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Fiction: After the Accident

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“How long has it been since we crashed on this god-forsaken planet,” the old man asked his robot companion.
“Forty-one years, nine months, twelve days, and… my apologies, my chronometer isn’t so accurate these days.”
“And no hope of rescue.”
The robot shrugged. “That’s the danger of superluminal exploration. Our distress signal won’t reach human space for another hundred years.”
“At least you’ll still be there to tell them what happened,” the human said. They didn’t have the heart to tell him the only thing that kept them going was the man’s maintenance, something they couldn’t do themself.

This story originally appeared in Everyday Drabbles, a daily free fiction project on Wattpad. Visit the link for more free stories. And if you enjoy my writing, support my work by buying me a coffee!
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Podcast: CCR55 – The Battle of El Alamein (1969)

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CCR55 El Alemein

Tonight your hosts, Hugh, Rich the Time Traveler, Opopanax, and Jurd, battle with Nazi apologists.

Click HERE to listen to the Podcast!

And click HERE to watch the movie online!

Chrononaut Cinema Reviews is presented by http://skinner.fm and http://hughjodonnell.com, and is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Fiction: Coffee Break

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The Old One had been working his ineffable plan for eons, his grand design impossible for lesser beings to understand, his great purpose written in the stars themselves. Soon the time would be right.
The elder god decided to take a break. Remaking the universe in one’s own image was thirsty work. He stopped for a cup of coffee.
The dull-eyed girl asked him for his name, and, on a lark, he whispered every dread syllable, watching with anticipatory glee. His drink arrived moments later
“Venti no-foam decaf latte for Cathy!”
The carnage left investigators baffled for years.

This story originally appeared in Everyday Drabbles, a daily free fiction project on Wattpad. Visit the link for more free stories. And if you enjoy my writing, support my work by buying me a coffee!
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Hugh Likes Fiction: The 5th Gender

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The 5th Gender: A Tinkered Stars Mystery
Written by G. L. Carriger
Published by the author
Reviewed from an Advance Reader Copy

5th Gender Cover

The Skinny: A sweet, fluffy queer sci-fi romance with a few bits of mystery thrown in for good measure.

Alien diplomat Tistol and space station security detective Drey Hastion have been making eyes at each other for months. But just as they finally get together, to the mutual relief of their friends and coworkers, Drey gets a case that he’ll need his new romantic partner’s help with. A ship from Tristol’s notably reclusive home world has arrived, and there has been a murder, something so unthinkable in Tris’s society as to be unprecedented.
Going in, I was worried that this book was trying to do too much, but the author comes through with flying colors. Carriger, who may be better known for her best-selling steampunk adventures, brings her characteristic sense of style and dry wit to this romantic cozy mystery. The Galloi are a fascinating and well realized species. The sex scenes are well written and feel natural.
As a cozy, there isn’t a lot of tension in this book. Even places where I expected there to be, such as Tris’s naive misunderstanding of human gender and racial concepts is breezily but respectfully handled. Although as a cis-gendered white man, it’s not my place to make final judgement on that. Drey’s space station seems much more of a utopian one than Carriger’s Dickensian Wheel in Crudrat, which is implied to share a universe. But the story is charming and sexy, with delightful characters you’ll want to see more of when you get to the back cover.
The 5th Gender is directly available from The Author’s Website, as well as Amazon, the usual online stores, and can be ordered by Your Local Independent Bookshop.
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Hugh Likes Video Games: Final Fantasy X Remaster

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Final Fantasy X Remaster
Published by Square Enix
Played on the Nintendo Switch

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The Skinny: The classic PS2 JRPG returns for the Switch, packaged with its quirky sequel

Final Fantasy X is one of the big high watermark JRPGs, the sort of game that doesn’t get made anymore, but is consistently being remastered and made available for digital rerelease. So when it came out for the Switch packaged with its sequel, I picked up a copy, to see how well it holds up nearly twenty years later.
Final Fantasy X is the story of Tidus, a star athlete magically transported from his utopian city of Zanarkand, and Yuna, a young summoner embarking on a pilgrimage. Ten years ago, Yuna and Tidus’s fathers fought and defeated a giant monster called ‘Sin,’ which constantly destroys the world, and cannot be killed by conventional means. Sin has returned, and the two youths find themselves on the same path their father’s took ten years before. Can they find a way to break the cycle, or will they be just another sacrifice?
The game plays without problems on the Switch, and looks gorgeous. I noticed some slowdown during cutscenes, and the sharp HD display makes the transition between pre-rendered and real-time rendered graphics more pronounced an jarring. I played almost exclusively in handheld mode, and it worked great.
The gameplay is just as strategic and engaging as I remembered, and while some of the voice acting and animation have noticeably aged, It’s still notable as the first steps Square took with this level of production.
The game also includes a code for the complete edition of Final Fantasy X-2, the games goofy, power-pop inspired sequel. I may review it later in a second blog post, but for now, I’ll say that it loads fine, and plays about as well as I remember, but after pouring eighty hours into the first installment, I am ready for a break.
You can find Final Fantasy X / X-2 Remaster from your local electronics shop, or digitally from the Playstation, Switch or X-Box online stores.
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Fiction: Puppeteer

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The Puppeteer stirred. She felt strange. There were too many… everything. She tried to sit up, but an endless array of arms and legs and necks and backs all attempted to obey her, and she found herself unable to parse which were hers. She was seized by panic, tangled in a web of red string. She felt a hand on a shoulder.
“The operation was a success,” The doctor said. “It will be confusing at first, but with time you will be able to control the puppets as though they were your own body.”
And who controls me? she wondered.

This story originally appeared in Everyday Drabbles, a daily free fiction project on Wattpad. Visit the link for more free stories. And if you enjoy my writing, support my work by buying me a coffee!
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Podcast: NP37 – #RelenaProblems

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Welcome to Nostalgia Pilots! today Jason, Jurd, Hugh and Spence consider Gundam Wing Episode 37: Zero Vs. Epyon.

Click HERE to listen to the podcast!

In this episode: Heero is super chill about this duel to the death, Duke Dermail’s butler is too generic, and Duo watches some TV! Plus, Tubarov says the one thing a villain never should, and Wu-Fei is a cat who lives by his own justice.

Promo: Flashpulp

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