Cartoons and Animation, Comic Books, Fantasy, Science Fiction, The Walking Dead (ZOMBIES)

Geek Heaven: Comic Con in San Diego

Okay, so who of us geeks doesn’t want to go to Comic Con?  I know I would love to be there.  In fact, at our recent  meeting, the whole of Geek2Geek staff just groaned when we lamented our lack of Comic Con-ness this year.  However, maybe you are going.  Maybe you’d like to know the schedule, because there’s loads of great stuff headed to fan’s directions this week.  All of our personal favorites will be there:  Jurassic Park 4, a Marvel panel, The Walking Dead, Gravity Falls, and so much more!  So, if you’re going, here’s a link to the Comic Con website to help plan your excursion.

And I’m slightly…majorly…envious.

Have a blast!  Cheers!

 

“The world is changed.  I feel it in the water.  I feel it in the earth.  I smell it in the air.  Much that once was is lost…” – Galadriel, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring movie.

“Change is inevitable.  Growth is optional.” – John C. Maxwell

Joshua P. Smith can be found on Twitter @AelathiaNovels, Facebook at Joshua P. Smith – Aelathia Novels, and his blogs Aelathia Novels and Christian In Chaos.

 

 

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Fantasy

Fitz and Fool are back! Robin Hobb’s Fool’s Assassin

The rumors are true!!  FitzChivalry and the Fool are coming back!!  So much for that happy ending…  I first noticed a Twitter interaction between favorite authors Robin Hobb and Brandon Sanderson months ago where he asked the infamous question, “Is it true?”  It is.  Amazon.com tipped me off.  After checking out Robin Hobb’s Twitter account, I have some excellent news to report, my dear friends:  two of of my all-time favorite characters from the fantasy genre are returning!  Enter:  Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb.

The cover of Fool's Assassin by the incredible Robin Hobb...the cover features none other than... oh, go buy and read it and the two previous trilogies!

The cover of Fool’s Assassin by the incredible Robin Hobb…the cover features none other than… oh, go buy and read it and the two previous trilogies!

Robin Hobb is a master author.  She knows when to pluck the heart strings and which ones need it.  Her characters are dynamic as well as incredibly developed, each with significant relationships that go far beyond the scene.  The action sequences are page-turners.  The political intrigue, espionage, deceit, and revelations left me hungry for more.  Let’s not forget that her magic system is unique to itself and with two sides to every coin, so to speak, central to the entire story. Let’s not forget some other vital facts:  there’s a guy with a battle axe, zombies, and dragons.  Yes, please.

The series began stories with the Farseer trilogy, with Fitz’ coming of age tale, and then continued into the Tawny Man trilogy which culminated in one of the most incredible finales that makes my top ten favorite action sequences from any literary novel, and weaves its way through a (mostly) wonderful happy ending that left me content, pleased, as though I felt like all the strife these characters had gone through paid off.  Yet, somehow, I wanted more FitzChivalry and the Fool.  (The books are being re-released with new, very epic covers.)

I finally get my wish.

Welcome back, Fitz and Fool!  May some of my other favorite characters not bite the dust…or each other. Check out the previous trilogies (and those exciting new covers) and wait for the new book, Fool’s Assassin, coming out in August!

 

 

As a side note, because I feel compelled to, I do have warn that like most fantasy novels, there’s some sexual and witchcraft themes (witchcraft apart from the central magic system).

Also, there’s a middle trilogy between Farseer and Tawny Man called The Liveship Traders, but I confess I haven’t read that one.

The other six books are incredible and make my all-time favorite reads…that’s why I can’t wait to pick up Fool’s Assassin.  Hope you do as well!

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The Walking Dead (ZOMBIES)

It’s Independence Day! The Walking Dead is Celebrating with a Marathon

Hope everyone has an excellent Independence Day!  It’s a remarkable holiday in memory of the bravery and courage that led to the forming of our country, the United States.  I’m truly grateful for this country for many reasons, not the least of which is free speech and opportunities to worship and express our beliefs.

Now, regarding free speech…our favorite The Walking Dead is celebrating this weekend with a marathon leading up to a special on Sunday evening–a sneak peak at season 5!  So, if for whatever reason your barbecue or firework plans get cancelled, there’s always AMC’s The Walking Dead.

