Sunday, February 5, 2012

Stories to Paint By: Pandora's Star & Judas Unchained

I paint a lot.  And convert a lot. I often spend near half the day in the studio.  I listen to a lot of podcasts, but I like *stories*.  I've been an avid reader since early teens when I was hit by a car (won't take long laying in a hospital bed before you will try anything to get your mind somewhere else) and of course I like movies.  So that, and the fact that I tend to be too busy to find any time to read, lead me to listen to audio books while working in the studio, and it makes the time that much more enjoyable.

My most recent big project, the Genestealer Cult army, finished off a series I have been listening to: Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton.

Pandora's Star | [Peter F. Hamilton]   Judas Unchained | [Peter F. Hamilton]

Audible has the books unabridged (I don't like abridged versions, besides, I have plenty of listening time available for the complete versions).  It is a sci-fi series, set a few hundred years into our future.  On the day humans first set foot on Mars, the astronauts are beaten to the punch by a couple young geniuses who figured out how to generate wormholes.  From there, humans are soon exploring the galaxy, and settling planets further & further out into space.

The story is engaging because it is really several stories entwined into one: a detective story, a story of guerrilla war against an unknown alien threat, a tale of ancient discoveries, and eventually, one of an intergalactic war.  The few alien species are properly very alien.  As a gamer, it made me think of several fun concepts for tabletop battles both terrestrial and spaceship combats. I also enjoyed my own side-thoughts about issues it brings up, such as what is selfhood, what is the nature of our species, and what happens when evolution stumbles into creating a species that is dangerous to all other life forms.  Plenty of good entertainment in these books on many levels.

If you like sci-fi, in the tradition of Asimov, Clark & Heinlein, which I think these would fall into, then give it a read or listen, whatever your preference and time allows for.

I give the story 4.5 Paint Bottles out of 5: well worth the time and very enjoyable painting time!

Not the same aliens as this series, but insidious in their own right, here's a w.i.p. shot of a bunch of aliens for the current project:


Paul of the Man Cave said...

I like stories too, particularly for long drives. I have recently been enjoying Lovecraft horror stories as something really different for me.

Michael Awdry said...

Sounds like a great read or listen. Really intrigued by the lurid pink tentacles and the bottom.

Lobo said...

these minis already look fantastic, can't wait to see them painted!

Brummie said...

They look creepy very nice so far

mshatch said...

I loved those books so much I recently re-read them. I think he has a couple others out or coming set in the same universe.

Chris said...

Those sure are some creepy buggers, you mentioned on my blog that you have some of the Orion Republic Heavy Infantry, how did you paint yours?

Laughing Ferret said...

Thanks all, I'll post pictures of the finished aliens tomorrow- they're done now, but will wait till some daylight into the mix for better pictures.

This would make for one very long drive Paul, about 70 hours total for both books.

Thanks for the info Mshatch! at the end of the 2nd book I was still ready for more, so would be happy about that.

Chris: unfortunately I haven't finished painting the Orion marines, only have a base coat of their armor done- I'm going for a washed out, muted 'retro' pale bluegreen-creme type color.

Anne said...

You've got the Trifecta of Sci-fi writers there. I loved Asimov, but I ended up liking Heinlen better. I think it's his sense of humour that I enjoy. I like those aliens too. And thank you for the advice!! I've followed that page.

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