That Is Not Dead Which Has Its Server Costs Paid Through The Year 2017

Meaning Popehat.

I can't speak for any of the other authors (remember Brian, our resident Obamican? I don't either), but for myself I've been going through rather grueling work, combined with a worse-than-usual case of seasonal affective disorder, combined with a mid-life crisis, combined with a family medical situation that demands personal attention.  Although Popehat is a very fulfilling entertainment, my involvement here is a Thing Of Mood.

It'll get better.

Anyway, I did want to share three things, in no particular order:

John Scalzi's Old Man's War is coming to the silver screen. An entirely derivative tribute to the genius 1970s novel The Forever War by Joe Haldeman (which was itself a perverse love letter to Robert A. Heinlein), Old Man's War was still perhaps the most entertaining science fiction novel of the past decade.  Wolfgang Petersen, who directed Das Boot before going on to mediocre American movies, is at the helm.  Here's hoping Petersen has one great work left in him, because this story will make a dynamite movie in the right hands.

I've been playing a lot of Vindictus in my free time.  Emphasis on "free". Most free-to-play games illustrate the engineer's dictate "Fast, cheap, right: Pick any two."  They're either bug-filled nightmares, disguised spyware, or tedious grindfests.  You can play Vindictus in twenty minute sessions.  It's a mildly persistent world with fully persistent characters.  It combines depth of play with an action-packed interactive combat system.  It's fun as all get out, and it doesn't leave any unsightly residue on your hard drive.

But my Vindictus time may stall tomorrow, now that I'm getting my life back, and Rift is making its debut.  I've messed with the beta for Rift since December, and the game has grown on me.  Even in beta I found it more entertaining than World of Warcraft, and I think it has the depth to last me until Guild Wars 2 releases, sometime in the next century.

I'll have a full review of Rift, when I'm in the mood.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White


  1. says

    I'll have to go pick up a copy of Old Man's War!

    Good luck with Rift! It looks good, but for no reason I can articulate, I cannot build any real enthusiasm for it. Not yet, in any case.

  2. Patrick says

    I found that the best way to play it is to ignore quests entirely. Don't play it like World of Warcraft. Chase rifts, and on a pvp server (which is where the guild with which I'm affiliated will play) other people.

    Then it's a messy, dangerous, unpredictable blast. The longer you play it, the more it absorbs you.

  3. says

    Post in the forums and tell me what server (I have a Rift thread). I just pre-ordered on steam and I should get the head start as part of it. I'll come join you. Together, we will create many lamenting women.

    I'm really happy for Scalzi; he deserves it. Also, Next week will see the release of The Wise Man's Fear, the sequel to The Name of the Wind. Which you have been told to read, and probably haven't yet. It wasn't an order of course. Except it sort of was.

  4. Patrick says

    I'm playing with my sometime guild the Wanderers, many of whom are people you know Grandy. Shouldn't be a problem to get you in.

    We'll be playing the Guardian side, on the Sunrest server, with a couple of allied guilds.

  5. Vice Magnet says

    Not much of a game player here, but I think your days of drudgery are limited. Think of it, the longest month of the year is nearly over and warm weather is on its way. Soon, hemlines will be getting shorter and the birds will be singing. As for me, the pollen will hit the air in full force and I'll be taking my Zyrtec again!

  6. Richard Hershberger says

    Meh. I got perhaps halfway through Old Man's War. I nearly quit after the basic training sequence, in which the gruff old drill sergeant explained that the cliche about how the boots would hate him, but in the end they would come to respect each other, was bullshit and wasn't going to happen. Then it happened. I looked for signs of ironic intent, but didn't find them.

    But I soldiered on beyond that. I quit when it became unmistakable that the life expectancy of any character (at least any non-player character) was directly correlated to his political opinions. Again, there may have been ironic intent, but the possibility was not enough to keep me going.

  7. Linus says

    I thought Old Man's War was a ripsnorting good time, so to speak. Yes, it's derivative, but it's pretty damn hard not to be at this stage in the game, and if I had to choose, I'll take entertaining over original any day. Of course, this movie, despite the script, director, producer and studio will still suck because they will cast someone like Alex Pettyfer or that kid from the Hills as the star.

    I'm not saying Alex Pettyfer = suckitude (I Am Number Four looks like it could be good), but how is someone like that going to play a 75-year-old in a 20-year-old body?

    I know that I am a nerd because of how much I care about this. It's a little sick.

  8. says

    Old Man's War was pretty decent and a fun read. It's too bad each successive book was less good than the one before it. Still not a bad series by any means. Should make for an entertaining movie if they do it right.

    Also, Vindictus is quite a fun game for a freebie. It's replaced Metroplexity for me, which is in beta and pretty well quits once you get through the main content.