FlowScape is a computer software program, available for Windows, Mac or Linux, by a company called Pixel Forest Games. What it does is offer artists, graphic novelists and authors a conduit to channel their fantastical imaginations onto a 3D sandbox environment with tools, color palette, natural lighting, weather and creatures. Once created, they can revisit this environment as if they're transporting themselves into their own created worlds (think a better-pixelated MineCraft without any specific gaming element), take looping video cutscenes, turn them into screensavers or capture snapshots for book covers, posters or graphic novel artwork. If you're telling yourself - it's too good to be true - just watch the video below:
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
Dutch actor, writer and environmentalist, Rutger Oelsen Hauer, has died 19 July 2019, aged 75. Having acted in films, fantasy, science-fiction and contemporary, Hauer is most famously known for rewriting part of his lines, called the C-Beams speech, at the end of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. He was portraying Roy Batty, the replicant Harrison Ford's character, Rick Deckard, was sent to kill.
Hauer's roles in fantasy films and television have not gone unnoticed however. He was Captain Etienne Navarre in Ladyhawke, Lothos the vampire in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes there was a movie), a mystic monk in Nostradamus, William Earle in Batman Begins, King Vortigern in Merlin, Kingsley in Galavant, Niall Brigant in True Blood and many more. One role he's done more recently though was the President of the World State Federation in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Another one was the Viking Dane Ravn, in The Last Kingdom TV series (see video clip above).
The movie adaptation of the Eisner-winning comic series by David Petersen, Mouse Guard, has been cancelled.
According to several news sources from here and here, the cancellation was confirmed by director Wes Ball in a tweet, which had originally included a walkthrough video (supposedly a pre-visualization of scale models and concept art meant to illustrate how the movie will "feel", but not how it will "look". It was meant to be recreated by WETA Digital with photorealistic computer graphics thereafter). Ball, known for directing the film The Maze Runner, said in his tweet that 'Seems it's too big a risk. It's a damn shame really'...before ending with 'May the Guard prevail!'
There has been plenty of backlash when it comes to the way Jon Snow, Daenerys and the living Westerosi defended Castle Winterfell from The Night King and his army of White Walkers in Season 8 Episode 3 (The Long Night) of HBO's Game of Thrones. Well, this has been discussed by many, including us here. Tactics aside, there is always the issue of build-up - that anticipatory moment before the siege, the decisions behind why certain strategies are made and the sacrifices different commanders have to make in order to win the overall battle.
Well, here then, in no particular order, is our selection of the Top 10 sieges from various cinematic endeavors (film and television series) depicting either a fantasy element (eg. Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings) or medieval/historical element (eg. Anglo-Saxons, Vikings) where a group of warriors/soldiers has to lay siege to a castle, fort or barricade while it is being defended.
There's a scene, early on in the beginning of the film John Wick 3: Parabellum where Wick (played by Keanu Reeves) fights a bunch of Asian gangsters in a narrow knife collectors' shop using just blades - knives and axes mostly. The fight scene has been praised for its intensity and choreography.
Yet, just a year after the first John Wick film burst into the scene in 2014, there was one Chinese film, The Final Master, that had an amazing knife/bladed weapon fight scene (also along a narrow corridor), where Grandmaster Chen (played by Liao Fan) has to defeat eight masters of Tianjin's nineteen martial arts schools, using a dual-handed bladed weapon known as the 蝴蝶刀 (hudiedao or butterfly knife).
We're familiar with the medieval fantasy theme of knights in shining armor riding their horses with their lances, broadswords and shields. We're also familiar with the hobbits, elves, orcs, crown-wearing kings and queens with bearded wizards leaning against their magical quarterstaff wearing conical hats and long robes. Well, thanks to Arthurian legends, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons role-playing games and books, and more recently, George R.R. Martin, these fantasy images are now etched in popular culture especially to a broader audience beyond books and into television shows and film.
Yet, what about fantasy novels with secondary worlds that do not draw on these medieval Western European or Arthurian images? What about stories and myths that draw on the folklore of the Russian rusalka, the Polish story of Rokita and Boruta, the Middle-Eastern night hag or baxtak, the king of goats or takam, or the myriad of stories from Asia from the Chinese Jade Emperor and superstitions to the Japanese yokai. Well, thanks to the Chicago Public Library, they've compiled a list of 13 fantasy novels that draw on these inspirations here. Let's take a look at what they're about.
Critical Role Dungeon Master and voice actor Matthew Mercer ran a special one-on-one one-hour Dungeons & Dragons adventure for talk-show host Stephen Colbert. He led Colbert, who played Capo, a half-elf bard with a pet bee named Eric, through a special quest to investigate mysterious disappearances in the Menagerie Coast in Wildemount.
The show was part of Red Nose Day 2019 donation run, where donors chose Colbert's character class, his companion, the legendary weapon to be sought and the villain that Colbert's character faced. Colbert has not really played D&D since he was a teen (he's 55 this year), but he recalled his early days including owning a signed copy of the D&D handbook by Gary Gygax.
Watch out Facebook groups, there's a new alpha/beta reader matchmaker in town! Well, that is, if you've written a novel, novella, short story, poem, etc. (either complete or a work-in-progress) and would like to swap reads with a few other like-minded writers/readers. The site itself, CritiqueConnect.com, lets you set up a profile, talk about what projects you would like others to read and how you can be contacted, etc. The key part however is the ability to filter the list of readers and/or writers based on whether they're paid critiques or volunteers. Most of them will eventually come with testimonials and one-word-based ratings of course.
George R. R. Martin has posted a blog entry titled An Ending. It's to cap off more than a decade of his involvement in HBO's Game of Thrones eight season series with show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Apparently, in his blog post, he mentioned that Benioff and Weiss already knew who Jon Snow's mother was when they sat down for lunch/dinner at the LA Palm. Confidential much? Hope the diners seated nearby weren't listening then.
Ahead of the season finale of HBO's Game of Thrones this coming weekend, Nuno Battencourt (Extreme), Tom Morello (Rage against the Machine & Audioslave), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Brad Paisley (singer/songwriter), Dan Weiss (HBO's Game of Thrones' showrunner) and Ramin Djawadi (composer) got together with Fender Custom Shop's made-to-order electric guitars (dubbed House Stark Telecaster, House Lannister Jaguar and House Targaryen Stratocaster) and re-interpreted Djawadi's GoT opening theme. It's actually amazing to watch Djawadi (who also composed for films and TV shows like Pacific Rim, Clash of the Titans, Westworld and Prison Break) shred along with the guitar rock gods.
About the Creator
Terry Astrial is an alias I'm using for this website & our social media channels (yep, it's not my real name). I'm born & raised in Asia.