Worth Living For…

“It’s easy to find something worth dying for. Do you have anything worth living for?” — Lorien

Babylon 5: Sheridan and Lorien in his true formMore sci-fi philosophy…

This quote is from Babylon 5, Season 4 Episode 2 ‘Whatever Happened To Mr. Garibaldi?’. The series as a whole has some great quotes, but this episode alone had a bunch of powerful lines, most coming from the enigmatic character of Lorien, ‘The First One’.

The quote above comes from the beginning of an exchange between the character of Sheridan and Lorien, which ends a few lines later with these two lines: Continue reading Worth Living For…

Tak Strategy Game in Lego!

[Update 4/21/16: Added download link to LDraw MPD file of the Lego 5×5 hybrid Tak board and pieces model.]

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick RothfussOne of the books I’m currently reading is The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, which is the second book in the fantasy series The Kingkiller Chronicles. While reading this excellent book, there are a number of scenes that describe the main character learning a strategy game called Tak that uses a board and stones. It’s sounds like a mixture of the abstract strategy games of Go and Mancala with some special pieces such as the strategy game of Chess, and ways of placing the stones that gives them different powers as the game of Checkers.

Well, today Rothfuss announced that the game designer James Ernest had designed an actual game using the brief descriptions given in the book. What’s more they were running a Kickstarter campaign to polish and produce special versions of the game for its supporters. There is a video showing the game being played, and it really is a sweet piece of work. The basics of the game are a snap to learn, yet it has a ton of strategy, looks fun, and is kind of beautiful in the way it starts, builds and can shift from one area of the board to another. You can play it yourself online at PlayTak.com. Continue reading Tak Strategy Game in Lego!

Not Lost…

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

J. R. R. TolkienI love this quote and it means many things to me. Just this line alone is awesome, but the entire stanza of the poem that it comes from is also pretty amazing and deep and bears quoting too. So for good measure, here’s that stanza:

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

‘The Martian’ Meets ‘Ready Player One’

A friend of mine pointed out a little bit of sci-fi geek trivia I hadn’t heard yet that features a neat little short story…

Andy Weir, author of the very popular novel “The Martian” wrote a short bit of fan fiction in the “universe” of Ernest Cline’s very popular “Ready Player One”. Apparently Cline heard of it, liked the story and it’s implications, and got approval to include it in a recent edition of Ready Player One, effectively adding the story to the RP1 “canon”. Continue reading ‘The Martian’ Meets ‘Ready Player One’

Review: Hellboy Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others

Hellboy Vol. 3: The Chained Coffins and OthersHellboy, Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others by Mike Mignola
Hell Boy series #3
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My Rating4 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars 
First Published: February 2004, stories first published in 1998
Read from: Apr. 1-13, 2016

A Number of Very Cool Short Stories. Possibly the Best of the Hellboy Graphic Novels So Far.

This is the third Graphic Novel collection of the original Hellboy comics I have read. The second volume I didn’t like too much. I had liked it so little in fact that I had decided if the next in the series was equally disappointing, what with so much other things to read, I would move on to something else. Well, I’m glad I gave the series one more chance. I think I may have liked this volume even more than the first volume. Read the Full Review

Review: Nemesis Games

Nemesis Games by James S. A. CoreyNemesis Games by James S.A. Corey
The Expanse series #5
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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars
First Published: June 2nd, 2015
Read from: Mar. 1 – 10, 2016

The Best Novel In the Series!

For me that headline is saying a lot. I have really liked this series as a whole. But I have never given any of the novels (and only one of the novellas) my, “I loved it,” rating of 5 out of 5 stars…. Until now. Read the Full Review

Review: Hellboy Vol. 2: Wake the Devil

Hellboy, Vol. 2: Wake the Devil by Mike MignolaHellboy, Vol. 2: Wake the Devil by Mike Mignola
Hell Boy series #2
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My Rating2.5 out of 5 stars 2.5 out of 5 stars 
First Published: February 1994
Read from: Mar. 1-9, 2016

Better art, more characters, cooler bad guys… And ZERO story

I felt this graphic novel, the second volume of collected Hellboy comics, lay somewhere between “it was ok” and “I liked it”. While there was so much that was potentially great in this graphic novel, it was thrown in a barrage that had no consistent thread and did not stay long enough with any one element to build any interest in me with what was going on. In some cases I’m not sure what was going on even had any explanation. Read the Full Review

Lamb & Tyger – Innocence & Experience

I caught a reference to William Blake‘s “The Tyger” in, of all things, a graphic novel I was reading. I recognized it, having read it a long time ago, and recalled it’s elegant way of contrasting the beauty and the ferocity of the animal. I wanted to read the whole thing and learn a little more. Discovered that the poem was in a collection of poems intended to be song lyrics, called Songs of Experience. A previous poetry collection of Blake’s was the Songs of Innocence and contained the sister poem “The Lamb“. Continue reading Lamb & Tyger – Innocence & Experience

Review: Summer Knight

Summer Knight by Jim ButcherSummer Knight by Jim Butcher
Dresden Files series #4
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My Rating3.5 out of 5 Stars 3.5 out of 5 stars 
First Published: September 3, 2002
Read from: Feb. 18 –  Mar. 1, 2016

I really liked this book when it started, but began to lose interest and see the “man behind the curtain” too much for my liking near the end. Still a very enjoyable read… Read the Full Review

Where You Start: Stop Thinking

Stargate Atlantis - Tao of Rodney More Stargate Spirituality, this time courtesy of Stargate Atlantis…

WEIR: Rodney … I still believe there’s a chance you can ascend if you put your mind to it.

McKAY: We both know that that is a waste of time. Maybe you could do it, but …

WEIR: I don’t know if I could, but you are certainly selling yourself short by not even trying.

McKAY: To be honest, I don’t have the first clue where to start.

WEIR: Stop thinking.

McKAY: See, I don’t understand that.

Continue reading Where You Start: Stop Thinking