Sebastian Haff

Forgotten Realms novels: The Crystal Shard by R. A. Salvatore (1988)

The second of the Forgotten Realms novels to be published is also the start of the second sub-series, The Icewind Dale Trilogy, and the first appearance of the most popular character of the entire series: Drizzt Do'Urden. Of the more than 50 novels Salvatore has gone on to write in his career so far, over twenty feature Drizzt.

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Sebastian Haff

Keeper of the Keys by Earl Derr Biggers- book review

Dudley Ward, first ex-husband of opera singer Ellen Landini, has invited the diva's other two ex-husbands to his secluded mansion in the mountains near Lake Tahoe. He has also invited Inspector Charlie Chan of Honolulu, recently visiting San Francisco. Shortly after revealing the reason for the invitations (he is seeking information on the whereabouts of a long lost son Landini bore in secret after their divorce), Landini herself arrives, accompanied by her young male protege, his pretty and protective sister, and a private airplane pilot she once had an affair with (whose wife still works as Ward's housekeeper). During the night, Landini is murdered...

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Sebastian Haff

The Farseer: Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb

The first book of Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy is an excellent example of the fantasy sub-genre usually called "epic fantasy". Assassin's Apprentice tells the coming-of-age story of a young royal bastard named FitzChivalry (known almost exclusively as Fitz), and of his navigation of palace intrigues while being trained in secret as a royal assassin.

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Sebastian Haff

Swords and Deviltry: The First Book of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Fritz Leiber

The first collection (by story chronology) of Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories features 3 tales, two from 1970 and one from 1962. Together they detail episodes from the youths of the two heroes, and their fateful first meeting. Although it is ostensibly the start of their story, it may not be the best place to get acquainted with them...

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Sebastian Haff

The Big Three of Heroic Fantasy, Part One: Fritz Leiber, and Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser

After my initial discovery of heroic fantasy, via The Hobbit and Dungeons & Dragons, my next step was borrowing the books of Fritz Leiber from one of our local libraries. Now, I can't remember what, exactly, brought me to the tales of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser before Conan or Elric, or other of the usual suspects. Maybe it was because there were two heroes instead of just one. Maybe it was the cover art. Maybe the library just had the whole series on its shelves. Whatever the initial draw, I know what hooked me.


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Sebastian Haff

Forgotten Realms novels: Darkwalker on Moonshae by Douglas Niles (1987)

My recent re-infatuation with Heroic Fantasy is mostly fueled by my recent move to a different state than where I was living the past 20 years. My old position was being eliminated, and I took a position which opened up in another state. Now living a few hours' drive from my social circle, I found myself needing some local social contact. Being who I am, I naturally looked at the nearby gaming stores. These days, there are a relatively limited number of games you can hope to get involved in on the fly. The three big ones for organized store play are: Warhammer (and Warhammer 40,000) miniatures, Magic: the gathering collectible card game, and Dungeons & Dragons (4th edition). These are the big cash cows of the modern gaming industry (non-computerized division) and are all enthusiastically supported in stores by their respective publishers. Of the three, I chose D&D, since it is (A) an RPG and (B) far less expensive a proposition than CCGs or miniatures. Of course, D&D is owned by Hasbro these days, and they've done their best to monetize that sucker beyond any dreams of the RPG publishers of my youth. But that's a topic for a post of its own.

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Sebastian Haff

Why Pulpjunkie

I'm going to try my hand at blogging properly. The site itself needs some work, but I need to start writing and get some momentum up. the blog, of course, will be about the same sort of things I've written of here off and on. Below the cut is a sort of definition of what I'm on about., an introduction to my tastes. Those who've known me many years will probably not be surprised by any of this.
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Sebastian Haff

Still Trying To Watch Those Movies

I'm still pursuing my movie-a-day project. Obviously, the review portion of the project has fallen through, but I'll be posting lists of titles, starting today, with maybe a brief comment for each film. At this point I've just watched movie #190 for the year, which pits me about 40 or so movies behind. Of course, I can't count things like the Rifftrax Live show I saw this week, because I've seen Plan 9 less than 15 years back, but I am able to revisit things like "Get Crazy" (which I just watched on Youtube; thanks for bringing that up, ninjacooter !) which I saw some time in the early 90's.
So here's a chunk of my movie list, numbers 39-50:

 

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Sebastian Haff

Movie-a-Day days 36-38: Still trying to blog

Well, I'm hopelessly behind, but, on the bright side, back in 2004 I'd crapped out by the end of January, so at least I'm "much improved," as the report cards used to say. I'm not ready to declare the blogging portion of the move-a-day project dead just yet, so here's some more capsules: