Monday, 31 December 2012

Blog Hop For Books

Blog Hop For Books is a great site for authors to get their work out there via a snippet (or extract) from their novel, or from an interview whose questions can be selected from a pre-made list (or made up yourself). Getting my content on the site was so easy, and the owner of the site was prompt in adding them, and clear about the process.

It would also be a good place for readers interested in hearing from indie authors, to spend some time.

The link is:


http://bloghopforbooks.blogspot.com.au/





Friday, 28 December 2012

T.P. Grish's books spotlighted some more!

Here is a link, up to this date, of where my books are spotlighted and reviewed. Enjoy!


Steel, Magick and Faith: Book 1 of The Remus Rothwyn Chronicles

Book Spotlights:

http://compassebooks.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/steel-magick-and-faith-book-1-of-remus.html

http://theindielist.weebly.com/fantasy.html

http://www.brandynacole.blogspot.com.au/p/promotion.html 

http://addictedtoebooks.com/node/2256

http://writetobreathe.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=301

http://www.bookmatchers.com//?s=steel%2C+magick+and+faith

http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/dark-fantasy/3371

Upcoming Reviews:

http://thedragonsinkpot.wordpress.com/

http://www.brandynacole.blogspot.com.au/

Upcoming Spotlights:

http://lauriethoughts-reviews.blogspot.com.au/   (January 20th, 2013)

Customer Reviews:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M
Avg. Review Score: 4.5/5 - Praising enjoyable story, realistic, deep characters and interactions

Goodreads:   http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16108557-steel-magick-and-faith
Avg. Review Score: 3.3/5 - Praise of complex, interesting characters, villains and heroes, and dialogue

Maldives Malady: A Tropical Adventure

Book Spotlights:

http://writetobreathe.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=303

http://www.bookmatchers.com//?s=maldives+malady

http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/tropical-adventure/3372


Thursday, 27 December 2012

Ask David, promotion site for ebooks

Ask David is a website set up to enable ebook authors to post their books on the site, where users can review, view the author's websites, and share the book with their friends over social media. Your book will be advertised on Ask David's twitter feed.

You can add your book to the site with a quick form, with a possible waiting list, just add your book's information from Amazon.com, and a unique description. Check it out.

http://askdavid.com/



Friday, 21 December 2012

Giveaway for Steel, Magick and Faith


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Steel, Magick and  Faith by T.P. Grish

Steel, Magick and Faith

by T.P. Grish

Giveaway ends January 21, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win





Bookmatchers

Want a site that finds you books tailored to your criteria, try

My entry is here:





A Neat Blog 1

Brandy Nacole has a blog all about writing and authors located here:

 http://www.brandynacole.blogspot.com.au/

It's a great place for authors to request reviews, and to promote their books, as well as keeping track of her own series of books, the Shadow World books. It looks like a blog that is going to grow much bigger over time. Check it out.

My novel, Steel, Magick and Faith, is promo'd there, and will soon be reviewed!




Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/     

Monday, 17 December 2012

Maldives Malady is a great short story for holiday reading

Maldives Malady, also 99c, is a lightly humorous holiday story featuring Dominic, a young man trying to find his own uniqueness in a bland and mediocre world. A chance to explore a seemingly unknown island is the perfect opportunity for this. Great holiday reading in short story form!

'Hey Dom, how you doin'?' a voice boomed. It was Ben. They proceeded to talk about the upcoming exams, which were deceptively close as it was week 10 at the moment. Yes, they would be alright. Yes, they would meet up afterwards. No, he hadn't studied more than Ben had. As he clapped the phone closed after the genial conversation reached its natural nadir, he had forgotten most of what had been said'

'He walked a few more steps. He could see nothing now except for the thick trees and long ferns and grasses that surrounded him. He was enveloped into the confined space between trees, surrounded by the jungle heat and staccato chirps... This continued for a seemingly oppressive amount of time, and he began to doubt his decision. To come to this place. To take a chance with his life, which was going in the right direction'


http://www.amazon.com/Maldives-Malady-Tropical-Adventure-ebook/dp/B00A96KUQE


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/     

Great Reviews for Steel, Magick and Faith

Some great reviews for my dark fantasy epic

-'Steel, Magick and Faith is written in such a way that it is reminiscent of Lord of the Rings'
-'I had to look up the meanings of some of the words. I personally really enjoy when I am challenged like that, and loved it. Smiley I'm looking forward to reading the next book to see what the next set of adventures will bring!'
-'The story line was good, the characters were honorable, vindictive, evil, mysterious, stubborn, magical, everything that heroes and villains should be'
-'If you're a fantasy fan and enjoy a touch of realism in your stories then you will enjoy this book'










'It was compared to Lord of the Rings! LOTR! Awesome!'




http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16108557-steel-magick-and-faith



Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/      

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

99c Dark Fantasy Novel, Steel, Magick and Faith, on sale

Steel, Magick and Faith is a full-length, dark, epic fantasy novel set in a world where mythological creatures and magick exist. However the world is not a black-and-white high fantasy, rather it is grim, realistic, and all the factions and characters have their own motivations, perspectives and justifications for what they do. Humans are largely influenced by technocratic and religious cults, and villages and towns dot the wild wilderness, with a few large cities of might.

Reviews said, that characters were 'honourable, vindictive, evil, mysterious, stubborn, magical, everything that heroes and villains should be', and that fans of realistic fantasy would enjoy the book.

Read the reviews, and a free sample of the book here:

http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M/

This is quality fantasy, only for 99c this holiday season.

'Then somewhere in the fickle mists of creation came humanity, clawing and afraid, grasping and ambitious. Enveloped in a dangerous world, these creatures lived as scavengers; afraid of the greater things of the world. They were beset by disease, lack of claws or fangs, and the lack of habitat to call their own. These fleshy, naked beings were doomed to die of attrition... Ancient forces began to pay attention to the growing incursion, plaguing them, slaying stragglers at night. But still the humans held on to the edge of the precipice, knuckles white with effort'

'Around its face were three plates of natural chitin, one on its forehead, and two on its cheeks, flexing around its massive jaw. Remus swung his hand-axe just in time to deflect a savage bite, smashing against the monster's large teeth. The Feybeast had gotten close enough that Remus could smell the fetid breath of its salivating jaw and see its yellowing fangs'

'He could not deny the nobility he saw in many different people, bits and pieces of nobility that shined through under pressure. The guards who risked their lives to protect the villagers, Markham who flew at the dangerous dwarf, swords flashing; even an Eruthian merchant who stopped in his journey to share tales with complete strangers'



Maldives Malady, also 99c, is a lightly humorous holiday story featuring Dominic, a young man trying to find his own uniqueness in a bland and mediocre world. A chance to explore a seemingly unknown island is the perfect opportunity for this.

