169: Gears of War: Aspho Fields

Gears of War: Aspho Fields

"Marcus was already doing some carving of his own. His chainsaw screamed and stuttered against armor. There was a precise technique to the saw: you had to put your weight behind it, or else the blades skidded and didn't bite. The best action was a downward slice, leaning into the target, but Marcus was pinned on his back, cutting upward, and the grub was still thrashing around, even though it couldn't use its weapons close-in. Dom sliced into its shoulder - and still the thing kept moving."

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I like the way this touches on how Marcus isn't a meathead spawned when a pool of testosterone got too dense, but actually comes from a fairly upper class/educated background.

Gears of war Fan-Fiction....If this is a lemon...

smallharmlesskitten:
Gears of war Fan-Fiction....If this is a lemon...

This is actually not fan-fiction. This is an excerpt from the upcoming Random House official Gears of War novel.

;_;... Beautiful.
I need to buy this when it comes out.
It'll probably be released on Amazon or something.

At least I hope so, I live in Sweden.

Karen Traviss wrote the Republic Commando books as well, if I'm not mistaken...

That is some badly written stuff.

I have to agree with H.R. It was much too confusing, a lot of the characters seemed out of...well, character. The internal dialogue was confusingly written and it really just felt like a high school kid's english assignment. Of coure just my opinion on an excerpt. The book as a whole could be much better.

I HOPE it's much better.

Here's an interview about the novel: http://www.figures.com/databases/action.cgi?setup_file=fignews2.setup&category=actionfigures&topic=106&show_article=120

Now we just need a _Gears_ movie. Preferably with Michael Chiklis. Actually, now that I think about it, Baird does kinda look like Lemansky from _The Shield_...

JojjeE:
;_;... Beautiful.
I need to buy this when it comes out.
It'll probably be released on Amazon or something.

At least I hope so, I live in Sweden.

SWE??

Sorry the temptation was far too great for me to resist, and the book looks like a promising read. Might buy at but maybe not, who knows?

Well this has confirmed my suspicions of the rumors that, much like Halo, Gears should stick to the games. I guess I did go into this with the wrong mentality, but as the saying goes: You only get one chance at a first impression.

This reads very badly...

I think a movie would be better than a book. As long as they focus on the characters, visuals, and action sequences instead of the story. I mean lets face it, the GoW story blows. It's the look and feel of GoW, the visuals, dialogue, and action that make it so great. If the movie focused on those things, it could be very good, but they would have to have some really amazing action sequences to make it worth seeing.

I found it interesting.

Yup, I'm a gears fanboy. Looks like it. Anyway, I can't wait for it. Both the book and the game.

Ooh, another novel from a videogame. Love those things. The last one I read (Endwar) was horrible, so I'm looking forward to this since it certainly sounds good.

smallharmlesskitten:
Gears of war Fan-Fiction....If this is a lemon...

It isn't supposed to be, but still... that's the exact vibe I got from this extract. No offence to the author, but I really don't think that a Gears novel could work. Gears is one of those action flick-type games that work very well in a visual medium, but not so well on text. What makes Gears, the action, the excellent gameplay, the expansive visuals with a very medieval theme (thanks Cheeze), and even the characters, they work much better when the audience is able to see them. The visual medium is powerful, and video games in general (and Gears specifically), utilise the strengths of the medium to become what they are, meaning it's very hard to translate this into text and still keep as well-received as the games.

The thing is, and this might just be youth and nostalgia, I've read better fan-fiction than this... but that was based on Final Fantasy 8, meaning it had excellent character depth and a well fleshed out background to work with. The author of this piece has that in Gears, but it's much more faint. The author's gotta work on focusing what makes a novel great in Gears, it strengths, and further that.

