Twilight of the Springs – Part Six

Benny slapped a persistent mosquito that was leeching blood from his forearm, the pain insignificant as he took in the Boulevard.

The afternoon sun was blaring bloody tendrils across his back.  The deadened cityscape watched his solitary passing from deserted balconies strangled by dried creepers, his progress checked by cracked window panes glinting cruelly in the crimson light.  The buildings loomed over Benny with uncompromising scrutiny, so much so he felt the Springs press in on his very being.

As he tramped further down the road, he realised the living desolation of the Springs was nothing compared to the raw desolation that had taken root in his heart.  Beecherman was gone, Benny’s family was dead and Jen was all but a distant memory.  He had never felt more alone in his life, his only company the incessant chatter of crickets.

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So I’m now a Dad

As if my year hadn’t been seismically life-altering enough, I am now a father.  My amazing wife gave birth to our first child, a son, earlier this month, and all is going well.

By that I mean seven hours of uninterrupted sleep is a thing of the past, leaving the house has become a huge logistical operation, and I’ve become desensitised to faeces after all the nappies I’ve changed. Read more

Game review: Mortal Kombat 11

The original Mortal Kombat (MK) shocked the arcade scene in the early nineties with its movie-like digitised graphics and unprecedented levels of gore.  It was quite the contrast to squeaky clean fighting game counterpart Street Fighter, and appalled media regulators to such an extent it lead to the implementation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board, or ESRB.  Over 25 years on, and the series’ lifeblood is still going strong.  Developed by NetherRealm Studios (NRS), Mortal Kombat 11 (MK11) is the freshest entry, and it delivers in viscera-soaked spades.

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Scorpion wants you to “get over here,” and give MK11 a go.

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Meandering Thoughts #4

My apologies for not posting much lately.  I lost someone very near and dear to me a month ago, and I’ve been feeling decidedly out of sorts.

Grief.  It’s a peculiar beast.  At times it overwhelms you and seeps into every facet of your day.  Other times it recedes, allowing you a few moments respite.  That is until you realise you are coping, feel guilty for it, then go back to grieving.
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Sci-Fi Novel Update #2

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It was inevitably going to happen.  For awhile there I had hit a wall.

The veritable mountain of a new novel had loomed large in my consciousness, like a towering cliff materialising from the pre-dawn fog, causing sailors to quake in their boots as their ship veers perilously close.  Like lots of new things I encounter in life, I was automatically making the book out to be more imposing, insurmountable and intimidating than it actually was. Read more

Book Review: Ahriman: The Omnibus

Ahriman is the most powerful, infamous, and wanted wizard in the Warhammer 40k universe, a kind of a tragic space Gandalf.  Centuries ago, he set about saving the Thousand Sons, his beloved legion of armoured sorcerors, from a macabre affliction known as the flesh change, which caused his fellow space marines to mutate into monsters.  In order to do this he had to defy his lord and Primarch, the all-knowing Magnus the Red, and secretly enact a magical ritual known as the Rubric.

Lamentably it failed, and as a result most of the Thousand Sons were reduced to soulless suits of iron.  Ahriman is thus condemned to a lifelong quest for redemption, charting the galaxy in order to right a horrible wrong and losing a piece of his soul – not to mention his sanity – with each consecutive stuff up he enacts in order to set things right.

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My work, as featured in Beat Magazine and the MX Newspaper

Alot of people ask me about articles I’ve written for mainstream press.  Many moons ago – from 2005 to 2012 – I penned a number of pieces that were published in the MX Newspaper and Beat magazine.  I recently re-discovered them in an old portolio of mine, as part of an ongoing (and, let’s face it, never-ending) crusade to de-clutter the house.

I’m honestly not sure if I can republish them here, as I might be violating various copyrights – Beat mag is still going strong, and while the MX is now defunct its masthead, the Herald Sun, remains a dominant force in tabloid news coverage here in Victoria.

Nevertheless, since this blog has become my literary showcase, I thought I’d write about my previous work here.  I do hope the cover photos do the publications justice – I tend to shake my camera more than a terrorised teen being stalked by the Blair Witch.

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Game review: Alien: Isolation

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It’s sad to say that games based in the Alien universe have been largely lacklustre.  There may have been a few occasional standouts – the Aliens vs Predator PC games and the Alien 3 platformers on early nineties consoles come to mind – but nothing has really captured the terror that burst from John Hurt’s chest and onto our screens in 1979.

Alien: Isolation seeks to change that.  And boy does it deliver in droves. Read more

Sci-fi Novel Update

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So I’ve just completed the first two chapters of a new story.  My budding sci-fi manuscript stems from the butcher’s paper brain dump I discussed here.

I’ve cast perfectionism aside and simply let rip with my thoughts, writing scenes, characters and dialogue as they come to me.  Just like with my last novel, I’m working on the principle of “what kind of book would I want to read?” then allowing myself the freedom to write it.  I’m going about it in a free-flowing, unrestrained manner, not bothering at this stage with spelling, phrasing and how fully formed concepts may or may not be.  I can refine all that later. Read more