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 What I read in November.

Some were started in October but didn’t get finished in November. There’s a few shorter stories, but anything is worth reading if it’s good. I think my favorite must have been This Crowded Earth, it’s a very possible future.

Icewall trilogy #1: The Messenger by Douglas Niles

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Exiled in disgrace to the harsh land called the Icereach, Kerrick, a Silvanesti elf, encounters a group of barbarian villagers that is making a determined stand against the encroachment of the remnants of a powerful ogre empire that is out to seize control of the frozen world.

Icewall trilogy #2: The Golden Orb by Douglas Niles

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Towering aloof and secure, the isolated fortress offers humankind a place to survive and flourish in the barren realm of Icereach. Even the elven Messenger Kerrick Fallabrine has made a home there, living among the humans and teaching them a multitude of skills. But the ogre enemies are always near, and they have developed a powerful weapon, a destructive magic encased within a sphere of solid gold. Its existence forces the humans to confront the threat of extinction that lurks outside their walls.

When the sleeper wakes by H.G Wells

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Graham, an 1890s radical pamphleteer who is eagerly awaiting the twentieth century and all the advances it will bring, is stricken with insomnia. Finally resorting to medication, he instantly falls into a deep sleep that lasts two hundred years. Upon waking in the twenty-second century to a strange and nightmarish place, he slowly discovers he is master of the world, revered by an adoring populace who consider him their leader. Terrified, he escapes from his chamber seeking solace—only to realize that not everyone adores him, some even wish to harm him.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.

The war of the worlds by H.G Wells

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With H.G. Wells’ other novels, The War of the Worlds was one of the first and greatest works of science fiction ever to be written. Even long before man had learned to fly, H.G. Wells wrote this story of the Martian attack on England. These unearthly creatures arrive in huge cylinders, from which they escape as soon as the metal is cool. The first falls near Woking and is regarded as a curiosity rather than a danger until the Martians climb out of it and kill many of the gaping crowd with a Heat-Ray. These unearthly creatures have heads four feet in diameter and colossal round bodies, and by manipulating two terrifying machines – the Handling Machine and the Fighting Machine – they are as versatile as humans and at the same time insuperable. They cause boundless destruction. The inhabitants of the Earth are powerless against them, and it looks as if the end of the World has come. But there is one factor which the Martians, in spite of their superior intelligence, have not reckoned on. It is this which brings about a miraculous conclusion to this famous work of the imagination.

The Inmost Light by Arthur Machen

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The Inmost Light, one of Arthur Machen’s most disturbing stories, involves a doctor’s scientific experiments into occultism, and the vampiric force instigated by his unrelenting curiosity regarding the unseen elements. A large and glorious gem-stone is the vampiric mediator; soaking up the soul of the doctor’s wife; in the place of her spirit a demonic energy too-terrible-to-believe enters, transmuting her brain into that of something “not human.” Whilst the stone is the spirit appropriator, it is the process of scientific exploration into dark waters, perhaps those considered taboo, which brings about this horrific energy exchange. Dr. Black steals his wife’s soul; his own energy is then gradually sucked by the stone too. In attempting to enter the forbidden and dark zone of the “other world” for never-before-glimpsed-knowledge, he sacrifices his most valuable attribute in this world. And the sacrifice persists..

This Crowded Earth by Robert Bloch

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This Crowded Earth is a taut and compelling story about an all too possible future. Earth is overcrowded and its resources are being taxed to the limit. The government has a desperate plan, but will it work and at what price? By the author of Psycho and Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper

The Dunwich Horror by H.P Lovecraft

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The town of Dunwich, Massachusetts is thoroughly unremarkable until Wilbur Whateley is born.His “decayed” and inbred family was already unpopular due to their dabbling in the occult, and when Lavinia Whateley gives birth to a strange-looking child and refuses to say who the father was, it doesn’t improve anyone’s opinion of them. Wilbur grows incredibly fast – he begins talking at 11 months; by the time he’s three, he looks ten years old; and at four and a half, around 15. The townsfolk don’t trust him, as he gives them the creeps even more than the other Whateleys. For all that, though, they’re still willing to sell cows to the Whateley mansion; money’s money, after all, even if it is in the form of weird antique gold coins. Although for some reason, despite the truly vast amount of livestock Old Whateley buys, his herd never seems to get bigger…The household only gets more suspicious with time. The farmhouse always seems to be mysteriously under construction, with more and more windows being boarded up; the townsfolk also suspect that interior walls are being knocked out. When Wilbur is ten, Old Whateley dies, shrieking instructions to Wilbur on his deathbed; two years later, Lavinia Whateley disappears on Halloween night and is never found.Around this point, Wilbur begins to search for an unabridged copy of the Necronomicon, having learned all of what he knew from his grandfather’s library; his copy of said book is a shortened English version, which he apparently found insufficient. He discovers that nearby Miskatonic University has a complete copy, but the librarian refuses to loan it out to him. So he breaks in to steal it, only to be killed by a guard dog.And that’s when things get really weird.

The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

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Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

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In his “Ghostly little book,” Charles Dickens invents the modern concept of Christmas Spirit and offers one of the world’s most adapted and imitated stories. We know Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, not only as fictional characters, but also as icons of the true meaning of Christmas in a world still plagued with avarice and cynicism.

 

What did you love this month? 

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Games played in September

September 25, 2017 — 6 Comments

Cat Quest

[ unfinished ]

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Cat quest is a really cute game where you play as a cat and well.. do quests! It’s a fairly short but entertaining roleplaying game and the art style is really cute. The map and dungeons reminds me of table top games. The game has a lot of references and bad puns and I think it’s really enjoyable. I haven’t finished the whole game yet but I plan on doing it very soon. I’m easily distracted though, so soon could mean anything from next week to next year, depending on how much else I have to do.


 

 Dragon Age: Inquisition

[ completed ]

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This is the third game in the Dragon Age series and another that I have finished multiple times. Bioware just does a great job at writing and creating characters that you can pretty much form a bond with, and I keep going back to their games to replay them and relive the magic. It will never be just as special as the very first time I played them, but it always gets very close! The feeling of nostalgia increases with each play through too.


 

The Elder Scrolls Online

[ unfinished ]

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The Elder Scrolls Online, also known as ESO, is an online multiplayer roleplaying game published by Zenimax and Bethesda, and it is in the Elder Scrolls universe. The gameplay takes place in many locations used in earlier games which gives the player a sense of belonging, a sense of recognition. Areas might look a bit different since it is set in a different era but you can still recognize things here and there. I wrote a post about it and the Morrowind expansion a while ago, you can read the whole thing here. It’s a great game, and pretty much never ending.


 

Idle champions of the forgotten realms

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This is a typical idle clicker game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. I’m always wary of games like these because I always get so sucked into them and none of them ever seem to have any end in sight. You basically let your heroes kill monsters, you get money for it, you upgrade your heroes, finish their campaign and start over again. It’s repetitive but somewhat entertaining. Wouldn’t recommend this if you don’t like idle clicker games.


 

Oxygen not included

[ unfinished ]

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This is a simulation/management game where you control duplicants, collect resources, build objects and a proper base for them to survive in. You need to make sure they have enough food, that they keep warm, that they have a place to go to the bathroom, that they research new technologies… You need to provide power, siphon gases and make sure no one gets sick. It’s not difficult to get into, but it is very challenging if you have no idea what you’re doing in the beginning. It’s definitely a try, fail and learn from it kind of game.  One minute your duplicants are doing great, the next they could all be dead.

 

Have you played anything fun this month? 

Maybe..

Do I really think it’s a problem? No. Could I have acquired e-books to save space? Probably, but I much prefer to have a physical book in my hand. Gives me fewer headaches too. I’m not too keen on having a screen in front of me at all times. It used to be my favorite thing, now it is just a nuisance.