'Hey Dom, how you doin'?' a voice boomed. It was Ben. They proceeded to talk about the upcoming exams, which were deceptively close as it was week 10 at the moment. Yes, they would be alright. Yes, they would meet up afterwards. No, he hadn't studied more than Ben had. As he clapped the phone closed after the genial conversation reached its natural nadir, he had forgotten most of what had been said'

'He walked a few more steps. He could see nothing now except for the thick trees and long ferns and grasses that surrounded him. He was enveloped into the confined space between trees, surrounded by the jungle heat and staccato chirps... This continued for a seemingly oppressive amount of time, and he began to doubt his decision. To come to this place. To take a chance with his life, which was going in the right direction'


http://www.amazon.com/Maldives-Malady-Tropical-Adventure-ebook/dp/B00A96KUQE


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/     

Online Advertising Regulation

Companies are increasingly using Internet sites, advergames, viral marketing, video advertisements and banner advertisements to advertise their products. There are many possible ethical implications to this, considering the fact that the online ads are different in structure to traditional ads and often are under different regulations.

Research shows that children under the age of 11-12 can be unable to consciously register the fact that they are being advertised to, and therfore unable to have a fair chance of putting up a defense or processing the information sensibly. Regulation has severely restricted how TV ads can advertise sugary products and even toys to children, in light of this research. Online mediums often are not covered by the same regulations.This is why sugary cereals and soft drinks create advergames on their sites that are oriented towards kids, and feature brand characters. The web sites are often portrayed as cheery and 'fun-centres' and feature wallpapers, company newsletters and games that you can send to friends, and advertising material in much greater quantity than nutritional or product information. This allows for very blunt advertising that would be unacceptable in traditional media.

Studies of major companies show that most companies do not use the online medium to adequately show nutritional information about their product, or to protect the information children give out when playing competitive or viral games that can be sent to others. Information gathering for marketing purposes can be facilitated on web sites.

Should online advertising be subject to equally harsh regulations as traditional advertising, or is it a different beast? Should certain games and site areas require an age check ( a notification that it is not appropriate for people under 16 for e.g.). Should certain practices such as enhancing a game's features if a user enters in a code found on a product wrapper, be banned as pressure advertising? Is it different from TV promotions promising free gifts and raffles if you find a certain token in your cereal box? Playing a computer advergame is a solitary experience, while parents can supervise kids when watching TV. Even though a tv ad might offer advantatges for buying the product, one does not have to do so to watch the ad. Are advergames with functionality dependent on buying products, much worse than this?

Even adults who play advergames could be subject to offensive material. Could online ads get away with content that may be considered offensive or discriminatory on TV, print or radio? Certainly there could be lawsuits and community pressure against certain web sites, but the regulation is not as well developed.

Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/     

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Noise

With online apps like Facebook and MySpace everybody can be an aspiring artist or can share their thoughts to the world by posting blogs, portfolios or any sort of media. People can network for careers by socializing in the right circles, and joining the right groups. Companies can have profiles and can try and spread viral marketing via incentives and humorous advertising methods, to get people to pass messages on to their circle of friends.

But with every individual suddenly having an outlet to their voice, dreams, hopes and goals, is there a cacophony of noise, of text and media, floating around the web? Artists can try and start a career using these apps and bypass traditional obstacles, but with so many people using social media to do this, to put it frankly, only the diamonds in the rough, or needles in the haystack, have any chance of getting a huge amount of attention.

For 'Facebook Philosophers' not looking for a career, just for people to listen and read their thoughts, how much effort will people spare in viewing their media when so many people have philosophical rants about the minutiae of their everyday life?

Networking via Facebook and companies using social media to advertise might become requirements to stay competitive, since other forms of networking and advertising are saturated and well-known. When this happens online apps like Facebook might cease to be an innovative way for companies or individuals to network or advertise, instead becoming de rigeur. Then, like traditional mediums like television which were once new, only the squeakiest wheel or the wheat of the chaff will get paid attention to.

And, I do realize the irony in posting a blog to express this sentiment. :)

Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/    

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Great Reviews for Steel, Magick and Faith dark fantasy epic

I Got two reviews on Amazon for Steel, Magick and Faith, a 4 and a 5, praising realistic, deep characters and enjoyable storyline http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M

Also a 3 out of 5 star review on Goodreads praising the complex characters, heroes and villains, and their interactions http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16108557-steel-magick-and-faith

As always, author page is here:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/

Monday, 3 December 2012

Free and On Sale Dark Fantasy Epic Ebooks


'He could not deny the nobility he saw in many different people, bits and pieces of nobility that shined through under pressure. The guards who risked their lives to protect the villagers, Markham who flew at the dangerous dwarf, swords flashing; even an Eruthian merchant who stopped in his journey to share tales with complete strangers'

http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M

'He walked a few more steps. He could see nothing now except for the thick trees and long ferns and grasses that surrounded him. He was enveloped into the confined space between trees, surrounded by the jungle heat and staccato chirps... This continued for a seemingly oppressive amount of time, and he began to doubt his decision. To come to this place. To take a chance with his life, which was going in the right direction'

http://www.amazon.com/Maldives-Malady-Tropical-Adventure-ebook/dp/B00A96KUQE/

Author page: booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Maldives Malady: A Tropical Adventure short story extracts- A great read over Christmas holiday period!

'His cell-phone rang. Dominic fumbled for it on the nightstand next to the couch, the dim lights not helping his endeavour. He had piercing, generic, banal fluorescent lights on his face all the time at work and at University, it was so bad it made him loathe even natural sunlight. Lucky this apartment’s living room light had a dimmer. He flipped open his phone and said hello. ‘Hey Dom, how you doin’?’ a voice boomed. It was Ben. They proceeded to talk about the upcoming exams, which were deceptively close as it was week 10 at the moment. Yes, they would be alright. Yes, they would meet up afterwards. No, he hadn’t studied more than Ben had. As he clapped the phone closed after the genial conversation reached its natural nadir, he had forgotten most of what had been said'


'He plunged into the foliage, and was swept into a humid, wet world of towering trees, animal chirps and thick ferns. After a few steps, he turned, and could barely make out the village. He walked a few more steps. He could see nothing now except for the thick trees and long ferns and grasses that surrounded him. He was enveloped into the confined space between trees, surrounded by the jungle heat and staccato chirps. He turned in the direction of the village, but could only see thick, dense trees. Hoping his sense of direction had not been muddled, he turned back around to the direction of the alleged ocean, and kept walking.

Now the calls he heard sounded more and more strange. How far had he walked by now? The jungle, or rain forest, whatever it was, did not relent, and he kept on weaving into narrow gaps between the sturdy ferns and towering trees, pressing onwards. This continued for a seemingly oppressive amount of time, and he began to doubt his decision. To come to this place. To take a chance with his life, which was going in the right direction. Why couldn’t he be happy with the normal and mundane, he cursed, scolding his own stubbornness'


http://www.amazon.com/Maldives-Malady-Tropical-Adventure-ebook/dp/B00A96KUQE

This will be a great read over the Christmas holiday period and will be free for a few days! Enjoy and please leave a review at Amazon.


