Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Quatermass: "If we found our Earth was doomed - say from climatic changes - what would we do about it?"

Roney: "Nothing.  Just go on squabbling as usual."

Screenwriter Nigel Kneale there, nailing it in his script for Quatermass and the Pit.  Which came out in 1967.  Just sayin'.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Other stuff that was good in 2015



I got a Netflix account this year, so a good chunk of my telly watching consisted of non-2015 anime that doesn't count.  But Kill la Kill, Aldnoah.Zero and Sword Art Online are all great so there.  As for stuff that does count, Netflix also dispensed the fantastic Daredevil, which was almost my show of the year. Also notable: Humans; The Hunt; Hannibal and The Returned both wrapping up with series that were good but not as good as proceeding series; Jessica Jones being good so far (only halfway through); Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead providing their usual levels of gore and WTFery.  The winner, though, must be Wolf Hall.


I bought slightly too many games this year, many of which weren't 2015-era.  But some were.  And of them, it's a three-way tie between Splatoon, Fallout 4 and Steins;Gate for best of the year.  All three are fantastic; all three have certain major issues.  I love 'em all and can't decide.


Song of the year?  Easy: "The Shade" by Metric.  Album of the year?  Trickier.  I only got...three or four, I think?  "The Shade"'s parent album, Pagans in Vegas, might be in with a shout.  But I do like Jean-Michel Jarre's esoterically titled Electronica 1: The Time Machine.  Hmm.


I don't think I actually bought a 2015-published book.  So, um, yeah.  Read plenty of good ones, mind.  Actually, wait!  I bought Ernest Cline's Armada and David Wong's Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits.  The latter of which I haven't read yet.  So Cline wins by default and Wong gets Best Title For A Book.

My Top 10 Films of 2015

Because I was concerned that no-one anywhere had done one of these already.  Also, MY OPINIONS ARE VALID LET ME TELL YOU THEM

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Stuff I Like Lately

Comic: We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

A dog, a cat and a rabbit are turned into cybernetic assassins then go on the run when the time comes to pull the plug on the project.  Heartbreaking and cleverly written.  Be warned, "eye-poppingly violent" is not a metaphor in this case.

TV show: Aldnoah.Zero

Giant robots in the finest anime tradition but with equal focus on the soldiers fighting an inherently ridiculous war, elegantly handled political power-plays and some truly spectacular plot twists.  It's kind of daft how the lead character saves the day almost single-handedly pretty much every single time, but the rest of the show is so well done I'll let it off.


I do like tea.  I'ma go make a mug.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I've got my iTunes on shuffle and a track from Bruno Coulais' astonishing soundtrack to Coraline just popped up.

Why that didn't get all the awards I'll never know.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Brief thoughts on Fallout 4

Based on three or so hours of play.

  • It's good.  It's vair good.
  • The opening is fantasically done.
  • Going for a fully-voiced protagonist was a bit of a risk, but thus far it seems to have paid off.  I'm playing as a woman and Courtenay Taylor's performance is excellent.
  • The game recognises what name you give your character, which completely blew my mind.  I decided to call my character Ruby and the bloke who voiced the robot Codsworth must've had to record hundreds of variations because he immediately referred to me, fully voiced, as "Mistress Ruby"!  It's not a super-obscure name, but it's not a common one either...
  • The Minecraft-esque town building is brilliant.  I wasn't expecting to delve into it much 'cos I tend to find those sort of systems a bit of a headache but I love it.
  • every item in the game has a use because you can scrap it for its raw materials Bethesda you bastards I have a hard enough time keeping my inventory weight limit down with useful items now I gotta pick up every coffee cup I see
  • also I'll be modding my weapons forever argh
  • Loads of great little touches.  Like the extra animations everywhere (especially fiddling with the Pip-Boy), the new layout and method for perks, being able to see inside containers immediately...
  • Facial animation is still a bit odd but it wouldn't be Fallout any other way.  Otherwise the game looks yum.

Monday, November 09, 2015

The Nightmare Before Boston

With thanks to my friend Stokes and a guy on the STCO forum who did something similar ten-odd years ago (haha I'm old) for prompting the idea and apologies to Danny Elfman, I present my ode composed the day before Fallout 4 comes out.

What's this?  What's this?
There's rubble everywhere
What's this?
There's ashes in the air
What's this?
I can't believe my eyes
I must be dreaming
Wake up Jack*, this isn't fair
What's this?

What's this?  What's this?
There's something very wrong
What's this?
Someone's been dropping bombs
What's this?
The streets are lined with
Super Mutants laughing
Everybody seems so hardcore
In the aftermath of the war
What is this?

I'm firing off my shotgun
Exploding all their heads
I'm busy building towns
And making everybody dead
There's so much loot to pick up
Oh I can't believe my eyes
I wonder if this Fat Man could
Help boil up their insides?

Oh look
What's this?
The V.A.T.S. will help me not...to miss?  Why that'll come in handy
They're gathering around to hear a story, roasting Mole Rats on a fire!
What's this?

What's this?
In here
They're trading bottle caps
How queer
And who would ever think
And why?
They're collecting little Vault Boy statues
They've got useful stat boosts too
So, now, correct me if I'm wrong
This looks like fun
This looks like fun
Oh could it be I got my wish?
What's this?

Oh my, what now?
This cavern is so deep
And look, there's something that's all teeth
Let's try a hatchet, aim to take its head off
Maybe trade its flesh too, get a stimpack or two
Secure inside my Pip-Boy
What's this?

The Pre-War stuff's all missing
And clean water can't be found
And in their place there seems to be
Some Raiders all around
And through their screams, I swear
40's music's in the air
The smell of Feral Ghouls is absolutely everywhere

The sights, the sounds!
They're everywhere and all around
I've never seen so many guns before
My inventory is filling up
I simply cannot get enough
I want it, oh I want it
Oh I want it for my own
I've got to know, I've got to know
What is this place that I have found?
What is this?

....The Commonwealth?  Hmmm...

*for ease let's assume the male Sole Survivor is called Jack and the female is Jacqueline 
Also I know large chunks don't scan but damn if Danny Elfman can't cram an improbable number of syllables into a given line