Monday, November 17, 2008

In & Out on 11/17

Well, this past week saw two great events for the Science Fiction Society of Northern New Jersey as Suspense Central discussed Breakaway by Joel Shepherd and Drawing a Crowd discussed a plethora of super-hero secret agents. Both events showed a lot of interest, and cool writeups can be found on the SFSNNJ Yahoo Group.

In the box office, James Bond shot his way to the top with over 0070 Million Dollars as Quantum of Solace made its debut. While there was a lot of nay-saying about Daniel Craig as the Blonde Bond, the proof is in the pudding. The only concern we are seeing now is 'Is Bond becoming too much like Bourne?' Since the new series has lost the emphasis on gadgets and nifty gizmos, its appearance has become somewhat similar. Having not seen Quantum of Solace yet, I can only say that Casino Royale seemed a faithful retelling of the original story (where things made sense, they kept them, and where they didn't make sense they were changed and updated), so I can only hope to say the same about this one.

On TV, new episodes of Heroes returned with a vengeance, and we saw a bit more back story on the main cast, and True Blood keeps up the awesome pace. Though many have complained about the sort of bland storylines we are getting in Heroes, I am still enjoying the show, and watching how the back story shaped up was an interesting idea in the last episode. On another front, Fringe continues to entertain, though I still maintain that Strange World was a better series. True Blood is yet another unstoppable Alan Ball/HBO juggernaut and I hope that we get 10 seasons of this, following the books as closely as they can, and inspiring the redoubtable Charlaine Harris to even greater heights!

In Gaming news, last week saw the announcement by Topps that it would be discontinuing its popular WizKids brand. This means that popular games such as HeoClix, HorrorClix, and others will no longer be put out by Topps. If no other companies evince any interest in these products, then they will sadly pass into memory. At present, only Wizards of the Coast really has the capability to take over the WizKids brands seamlessly, but the question is: would they? Wizards recently decided to cancel its D&D Skirmish game in favor of producing miniatures solely for support of its Role-Playing Game product, Dungeons & Dragons 4.0, so the question must be asked.

As we enter the third week of Secret Agent Month, the SFSNNJ is gearing up for some more fun and excitement. This week we have a great line-up for all you spy-lovers. Monday there are new episodes of Heroes and The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Tuesday we present Tripping the Write Fantastic at 8pm in Borders at the Garden State Plaza discussing Ian Fleming, master of the espionage novel and creator of Bond, James Bond. Wednesday, Barry Weinberger leads a discussion of film at the Borders in Ramsey at 8pm, and will undoubtedly discuss the Blonde Bond's new movie. Thursday, join our Heroes and Rogues gaming group for a round of D&D Miniatures Skirmish at New Moon Comics in Little Falls, NJ. Friday has new episodes of a plethora of Science Fiction shows like Ghost Whisperer, Sanctuary, and Crusoe (which isn't really SF or Fantasy, but is a lot of fun) as well as gaming at Reality's Edge in North Arligton and New Moon Comics in Little Falls, which both regularly present Friday Night Magic. See you around!

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