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Velox

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  1. Velox

    Beowulf Translations

    Tolkien's version is fantastic (it just came out a couple years ago thanks to his son)--I definitely second that. It's cool because it's also prose rather than the usual epic poem style, and considering Tolkien's style of prose it reads incredibly beautifully IMO. I recently took a class on Old English (which also included Beowulf, both in the original and a translated version), and I didn't really like the translation we read (by Kevin Crossley-Holland, I believe), but I asked my professor if I could use Tolkien's translation for the paper and fortunately she allowed it, which I definitely much preferred. I usually love epic poetry but just wasn't the biggest fan of Crossley's Beowulf, so Tolkien's prose was a nice relief (then again I'm biased as he's my favorite author). I still really want to read Heaney's version too, as I love his original poetry, but just haven't gotten around to it. And besides reading some random version that I don't remember about ten years ago, those are the only two translations I've read so far--I'm definitely interested to check out both translations you mentioned.
  2. Thanks for the answers, everyone! Does that answer everything for you, Dragon?
  3. Thanks for the confirmation! Glad everything's fixed. Answered, confirmed, & closed.
  4. Out of theaters I recently re-watched Speed; in theaters the last film I saw was Battle of the Five Armies (sigh). Yeah, I thought the exact same thing, as I didn't really notice many differences either (plenty of differences throughout the film, but the ending specifically didn't seem much different).
  5. Velox

    Top Ten Books of 2014

    @Sumiki--Yeah, I debated including it or not . . . it’s one of those books that I really liked when I first read it, but as time has gone on, I've started to like it less and less. Ultimately I decided to go with my initial impression, which was simply that I really enjoyed it, even if it wasn’t one of the greatest books. I sort of doubt I’d like it as much if I read it again, but who knows. Either way, it's certainly not as good as the other books there, even if I did initially enjoy it. @V1P2--Definitely--that's the Tolkien book I plan on reading next (though I've already read a bit of it here and there before, but I'm looking forward to reading it cover to cover).
  6. And now for my favorite top ten list—books! So this was a really great year for me, reading-wise, as I (somehow) managed to more than double the amount of books I read in 2013 for a total of 121 books. Granted, a lot of those were graphic novels or other short books, but still. And so picking a top ten was hard as I had about 40 books that I rated 5 stars. So I’ve grouped some together and also made separate lists for novels and graphic novels. Note: These lists are for books I’ve read in 2014, and has nothing to do with release dates. Unfortunately I only read a couple 2014 releases or so (though I am currently reading The Martian, by Andy Weir, which came out in 2014 and is great so far) Top Ten Novels of 2014 Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, by Susanna Clarke. This book is long and dense, but definitely worth it. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I was expecting to not like this as much, as it’s always been described as basically “a history book of the elves” and, well, I always hated reading history books for school (history is fascinating, but the textbooks on it less so). =P And yes, it is a history of the elves, but written exceedingly well (I mean, it is Tolkien) and not text-book-y. This book was just so interesting, and I really look forward to re-reading it someday. Stardust, Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, and Fortunately, the Milk, all by Neil Gaiman. So sort of cheating here, but every single one of his books is absolutely fantastic, and I read all of these this year. My favorite is probably The Graveyard Book, but as I said, each was amazing. Gaiman is definitely one of my all-time favorite authors. The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker. I’d heard so much about this, and it really lived up to all the hype. To put simply, it was really beautifully written, and simply reading each word was just as enjoyable as the plot and characters. Skin Game, by Jim Butcher. Butcher is another favorite author of mine, and the Dresden Files is one of my all-time favorite series. They seem to just keep getting better and better, and Skin Game was no different. The Bartimaeus Trilogy, by Jonathan Stroud. Can’t wait to read the prequel book, The Ring of Solomon, as this was one of the best series/trilogies I’ve read. The footnotes by Bartimaeus were hilarious. A Dance with Dragons, by George R.R. Martin. Well, of course. This series is fantastic, and I finally got around to reading the latest novel early last year. Can’t wait for Winds of Winter. Einstein’s Dreams, by Alan Lightman. This was just an incredibly interesting read, focusing on the dreams of Einstein as he’s forming his theory of relativity. Really brilliant, not only being fascinating in itself, but also making you think and ponder about it. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman. Hilarious and exceedingly fun. Highly recommended to any fan of the film. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. My favorite Sherlock Holmes “book” (counting each collection of short stories as well as the four novels as individual books), as it contains the most of my favorite stories: “A Scandal in Bohemia”, “The Red-Headed League”, and “The Speckled Band”, plus I enjoyed all the others. Honorable Mentions: A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle; Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card; and The Fault in our Stars, by John Green. ~ :: ~ I’m really saddened it’s taken me so long to read a lot of these, but I really only got into graphic novels and comics fairly recently (basically at the beginning of 2014 when I read Hush and fell in love with them—I’d only read a few here and there before), unfortunately. Better late than never, I suppose. Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2014 Watchmen, by Alan Moore. Without a doubt the best graphic novel I’ve read, and one of the best books I’ve read period. The Sandman series, by Neil Gaiman. There’s a reason this series is so highly praised, and that’s because it’s fantastic. Tied for my two favorite books would be Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes, and Vol. 4: Season of Mists, followed closely by Vol. 7: Brief Lives because of how hilarious and fun-to-read Delirium is. I've been buying the single issues of Overture (with the Dave McKean covers ^^), but haven't read them yet as I was hoping they'd get on a more regular release schedule first, but it looks like that may not happen...so I'll probably just start reading them soon. The New 52 Batman, by Scott Snyder (this being The Court of Owls, The City of Owls, Death of the Family, Zero Year – Secret City, and Zero Year – Dark City, all of which I read this year). I’ve rated every one 5 stars, as Snyder really is an amazing writer and is doing such a great job with Batman. Can’t wait to see how Endgame plays out. Batman: Hush, by Jeph Loeb. Just such a great stand-alone Batman story, and it's the one that got me really interested in comics in general. Can't wait to read The Long Halloween, also by Loeb. Batman: Arkham Asylum – A Serious House on Serious Earth, by Grant Morrison. First off, the art for this, by Dave McKean, is absolutely amazing, and fits the story perfectly. The story itself is fantastically dark and creepy. Deadpool: The Complete Collection – Volume 1, by Daniel Way. Just a blast. I recently picked up the other three volumes of Daniel Way’s run, and can’t wait to read them. Deadpool really is a hilarious character (can’t wait for the film, especially if it’s anything like that leaked clip, as that’s very close to the Deadpool in Way’s comics). Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon, by Matt Fraction. It's really fun to see Hawkeye in a non-Avengers setting, and just what his day-to-day life is like--great character. Captain America: Winter Soldier, by Ed Brubaker. Captain America is my second favorite superhero (after Batman), and this run was a great read. Kingdom Come, by Mark Waid. What was fascinating about this was how all the Justice League members were old, and it was great seeing them have to come back. V for Vendetta and Batman: The Killing Joke, by Alan Moore. Moore really is the master of comics, and while not as good as Watchmen in my opinion, still two fantastic books. Honorable Mentions: Batman: The Black Mirror, by Scott Snyder; Batman: Year One, by Frank Miller; and Green Arrow—Year One, by Andy Diggle. Also shout-out to Wytches, by Scott Snyder, and Rocket Raccoon, by Scottie Young, both of which are currently in-progress but absolutely fantastic and would’ve made it on the top ten list otherwise.
  7. @Protalgift--Yep! I've been so excited ever since I heard it was in production a few months ago. I'm most excited for Liam Neeson voicing the Monster, which I think is perfect. It'll be really interesting to see how they do it, regardless...the art is so fantastic I can't imagine seeing it another way, so here's hoping it looks all right. @TMD--After watching the trailer a few more times I'm actually a little more excited for it. Not sure if I'll see it in theaters or not (just because I really don't see all that many films in theaters), but I'll definitely see it at some point. Agreed about Sam Jackson and Kingsman--tbh it'd probably be worth it just to see it for him haha, but the rest looks really great too. @V1P2--Yeah I'm definitely interested to see what they do with Aquaman regardless, story-wise.
  8. (finally) Just finished reading Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline. Such a fun and amazing read. All I want to do is immediately re-read it.
