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Writing for Games

Posted by on Feb 1, 2011 in Journal | 0 comments

Writing for Games

Focusing on short stories for my Masters module in advanced writing practice is real fun. It’s been quite liberating to see the difference but yet the similarity all forms of writing share whether is be the short story, novel and even games. Yes games.

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Fantasy fiction: A perspective on strength and influence

Posted by on Jan 17, 2011 in Journal | 0 comments

Fantasy fiction: A perspective on strength and influence

I always get very childlike; the adrenaline rush when I race over to my favourite section in a book shop ‘fantasy.’ Even online when I scroll and type away, I am amazed at the variety of both traditionally published books available by known and unknown authors. Even the every increasing eBook age is encouraging more writers in this field to surface and grace the world with their fantastical tales and unique worlds. It seems the demand is there, and the cultural evolution of the genre is evident.

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Alan Bennett: The Uncommon Reader

Posted by on Dec 29, 2010 in Journal | 0 comments

Alan Bennett: The Uncommon Reader

I was at Stansted airport waiting for a flight to Poland a week ago. I was bored, and with nothing to do except walk around the shops my eye fleeted back and forth to the digital board hoping our gate would be open sooner rather than later.

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Book Review: Blood Of Elves

Posted by on Nov 20, 2008 in Journal | 0 comments

Book Review: Blood Of Elves

Blood Of Elves Written by Andrzej Sapkowski Translated by Danusia Stok. Gollancz hardback and paperback Released 16th October 2008 Geralt of Rivia is a witcher, but he always stands out from other witchers with his white hair and piercing eyes, as well as his cynicism and lack of respect for authority. Although a magically and genetically mutated monster-slayer for hire he is far more than a striking-looking man. As a witcher his sorcerous powers, enhanced by elixirs and long training, have made him a brilliant fighter; a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer; his targets are the vile fiends and demons that ravage the land. Sapkowski’s world is assembled extremely well, and his sense of depth, is reminiscent of Middle Earth in many ways. Firstly as many stories take place in the kingdom of Cintra, the fictional land; secondly there are recurring themes such as focus on conflict, in-depth dialogue and the roles of magic and magical objects. The author includes the fantasy characters you would expect; also manages to uphold the genre with energetic, intelligent and compelling writing. What is clever is his skill to add a hint of Polish folklore which has undoubtedly catapulted his Witcher Saga onto to the European platform. Blood of Elves (Polish original title: Krew elfów) is the first novel in the Witcher Saga and was first published in Poland in 1994. The English translation was published late 2008. This book is a sequel to the Witcher short stories collected in the books ‘The Last Wish’ and ‘Miecz przeznaczenia’ (which translates as ‘A Sword of Fate’) It is then followed by ‘Czas pogardy’ (which translates as ‘The Time of Disdain’ but which is marketed as ‘Times of Contempt’). ‘Krew elfów’ was the winner of the Janusz A. Zajdel Award for best novel in 1994.  Blood of Elves is only the second book by the author to hit the British shelves; the first of an expected and enthralling five part series. For more than a hundred years the superficially familiar world of humans, dwarves, gnomes, elves and warring human kingdoms lived together in relative peace. But in this fantasyland, time is changing, where magic gives its users genetic mutations and the uneasy peace is over. Now the races once again fight each other – and themselves: dwarves are killing their kinsmen, and elves as an ethnic minority are using guerrilla tactics to fight back against human colonisation as well as killing their own; even those who befriend humans. Sapkowski creates a world where there is moral ambiguity coupled by dark cynical humour. Cintra is a land which is mirrored with reality; with hard hitting politics and unstable economies. It also begins to show the larger scope of events in the land where war is imminent and race discourse grows tensely. The complex plot in the Blood of Elves focuses on the Empire of Nilfgaard attacking and overwhelming the Kingdom of Cintra. The Lioness of Cintra or Queen Calanthe commits suicide and her granddaughter, Cirilla, called Ciri, or ‘Lion Cub of Cintra’ somehow flees from the burning capital city. Emhyr var Emreis who is the Emperor of Nilfgaard, sends his spies to find the youngling. He realises Ciri’s importance, not only because of her royal bloodline, but also because of her magical potential; the elven blood that runs through her veins. The heart of this instalment is not the saga’s signature character – the preternatural assassin Geralt of Rivia, but his young ward Ciri who needs his protection. He takes her to the witchers’ stronghold in Kaer Morhen who have been waiting for...

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