Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A to Z is Coming!

April will be here before we know it, and with it, the A to Z blogging challenge! That's right, I'm joining in the mass hysteria of posting every day except Sundays in April. It's gonna be awesome. I even have a theme. A theme! I won't tell you what it is. I'm mean like that.

 So who's with me?? Whether you've done it before or not (I haven't), do join me and the 300+ others so far who have signed up for this crazy adventure. Visit one of the wonderful hosts to do so.

You’re A to Z Hosts are founder Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out, Damyanti Biswas at Amlokiblogs, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Tina Downey at Life is Good, DL Hammons at Cruising Altitude 2.0, Jeremy Hawkins at Retro-Zombie, Shannon Lawrence at The Warrior Muse, Matthew MacNish at The QQQE, Konstanz Silverbow at No Thought 2 Small, Stephen Tremp at Breakthrough Blogs, Livia Peterson at Leave it to Livia, L. Diane Wolfe at Spunk on a Stick, and Nicole at The Madlab Post.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Announcing the Level Up! Blogfest!

Save the date, folks! Jamie from Mithril Wisdom, a totally awesome fellow geek, and I have put our heads together and are hosting our first blogfest on Wednesday, February 20. Woohoo! And since we love fun and games, and we know you do too, that's what it's all about.

Share your favourite game with us! It can be a video game, a board game, a party game, a card game, a childhood playground game--you name it. Let us know how it works and why you love it. I still can't even decide which category of game I want to pick, because there are so many good games to choose from under each. Video games are obviously close to my heart (I can't wait to hear about your favourites), but I often post about them, so maybe I will share a board game favourite this time.

Sign up on the list below if you want to join in on the fun! Feel free to spread the news and use the amazing blog button above that Jamie whipped up. It's gonna be legendary.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fringe Finale

Well, it's over. The show that has made me laugh, and cringe, and gasp, and sigh. The show that did not get stale or too weird, like I was afraid it would. The show with fantastic acting and crazy plots that I could almost believe from the scientific "explanations" given.

If you have not watched Fringe or heard of it, check out the review I wrote a while back. I actually had completely forgotten that I thought Olivia was boring when I first started watching it. How wrong I was! The acting is really what makes this show shine. Joshua Jackson plays the smart, witty, romantic, dark-at-times Peter so well that I defy any girl who doesn't fall in love with him after watching this show. Anna Torv is amazing as hardcore Olivia. John Noble, of course, takes the cake as the eccentric and often hilarious Walter. There are so many good quotes from that man!

I always worry that shows I like won't end well, because if I don't like the ending of a show, I probably won't ever watch it again. J.J. Abrams also has a track record of writing later seasons that get too weird and aren't up to par with the first seasons (Lost or Alias, anyone?). Don't get me wrong, Fringe is weird. Crazy, even. But it's good crazy. It doesn't get boring. It doesn't lose me. There are alternate universes, time-travel, neat tech, strange creatures, and pretty much everything a geek could want in a show.

And the ending? Fantastic. So well done. Bittersweet, but I won't spoil it for you.

I will be re-watching this one. If you haven't seen it, now is your chance to watch it from beginning to end without having to wait for the next episode.

Fringe, you sure know how to make a girl feel happy and like crying at the same time. So sad it's over. So glad it got the amazing end it deserved. Fare thee well.

Walter: "You are my favourite thing, Peter. My very favourite thing."

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ebook News: The Seafort Saga

David Feintuch's sci-fi series, The Seafort Saga, is now available from Open Road Media in ebook format. The first book, Midshipman's Hope, was originally published in 1994 by Orbit.

I'd never heard of the series before Open Road sent me the announcement, but I am intrigued by Goodread's description:

A hideous accident kills the senior officers of UNS Hibernia--leaving a terrified young officer to save three hundred colonists and crew aboard a damaged ship on a seventeen-month gauntlet to reach the colony of Hope Nation. With no chance of rescue or reinforcement, Nicholas Seafort must overcome despair, exhaustion, guilt; he must conquer malfunctions, mutiny, and an alien horror beyond human understanding. He must save lives. And he must take them, in the name of duty.

Sounds like it could be an adventurous good time, though I am often hesitant about adult sci-fi because sometimes it develops in favour of tech and politics instead of plot and character development. Open Road has kindly provided me with a copy of Midshipman's Hope, so I'll let you know what I think when I finish it! Anyone read anything by Feintuch and can tell me what I'm getting myself into?

About the Author: In the 1990s, David Feintuch took the science fiction community by storm with his literary debut. Feintuch won the prestigious John W. Campbell for Best New Science Fiction Author with his first Seafort novel, Midshipman's Hope.

