Terry Schott – The Game is Life Book 1: The Game

Well, recently I finished this book. I get deals from BookBub sent to my e-mail and whenever I see a book that is free for downloading, I read the description and when I read this one, I was hooked. Thing is, I have another book that I want to finish, but well, this one took precedent.

The genre of the book is, in my humble opinion, very hard to pinpoint. I’d say that it is the opposite of dystopia but not utopia. Which in itself is a bit of a mindfuck.

Most of the book takes place in a virtual reality called EARTH. And yes, it is an acronym. Only, the full name was only mentioned about twice in the entire book so I don’t remember it.

The premise is that kids in the real world are educated through the virtual reality where they live full lives. The first five plays are free and then they have to buy any additional ones with credits earned through playing. They can also use the credits to purchase different upgrades like long life, charisma and many others.

Zach is the main character and during this book, he plays his final game as he is nearing his eighteenth birthday after which he will “graduate” from playing and enter the real world as a productive member of the society. He did a lot of careful planning with his team and sponsors. But when he enters the game, a wrench is thrown into all the planes. A wrench in the form of Zach’s (ex)-girlfriend Alexandra.

Alexandra lost everything in her last play but has been awarded a free playthrough for the thirty-year anniversary of the game. Her goal? To treat the game itself as a game. Which may seem difficult to achieve considering that when a player enters the game, they forget everything about the real world. But Alexandra manages this even without her memory of the real world.

When she and Zach meet inside the game, they strike a friendship and later start dating. They both believe that their lives inside the game are indeed a virtual reality and later they amass a following of people which leads to Zach being assassinated in-game with a special weapon that is supposed to kill you even in the real life.

And if that is not enough, well, let’s just say that the game itself is sentient. And names Sylvia. Well, the game… More along the lines of the AI that more or less runs the game.

The whole book ends with the Game’s creator being told to not unplug Zach from the game as he is not yet dead and done for.

To express my feelings about the book in a single word: Awesome! It is written in an easy and flowing style and I was hooked after the first page. Which makes it my kind of a book. If I can’t get behind a book after the first three pages or so, I don’t consider it a good book. So this would be considered a great book. Only thing is, I got this one for free, but when I went to hunt down the following books, well… Headdesk.

Six and a half dollars! Are they fucking crazy? Guess I’ll be doing a bit more thorough search of the internet to see if there is a possibility of a free download. I’m sure I’ll find one.

But other than this little problem, I definitely recommend the book to all the ones who liked the Divergent series, the Giver movie or even the freaking Hunger Games. Heck, Star Trek fans might like it! And those who loved the Sword Art Online anime will lap it up and beg for more!

Spiritus

This week was a great update for Star Stable. They added Spirit to the game. The Wild horse from the old Disney movie that a lot of us saw and loved. Dream works made a TV series on Netflix featuring Spirit’s son as the main horse. Can’t talk about the show, didn’t see it, but I can tell you with certainty that the Spirit in the game is great. And the biggest thing is that if you do all his quests, you will be able to buy him and he will be already level 15.

I myself am already almost there. With a bit of luck, I’ll be able to buy him by the end of the weekend. Can’t wait. Sure, you can’t put tack on him because he’s wild, but still, a level 15 horse for only a bit of hard work and 699 or so Star Coins? Who wouldn’t want him? I would.  And I’m seriously looking forward to it.

So I guess this is just a quick update as to what’s going on with me. This weekend I’m at my relatives place since my grandmother is celebrating her birthday. We had rice and meat for lunch and then more people came. My cousin’s son Mates wanted Minecraft and I tried to install it for him, but it wouldn’t work so we gave up. Right now, he’s looking at videos on youtube and playing around with Steam while I’m playing Star Stable Online and trying my damn best to get Spirit.

See ya!

Almost Human [2013-2014]

I had two reasons to start watching this show. One, it stars Karl Urban. Two, there are a lot of fanfictions and when I browse AO3 based on tags, I have to sift through a lot of them and since I wasn’t in the fandom yet, it was annoying. Now, I’m probably gonna start reading these. Especially if there’s slash. Hopefully, there will be the good pairings.

At the moment, I’ve been through a little more than 10 episodes. Very good! So good that I am actually really paying attention to it. Instead of my usual way of watching stuff that has English audio – basically just listening while doing something else on another tab. Or listening while playing Dungeon Hunter 4.

