Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are: Movie Trailer!

The first trailer for the "Where the Wild Things Are" movie was released today! Hopefully all of you remember this loveable and classic book by Maurice Sendak. There is no exact release date as of yet, but they have penned down the month to October of 2009. This may sound familiar as this movie was to be released over 1 year ago, but got yanked from the release list due to some director/publisher disputes. I am happy to see it on Warner Brothers release list once again!

Here is the plot outline courtesy of Wikipedia:
"The film concerns the imaginary adventures of a young boy named Max, who is angry after being sent to his room without supper. He then creates a forest inhabited by many large imaginary monsters, who crown him their ruler. He then befriends a large monster called Carol, who helps him understand the meaning of love."

Admittedly I was a bit skeptical when I first heard of the movie back in 2007, but the trailer actually looks good! I look forward to seeing more in the near future!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Wheel of Time: Eye of the World #0 - Dragonmount

I love the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. At first I found the sheer size of the massive series daunting, but once I got into Eye of the World (the first written book of the series), that physical size went away and was replaced by a wonderful world!

Dabel Brothers Publishing will be releasing "The Wheel of Time: Eye of the World #0 - Dragonmount", a Graphic Novel, April 29th 2009. From what I have seen so far the graphic novel based upon Eye of the World does the original work justice. Chase Conley does the cover and internal artwork for this graphic novel, and Chick Dixon adapts the original written work into the graphic novel format. Lets face it, you can't have as much "written" detail, but the physical imagery is what makes graphic novels excellent at times!

Here is a summary from the original press release:
(W) Chuck Dixon, Robert Jordan (A) Chase Conley At long last, the Dabel Brothers proudly bring you the adaptation of Robert Jordan's epic fantasy masterwork: The Wheel of Time! The saga begins here with the Fall of the Dragon and the Breaking of the World in this prelude issue to the ongoing series, in this edition available with Regular and PREVIEWS Exclusive covers. And the Shadow fell upon the Land, and the World was riven stone from stone. The oceans fled, and the mountains were swallowed up, and the nations were scattered to the eight corners of the World. The moon was blood, and the sun was as ashes. The seas boiled, and the living envied the dead. All was shattered, and all but memory lost, and one memory above all others, of him who brought the Shadow and the Breaking of the World. And him they named Dragon.
If you have never read the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, go to your local book store and get a copy or borrow one from a friend. You can try your local library system, but there is normally a nice sized hold request list on each of the books unfortunately. But that goes to show you how popular the series is and how well Robert Jordan portrays the world and its characters.

You can view updates and more release information at the Dabel Brothers Publishing website.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Color of Magic on ION Tonight at 6PM

Terry Pratchett is most well known for his first novel that took place in Discworld, a fantasy realm balanced on the backs of four elephants, which themselves stand atop a huge turtle (as seen in the introduction of the video below if you cant imagine it yourself). The Color of Magic was first released on television in Britain back in 2008, today marks the first day it will be available to the public in the United States (pending you get ION).

I have been a huge fan of Terry Pratchett for the last couple of years. Sadly it took me that long to even run across his writings in the library system! Now I can't get enough of him! Terry creates amazing worlds and settings with great characters that come to life as you are reading. Whimsical and sometimes for a younger audience, Terry's books still speak to readers of all ages. A librarian even tried to point me to the "adult" section of the audio books one time while I was examining a few of Terry's creations! She sure didn't know what she was missing! :)

"Based on the first two books in best-selling author Sir Terry Pratchett’s (Yes, he was Knighted in 2008 and was astonished to be honored in this way) hugely popular Discworld series, The Color of Magic stars Oscar nominee Sean Astin, Tim Curry and David Jason. Additionally, Brian Cox serves as the narrator and Christopher Lee takes on the vocal role of Death.

Discworld, a magical realm, has got its first tourist! Rincewind, an incompetent and cynical wizardry student, has recently been expelled from Unseen University and been given the task of guiding Twoflower through the city state of Ankh Morpork. The two are forced to flee the city after a terrible fire and are sent on a fantastical journey across the Disc, which is unknowingly being controlled by a board game played by the Gods. Along the way Rincewind encounters a few problems: firstly, as an expert coward, he doesn’t feel he’s the best person to guard a naive - and extremely rich, by local standards - tourist through one of the roughest cities in the multiverse. Then, of course, Rincewind experiences a vicious and bloody struggle with his arch-enemy, the power-hungry maniac Trymon. Oh, and the world is coming to an end. Can Rincewind defeat his nemesis and save Discworld from ultimate destruction?"
Check out the trailer below (Britain trailer from 2008...there is no US trailer, Sorry!):

Friday, March 20, 2009

Star Wars: The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Comic

If you haven't had a chance to view the Star Wars: The Old Republic, Threat of Peace web comic, they just released Issue #2! Threat of Peace is a collaborative effort between BioWare, LucasArts and Dark Horse Comics. There is a new issue released twice each month. The web comic is a "dramatic and exciting introduction to The Old Republic time period and many of the characters who appear in the game."

What game you ask? Star Wars: The Old Republic by Bioware; a new Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG or MMO) that is due to be released at an unknown time and is currently in testing. Visit the official site for more information.

Currently we are on Act 1: Treaty of Coruscant, Issue #2. These comics are short but sweet; each issue thus far is 6 pages packed full of energy. It even looks like we have the basic model for Darth Vader's armor in Issue #2. Let me know if you see what I saw!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

R2-D2 has a new friend!

R2-D2 has a new friend; Meet Beer2-D3! This masterpiece was created by Paul Loughridge, aka "Lockwasher".

Below is what Beer2-D3 was created from:
-Head - 1945 chrome BLC utility light shell.
-Eye - vintage movie camera lens w/adjustable spring-loaded aluminum casing.
-Body - 4.7 liter “adult soda” mini-keg.
-Legs - propane tank valve handles, brass spacers, drilled-out washers, pair of aluminum Lady Josephine shoe butler (wall-mounted shoe shine holders).
-Feet/base - 3 mini bread loaf pans, lamp hardware and a 1/2″ precision drilled aluminum base plate.
+assorted nuts, bolts, screws and, of course - lockwashers!

Very cool. He is a "rolling" billboard for Heinekin but the best use of a keg I have ever seen! Imagine the awkward bleeps and bloops he could greet you with as you decide you need a cold one. Someone might just be the life of the party!

You can view Paul's Flickr Photostream to see more of his great creations.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Sci Fi Channel called me a geek!

Bye! Bye! Sci Fi channel. Hello...SyFy?

“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” Tim Brooks (helped launch the network)

What a quote! Due to this stereotype the Sci Fi channel is changing their name July 7th, 2009 to "SyFy" with the tagline "Imagine Greater". They will be making the transition over a 6-12 month period. They feel like the name will appeal to a wider audience and further distance themselves from Science Fiction as a whole. They want to "own the imagination space".

Behold the new logo. I'm not impressed, but I guess I was their prior target audience. Now I am just part of the new "general public and female audience". Luckily they still have some great shows, and some that aren't so great. The "Sci Fi Channel" will forever live in my mind. May you rest in peace my beloved.

You can view the official press release for more details.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Fool's Gold" by Larry Elmore

Larry Elmore just found and released to the public 50 lithograph prints of his "Fool's Gold" painting which was completed for a Dragon Magazine cover back in 1988. The lithograph was a huge success and has been sold out for years. Larry apparently came across these gems while hunting for luggage! The hidden treasures we sometimes find in our own spaces are amazing!

This lithograph is for the avid Snarfquest fan and will sell out fast! Snarfquest is a graphic novel that originally ran in Dragon Magazine from 1983-1989. Snarfquest: The Graphic Novel was published in 2000 as a 224 page collection. SnarfQuest currently appears in all-new full color stories as a bimonthly feature in the magazine Games Unplugged.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I recently came across a cheap White Darth Vader on eBay! Someone actually wasn't trying to charge full retail price for a loose figure, of which isn't even the entire comic pack it was released with! So now, Darth Vader (white) faces Darth Vader (black) on my bookshelf for the ultimate lightsaber duel. Quite remarkable really.

In other news my daugher fed our dragons again yesterday. I thought that phase went away but apparently not. Why should I expect so when the house is subtly adorned with them? Better yet, I have never stopped "feeding the dragons" and love "living" in fantasy worlds, so why should I expect anything else from a child with a great imagination?

Last, the kitchen Ogres threatened to throw quite a rucuss, and possibly bite, if there home gets moved. They are quite comfortable.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Renegade Wizards by Lucien Soulban

As the third installment of the "Tracy Hickman presents..." series, Renegade Wizards by Lucien Soulban does not dissapoint! The first in the series was The Sellsword by Cam Banks and the second was The Survivors by Dan Willis. I personally had never heard of Lucien Soulban prior to this March 4, 2009 release, but fans are going wild already!

Here is a wonderful testament to this great addition in the Dragonlance series:

"Wow. I just finished the book. Lucien, I just want to say, it's 3:25 AM on a workday, and I have work in about 4 hours. I must say, riveting. Complex. It does wonderfully fill in a hole in Krynn's history. it was simply stunning. Could not put it down after I started reading it." - Weldon Chen (Dragonlance forums)

The following is the book description:

Before the War of the Lance, magic faced and fought its own demise.

The Journeyman is charged to use the ancient Anvil of Time to travel back along the river of time and find the lost stories that fell between the pages of the history books.

He finds Tythonnia, a young red robe learning magic in company with Ladonna of the black robes and Par-Salian of the white. The three are sent on an easy quest to find the leader of the renegade wizards, a man named Berthal, but if it was that simple, they wouldn't need mages. Instead, what started out easy turns into betrayal - magic against sorcery, the wizards against each other, and Tythonnia against herself. When Berthal finally unleashes his final attack, everyone knows that it won't end that simply.

Wizards of the Coast has provided a sample chapter on the product page of Renegade Wizards. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Friday, March 13, 2009

3 "New" Larry Elmore Prints Available!

Today Larry Elmore released three new prints: Into The Skie, Star Frontiers, and Evil Alliance. Into The Skie was completed in February 2009, Evil Alliance is unknown with no publish date, and Star Frontiers is from the classic TSR science fiction role playing game. Each will cost you between $25-$350 depending on the size, print type, and limited edition status. Look for my tribute to Larry Elmore in the upcoming weeks. He is one of my favorite fantasy artists and I absolutely love his artwork!

Below you can see each new piece of artwork:

Into The Skie

Evil Alliance

Star FrontiersAll images in this post copyright Larry Elmore.

Dragons of the Hourglass Mage by Weis & Hickman

Dragons of the Hourglass Mage: The Lost Chronicles, Volume Three by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman is due to be released in Hardcover on August 4, 2009 (according to Amazon). I am sure this volume will prove to be a successful addition to the world of Dragonlance and further the Lost Chronicles series which started with Dragons of the Dwarven Depths (Book 1) & Dragons of the Highlord Skies (Book 2) back in 2006 and 2007.

I personally cannot wait to hear more in depth about Raislit Majere and why he dawned the black robes. I loved book 1 and 2 as it really fills in some of the gaps that Krynn offers. You have a lot of "OH!" moments when you realize why things happened the way they did in other novels or what was occuring whilst something else was. Truly amazing and I love then authors take on the task to "complete" their original works and flesh them out.

Here is an excerpt from the official press release on the Wizards of the Coast website:

Dragons of the Hourglass Mage is the concluding novel in the Lost Chronicles trilogy by Weis and Hickman and features many of the most popular characters from their extensive line of Dragonlance® books.

