Some decadent writers wage war against ideas or institutions. Pierre Guyotat waged war against the French language, and now Creation Books has opened a new front so that he can wage war against the English language too.
This alleged “book” contains a single sentence that runs for 181 pages, telling a disturbing and pornographic story of depravity in war-torn Algeria. Rules about prose, readability, and taste are discarded, and what’s left is a book that does nothing but blast you with sensation. I get the idea that Guyotat didn’t care about about what the book makes you feel. He just wanted you to feel SOMETHING.
The author was drafted in the Algerian war when he was twenty, tried to induce desertion among the ranks, and was imprisoned for several months in a hole in the ground. This adds an exciting edge to Eden x 3, similar to the Marquis de Sade and Jesus Ignacio Aldapuerta. Is it really a work of fiction? Are some of the things in it drawn from life?
Hopefully not. If so, I doubt many would feel comfortable shaking Guyotat’s hand at a book signing. …Peuhl unsheathing dagger at hips, tracing with point of blade – bent: youths gutted against onyx wall – semi-circle around vulva, plunging blade into mute flesh, tearing, stripping, slicing muscles, nerves running from vulva into flaccid sheath covering strangulated member… An audiobook version would likely consist of a voice actor vomiting at a microphone for 40 minutes.
Throughout this book, I was struck by Guyotat’s interest in getting young boys into physically compromising positions. He’s not alone in that view, by the way. According to most of the transgressive writers I’ve read (Dennis Cooper, William S Burroughs, Jean Genet, etc), boy-rape is pretty much the tops. Girls will do if you’re hard up, but it’s just not the same.
The rainbow is unweaved somewhat by Guyotat’s limited vocabulary – the word “jissom” appears dozens of times, it seems. Maybe Creation’s translation can be blamed for that, though. Some of the prose seems…idiosyncratic (“grease exuded from grass bung, hardening, vortex veering back to Venus”), and I wonder if the credited “Graham Fox” is another name for “James Havoc”. Someone should ask him. Assuming he’s not dead this weekend, natch.
Eden x 3 is probably most valuable as a “novelty read”. It’s a challenging book and I don’t know if anyone has ever read it right the way through. It’s kinda like what Sade or Bataille would read like if you took away their philosophy books, lesioned their prefrontal cortex, and sent them off to Algeria with a set of Benwa balls instead of a gun.
Now I’ve read the first book. I’m disappointed. The tree fell far from the apple.
This is a short and overstuffed fantasy story, with an incoherent plot that tries to do too much in too few pages. The story never gets a chance to breathe. It’s just 300 pages of “here, have another plot complication”, with no pauses to think about what you’ve learned. Every chapter we meet a new character, receive a new story development, and get a new fight scene, and soon the book resembles an incoherent montage that streams past you with someone’s finger on the fast forward button. This book’s pages are so overworked that they are in danger of forming a union and demanding overtime and a dental plan.
It’s about Dakeyras (though I don’t recall if he’s named in this book), the “Waylander”, a famed assassin armed with a double-loaded crossbow. The land of Drenan is being invaded by neighbouring Vagria (a war he’s somewhat responsible for, having killed their king), and he wanders the land, profiting from the slaughter. He goes against character by rescuing a monk from Vagrian torturers (I don’t understand why the Vagrians are killing every priest they find, since the war is politically motivated. Waylander even says that the priest would be safe if only he put aside his blue robes), and he ends up being involved in a plot to rescue the besieged garrison of Dros Purdol, where much of the remaining Drenai forces are making a last stand.
There’s far too many characters for such a short book. Gemmell’s novels benefit from a bit of RE Howard’s sense of spatial loneliness, a warrior riding across an empty plain. Waylander feels more like riding a Calcutta bus with several dozen people who all need a bath. We meet Waylander, and then we meet Cadoras, another master assassin armed with a bow, and then we meet Durmast, a third assassin who (in a flourish of dazzling creativity) Gemmell gives an axe. This is a major problem. There’s three characters in the book who serve a similar function (amoral anti-hero), with similar traits, and they all seem almost interchangeable.
Plus it steals Waylander’s thunder – hard to get impressed by a master assassin when apparently you can find a master assassin hiding under every kitchen table in this country.
Various familiar Gemmellisms come and go – evil priests, revoltingly upright and wholesome career soldiers, shape-shifting monstrosities. The plot is hard to follow, and not very logical. The final battle comes and goes, and you wonder why Waylander was even necessary. He found a suit of armor, I guess.