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/   

Exclusivity 2.0 - Social Media, Twitter, Facebook, and all that business

I was reading a book ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Downloaded: Dissent in the digital age’ edited by Tara Brabazon, and it brought up an interesting perspective on the effects of internet social media: that of exclusivity and the isolation and powerlessness that can result from it. The upcoming Web 2.0 and social apps like MySpace can be argued to be exclusive, just as much as they can be heralded as offering unprecedented access and freedom of communication. Social sites have a slightly up-scale, trendy affectation and can be complicated to manage and use, and the upcoming Web 2.0 may have the same problems.

Many people do not use these sites or even the internet because they do not associate with it or know how to use it, and some cannot afford it especially in Australia with our set of internet plans on offer. This could be stopping these people from being as relevant, politically or socially active as they might have been with usage of these technologies.

Some authors in the book argue that although the internet was supposed to be a revolution for change, the fact that not everyone uses it to the same extent, or at all, has tempered this effect. The internet is full of contradicting information and websites full of differeing opinions, and it can be overwhelming to try and understand how to use the internet to gain information and what you can trust. It requires a certain amount of tech savvy.

I personally think if people are not using the internet, we need to analyze why they are missing out on the opportunity to have as much relevance in society as they could have: If the barrier of entry is not too great, and people can access the Internet and can limit themselves to a few familiar sites and email without getting too confused or exposed; then it is their fault for not taking the plunge. On the other hand, if there is no way for them to access infrastructure to log on, and no way for them to start using the Internet, then this needs to be provided. In any case, the goal of achieving some kind of technological or social revolution will be realized to a greater extent than it has been, if more people get on the web and use it more deeply.

Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/    

Friday, 30 November 2012

Extracts From The Steel, Magick and Faith- deep fantasy novel great for reading over Christmas holidays

'There was balance, harsh and violent like the noxious air in a swamp. But balance, nonetheless. Then somewhere in the fickle mists of creation came humanity, clawing and afraid, grasping and ambitious. Enveloped in a dangerous world, these creatures lived as scavengers; afraid of the greater things of the world. They were beset by disease, lack of claws or fangs, and the lack of habitat to call their own. Lefeyhdie had not provided any particular prey or plant for them to eat. These fleshy, naked beings were doomed to die of attrition. Curiously, these beings never stopped Doing, or Thinking. Breeding to strengthen their numbers. Sharpening rocks, shaping wood, gathering leaves and sticks for clothing and shelter. Eventually they had settlements of great number, crude but effective tools of war. Ancient forces began to pay attention to the growing incursion, plaguing them, slaying stragglers at night. But still the humans held on to the edge of the precipice, knuckles white with effort'.


'Bah, he still saw the same stupidity. The image of the hanged man in the farming community of Yondern flashed through his mind. Now there was a war brewing between the Steelwielders and some foreign religion. More mindless loss over beliefs and mythology. But.. he could not deny the noble features in his companions. Although Perfidian was too blithe and Elaina too didactic, they had risked their life to do what was right. He did owe them his life. He could not deny the nobility he saw in many different people, bits and pieces of nobility that shined through under pressure. The guards who risked their lives to protect the villagers, Markham who flew at the dangerous dwarf, swords flashing; even an Eruthian merchant who stopped in his journey to share tales with complete strangers'.

Read more at: 


http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M

A great read for the Christmas holidays, and it is on sale for 0.99 at the moment!


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/   

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Are there 'amateurs', and is it a 'cult'?


I read a book called 'The Cult of the Amateur' by Andrew Keen, the book is described as the Anti-christ of the Internet age. I found myself getting irritated reading the book, although I welcome reading different opinions to my own, the author, in my opinion, spouts a lot of insults and conjecture with vey sparse evidence and very little objectivity.

But he does raise some interesting arguments which may have merit if toned down and argued rationally by someone else. He basically believes the abundance of media, blogs, songs, videos and so on posted by people on the Internet is destroying our culture and values; destroying the idea of expert information and depleting the talent pool. In short, the Internet is doing everything short of tying the damsel in distress to the train tracks and twisting its moustache in glee.

He argues that when communicating opinions and art work without agents or barriers, the quality and reliability of work will dissapear. He also believes it is narssicistic to post opinion pieces.

The problem with his book is the unfounded assumptions he makes. He assumes that people read blogs and Wikipedia for serious research, and that these things will replace 'professional' work. Most people use blogs and Wikipedia for casual research, entertainment or to learn the opinions of ordinary people. If people want to do serious research, they will consult the vast array of articles written by experienced, educated people on the Internet (there are ways to find reliable files on the net such as the University Search Engine or Google Scholar), in books or in journals. Most people use a variety of mediums in their life, assuming that people who use the Internet are somehow hypnotised by the Web to never watch TV, read a book or newspaper again is one of the faults that Andrew makes.

Andrew glorifies traditional media, even though media and 'professional' experts have and will lie or make mistakes, as everyone knows. His use of the word professional states that media contributors to books, tv or newspapers are professionals, and people who use the internet are automatically 'amateur'. This is faulty. Many musicians and novelists of the past had no education, and had to get their start performing on the street or sending in their manuscripts to surly publishers. How is it any worse for a newcomer to an industry to use Youtube or Facebook to advertise their work, how is it different? Andrew seems to use the word professional in an opinionated way. Also, many educated and experienced individuals do use the Internet as a medium to post their work as well as other traditional mediums.

While there are issues regarding copyright on the Web, the ability to cut and paste is tempered by the ability to search people's websites with search engines like Google. I believe copyright can be protected on the Web. He claims that students are plaigarising material off the Web in large numbers for their assignments, and then posts one example of one university where plaigarism rates have gone up recently. I think this is facetious, as he should present to us a study of a large amount of Universities to prove this. From my experience plaigarism in Uni is fairly low, as it is obvious if you have not done your own work and punishments are high. Also, students do not use Wikipedia or blogs for references when they use the Net, they will use academic articles posted on the web, books, journals and a combination of sources. Ofcourse some students might use non-academic web sites if their assignment studies online media, but they will have to use plenty of academic sources as well if they want to pass. If Andrew believes Wikipedia is supposed to be used academically, his assumption is not valid in the real world.

His book raises questions that might be interesting to discuss, but I think, in my inexperienced opinion, it lacks what I have been taught academic writing should be.


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/  

Am(you)sement

Humans have a need to game, to watch games and, for some, to create games. It is intrinsic, it is a distraction from everyday vexations, a way to stimulate our minds, a purpose and an expression. It is significant and fundamental enough that even people struggling in difficult conditions find ways to innovatively design games, and many charitable organizations realize that enlightening people about this simple truth is a key to driving action.

