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Velox's Blog


Top Ten Tuesday #15: Best Movie Adaptations

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Jul 09 2013 · 337 views

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July 9: Top Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations


These will all be in the “best” category, as I actually can’t think of any horrible movies/books that I have read (thankfully I never did see/read Twilight, etc.). There are also various other movies that I’ve loved (Hunt for Red OctoberLes MiserablesPrincess Bride) but have unfortunately not read the books yet, and therefore did not include them in this list (or the opposite, like Jurassic Park because I read the book recently but haven’t seen the movie in a long time, and hardly remember it at all).
  • The Prestige–Both one of my favorite books and movies, this movie was definitely a fantastic adaptation. In fact, this is one of the only cases where I can honestly not choose if I like the book or movie better, as they are both fairly different, yet amazing at the same time.
  • The Lord of the Rings–I’m currently making my way through The Return of the King (book), but I definitely love Peter Jackson’s adaptations.
  • The Hobbit–Same as above. I’ve read the book several times before, and while the movie is obviously quite different, it’s still amazing and a great adaptation, IMO.
  • The Passion of the Christ–This is one of my favorite movies, and is definitely the best adaptation of any part of the Bible that I’ve seen (though The Nativity Story was also well-done, but didn’t have the emotional effect that this one did). 
  • The Lincoln Lawyer–I love both the book (by Michael Connelly) and the movie, and I think this is a very good adaptation. Better also because Connelly himself likes it, and I’m always glad when an author likes a movie based off one of their books (same thing with The Prestige–Christopher Priest was quite impressed with the movie).
  • Shooter–Based off the book Point of Impact by Stephen Hunter, I thought this was a great adaptation. Also very different from the book, but I love Mark Wahlberg in this movie and the movie itself overall.
  • The Town–Based off the book Prince of Thieves, by Chuck Hogan, I really enjoyed it. Wasn’t a huge fan of Ben Affleck, but I thought the movie itself was a pretty good adaptation, and Jeremy Renner was absolutely fantastic.
  • Sherlock–So not a movie, but considering each episode is 90 minutes, they may as well be considered movies. Obviously vastly different, considering how it’s based in modern-day London. Be that as it may, this is a fantastic show, and an amazing adaptation of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.
  • Harry Potter–Loved these books, and I thought the movies were fairly good overall.
  • The Hunger Games–Not a bad book or movie, and while a lot was missing in the movie, I still thought it was a good adaptation.


Top Ten Tuesday #14: Books Most Intimidating

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Jul 02 2013 · 748 views

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July 2: Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

  • Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. Mostly just because of its size. I absolutely love the story, and really want to read this book, but it is a little daunting. 
  • The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. Basically the same as above. And, really, also The Three Musketeers
  • Jack Ryan series, by Tom Clancy. Simply because they're so many, and mostly large books. They're fast reads, though, so not all that intimidating.
  • Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. So many people love it and praise it, and as such I feel like I'll be required to love it when I read it. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it does turn out great, but I'm not a huge fan of reading things and feeling like I'll have to love it. 
  • Many books by Charles Dickens. The writing style, the often large pagecount, etc. 
  • The Dark Tower series, by Stephen King. While they're not all that long, it's still a big series with several long books. 
  • Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. 
  • 87th Precinct series, by Ed Mcbain. This is simply because there's so many of them. 
  • Various other Classics, such as Gone With the Wind, War and Peace, and many more that I'm blanking on right now. This also includes things like the 12-volume History of Middle-earth, which would be amazing to read some time, but is a little daunting. 
  • Various Non-Fiction Books. Simply because I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction, so any huge non-fiction book is slightly daunting to me (with exceptions). 


Flash Fiction Marathon 2

Posted by Velox , in BZPower Jun 27 2013 · 376 views

Go enter!
People loved it last year, so we brought it back. Please enter and help make it the success it was last year. ^_^
Edit: And the OTC topic is up, as well as the first OTC them! Still one more day to enter the Bionicle theme!


Top Ten Tuesday #13: Books I've Read So Far

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Jun 25 2013 · 903 views

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Unfortunately I haven't been keeping up with these, but school and a couple other projects are done so I have a little more time now--plus, I really like this theme. It's been an amazing bookish year so far for me, with a lot of really great books read--38 read so far total. It's actually fairly surprising to me that all of the books below (with the exception of The Walking Dead) I rated 5 stars--something that I don't do very often, so to have 11 books (because of ASoIaF) already this year with 5 stars is pretty awesome.

