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I think the decision not to do novels was down to Hasbro's insistence that the movie has to tie into the current books and help shift some more of them, so it'll probably be set in the "present day" of FR 5th Edition.
Apparently there was one comment from the studio that they saw the tone of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY was something they should aspire to: dramatic and serious (it's not an out-and-out comedy) but with a knowing, even slightly meta sense of humour.
Which is great if it works, but will be terrible if it doesn't.
It's set in the Forgotten Realms and will involve the Yawning Portal Inn, so at least part of the film will be set in Waterdeep.
They're also looking at the shared universe possibilities, so we may see DRAGONLANCE, DARK SUN, PLANESCAPE etc as future ideas. But right now it's going to be FORGOTTEN REALMS.
Kate Griffin/Claire North/Catherine Webb (her real name) is a pretty good writer. I'd be interested in seeing her stuff on screen. It's like a more literary version of Neil Gaiman's NEVERWHERE.
I think THOMAS COVENANT really is unfilmable. You can't not have him carry out the sexual assault he does in the books as that torpedoes the entire story (which is all about his redemption from that act), but it will also revolt and turn off viewers in droves (the same way it puts off enormous numbers of readers).
Tad Williams has indicated that there is renewed interest in MEMORY, SORROW AND THORN, especially since he has revealed that there will befive new novels in that world coming out in the next few years.
I did a list a couple of months back of all the books/series headed to the screen. In brief, it's a good time to be a Neil Gaiman fan:
Charles Scholz wrote:
Dragonriders of Pern is certainly far superior to fricking Terry Goodkind (one of the worst authors of epic fantasy to ever put pen to paper), but it's a bit of a stretch to say it's so much better than the other two. Dragonflight and maybe the next couple of books were decent, but Anne & Todd did ride that horse into the ground, flog it thoroughly after death, set fire to it and then tried to sell the ashes.
Funny think is that MacCaffrey has a cover blurb on all three of those other books saying how much she enjoyed them.
Women in the world of the Wheel of Time are superior to men in just about every culture apart from Amadicia and Tear (where they're more equal), based on the notion that since only women can use magic that acts as a more-than-force-equaliser and spills over into the non-magical world as well. It's an interesting approach and I think was handled quite well in the meta, but in the close-up-and-personal execution was flawed. But that's something that can be fixed fairly straightforwardly in an adaptation.
The Age of Legends probably lasted for between ten and twenty thousand years. The Aes Sedai, who came into existence at the end of the First Age (our Age), possibly through genetic engineering, spanned that entire period of time and from the off could live for 700 years, so it had to be quite a few generations for them. War had become a forgotten concept during that time, only existing in history books at best. Non-channellers could still live between 200 and 300 years. So the span of time involved had to be pretty big.
Exceedingly unlikely, but not a bad idea.
The WHEEL OF TIME is our world in the future. Not just that, but it's in the future of a time when people can travel across the planet in just hours (or instantly, via Aes Sedai gateways). Cultural and ethnic differences became utterly irrelevant during the Age of Legends. During the Breaking of the World that followed people were thrown together, scattered and mixed up all over the place. During the 3,000 years since the Breaking some re-homegenisation has taken place, but along cultural lines rather than skin colour or appearance.
Whilst going strictly by the books the entire main cast would be white and Caucasian until Tuon showed up, there's actually no real or dramatic reason why that needs to be the case. You could quite easily cast Nynaeve (who's always felt an outsider in the Two Rivers anyway) with an actress of colour with no bearing on the narrative at all. Or Lan, with more textual support as the Borderlands do seem to have attracted a lot of people in the WoT world of Asian descent.
The only people who do really need to be distinctive are the Aiel, who were actually the only race of people to retain their own appearance and culture even during the Age of Legends.
The previous legal difficulties have been resolved, and a major TV studio has optioned the WHEEL OF TIME rights. We should know who in the near future.
Prior to the legal kerfuffle between the Jordan Estate and Red Eagle, Sony TV was interested and based on the short period of time that's elapsed since the legal problem was resolved (last August), it seems unlikely someone else will have had time to have done anything. But never underestimate the ability of Netflix or Amazon to make things happen with mountains of cash. If it is Sony, I would be surprised if they didn't join forces with AMC again (like they did on BREAKING BAD), since their own epic fantasy show would augment AMC's enviable line-up of genre programming (alongside THE WALKING DEAD and PREACHER). But that's all speculation. We know it won't be HBO (they've never double-dipped in the same genre at the same time) but beyond that the field is wide open.
You're right, PC gaming as it was in the past (PC games made and played specifically for and on the PC) for all intents and purposes IS dead overall in the West (US, Canada and Europe).
I suspect Paradox, Firaxis, Roberts Space Industries, Creative Assembly, Larian Studios, Obsidian, Blizzard, Valve and CD Projekt Red, amongst several dozen others, might disagree with you. We've also seen the first few PC-exclusives in a while recently that really got attention from console gamers as well, most notably XCOM 2.
