Lit Literature member interviews

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Point Given, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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    Heh, news to me. Scott hired me in 2002 specifically because he wasn't really doing much himself, but he didn't formally leave for a while.
    Last edited by CooperTFN, Aug 7, 2013
  2. dp4m Chosen One

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    Nov 8, 2001
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    Eh, I couldn't remember when you came on board. Both of us have been around so long... :p
  3. CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus

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  4. dp4m Chosen One

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    I loved The West Wing; I should watch it again.

    Honestly, I'm not sure. Fandom and many elements of the EU have burned me out, but I still love so much of it. I'd say that as long as we a) get a decent cameo of the Big Three, b) it continues in a decidedly space opera theme and c) it updates Star Wars to an even more modern look while still retaining the mythological sensibilities (preferably without reference to midichlorians, if possible).

    In terms of Abrams and Arndt; I'm less concerned than I would be if just Abrams with his pet monkeys (Orci/Kurtzman) but I still have some concerns. Let me at least say: my concerns with Arndt are only in the sense of "I hope he doesn't get overwhelmed." I like his stuff and I think he'll do a good job, so long as it doesn't get in his head while writing. He also has a wealth of people to ask for consultation (Lucas, Fisher, Kasdan, etc.), but I also hope he tells them to stuff it if he doesn't want the help. My primary concerns with Abrams is that he's a lot of flash and less so in terms of substance -- things that seem shiny to him sometimes run off the rails later on, especially as it deals with canon. But those tend to be things that are his so I'm not sure how to take it.

    For example: Alias is awesome. The first season was really good and the second season was legitimately better. Where it starts to go off the rails is where Orci starts to get involved and Abrams stops caring about the interwoven-narrative canon he had created -- so the end-game villain made little sense. However, it gave us Jack Bristow and Spy Daddy is one of the greatest TV characters in the last few decades. Similarly with Lost I understand. However, Person of Interest is amazing and the interwoven-canon is only getting better as we go along; how much of that is Abrams and how much of that is Nolan... I don't know.

    As well, Abrams tends to hate mythology and religion -- two things that, well, you can't really have Star Wars without in my opinion. The Force is too much a part of it to be really excised. This was his take on rebooting Star Trek:

    First, Leia's a Jedi Knight after Dark Empire. Oh, what? Leia's a Jedi Knight? You mean the books and the comics have to integrate? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

    Then, the Galaxy gets a break from war and galactic threats and has smaller adventures while pushing the Imperial Remnant away to the point where the peace treaties occur. Mindor and X-Wing/Wraith Squadron books good -- even The Courtship of Princess Leia and Darksaber are good; multiple Nostrils of Palpatine... less so.

    Luke's in charge of a new Jedi Order, with Leia helping to run the school and the government and Han doing Han things with Chewie and Lando.

    Boba Fett's dead.

    I'm not sure what to do about the NJO onwards -- because everything got so ludicrous. The galaxy was basically destroyed in all-consuming war and Coruscant changed hands and terraforming so many times it was hard to keep up. Extragalactic Cobra-La was not my thing (well, original Cobra-La was):

    [IMG]

    So... yeah. Anakin Solo's alive; Vergere was identified as a Sith when she was spouting Sith nonsense to Jacen while torturing him (or before). Jacen's alive. Han and Leia actually get to have a happy life; Luke gets to have a happy life. I like conflict as much as the next guy as a compelling narrative, I'm just not sure we saw the best way to treat the characters.

    It was sort of like "Tanin and Sturm Majere say hi" (if anyone gets that reference).
  5. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

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    I bet Lit would stay in a couch by the corner calmly talking EU while JCC got drunk. A C6 joke!

    Nice interview, David!
  6. dp4m Chosen One

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    Nov 8, 2001
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    I was the designated driver!

    But I really, really hope you guys can make it to C7Anaheim where there should be less driving, I hope!
    JoinTheSchwarz likes this.
  7. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    I'm currently rewatching The West Wing on Netflix. I'd forgotten how good it was.

    Soooo for the segue

    13. What are your favorite TV shows?

    14. What are your favorite movies outside of Star Wars?

    15. What are your favorite video games, in and out of Star Wars?
  8. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Must be a Dragonlance reader.

    I admit I did like how they sort of 'retired' the original characters as the series timeline went along, though at some point I did lose touch with what was happening in that universe.
    VanishingReality likes this.
  9. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
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    Right, so Caramon and Tika had three grown children as the second-generation -- Sturm and Tanin (warriors) and Palin (a mage). They were featured in a short story as were sort of all of the kids at various points, and those stories were then collected into a novel Dragonlance: The Second Generation. Then Sturm and Tanin were immediately killed off in the next book written by Weis/Hickman.

