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Podcast: NP1-Natural Born Gundams

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Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 10.25.01 PMJoin the full Nostalgia Pilots crew as we kick off our first episode by diving in to 1995’s Mobile Suit Gundam Wing! Learn how Jason, Hugh, Jurd, and Scribe first came to know and love giant robots, and the psychopathic teens that pilot them!

Then, sit down and hear their thoughts on “Episode One: The Shooting Star She Saw!” Will Operation Meteor free the colonies from the tyrannical grip of the Alliance Military? Or will ace soldier and fashion icon Zechs Marquise take out our heroes before they reach the ground? And more importantly, Will Heero make it to Relena’s birthday party?

Episode One: Natural Born Gundams

Podcast: CCRC24: Night of the Living Dead (1990)

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After listening to the Chrononauts review 1968 original, join us for a live commentary of 1990’s “Night of the Living Dead” remake!

Spoiler alert: Harry Cooper still sucks!

Click HERE to listen along! You’ll have to find your own copy this week, though. Sorry!

This podcast originally appeared at Skinner.FM on May 19, 2017.

Thanks for listening to this podcast. If you enjoyed it, please share it or leave a review. You can also support me on Patreon for more goodies!

Hugh Likes Comics: Rocket #1

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Hugh Likes Comics: Rocket

Rocket #1
Written by Al Ewing
Drawn by Adam Gorham
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There are two ways to look at Rocket #1. On the one hand, this is the second “Rocket #1” to hit shelves this year, and it isn’t even June. Readers could lay that at the feet of Marvel editorial’s constant cycle of resets and reboots, in this case an attempt to catch the wave of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. On the other hand, it’s Rocket doing heists in space with Technet. Technet, you guys!
Technet is one of the lovely bits of obscure Marvel goofiness that just warms my heart. They are a wacky team of Space Mercenaries that served as antagonists for Captain Brittain and Excalibur in the late ’80’s. They all have unusual designs and strange powers, and are just about perfect for a Rocket book that pulls him away from the Guardians.
This comic works because it has a perfect voice and it knows how to use it. This is a beat for beat heist that doesn’t apologize for the over-the-top characters. It opens with Rocket drinking alone in a bar, when a dame in white walks back into his life. The fact that this is a space bar filled crazy aliens, and the dame is an anthropomorphic otter named ‘Otta Spice’ is treated as a given.
The layout and art really make this comic work. Each page is accompanied by a a column of spare prose on the left side that reads like a Parker novel. And the slick suit-and-sunglasses look for Rocket and his crew sells the genre conventions.
Rocket #1 could’ve just been another tie-in cash grab, but by so seamlessly blending archetypal genres, and bringing back some genuinely weird Marvel characters, Ewing and Gorham are starting something special. In the words of Technetter China Doll, it’s “Fun-fun-fun!” You can find it at your local comics shop, or digitally from Comixology.

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Hugh Likes Fiction: Six Wakes

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Six Wakes
Written by Mur Lafferty
Publishedd by Orbit
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Six Wakes is the ultimate Sci-Fi locked room mystery. The six-person crew of the Dormire wakes up in the cloning lab. They are staring at their own corpses, with no memory of what happened, or anything else, for the last 24 years of their interstellar journey. Light-years from Earth, they’ll have to figure out what happened and how to survive when at least one of the crew is a murderer.
This novel is a story of paranoia, survival, and the ethics of cloning and life extension. Mur’s story is full of rich characters, drama, and unexpected twists. But what I found most interesting were the choices Lafferty made in building her world. The premise hangs on some very hard science astrophysics to build the sense of tension and isolation. This isn’t a quick warp through the galaxy. The characters have been stuck together for a very long time, and they have a much, much longer way to go. The cloning technology, however, is very soft SF. It’s a surprising choice, considering how much of the story, and the mystery, relies on it.
While she never breaks her own rules, Lafferty focuses on the ethics and moral issues of life extension, and what a world where some people will effectively live forever and others won’t, means, and the paradox of the ultimate revenge being reduced to a minor inconvenience. The cloning tech, however, is based on a movie-producer’s idea of how hacking works, and literal glowing goo. I wasn’t particularly bothered by this choice, but hard SF purists may consider it cheating.
Six Wakes is a chiller of a Sci-Fi mystery filled with interesting ideas and plenty of tension. You can find it at your local bookstore, or in print and ebook from Amazon.

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Hugh’s Schedule for Balticon 51!

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The City-final-5

Big news!
I will be a guest at Balticon this year, and you can come and see me, and buy a 1st edition print copy of The City: A Story in 140 Characters!

Here are the lovely panels I will be appearing on:

Friday, May 26, 7PM: Cutthroat Flashfic

A panel of writers creates flash fiction pieces in front of the audience – who gets to sabotage them by taking away words and adding silly rules.

Saturday, May 27, 3PM: Podcasting on the Cheap

Podcasting doesn’t have to break the bank, learn to set up and run a podcast on the smallest of budgets.

Sunday, May 28, 2PM: Nostalgia Pilots-Live

Three hosts take a trip down memory lane to discuss and review episodes of Gundam Wing.

Sunday, May 29, 3PM: LGBTQ Themes in Anime

Sunday, May 29, 5PM: The Freelance Hunters LIVE!

Hugh J. O’Donnell presents The Freelance Hunters, with a live reading, Q and A, and raffles!
Guest starring Erin and A. F. from The Melting Potcast!

I’ll also be hanging out, selling books in the dealers room, and taking in panels and games.
Find out more at balticon.org!

Hugh Likes Video Games: Type:Rider

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Type:Rider, A Typographic Videogame
Created by: Cosmographik
Played on PS Vita
Type-rider
What if “Limbo” was about fonts? This is the premise of Type:Rider a combination documentary and puzzle-platformer from Cosmographik. Players take control of a humble colon as they roll through levels based on the history of typography, from cave paintings all the way to desktop publishing. The level architecture is made up of huge landscapes of letters.
Type:Rider isn’t particularly challenging, but it is very clever in its design choices. For the most part, your : handles like an implied motorcycle. You can move forward or back, and you can rotate clockwise or counterclockwise using the L and R triggers to navigate terrain. If either of your periods hits certain obstacles, usually shown in red, you die and have to start again, usually close by. For the most part, all of the collectable goodies are easy to spot and collect, although a few require some thought or dexterity, particularly the hidden ampersands. But this is a game that wants you to collect its secrets, and the main game is quite casual.
Each World is devoted to a different style of font, and collecting asterisks scattered throughout the levels unlocks short articles about notable figures or events in the development of print.
There is a “Speedrun” course for each level that is much more challenging once you complete each one for more skilled players. The music in each level is thematic, but the compositions are short and have a droning quality that gets annoying after a while. The only other downside is that the game is very Eurocentric. Outside a few short sections in the “Origins” chapter, the game focuses entirely on Roman characters. I would’ve loved to learn more about typography’s development in other languages.
Type:Rider isn’t a longterm commitment of a game, but it is quite clever and the subject matter is unexpected and interesting. Playstation Plus members can pick up this curiosity for free this month. It is also available on Steam and for mobile devices.

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Podcast: CCR36: Night of the Living Dead

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The Chrononauts gather to profit off of the mistakes of a 1960’s film distributor and watch George Romero’s public-domain milestone, “Night of the Living Dead!”

Click HERE to listen!

If you somehow haven’t seen it, click HERE and settle in!

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.

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it, or leave us a review on your favorite podcatcher! You can also support Hugh on Patreon for more goodies!

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