has what appeared to be sand dunes(?), just like Mars, the largest of which is in the shape of a heart. There are also hints that Pluto may have at one time had an active geology, but still there is a lot to learn and interpret about the dwarf Planet. This is all kind of fitting since I just started reading The Martian, which is soon to be hitting theaters in movie form this October. Maybe some day somebody will right a book about going to and exploring Pluto?
Even though Pluto has been downgraded from planet to dwarf planet, Pluto has nothing but love for the New Horizons space probe as it makes its flyby.
More details are being learned about that 2018 movie in pre-production. It is now know that this film will be a anthology film based around the Han Solo character. What’s interesting about this is that means that in the next four years we will see three new Star Wars films. Furthermore, if you go to the Star Wars Wikipedia page there is a hint that a film anthology centered around Boba Fett’s character is also in the works.
I almost wrote this entry several weeks ago, but life happened…you know how it goes. But what I wanted to address was Game of Thrones and more specifically, the Unbowed, unbent, and unbroken episode. Most already know, that this was the episode where Sansa Stark marries and is later raped by Ramsey Bolton. Now, it shouldn’t have to be said, but for the sake of argument I will say it here: rape is never a good thing. Luckily for us, Game of Throne is a fictitious show and not real. Kind of sad, but I shouldn’t have to point that out either, and yet here I am doing exactly that. And yet, after the episode aired many took to social media claiming that they were never watching the show again and how Sansa‘s rape in no way added to the plot of the character nor the storyline. As for me, I love the show and will continue to watch as I saw nothing wrong with the episode in question or any other episodes. You see, people often forget that television is not only about entertainment, it is also about exploring and bringing to light aspects of our society that we feel need to be addressed, talked about, explored and in general, torn apart in order to gain a better understanding of it. I’m not saying that is what happened here, but rape has been a buzz word in the media lately – especially in the last election – so it is not out of the realm of possibility that this is what was going on. Secondly, we don’t know that this horrible act didn’t add anything to the character, that will be determined later on down the line as the show continues and the character grows. And lastly, the books, in George R. R. Martins own words, “[R]eflect a patriarchal society based on the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages were not a time of sexual egalitarianism. It was very classist, dividing people into three classes. And they had strong ideas about the roles of women.” In his books Martin has made several of the main characters women, giving them a tremendous amount of influence power in the goings-on of the story. That’s saying a lot since many women in history had tremendous sway and power in their day – the Mistress Diane De Poitiers of Henry II, comes to mind – but many of them only had that power behind the scenes and through a man, they rarely had the opportunity to get up and speak their mind. So in that sense, while Martin, I believe, is trying to mesh together a little history in his fiction, the role of women in his books aren’t historically accurate. They have power, they’re outspoken, and they openly challenge the men that get in their way. Lastly, for the second time, there is plenty of violence against men in this show as well. Jamie gets his hand cut off; Joffrey is poisoned; many other men were burned to death at the hands of Stannis, and yet I have said nothing about that. Why? Because it’s fiction. Now if the producers of the show had created a scene where Sansa was raped and they tried to make the scene lighthearted or comical, I might have had a problem with that, but everything in that one scene shouted this is bad, even the music was somber.
As for me, I have continued to watch the show and love it as much today as I did when I started watching it. And, I plan on buying this latest season on blu-ray when it comes out.
Everybody is excited about the new Star Wars film, and despite my criticism about how Disney is handling the franchise, I must say that the film does look pretty awesome. Which is why I’m surprised to learn that a year after Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters is released, Disney will release a spin-off movie entitled Star Wars: Rogue One. This film is said to be a prequal of Star Wars: A New Hope, but other than that, details are few and far between. Oh, but wait, there’s more! A third movie it seems is in the works, although nothing is known about it except that it will be directed by Josh Trank and is scheduled for release in theaters in 2018.
And if you’re a gamer of Star Wars games, get ready by Star Wars: Battlefront being released this November. It would appear that this game is the third installment in the Battlefront series but why they named it Battlefront (which already exists as a game) instead of Battlefront III is unknown. Whatever the reason, as a huge Star Wars: Battlefront fan I’ve been looking forward to this game for a long time.