Friday, January 21, 2011

Has it been six months already??

So it has, and in no small order I return to blogging yet again. Yeah, yeah, I may be the worst on-off blogger in the history of blogkind. What can I say, I have an attention span of a knat on crack. Well then lets go through some things I have been geeking out on recently.

Books! Santa brought me a Kindle this xmas, and I am taking full advantage of it. My first book on the list was EON by Greg Bear. This is the start of my reading series of going through the last 50-60 years of golden age science fiction and reading the gaps in my list from all the nebula/Hugo award winners and nominees. EON is a cool concept. IN the near future an asteroid comes barreling through space towards Earth, only to stop in orbit. We find out that the asteroid called "The Stone" by the U.S. and the "Potato" by the Soviets has been hollowed out with 7 gigantic chambers. Of course the book was written during a time during the cold war where the U.S. and the Soviets were at odds. While going through the Stone, they find that this has come from earths future. A future that earth had gone through a devastating nuclear winter, and hundreds of year in the future, this space station was built by the remnants of humanity. So the race begins to try and stop the war, but ends up failing, and the earth is completely nuked out. The people left on the stone now tries to figure out what to do next and survive. However the stones builders aren't gone as they seemed to be, but instead are found to have opened a wormhole in space time and created an infinitely long cylinder of space time.  The story goes on from there that covers the interaction of the humanity of today and the humanity of tomorrow. It was a tree killer of a book...looong. But it kept me wanting more. The ending was odd, but sufficient, and left it open for the two books that follows. Which I may read someday.


Games! Well there is always games. My last big one was Age of Renaissance. A classic Avalon Hill game that was labeled as a Civilization Lite game of the day. Of course, it isn't that light, and isn't much shorter that the original AH Civ. But it certainly has it's own legs to stand on. Some people always complained that the event cards tended to be a little over powered, but I think they add a lot to the flavor of the game. It does tend to swing in random directions though, leaving you with a feeling of little strategic control. And my recent game was no exception. I played Paris, which I expanded much to late, and was cut off of the Mediterranean for too long. Without the 6th player, it's hard to expand into the sweet Holy Land without a nice access to the med. SO me and the Brits floundered around, warring each other, while Genoa went on an unfettered expansion into North Africa and into the spice routes. Suffice it to say, he kicked our butts. I would like to play this again before the rules and strategy ideas disappear from my mind. Playing a game like this every 7-10 years just doesn't do it justice.

Movies! Well not a whole lot on that geeky front, other than TRON:Legacy in the theater. What can I say, it's wasn't high art, but it was a fun ride. Was like watching Captain Eo at Disney World in 3D. Style over substance, but who cares, it was fun. A good SciFi movie I watched recently was a british dystopian film starring Keira Knightly called Never Let Me Go. It's a British Science Fiction alternate reality/Dystopian movie where in the mid 60's the world has ended disease and death buy using what are called "donors". These donors are clones that are raised in the English countryside schools. At a certain age, they begin donated their organs, and at some point die of their donations(complete). The story follows the lives of 3 of these donors through life, and how when they get older begin to wonder if there were ways to extend their lives. They show how there are people who believe the killing of the clones is barbaric and try to prove that they have "souls", or what they consider an answer to a question that isn't being asked. Think Soylent Green without the Machine Guns.

The movie has a mellow pace, but I really liked the story idea. For me, it was like a Hitchcock movie without the tension.

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