To Ride Hell’s Chasm, by Janny Wurts

Hell’s Chasm terrifies me, and it does so because Janny Wurts’ talent for writing about a harrowing flight through some of nature’s most unforgiving terrain is second to no one. I didn’t even really understand the title of the book until the lead characters come to the titular Chasm itself, and then I could think…

Kings of the Wyld, Nicholas Eames

As if the fantasy genre and heavy metal weren’t connected enough, along comes Nicholas Eames to tighten the leather straps and forever marry two oddly similar forms of entertainment in Kings of the Wyld, the first in a series that thrums like a Jimmy Page riff in a genre full of entry-level chord practice. What’s…

Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson

It took me ten days to read The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. I could have probably read four or five books in that time, but instead I chose to invest myself in this sprawling fantasy epic that clocked in at over 1200 pages, in the mass market paperback version, and while I found…

Fantasy Bingo 2017

There is a fun little challenge over on the fantasy reddit called Fantasy Bingo that I’ve opted to participate in. It basically gives you a bingo card and you fill it in with fantasy books (mostly) that match each square’s category. There isn’t really a prize for making a line or filling the whole thing…

Problems in Redwall

I hadn’t planned on writing about Redwall. I don’t meant to be reductive when I say that it’s a kid’s book, and finding depth and writing insight within it wasn’t something I expected. That’s not to say that books written for children always lack depth, but they aren’t known for it. I read Redwall because…

Book Review – Sabriel, by Garth Nix

I’ve been interested in this book for a long time because at some point, and I don’t remember when, someone read me a paragraph from Sabriel that was beautiful. Having now read the book, I have no idea which passage that was, but that’s largely due to the book having elegant and pleasing prose throughout…

Game Review -King’s Quest: Rubble Without a Cause

King’s Quest Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember stands out for me as one of the best gaming experiences of 2015. I’d never played the Sierra King’s Quest games, which had come out not long after I was born; my days of PC gaming didn’t start for another twenty years or so. Coming to The…

Manga Review – Mushishi, by Yuki Urushibara

Adding manga to my curriculum was a last minute thought. I’ve never been drawn to manga (Japanese comic books), despite my love of Japanese pop-culture and appreciation of certain animes (Japanese animated movies and shows). ┬áIt’s always seemed so…ridiculous. I say this as a man who loves ridiculous and absurd things. Why something both Japanese…

Thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I was nervous, that night in the early summer of 1999. I was done with high school, had been through a weird senior year, and didn’t really know where my life was headed (still don’t). While those things all made me existentially anxious, I was nervous because my costume wasn’t coming together very well, and…

Book Review – Baptism of Fire, by Andrej Sapkowski

From the little research I’ve done, it seems as though Baptism of Fire is fourth in the Witcher series of books, but I don’t know if that’s right or not because there are two canonical books of short stories that precede the novels. Baptism of Fire is the third series installment, set after Blood of…

Game Review – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt recently won Game of the Year at the less-than-prestigious 2015 Game Awards. It’s difficult to take the Game Awards seriously. They’ve overblown excuses to plug lots of advertising while making halfhearted attempts to legitimize the gaming industry. They fail at the second part. They’re an awards show, and I’ve never…

Dungeons and Dragons – Why I Miss It

I’ve been listening to Nerd Poker, a podcast by Brian Pohsehn (who you might recognize from New Girl or The Sarah Silverman Show) and his funny friends, for the past few weeks, and it’s been whisking me away from the humdrum of everyday work life. It’s also rekindled a desire in me to play Dungeons…