Meet the man who remade Middle‑earth

Ethan Gilsdorf interviews John Howe, Tolkien Illustrator and Conceptual Designer of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Movie Trilogies

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The Dune in our Heads

A problem crops up when filmmakers try to adapt epic fantasy worlds to the big screen—particularly beloved, richly-imagined literary ones. Sacrifices must be made. Characters are cut, and plotlines are re-routed. Scenes and places don’t match what readers have pictured with their minds. Fans of the original book cry foul.

In the case of director Alejandro Jodorowsky, his vision for Frank Herbert’s masterwork Dune was so over the top, so surreal (and, at times, so absurd), it probably would have blown the minds of critics before they had a chance to grumble.

That is, if Jodorowsky’s translation and transmogrification of Dune had ever been made. It never was.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast 128: Masters of Sex

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things. NSFW.

With an episode yet between our live podcast and beginning Martin’s “The Princess and the Queen” in George R.R. Martin’s Dangerous Women anthology, Ivan and Red continue to direct Game of Thrones fans desperate for entertainment towards worthy replacements with our “What You Should Be Watching” series! This week it’s Showtime’s Masters of Sex, featuring the fascinating and truly terrifying sexual lives of the 1950s. Ivan and Red are joined by Caitlin Gill, member of the San Francisco comedy mafia “The Business”, who has appeared in 7x7 Magazine, on NPR’s Snap Judgement, and on this very podcast. Get into it, Daddy!

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The Wrong Quarry, by Max Allan Collins: exclusive excerpt

After an absence of more than two years, New York Times-bestselling author Max Allan Collins brings of his most popular characters, the ruthless professional killer known only as “Quarry,” in The Wrong Quarry. Since his debut in 1976, Quarry has appeared in 10 novels and inspired a feature film, The Last Lullaby, starring Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander. The new novel sees Quarry going up against an amateur killer operating on his turf. But does the hitman’s hitman have the wrong quarry in his sights?

Quarry doesn’t kill just anybody these days. He restricts himself to targeting other hitmen, availing his marked-for-death clients of two services: eliminating the killers sent after them, and finding out who hired them…and then removing that problem as well.

So far he’s rid of the world of nobody who would be missed. But this time he finds himself zeroing in on the grieving family of a missing cheerleader. Does the hitman’s hitman have the wrong quarry in his sights?

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast 127: Black Mirror

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things. NSFW.

Having finished all of Book 3 of George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords, and with a couple weeks before they start covering Martin’s “The Princess and the Queen,” part of the Dangerous Women anthology, Ivan and Red bring you their greatest “What You Should Be Watching” yet, Channel 4’s Black Mirror. If this is a show you have not heard about, you are in for some of the darkest humor imaginable, perfect for anyone deep in the Throes of “Thrones” withdrawal! We talk about the first episode of the first season of Black Mirror, but we leave out the ending because it’s something Bannermen should experience for themselves.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast: Coldhands, My Canadian Girlfriend

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things. NSFW.

In this episode, Red and Ivan discuss the Davos V & Bran IV chapters of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords (Catch up on past podcast episodes here to listen to previous chapter breakdowns). They also talk about Railroad speaking directly to listeners, Stannis’s Bannermen vs. Ivan’s twitter followers, the Nightfort, prince stew, Railroad writing Hodor high, and a TALKING TREE.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast: The Red Wedding AKA Truly, God is a Cruel Buscemi

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things. NSFW. - Mark

In this episode, Red and Ivan discuss the Catelyn VII & Arya XI chapters of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords (Catch up on past podcast episodes here to listen to previous chapter breakdowns). It’s Edmure and Roslin’s wedding day! What could go wrong! Nothing! Ivan and Red discuss Attack The Block, wedding food, stone to lb conversion, unspoken threats, spoken threats, and actual murder.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast: The Red Dress Rehearsal

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things. NSFW. - Mark

In this episode, Red and Ivan discuss the Catelyn VI & Arya X chapters of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords (Catch up on past podcast episodes here to listen to previous chapter breakdowns). Kelly Anneken joins Ivan and Red as they discuss the Happy Mutants podcast, social media snafus, racist animals, Goorin Brothers hats, Lord Walder Frey as a tiny baby, Jinglebell jingling his bells, and Lord Walder’s Beringer White Zinfandel.

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Boars, Gore, and Swords podcast: Rowing Across the Trident? That’s a Paddlin’

Boars, Gore, and Swords is hosted by stand-up comedians Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott. In each episode they break down HBO's Game of Thrones and George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. They also talk about movies, TV, science fiction, fantasy, and lots of other things using foul language. In this episode, they discuss the Arya IX and Jon VI chapters of George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords (Catch up on past podcast episodes here to listen to previous chapter breakdowns). Also covered: Bannerman Shannon’s NaNoWriMo victory, the double-headed horse, Sandor the Stranger, Telltale Games’ upcoming Game of Thrones game, Wolfman Bran, and new character Noswym McDrownsalot.