    I'm generally a fan of well-written and/or well-plotted things, which isn't to say I don't appreciate fluff from time to time. Currently, the only two shows on TV I watch with full attention are Homeland and Game of Thrones. Everything else, since I work from home, I tend to watch in the background. I believe my current normal rotation is Hawaii Five-0, Castle, Dancing with the Stars (don't judge!) and Person of Interest. Believe everything else has been cancelled. By the by, if people are not watching Person of Interest, do so. It's a modern day Batman story and some really good speculative science-fiction that's totally subversive because it is both of those things without making it seem like it's both of those things to the point where older-viewers are watching it in droves.

    Going back some, I'll give historical context to shows I watched in the past. Let's start with honorable mentions:

    The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers



    This basically ties for me with "top childhood show" (second one to follow) as it had some amazing writing back in the day (Luceno and Daley!), excellent voice actors (Jerry Orbach!) and way more continuity than previous American cartoons. Also: western... in space! Go Firefly!

    Next up...

    The Real Ghostbusters



    JMS! Michael Reaves! The less said about the later seasons, the better, but When Halloween Was Forever is amazing.

    And, of course...

    Robotech



    Absolutely blew my mind as a kid after going from things like The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo and The Snorks to this. However, anyone who says a damned word against The Adventures of the Gummi Bears will get a pop in the mouth.

    A word on the interregnum between my childhood and the below list -- Twin Peaks broke me. It basically kickstarted my "whoa... this is awesome" meter; though TNG was first (as below) that was still more on the childhood side of the ledger than not.

    I generally tended to stay in the sci-fi / fantasy realm after my childhood years -- so I ended up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, Highlander: the Series, War of the Worlds (holy crap, how awesome was that show when it took a TURN after the first season!) and things like Knight Rider, The A-Team, Airwolf, Quantum Leap,etc. all bridged my childhood to adult tastes and sensibilities. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine thus became my favorite of the Treks; I got hooked on Alias, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, ER, Alias, The West Wing. Things like that. But as I got older, I began to more and more like characters and writing even when tending to stay in my general genre choices.

    Character / Writing clips to be done in a second post below...

    And now a shout-out to the greatest TV show of all time:



    There was nothing ever remotely like this, except The Prisoner for the most part. This show made everything better in the long run.


    I like a lot of things. Generally, I have things called "happy movies" which I can put on when I'm down and they nearly instantly cheer me up; I also tend to use these when I have the flu (assuming there's not a Star Wars Marathon running on Spike). Currently the list is four movies long:

    PCU
    Transformers: The Movie (animated)
    Back to the Future
    Pitch Perfect

    Those may not be my favorite films (or, indeed, even objectively good) but they make me happy to watch.

    In terms of other things I like... I, too, think Raiders of the Lost Ark is basically a perfect film. Almost anything by James Cameron (especially The Abyss -- if you have not seen it, go see it now). James Bond (except License To Kill @Ender Sai). Musicals, Most of the oeuvre of Michael Bay, Dean/Emmerich and Quentin Tarentino. Star Trek. Superheroes.

    I dunno, I watch a lot of movies... I'm happy to answer any other questions about movies that people have. :p

    See icon. ;)

    Basically Planescape: Torment is the greatest videogame of all time.

    I also played a lot of CRPGs over the years -- this was my primary genre, really -- Bard's Tale 1/2/3, Ultima 6/7, all of the old TSR games (Dark Sun, etc.), all Bioware/Black Isle stuff, etc. I did some flight-sims with the Wing Commander series and all of the X-Wing/Tie Fighters. And the LucasArts adventure games (Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, The Dig, Grim Fandango) were of course awesome.

    These days, I'm primarily Kickstartering games I want to see, mostly sequels. Wasteland 2, Planescape: Tides of Numenera, Shadowrun Returns, Project Eternity.

    As well, I'm a crackhead. World of Warcraft. My play is diminished since I led a guild and got Realm First! Fall of the Lich King but I still raid 2-3 times a week. The game's definitely not where it once was, imo, but those days aren't ever coming back. I'm definitely more "casual" than I was, but not as casual as true casual players.

    But, let's take a trip down memory lane... I've been gaming since a bribe for learning to tie my shoes was an Atari 2600 and going to the arcade with my older brothers was an impetus for potty training (so, really only the last few years)...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_(Atari_2600)

    Basically the first CRPG (loosely) and the first Easter Egg.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitfall!

