In the Brainholes: iPhone 5, Resident Evil, Comikaze

iphone 5

It’s been a really busy week in terms of freelance and other obligations, along with preparations for various projects and this weekend’s panel at Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2012. We’re excited. There’s a lot to do.

Meantime, this was a week of notable things. Apple finally unveiled its new iPhone and the fifth film in the Resident Evil series hits theaters today, about both of which I have a professional curiosity.

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3 Books I Think You Oughtta Read

book-reading robot

Lots of freelancy stuff to do today, so I figured I’d just drop a little reading list action your way. Since becoming one myself, I’ve met a number of very cool authors and gotten exposure to a number of very cool books because of it. Periodically I’ll be throwing down posts such as this one to key more people into the cool stuff I’m enjoying. So expect more of these, although they might take a bit because I read slow.

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A Panel All to Ourselves at Stan Lee’s Comikaze


Sometimes, if you just ask for things, you get them.

That’s the case with Stan Lee’s Comikaze, a Los Angeles-based comic convention taking place this weekend. I’m pleased to announce that Nick and I will be taking part in a So You Created a Wormhole panel at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16.

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Preparation is Key: 5 Things to Do Before Writing


It’s always tempting — you come up with a good idea. A cool character. An awesome death scene. A villain who’s not only creepy, but a bad-ass mf’er who also happens to be completely empathetic from his point of view. And you want to just start writing, before you lose that inspiration.

Here’s the thing about that: that high is fleeting. That “inspiration” isn’t actually doing you any favors. Sure, you might get a lightning strike, sit down and hammer out something great.

But then what?

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Revisiting old stuff to see if it sucks


I started working on my Script Frenzy script again last week, which I completed as part of the month-long script-writing event in (holy crap) 2010. It was already way too long — the Script Frenzy goal is 100 pages and I was at 117 — and I added to it significantly yesterday. (I posted on it some time ago, which also includes the first 10 pages.)

It’s good to be back in old projects again.

In fact, I’m finding there’s a lot of benefit to checking out old stuff lately. It’s an exercise in seeing where you’ve been and how you got to where you are, which is enormously beneficial. And then there’s the fact that it’s easier to see how to improve your work when you see the crappy parts of old stuff that you made when you were less good. And you’re always less good in the past than you are now.

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In the Brain Holes: Some readings on sexism, assault


As is readily apparent from this blog and the photos of me sometimes found upon it, I’m a straight white male. Thus, for me to talk about sexism and the experiences of women is, well, idiotic. So I’m not, I dunno, commenting? on that so much here: Even though it’s extremely important, there’s no way I could “weigh in” in such a way as to be helpful to anyone.

What I will comment on is what feels like a rapid and stark change in the conversation about sexism in this country, and also specifically in nerd culture, over the recent months. The number of personal accounts and angry editorials I’ve read recently on the subject, both in general life and in more specific places like conventions and gaming culture, is kind of staggering. All of it is heartbreaking, but here’s the positive side: The conversation is shifting. It’s getting loud(er) out there. And that’s very good.

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‘Who Goes There?’ A giant freakin’ monster


I watched John Carpenter’s The Thing again yesterday, and I honestly think I could watch that film maybe once a week for the rest of my life.

Of course, I then started to think about what makes it so effective, and what I like so much about it, because I can’t enjoy a horror movie (or any kind of movie) without then analyzing why it works.

So why does The Thing work? Why does it work so brilliantly?

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‘Aliens’ is Ripley’s story, not Hicks’ story

colonial marines 1

In the early part of next year, there will be a game released that is a direct continuation of the storyline of Aliens. This pleases me to no end.

But I have lots of reservations, and the most recent was one based on the fact that Gearbox, the developer behind the game (titled Aliens: Colonial Marines), recently announced that it would be adding playable female characters to the game for its cooperative and multiplayer modes. What worries me about the situation is that it took a lot of griping and even an online petition signed by about 4,000 people to get Gearbox to decide to make playable female characters available in the game.

The entire Alien franchise is a story about women. Every film sees a fundamental reversal of gender roles. The primary characters are almost always women, and when they’re not, they’re supporting characters. Even the very nature of the alien, with its roots in actions of rape and violence, is geared toward a woman’s perspective. Alien is about women.

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3 Time Travel stories I think you should read


Little bit slow coming off the holiday weekend today, so I figured I’d just drop a little reading list action your way.

This particular list is of a few things I enjoyed while doing research for So You Created a Wormhole and beyond, and if you’re already a time travel fiction fan, this likely isn’t new to you. If you’re not, however, these are some that are worth your attention for various reasons. I intend to drop lots more things in posts like this one. This is just a quick post because I’m a bit time-limited.

Without further adieu, three time travel stories I think you should read: Read more

‘The Tall Man’: Not Slenderman, not really horror

tall man

If you were familiar with the “Slenderman” mythos and you saw the trailer for the new Jessica Biel horror film The Tall Man, you might think the latter was inspired by the former.

You’d be wrong, however, as I discovered this weekend when I went to North Hollywood to see the movie in its limited release. Read more