AAA gaming across the board is right down. EA recently pointed out that at the height of the PS2 era they would release maybe 80 games a year, maybe 10-15 of which would be marketed as AAA. Last year they released 12 overall, only a couple of which they marketed as AAA. The economics of making a AAA game no longer make a huge amount of sense, and will not until the workload and expense of making games drops significantly. If it doesn't, then we will likely see even fewer and fewer AAA games in the future. In fact, some recent AAA games have had to seriously sacrifice gameplay, content and options in order to have the expected level of shiny graphics (STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT being a prime example, looking great but having barely any of the same amount of content that BATTLEFRONT 2 had a decade earlier). This is a huge problem for the industry, one that has been solved by the rise of Kickstarter and indie gaming, and of course those things benefit PC more than console.
As for tablets and mobile saving PC gaming, that is actually, bizarrely, having a positive impact on core PC gaming. Stoic ported THE BANNER SAGA to tablet and had a really good impact, which has fed back and allowed them to put more money into THE BANNER SAGA 2 (out this week!) and 3, which benefits PC. The same for other companies. In fact (circling back on-topic) we wouldn't have FINAL FANTASY IX or the upcoming X and X-II ports on PC without the need for a mobile version. That's a win-win for everyone.
The biggest discussion going on right now at Sony and Microsoft is what the hell they are going to do for PS5/XB2. Because the current paradigm of designing ever more expensive systems to throw ever more polygons around is clearly unworkable without games costing over £100 and taking over five years each to develop.
Being pre-TNG pretty much guarantees no Romulans though, as there had been no contact with the Romulan Star Empire with a Federation Vessel for 50 years before the Season 1 TNG episode The Neutral Zone.
I think ST:TNG did overstate that in the first season. The Battle of Narendra III referenced in "Yesterday's Enterprise" seems to be the last major contact between the Federation and Klingson and the Romulans, and that was 20 years before ST:TNG rather than 50. The fact that the Federation goes from having 0 information on the Romulans in Season 1 to having detailed biographies of the Romulan government in Season 5 also seems rather unlikely. I think the "No contact" thing may have been retconned a bit even before TNG was over.
Considering that the PC gaming scene has been downright dead these last ten years or so, why suddenly get an interest in porting their games to PC? Because it's easy? Because it's a big market? Why?
Dead? Since when? :P
Ten years ago PC gaming was in decline, sure, but then caught the bounceback from Steam and digital sales going through the roof, and then caught another boost from the last console changeover (when it became clear just how unimpressive the PS4 and XB1 were going to be, technically). Over the last couple of years PC sales have increased impressively, to the point where games like FALLOUT 4 and GTA5 can sell *millions* of copies on PC in their first month on sale, regardless of the console versions. In fact, FALLOUT 4 sold 1.2 million copies on PC alone on its first day on sale. The game sold 12 million total on all platforms in its first month, so assuming more PC copies were sold after the first day, then easily the game could have sold over one-third of its copies on PC. That's a huge market.
Something that's also important is the long tail. Apparently Rockstar (for example) still sell a lot of copies of GTA4 (!) on PC every year thanks to Steam sales and mods, which means that although GTA4 on console outsold the PC massively on release, the PC version has now done as well, if not better. At a lower rate of return, sure, but the game is still selling and still making Rockstar money eight years after release on PC, which it really isn't on consoles.
As for why Square are doing this now, they've kind of eased into it ever since buying out Eidos (and its PC expertise) in 2009. They already had PC versions of FF7 and 8 from when they first came out (I've still got my PC copy of FF7 that I bought in 1998 right here on the shelf) so those were pretty simple to move across and update for Steam. FF4-6 were just the phone/tablet versions ported over as-is, so they were pretty cheap to do as well. They could then look at the sales, see how good they were (and apparently they were very solid) and then justify the higher cost of porting FF13 and its two sequels. Those games had XB360 versions which likely simplified some aspects of porting; if they'd been PS3 only the cost might have been prohibitive.
FF9 has fallen between the two stools: not being in full 3D, it's likely not been as complex as 13, but it's also been more work than the sprite-based pre-PS1 games. And it's a decent port, you can even click the mouse to move characters around on screen like a LucasArts adventure and can click on enemies and commands during battle, which I really wasn't expecting. They've done a thorough job with it and it's very good. As word of that spreads out, they'll sell a lot more copies, the PC market have great word-of-mouth about such things.
Any word on if they are reconsidering making this available only on thier new prime service?
It'll be available internationally on other services, I imagine, but right now CBS have only confirmed that the opening episode will air on regular CBS and the rest will air on their on-demand service.
If it's a catastrophic failure on that service, I think we'll see the show pretty quickly rerouted to more traditional release services.
I'm starting to wonder if we'll get scenes like those in the Supergirl series, filled with veiled references to a ship called the "Big E" that will never be actually seen on screen.
They could set it in the twenty-year window after the destruction of the Enterprise-C and before the Enterprise-D was launched, when there was no Enterprise around. Or just complete ignore it: the number of references to the Enterprise in DS9 and VOYAGER was almost completely non-existent.
None of this has been 100% confirmed but apparently several sources at CBS have confirmed this information to the original site and to a few others like Den of Geek.
The current points of interest are:
1) Set in the original timeline, not the Abramsverse (as mentioned earlier, CBS don't have the rights to the Abramsverse without doing a new deal with Paramount).
2) Set after STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY but before STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION.
3) The show will not involve a starship called Enterprise.
4) The show will be "tightly serialised".