For more information or to see the new ebook cover art, please view the author's profile page here, or his fun Facebook page here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to Stop Your Future Geek from Crying

Check out this video from YouTube where John Williams' wonderful music calms a baby down. Is this a sign of a future geek? I'm gonna have to try it when I have a kid.

For those of you not in the know, John Williams is an amazing composer who wrote the theme music for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Schindler's List, Jaws, Harry Potter, and more. His music is fantastic.

Want some other geeky music ideas for calming your kids down? Here are six of of my low-key favourites:

 Brothers from Fullmetal Alchemist

 A Flower Blooming in the Slums from Crisis Core

Forbidden Friendship from How to Train Your Dragon

Nero by Two Steps from Hell

Never Forget from Halo

Medley from Legend of Zelda

Video game music and soundtracks are awesome, right? If you like these, you can get a lot more music from these albums on iTunes. The Final Fantasy and Halo soundtracks are particularly good. Have a great Monday, everyone!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Introducing: The Schedule

All right, guys, you've convinced me to try this whole blogging schedule thing out. We'll see how it goes. I think I need it if I am going to keep posting regularly, but I reserve the right to make changes later :) I am planning to start this schedule on Monday. Here's the details:

Geek Culture and News. General geeky tidbits and news items that I find interesting. Stay tuned for this Monday on How to Stop Your Geeky Kid from Crying. I am also going to try to have guest posts on Mondays, though I am breaking that rule already a couple times next month (did I say rule? I meant suggestion). Don't forget to email me if you want to guest post here on something geeky!

Writing and Books. I also reserve Wednesdays for any other topics not covered on my schedule. I'm looking forward to writing a post soon on my favourite magic systems in fantasy books.

Reviews and TV Re-Watches. These could be book, video game, movie, or TV reviews. Stay tuned for a post on the Fringe finale, Why Friends Does it Better Than How I Met Your Mother, a review of Zelda: Skyward Sword (whenever I finish it), a review of Pantomime by Laura Lam, and a Stargate SG1 and Firefly re-watch.

Sounds like some geeky fun? Well I certainly think so.

I will also let you in on the secret that there will be something blogfesty in my (and hopefully your) future. More on that soon! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend. See you Monday!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

What do you want from me, folks?

Well, since it is the new year and I am starting a brand new job tomorrow, I am thinking about making a schedule for myself so I don't forget to post regularly. I've just been posting whenever, but would it be helpful if I posted on set days each week?

What would you like to see more of here? More reviews? More on general geek culture? More video games? More TV shows? More book talk? More writing? Would something like a TV re-watch that you could follow along with be fun (maybe Doctor Who, Fringe, Eureka, Firefly, Stargate, or Avatar: The Last Airbender)? I'd love to know what you'd prefer to see here.

And don't forget, I've opened up Geek Banter for guest posts. Shoot me an email if you'd like to guest here, posting on anything from video games to movies, books, writing, TV, or other geeky topics. I'd love to have you!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Looking Forward to 2013

I posted about my favourites from 2012 last week, so I thought I'd share the books, video games, movies, and tv series that I am most looking forward to in 2013.


Fantasy - Bloodfire Quest by Terry Brooks
Pub Date: March 12, 2013

Long ago, many dangerous creatures were locked behind a magical barrier, bringing peace and prosperity to the land. But now those barriers are eroding, and generations of embittered prisoners are about to escape. War seems inevitable...unless a few brave souls can stem the tide. While some venture into the forbidden lands, others must undertake a perilous quest-a quest whose success will mean the death of a young girl who has barely even begun to live, but whose failure will have unimaginable consequences. From riveting start to cliffhanger ending, this is an epic for the ages! (synopsis from Goodreads)

Sci-Fi - The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
Pub Date: February 5, 2013

A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever.

Now a man and a woman from these two clashing societies must work together to save this vanishing race—and end up uncovering ancient mysteries with far-reaching ramifications. As their mission hangs in the balance, this unlikely team—one cool and cerebral, the other fiery and impulsive—just may find in each other their own destinies . . . and a force that transcends all.
(synopsis from Goodreads)

YA Fantasy - Pantomime by Laura Lam
Pub Date: February 5, 2013

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.
(synopsis from Goodreads)

YA Sci-Fi - Dualed by Elsie Chapman
Pub Date: February 26, 2013

The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.
(synopsis from Goodreads)

Video Games

Mistborn: Birthright
Developer: Little Orbit
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, Windows, Mac
Release Date: Fall 2013
Genre: Action-RPG

This game is a prequel to the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, and the story and dialogue were written by Brandon Sanderson. I've heard great things about the Mistborn series though I've never read it. This game looks promising. 

