Posted on June 15, 2012 by Monica Valentinelli
Last night, we meandered into the gorgeous Sundance theatre to watch Prometheus on the big screen. For those of you who haven’t heard of this film before, here’s a link to the Prometheus trailer.
I went into this movie as someone who was familiar with the Alien franchise (which began in 1979!) but who hasn’t read the comics or seen the films in some time. I had also heard a lot about this film from the wildly mixed reactions as seen in my social media feeds.
Posted on May 31, 2011 by Nix
The premise of Cthonian Stars is really quite simple, we are not alone in the universe. Even though we manage to overcome our current, and rather ignorant, age to reach out into our Solar System humanity will still be in its infancy when compared to what we may find. In the near future world of Cthonian Stars humans have settled into almost every corner of our Solar System. Colonies exist on Mercury to Pluto and every moon in between. Humans have come together in peaceful cooperation for our mutual benefit, yet the distances between the various colonies still has a stifling and isolating effect. Travel is not an instantaneous effect, but takes time and is dangerous.
The influences that sparked Cthonian Stars were ones that I was not only already familiar with but also a fan of. They listed movies such as Event Horizon, Pandorum, and Outland to help capture the ‘feel’ of the game.
Posted on January 12, 2011 by Flames
Apex Book Company, a small press publisher specializing in the science fiction, horror and fantasy genres, announced today that it has made a significant change to their monthly edition of Apex Magazine. Subscribers and single-issue purchasers will now get an exclusive first look at the stories and poems before anyone else.
Prior to January 2011, Apex Magazine was offered to both subscribers and non-subscribers alike. As of January 1st, the magazine, which is edited by Cat Valente, will no longer be offered for free on the publisher’s website until the next issue debuts.
Posted on December 7, 2010 by Billzilla
Zombies: the kids love ’em. Now you can have your very own zombie film soundtrack album thanks to the good folks at Nox Arcana; their Zombie Influx album is just the ticket to put a person in a brain-chomping mood.
All kidding aside, Nox Arcana has done some great work producing albums of evocative background music suitable for gaming and often inspirational for writing – whether fiction, gaming adventures or scenarios, or what have you. With Zombie Influx, Jeff Hartz of Buzz Works and Joseph Vargo of Nox Arcana explore new musical avenues of horror. There is a fairly solid level of cohesion at work on this album’s 19 tracks; however, many of the cuts do not necessarily evoke zombie sort of horror. Most evocative here of a mob of zombies wandering aimlessly in search of food are the tracks “Ground Zero” and “Flesh Eaters,” with a chorus of hoarse, moaning voices winding through the opening strains of both.
Posted on November 1, 2010 by Megan
You might think that it was bad enough to be locked up on an automated spaceship and sent off on a one-way journey to an unknown destination in the company of people even nastier than yourself… but that’s only the start of it. Science-fiction meets horror meets prison drama in this game – and digging a tunnel to freedom is not an option.
Chapter 1: History sets the scene, explaining the political, historical and societal changes on Earth that have led to the development of this rather drastic solution to the age-old question of what do you do with those people too mad, bad or inconvenient to fit in to normal society. Based on rather dodgy psychological theory, people were assessed for their potential to commit violent crime and those deemed most likely to become violent got locked away before they even had a chance to do something wrong.
Posted on October 21, 2010 by Monica Valentinelli
Can’t wait for Halloween? Love scary movies as much as I do? Here’s a way to watch horror movies for free!
Get a head start on celebrating all things spooky by checking out the broad selection of free horror movies for Halloween at Crackle.com. Every year this legal, free movie site hand-picks a special Halloween collection of horror flicks for you to enjoy.
In addition to their broad selection of free horror films, this year Crackle.com’s Halloween movie collection includes over twenty-five movies.
Posted on May 20, 2010 by teampreston
When the world of Armageddon is attacked by orks, the Black Templars Space Marine Chapter are amongst those sent to liberate it. Chaplain Grimaldus and a band of Black Templars are charged with the defence of Hive Helsreach from the xenos invaders in one of the many battlezones. But as the orks numbers grow and the Space Marines dwindle, Grimaldus faces a desperate last stand in an Imperial temple. Determined to sell their lives dearly, will the Black Templars hold on long enough to be reinforced, or will their sacrifice ultimately be in vain.
While I am familiar on a basic level with the Black Templars I don’t know all the details of the major characters, so walking in to this novel I’m almost a BT newbie.
