Posted on 15 March 2010 by Mark
I mentioned in a previous post that I had started collecting a series of books called the Horus Heresy which is set in the Warhammer 40K universe. This is actually my first collection outside of fantasy novels since most of the books that I own are from either Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms. Thanks to my friend Emrys, I started getting hooked to this story just by hearing him and a couple of other friends talk about it. The game itself was created a good couple of decades ago but the novels detailing the events of the Horus Heresy were published only in recent years. Continue Reading
Posted on 07 May 2008 by Mark
I finished reading the entire novel in less than two days and I must say, it’s definitely far more enjoyable than the movie itself although the movie did give me faces to paste on SOME of the characters.
Here are some differences that I noticed from novel as against the movie:
- They’re all Irish. You don’t see any Americans running around.
- Holly gets all the letters from the start instead of the mum secretly giving it to her one by one.
- The start of the novel is the already the part where Holly has locked herself up inside their place.
- Holly’s parents are together.
- Holly does have a crazy sister, far crazier than the one shown in the movie.
- She also has other siblings so her family’s a lot bigger than in the movie (and they’re all Irish. Oh yeah, I mentioned that already.)
- The guy linked to Holly in the novel is the guy who owns the bar rather than her mum.
- The all-girl trip is to Lanzarote, Spain and not in Ireland.
- Holly does not start a business of designing shoes but she does shoot for the moon which lands her a job in a popular magazine company.
- Holly is not entirely in good terms with her in-laws (Gerry’s parents) in the novel unlike in the movie where they kiss and make-up at some point.
- Leo’s not in the film! How can they not include Leo?! The cheek of them!
- You don’t meet Richard, the eccentric older brother in the movie.
- You don’t meet Declan, the aspiring film-maker, youngest brother in the movie.
- You don’t meet Jack, Holly’s closest brother in the movie.
- There’s Ciara, the crazy sister but her hair’s not pink in the movie.
- You don’t meet Meredith, Richard’s bitch-wife-from-hell in the movie.
- Denise in the novel is a player. Or you could say she dates around and just doesn’t like getting tied down. Thus the surprise of Holly and the rest when she decides to get married.
- John, Sharon’s husband, is Gerry’s best friend since they started school.
- Sharon, John, Gerry and Holly have been close mates since they were young.
- Holly’s maiden name is Kennedy. Gerry’s surname is Clarke. No Reilly there.
- Daniel is not some sappy lame guy who has a penchant for awkward comments. But he has a thing for crazy-ass dramatic bitches.
- In short, if you only watched the movie, you missed a shiteload of stuff. Really.
Well, they say the novel is predictable. I didn’t find it predictable. But then, I’ve always been a sucker for tragic love stories like these (well not entirely tragic). I love the comedy of the conversations and imagining actual people delivering the lines in Irish just cracks me up everytime, especially when Leo first sees Holly after coming out of her seclusion. The paperback is a thick book but I also find it a fast read. It won’t take a person long to get into the pace of reading it.
Is it literary genius? Not exactly. It’s not something that you would put in the ranks of Charles Dickens and the others. But it’s definitely a novel that can stand the test of time. Shame that I only found out about this novel now. I’m definitely giving this book a second pass once Chil’s done reading it. She was the one who introduced me to the genre and the novel itself. Quite happy with occasional change from battling elves, humans, dwarves and dragons to mushy love stories.
I’m currently reading Rosie Dunne/Love, Rosie which is like a mushy-yet-frustrating romance novel done in similar style to C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters.
Good stuff, I tell you.
Posted on 01 May 2008 by Mark
Chil and I met up today at Megamall for some lunch before she accompanied my brother to Bench Fix for a much-needed way-overdue haircut. But before that, she bought me a late birthday treat: two books by Cecilia Ahern. Although not entirely altruistic in nature (heheh), I’ve come to like Cecilia Ahern’s work thanks to watching PS I Love You with Chil and am now quite engrossed in reading the book version which I believe would turn out to be far better than the movie itself. I just find it nice to have a face to pin against the characters.
The ironic thing about this is that I’ve left my name to practically every book store that I’ve visited, hoping that they’d contact me the moment there’s a copy of PS I Love You which Chil has been wanting to own for herself for the longest time. To think she’d be the one to buy me (us) a copy.
The other book is called Love, Rosie which was formerly published as Rosie Dunne. I’ll read that when I’m done crying over PS I Love You. And no, don’t go awwwww on me. I’m one person who would not hide his tears when they’re worth shedding.
I’ve yet to cover up Chil’s other Cecilia Ahern book which I bought for her in plastic so as a “first aid” for these two new books, I lined the right edged of the cover (these books have a two-piece front cover) with some 3M tape (damn, I love that matte finish). Then, like all the books that I own, I marked it with my name inside the first page and the date it was purchased. For these two, I wrote Mark & Chil Parreñas – May 1, 2008. I’m sure Chil would not mind. ^_^
Time to grab some dinner. I’m starving!
