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News, news, news! And more!

Wow, another day goes by and there’s plenty more to tell you all about! πŸ™‚

First off, do you want to try your hand at creating your own Fantasy (or SF, for that matter) book cover? I followed a link from The Old Bat’s Belfry to this site, read the instructions, and created my own book cover! πŸ™‚ Okay, granted, it’s a bit crappy (butterflies for sails?) but it still looks cool, and the title, together with the cover, really does make the book look intriguing. πŸ™‚ Anyway, here’s my effort:

The Power of Lodon

The Power of Lodon

The author’s name? That’s my pen-name when I write the literary stuff. πŸ˜‰

Here are the instructions:

CREATE YOUR DEBUT FANTASY BOOK COVER
1 – Go to β€œBehind the Name”. Hit β€œGenerate a Name!” or click http://www.behindthename.com/random/
The first name you get is your author name.
2 – Go to β€œFantasy Novel Title Generator”
or click http://nine.frenchboys.net/novel.php
This is the title of your book.
3 – Go to Photobucket and click on β€œsurreal art” or click http://photobucket.com/images/surreal%20art/
Add the two numbers of your age together (ex. 2 + 7 = 9). Go to that page of results. The fourth picture, no matter what it is, is your cover.
4 – Use photoshop, Picnik, or similar to put it all together.
5 – Post it to your site along with this text.

Pretty easy, I have to admit, and quick, too! πŸ™‚

Okay, next up: Wheel of Time News!

There is a widget available (which I cannot put on the blog) counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until A Memory of Light hits the shelves – in November. Now, now, don’t get too excited yet! Brandon Sanderson is working on rewrites for Harriet at the moment (for those who’s been living on another planet, Harriet is Robert Jordan’s widow and his long-time editor) and hopes to have them done by April (if I’m not mistaken); coupled with that, Brandon has time and again stated that this book will be a big, thick book, and that even his projected wordcount might get tossed out the window as he progresses. The book might even be split (I know, I’d like to devour it and finish it, too, without having to wait for part two, but hey, it’s not up to us), and the first part may hit shelves in November. Either way, I think the November date is a bit premature, considering the project and what Brandon has already said about working on it.

But if it does hit shelves in November, either Part One or the full book, you can be sure of one thing – in November, forget any other book hitting the shelves at the same time – The Wheel of Time will be the biggest news of the year! πŸ™‚

Check out the announcement from Dragonmount here.

And now, back to Star Wars! πŸ™‚

Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil – I saw the announcement here, followed the link to the official site, and saw this:

Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil

Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil

I’m so glad they’ve decided to go back to the cover-style of the first book, Path of Destruction! I’m sorry, but the cover of Rule of Two was a major let-down. This looks great! πŸ™‚

And then, this:

Star Wars Fate of the Jedi Omen front

Star Wars Fate of the Jedi Omen front

This is the front cover, and now, here’s the back:

Star Wars Fate of the Jedi Omen back

Star Wars Fate of the Jedi Omen back

I haven’t warmed up entirely yet to the new style of cover art, but it’s starting to look really cool – who is that on the cover, I wonder? πŸ˜‰ Here’s the announcement on the official site, and if you want them, spoilers for Omen! πŸ™‚

Okay, that’s it for now, I guess. πŸ™‚

Be Fantastic!

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2009 in Announcements

 

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Star Wars News and Updates!

Man, I’m gone for two weeks and the whole Star Wars Expanded Universe explodes!! πŸ™‚ Hehehe, I’m definitely not that important, but then you all knew that anyway. πŸ™‚

Okay, where do I start?!

The great, big, huge mother of all MMO’s, Star Wars: The Old Republic, is on its way, and if you follow this link, you’ll be taken through to the game’s website – why, you ask? Well, if you would like to get a bit of an introduction to the storyline of this MMO, the guys have set up a webcomic on the site that serves as an intro for some of the major characters and sets the stage, so to speak. πŸ™‚

Next up: Star Wars: Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil – here’s a cover blurb for you all from the official Star Wars site! Let the bloodbath begin! πŸ™‚

The Sith are gone — all except Darth Bane, creator of the “Rule of Two,” which states that the new Sith Order will consist of only two: a Master and an apprentice. But how does one train an apprentice whose ultimate goal — and proof of success — must be to kill the Master?

Darth Bane is beginning to suffer the effects of drawing heavily on the dark side of the Force for so many years. At the same time, he’s beginning to doubt his apprentice, Zannah, because she hasn’t yet tried to kill him and take his power. Is she weak? Unworthy of being his apprentice? When he learns of an ancient Sith artifact that might hold the secret to immortal life, he heads out in search of it alone. But Zannah is anything but weak, and now that she has glimpsed his worries, she knows that the time is ripe to take him on. The Forces of evil will clash in spectacular battle, with the future of the Sith hanging in the balance!

Does that sound cool or what?! And here’s something extra, too – author Drew Karpyshyn dropping hints! πŸ™‚

I don’t really know if I can say anything else about who might be appearing in the novel, but I’m going to throw a couple names out just for kicks: Cognus, Set Harth, Andeddu.
Wow, I probably said way too much. Maybe I should delete that. But for some reason I’ve been very in touch with my own personal dark side lately, so let’s leave it for now and see if I get in trouble.

*rubbing hands in anticipatory glee* Sounds good huh? For those who don’t know it, there were Sith mentioned above – but wait! you say, there are only supposed to be two at any time! πŸ˜‰ I think this novel is going to KICK ASS!

