Happy Birthday To Normalverse

I try to keep self-promotion to a minimum on this blog and on my social networks, but every now and then it just has to be done. Facebook reminded me today that it’s the first anniversary of the release of Normalverse Free, thus making it the first birthday of the complete Normalverse trilogy.

Writing a comedy sci-fi story was considerably harder than I’d ever expected, and the process took longer than I’d anticipated. As a consequence, I haven’t really revisited the e-books since they were finished, and I think I still need a bit more distance before I dip into them.

If you want support this site, the best way to is to buy my books.

Anyway, here are some of my favourite reader reviews of the trilogy.

Just as hysterically funny as the first two books in the trilogy, with even more absurdity mixed in. The conjecturable “Delmar Smoot” may be the funniest non-character ever, and the phrase “Kiss Me Quickly” I will forever be warped in my mind because of this book! … BUY THIS BOOK! Buy the whole trilogy! This is the most unique, the most laugh-out-loud funny series of books that I have read in a long, long time.

Didn’t find it funny ; not even amusing. there was no need to use the sexual references – presumably to get a cheap laugh. I managed 3 pages before giving up, and I’d been inclining towards that from half way through the first page.

Huge! Imagination! Crazy Good!
Ever wish that ALL your favorite sci-fi writers and fantasy writers got together and collaborated with your favorite humor writers too? If so, this might be the result! This is so far outside “normal” that you’ll just have to read it for yourself.

Wow. This book attempts to channel Douglas Adams. It fails, miserably. Free is overpriced.

Hilarious.
Read in private or you’ll look crazy to the people around you! Truly enjoyed this one! What a good time.

Get a copy for your favourite reading device from the following vendors …

Amazon in the UK
Amazon in the US
Barnes & Noble
Apple
Google Play
WH Smith
Kobo

Transformers: Gobots In Disguise

I decided to waste some of my life as I waited for the Referendum polls to close on Thursday night by watching a stupid movie. Now, I don’t usually tweet whilst watching a movie, because, you know, I’m watching a movie. But I found myself more interested in posting inane remarks about what I was watching than I was in actually watching it.

The movie I chose was Transformers: Age Of Extinction. I have no idea what I expected, because I haven’t liked a single one of the Transformers movies one little bit. I usually just tweet the name of the movie I am about to, or have just watched, in what I like to think of as an anti-review. But I made a snap judgement, six minutes into the film.

It really is nearly three hours long. I’d hate to think how long the first cut was. I probably would have left it at that, and said no more about it, but a piece of dialogue hurt my face so much, I just had to exorcise it.

I don’t even know what that meeeeans. Did a judge sign and stamp his face? Does he have to get a whole new face every time he wants to search someone’s property?

At this point, I’m aware at just how meta my life has become, as I blog about a live tweeting session, and I can only apologise even as I plough onwards. It’s either this or sit and contemplate the dark, existential reality of our new existence.

So, to the light relief.

Who kills the comedy light relief in a THREE HOUR movie less than a sixth of the way through? Micheal Fucking Bay, that’s who. BAYHEM.

And yes, after a frantic chase through the streets at dangerous speeds, with the baddies in hot pursuit, they finally managed to effect (or is affect? Affleck?) their escape by driving away as the baddie watched on, making no effort to follow, even though he was in no way hampered in doing so.

I’ll just let that one sit and fester with you, reminding you that there is a lingering close up of the law as written on a credit card, INSIDE THE DUDE’S WALLET.

He changes from rusting metal carcass of a truck that slightly resembles Optimus Prime, to a shiny multi-coloured, tricked out truck that LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE OPTIMUS PRIME. They’ll never find him now.

I suppose metal must feel the cold. By this point, I was already checking the running time.

I think this is the first time we see Tucci’s character. Maybe Sam Beckett leapt into his body just moments before. I think more movies should secretly have their characters played by Sam Beckett.

It can float in the air. Metal. If I wasn’t already sure this isn’t a kids movie, Tucci admitting physical arousal at the presence of metal confirmed it.

An inanimate Transformer hurt its feelings.

This moment was bewildering. After breaking in, and trashing the place, a man in a suit, wearing a lapel badge came in and saw the carnage, pointed at the two strange intruders and said, ‘you two, my office, fifteen minutes.” That’s the level of security around these billion dollar killing machines. They almost didn’t need their elaborate disguises.

I suppose it must do.

I may have been asleep at that point. It definitely happened though.

Maybe not as disturbing as the underage sex discussion, this moment still bugs me though. If I smacked myself physically through another human being, I’d feel pretty bad about it, no matter how cool it looked in super-slow-motion. And that typo is annoying me now.

