Wait Kingkiller’s getting a movie?

Link to article: http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/29/13779242/lin-manuel-miranda-lionsgate-kingkiller-chronicle-patrick-rothfuss

I haven’t written anything in ages because I’ve been a little busy and a little lazy. Where I am currently it’s 11:33 pm, and all I can think is this.

KINGKILLER’S GETTING A MOVIE? (my initial reaction was more like a jump of joy, since everyone else is asleep at this point).

What is the Kingkiller Chronicle? If you haven’t heard of it, I’ll say it’s a set of very, very good fantasy. I cannot stress enough that they are amazing.

It seems I’ve figured this out quite a bit late (two months?), but all I can think is that it’d better be good, or at least decent. The Name of the Wind (the first in the Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy) is going to be challenging to adapt, but if it’s done well… I’ll be impressed as hell.

Life is interesting.


To Kill a Mockingbird

Anyway, I finished reading a classic, and though I’m kinda taking a break from blogging, I’m going to add another book to my classics list.

And here’s the thing. MOCKINGBIRD IS AMAZING(ish).

Look it, isn’t perfect but it’s really good. It starts off slow, but it’s charming. Like, bloody adorable.

And then it gets dark. LIKE REALLY DARK.

If you don’t know the plot, it’s probably better reading. But in a nutshell, Mockingbird’s about a man named Tom Robinson.

And I liked the book. Short article on it, but as I said I’m taking a break from blogging.

Thinking on Fantasy: Star Wars is fantasy!

‘But Star Wars isn’t…. fantasy.’ I hear you saying. And true you may have a point. But if Anakin can have his own view on the Jedi being evil, I can have my own view on Star Wars being fantasy!

This is a topic that’s been discussed many times on the internet, and now seems like a good time to make an article on it (considering Force Awakens and all….). So enjoy this article that is solely dedicated to proving that Star Wars is more fantasy than science fiction. ENJOY!

  1. A New Hope’s story

Yes, a New Hope has spaceships and hyperspace. But it also has farm boys and Dark Lords, princesses and a rogue who unhappily helps our hero.


It also has wise old men, a macguffin passed down by the main character’s father, and a plot to destroy (worlds). And it also has an evil Empire. Let’s not forget the mysterious evil Emperor.

Does it sound familiar? Probably because it is. If it feels like its fantasy, its probably fantasy, regardless of the look.

Oh, and there’s also the major plot point of…..

2. The Force 

THIS IS FANTASY MAGIC. You can’t tell me it isn’t.


The Force is something that binds everything together. Something that allows you to force flip and jump and push things over, while also allowing you to screw with people’s minds. Did I mention it’s mysterious?

It’s magic, pure and simple. There are no attempts to rationalise it (the midochlorians were more a way of explaining a person’s connection to the force). It just is.

Most Science Fiction would try to explain it with some science mumbo jumbo. But Star Wars just admits it. It’s magic. Go with it.



Heroes in Science Fiction use blasters. Heroes in fantasy use swords. Heroes in Star Wars use swords.

I rest my case.

4. The whole family heritage thing

‘The force is strong in my family. My father has it, my sister has it. You have that power too.’

Alright, alright. Science Fiction likes its family dynamics too. But too me, the passing of Anakin’s lightsaber too Luke, (SPOILER) the fact that Kylo Ren is Leia’s son, and that Darth Vader is Luke and Leia’s dad, comes together into something that feels awfully fantasy like. I mean, it seems that every main character in fantasy has an important dad or great grandad or something (and occasionally mom). Aragorn has Isildur, who’s distantly related to Elrond, who’s daughter Arwen marries Aragorn. Frodo has his uncle Bilbo, and pretty much all the hobbits who come with Frodo on his adventure (apart from Samwise) are somehow related to him. Kvothe’s mum is probably a Lackless, and I have a feeling (I haven’t got that far into the series yet) that Rand Al’Thor’s dad is probably going to be important.

And let’s not forget that everybody in A Game of Thrones is practically related to each other. Especially if you include R+L=J.

5.The Setting itself


From my point of view, Star Wars is put firmly into the realm of fantasy by the start of every movie.

Because ‘A long time ago’ is not something that can happen, which Science Fiction is meant to show, but rather something that has happened (supposedly). The setting for Star Wars is far, far away. Which is also the setting for the fantasy movie Shrek.


