January 24, 2016

2016 Films to See

Just recently I finally got around to seeing The Revenant (review on the way...) and that got me thinking that I didn't do a post about which films of 2016 I'm most interested in seeing. Not all of them will be in the cinema though.

Well, here they are!




DEADPOOL

Who said all superhero movies have to be family friendly? Ryan Reynolds seems perfect for this. I won't see this in cinemas because you just KNOW there will be a '20 minute longer more extreme edition' on blu-ray so I'll wait for that. Still want to see the film though. How far will they go??





ALLEGIANT

I still haven't seen Insurrgent, but I enjoyed the first film enough to keep watching and finish the series. I'm not seeing them in cinemas, however.




DAWN OF JUSTICE

I'm curious about this film....DC movies, for the most part, except for Nolan's Batman Trilogy, have never fared well. That's what's keeping out of the cinemas for this one. I still want to see it, but I'm going to wait for blu-ray / Netflix for it. I'm not getting my hopes up.



CIVIL WAR [in cinema]

It's another big piece of the Marvel films, so of course I have to see it! Apparantly, it serves as an epilogue to The Avengers 2 and begins to set up Infinity War: Part 1 quite well! I'm willing to pay to see this in cinemas.



THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS [undecided]

I enjoyed the tim Burton one from 'back when', but it wasn't perfect. No wth pretty much the same cast crew, and look and feel, we FINALLY get a proper sequel, or rather, adaptation of Through the Looking Glass. It's too early to tell, but I'm hoping this one is at least as good as the first one.




X-MEN: APOCALYPSE [in cinema]

I've always been a fan of the X-Men film franchise. Sure, some have been better others but they've been consistently good. This film serves as both the ending of the 'new trilogy' (First Class, Days of Future Past, now this film) as well as the entire film franchise. It may set up possible spin-offs etc, but I'm hoping after this film, we can finally start seeing mutants in the MCU. Sell the rights to Marvel, Fox!








WARCRAFT [in cinema]

The adaptation of Blizzard's first game in the series looks to be an impressive cinematic experience....here's hoping it proves to be a quality film, as well as adaptation.





FINDING DORY [in cinema]

Truly, one can rarely go wrong with Pixar. Possibly an 'unncessary' sequel, it looks it will be a good one.





STAR TREK 3 [in cinema]

The first two were pretty good, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out. The cast is great, even though these newer films may not feel like the Star Trek of yester-year.


INFERNO

I'm looking forward to seeing Robert Langdon's next outting. I've not the read the books (partly because I hear they're 'meh') so I'll stick with watching the films at my own pace.

UNDERWORLD 5

I've always had a guilty pleasure in these. I'm not expecting much, but I'll see it at some point. 

JACK REACHER 2

The first one surprised me. It wasn't anything special, but it was better than I thought. I'll be sure to keep an (out of cinema) eye for this one when it's out to see 'at home'.




DR STRANGE [in cinema]

We finally get proper / heavy more magic in the MCU. I usually catch the MCU Marvel movies once they come out at the cinema, and this one won't be an exception to that rule. Cumberbatch looks good so far as the character.



ASSASSIN'S CREED [not decided yet...]

Everything about this film seems promising based on what I've read and seen. i hope it's good, and does well, but it's still too early yet.


So those are the films coming out in 2016 (that I know of at this point) that I am remotely interested in seeing, either at the cinema or the comfort of my own home.

January 12, 2016

No Book? No Problem!



So, here’s another article about this subject – since The Winds of Winter isn’t out yet, Game of Thrones will ‘pass’ the story. I’m writing this post as an opinion piece.

We all know by now that Game of Thrones is based on an (as of now) incomplete book series by George R.R. Martin, called A Song of Ice and Fire. For (most) of the five seasons, the HBO series has followed the books, but not exactly to the T, and with some alterations created solely for the show. However, this upcoming season, Season 6, there won’t be a book out for the show to follow.

Because of this, many book readers are worried that the show will reveal certain things before the next book is published. I would rather read something, than watch it for a 'reveal'. I’ve come to the realization (after much thought) that I’m not worried. I understand completely if others will stop watching the show because of that fact. What follows is why I’m not worried.

