Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Audiobook Goodness

Our family took a trip in our minivan and checked out a few audiobooks for the trip. The one we listened to the whole way down and back again was a set full of Sherlock Holmes short stories. These were fantastic! I've never read them or really got into the character before in any way. I was surprised at how easily I was hooked.

Another book I checked out for the trip, but never started, I listened to for about a week after we got back was Airborn by Kenneth Oppel.

This was good old pulpy fun. Airships and pirates. One thing I liked about this book was that the dialog was spoken by a cast with the main character's narration. Nicely done. I'll eventually listen to the other two books.

When I returned these I immediately checked out more, starting with Ian Fleming's Jame Bond. Octopussy, The Living Daylights, and Property of a Lady. None of which resembled the films respectively. Often Bond wasn't even the focus of the story. Great stuff.

I am currently very much enjoying Sabriel by Garth Nix. A strange mix of fantasy and slightly modern this book deals with a lot of undead and necromancy. The character, Sabriel, is adorable. She fights the dead with her bandoleer of bells. Currently I'm approaching the climax of the story. Sabriel, too, is the first of a trilogy.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Carl Macek Died.

The man who brought us ROBOTECH passed away on Saturday. I thank Carl Macek for gently leading me to anime. Here is the ROBOTECH.com tribute... 


Carl F. Macek passed away on Saturday, April 17, 2010 of a heart attack.

From his early days at California State University Fullerton, where he served as a librarian of popular culture, Carl was set on a course to make his mark on the anime industry in the United States. Fans know him as the producer who originally weaved together the Robotech saga out of separate anime series when faced with broadcast syndication hurdles in 1985. The result was a science fiction phenomenon that launched popular lines of novels, comics, videos, toys, and other memorabilia that continue to be coveted collectibles to this day. Sure, Robotech had its ups and downs over the years, but Carl relished its longevity and resurgence.

Carl later went on to found Streamline Pictures, which was known for releasing major anime titles such as Akira andVampire Hunter D. He was also directly involved in the first English adaptations of many of Hayao Miyazake's classics such as Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro, My Neighbor Totoro. Recently, Carl had worked on the adaptation of many of the episodes of the hit anime series Bleach. Outside of anime, Carl had also written many books, from The Art of Heavy Metal to the novel War Eagles, an epic adventure which he also adapted into a screenplay for a film in development.

Carl was delighted to get involved again in the Robotechuniverse for its 25th anniversary, not to mention the widespread anticipation over a live action movie on the horizon.

Carl Macek spent the past Saturday, April 17th as he often did, enjoying life to its fullest at a concert with his beloved wife Svea. Then a massive heart attack took him away from all of us. It was a bitter pill to swallow. This did not seem fair. He was still so full of creative energy. However, with the amazing legacy of his work, Carl has left us much to remember him by, and in this way, he has truly become immortal.





Anatomy of a Dalek

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bond 23 on Hold

Bad news for Bond fans.


Bond 23 Delayed Indefinitely

Source: EON Productions
April 19, 2010


007 producers, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli of EON Productions, today announced they have suspended development on the next James Bond film previously scheduled for release 2011/2012.

"Due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of MGM and the failure to close a sale of the studio, we have suspended development on 'Bond 23' indefinitely. We do not know when development will resume and do not have a date for the release of 'Bond 23,'" stated Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli jointly.

EON Productions have produced twenty two James Bond films since 1962. In 1995, Michael G Wilson and Barbara Broccoli took over the 007 franchise from Albert R 'Cubby' Broccoli and are responsible for producing some of the most successful James Bond films ever, including Casino Royale and more recently Quantum of Solace. The James Bond franchise is the longest running in film history. EON Productions and Danjaq LLC are affiliate companies and control all worldwide merchandising for James Bond.


link

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blake's 7

I just finished the final episode of season 2 of the original Blake's 7. I don't remember how I first found out about the show, but I've been slowly watching the series for the last several years. This very last episode of season 2, Star One, ended in one of the biggest cliffhangers I've ever seen. It's going to shift the series like nothing before. I wonder if this was the jumping of the shark moment for the series. Up till now I've enjoyed the series a great deal. I'll see it to the end eventually. Especially with murmurers of it returning like Doctor Who and Survivors have (both connected to Terry Nation who created Blake's 7).

I'm drawing from Blake's 7 as major inspiration for a one-on-one RPG game for my brother. It won't be an established setting other than a mishmash of inspirations and interpretations of science fiction we used to create with our G.I.Joe and Star Wars action figures decades ago. The whole saga revolved around the best spaceship in the galaxy, one we used a toy submarine for a makeshift spaceship- the SHARC. My brother and I made an audio drama telling the story that very much mirrored Star Wars: A New Hope. We even made a comic book adaptation of the story. I plan on using the GURPS system for the first time for the game, something I've wanted to do for a very long time. It seems like a logical system with a lot of similarities to the Chaosium Basic Roleplaying System. Other sources of inspiration are Cowboy Bebop, DUNE, Chronicles of Riddick. 



