Archive for ‘Books’

04/03/2013

Now reading: Terms of Enlistment

by wfgodbold

By the internet-famous Marko Kloos!

I’ve only just started it. First I had to finish A Throne of Bones and Summa Elvetica (both by Vox Day).

Terms of Enlistment–a milSF work–should nicely cleanse the palate after two long fantasy works (elves, orcs, goblins, Roman legions, a Catholic Church analogue, Vikings–what more could you want?).

I’ll probably finish it by the weekend, if I can work in some reading time in between work and class.

02/13/2013

Jack Reacher, or the exception to the rule that adaptations are worse than the novel source material

by wfgodbold

The Jack Reacher novels suck.

The action is okay, but the plots are predictable, and Lee Child’s ignorance of firearms is staggering.

If you’re reading a Reacher novel, prepare to be lectured about shotgun cones of death, how a .22 to the back of the head will take a person’s face off, and how FBI special agents are issued long-barreled revolvers.

You can’t escape the ignorance–Reacher was an Army MP, and any time someone is shot or he handles a gun, he inflicts on the reader his munificent experience (as distorted by the British author). Especially glaring is the constant reference to 12 bore shotguns (here in the US, we say gauge, not bore).

The Jack Reacher movie, on the other hand, focuses on the action and plot, and Tom Cruise does not narrate incorrect firearm information.

I wouldn’t have read the first Reacher book if I hadn’t seen the movie first; if I had read the book first, I wouldn’t have seen the movie, and it wouldn’t have been because Cruise doesn’t match Child’s description of Reacher.

It would have been because no book that bad could have been adapted into a movie of any worth at all.

As it is, the Jack Reacher film is a solid action movie, and the books are suitable for leveling that table that has one uneven length leg.

08/05/2012

In no particular order:

by wfgodbold

Growlanser IV is out for the PSP in the US (if you’ve a PS3, you can download it there and transfer it to the PS Vita without issue; if you’re PS3-less, you’ll have to wait until it’s up in the PS Vita PSN store). It’s pretty good so far; the sprites are nice, and the gameplay is classic Growlanser (JRPG-like with a heavy dose of strategy).

As far as the Chick-fil-a brouhaha goes, I didn’t eat there on Wednesday. Not because I disagree with their position (which I do (disagree, I mean)), and not out of support for the attempt to crack down on speech Boston/Chicago politicians disagree with, but because the local CFA had cops out directing traffic, a drive-thru line that looked to be at least 50 cars long, and an in-store line that stretched around the building at least once. Their chicken is good, and I support their rights to hold positions I don’t agree with and be free from government harassment because of that speech, but it’s not stand-in-line-for-more-than-an-hour good. Linoge disagreed, and went on – in his characteristic way – to say in ~400 words what a normal man would say in 50 (I would have posted on this on the 1st, but when I got home, Linoge had already said basically everything I was going to. Even if he did say it in 4x the space).

Want to eat sushi at the Olympics? Hope you don’t like soy sauce, cause mini packets are banned on account of not sponsoring the Olympics (beware; Sankaku Complex is about as unsafe for work as it gets). Between that and the lack of business the Olympics was supposed to bring in, I don’t know why anyone would voluntarily pay for the games. Other than as an opportunity to fleece the taxpayer and enrich politicians and their cronies, I mean.

The latest live-action Rurouni Kenshin trailer is out, and it’s got English subtitles. My only complaint is that they translate Kenshin’s reference to his reverse-bladed-sword as merely “sword;” in Japanese, it’s literally written 逆刃刀; the first character means “backwards,” the second “blade,” and the third “sword.” Instead of being sharpened along the front edge and dull along the back, Kenshin’s is dull along the front and sharp along the back (reverse-bladed). It’s kind of a big part of the character, and just calling it a sword doesn’t really cut it (heh).

In my less copious than normal free time (when not playing Growlanser (and sometimes while playing Growlanser), I’ve been rewatching The Good Guys on Netflix streaming. It takes me back to a more innocent time, when I hadn’t had a class on pre-trial criminal procedure, and was ignorant of how much of a free hand the courts have given police. I’ve mentioned it before; every episode is essentially an 80s/90s style buddy cop movie (in 45 min.).

I’m also working my way through Simon R. Green‘s books. Again. Sure, they’re pulp, but they’re entertaining. And isn’t that what really matters?

The law review has handed down the first cite check for this year; it’s due a week from Wednesday. Between that and the Legal Editing & Scholarship class I’m taking before fall classes start up, I’m being kept off the streets pretty efficiently.

04/30/2012

Tabs!

by wfgodbold

The #Occupy Little Rock crowd is pretty pathetic. Who even cares about LR City Hall? For that matter, doesn’t “march” imply that someone is leading?

The only thing better than a life-size VF-25 Valkyrie would be a functioning life-size Valkyrie. Because the only thing better than mecha are transforming mecha!

How scientifically literate are you? I got 43/50; I should’ve gotten a few more right, but made some stupid mistakes.

Ever wonder what Philip K. Dick thought of Blade Runner?

I think the last one is my favorite.

And just because Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention is awesome, here are a few screenshots (click to embiggen):

A boss tries to dictate to the main character how he should fight her.

A newly created Shaman introduces herself.

A new party member shows up to save the day!

Prinny Mask (who has nothing at all to do with Science Ninja Team Gatchaman) takes over as homeroom teacher.

The party faces off against an army of enemy gunslingers!

The gunslinger homeroom teacher gives us some good advice.

04/14/2012

I really should stop doing these tab clearing posts

by wfgodbold

But they’re great for when I don’t really want to devote a whole post to any one thing (and for when I can’t come up with a substantial post on a real topic!).

Thinkgeek is selling an Aperture Science 1970s era coffee mug. Right down to the retro form factor!

Bill Amend has put together a few Foxtrot collections formatted for the iPad.

The Japanese have gone and made an anime series about a moe anthropomorphization of Nyarlathotep. Because nothing says eldritch horror like taking the Crawling Chaos and turning it into this.

Nihon Falcom has added more details to the Nayuta no Kiseki official site. They’re marketing it as an action story RPG (whatever that is), and have posted character profiles and some battle screenshots.

Sega, Capcom, and Namco are collaborating on a Super Robot Wars style crossover mashup SRPG, Project X Zone. It’ll have Ryu and Ken (Street Fighter), Shinguji Sakura and Ohgami Ichiro (Sakura Wars), Kurt and Riela (Valkyria Chronicles 3), Jin and Xiaoyu (Tekken), KOS-MOS and T-elos (Xenosaga), and Yuri and Estelle (Tales of Vesperia). And that’s not even an exhaustive list!

And finally, Looper comes out this fall, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis in an action-packed SF time travel flick. The trailer looks pretty good:

04/08/2012

The Clearing of the Tabs

by wfgodbold

The Upotte anime has begun (Weerd mentioned it; it’s got a bunch of anthropomorphized guns for characters). Crunchyroll is legit; they’ve signed licensing deals with the Japanese companies for the right to stream the series they have listed. Don’t worry about the copyright police kicking in your door.

I reread The Witches of Karres the other day. It was still entertaining; not bad for a book written in 1966. I do kind of wish Baen had used the cover art for the Japanese translation (at right). But then, I’ve always liked Hayao Miyazaki’s work.

Auto-firing pirate-killing drones? Can Skynet be far behind?

Wrath of the Titans was ok. Certainly not good enough to warrant a whole review, but it was ok. I wouldn’t pay more than $5 for a ticket, and even then only if you liked the first. They’re playing even faster and looser with the myths than in the first one; at this point, they might as well just shave Sam Worthington’s head, give him some tattoos and a kusarigama and call him Kratos. Also, Rosamund Pike is hot.

Germany is going to jack up taxes on the young so that the old can live in the standard to which they have become accustomed.

Remember, kids, Facebook isn’t free. If you don’t have to pay, you’re what’s being sold.

I saw a billboard today advertising AR-15s for $599 at a local gun store. Usually the only gun-related billboards I see are advertising upcoming gun show. We’re winning. I’ll try to get a picture of it at some point.

03/16/2012

I had an idea for a post when I clicked “New Post”

by wfgodbold

But it’s completely gone now. Like it never existed.

I think it was something about Kickstarter and how it’s reviving long-dead series and genres (Wasteland 2, a new Tim Schafer adventure game, etc.), but I’m not really sure.

I guess I”ll just do some tab clearing, instead.

Falcom posted some samples of the rearranged music from Zero no Kiseki Evolution, their PS Vita full voice remake of the PSP game. Like the most of their music, it sounds great.

New this month from Baen Night Shade Books is a sendup of the John Carter of Mars books, called Jane Carver of Waar. Good timing on their part, what with the movie release (which everyone has seen, right?). I may have to buy it.

Sony sent out the Super Stardust Delta download codes for PS Vita 3G buyers who signed up for their free month of 3G with AT&T. It’s just as addictive as the PS3 version; you keep playing one more game to try to better your score.

Diablo III comes out on May 15. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to buy it.

The newest Rurouni Kenshin trailer looks awesome. They even have plans to release it internationally!

SNK is getting back into the handheld market with their new Neo Geo X, which comes with 20 Neo Geo games and an SD slot for future expansion. No word on pricing yet, though.

I added a link to my Amazon store on the right side of the page under the twitter widget; if you want used imported video games, knock yourself out. I’ll add more to it this week after going through my PS2 collection.

And finally, a comparison shot with my Vita and PSP-1000, with a game case from each:

Edit: Fixed the publisher for Jane Carver of Waar; it looks like Baen is handling the ebook, and Night Shade Books is publishing the trade paperback.

03/10/2012

John Carter of Earth?

by wfgodbold

No. John Carter of Mars!

For an adaptation of a pulp adventure novel first published in 1912, Disney’s John Carter (adapted from A Princess of Mars) holds up very well. The reviewers don’t know WTF they’re talking about (though I suppose it is kind of a hit or miss movie, so maybe 50% is about right. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys movies like this, this is a movie you’ll enjoy).

The actors all do a good job, and get into their roles without going Large Ham on us (even Willem Dafoe manages to rein it in!). I did like that while they used a bunch of recognizable actors, there weren’t any huge stars to ruin it by doing their shtick (e.g., Tom Cruise running, Nic Cage with a weird haircut and a flashlight losing his mind).

The action is great, the setting is great (though it could have been a bit redder), and the effects are great. The 3D was understated (surprising in a Disney flick).

And the movie does its job; for two hours, John Carter isn’t the only one transported to the savage world of Barsoom.

The audience is as well.

02/16/2012

If This Goes On–

by wfgodbold

Nehemiah Scudder*, is that you**?

At this point, I think i may just wash my hands of the whole shebang and pull the lever for Gary Johnson.

*The first Prophet, elected President in 2012 in Robert A. Heinlein’s Future History***. Even for RAH, that’s pretty damn eerie.

**I can’t decide if a “by their powers combined” Captain Planet reference or a Voltron/Constructicons reference is more appropriate here.

***Which seems doubly (trebly?) appropriate, given that Newt Gingrich (wannabe psychohistorian) is doing his damnedest to be The Man Who Sold the Moon. Ladies and Gents, welcome to the science fictioniest election of all time!

02/12/2012

I’m with Richard Pryor.

by wfgodbold

Romney is a technocratic flip-flopper.

Gingrich missed his chance by 16 years (he should’ve run in ’96), and is a bit too fond of Hari Seldon (much like the Krugman).

Santorum doesn’t like libertarians.

And Ron Paul is Ron Paul.

Brewster was ahead of his time!

Vote for none of the above!

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