June 25: Top Ten Books I've Read So Far In 2013

  • The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Definitely my favorite book this year. This book is truly amazing--everything about it is fantastic, and I hope to be reading it again soon, even though I'm trying to re-read less books since I have so many unread books I want to read.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin. Specifically, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows. I'm waiting to read DwD until it comes out in paperback because I'm slightly OCD in wanting the whole series to be the same type of book. Anyway, these books are amazing, with the exception of the adult content, and are definitely all 5-star books. 
  • The Prestige, by Christopher Priest. I watched the movie before reading the book (unfortunately--I always like reading the book first), but both were still amazing. It’s very rare when it’s hard to choose which is better: the book or the movie. Most of the time, it’s the book, but either way it’s always fairly easy to decide which was better—even if both were enjoyable. For The Prestige, it truly is hard to decide which is better (the book is one of my favorite books, and the movie is one of my favorite movies). I absolutely loved the book and everything Priest did, particularly with the structure of the novel. But the film was just as amazing (as expected, coming from Nolan), and is shown in another great way. So this is perhaps one of the few times that I'm not even going to try to say which I liked better--they were both amazing works of art.
  • Holes, by Louis Sachar. I've blogged about this book before, so I won't say much here, but it was definitely one of the most enjoyable books I've read so far this year.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. Basically tied with Holes. Another amazing book that I've blogged about before, and definitely one of my favorites. 
  • The Floating Admiral, by members of the Detection Club (including Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, & G.K. Chesterton). Really an enjoyable book. I love classic detective mysteries (Agatha Christie, etc.), and this one worked really well. Sure, there were a few jarring transitions--to be expected with each chapter written by a new author--but overall it was definitely really well-done. 
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Full review here. Quite the amazing and heart-wrenching book. Highly recommended. 
  • Human Chain, by Seamus Heaney. Quite possibly the greatest poet alive, Heaney is fantastic, and this book of poems of his was quite enjoyable. My favorite poem by him, however, was not in this collection: "From the Frontier of Writing". Still a great collection, though.
  • A Study in Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This one I actually hesitated slightly to give 5 stars. It's an amazing book, but the second half does drag on quite a bit, and doesn't seem completely necessary. However, not only is it the first Sherlock Holmes, but it's really quite commendable how much thought Doyle put into the character of the killer, to be able to go that in-depth with him (again, even if it did drag on). Plus, I also enjoyed it slightly more than The Sign of Four, possibly just because I had already seen the Jeremy Brett TV movie version several times, and knew the story. 
  • The Walking Dead, by Robert Kirkman. And also the first graphic novel I have read. Definitely entertaining and well-done. Having already watched the TV show, it was cool to see the similarities and differences. I hope to read more of these in the future. 
What about you guys? Any amazing books you've read so far this year? 

~ Velox


Top Ten Tuesday #12: Books to Reread

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Apr 17 2013 · 859 views

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April 16: Top Ten Tuesday REWIND -- pick a past topic you missed or one you want to revisit!


As such, I've chosen: "Top Ten Books I Want to Reread"

  • A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. This is probably my favorite book. I've read it twice, and I'm definitely eager to do so again.
  • The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. An amazing book that I've only read once--would definitely look forward to reading it again.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin. Because this series was/is amazing. I still need to read A Dance with Dragons (I've been waiting for the paperback, because I'm slightly OCD in wanting the same edition for the whole series, but I might give in and buy the hardback--especially since the paperback release date has been pushed back once again <_<), but I'll look forward to reading them all again. 
  • Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling. These books were really fun to read, and I only read them for the first time last August. 
  • Holes, by Louis Sachar. Just read this book last Friday for the first time. I know, I'm probably the only person who hasn't. Needless to say, it was amazing. 
  • The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster. And I just read this book on Saturday--same thing. Amazing book that I'd love to re-read. 
  • American Assassin, by Vince Flynn. Another of my favorite books. I've already read this two or three times--wouldn't mind doing it again.
  • The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher. A fantastic urban fantasy series, with one of the greatest narrators of any book or series I've read. 
  • The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis. Because it's amazing.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. Because I don't remember the books at all, except small glimpses of The Magician's Nephew, because I read them so long ago. 
~ Velox


Top Ten Tuesday #11: Books I Recommend the Most

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Mar 26 2013 · 508 views

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March 26: Top Ten  Books I Recommend The Most

  • A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. Quite possibly my favorite book. 
  • The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. An extremely moving and well-written book, something for everyone. Really gives you an appreciation for reading/books. 
  • The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Obvious choice is obvious. Tolkien is the master, and the Hobbit is an amazing book. 
  • The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher. Harry Dresden is perhaps my favorite fictional character. Definitely one of my favorites, at least--his wit and humor are extremely enjoyable. 
  • A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin. This really is a fantastic series. There are, unfortunately, a few things that cause me to not recommend it as much as other things, but I did really enjoy this series. 
  • Mitch Rapp books, by Vince Flynn. American Assassin would be the book I recommend most, as it is my favorite--the beginning of Mitch Rapp and how he became who he is. Another character favorite of mine, and Vince Flynn is one of the authors that got me hooked on reading.  
  • And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie. Also the Hercule Poirot books. Agatha Christie is a classic, and every one of her books that I've read have been amazing. Obviously some are better than others, but she's still a fantastic author.
  • Anything by Michael Connelly. Or specifically, his Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller and Jack McEvoy series--he has a few other books, but I haven't read those. Really enjoyed all of these, though. 
  • Skin, by Ted Dekker. Just an amazing thriller that captures your attention from the start and never lets go.
  • The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis. This book just gives you a greater appreciation and understanding of what love is and what it means. 
~ Velox


Top Ten Tuesday #10: Books I Had to Buy...but are Still Unread

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Mar 19 2013 · 724 views
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March 19: Top Ten Books I HAD To Buy...But Are Still Sitting On My Shelf Unread

  • The Presidential Agent series, by W.E.B. Griffin. I actually bought this whole series, but I haven't read any yet--I'm somewhat of a completionist, so when I bought the first one, thought it sounded interesting, and found out that there weren't that many in the series...I just wanted to buy them all before I started reading them. I have read other things by Griffin, though. 
  • Coup d'état, by Ben Coes. I was looking for this for a long time, every time I'd go to a bookstore. Then I finally got it almost a year ago, but still haven't read it. 
  • The Bob Lee Swagger series, by Stephen Hunter. I read the first book before buying the others, but have only read the second book since having bought them all. I definitely plan to, I just haven't gotten around to it. 
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. Way back when I first started collecting books, this was one of the first that I "had" to have. 
  • The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Same as Kite Runner. 
  • The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I mean, come on, it's Tolkien. So every time I'd go to a used bookstore I'd keep an eye out for this. Still haven't read it, though. 
  • The BIONICLE Adventures series. Again, I'm a completionist, so when I had read all of the Legends, I just had to get the Adventures and read them. Still haven't done that yet, but I do now have every book. 
  • Open Season, by C.J. Box. There was a time when I was actively hunting this down for a while, but it's been sitting on my shelf for over a year. 
  • Tom Clancy books. I've only read Dead or Alive and later (as well as Patriot Games), but I just had to get all of the old Jack Ryan books too. And I had meant to read them a lot sooner, but...I haven't. 
  • The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. Just another of those books that I had to have, but it's just been sitting on my shelf for a while. I do hope to read it this year, though. 
~ Velox


Top Ten Tuesday #9: Books at Top of Spring 2013 TBR List

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Mar 12 2013 · 980 views
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March 12: Top Ten Books At The TOP Of My Spring 2013 TBR list!

  • The Floating Admiral, by the Detection Club (including Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, G.K. Chesterton, and others). I'm definitely reading this next. I love the idea, first of all, of so many classic detective novelists writing a story together. Plus the three aforementioned authors are all very great writers, and I'll really enjoy reading what they came up with.
  • Coup d'Etat, by Ben Coes. Been meaning to read this for a while--loved Coes's first book. 
  • Killing Floor, by Lee Child. I've been meaning to start the Jack Reacher books for a while, and with the new film that's just more motivation to. 
  • The Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling. Or several other books, really. I mean, sure, I want to read this book, but I'm not sure I'd consider it top on my list. Still, i'm very interested to see how this compares to Harry Potter, and decide for myself whether it's amazing or horrible or just "okay" (it seems like I've seen those three comments a lot in the reviews). 
  • Robopocalypse, by Daniel H. Wilson. I'm currently reading this, actually. I need to have most of it read by Wednesday for my Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Literature class, but I'll probably end up reading it all tomorrow, as it's really good so far. I'll be making a blog entry on Science Fiction soon, actually, because I haven't ever read anything until this class.
  • The Night Circus, by Emily Morgenstern. Also for my SF/F/H class, but it does sound really interesting, and I look forward to reading it. Plus I need to read more fantasy. 
  • The Last Werewolf, by Glen Duncan. For my SF/F/H class. I'm not going to lie, I was disappointed to find out that this was the book we were reading to cover "horror." But oh well.
  • Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow. For my SF/F/H class. Sounds pretty good. 
  • Human Chain, by Seamus Heaney. I'm really excited for this one. I have to read a poetry book for my poetry creative writing class, and Heaney was recommended to me by BZP Member Tolkien. I've really, really enjoyed reading every poem that I've read so far by him. 
  • Masterpieces: The Best Sciecne Fiction of the Twentieth Century, by Orson Scott Card. This is also for my SF/F/H class, but we won't be reading every single story. I hope, to, though. 
I actually really liked this Top Ten Tuesday, and I look forward to the "top books for Summer" because I actually have a list for that, too (as I don't have school and can focus on reading more). The Spring/Fall is more up-in-the-air and I have much less of an idea of what I'm planning to read, instead just looking at my shelves and going "that one." 
~ Velox


