Amoeblog

Game of Thrones' Season Four: Let the Bodies Hit the Floor!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, April 3, 2014 01:43pm | Post a Comment
The wait is almost over -- who's ready to play?
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This Sunday, April 6th, Game of Thrones' fourth season is set to get real. Really real. Real to death. And when HBO plays the Game of Thrones everyone wins, except maybe the cast. NO SPOILERS or anything but -- in the spirit of keeping it real --  everyone knows by now that no one in this high fantasy saga is "safe" by any meaning of the word. In a recent interview Scottish actor Rory McCann, who portrays Sandor "The Hound" Clegane in the series, claims to cautiously read through the ninth episode script for each season while quaffing a glass of whisky, prepped for death and distress not unlike that major drama bomb that dropped back in S1E9. Of course it doesn't help that the show's writers sometimes insert fake death scenes into scripts just to freak out their already nervous troupe, prompting stars to worry in advance about life and work after landing a hit series. British actor Kit HaringtonJohn Snow on the show, explains, "We all flip through the scripts when we get them to see if we live or die, but the writers are very cruel; they sometimes write fake scenes to kill someone off and then that actor will be kind of out of a job and scared." Even hunky Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa, undeterred by the premature demise of his beloved character, Khal Drogo, in season one, has attempted to write his own way back on to the show, saying, “It’s a fantasy world, sweetheart. You never know!” Yeah, no.
game of thrones book series a song of ice and fire every death tabbed marked paperback george r r marttin hugh fantasy epic saga
To give non-readers an idea of just how much death the series deals in, on the left is an image of the five (of the planned seven) published books, collectively known as A Song of Ice and Fire, with each death marked by a brightly colored post-it, like a bizarre murder rainbow. It's difficult to assess who is more relentless, author George R.R. Martin or whoever went through the trouble of tallying every death in the books. At the moment, the HBO series is only halfway through that green book in the middle, A Storm of Swords, which means that the seasonal thinning of the cast will be no less brutal than anything we have previously seen. On a more positive note, the scope of the show stands to expand further this season, revealing new faces and places on the map we've only ever heard mentioned before while also returning to some of the previously established  family seats n' things that have been out of play for a while.

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Fantasy March: Campaigning for Genre Awareness

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, March 10, 2014 02:20pm | Post a Comment
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This month at Amoeba SF we're forging a fellowship for Fantasy genre awareness and appreciation! Given the recent release of Numero Group's most excellent "one comp. to rule them all" collection of Dungeons & Dragons inspired pre-Heavy Metal underground Rock, Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles, and the impending Game of Thrones hype-a-thon building up to the premiere of the HBO show's fourth season on April 6th, we figured the month of March could do for a heady dose of Ice and Fire-fueled cinematic dream-fasting -- a visual poultice with which the reality-weary may allay their workaday woes, watching. Do keep an vigilant eye out for our Fantasy endcap at Amoeba SF featuring golden genre gems like these from the nineteen-eighties:
 

dragonslayer fantasy film 1981

Dragonslayer (1981) in which a young wizard's apprentice (Peter MacNichol of Ally McBeal and Ghostbusters 2 fame) must kill a virgin-snacking dragon to save the King's daughter who has been chosen by the kingdom's lottery system as the next sacrifice in line to keep the beast's appetite for destruction at bay.

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Numero Group's forthcoming Lost '70s Rock comp feat. amateur D&D art is giving me life...

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 21, 2013 02:40pm | Post a Comment
black sabbath sabbath bloody sabbath album art cover LP vinyl devil stoner hadr heavy smokey rock NWOBHM+ advanced dungeons and dragons vintage player manual master read first paperback guide role game
                   ÷
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every reason why I'm so excited about this upcoming release:
numero group warfaring strangers dungeoun & dragons 70s smokey riffs classic rock heavy stoner wizard magic DARKSCORCH CANTICLES SET TO ARRIVE FEBRUARY 2014 VIA NUMERO GROUP

