Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Sword and Sorcery Film Queue


I will periodically update this page throughout 2013. Here is the link to last year’s queue, provided since many films slip from year to year: 2012 Sword and Sorcery Film Queue.

An Unexpected Journey 

Dec 14th 2012 (...but can be seen in 2013 )
And the rest of the trilogy:
Dec 13th 2013: “Desolation of Smaug”
Dec 17th 2014: “There and Back Again


2013 Hammer of the Gods


Facebook Movie Page and Trailer Link
I heard about this via the Goodreads Sword and Sorcery group (link).
- Action epic sees a passionate young man transform into a brutal warrior as he travels the unforgiving landscape in search of his long lost brother Hakan The Ferrocious, whose people are relying on him to restore order to their kingdom

The Seventh Son Releases ~ Jan 2014

From Wikipedia: "The Seventh Son is an upcoming fantasy film based on the first installment in Joseph Delaney's children's dark fantasy novel series The Wardstone Chronicles titled The Spook's Apprentice."

Sinbad: The Fifth Voyage (~2013)

Patrick Stewart’s narration may give this some street cred.




Likely to be released sometime 

Clash of the Titans 3 ~ 2013 

RELEASE DATES



300: Rise of an Empire

2014



47 Ronin

Dec 25th 2013



Sequel(s) For Solomon Kane (~2014?)

According to Fangoria magazine's interview with Michael Basset. FANGORIA: So we can expect a sequel to SOLOMON KANE? BASSETT: We intend to film more of Kane’s adventures. The first one has done very well in festivals around the world; now we have to wait and see how it’s received by a larger audience. Our intention is to make a trilogy, and if everything goes as planned, we will leave for South Africa to start production on part two.

 

Hunstmans Sequel (2014?)


Legend of Conan (2014)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as Conan (~2015 "Legend of Conan" movie). Multiple news sources claim it will ignore the silly Conan The Destroyer and poorly produced 2010 Conan reboot (with Jason Momoa, who did okay but not well enough to compensate for other issues)...in other words, the 2015 movie is being designed as a direct sequel to the 1982 Conan the Barbarian.

A Fire and Ice live action movie began being produced in 2012 (and a possible Death Dealer after that?!~). IGN reports this remake of the rotoscoped classic in which Frank Frazetta and Ralph Bakshi teamed up.



God of War, 2014?

"300" meets "Clash of the Titans" in this movie adaption of the video game 

Narnia 4 Movie More Chronicles of Narnia
2014? maybe?…
And after that… Narnia V: The Silver Chair is planned.

 

Little hope of being made...

 

Future Release

Elric movie:

Check out Michael Moorcock's blog for details.
Castlevania: Based on Konami's popular vampire games; this movie has been bounced around since before 2009.
The Power of the Dark Crystal (ever?)

Announced in 2005, this sequel to the Dark Crystal (1982) has stumbled, always making some forward progress.
Bran Mak Morn  ????

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jonathan Green seeks support for Fighting Fantasy


Just participated in my first Kickstarter project. This is a great tool/resource to fund independent moves, games, books, etc.


My gateway into the Sword & Sorcery genre was most likely the Fighting Fantasy books (choose-your-own-adventures + dice) created by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone in the early 1980's (these two would then co-found Warhammer). Before personal computers could satiate the need for solo adventuring on the go, these books rocked. They were full of disturbing illustrations that still haunt me to this day (see blogpost on evolving Fighting Fantasy books). Interestingly, select ones (like Warlock of Firetop Mountain) are now available on Kindle and iTunes (the Kindle versions are less sexy but work better, having provided a more robust game mechanic that includes superior mapping and dice roller systems).

Jonathan Green, author of many novels including those under the Warhammer and Fighting Fantasy brands, is now on a mission to create a history book detailing how the adventure books evolved.  See the video below (embedded here). Or go to Kickstarter directly and consider donating to the cause: You Are The Hero Kickstarter Page ... donate ~$16 and you will get a PDF of the book.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Desert of Souls - Book Review

The Desert of SoulsThe Desert of Souls by Howard Andrew Jones
S.E. Lindberg rating: 4 of 5 stars

”I have seldom met a man who so feared taking up a pen.” – So speaks a fortune teller to the hero Asim in “The Desert of Souls”

Howard A. Jones is a Writer...and a Swordsman!
If Howard A. Jones had any fear of taking up a pen to write, I am glad he overcame it. He has long held a passion for action fiction and throughout his career has re-introduced readers to Harold Lamb, moderated Sword and Sorcery websites, and edited the Dark Fantasy magazine Blackgate. With Desert of Souls he demonstrates his ability to translate his passion for revitalizing fantasy fiction by producing his own creative work. Well done. He seems to being live vicariously through his hero Asim who claims “not to be a writer… only a swordsman," but (since Desert of Souls is a first person narrative in Asim’s voice) Howard/Asim proves to be a worthy storyteller regardless of any alleged fear of writing instruments.

Kevin J. Anderson (author of The Map of All Things) aptly likened this book to “a cross between Sinbad and Indiana Jones,” and E. E. Knight (author of Vampire Earth Series) accurately described this as a “… rich, detailed tapestry—part Arthur Conan Doyle, part Robert E. Howard, and part Omar Khayyam, woven in the magical thread of One Thousand and One Nights.”

The writing is crisp and is carried by an engaging relationship between the duo: Asim and Dabir. Plenty of super natural action (fights with djinns, undead creatures, sorcerers, etc.) saturate their adventures through treacherous deserts, ruins, and the otherworld. An abundance of miraculous/chance-encounters keeps this from a 5 star rating, but remains highly recommended. I look forward to delving into more Asim and Dabir tales: The Bones of the Old Ones and The Waters of Eternity.

View all of S.E. Lindberg's reviews

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Holiday Card 2012



This card wishes all a safe holiday season, and a happy new year that follows. Thanks to Heidi, Erin, and Connor who always support my compulsive card-making behavior.  All previous cards can be found on http://lindbergcrafts.blogspot.com/.  


Fairie Theme

I was obviously inspired by faeries this year.  The connection stemmed from the foundation of many religious celebrations at year's end: the Winter Solstice.  Since the longest night of the year marks the Solstice, it seemed appropriate the have the moon take center stage.  The first concept was to have an evergreen forest decorated with lights.  These lights were to be revealed as faeries migrating from the moon, resting on branches.  Originally they would be carrying lanterns.

The Process

I confess, I started this in September since my Oct. & Nov. schedules were packed.  I was motivated to finish early Nov. to ensure I could get the hardcopies printed in time for an early Dec. publishing.  This process seems to only get more complex each year...ugh.  Anyway, here is how the card was produced:

Initial Sketches

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Tweaking the Faerie(s)

During the making of this, the concept of a parade of faeries was reduced to a single one. The remaining faerie took on a glow of her own, so she hardly required a lantern.  She assumed a reflective, praying position (she had to be doing something).  Incidentally, this design change sparked a discussion with our resident mythologist (Erin) who claimed the simplification might still be perceived as odd: she argued everyone knows that angels prayed, but fairies were not known to be religious (as praying would imply).  I agree, but angels and faeries are not far removed from each other on the spectrum of spiritual, winged things.  Besides, if I were a moon  faerie, I would consider coming to earth on the longest night of the year just to look backward, reflect from whence I came, and prepare to tackle the future.  In any event, no offense intended (recall an angel did get center stage in last year's card (link)).

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Winning the Argument

How do you engage a resident mythologist?  Win her over to your way of thinking? Well, you may just up the ante a bit, perhaps incorporate her into the work.  Game on, daughter!  
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3D? 

There is a lot of detail in there, so let's zoom in. Some people see a 3D effect now:  if you first focus on resolve the black silhouette of the treesthen she should appear to float in your peripheral vision (at least on computer screens).  Tell me if this works for you (might be easier to see in the final version at top of this blog).
fairyZoom

Font and Graphics

Heidi helped me with finding a good font.  She found a great one that was easy to read and amplified the moon shape with wondrous circles in the "G","g", and "S".
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Print Prep: RGB to CMYK conversion

Cripes, almost done.  I worked in RGB (Red, Green, Blue) space originally since I am familiar with it and my photos/scans were generated that way (RGB being the format of the raw data from scientific/digital cameras and the display on monitors); however, the printing industry still prefers CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key--a.k.a. "black") since those "channels" represent the common ink colors used in printers.  Color transformations are nontrivial, so it is best to work this out yourself rather than rely on some automatic/uncontrolled process if you are going to submit your art for hardcopy printing.

