So? You want to visit Ourangdun!

So? You want to visit Ourangdun!
Nothing says adventure quite like our Ourangdun. The open spaces which seem to stretch on forever tell the story of exploration and development. Our wide brown lands reflect Ourangdun’s pioneering spirit and unique identity. You can find a little bit of adventure in every part of Ourangdun, and while many regions are remote, they are patrolled and perfectly safe from outlaws.
So instead of worrying about an ambush, you can be enthralled by the rugged gorges, epic waterways and incandescent ocean of Ourangdun. Enjoy a triple-sunset chobo ride in Bwunda, then aquacar along the Poqntin River to the Jomilur Valley, home to the Oodic Cluster and near the beehive-striped Bingle Bangles of the Oyebykyky Butte. Bwunda is also the gateway to the remote, beautiful Spnouwe Peninsula.
Do I need a visa to enter Ourangdun?

Unless you are citizens of the planets Pyarpkupb or Neolwpkpbs, you will need a valid Ourangdun visa to land on the planet. Intrasolar visitors can apply for a visa upon arrival planetside. There is a slight quarantine period while awaiting approval. All other Intergalactic visitors must apply for a visa before leaving your homeworld. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, at your nearest Ourangdun Oligarch Corporate Mining Conglomerate.

Which part of Ourangdun should I visit?
That depends on what you want to do!
• Want to go bounty hunting? Then try the northwestern hemisphere of the planet. The lucky traveler still occasionally stumbles over a nest of outlaws. You will be provided an introduction to bounty hunting and assigned to one our Corporate Raiders as interim Bounty Hunter. Would you like to know more? Please see our full list of visas, available at any Ourangdun Oligarch Corporate Mining Conglomerate.
• If you like to build sandcastles, then explore the Eastern hemisphere. Near Oyebykyky Buttes you will find a stand over a hundred meters tall and hundreds of kilometers long. This is a protected area. Would you like to know more? Please see our full list of visas, available at any Ourangdun Oligarch Corporate Mining Conglomerate.
• If you have an interest in wildlife, you should visit the Southern Hemisphere Nature Reserve. Here you can find a host of indigenous Ourangdun animals: the rare Przwenlsli, the world’s last wild dragon; the Bombus bear; the golden Vombatus; bactrachian two-humped Rhincodon. Even sabre-toothed Tragelodontus venture from their mountaintop homes in winter. Hunting is allowed by special visa during peak populations. Would you like to know more? Please see our full list of visas, available at any Ourangdun Oligarch Corporate Mining Conglomerate.

 

Before you go . . .
• Indigenous natives are nomadic. Every nomad family you meet will offer to serve you with a salty tea. Fermented milk from the domestic Rhincodon and, if you’re lucky, Rhincodon intestines! There is no vegetarian fare as even the vegetables contain meat. They call it “vegetable” because the plants are green.
• Just in case you can’t stomach the local fare, I recommend taking . . .
• Emergency rations from your ship.
• And anything else you can’t live without!
• And unless you fancy dealing with explosive diarrhea in the middle of a Ourangdun sandstorm—bring some antidiarrheals meant for your physiology! (You wouldn’t like the local concoction.)
• Other standard items to take include sunglasses, sun cream (we recommend SPF 300 because of the three suns), and small gifts for the nomads you meet on your travels (so they do not serve you with the above-mentioned a salty tea).
• Oh yes, one more thing … avoid the Orellian Death Worm at all costs!

Good luck and Happy Trails!
Remember the Number One Rule:
HAVE FUN!

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Advertisements

The Blood in Snowflake Garden

51CzVRb1SkL._AA300_

The Blood in Snowflake Garden
Author: D. Alan Lewis
Narrated by: Clark Clayson

Christmas can be murder, a murder most foul. Murder and a note from S. Claus, pleading for help, was the only thing which could draw retired Inspector Max Sneed back to active duty. A duty to investigate the murder of the North Poles Premier. Robert Watson, sent by a London paper to write about the jolliest place on Earth, is put instead straight to work by Max. In a twinkling he finds a merry chase through Civil Rights, Labor Disputes and Cold War politics. Robert’s sugar-plum laced pipe dreams of the cheeriest city on Earth are quickly shredded. The more Max and Robert slog through the sleazy, underbelly of the North Pole, the thinner the ice upon which they stand. This murder investigation is rife with a delicious trail of red-herrings, each with the lustre of new fallen snow. Do you want to know the secret history of Santa? How the city at the North Pole was founded? What is it about cupcakes? Once you know the answer, you may never see pastries the same way again.
The answer to these questions, and many more, will impact the world. The Cold War is heating up at the pole. Whoever is in charge at the North Pole could change the course of history. What is the connection between electronic toys and the military base proposed outside the warm zone?
The Blood in Snowflake Garden is one D. Alan Lewis’s earlier books. As such, while this tale does have a few rough edges compared to his later books, the visions within will dance in your heads. His talent for blending real world historical events combined with a different take on a well-known mythology will satisfy your sweet tooth for knowledge. Though you be in ‘kerchief or cap, and settled down in your bed, the last thing you will be taking is a long winter nap. Thoughts of all else, except what lies upon the next page, fly away like the down on a thistle.
The narrator, Clark Clayson, has just that right tone to bring the necessary grittiness upon the breast of the new-fallen snow sprinkled throughout the story. Switching easily between the world weary detective and the wide eyed reporter, err..journalist, to The Jolly Old Nick himself, Clark’s narration helps to create an alternate history you can believe as the tale is unraveled. His enunciations are clear and there is no background noise. His voice is the little old driver of the tale by which soon you will know, there is nothing to dread.

