T-shirts of Awesomness +5

ZeStuff has a clearance sale going on.  I, for one, am all for geek apparel.  In particular the t-shirt below caught my eye and I could almost here the anthemic power chords in the air as I stared at it:

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More talking monkeys! Plus…robots!

Newsarama had the scoop yesterday that Marvel will be publishing more Agents of Atlas.

This was one of my favorite comics of ’06, and not solely for the aforementioned talking monkey or the retro-awesome robot M11, but for it’s solid art and top-notch writing.

The official Agents of Atlas site says (of the original ’06 series):

In the late 1950’s, The U.S. Government let FBI Special Agent Jimmy Woo forge a team of unlikely heroes: Together they stormed the fortress of a criminal mastermind to rescue President Eisenhower, and the group disbanded soon after. Now almost 50 years later, an unauthorized S.H.I.E.L.D. mission goes down in flames–and from the ashes arise forces from the GOLDEN AGE OF MARVEL!

The team features former Shield Agent Jimmy Woo, Marvel Boy (from the 1950s, has a fishbowlesque helmet and an honest to go flying saucer), Venus (a siren with a soul), Namora (Namor’s sister), Gorilla-Man (a mercenary cursed to be a gorilla for all eternity), and M11 (a sentiet robot with extending limbs and a death ray).  Again this comics was totally fun and, as the recent Agents of Atlas appearance in Secret Invasion was proof, is going to be hella fun once again.

You can pick up the trade from your local bookstore, local comic shop, or even ask your library if they can get a copy.  It’s well worth the effort.  The trade is really cool as, in addition to the mini-series, it collects the character’s first appearances as well as the team’s first appearance.  Great stuff.

Review: Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams

Implied Spaces

Walter Jon Williams

Night Shade Books, 2008

The blurb on the back of Implied Spaces by S.M. Stirling encapsulates the style of the novel best by calling it a “Sword and Singularity” novel.  It’s sci-fi sure, but it is adventure sci-fi that isn’t afraid to borrow some conventions from the fantasy genre in its pursuit of fun.  The plot follows Aristride, a former scientist turned swordsmen/poet, and his companion Bitsy (a cat who happens to be the avatar of a powerful AI) as they try to stop the machinations of something called Vindex while attempting to unravel the mystery behind both its purpose and identity..

Continue reading “Review: Implied Spaces by Walter Jon Williams”

All I want to do is tantalise you

I think there is something wrong with me…since such a simple picture can get me excited:

I love that heat sink, looks effective but sexy with plenty of room for aftermarket cooling.  Unlike my ASUS board whose pounds of copper limits my aftermarket cooling options like nobody’s business.

Intel’s X58 boards feature a new socket to support their new “Bloomfield” processor which seems to be their new flagship “Extreme” processor. Rumor is that the top-level Bloomfield will cost $999, as opposed to the current top-level Extreme processor which costs well over the $1000 mark. I’m more excited about what that means for the pricing of the mid to low-end Bloomfields. Lower level chip, plus aftermarket cooling and some solid OC sounds good to me.

The new boards are DDR3 only, I’m still uncertain how great a performance gain the higher spec RAM yields but a quick glance at New Egg reveals some more reasonable prices than when I put together my rig.  Still nothing like the bargain basement price of DDR2 memory.  Plus it looks like we’ll be seeing both Crossfire and SLI support on these babies.  Suhweet!

No, I won’t be building a new computer this soon, but a man can dream.

Foot in Mouth Syndrome or the Power of Acronyms

Maybe I spoke too soon?

KOTOR + O = dorkgasm.

Bioware, EA, and Lucasarts teaming up to make a Knights of the Old Republic Online game?  Yes, please.

With a fair helping of trepidation though.  Bioware, though they excel at the single-player RPG are yet unproven at the MMO game and EA is, well, EA.  Time will tell, but color me excited.

Via Rock Paper Shotgun via Conde Nast Portfolio’s (wtf!?) Tech Observer blog.

Summer Gaming Malaise II: the E3 Debacle

Am I the only one that remembers waiting with anticipation for E3 and the plethora of news and announcements?  Reading with glee the “hidden gems” and the previously unknown information about upcoming releases was one of those summer traditions that I, for one, relished.  Sure E3 got a little over the top and, like a rabid dog, had to be put to sleep.  Now we have a new puppy E3 and it really well…sucked.

Sure I appreciated the new Fallout 3 trailers/gameplay demo but the most I could muster in response to everything was a resounding “meh.”

Microsoft has the most interesting stuff, but nothing mind blowing.  The Netflix deal has me interested, but I’m still stuck on DSL, so Lord knows if it’ll even be viable.  Final Fantasy XIII is cool, but I’ve always been a hesitant FF fan; the last game I played through to the end was Final Fantasy III (or VI). Not to mention that there is zero information on a release date.

Nintendo was perhaps the most disapointing.  I don’t even know what I have to look forward too in the coming months from them; let alone in the holiday season.  New motion sensor?  Cool I guess.

The most exciting thing out of all 3 days was likely the Rock Band 2 set list, damn nice set of songs there.  But that’s it.  Really.

Ach.  Maybe it’s just me but nothing really got my heart pumping (well, save that posted Fallout 3 trailer, but I was already excited about Fallout 3) like it did in the old days.  Makes me feel old.

A Review in Two Parts: Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson (FIN)

Wow.  Some major world shattering changes in the final pages of Toll the Hounds amidst a entertaining and tense action packed series of confrontations.  It’s difficult to discuss everything sans spoilers it but the slow build-up of the novel pays off in big ways.  Major changes in the Malazan world are going to really shake up events in the final chapters of the series and I shudder to think what kind of final confrontation Erikson will pull off.

That being said some of the viewpoints in the novel don’t feel quite as fleshed out as they could be and I’m not quite sure what they contributed to the overall plot of the novel.  There is an underlying theme of redemption throughout most of the book and most of the character’s whose head’s we dip into reflect that.  This is reinforced by the final confrontations in the book which, by and large, resolve each character’s own external and internal conflicts in regards to redemption; except in the case of a select few who seem to get left by the wayside.  If you’ve been reading the series so far this won’t stop you now but it was a little frustrating to see characters that I like make little progress in terms of character.  But that is the nature of such a large and diverse cast.

On a related note I think the Dramatis Personae needs some better organization and a return of a glossary/Deck of Dragons listing from earlier books would certainly be appreciated.

That being said this was one hell of a ride and I find myself continually and increasingly impressed with Erikson’s skill as a writer.  I can thing of few, if any, authors that can manage so many viewpoints at once with such a deft hand.  Erikson, unfortunatley, tends to be overlooked in US; which is a shame.  I don’t know where to point the blame for that.  Erikson deserves to, and in my mind does, stand shoulder to shoulder with the respected “greats” of the fantasy genre.

Damn shame I have to wait another year for Dust of Dreams.  At least I’ll have Return of the Crimson Guard (Esslemont’s Malazan novel) and The Lees at Laugher’s End (Erikson’s third Bochalain and Broach novella set in the Malazan world) to tide me over in the mean time.