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Wizard's Rules. Wizard's Ninth Rule:"A contradiction can not exist in reality. Not in part, nor in whole. To believe in a contradiction is to abdicate your belief in the existence of the world around you and the nature of the things in it, to instead embrace any random impulse that strikes your fancy ? To imagine something is real simply because you wish it were. A thing is what it is, it is itself. Faith is a device of self-delusion, a sleight of hand done with words and emotions founded on any irrational notion that can be dreamed up.

In reality, contradictions cannot exist. Why is Dune so highly regarded? My copy is from 1979 and it says "The first book in the Dune Trilogy" on the front. I knew his son wrote more but I thought Frank Herbert only did 3! When you say moving, do you mean emotionally? I thought it was pretty schmaltzy in places, especially the way Gurney keeps asking people to kill him every time he makes a mistake That is one of my big problems with long series of books: soon the scale nearly always seems to swamp the author. The only epic book I've read, so far, where the author hasn't eventually become swamped under the weight of his or her own creation is the Lord of the Rings. “Dune” Endures. As the temperature in California’s Death Valley climbed toward a hundred and thirty degrees recently, I had a vision of giant sandworms erupting from the desert floor and swallowing up the tourists and news media gathered around the thermometer at the National Park Service ranger station.

The worms I had in mind sprang first from the imagination of Frank Herbert, and they have, over the past half century, burrowed their way into the heads of anyone who has read his science-fiction classic, “Dune.” Set on a desert planet named Arrakis that is the sole source of the universe’s most valued substance, “Dune” is an epic of political betrayal, ecological brinkmanship, and messianic deliverance. It won science fiction’s highest awards—the Hugo and the Nebula—and went on to sell more than twelve million copies during Herbert’s lifetime. As recently as last year, it was named the top science-fiction novel of all time in a Wired reader’s poll. “Can one exterminate an entire planet?” Dune, 50 years on: how a science fiction novel changed the world | Books. In 1959, if you were walking the sand dunes near Florence, Oregon, you might have encountered a burly, bearded extrovert, striding about in Ray-Ban Aviators and practical army surplus clothing.

Frank Herbert, a freelance writer with a feeling for ecology, was researching a magazine story about a US Department of Agriculture programme to stabilise the shifting sands by introducing European beach grass. Pushed by strong winds off the Pacific, the dunes moved eastwards, burying everything in their path. Herbert hired a Cessna light aircraft to survey the scene from the air. “These waves [of sand] can be every bit as devastating as a tidal wave … they’ve even caused deaths,” he wrote in a pitch to his agent. About to turn 40, Herbert had been a working writer since the age of 19, and his fortunes had always been patchy. Soon, Herbert’s research into dunes became research into deserts and desert cultures. Have the Harkonnens really given up Dune, this source of fabulous riches?

Syfy's Magician Series Serves as a Cautionary Tale to Would-Be Magicians. Syfy’s Magician series premiered on Monday, January 25. However, there was a special showing of the first episode last month, and it can also be watched online now. The television series is based on Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy — of which I am a huge fan. I tell people that Grossman’s Magicians is like “Harry Potter for grownups.” Yes, there’s sex and drugs, but more importantly, unlike Harry Potter, the protagonists are deeply flawed people. Grossman’s Magicians series is as much about the characters’ struggle to become real adults, as it is about shooting fireballs out of their fingertips. I was not greatly impressed with the first episode of the Syfy series, though. Magic in The Magicians At its core, Grossman’s Magicians series is about the emptiness of mundane life and how we try to escape from it.

At first, when Quentin is transported to Brakebills, he is in nerd-heaven. But eventually, Quentin finds himself unsatisfied and unhappy. Magic, for Quentin, has become disenchanted. Io9.gizmodo. Book Review | 'The Magicians,' by Lev Grossman. Living with Magic: The Magicians by Lev Grossman | Where the Dog Star Rages. What would Harry Potter have been like if it had been packed with self-conscious allusions to The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland? If ‘magic’ and its science had been explored, not at high school level, but in the considerably more dangerous and research-intensive corridors of college, complete with flying hormones and long-term relationships both—can you imagine it then? Well, if you can’t, there’s someone who’s done it for you. Lev Grossman’s The Magicians is a fantasy fanboy’s homage to the tradition his own work hails from and seeks to be a part of.

