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"Three Oranges" at Clarkesworld

I realize I haven't posted in almost a year (can you tell I Facebook more than LJ these days?), but there's news to be shared and therefore a new post for 2011.

A new story, "Three Oranges," is now live at Clarkesworld. You can also pick up mobile versions of the issue, which also features fiction by Rachel Swirsky.

Games I Recently Played

Gaming under 30 minutes (because that's all I could stand):

Darksiders: Button-masher with substandard writing; could have been interesting with the Revelations mythology. Good thing I borrowed this one.

Resident Evil 5: They've made five of these things? I hope the first four were actually fun. Not a shooter but an on-rails third-person walker/toggle LS back and forth repeatedly. Your characters do stupid things. Purchased on sale during the holidays. Will be EBaying this one.

Gaming under 30 hours:

Mass Effect 2: Wait! This corridor leads into a room with crates. Better press A to cover. Level design/combat effectiveness is atrocious. Did not enjoy using biotics nearly as much in 2 as in 1. Did enjoy throwing baddies from the moving platforms during the endgame.

The writing is mostly competent. The structure is a little thin, however, as the vast majority of the narrative derives from your crew's "loyalty" missions (much better on a whole than Dragon Age's companion missions). There are too few main plot-related quests.

The game does pull you in and keeps you there, and it's not until it's over that you really start thinking about all the things that keep ME2 from being a great game.

Might pick up Bioshock 2 sometime in the future, but it seems like a pointless sequel to me. Bioshock did what it needed to do, and I preferred the non-Big Daddy levels.


Broke down and last-minute pre-ordered Mass Effect 2. Will receive it tomorrow. Please let the side quests not totally suck.

GUD Issue 7 Subs

GUD is looking for more culturally diverse submissions for Issue 7. Check out the editorial musings if think you have a great story for a great zine.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, y'all! Have a safe and happy holiday.

GUD Halloween Bundle

GUD has bundled some kick ass stories from each issue, including "Long Winter by Night," into a special Halloween PDF that's free through November 3.

You can also check out my retro-Russia babble for more on how "Long Winter by Night" came about.


Watched Katyn last night and was greatly disappointed. Heavy-handed Catholicism at times paired with a scattered, unfocused narrative don't cut it when tackling something like Katyn.

It's hard to not have great sympathy for the Poles, but I was hoping for a much tighter and dramatic character-driven story. You can't just ride on the coattails of the executed. Enjoyed the small bursts of dark humor and wished there had been more.

The ending was horrific, but I don't think I need to see dozens of men shot in the back of the head to get the point. More heavy-handedness.

Some of the characters were compelling, including the Russian captain and Jerzy. Best part of the movie? Definitely Jerzy. Until his vodka-infused head went boom on a Krakow street.


With the Beatles Rock Band coming out tomorrow, it reminds me that I need to pick up another mike and another plastic drum kit.

Submitted my first Clarion West story. Strangely enough, the winner is Week Six's "A Sweater Song." Am working on revisions of the others, although the Week One story is going to wait for the annual November jaunt to Ocracoke Island and a swing-by of Jamestown. Week Five is almost there, as is Week Four. Strange. I didn't think it'd be so reverse-chronological in edits, but that's how it is, and I'm cool with that.

And I hope Dragon Age doesn't suck because I have a mighty big hankering for a kick-ass 100 hour + RPG.

Clarion West 2009 Short Recap: Songs

Official graduate of Clarion West 2009. Whew.

Songs created during CW:
"Eat My Cake, Bitches" (with LaSephone)
"We Are Robots" (with Nate)
"Tentacle Longing" (with half the class)
Unnamed Fried Chicken Song

Going home tomorrow. Will be hitting the ground at BWI in 24 hours. This is life-altering, and it went by way faster than six weeks at work ever does. I'll miss you bastards.