The City & The City

by C. T. Miéville

I devoured this book in three late-night readings and I couldn’t stop thinking of it during the days in between. It defies generic placement; calling it sci-fi would attach to it a load of unwarranted expectations, yet saying it’s just a noirish crime novel staged in a fictitious setting would hardly do it justice. It’s a captivating, unsettling and above all, incredibly original work of art and imagination.

Before you continue reading, be warned that it will be very hard to avoid spoilers in this review, and that your enjoyment in and appreciation of the book might be entirely ruined if you do get spoiled.

Continue reading The City & The City

Quote: Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Two dismally absurd persons… were posted at the front door; and in one of them I recognized a postboy discharged from the Boar for running a young couple into a sawpit on their bridal morning, in consequence of intoxication rendering it necessary for him to ride his horse clasped round the neck with both hands.

A New Home for Themed Challenges and Halls of Fame

Following the unexpected shut-down of the Bioware Social Network Forums, the Themed Challenges Group (previously mentioned in my N7 Day posts about Solo and Duo Themed Challenges) was forced to move to a different location (since, obviously, we refused to just lie down and bleed out).

Themed Challenges and Halls of Fame now constitute a dedicated site, Prestacious’ Challenges, hosted by the founder and leader of the group, a fabulous guy and a good friend, Prestacious. Along with the various challenge series, the new site also hosts the Gold Solo Speedruns Hall of Fame, and the Platinum Solos Hall of Fame (which is since recently under the management of yours truly).

The bulk of the Mass Effect 3 Multiplayer community has moved to BSN Unofficial Forums, so submissions for the Halls of Fame are mostly done there, in the Themed Challenges and Hall of Fame thread and the Platinum Solos Hall of Fame thread. However, submissions are also welcome on the Forum associated with Prestacious’ Challenges site.

Come visit us, get challenged and inspired, and get ready for the journey to Andromeda!

Modding Skyrim to Perfection

I’m a great fan of The Elder Scrolls games. Morrowind was the first role playing game I ever played, the first game I ever modded, and for a long time, my undisputed favorite across all genres and flavors. Then came Oblivion, which was the first game to keep me obsessed for a thousand hours and the first game (or any form of entertainment) that had me write fanfiction. It’s no exaggeration to say that these games changed my life, and I don’t mean just my “gaming life”.

So it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine that I had great expectations from Skyrim. It was to be larger, prettier and better than its predecessors in just about every way imaginable – and mostly it didn’t fail to deliver. Yet, even though I got it immediately upon release and tried playing it twice, I couldn’t get into it, and I never finished it.

It is only now, with more than a hundred mods installed, that I’m finally able to enjoy Skyrim the way I always hoped to.

Continue reading Modding Skyrim to Perfection