Category: Character Development

TSJ Reviews Video Game THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON ONE by Telltale Games

TSJ Reviews Video Game THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON ONE by Telltale Games

I subscribe to Game Pass through my Microsoft Xbox account. Each month, Microsoft posts games that subscribers are free to download. I’ve tried numerous properties there, such as RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER, and it’s a good way to experience different types of games that I might not have purchased otherwise. The monthly fee isn’t bad, and there are just enough exciting options to keep me enrolled. One such game I attempted recently was Season 1 of THE WALKING DEAD by Telltale Games.

The result was

New Interview with TSJ about The War Beneath! Win Swag!

 

New Interview with TSJ about The War Beneath!  Win Swag!

Over at The Qwillery today you can find an interview with me on my thought process and the planning that went into writing THE WAR BENEATH, including a discussion of one of the novel’s major themes: Fathers and Sons. We also spoke about my process and why I enjoy writing books set in hostile (dangerous) environments!

Link

 

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).

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.

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

TSJ’s List of the Best Science Fiction Movies of the 1970’s

The Best Science Fiction Movies of the 1970’s

I should clarify that a film’s presence on this blog post is entirely subjective based on my experiences growing up. These were my creative formative years, during which I was discovering genre books, television shows, and movies. I was born in 1970, so really the 80’s were my true introduction to Science Fiction Horror, Thriller and Adventure — books by Asimov and Crichton and films by Cameron, Spielberg, Carpenter, and Verhoeven — but the 1970’s played a huge role in my love for the genre. Detroit Channel 7 broadcast most of the films I saw. Many had poor effects, but the stories were so powerful and the actors so committed that the movies rose above the rest of the stories that were available at the time. The themes were relevant, the plots compelling and interesting, all the base human emotions like revenge and lust and greed and hate were on full display, they spoke of issues that people dealt with every day, and they featured powerful scores and incredible directing. They were gripping.