Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

The niche to the left

This is a nice change of steps. Someone decided to take matters into their on hands and create. It is always nice to see this. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/aug/13/tinder-for-booklovers-the-new-app-matching-like-minded-readers) gives us ‘Tinder for booklovers: the new app matching like-minded readers’, on one side I want to say this seems lat to the party, but better late than never. And to be honest, if someone comes up with any app that connects rural people together, than it is a good thing. In this case we see “Klerb is ideal for finding companions who share your taste in books, its developer says” and whether this becomes a best seller is beside the point. A good idea is a good idea. So even as we are given ““It was about 20 books on Nazi Germany and 10 Andy McNab novels,” says O’Donnell, an author. “I could feel my vulva constructing its own chastity belt.”” The idea that lass known writer fans can unite and share ideas and share thoughts is never a bad idea. I have a few reservations on “a new app in development is aiming to remove the uncertainty about literary tastes when meeting new people. Klerb has already been dubbed Tinder for bookworms because it matches you with people in your area according to your shared interests in books.” It is not a bad idea, but it seems a little too shallow. I love the books of James A. Carey, but I got to them AFTER I got introduced to The Expanse, I got into The Boys BEFORE I ever saw a comic it was based on, there is an interesting interaction between movies and books. There is every chance I get to see Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, before I have ever seen his comic books. But that is beside the point. There will be all kind of readers and fans to see more people and be connected to more Stephen King fans, and these are only the top of mind writers, there are thousands more and as such for them too a place like Klerb might be the voice box to grow their population of fans. No matter how I see it, no matter how it grows, there is an app that thought of a niche of people and it is a good idea. It will allow the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to connect to the Forbidden planet population of London and I cannot see that as a bad thing (beside the fact that the London people will enjoy better food). 

And we do get some more news. As we are given ““It’s not a hook-up app,” insists Abe Winter, the New Yorker who is developing Klerb, which is still being tested. “Or a dating app of any kind. But Tinder, which is not without its problems, delivers real value to communities by connecting strangers in geographical proximity. I’m trying to bring that model to reading.” We see that the maker (Abe Winter) is thinking things through, and there is the obvious fact that readers can be separated by tectonic plates (and in California several). But an app like this seems to open the doors to the bookworms in us, I personally believe that this is a good thing.

Advertisement

Leave a comment

Filed under IT, Media, movies

To be considered

We all have these moments when we recollect a movie, a movie that had an impact when we saw it. It might not have been a great movie, but there was something about the setting. In this case I was considering the 1984 movie Runaway. In it was Tom Selleck, Gene Simmons and Cynthia Rhodes. The idea of killer robots (spider edition) was not unique, not new, but there was something about it that had  something. I reckon that in todays world, the idea of rogue systems, hacked systems with a killer result is actually a lot less weird than it was in 1984. The movie had more, but consider what this diamond in the rough could contain. Even if it merely holds a reference to the original, the stage of remote killing a person is appealing to a lot of people, and when we consider that in those days the smart bullet was a figment of science fiction, we now have the setting that in 2008 the EXACTO program began under DARPA to develop a “fire and forget” smart sniper rifle system including a guided smart bullet and improved scope. Even as the systems is seemingly not working, or not well enough, we got there or close to it 40 years later. We have zero day issues, we have hacked systems, and in 2019 the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) gave us “In late March, the agency warned that computer hackers can easily gain access to implanted cardiac defibrillators made by Medtronic.” In this we optionally got to the scenario that we saw in movies. In this, there is now a reason to consider that movie as the foundation of something new, whether it is a movie or a mini-series is up to the maker. I merely hope that Gene Simons will get to reprise his role as the evil party in this case, he really was a lot better then I thought he ever would be. 

Whether it would be called Runaway (again), Remote by Rogue or merely Zero Day Kill would be up to the makers. Yet anyone in that field should take a look at that movie and see what was a figment in those days and what might be a lot less delusional in this day and age. And when we consider the impact of electronics, the right chip might give us a lot more options in that field and there would be all kinds of people interested in that, as such there are plenty of avenues to walk. I reckon that it might make a decent mini series (in 3-4 parts) but that is merely my view on the matter. 

Yet what I didn’t know until today is that the movie was originally reviewed by Neil Gaiman (the man behind Good Omens, American Gods and the Sandman, He gave us “The race to outwit the cybernetic psycho is gripping stuff, mostly, with a terrifying showdown atop an unfinished skyscraper; and as the hero cop with no head for heights, Selleck is fine. In between, he spends too much time just being a heart-throb.” OK, I can see that view and it is in that that there is a much larger stage that could be walked by the right visionary (not me). I will leave it up to others to do this. I merely hope that this Michael Crichton original is not overlooked in a race for mediocre streaming series. There is plenty out there that could make for awesome stories. That is the nice side of what we can do today compared to what was created in the 80’s.