In the plus column we get a few great scenes (mostly in Dros Purdol). At long last we meet the hero hinted at in Legend, Karnak the one-eyed general. Waylander is fast moving, and certainly action packed. But Gemmell’s fight scenes – here as elsewhere – have a mechanical, inhuman quality. A battle-axe rives a helm and you think of videogame sprites battling each other.
I think you should repeat my mistake and read the third book first. Gemmell never takes the idea of a series too seriously. All of his books are readable on their own.
I think I’m the only person on the internet who likes this movie. It’s pretty funny. It has some clever lines, and really good acting. And it’s flaws are the “good” kind of flaws, in that they are thought provoking more than irritating.
The movie consists of various Tucker Max stories plugged into a running storyline. If you’ve never read Tucker Max, he’s what Hunter S Thompson would be if he hadn’t had to do all that tiresome reporting. His stories aren’t great literature – they’re frequently much better. The three main characters are Tucker, Drew (based on SlingBlade) and Dan (a composite of various Tucker Max friends), who go to a stripclub in Salem, lying to Dan’s fiancee in the process. Then begins a series of tragic misadventures where Tucker learns valuable lessons about who cares.
The acting’s great. Matt Czuchry’s Tucker has a likeable energy – which he needs, because his role requires him to do very unlikeable stuff. The SlingBlade character is a misanthropic Napoleon Dynamite who sells every line of dialogue like he’s earning a commission. The interesting part of the movie isn’t the story, it’s the energy generated by the interactions of the three male leads. IHTSBIH makes me feel the same way I feel about South Park – I don’t care much for its supposedly brilliant satire and social commentary, I just like seeing the four kids fooling around.
Unfortunately, the movie has issues. To be fair, so does Tucker Max, and those issues make him attractive to women. Doesn’t really work here, though. This movie’s issues do not make me remotely feel like buying it a drink, unless it’s a drink of acetone.
A lot of the lighting is pretty terrible. SOME scenes look good (like ones in the school). Others (such as the opening scene) look like they were shot by college kids on a rented Arri. How’d they fuck it up this badly?
But the main problem is the writing.
The dialogue doesn’t sound like something a person would say. It all sounds “written”. The road trip is a good example. SlingBlade gets hungry and goes on a monologue about the charms of caramelised fast food (“…if you EVER speak ill of the Pancakewich again I will personally force-feed you one while I fuck you in the butt using the wrapper as a condom and then donkey punch you when the infused syrup nuggets explode in your mouth!”). Fans even somewhat deep in the game will recognise this monologue as being, almost word for word, a post the real-life Slingblade left on the Tucker Max Message Board. It’s hilarious when you read it, but when you have an actor read it out it sounds like…well, like a person reading a forum post out loud.
Sometimes the writing’s just plain sloppy. At one stage, Slingblade says Tucker will probably get AIDS, to which he replies “it’s basically curable. It doesn’t even show up in Magic Johnson’s blood any more.” Slingblade does a take, then replies “so you’re saying Magic Johnson’s black…and has AIDS…and has it better than me?” Given Tucker’s initial comment, the quip doesn’t make sense. It’s just lazy, forgetful writing. You can’t have a character quip without being set up for it.
This movie made basically no money, which is a shame. At least Tucker stuck to his guns and retained creative control. I recall him saying in an interview that he would never give it to a Hollywood flack to make, because “there’s no chance he would do anything except fuck it up”. So instead, he kind of fucked it up himself. Perhaps he wouldn’t have it any other way.
In 2008 the two-piece Norwegian collective known as Keldian released their opus Journey of Souls, and entered a period of radio silence. Soon rumors were swirling online – mostly about Justin Bieber’s love life, but also about Keldian’s future. Was the band done? Or was a third album getting ready to emerge?
But now Outbound is out, and I can see that the truth was neither of these things. The band isn’t done. And Outbound doesn’t just emerge, it comes at you in front of 180 tons of burning rocket fuel. Holy shit, this album kills! Maybe the best power metal release I’ve heard all year!
“Burn the Sky” fades in with baleful electronic drone, and then launches into an agitated uptempo thrasher with an huge-sounding chorus. I actually looked up the meaning of the lyrics and I wish I hadn’t – something trite and silly about American foreign policy. Oh well. “Earthblood” is more sedate, featuring acoustic guitars and female vocals, but the largeness and sense of grandeur remains.
