Book review: Dark Magic by James Swain, published May 2012 by Tor Books
Note: The review copy was provided by the publisher.
Peter Warlock is a magician with a dark secret. Every night, he amazes audiences at his private theater in New York, where he performs feats that boggle the imagination. But his day job is just a cover for his otherworldly pursuits: Peter is a member of an underground group of psychics who gaze into the future to help prevent crimes. No one, not even his live-in girlfriend, knows the truth about Peter—until the séance when he foresees an unspeakable act of violence that will devastate the city. As Peter and his friends rush to prevent tragedy, Peter discovers that a shadowy cult of evil psychics, the Order of Astrum, know all about his abilities. They are hunting him and his fellow psychics down, one by one, determined to silence them forever. Dark Magic is a genre-bending supernatural thriller from national bestselling novelist and real-life magician James Swain.
First off, I’m going to admit that while I love science fiction and fantasy, I no longer read a lot of urban fantasy. Why? Because, quite frankly, I’m tired of reading about vampires, werethings, and ninja heroines with attitude problems.
Second, I’m going to admit that this review has taken such a long time to write because I read the book twice. (Yeah, I really it.) Continue reading “Book review: Dark Magic by James Swain”
So, Zombie Granny is kind of like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds had a baby and it had a sick morbid sense of humor.
Zombie Granny is not a game to just download and play on a whim. Sure it’s readily available and free[1. Our favorite Price] but it’s also missing a shit ton of images that take like eight years to download. My actual grandma’s make shit happen faster and Ms. Pearl was legally blind and thought my computer was damn near magical.
I found if I don’t let the device snooze and keep touching the phone it update more quickly… good start.
Yay! It finally finished.
My first impression is that it’s kind of a lot like Cut The Rope, but instead of trying to feed the frog candy you’re trying to kill the Zombie Granny with a fireball. Then, a few levels in, I thought it’s kind of like Angry Birds.
So, Zombie Granny is kind of like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds had a baby and it had a sick morbid sense of humor. The gameplay is fairly simple and easy to get accustomed to, especially since the first few levels are tutorial levels. There’s a fireball attached to a rope and you cut the rope and drop the fireball on the unsuspecting zombie granny below.
While the gameplay is straightforward the concept kind of bothers me. Where’s my motivation? This poor old lady is just standing about, not even trying to munch on my brains and I just murder her like it a terrorist. Next weird conceptual thing? Why are there fireballs just suspended from here and there? This isn’t even like a Mario dungeon level where the fireball are swinging around like traps and trying to impede your progress. These are like decorations.
Morals and logic aside, this is after all just a mobile phone game, the graphics are great and it’s super cute and wonderfully simple. This is a fun little zombie game with just the right about of snark and morbid nonsense to keep you entertained on a long commute or wait in a lobby.
I’d let Zombie Granny live– at least until the water got low or she started to stink up the place.
Chaotic situations are rooted in no one knowing the answers they need to to stay calm, stand still, and think about basic shit like being quite while decisions are made. To survive after the apocalypse you’ll need to limit your social chaos. How? By asking the right questions —and then having the answers and making people listen.
I’m not typically one for too much pre-planning or excessive deliberation–I’ll take as long as you give me to think about something but then end up making a spur of the moment decision anyway. However, even I realize that the simple exercise of developing a problem solving mindset that includes quickly asking the right questions and processing their answers can drastically affect the survivability of a situation.
The most basic question is usually, “What are we doing?!” or “What’s happening?!” These are valid questions that having answers to would help clam the situation down.
People might shout out other things like, “We NEED to hide!” That’s a suggestion, and a damn good one, recognize it.
Someone else might say, “We’re all gonna Diiiiie!” That’s not helpful. Shut them down quickly and with authority. They don’t deserve to talk.
With almost all situations there’s an easy way to bring order to chaos: QUESTIONS.
Well, okay, the province of British Columbia is preparing for the zombie apocalypse. They’ve taken a page from the CDC’s book and have set up Zombie Preparedness Week. You know, so the citizens of B.C. can be good and ready for the zombie apocalypse. Also other disasters, like floods, earthquakes, and fires. But mostly zombies.
And just in case you’re wondering if the preparedness plan works, check out the post-zombie attack survivor’s blog here. Obviously this person isn’t from the lower mainland, because according to this map, Vancouver is toast.
I gotta admit, this is pretty cool. Now, if only Alberta would do something like this…
And for your viewing pleasure (because I’m nice like that), check out the video that Emergency Info B.C. put together. Be ye warned: it sounds like someone held Stephen Hawking at gunpoint to record this thing. And made him inhale some helium along the way.
Cowards! The lot of them. Bandits and Highway Men are constantly trying to play on the sympathies of those of us who don’t lack morals. They did it in The Book of Eli and They’re doing it again in The Last of Us. Naughty Dog has been slow releasing information and videos about their upcoming post-apocalyptic video game. This time it’s a video!
The cinematic trailer shows a scene from a day in the life of Ellie and Joel… being ambushed by bandits on the road to who-knows-where.
Joel and Ellie won’t have an easy road ahead of them. Their path across the US will intersect with other survivors, some of whom won’t be friendly. In this scene set to the somber chords of Hank Williams, Sr., Joel and Ellie continue their journey west in a battered pickup truck. As they drive towards the next destination on their route, and hopefully a place to find critical resources, the pair encounters a group of hunters. What happens next is something you have to witness to understand.
The Last of Us is genre-defining experience blending survival and action elements to tell a character driven story about a population decimated by a modern plague. Cities are abandoned and being reclaimed by nature. Remaining survivors are killing each other for food, weapons and whatever they can find. Joel, a ruthless survivor, and Ellie, a young teenage girl who’s braver and wiser beyond her years, must work together to survive their journey across what remains of the United States.
Developed by Naughty Dog, The Last of Us is being made exclusively for the PS3 system.
I’m writing this from my couch. My couch is where I sit when I get home from work. Work is where I sit all day and do tasks via conversation or computer between trolling the internet for comics and accessories and taking coffee brakes.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that I live a lazy life. I can exercise, but I don’t really — I only run to a) find out what’s happening in Zombies, Run! or b) because I feel guilty and worry about atrophy.
Being the lazy loaf that I am does not mean I’ll die in the apocalypse. On the contrary, I means I’m more likely to be in my home safe from harm because I don’t go out much and then die after the apocalypse because I don’t know how to care for myself and can’t run up stairs.
However, today I realized something: You don’t need to die because you’re too lazy to run for your life, you just need to know what the alternative is to both running AND dying. (It’s hiding.)
So you may have noticed that my post today is late. By a lot. There’s a reason for that: we got possession of our new house today. Now personally, I think that’s an okay reason to get a post up late.
I was up late last night packing up the rental apartment (and not getting anywhere near done). Today we were packing up the rest of our crap, moving crap from one place to another, and waiting for the Internet guy to set everything up.
Because when you move into your new house, the first thing you need to do is set up your Internet. Obviously. Continue reading “This week in the real world, part 2”
First of all, sorry for being absent as of late. I just didn’t have anything to say and so I didn’t say anything. But I have been busy. Not buying a house like Char or getting good grades like Ann. Mostly I’ve been playing video games and reading comic books and I got a new phone (almost immediately after, my work phone died).
While its always important to plan for the worst the current situation can’t. Come second. Sometimes that means making steak for dinner instead of hardtack. Or just going for a drive because its nice out. However you can keep in the back of your mind all the lessons you’re. Learning while doing these things.
What I’ve learned from the pre-apocalyptic world: Continue reading “This week in the real world”
Did you miss out on Free Comic Book Day this past Saturday? If you did, you also missed out on the Buffy/ The Guild preview (?) issue and the Star Wars/Serenity one-shots offered by Dark Horse. That’s sad.
You missed the space pirates, bandits, aliens, and heroes. You missed out on high-flying hijinks, and intergalactic world universe saving awesomeness.
Lucky for you Dark Horse, specifically, Dark Horse Digital are nice people (is a nice person? cares about their readers’ happy feelings to sadness ratio?). Over in the “free” section of the digital.darkhorse.com website you’ll be able to read or download their Free Comic Book Day comics for the rest of the month of May. All you need is a free account and you’re on your way to slacking like a professional at work or number munching your monthly data allotment. Continue reading “Dark Horse Extends Free Comic Book Day Through the End of May”