Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Amazing Stories: A Rant on Goodreads

There is something wrong, really wrong, when a site dedicated to book-lovers has the same community etiquette and literacy as YouTube’s comment section.

Maybe it’s just another sign of the times: readers no longer really know how to read, commercial books are more passive, digestible in a single sitting even, and nobody seems to be interested in growing up. So much like Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, every book I love lay scorched on Goodreads. Continue reading on Amazing Stories

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Amazing Stories Post: On Ghost Hunters

Pumpkin ale and scary tales aren’t the only things which come around this season. Have you heard a strange bump in the night? Perhaps a door mysteriously opened or slammed shut? Or maybe your druidic harvest ritual backfired, summoning an ancient elder thing that is tormenting your life? So what do you do? My advice, read Carl Sagan’s Demon Haunted World. Continued on Amazing Stories

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dragon Fire Frights: Pretty Bird

Sometimes, I don't know what time it is or where I am, but today is one of my good days. Who's a pretty bird? Who's a pretty, bird? The bird I'm talking to is Franky; the folks here named him that, I think. When I put my fingers through the cracks in the cage, he bites at me. But I know he's just scared. I'd probably do the same thing if a giant hand came toward me. Lots of stuff scares me.

The sun was going to sleep, and I got really hungry. The nurse came to get me for dinner. She is real pretty too; her name is Julie. Who's a pretty bird? She holds my hand and takes me to the cafeteria: that word always give me trouble. The dinner tonight is meatloaf, and I like it with lots of ketchup. It's so much better than the mystery casserole.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Comic Review: Star Trek / Doctor Who Assimilation²

I've neglected this blog a bit this month. Working full time and writing for the magazine has taken its tole on my attention to the rest of the world. Meaning, I'm still playing catchup to find things that annoy me or interest me to write about. I do have some short stories that I need to clean up and publish still, and I've been working on a novel. Anyways, here is my latest review of the Star Trek / Doctor Who crossover: Assimilation²


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Magic 2014

I finally got around to playing this enough to review it. If you want to know what I think, head over to Amazing Stories to see.


I do have something I want to add, though: There are a lot of posers out there who google up the best deck configurations for Magic 2014 — who have no business playing any Duels of the Planeswalkers games, let alone any version of Magic the Gathering. However, it's been an absolute blast completely destroying them while watching them rage quit, very early, in sealed play.

A lot of people think this mode is flawed, and they're wrong. I'm sorry, but half of the game is discovering your favorite cards and forming strategies around them. I'm sure some of you would love to be able to trade with people, but the fact that none of us can makes it fair, forcing players to think a lot harder about the cards they put in their decks. Sure, even before the Internet, players could have read Scribe and copied championship level decks, but you'll never be a real player until you learn how to actually build one. And the auto build feature does not give you the best deck possible. Go ahead and use it; I don't, and these are my deck ratings.

Awesome Sealed Deck Strength in Magic 2014

Saturday, July 27, 2013

When Our Heroes are Villains

This is my latest article for Amazing Stories magazine ( http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2013/07/when-our-heroes-are-villains/ ). It's a little bit of life experience mixed in with comic culture.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A List of Films I've Seen on Flights

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
Beverly Hills Cop
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
The Social Network
The Soloist
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
17 Again

Friday, July 12, 2013

On the Boycotting of Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game Film

As a kid, Ender's Game was my favorite book. As an adult, I have no idea what I'd think of it. When I learned about his ideologies, I was fairly appalled and disappointed, too. But I'm not gay or very liberal, so I don't have a sense of being attacked by his bullshit. Of course, just leaving it at that would be far too easy, and I'm no fan of opinions involving little thought behind them.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Top 10 Anime You Should Watch

I come from a time when anime was actually foreign and mysterious. The only way we could ever see it, without buying it, was to enter Blockbuster's special interest section and convince your parents it wasn't some weird type of pornography. Although, sometimes it was! Anyways, this is my top 10 list of some of the best anime ever, in no particular order.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Flooding of High River, Alberta

As one of the new writers for Amazing Stories magazine, I'm generally going to do a lot of my geekier rants and reviews on that site. Although, I'll still be doing it here as well. It just depends on the subject. My first article, however, is one I wrote with solace. My town was flooded. No, other towns in Southern Alberta were flooded; mine was destroyed. And you can read the accounts of what transpired on June 20th, 2013 right here (http://amazingstoriesmag.com/2013/06/the-flooding-of-high-river/).

