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Every third book in the series is a mosaic (where each story is basically a chapter in a single story). The rest are linked anthologies, where each story stands alone but some threads and ideas continue through them (and characters guest-star in other writers' stories). The first one is the most diffuse, as it spans 40 years (the rest all seem to span just weeks, days or, in the case of the third book, hours), but even that has elements carrying on from one story to another.
GAME OF THRONES renewed for TWO more seasons. Because that's how HBO rolls.
Look, GRRM hasn't even said, maybe the planet's not spherical at all, maybe it's got more of a Pratchett shape to it.
Actually, he has. People asked this years ago and GRRM said it was a spherical planet, and possibly slightly larger than Earth.
I might be mistaken here, but I'm pretty sure that the seasons are ONLY wobbly in Westeros, so the concept of the "year" comes from elsewhere in the world.
Nope, Essos suffers from them as well. The winters are just not as noticeable as Essos is located further south. But if you read the latest book, there's reports of canals freezing over and the grass of the plains starting to die.
(How do people who live on a planet without regular seasons even invent the concept of a year? You'd have to ask GRRM himself.)
They simply count the number of times the moon circles the planet: twelve times makes one year. The jury's out on if this means their year is slightly shorter than ours or if Martinworld's lunar orbits fit the year more exactly than ours do.
Another great episode. Anyone know the exact timeline when Jaime/Robert etc took the throne and when the story takes place now. I dont remember Jaime's age coming up in the books but i would have to assume its been 20 years?
In the TV series, Season 1 is 17 years after Robert's Rebellion. Season 3 is two years later, so 19. Season 4 is still 19 until we hear otherwise, but yeah, getting on for 20. Tywin is also probably rounding up a couple of years for Jaime's age.
In the books, the first novel opens 15 years after the Rebellion and by the end of ADWD between two-and-a-half and three years have passed.
As far as government tax revenue goes, the money has disappeared off the face of the earth
In individual circumstances of waste or corruption, yes. In theory, it shouldn't. It should go on spending for the military, public services, the cost of governance, police, schools etc, all of which provides a tangible return for everyone in society.
The response to a government wasting money shouldn't be the abolition of taxes (which is basically a call for the abolution of the nation-state, a curious desire), but for the government to become more efficient and less wasteful. How you do that when the tendency of any large government is to become less efficient with the more people it has to deal with is altogether less clear. The USA and the EU certainly seem to indicate that there are severe limitations to how efficient a government can be when dealing with 250 million+ people. OTOH, the experiences in Scotland and Wales in the UK, where government spending has been much more succesful and transparent, seems to suggest devolution and putting those spending decisions in the hands of smaller authorities may be an answer.
Now I'm not saying our system is the best in the world, nor am I saying that America sucks, it does many things better than where I am from. But healthcare is not one of them. You pay more for a system that does not cover everybody and generally offers inferior care to most people.
Yup. And what's really ludicrous is that Americans pay more of their taxes towards healthcare than we do. But we get a free health service out of it and they have to go off afterwards and spend huge amounts more on medical insurance. Then, when the insurer wriggles out of paying for an operation because the small print says they don't have to pay for operations on days ending in a 'y', they have to go and find the money to cover the full cost of the procedure.
This is a situation that that is quite blatantly ludicrous, and it's beyond me why anyone - left or right - puts up with it. There are solutions from both sides of the political spectrum which would be preferable to the current one (either full social health care or fully private health care which is not subsidised by taxes).
There is no reason that having a national health service should automatically make a country socialist, any more than having a national crime-fighting service or a national fire service or a national army should. It's just about where you draw the lines on what you consider to be a basic human need that government (either local or nationa) should fulfil. For many people around the world and many countries, few if any of which would call themselves socialist (apart from Cuba, of course, which happily owns it), health service is definitely something that counts as a basic need that private corporations should have absolutely no hand in whatsoever.
The UK currently has the most right-wing government it's had in thirty years and despite a lukewarm government attempt to sabotage the NHS through constant interference and cost-cutting (although some cost savings are essential), the NHS is still here and still works just fine. It's certainly overly-simplistic to say that a British NHS that works means an American NHS would as well (the two countries, for all their similarities, have vastly different methods of funding public services), but the simple fact that many countries have public healthcare and don't 1) explode or 2) turn into Commie dictatorships indicates it is at least possible.
