Star Wars HoloNet Digest #39: November 13-20, 2013

Posted by Admin - November 20th, 2013

Eric Logo Hologram

Artwork courtesy of Joshua Stolte

Welcome back to the Star Wars HoloNet Digest, a weekly feature where I bring you a recap of the latest news from the world of Star Wars. Whether it’s an Episode VII rumor or a noteworthy author interview, you’ll find it here. Let’s check the HoloNet and see what happened in the past week.

It’s been a rather quiet week in Star Wars news, but Bad Robot Productions did set the information-starved Internet abuzz when it tweeted a picture of Star Wars Episode VII executive producer Kathleen Kennedy, director J.J. Abrams, and a very familiar astromech droid hanging out in “the workshop” at Bad Robot HQ. This was the first behind-the-scenes photo from Episode VII to become public, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Lucasfilm had someone capturing a lot of the preproduction work for the inevitable Blu-ray set bonus features.

As soon as the photo hit the web, a steady stream of news organizations and fan blogs proclaimed that R2-D2 was the first character confirmed to be in Episode VII. Yesterday, The Official Star Wars Blog confirmed the droid’s “casting” in an article about the two people who built the droid pictured with Abrams and Kennedy, R2-D2 Builders Club members Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples. But Towersey and Steeples didn’t just get to pose for a photo with their creation and two of the biggest names in the modern Star Wars world. They’re also now “officially part of the Creature Effects team” for Episode VII, according to the blog.

As open casting continues across the United Kingdom and the United States, there has been no shortage of press reports from the cities that have played host to casting sessions. If you’re interested in reading these reports, head over to TheForce.Net, where we’ve collected news articles and videos from Troy, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois.

Today sees the release of Dawn of the Jedi: Force War #1, the first issue in a new arc of comics set in the GFFA’s distant past. Elsewhere in the Star Wars literature world, book publishers shared a few new tidbits about upcoming titles that are worth mentioning here. First, Lucasfilm editor and author J.W. Rinzler revealed the cover art for his 2014 book Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy. Later that same day, Del Rey posted the first micro-excerpt from Star Wars: Maul: Lockdown by Joe Schreiber, which will be released on January 28, 2014 (note the one-week date change). And finally, yesterday Del Rey posted the updated cover art for James S.A. Corey’s Han Solo-centric novel Star Wars: Honor Among Thieves.  That book will be released on March 4, 2014.

core__jkt_all_r1.indd

The HoloNet Digest will be taking next week off due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but I’ll see everyone right back here for Digest #40 in two weeks.


Eric Geller is a college student majoring in political science whose interests include technology, journalism, and of course Star Wars. He co-hosts The ForceCast podcast and manages social media for Star Wars fan sites TheForce.Net and Rebelscum.com. He is originally from the Washington, D.C. area.


Suvudu » Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, Movies, Comics, and Games

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WWE Friday Night SmackDown Results and November 15 Recap

Posted by Admin - November 18th, 2013

This week’s WWE SmackDown is from Manchester, England, and in the main event, CM Punk will team with Daniel Bryan to face Ryback and Curtis Axel. Also, Alberto Del Rio challenges John Cena to an arm wrestling match.


CamelCluchBlog.Com

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Star Wars HoloNet Digest #38: November 6-13, 2013

Posted by Admin - November 13th, 2013

Eric Logo Hologram

Artwork courtesy of Joshua Stolte

Welcome back to the Star Wars HoloNet Digest, a weekly feature where I bring you a recap of the latest news from the world of Star Wars. Whether it’s an Episode VII rumor or a noteworthy author interview, you’ll find it here. Let’s check the HoloNet and see what happened in the past week.

On Thursday, Lucasfilm announced that it had set a release date for Star Wars Episode VII, and that date is December 18, 2015. This news puts to rest the speculation that the film would be pushed back into 2016, and as Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn says in the press release, it reflects Disney’s desire to “ensure [the] extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture.” There’s not much more to say about this story, except that I’m looking forward to seeing the film whenever it is released. I doubt many fans will enjoy camping out in frigid temperatures as opposed to balmy weather, but most people will persevere. We are, after all, talking about many of the same people who camped out overnight in the freezing rain to see George Lucas at Celebration III.

