Thursday, February 6, 2014

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

When I read science fiction that isn't an epic space opera-type opus, I tend to enjoy the books that stay true to the roots of the genre - exploration, the vastness of space, first contact, and so on. The Martian was something that caught my eye because it was such a simple concept - an astronaut abandoned on Mars. What I didn't expect was for it to be one of my favorite recent science fiction reads.

Thursday Threesome: Three Childhood Toys That Made Me Who I Am Today

After a friend posted about some old toys on Twitter, I confessed my big three toys. These aren't the toys that I had the most of, or even the toys that I loved the most. These are the toys that had the biggest creative impact on my life. For every silly character or weird idea that I come up with, you could probably trace it back to one, or all, of these.

There's something that I really enjoy about mashing two things together. Madballs were baseball and football sized balls with awesome, sculpted, gross-out style creature faces. The character and detail in these lured me in from the start.

My favorite was always the eyeball, and my holy grail toy was the action figure version with a body made up of blood vessels. I've tried to make characters that are just eyeballs ever since, but nothing as cool as Oculus Orbus. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Dresden Readthrough: Blood Rites

We continue our readthrough of Jim Butcher's uber-popular urban fantasy series The Dresden Files today with book six, Blood Rites. The continuing plan is to do a book a month on the first Tuesday of each month, and with 15 books on the publication schedule between now and when our readthrough is over, and perhaps our timing being good enough for the 16th, our reading list should be pretty full for the foreseeable future.

Of the six books I've read so far in this series, Blood Rites was probably the first step backward for me in terms of quality and enjoyment since I've started.

The Book Was Better Podcast Episode 73 - Man of Steel! (with guest host Courtney Coulson!)

 The Book Was Better podcast makes it's triumphant return for 2014 as we read and discuss the slapped together novelization of Zack Snyder's pumped up, city-destroying, screamfest, Man of Steel! And by my side this week is plucky boy (but actually a girl) reporter, Courtney Coulson, as we try desperately to make sense of a movie that we loved being adapted into a book we didn't like. We're back! And we are metaphorically firing lasers out of our eyes! LET'S DO THIS!

You can download it right now from the official site!

Or why not subscribe to us on iTunes and join the discussion in our friendly Facebook group!

Monday, February 3, 2014

FPcast! The Fruitless Pursuits Podcast for February 3rd 2014! Our Video Game Histories!

This week we delve into our sordid pre-2000 video game past! How did we first get into gaming? What did we play? Did the Intellivision really have faux wood panelling? Plus we talk about why you're wrong about the Lex Luthor casting, Bay Turtles, X-Men, and Scarlett Johansson vs. Sodastream! Listen to this crap!

Download here! (Click to stream, right-click to save)