As if being an astronaut would not make you feel like a boss each time you go to work anyway…
No, you even get to play with the best toys in the pool:
Image © NASA, public domain
For all its retrofuturistic appeal, awesome gameplay, fantastic graphics, and stunning storytelling and in-game universe, Fallout is/was for a time very much the real world. At least as far as the aesthetics and sheer enthusiasm for the atomic bomb are concerned.
Case in point:
Miss Atomic Bomb.
After a longer break than I had anticipated it is finally time for the next episode of the Non-Euclidean Æthercast.
This one is on the double-bladed side of things. The first part is a bit of a rant about being a geek and a teacher and how pupils perceive you and how their gender colours the perception. I rant a bit because I had something related to the fake-geek-girl phenomenon happening (as an observer, mind you).
The second part is about my experience with the absolutely awesome Zombies, run! Halloween race. SPOILER ALERT!
So, for the Fhtagn of Cthulhu, please enjoy.
Header image © Zombies! Run, fair use.
Nyarlathotep is perhaps the most interesting of the Lovecraftian Deities. He is arguably the only one who had a developed persona in Lovecrafts own lifetime and the one most involved in human affairs while at the same time being one of the most, perhaps the most, alien and incomprehensible of the Outer Gods Pantheon.
Nyarlathotep is one of my favourite entities of the Mythos and, due to his extra-dimensionlity, has made cameos in several RPG campaigns I ran over the years.
Since Nyarlathotep is a rather complex and alien entity, getting what it (or he, or she) is all about, is a bit of a complex task. Luckily, Mr H. Reviews has started a series of videos explaining entities of the Cthulhu Mythos and he has done a splendid job explaining Nyarlathotep to the non-cultist:
Several myth cycles have been featured here before, most often the Cthulhu Mythos, of course, but there have also been mentions of Norse Mythology and more recently the Epic of Gilgamesh. Now it is time for some mythology that is often, sadly, ignored by most:
The fact that African mythology is often ignored in cultural studies is tragic, since this continent offers an astoundingly divers and rich treassure of tales that, due to the nature of human origin, go back longer than anywhere else on earth.
Here is one great example of African mythology: The Mwindo Epic, a tale by the Nyanga people of the Congo:
Also of note is the way the epic is traditionally told (this is according to the Wikipedia, so accurracy may be flexible):
The Mwindo Epic varies from typical oral myths in that it is not only spoken, but performed among gatherings of locals. The myth is performed mostly by a single bard wielding a calabash made into a rattle and donning various bells and other forms of noisemakers. To tell the story properly the bard acts out all the parts and does not refrain from being very animated in his dances and acting. It is not unusual for the bard to throw in some narrative not native to the story detailing his own life and his own personal experiences. The narrator is usually accompanied by four younger men who play on a percussion stick.
Audience participation is important. The audience will often sing along with the narrator and the percussionists during the songs, and repeat certain lines of the story while the narrator pauses between sections. The bard is often shown appreciation by the audience with applause, yells, and gifts.
It does not happen very often one is genuinely confronted by something shrouded in utmost secrecy…
You know, something that might be discussed under a drooling, waning moon in the halls of the Silver Twilight Lodge.
Well, I am now involved in something pertaining to the Cthulhu Mythos that I genuinely must not name and I already had some hours of fun in connection with it…
Oh the joy cosmic horror can bring…
Engaging Fanboy Mode:
People, go and watch The Expanse!
It has been two weeks since I opened an account with Netflix and I am already despairing! I binge-watched The Expanse, but to my dismay, it is only two seasons long so far, with another season due in 2018.
But what seasons they are!
The Expanse offers a relatively hard sci-fy look into what the solar system could look like in about 200 years. It features:
The Expanse is hands down the best science-fiction series I have ever seen. It is gut-wrenchingly realistic in its portrayal of the struggles one faces when confronted with the fact that outside is nothing but hard vacuum. All the characters are real, have real motivations (even if it just greed) and the really good guys and knights in shinig armor types are few and far between, but all are human and even the bad guys are not beyond redemption.
And the space battles are simply one step beyond everything I have seen so far!
Try it out yourselves, watch it!
I hope The Expanse will be for science fiction what Game of Thrones is for fantasy.
And now, enjoy the Season 3 ComiCon Trailer!
Header image © Syfy, fair use
The Cthulhu Mythos, the original tales by H.P. Lovecraft and for a long time the vast majority of the stories written by his friends and successors are lacking one thing (both the stories and the successors):
Both the stories and the the league of authors are almost devoid of women and I was only aware of Sonia Greene, as far as female authors are concerned. So I was delighted when a friend pointed me towards She Walks in Shadows, an anthology written entirely by female devotees of the Mythos and featuring female protagonists.
I was also a little weary since I have had mixed experiences with anthologies in the past andShe Walks in Shadows is all about my favourite fictional universe, I knew I would react a bit touchy if the anthology was a disappointment.
I need not have worried, She Walks in Shadow is a jewel, a jewel more akin to a Shining Trapezohedron, but a jewel none the less.
While I did not enjoy every story, the ones I did enjoy far outweight the ones I did not.
“Cthulhu of the Dead Sea” by Inkeri Kontro and “Bring the Moon to Me” by Amelia Gorman share the #1 spot in my personal list, both blending science and the Cthulhu Mythos in delightfully creative ways and being bone-chilling at the same time.
Another great one is “Notes Found in a Decommissioned Asylum, December 1961″ by Sharon Mock. The style of the story really drags you into the brutal reality of an insane asylum and then there is some Cthulhu Mythos sprinkled on top.
“The Thing in The Cheerleading Squad” by Molly Tanzer is really delightfully different and not slapsticky at all, although you might think it is, judging from the title.
But the review would not be complete without mentioning the final story of the anthology:
“Queen of a New America” by Wendy N. Wagner, a tale featuring everybody’s favourite evil lady pharao: Nitocris,truly a lady with a plan.
She Walks in Shadows is a great and delightfully different Cthulhu Mythos anthology that opens new perspectives on old tales and spins new ones, adding more facettes to the cosmic horror that is the Cthulhu Mythos.
The Anthology contains 25 original short stories, there is a lot more to discover than the stories I mentioned in this review. Get a copy, you will not regret it…
8 out of 10 screaming Haunting Horrors