Well, something about the show, it takes place in the future, but not too distant. Cops are paired with androids. And since so far, all the cop androids are male, I’m gonna call them mandroid. Yes, it’s probably a horrible word to use, but hey, I’ve always wanted to use it in some context. So, the main character, played by Karl Urban, is, after some botched operation that left him with synthetic leg, paired with the usual droid model. The MX. But they are too emotionless, too robotic. And he kicks it out of his car while driving. Then he gets paired with the DRN model. At least I think that’s how you spell it. He calls this one Dorian. And then they go and solve a multitude of cases. All the while the MC – his name is John – is trying to find information on this syndicate that is somehow connected to his ex-girlfriend. The syndicate is responsible for John losing his leg and having to have a synthetic.

I couldn’t spoil the ending even if I wanted to, seeing as I haven’t finished watching it. But it’s really good so far and if you’re into futuristic cop dramas or like Karl Urban, I do recommend it. And even if you’re not, maybe you’ll like it if you give it a try.

But I’m not forcing anybody. So make your own mind.

Bye!

Logan [2017]

There will be spoilers!

So, about a week back, I saw the movie Logan. Online of course. And I was disappointed. The girl playing Logan’s daughter was good. Really good. At least in my opinion. But the story itself, not so much. The integration of Professor X in it didn’t make much sense. I did know a bit of the backstory about Laura, weapon X and all that rot. But not really from comic books, I don’t read those. But there is the X-men Evolution and then wikis and also, if something appears in more than three fanfics, I start looking at it as possible canonical information.

Also, I have absolutely no idea as to where this movie fits with all the other live action ones. I mean, I have a bit of an idea where it fits in comics and other source material, but hey, the movies are somewhat crazy in this.

Oh well, the movie was chaotic and didn’t live up to my expectations. If you’re a die hard marvel fan, sure, go ahead and try it, it might be necessary for some weird continuity in regards to future movies, but other than that, real disappointment.

The “avengers” side of the marvel verse is done much better. Can’t wait for Ragnarok and Infinity wars.

Three pics

So, I decided to add some of my newer pics. These three were finished just recently and I had some free time so I used my laptop’s camera and made photos. After I trimmed the pohotos in PhotoFiltre so that I wasn’t in the picture. Or my fingers for that matter.

This first one is of a sitting girl and was inspired by some more or less random pic on pinterest. I’ve been using pinterest as a source of inspiration. It’s great. Pinterest I mean, the picture, could be better but I’m of the opinion that it’s not too bad. Yeah, the proportions are a bit off, but it’s not like I was going for realism so there. Done in colored pencils with a pencil sketch under. Sketch is a bit older than the colores on top. I just recently got the idea to go back into it with color. But all things considered, it didn’T turn out too awfull.

The second pic was probably even more random. I just sketched and some time after went back into it with color. Though to be honest, I like it somewhat more than the first one. Mainly the shading in the face. I tried to make the sleeve kinda seethrough but I don’T think I did a good job of that, other than that though, I’m happy with how it turned out.

Last pic is me experimenting with darker skin tones. And frankly, it lookes darker on paper. The photo probably skewed the colors a bit. And probably not only on this one. But I’m too lazy to plug in my skener so using camera app on my laptop was the better option for me. Faster.

Now about the third picture. Like I said, I tried to experiment with a darker skin tone and exotic lip color. The ear is a bit weird and the lips should be a bit more to the right (from viewer’s point of view), but other than that, I think it turned out pretty good. Yeah, the lip placement is still bothering me. But nothing to be done about it now, considering that it was sketched with a permanent medium. So short of scrapping it and starting over, nothing to be done about it now. But I really like to sketch with a permanent medium. If I don’T, I redraw and erase too much. And this eliminates it.

WEll, that’s the pics. Hope you like them at least a little bit and when I finish more of them, I’ll post them. Again with a short (or not so short) commentary.

See ya!

~AnnElfwind

Star Trek

I never thought I would become a Star Trek fan. When I was a kid, I might have seen an episode or maybe two, but that is probably pushing it. It probably wasn’t even a full episode that I saw. To be completely honest, I saw more episodes of Red Dwarf than Star trek. And I hated Red Dwarf. The only sci-fi at that time that I really liked was Stargate SG-1. I probably knew about the existence of Star Wars, but haven’T really seen it until I was in my early teens.

Frankly, I don’t even know why I watched the new Star Trek Beyond. Yes, that was the first one I saw in full even though it is the third in the new Star Trek Reboot.

