Saturday, September 6, 2014 - 15:22
Is it fair to still give the same rating to the sequel, which, in part, could be considered to be better than the first BUT since I'm reticent to hand out more than one 10 Rating a year for fear of being marked 'too easy to please'? Could I see how this work could have been improved? Not really. Could there be anything about the work that seemed 'off' or incomplete, as though it had been rushed or offer the opportunity for a childish slighting of some description just to justify my pathological fear of being judged dimly by my peers? Perhaps, but I didn't spot it...
In fact, I feel it's fair to say that I'd already ordered the seuqel to Leviathan's Wake before I'd even completed the first book because I wanted to know where this was going and hoped, almost prayed to the Gods of Decent Fiction and Storytelling, that the sequel wouldn't just be that book that got turfed out of the publishers office because the first one did well and it'd sell alright... Read more
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 - 12:30
Here comes a post-review mini-rant, but I swear I'll try to make this interesting for those of you that have absolutely no interest in the gaming industry...
The gaming industry is a pig. Heck, that's an insult to pigs...
The gaming industry is a... nevermind... there's a lot of insulting to be done at this rate, so I'm going to cut through there like a diamond D4 cuts through glass and feet - but as I have said on several occassions, the industry itself has suffered through periods of all the best reasons for not being popular as a hobby or as a literary piece:
1> They're referred to as Rulebooks. When most folks seem to think of rulebooks, they think somewhere between a mathematics textbook with irrifutable, logical boredom and the slip of paper that explains how Snakes and Ladders... Read more
Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 11:43
Doctor Who meets Innerspace in this weeks episode, as the Doctor and Clara go on a mercy mission inside an old foe. An interesting concept and, for the most part, quite an entertaining episode. Yeah, I enjoyed this one.
Aboard the Combined Galactic Resistance ship Aristotle, the Doctor runs into his oldest adversary and his newest patient. An injured Dalek, one that has seen the beauty in creation and has somehow found morality. Is it a ruse? A result of it’s injuries? Or is this a genuinely good Dalek? The Doctor can’t resist finding out.
... Read more
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 18:39
For those of you that like roleplaying games and have been following the evolution and success that is Posthuman Studio's Eclipse Phase books and universe, you may have spotted, if not already acquired with the relish and anticipation of their first and phenomenally well received Kickstarter funded 'players handbook' Transhuman.
Or, on the other hand, if you're anything like me, you not only eagerly awaited it, you scrabbled and fought to be amongst those that acquired not only the .pdf, but also the hardback edition so that you could mount it on you collection shelf like the prize that it was hopefully going to be. And damn did I fight to get it. I fought the A69, the roads of Newcastle and the hustle and bustle of the streets to get to the one place that I KNEW had it in stock (because I had phoned in, reserved a copy and swore that if anyone sold it by accident I would insist on eating the brains of the next person that [insert reason here]), namely... Read more
Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 00:57
“Well, here we go again”
Madame Vastra echoes the immortal words of the Brigadier from the end of Planet of the Spiders, as Pertwee gave way to Baker. It just happens that she also echoed my words as I prepared for the adventures of a new Doctor, one that I had some trepidation about embarking on. Turns out I needn’t have worried unduly, Capaldi’s full debut was pretty damn good. Eventually.
I say “eventually”, because there was something of a shaky start. The role of the companion has traditionally been to play the audience surrogate, to ask the questions that the viewers want answered. Too often during the opening 15 minutes, it felt that Vastra’s insistence that this Doctor was still the one Clara knew was infact an effort by the writers to reassure Matt Smith fans that, actually, an older man... Read more
Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 22:31
This past weekend saw the Raddisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow Conference Centre taken over by this year's NineWorlds Geekfest. Unlike most other UK conventions, NineWorlds is a multitrack residential convention that covers a ridiculous number of fandoms over the course of a weekend. There truly is something for everyone whether you're into Cosplay or Comics, Game of Thrones or Doctor Who, LARP or Board Games, Food or Knitting, Future Tech or Podcasting there are panels and activities for you.
One of the first things that strikes you about NineWorlds from the moment you arrive is exactly how hard they've worked to make people feel included and comfortable in their surroundings. The Communication Preference Clips are a fantastic idea that I'd love to see implemented at other conventions to give you a great indication of whether or not to approach people for a chat. As well as the comprehensive Code of Conduct and Anti-... Read more
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 13:16
I really don't get to read anywhere near as much as I would like and that gets coupled with ever diminishing reading speeds as you get 'out of practice'. Suddenly there just isn't enough time in the day or night to get in to the book you just paid for and got kind of excited about in the book store... and yet, something brought me back in to the bookstore anyway (predominantly graphic novels, to be honest) but I just can't help myself just to look a few shelves up and take a gander at what else is floating on through the collective readersphere.
On this occasion my eyes fell upon the spine of Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse 1) by James S. A. Corey. Never heard of you...
Slapped on the front of the book, right at the top, almost to compare with the title of the book itself (which is, in my opinion, a grave insult to any book) the commendation of George R. R. Martin himself: 'kickass space opera'. I nearly put the book right back there and then based... Read more
Friday, August 1, 2014 - 15:11
My movie reviews usually take me a while to write as I like to get my thoughts together and work through structure. My efforts this time are being hampered by the fact that I’m listening to the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack and I’m either bent double with laughter or, more frequently as it turns out, dancing round the room doing my own version of the Star Lord strut. I’m still buzzing, and I’m ready to go see it again. This film is incredible.
At its heart Guardians of the Galaxy is a caper movie, albeit a gloriously extravagant one, that takes you on a journey through stellar vistas and panoramas that will take your breath away. It has a simple plot that revolves around the theft of a silver orb by Peter Quill, aka Star Lord, an orb that is of great interest to a number of different parties,... Read more
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 21:50
Reading's Sub89 is a fantastic venue. I've had the pleasure of attending several gigs there of late and I've always had a great evening. Granted the majority of the gigs I've been to have been nowhere near sold out, but there have always been enough people there to make it a good night. Tonight is no exception. As Nordic Giants take the stage, there's probably about seventy or so people there who quickly fill up the dance floor and prepare themselves to be blown away.
Having not seen Nordic Giants before, I was interested to see what they had to offer. The dual screens on the stage flicker into life and begin to weave a futuristic tale concerning the collapse of society accompanied by an intricate score from the heavily costumed duo that comprise the band. What follows is a phenomenal show from an obviously incredibly talented pair of performers who play all manner of instruments between them including trumpets and an intriguing guitar / violin bow combination. The pairing... Read more
Friday, July 18, 2014 - 13:53
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is not your average Summer Blockbuster. Sure, it’s got explosions, monkeys on horseback dual wielding machine guns, and a very simple plotline; but it also has so much more than that. It has beautiful character moments that would usually hit the cutting room floor, a better standard of acting in the motion caption performances than you’ll see in many blockbusters, and a reflection on the dangers of institutionalised fear, hatred and mistrust.
The film is set ten years on from the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and humanity has been all but wiped out by the Simian Flu. Caesar is now head of a growing nation of apes and has built a home for his community in the Muir Woods outside San Francisco. We see the beginnings of the caste system from Planet of the Apes, and... Read more