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Everything posted by Werthead

  1. Werthead

    Upcoming TV Series of 2018 - Your most anticipated shows

    Following that lot we'll also have Good Omens in the spring.
  2. I agree we should plan for it. A hard Brexit would be ruinous to this country, so if the choice is between a hard Brexit and no Brexit at all, we should plan for no Brexit at all, or an indefinite extension to Article 50 (the former option remains firmly on the table, according to the EU, the latter is less clear).
  3. So such smooth transition exists, because the UK's entire economy is rooted in its membership of the EU. Leaving the EU and trading under WTO rules leaves Britain permanently poorer than remaining in the EU. This is what will happen if we Hard Brexit without a deal: The morning after Brexit, border checks will be imposed all along the Irish border, at ferry ports and the Channel Tunnel. Whereas goods in the UK used to flow into Europe without a single check (and, despite this, delays and tailbacks at Dover and Calais were common), now they'll all have to be checked. There is also the matter of important licences, something Britain doesn't have to worry about now but will after Brexit. The EU issues 150 such licences a year to any country wanting to do business in the EU. There are roughly 11,500 trips across the English Channel related to trade, imports and exports per day. British companies will quickly be shelling out thousands of pounds per year to fund such trips, costs that will be passed onto consumers. As a result of the above, costs will rise in the supermarket and in most retail outlets very quickly. Britain's only produces about half of the dairy products it consumes on a daily basis, so costs will rise to import the rest from the EU or will rise because British farmers will need to charge more because of the loss of their export markets in Europe and the loss of their seasonal staff (tariffs on dairy to and from the EU are over 70%, as well). Tariffs will be imposed on a wide range of sectors. Industry and manufacturing will have to raise prices in the UK and abroad to make good the losses from the triple whammy of tariffs, problems getting the workers they need and the increased cost of haulage and imports. The imposition of a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be a material breach of the Good Friday Agreement. A new agreement will have to be negotiated between Northern Ireland, the Republic and the UK, which was difficult enough in the late 1990s even after 30 years of continuous bloodshed and the political will being there on all sides, but may be impossible now. The "treachery" of the imposition of the border may trigger a new wave of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland (we've seen recent isolated incidents resulting from the freezing of Stormont, but this could be considerably worse). Britain moving to WTO rules with the EU would be matched by it having simultaneous WTO rules put in place for everwhere else, or every single other country that trades with Britain via the EU trade deals already in place (for example, we're about to enjoy seven months of more or less free trade with Japan that will abruptly end when Brexit cuts in). Budget airline travel to Europe will abruptly cease. Moving to no deal means a £93 Standard Visitor Visa per person per trip will be required (fancy adding £372 to a trip for a family of four to Spain?) or a Registered Traveller Visa which costs £70 but lasts you a year: hooray! Except you have to remember to renew it every year and you will have to carry it with you everywhere or you can be deported. Scotland and possibly Northern Ireland would be emboldened to strike for independence once more. Hard Brexiting without a deal should not be even remotely on the table. It would destroy British industries, drive thousands of people out of work and would raise the cost of living for a populace already very much on the edge due to Tory mismanagement of the economy and the country for eight years. It would also post an existential threat to the continuation of the United Kingdom as we know it.
  4. Cool. Age of Mythology Extended Edition has a 5-mission bonus campaign that was only previously available as a download from the developers' website. It introduces the 2 dwarves who randomly show up in the main campaign and explains what was going on with them whilst Team Arkantos was kicking butt elsewhere. I missed this at the time, so a nice bonus to get a few more missions from when the game was first made. I've heard mixed things about the new Chinese campaign (which is next, before the Titan expansion campaign, for some reason).
  5. Werthead

    Denis Villenueve to direct Dune

    I can imagine Denis Villeneuve suggesting this, the casting director getting a glint in their eye, and then Villeneuve choke-holding them to the floor and saying, "Do not even think of calling fucking Jared Leto. Do Not Go There."
  6. I've seen some negative reviews of it. The "eight paths" thing apparently backfires because the paths are all very samey.
  7. Werthead

