New video, new show, new house

I announced it on the Facebook page — be sure to follow that if you don’t already for quick updates that don’t warrant a full post — but I wanted to wait until I had something specific to show you before I announced it here:

I have officially joined the Triple Jump team as a writer. You can watch the first video I’ve scripted — posted this very day — here:

So, a few notes on this. Firstly, Every X Ranked Worst to Best is a brand-new show on the channel, and so far I’m the only one writing for it! That doesn’t mean it’s my show in any way — in fact, please allow me to make clear that it is not — but it does mean I get to help it find a voice and an audience, which is immensely flattering to me.

Secondly, you may have come across Ben and Peter at either WhatCulture or Vidiots before. Triple Jump is their personal venture, and I certainly encourage everyone to like and subscribe to their channel. They don’t just make some of the funniest video-game stuff on the internet, but they’re great people as well, and by doing something as simple as subscribing you’re helping them do what they love. (And, y’know, helping me as well.)

If you don’t know Ben and Peter, I’d strongly encourage you to watch their Worst Games Ever series, which has followed them between channels. It’s fantastic.

Also, if you subscribe, you’ll get to watch a bunch of stuff I’m writing, which is evidence that I really am writing, guys!

Yes, I know it’s been quiet here, but I do have a lot of things in the works. One of which is TripleJump, which is a lot of very fun work that I already enjoy immensely, so please do support it by subscribing. Another of which is another draft of The Book I Can’t Quite Talk About Yet, incorporating a third round of very helpful feedback. It’s coming together great, I’m happy with it, and at some point I hope to talk about it before I die.

And the other big thing I’ve been doing is…buying a home. This is a huge thing for me, especially as it was made very clear to me that if I chose writing as a career path I was basically signing up to be a hobo.

Instead, well…I’ve done alright for myself, but I’ve also spent my entire adult life renting. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there are certain things I’ve always wanted with a place of my own that I couldn’t easily (or perhaps even wisely) have in a rental, such as a library area, or a freestanding arcade cabinet. Now I get to actually create the home I’ve always wanted, and that feels really great.

So stay tuned. More is coming. Much more is coming. And I appreciate your patience as so much comes together. It takes a while sometimes to get where you’re going, but as long as you’re moving, I think you’re doing okay.

Urgent: A lost episode of ALF has been discovered!

This is not a drill, a joke, or a trick. I have in my possession a complete and very real script for a never-produced episode of ALF.

This is what I was referring to last week. I didn’t want to promise anything until I actually held the script in my hands. Any number of things could have gone wrong. The post office could have eaten it. The script could have been incomplete. The whole thing could have been a hoax.

But here I am, with 30 minutes’ worth of never-seen ALF in my grubby little hands. It’s called “Home Sweet Home” and I’m dying to tell you all about it…but that will have to wait.

This is a piece of television history that was almost lost to the ages. Granted, it’s a small piece of something nobody likes, but still. It’s something.

And it’s a hell of a damn find. In July I reviewed the ALF Sega Master System game, and I was pretty certain that was the last ALF project to warrant coverage. I even ended that review by saying, “Tune in next year when I review the fuckin’ paper plates.”

But now, I have this.

I am going to cover it in July for this year’s ALF review. That is to be expected, I’m sure, and I’m thrilled to be able to share this with the world for the very first time.

However, I’ll need your help in terms of how to present it. In every other case, you could watch the episode or play the game or whatever yourself, and then read what I have to say about it. In this case, that’s not possible. I have the script and you don’t. That’s a problem.

The easiest solution would be to scan the whole thing and post a .pdf, but I don’t own the rights to “Home Sweet Home” and have no intention of distributing somebody’s script without permission.

Fair Use, however, allows for transformative works. That’s why I’ve never had any qualms about using screen grabs and quotes in my reviews; they’re being presented in a transformative context that does not rob the episodes of their own identities. The reviews exist in a space that doesn’t overlap the value of the episodes.

