Tuesday Tune: Original Theme From Halo. Plus: Bonus Lindsey Sterling Cover!

The original Halo took the FPS console world by storm in November of 2001. Since then it’s spawned numerous sequels and generated hundreds of millions of dollars. But through it all, I still think the original theme music from the first game is the best. Here is the original in all its orchestral and choral glory.

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REVIEW SUMMARY: Interesting premise, poor execution, vital to understanding Halo 4.

MY RATING:

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: The black ops squad Kilo-Five has a staggering revelation but there is no time to consider the implications because one of their operatives goes silent on a hostile world. As civil war erupts on Sanghelios, the UNSC Infinity prepares to undergo a test run using live targets and live munitions. And ancient evil waits to be awakened.

MY REVIEW
PROS:
Great ideas, essential to understanding what is going on in Halo 4.
CONS:
Flat characters, repetitive character descriptions, not very engaging.
BOTTOM LINE:
Recommended for Halo fans exclusively.

An hour into playing Halo 4 I found myself asking a lot of questions. Who is this Didact fellow? What is Requiem? Why are the Covenant suddenly attacking me – didn’t we have a truce at the end of Halo 3? How did the UNSC build a 6 kilometer long space ship? It’s a good thing that I play the Halo games for the shooting and not the actual storytelling. If I want to learn anything about the Halo universe I just turn to the tie-in fiction that has done such an amazing job of expanding the lore. Authors like Eric Nylund, William C. Dietz, Tobias S. Buckell, and Joseph Staten have written wonderful novels that support this monolithic franchise. Two new authors have been added to the roster, the much celebrated Greg Bear (whose Forerunner novels I have yet to dig into) and Karen S. Traviss, an author with much tie-in fiction experience. Halo: The Thursday War is the second entry in the Kilo-Five trilogy, which is itself an indirect sequel to Eric Nylund’s Halo: Ghosts of Onyx. Relating to the canon, Halo: The Thursday War takes place just prior to the events of Halo 4. So how does it stack up compared to the rest of the family?

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From a press release and Tor.com, Tor books has just announced publication of the third novel in Greag Bear’s bestselling Halo Forerunner Saga. It’s called Halo: Silentium and it will be reelase on January 8, 2013.

Here’s the synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling Halo® series of novels, based on the hugely successful Halo videogame franchise, has sold millions of copies, and is part of a global phenomenon that has dominated the science fiction landscape over the last decade.

In Halo: Cryptum, Greg Bear began a three-book arc set in the era of the Forerunners, the ancient and enigmatic creators and builders of the Halos, which continued in Halo: Primordium. Now, in the last years of the Forerunner empire, chaos rules. The Flood—a horrifying shape-changing parasite—has arrived in force, aided by unexpected allies. Internal strife within the ecumene has desperately weakened Forerunner defenses.

Only the Ur-Didact and the Librarian—husband and wife pushed into desperate conflict—hold the keys to salvation. Facing the consequences of a mythic tragedy, one of them must now commit the greatest atrocity of all time—to prevent an unmatched evil from dominating the entire universe.

Grab your Spartan Armor, folk! It’s time for another Book Cover Smackdown!

Here are the contenders…

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it): Tell us which cover you like best and why.

Books shown here:

NOTE: Bigger, better cover art images are available by clicking the images or title links.

TOC: Halo Evolutions

Here’s the table of contents for the upcoming anthology Halo Evolutions, the 500+ page anthology of stories based in the Halo universe:

  1. “Beyond” by Sparth (art) and Jonathan Goff (words)
  2. “Pariah” by B.K. Evenson
  3. “Stomping on the Heels of a Fuss” by Eric Raab
  4. “Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian” by Frank O’Connor
  5. “Dirt” by Tobias S. Buckell
  6. “Acheron-VII” by Sparth (art) and Jonathan Goff (words)
  7. “Headhunters” by Jonathan Goff
  8. “Blunt Instruments” by Fred Van Lente
  9. “The Mona Lisa” by Tessa Kum and Jeff VanderMeer
  10. “Icon” by Robogabo (art) and Jonathan Goff (words)
  11. “Palace Hotel” by Robt McLees
  12. “Human Weakness” by Karen Traviss
  13. “Connectivity” by Robogabo (art) and Jonathan Goff (words)
  14. “The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole” by Eric Nylund
  15. “The Return” by Kevin Grace

Additionally, the volume features an Introduction by Frank O’Connor and an afterward, “From the Office of Dr. William Arthur Iqbal.”

SF Tidbits for 8/13/09

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