You ever have days like this? Cthulu knows we do.
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Tags: dogs, photos, relaxation
Categories : Art?, Good Times
Look! We’re reviewing stuff!
This time it’s “Playing for Keeps” by Mur Lafferty.
Now, Mur, is a sound I like to make to myself sometimes when I am thinking and occasionally when disappointed. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered someone with the name, Mur. I’m not trying to be insulting or anything, I really enjoy names. So when I happen upon one that’s nontraditional it makes me smile.
My name is Kyllan after all. Can’t tell you how many times that is even pronounced right and don’t get me started on the number of people who are shocked to discover that I’m not a woman.
I first stumbled upon Lafferty by way of a Chuck Wendig interview. A friend had directed me to a podcast “I should be writing”, hosted by, of course, Mur Lafferty. The interview was great and she was a rather entertaining host.
Fast forward a month or two.
I was poking about Matt Forbeck’s website and what do you suppose I notice while browsing a post on his 12 for 12 project? A book by Mur Lafferty called “Playing for Keeps”.
Naturally I took this to be a sign and did what any other rational human being would do. So following a quick goat sacrifice and naked moonlight ritual-dance, I bought the book off of Amazon.
So how about a blurb?
The shining metropolis of Seventh City is the birthplace of super powers. The First Wave heroes are jerks, but they have the best gifts: flight, super strength, telepathy, genius, fire. The Third Wavers are stuck with the leftovers: the ability to instantly make someone sober, the power to smell the past, the grace to carry a tray and never drop its contents, the power to produce high-powered excrement blasts, absolute control. Over elevators. Bar owner Keepsie Branson is a Third Waver with a power that prevents anything in her possession from being stolen. Keepsie and her friends just aren’t powerful enough to make a difference. At least that’s what they’ve always been told. But when the villain Doodad slips Keepsie a mysterious metal sphere, the Third Wavers become caught in the middle of a battle between the egotistical heroes and the manipulative villains. As Seventh City begins to melt down, it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad, and even harder to tell who may become the true heroes.
Who doesn’t enjoy a nontraditional spin on established story telling?
I didn’t know what to expect heading into the book but I can tell you with the exception of some strange kindle formatting errors, I really enjoyed it.
Lafferty has a knack for humor that comes out of nowhere. From unexpected comments during super powered combat to the very nature of some of the characters super powers, it came off as fresh and entertaining.
You could take a lot from this book.
For instance we have a story that is the tale of the downtrodden, third-rate (or third wave) citizen’s rising to meet the challenge of overcoming powers far greater than theirs. And succeeding through team work and the knowledge that they might fail.
We also have a touch of commentary perhaps on the sometimes less than wholesome methods by which ‘the good guys’ gather information for the greater benefit of all.
Regardless of whether Lafferty intended it or not of course, that is entirely up to interpretation.
Or you could just ignore all that deeper meaning stuff and enjoy the hell out of a well crafted take on the super hero genre.
I hope that someday we might see Keepsie in a whole new story!
And if you missed that link up above near the beginning… go buy the book here!
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Tags: book reviews, Chuck Wendig, Matt Forbeck, Mur Lafferty, Superhero
Categories : Good Times, Reviews
That title reminds me of something out of one of my cookbooks. Yes, one of the times the Vixen and I commemorated my having survived another year she gave me a Star Wars cookbook. (Clearly it was meant to be.) It’s a delightful little book. It isn’t terribly long but that’s okay, everything in it is a winner near as I can tell. I have yet to try all the recipes, you see. Anyways, under the drinks section is a delicious sounding concoction: Hoth Chocolate.
How much better would the battle on Hoth have been if all the rebels were interrupted drinking hot chocolate from thermoses and such?
“Holy frozen wompa berries, Kal! That AT-AT scared the pants off me, shooting blasters at us like that. Dropped my Hoth Chocolate I was so scared!”
But enough about out of this world chocolate drinks, we’re here to cook up some mystery meat so oil up your wok and get the stove lit.
As always the spam is presented unedited in its most purest, unadulterated glory.
Honestly, where do I begin? I’m not even sure if this is really spam.
Is there supposed to be punctuation in any of this?
Okay. Here’s what we’re going to do. First of all, thanks for stopping by – its nice to see we have an international reader here at the press but I have no idea what you’re saying. I’m just going to put the keyboard down and walk away.
Well that’s just rude.
I never! Same to you buddy!
This information requires shine up to explication and is intended primarily in favour of use by vigour regard workers.
I’m thinking of shining up some expletives right now actually.
Also facilities/organizations providing health attention including pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, community-based things of the such.
Like some sort of counseling services? For say, I don’t know; grammar. Or things of the such which is just hard to write WHO DOES THIS?!
Salubriousness attention ritual providers and pre-hospital danger services are key.
I’d ask what they are the key to but I barely understand what that sentence is doing. Though high-five on using ‘salubriousness’ in a sort-of-sentence. Though I guess when you talk like you write it’s probably easy to squeeze in seldom used words. Living life one stream of consciousness to another!
Youre so cool!
Hang on. You can just stop right there.
So good to search out anyone with some authentic ideas on this subject.
Damn it, you had to ruin it didn’t you?
It really makes the pile of sense.
You know you’re commenting on a story that features the devil going on about cake and such?
realy thanks for starting this up useful job for bringing something new to the internet!
I don’t know if I write the best snarky devil short stories out there but thanks, I try damn hard. Oh and I stopped reading after ‘up’. The rest makes me feel like you’re just trying to make fun of me. Or you had a stroke. Or you’re not a real person. Either way, don’t want to think about it.
Check out my link to cheap air jordans at cheap china jordans!
Are these the shoes worn by THE China Jordan, the People’s Republic’s greatest little known basketball star who lead the Chinese Basketball Association in steals and redistributions last year! God, send me two pairs!
Stick a fork in it. It’s done.
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Tags: COOKING, cooking with spam, food, spam, star wars, writing
Categories : Current Projects, Good Times, Things That Drive Me Nuts
I feel like this deserves a look. It’s a festival not far from where my sister used to live in the state of Colorado. Incredible stuff. Celebrating a dead man who has a bit of a sci fi background to him if you think about it. The cryogenics and all.
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Tags: colorado, cryogenics, frozen dead guy, TOURISM
Categories : Good Times, Random!, The World
So a while ago I mentioned that one of my long cons finally paid off for me. I fooled some nice young girl into marrying me. HAR HAR HAR WHAT A SUCKER. Luckily she has yet to realize that she got the short end of that deal. So lately I’ve been devising new ways to keep her in the dark about what a terrible situation she’s gotten herself into. The first of which was a trip to Maine for a sea side honeymoon. Which we did and since it was just such a good time I thought maybe I’d vomit forth into the internet a recounting of at least some of the places. Maybe next post’ll be one filled with tales of food and beer.
Though Hasbro has lately pointed out that I throw a lot of food onto Facebook. Not literally of course. That’s just rude.
So where to start? Oooooooo, our lodgings of course! It was a great inn by the sea. In fact, it was actually called Inn by the Sea! And it was just that. An Inn. By the sea. It served coffee. By the sea. Called COFFEE BY THE SEA, MY GOD IT’S LIKE THEY’RE WORRIED YOU’LL MISS THE OCEAN!
*Eye twitches, falls out of chair*
Where was I? Right, the inn. I took a photo, you can see it! It’s a shot of the exterior from where we looked out from our massive two stories windows. Like honeymooning gods staring down upon all of the unworthy folk of earth. Or the other guests. Whatever. Look.
I took a lot of pictures of places. And by a lot I mean a few. I grabbed shots of some of the more interesting points we came across. Now since I haven’t strayed too terribly far from the subject of the Inn I feel as though I should share with you the sea that it was by because, you know, its by it.
The day we had arrived this stuff was calm. There was a brilliant blue sky and the foam was tame and lapped gently at the sand as opposed to the day that I took it. Which was the day immediately after Frankenstorm hit Maine. Naturally (because its water tee hee) the surf was kind of rough and the clouds hung in the sky like an angry gray marshmallow. Which I pronounce as marsh-MELLOW. In case you’re curious. And of course between the Inn and the Sea (which it was by did you know?) was a great little path through a lengthy stand of trees.
You could bury bodies here! Not that I’d want to. Of course. Heh.