I used to collect games, collect magazines, but they never gave me that same sense of accomplishment as collecting books does. They didn’t smell as good either. I recently purchased a 20-fantasy-books-bundle thing and they all smell like incense because the storage facility they were in stored that too, and I love it. I don’t think I have ever owned a book that didn’t smell good. Does this talking about smelling books make me seem weird? If you enjoy smelling books too I’m sure you will understand me.

My collection mostly consist of fantasy books, some books based on video games, some books that have been made into movies, things like that. When I read, I really enjoy being able to escape into a world different from ours. I don’t necessarily want an altered reality, I just want something different, something that doesn’t feel like the world we know at all. I love learning about new worlds, new characters, new ways of living, magic, dragons, the lot. I also love post-apocalyptic stuff, for those who know me, they know that the Fallout game series is one of my favorites, and it is post-apocalyptic. It is a bit contradictory because it just shows a different version of what could be our future, but it still feels like a whole new world because, you know, do you think the world will be almost completely annihilated by atomic bombs by tomorrow? I sure hope not


 

This is just what I keep in my bedroom. I have a few more shelves full of books. If you notice any silver lines on them, it is books I have read, or re-read this year. 

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Some may think it’s a waste to spend so much money on books, but honestly, I buy almost everything on sale, or in bundles, I do everything I can to spend as little as possible. I really enjoy going to thrift stores to find cheap and old books too. I also have a few in my collection that were left behind by my grandmother who passed away in December. Some of the books are really old, the oldest from 1927, the second oldest from 1934. They still smell like her house and I enjoy just looking through them sometimes.

I don’t even really know why I wanted to write this post, I suppose I just wanted to talk about books for a while, about how happy they make me. My fondest memories of my childhood is from reading, staying up late with a small flashlight to read, hiding away from my parents. There was also a library on wheels, a bus that was modified with a lot of book shelves. It used to visit where I lived every other Wednesday, I was their most frequent visitor. Our library was never really open so this was pretty much my only way of borrowing books as a child. I’m so grateful for what they all did for me back then, and I’m so sad that it no longer exists. I guess I will just have to start driving to the next city over to borrow books, or just continue to purchase and hoard like I do now.

Do you have any fond memories of reading? Or do you hoard books like I do?

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425608Weasel’s luck is a novel set in the Dragonlance universe, a series licensed by Wizards of the coast, the company that publishes Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering and so on. It is number three in a collection called “Heroes”. There is another novel about the main character of this one, Galen Pathwarden, called “Galen Beknighted”, but I haven’t read that one yet.

The novel was first published in 1990, so for some it could possibly feel a bit dated, it is a 27 year old book after all, but I still think it a quite good work of fiction.

In the novel we follow the story of the wimpy Galen Pathwarden, commonly called Weasel, who has one brother that hates him, and another who is very spiritual and a bit out of this world. One event sets in motion a chain of events that leads to his older brother nearly killing him, a knight taking him on as a squire and a meeting with creatures who were previously only known to him as legends. Teaming up with a centaur and a knight, he tries to avoid an evil force that wants to use him as its pawn. The novel is both humorous and exciting and I did enjoy reading every page of it. The main character can be a bit annoying at times, but the story as a whole is well written.

Here’s an excerpt from the DND wiki:

The Sign of the Weasel is tunnel on tunnel, enchantment on enchantment. He digs beneath himself, and in digging discovers all roads into nothing. — The Calantina, IX:IX

Weasel’s luck was not always good.
Galen Pathwarden, known unaffectionately as “the Weasel,” would give anything to stay clear of adventure, danger, or heroism.

But that is before young Galen is pitch-forked into the center of a centuries-old curse, one family blood-feud too many, and a knightly tournament unto death.
Together, Galen, the great Solamnic Knight, Sir Bayard Brightblade, and a non-too-bright centaur Agion must overcome the schemes and traps of a sinister illusionist known only as the Scorpion.

I would recommend the book for anyone who is either into the Dragonlance universe, or into Dungeons and Dragons in general, since it is the same kind of fiction as that. Reading about centaurs and satyrs and old curses is always fun to me, so maybe someone with similar interests could get some enjoyment out of it too.

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