Leave a comment

Filed under movies, Science

During the script

Yes, it is part of a sequel. Yet the stories are not linked. It is a view that grew whilst contemplating the previous story, but it is not linked to that story. It is actually a spy story. In these stories the timeline is important, but the facts can be jumbled to add to the suspense in the story. We can use Anna, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and the Night watchman as examples. Of hand I will tell you now that the thought of equalling anything John Le Carre has written is ludicrous from the start, it is the delusion of a lifetime and if the writer did not work for a serious intelligence organisation, any dream of equalling Le Carre is plain folly.

Yet there are a few things we can learn from the master. I loved both Tinker Tailor as well as Smiley’s People. Not in the least for the fact that they were played by Alec Guinness, but the setting of the story was real, it was more than an exercise in nitpicking. Information and in that stage intelligence is about verification. I personally reckon that is why the CIA has failed more than once. We all want the setting of a mind boggling conspiracy, but what if the cogs are small? What if we have a setting with a former president and allegiances with other governments and that becomes a larger hindrance? 

You see if the man was indeed a former president, governor or senator there is a larger field. You cannot be certain that the people verifying the information can be trusted, so how to go about it? Smiley took a small team of people HE trusted, but they were in the cold, their allegiance was everything (as well as their love of country). We can mimic this to some degree, but too much makes for a copy and we want our own laurels. So we have two options. We can seek another player, in the light of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Yet there is a problem. You see whomever is that person has their own agenda. In this case we can fall back on the Art of War by Sun Tsu and seek the wisdom of applying a setting of Reverse spy, inside spy and a few dead spies. The latter needs to be multiple and all but one get exactly the same story, one gets a slightly adjusted truth. When this is done we create a form of verification, what is the reverse spy playing? What is his or her personal agenda and more importantly how trustworthy is that data. The longer the dead spies are intact, the more reliable the data is seen and that is why one will have adjusted intelligence. In the mean time, the inside spy awaits certain information sources to ring or not ring that becomes the setting. Yet to apply that to a script is massive and time consuming. I reckon that the watchmaker approach is the best (but this is a personal view). We insert cog after cog and adjust the stories for each cog if needed, if a new cog is added we look at the timeline, we look at the interactions and we test the story and even better, if we have a person we truly trust with that story, we ask that person to read and test the logic of the approach. It is a way and if someone tells us that this is not the most efficient way, I would wholeheartedly agree, but re writing a spy story is murder on several levels, as such I personally believe that a slow and steady testing of all elements is the best way, moreover, as we see certain elements fall over, we can decide to add another cog, or perhaps join two cogs into a larger cog. The larger cog tends to need a much larger backstory, yet that is the smallest consideration. Consider the secret agent Demons Jab. What would that agent be without a support and information setting? 

Is there a reason? Well consider that there needs to be a reason to off a person (see previous article), the setting could be vengeance, the reason could be spy related, terrorist related or national security considerations? The latter part is often better served through smear campaigns and the media is always up for exclusive information, and they do not always properly vet that information, so there are alternatives. Yet the alternative might not be enough and then that act becomes a cog in the machine we need to build. 

Anyway these are the thoughts I had on creating a spy story and perhaps I am no good at it, but I reckon that I might give it a go when the other book is done, at 65000-70000 words I am well over half way at present, so whilst I await certain players to consider a few options (as well as a 5G solution) I might as well remain creative. Personally I would love to write one book in every genre but I am clueless on romance (Jane Austen) scared to death on Horror (Neil Gaiman), too present for Science Fiction (Arthur C Clarke) and optionally a little too dim for intelligence stories (John Le Carre), all masters in their own field and there are so many more fields to consider, but as life goes, I might not be bored until the day I die, which suits me just fine. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Military, movies

Watch it again!