Since the book isn’t out yet, we don’t know WHAT will be ruined, or at which point the show will ‘pass’ the books in actual story, or go into the direction the crew has decided upon themselves.
From as early as Season 3, there have been a few minor changes here and there to gradually make the show vastly different from the book series. Those changes began to become more noticeable, and even stand out, in Seasons 4 and 5. Are they in fact changes? Or are the characters making a few detours on the path they follow in the books? For example, did Jaime go to Drone instead of the Riverlands, or will he get there there at some in the show? Season 1 was about 85% - 90% accurate to the first book; if my memory serves well. IF the rest of the seasons maintained that faithfulness to the source material, THEN I’d be concerned about the show moving past where the books have left off. BUT, since we / I have been steadily ‘weaned’ off the source material, it’s so different, that it does not matter if The Winds of Winter is published now or not. The only thing, is that book readers can say “I read the book first” even if Season 6 is not even remotely close to Book 6 (Winds). Having that claim, and possible ‘ahead-of-time’ knowledge gave book readers a (potential) edge.

What I’m getting at, is that I’m not going to allow the fact that a book ISN’T out yet to impact my enjoyment of a show. Just like I won’t allow what’s shown on TV to affect my reading of unpublished books. The show is one of my favorite currently-made shows at the moment [as well House of Cards, Dragons, Hell on Wheels, Halt and Catch Fire,  Daredevil, Vikings…]

So, bring it on. As much as I love the books, I also like the show (but the books more.) I wish George all the best for completing The Winds of Winter, and also for starting up A Dream of Spring, when that time comes. This isn't a situation that I'm fond of, the show 'getting ahead', but there it is.

And HBO? This is what I want for my final season of Game of Thrones Season : either 12-16 55-ish minute episodes, or 10 episodes, with 1 and 10 being over the 55 minute mark, at the least. Don’t put out a movie (in the cinema sense.) If you do a TV movie, might I suggest A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms….. 

[this blog has been spoiler-free, and will continue to be so, by the way.]

January 7, 2016

Mario Maker Update: Jan 6 - 29 (My Faves of '15)

Hey all!

Another Mario Maker update! Nothing ‘new’ this time (well, the codes changed). This is, what I like to think of my ‘best of’ or my ‘faves’ of the levels I’ve done (not counting the new set close to Feb. So these may be familiar for those who’ve followed me from the start. Also, pay attention to the naming conventions of the levels. The higher a level is, the harder it’ll be. (example: “D-3” will be quite difficult, as it is the second last level in the ‘game’ of ‘A-1 – D-4’).

So I hope you enjoy, and I’ve given a few ‘clues’ in case I’ve made my levels TOO hard. They’re not troll levels, or ‘Panga’ but they can be quite tricky. I hope you don’t lose heart and try to beat them :)

So here they are:

Super Mario Land: A Tribute [ B2E1-0000-0151-6C3F ]
This is a 'remake' of the first level of Super Mario Land, a game not many console only players got to play.

The Lost Levels: A Tribute [ D0D2-0000-0151-6D11 ]
My 'remake' of The Lost Levels openng level with this game.

Super Mario Land 1-2 Remix [ 54FB-0000-0151-6EC1 ] 

Another Super Mario Land remake. Go for the coins.

Super Mario Land 1-3 Remix [ D4A2-0000-0151-6F31 ]
Title is explanatory. Do your best not to get small!

A-1 [ 42E1-0000-0178-D472 ]
A fairly simple level, the first of a 'game' (or, a 'hidden' level if allowed in this game)

C-1 [ B339-0000-0178-D652 ]
This isn't a remix, remake etc...but I admit to using some familiar elements out of Lost Levels and Mario 1 here. In the high row of question blocks, 4th from the pipe.

C-2 [ 00B4-0000-0178-D78B ]
Again, I borrowed some elements here. Mind the steps.

D-1 [ 1D29-0000-0178-D8A5 ]
Those of you who made it to 8-1 in Lost Levels or Mario 1 will recognize portions of this level...

D-3 [ 0E19-0000-0178-D9EA ]
Not going to lie,, this is one of the hardest levles i made, and it's meant to be played 'near the end of a game'. for a great start, jump around the castle wall at the beginning. There is more than a coin brick...Also, if you're good at Bullet Bill bouncing, not only can you rack points, by killing them, it's the best way to avoid them.

