Top Five Co-Geeking Posts for 2015

Our first half-year of blogging exclusively on our geeky interests is done. We’ve even geeked over our blog stats already. 🙂 The five posts to get most eyeballs are as follows:

  1. Hugo Voting, “Good” Stories, and Politics Erik’s thoughts on the volatile Hugo Awards discussion and voting
  2. 2016 Tolkien calendar Illustrated by Tove Jansson Eppu relays news that the late Tove Jansson’s Tolkien illustrations will be published in the Official Tolkien Calendar for 2016
  3. Sean Bean on the LotR Joke in The Martian Eppu shares a short transcript from an interview with Sean Bean by Yle, the Finnish national broadcast company
  4. Two Finnish Authors on the A.V. Club’s Best of 2015 Eppu shares yet another Finland-related piece of news: Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen and Leena Krohn made it onto a U.S. Best of fiction list
  5. a tie with two of Erik’s History for Writers posts: Recommended Reading: Herodotus, “The Tale of the Clever Thief” and 35 Isn’t Old and Everyone’s a Royal

It was nice to note that the top posts were divided up evenly between me and Erik, and that they were posts where we used our expertise. As if we had, like, a plan or something. 😉

Messing with numbers is messy.

Our Star Wars Rewatch Project: Introduction

To prepare for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, we’re Doing a Project. We’ll see all six Star Wars movies in order, roughly one a week, and for each movie, we’ll give our opinion on the following:

  1. Best fight
  2. Best line
  3. Best minor character
  4. Best reveal
  5. Best save
  6. Best visual

For extra fun, Erik decided to make a dessert to go with each movie. We’ll share photos of those, too. Follow the posts with the SW rewatch tag.

And please join us – leave a link for your own posts, or comment with your own Best list!

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.

Rothfuss Scores a Multi-Platform Deal for Kingkiller Chronicle

Author Patrick Rothfuss is known for the charity Worldbuilders and his Kingkiller Chronicle – a trilogy of The Name of the Wind (published 2007), The Wise Man’s Fear (2011), and a thus far unnamed, unpublished final installment.

Rothfuss Book Covers Fall 2015
Patrick Rothfuss / DAW.

Rothfuss just shared some great news: The Chronicle was signed by Lionsgate for a “big narratively intertwined multi-platform development deal” (in Rothfuss’s words). The plan is to produce a tv-series with a connecting movie and a video game – how awesome is that?

But it doesn’t end there. Says Rothfuss:

“You see, I never expected a studio would treat me like a human being. But through this whole process, Lionsgate has treated me with amazing respect. I’ve made what to me seem like reasonable requests, and they responded to them… reasonably. And I’m not just talking about pretty words here, they’re making contractual agreements granting me control of things. They haven’t just been reasonable, they’ve been kind, and understanding. […]

“Lionsgate is making its own press release today and there will be stories in all manner of Hollywood news outlets pretty soon. It’s not a coincidence that my blog is launching up on the very same day as their big announcement. In the same hour, even. Lionsgate coordinated with me so I could share this news on my blog at the same time they’re launching their story.

“This was important to me because if you read my blog or follow me on social media… well… you’re a part of the reason my books are a big deal. A lot of you have been a part of my team for years, and I wanted the chance to tell you about this piece of news myself rather than have you hear it on the street.

The fact that Lionsgate was willing to go to some lengths to let me launch this blog simultaneously with their press release is another good sign, in my opinion. It shows they respect me, and it shows they respect you guys, too.”

Sounds good to me! Scratch that – it sounds great. Empathy and respect make valuable capital for businesses, too. I’ll surely be keeping an eye on this project. And the best of luck to Rothfuss in the development process!

How Easy It Is to Be Wrong about Early History on the Internet

Or: Some History behind Ostrich Riding, Part 1 of 7

Background: I ran into two historical images from California with ostriches used as transportation. That got me wondering about the history of ostrich riding. And that lead me down quite a rabbit hole.

I’ve divided my findings into separate posts (find them with the ostrich riding tag). Warning: serious early history and language nerdery ahead in Serious Academic Voice.

TL;DR – Tracing ostrich riding to a 3rd century BCE tomb find from Egypt is rubbish, but the concept is, indeed, ancient.

Below is the long story.

Continue reading

History for Writers: Introduction

640px-Herodotus_plate_in_Volissos_entranceWriters of fiction and writers of history have long had a kinship with each other.

It is a telling fact that Herodotus, founding father of western historiography, saw himself as carrying on the work of Homer, the great epic poet. Herodotus himself has often been accused of being better at spinning a yarn than at getting his facts right, and Homer tells us quite a lot about the real warlords and merchants of his day through his stories of epic battles and heroic wanderings. Fiction and history have always sat at the same table. As a professional historian and an amateur writer, I’ve spent plenty of time thinking about how the two go together.

Writing fiction means imagining people and worlds that do not exist. That, in its essence, is also what the study of history is about. Now, historians must keep our imaginations grounded in testable evidence and rational argument, but all those facts add up to nothing without imagination. We will never shadow the emperor’s agents as they crept the back streets of Rome sniffing out agitators, or break bread with a gang of workers in the shadow of a half-built pyramid and listen in to their work-camp gossip, or watch over Confucius’ shoulder as one petty, corrupt, minor official after another slowly drove him to consider whether there could be a better way to live. Those people and the times they lived in are gone, and if we are to make any sense of the evidence they left behind we must try to imagine the worlds in which they lived.

Continue reading

Why Co-Geeking?

We’re Eppu and Erik Jensen, your hosts at Co-Geeking. Welcome.

It all started with a t-shirt.

Many years ago, in a small Irish pub, the two of us struck up a conversation over a t-shirt decorated with Viking-age art. For some reason, the topic of role-playing games came up and we found out that we’re both gamers. We knew then that we had so much more to talk about and we discovered a lot of shared interests: history, language, fantasy and sci-fi, games, and more. We’ve been together, and geeking together, ever since.

There’s nothing like living with someone who will hum along when you start singing “Far over the Misty Mountains Cold” or who knows exactly what you mean when you say: “Ugh, Neelix is the Jar-Jar Binks of Star Trek.” Being a geek is so much more fun when you have someone to geek with you: a co-geek, if you will.

This blog is a joint project all about those things that we share a passion for. We’re here to talk about things like history, design, art, stories, characters, language, and why they all matter to us.