“Raistlin has always been my favorite character, yet even I didn’t foresee what would happen to him in Neraka until Tracy and I talked about it,” said Margaret Weis. “What he does is utterly true to his nature and absolutely right! I can’t wait to tell the story.”

“We are so pleased that we’ve reached agreement on the publishing schedule for this book,” said Casey Reeter, Vice President of Marketing for Wizards of the Coast. “We know how important this book is to the fans.”

“This is the book the fans have been waiting for,” added Tracy Hickman. “We’re delighted that we will be able to share it with them.”

Here is the most current book cover:

Here is the original artwork for the book cover created by Matthew Stawicki:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Terminator Salvation: Trailer

Terminator Salvation is finally a Terminator movie I am excited to see! Every new trailer, video, photo, or interview that is released makes me wish it was May 21st, 2009! Terminator Salvation is the fourth movie in the Terminator series and is both a sequel and prequel at the same time which is interesting in itself. This time around the movie will not include Arnold which is why some believe it will not be a success, but others such as myself believe it will be even better without him! The third official trailer for Terminator Salvation was recently released on the official website and also here on YouTube. Enjoy!

On May 23, 2008, Warner Bros. released the following plot summary for the film:
"Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale), the man fated to be the leader of the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators, and the future he was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a stranger whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet's operations, where they find out a terrible secret that may lead to the possible annihilation of mankind."

Multiverse Paradox Video

I found this on a blog I frequent called SF-Fandom. Normally I don't like to repost blogs I have already read but this was just HILARIOUS. It really gets you to understand the multiverse and its many complexities. Alright, not so much understand...more like braing boggling in a humorous way...but it gets you thinking. Like "what the heck is he talking about!? Serious!?". It truly is quite intrigueing though. Sit through the 5 minutes. It's worth it!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Deluge: Book Three of The Twins of Petaybee

The mass market paperback copy of "Deluge: Book Three of The Twins of Petaybee" by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Scarborough will be released March 24, 2009! Over one year after the original publication of the Hardcover version but well worth the product of two talented authors working collaboratively...and of course the affordability.

From the back cover:
"In Powers That Be, Power Lines and Power Play Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough told the story of a sentient planet, Petaybee. Now they have returned to Petaybee and introduced the reader to Ronan and Murel, twins who can transform into seals and converse telepathically with the creatures of Petaybee. Ronan and Murel have left Petaybee on a mission to help rescue their friend Marmie, who has been falsely arrested on the orders of a corrupt Colonel. However, they end up being imprisoned themselves and taken to the Gwinnet Incarceration Colony. There they have to try to evade the clutches of their old adversary Dr Mabu, an unscrupulous scientist who wants to study their unusual shape-changing ability, and doesn't care how much pain her experiments cause them. Meanwhile, the powerful and avaricious Company is making another attempt to take over the world of Petaybee for its resources, and the twins' parents, Yana and Sean, along with the entire planet, must fight to survive..."

If you haven't read Changelings (Book 1) or Maelstrom (Book 2) I highly suggest obtaining copies and reading them in anticipation for this release. Well worth the time and money invested in this collection!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Star Trek 11: New HD Trailer

Just released: the latest Star Trek 11 Trailer in HD! This one is from Kirk's perspective, the last from Spock's. I haven't been excited about the last few Star Trek releases or Television series, but this one looks like it won't dissapoint! Can't wait for it to be released May 8, 2009.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince: Behind the Scenes

If you have not already seen it, a new video has been released with Behind the Scenes footage for Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince which releases in theatres July 17th, 2009. You can view the video in HD on YouTube.

Join Harry Potter and the rest of the group as they begin their 6th year at Hogwarts school of Witchcrat and Wizardry. During the 6th year Harry finds a incredibly old book with the inscription "This book is the property of the Half-Blood Prince". He also starts to learn a little more about Lord Voldemort's long and dark past!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Read an E-Book Week Begins!

