Tag Archives: China Mieville

Ever Playing Catch Up

So no Voyager write up this week. For those of you who have been watching along or throwing in your two cents after each post, my apologies. I appreciate that you guys are as passionately nerdy about this as I am and I’ll be back to form next week.

The snag in the schedule came up because I had hit a point a couple of weeks ago where I found myself banging my head against the wall whenever I sat down to work on the new novel. So instead of wasting time staring at my screen cursing the lack of words pouring out of me I decided to take some time off. I didn’t touch the project for a solid week and it was wonderful!

I finally finished China Mieville’s The City and The City, which I liked a lot more than I had expected. I love Mieville’s work but going into it I was expecting this to be a bit of a black sheep, which I guess it sort of is, but I found it really refreshing. It was different for him and quite different for me as a reader. 10 thumbs+ ! I also started The Hobbit, which I had read so long ago that I may as well have not read it at all. Lots more reading on the horizon, including the second and third books in William Gibson’s SPrawl Trilogy, Game of Thrones (shut up, I like bandwagons!) and Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens.

Beyond reading the week was just very stress free. I tried not to think too hard about the novel. When an idea came up I’d think it over and write it down, but I wasn’t constantly carrying my notebook around and forcing myself to think about it. The gamble paid off. Instead of completely losing steam I came back to work yesterday and busted out a chapter that I’m pretty happy with. Little to no forehead slapping involved.

Here’s to keeping that ball rolling. And I swear, Voyager next Monday.

General Nerdery

I’ve been balls deep in Star Wars stuff for the last few months. Actually that’s a statement that could be made about most of my life, but the last few months have seen a particularly strong resurgence in the Force around these parts. It’s hard not to feel like I’m eleven years old all over again in spite of having a driver’s license, beard, job, bills and lack of a bed time. It’s fun. It’s very time consuming, but what else would I be doing with my time? Probably just playing video games, which I would have been doing thirteen years ago too if not for the copious amounts of Star Wars cards we were playing. Speaking of video games, I do plan on writing something up about Brutal Legend as soon as I finish it. Though flawed, it’s the most fun I’ve had with a game in ages, plus there’s a flimsy-at-best Star Wars connection, so it merits a write up.

My roommate and I have so far managed to grind through one and a half games of the Star Wars card game. The first one ended mid-game because I had to go to work and after almost two hours there was no end in sight. You could even argue that after that long there was no beginning in sight. That first half a game was a slow process of stutter stepping through gameplay phases in an attempt to crack the often confusing rules. By the end of the two hours we felt like we had a decent idea and when we started over a couple of days later we managed to see it through to the end. We haven’t played since, however, because neither of us have had the two-plus hours to dedicate to throwing down again. But hopefully that’ll happen again soon.

While we’re on the subject, last month I scored a sweet find at my old comic shop back home in Massachusetts, Harrison’s in Salem. I was home for my sister’s wedding, so of course going to the comic shop was my first order of business. Since I have as of recently found myself playing Magic: The Gathering I figured I’d grab a couple of booster packs and guess what I found sitting in the display case…

Yes sir, the LAST packs of the Star Wars: CCG in the shop! And not only were they the last they had, but they happened to be from each of the playsets I was heavily invested in! Did I get anything good? How the hell do I know!? The rules for each set became additionally complicated so who knows, maybe I got some bad ass interrupts, but for the most part I think I got junk. The two cool cards I did get were both things I already had: Obi-Wan’s Lightsaber and a rare Star Destroyer. But still, the nostalgia factor kept it from being a total bust.

Currently I’m reading through volume two of the Legacy series. After that I think I’ll have depleted my new Star Wars stuff, so a trip to the library for some of the novels I missed during my ten year hiatus from the Expanded Universe might be in order. In non-Star Wars-but-geeky-none-the-less news I’ve started to read through a steampunk anthology called, fittingly enough, Steampunk. It’s a genre I’ve always enjoyed from afar, basically only understanding the idea of it but having never read much of it aside from the works of China Mieville which could be lumped in with steampunk amongst other things. I feel like it’s a type of sci-fi that is free of the shackles of scientific explanation because a lot of the times the science involved could never work now, nevermind a hundred and fifty years ago. It’s an entirely refreshing setting for science fiction, especially for me since I have always held Star Wars to be the gold standard for science fiction (solely a personal opinion and one that, yes, I understand is very narrow minded in the grand scheme of all things sci-fi). There is a lot of genre fiction out there that I have completely passed over and just as I’m bringing myself up to speed on Star Wars, I think it’s high time I played catch up with other brands of nerdery as well.

And in case you ever wanted to know what a steampunked version of Star Wars would look like, here you go: Sillof’s Workshop