Next: Deathtroopers renamed!
Nonono it’s not what you think, I promise! They’ve only put in a space between ‘Death’ and ‘troopers’, and here’s the cover art as it will be for the hardcover coming out in October of this year! πŸ™‚

Death Troopers

Death Troopers

Here is the official blurb, too:

When the Imperial prison barge Purge breaks down in a distant, uninhabited part of space, its only hope seems to lie with a Star Destroyer found drifting, derelict and seemingly abandoned. But when a boarding party is sent to scavenge for parts, only half of them come back — bringing with them a horrific disease so lethal that within hours, nearly all aboard the Purge will die. And death is only the beginning.
For aboard the Star Destroyer, amid its vast creaking emptiness that isn’t really empty at all. For the dead are rising, soulless, unstoppable, and unspeakably hungry.

Next up: A book about Vader!

“Fully licensed with Lucasfilm, VADER will be the definitive book on the history, myth, and cultural impact of Darth Vader. From his early development by George Lucas in the original classic films, to the new legends created in comics and novels, to his appearances on everything from commercials to bedspreads, VADER will present a complete view of the character. This book will contain unique pieces both printed flat and removable, including never-before-seen concept sketches, rare promotional materials, early comic books, video games, action figures, merchandise, movie posters, and more.”

The book, now titled Vader: The Dark Lord and His Universe, is by Ryder Windham and Pete Vilmur and is due out in October.

More info on that as the info is released! πŸ™‚

Next up: Monthly Yuuzhan Vong, anyone?

If you haven’t heard about it, we’ll be seeing more of the scarheads in Invasion! πŸ™‚

Check out this post for more updated info, and below is the cover art for what has been confirmed to be the first issue:

Anyone wanna place bets on who’ll survive this encounter? πŸ˜‰

Okay, that’s it for Star Wars for today. πŸ™‚

Be Fantastic!

P.S. I’ll have the review of The Modern World up tomorrow, or later (depending on how lazy I get πŸ˜‰ ), and I thought I’d also let you all know that I found A Clash of Kings day before yesterday, and all I can say is, “Mr Martin, you gave me one hell of a surprise with Stannis!” πŸ™‚

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2009 in Announcements

 

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Review: Star Wars Darth Bane: Rule of Two – Drew Karpyshyn

Rule of Two

Star Wars: Darth Bane: Rule of Two

I finished Bane’s second outing yesterday, and it was even more enjoyable than the first! πŸ™‚ Drew Karpyshyn is really coming into his own, and with the third book in the series on the way (the title has been recently released, and it is Dynasty of Evil) we’ve been practically guarunteed that the book will be an excellent climax to Bane’s story! πŸ™‚

This book follows Bane and his new, young apprentice immediatly following the climax of Path of Destruction; they are still on Ruusan, the planet that saw the deaths of thousands on Jedi and Sith when Lord Kaan released the most devastating Force-weapon I’ve ever seen: the thought bomb. In the aftermath of it being released, Bane in the only Sith Lord still alive, but that’s part of the plan – he looked upon the Sith and saw them as weak, and knew that the Order would need to be broken and then recreated into a force (pardon the word) capable of destroying the Jedi and taking over the Galactic Republic. Sound familiar? Yes, Bane was the Sith Lord that began the Rule of Two, and if it wasn’t for him, Palpatine (Darth Sidious) would probably never have existed.

So, Bane has survived but is suffering terrible headaches, and is also seeing visions of two of the Sith Lords he betrayed and murdered – yes, Kaan did release the thought bomb, but Bane was the one who convinced him to do it. Bane has found Zannah, and after a detour back to the caves to see the remnants of the thought bomb (and someone from Zannah’s past), Bane leaves for Dxun, the planet orbiting Onderon where the tomb of the ancient Sith Lord, Freedon Nad, is; he leaves Zannah on Ruusan, without food or shelter, and tells her that her first important test is to travel to Onderon and meet him there – how she does so is up to her.

This sets the stage for the steep learning curve that all Sith before Sidious and up to Bane must have gone through, and throughout the book Drew puts Zannah through hell – but it makes sense, in terms of who the Sith are, what they represent, and what their ultimate goal is.

The book is an easy, enjoyable read – what I mean by this is that there are no passages that slow you down, nothing to get stuck in, and no re-reads of any portion of the text because you didn’t understand what was written. Drew’s style is fluid and engaging, and you’ll find that you’ve finished three or four chapters before you realize the world is out there! πŸ™‚

The action scenes are pure Star Wars – and because of Drew’s time on the Knights of the Old Republic PC game, also something more; when Drew’s character’s fight or duel, it’s never just combatants moving around each other and twilrling blades, and he also writes the scenes in a way that make them seem very possible. πŸ™‚

I did, though, find myself becoming a bit irritated with Zannah – for a Sith, she seems a bit too undecisive, and the choice (and its ramifications) that she makes at the book’s climax somehow didn’t seem strong enough to really sell it to me.

Other than that, I’ve got no problems at all with the book; it’s a solid read, an excellent Star Wars novel, and a great way of really understanding the differences between the Sith and the Jedi – put it this way; read Path of Destruction and Rule of Two and you’ll understand Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, Darth Vader, Darth Lumiya and Darth Caedus a bit more. πŸ™‚

Sith are incredibly interesting creatures, and I for one am very glad that Drew Karpyshyn is the one who was chosen to tell their story! πŸ™‚

8/10

Go check out Drew’s site here, visit his blog at the official Star Wars site here,

and

get Path of Destruction here, and Rule of Two here!

Be Fantastic!

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2009 in Reviews

 

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