MCM Manchester Comic Con

MCM Manchester Comic ConSo we did MCM Manchester Comic Con. This was a first for me and only the third time time I’ve ever cosplayed if you count Secret Cinema. I was wearing my Jedi outfit — I really need a blue lightsaber to qualify as Obi Wan — and I was accompanied by my younger son dressed as Anakin and my eldest son going for a Boba Fett / SWAT look.

It was great to meet up with fellow Manchester Spec-Fic writer Eliza dressed as Blake Belladonna from RWBY. Behind the lens we have Eliza’s other half Ken rocking a RWBY Sun Wukong outfit complete with tail. Cheers again for the photo Ken!

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Secret Cinema: Tell No One

Underground RebelsSo we did Secret Cinema. We dressed up as Star Wars characters. We wandered around London. That’s my eldest son in the photo next to me. I do not have the words to describe how much of an amazing time we had that night and even if I did I wouldn’t tell you because that’s the whole point.

Tell no one!

With you RebelX!

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Secret Cinema: Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back

Secret Cinema: Star WarsI’ve been threatening to go to a Secret Cinema event for a while now, ever since I realised I’d missed out on Blade Runner and Alien. Last year’s Back to the Future gig looked fantastic, even with the media parade surrounding the late opening dates.

So, when I found out that this year’s event was going to be Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, well . . . I was ready at my keyboard with my finger hovering over the F5 key as the ticket lines opened.

I’ve managed to buy tickets for Saturday July 18th before they sold out. I have a shiny new lightsaber and my Jedi costume should arrive in the next few days. See you there!

The Light Fantastic

Terry PratchettI spent my teenage years painting Citadel miniatures and playing a bucket-load of role-playing games: Traveller, Warhammer, MERP, Shadowrun, to name but a few. I was an avid reader of course, SF mostly, some fantasy: from Lord of the Rings to the Pern series to Neuromancer. For some reason I’ve always struggled with fantasy that wasn’t set in Middle Earth. There is one other notable exception.

Back in October 1986 I had a subscription to White Dwarf magazine and when issue #82 appeared through the letterbox I had no idea I was about to read something that would influence me as a reader — and perhaps as a writer — for the rest of my life. That little something was an extract from the novel The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett. [Read more…]

Three Films I Need To See This Year: The Reboot

Mmm... exploded corn coated in fat and sugar...The last time I blogged about the films that I fancied watching this year it was 2011. I mentioned The King’s Speech and Never Let Me Go — both of which I loved — and another film that I now can’t even bring myself to name. What was I thinking? Why didn’t I just go for something like The Adjustment Bureau?

Since then, other potential highlights were to include Prometheus in 2012 and then Elysium in 2013. I came away from Prometheus rather confused and a little disappointed. Elysium went fairly well, it looked nice, though it was no District 9. I guess I also enjoyed Hobbit parts 1 & 2 though I wanted less rabbit-sledding and rather more troll purse singing. A few “Attercop!” outbursts would have been a bonus.

Unlike the rest of humanity I still haven’t seen Gravity. I love my science so I’m a little nervous about this one, though it certainly looks spectacular.

So here are the three films that I’m looking forward to in 2014 . . .

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . .

Mos EspaLike a lot of 70’s kids I loved Star Wars. I’ve just returned from an amazing week’s holiday in Tunisia with my wife and sons. During our visit we were lucky enough to visit a couple of locations used during the production of the Star Wars films A New Hope and Phantom Menace.

Both sites were situated in the far south of the country, well away from the popular tourist spots of the north. Undeterred, we booked a two-day tour that went on to cover nearly 1300 km, we rode through a sandstorm in the Sahara and enjoyed an adrenalin-fueled 4×4 rally drive along a section of an old Paris-Dakar route.

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Terminator Reboot

I said I'd be back!So there’s a Terminator reboot planned for summer release 2015. The film will feature Arnie himself, which could prove to be an interesting challenge given that his firmware is now getting a little dated. With all the Star Trek reboots and new Star Wars films I got to thinking about plot, especially if a certain director was involved. Here’s my slightly tongue-in-cheek suggestion . . .

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This Is Not a Game

Ingress_Logo“This world around you is not what it seems. Our future is at stake, and you must choose a side.”

I’m ashamed to say that I received my Ingress activation code back in December but I only activated my agent status three weeks ago.

Since then I’ve been busy hacking my way around my local area — Horwich, Shevington, Appley Bridge, Bolton, Wigan and Manchester — and yesterday I hit level 4.

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Nexus 7

It seems like everyone has a tablet nowadays and I’ve been wondering about buying one for a while, except that I’m not a fan of a certain manufacturer and my budget was a measly £200 plus a few quid for a case.

I didn’t need bells and whistles. And I really don’t give a rat’s about branding. I think I probably suffer from a mild case of Pollardian brand aversion.

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SWTOR beta

So here we are. After all the months of waiting Star Wars: The Old Republic is very nearly upon us.

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