Sep 28, 2011

A Game of Thrones comic book series, Issue 1

The first issue of the comic book adaptation of George Martin's A Game of Thrones is now out. The mini-series will come out on a monthly basis, and be followed by a new title for every separate book.

Personally, I wasn't impressed. The words are good - Daniel Abraham's done a great adaptation, using exactly the necessary amount of description and dialogue, with only a few instances of added information, when the dialogue would not be enough to present the information that the reader would otherwise read in the novel.

Problem is, I've already read the novel - and more than once - so the only thing the adaptation can offer me are the visuals. And they are... bland. I have never been impressed with Tommy Patterson's art, and it is nothing to write home about here either. The pouty overly pretty and wavy-haired characters would be much more in place in a teenage girl comic book, and the color scheme - done by Ivan Nunes - is entirely too bright. The comic book is definitely not ugly, but it is also nowhere near the style that I think would suit Martin's gritty world best.

And, sadly, the story shows early signs of PG13-ness. Even though the first issue goes only as far as Daenerys' first meeting with Khal Drogo, there is at least one instance of nudity and borderline sexual cruelty that has been cut. And honestly, A Game of Thrones without the realism, sex, violence and dark visuals doesn't seem like much fun now, does it?

Still, I'll follow the series. Who knows, it might grow on me...


Sep 26, 2011

New UK cover art for Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt

Via The Wertzone.

Apparently Tor UK will publish those new covers next year. I am not sure I like them. They are flashy, but the character arts are a bit kitsch. And as usual no recognizable characters could be discerned. The artists keep making everyone in Tchaikovsky's world look like a Marvel Comics superhero alien elf robot...

Game of Thrones Season 2: First set photos

are the first set photos for Season 2 of Game of Thrones. Not that there is anything spectacular to see, but it's nice to know progress is being made.

Sep 19, 2011

Peter Dinklage wins the Emmy!

Congrats to Peter Dinklage who won the Emmy for Supporting Actor in Drama for his role as Tyrion Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones! He more than deserved to win, and I am also happy that a fantasy show gets recognition through the guy.

Sep 14, 2011

Game of Thrones Season 2 casting: part 11

Ian Whyte has replaced Conan Stevens as Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. The Mountain. It seems Stevens had too many scheduling conflicts (including a role in The Hobbit and a recurring one in Spartacus). Now, I can't predict if Whyte will play the role better, but he is freakishly tall, so I guess that's ok...

Fintan McKeown is Ser Amory Lorch - one of the Lannisters' most vicious knights. McKeown has the face to pull it off, but this is yet another character that will probably not have more than a total of 7 minutes of screen time in the season.

Cover art for Joe Abercrombie's Last Argument of Kings

Definitely not my favorite cover of the trilogy, but looks pretty nice. You can pre-order on Subterranean's website.

Sep 11, 2011

Game of Thrones Season 2 casting: part 10 - psychopaths edition

Anthony Morris is the Tickler. The character appears for a short time in the second book, and then again in the third, as a part of Arya's story-line, but I've always liked how horrible he is in her eyes. Can't wait to see how Morris pulls it off.

Andy Beckwith is Rorge - one of the trio of criminals that travel with Arya and the rest of the boys going for the Wall. Not familiar with Beckwith, but he looks pretty evil, so...

Jordan Gerard is Biter - the last of the trio of psychopaths, together with Rorge and Jaqen H'ghar. Another brutish looking actor, but those are all minor roles, so it's going to be more about looks anyway.

Sep 10, 2011

The Ungodly Vilification of Orson Scott Card

After my post about Hamlet's Father, I've been keeping a close eye on the whole little drama. And sure enough, Uncle Orson Answers Everything and a response popped up on Hatrack. Turns out there are no gay characters in that novella. Hamlet's dad was a pedophile and not homosexual. Those are some pesky semantics there, mister, especially when you're known to have stated that pedophilia is the natural way to turn people gay (you can find the link to that quote in the previous post). Uncle Orson proceeds to defend himself by claiming to have written about "sympathetic homosexual characters" in the 80s and 90s, but that he has stopped because he's been targeted by the "Inquisition of Political Correctness" and doesn't want to be accused of any more homophobia.

