Tag Archives: Fantasy

The Last Driver – Episode 1 – Chapter 2

THE LAST DRIVER_finalebook1

December 23, 2010

Believe it or not, there was a time when I looked like I was fresh off the showroom floor. My hair was thick, lush, and still black on its own. I didn’t need glasses, but I wore a pair of mirrored aviator shades. I don’t know if that made me look cool, but I felt like it did. My generation was very big on personal feelings and frankly, that might have led to the One World Order’s hostile takeover of the planet, but more on that later.

I work a dark leather jacket, paired with a black t-shirt and jeans. A toothpick dangled out of my mouth as I primped myself in the mirror, pushing a curl of hair up off my forehead.

My cell phone rang. I pressed a button on the Bluetooth headset in my ear to answer it. A Bluetooth headset was…no, I’m sorry. I’m staying firm on this. You whippersnappers will just have to figure this stuff out on your own.

“Sup?”

The man on the other end of the call was Bernie Schwartz, the Giacomo family’s fixer. He was a jack-of-all-trades. Whatever needed done, he did it. “Franky Boy. You ready to rock and roll?”

“You know it,” I replied.

“How’s Veronica?”

I answered that question by stepping on the gas. The engine roared, but Veronica was in park so she didn’t go anywhere.

“Hoo-wee,” Bernie said.

“Listen to that tiger growl,” I said.

“OK,” Bernie said. “Just making sure you’re not asleep with some bimbo’s tits on your face.”

“I’d never do that do your mother, Bern,” I said. “Don’t worry about me. I’m more worried about whether you’re ready.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

I ran my fingers over what was, in retrospect, the tackiest piece of bling ever – a solid gold dollar sign that dangled from my neck from a much too flashy chain.   “It means that sometimes you spend so much time worrying about what I’m doing that you forget to come through on your end.”

There was a pause. “That is a scandalous accusation.”

“And an accurate one,” I said.

“Name one time I let you down,” Bernie said.

Off the top of my head, I was able to think of several examples.   I picked the first.

“Armax Freight,” I said.

Another pause. “OK. Name two times I let you down.”

Blam! Blam! Gunshots and screams cut the conversation short. “Shit,” I said. “They’ve fucked up. Just get into position.”

“On my way,” Bernie said. “What’s going…

I cut the call off and looked to my right. Passersby scattered and scrambled for cover as four grown men dressed like Santa Claus (red suits, white beards, the works) ran out of the Davis Street Branch of Avasti Bank. Their handguns were drawn and loot sacks were slung over their shoulders.

The piercing sound of an alarm bell ringing meant the job had been compromised. The Santas had frantic looks on their faces. A guard popped out of the front door and squeezed off three rounds only to get dropped by a shot to the chest courtesy of Santa One.

Just drive away,” I thought. “It’s not your fault Roman set you up with a crew of rank amateurs. Every other crew has managed to get in and get out without killing anyone or setting off an alarm. Fuck these morons.”

A second guard poked out from behind the front door, fired a round, then ducked for cover. The Santas returned fire. I don’t recall if any kids were on the scene but if they were, their childhoods were probably ruined by this sight.

Right now, you haven’t done anything wrong,” I thought. “You’re just a guy in a parked car. You can say you don’t know these clowns. Just…”

            “DRIVE!”

Veronica’s doors were open and the Santas were filing in, all hot and sweaty, full of booze and panic. Santa One took the passenger’s seat, while Santas Two and Three hopped into the back seat.

Santa One was a particularly obnoxious son of a bitch. “PUNCH IT!”

There was no backing out now. My foot hit the gas. Vrroom! Veronica was flying.

Santa One turned around and shouted at Santa Two. “What the fuck did you do?”

“That bitch was reaching for the buzzer,” Santa Two explained.

“Bullshit,” Santa One said.

“As God as my witness,” Santa Two said. “She was reaching for it.”

“So you smash her in the nose!” Santa One hollered. “You don’t clip her! She couldn’t have been more than twenty-five.”

Santa Three intervened. “Oh boo hoo. Cry me a river. Shut up the two of you.”

I checked my rear view mirror. No cops yet. The infighting was getting to me.

“Real professional,” Santa One said.

“Oh, you want to talk?” Santa Two asked. “Why’d you kill that guard then if you’re such a sweetheart?”

“Because he was going to kill you, dumb fuck!” Santa One shouted. “Because you got him riled up when you killed that bitch!”

“Aww, I did what I had to do,” Santa Two said.

“I should have let him kill you,” Santa One said. “But then they would have ID’d you and that would have led them to us.”

The infighting was getting to me. I was used to transporting stoically silent career criminals with ice water running through their veins. These dunces were freaking out like a trio of babies who’d just missed naptime.

I was hauling ass – gunning through intersections, running red lights, cutting off pedestrians, coming inches from smacking into other cars who had the right of way.

“Fuck this,” Santa Two said. “I don’t have to sit here and listen to…”

Santa Three interrupted again. He opened up his loot sack and reached a hand inside. “Boys, come on. Just focus on the positive. It’s going to be a very Merry…”

Boom! A dye pack exploded, turning Santa Three’s face bright purple. “Motherfucker!”

Santa One screeched as though he was about to suffer a brain aneurysm. “You didn’t check for a dye pack?!”

“No one told me I was supposed to check for a dye pack!” Santa Three cried.

Santa One face palmed himself. “He didn’t know. Every shithead who’s ever seen a bank heist movie knows to check for a dye pack but this cocksucker didn’t know.”

“No,” Santa Two protested. “I didn’t know.”

Santa One turned to me. “You believe this shit? He didn’t know.”

I manhandled Veronica’s steering wheel, veering on a hard right turn. “I’m a little busy.”

I switched on my police radio scanner. “All units. Shots fired at Davis Street Avanti Bank.”

An old woman approached a crosswalk with a bag of groceries under her arm. She was about to step onto the street when I blared on the horn. It scared the shit out of her, causing her to toss her bag into the air, sending apples, oranges, cans and bread everywhere. In my rearview mirror, I was able to see her throwing me the middle finger. I didn’t care. I was just happy the old broad lived. I didn’t need that on my conscience.

The scanner squawked. “Suspects were last seen in a late model sports car, red…”

“Don’t think you’re going to be taking anything out of my cut,” Santa One said.

“Fuck you,” Santa Three said. “I was on this job, just like the rest of you.”

“Were you?” Santa One asked. “Because you look like you just fellated…”

I’m sorry. For legal reasons, I’m not able to print which purple cartoon character Santa Three looked like he’d taken a face blast from. Moving on…

“Copy,” the dispatcher said. “Confirmed, the car is an American Made Sidewinder.”

“Fellas,” I said. “If you could all chill out…”

“Very funny, Ted,” Santa Three said. “You should have been a comedian.”

Santa One flipped out and punched the back of Veronica’s passenger seat. I didn’t care for that at all. “You just used my name!”

“Uhh,” Santa Three said. “Did I…or did I use your code name?”

A flashing set of red and blue lights in my rear view mirror caught my eye. “Bigger problems, gentlemen.”

The idiots were oblivious. “Bobby,” Santa One said. “You’d better stop…”

“Whoa!” Santa Three said. “Why you gotta use my name…uh I mean, my code name? Fuck Bobby! Who’s Bobby?”

Santa One leered at Santa Three. “I swear to God I’m gonna come back there and…”

Boom!   The back windshield exploded and shattered, spraying the interior full of jagged little shards of glass. The cops were shooting at us. Three cruisers were in pursuit now.

“Shit!” Santa One said to me. “We’ve got company!”

“I’m aware,” I said.

My nonchalance pissed Santa One off. “Do something!”

“I am,” I said.

Santa Three pointed his gun out the back window and exchanged shots with the cops.

“Unnecessary,” I said.

“Shut up and drive!” Santa Three said. “I’ll take ‘em out.”

Another right brought me to the freeway onramp. I sideswiped a mail truck as I barreled through late afternoon commuter traffic, then took up a position in the far left lane. Veronica was humming well over a hundred miles per hour now. Poor girl. She was getting all torn up. She didn’t quit on me though. She knew I’d fix her right up.

I tapped my Bluetooth and called Bernie.

“Sup?”

“It’s all on you, brother,” I said.

“I got it,” Bernie said before he hung up.