Grossman takes the traditional elements: the quest, the imaginary world, the ragtag bunch of fellows, adds the boarding school flavours of Rowling, and creates a thoroughly believeable sub-world of magic, intrigue and terror. What did I like about this book? The Magicians is not exactly an easy read. ‘If there’s a single lesson that life teaches us, it’s that wishing doesn’t make it so. Think about it. Io9.gizmodo.

AMC's Mad Men. The Brave Tin Soldier. By Hans Christian Andersen This lesser-known Hans Christian Andersen story is also known as The Steadfast Tin Soldier. THERE were once five-and-twenty tin soldiers, who were all brothers, for they had been made out of the same old tin spoon. They shouldered arms and looked straight before them, and wore a splendid uniform, red and blue. The first thing in the world they ever heard were the words, "Tin soldiers! " uttered by a little boy, who clapped his hands with delight when the lid of the box, in which they lay, was taken off. The table on which the tin soldiers stood, was covered with other playthings, but the most attractive to the eye was a pretty little paper castle.

"Tin soldier," said the goblin, "don't wish for what does not belong to you. But the tin soldier pretended not to hear. "Very well; wait till to-morrow, then," said the goblin. When the children came in the next morning, they placed the tin soldier in the window. "Where am I going now? " "Have you a passport? " Only the gods are real. Hello! A few notes: first off... if you have not read American Gods... well, you definitely should! But you also probably should not read this website until you have done so, because there are some plot spoilers involved here. Sorry. Okay, you've been warned. Also: because of translation and etc., most gods, goddesses, and other mythological beings have widely varied name-spellings. I tried to stick with the ones used in the book, and list a few of the most popular alternatives. If a character is referred to by multiple names in the book (i.e.

If you're interested in the geography of American Gods, I've set up this page, which tracks Shadow's travels across the country. And the god who everyone forgets now has his very own page, with collected clues and theories regarding his identity. Aido-Hwedo: Also called Ayida-Weddo, she is the voodoo rainbow serpent goddess. Allvis: In Norse mythology, the son of Vindalf and king of the dwarfs. Anansi: Appears as Mr. Anubis: Anubis (Mr. Mr. Mr. The Gods of Slavic Mythology. By Simon E. Davies, Contributor to The Slavs worshiped a wide range of deities, from the shores of the Baltic to the shores of the White Sea.

Slavic folklore is cultic in nature, where the same god can be found worshiped in various guises from tribe to tribe. It has been possible in the last two centuries to reconstruct their ancient myths by studying the roots of Slavic languages, folktales and traditions, from which has been determined a ‘Proto-Slavic culture’. Dažbog is a sun god who was said to be reborn in the morning, from the arms of The Zorya (Dusk).

Perun is a thunder god, associated with mountains, oak trees and eagles. Svarog has been compared to the Greek Hephaestus, the god of the blacksmiths and craftsmanship. Rod is a god of creation, who is believed to have given birth to gods (and possibly the first humans). Stribog is the god of winds, sky and air; and is said to be the ancestor of the eight directions. Triglav is a three-headed god of vigilance. CHERNOBOG - the Slavic God of Evil (Slavic mythology) His name means ‘Black God’. He is a dark demonic deity, a hideous shadowy figure dressed in black who only appears at night.

The lord of evil, CHERNOBOG causes calamity and disaster, bringing bad luck and misfortune wherever he turns. There is no hidden agenda — he just enjoys being a black-hearted villain. He is the Darth Vader of Slavic mythology. His opposite number is BELOBOG, the White God of Goodness. The two of them are in eternal conflict. CHERNOBOG is feared all over Russia as a being of pure nastiness, in the same evil club as AHRIMAN or SATAN. CHERNOBOG is so utterly malevolent that few writers dared to jot down details of his foul deeds. Name : CHERNOBOG Pronunciation : Coming soon Alternative names : CZERNOBOG, CHERNABOG, TCHERNOBOG, TSCHERNOBOG Location : Czech Republic, Poland and Russia Gender : Male Type : deity In charge of : EvilGod of : Evil Celebration or Feast Day : Unknown at present Good/Evil Rating : TOTALLY EVIL, danger!

'Game of Thrones' George R.R. Martin: Outtakes From the Rolling Stone Interview - Rolling Stone. Over the course of 10 hours, Rolling Stone writer Mikal Gillmore sat with A Song of Fire and Ice author George R.R. Martin — the man responsible for the books that provide the source material for HBO's insanely popular fantasy series Game of Thrones — and discussed a wide range of topics. While most of the material made it into the Rolling Stone Interview, there were a few of Martin's answers that were left on the cutting-room floor. Here are some choice outtakes from the Q&A. Top 40 'Game of Thrones' Characters, Ranked On growing up in the projects of Bayonne, New Jersey:"As I say, we were projects kids; we lived in public housing, so I knew at a very early age that we were poor. "I look back on it now and say, gad, what an interesting childhood I had, what an interesting environment I lived in — so much more interesting than kids who grew up in the suburbs.

