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jamesbondsmith last won the day on April 24 2021

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472 King's Tester


About jamesbondsmith

  1. Hi, I had a question. One of my coworkers is Mormon and going on a church based teaching volunteer 'mission' (sorry, I'm not sure what to properly call it). From what I understand it involves going across the country for 18 months and apparently it is unpaid. Is going for that long on a volunteer basis... normal? Maybe it's because we know each other through our income stream but it feels weird to say the least. For reference I am completely non-religious.
  2. Which elements of speculative fiction (fantasy, scifi, horror etc) do you think would warrant academic study? I've been vaguely considering going back to university for a Masters or PHD course, but I really would need something that could hold my interest for 1-3 years. My honours thesis was focusing on the Hunger Games series, and I looked at Baudrillard's precession of simulacra and how various characters fitted into it while also looking at if audiences had actually paid attention to the critical media literacy messages (I got kind of marked down for being too broad and splitting my efforts between the two). I thought about focusing on the latter more closely, but it's really hard to make judgements on whether people 'miss the point' post Death of the Author. I also thought of looking at healing and injury-induced disability in high-magic fantasy (I had a bad experience with a certain series), or perhaps something to do with ludonarrative dissonance (when the messages from a game's story and its gameplay are on conflict).
  3. I finally got round to starting the show, and after two episodes, I'm liking it. It is a little generic at times, but LOTR is basically the original that a lot of generic fantasy is accused of ripping off. It's like someone nowadays stumbling onto a seminal work of art decades after people have built on the foundations that art created (or at least popularised), like listening to the first rock bands from the 60s fifty years later, or Superman after decades of superstrong flyers in comics.
  4. The Bioshock series (it's on my name badge at work, and my house keys). I love them all, but I love the second despite the fact people seem to dislike it. I'm so keen for the new one coming. Horizon Zero Dawn is also up there, even if I wish I could upgrade the facial animations to the level of the sequel.
  5. Started replaying Skyrim, and I ran into the same problem as last time where I'm paralysed by choice. Also, I was hoping for a completionist run but I'm also averse to being mean, which cuts out a whole bunch of quests.
  6. IMO the whole Jurassic Park franchise works because every character is dumb, but the first film worked because this was the first time they'd done it, and you can chalk it up to hubris. Every subsequent just gets dumber and dumber because of how many times it's gone wrong before. So I guess writing yourself into a corner is a far harder issue to fix when you have millions of dollars and hundreds of people who have put time and effort into what doesn't seem to be working. As for GOT, I've heard that the showrunners had various reasons for wanting to move on, so they rushed it (which comes down to a human element of valuing our personal time and effort in the limited time we have alive, and that has only gotten worse since Covid). I felt that certain developments in season 8 could have been perfectly fine had they been built up over the 10 season run that GRRM and HBO supposedly wanted. Also, there are inherent risks in adapting a story that isn't finished yet, especially if there's a gulf in the respective creator's storytelling abilities.
  7. @Duxredux yes, the daughter is the 'heir' so to speak, hence the comparison of the Prime Minister. Perhaps it could be a 'we need a noble to talk to the nobles' situation, but in that case I feel like her non-mage father could do it just as well. The current vague plan is for them to try to convince the capital to send help to fight off the pirates as they are still a threat, but the struggle is why they would be OK with the people who just saved them leaving when the crisis isn't averted yet? As opposed to sending some other townspeople who might be less crucial to the defense. To use a Sanderson analogy, why send your Radiants away when you're surrounded by enemies? On the other hand, I suppose it could create drama if them leaving wasn't 'sanctioned' by the town, especially if the daughter has to come back and lead them eventually.
  8. Why would a town let the people who have just saved them leave? Basically, an outlying town on the coast is attacked by pirates trying to carve out a land-based kingdom. The lord's daughter and a merchant apprentice (both mages) fight them off, but what little I had planned of the story involved the two of them and the master mage going on a trek along a sort of fantasy Silk Road to speak to the leaders of their nation, and I'm struggling to think of why the townspeople would be OK with letting them just leave like that. I've been thinking of it in similar terms to the massive public outcry to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaving for Hawaii during the massive bushfires in 2019/20. The master/apprentice duo are merchants who sell enchanted objects (innate magic is very rare, but objects allow non-mages to approximate things like superstrength and ensure their weapons never lose their edge), so I thought they could perhaps donate their entire stock towards the defense efforts. But that does kind of pale in comparison to the scene I wrote on the fly one day where he basically turns a bow into a medieval rocket launcher.
  9. Resurrecting the thread for another question: I ordered the ebooks through the pre-order store, which according to the FAQs means I don't need to fill out that survey (got a bit of a fright there when I checked my emails). Do I need to do anything else to receive the ebooks?
  10. I thought she kind of fell into the subset of 'tough female characters who spend a chunk of the sequel worrying about her relationship with her boyfriend', which irritated me. Same with the Percy Jackson sequel series.
  11. As I think i understand how the Multiverse works (it bent my brain a little to be honest) @Eluvianii I definitely see what you mean about WandaVision.
  12. What did people think of the movie? I'll be honest, I felt it was being hyped on the power of its multiversal cameos (so many spoilers coming) That said, it was definitely an emotional ride, which is what art is all about.
  13. Thanks for the feedback everyone. The competition has a word count of 1500-5000 words, and seeing this piece is just over 1600 words I've definitely got room to expand it. It sounds like the story-within-a-story is OK, but the framing device needs work. I guess I was going for a slice of life type story, but I see what people mean about needing more of an arc. It looks like I didn't have anything to worry about with the song I'm definitely thinking of including this character in other works, perhaps as kind of an interlude character like in Stormlight Archive. This would probably be his final appearance, seeing as
  14. Well, if I can do it retrospectively for stuff I played: Prey (2017) a worthy comrade of the Bioshock games, and arguably did a better job of achieving some of its goals. I find myself wishing I could live in Rapture, Columbia or Talos 1, before I remember the horrible things that happen during the games and underpin the whole community from the start. The Dishonored series is great, and I would say it definitely did a better job of achieving the goals of the Last of Us Part 2. I think I first played Horizon Zero Dawn during early 2021, when Playstation gave it out for free. It cemented itself as one of my favourite games, and I've easily put over 100 hours into it (to be fair, a lot of that is repeatedly dying against bosses while under-equipped or searching for collectables). I love the lore and the writing, but the facial animation really needed work. I'd heard the Guerilla was a European developer and I thought the lips were out of sync etc because they were being dubbed into English, but I'm pretty sure it started as an English-language game, and the faces were incredibly wooden anyway. Fortunately, they worked towards fixing the issue in the DLC and sequel. More of a general thing, but is anyone else frustrated by the camerawork in a lot of modern internet-based TV? I first noticed it in the Witcher Season 1, where someone's eyes can be in focus but their hairline is blurry as hell.
  15. I'm not sure how they'll tie everything up in the final episode, seeing it's supposedly around 45 minutes and I've heard there isn't going to be a second season. How likely do people think it is that they're telling the truth about not requiring intimate knowledge of the wider MCU?