Uh, moving on. There were other places of interest that I capture in the soul stealing device modern man calls “camera”. Another of the highlights of the trip, at least for me, was the Portland Mead Works. Nestled high on the hill that is the city of Portland sits a modest building with a massive front that we drove past twice before stopping at a 7-11 to ask for directions. Interestingly enough two of the three employees there had no idea where or even what it was. Now what makes this particularly ironic is the fact that it is immediately next door.
I mean throw a rock like a middle school softball player and you’ll hit it no problem. Hell, my six-year-old could probably peg the building with a stone from the massive parking lot of the gas station. Because he’s a hoodlum. Ha! I’m just kidding. The parking lot wasn’t that big.
If you look carefully you can see a supermodel standing next to a doofus with a beard taking a picture. HI INTERNET! That’s my soul!
Inside we met two fellows who seemed to be the only employees. I’m wondering if maybe they were the only two there that day? Or maybe they staff a lot of ghosts. The town is haunted as they come. Totally possible. According to a local ghost tour host it has been burned to the ground and rebuilt on three occasions. Not to mention shelled from the harbor. In fact, one of the churches in town still has a cannon ball in its chandelier from when it suffered a direct hit.
It didn’t cause damage it just caught the ball! Jesus DOES save!
Anyhow it was a cool place. The Mead Works not the church. Well maybe the church, we didn’t see it. But the Works? We took a tour of the facility, had a tasting of nearly every variety of mead that they sell there and then went for sushi. Another fantastic day in Portland which features several places to grab Japanese food. Made me a tad homesick to be honest.
That picture right there? That’s a window display next to the door of one of our higher rated sushi spots in Portland proper. It nearly brings tears to the eye. *Sniff*
Moving on. Grrrkk. Just, look over there, I’ve got something in my eye. *Sniff* No, YOU man up. *SOB*
You know what always cheers me up when I’m down? MUSICALLY INCLINED SEAFOOD!
Oh those crazy singing sea creatures. They must know Ariel. That’s my only explanation. And I’m still manly. I have kids, I can make Disney references. COME AT ME!
Anyway. That building right there is a pub right next to a little park on a street that runs the length of the ocean front area of Portland. The park has an apparently retired buoy in it that every damn child nearby couldn’t help but ring as loud as possible. In the park is where we met a lovely group of people mostly from Portland as it turns out that had assembled for a ghost tour. It was the closing days of October so why wouldn’t you right? Plus my wife and I love ghosts and their stories so this was a mandatory thing to do.
We checked in with the tour guide who dubbed us “Upstate”. There was another couple from New York State that were city natives thus they were dubbed “Part of the city in which they lived.” I’ve obscured their name to protect their identities. And maybe because I can’t remember.
Now I know for sure that I took pictures of plenty of places around town that were stops on the tour. But for some reason the only photo I can find currently is this one.
Yeah. It’s an alley. A HAUNTED ALLEY. According to the guide, in this particular alley, woman are said to be touched and interacted with but unseen presences. Naturally he made us walk through it while he ran around to the other side of the building using a different route. It’s okay he was fun. A goofy dude. Sort of reminded me of Sacco both in look and mannerism from that crazy witches blog over at stuffalsothings.
It was a good, nay it was a GREAT time. Portland, Maine is a place I love. The salty ocean air, the omnipresent feel of spray on the skin walking down the streets of half of the city, it all feels so proper. It’s a peaceful feeling, at least for me. We’re planning on going back and I cannot wait!
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Tags: ghosts, honeymoon, maine, mead, portland, travel
Categories : Good Times
What say we start the new year with a touch of fiction, hmmmm? As usual the image below is not one that I dredged up. No, the people who slaved long and hard to bring you the following writing prompt are non other than the ladies over at ermiliablog.
They are in the business of jump starting the creative juices on a weekly basis and I think we all might be just a little better for it. At least a little. Probably more than a little. Hell, you know what? It’s fan-freaking-tastic. How about that?
But enough of that, lets get to this!
It had only been an hour since Mickey died and things just weren’t going well. Here she was struggling to pick her limbs up, straining muscles in her neck and back. At least she thought she was. She couldn’t quite remember what strain felt like, her ghostly form being free from physical limitations.
Death stood beside her clicking his tongue.
