Fiction: The Labour Princes Prelude

This very short little piece was originally written while I was on a coach traveling from Austria to Prague during my adventures in Europe.

So the main conflict in my science fiction story The Terraverse is known as the Void War. This war is set off by a general strike in The Gliding Isles, a mining community aspiring to socialism in the faux-feudalism that the universe is dictated by.

These island states are nominally represented by union bosses forced into aristocratic pretenses, as “the Labour Princes”. The history of how this situation came to be is what follows, which will serve as the prelude to the novella I’m trying to write about the General Strike.

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Tinkering with my iBook

So a few years ago I bought this laptop cheap on Trademe: a 2000 iBook G3 (Indigo), which had been used by a school for years before being retired. I bought the laptop, and after failing to install a burnt copy of Os X 10.3, I formatted it and reinstalled Mac os 9.2.1. This little machine has been a project of mine recently, as I’ve been trying some of my favorite PC games from the period that were ported to Mac and reliving them on contemporary tech.
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Phil Dragash’s The Lord of the Rings Audiobook

So this isn’t under my usual coverage on Adventures in Middle Earth but I wanted to share it anyway. Phil Dragash is an independent video editor/ artist/ creator who over the last four years has been creating a modern Lord of the Rings audiobook adaptation. The main difference between this and past audio or radio adaptations for me is the use of sound effects and music from the Jackson film trilogy. He has made it as good as many modern audio dramas and better, in my opinion, than the official audiobook read by Rob Inglis, and in some ways better than the BBC Radio Play (though I’m still a fan of Ian Holm’s Frodo). Honestly, in some way Phil’s version of the story surpasses the Jackson films, if only because of its meshing of the sound-scape and overall storytelling style of the films, with the fully unabridged content of the original books.

Phil finished the book last year, but recently he has begun all over again by remastering and re-releasing the book on Youtube. I sincerely recommend you check it out.

Shadowfax

Before delving into the realm text adventure, I’ve found another early graphical “action” game set in Middle Earth: Shadowfax.

Shadowfax
Commodore 64
Postern
1982

Shadowfax is a very simple game, so there isn’t a lot to say. You’re playing as Gandalf atop the titular steed Shadowfax, as he rides across fields fighting Nazgul. You can kill the Nazgul by shooting lightning bolts at them. The game’s setting is peculiar, as I initially thought it was covering the early skirmish on the Pelennor Fields before the Siege of Minas Tirith starts, however the Nazgul are all on horses, not the winged fell beasts. So I suppose the game could be set during the unseen period when Gandalf was fleeing from the Nazgul in Eriador while Aragorn is leading the Hobbits to Rivendell. All of this said, the game also features maaany more than nine Ringwraiths, so maybe trying to work out the canon for this unknown Commodore game is a bit ridiculous.

That’s pretty much it, but the reason I wanted to cover this game was to show how epic it is playing this wee game with Howard Shore’s epic score from the Return of the King (Lighting of the Beacons from The Complete Recordings).

Isn’t it glorious? Next up is the 1982 text adventure The Hobbit from Melbourne House.