Posted on 30 January 2008 by Mark
I did not really think I would be able to wake up early today for an errand that I had to run for my youngest brother but I did. Not without help from my fiancee and my colleagues though. The day started with a startling phone call from one of my subordinates who was at the US Embassy for a visa interview because she and three other team members will be heading for Chanhassen, MN early February. She told me that they did not let them into the embassy because they had handwritten DS-156′s when it should be typewritten copies of the form. That definitely woke me up. So Plan B was to go to a nearby net cafe and fill up the form from scratch and print it out then line up again. Thankfully, two of them have already confirmed that they passed the visa interview. I have not yet heard from Greg and I have been trying to call his mobile but it was always busy. During this whole “ordeal”, my fiancee was on the phone telling me that everything is going to be just fine. I love her. She calms me down quite well.
So the errand I ran for my brother today was to have his white PSP Slim unbricked. It was getting those weird screen lines during video playback and gameplay and then just recently, it finally conked out and would no longer open any games. It would always hang, freeze and then shutdown. It’s now up and running again on 3.71 M33-2 custom firmware and we’ll upgrade it to M33-4 when I get home. Thanks Walter!
Now, I am back at the office working on updating some files and folders on Sharepoint. There is an up and coming theme by blessedhands which is based off the Windows Media Center program. Really nice theme by the screenshots alone. Should be interesting to see the final product. I’m definitely loading that and replacing my current Organ 3.80 theme.
Not much on the gunpla side today or at least none that really interest me. There’s been quite a lull plus Bandai’s been releasing MG Zakus left and right. I heard they put up a survey for which Gundam they’d like to see on their Speed Grade line. They should do that with their MG line as well. I can bet one of the first to come up on the list would be a UC mobile suit or Sinanju from the Gundam Unicorn franchise. Or Nightingale!
So until I pick up the first of my two MG Unicorns, I’ll be reading some of my books to eat away my time. Books! Yes! I just remembered! I bought several books over the past couple of weeks. Some of them are mine. Some of them are Chil’s. I got Dragons of the Dwarven Depths and Dragons of the Highlord Skies in paperback: two of the Lost Chronicles trilogy that resolves the time gap between the first trilogy of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I also purchased Brothers in Arms which is the sequel to the popular novel about Raistlin: Soulforge. Last but not the least (and the first among the bunch that I finished) is Mitch Albom’s For One More Day. I’m a mama’s boy. This book made me cry. I loved it!
Minor edit: I changed my theme. I originally changed it to the Twitter-like Prologue but then I realized that my pages are now missing so I went to Digg 3 instead. I’m liking it~!
Posted on 13 August 2007 by Mark
I never really thought I’d ever set foot in London but yeah, I was there with a couple of blokes last weekend.
When I saw this trooper on top of that ledge at the London Aquarium, I was like OMG, Danny! Didn’t even notice the lady on the bungee ropes… >_>
I just had to have this picture because I’m a big fan of the movie V for Vendetta and it’s this side of the Houses of Parliament that got detonated by the explosive-packed tube train.
The tatooed bloke on the far left just jumped into the picture. We thought it was cool so we said it was ok.
I lurve dragons.
I didn’t buy this in London but I did see a ?4 Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony novel in a bookstore here in Bognor Regis which was frustrating since it wasn’t there when I first checked out the place and I spent over four quid for the copy I got in London although it was quite a deal since I used that store’s 3 for 2 deal so I got a free book for buying two books. Anyhoo, the Clarkson On Cars book is my birthday gift to my younger brother who’s celebrating his birthday tomorrow since he likes Jeremy and Top Gear so much.
This is what I brought back from London. Shot glasses for me mum. Magnets for me future mother-in-law and me office, snow globe for me fiancee and three books for me. Nope, no gunpla. The English aren’t fond of gunpla. I wanted to ask around about it here in Bognor but I feared that they’d just wrinkle their noses and call it rubbish.
This is your second one, bee. I hope you like Big Ben and the London Eye. I love you!
Posted on 20 October 2006 by Mark
I only saw this today when I stumbled upon this website about a Dragonlance animated movie covering the events from the novel Dragons of Autumn Twilight.
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman finally cover the events that lead to the recovery of the Hammer of Kharas which bought the refugees passage into Thorbardin and united the clans of the mountain dwarves under one thane.
Dragonlance the movie is set to show in the US on August 2007.
Small updates, yes?
Posted on 16 October 2006 by Mark
I have heard much talk about Bob Salvatore and his popular drow, Drizzt. To be honest, Drizzt looks so cool to me. Two scimitars and a mythical panther by his side, his dark skin, purple almond eyes and stark white hair just make for an amazing look let alone the fact that he’s one of the few drows in that world that actually live above the surface.
So yesterday, I bought the Icewind Dale Trilogy which was the first set of books that introduced Drizzt Do’Urden and his companions to the fantasy world.