All sorts of sounds ripped up my ears. The world’s most incompetent bank robbers would not stop screaming at each other, nor would they stop shooting at the cops. I didn’t care for the violence. I was used to professionals who never had to fire a shot. Worse, these idiots weren’t able to hit a flashing target held up by a supermodel with big fake tits, so just sprayed bullets and put the cops in a terrible mood.

Guns blazed. Horns honked, courtesy of all the motorists around me who were scared shitless by my moves. Sirens wailed. Tires screeched and then…I heard it…whirring chopper blades. I looked up and to my left. A police helicopter was dogging us.

“Sky Eye here,” came the chopper pilot’s voice over the scanner. “Got a make on the suspects. Heading west on 909. “

“Well that’s it,” Santa Three said. “It’s all over. We’re fucked. We’re so fucked.”

“Nobody’s fucked,” I said.

I looked in the rear view mirror. Tears flowed out of Santa Three’s eyes, staining his fake white beard. “I can’t go to jail, man. I just can’t. Somebody do me right here. I mean it. Shoot me!”

I rarely broke my cool, but this mongoloid made me snap. “Jesus! Have you guys even pulled a job before?”

“What the fuck do you know, you boy band looking puke?” Santa Three asked. “You look like you barely got hair on your nuts and you want to talk to me about…”

BAM! A cruiser swiped Veronica’s left side. Another cruiser was speeding up on the right. The cops were trying to box me in.

“That’s a no,” I said.

“We’ve knocked over ten liquor stores,” Santa Three said.

“And the deli,” Santa Two added. “Don’t forget the deli.”

“There was that hot dog stand,” Santa One said.

“A fucking hot dog stand?” I asked.

“That was more of a snatch and grab,” Santa One said.

“But never a bank?” I asked.

“First time for everything,” Santa Three said.

I sped up, leaving the two cruisers that were trying to sandwich me in my wake. “Fuck you, Roman. Wherever you are, fuck you.”

There were at least a dozen cop cars behind me now, plus the chopper. I’d shaken off a chase before, but these imbeciles had all but invited the National Guard to tag along.

The scanner squawked. “Unit One-One-Four…suspects are approaching the Caldwell Tunnel.”

Another squawk. “Sky Eye here. About to lose visual.”

We weren’t just approaching the tunnel. We were flying into it. It was time to slow down.

“What are you doing?” Santa One asked.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said. The world got a little darker as the tunnel was dimly lit.

“The fuck I will worry about it,” Santa One said as he became the first bank robber I’d ever transported to lose his shit and point a gun at me. “Get some lead in your foot or you’ll get some in your face, bitch!”

“Amateurs,” I grumbled. “Lousy amateurs.”

The tunnel was providing 7,000 feet for Bernie to work his mojo. I was busy bobbing and weaving around cars to pay attention to the lunacy going on around me, though the gun in my face didn’t help the pressure.

“Ted,” Santa Two said. “Maybe just let the kid do his thing, huh? He’s gotten us this far.”

“Stop using my name!” Santa One said.

“Jeeze,” Santa Three said. “Relax. We all know your name. It’s no big deal.”

Up ahead, there was a truck pulling a tractor-trailer. The rig slowed down as I angled myself behind it, keeping time with it.

Santa One waved the gun around in my face. His hand was shaking uncontrollably. “This kid didn’t know my name.”

The back door of the trailer rolled up. A ramp extended out of the back. As soon as it hit the pavement, sparks began to fly.

“Huh?!” Santa One asked. “Did you know my name?”

For this maneuver to work, everything had to be perfect and yet, there were so many distractions – the sirens and flashing lights, the honking cars, Dipshit McGee screaming and pointing his heater at me. I had no choice. I cold cocked the prick right in the face, busting his nose open, sending a spray of blood all over Veronica’s upholstery. Damn it. I knew I’d be scrubbing red stains out for hours later, but at least the dumbass was unconscious.

“Any other backseat drivers?” I asked.

Santas Two and Three shook their heads in the negative.

I slowed to a crawl as I moved Veronica up the ramp. There was only enough tunnel cover left to do this once. One mistake, and it was all over.

Blam! Blam! Blam! Shots tore into Veronica’s hide. I persisted. I made it. Veronica was on board and in park.

