As I attempt to stay active in the realm of creating stuff and talking about things, I’ve been doing some video game streaming on Twitch and posting the videos on YouTube. With the recent attention on Alien again thanks to Neill Blomkamp, I replayed Alien: Isolation for the third time.
Not too long into exploring the
Baron von Locked Door Mansion Spencer Mansion, players come across the room belonging to the mansion’s animal keeper, and a journal that includes what’s probably the game’s best writing.
So we’re just over a month past the release of “The Space Hero’s Guide to Glory,” and I thought I’d try something new from a promotional standpoint: a bit of interactive fiction called “Kobayanshi Marooned,” made in the platform Twine.
You can download it now from itch.io for free. http://philhornshaw.itch.io/kobayanshi-marooned
So ALIEN 5 (I like to call it Alien S-2 since it seems to be an Aliens sequel) is apparently on its way from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp, and all indications suggest it’s going to put some strange pressures to the already twisted canon storyline of the Alien franchise.
Age 14 was about the height of my love for video games, and at the time nothing seemed more amazing for a fan of games than the yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo.
E3 was always one of the craziest things about which to read — or more accurately, of which to see photos in glossy gaming magazines. Gaming’s biggest event seemed enormous, flashy and insane: Vegas for nerds like me, who found in video games both an escapism and some kind of cultural and social fulfillment that was hard to come by in the meat grinder of adolescence. E3 was always a thing I wanted to experience myself, where I could get an early taste of all the games I could play, and maybe a chance to speak with those people who managed, somewhat magically, to create them.
Just more than a decade later, I finally made it to E3 as a reporter for GameFront.com.
When Leonard Nimoy died late last week at the age of 83, it left me thinking, like many people, about “Star Trek” in particular.
Nimoy himself has been an ever-present cultural icon throughout my life — from episodes of “In Search Of…” to episodes of “The Simpsons” — but of course he’s best remembered for his role as Spock. That’s because Spock and “Star Trek” still resonate to people like me, even decades later. On the phone with my dad over the weekend, when our conversation inevitably turned to Nimoy, he mentioned that Spock had been one of his heroes growing up.
He was one of mine, too.
Eventually I’m going to get around to talking about GameFront, the site at which I’ve worked for almost my entire time in Los Angeles, which was sadly shut down last month. But that post is taking a long time to develop, and stuff like a book release party keeps getting in the way, so I’m back-burnering it for a bit.
Instead, in honor of Groundhog Day, let’s talk about my favorite action movie of 2014 and one of the cooler time travel-ish movies of recent memory: Edge of Tomorrow (or as it seems to have been rebranded, Live. Die. Repeat.)
The whirlwind that was 2014 for me had one huge event threaded through the majority of its constituent months: the creation of The Space Hero’s Guide to Glory: How to Get Off Your Podunk Planet and Master the Final Frontier. A book which is, finally, almost out in the world.
The Shining had a big effect on me when I read it as a teenager, so I was excited for its sequel, despite that, as King himself points out in the afterword, it’s hard for a sequel to stand up to something that you remember scaring you at some point in the past.
And yeah, Doctor Sleep is more one of those King books that’s not scary so much as interesting, the way I felt his Cell became at about halfway through, where things stop being so heavy on danger to the characters or the unknown evil workings of the antagonists. Still, it was engaging, although if there was something that felt like an underused opportunity in Doctor Sleep, it was Dan Torrance’s alcoholism.
Welp, 2014 is at an end, and it’s been an intense year in which my blogging experiment was put on indefinite hold. A lot of stuff happened, most of it kinda … bad.
Eventually, I mean to maybe unpack all that here, including the things that I learned and the things that I struggle(d) to deal with. In the meantime, since I’ve been out of it for a while, I figure I’ll highlight a few of the movies, books, stories and games I encountered in the last year that I rather enjoyed.
Up first is what is quite possibly my favorite game of 2014: Alien: Isolation.