Monday, April 23, 2012

E-Tales Read Lately

These ereads of late are short and I am loath to reveal too much in any of them for the briefness, suffice to say, as much as I personally prefer the printed word, all my favorite living authors are in the digital realm these days.

Hellhound on my Trail by D. J. Butler is an explosive pulp novella filled with esoteric goodness. This is the first in an ongoing series of Rock Band Fights Evil. I got quite a kick out of the visceral writing and chaotic mashup of blues rock, biblical esoterica and fae worlds.

On the verge of ending his miserable existence Mike is thrown into an immediate horrific attack during a performance at a dive bar on the edge of nowhere. The pace is quick and exotic blend of influences truly captivated me. Did I catch a hint of Egyptian with the Latin in one of those spells D. J.?

Harvest of War, by Charles Gramlich
I'm gonna repost here the review I put on amazon (on my wife's account) This short story is an excellent introduction into Charles Gramlich's varied and wondrous storytelling charm. The prose is crisp and visceral. A depth behind the character's and the tragic drama gives life beyond the expected. Treat yourself to some of the best heroic fantasy out there.

Amarante, by Scott Oden
Scott's writing is gore-streaked magic and is quite reminiscent of a certain Texan of whom I am quite fond. Catapulted into our tale, Oden never lets up on the tension and page turning action. This makes me wish we could get a little more of Scott's Tharduin world, home of these savage Orc's and devastating "whiteskin" magic's.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Word Remains

"It's enough for you to do it once for a few men to remember you. But if you do it year after year, then many people will remember you and they tell it to their children, and their children and grandchildren remember, and, if it concerns books, they can read them. And if it's good enough, it will last long as there are human beings." ~ Ernest Hemingway

I oft ponder legacy and what will remain of what we do. Sometimes things seem so terribly fleeting and yet others maintain eternal. Being very historically minded I still must admit my own incredible shortcomings and acknowledge what any one person can comprehend and store in their mind, what any person can hear or read-(let alone that history which was written by the agenda of the victor)
I come to the conclusion that what can be built by my own two hands, or rather typed by my own two hands is assuredly the greatest monument one can achieve for oneself, that and children who remember, yet as ages wear on, people die and forget. As mindful as I am I know precious little about my great-great grandfathers, and being the eldest grandson I know more of my grandfather than my cousins and siblings-but how much is that really? He was a poor journal keeper, and I alone did he tell his war-stories too, (still must finish that book)
If I want legacy and something to be remembered for, writing is the truest thing I can leave behind. Stone fades and steel rusts, but the word...the word...remains.

Always makes you feel good when you get a review like this latest one...

"Finished a book today that surprised me, in the same way that Paradise Lost surprised me (at the risk of making too grandiose a comparison). Milton's poem joined epic poetry to Christian myth-history, creating a work that I hadn't seemed coming, but that in retrospect seemed inevitable.

David West similarly surprised me with his Heroes of the Fallen. It's pulp fiction swords and sorcery meets Mormon myth-history, a savage and bloody telling of the last days of Nephite civilization in the style of a Robert E. Howard or Edgar Rice Burroughs. I didn't see it coming, however obvious it seems to me now." by Dave Butler

Thanks Dave

Friday, April 13, 2012

Strange Sights of the Week

 I should try this.
 Some things don't translate quite right.
 My money is on Drogo, even if he's dead.

 Now, that's what I call a Flash mob.
 Careful, we're in bat country.

 Fellowship of the Beard
 Disney Princess's are mean.
 I hate grammar Nazi's.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Movie-ing Perceptions

I like what I like and I'm sure you do too, whats funny is when you are so sure you won't like something but you do anyway and vice versa.

I was so sure I was going to love Valhalla Rising with Mads Mikkelsen. Mads is an awesome actor-he was brilliant as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale and equally wonderful as Tristram in King Arthur (I liked it though I never had the impression anyone else did) and he was my favorite character Draco in the new Clash of the Titans.

Here's what I know going in- Valhalla Rising is about a strange somewhat supernatural Viking fighter named One-Eye (Odin perhaps?) I could also tell that somewhere along the tripped out journey of the movie the characters who think they are going to hell end up in North America.

I love this-I wish so bad someone could do Vikings and Indians right - (Cuz we all know Pathfinder did not) I read online that Valhalla Rising was weird and arty, I can deal with all that, I love a lot of foreign strange arty films that you have to think about etc etc.

SO...I thought by all rights, I would love Valhalla Rising. But no. It has to be one of the dullest, what the hell is going on and why should I care movies I have bothered to watch in years. I literally fell asleep-then I rewound to see if I missed something and...NO I didn't.

Right when I thought it might redeem itself at the end, it tanked...hard. Now reading the premise above I can imagine there might be some of you who think, "Oh that's sounds like a good premise, it can't be as bad as all that can it?"

Yes, it is that dull.

And now on the other end of the hammer, I really didn't expect much out of Wrath of the Titans. I find the lead actor Sam Worthington hardly qualifies as an actor, his acting is fencepost worthy. Avatar made me want to gag-but I also thought it was a stupid, unoriginal storyline, "Unobtainium"=Uncreative. With Terminator Salvation I almost bought his performance because he was supposed to be a damn robot! And Clash of the Titans? Let me just say now I hate reluctant hero's who are forced to react to everything instead of acting-its just a lame storytelling device in my arrogant opinion.

So I went into Wrath of the Titans without much in the way expectations and guess what? I liked it. It wasn't mind blowing, it wasn't the best film I've ever seen, but it was enjoyable for what it is. Granted, I still don't like his reluctant hero shtick - its still there and I didn't like the shaky camera to make me feel like I'm really there style that seems so prevalent these days but it is a fun movie. Predictable? Sure. But for a serious Sword  & Sorcery fan, it was a good movie.

I am sure I'll see it again eventually with my kids because that magic that thrill of fantasy is infectious. I look forward to their being excited over the cyclops and all the other (underutilized) monsters.

I had better add as an afterthought-just like the first, the supporting characters are where the humanity, characterization and fun are-some leads just cannot lead.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Delinquents These Days

Last night (round midnight)  I received the joy of the knocker. Someone(s) knocked and dashed and they were doing it to the whole neighborhood.
We do live in a heavily wooded area so despite a bright moon illuminating there were plenty of places to hide for these pranksters.

In any case I had but to silently creep out the door in darkness and in the shadows wait for a few moments when I gauged enough time had passed with my big mag light - (No, I didn't need to go out with a gun-nor did I wish too) and sure enough following my instincts I saw the two young punks-both about 14-15 emerge from hiding. I shined them down-its a good flashlight and I verbally rebuked them and I'll leave it at that.

They ran away.

The funny thing to me is...I did all the pranks you can shake a stick at when I was a kid, I know all the tricks. And these idiots weren't even wearing dark clothing-you gotta wear dark clothing when you are up to no good. You must be wary of dogs and you must stick to the shadows, kids these days just don't understand the nature of pranking and evading-they were so poor at this that I even saw where they live.

Insert inspiration for horror story here.