*-1 (Lost Levels 2-1 Attempt) [ 1C01-0000-0178-DD16 ]
A bonus level for World 1! I did my best to recreate 2-1 from The Lost Levels.

*-2 (Mario 1 6-2 Attempt) [ CEE7-0000-0178-DF92 ]
A bonus level for World 2! I did my best to recreate 6-2 from Mario 1, especially considering you only have one sub-space 'plane' to work with.

*-3 (Lost Levels 7-1 Attempt) [ 151C-0000-0178-E1FA ]
A bonus level for World 2! I did my best to re-create 7-1 from Lost Levels. If you get the Star, don't kill the two red Para Troopas......

A-A [ 5A74-0000-0178-E4B7 ]
The series of A-A - D-D was designed to be my 'after you beat Bowser, try these...' levels. No hints that I can think of.

*-A [ D731-0000-0178-EAEC ]
A bonus level for World A! Don't rush through this one....there are spots that can be deadly if a speed run is attempted.

*-D [ D33D-0000-0178-EC83 ]
World D's secret...ah, castle?! I've included this castle rather than others for a few reasons: the 'double trouble' at the beginning to get your first mushroom, the 'slow and steady' of the pipe portion (and rewards for doing so...). Everything isn't what it seems in this castle, including the boss fight!

Welcome to Mario Maker! [ A501-0000-0178-EE6A ]
The 'first level' of a game! Pretty simple.

Plant-trap Pass [ 7B22-0000-0178-F259 ]
Lots of plants, and a few tricks here! Not all paths lead to goodies.....when you see the 3 Buzzy Beetles, make sure you're standing on top of of the bricks if you want what's inside.

Pipe Plains [ 90E9-0000-0178-F4CB ]
Go up at the start where the two Muchers-in-Pipes are. Drop down to enter the pipe properly. Beware the spawning pipes, and for extra goodies, after the pipe-cross, enter ONLY the sideways pipe. Beware the stairs at the end.

Shell Stronghold [ 65E9-0000-0178-F75F ]
If it has a shell, you'll fight it. Take the high road when possible.

Supply Stop [ 8EBC-0000-0178-F9BA ]
With the air ship levels, even when not scrolling, the screen still moves...making it hard to see the ground is in fact ground. Your 'twirls' will help you in this one a bit. You know, if you do the same controls as to fly with Propeller Mushroom? Do that when you jump if you don't have it for an extra 'bit' in your jump. Handy for jumping huge gaps, stopping your jump, dodging, or for hopping on enemies. If you fall between the two pipes, all is not lost....

The Heir of Koopa [ D0A8-0000-0178-FD86 ]
If you get a star, DON'T KILL THE THWOMPS. Go on top of where they drop, and spin-jump from Thwomp to Thwomp over the spikes to get some goodies. On the way down, you can see the rails of the bridge, the Paara-Bones and the Giant Lava Bubble.
When you get the pow, you have a few options. The first is to throw it at one of the th two thowmps, as passing there without can be tricky. If you pass them with the pow, you can use it on the Buzzy Beetle / Hammer Bro. Or, the Hammer Bros Pair. Or, best (and hardest to get to without using it), the level boss for a one-hit kill (if on the ground or thrown at direct.)

Dunked Doom-ship [ 2B9A-0000-0179-0032 ]

The Field of Fire [ 1539-0000-0179-0093 ]
Watch for lava bubbles, the rotation of fire bars, and remember to 'twirl'!

The Throne of the Koopa [ b479-0000-0179-0549 ]
This is another I made intentionally to be hard.....
King Koopa's Throne! But...he's not on it! Jumping over it may be risky, so your best bet, is using the blocks to clear it. for the goomba tower and ? block, keep going and use a koopa shell to take out the tower, and get your prize [best option is while holding a shell, jump the tower, stand on the ? , then throw.]. Once at the Red koopa's bridge, hop around on it a bit, and keep going up.....time your jumps with the burners and doghnut blocks well, and twirl when needed. Blue platform, blue platform enter the pipe. Don't linger.
Next area! Wait for the burners to die down, and then use it next to the pipe to get a running start, then jump (twirl if you feel scared). Hammers and staris don't mix, so play careful....jump around on the highest part where the sledge bro is.... One you get to the Giant Para-Bones, bounce off of him then twirl to easily clear the two Giant Chomps.
If you feel like you need it 9if you're small), keep going past 'THE' pipe (easy jumps but tricky to spot) to claim a boost. Then, it's on to the boss(es!)