“This isn’t going to do shit,” Santa Two barked.

“Yeah,” Santa Three said. “They’ll just follow the truck.”

I reached into my pocket and pulled out a little black box with a red button in the middle of it. I grabbed hold of a silver antenna attached to the box and extended it.

“Oh ye of little faith,” I said.

As soon as the rig was clear of the tunnel, I pushed the button. I expected some smoke but what happened next came as a complete shock. There was a massive explosion, caving the end of the tunnel in, crushing cop and civilian cars alike under the rubble.

I stepped out of Veronica and doubled over, puking my guts out. Once my stomach settled, I caught my breath, only to jump when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I whipped around to see my thirty-year old partner in crime, truly the worst dresser ever. He wore a white fedora with a black band, khaki pants and a tacky Hawaiian shirt – bright red with palm trees and a green parrot on the right side.

“I’m serious,” Bernie said. “Name two times I’ve failed you.

“The Luftenol incident,” I said.

Bernie shrugged his shoulders and took a bite out of a crisp, red apple. “Name three times I’ve failed you.”

 

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Writing Choices – Game of Thrones and an Overabundance of Characters

Sigh.  Why must I wait until July for Game of Thrones to come back on the air?

Oh well.  This one will be a short one.

Game of Thrones has so many characters – so, so many characters.  And many of them are key players.  All in all, we’re talking like, hundreds of parts.

I suppose it makes sense in a wide-sweeping epic.  Then again, I’ve found that in my own writing, sometimes it is difficult to just keep track of the names of the bit players.  If you have a secretary named Janet who gives your hero a key piece of info, you want to make a note of it so you don’t name another character Janet.

Sure, in real life, you’ll probably run into multiple people named Janet.  People don’t check to see many Janets there are around you before deciding whether or not to add one more Janet to the mix.  But, to the reader, two characters with the same name will be confusing.

Plus, how do you describe all those characters?  There are only so many ways to describe a person.  At the end of the day, we all aren’t snowflakes.  Sure, we all look different and those differences are readily noticeable to the eye but on paper?  “He’s old, she’s young, he’s tall, she’s short, he’s skinny, she’s fat” I mean, really…how do you come up with unique descriptions for over two hundred people or more?

YOUR ASSIGNMENT:  Can you keep up with all the characters on Game of Thrones?  How do you do it?  I’ve been watching the show since the beginning and I still just refer to many of the characters as, “The guy who did the thing.”  Also, tell me how you keep track of the characters in your stories.

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Zom Fu – Chapter 61

tabletdemo
Crunch, crunch, crunch. Junjie’s teeth chewed through veins and gray matter, then swallowed. The taste was abhorrent, yet the anticipation of the knowledge to come took his mind off it. Something had drawn him to this brain and he had to know what.

Junjie closed his eyes. When he opened them, he felt big, bold, strong…and angry…oh, so very angry. He was in the sanctuary of the Clan of the Sacred Yet Inscrutable Tiger Claw, walking hurriedly toward the courtyard. Honghui stood up ahead, next to the Infallible Master, who was holding a baby.

“Junjie?” the master said as he looked down at the infant. “That means ‘handsome hero,’ you know. An awful lot of pressure to put on one so small.”

“Yes,” Honghui said. “But I have no doubt he will live up to the name, master. Ling felt the same way.”

“And where is Ling?” the master asked.

Honghui looked down, sullenly. “Gone.”

The master frowned. “How?”

“Longwei,” Honghui said. “When he learned that Ling and I were leaving the clan so that we could be married, he went mad. He somehow saw it as offense to him, that he was your greatest student and that we could not leave until he’d bested us in a fight.”

The master sighed. “That sounds like Longwei.”

“I declined,” Honghui said. “As did Ling. But Longwei’s words were so cruel that I lost control and called him a fool. That enraged him so much that he laid in wait and as soon as I left, he…he…”

Honghui’s eyes teared up. “…took the brain of the woman I loved.”

The master gasped. “Took her brain?”

Longwei finally reached the courtyard. “Yes! And it was delicious!”

The master pointed the Staff of Ages at Longwei. “Longwei! What has come over you?”

Longwei chuckled. “Destiny,” Longwei said. “That is what has come over me.”

“Away with you,” the master said. “You’ve gone insane.”

