October 31, 2014

Some "Winds of Winter" Clues

George had a quick trip 'back out East' as he announced back in the summer, I believe. He did some family visits, promo for the newly-released World of Ice and Fire concordance history book. It can all be detailed here: http://grrm.livejournal.com/386645.html

However, in that entry he mentions a few things:
"....had dinner with my editors and publishers at Bantam..."

"...breakfasts with friends from DC Comic, Barnes & Noble, and Simon & Schuster..."

What do you think they discussed?? Again, I firmly believe that George wants to have the manuscript for Book Six in the hands of those who would need it on the publishing side of things sometime during January. I am of course, guessing that the words 'Book Six' and / or 'The Winds of Winter' had to have come up at least once during these meals. 

I remain hopeful and positive that the book will be published next year. 

October 30, 2014

Game of Thrones Gets a Season Seven



So Game of Thrones will get a season seven. Which is great news, because I want this show to end on a story note, not it being canceled or not renewed or any of that. It is my hopes that Game of Thrones Season Seven is split into two parts, with each part containing seven episodes each

If you want the details, head over to The Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/game-thrones-cast-signs-season-744314

October 28, 2014

A Marvel-ous Future


Wow. Take that DC! 

In all honesty, aside from Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, I have not been too impressed with DC's movies on the whole. 

Not long ago, I posted about WB's upcoming films, including the DC ones. 

Well, today, Marvel strikes back.

"The Slow Regard of Silent Things" Released Today



Fantasy fans are in for another treat today, as a new Kingkiller Chronicle story by Patrick Rothfuss (this is not Book Three!) is released in hardback (and ebook). 

Since i have the first two books in (trade) paperback, I will also get this one in that format, so I have about 6-12 months before this is released in likewise. I'm hoping by then, there will be an update about Book Three. In the meantime....

Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place. Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries."The Slow Regard of Silent Things" is a brief, bittersweet glimpse of Auri's life, a small adventure all her own. At once joyous and haunting, this story offers a chance to see the world through Auri's eyes. And it gives the reader a chance to learn things that only Auri knows.... In this book, Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of "The Kingkiller Chronicle"'s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, "The Slow Regard of Silent Things" is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.

"The World of Ice and Fire" Published Today


Today is finally the day. 

Most likely the most long-awaited of George's 'projects' (not counting the main A Song of Ice and Fire series, of course) is The World of Ice and Fire. It is a world history book about the realm in which the book series takes place. After many years of George talking about it (and working on it), it is finally out today. 

George (or rather, his minions) posted a blog entry entry, in which they describe it better than I could: 

The long anticipated release of the official untold history of Westeros happens TODAY.

It boasts 300 pages of back story and original artwork by the some of the world's top fantasy illustrators. This one-of-a-kind coffee table book contains maps, folk lore, detailed family histories, and endless insider information dealing with the world of Westeros. Providing vividly constructed accounts of epic battles tackled by famous heroes, and their journies before becoming important figures in the Song of Ice and Fire series.
Co written by the illustrious Elio Garcia and Linda Antonsson masters of Westeros.org, the World of Ice and Fire is a true insiders perspective on all things Westeros and a little bit of Essos too.

Even though George has completed his part on the book long ago, it must be relieving to him to see it published finally. 

The path for The Winds of Winter now appears to be pretty much clear for a hopeful publication in hardback next year.... 

October 27, 2014

"The Hobbit (Part 3)" Soundtrack Tracklistng Predictions


Here is the cover artwork for The Hobbit (Part 3) Special Edition soundtrack. I am pleased that Water Tower music has provided us with Special Editions of the soundtracks throughout the entire trilogy, in a matching format / cover style. 

The Special Edition soundtrack will be released on December 16, 2014, and will be 2 discs on CD, and will be available on itunes as well. There will also be a standard edition, featuring less music. 


