Friday, September 30, 2016

Promising Sci-fi, horror & Fantasy - August 2016

A month that is too quiet for my taste. But lets check out the stuff that are promising anyways.

"The Last Days of New Paris" by China Mieville
"Beauty will be convulsive...."
It's 1941. In the chaos of wartime Marseille, American engineer - and occult disciple - Jack Parsons stumbles onto a clandestine anti-Nazi group, including surrealist theorist André Breton. In the strange games of the dissident diplomats, exiled revolutionaries, and avant-garde artists, Parsons finds and channels hope. But what he unwittingly unleashes is the power of dreams and nightmares, changing the war and the world forever.
It's 1950. A lone surrealist fighter, Thibaut, walks a new, hallucinogenic Paris, where Nazis and the Resistance are trapped in unending conflict, and the streets are stalked by living images and texts - and by the forces of hell. To escape the city, he must join forces with Sam, an American photographer intent on recording the ruins, and make common cause with a powerful, enigmatic figure of chance and rebellion: the exquisite corpse.
But Sam is being hunted. And new secrets will emerge that will test all their loyalties - to each other, to Paris old and new, and to reality itself.

[Latest from China Mieville, should be as good as expected.] 

"Spiderlight" by Adrian Tchaikovsky
The Church of Armes of the Light has battled the forces of Darkness for as long as anyone can remember. The great prophecy has foretold that a band of misfits, led by a high priestess will defeat the Dark Lord Darvezian, armed with their wits, the blessing of the Light and an artifact stolen from the merciless Spider Queen.
Their journey will be long, hard and fraught with danger. Allies will become enemies; enemies will become allies. And the Dark Lord will be waiting, always waiting…
Spiderlight is an exhilarating fantasy quest from Adrian Tchaikovsky, the author of Guns at Dawn and the Shadows of the Apt series.

 [A short new novel from the acclaimed Adrian Tchaikovsky, should be a fun read.]

"The Guns of Empire" by Django Wexler
As the “audacious and subversive” Shadow Campaigns novels continue, the weather is growing warmer, but the frosty threat of Vordan’s enemies is only growing worse...
As the roar of the guns subsides and the smoke of battle clears, the country of Vordan is offered a fragile peace…
After their shattering defeats at the hands of brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich, the opposing powers have called all sides to the negotiating table, in hopes of securing an end to the war. Queen Raesinia of Vordan is anxious to see the return of peace, but Janus insists that any peace with the implacable Sworn Church of Elysium is doomed to fail. For their Priests of the Black, there can be no truce with heretics and demons they seek to destroy, and the war is to the death.
Soldiers Marcus d’Ivoire and Winter Ihernglass find themselves caught between their general and their queen. Now, each must decide which leader truly commands their loyalty—and what price they might pay for final victory.
And in the depths of Elysium, a malign force is rising—and defeating it might mean making sacrifices beyond anything they have ever imagined.

[Another series that I need to read, and I think I should start this one sooner rather than later.] 

"The Obelisk Gate" N.K. Jemisin
The season of endings grows darker as civilization fades into the long cold night. Alabaster Tenring – madman, world-crusher, savior – has returned with a mission: to train his successor, Essun, and thus seal the fate of the Stillness forever.
It continues with a lost daughter, found by the enemy.
It continues with the obelisks, and an ancient mystery converging on answers at last.
The Stillness is the wall which stands against the flow of tradition, the spark of hope long buried under the thickening ashfall. And it will not be broken.

[I still haven't checked out anything from Jemisin, this series does seem to be a good point to begin the journey.] 

"The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe" by Kij Johnson
Professor Vellitt Boe teaches at the prestigious Ulthar Women’s College. When one of her most gifted students elopes with a dreamer from the waking world, Vellitt must retrieve her.
"Kij Johnson's haunting novella The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe is both a commentary on a classic H.P. Lovecraft tale and a profound reflection on a woman's life. Vellitt's quest to find a former student who may be the only person who can save her community takes her through a world governed by a seemingly arbitrary dream logic in which she occasionally glimpses an underlying but mysterious order, a world ruled by capricious gods and populated by the creatures of dreams and nightmares. Those familiar with Lovecraft's work will travel through a fantasy landscape infused with Lovecraftian images viewed from another perspective, but even readers unfamiliar with his work will be enthralled by Vellitt's quest. A remarkable accomplishment that repays rereading." —Pamela Sargent, winner of the Nebula Award

[A Promising new novella, the setting is quite intriguing to say the least.] 