This past Halloween marked a break in the fog obscuring yet another exciting prospect from the deep diggers and detail sticklers at Numero Group. The past few years has seen the label expanding the scope of their offerings and this one is set to be quite the departure from their formative fare, so much so that one might even be tempted to inquire after what they've been smoking. If the above cover art and the sample, below, of the amateur Dungeons & Dragons campaign sketches promised to be incorporated into the overall packaging are any indication, I'd wager that they got a hold of some good ol' stuff! Slated for a February release, Warfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles compilation of lost 70s smokers I can really do with -- this is a direction I'd love to see the label explore further. I'm chuffed to bits for their Purple Snow Minneapolis Sound comp dropping in early December, but this sixteen-sided die seems just as destined for niche-interest veneration as their WTNG 89.9: Solid Bronze collection.

Malazan Book of the Deaden: Gardens of the Moon

Posted by Charles Reece, July 30, 2012 10:37pm | Post a Comment
 gardens of the moon steven erikson 

Having long since caught up to George R.R. Martin's progress in finishing his A Song of Ice and Fire saga, I've been on the hunt for some fantasy methadone to make waiting for the man a little more bearable, but, most importantly, only if it doesn't make me wonder why I'm not reading something else. (It's always been much easier to find well-written science fiction.) One such series that's regularly suggested in Google searches is Steven Erikson's 10 volume Malazan Book of the Fallen (e.g., this site suggests it's one of the best, as does NPR's list). I was wary, since its densely imbricated world has its origins in Erikson and co-creator Ian Cameron Esselmont's formative years as role-gaming enthusiasts (the latter has his own series of novels based in the same diegesis). But most writers don't have Tolkien's background in history, language and mythology, so the counterfactual worldbuilding has to come from somewhere, I guess. Besides, Martin himself has been influenced by gaming and my goto critic of weird fiction, Jeff Vandermeer, seems to admire the series. So I tried the first book, Gardens of the Moon, only to suffer through it until page 221 (of 484), when I threw in the towel. The possibility of nine more volumes of this:

The flat tone of her voice told Toc that her invitation had not cost anything -- and this horrified him, shook him to his very core. A quick glance showed a similar response from Tayschrenn and Dujek, though the latter veiled it.

was too much. It doesn't matter who the 'her' refers to or what the invitation is (it's the Adjunct Lorn, FYI, inviting the person who killed her family, the sorceress Tattersail, to the dinner table as a show of political tact), only that without knowing anything about what's going on, you can tell exactly what everyone's emotional reactions are and that this woman is very capable of coldly repressing her own. There's no character opacity here: even though Dujek "veils" his reaction, the narrator assures the reader that this character, too, is "horrified." Page after page, the book reads like a dungeon master telling his players what they're facing. Erikson hollows it out further by assigning every character clearcut roles from the D&D manual: a thief, an assassin, a soldier, a mage, a god, etc.. This is adult fantasy only relative to a lifetime of reading Dragonlance novels.

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Winter Is Coming...This Spring!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, January 10, 2012 03:52pm | Post a Comment
game of thrones john stark iron throne song of ice and fire trailer hbo series fantasy geroge r r martin ghost direwolf john snow king
As you may already know, "the cold winds are rising" - much like my expectations when it comes to the adaptation of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire epic fantasy series from sequential novels to the HBO-helmed Game of Thrones teleplay. Within a few months I find myself irrevocably hooked on the books, having thus far ruined every plot twist and intriguing turn through the season three finale (A Storm of Swords might just be the very best book in the series) and after having recently seen the first episode of season one, I have to admit that I'm beginning to feel a kinship with those people out there in the great wide nerdiverse that identify as gamers, though the alignment of said familiarity be chaotic neutral at best.

That said, I cannot waaaiiit for the proper DVD release of Game of Thrones season one; I just wanna hold it. That first episode was such satisfying viewing, even given my foreknowledge of what's to come, that I'm saving all my geeky esteem for the March 6 release date so I can dig leisurely into said boxed set, desperately laden with extra features and all. And if details like the three horn blasts that punctuate the season two teaser below don't make everyone of your hairs stand on end, shivering with dreadfully sweet anticipation, then consider your craven gamer ass on notice!

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