“Stop it.” She said.
“Sorry.” The clock, clock, clock noise ceased at once allowing the hum of the forest to return to the foreground.
Mickey’s body had slumped forward and fallen, face first, into a pile of soggy leaves. Why was she out here again? What had she been doing?
“I’m really sorry about this.”
“Shut up.” Mickey didn’t even give him a glance.
Death rubbed his neck with his left hand, his right maintaining a firm grip on his scythe.
Mickey sat in her own lap again. The skin was solid allowing her incorporeal form no purchase on her insides. The comforting enclosure of flesh and bone and blood was gone. She glared at Death.
“This is all your fault.”
“I know. I said I was sorry.”
The two just stared at each other for a long moment until Mickey forgot what she had been so angry about. Why was she wearing a dress? She put her thumb to her lip and nibbled at the end. She couldn’t even bite her nail. It wasn’t there anymore, not really.
Death put his hand on her shoulder. He let the scythe dangle down at his side.
“You looked beautiful in that dress Mickey. I’m glad you wore it. It was my favorite. Very thoughtful of you. I only wish you could have made it a little further. See, I set a picnic basket up about a hundred yards from here. One hundred thirty seven to be exact. I really thought we had something great going on. Now you’re dead. I wish I could explain it.”
He gave her a gentle push on the small of her back. Instinctively she started walking. Who was this man? What was he talking about? Who was that girl laying on the ground?
“I’ve been looking for love for I can’t tell you how long. For some reason as soon as I start to get close to someone. And I mean really close to someone they…expire.”
They stopped passing trees. Or more accurately the trees ceased to be; melting away into a muddy mixture of earthy colors that puddled behind them. It was like the world had been submerged in a mud bath and she was looking in from the outside. All around her white empty space stretched out into infinity. It was calm. Warm.
“I think we were on the verge of something great Mickey. But I guess that doesn’t matter much anymore.”
Death repositioned himself in front of her wielding the scythe in both hands now.
“I’m so very sorry.” He said.
He hefted the scythe above his head.
“Find peace in this place, Mickey Edgerton. May you find whatever sort of paradise it is that you are expecting.”
He clenched the handles and brought it down. The edge was so fine that it cut reality itself as it passed through the air, allowing not even specks of dust or air opportunity to flee from the cutting edge that pierced the fabric of the universe.
“Wait.” Mickey whispered. Death’s supernatural reflexes paused the reaping tool inches from her throat. A flicker of recognition danced across her face and she frowned and knit her brow. She licked her lips before speaking again.
“Worst. Date. Ever.”
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Tags: creative writing, death, ermiliablog, picture it and write, writing
Categories : Current Projects, Good Times
I thought it worth mentioning that the Press will be fairly quiet at the end of the month. I will be leaving my base of operations here in New York. That final week of October will be spent traveling the roads to Maine where it will no doubt be even colder than it is here. For I have been married.
I know, it’s hard to believe right? But I did indeed trick some poor gullible girl into resolving to spend the rest of her natural life with me. Now that I’m thinking about it, I think I’ve detected a loophole.
Clearly she believes she can tough it out until she begins to take the inevitable life-extending drugs that will ultimately be made available by pharmaceutical corporations thus qualifying her as possessing an ‘unnatural life’ at which point she is free to depart the marriage without recourse to pursue other dreams at her leisure!
Oh ho ho, we are having a talk when I get home! Oh and as a side note – I’m not saying Berkeley and Jensen make bad products but honestly, when it comes to extending the life cycle of a human being through artificial means, don’t be afraid to spend a bit of money.
AT ANY RATE.
I am now a Mr. which, I suppose I always have been so that doesn’t change anything. But, I am a Mr. with a Ms. now. At the time of this posting it has been three days and so far, so good.
So I do apologize for the upcoming week away but I will be thinking of you all while I am away enjoying couples massages, museums, and some of the best damn seafood on the east coast.
Keeping it short and sweet today.
Also, courtesy of Wikipedia – a lobster.
That is all.
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Tags: health, honeymoon, lobster, maine, marriage, new york, science, seafood
Categories : Good Times
Prepare for possibly disjointed thoughts. I’m vomiting piles of words just ahead.
Every once in a while I like to sit down and take a look at my blog statistics. Not only is it great to see how the readership has grown, but it also makes for a good laugh. I’ve probably said it before but for you folks just tuning in, WordPress tracks a great deal of information for you including, most interestingly, the search terms used by people who arrived at your site.
There are some people I want to meet. From behind safety glass.
Like the guy (or gal, I’m not discriminating) that stumbled upon my blog while surfing the web for ‘big fat hairy girls with attitude’. What sir, or ma’am, were you doing? Personal ads? Porn that wasn’t mainstream?
And speaking of porn…
‘Housewife bondage.” Huh? I don’t know what to ask first. Why are you searching for this or, what have I written about that was close enough to that to bring you here? Maybe your other personality is blogging while you’re not looking. That jerk! That guy is annoying as heck and no matter how many times I change my password, he always guesses it!
How about ‘Serial Killer Porn?’ Well that one I can see. Not too long ago I added a post that did talk about serial killers. And pornography. In fact, I’m 100% sure I’ve never talked about the two in the same context. Okay, 60% sure. Look, it has to be at least half alright? I’m not that strange.
So what’s the take away from all this?
Never underestimate the ability for something to provide an alternative function to that which it was originally intended.
For me, Google is made for so much more than just searching the net. It entertains me as well. It does so much more than just find points of light in the vast darkness of the internet.
It tracks your traffic. It collects data to be used for more focused marketing. It pierces the veil that is your material body and BROWSES THE CONTENTS OF YOUR VERY SOUL. All from the comfort of their corporate couches in California.
Is there anything else I’ve learned? It’s made me realize that there are still strange people in the world somewhere. And they have internet connections. I guess it’s easier to stay connected in the sticks with satellite ISP’s.
I’m not ungrateful to have received their views. My only hope is that they will continue to drop by. Not because I have a deep, secret desire to become the go-to place for serial killers on the web. I appreciate the fodder; the extra bits for the blog-machine.
It’s a classic case of life giving you lemons. You have to take those lemons, drive to Wal-Mart for a ninja food processor, zip over to the liquor store for some vodka and make some lemon drop cocktails from it!
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Tags: bizarre, bondage, entertainment, Google, internet, laughs, wordpress
Categories : Good Times, The World
So I bought a tomahawk.
I hear you pondering that one. Before you get too psychoanalytical over there allow me to offer a reason.
Why the hell not?
Yeah, you heard me. Why not? Don’t judge me internet; I know you have them too. I watch YouTube.
But seriously. Why not?
First of all, do you know what you find if you look up the word ‘cool’ in the dictionary? You will behold a bearded dude wearing nothing but a purple Italian Speedo. In one mighty outstretched hand will be some sort of an Apple product because he’s also hip and current with kids these days. He’ll say things like “lol” and “<3” in everyday conversation. (I heard <3 spoken in a dream once. It drove me to near Lovecraftian depths of insanity. In fact you might need to have a tentacle face to properly produce the sound.)
His beard will be glorious in the sense that a large bird could nest in it. Probably like an albatross or something. Is there a larger bird? Wait, is that a large bird? Must be. I think I saw one in a cartoon once. And yet, his beard will be soft enough that no one woman would ever be saddened by its existence.
And do you know what that modern example of near-Grecian magnificence would have in the other hand?
You guessed it.
THE FIERY, FROTHY GLOBE THAT IS THE INTERNET ITSELF.
And there would be a tomahawk on his belt.
So there. I bought one.
Honestly, I never owned a tomahawk so it’s one more thing that I can scratch off my bucket list. Obtain Close Combat Weapon. Check. So what will I do with it now? Learn to throw it of course. Yes, yes, I hear what some of you are saying and I’m telling you don’t worry about it. I’m not going on a disgruntled killing spree anytime soon.
There is a well abused adage in writing that goes something like “Write what you know.” Obviously this must include things you’ve researched. Not necessarily things you have firsthand experience with. If that were the case then we should probably start arresting nearly everyone who writes in the crime genre.
Does this mean I’m writing a story that involves a tomahawk-toting fiend or hero? No. But you better believe I will have more confidence writing about that sort of thing in the future if I decide that I want to. I can describe throwing a tomahawk in entirely different words having actually done it as opposed to having just read about it.
