pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Tamora Pierce. First Test

In progress
(anthology). Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files 01

Non-fiction books in progress
David Fromkin. A Peace to End All Peace

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Tamora Pierce. Page
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. I wear a bow tie now.

No, let me rephrase that: I am wearing a bow tie now. Which I tied with my own hands, unlike the clip-on in the wardrobe.

It's a skill I had to learn for the play, because there's a scene in which my character takes his tie off and lends it to someone else, and more importantly a subsequent scene in which the tie is returned and he puts it back on in full view of the audience. Consequent of which, having learned to tie a bow tie, I need to practice until I can do it quickly, without a mirror, while carrying on a conversation. Now that I've got the basic skill down, I actually don't think it's going to be the most difficult thing I'll have had to do for this play.


2. [livejournal.com profile] musesfool's post about Star Trek Into Darkness says a lot of the things that I might have said if I could have been bothered to write at length about it.


3. Just when I decided I was done with Arkham City, they've started releasing trailers for the prequel, Arkham Origins. And I'm... not all that interested, actually? I enjoyed Arkham Asylum, but City bumped me in sensitive places that Asylum had managed to avoid, and the trailer makes me suspect Origins will do the same.

I do like what they've done with Deathstroke's outfit, though.


4. Pretty much everyone on my friendslist with a space in the Archive Of Our Own has done the "randomly pick one of my works and I'll tell you three things about it" meme by now. I don't think I'll bother; I've only got 5 works on AO3, and only one of them is over 200 words long, so I don't think I've got much to talk about.


5. The way we count seasons here, Winter is still a week away, but it's definitely on the doorstep: we've already had the First I-Don't-Want-To-Get-Out-Of-My-Nice-Warm-Bed of Winter (followed by the First I-Don't-Want-To-Get-Out-Of-My-Nice-Warm-Shower of Winter), and I've started making use of the heating capabilities of the air conditioner in the office.

Which led to me having to go back into the office on Friday night to turn the air conditioner off, so it wouldn't be running all weekend. It wasn't that I'd forgotten; it was that the batteries in the remote control died just as I was about to press the Off button, and I needed to go get some new ones...
pedanther: (cheerful)
1. Okay, let's see: That was the last Riddler puzzle, and it unlocked the last bit of backstory. Still not 100% Complete, but there's no more story left: the only things left to do are demonstrate-your-speed-and-agility tests, which I don't care about in themselves, and all they unlock are concept art, which I can live without. I think I'm done here.

*swoops out of Arkham City*


2. Also done with: This collection of Murray Leinster stories. Which is a relief, unfortunately. I wish it weren't, because there are times when Leinster is a really good writer -- but oh, the race and gender issues. I had three stories left to get through. Two of them at least managed to avoid gender unpleasantness, though only by not having any women in them at all. The third (actually the first of the three, so fortunately it wasn't left as my final impression of the collection) had some gender essentialism that I mostly just rolled my eyes at, and an enslaved alien race whose depiction (and the protagonist's reacton to whom) would be a field day for someone who enjoys picking apart depictions of racial otherness and disempowerment. The cherry on the top is that literally the first thing we're told about these aliens, and the thing that seems to be the go-to adjective whenever the author wants to emphasize their strangeness and inhumanity... is that they're black. *sigh*


3. In happier classic-sci-fi news: There's a Kickstarter running for a collection of Henry Kuttner's Hogben stories, with a foreword by Neil Gaiman and new illustrations by Steve Parkhouse. I've been wanting to get my hands on these stories ever since I first heard about them, years ago. The publishers are planning a range of editions, from an e-book through a basic paperback to a limited-edition signed leatherbound hardcover. There's about a week left on the pledge period.


4. From the "we're all living in science fiction now" department: Canadian astronaut and video blogger Chris Hadfield commemorates the end of his stint on the International Space Station with a performance of David Bowie's "A Space Oddity" (with appropriately tweaked lyrics), filmed on location in a tin can far above the world.


5. I can touch my toes!
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Maurice Broaddus. King Maker
Frances Hodgson Burnett. A Little Princess
Kelly Sue DeConnick, et al. Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight
Warren Ellis, et al. Global Frequency
Kathryn Immonen, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kevin Shinick, et al. Avenging Spider-Man: The Good, the Green and the Ugly
Chip Kidd, Dave Taylor. Batman: Death by Design
Mike Mignola, John Byrne. Hellboy: Seed of Destruction (re-read)
Mike Mignola. Hellboy: Wake the Devil
Mike Mignola. Hellboy: The Chained Coffin and others
Tamora Pierce. Realms of the Gods
Adrian Ramos. Some One to See the Emperor (re-read)
Charles Stross. The Apocalypse Codex
Syd of the Funny Hat. Q de Grace

Non-fiction books in progress
David Fromkin. A Peace to End All Peace

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Tamora Pierce. First Test
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Robert Bolt. A Man For All Seasons
Dorothy Hewett. The Man From Mukinupin
Sharon Lee, Steve Miller. Local Custom (e) (re-read)
Anne McCaffrey. Black Horses for the King
Tamora Pierce. The Emperor Mage (re-read)

Non-fiction books
Peter Macinnis. Mr Darwin's Incredible Shrinking World

In progress
David Fromkin. A Peace to End All Peace

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Maurice Broaddus. King Maker
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Alexis Deacon. Croc and Bird
Tamora Pierce. Wolf-Speaker (re-read)
JR Poulter, Sarah Davis. Mending Lucille

In progress
Tamora Pierce. The Emperor Mage (re-read)

Non-fiction books in progress
Peter Macinnis. Mr Darwin's Incredible Shrinking World

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Robert Bolt. A Man For All Seasons
pedanther: (batman)
Okay, that was weird.

