Tag Archives: Pern

Books in Virtual Reality

Virtual reality is a reality now. You can get Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, use it on your computer, and enjoy immersing yourself in another world.

But this had me thinking. What if we could enter the world that exists in a book? You can fully interact with everything in that world, including places, characters, and more. Which book would you choose to enter?

I think I would love to be in the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. I want to become a dragon rider and ride a dragon. That would be incredible.

Or maybe join Ender in Ender’s Game, training in that zero gravity training chamber. That would be a lot of fun.

Or how about exploring Mars in Red Mars? See Olympus Mons, the polar ice caps, or Valles Marineris.

The possibilities are endless. Which book would you choose? Let me know in the comments below.

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Getting Immersed in a Book

There’s something I absolutely love, and that’s getting immersed in a book. It doesn’t matter where I am, as long as my mind is in the book, and everything around me is shut out, I feel like I can get lost in a book. If the book is especially good, I want to stay there a long time.

There have been some books I can’t get enough of, and I don’t want to stop reading. Usually, the ones that I want to keep reading are longer series. I think the two that I feel comfortable in are the Pern series and Shannara series. I love the worlds they’re set in.

But books aren’t the only thing I can get immersed in. There are certain TV series and movies that pull me, as well. In particular, the Star Trek movies and the later Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. Deep Space Nine does it to me, too.

How about you? Which books draw you in so much that you don’t want to leave? Let me know in the comments below.

Re-Reading Books

I’ve only ever re-read one book, and that’s Macbeth. There has been no other time I’ve re-read a book. But I think the reason is that for most books, I haven’t had enough time to miss them, I guess. However, there are a few that I would like to re-read. I made a video on this topic, so here is what I want to re-read.

What I forgot to mention is that I will be re-reading Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.

In that video, there are a lot of books. Most of them are parts of two series, Pern and Shannara. The others are mainly standalone.

What do you want to re-read? Let me know in the comments below.

Dragons in Fantasy

Dragons are a big part of fantasy novels. They’re also a big part of mythology from several cultures, especially Chinese. There’s even the real life komodo dragon. But what are some of the best novels and novel series that feature dragons?

I’ve read quite a few. One that’s quite prominent is the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. However, I classify that as science fiction, not fantasy. There’s also Temeraire by Naomi Novik. And who can forget Smaug from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit? And then we have the dragons of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. Although I haven’t read them, we can’t forget the Dragonlance novels written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

What are some of your favourite fantasy series with dragons?

Reading Influences My Writing

I love to read, and a lot of what I read influences my writing. However, it doesn’t dictate my writing. What reading does is help me learn how to write better.

One way is more technical. I get to see how other authors describe people, settings, actions, and more. It helps me learn better ways of doing that. I also see how they do dialogue, especially using dialogue tags. But I think the big thing is vocabulary. A lot of the books I’ve read have used words I didn’t recognise. It helps me learn new words. That is if I’d remember to make a note of the words. I really should do that.

My writing has been influenced by specific books (and TV series), as well. Ariadne started out as I was reading Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels. I was intrigued by her worldbuilding, so I thought I could build my own world and think up a story set on it. And so I did. Star Trek also had a hand in my world’s development, mainly with interstellar space travel. However, the influence is only superficial in that case. Pern is most likely the biggest influence on my writing. Some of the more recent science fiction novels involve a lot of realism, and that has also given my writing a more reality-based style.

I had an early influence by traditional fantasy, but I’ve since abandoned that angle for Ariadne. I have a couple of fantasy novel series in development that are not traditional fantasy. They are entirely original worlds with mythologies that I created. No elves, no dwarves, no demons.

And finally, I have a solar system travel story that will be nine novellas (probably), and nothing I’ve read has influenced me in this case, except maybe news about space probes visiting planets. I think New Horizons really pushed me to develop this story. However, there’s a movie that has influenced me a little, but I won’t tell you what it is. It’ll spoil the ending.

If you write, what has influenced your writing?

