Tag: Minecraft

The Blacksmith and The Apprentice by Stone Marshall

Posted October 19, 2015

Ever wonder what life is like in Minecraft? Read Legends and Heroes to find out!
Created by Stone Marshall, the author of the popular Flynn’s Log series.
The Stone Marshall Studio is developing a new series: Legends & Heroes
A hybrid of comic-book style illustrations and short stories. Each issue is fun, challenging, and engaging.
These interrelated  stories follow a series of characters on a journey through life in Minecraft. Relatable characters, thrilling action, and colorful illustrations will suck in readers and leave them excited to read the next adventure!
Secrets await!
Solve the puzzle, uncover secrets!
The Blacksmith and The Apprentice: Issue 1
The ancient art of blacksmithing is a thing of beauty. A lot of hard work goes into the process. It’s very complicated, really. Stoking the flames to many small, contained fires—making lumps of metal into differently shaped items of metal—hitting said lumps of metal with hammers to turn them into different weapons. You can shape metals into whatever item you want.
Okay, it might not be a very interesting job, but apprenticing with the best blacksmith in the kingdom is a huge opportunity. Blacksmiths make the tools everyone needs to get about in their day-to-day lives. It’s a very prestigious and impressive position, although this honor is lost when the position is held by Dane, a youthful boy who dreams of greater adventure!
Luckily, Dane has a skilled master to reign in his daydreaming. Viegar has quite an interesting past. From his years on the Royal Guard to his close relationship with the previous king, he’s quite a friend to have on your side.
There is one other apprentice, Snip, who is much more passionate about his duties than Dane. Between the three of them, they churn out powerful weapons and protective armor, usually with no thanks to Dane.
Of course, no cast of characters would be complete without the big man in charge—in this case, a king. By almost anyone’s account, he’s a good and fair ruler, but there is no one in power without enemies. Though Viegar and his workers only want to help their wonderful king, there are still plenty who wish to do him harm. But Dane can only imagine such things. It’s not as if he’d ever be in the position to really make any sort of difference or be in any place of power.
Right?
And though his apprenticeship is mundane and boring, the young man gets a few moments of excitement. Every once in a while, his master Viegar lets him venture out past the village to visit the caravan, where he can trade and buy supplies. It’s the most excitement Dane ever gets in his line of work.
Sometimes, he gets to meet interesting people.
Sometimes, he hears interesting things.
And maybe, just maybe, he sometimes hears of a new opportunity for himself.
But who would want to give up such a life as an esteemed apprentice?

But of course, destiny and desire are not always what you expect . . .Ever wonder what life is like in Minecraft? Read Legends and Heroes to find out!
Created by Stone Marshall, the author of the popular Flynn’s Log series.
The Stone Marshall Studio is developing a new series: Legends & Heroes
A hybrid of comic-book style illustrations and short stories. Each issue is fun, challenging, and engaging.
These interrelated  stories follow a series of characters on a journey through life in Minecraft. Relatable characters, thrilling action, and colorful illustrations will suck in readers and leave them excited to read the next adventure!
Secrets await!
Solve the puzzle, uncover secrets!
The Blacksmith and The Apprentice: Issue 1
The ancient art of blacksmithing is a thing of beauty. A lot of hard work goes into the process. It’s very complicated, really. Stoking the flames to many small, contained fires—making lumps of metal into differently shaped items of metal—hitting said lumps of metal with hammers to turn them into different weapons. You can shape metals into whatever item you want.
Okay, it might not be a very interesting job, but apprenticing with the best blacksmith in the kingdom is a huge opportunity. Blacksmiths make the tools everyone needs to get about in their day-to-day lives. It’s a very prestigious and impressive position, although this honor is lost when the position is held by Dane, a youthful boy who dreams of greater adventure!
Luckily, Dane has a skilled master to reign in his daydreaming. Viegar has quite an interesting past. From his years on the Royal Guard to his close relationship with the previous king, he’s quite a friend to have on your side.
There is one other apprentice, Snip, who is much more passionate about his duties than Dane. Between the three of them, they churn out powerful weapons and protective armor, usually with no thanks to Dane.
Of course, no cast of characters would be complete without the big man in charge—in this case, a king. By almost anyone’s account, he’s a good and fair ruler, but there is no one in power without enemies. Though Viegar and his workers only want to help their wonderful king, there are still plenty who wish to do him harm. But Dane can only imagine such things. It’s not as if he’d ever be in the position to really make any sort of difference or be in any place of power.
Right?
And though his apprenticeship is mundane and boring, the young man gets a few moments of excitement. Every once in a while, his master Viegar lets him venture out past the village to visit the caravan, where he can trade and buy supplies. It’s the most excitement Dane ever gets in his line of work.
Sometimes, he gets to meet interesting people.
Sometimes, he hears interesting things.
And maybe, just maybe, he sometimes hears of a new opportunity for himself.
But who would want to give up such a life as an esteemed apprentice?