Black (K): Converting in Photoshop appears easy (most try the IMAGE>MODE options), but this doesn't work well (EDIT>CONVERT TO PROFILE allows for more control).  Generally, the RGB colors are converted to CMY_ alright, but the K channel is neglected.  Blacks turn to grays, and the general intensity of the image becomes muted.  To correct this, a program like Illustrator or InDesign is needed (geared toward making actual prints).  I used illustrator to EXPORT my file into a new *.PSD after I had changed the PREFERENCES>APPEARANCE OF BLACK to export RICH BLACK.


(CMY): Then back in Photoshop, to tweak the colors I applied a few ADJUSTMENT layers, I reversibly tweaked the colors "by eye" until they approximated the RGB look.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Swans Over the Moon - Novella Review

Swans Over the MoonSwans Over the Moon by Forrest Aguirre
S.E. Lindberg's rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Swans Over the Moon.” By Forrest Aguirre. Available on Smashwords

Intellectual, weird fiction for Fantasy readers; 5 stars

Summary (from Smashwords): “Judicar Parmour Pelevin rules the ancient kingdom of Procellarium on an environmentally decimated desert moon of a blue world. His stubborn insistence on establishing order, in the name of upholding ancient tradition, sets his own family’s swords against him. But is tradition strong enough to contain the chaos that erupts all around him and throughout his kingdom?”
“Tradition demands, the Doom of Change be spoken, Else that stands shall fall…” – from The Doom of Change rite (from Swans Over the Moon)

Conflict and Design: Initially the ruler Judicar is embroiled in a “man vs alien conflict”, being pitted against a rebellious daughter and the aliens that she sympathizes with and leads. But the conflict is much deeper than simple “us vs. them.” The deadly struggle between “old-world vs. new-age” dominates since it permeates throughout the character design (i.e. the two-headed counselor Heterodymus sporting one baby-faced head and one lich-like), the lunar milieu (the vividly different cultures of the chaotic Euler district vs. the lawful Procellarium), and the haunts of our protagonist Judicar (the “Doom of Change” rite and the laws of Procellarium are intimately connected to the deaths in his family).

Style: Aguirre writes with an entertaining, heavy narrative that reads like Shakespeare. Aguirre is a World Fantasy Award winner for his editorial work, with Jeff VanderMeer, on the Leviathan 3 anthology; with “Swans” he demonstrates his command for storytelling in addition to his command over language. Expect: (1) haunting descriptions, (2) brutal action, and (3) a touch of dark humor. His prose is best represented with excerpts:

1)Haunting Descriptions: “She entered the room, gliding over the floor as if the ground itself retreated from her touch in recognition of her standing as the Judicar's daughter. Her waist-length ghost-white hair flowed only slightly behind her crimson robes. Above her floated two apparitions – Tarans, those wispy souls of un-baptized infants that are often seen flitting about in cemeteries or dark woods, bewailing in mewing voices their terrible fates. But these two were quite contented, continually re-arranging a series of red silk scarves around the maiden's head, shoulders, waist, and arms. She simultaneously swelled and retreated, like a beating heart, as she approached.”

2) Brutal Action: “His blunderbuss pistol discharged point blank into the Scaramouche's face, spattering mask, bone, and flesh in a mist of gore that coated his lap and right leg. He drew his rapier, slowly circling his horse to get a clear view of his surroundings above the fray, but the tourbillon was too great. He soon found himself in the midst of the enemy, completely surrounded.. His horse buckled beneath him, its armor punctured by dozens of enemy bayonets.”

3) Dark Humor: “Their ignominious departure from Euler was the antithesis of their stately arrival. The Judicar and Heterodymus left without an escort to find their carriage besotted with feces, rotting eggs, and vegetables. They gathered their drunken pygmies, some by the nape of the neck, and hitched them to their posts. When the Judicar opened the door to the carriage, the severed head of his deputy rolled out.”

Highly recommended:“Swans” will appeal directly with fans of contemporary weird authors: Phillip K. Dick, M. John Harrison, and Jeff VanderMeer. Also, fans of weird pulp/fantasy fiction Clark Ashton Smith, Darrell Schweitzer will devour this. However, ANY reader looking for intellectual escapism should read this.

View all my reviews

Demons: A Clash of Steel - Review

Demons: A Clash of Steel AnthologyDemons: A Clash of Steel Anthology by Jason M. Waltz
S.E. Lindberg rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quick Review :
A stellar concept for a collection; "Demons" delivers some entertaining tales. *** Note, the current eBook (*.mobi, 2012) version is marred with truly demonic formatting (Kindle version & Kindle-App viewing on iPhone), so consider tracking down a paperback ***

1) Concept: Rogue Blades Entertainment (RBE) delivers what it claims: a sampling of demon stories and adventure. Your chance of finding appealing stories is decent with 28 entries. Chock full of demons, champions, possession, witches, etc.. Kudos to RBE for keeping these tales alive from a 2006 publication (Carnifex Press). The purpose of an anthology is to provide an array of options, allow new readers to explore the genre, allow self-described “veteran readers” identify new authors, and enable reading in small doses (i.e. great for travelling or parents with small children constantly interrupting their activities). “Demons” delivers this.

2) Content
For anthologies, we do not expect to enjoy all entries. We expect to experiment with small doses of new material/authors. For me, three stories that emphasized personal demons (or personal challenges) were outstanding. They stuck with me and are worth rereading:
- Fifteen Breaths - by Phil Emery
- Into Shards - by Murray J.D. Leeder
- Through the Dark – by Darla J. Bowen

Many more were entertaining:
- The Man With the Webbed Throat –by Steve Moody
- Body Guard of the Dead –by C.L. Werner
- The Beast of Lyoness –by Christopher Stires
- The Vengeance of Tibor – by Ron Shiflet
- First League out From Land –by Brian Dolton
- Son of the Rock -by Underwood Laura

The remaining tales were largely more juvenile in content or pacing … or (as a long-time, desensitized fantasy reader) the material did not impact me; however, they should appeal to the younger adult audience or readers making the transition to darker/edgier fiction.

3) Demonic Kindle formatting
Despite feeling an urge to rally behind RBE (or any others who support growing the Dark Fantasy genre), I must highlight that the conversion of this book to the Kindle reader (and its App for the iPhone) was simply terrible. Granted most eBooks have some formatting issues (this book has those too, which many of us are accustomed to overlooking), but an anthology requires a means to navigate to the chapters independently and this has product no means to do so:

(a) No hyperlinked Table of Contents Really. Want to jump to one of the entries just recommended? Want to reread a chapter ? Good luck getting there. There are NO links. This really distracts and diminishes from the experience. Perhaps in a chapter book we could excuse this since it is assumed readers will go through linearly… but not in an anthology!
(b) No titles at the chapter locations Really. Let us imagine that you finally scroll or jump to an approximate %-complete to read an entry and…guess what?…the Chapter Titles are missing! Luckily, the “by author name” was converted, so if you memorize the name you may know when to stop scrolling. With an eBook, you will have little feedback (no page numbers or headers) to guide you.
(c) Indents and returns/breaks for paragraphs are often missing: Really. I was willing to forgive some of this for a while, but too many dialogue scenes were scrolled/wrapped-up into each other.

In short, I recommend hunting down the paperback.

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sword and Sorcery Group - Goodreads

Thanks to Goodreads member Periklis for setting up a Sword & Sorcery Group on Goodreads and for sharing the moderator roles with me.  He titled it appropriately as "An earthier sort of fantasy: Sword & Sorcery" - the earthier description is a bit cryptic but is explained on the site.   

Essentially, if you like to read Dark Fantasy you should stop by.   Haven't checked out Goodreads yet?  You should if you like books.  From getting advanced review copies via Giveaways, getting smart phone Apps to scan your books and catalog your library, and enabling you to connect with your favorite authors... Goodreads is the social networking site for book worms of all types (and all over the world; Periklis hails from Greece!).  

This Sword & Sorcery group just started (~Oct 2012) and has already attracted authors such as Howard Andrew Jones and Nathan Long, publishers like Rogue Blades Entertainment, and acclaimed editors like Forrest Aguirre.  

You are invited too! Click here!




An earthier sort of fantasy: Sword & Sorcer...
An earthier sort of fantasy: Sword & Sorcery 27 members Books and related material (videos, podcasts & blogposts) about Sword & Sorcery.

View this group on Goodreads »