A lot of kids in developing countries find time, in between the grueling work and conditions they are put upon to endure, to game or to make toys out of what is commonly regarded as garbage. Keeping an old tire running down the street with just a stick (think of the parallels to some Western kids’ games), making guitars out of plastic bottles and string, floating paper boats in (depressingly) open sewer ways, humans can find games anywhere.

I remember watching a documentary about an ex-prisoner who was in solitary confinement in the past (in Alcatraz of all places), who stated he took the button of a shirt, and would drop it on the floor. Then he would feel the floor with his hand all around the cell until he found the button. This simple act was performed in a pitch black, miserable little cell in order to keep him sane.

During my long-ago trip to India, I was amazed how popular Spirographs, Parcheesi, Snakes and Ladders and other board games were, and how so many locally made versions of these games were important in many poor people’s lives.

On another train of thought, these guys are a bit more synchronized than their US counterparts, perhaps scarily so…


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/  

Monday, 26 November 2012

Update on T.P. Grish's Fantasy Epic Ebooks

My new author page is viewable here: http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 
It features free previews and info about my books, so far I have a dark fantasy epic out, and a humorous short story. I plan on writing mostly fantasies.

Steel, Magick and Faith has 3/5 on Goodreads, IS NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK, and has been spotlighted, see the author page. Reviews and more spotlights are coming up!

Here are the links for my books on Amazon:

Fantasy:
http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M

Short Story:
http://www.amazon.com/Maldives-Malady-Tropical-Adventure-ebook/dp/B00A96KUQE

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Voyeurism (and) or Human Interest

Webcams have been used, in conjunction with specially designed sites, to broadcast people’s lives, and in some extreme examples have been used to broadcast people’s entire lives.

Jennifer Ringley placed cameras in her residence and set up a 24 hour live webcast of her life (at first some parts were censored, but soon it became 24 hours). This lasted from 1996-2003. This created a controversy at the time, being one of the first 24 hr invasions of privacy, and because the camera was left on even during intimate encounters or events.

Did people really gain an insight or understanding into the details of an ordinary person’s life by watching her webcam, was it art? Or did people use it as a puerile, voyeuristic peepshow? And where is the boundary between the two?

A camera is in development, that can record someone’s entire life of memories by taking millions of photos at intervals, or when it detects the presence of a person entering the user’s periphery. Is this perhaps more artistic than a webcam, considering it is taking pictures from a person’s viewpoint, and because it can be very useful in preserving memories for people with Alzheimer’s, or people who lose parts of their memory in an accident?
The dark side of the webcam presence is the millions of pay-per-view sites selling trashy content.
In contemporary times, very few people want photos or images of themselves being broadcast periodically. People do post multiple Twitter and Facebook postings detailing mundane moments of their life, and upload pictures of everything from their cat to their lunch.

The difference is posting is manual, not automatic, meaning there is some forethought about posts (although it may not feel like it at times when you read people’s posts). Facebook and Twitter is probably, in my opinion, being used mostly as a way to project someone’s desired image or personality to an audience, not to reveal someone’s true nature.

But, is that too fine a distinction? If ordinary people have access to a  low-barrier-of-entry, accessible social media platform, doesn’t that automatically mean they are empowered to post their real thoughts? Maybe a large part of life is the mundane.



Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Concise (Re-constituted) Communication

Should brevity be the soul of communication, or should time and format bend to fit the desired message to be communicated, in full? How much do we lose, or possibly gain, by restricting message sizes?

Twitter’s 140 character limit makes it easier to disseminate and digest communication, and does provide an equalizer for posts from your average John or Jane Q. Twitterer and politicians and celebrities.

But, how much quality do we lose, how much context and descriptivity do we lose by constantly making information more and more concise. Even on Facebook, where there is no limit to posts, the democratic nature of the Wall dictates that everyone should have their 15 minutes of attention and then let us concentrate on the next post.

Is it acceptable for communication to be boiled down to the key points, or is the detail, tense and tone the mortar that holds the bricks of communication together? When following friends, family or politicians/industry figures on social media sites, especially Twitter, do you ever regret that the communication is so condensed, or is it that impromptu nature of posts that give real insight into the un-rehearsed thoughts of a person? The ability to get an un-rehearsed opinion or train of thought from a person is great and something I am very interested in, even though it does get some foolish people in trouble.

I guess one key thing I am asking is, do the character limits, whether imposed or expected, serve a useful purpose of cutting off people who ramble on too mu-



Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Mining into our hearts, or attentions?






The Chilean Mining crisis of 2010 held our attention as purported global citizens for a long while, with widespread commercial media interest reporting on the personal details and quirks of each miner, in addition to a breathless reporting of the unfolding facts. It’s no surprise the story was so interesting, it combined danger with human interest, words which have a lot of traction in newsrooms. However, the story experienced a high rate of geographical penetration compared to similar disaster stories. Of course as humans we are happy all the miners emerged with no casualties or permanent injuries, a seeming miracle; and that they can return to their families. And of course, during a disaster, the situation and statistics are typically narrated, along with footage; the grief and prayers for survivors are given because of the unspoken knowledge that these are humans in trouble. But what interested me about this crisis was the focus on specific human details.


On top of essential supplies, miners were accommodated other requests such as one’s request to have Elvis Presley songs blasted into the hole; and that man upon release was invited to a free trip to Graceland.


We felt joy as we saw a little girl reunited with her rescued father, and there were some more humorous and risque moments as one miner’s wife and mistress ran into each other outside the mine, as they asked authorities about his welfare. Upon rescue, his mistress was waiting there but not his wife, and he greeted her with a brusque hug and kiss. Who knows how that situation will turn out for them?


These situations often end in death and tragedy, so it is a miracle no one died. But perhaps to distract us from the grim realism we focus on human details, even humorous ones to distract us. Media and corporate interests were all over the miners with offers and free vacations. Was it purely for advertising reasons, or were the media corporations genuinely fond of the resilient miners? More importantly, were we comforted by the triumph of life over death because it made our own problems seem less tangible, or were we sincerely  touched by the rescue? I like to think it can be both.


One thing is for sure, a lot of people who previously knew nothing about Chile, were tuning into the story and sending their prayers.



Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Author Page for T.P Grish

Got a proper author page:

http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Extract from the Shard of Palrinah, the second book in the Remus Rothwyn Chronicles




Weylin strode across the marble-lined bridge in the Monastery of St. Palrinah. The monastery was perched on a seaside cliff face, and the complex expanded onto small islands near the cliff-side. The two small islands were as tall as the mainland cliff-side, small areas of land elevated atop of protruding towers of rock. The monastery towered over the roaring surf below, and wide bridges connected the main building with the islands. Sounds of gulls, bright sunlight, and fresh salt air greeted Weylin as he made his way to the main monastery proper, but he was not the kind of man who could readily appreciate these things. His mind was focused on some very interesting and confidential information that had been divulged to him by his superiors, and his steps were quick and guided.