Then there’s “Kepler and 100,000 Stars”, which switches between a Scorpions-like riff and fast bruising speed metal sections. “Never Existed” and “A Place Above the Air” are huge anthemic stadium-fillers, which is ironic since Keldian never plays live at all, let alone in a stadium. “The Silfen Paths” is lengthy and progressive, seeming to channel Pink Floyd more than Iron Maiden and Helloween, with a spacey bridge that serves as a reminder of Keldian’s origins as an ambient rock band.
But the band has saved the best for last. “FTL” is probably the greatest thing yet to bear the Keldian name. It does not have a boring moment from start to finish – nearly eight minutes of Mach 5 velocity with the band beating on you with their superior songwriting skill. There’s a brief quiet interlude in the middle, featuring JFK’s iconic moon landing speech and a soft reprise of the chorus. The final words uttered in this song seem to answer and challenge the chorus of “Burn the Sky”, adding a sense of closure to Outbound.
There’s nothing to say about Outbound except that my expectations were high and yet were totally surpassed. The band just kicks it up a notch all around – better singing and performing, a larger guitar presence, more organic production, and best of all…it’s really an album!
Keldian’s first two albums listened like collections of songs. This might seem like a strange complaint, since that’s the definition of what an album is. But there’s a difference between ten songs assembled without rhyme or reason, like bedraggled survivors plucked out of the water by a lifeboat, and ten songs working in unity for a common purpose, like a rowing crew. Outbound is the second kind of album. The sum is way better than the parts – and the parts are already amazing.
Yes, you have.
The press release itself will be innocuous, packed full of buzzwords and fake hype. But as you read it, your body will start to react. Your palms will sweat. Your spine will tingle. Your spleen will rumba with your kidneys. Your epidermis will hitchhike to Patagonia.
Why is this?
It’s because metal band press releases are written in code. Yes, it’s true. Years ago, CIA analysts worked with John Peel and Earache label reps to develop a secret method of communication called “Subliminal Hype Curtailment.” SHC is necessary due to the confluence of two factors. 1) Bands must lie in order to sell albums, and 2) they are fundamentally good blokes who don’t want to deceive you. So they lie and tell the truth in the same paragraph. To the neophyte, it seems like the album will rule. However, the coded SHC will tell the initiated a different story.
What they say: “the album is live/raw”
What they mean: “…it’s an underproduced rush job”
What they say: “the album is experimental/diverse”
What they mean: “we’ve traded out our old style for whatever’s trendy at the moment. If it was 2001, that would mean rapping and record scratches. But it’s 2014, so we’re all about djent, breakdowns, and EDM. We’ve got to follow our artistic yearnings, and it’s just our good fortunes that those artistic yearnings always seem to point to whatever’s selling records.”
What they say: “you can’t pidgeonhole the new album into a genre.”
What they mean: “you almost certainly CAN pidgeonhole the new album into a genre.”
What they say: “we’re consistent.”
What they mean:: “we’re in a creative rut so deep that it extends right the way through the earth and is a hill in China.”
What they say: “…dedicated fans.”
What they mean: “if I may brag, the drummer’s mum thinks we’re hot shit.”
What they say: “the new album has something for everyone.”
What they mean: “we’re confused, unfocused, and lack identity.”
What they say: “this is an amicable split, and we wish [insert member] all the best with his future projects”
What they mean: “I will commit a stabbing if I ever see that fuckhead again”
What they say: “underground legends”
What they mean: “nobody’s heard of us, nobody attends our shows, nobody gives us any money, and we just ate the bassist’s amp to avoid starvation”
What they say: “our heaviest album yet”
What they mean: “not our heaviest album yet.”
Crossing to Kill is a true crime book about the life and (t/cr)imes of Abdul Latif Sharif, a chemist who fled the US to Mexico to avoid deportation, and then apparently became a prolific rapist and killer of Ciudad Juarez’s working class women.
Sharif was arrested (leaving an embarrassingly long body trail)…but the rapes and murders of young women went right on happening. The clouds were gone, but the rain continued. Was Sharif bribing local gangs to commit crimes on his behalf, to make it seem like they’d arrested the wrong man? Or is Sharif part of a Clockwork Orange-esque change in Mexico, with Hispanic macho culture morphing into something much sicker?
This book offers analysis and speculation on the causes of the Ciudad Juarez murders. Whitechapel’s prose is very efficient – and this might be Crossing to Kill‘s Achilles Heel. After about forty pages he has recapped the murder spree up to date, and suddenly there seems little left to talk about. Much of the book is filled with topics of general interest to Whitechapel – soon we’re reading asides about the body types of Roman emperors, and a Catholic writer’s mistranslation of a word in Ecclesiastes. Crossing to Kill takes you far away from Mexico, and reads almost as a continuation of his earlier book Intense Device in some parts.
Crossing to Kill is probably better read as a book on crime and psychology than a specific book about Sharif’s crimes. Answers are few, and vague. Perhaps that’s the point, that all we have are guesses. But why read a book when there’s nothing waiting at the end except “I don’t know”? The official police reports will get you to the same place much faster.
Occasionally Whitechapel makes an incredible through-the-scope sniper shot of analysis, and sometimes he draws together unrelated subjects into an unexpected but persuasive whole. Other times – as when he speculates that Sharif could have been on steroids, based on some of his buddies being into Arnold Schwarzenegger movies – you get the sense of too little butter being spread across too much bread.
But there’s creepy and evocative ideas, such as when the murders are compared with an electron microscope, where small cells must be destroyed so that they can be analysed. The comparison with the young women of Ciudad Juarez is unmissable. Young women who would otherwise have lived their lives and have been forgotten are now receiving publicity, memorials, and prayers. They are being used as rallying points for feminists and morality campaigners and social justice groups. Indeed, they have unintentionally achieved kind of immortality. All they needed to do was die horribly.
It’s readable and far from dull, but I think Simon Whitechapel was the wrong person to write this book. This subject does not lend itself to scholarly analysis and armchair detective work. Crossing to Kill should have been written by a Mexican policia with twenty years of dirt under his fingernails.
If my head is a hotel, this book is a guest that stayed overnight, and left its wallet behind. It’s a tiny volume that can be read in about half an hour, but when you’re done, you’re left with a maddening sense of being entangled in unfinished business.
It’s about a group of metaphysically-minded mountaineers who, noting that mountains so often appear in metaphors, myths, and thought experiments, believe that there is an actual “Mount Analogue” somewhere on the globe…a literal metaphor, paradoxical though that sounds. They set out on a journey to find this hypothetical mountain, and in a far off non-Euclidean land, they succeed.
The book ends with them beginning to climb the mountain’s slope. The author died before he could finish the book, leaving the reader forever stranded at the foothills of what seems like an epiphany. If you want a comparison, this book reminds me of the third part of Gulliver’s Travels, the part few remember yet is in some ways the most thoughtful section of the book. It’s not really action-driven, and although it contains lots of interesting spectacles, it’s implicitly concerned with what’s happening inside the onlooker’s head.
For a book with its head in the clouds, Mount Analogue’s characters are often preoccupied with practical matters, such as bartering for supplies in foreign countries, and setting up outposts in case the quest takes longer than expected. Some of the mountaineers forsake their quest and return home – an enjoyable touch. Where’s the excitement in climbing a mountain if just anyone can do it?
But it’s also fantastic, involving humans made of negative space, and “peradams”: strange gemstones that can only be found by people truly in need of them. Again the Gulliver’s Travels comparisons come out, because he does not let the main thrust of the story distract him from interesting philosophical and moral asides. If he’d left these out, he might have successfully completed the book before his death. But it might also have been a poorer book, a less stimulating book.
Daumal’s wit and writing might be knee-slappingly Gallic (“A knife is neither true nor false, but anyone impaled on its blade is in error.”), but I think Mount Analogue also of course the “Time between Times” marking the demarcations of night and dawn. What’s a mountain except the space between heaven and earth? Or in this story’s case, the space between reality and metaphor?
I am interested to learn where Daumal was going with all this. Due to his death, I will never know. Mount Analogue is a rare thing – a great book that I’m not sure that you should read.
Good collection partially ruined by honkies trying to be as “Japanese” as possible. Some of these stories read like a blizzard of Japanese buzzwords…calligraphy, mecha robots, kamikaze, tea ceremonies, etc. I suppose they were trying to retain the essence of Japan, but the effect is one of contrivance, and artifice. It’s a bit like the joke that in the movies, you can see the Eiffel Tower out of every window in France.
Catherynne M Valente’s “One Breath, One Stroke” left me feeling bored and toyed with. Bruce Sterling’s “Goddess of Mercy” is stronger, and has an interesting sociopolitical tilt, but the story ends up not going anywhere. “The Indifference Engine”, by contrast, is a Japanese author trying to be as American as possible. A tragic tale of an African soldier trying to adjust to life at the end of a war, this is the kind of story that wants to be up on a Hollywood movie billboard with the words “HEARTBREAKING” and “POWERFUL” I found it heavy-handed, unpleasant, and emotionally manipulative.
