I bet you thought I’d exhausted all my words about Doctor Who with that 3000-word monstrosity yesterday, didn’t you? Sorry to disappoint, but no. Well, almost. I’ve run out of pictures of Matt Smith pulling stupid faces, or at least ones I thought funny enough to use, so I’ll try and keep this short(er).
As we leave 2012, one of the worst years Doctor Who has had in an awfully long time, and enter the 50th anniversary year of 2013, it’s worth taking a look at where and why the show has been going so very wrong lately, and we will be doing so by standing on the shoulders (and nicking the best ideas) of former authors of Doctor Who novels from the ’90s. Long-time readers will know that your correspondent is a fan of the writings (if not necessarily the opinions) of Lawrence Miles, a curmudgeon of some repute in the Who fan community. Miles is also one of the most astute critics of modern Who (or was, before he stopped watching) and though he had a personal conflict with Stephen Moffat which might have coloured his opinions on the latter’s reign somewhat, he has been consistently correct about the show’s downward plummet in quality of late, and the nature thereof (though he called perhaps it a little too early). Lawrence Miles was right, ladies and gentlemen.
So I finished the Homestacks a few months ago now, and I said I’d write a bit more about it when I was done, so here we are. This post is the first of two, on the music of Homestuck, the second will be about the trolls, the Kickstarter and some general stuff about the story and suchlike. Let’s get to it.
Oh my goodness, the music is excellent. It’s a fascinating addition to the comic as delivered via the Flash animations, and its inclusion is one of the things that makes Homestuck so different and so interesting, but that’s only the smallest part of it. There’s such a crazy amount of the stuff- around 600 tracks, made by an immensely talented team - and most of it isn’t even used in the comic. There’s a tremendous amount of variety, with electronica and chiptunes predominating, but a substantial amount of orchestral arrangements too, and whole albums dedicated to other genres including jazz and rock.
Here, listen in no particular order are my top
ten twenty tracks from what I’ve heard of the Homestuck discography.
I’ve had a conversation which has gone almost exactly the same way with a few friends. We’ve been talking about reading things online, and I’ve mentioned Instapaper. They respond “What’s that?”, and I try and explain, but generally do rather a poor job, promise to link them, and then forget. So, for the benefit of Alex, Martin, and anyone else to whom I’ve done this: Instapaper is a service which allows you to save blog posts and articles and such (by means of a bookmarklet or browser extension) from the internet, collect them for later and then read them in a much cleaner, clearer format stripped of any extraneous site garbage, and offline, if you want. As you can imagine, it’s very useful for people who, like me, read an awful lot of online content but may not have the time to read it when they find it, or would prefer to read it on their tablet or e-reader (it can send articles directly to your Kindle or export as ePub). It was the first of what have now become several similar services, like Pocket or Safari’s Reading List, but as far as I’m concerned, by virtue of good, clean design, focus, and clarity of vision, Instapaper is still the best. It’s made and maintained by a chap called Marco Arment who used to work for Tumblr, and has a rather good podcast. It’s free to use via the website, and apps are available for a small fee for iOS and Android. Go and use it now, people.
I’ve been somewhat neglecting this venue of late. I can’t claim I haven’t had the time – I have – but recently my creative energies have been sapped somewhat by a relentless barrage of assignments and coursework for my maths degree, and for the last few months, I’ve barely been able to keep up with my writing duties on the comic. On Friday, though, I handed in the last piece of coursework for this year. Exams start in a couple of weeks, but the pressing feeling that I ought to be doing something else is, at last, in abeyance, and I can write again.
There are many, many drafts of things sitting in this blog’s slushpile: there’s a review of Skyrim which is mostly about plates; discussions of House, The West Wing and Community and all the other TV shows and films that I’ve watched, books I’ve read, games I’ve played, but as yet, I’ve been unable to write anything of length or substance about any of them. Which is why I’m instead going to talk about Ivor the Engine.
There was so much awesome packed into The Girl Who Waited that I didn’t manage to fit all my observations and opinions into my review. Here’s the extra stuff: Continue reading
Dear Square Enix,
I arrived home this morning after a brief journey into town to find that Amazon had delivered my copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I was naturally pleased to get my new game, so I grabbed my laptop, popped in the disk, and it began to install. Register on Steam? Fair enough, I like Steam, and it’s good to know I’ll be able to download and play if I scratch the disc or something.
John Finnemore? If you listen to the credits of Radio 4 comedies, you’ll notice his name is a frequent occurance. Anyway, the other evening, I, along with NRB associates Scott and Luke, went to see the recording of some of his new sketch show for Radio 4. While it’s fairly easy to get to London from our general location, it’s still a bit of a hassle, what with having to get a train then a Tube then wander around until you find the darn place, which a bit of a dull slog, even to someone like me, who likes train travel*. Fortunately, our experience was unexpectedly enlivened by a bomb scare.