A Certain Critical Fry

August 8, 2008 at 13:56 (Rants) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I just have this feeling that these people are going to go – when they’re dead – and St Peter’s going to say:

“And what did you do with your life?”

“Well I looked at things other people did and I said “That doesn’t really work. It works on maybe two levels but not satisfactorily on either, and to me it wasn’t as good as the thing you did before.”

“I’m sorry, that’s what – I gave you two legs and two arms and a soul and you did that for all your life, you told people what was wrong with the stuff they were doing?”

And you know, I think it’s just a terrible waste of a life.

(From an old Room 101, if you’re interested – and interesting, if a little opinionated, is something Stephen Fry has never failed to be.  I will watch anything he’s had a hand in; mancrush anyone?  More like a mindcrush…)


Predictably enough: I fear, Mr Fry, that we disagree.

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Mistakes and Regrets at Electronic Three

July 19, 2008 at 13:57 (Books, Horror, Hype, News, Rants, Reviews, Video Games) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

My apologies, dear uncertainites, for the downtime these past few days.  Excuses include: I’m nowhere near E3, but I’ve been covering the convention from afar on the Ace Gamez blog.  And I totally called itAnimal Crossing on the Wii; lots of Little Big Planet; downloadable Ratchet and Clank episodes; and more besides.  But the point isn’t to boast – I have no particular insight, yet the only real surprise of the electronic three was Final Fantasy XIII on the Xbox 360.  And that, in itself, makes perfect sense.  Squeenix have a history of platform loyalties that aren’t loyalties at all, but canny decisions.  This is just the next decision.

For all that could have been, then, a toast.

If there’s a conference next year – and sadly, it really is a case of if and not when – I think I might make the trip.  I’d get press credentials, but I’d need a laptop, airfare, commitment.  In the twilight years of E3, I’m certainly not alone in wondering: is it still worth it?

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A Detective, Darkly: A Review of Tana French’s In the Woods

June 22, 2008 at 2:22 (Books, Crime, Reviews) (, , , , , )

One Summer night, two decades ago, three missing children.  Peter, Jamie and Adam.  For them, the woods that reach around Knocknaree have been a home away from home.  They’ve picnicked in the ruins of an dilapidated old castle, made mischief in their favourite clearing, but they’re almost in their teens; adult enough, at least, to understand that change is in the air.  Jamie’s mother is about to send her to boarding school, and the children know that her looming absence will mean the end of the precious bond that ties them together.  They take to the woods.  It’s as easy a decision for them as A, B, C.

As day draws on and the evening gives way to a forbidding darkness, the police are called in to comb through the forest.  After hours of searching, aided by townspeople and fearful parents, they find only Adam, catatonic against a tree.  His shirt has two appalling tears through it; his shoes are sodden, black with blood.  He survives, but his memory fails.  Ryan grows up an amnesiac, unable to remember anything about the night his innocence was stolen – along, presumably, with the lives of his closest friends.

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