December 11 2016

Geeks Cooking With Video Games, TV, Movies, and Books

A friend of mine has this concept that I think is cool, and was the first time I had ever heard of anything like it. Basically to take all the foods presented in a video game or series of video games, and making real life versions of those recipes as close to the games as possible. Put those all together into a cookbook and how cool is that?

In fact, he has a Patreon in place for just that thing. Goes by The Hearth of Britannia and you can check it out here if you are interested in the project. It revolves around the Ultima game series.

So when I saw a World of Warcraft Cookbook come across my radar, I was rather surprised! Then out of curiosity poked around on Amazon a bit. The following images link to Amazon (me being an affiliate and all that), but it’s a selection of what I would call “Geek Cookbooks”!

I am an “ok” cook (some people say I am good, I disagree). I don’t enjoy cooking, and so cookbooks have never been my thing. I’ve had plans to buy the Ultima cookbook of course, because, that’s Epic. If I was ever going to buy any others, here’s my selection!

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November 25 2016

Talking About Richard Garriott’s New Book: “Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark”

Wow, that is a long title! Let’s take another look at that. Today we are going to talk about the book written by Richard Garriott and David Fisher titled “Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark.”

Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon

Getting the necessaries out of the way. This article will contain some minor spoilers, but I will be hiding them in spoiler boxes.

This book has not been published yet and is being released 1/10/2017 on Amazon. My references are in regards to an Advanced Read Copy (ARC) I won in a random giveaway on Goodreads, and ready this week.


About the book from Amazon:
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I am going to talk about this book first from an overall perspective as a sort of quick review piece. Following that, I will do a quick chapter by chapter commentary which will be hidden by a spoiler box to make it easier on the eyes.

Some of my comments will be of a personal nature while others may be about the content. Anything goes!

Please understand that I am not an objective reader. I have had contact with Richard on numerous occasions in various formats, including in person. From that association and common interests I share with him, this has led into us sharing several common friends, a couple of which are even mentioned in his book!

Thereby my review, while I will try to make it object where it should be, may be colored by biases I do not even realize I have. You have been told!

Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon


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As someone who had already been patiently waiting for the release of this book, I was rather excited when I won it in a Goodreads giveaway. This was followed by a slight bit of disappointment at the 30-day timeline only to turn once again into excitement when the book arrived a few days later, which for me was two days ago.

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Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon

While I was very interested in receiving it, I also was worried that I would find it somewhat boring. Not due to lack of being well written or good content but rather as someone who has been following Richard Garriott at some level or another most of my life, I was worried it would all be old news to me.

Quite the contrary, there were only a couple sections of the book that feel this way to me. Areas that I had heard stories about from Richard or seen on Youtube had new insights and revelations. To my astonishment, I even learned about a few of Richard’s adventures in life I had not known of. I attribute this to the fact that as a public personality, time alone in private with him is rare. So topics tend to be the ones that the majority of the public pull from him.

This book allows for a format in which Richard gets to share adventures that may not be as popular, but I find none the less intriguing.

While he certainly offers some advice here and there, it is more narrative and story driven. Recounting major stories, turning points, and adventures in his life with some commentary. I personally, was then able to draw some corollary’s in my own life and learn from his experience.

Being done this way led to a fun story that at many times completely engaged me, drew me in, and made me feel like I was living it a bit. Not in the way a good Fiction Novel would, but well enough to help me feel the experiences he describes.

David Fisher did a fantastic job overall in capturing the nuances of Richards personality in person, in print. I have had the honor to engage with Richard face to face on occasion and many times as I read this book I could easily hear him telling me the story!

There can be a lot of reasons someone may be interested in this book. Hoping to gain some insight or wisdom from a creative individual perhaps. You may be a fan or follow of one area of his life such as video game or space travel and are looking for things specific to that. Maybe you just find him and his stories fun or exciting.

For me, it is a combination of all these things and many others, which put this book was on my wish list. Whichever reason you are considering purchasing it for, do yourself a favor and get on the preorder list. It’s not lengthy which for some will be positive. For myself, that was the only negative.

If you want to hear some of my fun commentaries about the book, the following is a chapter by chapter commentary that overall I keep short. Spoilers will exist but will be mostly minor. I will try to avoid sharing anything that might ruin reading it for yourself!

Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon


Chapter 1 – Titanic Mistakes

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Chapter 2
I Was a Teenage Dungeon Master

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The Night Comet Shoemaker Levy 9 Crashed Into Jupiter

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Chapter 3
The Origin of Origin

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It All Begins To Computer

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Risky Business

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Chapter 4 – The Wonders of Wondering

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Chapter 5 – Minding My Own Business

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Chapter 6 – A Universal Language

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Chapter 7 – IV-Play, Or The New Rules of Engagement

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Chapter 8 – Makeing Enemies

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Chapter 9 – The Haunted Beginnings of Themed Interactive Events

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Chapter 10 – The Magic of Science

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Chapter 11 – The Discovery of the Pina Colada

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Chapter 12 – The End of the Beginning of the World

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Chapter 13 – Nothing for Money

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Chapter 14 – We Created a World and Never Got a Day of Rest

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Chapter 15 – Finder’s Leavers: A-Geocaching We Will Go

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Chapter 16 – Playing for Keeps

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Chapter 17 – He’s Got a Ticket to …

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Chapter 18 – Packing (and smuggling) for Space: The Space Kielbasa

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Chapter 19 – Taking Up Space

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Chapter 20 – Don’t Kill Stephen Hawking!

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Chapter 21 – Oh! The Places We’ll Go!

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Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon


I dedicate this article to Richard Garriott.

Richard Garriott has had at least some subtle, yet direct, effect on my life since I have been a child. Sometimes not so subtle. 🙂

It was enjoyable for me to get to read many of his great stories in detail and I look forward to the next volume!

But.. Richard,
J/K

Ankh Quill

Explore/Create: My Life in Pursuit of New Frontiers, Hidden Worlds, and the Creative Spark on Amazon

November 22 2016

Book Spotlight from Stile Teckel

I had recently done a review on the book “Dungeon Born” by “Dakota Krout”, as a book, I would recommend, found a bit unusual from the norm, and just really enjoyed overall. Gave me some great ideas for an RPG system or how I would alter one of my own to run in the future as well.

Having enjoyed it, I decided to try out a similar novel called “The Slime Dungeon” by “Jeffrey “Falcon” Logue.” This one is a two part series (at the moment), and I did read both of them.

I have to report back that I both enjoyed and was disappointed in this series.

Taken objectively it was an enjoyable read. Being that the “slime” was one of my favorite “mobs” in the Ultima Games and Shroud of the Avatar, to read a book in which the dungeon setup revolves around slimes was very enjoyable for me. In fact, some guild members and I were just killing slimes in Serpent’s Mine in SotA a few nights ago!

On the other hand, these books were VERY familiar. To the extent that if someone told me it was the same writer under a pen name, or another writer trying to copy one and change it just enough to get away with it, I would not be surprised at all. That is where the disappointment came from. In some ways it was unique, but in many ways, it seemed very much like a remake… That was not done quite as well.

While I did not enjoy it as much as Dungeon Born, to give it it’s fair due, taken on its own I am glad I read it. I would have preferred to have read these two first, then Dungeon born but you cannot go wrong with any of them!


I hereby dedicate this article to all the slimes I have killed in Ultima over my life!

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Ankh Quill