I don't see this working as an action novel to be honest. The main reason people read action novels are because they offer the reader an opportunity to escape, and experience heart-pounding action that they could never experience in real life. Unfortunately, the target demographic for Gears is one that's already played the games, meaning they have already stepped into the boots of Marcus Fenix. They've already had a taste of the action in Gears, first-hand. Unlike novels such as Ice Station, the target demographic (those who've played the games) will be picturing in the back of their head, That would be so sweet if I could do it. The major strength of an action novel, the ability to transport the reader into the body of the protagonist, it's been done before in the games, and in my opinion, been done better.

Hey, I might be wrong (hopefully), and this piece of the novel isn't as good as the rest of the novel. Still, I'm not going to hold my breath.

Edit: I've been reading the interview (thanks again for the link Cheeze), and... it's a real shame, the author's given me yet another perspective to look at Gears from. Unfortunately, and I mentioned it, but, when reading the interview, reading about her going on about the novel and what it would contain, my brain pictured it as a game. It's the flaw in this novel... one people might be able to move on from, but I won't. Shame too...

Edit Edit: It's not that I don't think the author's a good writer; far from it, she's quite good. I just don't think a book based on a video game could work. Regardless of how well she writes, I for one will always find it better if it were a video game, or even a movie. Again, not the fault of the author, just the medium.

Wait, one question. If Aspho fields happened before GoW1, how did Marcus and Dom know Cole? I just remember them meeting in the game and having never seen each other in person.

Cole was a pro athlete prior to the Locust war.

This novel doesn't read like fan fiction at all it reads like the early draft of a proposed script for the movie.

The problem with the game is that it's a sequel to a good story and it just sort of throws you into the Gears universe where the backstory isn't explained to the player because the movie was supposed to do that. After reading this draft and then playing the game again you pick up a lot of more subtle things in the game like when like when Dom says he still has nightmares about the Locust coming from under ground or when Baird starts talking about the boogeyman why Marcus puts an end to it quickly.

http://www.latinoreview.com/news.php?id=1890

The text literally leaps of the screen. Excellent use of words. A great book and it hasn't even been published!

HomeAliveIn45:
Wait, one question. If Aspho fields happened before GoW1, how did Marcus and Dom know Cole? I just remember them meeting in the game and having never seen each other in person.

I think it goes before GoW1 and in between 1 and 2.

ThePoodonkis:

HomeAliveIn45:
Wait, one question. If Aspho fields happened before GoW1, how did Marcus and Dom know Cole? I just remember them meeting in the game and having never seen each other in person.

I think it goes before GoW1 and in between 1 and 2.

From what I've heard, the novel is pre-Gears of War, and the comic book is going to bridge Gears 1&2.

I made it through the first page, barely. I was wishing that a locust would appear and chainsawgun me to death so I would not have to read the rest. This is some truly awful writing.

I'm beginning to think that I'm from another planet here, and maybe that planet is just called "genre fiction". But, without disrespect to the other authors in the issue, I think this is by far and away the best constructed and executed story here, and I think all of you who claim it's poorly written are completely high (again without disrespect -- some people like to be high). This is tight, clean, and shows a level of narrative mastery quite refreshing in science fiction. There are no characters emitting cliche actions (blinking, smiling, sighing every other paragraph -- I could give go on), the displayed actions are carefully considered. I'm completely unfamiliar with the Gears of War IP (I've been away from consoles for awhile, sucked into the worlds of online games) and I found this showing the material's core differentiating elements to mystery and advantage.

I think why some might have trouble with its presentation is the necessary noise of the Escapist page. If we were reading this in the magazine's old format, which didn't have ads placed mid-text and a frame of bright colors and distracting text, it would be a much different read. This reads, as it should, like a novel, and if you focus in and ignore the surrounding ad elements the action comes through clean and clear. It is _hard to follow_, but mainly because of the level of graphical distraction -- it wouldn't be on a printed page or a fiction-oriented magazine.

In another of my lives I'm a contributing editor to Ideomancer, an online genre magazine of science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and horror. I read a crapton of slush. This is good stuff. It makes me curious about the book, and hopeful. Karen Traviss should be encouraged to rock on.

