Read an eBook Week 2013 – 75% off The Charred Earth Trilogy

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In celebration of Read an eBook Week, which runs from Mach 3rd – 9th 2013, I am offering 75% off The Charred Earth Trilogy at Smashwords.

Simply click the link below and when purchasing enter the coupon code: REW75

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The first part of the trilogy, The House, is available for FREE –

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The Hobbit: An Expected Delight

Bilbo and Frodo

I could not resist the temptation of putting some reviews up on my website. I think writing about other peoples creative endeavors can be a helpful experience. Actually writing my thoughts down and organising them into coherent paragraphs will enable me to analyse what I do and don’t like about things I have watched or read. This will in turn help with my own creative process. Err, well, that’s the idea, we’ll see.

My first review is for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I went to see this as the filmmakers intended; 3D IMAX HFR (48 fps). I could take or leave the 3D, it’s just a gimmick that I hope fades away until we get a true holographic 3D, that does not require eye straining glasses. I always enjoy IMAX, it thoroughly enhances the cinematic experience. It was my first time viewing a HFR film, but more on that later.

The film itself was exactly what I was expecting it to be, which is a good thing. It feels just like revisiting the world we saw created on cinema screens 10 years ago. A lot has happened since then and it is, in a way, comforting to go back to Middle Earth. I am happy that Peter Jackson eventually found his way back into the director’s seat; supported by most of the production team from the first trilogy. Even though the film is set in the past, relative to The Lord of the Rings, it still feels like we are somehow picking up where we left off. The inclusion of two actors from LOTR helps here. Some may say this is being indulgent, maybe it is, but I don’t care. The direction, acting and production design are spot on.

It would have been very interesting to see Guillermo Del Toro’s interpretation of the book, though I think his fingerprints can still be found on this film. I may be saying that because I was looking for them and have seen something that is not there, but I am convinced an underground sequence towards the end of the film contains a lot of Del Toro.

Middle Earth is a fully realised world, with a detailed history. It is one of the few fictional worlds that justify an indulgence in their history. There is a wealth of material to draw from and it would have been silly for them not to (I loved the references to the earlier Ages). The Hobbit is unashamed about telling the whole story that was not fully seen in the original book. I can see now why it is being made into three films. The filmmakers have taken a once in a lifetime opportunity and ran with it. I will be surprised if there are extended editions released after the theatrical run; everything seems to be present already. I’m quite happy about that, as I get to see it all in glorious IMAX.

On the subject of the format, as I said earlier, this is the first film I have seen in HFR. It took some getting used to for a few minutes, then I soon got used to it. It provided a vivid crispness and clarity; which suites the bombastic presentation of the Hobbit perfectly. HFR is definitely the future for similar blockbusters. I imagine upcoming films such as Star Trek: Into Darkness and Oblivion would benefit. There will, however, always be a place for cinematic 24fps. Another upcoming film, Django Unchained, would, in my opinion, suffer from HFR.

Back to the Hobbit after that little diversion. I can understand some of the criticism leveled at it. It could have been made in one film that would have been a brilliant, rip roaring fast paced adventure. But Jackson and friends have taken the truly epic route. This is a film by fans and very much for fans, of whom, there happen to be rather a lot.

Why Mr Cumberbatch is Smaug

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With the first Hobbit film released today I feel I should draw attention to a brilliant piece of casting. Benedict Cumberbatch is to play Smaug, and it is a trailer from another franchise that gives you an idea of the voice we can expect to hear.

Check out the Star Trek Into Darkness teaser trailer below and you’ll see what I mean –

Why Sci-Fi for me?

I have been part of a promo with a great group of indie authors: The Sci-Fi Spotlight week, where you can grab 15 books for free and another 15 books for a mere 99 cents.

One of the authors, Nicole Ciacchella, has run a week long special feature on her web site: Why Sci-Fi? I have been kindly featured on today’s post.

Check it out!

Sci-Fi Spotlight Giveaway

If you’d like some extra holiday cash to make your holidays extra special, stop on by and enter the Sci-Fi Spotlight Giveaway for a chance to win the following prizes:

  • Grand Prize: $100 Amazon gift card
  • First Prize: $50 Amazon gift card
  • Second Prize: $25 Amazon gift card
  • Third Prizes: Paperback copies of the following books: 
    • No Shelter Trilogy by T.S. Welti
    • Autographed Clutch Trilogy by J.A. Huss + swag
    • Blood Will Tell and Breath of Life by Christine Pope
    • Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms (First Edition) by Mark Whiteway
    • Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer
    • Gameland: Episode One by Saul Tanpepper (three available) and one copy of Insomnia by Saul Tanpepper

How it works:  every action you complete counts as 1 (or more) raffle entries.  Actions are listed on the promo page and most are as simple as following an author on Twitter or liking them on Facebook.

Barnes and Noble

Both books have now shipped to Barnes and Noble

Charred Earth: The House

The Magic Particle

 

Better late than never!

It’s been a bit hectic but finally posting about my latest book – The Magic Particle.

Available at –