Posted in books, films & DVD, Television

Ender’s Game

imagethe epic military science fiction adventure ENDER’S GAME is out on DVD ON Monday 10 March. Directed by Gavin Hood, and based on the 1985 novel by American Author Orson Scott Card It stars Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield and, Hailee Steinfeld and is Set in Earth’s future, where an imperilled mankind has barely survived two conflicts with an insectoid alien species called the Formics who are seemingly determined to destroy humanity.Seventy years later the people of Earth remain banded together to prevent their own annihilation from this technologically superior alien species.  in preparation for an anticipated third invasion, an international fleet maintains a Battle School in orbit around earth to find and train future fleet commanders . it I s here that The world’s most talented children, including,Ender Wiggin (butterfield)  a quiet but , but strategically brilliant boy, who  is separated from his beloved sister and his terrifying brother are taken at a very young age to train in the art of battle.

Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult war games, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers and is soon ordained by the highly esteemed Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) as the militarys next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, hes trained by International Fleet Commander, Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), In the arts of war through increasingly difficult games including ones undertaken in zero gravity in the Battle Room, where Ender’s tactical genius is revealed but does he have what it takes. to lead his fellow soldiers  into an epic battle that could determine the future of Earth and save the human race.  The book originated as the short story “Ender’s Game”, published in the August 1977 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. Elaborating on characters and plot lines depicted in the novel, Card later wrote additional books to form the Ender’s Game series. Card released an updated version of Ender’s Game in 1991, changing some political facts to accurately reflect the times; most notably, the book was updated to reflect the collapse of the Soviet Union, which was mentioned several times in the novel, and the end of the Cold War.

reception of the book has generally been positive, though some critics have denounced Card’s perceived justification of his characters’ violent actions. It has also become suggested reading for many military organizations, including the United States Marine Corps. Ender’s Game won the 1985 Nebula Award for best novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for best novel. Its sequels, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind and Ender in Exile, follow Ender’s subsequent travels to many different worlds in the galaxy. In addition, the later novella A War of Gifts and novel Ender’s Shadow take place during the same time period as the original. Ender’s Game has also been adapted into two comic series.Enders Game

Posted in music

Elbow – The Take Off and Landing of Everything

I have been listening to Elbow’s sixth album The Take Off and Landing of Everything, which was released 10March 2014 in the UK. Elbow have been going over twenty years and, yet, elbow in 2014 are the same as elbow in 1992: Guy Garvey on vocals, Mark Potter on guitar, Pete Turner on bass, Craig Potter on keyboards, and Richard Jupp on drums. For the new album they wanted to try a new musical approach. And subtly changed their previous working practices writing some songs individually, So, “Honey Sun” is the musical creation of Mark Potter, “Colour Fields” was mostly written by Pete Turner using iPad apps, and “Fly Boy Blue / Lunette,” the track that unveiled the new album with its accompanying film in January, was initially created by a core group of Pete Turner, Mark Potter, and Richard Jupp,

The Take off and Landing of Everything follows on from Elbow’s previous albums, the UK million-seller The Seldom Seen Kid (2008) and its platinum follow-up build a rocket boys! (2011) and includes the Hallé Orchestra (“Manchester’s oldest band” as Guy affectionately calls them) with Pete McPhail, Tim Barber, Bob Marsh, and Kat Curlett adding brass to selected tracks and long term friend Jimi Goodwin of Doves adding backing vocals on the single “New York Morning,” a signifier of another major influence on the album.

Album closer “The Blanket of Night” appears to be a straightforward love song only to reveal its subjects as illegal immigrants, afloat at sea attempting to enter a “better country. and the “former MP” and “teenage prefect gone Godzilla” (a sideways, surreal take on our ruling class) of “Fly Boy Blue / Lunette” both make a political statement. the political is balanced by the personal. For a band all approaching their fortieth birthdays, who have been together since their late teens, changes in personal circumstances and outlook are channelled by Guy’s lyricism throughout. Lost friends are remembered on “My Sad Captains,” lost loves on the album title track, whilst “Fly Boy Blue / Lunette” has a line contemplating middle age” in the modern world of eternal youthful behaviour.

Elbow have been critically respected from their debut EP Noisebox, a self-release that landed in John Peel’s Festive 50 of 1998, through the Mercury-nominated debut of Asleep in the Back (2001) to the current day—and still the only band to score four consecutive 9/10 album reviews in NME. The band may now have Mercury, BRIT, and Ivor Novello awards to their name, after graduating from halls to arenas, inside pages to front covers, best kept secrets to globally-recognised names, festival second stages to main stage headlines, but their core motivation remains that stated by Guy on the release of debut single proper “Newborn” in 1999:

  • This blue world
  • charge
  • Fly boy blue/Lunette
  • New York morning
  • RealLife Angel
  • Honey Sone
  • MySad Captains
  • Colour Fields
  • The Take Off and Landing of Everything
  • The Blanket of Night

*Digital Booklet