The remaining stories are good or excellent. Ken Liu’s “Mono no Aware” is an obvious standout – exciting, fresh, and accessible, like a Studio Ghibli movie. After the wreck of the Earth, humanity’s remnants are escaping into space and trying to hang on to the flying pieces of civilisation. Felicity Savage’s “The Sound of Breaking Up” was a clever story about online relationships, like Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash evolved to the next logical iteration.
Toh EnJoe’s “Endoastronomy” is about a future where the constellations seem to be changing in the night sky, and it reminds of the surreality and wit of older writers like Morio Kita and Ryo Hanmura. Ekaterina Sedia’s “Whale Meat” draws comparisons to Murakami. It’s slow moving and not entirely sure of where it’s going, but it holds the reader’s interest.
But the greatest moment of the collection is Tobi Hirotaka’s “Autogenic Dreaming”, which astonished and shocked me. A revolutionary – and nearly godlike – internet search engine called GEB (a reference to Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach, I presume) has turned rogue, and a long-dead serial killer is digitally reconstructed to help save the world from death via Google.
The premise is otherworldly and bizarre, but the story never loses its sinewy power, blurring vignettes and flashbacks and technical exposition. From my quick searching, it seems this is Hirotaka’s first publication credit in English. I hope it will not be the last. On the strength of “Autogenic Dreaming”, it’s possible we’re dealing with a true master of science fiction.
Future falls short of consistent greatness, but the good stories more or less patch over the bad ones, and there’s a couple of incredible standouts that almost sell the collection on their own. I hope we get a The Future is Weeaboo 2 at some point.
Elliot Rodger used to post on a forum called PUAHate. Don’t look for it, it’s gone now. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown, and also the head that runs a website implicated in mass murder. It is safe to say that the PUAHate webmaster is currently looking at travel brochures to Ibiza and shitting himself every time he hears a knock at the door.
I was a member there for a couple of years, and I can speak with some authority on what the culture was like. Many feminist websites are running hit pieces, calling PUAHate a one-purpose training ground for serial killers. This is wrong. PUAHate was a nuanced and complex training ground for serial killers.
It started out as a project by a disgruntled former PUA (Pick-Up Artist) called Nicholas. At first it was a place for people to expose scams and cons in the PUA industry…and lots of exposing happened, like when a former Venusian Arts student revealed that after he fell behind on payments, the VA CEO extorted him with threats of door to door debt collection.
Occasionally you’d get celebrity PUAs (oxymoron?) like Ross Jeffries and Mystery making a big entrance on the forum, perhaps under the impression that they could win PUAHate over (and use them as an army against their business competition). All such attempts failed. Two types of people were not tolerated on PUAhate: women, and PUAs. Anyone belonging to either group was trolled and ridiculed until they left the site.
But Nicholaus also had a section called “Shitty Advice”, where people could get dating advice outside the traditional PUA framework. Thus, a monster was born.
Shitty Advice rapidly became the most active part of the site, until eventually the rest of PUAHate became all but redundant. The tone at the start was one of comic negativity. People would go on “performance rage” style tirades about how women will only date male models, and how you will remain a virgin forever if you do not have a perfectly proportionate midface.
From time to time, people would get banned, and come back under awesome, self-pitying names like “EveryGirlTurnsMeDown”, “fatchicksrejectme”, “wankingandcrying”, and “BaldingCorpse”. But they always came back…Nobody was able to stay away for long. It became a running joke that Shitty Advice was almost impossible to quit. You had people literally begging the mods to IP ban them, so that they could get their free time back.
PUAHate was home to a frankly hilarious cast of characters. There was Chinpoko, inventor of LMS theory (ie, the idea that men need a trifecta of looks + money + status to succeed with women), who once spoke the Zen utterance “It is better to have a male model face and cancer than a 6/10 face and no cancer”. Then there was Pokerface, a terminally depressed poker pro who had tabled the WSOP a few times. Then there was jankinoff, a licensed therapist who dated an insane girlfriend who was apparently given to shitting herself. My favourite poster was aexexx, who may have been an actual comedic genius. He was given to entering random threads and recommending either 1) creative methods of suicide, or 2), that the poster perform DIY plastic surgery with nearby household tools.
But do you know the trouble with telling a joke? Eventually, you run into someone who thinks the joke is real.
