You can find the general guidelines under which I post about things (as far as spoilers and such) in this post.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

RIP E. Gary Gygax 1938-2008

From the time I woke up this morning, a lot of the forums I frequent (such as that is, anyway) were awash in first the rumor, then the confirmation, that Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons and Dragons and therefore much of the roleplaying hobby, has passed away at the age of 69.

Like many of my generation, D&D was the gaming gateway. It's what put me in a place to exercise my creativity with these games, whether D&D or something else, like Traveller or Star Frontiers or whatever. My hobby led me to many of my friends. It even led me to the Arcadian Gate idea, because that itself was originally a background I did up for a Mutants and Masterminds game. And although I'd like to think RPGs would have developed anyway with Dave Arneson working at it, Gygax was still highly instrumental and without Chainmail, in which Gygax had a role instead of Arneson, maybe it wouldn't have happened. I don't know, but it scarcely bears thinking about.

But it's thanks to Gygax that I've enjoyed these many years of gaming fun.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


So Toshiba has officially dropped HD DVD, ceding the home video realm to Sony and their Blu-Ray format.

I have to admit I'd been rooting for HD. They had what should have been a major advantage in their double-sided disks (HD on one side, and regular DVD on the other, enabling people to go ahead and buy them now and have natural inclination to purchase an HD player later on). The PS3 seemed a natural advantage for Sony, but it turned out to be a big disappointment.

The main reason I'd hoped to avoid the situation we have here is that Sony proprietizes everything (think about the Memory Stick and most of their devices that use it and nothing else). Of course I say this as a happy iPod user, but then I have no problems putting my regular mp3s on it... at least when a goofy update doesn't screw up iTunes. Hmm...

Nope, not happy today.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Harry Potter Meets Firefly?

Check out this music video someone did combining footage from the Harry Potter movies and Firefly/Serenity, to music by Jonathan Coulton. Cool stuff!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Geeky Shopping

So I finally checked out the Half-Price Books that just opened up down the road from me. I really need a chance to take all the time I need, rather than be rushed to hit the door and catch a bus.

I found some interesting things, though.

I found a Kedregern book for my girlfriend. I never cared much for them, but she likes them.

I found some games. An RPG from Tri Tac called Incursion (they're probably best known for either Fringeworthy and Bureau 13/Stalking The Night Fantastic), and a copy of Facts In Five (think of it as Scattergories... er, times five).

But best of all, Spider Robinson's The Callahan Touch. I'm a big fan of the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon books, so I snatched this up as quickly as I could.

Anyone have suggestions on what to look for next time I go?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Movies -- Cloverfield

So this afternoon I ventured out into the melting snow and caught the day's first showing of Cloverfield, J.J. Abrams big monster movie.

As seen in the trailers that caught our attention last summer, it's shot in first person, Blair Witch Project style. If you liked that movie, as I did, you'll dig this one. It doesn't quite bring up the scares as Blair Witch did very effectively, as in Cloverfield you do eventually see the monster chasing our protagonists, very clearly. If you really, really hated Blair Witch, I can't imagine you'll like this, either.

I can't speak to people's complaints of motion sickness, as I don't get motion sick.

As I said, there are only a few scenes that give real scares; a lot of the rest is basically a thriller, with the protagonists making their way through Manhattan for various reasons as the strange creature from somewhere else makes its way around, destroying all in its path. The opening twenty minutes or so (a going away party for one of the protagonists) let you get to know the people you'll be following around, just enough to feel bad for them, but personally, this never really rose much above "just a monster movie" for me.

But it's a cool enough monster movie.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Books -- Jon Armstrong's Grey

I still haven't settled into an actual posting schedule here. The best I can say for now is I'll post once a week, maybe more. For example, watch for a post on Cloverfield probably on Tuesday.

In the meantime, though, the Phillip K. Dick nominations were announced recently, and among the nominees is a book I had the joy of experiencing through our friends at Podiobooks. That is Jon Armstrong's Grey.

This novel looks at a dystopic future through the lens of our fascination with reality media and celebrity news, among other things. Michael Rivers, heir to the Rivergroup security corporation, is wooing Nora, scion of MKG, in hopes of merging the companies. They mesh well, with similar fashion sense and interest in the highly artistic fashion magazine Pure H. Then Rivers is shot, and his long strange voyage begins amidst the resulting conflict between the companies, and even the mysteries between his own parents from two vastly different worlds. What secrets lie in Michael's past? Will he be reunited with Nora? What is his father's big plan?

I haven't had this much fun with a dystopic future since Snow Crash, and that's saying something. Granted, Grey is not as deep as Stephenson's work, but it's not going to that same place, either. It goes somewhere all its own, and does so well.

You can check out the podcast for free, of course, or you can hunt down the book from NightShade Books.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Websites -- Sillof's Workshop

Okay, so I lied about a February relaunch. I didn't intend to.

But while poking around another popular blogging site, I encountered a link to Sillof's Workshop, in particular one of his custom action figure links to a Gasligh Justice League.

I seriously wish I had that kind of time and talent.