Reading The Sword of Shannara: Chapters 6-10

The Sword of ShannaraTwo weeks ago, we posted the first installment of Jen Miller and Phil Ilten's conversation about The Sword of Shannara as they read it together.  If you're just joining us, we invite you to find your own copy of the book and read along with us!

Dear Jen--

As I started to write this letter, I realized that last week both our letters were somewhat negative (maybe you disagree with me on this), and so this week I am going to try to conclude with a slightly more positive tone. That being said, there are some issues that I would like to get out of the way. The first issue, of course, is Lord of the Rings related. As I started Chapter 6, and finished up with Chapter 7, my impression of Shannara as a pale imitation of LotR only became worse.

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Of Jedi and Gamers

I’m not sure I can really consider myself a ‘gamer’.  I play video games a lot, that’s not in question.  In fact, I probably play them too much.  The part that makes me question my gamer-ness is my unwillingness to try new games.  I get stuck.  I played Total Annihilation (Gamespot’s Game of the year 1997) as my game of choice until I started playing World of Warcraft in 2005.  I got stuck on WoW for much longer than I’d like to admit and then Supreme Commander came along and I’ve been playing that ever since I found it.  I play other games, sure (Company of Heroes Online and C&C Red Alert 2 etc etc), but not for long, and I even when I do, my heart is always soon back on one of my old standbys.  Because of this, I’m not often tempted by new releases.  A game generally needs to be out for a while before I’ll hear about it and try it. That’s why it seems so strange that I’m excited about the new Star Wars themed MMO from BioWare. 

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Necroscope

NecroscopeA common criticism of Cold-War era spy novels is that they do not have enough vampires. Brian Lumley addresses that problem in Necroscope, where Harry Keogh saves the world from monsters and Communism.

For those of you who don't know Latin, a Necroscope is someone who can scope the dead, which means Harry can have pleasant chats with the deceased to learn their secrets and even absorb their powers for his own. This ability comes in handy when Harry is enlisted by British Intelligence's ESP branch to fight a KGB vampire named Boris Dragosani.

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Review: Super 8

Super 8Super 8 is exactly what you think it will be: Steven Spielberg + aliens=predictable. You know what you are going to leave the movie thinking or saying. For me it was, “Oh Spielberg and his alien movies.” The movie is very nostalgic for those (myself included) who grew up with the kids of the Goonies and Stand By Me to see a similar group of scrappy adolescents being kids in an increasing real, adult world. I’m sure there are lots of others my age that spent summers biking around and fantasizing about making movies--that alone and accuracy of period makes the movie worth seeing. [mild spoilers after the jump]

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Big Boys Don't Fly: Making The Cape

The CapeI was at the beach with my two sons in late July of 2010 when I got a call from Joe Hill:

“Hey, you feel like adapting my short story, "The Cape," for IDW?”

And that was it. More was said, but that’s basically how it all got started.

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