The History of Middle-earth

I’ve often said that my essential Tolkien books consist of :

­The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
The Silmarillion
Unfinished Tales
The Children of Hurin
The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun
The Fall of Arthur
Beowulf
The Story of Kullervo


Many people have often mentioned, or asked about, ‘The History of Middle-earth’. This series serves as further insight into the development of Tolkien’s worlds, so there are often ‘alternate versions’ of material. I’ve felt that The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales have provided me with satisfactory information to quench any thirsts I may have. Of course, there may be a few items that have been only published within specific books of the series.

If Tolkien’s main middle-earth books (The Hobbit – Unfinished Tales) are a movie, let’s say, then ‘The History of Middle-earth’ would be it’s ‘making of’ or ‘audio commentary’.

So this post is for the completists, and / or die hards. Or those who wish to know more, or get the ‘History of Middle-earth’ book series.

Like many other Tolkien books, HoM-e is offered in a few different formats. I’ll of course list them all here. Please note, that tolkien.co.uk offers 10% off, if all 13 print-on-demand books are ordered at once. However, to get the discount, you need to contact them. Use the ISBNs to get them. (amazon.co.uk, bookdepository.com, tolkien.co.uk )




I: The Book of Lost Tales: Part 1

The first of a two-book set that contains the early myths and legends which led to the writing of Tolkien's epic tale of war, The Silmarillion. The Book of Lost Tales stands at the beginning of the entire conception of Middle-earth and Valinor for the Tales were the first form of the myths and legends that came to be called The Silmarillion. Embedded in English legend and English association, they are set in the narrative frame of a great westward voyage over the Ocean by a mariner named Eriol to the lonely Isle where the Elves dwelt; from them he learned their true history, the Lost Tales of Elfinesse. In the Tales are found the earliest accounts of Gods and Elves, Dwarves, Balrogs and Orcs; of the Silmarils and the Two Trees of Valinor; of the geography and cosmology of Tolkien's invented world.

Paperback: 9780261102224
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365258



II: The Book of Lost Tales: Part 2

The second of a two-book set that contains the early myths and legends which led to the writing of Tolkien's epic tale of war, The Silmarillion. This second part of The Book of Lost Tales includes the tale of Beren and Luthien, Turin and the Dragon, and the only full narratives of the Necklace of the Dwarves and the Fall of Gondolin, itself the finest and most exciting depiction of a battle that Tolkien ever wrote. Each tale is followed by a commentary in the form of a short essay, together with texts of associated poems, and contains extensive information on names and vocabulary in the earliest Elvish languages.

Paperback: 9780261102149
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365265




III: The Lays of Beleriand

The third volume that contains the early myths and legends which led to the writing of Tolkien's epic tale of war, The Silmarillion. This, the third volume of The History of Middle-earth, gives us a priviledged insight into the creation of the mythology of Middle-earth, through the alliterative verse tales of two of the most crucial stories in Tolkien's world - those of Turien and Luthien. The first of the poems is the unpublished Lay of The Children of Hurin, narrating on a grand scale the tragedy of Turin Turambar. The second is the moving Lay of Leithian, the chief source of the tale of Beren and Luthien in The Silmarillion, telling of the Quest of the Silmaril and the encounter with Morgoth in his subterranean fortress. Accompanying the poems are commentaries on the evolution of the history of the Elder Days. Also included is the notable criticism of The Lay of The Leithian by CS Lewis, who read the poem in 1929.

Paperback: 9780261102262
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365272



IV: The Shaping of Middle-earth

The fourth volume that contains the early myths and legends which led to the writing of Tolkien's epic tale of war, The Silmarillion. In this fourth volume of The History of Middle-earth, the shaping of the chronological and geographical structure of the legends of Middle-earth and Valinor is spread before us. We are introduced to the hitherto unknown Ambarkanta or "Shape of the World", the only account ever given of the nature of the imagined Universe, ccompanied by maps and diagrams of the world before and after the cataclyusms of The War of the Gods and the Downfall of Numenor. The first map of Beleriend is also reproduced and discussed. In The Annals of Valinor and The Annals of Beleriend we are shown how the chronology of the First Age was moulded: and the tale is told of Aelfwine, the Englishman who voyaged into the True West and came to Tol Eressea, Lonely Isle, where he learned the ancient history of Elves and Men. Also included are the original 'Silmarillion' of 1926, and the Quenta Noldorinwa of 1930 -- the only version of the myths and legends of the First Age that J R R Tolkien completed to their end.

Paperback: 9780261102187
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365289




V: The Lost Road

The fifth volume of the History of Middle-earth, containing the early myths and legends which led to the writing of Tolkien's epic tale of war, The Silmarillion. At the end of 1937, J R R Tolkien reluctantly set aside his work on the myths and heroic legends of Valinor and Middle-earth and began The Lord of the Rings. This fifth volume of The History of Middle-earth completes the examination of his writing up to that time. Later forms of The Annals of Valinor and The Annals of Beleriand had been composed, The Silmarillion was nearing completion in a greatly amplified form, and a new Map had been made. The legend of the Downfall of Numenor had entered the work, including those central ideas: the World Made Round and the Straight Path into the vanished West. Closely associated with this was the abandoned 'time-travel' story The Lost Road, linking the world of Numenor and Middle-earth with the legends of many other times and peoples. Also included in this volume is the The Lhammas, as essay on the complex languages and dialects of Middle-earth, and an 'etymological dictionary' containing an extensive account of Elvish vocabularies.

Paperback: 9780261102255
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365296




VI: The Return of the Shadow

The first part of The History of The Lord of the Rings, an enthralling account of the writing of the Book of the Century which contains many additional scenes and includes the unpublished Epilogue in its entirety. The Return of the Shadow is the story of the first part of the history of the creation of The Lord of the Rings, a fascinating study of Tolkien's great masterpiece, from its inception to the end of the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring. In The Return of the Shadow (the abandoned title of the first volume of The Lord of the Rings) we see how Bilbo's magic ring evolved into the supremely dangerous Ruling Ring of the Dark Lord; and the precise, and astonishingly unforeseen, moment when a Black Rider first rode in to the Shire. The character of the hobbit called Trotter (afterwards Strider or Aragorn) is developed, and Frodo's companions undergo many changes of name and personality. The book comes complete with reproductions of the first maps and facsimile pages from the earliest manuscripts.

Paperback: 9780261102248 
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365302



VII: The Treason of Isengard

The second part of The History of The Lord of the Rings, an enthralling account of the writing of the Book of the Century which contains many additional scenes and includes the unpublished Epilogue in its entirety. The Treason of Isengard continues the account of the creation of The Lord of the Rings started in the earlier volume, The Return of the Shadow. It races the great expansion of the tale into new lands and peoples south and east of the Misty Mountains: the emerence of Lothlorien, of Ents, of the Riders of Rohan, and of Saruman the White in the fortress of Isengard. In brief outlines and pencilled drafts dashed down on scraps of paper are seen the first entry of Galadriel, the earliest ideas of the history of Gondor, and the original meeting of Aragorn and Eowyn, its significance destined to be wholly transformed. The book also contains a full account of the original map which was to be the basis of the emerging geography of Middle-earth.

Paperback: 9780261102200
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365319




VIII: The War of the Ring

The third part of The History of The Lord of the Rings, an enthralling account of the writing of the Book of the Century which contains many additional scenes and includes the unpublished Epilogue in its entirety. The War of the Ring takes up the story of The Lord of the Rings with the Battle of Helm's Deep and the drowning of Isengard by the Ents, continues with the journey of Frodo, Sam and Gollum to the Pass of Cirith Ungol, describes the war in Gondor, and ends with the parley between Gandalf and the ambassador of the Dark Lord before the Black Gate of Mordor. The book is illustrated with plans and drawings of the changing conceptions of Orthanc, Dunharrow, Minas Tirith and the tunnels of Shelob's Lair.

Paperback: 9780261102231
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365326



IX: Sauron Defeated


The final part of The History of The Lord of the Rings, an enthralling account of the writing of the Book of the Century which contains many additional scenes and includes the unpublished Epilogue in its entirety. In the first section of Sauron Defeated Christopher Tolkien completes his fascinating study of The Lord of the Rings. Beginning with Sam's rescue of Frodo from the Tower of Cirith Ungol, and giving a very different account of the Scouring of the Shire, this section ends with versions of the hitherto unpublished Epilogue, in which, years after the departure of Bilbo and Frodo from the Grey Havens, Sam attempts to answer his children's questions. The second section is an edition of The Notion Club Papers. These mysterious papers, discovered in the early years of the twenty-first century, report the discussions of an Oxford club in the years 1986-7, in which after a number of topics, the centre of interest turns to the legend of Atlantis, the strange communications recevied by other members of the club from the past, and the violent irruption of the legend into the North-west of Europe. This series of fascinating books has now been repackaged to complement the distinctive and classic style of the 'black cover' A-format paperbacks of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales.

Paperback: 9780261103054
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365333




X: Morgoth’s Ring


The first of two companion volumes which documents the later writing of The Silmarillion, Tolkien's epic tale of war. After The Lord of the Rings was at last achieved, J R R Tolkien turned his attention once again to 'the Matter of the Elder Days'. The text of the Annals of Aman, the 'Blessed Land' in the far West, is given in full; while in writings hitherto unknown is seen the nature of the problems that Tolkien explored in his later years, as new and radical ideas, portending upheaval in the old narratives, emerged at the heart of the mythology, and as the destinies of Men and Elves, mortals and immortals, ecame of central significance, together with a vastly enlarged perception of the evil of Melkor, the Shadow upon Arda. The second part of this history of the later Silmarillion is concerned with developments in the legends of Beleriand after the completion of The Lord of the Rings.

Paperback: 9780261103009
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365340



XI: The War of the Jewels


The second of two companion volumes which documents the later writing of The Silmarillion, Tolkien's epic tale of war. In The War of the Jewels Christopher Tolkien takes up his account of the later history of The Silmarillion from the point where it was left in Morgoth's Ring. The story now returns to Middle-earth, and the ruinous conflict of the High Elves and the Men who were their allies with the power fothe Dark Lord. With the publication in this book of all J.R.R. Tolkien's later narrative writing concerned with the last centuries of the First Age, the long history of The Silmarillion, from its beginning in The Book of Lost Tales, is completed; and the enigmatic state of the work at his death can be understood. This book contains the full text of the Grey Annals, the primary record of The War of the Jewels, and a major story of Middle-earth now published for the first time: the tale of the disaster that overtook the forest people of Brethil when Hurin the Steadfast came among them after his release from long years of captivity in Angband, the fortress of Morgoth.

Paperback: 9780261103245
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365357




XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth

The Peoples of Middle-earth traces the evolution of the Appendices to The Lord of The Rings, which provide a comprehensive historical structure of the Second and Third Ages, including Calendars, Hobbit genealogies and the Westron language. The book concludes with two unique abandoned stories: The New Shadow, set in Gondor during the Fourth Age, and the tale of Tal-elmar, in which the coming of the dreaded Numenorean ships is seen through the eyes of men of Middle-earth in the Dark Years. With the publication of this book, the long history of J.R.R. Tolkien's creation is completed and the enigmatic state of his work can be understood.

Paperback: 9780261103481
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365364



Index

Complete integrated indices of History of Middle-earth volumes to complement new series. For the first time every index from each of the twelve volumes of The History Of Middle-earth has been published together in a single volume -- to create a supreme index charting the writing of Tolkien's masterpieces The Lord of The Rings and The Silmarillion.

Paperback: 9780007137435
Hardback [ Print on Demand only available through Tolkien.co.uk ]:
9780007365371

To read about print on demand (as well as make an inquiry about ordering all 13) go here : http://www.tolkien.co.uk/page/Features+%26+News/Print+On+Demand

There are also different hardback editions, which has 4 of the books in one volume. Please note, that neither of these include the matching ‘index volume’. 