Since there is a cover art reveal (as well as release date) but no track list released yet, here are some possibilities for track names:


Confirmed: 


- "The Last Goodbye" (performed by Billy Boyd) 


Chapter Titles from the Book:


- "Not at Home" 

- "Fire and Water"  
- "The Gathering of the Clouds"
- "A Thief in the Night"
- "The Clouds Burst"
- "The Return Journey"
- "The Last Stage"

Guesswork On My Part: 


- "The Worm of Dread"

- "Gold and Silver" 
- "The Arkenstone" 
- "The Heart of the Mountain" 
- "The Battle Begins"
- "The Battle of the Five Armies" 
- "The Adventure Ends" 
- "The King Under the Mountain" 
- "Into Dol Guldur" 
- "Light and Darkness" 
- "Escape From Dul Guldur 
- "The Siege of Dul Guldur" 
- "Snow After Fire"
- "The Eagles" 
- "The Heir of Durin"
- "Will You Follow Me?"
- "One Last Time" 

It would be neat if I got one of those right! Of course, that was not for the whole score and not in order either.
I am looking forward to seeing what the final tracklisting will be, listening to the soundtrack of course, seeing the film, buying the extended trilogy 2D box set next Nov, as well as (hopefully) The Complete Recordings. 

October 26, 2014

All Empires End



Tonight on HBO is the final episode of Boardwalk Empire.
Here is a 'Final Shot' video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2NqtIq3U64&list=PLO79iP69FaZOYtjEpHb2OMIQgzu4qRduM 

Hard to believe that the end has come for this HBO prohibition drama. I admit, I have not yet seen season 4 or 5, but I shall get to it - shortly. At least they knew going into season 5 that it would be the final season. I was hoping that the show would run from 6-8 seasons. It seems to have had a decent run, however.  

To me, Boardwalk was one of those shows that was pretty good (from what I saw) but the vast majority of people were watching other shows on TV, or just did not watch it / like it. 

Here is a look at the poster for the final season, which seems fitting:

October 24, 2014

50 Things About "Smash Bros. U"


Yesterday during the Nintendo Direct, we learned 50 things about Smash Bros. U, which will be out in just under a month. Here are some notes.  


October 21, 2014

"The Elder Scrolls" Books

I just got word about a series of The Elder Scrolls books coming out next year.

No, these are not strategy guides, maps etc. but rather more about the histories, lore and in-game mythos that the games are so full with. Let's just say that these will be useful and entertaining for me when it comes to research and inspiration of my book series....  



Here is the info from Bethseda's blog:

Not since Encyclopedia Britannica’s heyday have volumes of books looked this cool and demanded to be on your bookshelf. With The Elder Scrolls Online, two volumes covering “The Land” and “The Lore” feature never-before-seen art and extensive lore surrounding the game. Meanwhile, by popular demand, the Skyrim series offers the first opportunity to get all of the game’s in-game text across three volumes.
The first volumes of these books are expected to release in March of 2015. For more information, read the full press release below…

TITAN BOOKS ANNOUNCES TWO NEW ELDER SCROLLS BOOK SERIES

Titan Books today announced five high-quality, in-universe artefacts for fans of The Elder Scrolls®, Bethesda Softworks’ internationally acclaimed and bestselling video game franchise. Titan Books, known for high quality film, TV and gaming tie-ins, with particular strength in the area of licensed entertainment titles, has been granted worldwide rights on the series.

THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: TALES OF TAMRIEL – VOL. I: THE LAND
THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: TALES OF TAMRIEL – VOL. II: THE LORE


Step into the fantasy world of The Elder Scrolls Online with THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: TALES OF TAMRIEL – a series featuring a vast collection of in-game lore and original art. The two bound volumes chart the ongoing struggles between the Aldmeri Dominion, the Daggerfall Covenant, and the Ebonheart Pact – as well as the deadly invasion of Daedric Prince Molag Bal. Each book features close to one hundred specially commissioned, never-before-seen pieces of art illustrating the lives, the land, and the lore of Tamriel at war.

THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM – THE SKYRIM LIBRARY, VOL I: THE HISTORIES
THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM – THE SKYRIM LIBRARY, VOL II: MAN, MER AND BEAST
THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM – THE SKYRIM LIBRARY, VOL III: THE ARCANE 
From the archives of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim® come the collected in-game texts, THE SKYRIM LIBRARY. This lavishly bound, three-volume series chronicles for the first time all of Tamriel’s history, and covers a multitude of Elder Scrolls lore – including the cultures, creatures, magic, myths, and more – illustrated with stunning art.

Omar Khan, the series’ editor, is delighted to be a part of this new project, “I’m very excited to play a part in bringing the in-game text from Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls Online to print. Using art and text from Bethesda, we were able craft these amazing tomes that truly showcase the exceptionally well-written and in-depth lore that is the foundation of The Elder Scrolls.”

“One of the most important aspects of The Elder Scrolls series is the lore,” said Pete Hines, VP of Marketing and PR for Bethesda Softworks. “To have so much of its history chronicled in this way, accompanied by art sourced from the games, is very cool We’re excited to be working with Titan on this project, and for fans to see how much detail goes into the worlds our development teams create.”

THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE: TALES OF TAMRIEL – VOL. I: THE LAND and THE ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM - THE SKYRIM LIBRARY, VOL. I: THE HISTORIES are set to hit stores in March next year.

"The Ice Dragon" Returns Today

Today, after many years of being unavailable, out of print etc, George R.R. Martin's The Ice Dragon is being re-issued and re-published. 



The Ice Dragon is an enchanting tale of courage and sacrifice for young readers and adults by the wildly popular author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Song of Ice and Fire series, George R.R. Martin. Lavish illustrations by acclaimed artist Luis Royo enrich this captivating and heartwarming story of a young girl and her dragon.
In the world of A Song of Ice and Fire the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember. 
Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara's home. And only a winter child-and the ice dragon who loved her-could save her world from utter destruction.

ISBN: 9780765378774

October 16, 2014

"Smith of Wootton Major" Reissue


I discovered that Harper Collins is re-issuing one of Tolkien's books for younger readers / children in the pocket hardback format: Smith of Wootton Major. Read for more, including cover art, ISBN etc. The release date is early 2015. 

October 15, 2014

Google Announces Gaming Console





Chipset
1.8GHz Quad Core, Intel® Atom™
Imagination PowerVR Series 6 Graphics 2D/3D Engine

Memory
1GB RAM
8GB storage

Ports
18W DC power
HDMI out (1920×1080@60Hz)
Micro-USB 2.0

Wireless
802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO)
Bluetooth 4.1

Weight
235g

Dimensions
120mm x 120mm x 20mm

The console will sell at about $100, and the controller will go for about $40 and will be released Nov. 3rd. 


Upcoming Warner Bros. Films

As strange as it may sound (and I agree, it sounds strange!) at the moment, I have no interest in seeing any of these movies! Of course, a still or picture, casting announcement or a trailer could very well change my mind. 
Nevertheless, here are some of Warner Bros. big upcoming films.....

- "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," directed by Zack Snyder (2016) 
- "Suicide Squad," directed by David Ayer (2016) 
- "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Part 1)" (2016)
- "Wonder Woman," starring Gal Gadot (2017) 
- "Justice League (Part 1)," directed by Zack Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017) 
- "The Flash," starring Ezra Miller (2018) 
- "Aquaman," starring Jason Momoa (2018) 
- "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Part 2)" (2018)
- "Shazam" (2019) 
- "Justice League (Part 2)," directed by Zack Snyder (2019) 
- "Cyborg," starring Ray Fisher (2020) 
- "Green Lantern" (2020)
- "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Part 3)" (2020)

Those wondering about how Peter Jackson turned The Hobbit, a book between 300-400 pages (let's say) into a trilogy have to hold their gripes, as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is not even 300 pages, and gets three films. With The Hobbit, Jackson had reason: it was basically a 'prelude' trilogy to The Lord of the Rings with Bilbo (and Company's) journey as the backbone, but showing what else went down in Middle-earth 60 years before The Lord of the Rings begins with Fellowship of the Ring.so we get 'The Quest of Erebor' and then some. I seriously have no clue how they will get 3 Fantastic Beasts films. If we got one film out of Fantastic Beasts, another for Quidditch Through the Ages, and a final one for Tales of Beedle the Bard, I can see that making more sense. 

