Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Are You Social Enough?

Friday, November 18th, 2011

This week we return to our beloved books and take a look back at one of the most intriguing entries in the fantasy genre. It’s actually very hard to pinpoint the genre of To Walk The Night, but the book has been often featured in Top 100 lists of best fantasy fiction, so that’s a start. Whatever it is, it’s a damn good mystery that no one should miss.

In addition, I’d like to bring your attention to a contest that I will be holding next week. If you consider yourself an adventure game connoisseur, then this should be right up your alley. Basically, I post a small part of a screenshot and you have to guess the adventure. Simple, yes, but also extremely addictive and devious! Plus, you also get a chance to win one of 10 (ten) Steam codes for Scratches Director’s Cut. The contest is particular in that it will be hosted through Facebook and Twitter, giving me the chance to market this as SOCIAL trivia. At some point I intend to create a buzz word out of that… Say, “trivisocial” or “socialtrivism”. I envision a future in which everybody will be happily playing trivisocial games on the many social networks. So if this little experiment turns out well, expect greater things to come.

Here’s the link to the rules, and hope to see you there!

Eclectic Sunday

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

At last we have a sizable update here on the blog! And look at that, I actually kept my word this time (marginally). First we have Creating Rem Lezar, hands down the quirkiest and most politically incorrect musical out there. Whatever you do, you must NOT let your kids anywhere near this movie. Then we have Thexder, a forgotten arcade of the mid-eighties, but a very special one since it may be the game that started it all. Honest. And finally, The Affirmation, arguably the best novel by Christopher Priest, a fascinating book by an extremely talented writer that begs to be read. Talk about eclectic updates!

Hope you enjoy all the articles! There’s more coming, and you won’t have to wait four months to get it. To those of you wondering, the Diary Of The Madman will return tomorrow with more Asylum goodies, so stay tuned!


Thursday, March 17th, 2011

See? It took a while but we got here. At last, new content! In truth, my comeback article for this week was supposed to be a lighthearted look at an outrageous Japanese B movie from the mid 60’s called Frankenstein Conquers The World. But then the earthquake that has recently hit Tokyo put me on the fence about featuring the article… I nearly decided that it still would be a fitting tribute to Japan, to their unique culture and movies, but now there’s the problem with radioactivity and, unfortunately, this was a prominent feature in my pick. I quickly dismissed the article as inappropriate for now.

Instead of choosing another Japanese movie I decided to forget about tributes to avoid any misunderstandings. I will say this: what happened in Japan is absolutely terrible and has been a huge blow for the entire planet. Such punishing tragedies are almost unthinkable; we’re talking about an entire country here, an entire culture that has been stopped in its tracks. It was shocking then to see how a huge of portion of the web world has been following this tragedy with morbid fascination. From companies taking advantage of the situation, celebrities mocking the Japanese to religious zealots claiming they deserved it, humanity has reacted in a pathetic way. Think twice before deciding those people are in the minority.

There’s been much talk against nuclear power as well and its consequences, which are obviously devastating. I believe it’s hypocritical to say this; not when most of us depend so much on power. Cars, computers, TVs, stereos, planes, more technology… Our fast-paced world demands this today. Unless we’re willing to shut down entire industries, we must rely on nuclear power or vast quantities of oil, which in the long run can be just as bad as radiation.

So, the current circumstances made me think quite a bit about the issue of technology and I found myself coming back to J.G. Ballard and his views on the technological landscape. Yes, as if it wasn’t obvious by now, I do like the man. The question perhaps is this: is technology a problem and, if so, what can we do about it? To answer this question, we must first understand our relationship with technology. This was my line of thinking, so I decided to do a little experiment for the first major update in the last four months (yikes): I selected Crash to do a combined writing on the movie and book, exploring their meaning. The resulting text drifted away however and tried to fit the concept of Crash into our modern society, so it’s definitely very experimental for the Slightly Deranged standards. It might be a bunch of nonsense or not, that’s up to you for decide.

Overall, I think the article is a fitting analysis: following the unfortunate and terrible tragedy in Japan, society is struggling to decide what do to about the nuclear power. Hint: nuclear power is not the problem; the demand for it is.

In a less somber mood, the writing is also fitting in a way because this week was David Cronenberg’s birthday. Even thought the adaptation of Ballard’s novel was a hit and miss, we wish David a very (belated) happy birthday. As a bonus, I have uploaded a rare TV short by the BBC not even listed in IMDB, featuring J.G. Ballard himself before the Crash novel was even written. It was filmed in 1971 and it’s a must-see.

Hope you enjoy the read!

I Have Returned For The Nth. Time

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

And so it begins… The dawn of a new era at Slightly Deranged! See, I wasn’t kidding with my last post: the update was really coming soon. In fact, I have been tiding up several things here and there for the past couple of days. I hope you like these changes and the new slogan, although I believe there’s more polishing coming up soon; I fear that sidebar is getting too bloated now that I’m adding a new category. That’s right, the very first book in our new section is being covered today, and it’s a great one: J.G. Ballard’s High Rise, just in time before the Vincenzo Natali’s movie adaptation hits the streets. It’s a harrowing read, a very uneasy look into our most darkest emotions, but well worth your time. Additionally, we relive possibly the best platform game that ever appeared on the IBM PC: Zeliard, product of the Sierra On-Line/Game Arts partnership back in the early 90’s. It’s a truly amazing game and it brings back very fond memories.

However, the entree of the day is definitely this long forgotten gem (how many of these exist anyway?) released just a bit after the sad demise of the Hammer Films studio, at least when it came to movie productions: House Of The Long Shadows, the only movie featuring Peter Cushing, Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and John Carradine. Equally funny and scary, this historical piece is inexplicably unbeknownst to a whole generation of horror movie fans, and it is my duty to tell you all about it.

That’s it for today (heck, did you want more??) and I’m looking into a few more interesting changes and a higher update rate. As always, your support and comments are important so don’t hesitate to chime in if you have anything to say, even if it’s nasty and it could hurt my feelings, although you would have to be really nasty and potentially very graphical to offend me. It’s good to be back, and I hope someone reads the blog on Saturday!