Fantastic Folks 6: Gods

The Goddesses of Hyrule departing from their creation,screenshot from 'The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of TIme' A few weeks ago, I spotted Tim Hickson - of whose work I am a great fan - talking about cyberpunk. Specifically, about the religiosity of the genre, as it stands on the threshold of transcending the human…

Writing Bioshock

Spoilers for BioShock (computer game franchise, including BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite, henceforth BS, BS2 and BSI respectively). But purer and higher and deeper shall bethat wonder, that Rapture, in cloud and in sea.(Promotional material from Nintendo) The core concept of the Bioshock franchise is that some ideas are bad, a sentiment perhaps at odds…

Writing Divinity

Spoilers for Divinity (computer game franchise). Whilst the denizens of the Internet are collectively baying for Baldur's Gate 3 to be released at long last, I have been replaying Larian's other darling, Divinity: Original Sin II (D:OSII), with a friend. I did not play the original, but have been reassured that, much like penny-farthings and…

Writing Horizon: Zero Dawn

Spoilers for Horizon: Zero Dawn (game). I had been planning this week to begin a diary detailing my experience of The Longing, but so far, not much has happened to my little cave-gnome, so instead I am going to cover a game which came out a little while ago but which, mostly because I do…

Writing Death Stranding

Spoilers for Death Stranding (interactive software experience) and Metroid: Other M (base breaker). BB's Delivery Service invites the player/viewer to journey with the protagonist, Boromir Bridges, as he is chased across the territory of the former United States of Alleged'merica by the ghost of Caprica Six, so he can plug a nuclear baby into a…

Writing Angel Mage

Spoilers for Angel Mage (novel). I first spotted Angel Mage when, on the recommendation of a friend, I resolved to pick up a copy of Gormenghast. The cover was slick and striking (black and gold will do that), and at the top, over the words Angel Mage, stood Joe Abercrombie's words of adulation, 'The most…

Writing The Wheel of Time

Spoilers for The Wheel of Time (books series and upcoming television series) and Dune (pan-media franchise). N.B. In this article, I will be using various potentially contentious words, including sexism and sexist, in a general, even colloquial, sense, rather than the highly technical and narrow senses used in certain academic disciplines. That should probably give…

Writing Kelewan

Spoilers for The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist and The Empire Trilogy by Janny Wurts and Feist (book series). There is a lot of bad fantasy out there. I know this, because I have written some, and whenever I look over the disastrous mess I have poured into my manuscript, I can cast my…

Writing Warcraft

Spoilers for Warcraft (computer game franchise and great big cash cow). Thanks to Russell (of "giant magical spider" fame) for the idea. In retrospect, Blizzard naming a sapient creature 'Thrall' should probably have been a warning sign. ('Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos', promotional material) Back in 2002, Blizzard released Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (henceforth…

Writing XCOM

Spoilers for X-COM and XCOM (rebooted game franchise). This week, proving that tactical science-fiction games can do it as well as fantasy adventure games, we take a look at the rebooted XCOM franchise, which seems to have caught on to Link's cunning plan, and has recently reinvented/rebooted/re-realized its mythos for the nth time in the…