    This was, I believe, basically the first home side-scrolling game. I believe there may have been one or two other arcade games with a platform-scrolling idea (and Defender and their ilk if you want to count all side-to-side games) but this was basically the first of the Super Mario Bros. games at home that I am aware of.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasteland_(video_game)

    This game changed... everything, really, imo. There had been previous CRPGs for various platforms (even calculators!) but this was the first of the "persistent world" games. There's a reason I Kickstartered the sequel. Also: Stackpole!



    Purple Tentacle: great villain or greatest villain? (h/t @jp-30)

    Baldur's Gate gave us @Ender Sai

    But I leave you with this parting thought...

    "What can change the nature of a man..."
  10. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Here are some awesome character moments and / or great writing from some of those shows. There are more (The West Wing I could probably post like 18-20 clips and still have more) but I like these.

    (there are spoilers for the shows in the clips below)

    Oh Garak, my Garak...



    What do you mean there're no subtitles?



    All The Emmys



    Spy Daddy is the Bestest



    What the WHAT just happened?!?

    [imagine me inserting a clip from the end of Homeland S2x04 "New Car Smell" here]
  11. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    This. A thousand and one times, this.
  12. Lugija Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2009
    star 4
    I say this as well. The first season just ended and I'm anxious to get more. It has both the crime of the week and a large plot that advances every episode. And Emerson is awesome as always (but after LOST it took me a couple of episodes to stop getting flashbacks every time he says "John"). I just hope that the makers have a plan for the show and possibly an end-date, I would hate if this would become another show that starts well and then either gets cancelled or goes on forever and loses its momentum.

    There, I think we have scared Jello far enough from this show.
  13. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

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    Nov 19, 2007
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    The first season is fantastic. The second season is even better.
  14. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

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    I was loving your answer but no, you had to insist on your crazy crusade against the best Bond.

    I remember that when KOTOR came out you said it could be even better than PS:T. Heat of the moment or do you still think there's some truth to it?
  15. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9

    I really just like winding Ender up.

    So, on the subject of KOTOR -- it's a phenomenal game and I stand by what I said. However, I do think it's a case of a diminishment after the fact. For example, Baldur's Gate was a very, very good game to begin with. Tales of the Sword Coast was okay and a decent add-on pack. But Baldur's Gate II and Throne of Bhaal were supercalifragilisticespialidocious-ly good. It's one of those things where the original was raised in estimation when taken as a part of the whole.

    Same with Fallout vis-a-vis Fallout 2 (even Fallout Tactics was unique here in its own way); I never played Fallout 3+ onwards all the way through but I also understood with a lot of the change-overs in development hands it'd be iffy, though I understand the game is decently-good.

    Knights of the Old Republic has basically been dismantled by almost literally everything that came after it. Knights of the Old Republic 2 is basically synonymous with "rushed for the holidays" -- but even with that the MMORPG (you, the player, kill Revan and HK -- I wish I were making that crap up) and the books totally end any good will from the first game. So it's one of those things where the original is diminished by the whole sum of the additional parts.

    So, while I may have thought at the time Knights of the Old Republic could challenge Planescape: Torment I should have known better than to bet against the immortal amnesiac in the long run.
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  16. JoinTheSchwarz Comms Admin & Community Manager

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    KOTOR2 works much better if you think that Ravel Puzzlewell is projecting herself to the GFFA in the shape of Kreia.
    dp4m likes this.
  17. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    I see what your saying.

    I was thinking more of how Dragonlance departed from the main cast with War of the Souls - bascially offering a continuation of the mainline series without most of the main characters from the War of the Lance. It is something I think Del Rey could learn from as they can't/won't move past Luke, Leia & Han.
  18. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9

    Right, it definitely can work. You know who made it work?

    Michael Stackpole

    They went three generations deep in BattleTech / Mechwarrior -- though I stopped reading after the second generation for the most part, I really enjoyed MAS' B'Tech novels and thought they only got better in the second generation.

    But Dragonlance is a cautionary tale, because they also viewed the "let's kill people!" as a methodology for "shaking up the status quo" or "upping the stakes" when they didn't have to. Some of the greatest fantasy I've read is still Test of the Twins which does end in a "non-official death" but it's handled spectacularly and earned. This is opposite something like, say, the Midshipman's Hope series where people dying except and horrible things happening to everyone around (and including) the main is basically the entire point of the series about duty, honor and religion in a naval capacity.
  19. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
    Ah, BattleTech, I have unfortunately only read The Legend of the Jade Phoenix Trilogy, which I ended up loving once I was able to get through the rather unusual beginning, so I am not as well versed in that universe as I would like to be and I am very interested in reading Stackpole's BattleTech novels, @dp4m.
  20. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9

    You can skip a lot of the novels. I'll post a suggested reading order when I'm finished with today's meetings. But yes, the Jade Falcon trilogy was quite good.
  21. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    I liked them. But his style of having battlemech fusion reactors explode, rather than simply stop working, when damaged enough, has come in for some flak- exploding fusion reactors are sometimes referred to disdainfully as Stackpoling by some annoyed fans, I've heard.
  22. dp4m Chosen One

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    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9

    I'm, uh, pretty sure that was from the game. Granted, MAS was heavily involved in the game design too but it didn't originate in the novels to my knowledge...
  23. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    If you believe TV Tropes, the "reactor shutdown" rules are standard (and match the splatbooks), and the "reactor explodes" rules optional.
    Last edited by Iron_lord, Aug 9, 2013
  24. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    16. What are your favorite quotes? (Fictional/said by real people, etc.)