Complete Middle-earth Set: 9780007105083
History of Middle-earth: Part 1:
9780007149155
History of Middle-earth: Part 2:
9780007149162
History of Middle-earth: Part 3:
9780007149179

January 5, 2016

Back From the Holidays

Well, it’s been quite a Yuletide (accurate or not, I enjoy, and have ‘time off’ from the first day of winter straight through to the 12th day of Christmas.)

            Lots of fun, lots people, places etc…. So I’ll do a great, big, round up / summary post which will cover a lot of ground.

            First, and biggest of all, is that I will be getting back to writing this week sometime. Since it has been a bit since I’ve written (non-blog), I am going to begin / return to the ‘mind set’ by revising my existing work, and then going from there. Who knows, this week may be revision only. But my mind will be returning to it, so that’s a good start. I’ll update a little bit more about that as I go.




Mario Maker! I hit another milestone with that game. I’ll be sure to play / use the game less, as I want to buckle down on the writing (it’s a time management thing). The next update will be tomorrow. Since it’s the end of the year (well, beginning of 2016 but you get the idea) this update will be a ‘best of’ and I’ll have those levels up for a while. After that, new content! Currently, I can upload 30 levels at a time. Not this update, but the FOLLOWING will be completely new. We can’t ‘link’ levels, but it is my intention for a few updates now that have sequential naming conventions, that they ‘make a game’ per update. So the higher the named level is, the harder it is and of course, you properly get to face off against Bowser “at the end.” I will keep the tradition of making update posts with codes, etc.
 
         
            - Winds of Winter



Sadly, it won’t be out before Game of Thrones: Season 6 begins. So ‘book only’ readers wishing to avoid the show spoilers etc, considering this warning not to watch and keep in mind that the internet is dark and full of spoilers. But not this blog though. To read the whole story, as well George’s own words, head here : http://grrm.livejournal.com/465247.html . I gotta say, I like the way that he worded himself and opened up and offered a somewhat in depth update. He also confirms via the comments section that the book cover is in fact real. Should the book be published tomorrow, it’ll feature that cover. He does say that these things change, though. My wager for publication date is around the time that Episode 10 will be broadcasted via HBO. George said BEFORE Season 6, so I figure shortly after could be possible.

In regards for the show, I’m going to do my best and wait until after the season finishes before starting it up. That’s my intent, let’s see if it actually happens. Waiting one week for one episode is stupid. It all depends on what those close to me will do….

            - beers

Got a got a few different beers for, and during Yule. Only had a few of them, though. The ones I got are:

Williams Bros Brewing “Historic Ales of Scotland”
St Bernadus Mix Pack and “Christmas Ale”
Wychwood “Bah humbug”
Black Oak “Nutcracker Porter”

I also got a bottle of Bailey’s (regular) and Crown Black.
 
- upcoming purchases


There are a few things I plan to buy, or have bought but have yet to published. The two big ones are a new computer (most likely a laptop) and a PS4 at some point. If possible I'd like to opt for a 1TB edition that doesn't come with a Call of Duty game. A BBQ would be awesome as well. There’s a bunch of other stuff too: some blu-rays, video games, only a few books (most of the books are the ‘next’ in a series, and not anticipating anything “new”.). I’m predicting 10 books total this year.

            As of now, there’s no big book news for this year, but I’ll keep you posted as I get the info. Perhaps Stormlight Book 3 will be out at some point?? Even The Winds of Winter? Currently, I’m re-reading Tolkien. I’m on The Return of the King at the moment, and will follow that with The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. Most likely after that I will read The Winter King….or something else. I do have a few pages left in Red Rising. I also have some classics, and I look forward to reading some Leo Tolstoy, and other classics. It seems that the ‘best novel ever’ is a 3-way tie between some titans: The Count of Monte Cristo, Les Miserables, and War and Peace. [The Lord of the Rings is the best FANTASY novel of all time.]. Once I return to Tolkien, I’ll finish off with The Children of Hurin, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun, The Fall of Arthur, Beowulf, and The Story of Kullervo [and that’s not counting what’s on my e-reader for travel] I put my 2016 Goodreads Reading challenge to 20, which should be doable (how do some people read approx. 100?! They must extremely small books…)

Whew. That was quite the post. That’s all for now!