If you did not already know, March 8th-14th is "Read an E-Book Week"! Save a tree or two, cleanse your hands of their blood (It's just sap but you get the point) and enjoy this guilt free week! Visit the official website of Read an E-Book Week and find numerous resources and partners that are allowing you to read their books for free! One of which is Random House who recently released their Free Fantasy and Science Fiction Library, Suduvu, on March 4th 2009.

The Suduvu Free Book Library currently features work from Naomi Novik, Robin Hobb, Harry Turtledove, Kim Stanley Robinson and T.A. Pratt. From each author a series is chosen, and the first book of that series is completely free to download and read! This is a clever marketing strategy on their part, but in the end we all win! I have already begun reading "Blood Engines" by T.A. Pratt and would have never picked up this book if it hadn't been for this promotion. This is a great opportunity to expand your literary horizons.

Featured Fantasy Creature: the Drog

Periodically I create a write-up on a fantasy creature that is featured in some of my short stories. This posts Featured Fantasy Creature: the Drog.

The name is derived from "frog" and "dragon" because of the wings amazing similiarity to that of a dragons. These awkward creatures are fun to watch fly through the forest and over grass fields. With their plump frog-like bodies and dragon-like wings, they soar through the air one short flight at a time.

Their leathery membrane wings can support them for only short distances, approximately three yards, and then they plummit to the ground, landing on all four legs with a thud. Their eyes protrude from the head slightly and are normally a shade of amber. There are two sets of eyelids that flicker open and shut every few seconds. With four sets of legs, the hind legs are approximately twice the size as the front legs to propel them off of the object they sit and into the air. The back two webbed extremities include five digits; the front two consist of four digits.

Their skin is sleak, smooth, and cool to the touch. The body and wings are of very similiar color with the wings being a slighly lighter shade of the body color. Common types include emeralds (green) and browns (brown). Uncommon types include silver (gray). Rare types include goldens (yellow). There may be undiscovered color variations at this time. Some Drogs have splotches or patches of varying colors upon their skin but are not a prominent feature. Few scholars believe this is a sort of camoflouge some are developing, while others believe these Drogs are impure and abominations of nature.

Upon sensing danger these creatures will merely stop moving all together in hopes that their perceived predator glances past them and moves on. Effective, at times, but this could be the very reason they are quite rare to come across in the wild since most of the time their predators win the encounter. I never claimed they were very smart.

Many have tried capturing these creatures with little success. Thus far those that have managed to do so end up no better in the end. Each captive Drog seems to rather die then move to eat, drink, or even procreate.

Most of the species are believed to be males; with a belief that the golden Drogs are the females. Mating has never been witnessed, but most likely it takes place in the privacy of thick forests and other areas with dense vegitation and coverage.

All artwork in this post copyright Ursula Vernon.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Dragon Girl"

A child's imagination is an amazing thing. I love dragons, and my 2 year old daughter, almost 3, does too! I occassionally call her my "Dragon Girl" and she will even growl and breathe fire at me occassionally! I haven't taught her that dragon's breathe fire so I'm not exactly sure where she got that from but it is funny to watch her face as she produces the "flame".

She loves dragons on a whole new level though. In our son's room, which used to be the office and my wife's craft room, there are numerous dragon statues ranging in size from 10"-18" tall and quite impressive in my opinion. Anyway, one day Dragon Girl was in the room with us while we were putting our son to sleep for the night. All of a sudden she started making a throwing motion towards the dragons which are on a high shelf. I asked her what she was doing and she said quite matter of fact "Feeding the dragons daddy". And boy was she feeding the dragons.

Apparently they enjoyed it as much as she did! Soon Dragon Girl was telling me to sit on the dragon so we could fly through the house together. "Like this daddy!" she commanded. It was pretty hilarious, all I could do was smile and well...get on the dragon with her! It was a fantastic ride through the hallway...I was only corrected once on how to ride the dragon. After the trip through the hallway and into the dining room and back, the dragon flew back to his perch on the top shelf; tired and well fed.

Quite an amazing journey and an amazing daughter indeed.