As it is a lazy Sunday morning I thought I'd share a few quick reviews on some games, books, comics I'm consuming lately. If you purchase any of these via the links provided I get a small kickback. (Just an FYI, not sure if I should 'warn' people about that or not. ;)
This is the second collection of short stores I've read edited by John Adams. His first collection (well the first I read) was an incredible collection of zombie stories. (The Living Dead) When I heard he was editing a collection of dystopian stories I figured it was a no-brainer. The collection is pretty good. I'd only read one story in the entire book and only recognized another one. There's quite a bit here to like and I definitely recommend it, but I have one problem with the collection. For some reason, Adams feels the need to provide - at least to me - spoilers for every single darn story. Not huge stories mind you. But consider this. In a zombie collection, you can be pretty assured that every story will contain, well, zombies. In a collection of dystopian literature, you really don't know much at all. Sure you have the broad strokes, but the details are where things will get interesting. Will it be a more bleak world like "1984" or something else entirely like "Brave New World"? The odd thing is - Adams introduced each story with - what I thought - a telling clue that ruined the surprise for you. Imagine seeing "Logan's Run" for the first time (see it - don't read it - the book was pretty awful) and having no idea what the "catch" was. Certainly you figure it out pretty quickly, but that's what Adams seemed to ruin before each and every story. After I noticed this before the first few stories, I simply skipped his introductions.
And now for something really different. Bulletstorm - AKA the game that got you the GOW MP beta - was a hell of a lot of fun. I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud so many times while playing a game. It's fun. A lot of fun. Is it as cool as "Call of Duty"? Nah. But for pure FPS fun, this was a great game. Every aspect of the game is focused on making shooting bad guys an enjoyable experience. From getting bonuses for shooting them in the no-no spots (yes, I said no-no spot) to additional bonuses for sending your target into a giant cactus. I didn't try the multiplayer so I can't comment on that, but the single player game was great and I'd recommend it to anyone.
Have you ever begun reading a book where you only had the vaguest idea of what the story was and found yourself completely surprised? That's how I was with the Hunger Games trilogy. All I knew about it was "young adult dystopian fiction". That's it. Within about 5 pages I was completely addicted. I honestly don't know how this could be young adult fiction. Sure the writing is pretty simple but the content is... well - not inappropriate. Just dark. Incredibly dark. I can't remember being so depressed by a book since I read "1984." They are making a movie out of this and I honestly don't know how I feel about it. On one hand if they truly honor the book and keep the incredible darkness of the novels intact, it could be too difficult to watch. If they neuter it though that would be a shame as well. Either way - I'd recommend the entire series. You can probably read them back to back over a week - just keep the Lithium handy.
And just to wrap things up - a few comics I'm reading lately:
- Sweets - a New Orleans-based crime story over 5 issues. Created by a guy local to me, the art is incredible and the story is pretty darn good too.
- GI Joe - there's about 4 lines out now. Some silly - some pretty darn cool - especially the Cobra titles. You should also check out the "Hearts and Minds" mini series that was created by the author of "Wolrd War Z."
- Fantastic Four (Future Foundation?) - I figure with the 'relaunch' after Johnny Storm's death it may be cool to start reading the series. I never read FF growing up. The first issue was neat so I've added this to my monthly collection for now.
- Y the Last Man - Yeah I'm a few years behind on this. Basic premis is that some disease wipes out all males on the planet - except for one human and one monkey. I'm on issue 30something now. (Affiliate link: Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned)
- Star Wars: Empire - I pick up a trade back collection of these about once a month. Basically "Empire" themed Star Wars comics and as we all know - the bad guys are always more fascinating then the good guys.