5 E3 Games That I Will Be Buying

I know this is a author website but I can’t help but be excited for E3. So if you can forgive me for this diversion, I’m going to geek out for a minute. The biggest video game convention of the year was packed to the gills with incredible announcements and news from nearly every developer. I decided to write this up to make sense of all the awesomeness. I’ve also decided to exclude games that have releases too far in the future (new Elder Scrolls!!! Cyberpunk 2077!!!) to try and narrow the list down. So here is the list from least to most.

5: Dying Light 2

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The first Dying Light was a underrated game. Developer Techland has announced that this game will be bigger and better in every way. They’ve updated the combat system and added some RPG elements as well. If the developers are to be believed, then choices will really matter for this one. I’m very excited to see how it all plays out.

4: Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

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I just platinumed Assassin’s Creed: Origins earlier this week and finished that game out very excited for whatever Ubisoft was going to do next. The updated combat and traversal elements made the grind of the previous games into something truly magnificent. Just like Dying Light 2, Ubisoft Quebec has promised an addition of more RPG systems. I’m excited to Spartan Kick some people off some things when this game drops in October.

3: Metro: Exodus

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Russian post-apocalyptic first person shooter. Resource management and mysterious monsters from unknown places. I played the Metro games when they were remastered and I enjoyed them immensely. The gameplay trailers showed a beautifully desolate world that also looks very dangerous. I’m ready to kill some monsters as soon as this game drops.

2: Spider-Man

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Ummmm… This game looks insane on every level. A Spider-Man game with a Batman: Arkham combat system and a story that looks like it matches with the best of what Rocksteady conjured up. The complexity and speed of this game looks to be everything I could dream of in a superhero game.

1: The Last Of Us Part II

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This is the big one. Anyone that owns a modern PlayStation is beyond excited for this sequel. The Last of Us is a masterpiece. Harrowing. Brutal. If I had to pull a non-gamer into this pixel world, The Last Of Us would be the game I would load up. The gameplay we saw shows a game that has doubled up on the violence and darkness. Sony has been on a role lately. Spider-Man comes first. Then this one. It’s going to be a good year.

That sums up my E3 favorites. There was a lot of incredible looking stuff floating around this year. It’s a great time to be a gamer.

 

NPR’s Summer Poll: My Picks

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It’s aliiiiiive indeed! I spotted that NPR is doing their Summer Poll via social media and I was very excited to see that the focus this year is on horror. The challenge that NPR put up this year (link here) is a tough one. Here’s what they’re asking for:

‘So what scares you? Besides clowns, I mean, because everyone is scared of clowns. Use the form on this page to vote for your five favorite horror novels or stories. Based on what you tell us, our expert panel of horror lovers (Tananrive Due, Stephen Graham Jones, Grady Hendrix and Ruthanna Emrys — more on them soon!) will curate a final list of 100 titles guaranteed to keep your spine chilled and your teeth rattling no matter how hot this summer gets.’

Five picks! I’ve read so many incredible collections and novels over the years that choosing five turned out to be harder than expected. I dove into my Goodreads and came out on the other side with five picks I think that any horror fan can applaud.

Stephen King’s IT

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Let’s talk about the first book that scared the crap out of me. This beast of a book has it all: clowns, werewolves, Lovecraftian monsters, and murder of all kinds. Some of the imagery that Stephen King creates has stuck with me forever. This is a must add for NPR’s list.

Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem

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I reviewed this book on here previously. Everything I said still holds true. This novel dives into one of the most fascinating settings I’ve come across in a horror novel. This is a powerful book that deserves so much love.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

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A rock star under attack by a vengeful ghost. Everything that Joe Hill writes is wholly creative and always terrifying. The quest that the protagonist in this novel undergoes is harrowing. This novel won every horror fiction award under the sun and MAN does it deserve it.

Swan Song by Robert R Mccammon

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Forget about ‘The Stand’. If you want a big fat post apocalyptic horror novel, look no further than this one. The action and horror in this thing are gonzo on every level. This is a jaw dropping ordeal and belongs in this five.

Occultation by Laird Barron

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I wanted to put a collection on this list and I can’t think of a better one. Every story is this collection is perfect. If you haven’t read this, hurry to wherever it is that you buy books and do that.

Those are my five! I’m excited to see the list that NPR and it’s panel of experts put together.

Monthly Review (May 2018)

Happy spring! I hope you’re enjoying your time and enjoying lots of good fiction and film. I’m here again just to give you a snapshot into my own going adventures in the writing world.

Story Submissions:

Submissions: 4

Stories Still Out in the Wild: 4

Acceptances: 0

Rejections: 2

My Hotmail Rejection Folder just got two new friends. The good news is that I sent the stories out basically right away and edited two older stories that have been sitting unused for a little while.

My novella outline is still coming together and I hope to have a good chunk of it done in the coming weeks.

What Else I’ve Been Doing:

Assassin’s Creed: Origins

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I have a new gaming obsession and it’s called Assassin’s Creed: Origins. This is a beautiful game world with the addictive gameplay that the franchise has cultivated over the years. The new RPG elements that they’ve added make the ‘sneak-kill-sneak’ loop infinitely more fun. Add in a bunch of new weapon types (including giant battle axes!!!) and I can’t believe how much fun I’m having.

Rear Window

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My wife and I have decided to fill in some of our classic film blanks lately. We’ve done some Hepburn, some Monroe, and now it’s time for some Hitchcock. I’ve seen most of the classics (Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo) but this one has long slipped by me. We rectified this on a stormy afternoon in the beginning of the month and I’m still kicking myself for WAITING so long. This thing is a masterpiece of suspense and design from top to bottom. Stewart is excellent as always. The neighborhood and the stories told around them builds this narrative to its eventual breaking point in the most fascinating way.

I’ll be having leg surgery early on in June, so I should have some time to catch up on reading and writing. I’ve been reading some great novels lately and I’ll be posting some reviews when I get a chance. Take a moment to follow me on Twitter (@logan_noble). Keep writing and reading everyone.

 

Book Review: ‘The Atrocities’ by Jeremy C. Shipp

Written by Jeremy C. Shipp

When Isabella died, her parents were determined to ensure her education wouldn’t suffer.

But Isabella’s parents had not informed her new governess of Isabella’s… condition, and when Ms Valdez arrives at the estate, having forced herself through a surreal nightmare maze of twisted human-like statues, she discovers that there is no girl to tutor.

Or is there…?

Plot summary taken from Amazon product description.

I’m in love with novellas lately. They have all the strengths of a novel and the compactness of a short story. They seem to be the newest trend in horror publishing. The newest novella on the market was put out by Tor.com. And, as is the norm, it’s an incredible piece.

Jeremy C. Shipp’s novella ‘The Atrocities’ is a cosmic horror with all the trappings of a Gothic. You have a quiet governess. A creepy mansion. A secret that our protagonist must decipher. But that’s where Jeremy’s story veers away.

The setting–an artist’s mansion in the center of a hedge maze– is wholly unique. His description of the statues and paintings help create a nightmare setting that constantly surprises.

The events of the novella never go quite how you would expect. When the story wraps up I was entertained, but a little let down. I’m not saying the ending was bad. It just felt abrupt. The house was so original and atmospheric that I wanted to spend a little more times in it’s halls.

‘The Atrocities’ is worth your time. It’s hard to find such craft and atmosphere in this short of a piece.

Monthly Review (April 2018)

April has come and is (nearly) gone. I’m back again for my Monthly Review. It was a big month for me across a bunch of mediums. Let’s get the business out of the way first:

Story Submissions:

Submissions: 2

Stories Still Out in the Wild: 2

Acceptances: 0

Rejections: 2

My submission chickens from last month have come home to roast, which results in the 2 rejections that we have here. I still have several out and about so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the results are a bit more positive for them.

The legendary Tor.com are holding novella submissions in May and July. I’ll be working on completing a novella to submit for the July timeframe. I’m working with the editor of last month’s acceptance to get my story edited (thanks for being so patient!) and ready to see print. More on that soon!

What Else I’ve Been Doing:

Avengers: Infinity War

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I took off Friday to witness this incredible event. I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe with all my heart and this giant-mega mash-up showdown lived up to nearly all of my wildest expectations. The film is head and shoulders above all the others in the genre. What Marvel/Disney have done here will go down in history as a cinematic event like any other.

God of War

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I recently wrapped up the campaign on this one. What a ride. The God of War franchise used to just be a dude-bro power fantasy. This soft reboot feels like a step into something far deeper. I think video games deserve more respect as a creative medium. God of War is a perfect example of that. The gameplay is tight and the story is awe-inspiring across the board.

That’s it for April. Take a moment to follow me on Twitter (@logan_noble) is you want more nonsense like this. Keep on writing and reading everybody. I’ll see you again soon.

Monthly Review (March 2018)

The third month of 2018 is gone and I wanted to try a new feature that I’ve seen on some author’s blogs. I want to use these Monthly Reviews to wrap up any news in my world and highlight some other random snippets from this month.

Story Submissions:

Submissions: 4

Acceptances: 1

Rejections: 0

Yay! An acceptance! Those are very good. I can’t announce where the story has been accepted yet but I can say that it has been a long road to acceptance.

My goal this year is to have 7 stories published. I’ve got two already and with this one it makes three. I’m going to keep writing and keep submitting until I get there.

What Else I’ve Been Doing:

Hellboy

On my continued quest to read 52 books this year I just finished up Hellboy: The Storm and The Fury. I’ve been slowly working my way through the graphic novels and I’m enjoying it immensly. Mike Mignola’s art is one of my favorite things ever and the Hellboy story is so dense and so crazy.

Far Cry 5

I’m also playing through Far Cry 5 on my PS4. Talk about crazy. The game’s open world shooter sandbox has lead to some frustations but also some genuine moments of awe. I’m halfway through the story and I can’t to see what happens next.

I’ll see you guys again at the end of the month!

The Ritual (Film Review)

There is something primordial about the forest. Fear resides in those shadows. It’s ground that has been tread upon before in the horror genre. But The Ritual brings its own mythology to the genre.

I don’t want to lay out the plot because I think this film deserves for you to experience it as it unfolds.

What I can say without spoiling things?

 

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Four best friends out on a hike!

The Ritual is a fantastic horror film. It treads new ground in many ways and manages to thrill at every turn. Adapting a novel like this one could have gone very wrong and director David Bruckner and team do a fantastic job.

This is a short review. But here’s the thing: Do you love beautiful film-making and skillful performances? Do you love suspense and scares?

Watch The Ritual.