So yes, those are my five reasons for why Star Wars is Fantasy. Enjoy the Star Wars hype, and have a merry Christmas!





Thinking on Fantasy: The Master from Tolkien and the king from Jackson

Sorry about not doing an article last week. I was a little busy, but also feeling lazy, so…. yeah. I’d figured I’d just wait for next week.

Man, this is embarrassing.

Moving on!


The Hobbit (Peter Jackson)! We all know it, and some of you hate it and love it. I personally liked it, but I liked Unexpected best and then I think it just got worse from there.

But there’s one thing in particular that sticks out to me. Something that I absolutely LOATHE in Peter Jackson’s adaptation.

It’s the changes to this guy. More specifically, his



Okay, no ranting. No ranting. *sighs*. Seriously? What was the point of changing the Master of Lake Town from a smart, intelligent, democratically elected politician into a….. well, this. An autocratic (he scoffs at the election), stupid moron.

First of all, why make him an autocrat? It feels like such an arbitrary change. WHY???? Were they afraid of pissing off someone? Did they just want to point out that democracy was good? Either way, it’s a stupid change that pulls away from the tale.

The original Hobbit sneaked in a little criticism of democratic politics. The Master is greedy, yes, but he has a brain. HE DOESN’T NEED THORIN TO STRAIGHT UP TELL HIM “I’LL MAKE YOU RICH!” In the book, he doesn’t actually BELIEVE THORIN! He just uses him as an opportunity to help his flagging popularity.

And they turn an intelligent, half-likable (though minor) character into a bumbling moron.

What really rankles me is that it feels so arbitrary. It feels as though the marketing department said something like ‘Hmmmm….. I smell criticism of democracy. TOO MUCH CONTROVERSY!’

And yes, I know that this movie is pretty old. BUT IT PISSED ME OFF. To the point that I still remember my issue with it.


Dang, this is still a bit late.

No too late  though :).




Thinking on Fantasy: Thomas Malory and contrast

Again, I’m late in publishing these things (I need to get better at this).


Anyway today’s topic is focused on the myth of Camelot and king Arthur’s knights of the round table, perhaps the greatest legend in England’s history.


The Death of Arthur written by  Sir Thomas Malory is one of the cornerstone pieces in the mythos of Arthur. Countless writers after have based their works on his book, and it’s where we get the common image of Arthur and his knights: a knight in shining armor dedicated to doing good and protecting the helpless. Tales of heroism abound, and perhaps the most funny use of juxtaposition can also be seen here.

Unknown-11Now, I’m not sure if this was done on purpose, but The Death of Arthur is the most absurd and funny parody I’ve come across in a while.

If it is done on purpose, it’s brilliantly done. But as it is, the old language and the sheer stupidity of the knights and situations will ‘Saracens in Britain, I can believe. FIFTY THOUSAND OF THEM? I think not.’

‘Wait, WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?’ Is something that passed through my mind various times. Why the hell does Balin throw a spear and a whole castle explodes? Why is Kay made Seneschal without training?   Why doesn’t Merlin just tell Arthur not to sleep with his sister? He can see the future right?

I have this mindset where old language is generally taken pretty seriously. It’s meant to be a serious fantasy world when world like ‘yore’ and ‘thy’ are used in fantasy, unless it’s making fun of traditional fantasy tropes. Maybe that’s just me, but this book is made better for it.

It’s hilarious, yes, but it also fits the mood of the book just so well. The sheer absurdity transports you into another world, another time. In this world, everything is possible, even the Knights of the Round Table, and a king as perfect as Arthur (apart from the whole killing babies thing…..).

(note: I’ve only read the first seventy pages of The Death of Arthur, so if it suddenly gets more serious later, I had no idea about it).


If you liked this post, you can like the post! (on WordPress) Also feel free to comment.


Thinking on Fantasy: The ‘exception of anger’

Sorry this is a day late. But anyway, this article’s going to be a bit broader than usual and less focused on fantasy and more on literature as a whole. Namely, emotions.


In particular the red guy (anger).

Rather recently, I was shown a ted-talk involving the idea about a ‘man box’, the things that society things that guys should general be like (I’ll put the video down below), but the main idea we’ll focus on is the idea that society expects men not to express emotion with the exception of anger.

Now since I’m a guy, I started thinking back on my experiences with fiction. And it seemed to me that by far the emotion I experienced the most strongly is anger.

Now, I don’t have research statistics or anything to back me up, and I doubt many people actually remember clearly what emotions they most feel, and it’s all very subjective, and hey, maybe women also feel enraged the majority of the time too.

But if this was true, it means that writers of all types could exploit it.

So yeah, that’s my article. Rather short, but I thought it was interesting.

And here’s the video:

How about you? Do you think everybody feels anger the same way? Do you think that fiction disconnects us from social norms?

I’d love to their comments on this.


Thinking about Fantasy: The advantages of Fantasy literature over other mediums

This is a good a topic as any to ask, as it’s rather important.

So, why would you want to read fantasy instead of watch it or play it? These are very appealing ways of experiencing the genre (by the way, Dragon Age Inquisition is an amazing game), in fact some would argue they are superior to reading fantasy. The visuals are there. You don’t need description, all you need is to show. And if they’re good at what they do, you’re blown away.

But despite this major advantages, fantasy literature has an advantage that overshadows almost every other medium.

It’s not the ability to imagine (though that is a good advantage). It’s not the ability to tell longer stories. It’s simple cost.

It takes a lot less money to produce a fantasy literature than a fantasy movie, even a budget movie. All you need is the ability to write. For a fantasy movie, you need effects, cameras, actors….. you get the point. The same goes for other mediums, whether it be TV shows or video games.

And this cost factor allows for a lot of creativity.

Think about it. How many original fantasy IPs have you seen on the big screen? Most original IPs are science fiction or post apocalyptic, but even when you look at them, it seems that everything is based on something else.

The only recent original ones I can come up with is The Last Witch Hunter.Ringstrilogyposter.

And I’m sure there are smaller films that use original IPs. But let’s be honest, we don’t ever hear about these smaller productions. And gaming gets quite a few original IPs,but even then, companies are more willing to support existing IPs that they’ve already built/bought. TV is even worse. I can’t think of a single fantasy original series apart from Avatar and Adventure Time. And those two are awesome.

Literature, however, has a huge swell of original IPs. The Storm light Archive. The Kingkiller Chronicle. The Broken Empire. Can you honestly imagine any of these things getting green lit by companies not willing to take risks? The Storm Light Archive, maybe, but I doubt it. It would just cost so much. Kingkiller doesn’t even work well on screen, but the idea of a failed hero would probably have to have been modified. The Broken Empire would have been destroyed within minutes. A protagonist who’s an actual villain, not an Anti-hero? I mean the grim style would have been appealing, but the amount of risks you’d have to take……..

I certainly couldn’t imagine A Game of Thrones getting on the big screen. It would have been just too strange to see such a dark fantasy series at the time it was released.

This lack of cost increases the ability to innovate. Which allows for better ideas, more innovation, more risks, and happy readers.

The flip side is that the market for fantasy literature is pretty much filled.There are thousands of books in the market, some classics and some rather new. There is no way that you’d be able to read them all. And in this sea of fantasy, it’s easy to miss something new and fun.

Another point is that fantasy books rely on ads a lot less and word of mouth a lot more. Which increases the need to stand out, as the only way to get consumers is to come up with something original. You need something either really new, or really, really good to get people to take notice.

So the cost factor increases quality, innovation, and the amount of books in the market. It’s advantage in these areas will probably continue until film tech becomes so advanced that it becomes relatively cheap to produce fantasy films. But that’s a big if, so I think fantasy books will be relevant for a long time to come.


Sorry about this being a little late by the way 🙂

Thinking on Fantasy: A discussion on telling or showing world building in Brandon Sanderson Books

I’ve been thinking; I really should use this blog a lot more.

So, every week on saturday, I’m going to write and article named Thinking on Fantasy to……. write down my thoughts on fantasy, or a specific part of fantasy.

This week, I’m going to look at the author Brandon Sanderson, and look at one of the most unique features of fantasy. World building.

Just a note: I’ve only read The Way of Kings and Mistborn: The Final Empire from Sanderson, so I’ll mostly be discussing those books.


Now a days, everyone’s heard of Sanderson. He’s finished Wheel of Time, started the Stormlight Archive, and seems to be one of the hottest new fantasy new authors.