The other big story this week was the commencement of open casting for Episode VII. On Friday, through a geo-targeted post on its Star Wars Facebook page, Lucasfilm confirmed that a new U.S. casting call was indeed set for the next Star Wars film. The website, which has recently been updated to display a giant Star Wars logo, lists two roles for which interested parties can audition. They are “Rachel,” a seventeen-year-old girl who lost her parents at a young age, and “Thomas,” a young man who grew up without a father and “doesn’t have the strongest sense of himself.” You can submit an audition video online in which you read dialog from a sample script, called an audition “side.” There are also four in-person U.S. casting calls, one each in Chicago, IL; Troy, MI; Austin, TX; and Nashville, TN. Check out the audition website for more information about those opportunities.

Those same Episode VII auditions also began in the UK last week, and the local British press was there to cover the throngs of fans who lined up for a chance at stardom. If you want to see pictures of the crowds and read stories about the hopeful actors and actresses, head over to TheForce.Net where we’ve collected the links. From what I can tell, the crowd began forming at 4:30 a.m., auditions began at 11 a.m., and casting agents turned away the crowd after seeing the first 1,000 people and giving callbacks (second auditions) to seventy-five of them. One report said that the interviews lasted two minutes and that men were asked for their name, age, and favorite movie.

Amid all the hubbub about the change of screenwriters on Episode VII, J.J. Abrams addressed the reasons for him and Lawrence Kasdan replacing Michael Arndt during a media conference call for his TV show Almost Human. According to Abrams, the decision came down to timing. “It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be,” Abrams said in response to a question from Deadline. He also said he would be open to working with Arndt in the future, calling him “one of the best writers around.”

Last week saw the release of a really cool new book. Ryder Windham, Chris Trevas, and Chris Reiff joined forces once again to produce the Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual, which was released on November 5. I already mentioned it in my previous HoloNet Digest, but now I’m bringing you the ensuing media coverage. I interviewed Windham for TheForce.Net, and he also spoke to Club Jade, the 501stCast, Roqoo Depot, Full of Sith, and Star Wars Action News. You can also check out reviews at Knights’ Archive and Lightsaber Rattling.

As far as comics are concerned, this week we’re getting Star Wars #11 by Brian Wood. Not sure if you want to start reading this series? Check out some recent reviews of the series by TheForce.Net reviewer Justin.


Eric Geller is a college student majoring in political science whose interests include technology, journalism, and of course Star Wars. He co-hosts The ForceCast podcast and manages social media for Star Wars fan sites TheForce.Net and Rebelscum.com. He is originally from the Washington, D.C. area.


Suvudu » Science Fiction and Fantasy Books, Movies, Comics, and Games

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Amazon’s Top 5 Fantasy Books, November 13, 2011

Posted by Admin - June 9th, 2013

Stephen King takes first and second this week, with two different formats of the same novel. A Dance with Dragons remains strong, with The Allow of Law by Brandon Sanderson making its debut in fifth.

  1. 11/22/63: A Novel (Kindle) by Stephen King
  2. 11/22/63: A Novel (Hardcover) by Stephen King
  3. A Dance with Dragons (Kindle) by George R.R. Martin
  4. The Night Circus (Kindle) by Erin Morgenstern
  5. The Alloy of Law (Kindle) by Brandon Sanderson


Fantasy Book News

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Amazon’s Top 5 Fantasy Books, November 27, 2011

Posted by Admin - June 8th, 2013

Stephen King continues to dominate the holiday season, but George R.R. Martin is still scooping up large swaths of bestseller weeks. Its likely Martin will rank first for the annual review.

  1. 11/22/63: A Novel (Kindle) by Stephen King
  2. 11/22/63: A Novel (Hardcover) by Stephen King
  3. A Dance with Dragons (Kindle) by George R.R. Martin
  4. A Game of Thrones (Kindle) by George R.R. Martin
  5. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Audiobook) by Gregory Maguire


Fantasy Book News

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Fantasy Blogosphere: November 28, 2011

Posted by Admin - June 3rd, 2013

The Alloy of Law reviews are pouring in, but sadly the biggest news is the passing of Anne McCaffrey. We have lost one of the greats. Her craft will be continued by the current crop of talented fantasy authors, and you can check out interviews with a few current greats like R.A. Salvatore, Patrick Rothfuss, Lev Grossman, Terry Brooks and Daniel Abraham below. Also, Brandon Sanderson talks about writing the Infinity Blade novella. Cool stuff.


Fantasy Book News

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The 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards Final Round November 19-27 (with comments by Liviu Suciu)

Posted by Admin - November 22nd, 2012

On Monday November 19th the top ten in each category were announced and the final round in each of the 20 categories has become available for us to vote. As the voting ends on November 27, get your vote in quickly!

I noted in my earlier post my choices and the predictions for the final round. Now I will present again the books in the three main fields of interest, fantasy, sf and historical fiction and discuss my earlier predictions, what actually got in the top 10 and how I see the final vote shaping. 

Once the results are published with the final statistics, a final round-up in December. For the predictions below I used the Goodreads metric: # reviews times average rating.

***********************************************************************

Fantasy


How did I do? 

I correctly predicted 7/10 including my choice The Blinding Knife; the wrong predictions erred towards epic, namely Red Country and Forge of Darkness, while I should have included the Fforde novel but realized it too late. 

The surprises for me, Some Kind of Fairy Tale (ok but not great imho) and Alif the Unseen which I opened but then it went on my huge to read” pile.


My Vote: The Blinding Knife again

Prediction: The favorite by far is Stephen King (always popular – which is a bit of a mystery for me as I find his work very boring at best) who leads by a lot in the Goodreads metric so it’s the overwhelmingly likely winner.

A slim outside chance:  Brent Weeks or Robin Hobb

For The Blinding Knife I expect a very good 2nd or 3rd place.

***********************************************************************

SF:


How did I do?

I correctly predicted 6/10 including that my choice The Hydrogen Sonata will not make it. The Goodreads sf tastes do not really match mine as of the 10 finalists, the only one I finished is Caliban’s War which I liked but thought a step below the superb Leviathan Wakes.
 
Of the rest, the Pratchett/Baxter is juvenile, tie-ins are rightly known as the “mine pits of genre”, Orson Scott Card’s fiction never appealed, steampunk is banal today, Angelmaker lost my attention fast, while Wool is written well and I may read it when in the mood for post-apocalyptic, but I feel I exhausted its sub-genre so it may take a good while for that…

My Vote: Caliban’s War


Prediction: Based on the Goodreads metric, Wool and Redshirts battle and I see Wool winning on quality versus a sub-mediocre spoof.

A reasonable outside chance: The Long Earth

For my less than enthusiastic choice Caliban’s War I expect a 6-7th place finish.

***********************************************************************

Historical Fiction:

How did I do?  

I correctly predicted 6/10 including that my choice The Secret Keeper will make it. Here I did no research and the genre is only partly familiar, so I missed the two huge favorites based on the Goodreads metric, The Light Between Oceans (ok but nothing special imho) and The Snow Child (better prose but a bit limited).


My Vote: Obviously my #1 book of the year, The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton.

Prediction: The Snow Child battling The Light Between Oceans with The Snow Child winning on numbers outweighing higher rating.

An outside chance: Bring up the Bodies

For The Secret Keeper I expect a respectable 5-6th place.

Fantasy Book Critic

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Fantasy Blogosphere: November 28, 2011

Posted by Admin - December 3rd, 2011

The Alloy of Law reviews are pouring in, but sadly the biggest news is the passing of Anne McCaffrey. We have lost one of the greats. Her craft will be continued by the current crop of talented fantasy authors, and you can check out interviews with a few current greats like R.A. Salvatore, Patrick Rothfuss, Lev Grossman, Terry Brooks and Daniel Abraham below. Also, Brandon Sanderson talks about writing the Infinity Blade novella. Cool stuff.

Fantasy Book News

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WWE Tuesday Night SmackDown November 29 Results – Daniel Bryan Challenges Mark Henry

Posted by Admin - November 30th, 2011

Tonight’s a special live edition of SmackDown!, and I’m actually looking forward to it, as the main event will be Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry in a cage for the World Championship.

Related posts:

  1. WWE Friday Night SmackDown November 25 Results – Daniel Bryan Cashes In Money In The Bank
  2. WWE Friday Night SmackDown November 18 Results – Henry Destroys Bryan…Again
  3. WWE Friday Night SmackDown November 4 Results – The Big Show KOs Mark Henry




CamelCluchBlog.Com

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Amazon’s Top 5 Fantasy Books, November 27, 2011

Posted by Admin - November 28th, 2011

Stephen King continues to dominate the holiday season, but George R.R. Martin is still scooping up large swaths of bestseller weeks. Its likely Martin will rank first for the annual review.

  1. 11/22/63: A Novel (Kindle) by Stephen King
  2. 11/22/63: A Novel (Hardcover) by Stephen King
  3. A Dance with Dragons (Kindle) by George R.R. Martin
  4. A Game of Thrones (Kindle) by George R.R. Martin
  5. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Audiobook) by Gregory Maguire

Fantasy Book News

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