Gee-whiz, Mr. Card, don't you think it would be easier to escape that hateful accusation if you weren't, I don't know, a member of The National Organization for Marriage?

Honestly, some people are so confused...

Sep 8, 2011

Cover art for Ian Cameron Esslemont's Orb, Scepter, Throne

It's pretty awesome, but at this point I care very little for the Malazan world. I am yet to read anything by Esslemont after Night of Knives, and I haven't even finished the original Malazan series. Talk about disappointment.

Anyway, Orb, Scepter, Throne is set in Darujhistan and is a sequel to Toll the Hounds.

Sep 7, 2011

Uncle Orson Boudlerizes Everything

First of all, thanks to Pat from the Fantasy Hotlist for drawing my attention to this abominable work of bigotry, by posting Scott Lynch's hilarious response to it.

Now, I'm sure if you read this blog (thank you, mom!), you must know of Orson Scott Card - author of the magnificent Ender's Game (Review), as well as Raving Maniacal Homophobe Extraordinaire. What you may not know is that he has taken up the heavy burden of writing a new version of Shakespeare's Hamlet in order to make it more "accessible" (the thing has obviously been around for a few years, but now the impending doom of a new Subterranean ultra expensive edition is upon us). Now, I like dumbing-down great literature as much as the next pretentious guy who really hates it when people do that, but THIS HERE ARTICLE further strengthened my opinion that Uncle Orson needs to see someone about those pesky feelings he's been having.

In the new "accessible" version of Shakespeare's naughty classic, most characterizations and themes have been swept away by the Proprietydozer, with Hamlet turned into an emotionless automaton. But Hamlet's Father apparently reveals a deeper, uglier truth about what is rotten in Denmark - HAMLET'S DAD WAS GAY! And not just your run-of-the-mill friendly neighborhood eternally damned sodomite sinner, but an evil recruiter for the abominable gay lifestyle, having managed to recruit Horatio, Laertes, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern by molesting them in their youth (it's the natural way to recruit children into the gay lifestyle, as Uncle Orson will be quick to tell you here). And what's even worse - it seems the father's decadent choice persists in the afterlife and Hamlet himself is doomed to spend some quality gay time with daddy in Hell. Ouch!

Needless to say the horribleness that is the very existence of this book has not gone unnoticed, and fans raised their concerns loudly enough for Subterranean to actually issue a reply, managing to not say anything at all (what's to say anyway?).

So what do you think? Is Uncle Orson a hero of modern Baudlerization, warning of evil recruiters, trying to infect innocent children with teh gay, or has age really done as irreparable damage to the poor guy's mind as I feel it has?

Sep 2, 2011

Cover art and synopsis for Stephen King's The Wind Through The Keyhole

Via A Dribble of Ink

For readers new to The Dark Tower, THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE is a stand-alone novel, and a wonderful introduction to the series. It is a story within a story, which features both the younger and older gunslinger Roland on his quest to find the Dark Tower. Fans of the existing seven books in the series will also delight in discovering what happened to Roland and his ka tet between the time they leave the Emerald City and arrive at the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis.

This Russian Doll of a novel, a story within a story, within a story, visits Mid-World’s last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. (The novel can be placed between Dark Tower IV and Dark Tower V.) Roland tells a tale from his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt ridden year following his mother’s death. Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape shifter, a “skin man,” Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter. Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Book of Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime, “The Wind through the Keyhole.” “A person’s never too old for stories,” he says to Bill. “Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them.” And stories like these, they live for us.

My god, that's a beautiful cover! As for the book itself, I have no opinion as I haven't even finished the original Dark Tower series, not to mention I don't even remember well enough the books I have read from it. A reread perhaps?