And you know what? I think I know why I watched it. The new Star Wars came out, Ep. VII and I watched it only to watch Phantom Menace like twice in two days right after that and the original series right after (My favourite character is still Qui-Gon!). And then I was looking for more sci-fi that would be similarly interesting and so I happened across the new Star Trek.

I was hooked. During the last week I saw all three of the new movies twice and the first one thrice.

And before someone tells me to watch all the older series and movies, I won’t. I fell in love with the cast of the reboot and I’m not gonna ruin it with the old cast and old special effects. Even if it means I have to wait for the fourth movie to be out. And yes, according to IMDB there will be a fourth movie. I might not be a full fredged Star Trek fan, but I do love the new movies and decided that maybe I actually like the sci-fi genre after all. I was never much of a fan, I prefered urban fantasy and dark fantasy (no vampires or werewolves, not a big fan of those, especially after reading Twilight). But the thing is, my favourite urban fantasy author is melding it together with sci-fi so much that I have a feeling that I’ve been liking sci-fi a lot longer that it seems at first glance.

So, I know that die-hard trek fans will probably tell me that the older Star Trek is far better than the new one, but you know what, I’m not forcing you to prefer the new one, so I would like it if you do not force me to watch the old one.

And now that that’s out of the system, let’s just say that I needed to rant about my newfound love for the new Star Trek. Of course, I also kinda wanna strangle Uhura and force Jim and Spock together because Spirk. At least that’s what they are calling that pairing ove ron fanfiction.net.

Now, I’m gonna end it, post it and go wash my hair and then we shall see what happens after that.

See ya!

~AnnElfwind

 

20-6-2017 Edit: Why the hell did I name this Star WARS?! BTW, Problem fixed.

Skyrim

Several years ago I bought a game called Elder Scroll Series IV – Oblivion. You’re probably wondering what that has to do with Skyrim. Well, everything. As it was shortly after that that I got me Skyrim. Simply because I really enjoyed Oblivion and Skyrim was a sort of sequel to it. To be honest, when I first installed Skyrim, I decided that I absolutely hate it. And so it was left in a drawer for years. Then, I gave the original copy to my cousin’s son for when he got a good enough pc to play it on. But then I got into nightcore, which has, at first glance, even less to do with Skyrim than Oblivion. But, there was this nightcored song… The Dragonborn Comes. And I figured that it was from Skyrim. Which got me thinking…. That maybe it was time to give Skyrim another go. So I installed it through steam and started playing.

At first, I got frustrated because it didn’t support my gamepad. But then I decided that screw it, if I could successfully play Oblivion with mouse and keyboard as well as most of Assassin’s Creed games, then I will be just fine playing Skyrim with mouse and keyboard. Though the first thing I did was to play with the keyboard mapping. Made it a bit closer to Oblivion – aka jump with E and action with spacebar. Admittedly, it is still slightly confusing, as the game shows me the original key mapping when it gives hints, but hey, I can manage! I did with Resident Evil 4 and there the key mapping is really ridiculous…

So far, I’m not that far into the game, only just past High Hrotgar, but I’m enjoying it immensely. Though, there is one thing I really don’t like! And that is that you can’t equip spell alongside your bow! At least, I haven’t figured that out yet! In Oblivion, you could equip whatever weapon you wanted to and still cast! That is something I miss here in Skyrim. But I guess we can’t have it all…

Also, someone tell me how to disable the cinematic finishing blows in fight… Those are really annoying and interrupt the gameplay as well as disorient you as to where the next enemy is coming from…

Oh, and the NPC names are crazy! I know it is trying to imitate the nordic tribes and so on and so forth, but come on! I’ve met a lot of characters a lot of times by now and the only names I remember are Ilireth (or something like that) and Alvar. At least Oblivion had normal names… Or maybe it is because I’ve simply been playing Oblivion longer. That’s probably it.

A question for those who also play Skyrim. Do you play with subs on? I mean, I can understand the characters just fine, but usually, I finish reading what they have to say before they finish saying it. Do any of you have the same problem? And is it even a problem? Well, it is in the situation where you can not just skip the speech.

Anyway! I enjoy Skyrim and I hope that by the time I finish the quests I will be able to remember at least some of the names.

And my favorite NPC’s are from Oblivion. Too bad two out of three bit the dust…

Before I finish this post, one more thing. DLC for Skyrim. Is it worth it? I would like this answered by someone who actually played the DLC. Not by someone who just read about it or something. Thanks!

~AnnElfwind