On his parents:"I would describe my relationship with my mother as being close and warm. 10 Most Dramatic 'Game of Thrones' Deaths. George R.R. Martin explains why he kills all your favorite Game of Thrones characters – BGR. Just a few episodes into the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones and viewers knew that they were watching something special.

The show was an instant masterpiece, featuring a level of production and an attention to detail that made other top TV shows look like amateur hour. But by the end of the first season of HBO’s instant classic, fans came to another important realization: No one is safe. MUST SEE: So long, Siri: How to get Amazon Alexa on your iPhone Game of Thrones couldn’t even wait until the last episode of season 1 to kill off everyone’s favorite character, Ned Stark. In episode 9 titled “Baelor,” Stark falsely confesses to a conspiracy and pledges his allegiance to King Joffrey. To the horror of onlookers on screen and off, Joffrey has him executed anyway. The public execution of Ned Stark set the tone for the rest of the show. Of course, the production team behind Game of Thrones isn’t entirely to blame — instead, we can all point a finger at George R.R. 'Game of Thrones' Author George R.R. Martin: The Rolling Stone Interview - Rolling Stone.

On a cold night in January, George R.R. Martin sits inside the Jean Cocteau Cinema, a revival theater that he owns in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he has lived since 1979. The Cinema had been showing the first three seasons of HBO's megahit series Game of Thrones, which is based on Martin's still-in-the-works saga A Song of Ice and Fire. After viewing the ninth episode, "Baelor," in which the story's apparent hero, Ned Stark, is unexpectedly beheaded, with the screen falling to black, Martin sits quietly for several moments, then says, "As many times as I've watched this, it still has great effect.

Of course for me, there's so much more to the books. " The top 40 'Game of Thrones' characters ranked And much more to come: The Song of Ice and Fire cycle – first published in 1996 – currently stands at five volumes, with two more books ahead. Later on, Martin takes me to a small house with a book tower that serves as his office and writing space. Get more of our George R.R. Yes. The Three Laws of Robotics. Isaac Asimov’s Laws of Robotics Are Wrong | Brookings Institution. When people talk about robots and ethics, they always seem to bring up Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics.” But there are three major problems with these laws and their use in our real world. The Laws Asimov’s laws initially entailed three guidelines for machines: Law One – “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” The DebunkThe first problem is that the laws are fiction!

For example, in one of Asimov’s stories, robots are made to follow the laws, but they are given a certain meaning of “human.” The second problem is that no technology can yet replicate Asimov’s laws inside a machine. Roboticist Daniel Wilson was a bit more florid. The most important reason for Asimov’s Laws not being applied yet is how robots are being used in our real world. The same goes to building a robot that takes order from any human. Rather, we need to start wrestling with the ethics of the people behind the machines.

I, Robot (Robot #0.1) by Isaac Asimov. I, Robot Summary. I, Robot Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections: This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on I, Robot by Isaac Asimov. I Robot is the first in the Robot Series by Isaac Asimov. In this novel, Asimov discusses the three laws of robotics and how they have influenced the development of robots over the years. The novel begins with an interview by a reporter of Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist who specializes in making robots seem more human. Susan tells the reporter several stories about robots that illustrate these rules and how they have impacted the development and actions of robots over the years. Susan Calvin is a robopsychologist who has worked with US Robot and Mechanical Men most of her career.

Dr. Dr. As technology and the use of robots increased, so did the difficulties experienced with robots. When Dr. Dr. Dr. Dr. I, Robot. After 75 years, Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics need updating. Do We Need Asimov's Laws? - MIT Technology Review. Why Asimov's Three Laws Of Robotics Can't Protect Us. 50 years ago, Isaac Asimov predicted what 2014 would look like. Reading Order – Sharon Lee, Writer. Isaac Asimov Home Page. Isaac Asimov Home Page. New & Used Books, Rare Books, Textbooks, Out of Print Books. Books-A-Million Online Book Store : Books, Toys, Tech & More. TimeLine for the Robots & Foundations Universe. Teacher's Guides | Rick Riordan.