  9. @ TMD--Yeah, I guess it's a mix of just not being a huge fan of the second two Matrix films, and not being completely blown away from the trailer (plus it having to be pushed back and whatnot just makes me worry slightly, but that could be nothing). I mean, the trailer looks good, but just not amazing (it does look visually stunning, though, and Eddie Redmayne is awesome). So I am excited and hopeful, just not as much as I wish I was. =P But you're right, given the fact it's their first completely original project since The Matrix is a really good sign. @V1P2--I really need to see his other two films, but yeah, Mud was just amazing. There's also a rumor going around that he could potentially direct the upcoming Aquaman film with Jason Momoa, which I think would be great because one thing I loved about Mud was the atmosphere and setting (very visually poetic), which makes me think he could do an amazing job with an underwater setting.
  10. So after writing up my favorite films of 2014, I thought I'd make a list of the films I'm most excited for this year. Top Ten Most Anticipated Films of 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens. By far, the film I’m most excited for, no question. The trailer was fantastic, and I love how JJ Abrams captured the look of the original trilogy, while it’s still recognizably Abrams. Cannot wait. Avengers: Age of Ultron. Not much needs to be said. I loved the first Avengers (and most of Marvel’s films overall), it’s Joss Whedon again, and the trailer was one of the best trailers I’ve seen. American Sniper. This just looks very emotionally powerful. I’ve loved the trailers I’ve seen, and it’s Clint Eastwood. I'm hoping it becomes the next Saving Private Ryan or Black Hawk Down. The Hateful Eight. Quentin Tarantino. Another Western. What more needs to be said? The Martian. I can only be (cautiously) hopeful for this film. It’s got Ridley Scott (who, while maybe not directing as great of things recently, has directed masterpieces like Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Alien, etc.); Jessica Chastain, Sebastian Stan, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matt Damon, and others as the cast; and Drew Goddard writing. Plus, the novel sounds amazing, and is the #1 most anticipated book for me to read in 2015—I ordered it from B&N a little while ago, and just can't wait (which will of course also affect my anticipation of the film, depending on how much I like it). Untitled Cold War Thriller by Steven Spielberg. Spielberg and Hanks team up again for a Cold War spy thriller? Count me in. Jurassic World. This could be amazing. Or it could be less so. But I'm hoping it's amazing, and I enjoyed the trailer (though I wish there was less CGI). Crimson Peak. I mean, it’s Guillermo del Toro. And Tom Hiddleston/Jessica Chastain. Not a huge horror person, but this looks really good. Ant-Man. It’s Marvel. They’ve proven themselves, and while this had a few missteps (losing Edgar Wright, etc.), I’m still excited for it. Mad Max: Fury Road. Before the trailer, this wouldn’t’ve been on my list at all, even as an honorable mention. But that trailer blew me away, and this just looks epic. Plus, I love Tom Hardy. Honorable Mentions (no particular order): Silence, by Martin Scorsese (this would probably be much higher on the list if there were a trailer or anything, but since it’s Scorsese, it should be good); Spectre, by Sam Mendes (honestly the thing that I'm most excited about for this is that it has Andrew Scott); Tomorrowland, by Brad Bird (trailer was great, and I'm a fan of Bird); Inside Out, by Pete Doctor (hey, it's Pixar, and the trailers look good--I'm also a little excited for their dinosaur film); Kingsman: Secret Service, by Matthew Vaughn (the trailers have me sold on this, plus Vaughn is a good director); The Walk, by Robert Zemeckis (trailer was pretty good, Zemeckis+Gordon-Levitt...); Chappie, by Neill Blomkamp; Pan, by Joe Wright (besides Hugh Jackman, probably the reason I want to see this most is apparently the screenwriter is also going to write the upcoming Wonder Woman film, and I haven't seen anything he's written yet); Midnight Special, by Jeff Nichols (loved Mud); Fantastic Four, by Josh Trank (kind of? I'm just hoping it's good); Mission: Impossible 5, by Christopher McQuarrie; Peanuts, by Steve Martino (just out of a small hope it'll live up to some of the original strips/films); Mockingjay Part 2, by Francis Lawrence (I suppose. I need to see Part 1 first though); Jupiter Ascending, by The Wachowskis (tbh I'm not that excited for it, but there's always the chance it could be just as good as the original Matrix); Terminator: Genisys, by Alan Taylor. And there's my top 25 picks. Anyone else excited for some of these? (I think I'm actually more excited for 2016 haha…Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, Civil War, Dr. Strange, Deadpool, probably a new Nolan film [as he’s been doing one every other year], a Star Wars standalone film, X-Men Apocalypse, A Monster Calls, Jungle Book: Origins, maybe the upcoming Sandman film…)
  11. Velox

    Top Ten Films of 2014

    Yeah I'm not really a horror fan, but The Babadook just looks great. Glad to hear it's so highly recommended--I'll definitely be checking it out when I can.
