Monday, October 31, 2011

A Song of Ice and Fire and PAIN

It really seems like George R.R. Martin is just really good at writing bad things happening to characters, or at least that's the element of Low Fantasy that he seems to focus on through much of the second and third books in the series. I'm now about 60% of the way through the third book, A Storm of Swords, and some good things seem like they're about to happen to some of the characters. This is what prompted me to have the realization that practically nothing good has happened to ANY of the characters. Wars have been fought with both sides coming out of it badly, conflicts between characters resolved or at least progressed with BOTH sides seemingly getting screwed. I guess I can think of one character that things are going decently well for, and that's about it!

That said, I'm still enjoying the series and am very interested to see where things go even in the last part of the third book. He's definitely added in a ton of High Fantasy elements to the point that now I wouldn't even call it a Low Fantasy series or setting, it's just a really mean Medium/High Fantasy setting.

October is coming to a close, and I can't really believe it's been a year since last Halloween! Last year I spent a decent amount of money putting together a nice Obi-wan Kenobi costume so this year I spent roughly $5 on putting together a Tony Stark costume. The problem there is the chest-lights I'd rigged up don't show up on any pictures with a flash. I took a picture in the dark so I'll have to post that here.

I've been on a drought of new music lately, though I did pick up the Gorillaz newest album The Fall within the last month thanks to a friend reminding me about it on twitter. Becky also bought the new Coldplay album, but I have yet to really give it a listen. However, thankfully my friend Phil linked to a new group and song that I'm really enjoying right now, Data Romance and the song is called Bones:

Thanks Phil! I'm currently delving their other songs and finding quite a few that I really like. Glad to be listening to some new music (to me) again!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Fall 2011 Update

It was almost exactly a year ago that I posted about starting a reading schedule for the Wheel of Time series (Another Deathly Reading Schedule) after it worked so well to get me through the Harry Potter series in only a few months. I'm happy to say that unlike many of my other goal setting or attempts to get things done, the reading has been going exceedingly well and not only did I finish the Wheel of Time series (all of the released books, that is) on August 23rd of this year but I also managed to read several other books in that time frame as well including the classic 1984 and A Game of Thrones. I believe I also threw Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep in there late last year at the beginning of the reading schedule also.

In October last year I also posted about how I generally grow a beard in the fall, and I'm doing that again and once more this year it is also for my Halloween costume as well. Last year I had a bitchin' Obi-wan Kenobi costume and as much as I'd love to just dress up as him every year I'm going to switch it up and only do the Old Ben costume every few years or so (maybe).

Back to the topic of reading, today I saw this a few places on the internet: an awesome Flowchart of NPR's voted top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels. I am actually pretty happy with the number of books I've already read from the list, but there are quite a few that it's reminded me I should be reading very soon. Right now I am only about 12% of the way through A Storm of Swords, and not to mention the two remaining published books in the Song of Ice and Fire series and then the next 2 Dark Tower books that I have here in the house and as many more of those as I want to read. Here are some of the books from that list that are now on my list of must-read books:
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Ringworld by Larry Niven
  • Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Slaugherhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • World War Z by Max Brooks
  • Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
  • I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  • The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams (was supposed to read this one in Middle School)
  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons
I think this list combined with the books not on here that I was ALREADY planning on reading will keep me busy for quite a long time!

10/31/11 - Edit
Adding these to my must-read list inspired by this Wired reading list of Essential Geek Books:
  • Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  • Finish LOTR by Tolkien
  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte (seems like a MUST HAVE for me)
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson