Saturday, 14 July 2012

Joy and Sorrow

Every coin has 2 sides; if one happens to be
a Mammoth, it is a good day.
Forbidden Planet (The store, not Venus) have been tormenting me something horrid with their email updates of late. Firstly, there is a model of the Eleventh Doctor's sonic screwdriver coming out that just so happens to double up as a universal remote control, complete with the commands being gesture based. I mean, come ON! How amazing is that?! Sadly, it will be quite expensive and I will most likely have to refrain from buying it and be "sensible" with my money. Even worse, on Saturday 4th August this very year the Titan of FF (See what I did there? Did you? Never mind...) Ian Livingstone OBE (or is that CBE? I have conflicting emails adding up to a fair bit of confusion. He should be knighted anyway, so it's all irrelevant) is turning up at the London mega-store from 3-4pm to sign a copy of Blood of the Zombies to all who grace him with their presence. I would love to go and meet him/get a signed copy of what is fast looking like a frankly awesome entry to the FF canon. Alas, I have to work on that day as my fellow colleagues have been lucky enough to acquire Olympic tickets for that day and so quite rightly already asked for the day off before me. Bugger. I can and will pre-order a signed copy from Forbidden Planet; it's just not the same though, is it?

The greatest Knight there is. No argument.
Enough of that sorrow. Every coin has two sides; so does every story. The above may be fair reason for sorrow, yet I am also blessed with good reason for joy. Having scoured the internet and second-hand bookshops around the town for a copy of one of the more rarer FF books, Knights of Doom, I finally struck gold. Knights is, bizarrely, the only FF book authored by Jonathan Green that has not been published by Wizard. Having also the unfortunate honour of being one of the latter books published in the Puffin run, it is considerably rare and thus rather expensive to come to own nowadays. Every copy I'd found available was either listed as poor condition with ripped pages and/or the dreaded pen marks (Uh, no thanks) or in excess of £30. Yikes. For that reason, today has cause to land on the positive side of that coin. For today, I managed to acquire Knights of Doom for a mere £4.99 including postage. Hooray! By all accounts it seems as if it's going to be a good book; it must be, it even has the cooler font! I am also currently winning an auction for Moonrunner, another FF title that, from the outside at least, seems an incredibly interesting concept. Assuming I hold onto that, I will then own most of the FF books that have been published in the 'main' series, my only missing titles being:

  • The Rings of Kether (sci-fi, meh)
  • Siege of Sardath (looks interesting enough)
  • Deathmoor (far too expensive to get a copy of it seems)
  • Magehunter (see above)
  • Revenge of the Vampire (The cheapest copy I've seen of this anywhere was £40 and that was listed as condition: bad. Any of good condition I've seen go for over £100 on ebay, which is quite frankly ridiculous!)

  • 5 away from the ultimate aim of owning them all isn't too bad I guess, although my quest to get the latter 3 on that list may turn that coin back over to the sorrow side once more. Still, you can't have everything I guess! I will be posting my playthrough of Beneath Nightmare Castle hopefully early next week; from my quick sneak peeks it seems I shall be having an experience that is enjoyable and horrific in equal measures. So look forward to that; I predict a rather gruesome end to delight you all with. I struggle to find a moral for this brief tale beyond spewing that coin metaphor at you once again, so instead leave you with a rather famous and inspirational poem. What's that? Poetry?!! I agree, it's not my favourite genre but the right poem can be inspirational stuff. With that, I leave you with Rudyard Kipling's 'If''. Till next time people, take care.

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

    If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
    Suitably epic, I think you'll agree.

    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!


    1. Congratulations! Though I fear you may be ultimately disappointed in "Knights of Doom"; like "Spellbreaker" and "Crypt of the Sorcerer", the difficultly level is absolutely ridiculous.

      "Moonrunner", on the other hand, is one of the best books in the series, so here's hoping you win that auction!

    2. You're doing well with your collecting, far ahead of me. I have about 5 due to arrive sometime this week, none of them especially rare ones.

    3. On the comments you mention here, I looked up Revenge of the Vampire - bloody hell. I had that as a kid. It seems getting ahold of that again is going to be a massive step on my journey! Thanks for this. How's your luck with Clash of the Princes going?

    4. I won Moonrunner, so happy days! As for Clash of the Princes - I read through them all properly today to the point where I think I understand the whole 2-player aspect. If you're still up for it, when I've done Nightmare Castle I'm open to that collaboration we spoke of, Provided I get to be the Warlock ;) In all seriousness, I'm not too fussed, but we should settle any argument that may arise there in a mature way that in no way involves a virtual contest of Rock, Paper, Scissors...