  12. *blows dust off blog* This might be the first year I've seen over 10 films that came out this year... So here's my favorite picks. Top Ten Films of 2014 Interstellar. This is by far my favorite film of 2014, and IMO the best-made this year, too (that I've seen). This was an incredibly long film that didn’t feel long to me, and that’s really the best thing. Matthew McConaughey was great, Jessica Chastain was great, Mackenzie Foy was amazing...actually I really enjoyed pretty much all of the actors/actresses. I loved the score. Loved all the practical effects/real locations/lack of CGI (obviously there was some, and the black hole/worm hole looked amazing, but yeah--glad it was only used when necessary, and no green screen). Seeing this in 70mm IMAX at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood was amazing (I had seen it in just a regular theater before, and so glad I saw it again in IMAX). And for the first time it made me incredibly interested in reading a science book (The Science of Interstellar, by Kip Thorne), which I got for Christmas. It also just vitalized my interest in Science Fiction and astrophysics in general. Captain America: the Winter Soldier. This is by far the most re-watchable film for me this year. It just never gets old or any less enjoyable, which is just really to the credit of the writers/directors—it holds up under multiple watches. And not only is it an absolutely fantastic comic book film, I just think it’s an amazing film in general (also Sebastian Stan is awesome). Gone Girl. I mean, it’s David Fincher—I knew that at the very least, it couldn’t be too bad. =P But the end result was something that I thought was great, harkening back to some of his older films like Se7en or Zodiac. I was not the biggest fan of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and never saw Social Network or Benjamin Button (though House of Cards has been pretty great), but I really enjoyed this. I also really enjoyed Ben Affleck (for the first time as an actor, honestly--I really liked The Town, but I wans't a huge fan of Affleck in that film [never saw Argo]--makes me excited to see him as Batman). Great book, too. Fury. This made me actually like Shia LeBeouf, which I never thought I would. And for that reason alone this was a great film. =P But overall I just really enjoyed it, and it makes me even more excited for Suicide Squad, since David Ayer is directing that too. The Imitation Game. I was very pleasantly surprised with this. I mean, it had Benedict Cumberbatch, so I was expecting it to be pretty great, but I didn't think it would be quite as enjoyable as it was. Really well-done. The LEGO Movie. The film itself says it the best: everything is awesome. Especially LEGO Batman. Snowpiercer. This was awesome. I really had no idea what to expect, but with Chris Evans at the lead role I was interested, and certainly not disappointed. Wouldn't have watched it if it wasn't on Netflix, so I'm really glad it was. Guardians of the Galaxy. Yeah, this was just a really, really fun film. I don’t at all think this is the “modern Star Wars” as some people are calling it, but it is a great film and very enjoyable. Days of Future Past. This might be above GotG, but I haven’t seen it since it came out so I can’t quite remember. But that Quicksilver scene was amazing. Maleficent. Another film I was pleasantly surprised about. I liked it. Not amazing, but it was enjoyable. Runner-Up: Big Hero 6 (actually probably tied with Maleficent...I guess I'm thinking "which film do I want to see a second time more?" and that's Maleficent right now. But Big Hero 6 is probably the better film) Other films I’ve seen: Battle of the Five Armies (sigh. Best part of the film was Billy Boyd's "The Last Goodbye" at the end =P), The Amazing Spider-man 2 (sigh), Desolation of Smaug: Extended Edition. Films I really want to see: Edge of Tomorrow, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Nightcrawler, Birdman, In Your Eyes (it’s on Netflix so I’ll be watching it really soon, and written by Joss Whedon so that's exciting), The Babadook, Locke, John Wick, Into the Woods, Exodus: Gods and Kings (sort of? I mean, it is Ridley Scott and Christian Bale but…I haven’t heard great things about it), The Giver, The Equalizer, The Theory of Everything, and Mockingjay Part 1. And because I don't think it warrants a separate blog entry... Favorite TV Shows this year: Person of Interest Sherlock Arrow True Detective Justified The Flash 24: Live Another Day House of Cards Game of Thrones Constantine Shows I want to see: Fargo, The Walking Dead (only watched the first episode of season 4), The Strain, probably some others...
