Sunday, March 13, 2016

Flying home from hiking in Switzerland

Written last weekend, from Switzerland’s Zurich airport:

Ice climbing in Iceland (to prep for my Mont Blanc climb in France this June with Aaron, Fleur, and Manu and my Mount Hood climbs in March) got pushed back a bit.

The reason:  It turns out Delta’s inaugural New York-Reykjavik flight wasn’t scheduled to launch until last Thursday… Not enough time to make it home for my work shift tomorrow.  Another family visit to South Africa was ruled out, as well.

Zurich:  Me and Bo, after climbing the stairs up to the south steeple of Grossmunster cathedral

Rather than hang around the house for 6 ½ days, my dad and I flew to Switzerland for a few days.  Apologies to my buddies in Italy and Switzerland who have been asking about getting together while I’m in the region.  Next time!

Bo and I flew standby and got Delta's Business Elite cabin seats on the overseas flight from New York to Switzerland, hiked and toured the snowy Zurich area, and are now about to fly back home to the U.S. in Business Elite seats again!

A photo posted by Garth Hamilton (@garth_hamilton) on

I’ll Instagram some Switzerland photos and share some stories on Garth’s Blog when we get back to the States.  I also penned a few upcoming adventure blog posts while we‘ve been overseas, with pics to be added.

Next time we’re in the region, little Lena and Levi are gonna love feasting on the Alps!

Up next…

“Just Read” book reviews of:

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” “Star Wars: Aftermath,” and other new canon Star Wars novels!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Why I'm reading the new "canon" Star Wars novels

From our overseas flight from Switzerland to New York:

Wanna know the reason I started reading the new Star Wars novels this year? Besides the fact that I’ve freaking LOVED the original Star Wars film trilogy since I was a little kid?  After years of infamous inconsistency, the novels and side projects will all finally have harmonious continuity with the films.

Before Disney announced that they were reigning in the Star Wars Extended Universe in April 2015, the franchise was a free-for-all of disjointed novels and graphic novels.  Now, Disney's Star Wars Story Group has wiped the slate clean and made an official distinction between the newer “canon” stories (which are promised to gel together and be in continuity with the Star Wars films and TV shows, like Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels)…

...And the older, contradiction-ridden “Legends” stories of varying quality (select elements of which the Story Group reserves the right to validate in its upcoming canon stories).

Star Wars: Aftermath, the first "Canon" novel that takes place after "Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi"

Disney’s controversial move has been bitterly protested by fans of the old Extended Universe. But for me, the casual Star Wars fan, it makes the new novels seem more accessible.  No offense to those hardcore EU fans, but there’s no way I’m gonna sort through that old stuff that is now relegated to the “Legends” dust bin.

A similar commitment to franchise continuity arguably made the Marvel Cinematic Universe more appealing, and I’ve been curious to find out if the new canon Star Wars novels can pull off something equally consistent with those Marvel superhero films and TV spin-offs.  Either way, my daughter Lena and I look forward to checking out some of these new canon books and graphic novels together!

Why this post?  Consider this fair warning that a few Star Wars novels will be featured prominently in the next few “Just Read” Garth’s Blog book reviews, sprinkled in with my usual travel and outdoor adventure posts.

Up Next...

Coming home from Switzerland!