The Blood in Snowflake Garden

 

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.

 

History Now!: Apollo 11

History

 

History NOW!: Apollo 11
Author: D. Alan Lewis
Narrated by: John Dunleavy

Historical documentaries are a favorite of mine. History Now! is a nice twist on them. How do the documentarians in this story know what really happened? A trusted few are granted access to time –ships. These Chrono-journalists carefully record and document the events they witness. At least the ones they witness in that particular time stream, for slightest change could send ripples through time changing the very event witnessed.
This story tells the tale of mankind’s first landing on the moon. Did you ever wonder what may have sparked the tale of aliens on the moon? Jace Vern, Chrono-journalist, might be have an answer. Most consequences can be predicted but as Jace says, “It’s always something you don’t think about that bites you in the ass.” Or in this case, it bites us all.
As we learn in the end, even as we try to remember our past and learn from it, the past always has a way of returning. For those who chronicle history are doomed to stand by helplessly while everyone else repeats it. We can only be glad the DaVinci accords of 2218 are in effect preventing everyone from re-writing history in their image.
John Dunleavy provides the perfect voice for a documentary. His enunciations are clear, though a little gravelly, which for the nature of this story provided a bit of gravitas. You can clearly distinguish which character is speaking. There were no background noises to distract from the story.

History Now!: Apollo 11
DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

Keely: A Steampunk Story

51tQeTY6zNL._AA300_

Keely: A Steampunk Story

Author: D. Alan Lewis

Narrated by: Phillip Mays

 

A new synonym has been found for Hope. That word is Keely.

Keely: A Steampunk Story from D. Alan Lewis is an excellent short tale of adventure and romance. In Humanity’s darkest hour a star falls from the sky.  Told from the perspective of Thomas Layborne, whose inventiveness are all that stand between Fortress Britain and defeat by an alien invasion, nurses our one true hope back to health. Her innocent discovery of the world is a delightful contrast to the cloud of gloom nibbling on the human spirit, Keely blossoms into a beacon of hope. For the human race in general and Thomas Layborne in particular.

I admire Alan’s craft in the steampunk genre. His character developments, both of the main and supporting characters, are what drive the story. While definitely Steampunk, the technology is not the driving force of the story, it is second to his characters. All of whom are delightful.

A story, whether print or audio, is a doorway into a theater, the theater of the mind. Alan’s characters may drive the story; it is his masterful descriptions which show you the story. These elements woven together create an experience you will not soon forget when you have reached the climax. Keely: A Steampunk Story is engaging through its humor, compassion and adventure. I do not know I have seen anyone else consolidate so much into a short story.   

The narration for Keely: A Steampunk Story is excellent. Phillip Mays has a smooth delivery and great tonal qualities. There was never a question what character was speaking or what they were feeling. Male or female, you had no doubt their emotional state. No background noises and though I could hear him swallow a couple times, but as with his pauses, just made me more comfortable listening to him. While I am not generally a fan of audio books, I would listen to more books narrated by Phillip Mays.

 Keely: Steampunk Story

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

 

A History of Superman – The Many Faces of The Man of Steel

Sure, we all know the history of Superman, right? This is an interesting article regarding ways in which the Man of Steel has changed over time and medium. I found it to be an enjoyable read. I hope you do too.

IDENTITY CRISIS The Many Faces of the Man of Steel

Thank you for reading,

Ernest

A Swashbuckling Adventure in the Sky

805409

The Adventure of Anastasia Hawke: The Celeste Affair
Author: D. Alan Lewis
Narrated by: Kat Marlowe

A stirring steampunk adventure from the mind of D. Alan Lewis. The stakes are sky high in The Celeste Affair for ace spy Anastasia Hawke. Set in the Civil War era Anastasia must find the courage to fight personal battle all the while preventing the war in North America from escalating worldwide. A well-paced swashbuckling exploit filled with sword fights and airship combat this is sure to keep you entertained.
Do not listen to this expecting to hear another tired steampunk story. Alan has an interesting take on the tropes we often see in the genre. Listening to his stunning visuals I could taste the bitterness of the sea mist, almost smell the grease and hear the grinding of gears. Between the action of the story and the depth of his all too human characters you too will be drawn in from the first chapter.
Here a confession must be made, I do not usually listen to audio books because I do not care for being read too. That being said, Kat Marlowe did a very good job of getting and maintaining my attention to the story. She has a lovely voice which is easy on the ear and she enunciates beautifully. I could listen to her read the phone book. Her reading in this case is a little flat. Almost as if she never took a breath. Her attempts at changing voice for the different characters, while clearly differentiated who was speaking was also mildly distracting. In this instance. I believe varying her pitch and rhythm would have sufficed. Her attempts to deepen or affect accents drew me out of the story. Because of this I found myself with a need to listen multiple times before I felt had the entire story.

The Adventure of Anastasia Hawke: The Celeste Affair

Thank you for reading,
Ernest Russell

Road Redemption

Last night I was invited to attend the IGDA meetup and Road Redemption release party! By happy coincidence, their meeting coincided with Road Redemption’s release on Steam. The developers from Pixel Dash Studios gave a great presentation discussing the game’s development and release. Good food was sponsored by the Louisiana Technology Park.

The turnout was good and a good time was had by all.  The game play was fast and fun. Pretty easy game to pick up. If you played a game on the Sega called Road Rash, you’ll find a similar feel here.

Look forward to the meeting next month.

Thanks for reading,

Ernest