5) The show will be a "seasonal anthology" series like TRUE DETECTIVE and FARGO. Each season will be set in a different part of the STAR TREK universe and canon, and will be free to use different castmembers (new or old), settings and ideas.
6) The show cannot debut before 22 January 2017, as the CBS/Paramount deal requires six months to elapse between one project and the other (the next STAR TREK film, BEYOND, comes out on 22 July).
please tell us that Vin Diesel will be the voice of one of the main characters animal companions.
The original article said that the main warrior character was a "Vin Diesel" type. Which is a code phrase for "We want Vin Diesel." Dude is, of course, a massive D&D fan but that doesn't mean he'll sign up if the money and script aren't good enough.
Too much money. Would be funny though.
If SEAN BEAN is too expensive for this movie, I think it's going to be in trouble. Bean is an excellent supporting actor, but he's not a lead for movies and he doesn't really cost that much.
It's Rob Letterman, who directed MONSTERS VS. ALIENS, A SHARK'S TALE, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS and GOOSEBUMPS. He's...okay, I guess? He's had a lot of effects experience, and also worked on the CGI for SHREK.
I'm a lot less hopeful about the script, written by the guy who did WRATH OF THE TITANS.
Hasbro and Warner Brothers aren't exactly bringing top-tier talent to the movie so far.
They have released a blurb though:
"Based on the popular fantasy role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and first published in 1974, the action-adventure tale centers on a warrior and his band of mystical creatures – including a half-dragon and a cunning gnome – as they embark on a dangerous journey to find a mythical treasure."
We know from previous information that the film will be at least partially set in Waterdeep and the Yawning Portal Inn will feature.
I am not entirely disheartened but I'm not seeing too much to get excited about at this time.
Larian already had great writers, this will be difficult for Obsidian
Even without Avellone, Obsidian have Tim Cain (the creator of FALLOUT and VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE - BLOODLINES), Josh Sawyer (PoE, IWD 1 and 2, FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS), George Ziets (PoE, DS3) and a few others who are pretty good. Avellone was their strongest ace in the hole because of FO2, PLANESCAPE: TORMENT, KotOR 2 and MASK OF THE BETRAYER, but their other guys aren't slouches. Some of the newer writers they brought on board for PoE were also pretty good, like Carrie Patel and Olivia Veras. Along with inXile they have possibly the strongest writing team in CRPGs. Larian are good, but I think D:OS's strength over PoE was much more from the gameplay systems and superior combat. In terms of plot/character/theme/story it was a lot less memorable.
Obsidian and Paradox are collaborating on a new CRPG called TYRANNY. This game will use the PILLARS OF ETERNITY engine and casts you as a Fatebinder, a servant of the Dark Lord Kyros who has conquered the world (the premise being that the ultimate battle between good and evil has been fought and evil has already won).
Unlike PoE, this game will not be crowdfunded (Paradox are funding it in full) and it's already pretty far down the line, with a release in late 2016 currently being expected.
More interestingly, this will be Obsidian's first-ever RPG that has been made with no input at all from Chris Avellone, who has decamped to Larian to work on DIVINITY: ORIGINAL SIN II. Obsidian's other writers are pretty good so this isn't a mortal blow, but I'll be interested to see what they come up with.
Yeah, I'd go much further and say that reading THE FIRST LAW is pretty much mandatory before reading the stand-alones. There are so many nuances, storylines and characters in the stand-alones that appeared or were set up in the trilogy that it adds a lot more to the reading experience.
Also, the stand-alones will form the bridge between the first trilogy and the second trilogy (which Joe has just started writing).
They confirm that the movie will be set in the FORGOTTEN REALMS and that the Yawning Portal Inn and the city of Waterdeep will feature. They also confirm that if the film does well they will look at doing other films in other worlds later on.
They also say they want to go for a different tone to things like THE HOBBIT and WARCRAFT, with a style of humour similar to GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Hmm. Could work.
Erm. Are you saying that GRRM is God? I'm a bit puzzled as to the capitalisation of "Him" otherwise.
It depends by what you mean as "decent pace." So far in this series, Books 1, 4, 5 and (apparently) 6 will have each taken 5-6 years to release. So this is a fairly consistent pace. Books 2 and 3 were much faster, but there were various reasons for that (in actuality Books 1-3 were supposed to be one volume but it spun monstrously out of control).
I can't help but wonder if they jumped the gun a bit on the TV series. Meaning, they maybe should have waited a bit longer before bringing it to the small screen.
In the ideal universe, yes. But a writer's maxim is that if a TV or movie studio offers you the money for the film or TV rights, you sell there and then and take the money and run and keep running.
Martin actually turned down a number of offers because they only wanted to make a film about Daenerys, or a film about Jon Snow. He always lamented these offers, saying that the only way to make the series was to get HBO on board to make an adaptation of one book per season. So when David Benioff and Dan Weiss came to him to say they wanted to make a TV show with HBO then yes, he had to make the deal. If he'd waited another ten years (literally, Weiss and Benioff made their first pitch to Martin at a restaurant in Los Angeles in February 2006) then they'd have long since moved onto something else with zero guarantee that anyone else would be interested.
Martin says in his post that, when it started, he didn't think the show would catch up, that he would have plenty of time to write. That the show has been such a huge success, and opened the series to a wider audience, may have put a lot more pressure on Martin.