  13. The Imitation Game. Good film. Cumberbatch is great as always.
  14. Velox

    The Sandman

    This is awesome. I love Sandman, particularly because of all the mythological elements like you mentioned (that's actually kinda why Gaiman is just one of my favorite authors period--American Gods is his very obvious mythology-filled novel, but pretty much all of his work that I've read has mythological/fairy tale elements, and I love that). Anyway, really great job on the mosaic--it's incredibly accurate to that picture you're using. I don't really have any technical comments/criticisms/etc., but just as a fan of the character, it's fantastic and looks amazing. (Awesome job with the Silent too, btw)
  15. Thanks for the answers, guys (though let's keep discussion on answering the topic's question itself)--Dragon11603, does that answer everything for you? =]
  16. Well that's great to hear. I have to say, I'm even more looking forward to reading the next book now, as I was a little afraid it would be like this for all the gazillion books. =P Who knows when I'll get around to it, though, but if I ever want to get through the whole series I guess I can't wait too long between books, haha.
  17. There’s been a lot of great things in just this first week of August. First, of course, starting with August 1st: Guardians of the Galaxy. Oh man was it amazing. Though, as much fun and as beautifully made as Guardians is, I do think The Winter Soldier is still the better film, overall. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’d consider TWS to be the best-made film so far, above even The Avengers (I’d have to watch them again, but from what I can remember, at least, it really is amazingly written). That being said, Avengers is still my favorite film, as I think it was simultaneously the most fun and most well-made of the lot, but TWS is an amazing film, as is Guardians. And Guardians is certainly the most fun film so far of the franchise (the only other film coming close would be Avengers, which while I think is still the better film overall, is not quite as fun. Close, but not quite). So basically, other than saying that Avengers is currently my favorite film, and the best-made film overall is TWS, and the most fun film is Guardians, it’s hard for me to rank the three besides to say that those three films are definitely the best films of the franchise so far, IMO (and my favorites—then again, if we’re talking favorites, I’d be remiss if I did not mention the first Iron Man, or The First Avenger. But I’d still put Avengers, Guardians, and TWS above those two, I think). What that all boils down to is that Marvel Studios is amazing (particularly this year—two of the three best films so far in the same year), and I simply cannot wait for Age of Ultron. I’m less excited for Ant-Man, but I am still eager to see that too. Especially because I heard Kevin Feige say how it was “their heist movie” which sounds great, depending on how it’s done. (and seriously, I need dancing Groot. Best part of the film. =P) But again in the topic of Space, this week I had a Superman film marathon: I recently picked up the Superman: 5-film Collection from Amazon, because . . . heck, it was only $10, and I had never seen any of the Christopher Reeve films, nor Superman Returns, and I’ve been meaning and wanting to for a long time. Plus, the included versions were the extended edition of the first film and the Richard Donner cut of the second, which are the versions I wanted to see first anyway (eventually I hope to go back and watch the theatrical versions of both, though). Anyway, as expected, the first two Reeve films were good, while the second two were . . . not so good. =P And I really enjoyed Superman Returns, personally, but it really must be viewed as a sequel of sorts to the first two Reeve films, as many of its faults would be that it does not stand alone and tries so much to be like the Reeve films (and the first half is certainly better than the second, but still—overall, I really enjoyed it, probably as much as the first two Reeve films, and more at times). But it was simply great finally seeing these films, and the best-made films or not, they were still great superhero fun. I finished the marathon out with re-watching Man of Steel, because I couldn’t resist since I had already watched so much Superman, I figured I may as well watch all the Superman films I had. It’s my personal favorite of the six films, but there are certainly places where the Reeve films (and Returns) are better. Plus, I don’t have any nostalgia toward the Reeve films, and I’m excited for the prospect of a DC Cinematic Universe, so those two things definitely weigh the balance in favor of MoS for. Still, overall some great films in all, and the marathon was quite fun. On the subject of Wheels (though actually just one wheel, that being the Wheel of Time), I finally read The Eye of the World, the first book in the incredibly long series, by Robert Jordan. It took a little while, but overall was fairly enjoyable. Comparing to LotR or ASoIaF, it’s certainly not nearly as good (not to say those two are equals either, though—IMO LotR is high above ASoIaF, but to each his own—I do absolutely love them both and oh my gosh I cannot wait for The Winds of Winter. I'm literally checking Google all the time to see if a release date has been announced, even though I know it probably hasn't), but I know it’s not completely fair to compare them. Then again, it did have a lot of similarities to LotR, which ended up hurting it rather than helping it. But it still wasn’t bad by any means. In fact, it was pretty good overall, and I do look forward to reading the next book and, eventually, the whole series (assuming it keeps being at least fairly good). The main thing for me was that none of the characters were really interesting enough to stand on their own, which I didn’t realize until they got split up at one point. Lan and Moiraine are the two most interesting of the group (and Elyas, though he has a lot more potential that wasn't used, and he wasn’t in there enough), but they don’t really get all that much page-time, especially when the group is separated. Rand should be interesting, as he’s the main character, but . . . he’s not, really, or at least not until he’s with a large group. But again, it was interesting enough and enjoyable enough to still be a good book, and I will be looking to pick up the next in the series (probably whenever I can find it at a used bookstore). And I'm extremely glad I finally read it, as I've had this book sitting around for so long while always saying "I'm definitely going to get to it soon!" . . . and then never doing so. But I promised myself I'd read it this summer, and while I was planning to read it in June, at least I still got to it. =P And lastly, Watches. As with TEotW, I finally got around to reading Watchmen, by Alan Moore. I saw the movie for the first time a couple years ago or so, and a couple more times since then, but I hadn’t read the graphic novel until now, though I've really been meaning to. (I then re-watched the film last night after finishing the book as I wanted to compare/contrast/etc. As often with adaptations . . . the book is definitely better =P But I do enjoy the film) It’s really one of the most thought-provoking novels I’ve ever read, graphic novel or prose. For example, even just a (seemingly) simple question such as Who is the most "good" character? arouses many questions and thoughts. There are just so many questions and considerations for each character—is what they do right, or necessary, or both, or neither? Or is any character all that good? Of course there’s many answers and points of view on all those questions, and I’m not really sure about my opinion on the answers, either. But that really is, to me, one of the greatest and most enjoyable aspects about this graphic novel—how much it really makes you think and question the characters and their actions. It’s incredibly dark, grim, and depressing, but it allows for a lot of reflection. I can’t say who’s the most moral character or even if there is one, and I don’t know the answer to a myriad other questions the graphic novel brought up either, but I do know one thing: I’ll certainly be thinking about this book for a long, long time. =P Which is really the greatest thing ever and something I love so much when books do that to you. Favorite Quote: Ever since I first saw the film (heck, even the trailer), I’ve always loved this line: “[. . .] will look up and shout, ‘save us!’ . . . And I’ll look down and whisper, ‘no’.” But upon reading the graphic novel, one quote that particularly stood out to me that hadn’t in the several times I had seen the movie was: “No. Not even in the face of Armageddon. Never compromise.” It's weird saying it since it's just on paper, but really the "delivery" of that line (the surrounding events, the character, when/how it's said, etc.) is what made it stand out. But speaking of, can I just say how much I love Jackie Earle Haley in the film? He really does a fantastic job with Rorschach—another of my favorite performed-lines being “None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with you. You’re locked up in here with me!” But honestly every single line of his is just delivered so well. But there's really just so many thought-provoking lines throughout the whole novel, it's awesome. I have to say, definitely the best graphic novel I've read so far. Anyway, that basically does it for my first week of August so far. =P I’ve read so many great books (a bunch of great graphic novels, a bunch of great childrens books, bunch of Neil Gaiman and Conan Doyle and others. . .) and seen so many great films this year so far (CA:TWS, GotG, LEGO movie, Frozen [didn’t see it until this past February or so], Maleficent, Days of Future Past, etc. . . .). Will maybe do another blog entry on those later, but it's been a great year so far. Currently reading: The Princess Bride (again, as seems to be a trend with books I’m reading recently . . . finally!). My sister bought me the new beautifully-illustrated hardcover edition for my birthday recently, so this seemed as perfect time as any to finally get around to reading it. Great and hilarious so far, as expected (just finished chapter 4). And I just have to say: thank God shrieking tarantulas aren’t real. Spiders are scary enough as they are. =P
  18. Thanks, Makuta Luroka--looks like this has been answered. =] In addition, there's also more info in the Q&A Compendium: Question answered; topic closed.
