Shadowbred and Shadowstorm

First and foremost:
Happy new year – have a good start into 2008 and may you be more healthy than I currently am ;).

Besides health I had a very good start into this year, having found my apetite for books again and very recently finished with the two available books of Paul S. Kemp’s Twilight War Trilogy. (And I have to admit my heart is longing very much for Shadowrealm.)
First all started with Shadowbred Shadowbred. The books very much starts where Midnight Falling leaves you. It was nice to read of Mr. Cale again honestly.
I have to admit my personal hero of the story so far (and she will probably not have a lot of parttaking in part 3) was the daughter of the overmistress. It was a brilliant combination of drug addicted, mad-wo-man and scheming priestess of Shar. I really loved her in the book. (Erevis, Riven and the masklings were great as usual) and furthermore I like the falling paladin very much. It was a genuine scenario of a paladin falling, one hard to ignore and truly understandable.
I remember not very long past I had a cleric of Lathander in the ranks of my players and he endured not even a hint of the pain this paladin took and converted right to Shar 😉 back then. I wouldn’t have another priest that easily convertable in my player’s ranks nowadays but back then it was pretty much stuff for legend – not perfect but still something to remember.
Shadowbred
was the second one and I honestly have to admit no matter what they say about Kemp’s colleagues when it comes to massive battles ( I just started with The Orc King of Salavatore and in the foreword they tell he does one of the best jobs when it comes to epic battles…) Dear Paul – you did an outstanding job on the epic battle you started. Every page was filled with surprise and struck me as reader – pushed me forward and let me forget any need for sleep or other things. I honestly have to admit I would have loved to see Rivalen fall against the Green – it was the perfect moment with the antimagic field to take place but I guess that would have had further implications and was not “allowable” at that time. The only sad moment for me when Rivalen survived the battle – because it was a bit too close.

Still it was a great start into the new year. I can honestly say it was one of the best books so far and hope you’ve at least read the Erevis Cale trilogy before you start with this one. Best if you now a bit of Netheril or Shade Enclave from other books, too since several princes are involved into this.
Well then I wish you a happy reading and all the best for 2008.

Last I have forgotten how all started. I had read Erevis Cale a while ago and haven’t been a very active reader lately. But I happen to know Paul a bit from myspace and read all his bulletins. He posted one a while ago with a link to a story. I still haven’t read that one but remembered the bulletin and visited his homepage. There you can download around 50% of the first book – try reading it. It captivated me, the halfling-story was enough for me to order it seconds later and of course I ordered the second book, too – who loves reading only parts of a story…
If you’re interested in the ongoings of Paul S Kemp’s Author live – you might drop by his livejournal. That one is worth reading, too.

Short pre-weekend report

So, well yesterday I broke my blog-strike :).

I just couldn’t stand it anymore. Stay quite and say nothing to the world around me… But I guess nothing will change – too few people realize what personal freedom means – and in fact I doubt we have freedom like this so called “freedom” everyone has due to various constitutions and human rights declarations. But enough of this whining without a point – what happened lately over here.

You might have noticed – if you still look or ever looked into my blog, I’ve been writing alot on roleplaying games. So the first change was we really switched from Dungeons & Dragons where the campaign ended a bit prematurely to Shadowrun – New Orleans. A high-tide setting created by Tom/Coyote. I’ll try to come back to regular postings now and will keep an information channel open so everyone can read what happened and will happen here.

Secondly and most importantly, I / we have got a new flat mate. It’s been a few weeks now and Jeannie is doing fairly well meanwhile. She tends to chase Jacob and Einstein around – is very cuddly but tends to be in equal shares touchy :). Still I think she finally made her trial time home… She had a rather harsh, unfriendly late history, she has been setout into a staircase in the 8th district with an opened metal-can and a  bit of sand in a very small cage… Whoever does such things – may the same happen to him.