And though I don’t think that his books reach the heights of A Song and Ice and Fire or The Kingkiller Chronicles, or even King of Thorns, I do really like his books. Perhaps even love them.

Anyway, Mistborn: The Final Empire and The Way of Kings both create lively worlds filled with some great characters (and some less great characters). But both of them go about this in rather different ways.

In Mistborn, a considerable amount of the world building comes from exposition from characters. You are TOLD the Lord Ruler saved the world a thousand years ago. You are told that life in the provinces are different from Luthadel, and that even a lower class person can live in comfort there. You are told that the canal system is efficient to travel by.

Obviously, you are shown a lot of things in Luthadel, but in terms of building up the edges of the map shown at the front of the book, very little is done in the first Mistborn. The other books probably expand on the provinces more, but the result in the first book of being told these things is actually good. 

final_empire1That’s right, I’d rather be told some things than shown them. ‘Show don’t tell’ is more like a…… guideline for me, rather than an unbreakable rule. As long as you don’t go too overboard with it, I’m quite happy.

That being said, my reasonings for liking being told some world building (like culture and history) is that it makes the main characters (Vin and Kelsier) seem part of a bigger world. They haven’t seen everything in the world. They have to be taught about the varying cultures and those little dots on the map that you never get to see. Furthermore, it also allows the imagination to fill in some of the gaps. You can imagine towns where rich Skaa (those are the lower classes in Mistborn) live in luxury, with as much disdain for the fellow man as Nobles are. You can imagine those barren plains of ash where no one bothers to farm it.

Way of Kings on the other hand, adds interludes as its primary means of world building (though it does have quite a bit of telling). You remember Shinovar because it’s cushioned away from highstorms (common natural disasters in Roshar). But imagine how much mystique it would have if you never saw it. It would seem like a mystical and hazy place on Roshar, where soldiers are lower than farmers, and strawberries can be grown.


Or if you hadn’t seen the Final Desolation in the prologue. Maybe you would feel more uncertain over whether it happened, and would actually doubt the coming of the True Desolation. You could feel the cynicism of the unbelievers and the need for faith for believers.

But Way of Kings does succeed in making the world feel diverse, full of life, and filled with strange things. Whenever I read about a distant land, I checked the map and tried to find it. It took me fifteen minutes to figure out that Selay was more an area than a nation. So obviously I care about the world of Roshar itself.

But there’s a final thing to note. Both of these books avoid info dumps.

Now, I’m going to pick of Metro 2033, a book that so far I’m enjoying a ton, but it’s first twenty pages are legitimately non-stop info dump. There are tiny little breaks, but that first part is just so….. dry. Very little plot movement, and a lot of information dumping. And it could have been so easily spread out!

So, do you like telling more than showing in world building? Or do you think I’m just completely wrong?

Comment/like, if you liked this article 🙂

The Farseer: Assassin’s Quest (finally!!)

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally finished Assassin’s Quest, the final book in the Farseer Trilogy, the trilogy that launched the Realm of the Elderlings, a series that has been steadily growing over the years in books. I believe it has reached fifteen books now, with more to come, so this Trilogy has obviously started off something big.

I don’t really know how to start my thoughts on Assassin’s Quest, so…….

IT’S COVER SUCKS!!!!! Robin_Hobb_-_Assassin's_Quest_CoverDon’t judge a book by its cover is a good saying, but this cover is just horrible. The newer one’s are better, but this cover……. *shivers*. I’m sorry, I just hate it.

Anyway, the best way I could come up with to summarise Assassin’s Quest is that it’s a horrible desert, but a pretty good main course.

*only person listening to me raises hand*

Uhhhh…….. This’ll take some explaining. I think that a good Trilogy should be set out in the same way a meal is set out. You have your appetiser (e.g. Fellowship of the Ring) which introduces you to the characters and gives you a taste, you have the main course (The Two Towers) which adds to the journey and gives you more development of both world and characters and then you have dessert (The Return of the King), which gives you a good resolution and leaves you satisfied with where the characters have been left. Of course you don’t have to set it out like this, and each book of a trilogy should indeed have it’s own beginning, middle and ending, but I think it’s not that bad to have this as the grand plan. (Lord of the Rings probably wasn’t the best example, but I couldn’t think of any other trilogy. Speaking of which, Lord of the Rings isn’t meant to be a trilogy, which might make my whole point moot but….. MOVING ON!)

But here’s the thing. Assassin’s Quest doesn’t feel like it’s part of the rest of the trilogy. It often feels like it’s just a bloated uncle to the other two books, related, but not exactly a sibling to the others. Assassin’s Apprentice and Royal Assassin were centred around Buck, and were more about intrigue and scheming then about *SPOILER ALERT* saving the whole world (though they did have chunks of it in the others). Fitz  was great at Buck, so pulling him out of it feels like pulling me out of the house: unnatural and uncomfortable.

Talking about Fitz, I’ve just noticed that I’ve forgotten to give any background on the books to those who aren’t familiar with it. (Oops). In a nutshell, Fitz is a royal bastard who is being constantly screwed by his uncle Regal. Without giving anything away, that is pretty much it.

Additionally, the fact that Assassin’s Quest feels bigger than both Royal Assassin and Assassin’s Apprentice doesn’t help things. It feels like it should really have stood on its own, not as part as a trilogy. It feels horribly paced as it is, and the last two thirds feel pretty out of place in a Farseer book.

But, despite all that, I found myself enjoying a lot of Assassin’s Quest. It has good characters (Fitz is still pretty good), good magic (I like how the Skill works) and a world that feels real.

This book is also pretty funny. Not in the Terry Pratchett way, but in the small interactions that Hobb puts in. It’s resolution is actually pretty sad, and though the book does feel significantly overweight (if not outright obese), it does succeed in making you feel like you’ve gone on a journey with Fitz.

So, overall, I’d say pick it up if you’ve read the other two.

A digression: The Serbian Empire (chapter 2): A man named Stephen

Wikipedia for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Uroš_IV_Dušan_of_Serbia#Biography I’m Back for the week!!!! Well, I’m still finishing Farseer (man, the third book is loooooongggggggg)….. but I’m back for another digression! Anyway, Stefan Uros Doukas, was born around 1308, around the time. And like all medieval princes, he learnt how to fight. His family had been exiled to Constantinople (by his grandfather because his dad had pissed his dad off) when he was about five, but he’d learnt Greek and Byzantine way of life while he was at Constantinople. He was there for six years. His dad was allowed to return (after a bit of convincing), and when he died, his dad became King of Serbia

Father and son!!

Father and son!!

For a while, life was quiet (more or less). Then, he and his father started trying to brain each other. Okay, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, after all, Stefan didn’t kill his dad. *Looks at notes* Well, he didn’t brain his dad. Just strangulate him. Decanski (Stefan’s dad), would be remembered only as the father of Stefan Uros, in the same way that Alexander’s conquests made Phillip’s name forgotten. So, with his dad gotten rid of, Stefan decided that he wanted to get married, and sealed an alliance with the Bulgarian Tsar, Ivan Alexander. The ‘alliance’ (aka. we will kill Byzantines together!) , lasted quite a while, and when Stefan was out killing the remnants of the Roman Empire, he knew that he’d always have the Bulgarians making sure that he wouldn’t be alone if he was attacked.

And so, Stefan set out to become ruler of a (another) new Rome.

And he came pretty close. He took half of the Balkans in his campaigns against the Byzantines, crushing them while they fought a civil war. When the dust had settled, he’d more than doubled his kingdom, and had an Empire that took up nearly the whole of the western Balkans. Northern Greece and the countries of Former Yugoslavia made up his domain, and he would expand it further. He declared himself Tsar in 1346, raising himself to the Imperial title.
Oh, and somewhere among this, he defeated the Hungarians a couple of times.

Soon enough, Bulgaria had submitted to his rule as a vassal, and he’d taken Thessaly and Epirus. He defeated the Bosnians in another war, by December 1355, while fighting a war with the Turks, he died.

And with that, his Empire started falling apart.

His son (also named Stefan), is known as the weak for the reason that he couldn’t keep his father’s empire for falling a part. His Serbian Empire, made in 1346, would be effectively dead in 1377, after the death of his son.

And so ends the story of the Serbian Empire. The idea didn’t die however, and is actually arguably one of the causes for BOTH World War One and the Yugoslav Wars.

Just kinda interesting history I wanted to share.