The recent months had been turbulent, but ultimately were a blessing for the dark-haired, boyish-faced man. He had risen through the ranks of the Paragonites fairly quickly; he was still low-ranking, but reaching the position of Disciple of the First Order this quickly was rare. He wore the robes of the order, which were burnt-orange and brown coloured and inscribed with the tenets of the order. His well-made leather sandals clipped on the stone bridge. He certainly looked the part of a Paragonite monk, and had done a good job of conveying his zealotry for the order. However, if one looked carefully at his hazel eyes, you would see not faith or religious zeal, but ambition.

Weylin reached the entrance to the monastery, and began ascending the stairs. The interior was dim and cool, intense sunlight being channeled through windows, throwing splotches on the ground. Groups of robed monks stood quietly conversing in corners, or sat on the floor praying. As Weylin walked towards Brother Renaldin’s private chambers, he reflected on the time that had passed since he left his home town of High Peaks. At first, it was an initial rush through the forest, surviving as well as he could. Approaching Yondern, he cleaned himself up as much as he could in a forest pond, so he could be presentable upon entering the city, a place he had been to before to practice law.

He talked to some old clients, and there was one who was having legal problems related to land issues. He already had a lawyer, but saw the need for an assistant for his lawyer, to assist in the drudgery of paperwork and clerical matters. Weylin moved to the client’s estate outside the city to complete the task, and remained there for the duration of the job, glad to be out of sight from the authorities. Weylin hardly remembered anything about the case, he had been merely interested in earning enough money to travel further. In the few days he spent in Yondern, he did research about any potential job offers he could find, that would take him out of the city.

The Steelwielders and St. Lusites were strong in the city, but Weylin thought it would be unwise for a Touched to be part of organizations that eschewed his kind, or any connection to magic. He heard of a conflict between the Steelwielders and the Paragonites from Eruthia, and performed more research on the group, discovering that they had a more tolerant attitude towards magick and the Touched. There were a few Paragonites in Yondern, as open war had not been declared yet, and he got to talking with them, persuading them he was a rogue needing salvation, and that he very much admired their tenets. He was advised to go a city in Eruthia named Rhineholm, and ask for admission at the Paragonite compound there.

Crossing the border into Eruthia, he had arrived at Rhineholm. The resourceful man had managed to persuade the priests of St. Palrinah to give him a chance. The work started off as assisting them in diplomatic issues, using his clerical and legal skills, but then soon he became involved in fighting their enemies and defending their interests. He had confided in his superiors about his Touched skills, hoping it would give him an advantage that countered his lack of physical or martial prowess.

They had been welcoming regarding his powers, and Weylin completed more and more tasks successfully, learning about the faith and projecting a dedication to it. He had eventually been shipped to a Monastery dedicated to St. Palrinah, located in a remote area outside the gates of any city, to train and help the cause in a greater capacity.

Weylin’s training and routine assignments had been interrupted this day by his master, who bequeathed upon him some private information that was most intriguing. He would learn more when he arrived at Brother Renaldin’s chambers. Weylin snapped out of his reminiscing as he entered the corridor that contained his master’s quarters. Knocking on the door, he was told to step in.

Inside the room sat Renaldin, two senior Disciples, and a man that Weylin had not seen before. ‘Sit, Brother’, Renaldin bade him in his dulcet tones. The two senior priests gave Weylin a curt nod, while the unidentified man simply stared ahead. ‘As I told you this morning, Weylin, one of our fold found a very unique Touched, one such as yourself… but quite different. He sits right over there’. Renaldin gestured towards the unidentified man.

Weylin observed the man, taking in every detail. He was powerfully built, and was a normal looking man, although he seemed to permanently have a dour expression on his face. His brown-hair was close-shaven. Weylin noticed that he wore robes of pure grey, unlike the robes of the Order. Why would they make him wear grey, unless it was to somehow distinguish or separate him from the rest of the Brothers and Sisters of the order?

‘What is his name?’ Weylin asked.

‘His previous name and identity no longer matter. I… have decided to name him ‘the Prodigy’, for his exceptional abilities in the use of magick’.

‘Oh. And where was he found, and by whom?’ Weylin inquired.

‘He was found wandering in Eruthia, spurned by all, needing a home and purpose. Who found him is none of your concern, but he or she has been well rewarded. The Prodigy has been with us for months now, and Brother Gaius has been handling his training himself’.

Weylin knew of brother Gaius, he had a reputation for being the harshest and most abusive of instructors at the monastery. The reputation was well-earned, as Weylin had discovered during his brief attendance in one of the brother’s classes. As the Prodigy stared forward blankly, a shred of sympathy sparked in Weylin’s mind at the removal of identity and value the monks had subjected him to. Weylin’s own journey had been inspired by the desire to retain his individuality, identity and value- rather than rotting away in prison or hanging from the executioner’s noose.

‘Let us get to the main revelation, the very aspect that made us so interested in the Prodigy. He, you see, has access to all four elements’.

Weylin was taken aback mentally, carefully considering the words.

Renaldin smiled knowingly, not surprised at the reaction. He had received the exact same reaction when he informed the other select high-ranking members, of the situation. ‘That is right, Brother Weylin. Our friend here is the only human in known history to have control over the power of flame, wind, water and earth. And his raw power with each of these sources is quite impressive. He is a most unique Touched’. Renaldin sat back on his wooden chair and clasped his hands on his chest.

‘If this is true, then he will be a great asset indeed’. Weylin immediately regretted the words, he was not sure if he had stepped over the line into subordination by implying he did not believe Renaldin’s statement.

Renaldin simply smiled and suggested a demonstration. 

* * *


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/  

Monday, 19 November 2012

(Troll-infested) Bridges of Communication




Like the iconic Billy Goats of fairytales, users of social media and other forms of Internet-based communicative media, are often waylaid by trolls when they access the bridges of communication. Whenever people use bridges to reach the ‘green grass’ of enlightened discussion, these beasts always seem to pop up to ‘gobble up’ Internet discourse.

Inflammatory comments, deliberately misleading or time-wasting posts, harassment of users, these are the scourges of the message board and social media experiences. Internet boards often have moderators imbued with the power of banning and suspending  misbehaving posters, and these boards often grant users  the ability to report in miscreants.

Blizzard entertainment recently tried to implement a requirement that all posters on its WoW (World of Warcraft) forums display their real first and last names when using the forums. This was suggested as a way to reduce the rampant rudeness and trollish behaviour on the site, such as personal, vulgar attacks stemming from seemingly any minor disagreement between posters. Posters were infuriated by the plan, with some one user posting all the personal details, including phone number and address, of a Blizzard employee who gave his full name on the forums in order to demonstrate how harmless the change could be. The worry among users was that forcing people to display their real names would jeapordize safety and would enable posters to stalk and harass people who they dislike on the forums.

This writer believes that the users were right to complain, and the proposed naming system by Blizzard was unwise, and was cavalier about the security and safety of posters. Some advocates of the now repealed change stated that if you posted respectfully you would have nothing to worry about by displaying your full name. This ignores the fact that people can be, and have been, harassed or insulted on the Internet even if they make an effort to be polite and considerate in their posting.

Reduction of ‘trolling’ is important, but sacrificing people’s anonymity is a no-no. Another thing to consider is the definition of trolling. Some forums and users have a form of elitism regarding their pet forum, and an over-zealous expectation that new users will adhere to all and every standard or norm, resulting in often fascist or oppressive forums. A decent, normal person who did not read the labyrinthine rules, or who had a slightly different style or opinion from others on the site, could be labelled a troll. Social media is a place to spread democratic discussions about various issues., and posting opinions and different takes on an issue are part of the Internet democracy and the character of a user. Trolling is very real and negative, but should be used to describe obviously damaging, disrespectful or hostile behaviour. Something has to be done about trolling, but what is a reasonable step?


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Maldives Malady: A Tropical Adventure, available! and Free for two days!

For something a bit different than fantasy! T.P. Grish has written a short story with light humour and drama elements. It is normally 99c, but for two days starting Nov 20 PST, it is FREE!

www.amazon.com/Maldives-Malady-Tropical-Adventure-ebook/dp/B00A96KUQE






Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Maldives Malady- short story, and CreateSpace version of Steel, Magick and Faith

Dominic is an average University student who feels his life is stuck in a rut. Although he has a job, good grades and friends, he feels like his life is passing him by without him really living, or doing anything outside the mundane and mainstream.

A trip to a seemingly unknown island in the Maldives is the perfect opportunity for him to have a unique and personal experience, so Dom sets off, alone. However he finds that it is not so easy to escape the grasp of mediocrity and uniformity that has enveloped his world, and he must reevaluate his feelings about life, self-worth, and what makes an individual.

This is a fictional short story with light drama and humour. It is set in a fictional version of the real world, in which a mysterious island called Goljaban exists among the Maldives islands.

www.amazon.com/Maldives-Malady-Tropical-Adventure-ebook/dp/B00A96KUQE



Createspace version of the dark fantasy novel Steel, Magick and Faith up soon:  Get it in print!

www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Friday, 16 November 2012

Review of 'The Earthsea Quartet' by Ursula Le Guin



The Earthsea Quartet is a wonderful fantasy fable full of the colour and world-building you would expect of any good fantasy, but the added depth of complex and layered philosophy and a moral fable embeded into this unique story of young boy's journey into adulthood. Ged, or Sparrow, is a young man growing up on the rocky shores of Gond, a peaceful but difficult place to live, full of goat herders and blacksmiths and the like. He is discovered to have the gifts of wizardry, and this takes him on a journey around Earthsea that takes him from coast to coast, and uncovers his own issues with arrogance, pride, ambition and the consequences of power. An amazingly deep, subtle, yet profound book, where wizards are mighty more because they can control tides and rain that the lucrative and essential fishing, boating and farming industries rely on; rather than their ability to spew fire and lightning (which they do still have). Read it, but it will demand your time and effort. It is worth it.
5 out of 5 stars



Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Review of 'The Bloody Eye' by T.H. Lain


The Bloody Eye by T.H. Lain is a breezy, well-written book with an entertaining hook that is a perfect excuse for the battle-filled epic good versus evil campaign that we are presented with. It is like an old-school D&D module brought to life. The characters, motivations and plot are not overly complex, but there is enough depth to give colour and meaning to the actions of the characters. An entertaining read. 
4 out of 5 stars



Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Steel, Magick and Faith Updates and Spotlight

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16108557-steel-magick-and-faith
Got my first rating on Goodreads, 3/5 isn't too bad!

Also got spotlighted here : http://compassebooks.blogspot.com.au/




My dark fantasy ebook, Steel, Magick and Faith is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M

It has been rated on Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16108557-steel-magick-and-faith

It has been spotlighted on these sites: http://compassebooks.blogspot.com.au/
                                                     http://theindielist.weebly.com/fantasy.html



Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Steel, Magick and Faith being Spotlighted on Review Blog, also featured on Indie Ebook List

The indie list features only the hottest new books, and mine has been accepted here: http://theindielist.weebly.com/fantasy.html

Look out at respected review blog site http://lauriethoughts-reviews.blogspot.com.au/ on January 20th, when Steel, Magick and Faith will be spotlighted!

As always, my book can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M

Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Steel, Magick and Faith on Goodreads

Steel, Magick and Faith, my fantasy debut, is available on Goodreads at :

 http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16108557-steel-magick-and-faith

Here is information about my novel and how to purchase it:
Buy and browse link:
Description:

Steel, Magick and Faith: Book 1 of The Remus Rothwyn Chronicles.

Word Length: ~ 45 000

AN ANCIENT WORLD FILLED WITH SECRETS-


Glenryth is a world of ancient rules, and savage spirits slumbering in seclusion. From the jungles of the North, to the rocky plains of Corsen, there is a heavy stillness. A quiet violence. For hidden in nooks, watching within veritable evergreens; lie spirits, beasts, forces elemental, vicious, hideous, beautiful. There was balance, harsh and violent like the noxious air in a swamp. But balance, nonetheless. Then somewhere in the fickle mists of creation came humanity, clawing and afraid, grasping and ambitious.

Now, Technological cults and Monotheistic religions are worshipped, any suspicion of pagan or Fey magickal taint is reviled. Prophets spread far and wide, offering hope and comfort to the beleaguered masses. Mankind is not totally separate from the energies that suffuse Glenryth, as an unfortunate few are born as Touched. The more fortunate of the Touched will never discover that they are so.


CHARACTERS THRUST INTO A WORLD OF INTRIGUE, DANGER AND SIMMERING CONFLICT-


When local dwarves put a curse upon the town of High Peaks, Remus, the aloof and irritable woodcutter and sage must try and ebb the tide of xenophobic anger that could engulf himself and any other folk that are labelled outcasts. But when a caravan of technocrat pilgrims fails to arrive, and the body of a local child is found in the woodlands, Remus, along with the capricious Touched Elaina, must try to understand the nature of morality in a world of different perspectives and fierce conflict. Moreover, they must try and prevent an all-out war between the forces of Fey and Mankind, that could send the region spiraling into chaos and destruction.


FIERCE COMBAT AWAITS-


'Alerted by Elaina's yelp of surprise, Remus swung around in time to see a huge bear-like creature charge at them, growling deafeningly. The creature was huge, fur light brown streaked with a dull blue. Around its face were three plates of natural chitin, one on its forehead, and two on its cheeks, flexing around its massive jaw. Remus swung his hand-axe just in time to deflect a savage bite, smashing against the monster's large teeth. The Feybeast had gotten close enough that Remus could smell the fetid breath of its salivating jaw and see its yellowing fangs. Elaina slammed the end of her quarterstaff on the monster's back.

The monster charged at Remus and lunged with a thick paw, with the lanky man barely leaping out of the way.. He chopped his hand axe into the beast's thick neck, just behind the forehead plate. It was a devastating blow, but the hardy animal continued its rampage. Elaina focused her powers, condensing and cooling the moisture in the air. Flakes of ice and whirling fog began to form, hovering above her outstretched right arm. A shard of pure, magickally hardened ice formed, hovering above her hand. She willed it forward with tremendous momentum, impaling the side of the creature's belly and fragmenting'.

'The dwarves were a blur, torchlight briefly illuminating bestial snarls on their faces as they rushed the humans from of the darkness of the forest. The creatures would rush, impossibly fast, towards the men and women, only to be deflected or parried by a weapon. They would scurry forward into the foliage on the other side of the road, with a few jumping back to cover or seemingly disappearing into the darkness. Tense moments later, they would launch another strike, the beleaguered humans beset on both sides by sporadic terror. One man lay dead, caked in blood'.


My dark fantasy ebook, Steel, Magick and Faith is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M

It has been rated on Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16108557-steel-magick-and-faith

It has been spotlighted on these sites: http://compassebooks.blogspot.com.au/
                                                     http://theindielist.weebly.com/fantasy.html


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Human (Lack Of) Communication

I have always been interested in history, but it wasn’t the grand buildings, dates and wars that interested me the most. No, it was the contemporary Roman graffiti in the gladiator cells in the coliseum - the tallies engraved in the wall by a desperate gladiator measuring how long he had been enslaved-, the random and relatively unimportant letters and communique sent between ordinary people of the past; this was what really interests me.
 
Time is an obscuring whirlpool, preventing posterity from really understanding the passions and humanness of people from the past. But this blog is not about time, or not just about it. It is about the wide world, at its present state. The world is shrinking, they say, people from all corners and all walks of life can communicate freely on the same wavelength (in most places). This has some amazing possibilities and consequences, but this blog is not here to host that discussion, here we will discuss the often overlooked capacity of social media.

Recently they found fingerprints on the wrappings of Pharoah Tutankhamen, left by his servants. This connects us to the real people of th
Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 
at time, their lives, passions and realities. This is a distinct and deeper experience than merely seeing what the people of the past wanted us to see, the buildings and monuments.

Using social media we can see the humanness and commonality of people from all around the world, both the endearing and the banal trivialities that all people share, whether it is seeing US soldiers dancing to pop songs, or someone being hailed as a hero for the downtrodden (or laughed at) around the world.



Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

No Free Lunch

With the economy the way it is these days, people are perhaps more ginger about throwing down 60-100 dollars (depending on your place of residence) for a full-price video game, perhaps even more so for MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games). MMORPGs require a monthly fee of around $15 or so, paid continuously, in order to continue playing with your character(s). However, MMORPGs add the noteworthy feature of a continuously expanding world with a constant stream of new content- very distinct from the patches we have come to expect for all games. The genre that is lead by WoW (World of Warcraft) has undergone a recent trend of change, with more MMORPG developers adopting a free to play model.

No gimmicks here, many games have a completely free to play model which lets you embody your  character in the game world and enjoy the full game experience, for nothing more than using your internet space. There are paid donations which give you access to more character slots, new items, more storage, exotic pets, and the like. Dungeons and Dragons Online: Stormreach, and Warhammer Online are games with a full-featured free gaming option, with optional donations. The industry behemoth, WoW, recently introduced a more limited free to play option where you may play a character up to level 20, and have limited gold and skill options. Paying removes all the limitations.

Offering a product for free is a bizarre concept to most people’s sensibilities, particularly when talented people have to work for years to craft it. Is it a sign of an increasingly demanding and selfish consumer base for video games, one who wants access to a game for free before they plonk down cash? Developers are volunteering to use this model to attract a greater number of users, and hope the donation options will provide a sustainable salary (it does seem to be profitable for some companies!). Video game consumers are used to paying a lot of money for their product, and are often restricted in the use of their medium more than partakers of other hobbies. So perhaps the consumers are not getting too demanding. Perhaps the free to play model is an increasingly attractive financial option in the crowded MMORPG market, especially with walltets tightening for many people.

Either way, the consumer wins. Despite the access to bonus content for paying customers, there are a lot of free to play MMORPGs which feature full worlds and huge amounts of play time for anybody.


Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

New Ebook, Steel, Magick and Faith

My new fantasy book with a mythological twist is available as an ebook on Amazon Kindle for purchase! Please check it out.
The link is below, and below that is the description of the book.
Steel, Magick and Faith: Book 1 of The Remus Rothwyn Chronicles.

Word Length: ~ 45 000

AN ANCIENT WORLD FILLED WITH SECRETS-


Glenryth is a world of ancient rules, and savage spirits slumbering in seclusion. From the jungles of the North, to the rocky plains of Corsen, there is a heavy stillness. A quiet violence. For hidden in nooks, watching within veritable evergreens; lie spirits, beasts, forces elemental, vicious, hideous, beautiful. There was balance, harsh and violent like the noxious air in a swamp. But balance, nonetheless. Then somewhere in the fickle mists of creation came humanity, clawing and afraid, grasping and ambitious.

Now, Technological cults and Monotheistic religions are worshipped, any suspicion of pagan or Fey magickal taint is reviled. Prophets spread far and wide, offering hope and comfort to the beleaguered masses. Mankind is not totally separate from the energies that suffuse Glenryth, as an unfortunate few are born as Touched. The more fortunate of the Touched will never discover that they are so.


CHARACTERS THRUST INTO A WORLD OF INTRIGUE, DANGER AND SIMMERING CONFLICT-


When local dwarves put a curse upon the town of High Peaks, Remus, the aloof and irritable woodcutter and sage must try and ebb the tide of xenophobic anger that could engulf himself and any other folk that are labelled outcasts. But when a caravan of technocrat pilgrims fails to arrive, and the body of a local child is found in the woodlands, Remus, along with the capricious Touched Elaina, must try to understand the nature of morality in a world of different perspectives and fierce conflict. Moreover, they must try and prevent an all-out war between the forces of Fey and Mankind, that could send the region spiraling into chaos and destruction.


