My trip to #Dublin part 1.

Over the weekend my buddy and I flew to Dublin. Ireland is somewhere I've never been before but had heard many great things about and I was exited if anxious about the trip. Anxious because of my stupidness with food & exercise but also on behalf of my good friend who has quite a fear of flying.

That being said, the flights by Ryan Air both there and back were pretty painless. We needed no extra luggage other than the carry on allowance, despite emptying duty free of all the Irish whiskey miniatures on the return trip, and we were able to check in for both flights online making the getting through security relatively straight forward. It's a faff, but it's a faff regardless so I was content with it being as straight forward as possible.

Return flights with no additions cost us that grand sum of £38.74 each which I thought was damned reasonable. The Air BnB which was booked by my travelling partner as a last minute deal, and set us back £165.11 for 3 nights. Accommodati…

#TheTropicOfSerpents by Marie Brennan mini review

The second entry in the memoirs of Lady Trent, these books are set in a Victorian era where dragons aren't from the realms of fantasy but firm fact, though little is actually known about them from a scientific perspective.

Rather than a straight fictional story, these books are written by Lady Trent in hindsight about her emerging scientific career within a Victorian Britain-esque society, where women's roles are traditional, and the family unto which one is born has so much significance on the life you lead and how you lead it. Once again, Trent breaks convention with another journey into the field to satisfy her ever irritating itch that is her curiosity for Dragons.

Trent has already broken these social conventions before in her journeys to Vystrana in the first book, to study Rock Wyrms. This time, she elicits yet more scandal in leaving for the Moulish swamps, more commonly known as the Green Hell, in Eriga, a nation rifled with politics, war and unfamiliar societies and…

My trip to #Dublin part 2

We awoke in our Air BnB surprisingly fresh after a night on the pop having already decided today was going to be the day for guided tours. And with the sun shining, we marched into town for our breakfast followed by a visit to the Leprechaun museum!

The Leprechaun museum was an excellent and unique experience. As you go in, you're greeted with pretty much the only room with an actual museum set up to it, with a few traditional photos and paintings, models and Irish advertisements and literature arranged behind glass and upon the walls.

After the tour guide arrived you're treated to a witty and dead pan introduction, blaming Disney for the perception of the Leprechaun today, and a more accurate portrayal of the traditional creature from Irish folk lore is conveyed.

Rather than going round a museum of artefacts, the tour goes from room to room each decorated in a different traditional way, to help accompany the story telling that the tour guide whom was extremely well rehearsed,…

My trip to #Dublin part 3

Day 3, and shockingly enough feeling surprisingly fresh after another night on the Irish pop. After a quick walk up the road this morning we had ourselves breakfast in a little cafe near our flat called 'The Cloud' which was a lovely experience, doing things ranging from porridge and cereal to more interesting egg based concoctions and really tasty fresh coffee.

This morning's plan was to meander down the railway station and catch a train from Connolly station to Killiney Hill, a small pebble beach with some sort of monument on the top of said hill.

I love getting the train, and it was straight forward enough to get tickets in Conolly station and to get on the right line etc. Not too expensive either. Got to read my book on the way there and back whilst intermittently taking in the views of the Irish countryside.

The stop at Killiney hill is only small; the station has a little coffee shop and there are hotels and houses around but that's pretty much it. The rest of th…

#StarWars Rogue Planet mini review

Rogue Planet is set after the events of Episode 1. Anakin is fast approaching his teenage years under Jedi tutelage from newly appointed master Obi Wan Kenobi.

In the story we are witness to Anakin really battling with his conflicting emotions of what he knows to be right and proper and the ways of the Jedi, to the fear and anger that seems to come so naturally to him and that actually grants him a hefty amount of power.

As punishment for ignoring his master and for thrill seeking on the Jedi Temple's city world of Coruscant, Anakin and Obi-Wan are tasked with investigating what happened to a previous padowan, sent to the mysterious world of Zenoma Sekot and mysteriously gone missing. The unusual and unknown planet is rumoured to be home to the creators of the fastest ships in the galaxy - a glorious conglomeration of biology and technology where ships are not made but grown or born.

Whilst the pair of Jedi investigate both the ships and the disappearance, power hungry General Ta…

#StarWars Episode 1 Movie Novelisation by Terry Brooks mini review

Unlike the vast majority of Star Wars fans, I don't hate the Episode 1 movie. It gives me a warm familiarity of nostalgia as an exciting new entry to the Star Wars universe from my childhood, and whilst I acknowledge it's flaws it doesn't stop my enjoyment of the film as a whole despite including the likes of Jar Jar Binks...
The novel by Terry Brooks is an accurate retelling of the plot from the movie, in which the planet of Nabboo is subject to a trade embargo by the cowardly and greedy Trade Federation. The Jedi travel to negotiate with the trade federation and are instead greeted with the beginnings of a plot to invade the peaceful world below forcing the young queen of Nabboo to sign a treaty making their illicit actions legal. 
In their initial escape of the planet, the Jedi, queen and accompanying crew find themselves marooned on Tatooine in the Hutt controlled Mos Espa which is just as much a hive of scum and villainy as we've come to expect from the desert pl…

#SpeccyNation by Dan Whitehead mini review

The ZX Spectrum is before my time, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating the prog rock to my pop in my world of gaming, with it's crappy rubber keys and mysteriously beautiful rainbow stripe.

Dan Whitehead however, is definitely a retro gaming origins expert having been into video games since 1982 and writing for a variety of gaming publications and getting stuck in with many gaming related endeavours.

Speccy Nation is a collection of the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright horrendous from the history of the Spectrum, include entries about popular releases and obscurities.

What is excellent about this book is the ability for Dan to understand the positive elements about all games, talking about all of their qualities without simply residing to the fact that a game is rubbish, instead discussing the merits or at least the interesting features a game has to offer, from social nuances to the soundtrack to simply the concept in it's own right.

Dan Whitehead clearl…