Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Beginnings

Happy New Year!

Just started two sci-fi epics. The first is Peter F. Hamilton's novel-brick "The Dreaming Void." I am new to PFH, having been somewhat intimidated by the proportions of the books in the past. So far so good. The novel introduces an Antarctica-like multi-species scientific community, set up to study the anomaly at the centre of the Galaxy which, it turns out is not a natural black hole but an artificial barrier thought to hide an ancient alien race - not unlike the Shrouders of Revelation Space. The story encapsulates a history-rich, Machiavellian human society finding its place within a larger and older galactic community, a religion based around dreams thought to emanate from within the anomaly, and within the dreams a fantasy sub-plot set in a medieval society where villagers have telekinetic abilities.

The second epic is Nick Delios' "Conspiracies," a member of the more or less failed interactive movie genre, translated from the original Greek and picked up in a computer games store at a fairly decisive discount. First plays suggest production values that could have been higher, with corny dialogue and melodramatics plus dodgy bluescreen (not that I'm in any position to talk.) The game plays out in two modes so far - full motion video (real actors, virtual settings) with branching dialogue, and point-and-click puzzles in 3D virtual environments.

I'll post an update on both epics when I've finished them or at least progressed further.

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