Archive for February, 2011

“Mesmerized”

A col­lec­tion of three roman­tic short sto­ries involv­ing hyp­no­sis pub­lished by Ellora’s Cave pub­lish­ing com­pa­ny. Each of the three have a love­ly, lone­ly lady paired with a seduc­tive, sexy man though some use of hyp­no­sis, whether it be a stage hyp­no­sis show, a demon­stra­tion of mes­merism or in pur­suit of a noto­ri­ous criminal.

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing ““Mes­mer­ized””

This Week in Comics — 2011/02/22

“Astonishing X‑Men” #36

Men­tal­lo is back. The long-time psy­chic-for-hire (he dates back to the ear­ly days of Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. and his work­ing rela­tion­ship with the Fix­er) is now work­ing for Rox­on, one of the major (and malev­o­lent) cor­po­rate play­ers in the Mar­vel Uni­verse. He’s on a ship bound for one of those places you don’t want to go, the appro­pri­ate­ly named Mon­ster Island. Rox­on paid big bucks to Japan for the drilling rights to the island and appar­ent­ly Men­tal­lo is their key to paci­fy­ing the natives. Natives that stand over a hun­dred feet tall and breathe fire, or resem­ble pre­his­toric dinosaurs with radioac­tive shells.

Except he does­n’t see it that way and he does­n’t care any­thing about the oth­ers. (He seems a lit­tle off his game, pos­si­bly even depressed. Not a good thing for one of the most pow­er­ful psy­chics on the plan­et.) With the mon­sters under his men­tal con­trol, he can do about any­thing, and that includes send­ing a cou­ple to stomp Tokyo, and no one can stop him.

Well, except maybe the X‑Men, sev­er­al of whom just hap­pen to be in Tokyo at the time.

Note: Got­ta check the last page: the real mon­ster is pic­tured next to a bill­board adver­tis­ing a Godzil­la movie.

A Mesmer Update — GuildWars

Are­naNet, the com­pa­ny behind Guild­Wars, has been work­ing on a fol­lowup game enti­tled Guild­Wars 2. It has been an open ques­tion whether one of the orig­i­nal pro­fes­sions, Mes­mers, (the one I like the best and the one most rel­e­vant to this blog) would be car­ried over to Guild­Wars 2. To this date, four  orig­i­nal pro­fes­sions (War­rior, Ranger, Ele­men­tal­ist and Necro­mancer) have been announced, as has one new pro­fes­sion (Guardian) but no offi­cial word on the Mes­mer pro­fes­sion so far.

But although it may not be offi­cial­ly con­firmed by Are­naNet but a num­ber of clues have emerged to sug­gest that this will, indeed be the case. And I am a hap­py pup­py to hear it.

Talk­Tyr­ia, a GW and GW2 fan­site, has a new arti­cle enti­tled ‘Hyp­no­tized, Mes­mer­ized … By What the Fans Believe’ that presents a num­ber of facts to sup­port this sug­ges­tion. They include the fact that the first GW2 nov­el, “Ghosts of Ascalon” by Jeff Grubb and Matt For­beck, and the sec­ond nov­el, “Edge of Des­tiny” by J. Robert King, both men­tion Mes­mers; that a major char­ac­ter in the game sto­ry­line, Queen Jen­nah of the human realm of Ascalon, is a Mes­mer (pret­ty handy for a Queen to be able to manip­u­late the minds and will of her sub­jects) and that Jeff Grubb him­self has stat­ed that:

Peo­ple will, who play a rit­u­al­ist or a mes­mer or a necro­mancer or any of the old, old char­ac­ters, will feel like they have a home some­where in Guild Wars 2.

Anoth­er fan site, GuildWars2Guru, also has a post which col­lects infor­ma­tion about the Mes­mer pro­fes­sion, here. It does into much more detail from the sec­ond nov­el about how Queen Jen­nah uses her Mes­mer abil­i­ties. Now I real­ize that what lit­er­ary char­ac­ters can do and what the play­er char­ac­ters will be able to do are not like­ly to be the same, but just the fact that she that she is a Mes­mer is a wel­come sign.

So I am now look­ing for­ward to GW2 and explor­ing the abil­i­ties of anoth­er Mes­mer char­ac­ter, prob­a­bly a Syl­vari (a new race that was born from plants) just because I think they look cool. And, of course, Mes­mers are always cool.

Adden­da: I don’t know what his exact title is, but Jeff Grubb is also the head per­son direct­ing the plot devel­op­ment for Guild­Wars 2. Jeff used to be with TSR (the peo­ple who pub­lished Dun­geons & Drag­ons) and was the line edi­tor for their immense­ly pop­u­lar Drag­onlance series and also worked on the (also) immense­ly pop­u­lar For­got­ten Realms prod­uct line. And he was one of Dun­geon Mas­ters I ran with back in my days at Purdue.

“They Live” — An Update

Even though I men­tioned it in the orig­i­nal post­ing, I want­ed to add that the web­site Io9 has a new review of the book, “They Live” by Jonathan Lethem, here, a crit­i­cal exam­i­na­tion of the 1988 John Car­pen­ter movie of the same name that I wrote about here. I did­n’t exam­ine the book in that post­ing, but I’ve learned some things about it that I want to bring to my read­ers’ attention.

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing ““They Live” — An Update”

‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’ — “Doctor Who”

~ Terror in the Fog ~

In ‘The Talons of Weng-Chi­ang’, the Fourth Doc­tor and Leela encounter a mys­tery with extra­or­di­nary pro­por­tions in Vic­to­ri­an Lon­don, involv­ing miss­ing women, a stage magi­cian and his malev­o­lent dum­my assis­tant, Chi­nese tongs, a mys­te­ri­ous Ori­en­tal cab­i­net, a crip­pled war crim­i­nal from the future and a giant rat.

⇒ Con­tin­ue read­ing “‘The Talons of Weng-Chi­ang’ — “Doc­tor Who””

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