Saturday, July 27, 2019

My father and I just finished The Revenge of Samuel Stokes by Penelope Lively

My father and I just finished The Revenge of Samuel Stokes by Penelope Lively.
A solid and humorous book, as makes sense when dealing with a powerful ghostly landscape designer who can turn green houses into Greek temples among much else.

Good, flexible thinking and work Tim, Jane, and Tim's Grampa.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

His Dark Materials: Season 1 Trailer

I think the title of this post speaks for itself, so I will be brief; HBO sees its as a potential Game of Thrones successor. But this war is about nothing less than free will and the loving ties that bind. Here is hoping it captures that bright spirit as well as the drama.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

An Arthurian Epic without peer

My father and I just finished Silver on the Tree, the final book of Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising Sequence.  
The series that is one of our oldest and highest pinnacles of Fantasy, an Arthurian Epic that helped forge our love of the genre and, for me, crafted my view of the world almost as much as The Lord of the Rings.
"When the dark comes rising, six shall turn it back; 
Three from the circle, three from the track; 
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone; 
Five will return, and one go alone." 
Thus by the Six and the Pendragon's sword Eirias, by the Light and the great Circle of Old Ones, the Dark has been put to flight forever and world belongs now, wholly and truly, to humanity.

“For remember, that it is altogether your world now. You and all the rest. We have delivered you from evil, but the evil that is inside men is at the last a matter for men to control. The responsibility and the hope and the promise are in your hands-your hands and the hands of all men on this earth. The future can not blame the present, just as the present can not blame the past. The hope is always here, always alive, but only your fierce caring can fan it into a fire to warm the world." - Merriman Lyon, first of the Old Ones, Merlin

Farewell for now, for we shall meet again, Simon, Jane, and Barney Drew, Will Stanton, Bran Davies, Merriman Lyon, and all those others affiliated with the Light.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series is coming to Netflix

The original creators of the anime, Michael Dante DiMartino, and Bryan Konietzko, will serve as the executive producers and showrunners. Just as well, seeing as they have to live up to the standards they themselves set in Avatar: the Last Airbender.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Fossil Island at last

Hidden deep behind the stormy clouds lies a newly discovered area called Anachronia. At least, that is what it is called now. But for over a decade this place was known to RuneScape players Fossil Island, a land northeast of the dark land of Morytania. The island was spoken of by the Varrock Museum's curator, Haig Halen, who mentions that reaching the yet-unexplored island is one of Varrock Museum's projects. A canal barge was under construction in the northern part of the Varrock Dig Site, overseen by the barge foreman, and claimed to be used to travel to the island via the River Salve. Obtaining 100 museum kudos was to be required to participate in the expedition. But the barge was never built, or rather its building epitomized the phrase "getting nowhere fast." But now, at long last, and we can visit this Land Out of Time...and find that the fossils have a bit too much flesh and bones on them for safe archeological research. (I would say more, except my ban on spoilers applies for video games too.)

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Road Goes Ever On

"The Road Goes Ever On" by Matěj Čadil
So much of the heart of Fantasy is about the journey, and while a character's personal growth is of critical importance to any good story, Fantasy has the distinction of being able to send both their characters and readers alike to places they never dreamed of. Of blending the inner journey with a wondrous outer one, each affecting the other in key ways; and no author does this better than J.R.R. Tolkien. Having recently read The Lord of the Rings again, I was struck many things that greater age and experience gave me the eyes to see, but perhaps greatest of all was the impression that Tolkien nailed the journey element perfectly. Something I say not out of blind loyalty but rather total conviction and having read countless other Fantasy books since I last picked up LOTR; having walked many roads both wondrous and perilous with more dear friends than can be counted. But when reading The Lord of the Rings again I was struck by how each section, each mini-adventure, was perfectly timed, lasting neither overlong nor short and flowing flawlessly into the next section. One truly feels like one is going on the journey alongside the four Hobbits (five if you count The Hobbit and Bilbo).
Truly Tolkien is the master of the journey, as even his famous The Road Goes Ever On walking song is perfect for sing while walking, each word taking no more than a single breath and arranged to suit of the natural rhythm of walking feet. A fact I know from experience and can thus say that the tune lightens the step and soul after a long day.

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star.
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen,
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green,
And trees and hills they long have known.

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone.
Let others follow, if they can!
Let them a journey new begin.
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Still round the corner there may wait  
A new road or a secret gate,  
And though I oft have passed them by,  
A day will come at last when I  
Shall take the hidden paths that run  
West of the Moon, East of the Sun."