America’s GOT Talent

AGT

Has anyone noticed the G in AGT is also the acronym for Game of Thrones, the most popular TV series in America? The talents of the acting and production staff are prodigious. The devotion of fans to the bloody battles rivals the first person shooter video games. BTW, who do YOU want to “shoot?”

Time for a Selfie…

Selfies

In other news, I looked up late radio dramatist icon Yuri Rasovsky on Wikipedia the other day, since he produced my audio novel Fame Island (narrated by an Emmy winner too, who voices Star Wars games), and discovered that he won a Ray Bradbury award! Ray was my mentor. Had no idea that tidbit. I knew he won a Grammy, but not that he was one of the very few to win the Bradbury for a script he wrote, along with the movies Inception, Gravity, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Arrival. WOW. As in “World of Warcraft.” 

Radio Drama

IMDB

 What do you think of Star Trek Discovery’s chances versus Family Guy Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville? Which will the networks kill first, and why?  I’m rooting for Seth because I like science (he produced Cosmos) and satire (truly talented.) The Orville is not really a Star Trek spoof, from critics who’ve seen it. It’s more of a stand alone scifi comedy/drama with entirely new characters. But the look of it and the trailer makes it seem like a spoof. Cherry picking clips? We shall see. 

Family Guy

And then there’s MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA, a gaming series making waves. Fans are complaining about the fact that it doesn’t live up to expectations. Most are unaware that Mass Effect novels are available, with more than just one-liners and blaster battles. The current one includes “Nexus” in the title, and two more are out in November and December on audio, with sound effects. Speaking of narrating and voiceover, if you want to narrate a gaming or movie trailer of your choice (any based on a book, include your writing talent too, if you possess it) record IT and post to Youtube or Soundcloud, and send me the link (details at Good-Reads.blog/About.) 

   

Mass Special Effects Andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda

The Mass Effect franchise is like many other scifi franchises, from Star Wars to Halo to Star Trek, in that there are ancillary spin-off stories created in fiction, plus toys, puzzles, jewelry, even clothing and coffee mugs. I went into Game Stop today and talked to someone about my idea to have a competition to narrate gaming and movie trailers, like The Voice but for books. He suggested a theater as a possible venue, since the library and mall are both policy averse to such a new idea. (Bought a puzzle and created a video out of it using humor, incorporating several other video elements previously created. See what you think, below.) Are you aware that there are many current and upcoming audiobooks related to gaming and Star Trek/Star Wars franchises? These are performed by pros, who regularly appear at conventions and ComicCons. I have met and/or interviewed some. Even Quaritch from Avatar (Stephen Lang) is a narrator of audiobooks (for the Sandra Brown novels.) The novels are in hardcover, of course, but listening to some of the same narrators that voice games adds an extra dimension to it, don’t you agree? For example, Wil Wheaton from Star Trek narrates Ready Player One, soon to be a Spielberg movie. Greg Bear is best known for Blood Music, which won a Hugo and Nebula award, but also penned three Halo novels, and was a founding creator of ComicCon San Diego, the largest. A new novel I heard was Take Back the Sky, hard military scifi. Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation by Hugo winner NK Jemisin is due in November, and my own novel Fame Island, of course, was narrated by HK47 (Kris Tabori) of Star Wars Old Republic games. In any war, the ideal thing is to win “Hearts and Minds” rather than simply to blast everyone on the opposing team to oblivion (and they you.) And there’s a new Star Trek novel named just that: Hearts and Minds. I know that narrator, too. Robert Petkoff. And a fourth novel in the Mass Effect Andromeda series is coming in December: The Lost Ark. For a look inside the industry, try Blood Sweat and Pixels.

Mass Effect Andromeda Initiation

Mass Effect the Lost Ark

Transcendence movie

Deckard Enters a Bar

Blade Runner 2049

 

The Colony war was winding down. No longer were they seeking off world recruits among the masses. After Rachel’s expiration, Deckard had grown depressed and listless in retirement. As he dropped down into the microwave glide path of J.F. Sebastian’s former building, his Spinner’s vidphone activated automatically and a voice asked, “Business or pleasure?”
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“Boredom,” he said.
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There was no response. His vehicle came to rest in a designated slot near the entrance to a new structure which bled colors across his windscreen in the rain. The garage computer, having traced and approved his Spinner’s ID as a former police vehicle, had selected the VIP section. Deckard stepped out and looked up at the fake neon signage: Club Turing. He’s heard about the place. Without his portable SK machine, it might be a challenge. Out of curiosity, he stepped through the scan portal, had credits deducted, and took a table. Opposite some old school roulette wheels (which eliminated the electronic manipulation of results,) there were two stages for the girls. One was lit in red, the other blue. It was the latest gambling innovation: guess which dancer was real. After you bought a drink, you made a bet from your table, and touched one of two glowing—and anatomically correct—globes there.
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Deckard was about to place his first bet when a girl sat next to him. She was blond with short hair, and wore a green thong bikini and clear plastic high heeled shoes. “You look familiar,” she said, giving him a wry smile.
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“I’ve never been here before,” Deckard responded. He figured that if she was an android she’d have accessed his entry data, and intended to fool him into thinking she’d been arrested in his past. If she was a replicant, maybe she used the tactic on everyone. On the other hand, if she was real, that was another matter. In either case, the object was to fool the patron up close and personal, getting him to wager much more than the price of a drink. “I was just curious,” Deckard added, by way of explanation.
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“Handsome too,” the girl said.
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Deckard chuckled. The lie was no clue. Touching her would be no clue, either. Amazing, what the flesh factories could produce. He decided to try another tactic. “Do you like poetry?” he asked. “Because I have a poem for you to read. You can tell me whether you think it was written by a replicant or not.”
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He tapped his vid pen twice on the table, and it projected a text image. The girl read the poem and shrugged. “Hard to tell,” she said. “But if I had to guess, I’d say you wrote it.”
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“And am I a replicant?” Deckard asked.
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“No, you’re not.”
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Deckard smiled and made his bet, thinking, How would you know?

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© Jonathan Lowe

science fiction