Video Game Review: Primordia

Video games are quite capable of being art, and the only reason anyone has ever said otherwise is because they’d really like for those kids to get off their lawn. Primordia, developed by Wormwood Studios, is an excellent example. It’s a jewel of a game, one of those things I happened upon unexpectedly and was absolutely delighted by.

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Book Review: Vodka

This was my beach book on my recent vacation to the north shore of Oahu in Hawaii.

Let me tell you, ladies, if you are a woman reading a book called Vodka on the beach and at the resort, it’s going to get you some attention. I guess people expect me to be reading 50 Shades of Gone with an Angels and Demons Tattoo on vacation. Don’t get that book, though. I’d hazard to guess you’ve read something like it before.  Victorino Matus’ Vodka is a much better time.

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Book Review: Scaling the Rim

This is not your average sci-fi book.

Looking for space opera? Starship battles accentuated with (or accentuating) bizarre hereditary and/or political drama? Not Scaling the Rim.

Instead, you get something much more original. Scaling the Rim is a tale of survival, relationships, and conspiracy. We join Annika and her un-modified human science team, along with a military team of modified human Rus, to set up a new weather station above the titular rim of the crater the population lives in. This planet, long ago colonized and terraformed with paradise in mind, is slowly freezing over, with winters (perpetually) that make Westeros’ look cute.

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Book Review: The Damar Books

Robin McKinley will likely make an appearance here again. Her novels have not only influenced me, but also have provided some ideas—debatably to the point of plagiarism—to Disney Animation Studios.

For now, I’m reviewing a pair of her books that have not yet been used by Disney: the Damar novels, The Hero and The Crown and The Blue Sword. The Hero and the Crown occurs a long, long time chronologically before The Blue Sword, but the books are one of those rare sets that does not need to be read in any order.

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Book Review: The Gentlemen Bastards Series

Ocean’s Eleven set in a fantasy world.

Well, that oversimplifies it, but that is definitely the feeling of this series. Every book hinges around what I guess you might call a white-color crime, a con that should result in a big take if it gets executed right. It goes wrong, of course, as it is going right, which you should know if you know the genre.

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Book Review: The Divine Cities Trilogy

To sum up: you should read the Divine Cities Trilogy if you’re looking for something different.

Very, very different. The burgeoning empire of the Saypuri Republic, once slaves of the gods-blessed Continental imperium, slew the gods, causing whole miraculous cities to collapse, and essentially took their place. We start several generations after this war, a time when the teachings, artifacts, and magic of the dead gods are banned. As you might expect from this setup, things are more complex than anyone thought.

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To Wheadon

Many people are familiar—well, people in certain circles are familiar with the verb ‘to Joss‘. It refers to Joss Wheadon’s tendency to totally screw up your predictions/expectations, particularly in regards to melodramatic unexpected deaths of beloved secondary characters. This is a tendency of his, to the extent of self-parody if I thought the man was capable of it.

I have only watched four of Wheadon’s works: Firefly, Dr. Horrible, Titan A.E., and the Avengers. I can’t get into Buffy or any of his other stuff. I love Firefly so much that I have a very nice long brown coat and many other things. The Avengers is my favorite Marvel movie so far. My mother and I are the only people I know who like Titan A.E. (“You know, this movie reminds me a lot of Firefly for some reason…oh, look, it was written by the same guy”). Dr. Horrible…well, that’s more or less what I’m going to talk about.

Spoilers ahead, I guess, for some old stuff.

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Book Review: The Zones of Thought Series

Vernor Vinge (pronounced ‘winge’, though the double v sound is much more fun) is one of the old school of science fiction writers that knows science. He was a computer science professor at San Diego State University and is known for his theories on the Technological Singularity.

Not surprisingly, all three of his works that I read and recommend deal quite heavily with said Technological Singularity in one form or another, though not on Earth and not necessarily as a positive or negative thing. That’s hardly the only thing his Zones of Thought books are about, however, and they have some very different elements from most space operas I’ve read.

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