It’s like guns. Reading about shooting a gun in no way accurately conveys all the stimuli that are involved. The smell of gun smoke, the thundering of the powder igniting, the slight stunning sensation as your body absorbs the kickback. Totally different beast.
Experience is the thing here. In all things, be it writing or job-hunting or whatever. Experience is worth its hypothetical weight in gold. (For the record it’s hypothetically as heavy as a cow.)
And just think about it. I may gain some horrific, self-inflicted injuries to share with you all later!
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Tags: apple, combat, life experience, mystery, Tomahawk, writing
Categories : Good Times
So I finally knocked the last of the short stories in the collection off the “To Readificate” list. Now I know what you’re thinking.
“HOLY OXFORD ENGLISH ERRORS BATMAN!”
Relax. It’s okay, I’m just messing around. I know I left the second “o” off of “To. I has an English degree you know.
I have to preface my little blurb here by saying this is not for everyone. Obviously. No bit of writing is gleefully consumed by every single person who reads. Genre, themes, yadda, yadda, and also yadda, appeals to differently to different people. Different tastes. Different strokes. And that just opens a whole other can of Annelids, Nematodes, and Platyhelminthes. (You just got scienced!)
This is a science-fiction collection. Or sci-fi if that’s how you want to roll with it. Hell, SyFy if you’re trendy. That fact alone cuts the prospective pool of readers likely to read it by a bit. I don’t know why you wouldn’t read science-fiction but that is a tirade for another day.
On top of that, it’s sci-fi set in a game universe. I feel like there is a bias against these sorts of stories, a strange idea that because they take place in a video game setting its automatically sub par. There is no less value there my friend. It’s just doesn’t make sense especially since you could really make a game out of anything. (I feel it worthwhile to mention that it does sport a couple of video game titles but the franchise started as and will forever be a table top wargame)
Pride and Prejudice? Okay, maybe that wouldn’t be a title that makes it to the top of every gamers list but come one. It’s possible. Actually it strikes me as a game that would prove rather challenging.
Trying to choose the right witty comebacks during all the silly sister encounters, trying to build up relationship points with Mr Darcy so that you not only beat the game by marrying him, but also gather enough extra to unlock the surprise Donald Sutherland film outtakes!
I bet there would be a lot of Keira Knightley mo-cap.
I’m sorry, that went somewhere strange.
Right so, summing up here.
- Sci-Fi good. Read it.
- Books set in game universes are frequently just as good as anything else. Give it a chance.
- Keira Knightley mo-cap. Meh.
So what about the stories?
I liked them. I am a big fan of the game, Warhammer. I play it myself so getting to learn a little more about the exploits of the some of the more heroic individuals was fun for me from a fan perspective. In addition the dark, gritty, gothic tone of the writing is right up my alley. Every once in a while the grim, often violent tales are an appreciated distraction.
Each piece spans a healthy variety of characters from the everyday man to the conscripted soldier. From children to the super-human protectors of mankind, the Space Marines. And even chaos, the classic villain of the universe gets to weigh in from its own perspective.
One thing that stood out to me was the strength of the human spirit, of hope in the face of adversity. There were stories of survival and stories that asked, just how far would you go? When was it too much? What would you be willing to sacrifice for the greater good of not only your friends and family, but your very species?
One of my biggest draws to the universe as a whole is humanity’s view of machines which has evolved to the point of possessing religious value. Machines no longer serve simply as tools to extend the capabilities of man but provide a focus of faith and the development of some really interesting plot arcs and characters.
The Cult of the Machine God, a priestly institution based on Mars, is one of the most interesting groups to appear in the stories. They remind me of the transhumanist and of the singularity that Ray Kurzweil talks about. LOVE THIS STUFF.
The stories are short enough to read a couple in a sitting but lengthy enough to allow characters to develop to the point of holding your interest while remaining at a constant pace. And, being true to a future where man is besieged on all sides by aliens and dark gods, it’s a fast pace.
All I am saaaaayinggggg, is give Sci-Fi a chaaaaance.
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Tags: aliens, book review, gaming, keira knightley, pride and prejudice, Reading, science fiction, science fiction collection, video games, war games, warhammer
Categories : Good Times, Reviews