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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

Off the Shelf: Analog, V for Vendetta, Hard SF Renaissance

by Ken Newquist / March 16, 2006

Analog SF May '06 Cover

I returned to reading science fiction with a vengeance this month, happily teleporting through the pages of the first issue of my Analog Science Fiction & Fact subscription (though thanks to the messed up temporal mechanics of magazine publishing, I'm reading the May issue in March).

I also fulfilled a years-long goal of reading the graphic novel version of V for Vendetta before returning to the never-ending Hard SF Renaissance, which I've been plowing through for the last year or so.

Analog Science Fiction and Fact, May 2005

Saddle Up With the Firefly Soundtrack

by Ken Newquist / February 27, 2006

Firefly Soundtrack Cover

The Firefly soundtrack doesn't have the same cinematic, awe-inspiring musical grandeur of the score for a Star Wars or Star Trek film. Instead, it yields the familiar sensations all too common in Firefly ... the sense of coming home, and the sense of something great once held, then lost.

The songs are as rich and textured as the series that spawned them. It's got the western twangs you'd expect, mixed in with the mystical Oriental strings, and occasionally torn by horrific riffs reflecting horrors confronted and bested. Or run screaming from.

Rolling up a Game Mastering Community With Treasure Tables

by Ken Newquist / February 4, 2006

Treasure Tables screen shot
Running a role-playing campaign is a tough job. You need to create a compelling world, craft unique social and physical challenges for your characters, spin entertaining plots and manage the expectations of a half-dozen or so individuals, all of which adds up to several hours a week of hard work. It can also be a lonely task; players always have someone to talk to, but game masters often exist in their own force-fielded bubble, unable to talk out issues like campaign management, plot creation or dealing with troublesome players.

Fortunately, instead of sulking at their desks with a six-pack of Mountain Dew, they can turn to Treasure Tables, a blog dedicated to "GMing advice, tips, ideas and resources."

King Kong's Triumphant Roar

by Ken Newquist / December 20, 2005

King Kong is every 12-year-old boy's dream -- an epic, larger-than-life adventure tinged with horror and managing to make the silver screen look too small to contain it. Plus, it's got a 25-ft tall gorilla fighting dinosaurs.

The story of King Kong is well known, and the surprises in this film come from execution rather than plot. The question is not what will happen uat what new wonders Peter Jackson will show us, and oh, what wonders there are!