I’ve been wanting to collect the series called the Legend of Drizzt and Volume 1 has been quite elusive to my grimy hands and my near-empty pockets. I saw one copy in Fully Booked, SM Block but the following week that I looked for it there, it was already gone. So when I saw the Icewind Dale Trilogy, I decided to buy myself the entire trilogy compilation which is the image that I posted above. I then discovered that this trilogy has been included in the Legend of Drizzt set as the 4th, 5th and 6th volume. So now, all I need is to collect the rest of the series. But it would be nice to get to read this the way others have: starting with the Icewind Dale Trilogy and then reading the rest that would pre-empt and continue Drizzt’s adventures.
Posted on 28 August 2006 by Mark
Yes! I wish I could type in gnommish just for this particular article. At long last, Eoin Colfer churned out the fifth installment to this wonderful bestseller. Looks like this time around, demons are tossed into the fray. Here’s what the site says about the upcoming book:
Ten thousand years ago, humans and fairies fought a great battle for the magical island of Ireland. When it became clear to the fairy families that they could never win, they decided to move their civilization underground and keep themselves hidden from the humans. All the fairy families agreed on this, except the eight family, the demons.
The demons planned to lift their small island out of time until they had regrouped and were ready to wage war on the humans once more. However, the time spell went wrong, and the island of Hybras was catapulted into Limbo, where it has remained for ten thousand years.
Now the tainted time spell is deteriorating and demons are being sucked back into the present space and time. The fairy council is concerned about this and is monitoring any materializations. But when the spell’s deterioration accelerates, the materializations become unpredictable. Even the fairy scientists cannot figure out where the next demon will pop up.
But someone can. Artemis Fowl, teenage criminal mastermind, has solved temporal equations that no normal human should be intelligent enough to understand. So when a confused and frightened demon pops up in a Sicilian theater, Artemis Fowl is there to meet him. Unfortunately, he is not the only one. A second, mysterious party has also solved temporal equations, and has managed to abduct the demon before Artemis can secure him.
Once again, Artemis will have to pair up with his old comrade, Captain Holly Short, to track down the missing demon and rescue him, before the time spell dissolves completely and the lost demon colony returns violently to Earth.
For those who have actually read up to the fourth book (The Opal Deception), I wonder if Holly got pulled back into Recon duty. In the snippet, she was addressed as Captain. Hmmm… I can’t wait to read it! September 12, people!
Would you want to read this latest installment in the Artemis Fowl series? Answer the survey! (powered by Zoho Polls)
Posted on 03 August 2006 by Mark
I’ve been a big fan of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s tandem in Dragonlance since time immemorial. Ok…at least ever since I first heard of Dragonlance and got hooked on the story of the Companions which has been narrated through three trilogies + 1 (Dragons of Summer Flame doesn’t exactly fit in any particular trilogy but heralds the Age of Mortals which would be contained with the War of the Souls Trilogy among other books).
Now, they came up with this splendid idea of putting together a single book version of the Chronicles Trilogy. So now, readers end up carrying a bible-heavy book whenever they feel like walking down the path to Solace again (or even for the first time). But what makes this book a real treasure are the annotations put in by the authors as well as the team that was designing the AD&D* modules for that storyline back then. Through the annotations, you’ll discover why Raistlin’s voice was whispery and how Margaret first found out about Raistlin’s hourglass eyes and his gold-tinged skin which Margaret later on endeavored to elaborate upon or give a deep sense of history about in a short-story-turned-trilogy called the Test of the Twins or what is now called the Legends Trilogy (note: Margaret Weis also wrote Soulforge which talks about Raistlin’s life prior to the start of his magical studies unto the shady 5-year period where the Companions parted ways to look for news about the old gods and about the armies amassing in the north). Here also, you’ll discover the reasons behind naming the characters of the heroes of Krynn. For example, it was very interesting, for me at least, to find out that Tanthalas, Tanis’s full elven name meant “Destined to Rule” which initially in the story was an irony to Tanis but actually spoke of his future. Also, it is here that Margaret and Tracy admit that Sturm, the beloved Knight, was designed to die early on in the story. He was to die tragically but his death was to have large repercussions and his influence was to rival that of Huma Dragonbane, hero of the Knights of Solamnia.
It was also fun to read the notes placed by each author and each member of the development team which was under TSR during that time because they gave a good amount of insight to the development of the Dragonlance universe and how it was different from most AD&D environments as well as other fantasy storylines outside of Dragonlance. They also talk about Tolkien’s influence to their work, one of which was how Tolkien’s LOTR** had made them want to have the same sense of deep history and thus the Cataclysm was brought to light.
I already own the Legends Trilogy but I do plan to buy the Annotated Legends which is also a bible-heavy type of book like Annotated Chronicles. I don’t think I’ll be missing much since a lot of the stuff about the twins, Raistlin and Caramon Majere, have already been discussed in Soulforge and Brothers In Arms. But still, I want to see Margaret and Tracy’s insight on Raistlin’s ambition as well as his capacity to truly love which most of the companions believed did not exist in the fragile but very powerful archmagus.
*Advanced Dungeons and Dragons
** Lord of the Rings