BAYHEM!!

But not as well as Jason Lee does it. Incredibles burn!

I think that tweet speaks for itself.

Yeah, apparently trucks shouldn’t breed with cars or something. I might have to re-watch the movie just to clarify this.

Except later, when he flick that cigar at someone, it makes a metal clanging noise. And doesn’t kill the person it hit. But it smokes at the end, and glows. He’s smoking metal. Which as we know, is alive. Like us. That’s like me smoking someone else’s dick.

You’d think Bay would have sexy, curvy, Transformers with spray painted shorts on their bottoms. Missed a chance there Michael, missed a chance.

He didn’t even check for magnets.

Add intellectual property theft to the list of questionable morals in this film. Oh, and murder. Of metal.

Another irksome typo detracts from the brilliant realisation that the one that smokes is voiced by John Goodman. Maybe a Roseanne crossover slash/fic could be on the cards? I won’t Google it.

It wasn’t the Brooklyn Bridge. They were in a different city. Destroying everything.

Movie geography is weird.

I mean, it can’t be classed as an act of God … because, you know, aliens prove He isn’t real, right?

Autobots, unionise.

Ha.

Typo aside, the thought of a truck looking for its own spunk stain is … odd.

I suppose he could Transform into a gun, so the metaphor could be tortured further.

Oh yeah, I forgot, Kelsey Grammar’s in it.

Gross.

Metal bukake.

Gross.

And also, ouch.

I genuinely want to know the answer to this now.

In Gotham the sun sets in the time of a short tunnel journey.

Sad to see a metal robot body-shaming itself.

Same expression of confusion as when he saw the Lincoln Memorial was now AN APE.

Bit weak that, isn’t it? Sorry.

I don’t know why there are metal dinosaurs is what I meant.

It’s not a kid’s movie. It’s a movie for six year old adults.

The genius of this tweet is beyond explanation. So I will explain. The Gobots were a cheap knock-off of Transformers. But Hasbro later bought the Gobots and incorporated them into the Transformers universe.

The confusion comes about because they are ordered to attack the biggest city in China. Which is Hong Kong, apparently.

Reasonable physics I guess.

Sheesh, I tweeted a lot didn’t I? There’s still some more.

I was hoping it would be over very quickly, so I could say ‘it’s over’ in a vague allusion to Spaced.

It wasn’t.

That’s like getting a piggy back ride and saying ‘stop the human’.

Oh yeah, spoilers or whatever.

Not sure that joke worked.

I hate being meta.

It took 150 minutes and three previous Transformer movies for me to realise this. But then, I am a genius.

Accidentally reviewed the movie there.

I’m not.

SimCity For Board Gamers

I love SimCity. So much so that I’ve had to ban myself from ever owning a copy of it ever again, because it eats so much of my life away when I play it. That means I never got a chance to play the borked version they released a few years back, much to my regret, in spite of every bad thing I heard about it.

I do however play board games. So here are three great city building games that I thoroughly enjoy playing.

New York 1901

More of a Tetris-style puzzle than a city simulator really, but you get to build giant towering skyscrapers in turn of the century Manhattan. It is gorgeous to look at, tactile to play, and a great gateway game for all the family. Play it, play it now.

Quadropolis

Another beautifully produced game this one, and it’s based around an interesting mechanic that not only dictates and limits your choices, but makes for an excellent puzzler. Moreover, it has elements of SimCity in it, in that you’re trying to build a city that grows to its own potential and gives you a maximum return for your investment.

Suburbia

This is by far one of my favourite games. And it’s as close to playing SimCity as it gets on a table top. The trick is to build an economic engine early on, so that you can afford to expand your city and attract the most new residents as you can. It’s fun laying the hex tiles down and figuring out how this new moves affects your and everyone else’s suburb, and the way the game grows makes it more challenging as the play progresses. Even better with the Suburbia Inc. expansion too. Works best with three players I find.

 

The True History Of The Black Adder

This fantastic book documents a period of comedy that I grew up on and maintain an unhealthy fascination with, and I still found myself learning many new things.

Tautly written with a nice framing device, Mr JF Roberts takes us through the creation of the series, and the development of its successive incarnations. Reading about the tortuous rehearsal process, and hearing how it still rankles with the stars, writers, directors and producers after all these years, you get an insight into why this series was so good.

Buy it.

The True History Of The Black Adder

What’s more, there’s an exhaustive examination of what each and every person was up to between series, thus providing a great history of television comedy throughout the final decades of the 20th century.

You should buy it and read it.