I'm sorry, but somebody should say this...

The comment "I think all of you who claim it's poorly written are completely high (again without disrespect -- some people like to be high)" seems very uncalled-for. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with somebody's opinion, or with many people's opinions, but that can be done without launching a personal attack.

(And no, you can't make a disrespectful comment less so by adding "without disrespect" to it.)

So, if for no other reason than for the sake of the author, who may very well be reading this, let's respect the people even if we disagree with the opinion. As far as I know, this is the first Gears of War book to be coming out, and it certainly is deserving of discussion without launching flames.

Best to all,

Robert Marks

Robert B. Marks:

The comment "I think all of you who claim it's poorly written are completely high (again without disrespect -- some people like to be high)" seems very uncalled-for. There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with somebody's opinion, or with many people's opinions, but that can be done without launching a personal attack.

I don't think it was meant as a personal attack, but as an expression of how vehemently the person disagrees with those opinions, that one's judgment would have to be impaired something on the order of being 'high' to have them.

I thought it was pretty good.

Remember, if it was fan-fic Dom and Marcus wouldn't have had to tackle a boomer from above, they would have just emptied clip after clip into it from behind the dumpster. Or more likley, just walked slowly forward and killed it with sheer awesomeness. This, on the other hand, didn't read like an account of me playing, which is a good thing for a novel.

When is it set by the way?

Armitage Shanks:
I thought it was pretty good.

Remember, if it was fan-fic Dom and Marcus wouldn't have had to tackle a boomer from above, they would have just emptied clip after clip into it from behind the dumpster. Or more likley, just walked slowly forward and killed it with sheer awesomeness. This, on the other hand, didn't read like an account of me playing, which is a good thing for a novel.

When is it set by the way?

I agree with Armitage here. However I did feel like it jumped between characters a bit. I was never sure about who was feeling what.

Not sure when it's set. Must be at least six months after the first one as there is some sort of peace going on in that time. Most likely during the events in the number two or set after it in between two and three.

Armitage Shanks:
I thought it was pretty good.

Remember, if it was fan-fic Dom and Marcus wouldn't have had to tackle a boomer from above, they would have just emptied clip after clip into it from behind the dumpster. Or more likley, just walked slowly forward and killed it with sheer awesomeness.

Just imagine what would have been going on behind the dumpster if it had been slash-fic...

Why don't they just make a movie? Gears is not about the story, it's about the atmosphere and the action that need to be experienced first-hand. Writing a Gears novel is like making a game based on Great Expectations.

Fire Daemon:

Armitage Shanks:
I thought it was pretty good.

Remember, if it was fan-fic Dom and Marcus wouldn't have had to tackle a boomer from above, they would have just emptied clip after clip into it from behind the dumpster. Or more likley, just walked slowly forward and killed it with sheer awesomeness. This, on the other hand, didn't read like an account of me playing, which is a good thing for a novel.

When is it set by the way?

I agree with Armitage here. However I did feel like it jumped between characters a bit. I was never sure about who was feeling what.

Not sure when it's set. Must be at least six months after the first one as there is some sort of peace going on in that time. Most likely during the events in the number two or set after it in between two and three.

The on thing I would like though, and I can understand you'd put the action bit in a preview, but it would be good if it explored the universe a bit more. Not necessarily just solved every mystery about emulsion or the locust, but maybe if just went a bit deeper: How many humans are surviving, are they all united, why they fight, etc.

Just a few things like that could help turn it from, as many people seem to be saying, a mindless shooter, into something more expansive.

I don't think that it's impossible to have a good video game book, just that it's impossible to have one based on a game like gears. The characters in gears are backstoryless testosterone loaded caricatures, not real emotional characters. When the author did in this piece felt a bit fake and unnatural. Perhaps if would have worked for some other set of unnamed people, but with Delta Squad I couldn't help but feel unattached.

To be honest, I'd rather play it than read it.

It doesn't seem that good to me.

 

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