The Gates of Athens Review

Maybe it’s because Herodotus is so aptly referred to as “history’s screenwriter,” but I was less impressed by Iggulden’s interpretation of the events in The Gates of Athens than I was with his interpretation of Xenophon’s adventures. Where the story he told of Xenophon’s exploits was very faithful to the history, The Gates of Athens seemed to include a lot more supposition on Iggulden’s part, mostly to add interpersonal drama. Yet he is telling a story about some of the most dramatic moments in recorded history, and I wonder if added drama is really necessary.

What’s Next?

We recently announced the upcoming third season of Blood Magic, which will also be the final season, and I promised you in that post some thoughts on what might be coming next.  While there’s still more than a year before it will be time for the next thing, that’s not too early to be thinking about it.  However, please note that nothing is certain yet, and until I make a formal announcement around this time next year, all of what I say here should just be considered possibilities.

Dragon’s Egg Review

I like to consider myself open-minded, and I have long argued for the inadequacy of our definition of life and the limiting ways in which we conduct our search for extraterrestrial beings, but even I would not have considered the possibility of life existing on a neutron star.  Sometimes, I think the more we know about a thing, the more limited our view of it becomes.  It’s not that I had dismissed the possibility of life existing on the surface of a neutron star, but that I had never even considered it.  Fortunately, Dragon’s Egg corrected that unfortunate deficit.

Announcing: Blood Magic Season Three

Last year around this time, I was having doubts about whether I should do a second season of Blood Magic, much less a third.  The response to the first season had been lackluster to say the least, many of the episodes had been a struggle to write, and there was a significant opportunity cost to continuing to work on something that seemed to be a dud, instead of turning my focus to something that might be better received, like Fo’Fonas.  This year, I am pleased to say that I did not have any hesitations or reservations about continuing with the third (and final) season of Blood Magic.

Blood Magic S1:E11: Old Blood, Part One Re-Release

s I’ve gotten deeper into the season one revisions, I’ve found myself less and less excited to do them, mostly because there was less and less to do.  Many of the early episodes featured significant problems that I was eager to address through the revision process, but the later episodes are stronger, and more importantly, they are more complex in their continuity.  While I know that there are ways in which I could improve them, doing so would require me to make more significant changes that would alter the series in more fundamental ways than I promised to make when I started these revisions.

The Abbot’s Tale Review

The Abbot’s Tale, though, is something different, and in this Iggulden is serving more as a translator than a writer, or even a researcher.  It is drawn almost entirely from a surviving manuscript written by Dunstan, a tenth century English monk, and the titular protagonist of The Abbot’s Tale.  That manuscript is a sort of memoir or maybe a personal confessional, and it is clear that the original author never intended for it to be read, or even to survive.

Opportunity Cost

There is a concept that gets thrown around in economics classes called opportunity cost.  In that context, opportunity cost is simply the fact of life that if you invest in one thing, you are necessarily no longer able to use those resources to invest in another.  If you put ten thousand dollars into buying a car, that’s ten thousand dollars that you can’t use for the down payment on a house.  If you invest 30% of your salary each month in your retirement accounts, that’s 30% that you can’t use now to go on vacation.  A fairly simple concept, really, and it rarely is discussed outside of economics classrooms.

The Heart Led Leader Review

mans are staggeringly complex systems.  An incalculable number of reactions and events must occur correctly, and in proper synchronization, every moment of life for a human being to live.  It is a level of complexity which for all of our science we are still unable to completely understand, and tiny variations produce all of the immense variety of unique individuals in our world.  It is therefore no wonder that so much time, effort, and words have been spent in an attempt to understand how those complex individuals interact together in this chaotic organism known as society.  The Heart Led Leader is another text to add to that body of literature.

The Universe’s Habitable Zone

Humans have a severe case of societal loneliness.  We send signals out into the void in the hopes that someone might answer, we launch spacecraft into the interstellar medium with a record of our civilization, we push the edges of our technology to seek evidence of long-extinct microbial and unicellular life on the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and other bodies in our solar system.  On a less evidential level, we seek clues, stories, and anecdotes that could enable us to believe that our species is not alone in the universe: points of light in the sky, a circle painted on a cave wall ten thousand years ago, unexplained happenings all over the world.

Blood Magic S2:E10: Older Than Stone Release

I’d been looking forward to writing this episode for a long time.  I’d dropped hints about the dragons in Lufilna before, most significantly in All Cooped Up and No Place to Go, and Rest for the Weary, but I had never come out and said “yes, there are dragons in this world, and here is what they’re like.”  This episode was my opportunity to show off my dragons, and introduce them to the people of Merolate.  It’s ironic, therefore, that as I was finishing the episode I found myself concerned that it was too boring.