Battlestar Galactica – the board game.

A follow-up from last week. From time to time a short board game review will replace usual book-related post. It will not necessarily be “easy games for beginners”. But all can be played by reasonably smart people after reading the manual, all are based on popular genre franchises and can provide many evenings of group entertainment each.

I will not concentrate on new games. A board game is significantly more costly than a book and takes up more shelf space. It’s better to establish a collection of a few classics, than just buy something fashionable at the moment.

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Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor (2014)

goblinemperorThere was a lot of talk about this book last year. A 2015 Locus Best Novel award winner, a 2014 Hugo and Nebula nominee, noted favorably by authors like GRRM… in short, Addison’s novel received a lot of praise. Alternately classified as high fantasy or grimdark, this book seems to me something else entirely. Addison asserts that it’s a stand-alone novel and no direct sequels will be written (a full interview here), and it is a complete story, however, it ends in such a way that a sequel or sequels are quite possible. Very well, but what’s the story?

The Goblin Emperor tells the story of Maia, a young half-goblin, half-elf princeling who, due to an airship catastrophe that removed his father and his three half-brothers from the land of living, quite unexpectedly becomes the emperor of all elves. Despised and abused, kept away from the court for all his life, Maia must now find the will and wisdom to become a ruler in a world where many oppose or hate him on the grounds of what he is. Court intrigue, betrayal and acts of heroism ensue. If I were to sum it up in one sentence, I’d say “A male Cinderella story”.

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A short introduction to board games.

I’ve wanted to add board games to the list of stuff mentioned on Re-enchantment for quite some time. I thought about the best way to do it and decided against detailed reviews. We are, after all, mainly book-oriented and only occasionally venture into other media. So – some basics for now, and a couple tested examples will follow next week (or one after that, we’ll see). If you play a lot and already have your favourite games – move along, back to boardgamegeek.com, where regular players belong. But surprisingly many people need to be pushed in the right direction – I’m speaking from experience here, I’ve (re)introduced some people to occasional gaming and most of them claim to enjoy that 😉

Board games will be understood on our blog rather broadly, as games played on board or not, as in case of some of the card games (and I don’t mean a regular deck of cards, but cards especially designed for a specific game, as in case of (in)famous Magic: The Gathering). The category obviously excludes all kinds of video games (although, interestingly, there are video versions of many board games), and role playing games (for me – the highest form of gaming, one day I’ll write an eulogy of table top RPGs…).

A photo or two are needed for the main page – so I present my games (and a few borrowed) – I’m not bragging here, and it’s not false modesty, I know a few people with vastly superior collections. I’m somewhere between casual gamer and a regular, closer to casual probably, never playing competitively and treating games mainly as a kind of social entertainment.

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China Miéville, Perdido Street Station (2000)

perdido_street_stationJanuary is a somewhat tough month for me – preparing exams, checking them, the paperwork related… It takes a lot of time and, in consequence, much less is left for reading. And so it took me a while to finish Perdido Street Station – not because it was boring, but because I didn’t have time to read it. But here I am, the book finished, exams waiting to be checked, and a review due today ;).

Perdido Street Station is Miéville’s second novel, first set in the Bas-Lag world, and a mammoth of a book (880 pages). It’s urban fantasy/steam punk/alternative reality something born from a really wickedly bright, and/or stoned, mind. It won several awards, Arthur C. Clarke Award for 2001 being the most prominent. It is the perfect example of New Weird. New – to some extent, but Weird – all the way.

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Jeff Salyards, Bloodsounder’s Arc – Scourge of the Betrayer (2012) and Veil of the Deserters (2014), International Edition

Another post that is a return to previously reviewed material and in fact almost entirely a translation of my old review. For the first few months about 50% of our posts were in Polish, but since we decided to go 100% English some time ago, I think it’s a good idea to make some old posts accessible to everybody. The Magicians last week were and obvious choice – with the TV series starting soon. Now I will follow with a review of first two books from Jeff Salyard’s Bloodsounder’s Arc series, and again I have a good excuse – the third one is coming out next month: Chains of the Heretic from Night Shade Books.

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I loved the first two books. The final one… I have high hopes, I’m going to get it soon after publication, in hardcover. So, without further ado, here we go…

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Alan Rickman (1946-2016)

alan_rickman© Michael Birt

Alan Rickman passed away today. The unforgettable Sheriff of Nottingham, charismatic Severus Snape from Harry Potter series, Hans Gruber from Die Hard, Metatron from Dogma, even Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy… We’ll miss him.

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David Bowie (1947-2016)

david-bowieDavid Bowie died yesterday, 2 days past his 69th birthday and the release of his latest album – Blackstar. You’ve got to admire the sheer willpower!

David Bowie, or David Robert Jones, was an artist who created his own genre – a visionary, wildly imaginative and unique music/performance/social commentary that escaped from all attempts at categorization. He was a singer, composer, actor, social critic…

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