What I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for January 2018, Also a recap of 2017 for me.

So, another year gone by. Rather than do a year in a review or the top 10 whatevers of the year, I want to just do a short write-up on what I liked in the year and some of the things I didn’t like.

I’ll start with audiobooks as that has over taken gaming for me in 2017 and is trending to do the same in 2018.

  • My best and favorite series I listened to in 2017: The Black Company Series by Glen Cook. The entire series was very good, with top-notch narration, excellent characters, and a great over arching epic story. Honorable Mentions: The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin, The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Metro Trilogy by Dmitry Glukhovsky. Technically, I haven’t completed the Metro Trilogy yet, I have just started the final book in the trilogy but I am enjoying it very much so far.
  • My favorite audiobook of the year is easily Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Excellent narration, great story telling, and compelling characters. The BBC adaptation is also extremely good, listen to it here (it should be up for another couple weeks at the time of this post.) Honorable Mentions: It by Stephen King, Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky, The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, Strange Weather by Joe Hill, and the The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher.
  • My favorite audiobook released in 2017 is another Neil Gaiman novel, Norse Mythology. Honorable Mentions: The Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, and Strange Weather by Joe Hill.
  • My favorite audio drama of the year is easily Anansi Boys from the BBC. Honorable Mention: World of Warcraft – A Thousand Years War.

My to be listened to list is much less than it was at the start of 2017, which was something like close to 10 books, I have only Metro 2035 by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, Mass Effect: Initiation by N. K. Jemisin and Mac Walters, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, I am Legend by Richard Matheson and Alien: Out of the Shadows. All of which I expect to start and finish this month.

I kept my 2 audiobooks per month, some times more but never less, for a couple of years now. I’ve listened to 43 audiobooks this year (30ish or so that are new or new to me, and about 13 “re-listens” of older favorites.) I will keep this going for as long as I can.

In 2018, the audiobooks I’m looking forward to are: Brief Cases by Jim Butcher, and hopefully Peace Talks by Jim Butcher or the second book in the series for the Cinder Spires by Jim Butcher, Mass Effect Andromeda: The Lost Ark by Catherynne M. Valente, World of Warcraft: Before the Storm by Christie Golden

Gaming wise, World of Warcraft still dominates my playtime. However, I did play a lot of Mass Effect Andromeda (120 hours), which leads me to my first thing I didn’t like about 2017. EA killing the Mass Effect Series, and then shutting down Visceral Games. Andromeda was not a bad game, it was actually a good game with some flaws. It sucks that Andromeda could have been a good starting point for a new trilogy or series for Mass Effect but it had to check all the boxes that EA likes to push out in their games, which is tacked on multiplayer, lootboxes, and DLC for fucking multiplayer. I’m certain that if the game was focused on a decent single-player experience it would have been a bit more polished at release. The Mass Effect Andromeda novels are decent as well, it’s too bad that they killed it early with no single-player DLC for some glaring unresolved story plot points like the benefactor and Jien Garson thing as well as Quarian Arc.

I still have quite a few games to get through in my backlog, which I will get around to as the time spent playing WoW dies down because it is near the end of the expansion. I have Rise of the Tomb Raider, Dishonored, Far cry 3 (which I am like 90% done and I should just finish it), Far cry Blood Dragon, Far cry Primal, the Crysis Trilogy, Splinter Cell: Black list, Firewatch, Furi, Icey, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Doom 2016, Wolfenstien: The New Order. I bought a couple of more games during the christmas/new years sales: Mass Effect 1, Mass Effect 2, Dead Cells, Nex Machina. I also plan to pick up Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4, and Uncharted: Lost Legacy for the ps4 in 2018. For the PC, I plan to pick up Dishonored 2 and its DLC, Prey, Wolfenstien: The New Colossus, Battlechasers. Also in 2018, the game I am most looking forward to, as well as picking up, Red Dead Redemption 2. Other games in that may be released in 2018 that I am looking forward to picking up are: Metro: Exodus, Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition, and Darksiders III.

I am also about halfway through Metro 2033 and looking forward to finishing it and immediately moving onto Metro: The Last Light.

A lot of good TV shows debuted in 2017. My favorites being: American Gods, Westworld, and The Last Kingdom season 2. If I had to pick only one favorite, it would be American Gods because it is an extremely good adaptation so far of the books with some very good things added in or changed to be more compelling.