“No, master,” Longwei said. “I assure you, I’ve never had a better understanding of the world.”

“I will hear no more of your drivel,” the master said. “You’ve already taken one member of our clan today. You will not take another. Look at what you have become!”

“You have always resented the fact that I was better than you, old man,” Longwei said. “My feet were faster than cheetahs. My muscles were stronger than those of an ox and my hands?”

“Enough,” the master said.

“My hands are swift and dance through my opponents like a graceful dragon twirling through the air,” Longwei said.

The master pulled the baby close to his chest and held the staff high in the air. Clouds formed in the sky. “Enough.”

“You always favored Hongui and Ling over me,” Longwei said.

“A lie you told yourself over and over until you believed it to be true,” the master replied. “I love all my students equally, even you Longwei…even after the evil you have done.”

Longwei drew closer. He gazed upon the baby.

“Give me that child, so that I might snuff it out and spare it a life of knowing what a pathetic weakling its father was.”

Honghui lost control. He charged at Longwei…only to have his brain ripped out by Longwei’s tiger claw.

The master’s heart sunk, but he wasn’t just a master of kung fu. He was a master of his own emotions and buried them down, refusing to cry as Honghui’s lifeless corpse hit the ground.

Longwei bit into Honghui’s brain as if it were an apple. He swallowed, then tossed the rest over his shoulder. He returned his attention to the master.

“Give that child here.”

A lightning bolt shot out of the sky and into the staff. Thunder rolled as the staff glowed bright.

“Do not make me do this, my son,” the master said.

“No one is making you do anything, old man,” Longwei said. “You do what you wish. I know from hereon out, I will do as I wish. I will never be held back by you ever again.”

“I was never holding you back,” the master said. “I was trying to contain your boundless ego, to get it under control before you did…something like what you have just done.”

Longwei reached for the baby. “And I’m just getting started.”

Thok! The master kicked Longwei with such force that he was launched into the air. The old man then took aim with the staff and sent the lightning bolt into Longwei’s body, killing him instantly, even before he hit the ground.

Darkness. Longwei saw nothing but darkness. Seconds later, he opened his eyes. He looked up at the master, who was standing over him, still holding the baby.

“Longwei?” the master asked.

Longwei looked into the master’s eyes, and caught the reflection of his face in them. In that reflection, Longwei was able to see that his own eyes had gone blank – pure white, devoid of anything else.

“There…there is no Longwei….there is only…Dragonhand.”

The master pointed the staff at Dragonhand’s face. “Leave here at once, creature. Do not darken this sanctuary’s doorstep again, or that will be the end of you.”

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Zom Fu – Chapter 44

tabletdemo
The little boy was four years old and just a bit over two feet tall. His bedroom was filled with vases, statues, paintings and other artistic riches. Golden sheets and pillows sat atop a bed that was large enough for a fully grown adult to get lost in, let alone a child. Further, the boy was dressed in the finest black and gold silks.

Ironically, though his decor was fancy, his personal interests were not.

“Ball!” the little boy said as he rolled a leather ball across the marble floor. When the ball reached the wall, it bounced back. The boy caught it, rolled it up to the wall and repeated the process.

“Hee hee,” the young one giggled. “Ball!”

A fist pounded on the door.

“Ball,” the boy said as he rolled his favorite toy again.

“Oh glorious one?” came the muffled voice of Nianzu from out in the hallway. “I humbly request an audience, please.”

The boy grew tired of rolling and switched his game up to throwing. He tossed the ball against the wall and caught it on the bounce back. “Hee hee! Ball!”

Nianzu tried again. “Unspeakable danger approaches, your majesty. We must get you to safety at once.”

Crash! The boy laughed as his ball smashed a thousand year old vase to smithereens.

“Is everything alright in there,  exalted one?” Nianzu asked.

The boy clapped his hands together, giving a stirring round of applause to the devastation he’d created. “Ball!”

Out in the hallway, the trio consulted one another.

“Should we just smash the door down?” Nianzu asked.

“And be executed for treason?” Tengfei inquired.

Nianzu shrugged. “It’s not like he actually knows what’s going on.”

Weiyuan and Tengfei’s mouthes dropped.

“Blasphemy!” Weiyuan cried.

