Tuesday, December 31, 2013

a review of the Hobbit from 1937

C.S. Lewis reviews The Hobbit.
To define the world of “The Hobbit” is, of course, impossible, because it is new.You cannot anticipate it before you go there, as you cannot forget it once you have gone. The author’s admirable illustrations and maps of Mirkwood and Goblingate and Esgaroth give one an inkling – and so do the names of dwarf and dragon that catch our eyes as we first ruffle the pages.But there are dwarfs and dwarfs, and no common recipe for children’s stories will give you creatures so rooted in their own soil and history as those of Professor Tolkien – who obviously knows much more about them than he needs for this tale. Still less will the common recipe prepare us for the curious shift from the matter-of-fact beginnings of his story (“hobbits are small people, smaller than dwarfs – and they have no beards – but very much larger than Lilliputians”) to the saga-like tone of the later chapters (“It is in my mind to ask what share of their inheritance you would have paid had you found the hoard unguarded”). You must read for yourself to find out how inevitable the change is and how it keeps pace with the hero’s journey. Though all is marvellous, nothing is arbitrary: all the inhabitants of Wilderland seem to have the same unquestionable right to their existence as those of our own world, though the fortunate child who meets them will have no notion – and his unlearned elders not much more – of the deep sources in our blood and tradition from which they spring.
For it must be understood that this is a children’s book only in the sense that the first of many readings can be undertaken in the nursery. “Alice” is read gravely by children and with laughter by grown-ups; “The Hobbit,” on the other hand, will be funniest to its youngest readers, and only years later, at a tenth or twentieth reading, will they begin to realize what deft scholarship and profound reflection have gone to make everything in it so ripe, so friendly, and in its own way so true. Prediction is dangerous: but “The Hobbit” may well prove a classic.
C.S. Lewis, The Times Literary SupplementOctober 2, 1937 and republished TLS, June 28, 2013.  
This was posted on Ken Symes' Mere C.S. Lewis blog.

The artwork is that of Pervandr on DeviantArt where you can find much more of his excellent work.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

d00Lite System

DwD Studios have held my attention for the last several days. A while ago I wrote a review on behalf of Modus Operandi, on the subject of the now recently released Covert Ops. This review introduced me to the system which in doing the research, I discovered was already out powering the BareBones Fantasy RPG. I have since picked that up as well and am thoroughly enjoying the read.

d00Lite is less heavy and serious than BRP. It is a percentile, roll under system sharing most of the common elements of it's type. Yet, it is also a lot different than the BRP/RuneQuest families. It seems it was most directly inspired by the old TSR games- Star Frontiers and Top Secret/S.I. (of which I am only an acquaintance with the former and a fan-boy of the latter). For me, personally, this system fits just right.

So far DwD has BareBones Fantasy, with a rather healthy line of support. There is even third party products on the way! DwD just released Covert Ops which is enjoying a celebrated and successful debut sitting pretty high up on the best selling titles for a while (at 33 currently at the time of this writing). Covert Ops also saw quite a bit of expanding the rules, naturally, going from fantasy to modern/espionage. BareBones Fantasy and Covert Ops are for-runners, they're leading up to DwD's opus, which is to be FrontierSpace. We're looking forward to that sci-fi RPG.

Both current lines are available in print-on-demand- hardcover or softcover and PDF.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Fifth Element cosplay

This is a series of pictures that most excellently portray one of the most fun films ever made. Luc Besson's The Fifth Element.

Tanuki-Tinka-Asai as Leeloo; Alexander Saburov as Zorg; Freia-Raven as Plava Laguna; and Taosu as Korban Dallas.


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