Things I’m looking forward to watching in 2018: Altered Carbon on Netflix, Jessica Jones season 2 on Netflix, Westworld Season 2. I am not to sure there will be a second season of American Gods because the driving force behind the excellent adaptation to the small screen left the show, although Neil Gaiman is staying on despite the departure of Bryan Fuller.

There are a couple of things on netflix I will probably check out this year: Peaky Blinders, Hap and Leonard, and Stranger Things season 2.

Some excellent movies came out in 2017 and some that came on in 2016 that I was late watching because I prefer to watch movies at home on blu ray now.

  • My favorite movie of 2017 is easily Logan, it was such a good movie and a great finale for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. Honorable Mentions: Wind River, John Wick 2, Arrival, Atomic Blonde, Rogue One, Kong: Skull Island, Split, Dunkirk. I will be late to the part for IT and Blade Runner 2049 because I will not get to see either until they come out on blu ray later this month. Up until I watched Logan, Arrival was my favorite movie and to me it is a very close second.
  • My favorite original movie in 2017 is Wind River, it is extremely good with a very compelling story with a lot of emotion. If you haven’t seen it, fucking check it out. Honorable Mention: Dunkirk, Bright.
  • Movies I’m looking forward to in 2018: IT,  Blade Runner 2049, Sicario 2: Soldado, Deadpool 2, The Shape of Water, Black Panther, Annihilation, The Big Sick, Get Out.

This month I will be watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes, IT, Blade Runner 2049, and Hell or High Water.

I hope you had a good 2017, and that you have an even better 2018.

Happy new years.

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Brief Cases by Jim Butcher – release date is June 5th 2018.

http://www.denofgeek.com/us/books-comics/jim-butcher/269760/dresden-files-exclusive-first-look-brief-cases-by-jim-butcher-cover-art

 

So according to the article and, apparently, Amazon pre-order page, June 5th 2018 is the release date. Hopefully, James Marsters is doing the audiobook. Either way, I cannot wait to pick this up.

I am hoping that Peace Talks (or the second book in the Aeronaught’s Windlass) is also released next year.

The Witcher on Netflix.

Ok, this is pretty fucking sweet. First, American Gods gets adapted for TV. Second, Altered Carbon season 1 is coming out on netflix either this year or next year, and now The Witcher is gonna be a Netflix series (the link has more details.)

I started listening to the audiobooks for the Witcher series after playing through the first 2 games and while waiting for the Witcher 3, I really hope that the series will adapt some of the short stories from the Last Wish and the Sword of Destiny in some form.

Definitely looking forward to this.

Altered Carbon to be a 10 episode Netflix series.

Netflix Orders ‘Altered Carbon’ Sci-Fi Series From Laeta Kalogridis & Skydance

Definitely the best way to handle a book adaptation, to make it a series of episodes rather than cramming into a 2 hour movie. I picked Richard K Morgan as my favorite author in 2015 largely because of how good Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies were, as well as Thirteen, and I’m definitely gonna check out the series when it’s available on netflix.

What I’m playing, listening to, watching, reading, looking forward to for December.

So, big news first, the internet where I live is finally being upgraded. Before this month, I was limited to 25 gigabytes of bandwidth/downloading for every month and at a slowish speed of 50 Kb/sec to 70 kb/sec. Now, I will have unlimited bandwidth and my download speed should be much better. I’m still on a wireless internet until the fiber optic service is rolled out here by the end of December but it should be much better and faster.

Okay, now that is out-of-the-way, I’m looking forward to the Legion expansion for World of Warcraft (so much so that I’m probably going to pre-order it soon and it will probably be the digital deluxe version for the cool things not WoW related, or more specifically the Illidan wings for Diablo 3.) The class changes have been interesting so far (except for Shamans, the most overlooked and underpowered class.) The Artifact weapons are a definite plus and I like that each spec of your class gets a specific weapon. And I’m interested to see how the Rogue changes work out as they have had the most interesting changes so far. Also, Demon Hunters are also a cool addition and I’m curious to see how they play. Death Knight’s were so OP at launch for Wrath of the Lich King but Monks were closer to meh. So I really want to see if Blizzard makes Demon Hunters fun and powerful.

I’m also looking forward to Overwatch next year, I’m interested in seeing how Blizzard will handle a FPS team based shooter. Will it be objective heavy? or Will it be more of a Team Death Match? I’m thinking it will be like Smite but with more emphasis on teamwork than individual play or score, like Heroes of the Storm is now.

