Desert Of Zin

The occasional blog of Alistair Bain – Writer, Husband, Father and Chief Techno-Arcanologist at the Institute of Giant Robots, Spaceships and Wizards. None of these positions pay well.

Helsreach and other shiny things of a similar nature

Good afternoon, website of mine that is rarely seen and updated.

(To be fair, I only ever really remember that I have a website after I have to renew the domain and hosting for the bloody thing.)

I have an occasional love of the tabletop nuttiness that is Warhammer 40K. I’ll make no apologies for that. 🙂

There’s a book called Helsreach by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. I haven’t read it myself; I’m sure it’s very good. But that’s not today’s message.

This is:

This is just the prologue but it’s an exceptional piece of work. This guy has set animation to the audio book and it’s quite something. He’s putting it chapter by chapter, and it’s not finished yet, but it really is something to keep an eye on.

Also, while it’s in mind, there is such a thing as The Grand Inquisitor. Like the animated Helsreach it’s a fan project. The YouTube channel has loads of concept stuff and work in progress updates. I particularly like these:

May 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Gaming, Watching | Tags: , , | No comment

Monday mornings are better with Brazil

For the last 2 hours I’ve had the earworm that is the theme from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

I’ve been tootling along, having a wee dance, much to the amusement of my colleagues. 

And now I inflict it on you. 

October 17, 2016 at 10:21 am | Listening, Watching | Tags: , | No comment

Could this be our last Eurovision?

You know that referendum we’re having? The one to stay or leave the EU? (Clarification: I live in Glasgow, Scotland and there soon will be a referendum to see if the United Kingdom will withdraw from the EU. Clear? Good.) Will that mean that if there’s an overwhelming leave vote that Eurovision won’t want us in their wee gang?

Or if we vote to stay they might not want us in Eurovision to teach us a lesson?

Or, what if we win tonight? AND there’s a leave vote?

Or we might get no points to teach us a lesson in for daring to think of leaving the mighty New European Empire?

Maybe none of these things.

And, when it all comes down to it, does it even matter?

I’m glad I could share these thoughts with you.

And in closing: Go Armenia! Whoo!

May 14, 2016 at 7:27 pm | General, Watching | Tags: , , | No comment

So. Nits.

Today has been a nit hunting day. Aurora is rife with them. This is the problem with school. If it’s possible to catch something, they all catch some thing. One day it’s a cold, the next it’s a sickness bug, now it’s nits.

And the thing with wee hair based critters is that it is maddening to get rid of them.

And it’s not like I have anything to fear…


… nowhere for the little blighters to hide.

In an attempt to cheer her up, she’s allowed to stay up and watch Eurovision tonight with us. I know, I know, it’s hardly a treat. But I’m all about teaching her the reality of life. This is tough parenting at its best.

Some days are all about My Little Pony and running round the garden with her friends. Others are nits and Eurovision.

May 14, 2016 at 6:54 pm | General, Watching | Tags: , , , | No comment

So, there’s this film called Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I went to see this film this afternoon. I’ve managed to avoid spoilers over the weekend and although I’m taking Aurora on her birthday to see it at the IMAX at the science centre on Sunday it was an idea to get a sneaky viewing before I have to sit and answer two hours of “who is he/she?”, “what’s that?” and others of a similar flavour.

In other words I wanted to enjoy the film before daughter and her friend get in the way.

First things first.  This is no Phantom Menace. It’s actually a good, fun, exciting movie. And it has a Star Wars feel to it, something I feel the prequel trilogy lacked. (And I’m not a complete frothing fanboy. I quite liked Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Phamton Menace though. Damn.  That was unforgivable.)

And it didn’t look like the whole film was done on a blue screen.  It looked tangible. Does that make sense?

The new cast are really good. And it was good to see a film that had a strong female lead.

This is all really vague, isn’t it? Well, I’m sure that of the three people who read this intermittent blog at lease two of you haven’t seen this film yet.

My advice is to give it a go.  It’s just over two hours long and I very enjoyed almost every second. And if people tell you that it’s the same story as the first Star Wars? Yeah. It kinda is. And who cares? Not me. They were both great fun.

December 21, 2015 at 7:31 pm | Watching | Tags: , | 1 comment

Night and other Lost Themes

I’m a big John Carpenter fan. You know, John Carpenter. Halloween, The Thing, Big Trouble In Little China, Escape From New York, They Live, Prince Of Darkness, In The Mouth Of Madness.

You know. John Carpenter.

Well, I was in Fopp in Union Street today for a bit of a browse and I saw an album called Lost Themes by the very same John Carpenter. Although I was tempted to invest a few quid on what was obviously a masterpiece, I thought I’d at least check the interwebs first.

Here’s the music video for Night from the Lost Themes album.

This is exactly the kind of electronic madness I can get behind.

September 10, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Listening, Watching | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No comment

Just when I thought I couldn’t get more excited…

Not so much a new trailer for Star Wars but a behind the scenes feature giving you a wee flash of Episode 7. Excited for the full thing? Of course I am.

July 11, 2015 at 9:15 pm | Watching | Tags: , | No comment

Aww, man.

Christopher Lee died today. He reached the grand old age of 93.

Tonight I’ll watch what is by far the best film he ever starred in: The Devil Rides Out. (and after that, if I have time, The Wicker Man. Just, you know, because.)

June 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm | General, Watching | Tags: , , | No comment

A quick point on Mechs and Muppets

I’ve mentioned Mechwarrior: Dark Age #1: Ghost War in passing before. While I’m in the frame of mind to enthuse about Battletech/Mechwarrior you really have to read the afore mentioned Ghost War by Michael A. Stackpole. Stackpole crafts the story so well that you don’t have to have any grounding in the Battletech universe. And I’m sure if he took all the BT references out it would still be a kickass piece of Sci-Fi.

Also, with Muppets Most Wanted on, a quick point. I never thought I’d ever in my life see a musical number with Tina Fey, Ray Liotta and Danny Trejo. Wow.

May 2, 2015 at 6:06 pm | Gaming, Watching | Tags: , , , , , , , | No comment

Michael Sheen speaks on protecting the NHS…

Not been online much recently but this is something I watched yesterday and felt compelled to share. I know the idea of Universal Healthcare isn’t universally popular but I do love my NHS and the knowledge that it is under threat sends a chill through me.

March 4, 2015 at 11:56 am | Watching | Tags: , | No comment