    Tolkien 2.0

    I feel most of the counterfactual scenarios with regard to Lord of the Rings are addressed in Jacqueline Carey's Sundering duology (which is very blatantly LotR rewritten from the Witch-King of Angmar's POV, with some names and maps changed to avoid getting sued). Some very clever and interesting ideas there.
  8. Werthead

    Joss Whedon - SF Epic for HBO -The Nevers

    Alyson Hannigan was a reasonably well-known actress at the time for her child actor roles. She was actually the second actress cast in the role, as the first actress was very nervous and fluffed her lines in the unaired pilot. That actually got some criticism, as she was also overweight (apparently an attempt to present a more realistic view of teenagers in a US school which the network then rejected in favour of a more Hollywoodised, "everyone is beautiful" approach) and was replaced by the notably not-overweight Hannigan. The completely unsourced story was that one of the affairs was with Charisma Carpenter, which goes some way to explaining his weird behaviour towards her on Angel (when she got married and pregnant and was killed off in a very weird manner). That was also a lot less icky: Carpenter was much older than her co-stars and only six years younger than Whedon (who was only in his early thirties at the time), so the power imbalance thing wasn't really there either. But there was no evidence for that and Carpenter has had many chances over the years to speak to that (she was pretty annoyed about her treatment on the show), but she's apparently friends with Whedon again now and nothing was ever confirmed. I think the situation was highly unfortunate and seized upon by critics of Whedon to try to tear him down, but then it never really turned into a bigger story like they thought it would and it's kind of drifted off now. But it was ammunition for those who felt that Whedon's self-declared feminism wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. Afrofuturism has been a relatively well-known term since the early 1990s, and applied retroactively to earlier books. These are works of SFF which delve into Africa's role in a future society. Black Panther is one of the best-known uses, but Ian McDonald wrote an SF trilogy set in Africa in the 1990s which also popularised the idea, as did Alastair Reynolds with his recent Blue Remembered Earth and its sequels. More interesting are works by African SF authors and African-descended authors delving into the field. It's not as well-known a term as, say, cyberpunk, but it's been around for a while and is relatively common.
  9. Some of the most bizarre Commons manoeuvring I can remember. JRM forming an unlikely alliance with Labour rebels to get through amendments to the government's white paper that, as far as I can tell, will prevent the EU from ever agreeing to it. The idea of the white paper is that it was going to be the starting point for negotiations and the EU would need to negotiate some of its positions down. Tonight's votes seem to have made that impossible. In particular, JRM's amendment that makes it illegal for HMRC to collect payments on behalf of the EU unless every EU country reciprocates could be very awkward, since that bit could require a lot of fudging and negotiation. The government has tabled a motion to end the Parliamentary session on Thursday, five days early, and go into the summer recess ahead of schedule. That's quite strange as well. There's a huge amount of business to get through still, and now they're going to have to rush it or put it on hold until September, 5-6 weeks ahead of the transition deal with the EU being negotiated. I'm starting to wonder if the government is going to have to conclude that there is a logjam in governance that makes governing or negotiating Brexit functionally impossible, and they have to consider other action (whether that's a confidence motion, a second referendum or a general election or something else). It seems politically impossible - and it would likely end both May and Corbyn's careers - but an argument could be made that the magnitude of Brexit and its importance to Britain for decades to come is enough to warrant some kind of national unity government being formed, like it was after the Depression, but without another election to even out the numbers I can't see that being doable, otherwise Labour rebels would just join the Tory rebels and without LibDem and Green support to push the numbers up (resulting in an even softer Brexit than May wants), May would be screwed.
  10. Werthead

    U.S. Politics- SCOTUS 2: The Election Strikes Back

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/russian-national-charged-conspiracy-act-agent-russian-federation-within-united-states Wait, what?
  11. Weird. Metal Wolf Chaos, a 2004 late-original X-Box game from FROM Software, is getting a remaster and re-release. “By the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, freedom was dead in America.” It's about the President of the USA, who has a battle mech, being usurped by the Vice-President, who also has a battle mech, and them kicking the hell out of each other.
  12. Werthead

    Joss Whedon - SF Epic for HBO -The Nevers

    Apparently he cheated on her, several times, with the young actresses he cast on his various shows (none have been named). She wrote a blog about it.
  13. Werthead