“Sacrilege!” Tengfei shouted.

The duo dropped to their knees and started kowtowing towards the door.

“He does not speak for us, oh wondrous son of heaven!” Weiyuan cried.

“Kill him, exalted one!” Tengfei shouted. “Please spare us and kill him!”

Nianzu rolled his eyes. “Idiots.”

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BQB’s The Walking Dead Recap – Season 7, Episode 2 – “The Well” – SPOILERS

Hey 3.5 readers.

It’s Sunday so it’s Walking Dead.

SPOILERS!

This show has been on seven years and the key to its success is that it keeps reinventing itself.  You have a large cast with people going off into different directions so there’s always an opportunity to do something new.

And they really did something new tonight.

We get introduced to King Ezekial, a dude with dreads who owns a tiger named Shiva and he speaks in an Old English accent.  His community is called “The Kingdom” and all the people who live there wear hockey pad-esque knight gear and act like their knights and shit.

The people of the Kingdom and the King all play it straight.  Carol and Morgan are weirded out, Carol more so than Morgan.

The viewer ends up assuming that the King and his friends are most like Ren Faire/Dungeons and Dragons nerds who dabbled in fantasy and are now taking advantage of the zombie apocalypse to make their fantasies reality.

You do get to learn the King’s secret though I don’t want to give it away.

Zombies are being fed to pigs. Not sure what that’s about but as much as I love bacon, I’ll pass if it comes from those pigs.

The ongoing worry whenever the regular cast members happen upon a new community is that the community always looks nice and the people are nice but then there’s inevitably some terrible secret that causes all shit to break loose.

Here’s hoping that the King is just a dude who played a little too much World of Warcraft and that’s all.

What say you, 3.5 readers?cropped-cropped-img_1753

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Who would win the following fantasy fights?

Batman vs a Shark

Patrick Swayze in Road House vs Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing

Either version of Patrick Swayze vs a T-Rex

Optimus Prime vs the Entire Nazi Army

Bell Biv Devoe vs Dolph Lundgren

Superman vs an Octopus

James Bond vs a Silverback Gorilla

Pee Wee Herman vs a UFC fighter

Ronda Rousey vs the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Zombie Abe Vigoda vs Zombie Bea Arthur

Sugar Ray Leonard vs a Bengal Tiger

The Joker and Harley Quinn vs Bonnie and Clyde

Al Capone vs Al Bundy

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Game of Thrones Recap – Season 6, Episode 10 – “The Winds of Winter” – Season Finale

Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it 3.5 readers?

Season 6 of GOT is over. Done. Finito. In the books.

Let’s talk but beware for like Melisandre’s mystical vagina, this post is dark and full of terrors…AND SPOILERS.

Mostly spoilers.

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From a writing standpoint, so many things happened this season that we’ve all been waiting for a long time:

  • Arya got her revenge.
  • Jon Snow is King of the North.
  • Sansa escaped a life of having to go from being tortured by one douche to being tortured by another douche.
  • One of Cersie’s schemes actually worked.
  • The Imp is finally recognized by someone who appreciates his brain.
  • The Khaleesi is on her way to Westeros.
  • Overall, the kids have grown up and everyone’s either doing or on their way to doing what they’ve been meant to do all along.

So about last night –

CERSEI 

She’s long lamented that her lack of a dong has held her back. She has argued many a time that she’s wise and brilliant and if only she were a man she’d be taken seriously.

Well, people be taking her ass seriously now because…holy shit…she done went and exploded the Sept of Baelor.

Took out the High Sparrow, all his little sparrows, probably even the Tyrells though technically we didn’t get full confirmation as to whether or not Margery and Loras made it out or not.

The running joke about Cersei is that her schemes always fail. Not only do they fail but they usually make her problems worse. (i.e. she gives the High Sparrow extra powers to go after her enemies only to have him turn on her.)

Did Cersie know that Tommen would kill himself?

You could argue yes because she did put on her Queenly garment before it all went down.

You could argue no because she had Frankenmountain keep him from getting blown up and historically, though she has been douchey to everyone else, she has been fiercely loyal to her children.

At any rate, her butt is on the Iron Throne.

KHALEESI

I know her name isn’t Khaleesi but I like it better and it is easier to spell.

