2001 A Clash of Kings A Feast for Crow A Game of Thrones A Scanner Darkly A Storm of Swords AAllen Steele Abney Park Adrianne Palicki AEG Aether Shanties alderac Allen Steele AMC Andew Stanton Anne McCaffrey Asimov Assassin's Creed Atari 2600 Atlanta Nights audio books Babylon 5 Barsoom Ben Bova Bill & Ted 3 Blade Runner Blind Guardian Blue Oyster Cult Bo Hansson Board Game Board Games Bob Catley Books brian lewis Bruce Boxleitner Bruce Sterling bucephalus C.S. Lewis Cady Coleman Captain Robert card game Carl Sagan Carol Clerk Chad Jensen Charlton Heston Christmas music christopher badell Chronicles of Narnia Civilization COD Comic Books comic books Commentary Conan Conan movie Cons Contact contest Conventions conventions Corey Konieczka Coyote crysis 2 dance with dragons Darkwalker on Moonshae Darrell K. Sweet Dave Brock David Arkenstone David Bowie David Gerrold David Gregg David Mack d-day dice Deathlands Dejah Thoris Diamond Dogs Digital Content Disney doctor who Dominion Dork Tower Double Fine Adventure Douglas Adams Douglas Niles DragonCon Dragonriders of Pern DRM Drowning Towers Dune dungeon crawl Dungeons and Dragons Echo Edgar Rice Burroughs Edwin A. Abbott EEdgar Rice Burroughs Elric Eminent Domain emissary Emmanuel Aquin epic duels ereader Facebook fallen Famous Monsters of Filmland fanboy fandom fantasy Fantasy art Fantasy Flight Fantasy Lit fantasy literature Fantasy music Fantasy quotes film Flatland Forbidden Island Forrest Ackerman Frank Frazetta Frank Herbert Frankenstein Friday From the Earth to the Moon furniture Gabriele Mari Gadgets game of the year Game of Thrones game review Game Table Gamewright Gaming Furniture gaming table Geek Chic Gene Wolfe George Alec Effinger George R.R. Martin George Turner GGeorge R.R. Martin Gianluca Santopietro GiftTRAP Glory Road Glory to Rome GMT Games gozer games Graphic Audio Greater Than Games Gryphon Games GtR H.G. Wells Halo Harrison Ford Harry Harrison Hawkwind Hollow Earth Expedition Hollywood Homeworld Horror Humor humor Ian Anderson Idoru Ignacy Trzewiczek Infinity Beach International Space Station interview Intrigue Isaac Asimov J. Michael Straczynski J.R.R. Tolkien Jack L. Chalker Jack McDevitt Jack Vance James Axler James Bama James P. Blaylock Jason Momoa Jeanne Cavelos Jethro Tull Jhereg Jim Burns JJames Axler Jodi Foster John Carter John Carter of Mars john hughes John Kovalic Johnny Rotten Jr. Jules Verne Jungle Tales of Tarzan Justin Oh keanu reeves Ken Kelly Kenneth Branagh Kentucky Kevin Wilson Kickstarter Kim Stanley Robinson Knizia Kurt Vonnegut Langdon St. Ives Larry Elmore Larry Niven Last Man Lazarus Long Leigh Brackett Lemmy Leonard Nimoy Les Johnson Letters from Whitechapel Lifeforce Lord Dunsany Lost Horizons Lynn Collins Manowar Mansions of Madness Margaret Weis Martial Law Martin Mary Shelley Matt Leacock Max Holliday Mayday Games Michael Apted Michael Chabon Michael Moorcock Michael Stackpole Michael Whelan Middle-earth Midnight at the Well of Souls Monte Cook Mostly Harmless movie Movies music NASA Nathaniel Hawthorne NBA Nebula Awards Nerd Props netflix News nexus games Nightfall Nik Turner Nine Princes in Amber Ninjas Niven's Laws N-Space Octavia Butler out of the box Outlanders Parable of the Sower parents' guide PARSEC Party Game Patrick Stewart Paul Kearney Paul Koenig Pern Peter David Peter Jackson Peter S. Beagle Philip Jose Farmer Philip K. Dick photoshop Pirates Planet of Mystery portal publishing post apocalyptic Potion making practice Poul Anderson prequels Pret a Porter Print-and-play qFantasy quotes Race for the Galaxy Ray Bradbury Reach reboots Red Mars remakes review reviews Ridley Scott RightGames Ringworld Robert E. Howard Robert Heinlein Robert Kirkman robots Rock Roger Zelazny Role-playing Games rook city RPG RpgFan Rush San Juan Satire Science Fiction Science Fiction art Science Fiction music Science Fiction quotes Science Fiction Writers of America script Sean Young Sentinels of the Multiverse sequels Sergey Machin Seth Jaffee SETI SFWA shakey cam Sherlock Holmes Slough Feg Small Matters Smurfs Southern Fandom Resource Guide space flute space rock Space Shuttle spiel des jahres Sports Stanislaw Lem star trek star wars Starworld steampunk Steven Brust strike force one Stronghold Super Dungeon Explore super heroes T.H. White Tabletop Game of the Month Tad Williams Tars Tarkus Tarzan Tarzan and the Golden Lion Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar Tarzan the Terrible Tarzan the Untamed Tasty Minstrel Games Taylor Kitsch Terror Bull Games Terry Bisson Terry Pratchett The Hobbit The Adventurers The Beasts of Tarzan The Black Wizards The Boat of a Million Years The Book of the New Sun the coldest war The Complete Elmore Artbook The Dark Glory War The Death of Tragedy The Difference Engine The Dragoncrown War Cycle The Dying Earth The Fellowship of the Ring The Gods Themselves The Great Tarzan Adventure The Heretic Kings The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy The Hobbit movies The Last Unicorn The Lord of the Rings The Lord Weird Slough Feg The Matrix The Moon is a Harsh Mistress The Moonshae Trilogy The Newspaper Clipping Generator The Once and Future King The Saga of Hawkwind The Secrets The Shadow of the Torturer The Shadow Within The Sirens of Titan The Son of Tarzan The Stars My Destination The Technicolor Time Machine The Time Machine The Walking Dead The Wind Whales of Ishmael therapy thrift store Time Enough for Love Time Machine Tour Titan Books titans of industry To Green Angel Tower To the Stars Toc Toc Woodman Tracy Hickman Traveller Ursula K. Le Guin valentine's day Valley Games Victorian Undead Victory Point Games Video Games Voyage of the Dawn Treader Voyage to the Red Planet War Against the Chtorr Wargame wargames watchtower games Well of Darkness Wheelworld wii Willem Dafoe William Gibson William Shatner Wonder Woman word game worker placement Writer Beware Writing Yahoo Zelazny Ziggy Stardust zombies
Search Nerdbloggers:




Nerdbloggers RSS

Quite Quotable

We should strive to welcome change and challenges, because they are what help us grow. With out them we grow weak like the Eloi in comfort and security. We need to constantly be challenging ourselves in order to strengthen our character and increase our intelligence.

H.G. Wells, The Time Machine


Quite Quotable

A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.,  The Sirens of Titan


Nerd Props to...The Sega Dreamcast

Our recent time with it at our Extra Life marathon and a thread on Reddit today got me thinking about the Sega Dreamcast, and, while doing so, I remembered that I wrote an eulogy for the system when Sega announced it was shutting it down.  The original article is still archived at ArmchairEmpire ['sup guys?], but I thought I'd go through it and, using the magic of the editorial bracket, add some of my current thoughts and comment on anything weird I had said then.  That said, here it is: my tribute to the Sega Dreamcast:

The Dream is Over

By Danny Webb

It seems nearly unbelievable that it has been only slightly more than two years since the Dreamcast debuted on American shores [and equally unbelievable that I wrote this article thirteen years ago]. Back then, with over 100 million dollars worth of launch sales, technology clearly more powerful than the competitors, and brilliant launch titles like Soul Calibur and NFL 2k, it seemed like the DC was on its way to surefire success. Now, again barely two years later, the DC is breathing its dying breath.