Star Wars 1313

Developer: LucasArts
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Action-Adventure

I get to play as a bounty hunter instead of the usual Jedi? Yes, please. (Not that being a Jedi isn't fun, but, you know, it's been done.) This game sounds more gritty than past Star Wars games, as you navigate Coruscant's underworld trying to uncover a mystery using bounty hunter gadgetry and weapons. Sounds like fun times to me!


Iron Man 3
Release Date: May 3, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness
Release Date: May 17, 2013

Ender's Game
Release Date: November 1, 2013

Thor: The Dark World
Release Date: November 8, 2013

TV Shows

Doctor Who, Season 7.5
Airing: April, 2013

Fringe, the End
Airing: January, 2013

Warehouse 13, Season  4.5
Airing: April, 2013

Woo! And there is my long list. Any of the above look good to you? What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Frankenstein Guest Post

January is Vintage SciFi month over at The Little Red Reviewer, and I am honoured to be guest posting over there about Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Drop by, say hi, and read my thoughts on this wonderfully creepy novel. I think the original is so much more horrific and interesting than all the movie adaptations and cartoons about a creature with bolts sticking out of its neck. If you've read it, what do you think of the original Frankenstein?

Thanks to Andrea for having me!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

IWSG and Bringing YA to You

I am doing a double post today! For IWSG, I simply have a question for your writers out there. I am critiquing a couple of my CP's projects this month. What makes a critique partner awesome, in your opinion? What has your CP done or said that you really appreciate? What have they said that you didn't like at all? Sometimes constructive criticism is hard to give and hard to take.

This post is part of the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Check the link for some of the other blogs participating in this event!

In other news, Beth Revis and some other YA authors are hosting a pretty cool contest. I think it is fantastic that they are doing this on their own, out of their own pockets.

Have you ever wished that a big YA book tour would make a stop in your hometown? Well, here's your chance for that wish to come true! YA2U is a program that features five award-winning and best-selling authors who are holding a contest to see what city they should visit in an exclusive tour stop!

The authors are collecting votes from January 1 to February 15, and any city in the continental US or any Canadian city that has an international airport can win an exclusive visit from all five authors, including an author panel and book signing! Entering is super easy--and if you help spread the word about the contest, you can also enter win a signed copy of all of their books (TEN signed books in total!)--and the book contest is open internationally!

The authors in the program are:

And they want to have an event in your home town! To participate, just got to the YA2U website and let them know what city you want them to come to. And while you're there, help spread the word about the contest and you can be entered to win all of their books--TEN signed books in total! 

Here's why the YA2U Team should come to MY hometown! 

Well, I live in cold, snowy Winnipeg, Manitoba. Why would you want to come here? For the polar bear hunting and igloo making, of course.

Why should the YA2U Team come to your hometown? Why not join in the fun today and share with others about this program and your hometown. The more votes your town gets, the closer you are to having your very own personal tour stop! Vote for YOUR town here!

And if you help spread the word, you can also participate in the book giveaway. Tell them that you learned about YA2U from me and we both get extra entries in the contest! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 Highlights

Happy new year, everyone! I hope your new year's eve was filled with fun and cake. What, cake's not a new year's thing? Well, it should be. I thought I'd share with you my highlights from 2012 in books, video games, movies, and TV series.

Book: Wards of Faerie by Terry Brooks

I am a huge Terry Brooks fan, though some of his later books I'm not enjoying as much as the older ones. But I am loving this new series. The second book in the Dark Legacy of Shannara is on my Kindle waiting to be read and reviewed, and I can't wait to get to it. You can read my review of Wards of Faerie here.

Video Game: Mass Effect 3

I am cheating a bit with this one as I haven't actually gotten to play it yet, but I will say it has been my most anticipated to play game that came out in 2012, and I can't wait to get to it.

 Movie: The Avengers

I don't think this one needs an explanation. There was action. There was humour. There was Joss Whedon directing. It was a masterpiece. (My short review is here).

TV Show: Eureka

On it's final season this year, Eureka did not suffer from the "too many seasons" syndrome, where the show gets boring (Terra Nova), old (How I Met Your Mother), or just weird (Lost). The characters were great, the plots appropriately wacky, and the funny parts made me giggle. It was a satisfying end to a satisfying show. I love it when a show ends well.

 You can also check out my list of Top 5 Sci-fi/Fantasy TV Shows of 2012 on TV Geek Army.