Saturday, September 20, 2014

MAZERUNNER MOVIE REVIEW


I watched the Maze Runner movie and loved it. What a great adaptation of the exciting book by James Dashner. It totally captured the feeling of the novel and follows the main events of the plot. The director and screenwriters streamlined the complicated events in the book that would not translate to the screen, and the plot was so exciting to watch unfold onscreen, even more than in the book.

The movie was a thrill ride from beginning to end, and I’m super impressed, though some of the shaky cam during the actions scenes bugged my eyes. Regardless, the talented young actors nailed their performances and were just incredible to watch. They are the real deal and I’m so happy they found such perfect actors for the roles. The maze was stunning and the visual effects were top notch, which is hard to fathom considering the total budget was only $34 million.

I watched the movie with three friends (Stephenie McKinnon, Patrick Tracy, and Jake Balamis), none of whom had read the book. They all enjoyed the film. Jake was thoroughly entertained, and he loved that he didn’t know how it was going to end. The ending was almost exactly the same as the book, (except the movie seemed a little stronger to me—the way it all played out in a blow by blow sense--a gun instead of a knife worked well for me). I think enough information was given out to provide the viewer with closure, but we were shown that there is a lot more to come. This is far from over.





As we were leaving the IMAX theater at Jordan Commons we ran into James Dashner and his family. He was at another showing that just got out, (his seventh viewing of the film!). I’d spoken with James about the film in the past a couple of times, once when we watched a different movie together, and I’m so happy for him. He’s a big movie lover and goes to the cinema a lot. He loves The Maze Runner movie and said he “agreed 100% with all the changes made” when comparing the book to the movie. I do as well.

The director and writers did a wonderful job. The pacing of books is different than movies, and the book had to be changed to make it work. Overall, the Maze Runner movie was excellent and I was thoroughly entertained.

Go and check this movie out in the theater, as the big screen adds a lot to the experience, especially IMAX, which also provided a BOOMING score. I will soon own the soundtrack.

I’m excited to see Maze Runner again.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

MY NEW ADVENTURE



After 17 years of working the night shift as a cardiac nurse in the Advanced Cardiac Care Unit, I am officially changing jobs to a new position in my company. My last shift on ACVU will be Tuesday night, September 16. I’m going to miss my co-workers a lot and want to thank them all for being my friends. I would have never lasted this long without you, and it’s been a tremendous honor to work with you all.

The details: On Friday afternoon, September 5 (while at Salt Lake Comic Con), I officially accepted the job as an analyst for the iCentra (Cerner) team. I had gone through two rounds of interviews and on August 25, I was told I unofficially had the job. Administrative delays—which left me very unsettled—prevented the official offer from coming until almost two weeks later.

My new manager will be Diane Rindlisbacher and I’m starting my new job on September 29. I will be helping to configure the new computer charting system (Cerner) that Intermountain Healthcare is going to start using in the future. I will also be a liaison between the clinical users and the programmers. It’s a day shift, and for the most part, a 9-5 kind of job.

I’ve been working in patient care on the front lines for 18 years, more like 21 counting nursing school, and I’m ready for a change. My health is suffering from working the night shift. I don’t bounce back as well as I used to. Also, I need more structure in my life, as changing from a night to a day schedule on a weekly basis is messing up my personal and writing life.

My lovely wife, Tammy, will also benefit from a more normal schedule. We’re both looking forward to a new life together where we both sleep at the same time and are on the same schedule. I think we’re both going to be happier.

I’m in desperate need of a change. The stress of being a charge nurse was really wearing me down. Taking care of extremely ill and difficult patients, and coping with all the sick calls from staff who are truly sick, or just mentally exhausted, has taken its toll on me over the past two years especially. Working short staffed, or even when we were fully staffed, in patient care is getting harder and harder.

I’ve sacrificed a lot over the years in both my personal and professional life, while working as a nurse. I feel like I’ve given enough and I’ve finally reached the point where I need to try something new.

My coworkers are amazing people and in my new job I’ll be helping to set up the new computer charting system that will hopefully make their lives easier. The transition for them and all of us will be a challenge, but I will fight for them and do all I can to make it serve their needs.

Thank you all for your support, and though I’m changing jobs, I’m going to keep fighting the good fight for the staff and the patients.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

SALT LAKE COMIC CON 2014

My coolest moment was interviewing Simon Helberg, one of the stars of The Big Bang Theory on the main stage in front of 3,000 fans. It was awesome.

Here's a link to all my pics from Salt Lake Comic Con on Facebook:

 

A pic taken after the Zombie Rock Opera, where I was the MC. It was so hilarious.
Pictured are the stars: Jack Bauer, Bub the Zombie, and Jack's girlfriend, Miley Cyrus.


 Gollum stole a fish from the Weta Booth, and I caught him. Don't worry, he gave it back.