Posted on December 11, 2009 by Steven Dawes
Hey pals & gals, let me ask you something. Have you ever read a collection of short stories where the title suggests a particular genre, but it turned out to be all over the place? Have you ever picked up the same sort of book and basically misinterpreted what the title was even referring to? I ask only because if this has happened to you, you’ll find familiar territory with The Apex Book of World SF. But if you haven’t, then this collection won’t just break that particular piece of ice, it will shatter it!
When I got a reviewer copy of this book, I wasn’t entirely sure if I could give it a proper review. I’m really only a sorta-kinda-maybe Sci-Fi fan at best. I mean, I get the point of the genre and I’ve enjoyed some awesome Sci-Fi tales in my life, but my first love is Horror whom is followed by my favored mistress Dark Fantasy. But never the less, since I was entrusted to review this bad boy, I e-cracked open my shiny new e-book and read away.
Posted on November 6, 2009 by Steven Dawes
When I was presented with a review copy of the “Judge Dredd vs. Aliens” graphic novel, I wondered if I was the best bloke for the job. My experience with both iconic characters is really one sided, favoring the aliens. I’ve known as feared the “Aliens” from a young age but my experience with Judge Dredd was very limited.
True story; in my late teens I was following in my dad’s footsteps and worked as a mall Santa Claus (I was a little young to be playing jolly old St. Nick, but they needed the help.) One day my “elf assistant” brought a stack of comic books to read over our lunch break; amongst the pile were some Judge Dredd comics. While I was a serious comic geek at the time, I hadn’t ever touched a JD comic before. Taking the opportunity I ate my Subbaro’s special of the day while reading a few comics.
Posted on September 29, 2009 by Monica Valentinelli
In the mid-1980s, a dark science fiction television show entitled “V” aired first as two, separate mini-series, then as a weekly show.
Imagine living in a well populated city, only to stare in amazement when a spaceship hovers right above you. Instead of blasting humans into oblivion, these aliens (which were dubbed “Visitors”) extend a hand in friendship. They’re having a hard time surviving without certain resources, but if you help them…they’ll help you.
Wearing sunglasses, the Visitors seem to fool pretty much everyone with their pleasantries and reassurances. That is, until people wind up missing.
Posted on August 23, 2009 by Flames
Your mind is software. Program it.
Your body is a shell. Change it.
Death is a disease. Cure it.
Extinction is approaching. Fight it.
Eclipse Phase is a post-apocalyptic game of conspiracy and horror. Humanity is enhanced and improved, but also battered and bitterly divided. Technology allows the re-shaping of bodies and minds, but also creates opportunities for oppression and puts the capability for mass destruction in the hands of everyone. And other threats lurk in the devastated habitats of the Fall, dangers both familiar and alien. In this harsh setting, the players participate in a cross-faction conspiracy called Firewall that seeks to protect transhumanity from threats both internal and external. Along the way, they may find themselves hunting for prized technology in a gutted habitat falling from orbit, risking the hellish landscapes of a ruined earth, or following the trail of a terrorist through militarized stations and isolationist habitats. Players may even find themselves stepping through a Pandora Gate, a wormhole to distant stars and the alien secrets beyond.
The Eclipse Phase RPG is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.
Posted on January 26, 2009 by Flames
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Scott Sigler’s book entitled Infected was my favorite read in 2008. Written as the first book in this series, Infected‘s sci-fi/horror mood was set by a few inventive elements. Infected explored the now infamous blue triangles (and their hatching) with the claustrophobic devolution of Perry Dawsey’s (the main character’s) mental state. The book was an absolutely thrilling work, and left me quite excited for Contagious, the next story in Sigler’s current trilogy. The third book entitled Pandemic is the last work in this trilogy.
Review by William Aicher.
Posted on November 21, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy
Underland Press has the first few pages of Jemiah Jefferson’s “wovel” up on their website:
Like me, you were probably wonder “What the hell is a wovel?” Conveniently enough, they have a What is a Wovel? page just for us. The author posts part of the story the readers vote and things continue from there. They make claims that it is the first of its kind, but I’m not so sure that is true (for one example, Tim Buckley from Ctrl+Alt+Del did the Idiots in Space series earlier this year).
Posted on November 4, 2008 by TezMillerOz
A beautiful, newly discovered alien race is spreading a virus that turns its victims into cannibals, in the third part of Gena Showalter’s Alien Huntress series.
They’re called the Schön, and both Alien Investigation and Removal and Mishka Le’Ace’s boss want them investigated, captured and killed. As always with this series, the world-building is outstanding and the Schön case is intriguing…but it’s only a subplot. And if you’d read the back cover copy, you wouldn’t know about this storyline at all.
Posted on October 1, 2008 by TezMillerOz
Fascinating world-building and a unique serial killer make Gena Showalter’s Awaken Me Darkly an engrossing read.