Thursday, April 15, 2010

Peter Steele of Type-O-Negative found Dead of Heart Failure

I can't believe this...


Peter Steele, Lead Singer of Gothic Rock Band, Type O Negative Reportedly Dead of Heart Failure

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Reports have been appearing on the Internet that Peter Steele, the forty-eight year old lead singer for gothic rock band, Type O Negative has died from heart failure. According to reports, Peter Steele died from heart failure Wednesday, April 14, 2010. Steele's death has according to one report, been confirmed today by fellow Type O Negative member, Kenny Hickey. This is not the first time that reports of Peter Steele's death have surfaced. In 2005 there were rumors circulating that Steele had died.
Type O Negative

Type O Negative is a heavy metal band from Brooklyn, New York. The bands members were originally members of the band Fall Out. Type O Negative is considered a "gothic metal band". The band's songs contain dramatic lyrical themes of romance, depression and death, which inspired the band's nickname "The Drab Four". Type O Negative went platinum in 1993 with "Bloody Kisses". They are said to have a huge following with legions of fans. Their latest album was produced in 2007 and is titled, "Dead Again".

Peter Steele

Peter Steele was born Peter J. Ratajczyk on January 4, 1962 in Brooklyn, New York. Steele has several noteworthy characteristics including his height. He is reportedly 6'7". He is the lead singer, bassist and composer for the gothic metal band, Type O Negative. Steele has a low, heavy, bass voice, which is one of the most recognizable features of the Type O Negative's music. There are several stories that state that Steele apparantly suffers from clinical depression.

Details surrounding Steele's apparent death from heart failure are sketchy at this point. It is indeed possible that these are once again just "rumors" of Steele's death. Confirmation of Steele's death have yet to surface from credible sources. I will continue to update this story as more details become available.

Sources:

http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=54988&comments=1

http://www.truedate4u.com/dating-tips-news/2010/04/15/peter-steele-dead-peter-steele-death-confirmed-at-48/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Steelehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_O_Negative

link

Friday, April 9, 2010

Images from Game of Thrones

Here are some images of the actor cast as Arya Stark in the upcoming Game of Thrones series from HBO. Arya very well could be my favorite character in the series and I can't wait to see how Maisie Williams portrays her. This is from George R.R. Martin's own blog.


Stick 'Em With the Pointy End

  • Apr. 8th, 2010 at 1:48 PM
Filming on HBO's GAME OF THRONES series will be resuming in June, in Northern Ireland.

Maisie Williams, who will play Arya Stark, is preparing for her part by practicing her needlework. I though you might enjoy seeing these recent pictures of her that her mom was kind enough to send me.


Her sword, of course, is the full-scale replica of Needle produced by the good folks at Valyrian steel.


You can get a Needle for your very own Arya at http://www.valyriansteel.com/

link 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Doctor Who


I was sold. I think I'm already on board with this new Doctor. He seems as crazy as Colin Baker's was coming out of the regeneration, but he has a confidence stronger than ever. That confidence seems to have been growing in each generation. I remember Peter Davison's Doctor was almost weak and insecure at times. I don't see that here.


Amy Pond is a darling. I see some of the Girl in the Fireplace in her with the Doctor popping in and out of her life. And some of Donna Noble, too, with her packing and waiting for him. She's getting married. My wife called it the moment Amy said "Could we be back by tomorrow morning?" This whole season may take place in one night on Earth. 


I really like the 'horror' feel for at least this episode and I hope for the season. I hope it turns out as cool as the preview looked. I also hope we see that spaceship commander from the Library episode who knew the Doctor but with a different face and the Doctor hadn't met her yet. Remember that? The TARDIS was a bit disappointing. They could've come up with something totally new and different. I do like the new intro and logo. I think that was an improvement.







Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Dark Tower RPG


The RPG industry seems to ever be moving to the digital world with PDFs duplicating and often replacing print books. Sometimes one may come across an beautiful gem among all the personal projects out there. I found some rules for Stephen King's Dark Tower series that look like they're for the Chaosium Basic Roleplaying System with some customized changes for the setting. These books detail the creatures and abilities found within. There is a very high production quality with these and as nice as they are, there is no mention or credit given to whoever created them. I suspect this may be because the creator didn't hold the license to legally make the books which shows what a labor of love these books truly are.




Here are the books in the series-


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