I just completed the main story mode of Batman: Arkham City -- in a week.

A week. This never happens to me with video games. Even Batman: Arkham Asylum, which I would have told you I was really enjoying if you'd asked, took me several months, with long stretches where I hardly touched it. Either the game happened to catch me in a particularly susceptible frame of mind, or they really got something right with this one.

(Still trying to figure out what I think of the actual ending, assuming it is the actual ending and there isn't an extra "Or is it?!" epilogue that only plays when you get 100% completion or something. One tends to assume with tie-in video games that they're not going to do anything to upset the status quo, and that they'll put all the toys back in the box where they found them. Arkham Asylum, as far as I remember, was like that: nice tidy conclusion, all the bad guys back behind bars ready to break out again next time, sudden sequel hook, the end. Arkham City... not so much.)
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Len Brown, Wally Wood, et al. THUNDER Agents Archives volume 1
Anthony Price. Colonel Butler's Wolf
Kelley Puckett, Martin Pasko, et al. Batman: The Collected Adventures volume 1 (re-read)
Jeff Smith. Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil
James White. The Secret Visitors
Greg Weisman, Karine Charlebois. Gargoyles: Bad Guys
Margaret Wild, Ron Brooks. Fox

In progress
Louisa May Alcott. Little Women
Leo Tolstoy. War and Peace

Non-fiction books
(none)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Ludwig Bemelmans. Madeline
pedanther: (Default)
I've finished Batman: Arkham Asylum. I think. I completed the main plot a while back (take that, Joker!), and after the credits rolled it went into extra time free exploration mode where I could wander around and finish finding all the little hidden bonus wossnames and complete the find-the-Riddler subplot. Got the last one yesterday, and the Riddler has been duly carted off by the authorities, and I was kind of expecting the game to end then, but it hasn't. Anybody else got this far? Is there something I need to do to properly finish, or does extra time free exploration mode just continue indefinitely?

***

The game I've started playing now is called Moonbase Commander. Three days ago I hadn't heard of it. Two days ago, I happened to read a newspost on Penny Arcade where Tycho said glowing things about it. Yesterday, I wandered into EB Games on a whim, and there it was, going cheap. Today, I decided I'd play a quick round before I got started on the other stuff that needed doing this evening, and surfaced two hours later.

***

They say you learn something new every day. Today, I learned that it's possible to say to Adobe Photoshop, "Do this command, not just on this image, but on every image I have open." Very handy if you have a few dozen images that all need to be shrunk to a standard size. Not that this is the first time that option would have saved me a lot of time and annoyance, far from it, but for some reason today was the day I wondered whether it existed.
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
(anthology). Batman Black and White volume 2
Kurt Busiek, Brent Eric Anderson, Will Blyberg. Astro City: Confession
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time
Warren Ellis, John Cassaday. Planetary: Crossing Worlds
Warren Ellis, John Cassaday. Planetary: The Fourth Man
Warren Ellis, John Cassaday. Planetary: Leaving the 20th Century
Warren Ellis, Darrick Robertson. Transmetropolitan: Lust For Life
Warren Ellis, Darrick Robertson. Transmetropolitan: Lonely City
Warren Ellis, Darrick Robertson. Transmetropolitan: The New Scum
Warren Ellis, Darrick Robertson. Transmetropolitan: Year of the Bastard
John M Ford. The Dragon Waiting
John M Ford. The Princes of the Air
Diana Wynne Jones. Enchanted Glass
Diana Wynne Jones. The Game
Joe Masteroff, Fred Ebb. Cabaret
Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Jamie Grant. All Star Superman volume 1
Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Jamie Grant. All Star Superman volume 2
Dennis Palumbo. City Wars
Anthony Price. The Alamut Ambush
Steve Purcell. Sam & Max: Surfin' the Highway
Osamu Tezuka. Astro Boy: Volume 3 (re-read)
Naoki Urasawa, et al. Pluto: 007 (re-read)
Naoki Urasawa, et al. Pluto: 008

In progress
Leo Tolstoy. War and Peace

Non-fiction books
Russell T Davies, Benjamin Cook. The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter
Paul Dini, Chip Kidd. Batman Animated

