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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG


Revisiting the Eye of the World

by Ken Newquist / August 18, 2004

I first read Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World six years ago when I was near the top of our own world. My wife and I were hiking outside of Fairbanks, Alaska, and on a clear day, you could see the Artic Circle from the top of the ridges we were walking along.

Eye of the World, the first book in Jordan's epic (the unkind might say bloated) Wheel of Time series, was my umbilical to the geek world left behind when we boarded the plane back in Allentown, Pa. Hiking through the endless Alaskan day provided an overly-realistic backdrop for my reading -- it was all too easy to empathize with Rand Al'Thor and his band of refuges fleeing evil in the Two Rivers when my own feet ached from a day's hard hiking.

Get Caught In A Game of Thrones

by Ken Newquist / July 23, 2004

George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones offers fantasy fans a gritty, realistic medieval adventure that stands in sharp contrast to the aloof elves and all-pervasive magic populating endless Tolkien knockoffs.

The book is set in the land of Westeros, a fantastic realm removed in time and space from our own medieval period. In this land, summers and winters last for years, with autumn and spring flashing by as mercurial seasons caught between fire and ice. Magic, once a known and powerful force, has ebbed and is now viewed as a legend, albeit a legend with a known foundation in fact. Spells died long ago, but the last dragons were slain only decades ago. A medieval society based on a European model dominates Westeros, which was once broken into seven kingdoms, but has since been united into a single domain ruled by a single king. The seven families who had once fielded kings in their own right continue to scheme against on another, playing an unending "game of thrones" for dominance.