"The Gate of Sorrows" by Miyuki Miyabe
A series of murders shocks Tokyo’s Shinjuku ward, but Shigenori, a retired police detective, is instead obsessed with a gargoyle that seems to move. College freshman Kotaro launches a web-based investigation of the killer, and comes to find that answers may lie within an abandoned building in the center of Japan’s busiest neighborhood, and beyond the Gate of Sorrows. In this New Adult sequel to Miyabe’s The Book of Heroes, you will meet monsters from other worlds and ordinary horrors that surpass even supernatural threats.

[New translated work from the imaginative Miyuki Miyabe, gotta start on her works soon, I guess.]

"Praetorian of Dorn" by John French
As the first assault on the Solar System begins, the strength of the Imperial Fists and the seemngly impregnable fastness they have built is tested at last…
Recalled from the Great Crusade after Ullanor, Rogal Dorn and the VIIth Legion were appointed as the Emperor’s praetorians – but only after the Warmaster’s treachery was revealed did the full extent of that sacred duty become apparent. Now, the Solar System comes under attack for the first time since the war began, and many of the seemingly impregnable defences wrought by the Imperial Fists prove inadequate. With all eyes fixed firmly upon this new threat beyond the gates of Terra, who in turn will protect Dorn from the enemy within?
At last, Rogal Dorn and the VII Legion take centre stage in a Horus Heresy novel! And it's a doozy, as the assault on the Solar System begins. Or does it?

[Latest from the Horus Heresy series, need I say more?]  

Sunday, September 25, 2016

August 2016 New PC Games To Watch For

Finally a month with quite a good bunch of games to sort out through. It was really quite hard to distill these five games from the rest this month.

Batman: The Telltale Series
Batman: The Telltale Series is an episodic point-and-click graphic adventure video game developed and published by Telltale Games and distributed by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment under its DC Entertainment label. The game is based on Bob Kane and Bill Finger's Batman comic book series, though not tied to any previous adaption of the work in film or other media. Episode 1 was released on August 2, 2016.

No Man's Sky
No Man's Sky is an action-adventure survival video game developed and published by the indie studio Hello Games for PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Windows.  The gameplay of No Man's Sky is built on four pillars — exploration, survival, combat, and trading. Players are free to perform within the entirety of a procedurally generated deterministic open universe, which includes over 18 quintillion (1.8×1019) planets, many with their own sets of flora and fauna. The game was released worldwide in August 12, 2016.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a cyberpunk-themed action role-playing stealth video game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. Set two years after Human Revolution, Mankind Divided features the return of Adam Jensen from the previous game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, with new technology and body augmentations. The game was released on August 23, 2016.

Obduction is an adventure video game developed by Cyan Worlds. Obduction is considered a spiritual successor to Cyan's previous adventure games, Myst and Riven. In the game, the player finds their character transported to strange alien worlds but with human elements within the settings. The player must explore and solve puzzles to figure out how to return home. This was released on August 24, 2016.

God Eater 2: Rage Burst & God Eater: Resurrection
The God Eater franchise is a series of sci-fi action/adventure video games developed by Shift and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, starting with the titular game released on February 4, 2010 for the PlayStation Portable. Similar to the Monster Hunter franchise, it depicts the desperate battle between humanity and a race of omnivorous monsters in a futuristic post-apocalyptic world. God Eater 2: Rage Burst was released finally on PC on Steam on August 29, 2016 with God Eater: Resurrection as an added bonus.

Although this has not yet been released for the PC, nor is there any news regarding whether it will ever be released on any platform other than PS4, this most definitely is my most wanted game of 2016. And, boy oh boy, have I been waiting a long time for this one.

The King of Fighters XIV
The King of Fighters XIV is a fighting game in The King of Fighters series developed and published in Japan by SNK. The game is notable as the first main-series The King of Fighters game rendered entirely in 3D, in contrast to previous installments which used 2D raster imagery.
Critical reception to The King of Fighters XIV has been generally positive with video game publications praising its fighting system that would appeal newcomers and experts of fighting games. Nevertheless, it has also been criticized for its use of dated 3D models.
It is developed for the PlayStation 4 released on August 23 in North America, August 25 in Japan, and August 26 in Europe.

[What a fine list? Can't really pick any favorites this time.]