But of course, destiny and desire are not always what you expect . . .

[goodreviews isbn=”B00YLRP210″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


A to Z Blogging: O is for… Online Worlds

Posted June 17, 2015

Online Worlds

O was a tricky letter to find a theme for and I swear I’m not cheating. ‘Online Worlds’ is a theme in its own right according to the Encyclopedia of Science fiction, not only that, but I’ve had the pleasure of reading a couple of books using this very theme.


So what are Online Worlds?

Without stating the obvious, they’re worlds that exist online, quite often involving role-play with other users and are never ending as far as I can tell.

I grew up on ‘Make your own adventure’ books, closely followed by Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy books. You’d create your character,Fighting Fantasy select your inventory, gather your experience points and make your way through the book, choosing between turning to page 54 or 112. One would lead to salvation (possibly), the other to certain death. Come to think of it, I never did find a safe passage through the world presented to me, there was a monster lurking at every corner, itching for a fight (with the use of dice, a little turn taking and some honesty).

Incidently, I picked one of these books up at a boot sale recently and tried to engage with my gaming-mad eleven and twelve-year-old.

Ha! No chance!


Minecraft, Roblox, Blockland, not to mention online multiplayer console games, EA’s Sims franchise, city building… all of these allow users to engage in creating and living in an online world. Obviously there will be other examples, but these are the ones I know of personally and I’m sure you don’t want this post turning into an epic saga on the subject.

Online world fiction for young readers

MinecraftStone Marshall has written a series of books based on the extremely popular Minecraft game. My children, along with most (if not all) of their school friends are crazy about this game. The online world is a landscape of blocks, and as far as I can gather, you design, create and demolish bricks to create your own.

Book one of Flynn’s Log: Rescue Island is highly accurate in describing the loading of an actual game – waking in a strange world with the sun getting ready to dip beyond the horizon, and as I’m sure Flynn will discover, Minecraft at night can be a dangerous place to be – especially if you’re on your own.

The recommended age group for this series of books is 8 to 18, and there are four in the series:

Rescue Island (Book #1)

Thorn’s Lair (Book #2)

The Ultimate form of life (Book #3)

Offline (Book #4)

 

For older readers (Young adult +)

I came across a series called ‘The Game is life’ a couple The Gameof years ago. The first one is still free (which is how I came across it), but I went on to purchase and read all the corresponding books in the series, I just couldn’t get enough of this peculiar world.

  • “What if life as we know it was just a game?
  • What if, instead of traditional schools, children learned by participating in a virtual reality simulation, one that allowed them to experience “life” from birth to death — multiple times?
  • What if one player, on his final play, could change the world forever…?”

The book can be complex at times, and there are moments where you have to stop and think ‘where’ you are, but overall I found this (and the sequels) a highly engaging read. It did have some editing issues when I first read it, but the author has apparently resolved them since then (not checked that yet, but I will do as I fancy another read).

The online world in this book is virtual, and I can’t really say much more than that without giving the book away, but if it’s your ‘cup of tea,’ I would highly recommend grabbing a free copy of The Game.