Hyperion

By D. Simmons

After reading the first of four books, I wrote a one-line comment on Goodreads saying, “Liked it despite numerous annoyances.” After reading the second, I change my statement to “Didn’t like it despite numerous qualities”. These are mainly related to the authors indisputable ability to create and maintain suspense, and to surprise. Book one ends with a cliffhanger so epic that I had to pick up book two immediately. But I won’t be reading the rest of the series.

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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.

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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.

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The Music of Dragon Age: Inquisition

I got this game in preoder, but haven’t finished it yet; I started and quit the single player campaign twice (for reasons that are out of scope of this post), and mostly just played the multiplayer. But I feel compelled to speak about something I studied in detail nevertheless: its music. What follows is a somewhat extensive, but by no means exhaustive review; the entire soundtrack (without DLC) has some 40 tracks, all of them excellent to varying degrees, but these are the ones I come back to over and over again:

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Warhammer 40k Space Marine

The Imperial Forge World of Graia is being invaded by the Orcs. Instead of an all-out retribution that would put the production of invaluable Titans at risk, the Ultramarines are deployed to resolve the situation before it escalates. But of course it does escalate when the forces of Chaos unexpectedly appear on the scene with an interest in a powerful artifact.

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