During weekends I’ve spent a lot of time on motorbike trips and tours – though they have been quite short this year, I’m looking forward to next year’s tours.

Well so that was my little update for now – dearest reader I hope you enjoy a relaxing and wonderful weekend. (Over here we have high tides – flooded cities in Austria and I think the medieval market on Sunday will drown and I should start thinking of an alternative… (Thermae))

Tai Chi (Masters)

Finally a new film – I mean an old film but a new one for me to report on…

Lately I had the possibility to watch Tai Chi Masters (in German this film is just called Tai Chi). And I really enjoyed it. The plot is quite straight-forward – of two kids in the shaolin monastery – Jun Bao (Jet Li) is a bit more advanced in mental ways, while Chin Bo (Siu-hou Chin) is a bit farther in martial ways. The film pictures (in a very positive way) the confrotation of rage and striving to achieve victory at all costs and wages it against calmness and a more taoistic approach. Of course the later one is more effective after a time. While one might work hard on himself – ignoring all things (and friends) around him
costs dearly in the end.

As usual I’m working hard on not spoiling the film – therefore only a few words on it.

The martial arts choreography is party very good and on the other hand quite funny. It’s a typical eastern style fighting with a few very efficient manoevers but a lot of comical style moves. The overall performance of the actors is not outstanding but gives a good evening of entertainment.

G1S

So I finally made my decision… And it was a really hard one to make. I’ve to admit I’ve always been a gamer type. Especially when it comes to roleplaying-games and computer games. The later made this decision a bit harder… I have bought a few games over the last months and found out – I just don’t spend time playing anymore. I either don’t have the time or am not that faszinated by the game. I prefer my friday rpg games over any other gaming activity – and for the rest there are two cats and one girlfriend to keep my busy trying to meet with a few friends at least every now and then ;). (And then we might end up playing board-games like Poh-Wow! :).

So far I think one thing has stayed the same for the last ten years, I’ve bought regularly a new pc – always some kind of latest-in-technology (state of the art) and this decision was a rather close one between the Samsung S70 – Despina, the ASUS G1S and the ASUS G2S…

So I will hope for the delivery of my new laptop (desktop replacement machine) in the next week. To be honest, I can’t wait ;).

Asus G1S

Paycheck / A Scanner Darkly

Staying on the topic of cyberpunk – I recently acquired two new dvds…

Paycheck is one of them and after watching Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman in quite creative roles, I have to admit this was one of the better science-fiction films lately. The film itself tells the story of Michael Jennings who sells time of his life as (reverse) engineer. Working on extremely high security projects and in highly confidential areas he get’s his paychecks for work of up to eight weeks, after those he sells even his memories – when his friend Shorty removes his memories – it all is very much the same as before – he just lack’s a few weeks of time. (Erasing the short-term memory)
But this changes very much when he get’s a very attractive offer and a possibility to get a final paycheck for three years of work…
(Director John Woo is quite well know for action – so count on it – you get action with this one)
A Scanner Darkly turned up when I was searching through the web on Philip W. Dick, the author of Blade Runner… It was another one short-story put into motion picture – but this one -is- different. First of all it’s a bit autobiographic for it is quite well know that the author did a lot of drugs… But no only the story is interesting (though it might be on several occassions that one figures a bit long-winded) but Keanu Reaves, Rory Cochrane, Robert Downey Jr., Mitch Baker and Winona Rider give you a ride on a story that fits perfectly into a mixture of a Big-Brother World and drug problems in the future. Bob Arctor in the movie (Keanu Reaves) is addicted to Substance D, he is working as special covert agent Frank (with a special suit that makes it impossible to uncover one’s true shape and voice) and everything is going to change when he is ordered to shadow his real self… With a special developed rotoscopic process they turned the real pictures very much into a comic film – this gives the film a special edge – and leaves quite an impression – it manages to develop a lot of emotions and special, unique views in the film. To my own surprise, I really liked it – especially for the plot and for the creative pictures.