Altered Carbon – Official Trailer.

February 2nd can’t come soon enough. Can’t wait to see this.

Check out this blog post from Richard K Morgan about the show.

Advertisements

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.

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.

What I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for December 2017.

Another year gone by. Reminds me of a quote from American Gods “Every hour wounds. The last one kills.”

Anyways, lots of stuff this month and some updates.

Audiobooks first, I just finished Area X – The Southern Reach Trilogy – Annihilation, Authority, Acceptance by Jeff VaderMeer narrated by Carolyn McCormick, Bronson Pinchot, and Xe Sands. I enjoyed the story, narration, characters, and the writing of this trilogy. The story and writing were very good and I enjoyed that some things were left unresolved or unexplained, the only real comparison (and a poor one at that) is the Reapers from Mass Effect that once their purpose and origin were explained and detailed they became way less interesting and compelling. Area X and it’s purpose are way more compelling as a story element being mysterious and having some parts of it unexplained. I admire the decision to not reveal everything as it made for a much more compelling story. The characters are also well done and I enjoyed that they were only referred to as titles, code names, or nick names such as The Director, The Biologist, Control, and Ghost Bird. The narration was also good, with 3 narrators it some times is kinda jumbled and jarring but it served the story and tone of the characters to have separate narration. I can’t wait to see the adaptation, it looks promising.

I have a pretty big backlog of audiobooks to get through, roughly equal to last year, 11 or so: The Metro Trilogy by Dmitry Glukhovsky, Strange Weather by Joe Hill, I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, Alien: Out of the Shadows, Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey, Watership Down by Richard Adams, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper.

Two more books will be added to that list around christmas, it will most likely be Mass Effect: Initiation, and either Tigana or The Lions of Al-Rassan, or it could be something on a whim suggested/recommended from r/fantasy or my audible wishlist.

I will probably start the ball rolling with Strange Weather followed by the Metro Trilogy then Sandman Slim or I am Legend.

I picked up a pretty nice DAC/AMP combo, SMSL SD793-II, to drive my DT990 premium 250 ohm headphones , which the DAC/AMP is now connected to my PS4 and PC. I mainly use it for gaming, movies, and music (in that order), for that purpose it is an extremely good set up but I am going to add a few things to it. I decided against a sound bar set up and went with a 2.1 set up instead. I will be connecting the line outs from my SMSL SD793-II to a Micca Origain (simple, not the one with built-in DAC) and a set of speakers that I have handy. I will also add a subwoofer in the next few months to make a 2.1 set up, which I will probably use for music, movies, and the PS4 (in that order.)

I did not go with a USB DAC/AMP because I wanted something that did not need drivers installed and a TOSLink and a coaxial digital would allow me to connect my PC using a toslink to coaxial digital converter and the PS4 using the TOSlink. It is working extremely well for me and was well worth the money.

I picked up some blu rays this week, Atomic Blonde, Valerian, The Dark Tower and Wind River. I have not yet watched every one so far but I did rip and convert them so I can watch them any time on my PC. I’m using MakeMKV and Handbrake, which is very easy to set up. I’m using MakeMKV enough to consider just buying it even though it is currently free while in Beta. It’s easy to use and extremely useful, well worth the money if I do end up buying it.

Gaming this month is basically WoW, the last half of Uncharted 3, and probably (finally really) Rise of the Tomb Raider, as well as Total War: Warhammer. I have about 15 days left in my sub to WoW and I’m at that point where I am thinking of taking a break from it soon, within this month or the next.

WoW is still fun and accessible, especially with the Mythic Plus dungeons. You can be extremely competitive once you get your 4 piece tier set (which can be as low as raid finder gear, or normal) and everything else from Mythic plus.

This is a super late Edit here:

Looking forward to It, Dunkirk, and Blade Runner 2049 releases on blu ray this month and next month.