Preview: 50 pages of The Lord of Souls

The second Elder Scrolls novel from author Greg Keyes, The Lord of Souls, officially goes on sale tomorrow. Just in time, Random House has put up an enormous 50 page sample of the novel for you to peruse at your leisure.

Click through to read through the sample, and scroll to the bottom of the excerpt for links to where you can order a copy.

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Books… check ‘em out!

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Summer’s almost over and we’re closing in on the release dates for RAGE (October 4th) and Skyrim (November 11th). If you can’t cryogenically freeze yourself, we recommend picking up these fine books from Random House.

RAGE, written by author and game writer Matt Costello,  will release in North America on August 30, 2011. The novel centers around Lieutenant Nick Raine, an Ark survivor that emerges into the apocalyptic world of RAGE to confront a “would-be tyrant.” For an excerpt of the novel look below — jump over to Random House to preorder (folks in the UK can order here).

Lord of Souls, the second Elder Scrolls novel by Greg Keyes, will hit stores on September 27 in North America (September 23rd in the UK). Head to Random House to preorder the book (UK can pre-order here), but beware the synopsis if you haven’t read the first TES novel yet.

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RAGE novel hits August 30th

More exciting news for RAGE!

Following up our announcement about Dark Horse’s comic book series, we’re also pleased to announce we’re working with Del Rey on a novel based around the game’s world and characters. The novel, also titled “RAGE”, releases on August 30th and will be written by author and game writer Matt Costello.

As more details on the novel surface, we’ll let you know. For now, read our press release…

BETHESDA SOFTWORKS AND DEL REY BOOKS ANNOUNCE NOVEL BASED ON HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED RAGE VIDEO GAME

NEW YORK, NY – March 29, 2011 – Bethesda Softworks®, a ZeniMax® Media company, and Del Rey, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, announced today that Del Rey Books will publish a novel based on the upcoming RAGE® video game. The novel, also entitled “RAGE”, will be written by author and game writer Matt Costello and will release in North America on August 30, 2011. The novel will be published simultaneously in the UK and British Commonwealth by Ebury Publishing, part of the Random House Group.

RAGE is the latest game from id® Software, the acclaimed designers of such classics as the Wolfenstein®, DOOM®, and QUAKE® series. Eagerly awaited by the gaming community, RAGE is already being touted as one of the industry’s most innovative first-person shooters, winning numerous awards at E3 2010, including ‘Best Overall Game of Show’ from IGN and three ‘Best of E3’ Game Critics Awards including ‘Best Console Game’. Set in the not-too-distant future after an asteroid impacts Earth, you emerge into a vast wasteland to discover humanity working to rebuild itself against such forces as bandit gangs, mutants, and more.

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Around the web (and in print, too)

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Here’s a quick look at news I found on our games online (and some in print as well)..

Can you believe it’s been over four years since Oblivion was released? Last week The Koalition’s Gary A. Swaby posted a new article discussing how the RPG holds up today. Here’s an excerpt where he discusses quests within the game.

“Elder Scrolls: Oblivion is damn near unbeatable. Sure the main storyline quest is beatable within a couple hours, but the main quest is nothing. There are literally hundreds of quests in this game, and given the world which Bethesda has created for you, you will definitely attempt to complete as many as you can. The fact that there are two huge expansion packs doesn’t make it any easier either.”

Oblivion also gets mentioned in BitMob’s Top 5 Video Game Sequences written by Omar Yusef, where they included the Dagon Shrine questline

“It was this specific mission that appropriately demonstrated Oblivion’s breadth. The game allowed players to brazenly hack and slash their way through difficult scenarios or sneak past them. Each problem players were faced with could be approached from a number of angles. In essence, the Dagon Shrine proved that Oblivion catered to almost every type of role player, which is why it’s worthy of commemoration.”

One final bit on Oblivion. The latest (June) issue of OXM has a small feature titled, “The Developer’s Cut,” where developers discuss content from their games that didn’t make the final release. On page 87, Todd Howard discusses content cut from Oblivion. Head to your local newsstand (or your mailbox) to read it, as well as a new preview for Hunted: The Demon’s Forge.

Putting a bow around this roundup, author Grant Tavinor recently released a new book, The Art of Videogames, featuring Fallout 3 on the cover. Throughout the text, you can find references to DOOM, Oblivion, and Fallout 3 (I’m particularly interested in reading the chapter “The Morality of Videogames”). For more on the subject, Tavinor recently wrote a column for Kotaku in response to comments from film critic Roger Ebert.

Updated: GameSetWatch’s Emily Short has an in-depth look back at her play experience with Fallout 3. Read the article here.

The Infernal City: In Stores Now

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The Infernal City — the first of two books based on The Elder Scrolls’ universe, is being released today and is available in stores and online at places like Amazon.

Look, the holidays are coming. You’re going to be around people you can only stand so much of. Not talking to them in order to play video games doesn’t always go over so well. Reading a book, however…well that makes you smarter, and who could argue against that? And you need a new book, so I recommend getting this one. I think I’ve read it about 4 or 5 times now. It’s really good. If you pick it up, let us know what you think.

In case you missed it previously, see the interview I did with Infernal City author Greg Keyes here.

Infernal Interview

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On Tuesday, November 24th, The Infernal City: An Elder Scrolls Novel will be released at bookstores and for digital download. Before the book’s release, Pete sent over questions to the author — New York Times’ bestselling author Greg Keyes.

Check out the interview below…

For those that aren’t familiar with you, can you give us a brief intro on yourself and some of your previous works?
I studied anthropology at Mississippi State and the University of Georgia. I started writing at a young age, but it wasn’t until 1995 that I sold my first novel, The Waterborn. It and its sequel were fantasies that drew on Native American and Central Asian mythologies for inspiration. I next wrote an alternate history fantasy called The Age of Unreason. Set in the eighteenth century, it wondered what the world might have been like if Isaac Newton’s work in alchemy had paid off the way — at one point — he thought it had. My latest series, The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone, is an epic fantasy in a somewhat more traditional vein. I’ve also worked on other shared universes; I wrote three books for the television show Babylon Five, and three Star Wars novels.

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Around the web: Another Broken Steel review roundup

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With more than a dozen new reviews for Broken Steel, I thought I’d share some of the latest links. At Gamer 2.0, Joshua Schwartzmann wrote the following:

With a solid new campaign, an improved level cap, dozens of new perks and tons of powerful weapons at your disposal, Broken Steel is hands down some of the best content Fallout 3 has to offer. With two previous add-ons already giving fans plenty to explore, Broken Steel really pushes the boundaries of what you can come to expect from future downloadable additions. This is the most complete and well-rounded addition to Fallout 3 yet, and anyone can expect to spend hours relishing in what it has to offer.

Additional reviews can be found at the following sites:

To read more reviews, head to our reviews page on the Fallout 3 Official Site.

In other news, there’s a new Fallout 3 interview with Pete Hines at OXM (UK). Here’s a snippet where Pete discusses the upcoming novels for The Elder Scrolls:

Bethesda is also doing Oblivion books. Will this be a continuation of the Oblivion story, or will it lead into another game or product?

Pete: It’s not a continuation of Oblivion but it does fit into… so it’s not like “well, Martin sacrificed himself and Tamriel was saved and next day what happened…” It takes place years or some period of time after that.

As we’ve got more news to share, we’ll let you know.