From all of us at Geek2Geek, cheers and happy Independence Day.

http://www.amctv.com/the-walking-dead/videos/trailer-dead-white-and-blue-weekend-the-walking-dead-marathon

 

 

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worldscollide
Christianity

When Worlds Collide

All of us game for different reasons. For many, the excitement comes as a chance to temporarily escape this reality in an attempt to lessen the stress this world has to offer. I game for a different reason and I write to share that reason. Now, it would easily be noted that I have not written in a few months. I am quite sad to have been away for so long, and even sadder to say that I am not done from this temporary hiatus. But I emphasize that this is temporary! So, let me give a few things to chew on as we all tackle this reality that we call life.

 

Complacency:

My hiatus started with a very simple concept… I’ve lost my passion for writing! This was because of an issue I have been dealing with that came back to rear its ugly head in my life. Like a cursed lich that just won’t die, this thing keeps haunting my life and I can do little to fight back. So, I’ve lost my love of writing and am now on a journey to find it again. I became complacent in my dealings with everyday life and decided to escape my way, which surprisingly isn’t gaming. This has been a recurring problem in my life and I want finally to rid myself of this complacency. So, what I’ve decided to do is begin going to weekly writing groups to inspire and encourage me and guess what… It’s working! I’m able to come back here and, even though I won’t be able to add much more to this blog for a little while longer, at least I can add something! If complacency is driving you away from you passions, I offer this word of encouragement: “Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” -Proverbs 10:4

 

Anger:

In the midst of my complacency, another hitch came up that drove me deeper into my self-absorbed sense of entitlement and escape: anger. This has mostly been directed to my father, the man who introduced me to my joy of gaming and writing. Most of this has been quite undeserved. Recently, he moved two states over to be near his family in our great state of Texas, but every step along the way to settling him in his new home has been met with resistance, either from him or external sources. Instead of dealing with them with the grace gifted to me, I’ve instead selfishly become irritable to the point of becoming somewhat of a jerk! Not kewl! So, I’ve begun a second journey, and one of higher priority. I seek to learn humility and remove self from the equation of life. Hopefully, this will ease a lot of the stress and anger in my heart and renew my passion to share this love so deep in my life both on this blog and with anyone I might meet! Anger can easily drive us from the things we love, so: “Know this, my beloved brothers: Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” -James 1:19-20

 

Fear:

We are all afraid of something. I fear heights above all else! Another fear I have, which might be humorous, is members of the opposite gender. Well, recently, I’ve found myself interested in an amazing young woman with what seems very little chance of being able to get to know her further. To my credit, part of this has been due to the amount of time and effort I have had to expend on behalf of my father, but more accurately, it is because I’m afraid she’ll reject me. What’s funny is that I have no chance of receiving the gift of marriage without the risk of rejection! So, giving into my fear and doing what’s comfortable in my escape has been counter-productive to what I really want! Talk about backwards. Whatever fear drives us from our goals in life, there truly is hope: “‘Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am Your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.'” -Isaiah 41:10

 

Whatever issues we face, we all have our little quirks that we rely on to escape the madness! For many, the game is a great escape. For me, it’s usually something different. But even when life gets in the way of the game, when worlds collide, we have to remember that it’s only temporary and we will be able to rejoin the fray at some point. Sadly, I must bid thee a further farewell, but I shall return, once my world rights itself once again. It is only a matter of time, but know that I miss you, friends and I think about you often, considering the game and my God have been the only things consistent in this inconsistent world of mine.

 

I leave you with this: the game, though a common escape for us geeks, is only temporary. The encouragement that keeps me going, and hopefully will strengthen you comes from God alone. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” -1 Peter 5:7

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Science Fiction, The Walking Dead (ZOMBIES)

Your Rick to Their Carl: The Survival of a Father & Son on “The Walking Dead”

 

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In the midst of all of the insanity in “The Walking Dead,” from genuine issues of humanity right down to the matters of survival, lies a powerful element in this grizzly tale of the living dead. It is the element that still remains natural, real, true, created by design, and that is the love of the Father and the relationship he has with his son.

Rick Grimes and his son Carl have had many ups and downs and the relationship between this Father and Son couldn’t be more realistic and powerful. Time and time again, we witness Rick’s continual intent to protect, and yet, teach Carl in this new post-apocalyptic environment how to survive.

Rick is posing as the kind of Father that we all need or needed: one who thinks on his feet, not afraid to show emotion, open-minded, a leader, a person who stands up to the challenge, loves hard and fights hard and frankly isn’t afraid of making the first move when it is an absolute necessity.

Then theirs Carl, a boy whom we have seen fall down and get back up and fall down again! His maturity was enhanced by the dilapidation of society and in some ways morality after the appearance of the “walkers.” In spite of some of Carl’s missteps, we see the boy rise up to become a good young man and make better choices…and again, in spite of!

But, that’s Father and Son isn’t it.

Rick is not perfect and neither is Carl, but theirs a kind of partnership and understanding reached of who leads and whose learning to lead. Theirs an understanding that while too many mistakes in the midst of bad men and the living dead can not be afforded, it’s absolutely fine to be wrong from time to time and emerge later to become right.

The relationship between Rick and Carl is genuine in the sense that Rick has NOT stopped being a Father and a masculine figure for Carl to emulate. He’s not left Carl’s side and has made every attempt to keep him in perfect, yet, imperfect peace. He’s done everything he possibly could to help Carl stand when it seemed like everything has gone straight to hades.

He’s helping Carl become a REAL man…someone who can keep the peace when everything is (and has) gone to pieces.

So, what kind of example should we be when we are faced with our own “walkers” of life…depression, darkness, disease and famine, love lost, dreams broken…do we hide and sit quietly and wait for them to pass or do we start firing rounds and passing ammunition to one another.

I would rather fight alongside my brothers and my son(s).

How awesome it would be for someone to say that you were their Rick to their Carl.

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Cartoons and Animation

The “Angelo” Factor

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A friend of mine (and fellow “Geek 2 Geek” member, Joshua Smith) challenged me with an intriguing question about the influences I have in my life when it comes to writing.

I thought it would be an awesome to talk about this!

Now, most people know that I’m big on cartoons and animation work both here in America and overseas. And most of my close friends are probably by now tired of me mentioning this epic series, “Angelo Rules.”

But, like any good book or any good series, it should move your creative muscles a bit. I think a LOT of creative work really touches us deeply within because it unleashes some kind of truth about ourselves…a truth that we either forgot about or attempted to get away from.

In the cartoon, “Angelo Rules,” the 11-year-old boy, Angelo, is constantly planning and developing ideas to get around adults. Angelo has a knack for talking his way in and out of trouble…THAT was my knack as well.

I recall being able to get away with most things as a kid that others my age couldn’t even dream of getting away with. And it felt GOOD too! Doesn’t make it right, though…but, I’m just saying!

So…the answer to the influences of my writing and my creative work….other creative works like “Angelo Rules.” The show reminds me of myself and makes me work harder to tell the truth within my own work…the truth of the guy who was the “good boy” who saw most adults as…well…its best I keep that to myself.

The point is, the work that I observe and see helps me see past the difficulty in my own work. At the same time, it helps me bring out a real and relevant personality and character to my work. So, I work hard to bring the “Angelo” factor out in my work.

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Fantasy, Science Fiction

World Building for Writers: Insight from a Master Craftsman

Originally posted on Weaving and Musings of Aelathia:

For those of us who write fantasy and science fiction, there’s always the fine-art of world building.  That’s the designing of the setting and everything that accompanies it in which the characters move, breathe, have their conflict, the plot develops, and the characters impact.  After spending over a decade on world-building for the Aelathia Chronicles, I am always profoundly interested by the skill and penmanship of authors already published–especially those who have fashioned unique worlds.

Let me name a few:  Robin Hobb’s finely built world in The Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies; Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera which features elemental impact on a Roman society set in a fantasy world with multiple races; the infamous Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, detailed and beautiful; Christopher Paolini’s detailed world featured in the Inheritance Saga; or the high-fantasy realm of Middle Earth featured in praised J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The…

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