 This is the panel on adapting books to movie. The cinematic book trailer for The Golden Cord premiered here. It looked awesome, though it's not the exact final version. It'll come out around the beginning of October 2014.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Paul's Fantasy Con / WesterCon 2014 Schedule

















Fantasy-Con & WesterCon Schedule of Paul Genesse

Thursday July 3

The Fantasy-Con Hall opens at 9:00 AM for those with VIP badges, at 10:00 AM for everyone else. I’ll be at Booth #640 from 9:00AM-11:20AM.


July 3, Thursday 11:00-11:50 Room 250
(Attending—as a fan) AN UNOFFICIAL PREVIEW OF THE HOBBIT: The Battle of Five Armies - A look at the rumors, clues, facts, and speculation about the capstone of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies from the website that has followed the production from Day 1.

Lunch 12-1—Meet with Jason King, Julie Henderson, and Dennis Lundstrom about our Dwarves Rule! Panel and the Tolkien’s World Panel.





"Melian and Thingol" by Kip Rasmussen

July 3, Thursday 1:00-1:50 Room 150 DEF
Tolkien’s World: The Lifeblood of Modernity. A discussion led by author, Silmarillion illustrator, and psychologist Dr. Kip Rasmussen about aspects of the fantasy genre and why they are not just “fun”, but of vital importance in a technologically saturated modern world. Jason King—Moderator, Paul Genesse, and Kip Rasmussen.






July 3, Thursday 2:00– 2:50 Room 150 DEF
Dwarves Rule! A look at Dwarves and what we love about them the ever-popular fantasy race. Join the discussion about Tolkien’s Dwarves, the origin of their names, Scandinavian Dwarf myths, and other modern representations. Enjoy a fun slide show featuring all the Dwarf actors present at FantasyCon. Moderated by author Paul Genesse, with Dennis Lundstrom of UGeek Media and Tolkien enthusiast Jason King and Tolkien expert Julie Henderson.

Spend time at Booth #640 in the hall from 3-4?

Thursday July 3, 5:00-5:50 Main Ballroom
Middle-earth Kick-off Party! (I’ll be a guest on stage!)
The largest collection of middle-earth actors, artists, writers, and talent at any convention ever! Artists, musicians, writers, internet reporters and a Tolkien all take the stage. Don't miss it!

Dinner with new friends.


Fantasy-Con & WesterCon Schedule of Paul Genesse

Friday July 4

July 4 Friday at 10:00-10:50 (I’m leaving the panel early) WesterCon Panel at the Marriott Hotel. Wasatch (Alta) Room. Putting a New Spin on an Old Story: A discussion of The Hobbit and Battlestar Galactica. (Putting a new spin on an old story: A discussion on the 'reboots', 'reimaginings' or 'refilming' of the same story). David West, Paul Genesse , Dave Farland (m), Mark Ryan.

July 4, Friday 2014 11:00am-11:50am Main Ballroom (Attending as a fan)
John Rhys-Davies Spotlight on his amazing career in "Lord Of The Rings" Trilogy, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) and "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989)

Lunch 11:30-12:30

July 4 Friday 1:00-1:50 Room 151 (attending as a fan) The One Ring.net The Legacy of Tolkien
With an all-volunteer staff, TORn has watched Jackson adapt Middle-earth from the front row and has talked Tolkien with people all over the globe. Join the discussion

July 4 Friday 2:00pm - 2:50pm (attending as a fan) (Main Ballroom)
Hobbit Fans: Extended Edition Live
Actors reenact some of the scenes from the Hobbit with much needed audience participation!

July 4, Friday 3:00-3:50 (attending as a fan) (Main Ballroom)
The Fellowship Revisited with Sean Astin and Billy Boyd. Sean Astin and Billy Boyd revisit cinematic history to discuss those unprecedented years working on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy with these two featured as part of the Fellowship of actors.




















July 4, Friday 4:00-4:50 PM Ballroom 2, Brandon Sanderson Spotlight.
(I will be introducing Brandon and serving as the moderator)
Brandon Sanderson is an American writer. He is best known for his "Mistborn" series and finishing Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series "The Wheel of Time". Sanderson published "The Way of Kings", the first book in a ten book series called "The Stormlight Archive".

(Snack break 5-6 PM) (Meet with Daniel Swenson and Bob Defendi)




July 4, Friday 6:00-6:50 PM Room 150 DEF
“Dragons in myth, Film, Literature and Legend” Dragons are the most iconic monsters of all time and have fascinated us for millennia. Explore the origin of dragons with our expert panel as they discuss ancient and modern representations of the world’s most famous beast with author Paul Genesse--Moderator, Bob Defendi, and Daniel Swenson of Dungeon Crawlers radio, and possibly the artist, Brom.


Dinner

July 5, Saturday

July 5, Saturday, Spend time at Booth #640 from 9:00-9:50 AM.