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Gweek 119: How much is your reputation worth?


This episode is brought to you by HostGator, offering premium web hosting at low costs, and 24x7x365 phone, chat and email support. Show your support for Gweek and get an extra 25% off by using coupon code WEEK!

Joshua Klein gave one of the most watched TED Talks of all time (about vending machine to train crows to exchange found coins for peanuts). He joined me on Gweek to talk about his new book, Reputation Economics: Why Who You Know Is Worth More Than What You Have. I also welcomed the return of Michael Pusateri, a television technologist, inveterate tinkerer, cooking geek, and cycling enthusiast. He blogs at Cruftbox.

We talked about: Jim Woodring's hallucinatory comic book masterpiece, Fran; The Daedalus Incident, by Michael J Martinez; and L-Theanine, a pill I take when I drink coffee, and more!

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S., a novel conceived of by J.J. Abrams

S. is a novel conceived of by J.J. Abrams and written by Doug Dorst.

The Talented Mr. Ripley, psychological suspense novel featuring a fascinating anti-hero

When I saw The Talented Mr. Ripley movie in 1999, I had no idea it was based on a novel by the same author of the famous Hitchcock movie, Strangers on a Train. I loved both movies. When I finally did learn that, I also learned that the author, Patricia Highsmith, wrote five novels starring the sociopathic anti-hero Tom Ripley. (The novels are known as the Ripliad.)

Written in 1955, The Talented Mr. Ripley is about a twentysomething con artist and social striver named Tom Ripley living in New York. He is allergic to honest work, but loves the finer things in life -- nice clothes, luxury travel, and perfecting the fine art of doing nothing. How fortunate for Tom that a man tracks him down and asks him to travel to Sicily to convince his wannabe-artist son to come back and join the lucrative family business. The man thinks that Tom is a close friend of his son, and Tom does nothing to correct the false impression (he barely knows him), because he's eager to take an expense-paid trip to Europe.

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The Wicked Girls - a riveting and intelligent psychological thriller

In 1986 two girls, Bel and Jade, achieved international infamy at age eleven for murdering a four-year-old girl. Twenty five years later, the now-grown up and rehabilitated women are back in society, living under new identities given to them by the British government. They haven't seen each other since their trials, and in fact are forbidden from communicating with each other under threat of being locked up again.

The Wicked Girls, by Alex Marwood (a British journalist writing under a pseudonym), is a riveting psychological thriller that jumps back and forth between the events on the day of the child's death, and the present-day lives of Kirsty and Amber (the new names of Bel and Jade). Amber is a low-level supervisor of a graveyard shift cleaning crew at Funnland, a seedy beachside amusement park in England. Kirsty is a journalist who lives an upper middle class lifestyle with a banker husband and two children. But her husband lost his job some months ago, and their income is now a lot less than their outgo. The alternating chapters are told from each woman's point of view, and the striking differences between their ways of life and even their appearance (Amber looks haggard and ten years older than Kirsty) is a mystery.

Neither woman has told anyone their horrible secret, not even their husbands. They are correct in thinking that no one would forgive them for what they had been accused of doing.

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DMQZ - post apocalyptic crime novel, free Kindle

I just grabbed DMQZ, a free Kindle novel, on a recommendation. Sounds a bit like the excellent Last Policeman.

In the wake of the global pandemic known as the "little dormouse," the line between the Safe Zone and the Quarantine Zone divides New York City. The shores and waters of the East River are the "DMQZ," the uninhabited area that separates uninfected Manhattan from the slowly dying borough of Brooklyn.

Jacob Hale is a Manhattan police officer rising in the ranks of the Safe Zone military government until a bank heist gone wrong lands him on suspension and under suspicion. On a quest to clear his good name, Hale finds himself drawn into a web of conspiracy, terrorism, and revolt - and into the orbit of a mysterious woman who may be the key to it all.

DMQZ

The Silent Wife - mystery in the style of Gone Girl

Like Gone Girl (a novel I liked so much that I interviewed the author, Gillian Flynn, on Gweek), The Silent Wife is told in alternating chapters from the points-of-view of a common-law husband and wife whose union has endured two decades of infidelity and stifled communication.

Jodi is a 42-year-old part-time psychologist who has developed a coping mechanism for her husband Todd's philandering: she gaslights him with little annoyances. For instance, she removes a key from his keyring so he can't enter his office building. But other than the quiet tricks she plays on Todd, she seems to enjoy his company and delights in making gourmet meals that they both enjoy in their high-end Chicago riverfront condominium.

Todd is a fairly well-to-do property developer, and incorrigible pleasure-seeker. He's a charming dinner party host and everyone likes him, in part because he avoids conflict at all costs. He knows that Jodi knows about his frequent dalliances, but neither he nor Jodi ever bring it up in conversation.

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