Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Halloween Movie List

Here's the list of movies we are screening at GGE between today and Halloween:
  1. Sleepy Hollow
  2. Blade
  3. American Werewolf in Paris
  4. Skinwalkers
  5. Phantom of the Opera
  6. Bram Stoker's Dracula
  7. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
  8. Underworld
  9. Resident Evil
  10. Van Helsing
  11. The Lost Boys
  12. The Monster Squad
  13. Halloween (the new version)
  14. Friday the 13th (the new version)

So pick some good spooky movies and enjoy. Get in the Halloween spirit!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Robin Williams

I caught Robin Williams' show from the "Weapons of Self Destruction" tour last night at the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, NC.

First, let me say, if you don't have tickets for this show - got to Robin's website, see if there is a show near you and go there. It is well worth the ticket price. There were times during the show that I thought I was going to literally injure myself laughing that hard for that long.

I thought a lot about Robin Williams. Here is someone who was a classicly trained actor at Juliard where he was in an advanced class with Christopher Reeve, so he has the acting skills.

He shows up in Hollywood and struggles, like everyone else, got a break as Mork on Happy Days and then Mork and Mindy where he improved a lot of his lines.

He realized improv was a skill, and did some stand up and the next thing you know (after several stand up tours, and a out a million movies), he's basically a household name. Of course, he has had to be careful and keep himself fresh and relevant and make the right choices about money and roles and all of that, but the odds of going from a childhood in Illinois and Michigan to where he is now are just astronomical, but also a great lesson for those of us striving to get somewhere.

So maybe we haven't made the right steps to get there in our 20's and enjoy a lifetime of success, but then again, maybe we weren't meant to. Success at a young age comes with its own price. The point is, it's all out there...keep chasing it.

Another great thing about Robin Williams...he is a big fan of pen and paper roleplaying games as well as online video games and that makes him not totally unlike you and me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

GGE is "Stoked"

Just got my copy of "Dracula: The Un-Dead". It is the sequel to "Dracula" by Bram Stoker. Of course there have been sequels before (like "Mina" written in 1994) , but this is the first one written by the Stoker family.

This one was written by Dacre Stoker, the great-grand-nephew of Bram Stoker.

I haven't cracked it open yet, but I saw some tantalizing info.

  • Jonathan and Mina have a son they named "Quincey" (fitting I think).
  • Van Helsing is in it again (though suffering a heart condition)
  • Our Psychiatrist friend is in it (the guy who treated Renfield in the first book)

I am "stoked" about reading this one.

Just in time for Halloween!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Book of Three

Here's an embarassing admission (confession is good for the soul): I have never read Lloyd Alexander's "Chronicles of Prydain".

Why is that such a big deal?

Well, I am a self-proclaimed geek and sci-fi fantasy fanboy and yet I have never read this series.

"The Chronicles of Prydain" - first published in 1964 and in continuous print since then - are listed, by many, in the same list as Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" and Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia".

So, for my 37th b-day I decided to treat myself and broke out my 1985 copies of "Chronicles of Prydain".

"The Book of Three" is an easy read - at just over 200 pages, it only takes an afternoon. I find some of the stuff a bit derivative (like the Gwythaints, the Horned King and the Cauldron Born). I'm not sure what they are derivative of though. They could be derivative of Tolkien, but Alexander says they are derived from Welsh mythology, particularly "The Mabinogion". If that's the case, then maybe Tolkien, Lewis and Alexander are all derivative of ancient Welsh and Celtic mythology.

Anyway, the book has familiar elements, but they are pulled off well. It would appeal to kids, especially Gurgi's character, a sort of family dog that can talk. I am enjoying it and will read through the whole series. The bad guys, thus far, seem "evil for evil's sake". I generally consider this a "no-no" in storytelling, but this series is meant to be adolescent fiction and for adolescents and young children, sometimes this works really well. Like Voldemort.

GGE definitely recommends "The Chronicles of Prydain". Get started here.

Oh, and if you are relying on the movie "The Black Cauldron" - don't. It's a good movie, but even Lloyd Alexander himself agrees - it has nothing to do with the books.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Battle For Terra

Just watched Battle For Terra. Great movie! I read a review that described it as "campy" but I have to disagree.
The animation was shockingly gorgeous. The technology for the Terrians and the Humans was vry well done and both sides had really cool gear.
The voice acting was fantastic with some major names (James Garner, Rachel Leigh Wood, Dany Glover, Brian Cox, Luke Wilson).
The bad guy was a bit cardboard, but he was understandable. He wasn't "evil for evil's sake" which is a huge pet peeve of mine. He thought he was doing what was right to save humanity at the expense of the Terrians.
The heroes were great, the battle scenes were awesome. My only complaints were that it was too short. I could have used a few more scenes, especially some more exploration of the Earth Force. We get a very minor glimpse into the Earth Force itself other than as a nameless fighting organization and it would have helped the viewer "feel" Lt. James Stanton's divided loyalties if we had seen more of his Earth Force comrades. The movie does a decent job of embodying all of Stanton's conflict in the character of his little brother, but seeing some peer pressure from his comrades in the 32nd Airborne would have made his angst so much more poignant to the viewer. As it is though, one can imagine how he felt easily enough and the movie is a must-see for any sci-fi fan and an absolute requirement for fans of digital animation.
It also has a great message on war, the environment and negotiation versus conflict and besides all of that, the writers did a great job of world-building, which is no easy task. It's a fun one to do, but is rarely given the attention it deserves. After seeing this movie, one comes away with the idea that Terra could be a real and functioning planet "out there" somewhere.
Check it out!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Well, I am deep into editting GGE's latest work, a fantasy novel set in a grim world of peril for our protagonists. No nice Tolkien-ish world for GGE. View Tolkien's world after a Mad Max type apocalypse.
The story was a blast to write. The editting is not terrible because it is like revisiting old friends, but it reminds me of how much work getting a finished product can be.
We wrote it, then went through 2 read-throughs for general comments. Had some other folks read it and now I am doing a more thorough edit. Then we will pay a professional editor to have a go at it. Then we will shop it around and if it gets picked up by a publisher...guess what? More edits are likely. It is fun, but also a lot of hard work.

Why am I posting this paragraph whining about editting? Just as a reminder to write, write, write but then polish, polish, polish!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

GGE vision

Well, it's important to write down your vision for the future. Why? Write it down, review it often, envision it, make it seem real to you and your brain will begin making sure you take the steps to make the future come to pass. Don't believe me? Don't take my word for it. Ask Jack Canfield. (If you haven't read his book, "The Success Principles" - go buy a copy right now)

So, what is GGE's vision? Here we go:

  • We will launch a Yahoo group for us to discuss stuff with interested and like-minded folks (actually this one is done. Click here to check it out)

  • Next year we will launch a website

  • We will also launch an E-zine

  • We will publish a property, or two, with traditional publishers.

  • We will begin publishing our own stuff through a publishing arm. We will also publish a few submissions from other authors

  • We will launch a graphic novel based on a property of ours.

  • We will write our fantasy settings into a Open Gaming License roleplaying game and some modules from the macabre mind of Tim Green.

  • We will launch another website with RPG support and downloadable freebies

  • We will market some action figures based on our properties

  • We will complete some screenplays and either sell them or work with a indie company to produce the films ourselves

  • We will buy "Ghost Town in the Sky" and convert it to a theme park centered around our properties, like Universal Studios or Disney, but on a smaller scale.

  • We will produce a relatively simple video game based on our fantasy property

  • We will finally look into a monthly comic series

So, that's it. Now, let's see if I can bring the future and the present together!

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Do yourself a favor and check out!

This is a great site. This is a group of people who launched this site in February 2009. They took their fandom and their love of all things "geekdom" (and I say that lovingly as a self-described geek) and they have elevated their passion to the next level. has news of all sorts that would interest any geek or "fanboy". What is great is they are not just a blog or a news site, but they are starting conversations on their site about what is great about fanboys, speculative fiction and the world of really cool stuff (today's featured article was about the upcoming A-team movie!)

So, do yourself a favor and drop by for a visit. The do yourself a bigger favor and bookmark the site so you can stop by regularly. You will know all the latest news and amaze your pals. (Ghost Rider sequel! X-men: First Class! The Book of Eli!)

I now describe myself not just as a geek. I'm a fanboy!