Category: Action

TSJ Reviews BioWare’s ANTHEM

 

TSJ Reviews BioWare’s ANTHEM

It’s no secret that for BioWare there’s a lot riding on this game. After MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA many saw ANTHEM as the new IP that would reinvigorate BioWare. The company and hundreds of game developers spent six years on ANTHEM, and bugs and critical reviews have plagued it following its initial release as a demo. I played the demo and had fun, however, so I purchased the game. There were enough bright spots in the demo to encourage me to trust BioWare.

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John Carpenter’s Contribution to Speculative and Science Fiction Film

 

This week, speculative fiction blog Aurelia Leo published an article I wrote on legendary SF director John Carpenter.  Over the decades I’ve searched out any property I could find that Carpenter has directed.  Find my thoughts on many of his SF films at the link, including THEY LIVE, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, THE THING, and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.

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TSJ Talks Inspirations for The War Beneath

 

TSJ Talks Inspirations for The War Beneath

When I was a teenager I read a lot of 1950s Science Fiction. It was the tail end of the “Golden Age of Science Fiction.” Asimov, Pohl, Heinlein, del Rey and more. I fell in love with the genre because of those books. They sparked my imagination and took me to fascinating locations in futuristic settings. The stakes were always huge. It’s those books that really taught me how important YA Science Fiction is. Readers get hooked on the genre early; it’s what happened to me.

TSJ Reviews SPIDER-MAN on PS4

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TSJ Reviews SPIDER-MAN on PS4

I recently purchased a PS4. Usually I stick to my X-box (for gaming and movie watching) but there were a few titles that were PS4 exclusives that I wanted to try. One was THE LAST OF US, which I reviewed here. The other was SPIDER-MAN, for which I have heard nothing but raves. Created by Insomniac Games, it has (as of writing this) sold almost ten million units. It was nominated for numerous awards, and won the Game Critics Awards for Best Console Game and Best Action Adventure Game. It won Best PS4 Game at Gamescon 2018, and at the 2018 Gamers’ Choice Awards it won Fan Favorite Action Game, Single Player Gaming Experience, and Fan Favorite Character of the Year (Peter Parker).

THE WAR BENEATH by TSJ — Shortlisted for the 2018 GLOBAL THRILLER Award

 

THE WAR BENEATH by TSJ — Shortlisted for the 2018 GLOBAL THRILLER Award

A quick announcement regarding the new thriller. I posted on my social media on 8 December that THE WAR BENEATH had been shortlisted for the 2018 CLUE Award for Suspense/Thriller/Crime Novel. Recently I also found out that the book has reached the shortlist for the 2018 GLOBAL THRILLER Award and is now also a CLUE semi-finalist. Both are competitions called the Chanticleer International Book Awards (the CIBAs) organized by Chanticleer Book Reviews.

An Interpretation of BIRD BOX

 

TSJ Interprets BIRD BOX, a Netflix Original

BIRD BOX is a gripping horror/survival/post-apocalyptic film. The disaster reveal happens near the beginning of the movie, but it does not explain the “monsters” in any real detail (more on this later). This is another film in the horror sub-genre involving a sensory deprivation. Recent examples include DON’T BREATHE and A QUIET PLACE. In those films, the story forces characters to remain silent or risk death. In the case of BIRD BOX, however, the sense involved is sight. If the characters see the monster, they die — in this case, victims kill themselves after witnessing the creatures.

TSJ Reviews THE LAST OF US

 

TSJ Reviews THE LAST OF US

THE LAST OF US is a survival/horror game set in the United States following a pandemic that has wiped out or infected the majority of the world’s population. The storyline follows Joel, a survivor, as he escorts 14 year old Ellie across the country to a group of scientists who might be able to create a vaccine to the infection using her natural immunity. What follows is one of the most emotionally-charged, intense, and satisfying video game journeys I have ever experienced. This game is up there with ALIEN: ISOLATION (see my review here) and PREY as being a top-tier effort, and it is a shining example of what a gaming experience should be. The story is simultaneously emotional, heartbreaking, uplifting and tragic, and each sequence is gripping. Each “chapter” ends on a cliffhanger, and I simply had to keep playing to find out what would happen to Joel and Ellie. This game is, simply put, a masterpiece.

TSJ Reviews HOLD THE DARK

 

TSJ Reviews HOLD THE DARK

Film: HOLD THE DARK, An Original @Netflix #Movie
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Riley Keough, Alexander Skarsgard
Directed by: Jeremy Saulnier
Screenplay by: Macon Blair
Based on the Novel By: William Giraldi

This is a captivating and moody film holding layer upon layer of meaning that will keep viewers guessing until the end. It’s compelling and engaging, thanks to strong acting and beautiful cinematography, and it reminded me of WIND RIVER crossed with THE REVENANT. It’s a mystery, a crime thriller, and a brutal examination of the thin line that divides human from animal. Answers are not stated outright, but the clues are all there … so watch closely.

Radio Interview with TSJ on Writing Thrillers, Managing a Busy Life, STAR WARS, and THE WAR BENEATH

 

Radio Interview with TSJ on 106.9 THE X’s Your Life, Your Way with Host Gail Barker

TSJ and Gail Barker, 8 August 2018

On 8 August I participated in the radio show YOUR LIFE, YOUR WAY at local radio station 106.9 THE X. The topics of conversation ranged from managing a busy life while also writing thrillers to my new underwater adventure THE WAR BENEATH. Gail Barker and I also discussed