Didn’t you get goosebumps seeing all those ships and dragons crossing the Narrow Sea?

The long awaited invasion of Westeros is on the way.

Though  I have to wonder, when that happens, could the end of the show be far behind? Putting the Khaleesi on the Iron Throne and defeating the White Walkers seems like the final plot points that need to be wrapped up.

THE IRON BORN

Bunch of smelly pirate vikings.

If you ask me, GRRM is way too obsessed with turning his male characters into eunuchs.  Spare the balls, George. Spare the balls.

But despite being a eunuch, Theon seems to be on the way toward redeeming himself for his douchebaggery. He’s lost his claim to the Iron Islands, but may do something super heroic, die in battle, or end up as his sister’s chief advisor.

Speaking of…

WOMEN TAKING OVER

Hey. Look. I’m all for women’s rights and shit but Westeros is becoming a total vag-ocracy here.

You’ve got Cersei on the Iron Throne and the Khaleesi about to take the Iron Throne (does anyone think anyone in Westeros is willing to be chomped by a dragon to protect Cersei? Doubtful.)

You’ve got Ellaria Sand ruling Dorne after killing her brother-in-law in a coup.

You’ve got Lady Olena in charge of Highgarden even though she’s like a million years old.

Sure, Jon Snow is King of the North but he’s one of those perpetually depressed hipster emo losers who will probably walk away from it all and turn it over to Sansa.

I’m not saying never have a woman ruler but you know, let’s mix it up and have some peen-ocracies and some vag-ocracies.

ARYA

Checked a big name off her list. Got her revenge.

WHAT’S BEYOND WESTEROS?

There was a brief mention this season that there is land beyond Westeros but no one has ever sailed that far.

I wonder if that will become some kind of allegory to Europeans sailing and colonizing the Americas.

WHAT SAY YOU, 3.5 READERS?

What did you like about this season? What did you not like? What did you want to see and or not see?

What’s next?

Discuss.

 

 

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Game of Thrones Recap – Season 6, Episode 9 – “Battle of the Bastards”

So many bastards. So little time.

SPOILERS!

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Hey geeks. BQB here.

Holy shit snacks, it was a great episode tonight, wasn’t it?

We finally got to see those scaly dragons in battle and battle they did.  They’re like giant flying fire breathing lizard tanks.

And then the long awaited battle we’ve been waiting for. John Snow vs. Ramsey Boulton.

Quite a long, extended fight scene. There was a damn phalanx!

Can’t go wrong with a phalanx.

And you know 3.5 readers, I think there was a lesson here for both readers and writers.

You might remember way back George RR Martin and HBO took a lot of heat for allowing a scene in which Sansa gets raped by Ramsey.

At the time, no one, including myself, realized Ramsey would get a well-deserved comeuppance for that.

But hoisted on his own petard, he was.  Sansa got her revenge and fed Ramsay to his own dogs, the dogs Ramsay had fed so many of his victims before.

Lesson for the reader? Keep the faith. Trust that the writer will eventually address the point that you’re so angry about.

Lesson for the writer? Understand that a controversial scene will leave you taking a lot of heat and you’ll just have to sit back and wait until the time finally comes when the plot point comes full circle.

This season has gone by way too fast.

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Game of Thrones Recap – Season 6, Episode 8 – No One

Spoilers, you nerds.

Spoilers ahead.

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BREAKING NEWS: King Tommen has abolished trial by combat. Vexing legal disputes can no longer be resolved by appointing two barbarians to smash the ever loving shit out of each other.

People will actually have to voice their legal arguments and the court will have to come to an actual conclusion.

In other news, there was a reunion of sorts between Brienne and Jamie.  They have some sort of friendship.  Bri wants to jump Jamie’s bones, as most women do. Jamie, I don’t think feels the same way though he respects her a lot and there’s probably a part of him that wishes he could embrace the concept of settling down with a woman that’s his intellectual equal.

Sadly, they’ll probably have to face each other on the battlefield one day.

The Hound will likely join up with the Brotherhood Without Banners.  With the Brotherhood’s role in the show expanding, could an entrance by Lady Stoneheart be far behind?

Cersei chose violence. Podrick’s too damn old to be a squire.