There is a nice side to the 90’s. We all had a go at new things, there was the start of a new side of gaming, there were new frontiers in IT, there were all kinds of approaches to marketing and there were all kinds of new movies, movies that before that were never pushed to the larger extent. It gave us David Cronenberg, it gave us comic books and there was a new side of horror, at times more playful, but for the people who loved the comics, it was just awesome. One of these makers (Clive Barker) was already pushed into a few realms, but one side was to often ignored, I cannot tell whether it was because of how the non knowledgeable try to sell it, perhaps the review line of “a commercial and critical failure” was linked to it. Yet the story of the Nightbreed, Cabal and Median has potential, not as a slasher movie, but as a horror thriller that needs to be really dark. The kind of story that will make any average psychiatrist decide to retire on the spot. The story has so much to offer, that I am a little bewildered how movie makers 32 years later are ignoring that gem. Craig Sheffer played it decently (considering that there were the 90’s). And. Personal speculation is that he might have been chosen as he more roughly resembled David Boreanaz in Angel (and Buffy) and the makers knew how excited the ladies got over him. Yet I believe that Craig played a decent Boone, the rest of the cast was OK. That is not against them, but against the film makers who were all about slashers and posturing and not about maximising the impact of the large amounts of side stories that Cabal represented (as did Median). I reckon that Nightbreed might too large for a movie, and a miniseries (4-6 episodes of an hour) might make it a lot better and lets face it, this station is ruled by Clive Barker, wasting material that excellent should be considered a crime in TV and tinseltown land. 

Is there more?
Well yes and it is not limited to Clive Barker (although if I can ever revitalise Lords of illusion, I would). Consider the amazing result that IT became and what we saw in the works of Anne Rice in other movies. Now consider the challenge that the Mayfair witches leaved the film makers with The Witching hour. Anne Rice drenched the story in all levels of controversy and that works great in most horror, now add new levels of darkness that we can push for today and you have three books that could ultimately be a next generation focal point of fear for decades, I reckon that the film makers can push into this when the film maker looks at the colour black and considers it to be too light. That is where the boundaries are pushed and there is a larger station, the books of Wes Craven, Clive Barker and Anne Rice have shown them to be masters, they were used for quick revenue fixes and discarded, yet the people at Netflix, Amazon and Disney can make that into a realm of options with 3-5 movies, or larger miniseries with several movies in 5-7 parts, not as a cash cow, but as a station of creating new levels of fear. We can see Neil Gaiman stories making it into that realm, yet he need not be alone (even though he might like it), there is plenty for a while range of stations and now, 30 years later it is time to drill into those treasure troves again, the darker film maker is the most likely winner here and you only have to look at successes like American Horror Story to see that I have a decent case here. 

I wonder if someone in Tinseltown wakes up to that part of the equation, first come, first chance of becoming an accomplished winner. The 90’s produced a whole range of excellent ideas for the big and the 75” screen. 

Leave a comment

Filed under movies

The evolution of god

Yup that was more than a mouthful. Peter Molyneux was ahead of his time, and in all this he was not limited by imagination, he was limited by hardware, as was Sid Meier, as was Richard Garriott, as was David Braben. They made gaming great and their ideas live on, even though in at least one stage it was corrupted by a greed driven corporation hoping that micro transactions would safe them. But what if the next generation consoles and cloud generation gaming is the foundation of new games, what happens when we take the original concept and make it into something serious in a sandbox environment? If we think back to the ‘original’ gods, what happens when we can revisit the age of Hades, Poseidon and Zeus? What if we have the ability to become a god? What if it starts small? What if the game evolves through us, not that WE evolve in a set game?

Consider that energy grows, so consider that we start with accumulating via a bees, wasps, hornets, ants, or termite colony? We get one choice and we still have to find the right colony. Now we can spend time trying to find that colony or we can take a gamble, and as one colony grows the power within us and we row by directing the colony, we get a larger stage, because the colony is merely a first step. From the colony we can grow towards larger herds, towards singular animals and they too provide energy, they provide power and optionally evolve us in other ways too. You see in the old games it was about one person, one setting you and your antagonist, but in this day and age it is outdated, computers have grown more powerful, have grown towards multi creatures, and in all this we merely think of the old god the three, then we get Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Apollo, Artemis. But what if these templates are merely that, mere templates and you get to decide what kind of a god you become? We think back to (the good old days and) a game like Black and White, which was awesome but what happens when our power is depending on how we grow the initial power base? We can rely on the biggest termite foundation ever, but life is a setting of checks, balances and equilibrium, because without  stage of equilibrium you always end up with nothing. So far no game ever went there. We might consider that before the PS4 it as not possible and you might be right, but now in the PS5 era, we see that games like Elite Dangerous become larger than the original creator thought was possible on a BBC Micro B. That is no longer the case and even as I would love to play Populous 2 again, time moves on and we need to push games forward too. As far as I can tell, no one has made a clear push forward in setting a new stage of the god games and in light of the options within cloud gaming that is slightly weird. Cloud gaming is by default the stage where these games can evolve, so what I stopping game developers from going there? A lack of creativity maybe? It took me a moment to pause nd a little of pondering to set a new stage, and if I can do it, those wannabe great software houses should be ahead of me by a lot, so why aren’t they?

