I purchased Skyrim, the fifth game in Bethesda’s ‘The Elder Scrolls’ series. The previous game in the series was called Oblivion. After playing Oblivion all the way through, I had no hesitation dropping $60 to pick up Skyrim.
27 November, 2013
You read that right. 100% of all achievements completed!
After two years of playing this game, (only interrupted by occasional bouts of Mass Effect and Dragon Age,) and 376 hours of gameplay, I can safely say that I’ve “Finished” Skyrim. I backed up the 1,195 saved games and uninstalled the game client. Done. Moving on. [Read more…]
This is not a “Part 2” to Goblin Secrets, as some reviewers are saying. (Since William Alexander told me this himself, I’m inclined to believe him.) Ghoulish Song is a “companion” to Goblin Secrets. Both books are set in the same world at the same time. The city of Zombay, its magic, witches, Goblin-acting-troops, squidskin coats, and clockwork guards are revealed through both novels. The two books can be read in either order, and you can read either story without reading the other, but reading them both offers synergy and depth to the stories.
William Alexander’s writing is “Neil Gaiman Good” which is about the highest praise I can give to writing. The words on the page are simply a pleasure to read. Pacing never lags, and the story is fantasy with a refreshing splash of steampunk. I praised William before for balancing his fantasy with realism, and once again, he delivers. [Read more…]
Bet you were just thinking to yourself, What the hell is Kristanna Loken up to? After Bloodrayne and Terminator 3, you might have missed her in Painkiller Jane and The Legend of Awesomest Maximus. (No, I’m serious.) But she’s back to kick ass as Mary Death in Bounty Killer the movie based on the graphic novel. [Read more…]
A few disclaimers about this review before I get started:
I know Joel Arnold personally. He is a fellow member of the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writer’s Group.
I purchased Northwoods Deep from Joel directly.
I do not owe Joel money from an old gambling debt involving Jagermeister, a Trampoline and a Super-Soaker. No matter what he says.
I was not compensated for this review. (But I do get some love if you follow my links to Amazon, which helps offset my webhosting fees and various addictions which may involve Jagermeister, Trampolines, and Super-Soakers…)
File Under Horror
With that out of the way, I can tell you it’s been a while since I’ve read real Horror like this. It was refreshing to read something that was not chilling, dark, or edgy, but actually horrifying.
If Twilight read Northwoods Deep, it would die of fright. [Read more…]
Since 2003 I’ve been writing blog-reviews here about dark and beautiful things. I’ve used the category Ubercool to reference arts, artists, events and things that I think are glorious. And I never once worried that anyone would read them.
But now, my site traffic and ranking have increased to astonishing levels. My inbox is filled with requests for reviews and offers for paid advertising. You read that right. Paid. Advertising.
“You should have an award. You know, like a seal of approval!”
Ten years ago, I felt like the weird kid sitting by himself and reading Lovecraft while listening to Marilyn Manson. Now I feel like some kind of Dark Fiction Authority. The Goth Guru? The Hipster of Darkness? [Read more…]
William Alexander was initially referred to me for a panel on ‘Writing Successful Query Letters.’ I was coordinating the panel for a Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers Group meetup. A bit of online snooping revealed that William’s debut novel, Goblin Secrets had won the 2012 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Anyone whose first novel wins a National Book Award must have some success with query letters. So I asked William to be on the panel, and he was kind enough to share his query letter experiences with the writer’s group. [Read more…]
Someone sold their soul to the Gods of Hipster-Pop-Culture-Soft-Porn to get this movie made.
I’ll be honest, even if former-teen-pop-princesses Tiffany and Debbie Gibson weren’t in this movie, I still woulda watched it. Because there’s three things you know for sure about a movie named Mega Python Vs Gatorord: [Read more…]
The story of Clockwork Angels involves the fantastic adventures of Owen Hardy, a whimsical boy working the apple orchard with his father. Nearing his seventeenth birthday, Owen strays outside the path of his ordered and ordinary life, and finds himself swept off into a battle between the forces of order and chaos. [Read more…]
Few films manage to give me the creeps, and those films that do usually include insects or spiders. But Unlocking Charlie by Stephen Crilly (Agro Films) succeeded by turning me into a combination agoraphobic (fear of open spaces) and claustrophobic (fear of enclosed spaces).
When his worst fears come knocking, an agoraphobic man’s love for the girl next door is put to the ultimate test.
Irish director/writer Stephen Crilly wrings an amazing amount of emotion out of a short and simple 13-minute film. After just a few minutes following the life of Charlie, (in an awesome performance by Tom Maguire) I promise you will experience the panic he feels. And just when you think you’re becoming agoraphobic yourself, the anguish follows Charlie inside his apartment, and you’ll feel like the walls are closing in on you as you watch.
The plot of the film is straightforward, and involves the topic of agoraphobia. The protagonist, Charlie, suffers such extreme agoraphobia that stepping more than a few feet outside his apartment makes him panic. But motivation comes calling in the form of the girl next door, played by Grace Kelley, whom I’ve decided I could stare at all day long. Le Sigh. She is a lovely juxtaposition to the horror Charlie goes through. Acting was great, and much of it was done without lines of dialog.
Post production was high quality. Well done sound, lighting and direction made this short, dramatic film really pop. I’m not ordinarily a fan of the free-floating camera style (overdone to nauseous levels in The Blair Witch Project) but the floating camera work in Unlocking Charlie really give the film an uneasy quality, adding to the tension.
All in all, Unlocking Charlie is a quick, dark character study. Watch Unlocking Charlie here for yourself: