Monday, August 04, 2003

I've fallen into bad habits.

I've got back into reading those Dungeons and Dragons novels again. I used to read them when I was much younger, having largely bypassed the childrens' books stage and moved on to larger, more adult books. My parents were very pleased, because all they saw were nice thick novels being devoured by their eight year old, which obviously meant he was the brainy sort.
In hindsight, most of those books were rubbish, although I reckon The Legend of Huma still stands as a pretty solid fantasy novel. I was a Dragonlance fan, and poured scorn on the other D&D series, most notably Forgotten Realms, the only series with as many books as Dragonlance had. But, I found Dragonlance first, so developed product loyalty, plus the Forgotten Realms books had really bad covers, while my ones all featured explosions and dragons, and huge armies. They just looked to be far more fun.
I've played Dungeons and Dragons a few times, but we only ever played in a generic game world, so it was only when I bought Baldur's Gate II for the PC that I got my first taste of the Forgotten Realms. Still, it certainly wasn't enough for me to get interested in those hundreds of novels that sit just opposite the graphic novels in my local bookshop.
But then I saw the title of this one, and knew I just had to read something with such an audacious B-movie title. I didn't expect to like it one bit, even though I'd heard good things about writer R.A. Salvatore.
I find myself pleasantly surprised by The Thousand Orcs, and rather annoyed that the second part doesn't come out until October this year, with the final chapter coming out an infuriating year after that. Yeah, it's stock fantasy, with belligerent dwarfs and arrogant elves, and all the rest, but it's told very well, and there is some depth to all this. The philosophical aspects are a little strained, barely rising above greeting card cliche, but there's some insightful political comment in there.
And much as I don't want to, I'm liking Drizzt Do'Urden. He really is the Batman of fantasy novels, even if he does write some bloody awful introspective poppycock between each section of the book.

A funny story about how the Reagan administration feared the rise to power of Neil Kinnock. Would the Americans have forced "regime change" I wonder?

Today, I saw a rather worrying trailer for a new Buffy-style show on American TV. Apparently, they're trying to promote Tarzan as the new teen-adventure series. He's not English, he's not Lord Greystoke, and he doesn't live in the jungle. Right...

We went to an outdoor arts fair today, which was basically a street market full of paintings and photographs. I liked a few things but it was all out of my price range, and a lot of it was rubbish. I also learned that photographers and artists really need to go to places other than Prague and Venice. If nothing else, it was a nice long walk out on a sunny day, just the sort of mild exercise I enjoy and don't do nearly enough of, hence the mysterious appearance of the spare tire...

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