TV REVIEW: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3

written by David Steffen The Handmaid’s Tale is a TV show presented on the Hulu streaming service, based on the 1984 Margaret Atwood novel of the same name, which was previously reviewed here, about a near-future dystopia in which the USA has become an extremely oppressive theocracy in which women are second-class citizens, especially the handmaids who … Continue reading TV REVIEW: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 3

DP FICTION #56A: “Tracing an Original Thought” by Novae Caelum

It’s like this: if the world has a food shortage, you eliminate hunger by leaving the planet, taking all your animals and plants in your genetic ark, and finding a new planet on which to grow and flourish. 

It’s also like this: if the world has a distribution of wealth crisis, you eliminate poverty by never having elites in your new society. At least for a little while. At least, that was the plan.

And if the world has a gender crisis, an inability for equality, you eliminate gender. 

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: What Do You Meme?

written by David Steffen What Do You Meme is a 2017 meme-based competitive punchline card game by Fuckjerry. Each player is dealt a hand of cards, and then for each round an image from a meme is displayed for everyone and they have to pick the best caption for the image from their hand. One player acts as … Continue reading TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: What Do You Meme?

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Sushi Go!

written by David Steffen Sushi Go is a competitive point-scoring strategy game, published in 2013 by Gamewright. The game is based around grabbing sushi as it whirls by and making yourself an excellent three-course meal. Everyone starts with a hand of cards. You all pick one card, lay it face down on the table. When you’re all ready, … Continue reading TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Sushi Go!

STORY ANALYSIS: “Optimizing the Verified Good” by Effie Seiberg

written by David Steffen For another round of story analysis, I wanted to draw attention to the short story “Optimizing the Verified Good” by Effie Seiberg, first published in Analog September/October 2018, and reprinted in audio in Escape Pod. As with the previous run of the Story Analysis, do expect SPOILERS after this paragraph, but … Continue reading STORY ANALYSIS: “Optimizing the Verified Good” by Effie Seiberg

DP FICTION #55C: “Fresh Dates” by D.A. Xiaolin Spires

SFX, International Terminal

The scuttling of a million feet before him, the collective aspirations to get somewhere resounded in the marble hall, while he stared at his stubby chin in the glass. He rubbed a growing five o’clock shadow with a soft hand. “Paging passenger Carl Rogers. Please come to Gate 48B. Paging passenger Karl Rogers. Please come to Gate 48B.” The near-garbled voice issuing forth from the speakers was far from honeyed, but there was something sweet about the announcement and the cadence of the passenger’s name. At that moment, he would do anything to be Karl Rogers, to have such a short three syllabled name, so he could be rushing about like the many others rushing about. Needing to get somewhere and feeling the inadequacy of bipedalism in hauling body and material possessions to reach that end. 

STORY ANALYSIS: “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by Tina Connolly

written by David Steffen I am trying out a new feature that I might run occasionally here, where I pick a story that I particularly liked, and pick it apart to try to figure out why it worked so well. For this first entry, I’ll be talking about “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by … Continue reading STORY ANALYSIS: “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” by Tina Connolly

DP FICTION #55B: “Dear Parents, Your Child Is Not the Chosen One” by P.G. Galalis

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Goodblood,

Thank you for expressing your concerns about Rodney’s First Term grade. Please understand that the highest mark of “Chosen One” is exceedingly rare, even among our exceptional student body here at Avalon. Rodney’s grade of “Stalwart” is neither a mistake nor cause for concern, but a performance about which you and he can both be proud.

As I indicated in my written evaluation, Rodney is a bright young man, although he does have room for improvement in the areas of effort and behavior. I’m told by his Warrior, Wizard, and Rogue teachers that he shows equal aptitude in all three classes, so I’m confident that with support and encouragement, his skills will continue to improve.

Sincerely,

Madeleine Whimbley

Teacher of Intermediate Feats & Virtues

Avalon Preparatory Academy for Adventurers

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Eye Found It!

written by David Steffen Eye Found It! is a competitive hidden picture card game aimed at children. The version of the game I’m familiar with is the Disney version, though it looks like there are other variations. Each player is dealt a hand of cards with scenes from Disney TV shows or movies, such as Winnie the Pooh … Continue reading TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Eye Found It!

THEATER REVIEW: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical

written by David Steffen The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical is a 2017 fantasy musical about the modern day children of the ancient Greek gods, based on The Lightning Thief of 2005, the first book in the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordon. Percy Jackson is a troubled kid who lives with his mom … Continue reading THEATER REVIEW: The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical