Tuesday, 27 September 2011

TV Show Spotlight: Terra Nova

Terra Nova is perhaps this years most eagerly awaited show, contested by Game of Thrones for the year, but in the latter half of 2011 uncontested. Produced by Steven Spielberg and employing sets reminiscent of the Jurassic Park movies apart from actually featuring Dinosaurs, the show will appeal to a large audience.
The Pilot Episode "Genesis" Aired 26 September 2011, i.e yesterday.

Terra Nova, Centers on the Shannons, an ordinary family from 2149 when the planet is dying who are transported back 85 million years to prehistoric Earth where they join Terra Nova, a colony of humans with a second chance to build a civilization.


Sunday, 25 September 2011

Game Spotlight: Max Payne 3

Here's the trailer to the next installment in the highly awaited Max Payne franchise. The first two games were rather excellent and with the recent track record of Rockstar, I am expecting the coming game to be nothing short of spectacular.
On the other hand the trailer seems different from what I had in mind for the future of the series, bleak settings an all are Max Payne's style but a bald Payne that seems rather extreme... :)

Joe Abercrombie talks about Deus Ex: Human Revolution

According to Joe Abercrombie:

"Near future dsytopian cyberpunk gruff-voiced first person shooter stylings with an emphasis on stealth and lateral thinking.  Well, kinda.  As with the first Deus Ex which came out some years ago on the PC and is one of those there classics of the genre, in theory the game offers you all kinds of ways to play and you make the choice as to how you will approach it.  Invincible cyborg battering ram or ghost in the machine?  Computer whizzkid or martial artiste, the choice is yours.  Well, kinda.

I like it, in general, certainly I played it all the way through.  On the upside the worldbuilding is very nice, the general look is great, and it makes a decent fist of working on several different levels – as a stealth-em-up a la Thief, as a cover-based first person shooter, as a game of exploration and thinking your way through problems....."

Read the rest here.

And here's the trailer if you haven't seen it already.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Animation Spotlight: Batman Year One

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Publisher: Warner Home Video
Genre: Super-Hero
Disc Format: DVD
Release Date:  US: October 18, 2011

Batman Year One is based on Frank Miller's Graphic novel of the same name, and will be about Batman's Origins. Although Batman's Origins is not something at all new in the comics universe, still it will be an interesting watch. Judging from  DC animations in the past two years this one shouldn't disappoint. I have been following these new animations rather religiously and particularly enjoyed: Batman: Under the Red Hood, Superman/ Batman Apocalypse, Green Lantern: First Flight, Justice League Crisis on two Earths.
Do check them out if you have even a passing interest in DC comics.


Andy Whitfield, of Spartacus:Blood and Sand, Dies at the age of 39 || News

Andy Whitfield who was the lead actor in the hit Starz show Soartacus: Blood and Sand has died at he age of 39, in his home country Australia. Andy had been diagnosed of  non-Hodgkins lymphoma,  about 18 months ago. In January he was replaced as the lead actor by Liam McIntyre. 
According to his wife Whitfield died on a sunny morning in the arms of his loving wife. Our hearfelt condolences go out to his family. He will live on in the cherished memories of his family, friends and fans. Rest in peace, Andy.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

A Memory of Light || News

According to a recent twitter post from Brandon Sanderson, he is nearly 52% through with writing the final book in the Wheel of Time. The book is supposed to be published sometime in the latter half of 2012. 

Thanks to Adam of The Wertzone for this bit of news. Adam is usually one of the first to pick up on SF&F news from around the web, and runs a spectacular blog, one of the very best in my opinion, do check it out.

Orb, Sceptre, Throne by Ian C. Esslemont || Cover Art

                                                                  (from The Wertzone)

Orb, Sceptre, Throne is the fourth book in the 'Novels of the Malazan Empire' series by the author and will take place in the city of Darujhistan.

Friday, 9 September 2011

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) By Rick Riordan (Reviewed by Amna) || Book Review

After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities: He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning: His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus.
This first installment of Rick Riordan's best-selling series is a non-stop thrill-ride and a classic of mythic proportions.

Introduction: I first heard of this book when I saw the trailer of the Lightning Thief. Frankly I was totally disgusted by the whole thing. If anyone had asked me then whether I'd like to read the book my response would have been "ew!!!". It was quite some time later when my sister recommended this book to me that i took any interest in actually reading it. At first I just kept it in a dusty corner not meaning to read it at all. However one day when I was totally bored and had nothing to read I finally picked it up and started to read. My response after finishing it was-"ITS AWESOME!!!!!!"
Analysis: This book is a must-read for anyone who enjoys fictional books no matter what age. Rick Riorden grabs the age old Greek Mythology tales and sets it into a totally different background- the 21st century (for e.g Mount Olumpus is in the Empire State Building and the Underworld in Los Angelas). In the meantime children of Greek gods and mortals are being hunted down by monsters .The only safe place left for them is Camp Half-Blood but they don't always make it there.

12 year old Percy Jackson has always had a hard time settling in schools (which has resulted in him getting expelled from quite a few) . However when he vapourizes his teacher , well lets just say that it capped all his previous mis-adventures. Then Percy finds out that he is as far from normal as possible for he is a demigod.
After a great sacrifice (read the book and find out yourself what the sacrifice was) he manages to reach the only place where he can be safe -Camp Half-Blood. Just when he had finnaly started getting adjusted in this 'new' life (which was hard enough) Percy finds that Zeus the chief Olympian has blamed Percy and his Olympian parent for stealing his Lightning Bolt. Unless Percy , along with his friends Annabeth and Grover can find the bolt and bring it back to Zeus before the Summer Solstice (which is 10 days away ) the gods will be at war with Earth as a battle-field.
This book will apeal to any fan of fantasy-fiction no matter what age.I really loved this book, you simply cannot put it down. This book will grip you harder than Zeus could if he caught you running off with his pants (no idea where that came from) . The occasional humor and cutting remarks from the three friends puts a smile on your face. As for the story line well its simply great. The excitement and suspense mounts specially when the trio get into seemingly unescapable
situations. All the characters are well-developed. The story goes at a perfect pace - not too fast and not too slow. 

Conclusion: Overall this book is simply amazing. The writer has put great effort in developing the story as well as the characters. It is a must-read for every-one. I especially recommend it to fans of the book 'Alchemyst' by Michael Scott because in that series the author has also modernized the myths. However Percy Jackson is funnier. 

Monday, 5 September 2011

Book Spotlight: The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe

Publisher: Tor Books
length: 304 pages.
Release Date: September 27, 2011

No one knows where the Tufa came from, or how they ended up in the mountains of East Tennessee. When the first Europeans came to the Smoky Mountains, the Tufa were already there. Dark-haired and enigmatic, they live quietly in the hills and valleys of Cloud County, their origins lost to history. But there are clues in their music, hidden in the songs they have passed down for generations. . . .

Private Bronwyn Hyatt, a true daughter of the Tufa, has returned from Iraq, wounded in body and spirit, but her troubles are far from over. Cryptic omens warn of impending tragedy, while a restless “haint” has followed her home from the war. Worse yet, Bronwyn has lost touch with herself and with the music that was once a part of her. With death stalking her family, will she ever again join in the song of her people, and let it lift her onto the night winds?

My thoughts: I was made aware of this one while perusing the blog: 'fantasy and sci-fi lovin news and reviews'. Up to now I had been aware of only the 'Eddie Lacrosse Mystery' series from Mr. Bledsoe, which is certainly one of the more original series' mixing fantasy and mystery tropes together. This one is certainly going to be very different than the Lacrosse books though; it will be interesting to see how well Mr Bledsoe can do with a more 'realistic' setting.

You can pre-order the book here:

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