  19. Yessssss. I'm currently reading The Great Hunt (I would already be long done with it, but hash tag slow reader), and I can assure you, the series is great. Have you read New Spring? No, not yet. I searched around a bit and it sounded like people suggested reading the books in publication order the most, since New Spring gives background information to things you don't see until up to book 10 or something like that. But who knows how long it will take me before I get that far in the series. =P I've got mountains of books on my to-read shelf, but TEotW was pretty good, so I'm looking forward to reading more eventually; I'll probably try to read one here and there, but I'm not in any particular rush so who knows. Still, definitely glad I finally read it . . . I've kept saying "I'll definitely read TEotW soon" for over two years now haha. And while it'll be a pain to get through, it is nice knowing that there's so many books in the series so that if I do keep liking it, I'll be satisfied for quite a while. Anyway, currently reading The Princess Bride (again, like with TEotW: finally) for the first time. One of my all-time favorite films, it's about time I read the book. =P And my sister just bought me the new, beautifully illustrated hardcover edition a month ago for my birthday, so that was just all the more reason to finally read it now. Really great so far, as expected.
  20. Recently finished The Alchemist, by Michael Scott. It was . . . okay. Not as good as I was hoping, and I wasn’t really a fan of the writing style, but overall it had some enjoyable moments. But just before that I read Jokers Wild, edited by George R.R. Martin, the third book in his Wild Cards anthology/mosaic novel/etc. series, and it's really quite awesome. Obviously with this series you have your highs and lows with all the different authors working on the Wild Cards series (my two favorite collaborators so far are by a long shot Martin himself and Robert Zelazny), but overall it's really well done. After reading A Song of Ice and Fire and Sandkings, I just had to read more from Martin, and with TOR slowly coming out with re-issues (the first was re-published in 2010, the second in 2011, and the third in 2014), it was a perfect chance to start picking them up. As with pretty much any Martin project it seems, one should expect a lot of adult content, but otherwise the series really is incredibly enjoyable, and I can't wait for the re-release of the fourth book in January. I'm not sure if this is my favorite so far (there's definitely downsides to each one), but it's the first full mosaic novel, as the other two had been anthologies of individual short stories sort of loosely strung together, and this format definitely worked really well. The only downside in this novel compared to the others is that Zelazny didn't contribute to this one at all, except for a character that is mentioned only briefly. In the other two, he had his own stories, with one of the coolest and most interesting characters (not to mention, easily one of the best writing styles). Definitely recommended to those who love Martin and superheroes. One shouldn't expect ASoIaF, but Martin's ingenuity and writing ability is still very obviously present. And now, I've (finally) just begun The Eye of the World, after meaning to start this series for years.
  21. Saw Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday. Definitely really amazing, and one of the best MCU films.