July 5, Saturday 10:00-10:50 AM (I’m leaving the panel early), WesterCon Panel at the Marriott Hotel. Wasatch (Alta) room. Translating Fantasy Literature to Film. Mark Ryan, David West (m), Paul Genesse, Steven L. Sears Translating Fantasy Literature to Film: A discussion of screen-adaptations of books.


July 5, 12:00-12:50 Main Ballroom Sean Astin Spotlight Interview.
(I’ll be introducing Sean and interviewing him)
With unforgettable roles in Goonies and Rudy and credit list in television (24), video games and movies of every kind, we have a sit down with our Sam to discuss his career. Audience questions welcomed too.

July 5, Saturday 1:00-1:50 Room 150 ABC. TheOneRing.net, Adapting Tolkien Peter Jackson wasn’t the first to adapt Tolkien and surely will not be the last. A look at the many ways and forms Tolkien has invaded popular culture in film, radio, television and music.
Larry Curtis—Moderator, Paul Genesse, and ?

Spend time at the booth #640 2-3:30




(I'll be introducing and interviewing John Rhys-Davies and Peter Hamblin on stage.)
July 5, Saturday 4:00-4:50 Main Ballroom. Gimli and Gloin, Actors John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) and Peter Hambleton (Gloin) come together to talk about their characters.

5-6 Quick bite of dinner or possibly spend a few minutes at Booth #640.

July 5, Saturday 6:00-9:00 PM--WesterCon Book Signing and Tag Team Jeopardy & The Avenue of Awesomeness. Marriott Hotel. 6:00-9:00. Salon B&C&D&E. Author book signing and rotating jeopardy panels for your enjoyment--see how the authors let their fun out.

Dinner—Have some food brought to the author signing.


Sunday: Nothing scheduled. Go home!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Review of Warbound by Larry Correia (no spoilers)

warboundcover-2.jpg

The Grimnoir Chronicles by New York Times’ bestselling author Larry Correia is a fantastic series. I just read book three, Warbound, which concludes the story arc started with Hard Magic (Book I), and Spellbound (Book II). The world is an alternate history Earth set mostly in the 1930’s, and is a cross between X-Men and Boardwalk Empire. That’s right, superheroes and gangsters in the 1930’s fighting for the fate of the planet. It’s epic and awesome. I must mention there are airships, pirates, and ninjas—as well as a hick girl from Oklahoma who is possibly the most powerful magic-wielding person of all time. You find out why in book three.

Warbound mostly features a trio of main characters—pictured on the cover: Faye Vierra—the hick girl with the power of teleportation (she’s called a Traveler) who is likely the best assassin ever; Jake Sullivan—a World War I veteran who can manipulate gravity (he’s called a Heavy); and Tokugawa Toru, a samurai (he’s a Brute) who can change the density of matter). Toru is such a great character and he just might be the equal of Sullivan. Toru wields a nasty war club (a tetsubo) and just might end up wearing a suit of really amazing armor. (Hint: the cover artist did a wonderful job). Toru can cause things to weigh almost nothing, which is good for him, and really bad for his enemies as he can swing his tetsubo really fast.

There is so much action in this series and Warbound was off the charts with magic and mayhem. The story arc concludes in Warbound, but I’ve heard rumors there will be at least one prequel, perhaps two, set several years before Hard Magic, likely set during World War I. There will also be at least one short story set in the Grimnoir world featured in one of the many anthologies Larry Correia has on his impressive release schedule.

Spellbound: Book II



















Hard Magic: Book I
























Warbound delivered on the promises of the first two exceptional novels and tied up all the loose threads, while delivering a bullet-riddled and exciting ending filled with all sorts of wizardry. The characters are a lot of fun and the plot was fast-paced as it barreled toward the final confrontation. The only thing I didn’t like was that President Franklin Roosevelt was cast as a villain along with much of the U.S. government. Correia does have some justification, as it is true that Roosevelt committed a terrible crime and interned thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II—but I found some early parts of the book a little too heavy handed.

Regardless of my own bias, I found myself engaged and inside this book on many levels. The characters and the story pulled me in. I was so intrigued with how the magic unfolded as well, and all the questions brought up in books one and two were answered. The connections made by the characters and the sheer magnitude of the Enemy coming to destroy the world amped up the tension throughout.

I’m a big fan of Correia’s writing and his Grimnoir books are amazing. The audio versions of all three are also quite exceptional. Spellbound won a prestigious Audie Award in 2013 and all three books feature the same narrator, the brilliant voice actor, Bronson Pinchot. Paperbacks of the first two books are out now—as of Sept. 2013, and if you’re an audio book fan, download them now. All of Grimnoir books are available as Kindle eBooks, though you might want to collect a hard cover while they’re still available.

Check out my review of book one, Hard Magic, for more details about this series.

Warbound Book III of the Grimnoir Chronicles
5/5 Stars, Highly Recommended

Paul Genesse
Author of The Iron Dragon Series
Editor of The Crimson Pact Series