Monday, November 30, 2009

Korgoth of Barbaria

I know its old, and abandoned by Cartoon Network.. but its still funny.

part 1

part 2

part 3

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Epic Pooh, Its whats in Micheal Moorecocks head.

I'm just going to re-post a comment I made over at the Silver Key, which is itself a shout out to an article on the Cimmerian and then expand on the vitriol a little bit.

" I think the real root of this, is that Moorecock has at most 6 books on the shelves at your average book store in the US now.. which is about 1/10th the number that Tolkien has.. So I lay this animosity at the feet of the green beast, Jealousy.

Phillip Pullman is another obnoxious wanna be iconoclast who attacks the classics in order to try to elevate himself. So its really no wonder the two are buddies.

one need look no further than the box office takes for the adaptions.. not to mention who's work gets adapted.. The Lord of the Rings series grossed nearly 4billion dollars.. The Narnia movies have not been as huge but will be on film 3 in a year or so.. The Golden Compass.. despite a huge cast.. tanked. "

My opinion of Micheal Moorecock is complicated, I consider him yet another pretentious British sci-fi/fantasy writer who's way to full of himself and lends his work far to much esteem for what it actually is. Like Clive Barker, Alan Moore, Phillip Pullman etc.. Works like "Watchmen" " The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen ", and " His Dark Materials " are attempts at Iconoclasm, They are attempts to become Infamous, since the writers will never be Famous... and unfortunately it worked. Micheal Moorecock trashes most other writers in the genre, I'm sure if you asked him.. much like Terry Goodkind.. He doesn't write fantasy either.. but instead writes about Important Human Themes, and Moral Truths, and all that other bullshit.

As I said in my earlier comment on this topic, I lay this squarely at the feet of the green monster of jealousy, These writers know they will never be as famous as their forebears, They will never be as famous as JK Rowling or Stephany Myer even..who is a whole other kettle of fish.. So they settle for being obnoxious and edgy and pushing the envelope so that the people who think the status quo is lame.. can show off how hip and edgy and envelope pushing they are by reading the stuff these guys excrete from their brains. This essay of Moorecocks is simple the literary equivalent of a younger sibling throwing a fit that the older sibling gets more attention. Moorecock has done much the same to other Genre progenitors like Robert E. Howard.. though his stance has softened some what in regards to him.. in a recent interview he still came across as patronizing towards both REH and REH fans.

However, That isn't to say that they don't also have Talent as writers, The Elric stories are great, for the most part, I read and enjoyed Watchmen and LXG..I enjoy them for the completeness of their worlds.. The depth of their history and the skill with which they are assembled. Much like Richard the III, they could not prove a lover so they chose to prove a villain.

Now is the Winter of our Discontent,
Made glorious Summer by this Son of Yorke:
And all the clouds that lowr'd vpon our house
In the deepe bosome of the Ocean buried.
Now are our browes bound with Victorious Wreathes,
Our bruised armes hung vp for Monuments;
Our sterne Alarums chang'd to merry Meetings;
Our dreadfull Marches, to delightfull Measures.
Grim-visag'd Warre, hath smooth'd his wrinkled Front:
And now, in stead of mounting Barbed Steeds,
To fright the Soules of fearfull Aduersaries,
He capers nimbly in a Ladies Chamber,
To the lasciuious pleasing of a Lute.
But I, that am not shap'd for sportiue trickes,
Nor made to court an amorous Looking-glasse:
I, that am Rudely stampt, and want loues Maiesty,
To strut before a wonton ambling Nymph:
I, that am curtail'd of this faire Proportion,
Cheated of Feature by dissembling Nature,
Deform'd, vn-finish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing World, scarse halfe made vp,
And that so lamely and vnfashionable,
That dogges barke at me, as I halt by them.
Why I (in this weake piping time of Peace)
Haue no delight to passe away the time,
Vnlesse to see my Shadow in the Sunne,
And descant on mine owne Deformity.
And therefore, since I cannot proue a Louer,
To entertaine these faire well spoken dayes,
I am determined to proue a Villaine,
And hate the idle pleasures of these dayes.
Plots haue I laide, Inductions dangerous,
By drunken Prophesies, Libels, and Dreames,
To set my Brother Clarence and the King
In deadly hate, the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and iust,
As I am Subtle, False, and Treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd vp:
About a Prophesie, which sayes that G,
Of Edwards heyres the murtherer shall be.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Last Viking Poul Anderson

Today would be the 83rd anniversary of the Birth of Poul Anderson, had the fates decreed it to be so, but Alas they felt it was time to sever his silver thread and send him to some other realm. One can only hope that he is currently entertaining Odin or Thor, or Zeus or Dagda or some other Deity of Mirth and Melancholies.

Writer of hundreds of Volumes, Founding member of SAGA, the " Swordsmen and Sorcerers Guild of America " Influence to dozens of writers who came after him, one of the few Writers who Micheal Moorecock, extricates his head from his own ass to actually praise.. (Except Micheal Moorecock of Course)

I first encountered Poul Anderson's fantasy writings when I began collecting the " Ballantine Adult Fantasy " series edited by Lin Carter, Anderson's "The Broken Sword" being Volume #24 in that series. I read it over the course of a single Saturday evening, It's a story of Orcs and Elves, Fairies, Norsemen and Gods, The Conversion to the new religion of Christianity by the Heathens and the effect of this change on the Gods and supernatural beings previously recognized by the people. But mostly its a story of Revenge. Originally written in 1954, Anderson re-wrote large portions of it for the reprint from 1971, the version I read. The Original version was released as volume #32 of the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series in the UK. I've not had the opportunity to read this version, but I am hopeful to one day.

I followed this up reading his Adaption of Rolf Kraki's Saga, Volume #62 of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series. Then his adaption/Extrapolation of Egils Saga and Heimskringla.. " Mother of Kings " written for Tor, its an extremely dense work written in the style of the Icelandic Sagas.. it covers around 50 years of the life of Gunnhild the wife of King Eric Blood-Axe of Norway among other kingdoms. Then I read his work " The War of the gods " and his three volume " The Last Viking ".. I've still got several of his to read, most notably the 4 volume " King of Ys "..

He is verbose and his style takes some getting used too, Some of it is prose of the utmost wonderfulness .. instantly transporting you to different worlds.. other parts clunk along like a steam train with square wheels. But the good by far outweighs the bad, and I never felt that I had to set myself goals for how many pages I needed to read each day to finish one of his books.

I've not read any of his Science Fiction, and I'm not likely too.. not really my cup of tea. Though his HOKA! Volumes with Gordon R. Dickson do look like fun.

So to Mr. Anderson I say Happy Birthday.

From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

From Blogger Pictures

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Shambling Hordes of Urban Fantasy

Bit late on this I suppose but I just found it.. Over on his blog, Tim Holman wrote a post on Urban Fantasy's tremendous ascension to the top spot in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi market..

I Can't say I truly understand it.. Laurel K. Hamilton is nothing but smut and gore, the rest are endless re-hashes of anti-hero vampire novels.. bought and consumed by people who don't realize that with the exception of Blade, Vampires are "The bad guys". Stephen Dorff " These people are our food! " levels of bad.. why make books about them endlessly trying to make them into heroic characters..

I'm not even sure what makes these books " Fantasy "... They don't have dragons or Swords or castles or any of the things I normally associate with " Fantasy ".. These books are less Fantasy than they are 3rd rate knockoffs of Anne Rice.. who is, I feel directly responsible for this travesty. I've seen the types of people who read these books.. They tend to frequent the New Age isle too.. looking for books to help them master the Burning Spell.. or something.. This key bit of information obviously wasn't a personal insight either.. Stephany Myer grasped it too and thus the world is stuck with crap like Twilight and now its insipid sequel " New Moon " .. Pro tip for all teenage boys, read them.. talk about how deep they are and how much they mean to you.. and you will get laid. Frequently.

This whole business is just more proof that the Book companies are wising up to the fact that 90%* of all books sold in the U.S. are bought by 10%* of the population, and 60%* of the people who buy books are Female. Why even bother marketing or paying people to write stuff for a minority of consumers? These " Urban fantasy " books are the written equivalent of Boy Bands.

I'm not going to say that my tastes in books are less geeky or whatever than any other.. But I will say that they are better books, because I like them. Thats how Opinions and Preferences work..

*all estimations.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

NPR's the 50 most important recordings of the Decade - AKA, Who the hell Are these people?!

I happened across NPR's top 50 albums of the decade.. A few of the artists I've heard of, if not actually heard, with no desire to hear them.. A few I have heard, and don't want to hear again.. because well.. they suck.. but the vast majority I've never even heard of.. So I dunno if this is because its NPR and they purposefully picked obscure acts or if I'm just epically out of touch with the " Mainstream ", No bad thing if you ask me.. which of course you obviously are if you're reading this..

I Echo the comment from one Eric Wenner, " If these are the 50 most "game changing" albums no wonder the music industry is struggling." I'd like to add to that if this is the future of music, then I want no part of it.

I do actually own one of the albums listed.. the Soundtrack to "O' brother Where art thou?" So its the only one I can say I've listened to all the way through.. On the other hand.. Having Robert Plant's solo album on here.. I take as a personal insult.. he can churn out crap like that but can't be arsed to do a Led Zeppelin Reunion tour.. They should just get David Coverdale back or something..

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

They Called it... Cimmeria

I didn't make this, but found it on and thought it warranted a re-post here..

Dungeon Adventures

Right so Dungeons and Dragons 4.0 has recently been released and a few friends and myself are trying to get a gaming group started so we can play.. problem is we lost 3 of our members to various things, one to the army, the other two to the current financial problems that are seemingly infecting everyone to some degree.. Which leaves us with only 5 instead of the normally possible 8.. or in this case 1 Dungeon master and 4 adventurers.. Its not as bad as it could be, but it never hurts to have a larger group so one can tackle slightly larger adventures..

Trying to find stores or existing gaming groups for the 5 of us to join has proved to be even less easy, it seems that North Georgia is something of a void space of anything approaching what I would consider interesting... But then its always been this way. If one isn't into Big Trucks or Hun'n then one isn't engaged in the local zeitgeist..

Having read many other web posts, it seems that to paraphrase the song from Tism.. Everyone else has had more Dungeons and Dragons than me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Currently Reading - The Sword of Shannara

From Blogger Pictures

I know this title has something of a bad rap, and it both deserves it and doesn't. Yes it swipes entire sections from the Lord of the Rings.. and yes it has all the hallmarks of an amateur writer.. but it is pretty fun so far.. I'm about halfway through it and I look forward to reading the next couple in the series.. Its no Tolkien, but then I don't want it to be.. so long as its Brooks, I'll be happy.

Salvage Operations

Went to a couple of Charity Shop today, buy most of my stuff at them anyway.. best stuff is not in the big box stores anyway..

Got a LP copy of Uriah Heep's Very 'eavy, Very 'Umble.. Erich Von Daniken's " The Miracles of the Gods " and Laverne Gay's " The Wine of Satan " a book about the first crusade.. a Few Cd's R.E.M - Eponymous, Filter - Amalgamut, and the Soundtrack to the Usual Suspects.. Was an excellent haul for a small town charity shop.

Tubes and Tunes

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tyr, Primordial, and Others.

Been listening to a lot of " Heathen music " lately.. bands like Tyr, Amon Amarth, Primordial along with some Neo-Folk stuff...

It may not be everyone's speed or cup of tea.. but will include a few choice Youtube Links for your perusal.

and the originator of the Genre

New Thing - You Ready?