Consumption

Goodreads review: Queen Victoria’s Bomb

Queen Victoria's BombQueen Victoria’s Bomb by Ronald William Clark
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book’s commonly touted as one of the precursors of the steampunk movement. It dates from 1967 and though I’d been keen to read it, I hadn’t found a copy. Having an interest in steampunk – the literature, not the habit of sticking cogs onto anything and wearing goggles down the shops – I figured that a three-ish buck version on Kindle was a safe enough bet. (more…)

Goodreads review: Outcast, Vol. 2: A Vast And Unending Ruin

Outcast, Vol. 2: A Vast And Unending RuinOutcast, Vol. 2: A Vast And Unending Ruin by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This will be a short review, largely because there’s not a lot to go on. You could probably read my review of the first volume and apply it to this one and you’d be fairly well set. The art remains affectingly retro, cinematic and draughtsman-like, and the pacing – while languid – is tight. So, second verse same as the first?

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Goodreads review: The King of Fools

The King of FoolsThe King of Fools by Frédéric Dard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A short review for a short work? Why not.

Frédéric Dard was a prodigious creator, a Frenchman who was a prolific creator of crime novels, often taking elements of his own life to fuel his works. (The kidnapping of his daughter ended up in a book, and he said his biggest regret about dying was that he wouldn’t be able to write about it.) He wrote under a number of pseudonyms (Cornel Milk, anyone?) though this is the first time I’ve encountered his work. (more…)

Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play (2014/2017)

Thanks to a generous (and conference-attending) friend, I spent last night at the Belvoir St Theatre watching the State Theatre Company of SA’s production of Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, an off-Broadway musical (truly) by Anne Washburn. I’m a fan of The Simpsons and I like dark comedy (as this was billed) so I was keen to see how it would all fit together.

It would appear Lisa was way ahead of me.

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Neither highs nor lows.

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Goodreads review: The Secret History of Twin Peaks

The Secret History of Twin PeaksThe Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, the new season of Twin Peaks is upon us, unfolding darkly. It’s as good a time as any to dive into Mark Frost’s remarkably produced tome, which offers a little in the way of backstory before we spool up for whatever he and Lynch have planned for the sleepy burg and its inhabitants.

The first thing to note is that this isn’t a novel per se. It’s billed as that, though it presents a collection of documents: a dossier. This should be unsurprising if you’re familiar with other tie-in works: both The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer and Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes (the latter written by Frost) were fictional but presented in the manner of documents – a teenager’s diary and a fastidious man’s audio transcriptions. And yes, it may appear slightly gimmicky, but there’s so much effort put into maintaining the idea that one can’t help but go along with it. (more…)

Bruce Wayne and bloody walkers: talking Telltale

I took a break from playing through a chunk of my pile of shame – I’m on the second game of the Arkham series of Batman console reboots, though I’m playing on a PC – to play through two Telltale adventures: The Walking Dead: A New Frontier and Batman: The Telltale Series. So let’s have some thoughts about ’em both.

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Clementine has some thoughts to share with you.

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Goodreads review: The Raven

The RavenThe Raven by Peter Landesman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I first read this book not long after it came out. I was still at university, and was still enamoured of study and reading between the lines enough to think that if a text was gnomic enough it must have been super-profound, and if I didn’t get it, it was my fault and not the book’s.

That was then. Now, I can go “eh, fuck that book” with impunity and not feel as if I need to turn in my Lit Nerd decoder ring or something. (more…)

Asura’s Wrath (2012)

I’ve just finished playing a game that’s one of the stranger things I’ve played. It’s essentially an episodic anime with some Nier-like battles thrown in, but the whole thing is strange as hell. It’s appealing, but I spent most of my playtime wondering what the fuck was going on. But I suppose that’s what you’d expect from a game best described as an anger simulator.

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Imagine this for pages and pages.

Oh, did I mention you punch gods to death? And occasionally have six arms? And crawl out of hell on the reg? And can somehow defeat hordes of monsters after your arms have been ripped off? And take advice from a golden spider who sounds as if he’s grooming you? And that you fight robots that look like the Buddha, have tantrums that explode spaceships and ultimately win the game by punching the earth in the face? (more…)

Gone Home (2013/2016)

Coming home after some period away there’s always adjustment. I lived in the UK for a couple of years, and I remember Sydney feeling very strange when I returned: the main roads seemed stupidly wide, and the town felt underpopulated. It was different – or, rather, my expectations were different. I wasn’t calibrated for the place any more, and it took time for me to gather my old despair at crowds on a local scale.

This feeling of not really belonging, of seeing things that are familiar as if they’re slightly off, is important in Fullbright’s Gone Home. As every, I’m behind the times – I’ve had this game for years, but didn’t get around to playing it until yesterday. I know that it received a lot of positive press when it came out (as well as a smattering of bro-led whuh?) but thankfully that’s dissipated now, so I was able to get through the thing without preconception.

(If you haven’t played it, it’s probably worth noting that there will likely be spoilers at some points in this review, so you might want to skip it if you haven’t played and would like to, as the plot is the game, pretty much.) (more…)

Alien: Covenant and some thoughts about bugs

So today I went to an afternoon screening of Alien: Covenant in a big-screen cinema with fuck-all people in it. As you can probably tell, below.

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Not pictured: cap-wearing jerk who sat in front, just before it all got started.

I have long been a fan of the Alien franchise, largely because the first two movies are practically untouchable. The first (and best, let’s face it) is a peculiarly English thing, despite its cast: it’s almost a locked-room film, a And Then There Were None-style elimination game. It’s claustrophobic and sweaty, Das Boot in space, and its reliance on biomechanical similarity – the creature is kind of like things you know, but not really – is deeply fucking creepy. There’s something about the first that gives you bone-deep chills. Is it because it’s a big ole filmic rapefest? Is it because everyone is weak and at the mercy of uncaring fate? Is it because of a feeling of entrampment, of isolation? Take your pick, but it sticks in the mind. (more…)