Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’


Wednesday, February 7th, 2024 | Books

Stardust is a novel by Neil Gaiman. It’s in the fantasy genre and billed as a fairytale for adults. I enjoyed it. It’s not as dark as Netherwhere or American Gods but very much still an adults fiction book.

Blood of Elves

Friday, August 21st, 2020 | Books

Blood of Elves is a fantasy fiction book by Andrzej Sapkowski. It is the first in the Witcher series and having a bunch of Audible credits I took a punt and bought the first three. I did not pay off massively, but it was an enjoyable read.

The audio is quiet which is annoying as I have to listen to it at maximum volume. The story is okay, but not as gripping as A Song of Ice and Fire which is the nearest thing I could describe to to in my admittedly limited reading of fantasy.

La Vuelta 2018

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 | Sport

Vuelta a España is one of the four “grand tours” of cycling (three if you don’t count Tour de Yorkshire). It takes place each year in August/September and winds its way primarily through the mountainous regions of Spain.

It’s already been an amazing year for British cycling: in May, Chris Froome made an amazing comeback to win the Giro d’Italia and become only the third person ever to hold all three grand tours at the same time. Then, in July, Geraint Thomas won the Tour de France. The Giro was also notable because Simon Yates was leading the race for much of it, but then dramatically feel off a cliff towards the end of the race.

He had clearly learnt his lesson, though. Yates rode a much more reserved race and ultimately rode to victory. Meaning that three different British riders had taken three different grand tours. No other country has ever managed this.

More importantly, I had Yates in my fantasy team. I had no time trialists, so I got off to a very slow start. However, once we go into the mountains I was away. On the penultimate weekend, my team of Yates, Pinot and Lopez managed 1st, 2nd and 4th on Saturday and 1st, 2nd and 3rd on Sunday.

The take-home lesson? Never take Richie Porte on a three-week stage race.

Thanks to Mattpopovich for the photo.

Tour de France 2018

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018 | Life, Sport

It’s not been a strong start to the season for me. Sure, I knocked out my first metric tonne at the Flat n Fast 100, but at grand tour level, my performance has been lacking. My fantasy Giro team put up a mere 3,878 points compared to John’s 6,091. Despite me picking Froome and him taking Dumoulin.

Luckily, Le Tour has gone much better for me. I thought about taking Froome, but he consumed a huge amount of points. G, on the other hand, seemed rather undervalued given how good he is. Turns out that that was a good decision.

Armed with G and Dan Martin on GC, Kittel and Sagan in the sprints, and Gilbert, De Gendt and Barguil in the mountain break-aways, I set forth. Chad Haga and Wout Poels rounded off the team. In the end, it clocked in at 6,899 points, most of which coming from Thomas and Sagan.

And the racing was pretty good, too. Great to see a Welshman on the top step!

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

A Dance with Dragons (Part Two)

Saturday, November 26th, 2016 | Books

The second half of A Dance with Dragons from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire has been a long time coming. I use Audible for a lot of my function, including this, and to say Audible had some small technical issues would be an understatement.

Originally they published everything in two halves, hence why all my write-ups of A Song of Ice and Fire have also been in two halves. However, midway through listening to A Dance with Dragons they consolidated the two into one single audiobook.

The problem was that anyone who had bought the first half, could not longer buy the second half. Nor could you buy the new consolidated book because the system thought you already had it. Yet every time you tried to download it, it would give you only the first half again.

It took Audible months to sort this out. I was not tracking exactly how many, but my guess was it was in the three to six-month timescale. They had to roll out a software update to their app to fix it.

Of course, this small delay is but a taster of the delay I can expect to encounter while I wait for Martin to release The Winds of Winter and the book that comes after that.

Was it worth the wait? No, because Martin does what he always does and kills off my favourite characters. But, like a beaten puppy, I cannot stay away and keep reading regardless.

A Dance with Dragons

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

Monday, January 11th, 2016 | Books

The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul is a novel by Douglas Adams. It is the second book in his Dirk Gently series.

I tried reading the novel a few decades ago and never got very far, so it was nice to make a fresh (and successful attempt). In between a saw the BBC TV series, which was fairly entertaining.

I was so-so on the novel. The humour and wordplay was very good. I found myself laughing at several points. However, I was not as much of a fan of the story line. Why are gods suddenly wandering around? It seemed an odd combination of fantasy, detective and humour. It was okay, but no h2g2.


The Shepherd’s Crown

Monday, December 7th, 2015 | Books

So this is it then, the final Pratchett novel. Worse, it’s a Tiffany Aching novel.

Pratchett comes out swinging for his final work. Perhaps it was his last chance to do something big, or perhaps he was trying to claw back readers from the popularity of George R. R. Martin, but I did not expect it to stat that way.

I did find a surprisingly amount of enjoyment in the book though. I have never been an Aching fan, but this was quite a good one. A nice way to go out on.


A Dance with Dragons (Part One)

Saturday, November 14th, 2015 | Books

A Dance with Dragons is the 5th novel in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

I am in two minds about it. Some of it, especially at the start is just confusing. Sam is back at The Wall and being sent to Old Town. I don’t know why as he left in A Feast of Crows. Maybe I missed the sentence that said “Jon Snow had a flashback”, but having talked it over with friends I am not the only one to have suffered déjà vu. Davos too, though this is latter explained.

On the other hand, it feels like quite a bit actually happens in this book. Which is unusual for a book of this series which can often go for hundreds of pages without much happening. I think i like it this way.

A Dance with Dragons

A Feast For Crows (Part Two)

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 | Books

As I mentioned in my post about part one most A Song of Ice and Fire novels follow a predictable format of not a lot happening then a bunch of people dying. Again in part two though, there were not actually that many deaths.

George R. R. Martin has never been one for going over dramatic. The Red Wedding was a series finale in the TV series, but was just a part of the story in A Storm of Swords and while brutal, he never went into much detail or spent much time on it. Parts of A Feast for Crows felt similar – it would look much more dramatic on screen than it is written in the book.

A Feast For Crows

A Feast For Crows (Part One)

Friday, August 7th, 2015 | Books

When reading A Song of Ice and Fire you soon get into the George R. R. Martin routine. Nothing happens for ages and then loads of people die. The first book of A Feast for Crows follows a similar vein but with surprisingly few deaths. Which just leaves the large spaces of nothing happens.

That is not to say it is not enjoyable. The large amount of nothing that happens in each novel is politically interesting and the constant changing between characters keeps things fresh. I enjoyed the last book more though. Perhaps it’s all building up for the second half.

A Feast For Crows