  22. Noooo, HH. Tyler's right this is like the saddest thing in forever. Thanks for being such an amazing staffer/boss/so patient/an awesome library queen for all these years. You've been such a great help and inspiration to me, and I can honestly never thank you enough for everything you've done. And Nate, bro, this is so awesome, and definitely very much deserved. I guess this makes me your minion now. : D
  23. Dude I'm so jealous. I really need to hang out with both you and 5s again (...come to los angeles, yeah? =P). Sounds like you guys had fun! (and it's awesome that this was the same day as free comic book day haha)
  24. To all Short Story writers: Unfortunately, as is obvious, this club hasn't been very active as of late, and due to inactivity and the lack of demand, it's time for this incarnation of the SSCC to be shut down. We've had a great run, and it's been my honor to be a part of several incarnations and even curate a couple. I'd like to thank all the critics and my co-curators for making this club possible, and to everyone who requested reviews, as it has been our pleasure to provide them. I also owe a great deal of thanks to Cederak, my partner in crime for many years, who has been absolutely invaluable to the SSCC and library as a whole. If anyone is interested in seeing a new critics club or even running one themselves, please feel free to PM the library staff, as if there's enough interest I'm sure something can be worked out. ~ Velox
  25. SSCC Review First off, geh, really sorry for the delay on this. -.- As others have stated, definitely a very well-written and enjoyable story. Simply the writing style itself was something that I really liked. To be honest, there's not a whole lot of general things I have to critique, mostly just more specific nitpicky things: I found this weird, coming from a Makuta, since these are all very modern sayings. I might try to modify them a little more or something so they seem more Bionicle-idioms rather than present-time-Earth-idioms. Personally I really liked everything before this. Yeah, it probably wasn't really necessary and may have been a little rant-y, but I dunno, I just really enjoyed reading it all, just because of the writing style/character it was written in. It was these three paragraphs, however (I just quoted the first sentence of the first and last sentence of the third), that I felt got a little long and unnecessary, as it's basically just a bunch of summarizing. Like I said, I really liked the stuff before this, and the reason is because it's more of just him--his thoughts/musings/etc., or telling what's going on but through his voice--whereas this is just general summary, and could be told from any narrator. And so I wanted more of his personality in telling it, I guess. POV shift here. But also, the "realizing he was ensnared" isn't really necessary--his pausing/the dialogue/context shows that realization. Basically same thing here--"deal was struck" is implied by context. This was another instance where things seemed to slow down a bit. There's a great scene of them two speaking/trying to strike a deal/etc., and then there's this exposition-y paragraph thrown into the middle. I think making it closer to him and more of his specific thoughts would help, so it's not just information, but his internal dialogue as he/Gladiator are speaking together. I'd suggest just using periods here. The ellipses denote pauses, whereas periods would be more just emphasis, which I think fits better. Yeah, like I said, some of this is really nitpicky, sorry. =P But I think "or" would fit better than "and". My initial reaction to reading this was "he has plans?" I mean, on one hand, of course he does, he's a Makuta. =P But on the other, it did feel like this came in a little suddenly, and that previously it was mostly just a "day in the life of" whereas actually everything with Gladiator was a part of the plan. Perhaps there could have been just a little hint of bigger plans earlier on, throughout his thinking/etc.--might fit in with some of the internal dialogue, not sure. This was another time when I felt things were a little too explain-y. Actually, going along with my previous comment, perhaps just spreading this out a bit would have helped, so it's not just a sudden info dump, but rather, we learn that he has friction with Teridax, which then builds up to this where we learn about him wanting to control time, earning him the position of equal. This was a little bit of a let-down based on the sentences right before it. For example, instead of having him say they were fascinating, perhaps show how he thinks that or something, so that this doesn't seem as much of an aside (and, plus, the rest of the paragraph is isn't really needed because of the last two sentences, unless it's expanded upon or something). I felt like this was unnecessary, or at the very least a little awkward. I think it could be removed completely, or have the story more in-line with the first sentence--"I had not seen the last of my interruptions" sounds like it's introducing another part of the story, but instead the paragraph goes no just to summarize an event that he just sort of shrugs off. I'd add in "begin to break" or something, or reverse the order so he crushes it and it breaks. "Small boat" and "large figure" seemed a little contradictory to me. Just because I was sort of imagining a Jaeger (from Pacific Rim) getting out of a tiny rowboat. =P (okay, so hyperbole there--but still. Perhaps "small ship"?) And lastly, there were a few times when you used an action as a dialogue tag. A couple examples: Basically, you can't grin/smile/shrug something. But you can say something then shrug/etc. So either something like "...I do," I said, grinning; or"...I do." I grinned, and... Anyway, yeah, that's about it. This is a really strong story, and you really did a great job with the characterization of Makuta of Stelt. I would perhaps liked to have had more character of Miserix, however, and to have all that last scene itself expanded, though that's also probably due to the POV shift from first to third. It just seemed a little oddly placed and sudden when compared to the rest of the story, though I'm not entirely sure how to suggest fixing it, as you obviously can't have him die in first person. =P I think perhaps just expanding that last scene a little would help. Great job again. ^^ Sorry if anything's unclear or got too rambly, but hope this helps. =]
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