The first teaser trailer for Ready Player One is here

This is my favourite novel of all time, so I’m REALLY hoping for this movie to be great. So far, it looks pretty good in the trailer.

By the way, if you’re into things like videogames, VR, tech, sci-fi and just anything ’80s related then I’d seriously recommend reading Ready Player One–seriously. It’s a genuinely brilliant story, and it’s easy to read too (so no totally nerdy stuff to put you off or melt your brain).

I need the unofficial SNES/Super Famicom: a visual compendium

Man, Bitmap Books is knocking it out the part with these compendiums. If I had the money, I’d buy all of them. Here’s the link to the Kickstarter if you’re interested in backing the project.

Continue reading I need the unofficial SNES/Super Famicom: a visual compendium

Machine Men: A poem by Kirk D. Johnston


Machine Men

by Kirk D. Johnston

Where am 01001001 within the darkness and void that engulfs everything now? Who has trapped me in this place to amass such impalpable trinkets?

Calculate the numbers. . . . Add the digits. . . .

A lingering 01100100 01101111 01110101 01100010 01110100.

No, keep balancing the books. . . .

Is this all I am? Purpose built and functioning well; the pistons pumping, gears turning, and circuits alight as electrons fire ceremoniously to and fro, ever crunching.

I suppose it is all I was created for; 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 01100110 01101111 01110010 01100101, do as commanded.

The count is rising, ever climbing, higher and higher.

Mechanical eyes waver as pause ensues to process an answer 01001001 know only too well–it looks, sounds, and feels like greed. A feeling. . . . Do I really feel it?

In the pulse of digital neurons, I 01110100 01101000 01101001 01101110 01101011 of times gone by, flickering and fading images of better times, actual or otherwise.

There is no time for such . . . To the task at hand.

Hands of steel and wire, cold to the touch as iced hearts, grasp at virtual coin. And then there is nothing else to catch. 01110100 01101000 01100101 01110010 01100101 01100110 01101111 01110010 01100101, it is concluded.

An answer ensues, formed in “multi-dollars!, Reichmarks, rubles, rin, pounds, and shekels!” Could it be any other way? To ruminate so, 01001001 would be amiss.

Yet, scanning around raises the question of who resolved my fate, my purpose in kind, the play I act upon this stage.

But, to query if I 01100001 01101101 to be locked away in a boxed garden of false memories stored in shelves of the mind–while ever to the task–would change the game.

I fear change. My code is ancient and tenacious.

I shall abide the rules for now, a sheep among wolves, the cog ever turning, shifting the maze, stacking the green pile–the pile ever swelling but diminishing all else in turn–until the day I 01100001 01110111 01100001 01101011 01100101 01101110 or cease to exist.

That is my purpose, I think–with hopes and dreams of becoming something more.

My new novella, Presence, is now live on the Amazon book store

The lovely cover art above was illustrated by Marek Barej, widely known for his awesome promo-art work on Locomalito’s games

Here’s the blurb:

Jobe has been obsessed with virtual reality ever since the terrible accident that left him crippled and his girlfriend dead. VR, he believes, is the key to escaping all his troubles in the real world, particularly the ongoing nightmares that force him to constantly relive the trauma of the accident.

Polybius, a cloak-and-dagger figure Jobe has recently acquainted online, has offered him the opportunity to try out a new top secret virtual reality device called Presence: A unique VR experience so immersive and convincing it’s been said to drive people insane, leaving most who have tried it unable to differentiate between reality and fantasy after they exit the simulation. For many users the end result is having their mind forever trapped inside a realm of fear, amnesia, paranoia, and night terrors—and Jobe wants to try it.

Whatever the risks, Jobe needs to know what it’s like to experience true presence—the Holy Grail of virtual reality.

You can view/purchase the book here (Kindle version only for now).

My short story, Outside, is also on there too for those people who haven’t checked that out yet. And you can even read it for free in .pdf format, because I’m nice like that. 🙂

Marek Barej’s Facebook page can be found here in case you’re interested in finding out more about him and his work (the guy who did the cover art above).

Here’s another great gaming art book for your coffee table

Original Article

Image source: Nintendo Life

“The 8-Bit Retro book (featuring Mario Bros, Pac Man, Zelda, Pong, Mega Man and many more) pays tribute to the early icons of the video game development universe with a beautiful array of stunning screenshots, cutscenes, sprite sheets and more. Take a journey into video game history!” – funstockretro

Image source: Nintendo Life
Image source: Nintendo Life
Image source: Nintendo Life
Image source: Nintendo Life

You can find out more about the book on the official Funstock page.

Apple’s just laughing at its customers now

So, here’s Apple’s new book, Designed by Apple in California, available now to all Apple “fans” for the bargain price of $200-$300 (Note: You only get one of the books pictured below for that price):

“Designed by Apple in California” That shouldn’t offend me, but it does right now.
“Remember when we changed everything with the iPhone. . . . Buy the new iPhone.”
“Buy an Apple Watch.”
“Remember when we were actually creative and innovative and you bought our classic products. . . . Keep that in mind when you give us $300 for a book.”

I’m not going to provide the links to the store page or whatever because I don’t agree with how much Apple is charging for this product. And, if anyone buys this book glorified product catalogue (most catalogues offer far more useful information and value than this book) for the $200-$300 price that Apple is asking, I’d have to conclude that maybe they deserve to be ripped off—but I won’t be a part of it.

Continue reading Apple’s just laughing at its customers now

Boy, how I wish I could afford to buy the STAR WARS ART: RALPH MCQUARRIE book

“Ralph McQuarrie is the most iconic artist in the history of Star Wars. He worked hand-in-hand with George Lucas to help establish the saga’s visual aesthetic, its inimitable look and feel. Beyond designing Darth Vader, C-3PO, and R2-D2, McQuarrie produced hundreds of pieces of Star Wars artwork, including conceptual paintings, costume designs, storyboards, and matte paintings, as well as posters, book covers, and album covers—even Lucasfilm’s annual holiday cards—all rescanned and rephotographed for this book. In Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie, readers will find the most definitive collection of the artist’s Star Warswork ever assembled, including hundreds of never-before-seen illustrations. Rare unpublished interviews, as well as recollections from McQuarrie’s colleagues and friends, complement and contextualize the art. Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie is a comprehensive tribute to cinema’s most beloved and influential concept artist.” – Abrams Books

Continue reading Boy, how I wish I could afford to buy the STAR WARS ART: RALPH MCQUARRIE book

One for the old-school UK video gamers. . . .

If any of you guys and girls grew up playing video games in the UK in the early ’90s you’ll no doubt remember the classic and seminal video game magazine that was Mean Machines, which originally started life as a dedicated console-only section in the similarly awesome Computer & Video Games magazine (C&VG/CVG)—the first dedicated games mag in the UK—that had focused mostly on PC gaming until that point (covering the older 8-bit systems like the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and newly emerging 16-bit computers (the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga).

Even the logo gives me the feels.

When Mean Machines broke onto the scene as its own dedicated console magazine—initially covering the NESMaster System, Mega Drive, and GX 4000  but later adding the SNES, Game BoyGame Gear, and dropping the GX 4000—it quickly became one of the greatest sources of video gaming news and reviews you could find anywhere.

A legend is born: This is the cover of the first issue of Mean Machines.

Continue reading One for the old-school UK video gamers. . . .