Finally, Arya is no longer “a girl.” She’s Arya Stark.

As the show ends with Jaqen smiling, it’s hard not to assume that everything Arya went through wasn’t due to Jaqen being mean to her but perhaps part of a larger plan for him to toughen her up.

Poisoning an actress seemed to be an act beneath the Faceless Men so for awhile I wondered if this just wasn’t bad writing. The Faceless Men seem dedicated to sticking to the shadows, blending in, and fighting for good by killing the evil without anyone ever learning of their involvement.

But perhaps Jaqen realized that Arya is of more use to the overall “goodness” of the world as a Stark than as “a girl.”

Varys is leaving. He needs to return immediately.

The Blackfish goes out on his own terms.

Khaleesi returns. The imp wasn’t as smart as he thought he was.

And a new question – what is beyond Westeros? No one knows. No one has ever sailed that far before.

Interesting.  A new twist!

Maybe Arya will sail beyond Westeros and find us all there watching Game of Thrones on TV.

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Movie Review – Warcraft (2016)

By: Special Guest Video Game Movie Reviewer Video Game Rack Fighter.

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Ms. Fighter – Currently in Training to Defend Her Title in the Upcoming 2016 Car Thief Mayhem World Championship Competition

It’s here! It’s finally here!

The long awaited film based on an online multi-player game is here.

Did it suffer the “video game movies suck curse?”

Read on to find out but beware SPOILERS.

VGRF here with a review of Warcraft.

Movieclips Trailers – Warcraft

Warcraft.  The online game in which humans can choose to be a variety of fantasy characters and fight for virtual power and gold has been around forever, or at least 1996.

That’s right millennials. Some of us were nerding it up before you were born and even before it became chic to declare yourself a nerd.

And now there’s a movie.  It broke the box office in China, bringing in over $145 million this weekend just in that country.  The Chinese love their Warcraft.

Kind of makes me wish I could go back in time and start my own video game company that allows people to pretend to be wizards, warriors, elves, orcs or what have you.

Speaking of orcs, let’s talk about the movie.

Orcs. Long considered the perpetually raging, possibly misunderstood buttholes of the fantasy realm, they’ve destroyed their world and rather than seek to mend their evil orcish ways, they cross through a porthole into the human realm of Azeroth and start conquering and pillaging and generally orcing shit up in true orc fashion.

Hmm. Maybe the Azerothians need to build a wall and make the Orcs pay for it?

Huh? Huh? Crickets. Hmm. Blame BQB. That joke was his idea.

Moving on. Naturally, the humans aren’t going to stand for all this orcish tomfoolery.  From thereon, it’s difficult to figure out who’s who and what’s what because all the human dudes are basically a bunch of long haired hipster beardos who all look alike.

But, if you make an effort to get past that, you’ll see Dominic Cooper as the King Wrynn, Travis Fimmel as Commander Lothar, and Ben Foster as Medivh the Guardian.

I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice to say hi jinx ensue when one orc clan leader has second thoughts about all the evil orcishness and seeks to ally himself with the humans.

Paula Patton plays Garona, the half-human/half-orc and the only one who could possibly bring peace between humans and orcs.

Yeesh. So I assume her father was an orc and her mother was a human.  Her poor, poor mother. She probably didn’t walk right for a year after that.

Crickets? Another joke suggestion from BQB.  Unless you laughed. Then it was all mine.

Ultimately, I don’t think this movie suffers from the “all video game movies suck” curse.

An actual effort was made to develop characters, a plot, a storyline. I won’t spoil the ending but it is obvious that further sequels are in the works.

If you aren’t a nerd or you dislike the fantasy genre, you probably won’t enjoy it.

It is more in line with the traditional fantasy genre style.  Nerds in robes – wizards, elves, dwarves, everyone geeking it up and expecting a nerd audience who knows what all this nerd shit means.

As I watched it, it dawned on me that George RR Martin was able to get a wide, diverse audience into his Song of Ice and Fire (aka Game of Thrones) series because he was able to take so many relatable human problems and insert them into a fantasy world.

But for Warcraft, you’re going to have to be a nerd to enjoy it.

Luckily for you, if you are reading this blog, you already are one.

Visually stunning. Worth to see it on the big screen.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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