The future is currently unknown for me and many others. Even if my house was fine, the town isn't, and the ground underneath us wasn't the most solid formation before the massive flooding; a sinkhole could be forming under my basement as I type this. What happened in High River was catastrophic, and people need to know. But we will get through this because we have the whole province and country behind us.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dragon Fire Frights: Franklin Street

"I had the dream again, Doc."

"Was there a difference this time?"

"Yeah, I was in a beat up pickup, instead of the Jeep, but still driving down the highway. Kept going faster—too fast. So I pushed down, real hard, on the brakes but couldn't stop.”

"We've been over this before. The dream is about taking control of your life and living at your own pace. You need to make changes, Paul."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Who Will Play the 12th Doctor?

With Matt Smith regenerating out, during this year's Christmas special, a lot of people are speculating who will be the next doctor. There are several guys who I would be happy with, and keep in mind, Moffat is still in control here. So here is my list of potential guys.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dragon Fire Frights: The Resurrectionist

This is the property of Doctor Agatha Krause. If found, please burn. No good can come from knowing its contents.

November 8th, 1930

It was always in the back of my mind—sometimes creeping into my fading consciousness, during the moments before sleep. For I knew the darkest day of my life was out there, waiting for me to step out from the light so it could finally say hello.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

TV Review: Hemlock Grove

I finally got around to watching Netflix's new series, and I have to say that, for the most part, it's very good. I can't believe some of the hate it's gotten online, but I guess that's what happens when you make something a bit more interesting and not as direct. You'll read a lot of comparisons between it and Twin Peaks, but that's a bit misguided. It's really nothing like it, but I won't deny that it has a Lynchian vibe to it — which is why it's very polarizing and explains the overwhelming negative reviews.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Movie Trailer: Slavoj Žižek’s The Pervert's Guide to Ideology

I've been too busy and have had the creative energy drained out of me, lately. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish up some more stories soon, and I might do a couple more book reviews and maybe even another game one. Anyways, I love Slavoj Zizek and can't wait to see his new film. And Don't worry about the trailer; it's in English. :D

Monday, March 11, 2013

Dragon Fire Frights: Mephitic

How I wished the mire had taken me that ill-boding day. Or maybe it had, and what lies before you is the leftover, inedible carcass of a man. My dreams decayed: putrescent past the point which not even the most wretched rodents could nibble for nourishment. Yet despite this, I have defied all that is natural by preserving this pathetic existence.

On the morning of my aforementioned misfortune, most unusually, I had been late. As the court's stenographer, I was to be there by 8:00 A.M.. My alarm was set to an hour before the trial, but I had a horrible habit of convulsing in my sleep, and unconsciously, I'd knocked the clock off my nightstand, causing it to shift the time.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why I Mostly Hate DC Comics

Warning: The following content is the mostly unimportant opinion of a guy on the Internet. Reader discretion and common sense is advised.

OK, I don't really hate DC; they've made some of my favorite comics of all time. But I do hate them, lately: meaning the last 15 years or so. And while I loved the first half of Superman: The Black Ring and Superman: Red Son, I absolutely hated Infinite Crisis and The New 52. And that's a pretty massive chunk of what they've been up to. So without further ado, I give you three of my bigger gripes with the comic empire.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dragon Fire Frights: Fool's Ghost

An excerpt from page one of The Official Ghost Hunter's Guide to a Haunted House:
"To be a proper investigator, one must stay skeptical and scientific at all times. To achieve this goal, we must use a variety of scientifically proven ghost detecting tools: EMF detectors, digital cameras with infrared capability, hand held tape recorders, Geiger counters, thermal imaging devices, and white noise generators. And it is absolutely imperative to never make logical leaps when concluding whether a ghost is occupying a home or not." - Jim "Jimbo" Johnson

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dragon Fire Frights: The Wolves of Farsolm

Their howling can be heard each night, carried by a cold and bitter winter's wind, across the vast tundras of Farsolm. At its center was a small village encrusted in centuries old layers of ice, which was mostly a rest stop for expeditioners to the north pole and weary truck drivers.

I was the former, in this case:  A surveyor hired for an archaeological dig site. It was my job to accurately record the findings and report the team's progress directly to the financier, Mrs. Morgan York. She was a hermit that few ever met. I had only seen her once, myself, and it was the same day I was hired for this job.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dragon Fire Frights: Missing Time

The following is my best attempt at putting into chronological order a decayed journal with the word read on it. What the author's real name is, I do not know. But it appears he was an aspiring journalist, in the late 19th century.

I have corrected errors in the transcription for legibility purposes. Photos were also discovered with the journal, and I have included some of them in this blog. Although, many have clearly faded through time, including the pages.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Dragon Fire Frights: The Writing of the Dead

Welcome to the first of, hopefully, many blogs to come. Dragon Fire Frights will be a running series of original horror shorts. Some may be based off purported real events and others will be completely fabricated. I, however, will never tell — Mwa ha ha ha ha ha! Our first tale is called The Writing of the Dead.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I'm not a Real Geek

There was a time I sat in its penumbra, but the paradigm has shifted to where I now am outside of it. I know it started somewhere after high school and before it became a marketing term, but the more I see of contemporary geekdom, in shows like King of the Nerds, Geek Love, and even events like Comicon, the more I realize that I have nothing in common with these people, despite liking some of the same things they obsess over.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Worst Emo Song I've Ever Heard: Blood on the Dance Floor - Bewitched

This is something quite remarkable. It seems to encompass everything I hate about scene / emo / whatever you kids call it. And I know I'm not the demographic here: I haven't been a teen in over a decade, and I've never, that I know of, been a girl. But it's just surprising how little these "musicians" have to do nowadays to get this type of attention and following. Before I dive in, here is what I'm talking about:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Hearth: Free HD Fireplace Video

I decided to goof around and record one of these. If you're interested in HD fireplace videos, otherwise known as the Yule Log around the holiday times, go ahead and have a watch. This was also filmed on one of the coldest days of the year, where I live. I'm not sure exactly what timber I used. It looks like maple, but it was a bit damp from being snowed on and didn't burn as well as I'd hoped.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Twinkies Are Back ... Sort Of

A lot of people thought the new decade would be a Twinkieless one. A world where the little sponge cake snack didn't exist on store shelves. Personally, I didn't care too much. But I did think it wouldn't be long before their competitors emerged. And today, while hitting up the local Macs, I ran into one.

So I want to introduce you to Audrey's Patisserie Mini Cakes. These familiar looking snacks don't just look the part; they taste the part. Well, actually they're a lot better! It's a little bit fluffier, and the cream is richer. Now I don't know how long the company has actually been making these cakes, but I doubt I would have ever seen them had Hostess handled its business better.

The only major difference between these and Twinkies is that I wouldn't mind having another one of these!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Worst Book to Film Adaptations

Before I do this, I just want to say that it makes me want to rip my hair out every time I read these lists. Why, you ask? It's because you can tell that most people compiling them barely read. Most are filled with children's book adaptations and Twilight. And you know what? The Twilight films, while they suck, are actually better than their source material.

Book Review: Cloud Atlas

Admittedly, I had never heard of this until I saw a story about the film, on the news. This is probably going to go down as David Mitchell's magnum opus. And rightfully so, it's very creative for a book that has commercial appeal. I don't want to tackle the various motifs and plot, per se. I think that spoilers are immanent if you dissect someone's work like that. But I do want to talk about what I liked and didn't like from a more literary viewpoint.

First off is the complexity. The only reason I'm addressing this first is because it's been touted as a main selling point. To anyone who's taken on authors like Gaddis, Joyce, Wallace, Pynchon, etc, the plot will read fairly streamlined in comparison. However, I don't think it was ever Mitchell's intention to be too mysterious, ambiguous, and base his plot on underlining, complex mathematical themes. It's definitely accessible to anyone. Also, I think the complexity hype has more to do with the average reader experiencing some substance for the first time in their lives. And in that regard, it has more creativity and meaning than 99 percent of what you'd typically find on the New York Times' best seller list.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Game Review: Nights Into Dreams HD

I can still remember the very first time I saw Nights. It was a summer afternoon outing with my mother and sister. We entered the local Media Play, which was an electronics chain back in the 90s. Most of you are too young or too old to remember its short lifespan, but lo and behold, there was the most magical thing my 13 year old eyes had seen: Nights into Dreams.

And when I picked up that controller, I just flew, soaring through dreamscapes on the wind of imagination. It literally changed me after a couple of minutes with it. Needless to say, we owned a Sega Saturn from that day onward.