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Tag: Science Fiction (page 1 of 2)

Stellaris 2.0 With Apocalypse

Your favorite grand strategy game in space, Stellaris, recently received both a massive overhaul, and a new expansion. But was it for better or for worse?

It’s been about a year since my first Stellaris review, in which I gave the game a rock solid 94 out of 100 score. When our heroes at Paradox released Stellaris 2.0, and the accompanying Apocalypse expansion, I’d put a massive 83 hours into the game. That put it on par with Tropico 4 in terms of gameplay hours. Other players have racked thousands of hours in Stellaris, so a measly 83 might not sound like much compared to that. But for me, that number of hours put in a game show just how entertaining it really is. That the 83 hours only covers three games, 2 won, 1 forfeited, also says a lot about Stellaris’ longevity.

Paradox is well know for keeping their games alive by frequently releasing free patches, and new DLC. Crusader Kings 2 is a good example. The game was released in 2013, but it’s still updated by Paradox. It looks like Stellaris is no exception to that rule. Two years after its release, the game has received multiple patches, two major expansions, and several story packs. Even without buying the DLC, you get a lot from just patching the game. Me, I’m throwing all my money at Paradox, one of the very few companies I buy games and DLC from on release day.

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Summer Reading

We’re already half way through May, which means it’s getting mighty close to summer here in the northern hemisphere. At work the team has been asked to take as much as possible of July off, and that’s exactly what I plan to do. Anniken and I are spending a week cruising the Mediterranean Sea, which leaves about three weeks of just goofing off. With the hammock now up, I went ahead and ordered a few books I can enjoy while dosing off in it. I decided to go for paperbacks and not Kindle versions, because with paperbacks you don’t have to worry about the battery in your book going flat. I’m still mostly reading science fiction, or at least science fiction themed books. Here’s what I got for a cool £20 from Amazon.co.uk:

“Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card

In the far future, humanity has discovered interstellar travel and faster-than-light communication enabled by ansibles. In exploring the galaxy, they encountered an alien race known as the Formics, derogatorily dubbed “buggers” due to their insect-like appearance. The Formics attacked the humans and the two races enter into a series of wars. Despite political conflict on Earth between three ruling parties, the Hegemon, Polemarch, and Strategos, a tentative agreement was reached to create the International Fleet (IF) to combat the Formics. In addition to a selective breeding program, the IF monitors the children of Earth via implanted devices to find the best and brightest to enter Command School and enlist in the fleet.

Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is the youngest sibling of Peter and Valentine, and part of an Earth program to produce brilliant officers; despite this, Ender is teased as a “third” under Earth’s two-child policy. After the IF removes Ender’s monitoring device, possibly ending his chances of getting into Command School, he gets into a fight with a fellow student, Stilson. Ender brutally harms Stilson, who later dies from the wounds, though Ender is unaware of this. When explaining his actions to supervisors, Ender states his belief that, by showing superiority now, he will have prevented further fights in the future.

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“Chasm City” by Alastair Reynolds

Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds“Chasm City” is the second book I’ve read written by Alastair Reynolds, the first one being “Revelation Space“. I had a bit of a hard time with Revelation Space as Reynolds totally lost it during the last one hundred pages and started rambling like a madman.

So naturally I was a bit skeptical when I picked up Chasm City. The reason why I bought the book in the first place was that it was not part of the same series as Revelation Space, but the events of Chasm City still takes place in the same fictional universe as Revelation Space – and if it’s something Alastair Reynolds is very good at it’s creating thrilling, fictional universes.

Chasm City starts out well and Reynolds is keeping a good pace through most of the book, he is only side stepping once into what might resemble the ramblings of Revelation Space and for only a few pages. Unlike Revelation Space, most of Chasm City is written in first person with the occasional jumps back in time with stories told by a third-person narrator.

There is no requirement that you have to be familiar with Reynolds’ first book to enjoy Chasm City, but it’s without doubt a plus if you do as it enables you to enjoy all the more or less intricate references to Revelation Space.

Water of Life

Yesterday night me and Gine went to Terje and Inger’s annual stick meat Christmas dinner. Good food, good company and good drinks. Akvavit is what Norwegians traditionally drink with their Christmas meals, it’s served at room temperature but it still burns in your throat. Neither does it take long before you realize you’ve had enough for the evening. I recommend drinking about twice the volume of water as Akvavit as it seems it prevents you from being sick the next day. At least it works very well for me.

We got back home at around two in the morning and I might accidently have stayed up playing EVE Online until half past six or so. I’m really not sure what time it was when I finally got to bed nor what kind of missions I completed, if any, but at least I have proven that it’s possible to fly a large space ship without smashing it into anything while drunk. Read more

Dictionary

Over the last couple of months I’ve read one great book, Hyperion, and one good book The Fall of Hyperion. Since I finished the last book yesterday, I decided to visit a book store after work today to find what I thought was the third book about Hyperion. Actually, I went to three book stores, but I was unable to find it anywhere.

Just as well, because I was looking for Hyperion Omnibus. Since I’m a moron, I didn’t actually know the meaning of the word “omnibus” and thought it was part of the title of the book.

Omnibus, noun, a book containing reprints of a number of works.

So now you know, too.

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