Living in a Fantasy World

As a reader of fantasy and science fiction, I love getting into the worlds and seeing what life could be like in a completely different setting from modern Earth.  It’s fascinating.  As a writer, I can get so into my world that I understand everything about it, it’s like I actually live there sometimes.  I’m sure other writers and readers feel the same way.

If I were to choose a fantasy or science fiction world I’d like to live in, I would of course choose my own.  However, if I chose someone else’s creation, I’d say I would want to live either on Anne McCaffrey’s Pern or in the Star Trek universe, especially during the Next Generation time.

On Pern, it’s like a frontier life, but with advanced culture, very interesting architecture built right into the mountains and caves, and dragons.  Of course, during threadfall, it’s quite dangerous.  But between falls, I can imagine it would be a very interesting, though probably somewhat hard life.  I’d want to join one of the Halls and study something, or even work in one of the Weyrs.  But being a part of a Holder’s family might be interesting.

In Star Trek, you can do pretty much anything you like for a living.  And travel to other planets is quite possible.  There’s no worry about money, you always have a home, food, and a job.  Education is incredible.  Starfleet would be an option, and you could travel around the Federation, but as a regular citizen, it’s unlikely you’d be doing a huge amount of travel like that.  Maybe for the occasional vacation, if you have time to travel long distances to other planets.  But maybe you can’t afford to be away from your job that long.  Anyway, regardless of that, I’d like to live in that kind of society.

How about you?  Which fantasy or science fiction world would you like to live in?

(Note: Yes, I’ve talked about this before, but I want to open this up to TV and movies, as well, not just books)

Doing Marathons. TV and Movie Marathons

I used to do movie marathons a lot.  Sit down with food, drink, TV, and several video tapes or DVDs, then watch for hours.  I really don’t have the time for that anymore, but if I did, there are several movies and TV series I’d love to include in a marathon.  Some of these may last several days, so I think I’d have to split them up and do them over several weekends, or just watch an episode or movie here and there.

This is what I’d like to watch.

Chronological Star Trek Marathon

Being a big Star Trek fan, I’ve seen almost all of Star Trek (all but the latest reboot movie).  I would start with the Star Trek: Enterprise TV series, then move on to the original Star Trek.  After that, I’d do the original 6 movies, then on to Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Then it’s Star Trek Generations.  Now, since I’d be working on the Next Generation series, I think I should do the movies next, but I really should just sandwich movies in where season breaks happen for the following series:  Deep Space Nine and Voyager.  Once I’ve done all of that, I can go on with the reboot movies, which are a separate timeline as a result of actions following Star Trek: Nemesis.

Doctor Who

I’d start off with old episodes, thought it seems that they’ve been released on DVD in a rather haphazard and random way.  I’d progress from doctor to doctor in order, all the way up to the current doctor, though I can watch the newer seasons online.

Battlestar Galactica

I mean the new one.  I’ve already done the old one on Hulu.  I want to watch all of it.

Stargate SG-1

First I’d start off with the Stargate movie, since it leads directly into the series, although with different actors.  I want to see all of SG-1, which I actually haven’t done.  I’ve seen parts of seasons here and there, but not whole seasons.  I have the first 2 seasons on DVD, so I can do those.  Maybe after those, I’d move on to Atlantis and Universe.

James Bond

I’ve watched a lot of James Bond, but not all of the movies.  I’d like to go through all of the Bond movies in the order they were made from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig.  But my favourite is Roger Moore.

Robin Williams

Starting off with Mork and Mindy, I’d like to go through all of Robin Williams’ TV series and movies.  Just because he’s that great.

Bonus! Reading

There are some series of novels I’d like to reread.  Of course, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and the other publications.  However, this is still a work in progress for me, because I still have to read The Children of Hurin, which I have.

Another is the Shannara series.  This is also currently in progress, as I’m going to start reading the Genesis of Shannara sometimes later this year or next year.  I also haven’t read the latest couple of series.

And finally, there’s the Dragonriders of Pern series.  I originally read it in chronological order, something I’d like to do again.  I love the setting of these books, and I really want to get back to it.

How about you?  What would you like to marathon or reread or rewatch?