Starting from around early 2013, a tide change began to occur at PUAHate. A new generation of posters started to appear who didn’t get the joke, and who thought it was all serious. I found this bizarre at first, and assumed they were playing along. I guess we now have proof at at least one of them wasn’t.
The tone went from mock tragicomic, to plain tragicomic, to tragic. The ideas and theories that had been suggested as idle mental masturbation were now being taken seriously. This was driven home one day when I posted a ridiculous troll thread about how parents should be legally required to mix Propecia in their son’s breast milk. For the most part…I got straight replies, giving me honest and well-thought critiques and refinements on my theory. This was disturbing.
I stopped posting by the end. The forum was getting too big and unwieldly. it was impossible to have a conversation. You’d start a thread, and within the hour that thread would be on the second page. The same topic would be posted at least ten times a week, the wheel laboriously re-invented each time.
I don’t think I ever talked to Elliot Rodgers, but I likely would have seen his screen-name a few times. I wonder what the nu-school PUAhaters would have thought of his actions? Maybe a few of them would have found them brave.
I don’t find killing unarmed people with a gun brave. Even by the standards of mass murderers, Elliot Rodgers was a coward. He shot himself at the end. What bigger act of cowardice could there be? A truly brave mass murderer would leave himself alive at the end to face the music.
The internet has midwived a style of short horror story called the “creepypasta”. Where horror novels are MOABs and fusion bombs, creepypasta are IEDs, designed to be efficient, minimal, and easy to transport (ie, memetic). And if they fail to blow up, no matter. This was a surprise attack from the shadows. There will be another one tomorrow.
Creepypastas are bound by two rules: they must be posted anonymously, and everyone who reads them must play along with the idea that they are real. One of the more famous ones I’ve seen is called Killswitch, about a creepy videogame (a popular topic.) The author is Catherynne M Valente. Either that or she’s stealing someone’s story, because it’s found in her 2013 collection, The Melancholy of Mechagirl.
It’s not very good. But it’s the greatest kind of not very good story…the sort that’s interesting to talk and think about. Most copypastas are vapid and hollow, Ikea-assembled by teenagers using dull ideas from horror movies. Try to analyse them and your hand closes on empty air.
But Killswitch is interesting, at least. It’s kneecapped by the fact that so many of her descriptions of videogame playing seem “off” or wrong. I doubt she plays games much. Maybe she was motivated to write it by the relative mysteriousness or exoticism of gaming (the same way white kids in Cleveland are attracted to Japanese culture, I suppose, because it’s unlike what they’re used to), but what seems mysterious to an ingénue will not seem mysterious to someone “in the know”. It will seem dead, and artificial.
Old-school videogames are popular topics for creepypasta partly because they invoke nostalgia, and also because there’s much more room for “creepyness” in a 8-bit 460×360 game where everything is displayed in blocky pixels and your imagination has to do the rest. The “cow level” in Diablo is a good example. For years it was rumoured that the player could access a secret part of the game by clicking a cow or some such, and gamers used large amounts of electricity trying to do this.
But the details have to be right, or the artifice is exposed and the creepyness is gone. The trouble with Killswitch is that we get things like this:
On the surface it was a variant on the mystery or horror survival game, a precursor to the Myst and Silent Hill franchises. The narrative showed the complexity for which Karvina was known, though the graphics were monochrome, vague grey and white shapes against a black background.
The game described sounds totally different to Myst or Silent Hill, and if it’s a survival horror game, comparisons to Infogrames’ Alone in the Dark would seem more appropriate than a 1999 Playstation game.
Porto awakens in the dark with wounds in her elbows, confused.
How does the player know that Porto is confused? How can we see the wounds in her elbows when the game is black and white? Valente’s describing a movie here, not a game.
Killswitch, by design, deletes itself upon player completion of the game. It is not recoverable by any means, all trace of it is removed from the user’s computer. The game cannot be copied.
That’s HUGE. If a real game was discovered that could not be copied, nobody would give a shit about the story or the characters. It would be one of the biggest tech stories ever. The software industry would spend millions or billions trying to understand or decipher the copy protection – if would be their chance to stomp the windpipe of piracy forever. Karvina Corporation would be the industry’s fair-haired child. But Valente just throws that out there as a plot point. The game cannot be copied, here is a full and here is a stop.
At least tell us what happens when we try to copy or reverse engineer the game. Is there an error message? We want to be in the midst of this story but Valente’s inexperience is holding us away at arm’s length.