One question that comes to mind that if we accept that the American federal government couldn't find its backside if it used both hands and thus shouldn't be put in charge of looking after people's kidneys (although it appears to be fine ot let them look after enough nuclear weapons to burn off the surface of the planet down to the bedrock), is there no mechanism whereby the individual states could institute their own public healthcare systems? Presumably massive states with low populations couldn't make it work, but it looks from over here that places like California, New York and Texas certainly could without letting the federal government have to take oversight.
My father-in-law is from England and has told me horror stories about the government run healthcare in the UK.
The NHS, when it is properly funded and overseen, is excellent. When it is improperly funded, as is usually the case under Conservative governments (who want to privatise it due to ideological dogma, but cannot because the British public overwhelmingly supports it because we see the horror story alternative of the US insurance system, so first they must make it fail), it can turn into a mess. When it is improperly overseen, as was the case under the overly-bureaucratic New Labour period, it can become too expensive. The problem we have right now is that it is suffering from both, with some hospitals on the verge of bankruptcy.
Despite all of that, the quality of the service you usually get is pretty good, and waiting times are a small fraction of what they were in the 1990s when people died on waiting lists on a regular basis. There is no real practical or viable alternative either: any government which told people they'd have to get private insurance instead (at a higher cost) and then spend months battling insurance companies on each claim would be thrown out of office so hard they would bounce, and would remain unelectable for generations.
One occasionally-mooted suggestion is that Noah two representatives of every animal type on the ark, rather than every single species and subspecies. However, I believe it's been pointed out that this merely reduces the number of animals on the ark from millions to a still-impractical several thousand.
That's right: a bear! You can go fishing, beat up pigs and crush butterflies for no discernible reason. You can engage bees in mortal combat and pick berries.
And the end of the video suggests there may be a more to it than that...
It's out, but was released as an exclusive for the A World of Ice and Fire app from Random House (which also includes a big update which includes all of the official world maps and information on the new locations).
I suspect it'll be an exclusive for a while (3-6 months?) and then we'll see it on GRRM's website.
This doesn't affect anything at all - it's a partnership, not a subordinate thing - apart from the fact that ETERNITY will now have more of a marketing campaign and Paradox can push the game on their huge European fanbase a lot more, as well as Obsidian being able to target Western markets. The game will be released via GoG and Steam as planned (a physical release hasn't entirely been ruled out either) and backers will still get a copy of the finished game plus their other rewards.
Good news all around, I think. The game is still due to come out in late 2014.
Then again, we have to consider Robert Jordan as well -- in which case there is no finished product.
Apart from...the finished product?
Sanderson finished the series off, but based closely on Jordan's notes and with a fair bit of Jordan-written material scattered through the conclusion (including the very last chapter). So that's not a terrific comparison.
you would be waiting a long time. As of now it 17 years since he wrote the first book. It took Tolkien 12 to finish his series and that was during the war.
18 years since the first book came out. 23 years since he started writing the series (in July 1991).
The comparison to Tolkien is a little weak. THE LORD OF THE RINGS, the whole thing, is only slightly longer than A STORM OF SWORDS and A DANCE WITH DRAGONS by themselves. On pages-written-per-year, Martin is way ahead of Tolkien who often took months on end off because he didn't know what to do next with the story. And of course Tolkien took 66 years to write what turned out to be a relatively short 450-page book (THE SILMARILLION), published after his death.
I truly believe he wont finish the series. He doesnt seem to be in the best of health
GRRM is in pretty good health. Obviously, he's overweight (though he was actually at his biggest around the time AFFC came out, and is down on his weight since then) but that doesn't mean he's going to drop dead tomorrow. GRRM is, obviously, hugely wealthy and has a very good health plan. He and his doctor also monitor his weight (and he points out on his blog that he makes efforts to lose weight, which are hampered by his job, which is not conducive to it).
There certainly isn't a 50% chance he's going to die in the next two years! I have family members who were larger than George who happily made it into their late 80s and passed away from totally unrelated causes. Gene Wolfe is a bit on the rotund side and is now in his early 80s. Jack Vance was fairly big (not as big as GRRM though) and made it to 96. You also had Robert Jordan, who spent quite a few years overweight and then lost most of it on a strict diet, only to almost immediately develop a totally unrelated cardiac condition and pass away at 59. Or Aaron Allston, who appeared to be in good shape before having a series of heart attacks and dying at 53.
For a trilogy i would think a 5-7 year window wouldnt be unreasonable.
That depends on the size of the books. Three 300-page books are a very different prospect from three 1,000-page ones.
If i were the publisher i would require updates throughout the year, place limits on other activitys and extend if needed. Sure theres creativity involved but at the same time publisher has deadlines as well.
GRRM sends each chapter, as it is finished, to his editor who edits it and requests changes on the spot before it is finalised. So the process isn't that the whole book is done in one go, edited in one go and then published, but a constant, ongoing back-and-forth between the writer and editor.
she never promised another novel, and she published a bunch of short stories to appease the hardcore fans like me, so maybe that's a poor analogy.
Clarke did say that she was writing a sequel focusing on less-prominent characters almost as soon as JS&MN came out, and there has been no word on it since.
In contrast, Jack Vance wrote the Durdane triology in two years, and the third volume was, if anything, infinitely superior to the first. The 4-volume Tschai series took two years, and the 3rd book is the highlight. Lyonesse took him 6 years total, and Cadwal 5. His 5-volume Demon Princes series is the oddball, having been completed on a random basis from 1964-1981.
Well, there's also DYING EARTH, which was written over a period of 40 years, with a fairly substantial cliffanger between Books 2 and 3 that was left hanging for 16 years (and Vance even allowed a desperate other author to resolve it as a stopgap through official and published fanfiction before he continued the series).
Ok, so available when?
It was supposed to be April, but that's not happening now. I think there's a feeling it might be the autumn, if not early 2015. It's difficult to say because they're going quite a few weeks at a time without showing anything, and then suddenly whacking us with multiple videos, blog updates and an already-playable alpha (now in its third release).
I think end of the year is certainly possible at this stage.
Sanderson is a solidly entertaining writer. He is very creative, with a tremendous imagination, but he does seem to focus a little on worldbuilding and magic systems over characterisation, prose and dialogue. The latter aren't bad, they just tend more towards the functional end of the spectrum.
I'm actually very hesitant about starting Stormlight Archives, since it is planned at a 10 book series. I don't think I'm willing to commit to reading such a long series when only 20% of it are done so far. I don't want to start another open wound like A Song of Ice and Fire...
Congratulations, you have fallen for the Sanderson Gambit :) He has tricked you into reading four volumes of what will be a 36-40 volume 'megaseries' comprising numerous sub-series set on multiple planets. So at this point you might as well dive in.
Especially as a plot point from WARBREAKER re-emerges in importance in WORDS OF RADIANCE.
Also, STORMLIGHT is a 10-volume series that has been divided into two five-book arcs. Sanderson's plan is to focus on finishing the first arc off, which will have a natural break point, before writing the MISTBORN II trilogy. The rest of STORMLIGHT will then follow.
I think in tone there is a comparison to the CAINE books, although Stover is a better and more ambitious author.
In terms of plot/setting/character, they are very different however. They're even focused on different genres (CAINE is SF with a fantasy twist, whilst the THORNS books are epic fantasy with occasional nods at SF).
Not happening. They still have the rights, but the development deals (first with a New Zealand TV company, then SyFy) have been shot down. The fan reaction was universally negative as well, after it became clear they were seriously toning the show down (Blake being framed for the murder of his wife rather than being a child molestor) and making the setting way too close to the present day (the reboot is only set 150 years in the future, as opposed to the 900-odd years of the original).
A new B7 would be a great idea, but so far these guys have shown they don't understand the property at all.
Extremely impressive. The original ELITE made docking your starship with a space station a rather lethal affair, with it being rare to end a docking attempt within the bay rather than reduced to flaming debris. The two sequels automated it, which made more sense but was less fun.
ELITE: DANGEROUS strikes a balance by allowing you automate your spin to lock onto the station but still permitting manual docking (docking computer upgrades will be available later on). More impressively, you can fly around inside the docking bay before you land on your designated pad.
ADWD is an interesting book. It does, contrary to hyperbole, push forwards quite a few storylines substantially. However, because of the timeline issues this is not constant for all characters, and some characters only get 2-3 chapters whilst others get 9-12, but they almost seem to get the same amount of development (i.e. the lesser-appearing characters get very busy chapters and the more frequently-appearing ones get slower or even 'filler' chapters). There's definitely a weakness to ADWD stemming from the split, and that's even more pronounced in AFFC which feels weirdly claustraphobic as a result, as if it's happening in a bubble unconnected to the wider world. ADWD is also odd in that it's very focused on past events and revelations about them. Whilst all the books have expanded on the series backstory, none of them come close to what ADWD does. I did some research for the publishers recently which required rereading all five books and counting statistics, and ADWD has four times as many major backstory/mystery revelations as any other book in the series, a lot of which is important to the present-day storyline as well.
However, almost none of that material is present in the TV series (or, if it is, it's fairly trivial), which gives them quite a lot of material they can shave off.
The best solution is to read AFFC and ADWD as one super-book (there's some great lists online showing how to do this), at which point they both improve immeasurably.
The EW article did float the idea of a possible 8th season, Wert. :)
The head of HBO said that the longest they've ever gone on a show before is 7 or 8 seasons, but he didn't mention that the only shows they've done for 8 seasons have been comedies on a relatively low budget (ENTOURAGE, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM). Of their long-form dramas, only TRUE BLOOD has gone 7 seasons. Even the mighty SOPRANOS only managed 6 (though they fudged it a bit with a double-length final season stripped over two years).
Note that after he said that, he again says that 7 seasons is the plan for GoT ("It's a long run for us,") and that throughout the rest of the article everyone keeps saying 7.
And yes, GRRM has told them how it ends. Benioff, Weiss and Cogman flew to Santa Fe and spent a whole week at GRRM's house, discussing how the rest of the story will unfold:
"Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him [Martin] and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be. If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character."
I should have said that doing both without the cost benefits (i.e. paying a lot less either in taxes or private fees, or both) is what's insane. The 'part and part' system is used successfully by quite a few nations - most notably I believe France - but there are clear cost benefits to the consumer to doing it that way. Not so much the American model, where the prices of the two systems seem to be almost combined, as well as the worst features of both (government bureaucracy and commercial interests dictating what drugs are developed and bought).
I have to say, having completed M&M6 and played 7 and 8, that one thing M&M6 did not have was a lot of visual appeal. It looked pretty old-school and ropey even when it came out in 1998. If it hadn't been for the fact that M&M6 was one of the very first games I got for my first PC (after upgrading from a geriatic Amiga 500), I probably wouldn't have completed it.
If you look at the 3D games of the year (HALF-LIFE, SIN) or even the 2D ones (STARCRAFT, BALDUR'S GATE), M&M6 looked distinctly primitive. Enjoyable, though. And the scale of some of the environments (like the giant pyramid in Dragonsand) was insane.
Someone please explain it to me.
The statistic that got me is that Americans pay a slightly higher percentage of their taxes towards government subsidies of the supposedly-private healthcare system than people in the UK do. However, we get a fully-functioning (when not being starved of resources by the Tories so they can claim it's failing and then try to privatise it, as in the 1980s and now) and pretty good national health service out of it, whilst Americans have to go and pay a ton more money in insurance and/or direct hospital fees on top of that.
That seems to be insane. Not paying any money at all towards health care out of taxes - because it's all private - makes sense. Paying taxes and not having to pay more towards healthcare afterwards makes sense. Doing both is crazy.
I must say I'm a bit bewildered by the SNP and the pro-independence's response to their recent setbacks. There've been two massive blows against their independence plans and the SNP has failed to realistically answer either one.
1) Scotland wants to keep the pound, which requires the full agreement and cooperation of the British government and the Bank of England. All three main UK parties and the Bank have said, "No, not under any circumstances." The SNP now needs to begin putting plans in place for the creation of a new, Scottish currency since the Euro is also barred to them (for the time being). Instead, their stance is, "Oh, they're bluffing, if we win they'll roll right over." This seems a highly irresponsible position to take.
2) Scotland wants to join the European Union, which requires the full agreement and cooperation of all of the EU powers. However, Spain has flatly said it will oppose and veto such a move (fearing for the precedent and what impact it will have on its own independence movements, most notably in Catalonia). The SNP now needs to begin putting plans in place for Scotland's existence outside of both the UK and EU as a country going it alone. Instead, their stance is, "Oh, they're bluffing, if we win Spain will change its mind and let us join." This seems a preposterously irresponsible position to take.
These two factors could destroy the pro-independence campaign between them. The SNP needs to get on top of them with concrete, realistic plans on how they will be addressed rather than just wishful thinking.
If they plan on releasing the start set in 2 months
4 months. And with most books, at about 4 months from publication they're finalising the typeset, page lay-outs and final text. At this point they can probably still change things, but not too much (and they might be at the stage where they can only change things if the replacement text uses the same space as the original, so it won't disrupt layouts). Usually printing begins 2-4 weeks or so before publication, but with this kind of big, illustrated book it's usually more.
Major, sweeping rule changs at this point would certainly appear to be out.
One question that remains not wholly answered is why Levine could not have left Irrational to set up a new, 15-person team elsewhere. By most accounts, the majority of INFINITE's team did not work on BIOSHOCK anyway, so staff turn-over at the studio (as at most) was fairly high.
The answer would appear to be that Take-Two belived that Levine WAS Irrational, which itself is an, erm, irrational viewpoint. For most people Peter Molyneux WAS Bullfrog and WAS Lionhead and both teams survived (at least for a few years) his departure.
Levine taking his core team off to make his narratively experimental game whilst the rest of Irrational made a relatively fast-turnaround BIOSHOCK INFINITE 2 to help offset the costs of the original would appear to have been a viable strategy, and certainly worked with BIOSHOCK/BIOSHOCK 2 (BIOSHOCK 2 seems to have been reasonably well-received and sold well even without Levine's input). It's curious that this question has not come up more.
They confirm they are going above and beyond the call of duty. They are upgrading the ship models as well as the textures, putting in upgraded music and changing the gameplay so you don't have to sit around waiting for harvesting any more. They are also redoing all of the cut scenes at a much higher resolution and the games will support resolutions up to 4K (!).
The original, unaltered (but compatible with modern OSes) games will also be included for the purists.
No new news on SHIPBREAKERS, but it's starting to look like a 2015 release.
Oh, and you can vote on whether you want a 12", light-up model of the Mothership included in the Collector's Edition.
It's been confirmed that Kevin Conroy will return as Batman (after sitting out ORIGINS), Nolan North will be the Penguin, Wally Wigbert will by the Riddler, Tara Strong will be Harley Quinn and Troy Baker will play Two-Face.
It's also been confirmed that:
'Arkham Knight' is actually a new supervillain created specially for this game.
Lord Snow wrote:
How do both the highlighted parts make sense?
Because you highlighted the wrong bit ;) ON CONSOLE, the game is exclusive to those two platforms alone. It'll also be on PC, and you can bet Valve will be whispering to WB and Rocksteady about the benefits of a SteamOS version. But there will be no 360/PS3/WiiU versios.
It wasn't made by the same people, written by the same people or had (much) of the same voice cast as the first two. As a prequel, it also didn't further the narrative elements of the prior two games either.
It was, basically, a stop-gap game to give WB Games another BATMAN game to make up with ARKHAM KNIGHT not being ready for another year. As such, it was really not too bad at all. Compared to the first two, it was pretty lacking. And very heavily bugged.
This may mark a death knell or low point in the series. I only know of one person who owns a Ps4 and/or xb1.
Current sales worldwide of both consoles are about 7-8 million. That will increase a lot by later in the year, but probably not more than doubling at the most.
So that means that the install base for ARKHAM KNIGHT to tap into isn't going to be that high. I'd be surprised if they could sell more than a million or so copies on console.
However, the previous BATMAN games have sold hugely on PC. I'm guessing that they're banking on that to prop them up and get into profit. It's certainly probable that PC will be the biggest-selling format this time around, which is amusing :)
More importantly, it's a statement of confidence and intent, and it means that they can finally move on from the limitations of the prev-gen (particularly in memory, which severely limited how big the physical city could be).
It will be a sequel to ARKHAM CITY, picking up a year after the events of that game. The primary villains will be Harley Quinn, Two-Face and the Scarecrow. The game will also be set on the streets of Gotham City proper, featuring wide streets and long boulevards. Why? So you can drive the Batmobile down them, of course :) The playing area will also be substantially larger than ARKHAM CITY/ORIGINS.
The game will be exclusive on consoles to PS4 and XB1; there will be no prev-gen versions. The game will also launch on PC. Release date unconfirmed, but probably October-November.
Rocksteady, who made the first two games, are back for this one. It is unconfirmed who the writer is.
If they clarify that the PHB is 500-odd pages long with all of the races/classes that were previously in all of the 4E PHBs, I think a lot of people will be happy with that. The PATHFINDER core book's RRP is also $49.95 (£30 here0, but is so huge it's quite reasonable value for money.
If it's another 200-300 page book with iffy artwork, I don't think that will go down so well.