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

DP FICTION #55A: “Empathy Bee” by Forrest Brazeal

I’m at the microphone for the first round of the 32nd Annual National Empathy Bee, and I can’t feel a thing.

*

ROUND ONE

Good morning, Alex. A man is sitting in a banker’s office. The banker says: “You have great collateral — I’ll give you credit for that.” Is this a joke? If so, why is it funny?

*

Press photographers in the front row dazzle my eyes with flashbulbs. The hotel ballroom stretches behind them, vast and dim, a fog bank of blurry faces. Mom sits somewhere in the audience, but I’ll never spot her with the naked eye from up here on the stage.

Fortunately, my brain implant has an image processing feature. I scroll through options in my mind, zooming, enhancing, upscaling. There she is, slumped on a straight-backed gilt chair with her “guardian of contestant” credentials drooping around her neck. The seat beside her, Dad’s seat, is empty.

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Exploding Kittens

written by David Steffen Exploding Kittens is a card game designed by Elan Lee and Shane Small, published by The Oatmeal, that describes itself as a “highly strategic kitten-powered version of Russian Roulette”, published in 2015. When you play the game, the deck will have one less exploding kitten in the deck then there are people playing. Each … Continue reading TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Exploding Kittens

The Diabolical Plots Year Six Lineup

written by David Steffen Diabolical Plots was open for submissions once again for the month of July, to solicit stories to buy for the fourth year of fiction publication.  1432 submissions came in from 1066 different writers, of which 122 stories were held for the final round, and 24 stories were accepted.  Now that all … Continue reading The Diabolical Plots Year Six Lineup

TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Cards Against Humanity

written by David Steffen Cards Against Humanity advertises itself as a “party game for horrible people” that was created by 8 Highland Park students in Illinois and is now published by Cards Against Humanity, LLC. The game is very similar to the children’s game Apples to Apples, but generally aimed at a mature audience (or at least, an … Continue reading TABLETOP GAME REVIEW: Cards Against Humanity

MOVIE REVIEW: The Boxtrolls

written by David Steffen The Boxtrolls is a 2014 claymation film by Focus Features. Everyone knows Boxtrolls are dangerous monsters. Everyone knows they capture and eat children. This is only confirmed when a boy is taken by them, and the exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) establishes a deal with the cheese-loving aristocratic council The White Hats that if … Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: The Boxtrolls

MOVIE REVIEW: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

written by David Steffen Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a live-and-CG children’s mystery/action movie based on the Pokémon franchise. Through most of the world they are mostly used as the fighting creatures we know them as from the game/card franchises, who are trained by humans and pitted against each other in arena-style battles against other Pokémon. … Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Pokémon Detective Pikachu

DP FICTION #54B: “Colonized Bodies, Desiccated Souls” by Nin Harris

The PPMS had cordoned off Jalan Mandailing. They had guards posted along the banks of Sungai Chua. But it was not enough. The battles ranged from midnight till the cock’s crow and the call for prayers every dawn while the sun painted delicate fingers of rose across a yellow ombre sky. In the daytime, the … Continue reading DP FICTION #54B: “Colonized Bodies, Desiccated Souls” by Nin Harris

MOVIE REVIEW: MIB International

written by David Steffen MIB International is a science fiction action/comedy movie, the 4th and most recent movie in the Men In Black series about a secret government agency that keeps the world safe from intergalactic security threats as well as ensuring that extraterrestrial residents of Earth can live in peace and secrecy among us. … Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: MIB International