Monthly Archives: November 2010

Hyperion

Recently I read the first book of the Hyperion Cantos, Hyperion. One of my managers at Barnes & Noble recommended it to me after I mentioned liking sci-fi. It’s an excellent book! It follows a group of pilgrims traveling to the world of Hyperion. On the planet there allegedly exists a creature called the Shrike. This creature is feared by some and worshiped by others and supposedly brings death to those it encounters.

 
One of the most interesting aspects of the novel is that each of the pilgrims tells a story about his or her past. Each of these is a fantastic short story and have nothing to do with each other besides taking place in the same universe. After reading each one, I was sad that it ended and resigned to the fact that the next couldn’t live up to the last. Lucky for me and all readers that I was wrong. Every one is great. Of course, as the first book in a four-part series, there are still lots of unanswered questions. I can only hope that each of the characters’ stories is revisited in the later books.
There was also very interesting use of portals in the novel. Civilized planets were referred to as part of the WorldWeb in the novels. This concept isn’t explained until later in the novel. Although I wouldn’t think of this as a spoiler, I am going to explain something that they reveal slowly during the book. Farcaster portals are expensive and take a long time to build but allow for instant transportation. As such, newly colonized worlds don’t have them, but established worlds do. Worlds connected by Farcaster portals are part of the WorldWeb because they are effectively one world. A person could live on one planet and work on a far away planet, walking daily through a Farcaster portal to get to work. In addition, the very wealthy have houses that exist on multiple planets. Rather than having normal doors, they have Farcaster portals that allow each room of the house to actually exist on a different planet. I found this pretty fascinating.
Hyperion was a great book and won the Hugo in 1990!

BlizzCon 2010

I never got around to writing about BlizzCon, so I’ll try to write a short version of the event here.

 
Thursday I went with gem, Shaun, and his friend to pick up our tickets. It didn’t take as long as I expected it to take. We waited less than two hours – longer than ComicCon’s processing but much shorter than Anime Expo.
On Friday I met with Antonio and we headed to BlizzCon together. We spent most of the day hanging out together. Unfortunately my phone died, so keeping in contact with people was difficult. We managed to get gem in that day too, which was cool. For the most we watched panels. Learning about the Diablo III was great, and the WoW lore panel was very interesting. I loved hearing more about Thrall! I saw the costume competition but missed the dance competition because I went with Shaun and his friends to Medieval Times. We took a limo over there, which was interesting, and the dinner and show was excellent. We had chicken, tomato soup, bread, ribs, and a apple-pie-croissant-thing for dessert. Tasty! The show was really exciting. Thoroughly enjoyable evening!
On Saturday we spent more time just wandering around. We also got to watch some of the arena tournament. I got really into it and will definitely watch more in the future. We spent a few hours watching and then headed back to the main part of the hall for the Tenacious D concert. I really enjoyed it! The Metal came on stage to dance during the song and even battled the Lich King when he came out! Luckily they became friends! Afterwards I checked the D3 lines, but they were really long. We decided to end the evening by taking a picture with the orc/wolf statue. There were two guys there who apparently were going around posing as each statue and taking pictures. They asked me to take a picture of them I did, and then they asked if we were going to check out any of the game. I said that I wanted to see D3 but that the lines were too long. He proceeded to point to his employee badge and said we could go play together. It was pretty cool! We did some 3-on-2 Diablo III PVP with them! Antonio, gem, and I really sucked! But still, it was a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to D3 and now the PVP as well!
Over the next week, we also went back to watch more of the stream. We finished up watching some of the WoW tournament. aAa won, but I was hoping Complexity Red would win. Too bad! And I also got my sweet Deathy pet and Deathling Figure Print! In summary, BlizzCon 2010 – really cool!

GelaSkins DS Lite Skin

GelaSkins DS Lite Skin | iPhone/iPod, MP3 Players, PS3, PSP, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS , DSI, Nintendo Wii, Reviews, Hardware

GelaSkins is a terrific site that allows you to quickly and easily create your own custom skins for many popular devices. It supports 50 types of phones, 15 iPods / mp3 devices, 15 laptops, 19 game devices (consoles, handhelds, and controllers), and 9 iPad / ebook readers. GelaSkins recently gave me a Nintendo DS Lite skin, and I am pleased with the entire process. The skin has now been on my device for two weeks. It’s great!