Saturday, March 7, 2015

Kickstarter Day 19 (10 to go): my favorite local 14K peak & an antithesis of grimdark fantasy

The Labyrinth of Flame's Kickstarter continues to creep upward toward that interior art stretch goal. I'd say we're somewhere on the Lhotse face, hauling up the ice inch by inch.  The summit feels a million miles off, yet every step brings it closer, and I can't help but think how cool it'd be if the KS makes it.  (I know just which scenes I'd like to see illustrated!)  So in these last 10 days, keep on spreading the word to your fantasy-loving friends!

For today's pic, I offer up a fall view of my favorite local 14K mountain: Longs Peak, in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Imposing, beautiful, and even the easiest route is a heck of a hike: 16 miles round trip, 5100 ft elevation gain, and the final few miles are one long scramble over steep, airy ledges and granite slabs. I've done the Keyhole route 7 times now and look forward to trying some of the other, even more adventurous routes to the summit.

Fall view of 14,259-ft Longs Peak
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy bleak fantasy and antiheroes, but sometimes it's nice to have a break from all the grimdark and read something genuinely heart-warming.  Should you ever feel the same, I've got just the book to recommend: Rachel Aaron's Nice Dragons Finish Last.  Clever and amusing and fun, it features a nice-guy dragon protagonist who's determined to stay nice no matter how much easier his life would be if he didn't.  The really cool part about the book is that Aaron actually pulls this off in believable fashion.  Locked into human form, unable to use his dragon powers, protagonist Julius instead uses his smarts to find solutions.  He's a great character, and he's not the only one - Julius's not-nearly-as-nice dragon siblings are terrific, as is Marci, the human mage that Julius partners with.  This was one of my favorite reads of 2014 - I'm really looking forward to the next in the series.





4 comments:

  1. Justin was my favorite character in Nice Dragons. :)

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    1. One could even say he was a dragon Prince. :) And yes, he was awesome - just thinking about his & Julius's interactions is making me want to re-read the book right this second.

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  2. Looks like a cool book, and sure doesn't hurt that it's from the author of Eli Monpress.

    Also, your comment about nice guy dragons determined to stay nice reminded me of this Kenneth Grahame story.

    http://youtu.be/-CtplwSs0ys

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    1. Hadn't heard of the Kenneth Grahame story before - thanks for sharing the link! I remember reading as a kid an anthology of kids monster/creepy stories, and one of them was about a vampire boy who didn't like being a vampire. It's stuck in my head all these years because the writing was very atmospheric (not at all cutesy as some kids stories are, or funny - it was wistful and sad).

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