The reasons for the DC’s collapse are certainly many. Some experts point to the marketing hype that convinced many videogame players to wait for Sony’s Playstation 2. Others simply point to the fact that Sega was hemorrhaging losses to the point of a financial coma and needed the tourniquet that only ceasing hardware production could provide . At least some market people point to Sega’s inability to wrap of Electronic Arts and their ultra-popular sports games as the nail in the Dreamcast’s coffin. Regardless, we are not here to debate why the DC failed, but instead to celebrate where it succeeded. The following represents some of the truly “must have” games in the DC’s library, along with a look at some of the more important advancements to the videogame genre brought about because of and during the DC’s run. [Another possible reason for the collapse of the Dreamcast has taken over as the most popular on forums: Piracy.  The Dreamcast certainly was quickly cracked and the GD-Rom format didn't offer the extra layer of obscurity they had hoped.  However, the scene really exploded and became user-friendly after the writing of the Dreamcast demise was on the wall.  If anything, the mod and emulator scene kept the Dreamcast is high demand as stock worked its way off the shelf after the announcement.]

Great Titles, got your RED HOT great titles here!

It is easy to talk about the Dreamcast as a failure. A customer who pays $200 for a new console usually does so with the expectation of at least a four or five year span wherein quality games will be available for the system. The DC, especially after the cancellation of titles like Soul Reaver 2, Half-life, and Shenmue 2, made it less than half that time. Still, the DC had one of the most critically acclaimed two year runs of any console in history.


On the 3D fighter side, the DC saw the release of three top-tier games in its run: Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive 2, and Virtua Fighter 3. Soul Calibur, a launch title, is clearly the must have title of the three. With its stunning graphics and art design (possibly unmatched until the release of DOA 3 on the Xbox) and deep, rewarding combat system, Soul Calibur set the bar for the 3D fighters that were to follow-and it set that bar high. This game is truly worth buying a Dreamcast for all alone.

The 2D front saw an even more appealing variety of great titles for the DC. Leading the pack was Street Fighter Alpha 3, a beautiful port of what many consider the best Street Fighter title loaded down with console only options that made it impossible to put down. Fans of over-the-top, combo-crazy fighters probably preferred Marvel Vs. Capcom 1 and 2. These titles were fast, wild, and incredibly addictive, even if they were a bit more susceptible to button-mashing success than the other Capcom fighters. Finally, the DC was the proud recipient of the home debut of a title that many fighting fans never thought would see the light of day-Capcom vs. SNK. Though not the most polished title, Capcom vs. SNK at long last gave fans of the two best developers of 2D fighters a chance to face off their favorite fighters from both houses against one another. Unfortunately, only Japanese gamers and importers got to play the superior sequel on the DC. On U.S. shores, it was canceled in favor of a PS2 version.

Arcade Conversions

The perfect arcade port has been the holy grail of the videogame fan at least since Atari released the atrocious Pac Man for the Atari 2600 back in the 1980’s. The Dreamcast was the first system that delivered genuine perfect ports, and it even went farther and gave the player arcade conversions, like Soul Calibur, that were better than their arcade counterparts. Hydro Thunder, Rush 2049, Zombie Revenge and many others came to the Dreamcast in arcade-perfect form or near so. The pick of the arcade conversions, for my money, was Crazy Taxi. The speed, the graphics, the addictive gameplay-everything but the cool arcade cabinet and wheel-- made it 


home perfectly. A testament to its quality is the fact that two days after its release, I had to shelve it for a weekend because I had blisters on my trigger fingers from pulling off Crazy Slides, Starts, and Stops.

Role Playing Games

 It took a while, but in the end the DC managed a solid selection of RPG’s. Leading the pack was Skies of Arcadia, a brilliant title that 


managed to sneak up on gamers who had been awaiting the follow-up to Grandia-one of the Saturn’s best RPG’s. Grandia 2 was a great RPG, but Skies of Arcadia was one of the best ever.

