Archive for October, 2010

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The Way of Kings (Audio Reminder)

October 27, 2010

Like so many other Brandon Sanderson fans, I pre-ordered The Way of Kings: Book One of the Stormlight Archive in tome form, and was extremely impressed with the production values that went into the hardcover (though how my shelves will hold the weight of this hefty multi-volume series is beyond me) but with Michael Kramer and Kate Reading (of Wheel of Time fame) providing voice work  for Macmillan’s audio version of the series I couldn’t help but purchase it in audio as well to experience what they bring to the table.

Eleven chapters into the audio book and I think these two fine voice actors have manged to get even better since my last outing with them in the Wheel of Time series, they’ve really managed to bring the characters to life with their incredible ranges, and it’s been a joy all this week to get in the car and listen for an hour or two each day on my drive to and from work (it’s also been a great way to get my mind off of this week’s mid-terms, if for a little while).

If you’re interested in experiencing the book this way, remember that Audible.com has the book for only 1 credit (a book of this length usually costing 2) until October 31st. Happy Halloween!

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Guild Wars 2: Hall of Monuments

October 20, 2010

Here’s yet another layer to add to a very ambitious Guild Wars 2, and certainly one more reason for fans of the original games to be excited about the upcoming release. Namely, the ability to obtain rewards in the game based on your experiences playing Guild Wars, Factions, Nightfall and Eye of the North expansions:

Earn special Guild Wars 2 rewards based on your achievements in the original Guild Wars and Guild Wars: Eye of the North™. Use the Hall of Monuments Reward Calculator to determine what rewards you’ve unlocked, how the benefits are calculated, and what other items are available.

Just enter your Guild Wars character name in the field above to get started! If you don’t have a character name to use, you can still access the Reward Calculator in demo mode.

I love this kind of stuff (and I’d better get crackin’ in order to accomplish more than a few goals). You can find out more about how the bonuses will be tallied, how you can share them among friends, and more, in the Hall of Monuments section of the official Guild Wars 2 site.

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Dragonlance: The Canticle of the Dragon

October 15, 2010

Dragonlance Chronicles Vol. I, Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

‘The Canticle of the Dragon’

The introductory poem by Michael Williams, and one of the many great, defining, pieces he would contribute to the Dragonlance novels over the years. I thought it worth posting here for anyone who hasn’t [yet] had the privilege of reading it when opening those first few pages of Dragons of Autumn Twilight, or for seasoned fans who certainly wouldn’t mind the repeated viewing. I’m revisiting the series again and have really been enjoying the trip down memory lane — it’s definitely something special.

So it begins…

Hear the sage as his song descends
like heaven’s rain or tears,
and washes the years, the dust of many stories
from the High Tale of the Dragonlance.
For in ages deep, past memory and word,
in the first blush of the world
when the three moons rose from the lap of the forest,
dragons, terrible and great,
made war on this world of Krynn.

Yet out of the darkness of dragons,
out of our cries for 1ight
in the blank face of the black moon soaring,
a banked light flared in Solamnia,
a knight of truth and of power,
who called down the gods themselves
and forged the mighty Dragonlance, piercing the soul
of dragonkind, driving the shade of their wings
from the brightening shores of Krynn.

Thus Huma, Knight of Solamnia, Lightbringer, First Lancer,
followed his light to the foot of the Khalkist Mountains,
to the stone feet of the gods,
to the crouched silence of their temple.
He called down the Lancemakers, he took on
their unspeakable power to crush the unspeakable evil,
to thrust the coiling darkness
back down the tunnel of the dragon’s throat.

Paladine, the Great God of Good, shone at the side of Huma,
strengthening the lance of his strong right arm,
and Huma, ablaze in a thousand moons,
banished the Queen of Darkness,
banished the swarm of her shrieking hosts
back to the senseless kingdom of death, where their curses
swooped upon nothing and nothing
deep below the brightening land.

Thus ended in thunder the Age of Dreams
and began the Age of Might,
when Istar, kingdom of light and truth, arose in the east,
where minarets of white and gold
spired to the sun and to the sun’s glory,
announcing the passing of evil,
and Istar, who mothered and cradled the long summers of good,
shone like a meteor
in the white skies of the just.

Yet in the fullness of sunlight
the Kingpriest of Istar saw shadows;
At night he saw the trees as things with daggers, the streams
blackened and thickened under the silent moon.
He searched books for the path of Huma,
for scrolls, signs, and spells
so that he, too, might summon the gods, might find
their aid in his holy aims,
might purge the world of sin.

Then came the time of dark and death
as the gods turned from the world.
A mountain of fire crashed like a comet through Istar,
the city split like a skull in the flames,
mountains burst from once-fertile valleys,
seas poured into the graves of mountains,
the deserts sighed on abandoned floors of the seas,
the highways of Krynn erupted
and became the paths of the dead.

Thus began the Age of Despair.
The roads were tangled.
The winds and the sandstorms dwelt in the husks of cities,
The plains and mountains became our home.
As the old gods lost their power,
we called to the blank sky
into the cold, dividing gray to the ears of new gods.
The sky is calm, silent, unmoving.
We have yet to hear their answer.


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Xenozoic by Mark Schultz

October 14, 2010

“Welcome to the Xenozoic Age, a post-apocalyptic landscape where dinosaurs roam freely…and humanity is the endangered species!”

While we patiently await future Xenozoic Tales (& Hannah Dundee!) from the legendary Mark Schultz, here’s a new collection of the classic series for fans to pick up this November. I’ve got these in comic form, and Dark Horse’s previous TPB collections and still I’m mulling this one over, if to have the entire story in one collection, complimented by Flesk’s high production values. They never cease to impress.

Here’s Flesk’s solicitation information:

“What strange new world, to have such creatures in it!”

Forced into hiding by a global ecological cataclysm, humans emerge from their underground warrens half a millennium later to discover that the Earth has been totally transformed. All of the familiar flora and fauna are gone, replaced by a radically altered natural order populated by rampaging dinosaurs and strange, new creatures. It takes guts, grim determination, ingenuity and a whole lot of old-fashioned luck just to survive, much less thrive, in this alien wilderness—all qualities that ace mechanic Jack Tenrec, lovely scientist Hannah Dundee and their friends possess in abundance.

But even the worthiest of these hardy souls are hard-pressed to surmount the obstacles presented by their new homeland. And when those trials are further compounded by the underhanded and selfish actions of the cutthroat human scavengers they encounter, even the best equipped and bravest among them might not endure.

Xenozoic combines lush and richly realized ink-and-brush artwork with a pulp-fueled narrative to create an action-packed fantasy—an unrelenting adventure that also serves as a subtle cautionary fable concerning the unforeseen consequences that shortsighted present-day decisions might have upon future generations.

Order  info:

Xenozoic by Mark Schultz

introduction by Craig Elliott

352 pages, 8.5 x 11 in.

black and white

Softcover
ISBN: 978-1-933865-31-7

$39.95

Pre-orders are available now at Flesk Publications.

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A Helping Hand for Steve “The Dude” Rude

October 6, 2010

Classic Nexus and Sundra Archives Cover by Steve Rude

I had the good fortune of discovering Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s Nexus in my youth, and I really treasure those comics for all the memories they’ve brought me. In addition, they feature some of the best artwork the industry has ever seen, and I don’t run in to the realm of hyperbole with that statement. Well, it seems that along with the rest of us, Steve Rude and his family have felt the effects of the economy pretty hard and in an emergency effort to save his home from being auction off he’s selling original Nexus pages (specifically the Next Nexus mini-series), and other select pieces of art, at reduced prices for quick sale on e-bay.

If you have the interest and the means, this is a great way to own a piece of comic history, or high caliber art (Eisner winning at that), and all while helping someone that could really use a hand.

Thanks friends.