FIERCE COMBAT AWAITS-


'Alerted by Elaina's yelp of surprise, Remus swung around in time to see a huge bear-like creature charge at them, growling deafeningly. The creature was huge, fur light brown streaked with a dull blue. Around its face were three plates of natural chitin, one on its forehead, and two on its cheeks, flexing around its massive jaw. Remus swung his hand-axe just in time to deflect a savage bite, smashing against the monster's large teeth. The Feybeast had gotten close enough that Remus could smell the fetid breath of its salivating jaw and see its yellowing fangs. Elaina slammed the end of her quarterstaff on the monster's back.

The monster charged at Remus and lunged with a thick paw, with the lanky man barely leaping out of the way.. He chopped his hand axe into the beast's thick neck, just behind the forehead plate. It was a devastating blow, but the hardy animal continued its rampage. Elaina focused her powers, condensing and cooling the moisture in the air. Flakes of ice and whirling fog began to form, hovering above her outstretched right arm. A shard of pure, magickally hardened ice formed, hovering above her hand. She willed it forward with tremendous momentum, impaling the side of the creature's belly and fragmenting'.

'The dwarves were a blur, torchlight briefly illuminating bestial snarls on their faces as they rushed the humans from of the darkness of the forest. The creatures would rush, impossibly fast, towards the men and women, only to be deflected or parried by a weapon. They would scurry forward into the foliage on the other side of the road, with a few jumping back to cover or seemingly disappearing into the darkness. Tense moments later, they would launch another strike, the beleaguered humans beset on both sides by sporadic terror. One man lay dead, caked in blood'.





My dark fantasy ebook, Steel, Magick and Faith is available here: http://www.amazon.com/Steel-Magick-Rothwyn-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B007P0UI3M
Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 


It has been rated on Goodreads here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16108557-steel-magick-and-faith

It has been spotlighted on these sites: http://compassebooks.blogspot.com.au/
                                                     http://theindielist.weebly.com/fantasy.html



Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/ 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Legend of Grimrock

There was a time when, if you mentioned RPGs, gamers would envisage a party of brave adventurers trudging through a mysterious dungeon, armoured warriors and robed wizards slashing and blasting their way through hordes of loathsome enemies. Of course, finding magnificent treasure was part of the experience, as was dealing with frustrating lever and key puzzles that inspired euphoria when solved. What has happened to the RPG genre since then is a matter of (fiercely argued) opinion, but it has undeniably gone through changes.

RPGs ditched the tile-based movement system, and have offered us rich stories that took us through a variety of environments, even... wait for it... outdoor forests and deserts. Games like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights increased class customisation, skills and roleplaying choices. Story, dialogue and choices were a focus in these games. Other RPGs, perhaps most of them, became too action focused, losing the simple strategic appeal of the aforementioned older games such as Eye of the Beholder and The Bard's Tale. These newer RPGs focused on grinding and were too easy, turning the hero into a mighty avatar for the player to live vicariously through.

There remain gamers who think a real RPG forces players to take the role of weak amateurs, barely skilled in their chosen profession, and somehow manage to survive. Eventually your party would become impressive and powerful, but every morsel of experience, every magic sword and bejewelled arcane necklace would be hard fought for. Dungeons and enemies would constantly throw surprises at you. Oh, and you must make sure you feed your characters regularly and keep your torch supply up, otherwise you may die of more natural causes; or just get lost.

The Legend of Grimrock is for those gamers.

Very similarly to the Eye of the Beholder games, The Legend of Grimrock casts you as four prisoners thrown into an ancient and deadly dungeon, your only hope is the proclamation that should you survive to escape the hellhole, you would be acquitted of all charges and released to live your life. Despite the moodiness and quality of the introduction and cutscenes, they are simple and the story is almost negligible.

The customisation of your prisoners is complex enough to be engaging, and to make sure repeat playthroughs will yield new experiences. However compared to many RPGs, it is relatively basic. There are no excess stats or skills that are not necessary to survive. This is not a story-driven or interactive RPG. Your characters will explore every inch of the fascinating, dark dungeon ahead of them, moving tile by tile. Complex yet logical puzzles involving levers, pressure plates and placing gems in sockets, abound. They do not get boring, and the difficulty of these conundrums slowly escalates. The puzzles are largely satisfying to solve.

Of course, the dungeon is populated with all sorts of deadly denizens, both beastly, demonic and humanoid. The fauna of the aforementioned hellhole is very diverse, with each and every floor bringing forth beautifully designed creatures and requiring different strategies.

Speaking of strategy, this extremely difficult game does encourage you to exploit the system as much as possible to survive, attacking enemies with all four of your characters, and then retreating. This is a result of the countdown tied to all of your attacks, from simple swings of steel, to spells. Some monsters, such as ogres, are  capable of decimating your intrepid adventurers in short order, and usage of items such as potions, and conservation of spells and abilities, is essential to survive your stay in Grimrock prison.

Graphically, the game is old, but only by a few years. Fans of this kind of game will find the graphics more than acceptable, considering how old-school the gameplay is. The design of the dungeons and creatures is intricate and, in the case of the creatures, colourful. The dungeons are dank and tend to repetitive, but that is the nature of dungeons. Overall, the graphics are relatively new and they present the enjoyable old-school gameplay of yore with tolerable and easy-on-the-eye visuals.

Sound-wise, the game is fine. Footsteps, the snarls of enemies, weapons and spells, are all crafted aptly. Music is somewhat lacking, but this was likely a deliberate decision, in order to increase tension and encourage players to pay attention to noises- which is actually important in this game.

The Legend of Grimrock is tailor-made for people who enjoy games that provide a basic framework for fun, and lets users use their imagination to fill in the blanks. Being willing to use your noggin to persist at some of the harder puzzles and encounters, is also helpful. Character creation lets you choose four races: Human, Minotaur, Insectoids and Lizardmen. Enemy designs are equally imaginative. However, the bulk of the game is exploring labyrinthine dungeons inch by inch, dealing with sometimes repetitive, yet challenging puzzles, fighting wave after wave of enemies (but note, there luckily is no respawning except in a few areas where it is necessary for puzzles). On top of surviving the dangers of the dungeon, torches and food supplies must be kept up. It is a brutal, difficult game of survival and resource conservation. It is also very fun. You must fill in the blanks about what your characters did to be thrown into the dungeon, and what the world you inhabit is like. The cutscenes provide additional motivation to keep on moving, but the gameplay is the real treat.

Though the game is unforgiving, your characters can become equally mighty and intimidating. Skills can be levelled up as experience is gained, and gradually your characters will be decked out in more and more impressive gear. But, and this is the mantra for games of this nature, you must earn every inch of ground you take and you must earn the treasures awaiting you, by staring danger in the eye. For $15 on Steam, for about twenty hours per playthrough, the price is much more forgiving.

Look out for the epic, dark fantasy ebooks of Goodreads-rated author T.P. Grish at:
http://booksoftpgrish.blogspot.com.au/