Introducing the Next Ambage Anthology

Posted by Velox , in League of Authors Mar 11 2013 · 417 views
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From the Ambage topic:

Ladies and gentlemen of the Ambage, it is my pleasure to initiate work on the next published Ambage Anthology! Through the recent poll, BZPower members have decided that the overarching genre of this anthology will be Science Fiction. But we don’t have a title yet, or any stories for that matter, and that’s where you--Ambage writers--come in.


How do I participate?


Due to the nature of how the anthology is organized and managed, you will need to have access to Skype in order to participate (of course, you’ll also need to be an Ambage member, but that’s easy: simply post in this topic stating your intention to join). Once you have a Skype account, simply contact me via BZP PM or Private Chat and you will be added to the Ambage Anthology Discussion Chat on Skype.


Important: The wheels are already turning, so if you want to participate, you should contact me before the end of the day on Thursday, March 14th. Work on the Anthology will officially begin the following day. 


You might be worried about your work not being ready for publication. Don’t sweat it! All stories will undergo a double round of workshops and critiques before the final deadline, so there will be plenty of opportunity for improvement and finessing. This is an event for the entire Ambage community, so we welcome anyone and everyone to participate.


What does participating entail?


As a participant, your responsibilities are two-fold:


(1) You must submit at least one story for the anthology, although you may submit more than one. The only restriction on the content of your story is that it conform to the Science Fiction genre. Otherwise, you’re free to go wild. As a general rule, we suggest a word count within the 500-3000 range, although this is pretty flexible.


(2) You must participate in both rounds of the workshops. Participation in the workshops involves replying to at least ~10 stories (this number will be specified later) by your fellow writers in each round. The first round is a general critique, after which writers will make revisions to their works. The second round works the same, using the revised stories from the first round. In each round, you should reply to the same set of stories so that you can provide some commentary on both the initial and revised versions.


What are the deadlines?


The following is a list of dates and deadlines for the different stages of the Anthology process. If you cannot meet the deadlines, we will have to remove you from the project--there is unfortunately no leeway for this:


March 15-April 5—Stories due. Any stories you want included in the Anthology are due by April 5th.


April 5-May 1—Workshop Round 1. During this period, all the stories will be workshopped. Your ~10 in-depth reviews must be given by May 1st.


May 1-May 10—Revisions. During this period, authors should revise their stories. The revised drafts are due by May 10th.


May 10-May 20—Workshop Round 2. During this period, you should re-read the ~10 stories you reviewed during Round 1 and provide some thoughts on the author’s revisions. Reviews are due by May 20th.


May 20-June 1—Final Stories Due. During this period, authors should make any last changes. All final drafts are stories are due by June 1st.

And so, if you are a member of the Ambage, and would like to participate, let me know! 
~ Velox


An Apology

Posted by Velox , in BZPower Mar 06 2013 · 394 views
I've been thinking about some things related to my past actions for a while now, and it feels like the time is right to address them, so I'm going to do that here.
Put simply: in the past, I have involved myself in discussions that ended in unresolved conflicts. I said things in those discussions that I truly regret to this day, and I know that people were hurt by those things. I don't want there to be conflict between myself and other members, and as a staff member I realize that my behavior in those discussions was not appropriate. That being said, I would like to offer an apology:
I'm sorry. For anything I've done or said that was hurtful. My earnest desire is for resolution and reconciliation on these issues. It was never my intention to be hurtful toward anyone, and I sincerely apologize.
In the interests of prudence, I'll be locking this entry. If you do have a response, however, by all means send me a PM. Thanks for reading.
~ Velox

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