All of which is to say, there are a number of ways I could go with this. The script could be illustrated, storyboarded, animated, acted as a radio play…anything, really. I want people to be able to enjoy it, so please let me know how you would like to see “Home Sweet Home” presented, and I’ll do my best to give you something worth coming back for.

Share your thoughts, either below or otherwise. I’m all ears, and we have a few months to do this right.

We’re making history, here, people.

Updates, and This Year’s Rule of Three

HELLO as I’m sure was pretty clear I’ve had a difficult month. But I’m here, I’m okay, and I have some updates I think you will enjoy.

The book: The loss of Mike a few weeks back made me profoundly unproductive, which I think most people would agree is understandable. As such, I wasn’t able to finish the next draft of my book as quickly as I’d have liked. It’s still been submitted ahead of the publisher’s deadline, so there’s no problem there, but I had hoped to have it finished sooner and work on some blog stuff instead. That didn’t happen, but things will pick up very soon.

Fiction into Film: Ghost World won the poll for my next Fiction into Film. That was the project I had hoped to tackle over the past few weeks, but it will have to happen a little later instead. I’m planning to have it done at some point in March, so that it’s out before this year’s Rule of Three starts up in April. More on that in a bit.

Advertising: Every so often I get an alert from Google AdSense saying my site is in violation of some guideline or other. Typically this happens while I’m at work, and by the time I get home and check on my site, the violation is gone without explanation. I almost never have any clue what they thought I violated, so I’m assuming they’re just false positives that get automatically cleaned up by the system. (It would be nice if they told me what was causing them, though.) Today I got one and was able to check it quickly enough. It was a sexual content violation on my Fiction into Film for The Running Man, which, as I’m sure you recall, was done in the style of hardcore pornography. Granted, I do talk about sex in that writeup, but only in terms of how the adaptation handles it. Each time I get flagged, ads either stop being served or I stop making any money from them until it’s resolved. And since I’ve yet to post any hardcore super sex on this site, it’s getting irritating. I may just do away with AdSense altogether. Some folks have suggested Patreon instead, and while I have nothing against that I’d feel pretty bad if the audience paid for my services rather than sponsors or employers. Wanting you enjoy my content and expecting you to fund it are two very different things. I’m open to ideas, so let me know your thoughts.

ALF news: It’s very possible I will have one hell of a big coup for this year’s one-off ALF review. Stay tuned. It’s a good one.

Rule of Three: The big update is this year’s Rule of Three, the comedy-focused sister series of Trilogy of Terror. Rule of Three kicks off April 1, and this year I’ll be looking at movies based on novelty songs. I could say more about why I chose that topic, but I’d rather save that for the actual features so I’m not spreading my criticism into places later readers won’t find. If you’re interested in watching the films ahead of time, you’ve got about a month!

The schedule is as follows, with links to the appropriate songs so you can be amazed anyone squeezed 90+ minutes of narrative out of this crap:

April 1: Harper Valley PTA (1978)
April 8: Convoy (1978)
April 15: Purple People Eater (1988)

These are all varying degrees of glorious trainwrecks, and I look forward to writing them up and sharing them with you. On a related note, I apologize for letting you know these things exist.

For now, I just want to thank you for your patience. There’s good stuff coming. Life may slow me down, but it has yet to keep me down.

Update: Book, Fiction into Film, Mega Man, more!

Right! So, it’s been quiet around here, I’m not dead, you know the drill. But since I haven’t updated the site in 2019 yet, I wanted to provide some information about what’s going on, tease a few features, and open something up to a vote.

First, the book.

I know, I know, I wish I could actually tell you about it. Hopefully soon. My publisher will have to do its own announcement first, and then I’ll never shut up about it, I promise.

Progress has been great. I sent them a complete draft toward the end of 2018, and they provided a lot of useful, extremely thoughtful feedback. I was happy with the draft (as far as drafts can make one happy), and they’ve unquestionably given me the tools to make it better.

Posting much of the feedback here would give away the subject, so I’ll instead just include this one general bullet instead.

That felt good to receive! I can sleep again knowing I didn’t submit a big heap of crap.

