Life is Strange: Butterflies in the Vortex

Life is Strange Max

“Do your powers include mind reading? Or did you just rewind because I tried to steal the cozy chair?”

Some of you might remember my Walking Dead review, where I talked quite glowingly about Telltale Games’ feels trip masquerading as interactive adventure with zombies. This time, I’m covering something that’s basically the same, sans zombies and plus the Pacific Northwest. Also, sort-of time travel. Is it as good as The Walking Dead? Is it, dare I say, better? Find out what Life is Strange has in store for you…

This review will be spoiler-free, containing no plot details beyond the basic premise that I mentioned above.

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TONIGHT, on the Catholic Geek: A Rambling Wreck, with Hans Schantz

The Catholic Geek: A Rambling Wreck, with Hans Schantz 06/25 by We Built That Network | Books Podcasts://

Hans Schantz joins host Declan Finn to discuss Social Justice in Science, and how it relates to his books ‘The Hidden Truth’ and ‘A Rembling Wreck’ 

Dr. Hans G. Schantz is a physicist, an inventor, and a co-founder and CTO of Q-Track Corporation, a supplier of indoor location systems. He wrote the science fiction thriller, The Hidden Truth, a textbook, The Art and Science of Ultrawideband Antennas, and a short history on The Biographies of John Charles Fremont. Hans will be launching A Rambling Wreck, the sequel to The Hidden Truth, at LibertyCon next weekend. Hans lives in Huntsville, Alabama with his wife, and two sets of twins.

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Review: Lou Antonelli’s Another Girl, Another Planet

Let’s keep this one short:  Buy Lou Antonelli’s Another Girl, Another Planet.


No, that’s it, go out, buy this book.
You don’t like or read alternate history? Neither do I. Too bad, you’ll like it anyway. Really.
…. Sigh. Okay. Fine. Be that way.

Dave Shuster has been confronted over a photo taken by a Mars lander of a graveyard complete with crosses on Mars. Shuster was a low-level bureaucrat in the administration of a joint U.S. – Soviet Mars colony when he was caught up in a murder mystery involving the illegal use of robot technology.

In this timeline, the Cold War took a very different turn – largely influenced by Admiral Robert Heinlein, who was allowed to return to Naval service following World War II.ic
When Shuster is thrown into a power vacuum immediately upon his arrival on the Mars Colony in 1985, he finds himself fighting a rogue industrialist using his wits with some help from unlikely sources in a society infiltrated by the pervasive presence of realistic androids.

Yes, we’re going to do an alternate history with Blade Runner as a subplot.

Lou Antonelli has more than enough historical references to make any history nerd happy — which politicians rose to power, or fell sooner rather than later, what happened to some of the others. What would have happened if Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein never went into creative fields, but stayed creative in the “real world,” like MIT professor Asimov. And this shows a solid grasp of US local political history so deep, that I’ve got a master’s degree, and I read history for fun, and I”m certain I missed some references.

All of the historical changes and references are easy and casual. Nothing is forced in this book. Especially when they refer to music and SF authors who had different lives.

And this book is laugh out loud funny. There is, at minimum, a chuckle a page.  Up to and including Mormons …..INNNN  SSSPPPPAAACCCEEE.

I’m not sure if he wanted to deliberately make a reference to Andy Weir when our hero discusses Martian potatoes, but that helps. As does having a philosophical conversation with androids about theology without being preachy about it. Yay.

The writing is brilliant. Like with some Nero Wolfe novels, Antonelli gives you relevant parts of the plot before you even know what questions are being asked, and what mysteries are coming at you.

Another Girl, Another Planet is both a closed, self contained SF mystery, as well as the best sequel bait ever. It’s a murder mystery, a missing persons, alternate history, and ends on a fun and innovative hook for round two…

There will be a round two, right Lou?

Anyway, just buy Another Girl, Another Planet already, will ya?

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Catholic Dragon Award Suggestions

Since we have not mentioned this since February, It’s occurred to me that the first post was probably a little too cavalier in that Dragon Award post. We should spell out what the bleep is going on a little bit better.

To start with, Dragon Con is one of the biggest SFF conventions in the United States, if not on the face of the Earth. Held in Atlanta each year, Dragon Con hosts a minimum of 60,000 people each year — and we will probably never know how much they really host, lest they get in trouble with the fire marshal (I’m not even kidding).

And, of course, Dragon Con has created its own award — the Dragon Award, pictured left.

Aren’t they shiny?

Unlike a certain other set of awards that shall never be named, the Dragon Awards give out awards by genre. The Dragon Awards are also unique in that they do not go by calendar year, but from the start of July to the end of June.

I’ve done this list a few times already. Once was done over on the Superversive SF blog, using a list of Superversive books from last year that fit their standards. That was a bit of a problem with several of the books, since not all of them were SFF: Set to Kill was one of the books on the list, but not eligible — since it’s a murder mystery that takes place in Atlanta, at a place called WyvernCon, in the middle of a political war about Tearful or Hydrophobic Puppies versus Puppy Punters from traditional Big Publishing.

Obviously, Set to Kill has no similarities to real events.

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A Pius Man, Chapter 2, A Pious Mercenary

Yup. Here we go again. Last week was chapter 1, and now we continue with your look at the new edition of chapter 2 for  A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller.

By now, you’re probably well aware my yanking this from the shelves when I signed with Silver Empire Publishing.

But right now, it’s back, and up for preorder, here, direct from the publisher, currently being sold with deep discounts. You can buy them cheap when you can. Because this deal will only last until July 1. So, hurry.

And if you’re new here, and have no idea what A Pius Man is … It ate up ten years of my life, and the best use I have ever gotten out of my Masters in History outside of writing biographies of older vampires.

But here you go, here’s the next chapter. When you’re hooked, order it. Or preorder it. Or something.

You’ll note this one is a little shorter than usual. Sorry about that. But a little Sean goes a long way.

Anyway, there will be more to come on A Pius Man. You have been warned.

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Review of Jon del Arroz’s For Steam and Country

For Steam and Country, by Jon del Arroz… yeah.
This one is going to be a little strange.
But it’s steam punk. Aren’t they all?
Not to mention it’s in a field that might only have two other competitors — The Aeronaught’s Windlass, by Jim Butcher, and the web comic Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius.
This is, of course, if you don’t count early games of Final Fantasy.
I have just listed all of my credits in the field of steampunk. I generally find it a quirky little genre, but it takes a lot to get me into it.

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A Pius Man, Chapter 1: A Pious Cop

Yes, you’re reading this right. You’re about to get a look at the first, redone chapter of A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller. Imagine if every thriller that had “history” of the Catholic church were both well-written and historically accurate. Basically, a Catholic James Rollins.

As mentioned yesterday, I pulled this one from the shelves when I signed with Silver Empire Publishing.

And right now, it’s up for preorder, here, direct from the publisher, currently being sold with deep discounts. You can buy them cheap when you can.

And if you have no idea what A Pius Man is … wow, you have to be new here. It ate up ten years of my life, and the best use I have ever gotten out of my Masters in History…. okay, that, and writing the biographies of older vampires.

But here you go, here’s the first chapter. When you’re hooked, order it. Or preorder it. Or something.

Anyway, there will be more to come on A Pius Man in the coming days. You have been warned.

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