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Louisa M Alcott. Little Women
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Raymond Briggs. The Puddleman
John Brunner. The Compleat Traveller in Black
Warren Ellis, Raulo Caceres. Crecy
Warren Ellis, John Cassaday. Planetary: All Over the World and other stories
Warren Ellis, Darrick Robertson. Transmetropolitan: Back on the the Street
Don Freeman. Will's Quill: or, How a Goose Saved Shakespeare
Agatha Christie. Death Comes As the End
Crawford Kilian. Greenmagic
Anthony Price. The Labyrinth Makers
Kathleen Sky. Vulcan!
Naoki Urasawa, et al. Pluto: 001
Naoki Urasawa, et al. Pluto: 002
Naoki Urasawa, et al. Pluto: 003
Naoki Urasawa, et al. Pluto: 004
Naoki Urasawa, et al. Pluto: 005
Naoki Urasawa, et al. Pluto: 006
Naoki Urasawa, et al. Pluto: 007
Aaron Williams. PS 238: Senseless Acts of Tourism! (re-read)
Aaron Williams. PS 238: Daughters, Sons, & Shrink-Ray Guns

In progress
Leo Tolstoy. War and Peace

Non-fiction books
(none)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Dennis Palumbo. City Wars
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Jane Austen. Persuasion (re-read)
Jane Austen. Sense and Sensibility (re-read)
S M Stirling. The Sky People
Roger Zelazny. Roadmarks

In progress
Leo Tolstoy. War and Peace

Non-fiction books
(none)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Agatha Christie. Death Comes As the End
pedanther: (Default)
Fiction books
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War
Neil Gaiman. Absolute Sandman volume 3
Tanith Lee. The Dragon Hoard (re-read)
Alan Moore, Zander Cannon. Smax
Adam Rex. The True Meaning of Smekday

In progress
Leo Tolstoy. War and Peace

Non-fiction books
(none)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
S M Stirling. The Sky People
pedanther: (cheerful)
Fiction books
Terry Pratchett. Nation
Norman Thelwell. The Compleat Tangler
Norman Thelwell. Thelwell Country
Selma Wassermann, Jack Wassermann, George Rohrer. Moonbeam and the Rocket Ride (re-read)
Selma Wassermann, Jack Wassermann, George Rohrer. Moonbeam is Lost (re-read)

In progress
Leo Tolstoy. War and Peace

Non-fiction books
(none)

short, screen, and stage )
books bought and borrowed )

Top of the to-read pile
Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener. Atomic Robo and the Dogs of War
pedanther: (Default)
I came across a theory recently that dreaming, instead of or in addition to being about consolidating the day's memories, is about limbering up the neural pathways that might be needed in the day ahead.

If so, my brain is apparently confident that today I'll be playing Batman: Arkham Asylum.


[Edited to add: And it was right. Self-fulfilling prophecy, really.]
pedanther: (batman)
So, I mentioned a while ago that I was quite looking forward to Batman: Arkham Asylum. And I bought it, and then, being me, took quite a while to get around to actually installing it.

So now that I've started playing it, do I like it? Ohhhh, yeah.

One thing I like is that the game provides a variety of ways for Batman to tackle the bad guys, apart from running up to them and punching them inna face. (Which, let's face it, is not such a hot idea when they have machine guns.) There's batarangs. There's swooping down from above, using his cape as a glider. There's sneaking up behind them and silently picking them off one-by-one. And - my favourite - there's a move called the "inverse take-down", which begins with Batman perched on a ledge watching a mook walk past below, and ends with the unconscious mook dangling by his feet from the ledge. That never gets old.

One moment that really struck me when it happened -- but first, background: The game involves a certain amount of crawling around in the air ducts, and generally when Batman wants to get out through an opening that's covered by a ventilation grille, he gives the grille a kick and it goes clattering off across the room. This had already happened several times during my game when I got to a point where Batman was in an air duct looking out into a room being patrolled by a bunch of bad guys with guns. I figured they wouldn't have been written stupid enough to ignore a clattering ventilation grille, so I readied myself for action before I hit the "open the door" key.

Batman very gently worked the grille loose, and carefully, silently, placed it to one side.

It's happened a few more times since then, and I've got used to the idea that Batman's capable of adapting his actions to the circumstances, but it really got me that first time.
pedanther: (batman)
I had been kind of vaguely aware that there was a game coming out called Batman: Arkham Asylum, but I hadn't really been paying attention. Games based on TV, film and comic book characters come out all the time, and many of them aren't really worth the attention. On top of which, I don't spend a lot of time or money on computer games generally; they tend to register in my mind as "expensive", and I have to feel really confident about a game before I want to incur the expense.

Then I happened to read this review, which says that the most important thing to know about Batman: Arkham Asylum is that the central character really is Batman, not just a generic video game protagonist in a Batman costume. On top of which, apparently, it's got excellent voice acting and all the other achievements one looks for in a good game.

Hmm, I said to myself. That almost sounds promising. And then: Come to think of it, I haven't heard who's doing the voices for this.

So I went to look.

...

It's Kevin Conroy! And Mark Hamill! And Arleen Sorkin! And some other people I don't really care about, but that doesn't matter because at this point -- hey, look! storyline and dialogue by Paul Dini! -- at this point I'm grinning like somebody who's had a snootful of Joker gas, but it's because I really truly am that happy.


I foresee something expensive happening in my near future.

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