There were definitely a few things I did that they weren’t on board with, which is great to know. It’s impossible for me to experience my own work as a reader, so feedback like that is immensely helpful.

I will say that the book covers a topic I’ve discussed here before. Obviously this will cover it in much greater depth, but if you’ve been a reader of the site, I think it’s safe to say you’ll be glad when you find out what I’m covering.

All of that is to say that I’m currently working on the second complete draft of the book, which consists of a major rewrite followed by lots of and lots of editing and polishing. I owe them this draft by the end of February, and I expect to turn it in much sooner than that. Once that happens, I’ll be posting here regularly again.

Well, “regularly.”

I do have a number of things I want to cover when I have the bandwidth. For starters, it’s safe to say I’ve spent enough time with Mega Man 11 now that I can write its Fight, Megaman! entry. You’ll notice it wasn’t in my best-of-2018 list, but I don’t hate it and I know I’ll have a lot to say.

I’ve also spent a lot of time with Fallout 76, which has become less of a video game and more of a flaming dumpster tumbling down a mountain. Which is a shame, because its dire reputation is both well deserved and unfortunate. You’ll notice it wasn’t in my best-of-2018 list, but I don’t hate it and I know I’ll have a lot to say.

There’s also a whole piece I’d like to write about Prey‘s approach to ethical conundrums. You’ll notice it was in my best-of-2018 list, and I nearly discussed my (very positive) feelings about this aspect of the game there, but saying anything of substance will be impossible without major spoilers, so I’m going to confine it to its own post. In the meantime, go play Prey.

In February, I’ll be reviewing another show in its entirety, for those missing the ALF reviews. It’s a worse show than ALF, but it also didn’t last as long, so we can call it a draw. Stay tuned for more information on that.

I have my three films selected for this year’s Rule of Three, and I think it will be an interesting study. You can look forward to that series starting up, as always, on April 1.

And, finally, I want to spend time this year writing more Fiction into Film entries. I always have good intentions with this series, and it’s one of my favorite things to write, but it also takes a lot of time and energy, so when those things are at a premium, this is the first to go.

However, as your reward for being patient, I thought I’d open up the next Fiction into Film to a vote.

Below are a number of entries I’ve wanted to write for a long time. These are adaptations I know I’d have a lot to say about, and the reason I haven’t covered them yet is simply because I haven’t gotten around to it.

After this draft of the book is complete and submitted, though, I will begin work on whatever wins the popular vote. You’re welcome to vote here in the comments, on Facebook, through email, on Twitter…any way you like. Just let me know which one you’d prefer to read about, and that’s what will get my attention. I’ll announce the winner as soon as my draft is complete, so I don’t have a firm date yet. The end of this month is probably a fair guess, though, so vote now!

  • Catch-22 (1961/1970)
  • The Long Goodbye (1952/1973)
  • The Hotel New Hampshire (1981/1984)
  • Jackie Brown (1992/1997)
  • Breakfast of Champions (1973/1999)
  • Ghost World (1997/2001)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (1970/2009)
  • Submarine (2008/2010)

As always, thank you for your patience and for your readership. You’ll get something great out of the quiet time, I promise.


Ho ho ho, it’s bed time

I have to admit, while I didn’t expect to take a break after this year’s Xmas Bash, I’m very glad I did. It feels good to just do…nothing.

That obviously won’t (and can’t!) last forever, but for now, I hope you’ll understand if I take the end of December off.

I won’t be completely gone. At the very least, I want to post a best-games-of-my-year list like I did for 2017. I’m still trying to decide on a format, though, since once again I’ll be allowing games I missed from the previous year.

And though I say I’ll take the end of December off, I’m actually working on the second draft of my book. The publisher got back to me with feedback that was thorough, useful, and honestly flattering! The rewrite won’t take nearly as much work as the first draft did, but there are a few things I’ll need to really rework, so it’s no small task, either.

So…be patient. Enjoy the holidays. Hang out with friends, exchange gifts, consume alcoholic lactose. You’ve got better things to do than check a blog!

I’m not gone…just enjoying a few deep breaths. I’ll be back soon.

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