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“System Shock Pinball” for “Pinball M” And “Pinball FX” Review

 

Released in 1994, the cyberpunk sci-fi first-person shooter System Shock has since become one of the most influential games of the last thirty years. Not only did it inspire numerous spiritual successors (BioShock, Thief) and other sci-fi shooters (Half-Life, Deus Ex), but also third-person games in the stealth action (Metal Gear Solid) and survival horror genres (Resident Evil).

And yet, it is considered more a cult curiosity than a known classic among many gamers, especially those who didn’t play it when it came out…or weren’t alive at the time.

Which makes it all the more curious, and a pleasant surprise, that System Shock is being honored by the good people at Zen Studios with the release of System Shock Pinball, an add-on for their games Pinball M and Pinball FX (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X / S, Xbox One, Switch, PC).

Doubly so since the table is as ’90s as the original game.

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Books

Exclusive Interview: “Sun Of Blood And Ruin” Author Mariely Lares

 

Putting a different spin on a work of literature isn’t new, but it is really popular these days thanks to books like Madeline Miller’s Circe and Jennifer Saint’s Ariadne.

It is in this tradition, but also in its own way, that we find Mariely Lares’ historical fantasy novel Sun Of Blood And Ruin (hardcover, Kindle, audiobook), which not only puts a unique spin on the character of Zorro, but also sets said story in an alt-history world.

In the following email interview, Lares discusses what inspired and influenced this story, which is the first book of a duology…and (if she has her way) maybe more.

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Books

Exclusive Interview: “Exit Black” Author Joe Pitkin

 

Back in the ’90s, there were a string of action films that could be described as “Die Hard on a….” There was “Die Hard on a bus” (Speed), “Die Hard on a boat” (Under Siege), and even “Die Hard on a famous plane not a lot get to go on” (Airforce One).

But Joe Pitkin’s new sci-fi thriller novel Exit Black (paperback, Kindle, audiobook) is one upping them all — well, with the movie references, anyway — by being “Die Hard on a space hotel…with Knives Out.”

To find out how, and why, as well as the who, what, and a more specific where, check out the following email interview.

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Exclusive Interview: “Zombicide Invader: Death System” Author S.A. Sidor

 

Don’t you hate it when you’re wrongly convicted and sent to space prison, only to have your escape plans altered by zombies?

While this has happened to most of us, it can still be interesting to read how other people handled this predicament.

Which brings me to author S.A. Sidor, who, in the following email interview about his new zombie-infested space prison novel Zombicide Invader: Death System (paperback, Kindle, audiobook), explains what inspired and influenced this sci-fi horror story, as well as how it connects to both the titular board game and the other novels its inspired.

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Books

Exclusive Interview: “Stations Of The Tide” Author Michael Swanwick

 

To hear writer Michael Swanwick talk about his fantasy-flavored science fiction novel Stations Of The Tide, you’d think he wrote it last week and then rushed it into bookstores.

But Stations Of The Tide actually came out in 1990, when it was first serialized in Asimov’s Science Fiction, and then released in hardcover a year later.

It’s because of its continued relevance — and its contunuing popularity — that Tor have decided to release a new version of Stations Of The Tide as part of their “Tor Essentials” series (paperback, Kindle, audiobook).

In the following email interview, Swanwick talks about what originally inspired and influenced this novel, as well as how it fit into his oeuvre.

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Books

Exclusive Interview: “Plastic” Author Scott Guild

 

While we think of action figures as things that kids play with and adults use as decorations, some have used them to tell deeper stories. Obviously, Barbie comes to mind, but there’s also Welcome To Marwen, 11 seasons of Robot Chicken, and Todd Haynes’ “lost” Karen Carpenter bio-pic, Superstar.

Now writer Scott Guild is doing something similar in Plastic (hardcover, Kindle, audiobook), a socially and politically comedic novel.

In the following email interview, Guild discusses what inspired and influenced this toy story.

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Books

Exclusive Interview: “The Parliament” Author Aimee Pokwatka

 

In Aimee Pokwatka’s new novel, The Parliament (hardcover, Kindle), some owls surround a library.

But that’s not what this “supernatural thriller wrapped around a dark fantasy story. It’s magical realism…” story is all about.

(Or is it?)

To find out, please read the following email interview.

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Books

Exclusive Interview: “Bugsy & Other Stories” Author Rafael Frumkin

 

In the following email interview about their first collection of short stories, Bugsy & Other Stories (paperback, Kindle, audiobook), writer Rafael Frumkin somewhat defers when asked about genre.

But when asked whether this collection has an underlying theme, there’s no equivocation: “life on the margins.” 

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PC PlayStation 4 PlayStation 5 Reviews Switch Video Games Xbox One Xbox Series S Xbox Series X

“Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown” Review

 

As a fan of acrobatic action games, I’ve been waiting 14 years for Ubisoft to make another Prince Of Persia in the vein of 2010’s The Forgotten Sands.

But as someone who goes back with this series to the days of old, when it was a side-scrolling hack & slash action game, I’ve also been waiting 21 years for Ubisoft to make a Prince Of Persia that brings me back to when I used to play the original and 1993’s Prince Of Persia 2: The Shadow And The Flame.

Well, twenty-five year old me can now rest easy, as Ubisoft have given us Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, PC), which is not only the best Prince Of Persia game since Sands, but the best side-scrolling one since Flame.