Saturday, September 24, 2011

My favorite throwdowns

So, I love epic fights. Here is a list of my favorites:

  1. Yoda vs. Count Dooku - "Much to learn, you still have."
  2. Anakin vs. Obi Wan Kenobi
  3. Obi Wan Kenobi and Qui Gon Jinn vs. Darth Maul - "We'll handle this."
  4. Leonardo vs. Raphael in the TMNT movie from 2007.  - Leonardo, "I'm better than you." Raphael, "I'm gonna hafta disagree with you on that one."
  5. Neo vs. Agent Smith. - "He's beginning to believe."
  6. Aragorn vs. a billion Orcs while Frodo escapes. - "Run, Frodo!"
  7. Superman vs. Darkseid in the final episode of "Justice League Unlimited." - Superman. "You don't know how long I've waited for this. A chance to finally cut loose." 
  8. Achilles vs. Hector in Troy
What are some of your favorites?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Crimson Alliance update

I posted on Saturday ago that I was cranking up Crimson Alliance on Xbox live. My boys and I tackled it as a trio and we hit Endgame on Sunday, mid afternoon.
So, some thoughts:
  • Buy and play Crimson Alliance
  • We need a sequel to the game
  • We need some more character classes
    • I am thinking apprentice wizard, duellist, cleric/monk, and archer
  • The story is great...we need more great story
  • Characters should be able to sell old weapons
  • I would not mind seeing some temporary buffs (potions, etc)
  • Wizard should be able to teleport through walls (right now he runs into them)


So I am reminded once again how much work school can be. Each semester I tell myself I will not let school interfere with work, family, exercise, writing and GGE. Each semester I crash and burn in at least one of those categories. Work and family usually make it through okay. The others suffer a bit.
Yesterday I worked, went home and napped (I have a cold) got up to study, skipped my workout to study, caught one episode of Star Trek with my sons before crawling into bed.
Maybe if I move the work out to early morning? It's so easy to stay in bed.
Thoughts on scheduling? Anyone else juggling a hundred things? Let's share some tips.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MFA Creative Writing

I recently looked at a program for a Masters in Fine Arts with a focus in Creative Writing. Sounds perfect. When I read the course descriptions and the bios of the professors, I felt an old familiar pain.

"They would never take me seriously"
"They would discourage me"
"They would laugh at the stuff I write"

Why did I feel that way? I suppose because these professors wrote things like you would see in Oprah's book list or in a Poetry collection. Impressive stuff. No wizards, trolls or superheroes.

I felt bad about this for a few minutes, like I write drivel compared to these great literary works.
I remembered Mark Twain's words, "Some writers work is like fine wine. Mine is like water. But everybody drinks water."

Of course not everyone enjoys the stuff I do...speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy, horror are all by definition niche genres. When you talk cross genre, it is even more so.

Then again, I don't need to be Ernest Hemingway. I just need to write what I like and gather a tribe of people who like the same thing.

Of course JK Rowling, Stephen King and George RR Martin all also write in the same niche genre.

I am, in no way, even targeting that level of financial success. I think I am just point out that the old saying is very true,

"We don't see things as they are. We see them as we are."

Oh yeah, I still intend to look into the creative writing program. After a brief few moments of introspection, I'm back to not giving a damn what anyone who tries to hurt me thinks.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crimson Alliance

So I wandered across Crimson Alliance on the Xbox Video Marketplace last night on Xbox Live while planning to download a movie.
The game said it was a free RPG so I thought I would try it out. I have been a longtime fan of fantasy RPGs and have played quite a few.
When I downloaded it and cranked it up, I notice instant similarities to Gauntlet, Diablo and Diablo II.
Possibly my bestest gaming memory ever was playing through Diablo online with my two best chums all the way from start to end-game.
Crimson Alliance has the same feel. I only played a single level and didn't get much into character development. It looks like there are a few add-ons for purchase.
It seems to have a pretty decent storyline but I didn't get too much of that in the short time I played. I liked the backstory. A combination of "Nimue and Merlin" meets "Countess Bathory".
So, I will be playing a bit more today. My gamertag is Biothrax. If you are on, look me up!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Malaria must die!

So, you basically have to go read this:

And then do what your heart compels.


Thursday, September 8, 2011


As I mentioned on Facebook (and Twitter for that matter), I have been watching all three seasons of Sons of Anarchy over the last couple of weeks.
S.O.A may not seem like my normal fare since it involves no zombies, wizards, dragons, knights, etc. but I find that I love the show.
The reason? That's easy. It is majorly cross genre, in my opinion.
The show is ostensibly about a motorcycle gang in California, but to me, the show is a first class western.
There are outlaws, lawmen, gunfights, horses (harleys in this case), a ranch (the clubhouse) and lots of leather.
It's like Gunsmoke, meets Bonanza, meets Have Gun Will Travel only edgier and with a bit more grey around the notion of good and bad. Of course, ever since Shane, we have been entranced with the bad guy as the hero when it comes to our westerns.
Season 4 just cranked up on FX. I'm stil finishing season 3, but this show rocks!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Your Highness

"Your Highness" is available on DVD. I haven't seen it yet, but I want to. I also want to see "Knights of Badassdom". Both are comedies that poke fun at fantasy epics, roleplayers, etc.
Is it a good thing to see these genres/hobbies subjected to lampooning? Personally, I think it is. I think having fantasy/sci-fi/roleplaying (even LARPers like in Knights of Badassdom) put in front of mainstream audiences only gives us the opportunity to see more of the movies, stories, games that we love.
What are your thoughts? does satire marginalize sci-fi/fantasy geekdom? Or make it more "available"?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Picking your genre

I have been told a few times to try and write something that I think people want to read. For example, gothic romance or whatever you call books where sparkly vampires chase star crossed loves who seem to perpetually hate something about their life.
I love so many genres, but there are only a few that call to me.
In my opinion, your genre pretty much picks you. That's not to say you can't step outside the boundaries if inspiration strikes, but I would resist the urge to try and force it.
I like Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, westerns, steampunk, superheroes and historical fiction. I can't imagine, right now, writing much else. I have considered, a few times, writing a football fiction story using all imaginary players, a different league, etc. Pretty much "Blitz: The League" in a fiction format...or "Playmakers" in written form. "Playing for Pizza" was good. So was "Ruffians."
I would write short stories each season so readers could see the league change over time. Players would retire, teams would rebuild, there would be scandals, suspensions and career ending injuries...but I digress.

A bit more about letting your genre choose you. I think you write what you feel led to write. Anything else will seem inauthentic, and rightfully so.

Oh...on the football idea, I haven't done anything with it yet. If you like it, feel free to run with it.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The 25 most anticipated movies!!!

Check out this list of IMDB's 25 most anticipated movies. I can't say I agree with all of these (Die Hard 5? The Expendables 2? Bourne Legacy?)
Some though have me seriously geeked - Bond, Indiana Jones (I had no idea this was possible), The Hobbit, Halo and many more.
Check 'em out! What are your top 5? Mine are:

  • Hobbit
  • Avengers
  • Wolverine
  • Superman (and The Dark Knight Rises)...okay, that is technically 2 movies
  • Star Trek
I am excited about more that just those five, but those five leave me all tingly inside.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

House Artreides

Started reading "House Atreides" today. Of course it came out in 1999 and I have been meaning to read it ever since.
I loved the Dune series back in the day. I have heard it called "The Sci-Fi Tolkien". I never thought of it that way, but I guess I get the comparison...actually, I'm not sure I do.
Tolkien standardized many fantasy elements. Frank Herbert did least  I don't think so...but maybe? Any thoughts?