In New Chicago, Mia Snow works for Alien Investigation and Removal, hunting out predators and protecting humans. Not every alien is evil, but the ones who are keep Mia in business. The latest serial killer’s identity has been narrowed down to one of the Arcadian females, and on the chase Mia’s partner is near-deathly wounded. To survive, he needs special blood, and the only provider is the brother of the case’s lead suspect. Kyrin en Arr’s ultimatum is to set his sister free, or else he won’t keep Mia’s partner alive, but letting loose the most likely serial killer is hardly ideal for Mia.
Review by Tez Miller
Posted on September 18, 2008 by Flames
SLA Industries is somewhat different. It posits, in the typically dour, rain-swept and pessimistic style it has achieved, a contest between the players and the monsters – er, a series of psychopathic serial killers – which may or may not be equal or fair in nature. The conceit is that the players take the role of quasi-official operatives who may accept contracts to eliminate undesirable presences on the mean city streets, returning if successful with evidence of the kill (ears, perhaps, in the Mongolian style or some other previously agreed token). There are twenty such ‘Hunter Sheets’ provided in this supplement, which runs to a length of 77 pages in a PDF item. As well as initial and concluding fluff – sorry, intensely-wrought and crafted flavour pieces (there is a reason why publishers are so reluctant to pay for fluff) – the twenty serial killers are presented one at a time, first with information for players and then the same for the GM. The first would be presented to the player group, depending on how much choice the GM is prepared to offer them, while the second is reserved for subsequent use. Some clues are presented for working the individual killers into play but, inevitably, too many of these in a row will make game play feel a little repetitive. Perhaps they may be reserved for occasional interludes when a campaign reaches a natural break or when an impromptu game breaks out for one reason or another.
Review by John Walsh
Posted on July 18, 2008 by Flames
So, what is “steampunk”?
“Cool stuff, rich language, invented – reinvented — science,” says James Blaylock, a pioneer of steampunk and author of the novel, Lord Kevlin’s Machine. “Steampunk [a sub-genre of science fiction] offers a great deal of what is most flamboyantly, eccentrically, visually, and adventurously interesting about the Victorian era and its curious scientific hopes and speculations.”
The recently-released anthology Steampunk, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, clatters and clinks with gadgets, airships, and forty-foot tall steam-powered men. The thirteen stories and novel excerpts contained in this collection are enhanced by a preface, an introduction, and two essays.
The editors themselves are no strangers to strange fiction. Ann VanderMeer is an editor for Weird Tales and Jeff VanderMeer is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of Shriek: an Afterword as well as a collection of linked stories, City of Saints and Madmen, both set in the imaginary world of Ambergris.
Interview by Jeremy Jones
Posted on July 16, 2008 by Flames
After reading the first two issues of Marcus Almand’s comic book, Razor Kid, I’m left feeling surprisingly compelled to read more. Razor Kid is as indie as it gets, but this does not belie the effort that Almand and his revolving crew of artists have put forth in giving readers a superior product.
Issue one introduces us to 15-year-old Alexander Tanaka, AKA Razor Kid, as he fights Kevin Michaels in an exercise of initiation into the C.A.P.E. (Citizens Authorized for Protection and Enforcement) program. Alexander is a boy genius who’s developed an armored super suit equipped with an assortment of blades and devices including cybernetic arms that replace his own which have been amputated. Kevin, 18, provides quite a test as he appears to be a full-blown martial arts badass.
Review by Jason Thorson
Posted on July 15, 2008 by Flames
3:16 designed by Gregor Hutton (Best Friends) is a winner of a High Ronny Award for Games Design.
Featuring a stunning cover by Paul Bourne (a|state, Cold City, Hot War) and haunting interiors by Gregor Hutton 3:16 is a visual treat.
This high-octane Science-Fiction role-playing game for 2 or more players has your Space Troopers killing bugs all across the Cosmos. You’ll advance in rank, improve your weapons, slay civilization after civilization and find out who you are through an innovative “Flashback” mechanic.
Posted on July 14, 2008 by Flames
David Drake’s fiction has always been dark. His combat experiences in Vietnam made his fiction even darker and, in many ways, more honest and more horrifying. Earlier this summer Night Shade Books released the paperback edition of a collection of Drake’s “weird and fantastic” stories, Balefires.
The collection is rich with generous commentary from the author and a variety of fantasy, science fiction and horror stories. Shortly after the hardback release, Mr. Drake and I discussed writing and his experiences in Vietnam for an interview that ran in The New York Review of Science Fiction. What follows grew out of that larger conversation.
Interview by Jeremy Jones