Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

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-Long-Dark-Tea-Time-of-the-Soul

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.

the-shepherds-crown

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

A Storm of Swords: Part 2 Blood and Gold

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 | Books

If you are a big reader you may well read A Storm of Swords as one book. However, if you are like me, reading a book longer than Anna Karenina is no small undertaking.

To make it easier I read Part 1 earlier. Even so, it is still a meaty novel, twice as long as your typical one. What a novel it is though. The more I got into it, the more I could not put it down.

I have only seen Game of Thrones up until the end of series 3 and A Storm of Swords goes beyond that so for the first time in the series I was breaking new ground.

There is a special circle of Hell in which George R. R. Martin will be subjected to all the things he has done to my favourite characters.

As with any instalment of A Song of Ice and Fire, lots of people died. Some of them I was pleased about, some I was annoyed about, some of which I was just surprised at.

Storm of Swords part 2

A Storm of Swords: Part 1 Ice and Fire

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015 | Books

A Storm of Swords is the third novel in the Song of Ice and Fire series. However, I haven’t actually read it, I have only read part 1 because it is so amazingly long.

Good though. Nothing really happens, it’s just people marrying each other. This is good if you enjoy the chess of politics, though perhaps does not live up to the name – there is no storm of swords. There is quite a detailed description of people dying in gibbet cages if your worries about a lack of gore though.

How exactly it is two separate books is unclear. It ends right in the middle of a story. It feels a lot more like cashing in on having able to sell two products than even a vague attempt at pretending there are two parts.

Storm of Swords part 1

Unseen Academicals

Thursday, May 14th, 2015 | Books

Ah foot the ball. And is there any better place to enjoy the beautiful game than the beautiful city of Ankh-Morpork? Probably, though the idea of the wizards of Unseen University putting together a football team is definitely not one to be missed. That is the narrative of Discworld 37, Unseen Academicials.

It was okay. The Moist von Lipwig novels have been really good and this was not as laugh-out-loud funny as those. Also, there was some Rinsewind, but not enough. It’s like Pratchett was teasing me.

Unseen-Academicals