Friday, November 20, 2009

Holiday Reading

Like I said in my last post, I've been reading a lot of David Gemmell books lately. I can read through them very quickly, as they tend to be pretty straightforward, which is part of what I like about them. I like the idea of a main hero who knows what his faults are, and doesn't tend to be arrogant about most things. Granted, most of Gemmell's books are about great warriors, but they are self-aware, to a point; they know that they are good at what they do, and also that they may not have the most complicated way of looking at life. His most popular character, Druss, has a very simple, black and white way of looking at things; he knows when something is good or evil, and will always try to choose good, even if it means pain or suffering for himself. I've even been looking into a game to try and express the kind of setting Gemmell's books take place in, and found one that seems to fit well called Barbarians of Lemuria, which lists as some of its inspirations things like Robert E. howard's Conan and Kull stories.

I'm also looking into re-reading Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series, which is the polar opposite of Gemmell's books in the fantasy world. Far from being fantasy pulp books, where one can be read independantly of the others, this series is intricate and long, with a complicated design and story that are sure to keep the mind working. Even in paperback, the shortest book in this series is over 700 pages, and there are dozens of characters and numerous storylines to keep track of. The setting is gloriously high magic, but is also not ahsamed to let major characters die, sometimes nobly, somtimes ignobly. Most of the main characters don't have a great deal of time for self-analyzation, and those that do are often confused by what they find.

These two series, along with my newfound addiciton to Bioware's new videogame Dragon Age: Origins, will likely keep me occupied for much of my holidays season. I'm already on my second playthrough of Dragon Age, and have put in close to 80 hours of play - and I still haven't managed to do all I want to, and accoridng to the game's logs, I have completed only about 65% of what is possible to do in the game. I love Bioware for their games, but sometimes I wish they weren't so addictive - every game of theirs I have bought, and I have bought most of their games, has cost me a significant part of a month, if not more. So while this is not technically holiday reading, I do spend a lot of time reading things in this game, particularly the entries that are found throughtout the game that explain more of the setting's history and cultures.

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