Monthly Archives: April 2016

Game review: Enter the Gungeon for PS4

Had I based my review off of the first two to three levels of Enter the Gungeon alone, it probably would have been glowing, with only a few complaints about the controls. To be sure, there is still a lot to praise. But I’ve since burned out on the game without completing it based on one simple problem: it’s incredibly stingy and gives no sense of accomplishment for beating the challenges it throws at me.

I want to get one of my biggest complaints out of the way first. I hate the control scheme because it’s needlessly painful on my hands. I know this could have been avoided had I been allowed to change the button layout, something I know I can do on the Steam version. But fuck me if I want to play on console with my nice big screen TV and comfy couch. Then I’m stuck playing with a control scheme that keeps pulling my thumb off the sticks and back again in a frantic motion that just hurts. This is bullshit. If I can change the buttons on the Steam version, why am I forced to play with a control scheme I don’t like on the console?

Because of how badly the controls hurt my hands, I had to play this in short spurts with lots of rest breaks in between, and I did so because there is a lot to like about this game. To start with, the story is wildly unique. In this mysterious bullet castle is a gun that can kill the past, and adventurers with old regrets come from all over the galaxy for a chance to undo their past mistakes. To do so, they must traverse five floors of bullet hell and assemble a bullet that can shoot through time itself. Sounds awesome, y’all. Continue reading

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Book review: The Complex by Brian Keene

I admit, I got The Complex almost right after the ebook came out based on only one short part of the blurb. The book has a trans character in it, and given how extremely rare it is to see this, I had to know, does Brian Keene do such a character justice? For the most part, yes, he does. I’ll get back to that in a bit.

First, I should get the plot out of the way. People go crazy, get naked, and start killing their neighbors. Aaaand we’re done. G’night, y’all!

Heh, but no seriously, that’s the whole plot in a nutshell. There’s no explanation for why everyone goes nuts, which makes sense because the characters experiencing this have no idea what’s going on. Certainly, all of them speculate on what’s happening, but no theory is given weight by the story as it plays out. In a few ways, it reminds me of King’s story Cell, which is a good thing. Cell is one of my favorite horror stories in recent years, so seeing something with a similar theme definitely works for me.

This could very well be a by the numbers story if not for the extremely well done character development. The first part of the book is something of an introduction to the various neighbors living in the apartment complex, and regular readers of Keene will spot several references to his other books. Continue reading


A book update of sorts…

Over the last year and a half, my writing output has diminished greatly as I’ve suffered from more MS-related relapses and fatigue attacks. I’ve had to take a long hiatus from all writing and most editing to give my brain a chance to recover from the stress of last year, and that’s also meant reassessing the projects I have ongoing. I still feel confident that I can complete most, but there is one exception, and I’ve spent a long time debating what to do with the Mystical World Wars series.

When I first got started writing, it was nothing for me to crank out a book a month, and my plans with the series were to create a world where all the various tangents existed in the same time line. I had all of these mystical races crossing over from one book or the other, and the ultimate plan was to bring them all into a huge final conflict. This would have taken me close to fifty novels to do so, and I managed to publish twelve, with another four completed and awaiting final edits.

However, as my ability to write consistently has dwindled, I’ve worried more and more about leaving the few readers buying the books without closure. It’s not fair to them, and I feel like it’s better to remove those books from my vendors and focus on what I know I can finish. This is why, effective immediately, all twelve books have been taken off of the virtual shelves at Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and my Blog bookstore.

I am not giving up on writing or publishing. I’m just changing how I write to ensure that I don’t leave readers hanging. Unless a series is meant to be open-ended with no defined final book, I’ve been writing the whole series before publishing the first book. For instance, all the books in the Alice the Wolf series are done. I’ve even got cover art and a general release schedule for them. I plan to release them one per year so readers won’t be overwhelmed by too many releases all at once.

Beyond Alice’s books, I’ve got a pair of sequels for The Life and Death of a Sex Doll and a new trilogy to complete the Zombie Era series. After that, the future is a bit more hazy. I plan to put out new books in the Sandy Morrison and Tobe White series, and I’m working on two other projects that could work out to a trilogy and another multi-book series.

I want to close this update with an apology to the people who read any of the arcs from the Mystical World Wars. I feel like I’ve let y’all down by not being able to finish things properly. But it’s no longer possible for me to work the way I had been when I started a little over ten years ago, and if I tried, I’d only make myself worse. I suspect that in the process, the books would also suffer a decline in quality, and I’d rather pull the plug and divert my energies into shorter projects to ensure I never leave y’all hanging like this again.