    Joss Whedon - SF Epic for HBO -The Nevers

    Yeah, Whedon's not been given a free hand in a project for quite some time. It'll be interesting to see how this one turns out, and if it can help rehabilitate his personal reputation, which took a right battering from his ex-wife last year.
  14. Werthead

    Babylon 5

    Sad way to kick off a new thread, but Ron Thornton has passed away at the too-young age of 59. Thornton worked on Blake's 7 and Doctor Who in the late 1970s before moving to Hollywood and working on a bunch of movies, including (hooray!) Spaceballs and Critters. Thornton was the primary CGI designer on B5, being the head of Foundation Imaging. It was Thornton's 30-second CG reel showing Babylon 5 orbiting Epsilon III that convinced Warner Brothers to pick up Babylon 5 in July 1992. Thornton was the designer of Babylons 4 and 5, the Minbari warcruiser, the Vorlon and Shadow ships and the White Star, as well as lots of secondary spacecraft (such as the Drazi Sunhawk, which he based on the Liberator on Blake's 7, on which he also worked as a young visual effects technician at the BBC). He didn't design the Starfury, but he did suggest the original concept to Steve Burg, suggesting he look at the Gunstar from The Last Starfighter for inspiration. Foundation Imaging was effectively fired from working on Babylon 5 so the executive producer could steal a bunch of his staff and set up his own, cheap-as-shit effects team, Netter Digital (Straczynski - eventually - realised this was shady as hell and regretted it, but about fifteen years too late) who took over for the last two seasons. You can tell the difference: Thornton and FI put a lot of thought into shot composition, doing things off the horizontal plane and making sure everything worked in accordance with Newtonian physics. The other guys didn't. After B5, Foundation Imaging worked on the big fleet battles in the last two seasons of Deep Space Nine and became the main provider of CG effects on Seasons 4-7 of Voyager, along with the first season of Enterprise. They also worked on the remastered edition of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Foundation Imaging went bust in 2002, after which Thornton worked on shows like The New Captain Scarlet and (that notoriously CG-heavy show) Nashville. Some of Thornton's colleagues went on to work on shows like BSG and Lost. Sad news. B5 had some of the best-ever spaceship designs, period, and Thornton was behind a lot of it. The Babylon Curse continues...
  15. Werthead

    Babylon 5

    J. Michael Straczynski had a rule that no mystery on the show should be left completely unresolved longer than a certain period of time, as he knew the audience would get tired of it, but in the revelation of that mystery new questions should be raised, as we saw with us discovering what happened to Sinclair's missing memory but that in turn generating new questions which won't be answered for another while. So generally speaking, if you're getting bored of a mystery on B5, that means there may be an answer lurking on the horizon.
  16. Fair point. For some reason I had it in mind that WC3 was a 2003 release (that was Frozen Throne instead). Although there was certainly some cross-pollination between WarCraft (and Civ) and Age of Empires and back again.
  17. There was another group. They banged on a bus being driven by a Muslim woman in a headscarf and tried to stick a "FREE TOMMY ROBINSON" sticker to her bus before she managed to drive past them. Cockwombles.
  18. There's a pretty big Fallout 4 mod called Northern Springs which adds a large new area to explore and some new quests. Looks interesting, and bravo to a modding team which sets a realistic, focused goal (an expansion-level new area, not a whole new world the same size as the base game or bigger) and executing it a reasonable timeframe (two years, in this case). Winding up my Age of Mythology replay. Excellent game, once you get over some of its 1990isms (it was released in 2002 but did hold over some archaic game mechanics from the earlier Age of Empires games). Always enjoyed this one a lot more than the occasionally-suspiciously-similar-and-later WarCraft III and that remains the case.
  19. Book 1: The Spirit Thief
  20. According to The Sunday Times this morning: Penny Mordaunt and Esther McVey are considering resigning. Mordaunt is being floated as an alternative leadership candidate as Boris may be too divisive. Theresa May allegedly cried after being ranted at in a private meeting with Iain Duncan Smith, although to be fair most people would cry at the prospect of spending any time alone in a room with Iain Duncan Smith. 40 letters have been submitted to the 1922 Committee calling for a vote of no confidence, eight short of the number required. Tory Whips have threatened MPs in marginal seats to withdraw their letters or have their funding withdrawn for the next election campaign. May loyalists are threatening to trigger a leadership contest now as they believe May would easily win and this would crush the hard Brexiteer wing for all time. Davis claims that May has "lied" over there being no alternatives to her Brexit plan (he is being pedantic there: she meant "no alternative plan that isn't fucking insane, like crashing out with no deal"). In related news, the British government has apparently started stock-piling processed and tinned food for a no-deal Brexit, because clearly it's actually 1939. Still, nice to know that the prosperity and international reputation of this nation are not being trashed by bungling amateurs in pursuance of their own self-interest. This is more appropriate than ever today. This comment appears to be a non-sequitur.
  21. Werthead

    What’s your all time favorite book series?

    There was a side-story that was part of Book 4 or 5 which was cut in its entirety and published later as a separate novella. Apart from that I don't think there was ever a strong plan for more work in this world.
  22. The issue here is that the author has not lied. Whether you "feel" he's lied to you or not is immaterial: GRRM has not broken that promise not to engage in new writing or editing projects since 2016. Whether people are paying attention to when the projects that have come out since then or not is really not his problem. He said in 2016 that he would not initiate any more writing projects before completing Winds and this has been the case. Wild Cards is editing work, which he differentiates (he has set time for writing and for editing and this has been the case since the 1990s), and anyway exempted Wild Cards from his promise to take on more editing work: Wild Cards is a pre-existing commitment to ASoIaF, many other authors rely on the income stream it provides, he has help editing it (Melinda Snodgrass does a lot of the work, 50% or more on the volumes she is co-credited on) and so forth. Fire and Blood was completely written or almost so in 2012, constituting as it does the material he wrote for The World of Ice and Fire (published in 2014), with extracts of it already long-ago published as "The Princess and the Queen" (published 2013), "The Rogue Prince" (published 2014) and "Sons of the Dragon" (2017). His original plan was to finish the Targ history completely (going up to Aerys II and the Rebellion) before publishing it, but his publishers noted the completed material was about 270,000 words, or almost the length of AGoT by itself, so if he did complete the whole thing it would be too big to publish in one volume so why not just publish that first half now? So he said okay and that's what they've done. He hasn't done any new work on the material since 2016 (apart from some general edits and tidying up of the material). You could make an argument that the 2-3 months he lost writing this material in 2012 was unwise, but that makes no difference now. George wrote The Ice Dragon in 1979 and another company is adapting it to film now. He's agreed to it but that's the total length of his commitment to the project. He's taken some phone calls and exchanged some emails with the writers of the HBO spin-off projects, but he's turned down the opportunity to actively write these new projects directly because of his commitment to TWoW. It could be argued some of these points are sailing close to the wind, but the bottom line is that he has not broken that promise not to take on any new writing commitments whilst TWoW remains incomplete, and not only that, but he has only written exactly four pieces of non-ASoIaF-related fiction since starting to write A Game of Thrones in 1991, and none at all since 2008.
  23. A modder has discovered that the famously shit AI in Aliens: Colonial Marine is down to one single typo in an .ini file. Fixing this takes 5 seconds and although it doesn't solve the rest of the game's many other sins, it does address this one particularly glaring fuck-up, which resulted in all those meme-worthy shots of xenomorphs disco-dancing in room corners or sauntering casually by the player in a friendly manner.
  24. As said previously, the marriage/divorce metaphor is a terrible one and the "until you die" comment is nonsensical.
  25. When AGoT came out he said ACoK would be out 1 year later, max. When ASoS came out he said Book 4 would be out in 2002. When AFFC came out he thought ADWD could be out 1 year later. When he missed that, he said 2008 at the latest. Absolutely nothing new in this. Hell, when he was being interviewed about Wild Cards and Beauty and the Beast in the early 1990s he even said, "Oh, the next thing I'm working on is a fantasy trilogy, the first book will be out in 1994." George has always been incredibly rubbish at predictions, which is why he absolutely 100% refused to make any. It was only an actual avalanche of thousands of people in 2015 demanding an update that triggered one, even with him warning it was a very rough estimate that could be way off, and of course everyone ignored him and took it as an absolute promise signed in blood and got annoyed when it didn't come true. And so the wheel turns again.