Months ago, I previewed the first case of Grundislav Games’ latest point & click adventure game, Lamplight City, a crime drama adventure set in a Victorian-esque steampunk world, where it’s all too possible to screw up an investigation and not reach the right conclusion.
Having now played through the entire game, I can say I enjoyed my time in New Bretagne with my new detective buddy Miles Fordham and the annoying voice in his head. It’s a fun adventure, even with the uneven quality of the different cases. Continue reading Review – Lamplight City
During my holidays between Christmas and the end of 2016, I decided to jump into one of my story projects and get it going. I had my second novel to finish editing (second draft at around 40%), but decided to instead push on one of the story premises I’d posted some time ago, the Sci-Fi noir “The Song.”
As I sat at home, thinking what I should write, which story to pursue, this one kept coming back to me, with new details, new side-stories that branch off from the main one as the character listens to more of the same hypnotic melodies.
The Song is different to the other premises in that I had already written a few pages of it before I proposed it as another one-shot, and going back to it and advancing I remembered just how difficult it is to write Hardboiled stories, a genre I often and wrongfully call the same name as its film counterpart, “Noir.” Continue reading Detectives & Dames – Writing the Hardboiled Genre
Murders on a schedule, a train schedule. No it’s not the Orient Express, but Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot is on the case anyway: It’s the ABC Murders!
Continue reading Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders
Over the past few weeks I’ve been catching up on series I missed in the past months, particularly with Anime. That’s how I found Sakurako–san no Ashimoto ni wa Shitai ga Umatteiru (translated as Beautiful Bones – Sakurako’s Investigaion). Many sites and forums described it as Bones the animation. As someone who enjoyed Bones until it got too tiresome, I decided to give it a shot.
I was pleasantly surprised. Continue reading Review: Beautiful Bones – Sakurako’s Investigation
“Let me in…” a man’s voice drifted in from outside the Leftover tent. Margot woke up to familiar surroundings, covered in the skins of animals with names she couldn’t even pronounce. The Underworld is home to ancient predators, but necessity and hunger make everyone prey. Margot checked around and saw her mended suit folded neatly in the corner, though it still looked tattered and torn. She lifted the covers, feeling the night air on her naked body and took a moment to check herself. There were cuts, bruises and sutures all over her frame and she winced with every movement. I can still move, and my head isn’t pounding. I’ll take it as a win, she thought to herself as she stood, crossed the tent and slowly put on her clothes. Continue reading Bad Blood – Chapter IX – Old Friends, New Enemies
“Wake up.” A familiar voice said. Margot opened her eyes, expecting them to hurt along with the rest of her body, but she felt fine. No pain anywhere and her senses drew a blank. Something’s up. “There certainly is something up, now move it!” John William Spencer said and Margot scrambled to her feet on recognition.
“In the flesh!” He grinned. “Or your mindscape equivalent at least!” Continue reading Bad Blood – Chapter VIII – Six Feet Down the Rabbit Hole
Margot drove behind the Leftover jeep, saw them look back at her, turn back and gossip. She grinded her teeth in frustration. If I didn’t need you I would’ve smacked you by now…teens. She thought to herself, breathing deeply to vent, to not let it get to her. She could feel their curiosity, their admiration and it made her skin crawl. Sorry, kids, I don’t do fans.
They were so focused on her they didn’t pay attention to their searchlights, the only source of light in the deep darkness of the wildlands. If they had, they would’ve noticed the trail of upturned earth that moved alongside them and would have time to react before the barkhound burst from the ground and tore through their jeep, its sharp wooden claws tearing metal and teen to ribbons. Margot swerved violently to avoid the debris and, knowing there was nothing she could do for her companions, drew the magnum from its holster, opened the chamber and loaded the hellfire rounds, making sure she kept her eyes on the hound and the road and her TK on the wheel. Continue reading Bad Blood – Chapter VII – Where the Wild Things Live
Just as every society has its slums and its outcasts, so do all slums have its exiles, those that don’t function under the rules of their ruined civilisation. The Underworld is a place of greed and betrayal, where survival comes before friendship, love and family. So those that don’t abide by those rules, those that form mutually beneficial arrangements, they are quickly disposed of. Leftovers, they call them. Continue reading Bad Blood – Chapter VI – The Leftovers
Every city has slums, home to the dispossessed, the downtrodden and the derelict. Makai has several, each built on top of the other. The Underworld is the lowest, a place where despair strips humanity away, where the hunt for food and heat is constant, where eating your neighbour isn’t a crime but just the next meal. This is the place where Makai’s nightmares are born, its people joining experiments for that one chance to escape, be it to the outside or the release of death.
The Underworld gave birth to Psyclones. Continue reading Bad Blood – Chapter V – Homecoming
The Mapmaker had a new lead, just not the one Margot expected. “How did you find this?” She asked, looking up from the crumbling parchment in her hands, meeting his eyes with a dubious glance.
“You asked me to find places of power, so I did…” He leaned on the stall’s counter, and pointed at the parchment. “I started with the usual places, the big bad power-zones, where the big and really bad live and I noticed it.”
“Precisely.” He nodded, his brow furrowed. Starting to look like you worry, J.C., Vance thought to herself, making sure it didn’t show on her face. “Those places are bright, Vance, they shine on the maps, all those powerful beings. But now the light’s dimmed, cut off and died out. It’s…”
Continue reading Bad Blood – Chapter IV – Dead and Buried