With my internet situation on the up and up, I’m extremely looking forward to being able to watch on demand stuff from UFC Fight Pass (I want to watch all the old PRIDE events I missed watching) and getting Netflix to watch Jessica Jones and Daredevil. I’ve read and heard a lot of good things about both Netflix shows and I really want to be able to watch and enjoy them.

Also, the new internet situation here means I can finally update some of my games and get DLC I was holding off on. I’m referring to The Witcher 3 and its massive 10-15 gigabyte update a few months back and the Hearts of Stone DLC here mainly but I also want to be able to download (or update) and play: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Crysis 2, Starcraft 2, and Splinter Cell Blacklist.

I’m also wanting to check out Google play/Youtube RED, as getting one means having access to the other, and being able to watch or listen to what I ever I like.

Okay, back to more of specific thing, movies I’m looking forward to seeing on Blu ray or in the theatres (not as likely since I prefer watching movies at home now either on blu ray or on demand) are Captain America: Civil War, Sicario, Batman v Superman, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2, Crimson Peak, and The Last Witch Hunter.

This month for Blu rays I’ll be watching The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (I was going to hold off on getting it, then decided to pick it up right at the end of November) and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (it’s out on December 15th.) I’m also going to re-watch Blade Runner this month because Fallout 4 has kindled an interest in it as it has numerous elements and story nods to the movie (you basically are a Blade Runner.)

This month, as stated in a previous post, I will be listening to the audiobook of Thirteen by Richard K Morgan, and Firestarter by Stephen King. I’m going to start with Thirteen as it will sync up well when I finally get to download and play Crysis 2, which Morgan wrote the story for. It also plays well with Blade Runner, a movie I will be re-watching this month (due to Fallout 4) and the numerous cool westerns that I did not get around to watching in November (because of Fallout 4.) I picked up Firestarter as I’ve been thinking about broadening my Stephen King collection and I thought this would be a good pick up. I have yet to be disappointed with any King book so far and I liked the movie, so why the fuck not. It might also be a good lead in back to another re-listen of the Dark Tower audiobooks, as Charlie is basically a Breaker.

As sort of side note to the audiobooks, I’m very tempted to spend the 35$ to get 3 extra audible credits and start listening to the Harry Potter series. Stephen King, one of my favorite authors, writes and says good things about the series and I don’t want to dismiss it out of hand as “kids stuff” as I have for a lot things in the past (I’m looking at you Disney and Pixar movies.) I was impressed with the Hunger Games (I thought it was going to blah teenage angst twilight-y romantic young adult shit, and I was pleasantly proved wrong) and want to give the Harry Potter series a chance at least. On a similar note, Joe Abercrombie has a young adult fantasy series that might hook me in called the Shattered Sea series that I might check out. Wow, look at me wanting to check out and looking forward to Young Adult books.

For December’s audible credits, I plan to pick up The Last Wish and Sword of Destiny, both from the Witcher series. I’ve also noticed that Audible has added listings (but nothing of note yet) for books 4 and 5, The Swallow’s Tower and Lady of the Lake. Definitely looking forward to being able to listen to the series again. Hopefully book The Swallow’s Tower and Lady of the Lake come out sooner rather than later but I’ll be happy to listen whenever they are released.

For Graphic Novels (and Books) this month, I’m still making my way slowly through a Knight in the Seven Kingdoms and a World of Ice and Fire as I want to keep my interest in the A Song of Ice and Fire series so I don’t feel the need to be looking up spoilers for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones. So far, this strategy is working out on multiple fronts.

I also have Batman: Killing Joke to read, something I want to take my time with and with no distractions. Extremely looking forward to reading it as I’ve heard that there might be an animated movie coming soon based on it that will have Mark Hamill voicing the Joker. Hopefully, they also get Kevin Conroy (who voiced Batman in the Animated series) as well.

I ordered and received the next 2 books in the Fables series, Arabian Nights and Wolves, and I’m going to start on them soon. The Fables series has been great so far and I can see why shows like Supernatural and Once Upon a Time have taken elements or concepts from the series. I haven’t watched or taken an interest in those shows (and probably won’t watch) but the Fables series is compelling and interesting to me. I look forward to my 2-3 Fables books per month pace until I get to the end of the series.

There is some good MMA on this month: The Ultimate Fighter Finale, UFC 194, and UFC on Fox Dos Anjos vs Cerrone. Solid cards for all from the main card down to the prelims.