And all this is before you consider Neil Gaiman with American Gods, where the new gods get their energy and power from a very different stage, so what is keeping game makers from evolving as well? 

And all this is set to a stage of western gods, I haven’t even considered what a place like India could add to the mix. And I got this far on only one coffee.

Have a great weekend

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, IT, Science

Tripped by a thought

Yup, this happens. We watch things, we read things and it mixes into an idea. The first element in this was the movie Kingdom of Heaven (by Ridley Scott). I love this movie, for some reason it feels more real than any of the other movies that are founded on the crusades are. There are a few other reasons, there is always a good reason to watch any movie with Orlando Bloom and Alexander Siddig and the fact that it also had Liam Neeson, Eva Green, Jeremy Irons and several others did not hurt that cause either. I was struck by the charisma that Ghassan Massoud brought to the screen in Kingdom of Heaven. That movie is pretty much forever in the back of my mind. The second element was something I read. The quote “An ifrit can further be bound to a sorcerer, if summoned”, as well as “In the latter account, the “ifrit among the jinn” threatens Muhammad with a fiery presence, whereupon the archangel Gabriel taught Muhammad a Du’a (Islamic prayer) to defeat it”, this struck a chord as it is the only reference I have seen at present where Christian faith and Islamic faith crosses (perhaps there are more). But it got me thinking. What happens if an Afreet, a dweller of the sands is confronted by the invasion armies of the west? The Crusaders, the Templars, the Teutons, and some of these organisations still exist today. So what happens when an Afreet goes on a quest to understand the enemy of its sands? The idea is not entirely new, the Afreet made an appearance in True Blood and in American gods, but in both cases it is less seen from the view of the Afreet, and as a demon they are part immortal, or at least can exist for thousands of years, anyone with that level of timespan has a different view on matters. As such the Afreet can be in the past and the present giving us a very different stage.

We have been so obsessed with the western folklore, that we forget that there is a large area of folklore that has almost never been tapped into and when we consider that Netflix is present in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, I wonder why we get this oversight. Of course they can also go for the other movie I came up with ‘How to kill a politician’ which optionally might be a big hit in the Islamic world, it might not be something that a person like Geert Wilders likes, but it is a door he opened himself and France added spice to that soup. 

All options I did in mere hours, as such I wonder what is keeping some so called creators in creating actual new stuff (instead of a new version of old stuff). It is as I personally see it the difference between iterative and innovative. A stage that America is shifting in, they are moving more and more towards iterative because they can no longer find the innovative people. A sad state of affairs as I personally see it.

Is it me? Am I tripped by a thought, or am I seeing it correctly that we are missing out on true innovation in both movies and TV series? I am not ignoring the stage where we are told that there are “In 2019, the number of original scripted television series in the United States hit 532”, I am not doubting that, I am merely noticing that other places in the world, these series are missing, or not shown. And to be honest, I have my doubt on all 532 series being actual innovative series. There is nothing wrong with iterative series, but they are a prolongation of something else. Another CSI, another NCIS, another Star Trek, another Superman. I will agree that there are plenty of fans for them, but at times we need to offer something so new people gasp at the notion of difference. I get the setting that this does not always ends up being positive (Firefly, Dollhouse) but they were true innovations, they were different and they have scores of fans, but it was not meant to be. I get it and perhaps my ideas will never become reality either, but I remain innovative in my thinking, it did lead to several 5G IP parts and I expect a few more in the coming year. 

Yet in this I do not pursue a path, I let it was over me just like the Afreet did, just like the soon to be dead politician (in the Movie) and the stage of being between two universes (Keno Diastima), a stage I found in mere hours, yes I agree they are not finished, yet I did most of the work by myself in mere hours. So I wonder what others are capable of making, even if we do not see these results on Netflix, Stan, Youtube or TV. I wonder what became of the 532 series, because so far what we get to see is “Find Out Which Series Will Return for Another Season”, a stage that we accept, but there is more then returning series, they are an accepted and essential part of TV (and streaming), but where is all the new stuff? 

It is a thought that is tripping me and making me trip (to coin a phrase).

And all this is happening whilst I am trying to find a new and original way of levelling up a character in the RPG I have been writing about. We tend to see RPG’s in missions, kills and achievements. I want the levelling to be different, but I am still seeking a way, perhaps I will return to the mission stage of levelling up, but I am trying to avoid it, an RPG can only stand on its feet when it offers more and different stages, not merely more of the same, we have all seen that and as such I am considering other methods, yet the thought of how is not clicking into the frame of mind and the frame of gaming, yet I hope that to be a temporary thing for now.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gaming, movies