Wednesday, February 03, 2010

No Blog Like Home(page)

Babel Clash was a nice place to visit for a fortnight. The weather was great, and the company very affable, and the nightlife - man oh man! Between us Graham McNeill and I turned our stay as guest bloggers on the Borders US SF and F site into a record breaker - they got more traffic than during any previous guest tenure. So if you’re joining me here because you met me there, howdy! Let’s see what we can get nattering about.

Two cultural things for today. First, I see that Steve Jobs is finally marketing the dataslate I invented at the start of the Gaunt's Ghosts series ten years ago. B-dam tish!

Second (and I realise that this time I’m way late to the party) I went to see Avatar. Very groovy indeed. I was genuinely relieved to see Wayne Barlowe’s name in the end titles because, you know, otherwise he’d have every reason to feel intellectually raped. But doesn’t JC owe a fat old thank-you payment to the estate of Burne Hogarth for the jungles, and Roger Dean for... everything else? (Except for the Colonial Marines, which JC took from himself.)

And was it just me, or did the score from Oscar-winning composer James Horner* keep sounding either a) like the driving Colonial Marine music from Aliens, or b) like it was a note or two away from soaring into the main theme from Titanic?

* That’s James Horner, Oscar-winning composer of the music from James Cameron’s movies Aliens and Titanic.


timkenyon said...

Zing! Avatar was truly awesome and there were several throw backs to Aliens - did you notice the scanners on the walker/mech things that looked just like the Aliens scanners. Hmmm... Recycle much?

Glad to see you back Mr.A and your iPad idea was posted to BL via Twitter the day after I saw the Keynote. Great minds and all that!

frieslander said...

Ah, so I wasn't the only person who noticed the floating mountains for what they were. And the style of the dragons and other Pandoran wildlife and flora too. Very Views/Magnetic Storm.
As to the iPad, what really can it do that and iPhone can't? Is a question I keep asking my self. The answer I keep arriving at is "not be conveniantly pocket sized.

timkenyon said...

frieslander - it can run iWork and Photos more efficiently for most people. The iPad is really being aimed at those who are looking for a netbook with better stuff, those who are looking at a Kindle but want more functionality; and for school's, colleges, and hospitals. It's not meant to be a laptop replacement really.

Xhalax said...

In terms of Avatar and the'll win the more technical and cinematic awards hands down....but Best Film....I want District 9 to win as I thought it was a
much better film in terms of story and emotion.

And now I feel I should pay a visit to a close and personal friend of mine. The M41A Pulse Rifle with an over and under 30mm pump action grenade launcher.

Anyone wanna feel the weight?

narrativium said...

The Ghosts are over ten years old! I hadn't remembered. Was there a party? And cake?

Xhalax said...

Ten year olds waging war across the stars.....that doesn't sound right.

Toby said...

If you think the music sounds like Aliens, listen to the Troy soundtrack. But I guess if Cameron´s stealing from himself so can Horner.

Big said...

The Colonial Marines, where just a extenstion of the Aliens version ,
though they still kicked ass.
Wasnt sure how i was gonna feel about this film ,after all its about a traitor right! well i was delightfully surprised, and altough this man does turn against his own it is for bloody good reason.To many people throughout the centuries have used the excuse
"I was just following orders"
i say "Loyalty above all else except Dishonour"........cracking film though, especially for the kids, in fact anyone! Disrict 9 however was different gravy and i would suggest that any sci fi fan check it out..........nice one Xhalax!
Dan you seen District 9 yet?

Dan Abnett said...

I haven't yet, Big, but I intend to.

Frieslander - i was thinking YesSongs, actually, but you're right.

Tim/Toby - recycling is fine and dandy, but I think an Oscar winning composer ought to have more than two tunes in him. Or at least learn to disguise them better.

And was it really wrong of me to feel a little unnecessary when Xhalax recited the M14A riff?

Dan Abnett said...

narrativium - I'm not sure of the exact birthday, but it's got to be ten years minimum since I wrote the first one. Actually, I think I may have written the first Gaunt short in '98.

So no, no cake, no party. If it was '98, will just have to save it up for three more years and have a big 15th Anniversary ho down.

Blitzspear said...

I missed the last week of you and Graham's guesting on Babel clash Dan so i'm just catching up now but it was great reading especially when Graham commented on your posts and vice versa. Just a quick question whilst we are talking about Gaunts Ghosts, is there a diffinative list of all the storys and short storys anywhere? I know about the Iron Star short story that was given away last year at BL live but are there any more out there.
Oh and have you seen Moon on DVD i keep meaning to pick it up.

Xhalax said...

Not unnecessary Mr. Abnett, never unnecessary....I missed the '10mm' part of the quote (I always do, and yet I know it fires 10mm explosive tip, caseless, light armour piercing round).

But if all else fails lay down a suppressing fire with the incinerators and fall back by squads to the APC.

frieslander said...

Oh so that's what it's for. Knew I wouldn't need one
I agree with Xhalax when it comes to District 9 over Avatar. Far more orriginal (who'd of thought Johannasburg).
Did you know Dan that for the last few years Roger Dean has been trying to raise funds to have a film based on the fractured planet shards from those Yes covets.

Ilmarinen said...

Marines we are leav-ing!

HiWayRobry said...

"Why don't we f'in' put her in charge!"
I'm going to have to be the lone voice of descension here but I was sorely disappointed in District 9. Don't ask me to be specific because I can't pin-point anything in particular that didn't click with me. It just didn't.
And Avatar was a technical marvel but still managed to touch me on a personal and emotional level.

Rob said...

I don't want to get too into my top movies of the year (like any film geek, I have a top 10 list) but I am solidly behind The Hurt Locker as the best film of 2009. All you Gaunt fans who haven't seen it are in for a treat. See it in the theater if possible, it'll no doubt get re-released when we get closer to the Oscars.

Personally I rate District 9 above Avatar due to it having a little more meat on its bones script-wise, but I can understand people going the other way. Avatar was a hell of a movie too.

Lars said...

Actually I thought much the same when seing the film. Very 'Close to the Edge'ish.

Good to see some updates on the real thing here, even though I enjoyed your guest blogging at the sci-fi borders.

Speaking of Colonial Marines, have you seen footage from the upcoming Alien vs Predator game? (I assume you play video games, seing as you are a) male and b) a fantasy enthusiast)

Check out some trailers and in-game footage at the SEGA website

There are 20 videos in total, browse through them by clicking the obscure right-pointing triangle below the big video screen.


Xhalax said...

The new AvP game bothers me a little due
to the fact I'm crap at shooters. But other than that, it
looks pretty good. Standard fare for the franchise but since it's a good one in terms of games....that's no bad thing.

Still won't be buying it any time soon though.