On the Gaming front (saving the best for last here, I usually open up with gaming) I’m still going to be playing Fallout 4, this time more of a charismatic gunslinger type, a sort of cross between Malcolm Reynolds (I totally used that name for my character in Fallout 4 as it is one of the spoken names, my last character/playthrough was Zoe, Firefly fuck yeah!) and Roland of Gilead.

I will also pick up Legacy of the Void for Starcraft 2, I’ve enjoyed the story so far and would like to see how it plays out.

Crysis 2 is also on deck because I’ll finally be able to download and play it, I’ve heard that it’s mostly generic FPS fare but I want to play through the story as it was mainly written by one of my favorite authors, Richard K Morgan.

Spoilers ahead for the Witcher 3, you’ve had plenty of time to play it and see it. Still a warning for those that care about spoilers.

Also, I can finally update and play the DLC Hearts of Stone for the Witcher 3. I had a playthrough that I intended to try out the Yennefer romance (having read the first 3 books, I have a better appreciation for) and having Ciri become a Witcher (the last playthrough I did Ciri became the Empress, which is what the Lodge of Sorceresses wanted in the books, it worked well as a bittersweet ending.) Of all the games I plan to play this month, I’m looking forward to playing The Witcher 3 the most. I can say that Andrzej Sapkowski Witcher series is the reason for it.

I also have the Long Dark to scratch my itch for a survival game, something Fallout 4 sadly lacks though I’m sure there will be mod that adds basic survival needs soons.

I’m also still playing WoW occasionally, mostly PVPing but I still need a about 13 fragments to complete the legendary ring for my Rogue. I jump into when I have friends playing or as something when I need play something that isn’t Fallout 4. Diablo 3 hasn’t started a new season yet, so I haven’t played it at all this month, however I may load it up some time to see if my internet is truly better. I’ve had numerous problems with high latency and disconnects when playing Diablo 3 in the afternoon and I think it will be good indicator if my net is truly better.

Pretty long post here so lemme see if I got this spotify playlist linking thing right so you can get an idea of what I kinds of music I listen to, What I’m Listening to. You may need to sign up for an account to listen, but thems the breaks. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’ll give you an idea of what I like in a general sense.

What I’m playing, listening to, watching, reading, looking forward to for November.

So another month with no upgrade to a fibre optic internet connection, what that means is that I will not be able to play the Witcher 3 expansion Hearts of Stone yet as it requires me to download a 10gb+ patch plus whatever the size of the DLC is, with my 25gb bandwidth limit for a month that effectively means I can’t afford to download it no matter how much I’d like to play it. That cover’s what I’d like to play but can’t for this month and even what I’m looking forward to when I eventually get a better internet connection.

After finally getting around to reading the fables books, I’m hooked into reading the series, I’m that much of a sucker for Urban fantasy (or fantasy in general) and especially good stories with interesting characters. I read the first 4 books in the Fables series (legends in Exile, Animal Farm, Story Book Love, and March of the Wooden Soldiers) back to back pretty rapidly and liked it a lot. I liked it enough to order up the next 2 books in the series (Mean Seasons, and The Homelands) which should arrive in a week or so. I also picked up Batman: The Killing Joke and I’m looking forward to that a lot.

On the book front, I’m still making my way through A World of Ice and Fire as well as the Dunk and Egg compilation A Knight in the Seven Kingdoms. It’s keeping me interested in the asoiaf series and making me wish that GRRM would finally finish writing The Winds of Winter. The Show has broken through and gotten ahead of the book series now and I’m really looking forward to what will happen on the show and how GRRM is going to deal with it.

As for gaming this month, Fallout 4 is coming out soon and I’ve ordered a physical copy because there is now way I have patience or bandwidth to deal with a 30gb download size. So I’ll be playing and replaying Fallout 4 as soon as I can. I also have a rather large backlog of games to play and finish spanning gaming services like Uplay, Steam, and Origin. This includes finally finishing Farcry 3, Farcry 2, Shadowrun Returns, Shadowrun Dragonfall,  Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, GTA5, Crysis 2/3 (I still have about 6gb left to download for Crysis 2) and Dishonored. I also intend to replay Deus Ex (I downloaded Deus Ex: Revision), Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, and The Wolf Among Us. Realistically, I will probably only get to play about 2 or 3 of those with most of my time spent on Fallout 4. I’m also regularly playing Battlefield 4 and The Long Dark with infrequent jumps into playing Dayz. I’m still subbed to WoW which I do log in from time to time to play as well. Diablo 3 isn’t really gripping me back and like WoW there is precious little to do that holds my interest. I’ve also decided to hold off on picking up Legacy of the Void for the time being, that will probably mean waiting for a sale or getting it within the next few months.