    17. Which presidents (or politicians in general) do you most admire? Why?
  25. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9

    It's been a long time since I've played, but the Compendium I have here is vague on the subject (the 'mech is "destroyed" if the center torso (where the engine is) is destroyed or the engine takes 3 crits); also it specifically accounts for ammo explosions (messy). But it also considers the same terminology for the cockpit destruction / pilot death -- so, hence, vague.

    Anyways, here's a suggested reading order for the BattleTech series (skipping a lot of unnecessary "side-plot" stuff outside the main world-building).

    (you can actually skip the first one of the list, but it informs some of the background of the first three MAS novels)

    Title Author Published ISBN
    The Sword and the Dagger Ardath Mayhar Apr-87 ISBN 0-931787-77-7
    Warrior: En Garde Michael A. Stackpole June 1988, ISBN 1-55560-046-8,
    Apr-98 ISBN 0-451-45683-1
    Warrior: Riposte Michael A. Stackpole August 1988, ISBN 1-55560-068-9,
    Jun-98 ISBN 0-451-45685-8
    Wolves on the Border Robert N. Charrette 1988, ISBN 1-55560-087-5,
    May-96 ISBN 0-451-45388-3
    Warrior: Coupé Michael A. Stackpole April 1989, ISBN 1-55560-073-5,
    Nov-98 ISBN 0-451-45702-1
    Heir to the Dragon Robert N. Charrette August 1989, ISBN 1-55560-095-6,
    Sep-96 ISBN 0-451-45527-4
    Lethal Heritage Michael A. Stackpole 1989, ISBN 1-55560-091-3,
    Sep-95 ISBN 0-451-45383-2
    Blood Legacy Michael A. Stackpole December 1990, ISBN 1-55560-092-1,
    Nov-95 ISBN 0-451-45384-0
    Lost Destiny Michael A. Stackpole September 1991, ISBN 1-55560-094-8,
    Dec-95 ISBN 0-451-45385-9
    Way of the Clans Robert Thurston Aug-91 ISBN 0-451-45101-5
    Bloodname Robert Thurston Oct-91 ISBN 0-451-45117-1
    Falcon Guard Robert Thurston Dec-91 ISBN 0-451-45129-5
    Wolf Pack Robert N. Charrette Apr-92 ISBN 0-451-45224-0
    Natural Selection Michael A. Stackpole Jul-92 ISBN 0-451-45219-4
    Assumption of Risk Michael A. Stackpole 1993 ISBN 0-451-45283-6
    Bred for War Michael A. Stackpole Jan-95 ISBN 0-451-45379-4
    I Am Jade Falcon Robert Thurston May-95 ISBN 0-451-45380-8
    Malicious Intent Michael A. Stackpole Mar-96 ISBN 0-451-45531-2
    Exodus Road Blaine Lee Pardoe Aug-97 ISBN 0-451-45612-2
    Grave Covenant Michael A. Stackpole Sep-97 ISBN 0-451-45613-0
    The Hunters Thomas S. Gressman Dec-97 ISBN 0-451-45624-6
    Freebirth Robert Thurston Feb-98 ISBN 0-451-45665-3
    Sword and Fire Thomas S. Gressman Aug-98 ISBN 0-451-45676-9
    Shadows of War Thomas S. Gressman Sep-98 ISBN 0-451-45707-2
    Prince of Havoc Michael A. Stackpole Dec-98 ISBN 0-451-45706-4
    Falcon Rising Robert Thurston Mar-99 ISBN 0-451-45738-2
    Patriots and Tyrants Loren L. Coleman Sep-01 ISBN 0-451-45845-1
    Imminent Crisis Randall N. Bills Mar-02 ISBN 0-451-45872-9
    Storms of Fate Loren L. Coleman Apr-02 ISBN 0-451-45876-1
    Operation Audacity Blaine Lee Pardoe Jun-02 ISBN 0-451-45885-0
    Endgame Loren L. Coleman Aug-02 ISBN 0-451-45893-1