The original deal was made in 2006, when the writing times per book had been a bit more optimistic. Book 1 had taken five years, but Books 2 and 3 had taken two to three (depending on how you count them) and Book 4 had also taken three-and-a-half years to write (if five to *publish*). So at that point Martin was envisaging Book 5 in 2007/08, Book 6 in 2010/11 and Book 7 circa 2015. So he was probably thinking that it'd be close for the final season (remembering that the TV show was originally supposed to debut in 2009, but the recession and the 2008 writer's strike both delayed things by two years) but otherwise it'd be okay. Clearly, he was wrong. If he'd fully accepted that it was going to be 5-6 years per book from that point, maybe he'd have made another decision. But probably not (see my point above).
Yes. This is the "gardener/architect" problem which Martin and Sanderson and many other writers have written about before. Namely, that writers fall very broadly into two camps:
1) Writers who create an outline and plan where the story is going in some detail before they actually start writing the story itself. These stories are architects. Brandon Sanderson is probably the most well-known modern example. Possibly Patrick Rothfuss, although he's in a different boat having completely written and completed his trilogy 10-15 years ago and has since rewritten it pretty much from scratch, but still following his initial plan.
2) Writers who sit down, write Chapter 1 off the top of their heads, then Chapter 2, then Chapter 3 etc. Martin, Jordan, Tolkien and Stephen King fall into this category.
There are some degrees inbetween, most notably those authors who have a rough plan in mind but also retain the freedom to go off-piste and explore subplots and other characters that show up along the way. Rowling had her seven-book plan in mind, but certainly not every subplot and character pre-invented. Steven Erikson also falls into that category: he had ten books in mind, each one with its own story and theme, but he often didn't finalise characters or plot points until deep in the writing process.
Martin's issue is certainly that he knows by now where the story ends and how to get there, but that he needs to move his characters there in a way which is timely but also natural but which also rewards the (in some cases very elaborate) foreshadowing established previously. He also needs to craft reasonable story arcs for each POV character, which I think is actually a big part of the problem.
The two articles linked both feature some interesting analysis on the problems but they both massively neglect to mention that the gardener series, the ones that sprawled, are also the most financially successful and the ones that resonated much more with massive audiences (to the tunes of millions and tens of millions of readers apiece). Both articles in fact are in danger of saying, "Turn in a smart, tightly-written, finely-edited trilogy that will get some good reviews but almost no-one will hear of or read."
That being said, he should have expected some (partially justified) blowback when he failed to meet a deadline he agreed upon. I have to wonder if there will be some kind of financial repercussions for him.
I suspect whatever minor financial penalties his publishers might impose (beyond not getting money when the book came out) may have been dwarfed by the decision to sell to HBO resulting in the books selling approximately ten times what they had one prior to the TV deal.
So...you have no firm rebuttal in mind or possible?
Very, very cute.
That's fine. Some people enjoy the lolz, or explosions, or superficial gloss. Knock yourself out. Some people enjoy mindless candyfloss which does not engage the intellectual process in any way, shape or form.
But do not, under any circumstances, step up and say, "Haterz whatevs" and do not offer a single firm rebuttal, or argument, or piece of evidence to back up your position. Argue your position or retreat. There is no inbetween.
let us do battle werthead!
I would do. But you're still in the Mutara Nebula and I'm over Vulcan's decaying orbit.
You really didn't pay attention to either film then, did you?
I paid attention to the nihilism and lack of logic or consistency. I paid attention to the execrable scripts written by some of the biggest hacks in the industry. I paid attention to the poorly-thought-out battle and action sequences that ignored plausibility, logic or basic physics (when the new STAR WARS movie has better science than the latest STAR TREK ones, something has gone very wrong somewhere).
I paid attention to the haphazard and illogical character development. I paid attention to Captain Kirk's completely illogical and implausible career path. I paid attention to the initially laudable decision to completely remove themselves from the original mythos and then the very weird one to instead steal ideas from a film far superior to anything they could dream up themselves.
I paid attention to the development of interstellar transporters which made starships obsolete and then their complete failure to follow up on it in any logical manner. I paid attention to their complete, outright curing of death in the second movie, and look forward to what will no doubt be a thorough and convincing exploration of the ramifications of such a shocking, galaxy-shaking, paradigm-shifting discovery in the third movie in the sequence.
I paid attention to both films far more than you did, apparently.
It was very decent, althought not flawless. Certainly superior to the prequels, not quite as good as the OT, although not far off JEDI in quality.
My biggest complaint (SPOILER!):
When they test Starkiller Base they blow up a star system identified only as "The Republic". The main planet that gets blown up has a massive world-spanning city and the shots on the planet's surface sure as hell look like Coruscant. Certainly most of the audience I was with thought Coruscant had just been vapourised.
Twenty minutes later they very casually mention the planet that was destroyed by name and it wasn't Coruscant, at all. But it's very low-key and a lot of the audience I was with - and from looking online quite a lot of people talking about the movie - left thinking they'd blown Coruscant away in the film.
Star Trek is undergoing the kind of change that any show MUST undergo when it's been around as long as Dr. Who.... reinventing itself for a new audience raised in a different time, with a very different set of worldviews.
That's not a problem. The issue is that at its core STAR TREK presents a vision of the future that is utopian, peaceful and rooted in diplomacy and avoiding war. The reason for that is made clear in DEEP SPACE NINE when we finally see a full-scale, all-out interstellar war which lasts for years and the results are apocalyptic, but handled with weight and gravity.
You can update that view for modern audiences and riff off other inspirations and ideas, but what you can't do with the franchise is completely ignore or destroy that core set of values. Levelling San Francisco, slaughtering millions of people, and then not even addressing that is a problem. Destroying Vulcan and killing billions of people and not addressing that is a problem. Having the Enterprise have the consistency of toilet paper and get blown to pieces every movie but then be absolutely fine is a problem.
If you look at STAR TREK VI, that movie is all about avoiding war. That doesn't mean you can't have some exciting battle sequences and well-rooted moments of characterisation along the way, but ultimately the film (and the franchise) is about the value of life and preventing bloodshed. The new Abrams movies, on the contrary, seem to revel in bloodshed, explosions and death but then not exploring the consequences of that in any adult or meaningful way.
A magnificently terrible trailer that sums up the complete and total failures of these new TREK movies in one go: a total lack of weight, substance, depth and integrity, all bombast and fury, no wit or intelligence in sight. The poverty of ambition in these film-makers is impressive: EXPLOSION! PEOPLE JUMPING! CONTEMPORARY MUSIC! INANE WITTICISMS!
As usual, the best thing in it was Karl Urban as McCoy, who will almost certainly not have a particularly big role in the film at all.
Sigh. The only hopeful thing is that it cannot possibly be as bad as INTO DARKNESS...can it?
JJ didn't direct this one...
Yeah, I dunno why. I think he was working on some tiny, avant-garde project?
Bethesda open a second studio for purposes so far unknown.
Apparently this is going to be a support studio for Bethesda Game Studios themselves (i.e. it's not another dev team like id and Arkane). Current fan theories are raging from a dedicated tech team who will be building a whole new engine for their games going forwards to a team who will be simultaneously working on the next big open-world game while the core team are doing their stuff, and sharing things like writers and directors between them. That would allow them to get new ES and FALLOUT games more quickly (say every 2 years rather than every 3-4 as now).
Will the fanfare play now that Disney owns the franchise?
I was thinking more of the actual STAR WARS fanfare/theme rather than the Fox one, which I'm pretty certain won't appear.
Doesn't 20th Century Fox still own the distribution rights?
No. They only own the distribution rights to STAR WARS (aka Ep 4) in perpetuity. Eps 5 and 6 revert to Lucasfilm and hence Disney in a couple of years.
baron arem heshvaun wrote:
We also see the female pilot Jessika Pava.
Played by Jessica Henwick who was in GAME OF THRONES last year. Unusual for a STAR WARS actor to be playing a character with the same name.
Should we guess the plot?
SPACESHIP FLYING INTO SHOT
STUFF GOING DOWN ON A PLANET (PROBABLY A DESERT ONE)
WOAH LIGHTSABRE/FORCE REVEAL
ESCAPE FROM PLANET
STUFF IN SPACE
CUTAWAYS TO VILLAINOUS PLOTTING
"I've got a bad feeling about this."
PLAN ON HOW TO DEAL WITH BAD GUYS
SPACE BATTLE/GROUND BATTLE/BOTH
THREEPIO/ARTOO COMEDY PRATFALLS
BIG EXPLOSION/DEATH OF SECONDARY VILLAIN WHILST PRIMARY VILLAIN SURVIVES FOR SEQUELS
EVERYONE HIGH-FIVES/GIVES MEDALS TO/IMPREGNATES HEROES APART FROM CHEWBACCA, WHO IS IGNORED BECAUSE OF SPACE RACISM.
Alex Martin wrote:
Obsidian pitched a new FALLOUT game to Bethesda a few years ago. Apparently it was going to be set in the ruins of Los Angeles and would expand on the little seen of the city in FALLOUT 1. The outcome of those discussions was never disclosed. But yes, Obsidian and Bethesda have marked out areas of territory they want to explore in future games and Bethesda have firmly said they want to stay on the east coast or nearby. That raises the possibility of FALLOUT 5 being set say in New York, Charleston or maybe Miami (although it'd be interesting if they used the abandoned FALLOUT TACTICS 2 plans for the city, which were pretty interesting).
Freehold DM wrote:
shouldn't have done the crime if he couldn't do the time.
I think the problem wasn't that he did it and got fan hate mail, but his brother died just before the book came out and he was struggling through grief at the same time hundreds of people were demanding his head on a stick. It was pretty rough.
Direct ramifications for this could end up with million of people being affected, with hundreds of thousands dead.
Well, millions of people are already being affected and hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Iraq, Syria and (on a vastly tinier scale) other countries over the past twelve years.
Europe could very well perceive this as their own version of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. No country will stand idly by and wait to see if the next mass murder is happening in their capital city or that of their neighbors. This may very well be the end of an era.
As mentioned above, the death toll in Paris is a bit more than twice what was in London on 7/7, but less quite a bit less than in the Madrid train bombings. Horrible and a large death toll, but not on the scale of 9/11. Also, it's not coming out of the blue as 9/11 was (to most Americans). Britain, France, Spain and other European countries have recent experience of large, long and sustained terror campaigns and post-imperialist crises (France's issues with Algeria in the 1960s were horrendous).
Certainly there will be policy and security changes and this may be a gamechanger of a moment in that it galvanises some kind of additional military response, but it's not quite the casus belli for some kind of massive, disproportionate international response.
Yes. Even disregarding the likely increase in hate crimes against them across Europe, I'd assume governments will be forced into action. I can easily see a wave of right wing parties taking elections so long as they promise a more forceful handling of immigrants. And there's no humane way to be forceful at an immigrant.
Certainly right-wing wingnuts will seize on this as an excuse to push anti-immigration and racist policies. But they were doing that anyway.
There are millions of Muslim in Paris.
In France, yes, not Paris.
This attack means that every French citizen is now in constant danger. It is a serious escalation of events.
No. At least, not an escalation of the danger. The danger was there before, it's now been actualised. We've been living with this danger in Europe for generations. I grew up knowing every time I went to London there was a risk of an IRA bomb going off. You have to accept those risks or stop being able to live your life and then the terrorists have won.
Also, carrying out this kind of attack against the French is pretty dumb. The French are even more resiliant and philosophical about these things than we in the UK are, and we're pretty bullshy about it.
You have to do something when this kind of attack happens. Just shrugging it off isn't an option. The truly tragic thing is that whatever you do in reaction is likely to cause a whole lot of suffering and extremely unlikely to actually solve the problem. It's a really sh**ty position to be in.
There will be a response, either an escalation of the current air strikes or accepting certain things that a few weeks ago were unacceptable (probably allowing Assad to remain in Syria in a transitional mode). This in turn will allow for a more coordinated push and attack on ISIS.
The big problem is that the only current ground forces having any serious successes, the Kurdish Peshmerga, are also bitterly opposed by the Turks and some of the Syrian government and other rebel groups. The Kurds can't do everything by themselves, although their recent recapture of Sinjar could be a huge strategic movement, as it threatens to cut off the primary Syria-Iraq supply route for ISIS and will help in the siege of Mosul that the Iraqi army is preparing to launch.
Since Putin is fighting them in Syria openly, I wonder why they haven't targeted them...
There are Chechen groups who'd happily help ISIS (vice versa is less clear, as ISIS are way more hardcore about not helping other groups who won't swear loyalty to them, unlike al-Qaeda) and those groups have bombed Volgograd (twice) and Moscow in the last five years, killing dozens. Certainly Russia isn't immune from this sort of thing.
Plus an alleged affiliated group shot down a Russian airliner a couple of weeks ago.
A good question is why the NSA did not stop this. After all, with all the information they have, they must certainly have been aware of such a complex scheme.
Despite how it is protrayed on film and television, the American NSA isn't very good. It's intelligence has been largely awful, its ability to liaise and infiltrate local groups in the Islamic world is almost non-existent and it relies on signals and electronic transmissions to the point where Islamic terror groups know how to avoid them (meeting up in a house in the middle of nowhere or going outside for a walk and putting nothing on an electronic device is all it takes).
At Level 12 I was also getting caned by Super Mutants, but then got a modded rifle which does 4x the damage of my next best gun and that one-shots Super Mutants and two-shots tougher variants. Excellent.
Anyone done the Super Mutant-infested skyscraper mission? That was brilliant fun with the tougher weaponry.
Also met a lunatic raider gang called the Forge. Was attacked by their leader (in power armour) and six minions at the same time. I was way too low a level to handle it, but fortunately I had a Fat Man and one single Mini-Nuke in the inventory. That vapourised everyone in the (fortunately quite big) room but only took the boss down to about 50% health. Still an epic fight to kill him with Piper's help, but at least it was doable.
I'm really liking the greater presence of the companion characters. They butt in during cut scene conversations with other characters, they sometimes stop you to talk and occasionally flirt. Which is a bit weird given that from your POV your wife died like a week earlier, but okay. Unfortunately, although they're a bit more lively than FO3's companions, they don't seem to have the tragic through-arcs and more developed characters of the NV companions.
Also, I started off liking the armour system and now hate it. I'm tracking half a dozen armour stats instead of one and it's getting really annoying.
I have like 8 Fusion Cores (I opened a random box somewhere and found SIX OF THEM), but I don't want to use the Power Armor for everything. Or anything, really.
Perennial RPG problem. You get a superweapon (which is what the power armour really is) and then hold off on using it until you really need it. Then you finish the game and realise you never needed it.
He was the editor and wrote a few stories, but wasn't really responsible for most of where the story went and so on, right? At least the omnibus I have credits him as editor, but not writer (or he wrote one story? Something like that.).
If you think of WILD CARDS as a TV series, GRRM and Melinda Snodgrass are effectively the "showrunners" who are in creative control of the series, plan where the story is going to go next and make all the final decisions, but the actual writing is then given to other writers to do.
I frankly don't think he's nearly as good of a writer as Sanderson.
I like Brandon and his books, a lot. But if you look at the variety of richness of Martin's career, his achivements in multiple genres and in both book and TV, there's really no comparison between them. Especially in areas like dialogue, where Sanderson is only rarely effective, and sometimes is a bit wince-inducing, whilst Martin is probably the most quotable living author writing in fantasy.
I think it's fair to say ASoIaF has been spinning its wheels in books 4 and 5, and most likely because they weren't supposed to happen. After the end of book 3 we should have skipped forward 5 years, but for some reason he decided to write them out. The result was two books in which not much happened... Now he's got that out of the way, hopefully the pace will pick up again in the next one.
Sort of. The five-year gap was never supposed to happen, was introduced because the kids weren't growing up fast enough (the first three books last about 18 months but were supposed to cover more like 4-5 years between them, which ironically the TV show has done instead), was then pulled when it didn't make sense, and then Books 4 and 5 basically became a combination of material that should have been skipped in the gap, new material and material from after the original gap. Straightening all that out has been a problem for George (massive understatement).
I enjoyed shadows, but mistborn is still probably the best trilogy of all time.
MISTBORN is a very fine, tight and nicely-designed series, and the sequel books have been pretty good. I think STORMLIGHT is definitely better-written, but it's also less well-paced and I don't think the STORMLIGHT characters are as vivid and on the same level as the MISTBORN team. Part of the problem is that Brandon is building up a whole 10-book series here and he has a lot of characters, subplots and chapters in Books 1 and 2 which are not going to become relevant until much (much) later in the series. STORMLIGHT is also going to cross over with the rest of the COSMERE mega-setting. Some will likely see them as features more than bugs, but these are things that can bog down the STORMLIGHT books and it's why they are so absolutely massive when they really don't need to be.
Having said that, they are still really good books. It's also worth remembering that ALL of Sanderson's solo, non-YA fantasy is set in the same universe, with crossovers and Easter Eggs between the books. That means that ELANTRIS, MISTBORN (all of them), WARBREAKER, THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE and quite a lot of his short fiction is all set in the same universe, as is the forthcoming WHITE SANDS graphic novel. In fact, characters from MISTBORN and ELANTRIS actually show up in STORMLIGHT (under new names), there's one character who appears in every book (if fleetingly) and you really need to have read WARBREAKER before the second STORMLIGHT novel for it to entirely make sense.
For comparisons with MALAZAN (another 10 book series), THE WAY OF KINGS is certainly better than GARDENS OF THE MOON, but DEADHOUSE GATES is comprehensively, comfortably and utterly better than WORDS OF RADIANCE. Erikson got a hell of a lot better between his first two books (to the point where I sometimes suggest to people that they skip GARDENS, as you don't necessarily need to read it first).
For "Best Fantasy Trilogy of All Time", the only real claimant to that title I think (given that LotR is actually a single novel) is Jack Vance's amazing LYONESSE trilogy. For recent fantasy works, I'd also rank Joe Abercrombie's FIRST LAW trilogy as on the same level as MISTBORN, with a far weaker opening but with a much better ending. Elizabeth Bear's ETERNAL SKY trilogy from last year was also incredible.
ASoIaF is dark, but nowhere near as dark and unrelentingly harsh as some other fantasy worlds (see Scott Bakker's, arguably Steven Erikson's as well). If you look at the peacetime scenes in the first book, and more notable in the prequel novellas, you can find a world that when it's actually at peace is actually a perfectly fine medieval fantasy world to live in. It's just the fact that ASoIaF takes place at a time of brutal civil war that makes it seem to suck a lot more than it actually does.
Reading the books is an interesting experience as you can see the foreshadowing laid in for things later on. The Tower of Joy dream in the first book and the House of the Undying sequence at the end of Book 2 are particularly brilliant for this. You can see plot elements that don't come to fruition until the fifth volume being laid down.
The only other time it was gamed was in 1987, when Scientologists bought up memberships to block-vote for L. Ron Hubbard's novel BLACK GENESIS. It was clear they were doing it, they didn't particularly deny it, but when it came to the awards themselves it got curb-stomped, came in last and the bulk of the winning votes went to Orson Scott Card's SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD (genuinely a good novel, and this was also before Card went off the deep end).
Other attempts to game the award have been minor compared to the number of votes required to actually win anything.
It's also counter-productive to spend $10K on gaming the awards when the likely financial rewards of getting the award are negligible: the Hugos used to result in a minor sales bump in the USA and absolutely nowhere else at all. Now they barely register in the USA either. Some Hugo winners from the last decade or so - most notably SPIN and RAINBOW'S END - couldn't even get a publishing deal in many countries outside of the USA, regardless of their awards.
And he's won three Hugos? He seems remarkably dull to me. Where's the big idea? Do he write like Jack Vance or Gene Wolfe? Plot out stories like Alan Moore?
Scalzi isn't that great a writer, to be honest. He's a good blogger and critic, but REDSHIRTS (his novel that won the Hugo) was extremely mediocre. It's certainly the poorest novel to actually win a Hugo in many years, and actually spurred some of the current issues.
He's also Tolstoy, Proust and Tolkien rolled into one compared to Vox Day's excruciating writing abilities.
I'd love to see sales figures for the books mentioned in this piece.
Scalzi's sold a couple of million. He also made a bit of side-money (and won a lot of new fans) by being an advisor on STARGATE UNIVERSE and had film rights to his books sold a few times.
Time to split things up. Then everyone can be happy.
That's not really the problem. Fandom has splintered before: the David Gemmell Awards were started in 2008 at least in part due to the feeling that other awards (including the Hugos) were not rewarding the field of epic fantasy despite huge sales and tons of readers. The Nebulas, the Arthur C. Clarke and the World Fantasy Awards are all regarded as more prestigious than the Hugo because they are juried.
The issue is that Hugo is still the big one because of momentum, continuity and history. You can start another award tomorrow, but it simply won't have the prestige that 75 years of history gives to the Hugos.
That was the difference between DRAGONLANCE and FORGOTTEN REALMS: DL was really one big narrative (the War of the Lance, with Raistlin's misadventures in the following three books as a major side-story) and attempts to extend the universe beyond that story have been patchy, at best. FORGOTTEN REALMS is one big world with room for absolute tons of stories with the idea of lots of adventurers doing stuff built into the fabric of the setting. The FR started going downhill when WotC decided to keep piling big epic events on top of one another so it made the "normal" adventurers feel small and pointless.
Oh, and Lucas is fine with it since he still has creative control of Star Wars.
Lucas gave up creative control of Star Wars when he sold Lucasfilm. He gave them outlines for Eps 7-9 but they've pretty much ignored them. He's available as a consultant, but it sounds like they didn't use him much, or at all, based on his comments that he's looking forwards to seeing 7 in the cinema and has no idea what to expect.
iirc, there was some confusion at the end of rotj because the imperial fleet was far, far larger than the rebel one, and a war of attrition would have easily gone to the imperials.
The size of the Imperial Fleet was a problem, as they couldn't fire on the rebels without hitting one another, so the rebels were able to take out Star Destroyers by focusing the full strength of their fleet on small parts of the enemy line at one point (the Roman Battle of Pharsalus, where Caesar defeated a larger enemy force by focusing his strength on the enemy's weakest point, was similar), i.e. knocking out the Executor. Combined with the destruction of the DS2 and the loss of the Executor, Vader, Emperor and most of the command staff for the fleet, it's quite plausible that the Imperials would retreat, especially the senior admirals in the fleet who realised they could build up their own power base.
The novels had it that the Emperor was reinforcing the fleet through the Force (+2 Leadership Bonus, I guess), and his death removed that and left the fleet disoriented. I'm not a massive fan of that idea, but it does sound like the sort of thing the Emperor would do.
I don't really care if they discontinue most of the EU and other things, but I think if the general public starts saying...WTH is going on with this...I think the Star Wars films may have one first really good profits, and then it will die a VERY HARD, QUICK death
Well, we'll get three regardless: 7 is in post, ROGUE ONE is filming now and 8 is in pre-production to start shooting in a couple of months. If 7 and ROGUE ONE absolutely bomb, maybe they'll cancel 9 and the other stand-alones but...they're not going to bomb, clearly.
Yes and no. Without Lucas we wouldn't have STAR WARS, clearly, but a lot of other people worked on hard on the original movies. Lawrence Kasdan and Leigh Brackett wrote THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, Irvin Kershner directed it and Gary Kurtz produced it both EMPIRE and the original film. Lucas had the least to do with it and it's, by a country mile, the most popular and critically-acclaimed STAR WARS movie. Lucas was irked by this and seized back control for JEDI, cancelling his original (and much more interesting) story outline, which so annoyed Kurtz that he walked out on the franchise despite the millions he could have made by staying with it. Kasdan was retained to write JEDI, but Lucas fiddled around with the script a lot more (which is why JEDI seems to alternate being awesome and then irritating with almost every other scene).
The prequels were garbage because Lucas did pretty much everything himself. The plurality of voices and perspectives on the original trilogy were not present and were replaced by a ton of yes-men who never put the brakes on Lucas's crazier ideas.
So yes, without Lucas there wouldn't be STAR WARS. But without a ton of other people, there wouldn't have been any really good STAR WARS.
Red Eagle are no longer suing Robert Jordan's widow, but discussions remain "ongoing" about the ownership of the film/TV rights.
My guess is that Red Eagle either 1) deliberately launched the lawsuit so they could withdraw it later on as a pre-emptive bargaining chip, or 2) realised they were on a hiding to nothing and quit whilst they were ahead.
At the moment I'm going to guess that the Jordan Estate technically get the rights back, but the Red Eagle company retains a nominal producer's credit. If the WHEEL OF TIME TV series does end up with Sony, that would at least make sense because Red Eagle set up the deal, even if it falls to the Estate to execute it.
So hopefully a final end to this mess is in sight, because WoT is in danger of missing the boat as other fantasy properties are picked up all over the shop.
One thing that is interesting: Universal may also be back interested since they missed out big time in the recent D&D legal shenanigans. If they want a slice of the fantasy pie, this is their best bet.
I doubt very much the third D&D movie had $12 million. Even $1.2 million seems high for the production quality they got, especially considering that the third film was almost certainly made for the sole purpose of retaining the film rights for another few years.
If it was $12 million, they must have flushed 90% of it down the toilet. Movies like CENTURION and IRONCLAD had budgets in that region and looked reasonably decent. The most expensive episode of GoT ever made was more like $8-9 million and looked even better.
They're going to spend money on it. Certainly more than $100 million and probably closer to $200. Maybe not more than that, Hasbro probably learned its lesson from BATTLESHIP and Warner Brothers aren't quite as crazy as Universal (who actually made BATTLESHIP). But OTOH a D&D FR movie is going to have an enormous amount of stories, characters and lore to draw upon and has a lot more franchise/sequel potential.
I can see them going fairly crazy with the money for this film if they really want.