I never really got around to fully rewatching Buffy season 4 and Angel season 1 yet, about 15 episodes into each so far, something I’ll get around to when I have the time.

I did manage to rewatch Firefly and the movie Serenity as well as watching all 6 episodes of Star Wars and my favorites of Star Trek.

For this month, I feel like watching some movies in the Westerns genre or movies that have that element to them. I’m thinking The Silver Dollars Trilogy, High Plains Drifter, Django Unchained, Once Upon a Time in the West, No Country for Old Men, John Wick, Looper, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven and Tombstone. I’m going to attribute this to Fallout 4 and Firefly/Serenity. Fallout 4 because I intend to do a Gunslinger of Gilead type playthrough, one relying on equal parts smart planning, improvisation, a quick draw, deadly aim, Charisma, and Diplomacy. Maybe I’ll even take the name Roland, especially if it one of the available voiced names.

The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition is out on blu ray and while I’m interest in finally watching the movie itself, I’m more interested in the special features that usually dwarf the movie length itself. I love watching some good special features and Peter Jackson LOTR/Hobbit movies never skimp on the special features.

On the Audiobook front, I broke down and listed to the first 5 hours of Name of the Wind (the first book in the KingKiller Chronicles) on Halloween and extremely enjoyed every bit of it. So worth picking up, the narration and writing both were very good. Needless to say, I’ll be listening the KingKiller Chronicles this month. I was a little disappointed to find the series is not finished yet and the book 2.5 is only about 3 hours long. Still, I am happy to have picked this series up and eager to listen to both books. With my 2 audible credits this month I intend to either check out the series I mentioned last month (Alex Verus, the Laundry Files, and the Owner series), or Richard K Morgan’s books Market Forces and Thirteen, or Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series, or Stephen King’s Jack Sawyer books (The Talisman and Black House.) This also could all be moot as well since I may pick up any of the books in my audible wish list or even a new series that might hook me in. Right now, I’m leaning towards Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastard series but that might and probably will change from now until my audible credits are in around the last week of November.

For a relisten of audiobooks, I may get around to Joe Abercrombie’s Red Country and John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War (I’m up to the Last Colony, with the Human Division and End of All Things left to listen to.) I was also very tempted to get back into The Dark Tower Series after a relisten of Salem’s Lot but I’ll probably save that for next month.

I’ve found a lot of things to look forward to both in upcoming months and next year. In December, according a reddit poster in the witcher subreddit, the Sword of Destiny will be released on Audible which I will pick up if it’s available along with The Last Wish. I’ve enjoyed the Witcher Audiobooks and it gave me a greater appreciation of just how well the books were adapted into stand alone tales for video games by CD Projekt Red. Also, from my limited research, I’ve learned that Joe Abercrombie is releasing a compilation of his short stories and novellas in the First Law series called Sharp Ends that should be out next year some time. The next book, in my favorite series, The Dresden Files  by Jim Butcher called Peace Talks should be out next year as well and I’m definitely looking forward to that. When my internet is finally better, I intend to pick up Netflix for Jessica Jones and Daredevil.

There is some good mma upcoming in the next few months as well, I’m looking forward to watching UFC 193 for Rousey vs Holm and Joanna Champion vs Valerie Letourneau as well as Mark Hunt vs Bigfoot Silva. There is also numerous fight nights upcoming that are potentially good: Belfort vs Henderson, Thug Rose Namajunas vs Paige VanZant, Henderson vs Alves, Brown vs Gastelum, UFC 194 Aldo vs McGregor, Dos Anjos vs Cerrone 2, and the Ultimate Fighter Finale (which has some very good fights lined up for it.) The fight card I’m looking forward to most is Robbie Lawler vs Carlos Condit (UFC 195), 2 of my favorite fighters that really put on a show when an opponent is game enough to engage them. You may notice I’m exclusively focusing on just UFC here but that’s only because Bellator is only available in non HD here and Shaw direct does not carry AXS either. So the UFC is my sole avenue for my mma at the moment. Also Fight Pass will be worth it once my net is no longer shitty or limited to 25gb per month.

So my month is pretty stacked for things to do and like Logen Ninefingers says “you have to be realistic about these things,” so I expect to get through about 3/4 of these things and continue to chip away at my backlog of games. The only for sure things about this month is Fallout 4, The Battle of the Five Armies, The KingKiller Chronicles, The Wolf Among Us, and my Westerns movies.