Stranger Things – A Review

Hello My Imaginary Friends,
Since July of last year people have been recommending to me a TV show called Stranger Things.

If I were to describe the show, I’d say it was an homage to 1980’s YA movies with more than a little supernatural horror thrown in. It has D&D, Monsters, Psychic/Magic abilities, Conspiracies, Eighties Rock, and lots of kids on bikes.

It’s eight episodes on Netflix and although the first episode is a little slow, it builds quickly. The special effects are amazing, the locations are great, the music is wonderful, but most of all the acting is fantastic. The actors in this each play stereotypes from eighties movies, but managed to pull those characters out of cliché and make them believable.20161201_stranger_things_node

The one thing that I found lacking in the show was complexity and surprise. After two episodes I could have given you an outline of the entire season. I wasn’t surprised and was actually a little underwhelmed by the story.

It was a fun watch and the acting alone made it worth it, but this show was too close to my own influences, likes, and writing style for comfort. Seriously, after the last episode, I went to IMDB to make sure I hadn’t written it. I’ll let you decide if that’s a compliment or a condemnation.

In short, if you like Horror, YA, Eighties movies, and/or my writing; you’ll enjoy Stranger Things.

I give it 85% or 4.25/5

Later Days,

Éric

Feeling Old and a Mission

Short Story Collection

The other day I came up with the idea of collecting my short stories and maybe self-publishing them. My first instinct was that I’d never have enough and I’d have to write more.

After looking through my writing folders I certainly have enough content but I’m not convinced I have enough quality… Yet.

I get a perverse joy out of reading my old stories and pretending someone else wrote them. It’s easy, seeing as even some things on this blog I don’t remember writing. Some of it is good, some of it is terrible, but boy is there a lot of it.

Feeling Old

I feel old when I look through the folder and find some of my stories that are just shy of 2 decades old. My early stories could vote. That’s frightening. I didn’t consider myself a writer until I finished my first novel “Cerulean Skies” and even then I never considered writing regularly, but looking back I’ve been writing, in one form or another, for over twenty five years. I remember the first novel I tried to write. I had almost finished it and left it in an envelope. I found it when I moved to Ottawa in 2002, but I had made the terrible mistake of using pencil and it had faded beyond recognition.

I found some Dungeons and Dragons writing that I did for my first big campaign. I remember it being massive in scope. When I looked at it today it was barely 9000 words. Or as most of my author friends would call it, a few days’ work.

I think I’ll stick to stories that were written within the past decade for the collection.

I’m Terribly Sorry

There are several serial stories that I have written that I promised to write more and I seem to have completely forgotten.

If you’re interested in reading them here are the links:

Armstrong 3 (Space ship Science Fiction) – 2009

The Professor (Archeological Action Adventure) – 2009

The Cosmic Cuckoos (Adventure Science Fiction) – 2014

I plan on not only continuing these stories but re-writing and editing them into a coherent total. One of them may even become my next serialized story.

I have a Mission

I discovered around Christmas that I’d been collecting Urban-Fantasy/Fantasy series at an alarming rate. At last count, I have over 50 of them and more than 20 that I hadn’t read. No seriously, I have one series where I own the first 8 books and I’ve never read the author before.

In order to pare down my library and make sure I like the books, I’m on a quest to read the first in each series. I’ll be posting short reviews of each of the books unless I really love them or hate them.

Here’s what I’ve read so far this year and my opinions:

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

A great start and a wonderful read. I look forward to the next one. Rating: 80%

Night Child by Jes Battis

Not a terrible book but very uneven. The author’s metaphors were awkward, the characters were stupid and the style wasn’t consistent. Not planning on reading the rest of the series.

This book had so much potential and angered me so much that it gets the lowest rating I’ve ever given with 40%

Blood Relations by Caroline Fréchette

Check out my full review this Thursday.

 

That’s 3 down and 19 more to go.

 

What’s your favourite fantasy, science fiction, or urban fantasy? Let me know and I may add it to my list.

Recommendation Thursday – Non-Player Character Webcomic

Hi,

Every once in a while I’ll find a webcomic that devastates my productivity. It’s been a few months since this happened. The other day I was reading Weregeek and the guest artist had their own comic called NPC. The first joke I read was a D&D joke and I was hooked from then on.

It’s a gag a day comic with mini-storylines and it’s extremely entertaining.

Go check it out.

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Eric

Dungeon! The board game and 5th Edition

Hello,

dungeonToday’s post will be about Role Playing Games.

I have a long standing love affair with games and with role playing. When I was young I was the navigator for my Mom and Brother while they played console games. Back then in game maps were rough and hard to follow, if they existed at all, and each game came with a poster map of the world. It was my job to tell them which way to go. I was horrible at it but I loved helping.

When I wasn’t playing with them I’d play make believe with friends, usually pretending to be a Black Mage in Final Fantasy.

I remember my first introduction to Dungeons & Dragons. It was a board game released by TSR called Dungeon! I think it might have been the 1992 edition called Classic Dungeon!

The game is a quick dungeon delve for 1-8 players. The edition I played had miniatures and armour stands and everything. I remember thinking is was the best game ever. I have no idea where my brother got it or what happened to it but it was a lot of fun.

So when a friend of my asked if I wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons in high school, I thought he meant the board game. I was really excited. He meant the real thing and my disappointment didn’t last long. Back then we had graph paper and we each played 2 characters. You never forget your first characters, Corwin the Cleric of Sun and Thor the Barbarian.

Yesterday I got an email from Chapters-Indigo, telling me that all Dungeons & Dragons books were on sale for 50% off. I couldn’t help myself and reordered the 5th edition Players Handbook. I look forward to reading the new rules and seeing if I like the new edition.

In the “Others have liked” section there was the newest edition of Dungeon! for a staggeringly small price. It was also half off. It looks like the plastic miniatures have been replaced with carboard stadees but I really can’t wait to play.

In short, I bought some games and I’m excited. I never promised every post would be educational or exciting.

What’s your favourite board game?

See you Thursday!
Eric

A Review of Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition

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Before I start ranting about Fourth Edition, here’s an article from GeekDad over at Wired that I completely agree with and think has some wonderful ideas

http://blog.wired.com/geekdad/2008/09/teaching-kids-t.html?referer=sphere_related_content

Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition

I’d like to preface this by saying: I am not an expert on RPG’s I’ve played D&D 3.5 almost exclusively for the past five years.

With that said I haven’t enjoyed fourth edition. It seems stiffening for both the GM and the players.

Read moreA Review of Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition