If you are in the LA area, come play some games with us this weekend at Strategicon’s Gamex, at the LAX Hilton!!
We will be running various Steve Jackson board games from 7pm -11pm tonight (Friday) and GURPS: Gaslamp Adventures on Saturday at 2pm.
You can also check out our latest article on Topless Robot – 10 Reasons David Goyer Must Be Stopped!
I’ve decided to take my own advice and started reading Transmetropolitan trade paperbacks so I can read the series from issue 1, in order. Much as I like to support the monthly issues for a few of my favorite comics, I have to admit that I prefer the trade format to that one, in the same way I prefer to binge watch TV shows rather than wait a week (or month, or MONTHS) between episodes. There is a better story flow, and you can appreciate things more when you don’t have a chance to forget what happened two or three issues ago, thus missing plot points or in jokes or whathaveyou. Transmetropolian has also been especially fun since we’ve spent the last year getting our toes wet in the journalist pool. The series is very much like a transhuman/cyberpunk Doonesbury – very politically savvy with some biting social commentary served up with a gonzo sense of humor. This is perhaps not surprising given that a certain Doonesbury character is also based on Hunter S. Thompson, the clear inspiration for Spider Jerusalem. Much like his real life counterpart, Spider is a freelance reporter with some serious anger and substance abuse issues, whose lack of a brain/mouth filter and keen sense of observation makes him both brilliant and caustic as he attempts to document the world of “the City”, a vision of what a future major city might look like a couple hundred years in the future.
One of the things that struck me as interesting in re-reading Spider’s misadventures is how much our Sci Fi is shaped by the current culture. When I think back on the popular science fiction in the 90s, it seems to be much of it was very similar to Spider’s universe – a future where things were still largely the same, but with more social and materialistic excess. During the 90s it seemed like economic troubles were a thing of the past, and we were free to think about things like the environment, overindulgence, overpopulation. Our visions and worries of the future reflected a general expectation that things would hum along pretty much as they had since the 80s, with our primary concern being what will happen when everyone is fat and happy and has too much stuff or money.
Flash forward to the last few years and it seems like all our sci fi is doom and gloom. From an overabundance of zombies to the growing popularity of the Steampunk subculture to Doctor Who’s most recent special, we’ve got apocalypse minded fiction everywhere. We’ve gone from worrying about what will we do when everyone has too much to what will we do when no one has anything. It’s an interesting change of outlook. When I was a kid the future was going to be fun, or at least have really cool gadgets. Now, even Star Trek is destroying buildings and the CDC has release a survival guide for the zombie-apocalypse. While I enjoy a good apocalypse story, I think it will be interesting to see what comes out of a generation that is being encouraged to be afraid of the future rather than be excited about it.
Just my observations.
Later this week I’ll post our schedule for this month’s Strategicon, although I can confirm we will be running the ever popular Gaslamp game on Saturday at 2pm.