As for Batman vs Superman? I haven't really been interested in the film to begin with. 

October 14, 2014

Dropbox Wasn't Hacked


From Dropbox:

Recent news articles claiming that Dropbox was hacked aren’t true. Your stuff is safe. The usernames and passwords referenced in these articles were stolen from unrelated services, not Dropbox. Attackers then used these stolen credentials to try to log in to sites across the internet, including Dropbox. We have measures in place to detect suspicious login activity and we automatically reset passwords when it happens.
Attacks like these are one of the reasons why we strongly encourage users not to reuse passwords across services. For an added layer of security, we always recommend enabling 2 step verification on your account.

Update: 10/14/2014 12:30am PT
A subsequent list of usernames and passwords has been posted online. We’ve checked and these are not associated with Dropbox accounts.


October 12, 2014

A Look at the New Editions of Harry Potter


There are new editions of the Harry Potter books that have recently been released. What with occasions in the fourth quarter (the biggest being Christmas), here is a look at them.


October 10, 2014

The Colour Illustrated Hobbit by Jemima Catlin



There is another edition of The Hobbit out there. Which is always a good thing when it comes to gift giving occasions such as Christmas. Especially for those that consider The Hobbit to be a 'children's book.' 


October 9, 2014

"The Grapes of Wrath" 75th Anniversary



It seems a couple months late with this, but luckily, still the same year. 

This year, John Steinbeck's masterpiece classic, The Grapes of Wrath, turns 75.


First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize–winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into haves and have-nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.


A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes the very nature of equality and justice in America. As Don DeLillo has claimed, Steinbeck “shaped a geography of conscience” with this novel where “there is something at stake in every sentence.” Beyond that—for emotional urgency, evocative power, sustained impact, prophetic reach, and continued controversy—The Grapes of Wrath is perhaps the most American of American classics.


The books is celebrating the event by way of two releases. The first of which is a hardcover [ISBN: 9780670016907]


To commemorate the book’s 75th anniversary, this volume is modeled on the first edition, featuring the original cover illustration by Elmer Hader and specially designed endpapers by Michael Schwab.


There is also a limited edition: [ISBN: 9780670016914]




This is a commemorative edition specially designed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath. It features color endpapers and a leather case with black foil stamping specially designed by Michael Schwab, as well as a gilded top and a California Poppy-orange ribbon.





October 8, 2014

Smash Bros. U Release Date


At long last, one of the most anticipated games for the wii u has a release date!

Smash Bros. for the wii u will be releasing (in North America and Canada) on Nov. 21. I am glad that Nintendo is choosing to release it then. 

Also, I am sure it is a great game, but because I do not own a 3DS (yet...) I got tired of the abundance of the 3DS news and lack of wii u news. Also, it was slightly annoying that, due to the limitations of the *3DS* some things were cut out of, or changed, for the *wii u* version...why? Aren't they separate games? Anyway... 

I am sure you most likely know everything there is to know about the game at this point. You can pre-order it pretty much anywhere. Myself though, I am most likely going to go for the eshop digital version. (I have been hearing rumours that it will be about 8GB to download, but please do not quote me on that. Though if I am right....) I know it is a game that I will play very frequently and has a lot of replay value, and is one I planned to download since a little before I got the console. 

I will not go into the full details or specs of the game, however something worth pointing out here - those of you who still have gamecube controllers (and wavebirds) you are in luck.

Nintendo is making a gamecub controller adapter for the wii u, because of this game (I am unsure how compatible it will be with other and future titles). The adapter itself is pictured below. And yes, the wavebird stuff works with it. 


Also, Nintendo is making a 'Smash' themed gamecube controller:




Finally, here is an image to see how a configuration can look, maxed out [for reference purposes] 






Myself: friends that come over will use the wii u pro controller. It is a cool idea by Nintendo, but I see nothing wrong with the wii u's controller (not the gamepad, this one)



October 6, 2014

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil: Revised and Expanded



Shortly, there will be a new edition of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil arriving, for those who like Tolkien's more light-hearted side, younger readers, those who read to the young before bed time, or if you're a fan of Tom Bombadil and Tolkien's poems. 

This version has been expanded to include some of Tolkien's earliest poems, a prose story with Tom, as well as in-depth notes by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, both of whom have made some outstanding contributions and notes to some of Tolkien's works over the years. Their introductions and comments found here will be akin to those they included in Roverandom and Farmer Giles of Ham. 

There will be the 16 poems published back in 1962, as well as the original artwork by Pauline Baynes, famous for her artwork for The Chronicles of Narnia. The poem 'Once Upon a Time' will also be reprinted. 

In this edition, Scull and Hammond were also allowed to include to predecessor to Perry-the-Winkle called The Bumpus. 

I believe that in its own charming way, this title adds upon the mythology of The Lord of the Rings in a manner that The Tales of Beedle the Bard does for Harry Potter, or possibly even The Ice Dragon for A Song of Ice and Fire (that one is debatable if it takes place in the same world as the series or not...)

Many thanks to the great Pieter Collier and the Tolkien Library for sharing this news, as I had not known about this title beforehand. As ever, I look forward to seeing what The Tolkien Estate, Harper Collins and Houghton Mifflin come up with.  The official info is below:



This revised and expanded edition of Tolkien's own Hobbit-inspired poetry includes previously unpublished poems and notes, and is beautifully illustrated by Narnia artist Pauline Baynes. 'Here is something that no devotee of the Hobbit epic can afford to miss, while awaiting a further instalment of the history of these fascinating people - a selection [of verses] offered as an 'interim report' to those interested in Hobbit-lore, and to any others who may find amusement in this mixed bag of old confections.' One of the most intriguing characters in The Lord of the Rings, the amusing and enigmatic Tom Bombadil, also appears in verses said to have been written by Hobbits and preserved in the 'Red Book' with stories of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins and their friends. The Adventures of Tom Bombadil collects these and other poems, mainly concerned with legends and jests of the Shire at the end of the Third Age. This special edition has been expanded to include earlier versions of some of Tolkien's poems, a fragment of a prose story with Tom Bombadil, and comprehensive notes by acclaimed Tolkien scholars Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond.

ISBN: 9780007557271

Also of interest.....




ROVERANDOM

While on holiday in 1925, four-year-old Michael Tolkien lost his beloved toy dog on the beach at Filey in Yorkshire. To console him, his father, J.R.R.Tolkien, improvised a story about Rover, a real dog who is magically transformed into a toy and is forced to seek out the wizard who wronged him in order to be returned to normal.


This charming tale, peopled by a sand-sorcerer and a terrible dragon, by the king of the sea and the Man-in-the-Moon, was Tolkien’s first full-length children’s book, written before The Hobbit. Now, nearly 90 years later, the adventures of Rover – or, for reasons that become clear in the story, ‘Roverandom’ – are published in this delightful pocket hardback edition. Rich in wit and wordplay, Roverandom is edited and introduced by Tolkien experts Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, and includes Tolkien’s own delightful illustrations.

ISBN: 9780007523283


FARMER GILES OF HAM

A commemorative golden anniversary edition of Tolkien's classic book, including a new introduction, a map, a copy of Tolkien's unpublished short story which he expanded for publication, his notes for an aborted sequel, and the original first edition illustrations by Pauline Baynes. Farmer Giles of Ham did not look like a hero. He was fat and red-bearded and enjoyed a slow, comfortable life. Then one day a rather deaf and short-sighted giant blundered on to his land. More by luck than skill, Farmer Giles managed to scare him away. The people of the village cheered: Farmer Giles was a hero. His reputation spread far and wide across the kingdom. So it was natural that when the dragon Chrysophylax visited the area it was Farmer Giles who was expected to do battle with it!

ISBN: 9780007542932

October 2, 2014

The Prophecies of the Dragon



[all text copyright of Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson. All rights reserved.]

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass. 
What was, what will be, and what is,
may yet fall under the Shadow