The Power of N

N (MetaNet Software, 2004) is a perfect pop song of a videogame, an addictive platformer in which you use three keys to direct your ninja towards the gold and away from the robots. Its two-dimensional and mostly two-colour simplicity lure you into its cunning level designs and give […]

Greg Costikyan tells science fiction writers: “I want to be challenged with interesting ideas, distinctive writing styles, unconventional ways of looking at things, and transportation to a world very different from our own. I don’t want to sink into the familiar, I want to be surprised and shaken […]

Good Grief

The following Q&A first appeared, in condensed form, in my column The Panelist for Toronto’s Eye Weekly. Here’s a special, extended version of the conversation. Collecting every Peanuts strip Charles Schulz ever drew, The Complete Peanuts will take a whopping 25 volumes and more than 12 years to […]

Dylan Horrocks writes: “New artforms bring new aesthetic paradigms. Those who fail to recognise this tend to miss the point of the work altogether, dismissing it as frivolous, bad or even dangerous.” A long article about comics, videogames, and fantasy novels.

Bloody Culture

With his new book Ilium, Dan Simmons has written an exciting work of science fiction that is partly based on Homer’s Iliad. At first it would seem that Simmons is writing Ilium in the shadow of the Iliad — a dry and dull piece of literature, right? — […]

No Love For the Glove

The line between gimmick and innovation is sometimes hard to draw. Game purists look down on specialized peripherals, and while I like my shotguns and dance-pads in single-purpose arcade games, I rarely think they’re justified in a multi-purpose home system. Maybe I know too many people who bought […]