Main menu

"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

Radio Active #17: Serenity, Amber and Pulp Gamers

by Ken Newquist / October 3, 2005

The third of the weekly shows gets underway with a short review of the sci-fi western movie Serenity and then takes a look at two gaming podcasts: Pulp Gamer and Dice Make Bonk. This week's book review is The Great Book of Amber which collects all ten books of Roger Zelazny's excellent Chronicles of Amber series into one tome.

Getting the Podcast

You can get the podcast in two ways:

Show Notes

  • Aliens Quote
  • Show News & Such
    • Spent the entire weekend re-painting my porches, which sucked, but had to be done, and it gave me about 12 hours worth of podcast listening time.
    • Theme Song
      • Still searching for music to use in the podcast. ok, really haven't even started yet. Maybe next week.
      • Did start listening to a music podcast though -- Rock'n'Roll Geek Indie Podcast, which has a lot of good rock gleened form the net and music.podshow.com
      • >http://indiecast.podshow.com
    • The RADIATIONS newsletter
  • Firefly Quote
  • Serenity
    • Yes, Serenity was good. Easily 9/10 stars, totally faithful to the series, with awesome effects and -- more importantly -- great dialouge. Do yourself and the science fiction world a favor and watch this movie! We need to reward Universal for having the balls to pick up where Fox so disasteriously left off. If you want more good SF, and not just another Star Trek or Star Wars re-hash, see this movie!
    • Nuketown Essay: Why We're Obsessed with Firefly
  • Science Fiction Podcast Network Promo
  • Podcasts of Note
    • Pulp Gamer
      • pulpgamer.com
      • "A paper game podcast" that talks about RPGs, board games, card games and pretty much anything else made out of paper.
      • Recent reviews have included Call of Cthulhu (rpg), Monsters Menace America (board game), Settlers of Catan (board game), Management Material (card game) and Munchkin (card game).
      • Like the mix of games they've got going -- they're all the sort of games that my group and I like to play.
    • Dice Make Bonk
      • http://www.noirchickenstudios.com/Dice_Make_Bonk/
      • Spoke about this last week, but hadn't really had a chance to listen to it. Now I have, and I'm liking it -- it's a sort of round-table discussion about in and out of game issues (mostly in game) such as, when confronted by an in-game puzzle, who should be solving it -- the brilliant characters or the not-so-brilliant players? (I'm in favor of a little bit of each, personally). Also like the length -- at 20-25 minutes, I can usually listen to one in a day of commuting (assuming I walk home for lunch). Good stuff, and well worth a listen.
  • Book Review: The Great Book of Amber
    • Chronicles of Amber 1-10
    • by Roger Zelazny
    • Publisher: Eos
    • ISBN: 0380809060
    • 1264 pages
    • Buy it from Amazon
    • The first five Amber books comprise one of the best series I've ever read.
    • Tells the tale of Cory, an amnesiac who awakes in a private hospital to find himself swathed in blankets, leg in a cast, and nurses doping him way, way too often. He has no idea who he is, or how he ended up here, but he quickly determines that whom ever he is, he's exceptional ... and that's he's not going to take being locked up.
    • After finding, and then extorting, the director of the facilty, he learns that his sister was responsible for paying the bills, and he decides to pay her a visit. When he confronts her, some of his old memories begin to return, and he realizes that he's part of a large, dysfunction, and possibly quite lethal family. He also finds certain artifacts -- a deck of tarot-like cards --- that indicate they're not of this world ... or perhaps even this reality.
    • Ultimately, we learn that Corwin is one of Nine Princes in Amber (thus the name of the first book) -- sons of a missing king who constantly scheme to rule the one true city; Amber. You see, Amber is the one true reality, of which everything else is just a shadow. By walking a magical pattern etched in the dungeon below Castle Amber, princes and princesses of Amber are able to travel these shadows by will alone, travelling to any reality they can imagine.
    • The book involves near-countless schemes between the royal family of Amber, and follow's Corwin's quest to wrest the crown from his hated brother Eric. The books take on magic is very different, more about imagining reality than casting spells (at least in the first five books).
    • The conflicts are great, but the dialouge is what really makes it -- so much so that I've got three nearly-thread bare shirts with quotes from the books on them:
      • "We spend so much time lying to one another, I decided it might be amusing to say what I really felt." Julian to Corwin, Sign of the Unicorn
      • "...my present motives are almost entirely altruistic." Brand to Corwin, Sign of the Unicorn
      • "I am the soul of honor, kindness, mercy, and goodness. Trust me in all things." Corwin to Dara, The Guns of Avalon
      • (the last being my favorite, after an elderly woman saw my shirt, smiled and said "What a lovely sentiment."
  • Contacting Nuketown