Drivers Wanted

As one of my favorite genres, I was especially fond of the Dreamcast’s driving game library. Daytona USA came late, but it came online. Sega GT wasn’t exactly Gran Turismo, but it provided hours of fun. So did Rush 2049, Sega Rally 2, Metropolis Street Racer, F1 World Grand Prix, F355 Challenge, Tokyo Xtreme Racer 1 and 2, and Wild Metal. My favorite of the bunch, however, was the underrated, near-launch release Speed Devils. Speed Devils’ combination of gambling, radar busting, and character interaction was gaming nirvana. It was, sadly, one of those games that always seems to slip through the cracks when being released alongside a dozen much flashier titles.

Sega Sports

I was already a huge Sega Sports fan before the DC’s release simply because of the World Series Baseball games for the Sega Saturn. WSB 2 and WSB 98 sucked up enormous amounts of my time over the years, and I still play WSB 2 more than any baseball game on the current generation of machines. Sadly, the Dreamcast World Series games both left much to be desired, especially WSB 2K. Luckily, the scales were more than balanced in Sega Sport’s favor by their releases in the other two major American sports. The NFL 2K and NBA 2K games finally gave EA sports a serious competitor and, though I prefer Madden to NFL 2k slightly, NBA 2K and 2K1 are clearly the best basketball games ever made.

Online Play

The Sega Dreamcast wasn’t the first console to offer its users online play (that would be the NES), but it certainly was the first to offer a variety of compelling online games. Sega Sports led the way with wonderful, lag-lite versions of the 2K games. Quake 3 gave console gamers a chance to get in on some Deathmatch action, albeit with far less players than its PC counterpart. Clearly though, it was Phantasy Star Online that truly revolutionized online console gaming. PSO gave players the chance to cooperatively tackle the denizens of a fully realized 3D world while conversing with each other without the constraints of a language barrier. Its addictive nature can be seen in the fact that some players on message boards actually brag about having crossed the 1000 hour mark online.

The Icing on the Cake

I’ve made it this far without mentioning the three games that garnered the most praise over the Dreamcast’s run. Shenmue, Rayman 2, and Resident Evil: Code Veronica each managed to spur reviewers to fits of fanboyish praise. Along with Soul Calibur, any of the three is reason enough to own a DC-and to not pack it away in a closet somewhere after new releases stop completely.

The first clods of dirt are being spread over the DC’s coffin as I write this [Update: the grass and flowers grew in nicely]. I can understand some of the negative sentiment being directed at Sega by longtime fans. The Saturn was pulled from them far too quickly, and many hoped the DC would see a different fate. Alas, it wasn’t to be. Still, the sheer amount of quality in the DC’s catalog after only two years should alleviate most of the pain.


Quite Quotable

“We are not always what we seem, and hardly ever what we dream.”

Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn


Nerd Props To . . .

Nathaniel Hawthorne



How many of us read The Scarlet Letter in high school?  (Or was supposed to anyway, right?)  It’s a classic story of love, crime, punishment, and redemption.  While there are some creepy moments, and Hester’s daughter is often hinted at being a demon-spawn, there’s not really a whole bunch of sf or f going on in there.  So, is this early American scribe (and obvious Puritan-hater) really worthy of Nerd Props? 

Of course.

Hawthorne wrote some of earliest science fiction stories of American literature. Initially, “Young Goodman Brown” appears to simply be another anti-puritan rant, but it may be a dark, dark fantasy with witches and human sacrifice and the Devil . . . maybe.  On the more unambiguous front, “The Birthmark” explores the concept of altering a female’s appearance to meet the scientist’s conception of beauty, and “Rappaccini’s Daughter” delves into the consequences of what happens when a medical researcher raises his daughter to tend poisonous plants.   Both stories address the whole Frankensteinian-god-complex thing, but also, as with The Scarlet Letter – and most everything he wrote – they analyze and critique the nature of humanity.  Isn’t that with SF about anyway?