GISHWHES 2015 is Coming!

0

Alrighty, y’all! It’s time for GISHWHES again and I really hope that you guys take a chance to check it out. i had a lot of fun last year and I’m super excited for this year. I have some of the same team members from last year which makes me very happy. Thank you, Robin for sponsoring me this year. I promise someday I’ll return the favor.

Anyways, If any of you register for we have a few spots open for our GISHWHES team mishasminions2.0. So check us out and hopefully you’ll join in the fun. That’s what it’s all about!

You have 6 days left to register so you better hurry!!

Sites:

https://www.gishwhes.com/

https://www.facebook.com/officialgishwhes

https://twitter.com/gishwhes?lang=en

Advertisements

Let’s Get Our Science On With “Brave New Girls”

0

BRAVE NEW GIRLS cover

 Website: http://bravenewgirls.weebly.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Brave-New-Girls-Tales-Gadgets-ebook/dp/B00Z1YV1KI

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/brave-new-girls-mary-fan/1122080802?ean=9781512325614

Could it be? Could there actually be a book out there that shows off intelligent girls saving the day? My mind has been blown! For too long Young Adult fiction has been all about shy naive girls who only find completion when they get a boyfriend. But no more! Here we have this cute anthology that seeks so show our future female engineers, inventors, programmers, etc. that they’re allowed to dream of bigger and better future. Did I also mention that proceed from sales will be donated to a scholarship fund through The Society of Women Engineers?

I’ll review a couple of the stories so you get an idea of what I’ve been enjoying.

Overview

This collection of sci-fi stories features brainy young heroines who use their smarts to save the day. Girls who fix robots and construct superhero suits, hack interstellar corporations and build virtual reality platforms. Who experiment with alien chemicals and tinker with time machines. Who defy expectations and tap into their know-how-in the depths of space, or the bounds of dystopia, or the not-too-distant future-to solve despicable crimes, talk to extraterrestrials, and take down powerful villains

Stories by: Martin Berman-Gorvine, Paige Daniels, George Ebey, Mary Fan, Kimberly G. Giarratano, Valerie Hunter, Evangeline Jennings, Stephen Kozeniewski, Jason Kucharik, Kate Lansing, Tash McAdam, Kate Moretti, Ursula Osborne, Josh Pritchett, Aimie K. Runyan, Davien Thomas, Lisa Toohey, and Leandra Wallace

Artwork: Hazel Butler, Ken Dawson, Adrian DeFuria, Evelinn Enoksen, Mary Fan, Christopher Godsoe, Kayla Keeton, Jason Kucharik, Jennifer L. Lopez, Tash McAdam, and Josh Pritchett.

One of the reason I love science fiction is because of the inspiration it can give for the reader. For example, one of the stories I liked was The Keys to the Starts by Stephen Kozeniewski, was about a young girl having a close encounter with a friendly alien. She learns that colonization/invasion isn’t just an Earth thing and that the best chance that Earth has is to change for the better. We’re always told that children are the future, but it’s refreshing to see that scenario play out.

Interested in time travel? I enjoyed Blink by Kate Moretti which is about a girl with a time machine named Fitz and her struggle to keep Fitz from her friends and the school bully. I think we all remember that one mean bitch that did everything in her power to make high school hell. But this heroine didn’t let it bring her down! Instead she used Fitz to help preserve the Timeline! It was fun to read. I actually smiled and giggled throughout the story.

Anyway, I’m giving this Four Stars instead of Five because this is a Young Adult anthology. Not saying that as an adult you shouldn’t read Young Adult, but I haven’t been a teen in a while so I found it hard to connect with the characters sometimes. But I’m totally going to recommend this to my niece! So pick up your copy today!!

Trailer:

GISHWHES Registration Time!

0

It’s that magical time of year where like-minded nutballs come together showing off creativity, madness, and fun all across the globe. Who presides of this week of hysteria? Actor Misha Collins of the show Supernatural. Yes, he creates the most insane challenges for teams all over the world to do like make a dress out of kale or have a storm trooper clean your pool.

But it’s for a good cause! I promise! Throughout the week teams are also given challenges to do random acts of kindness like last year there was a challenge to become a bone marrow donor!

I participated last year and I had a blast! I met some interesting people from all over the USA and still keep in contact with a couple. I hope we can be on the same team this year. Read about my little adventure HERE

Anyway, I recommend that you all register and be part of breaking world records and bringing awareness to a number of great causes.

Sites:

https://www.gishwhes.com/g_blog/what-is-gishwhes/

https://twitter.com/gishwhes

https://www.facebook.com/officialgishwhes

“The Descent” into Creepy Unexplored Caves!

0

Director/Writer: Neil Marshall

Starring: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, MyAnna Buring, Nora-Jane Noone

Nothing says “adventure” like gathering your closest friends and saying “Here’s a creepy undiscovered cave that we should explore and NOT tell the park rangers where we’re going. YOLO!!”

A year after the devastating loss of her husband and daughter to a car accident, Sarah’s friends decide to take their once adrenaline-junkie pal out for some extreme cave exploring. Everything goes according to plan until a rock blocks the way they came in so the only way out is to keep going forward. But as the explore farther into the cave, they soon realize that they aren’t alone.

As much as I hate watching people do something obviously stupid, this was actually a pretty good movie. It did a good job in keeping the suspense up by throwing out the dangers of investing in such a sport. Claustrophobia sets in, darkness causing you to question every move you make, paranoia pushing you to mistrust the only people who can help you survive, and the lack of supplies make the situation even more desperate. This was enough to make you fear for the characters you almost didn’t need the creepy Nosferatu running around trying to eat them…well, almost didn’t need them. Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be much of a horror movie without creepy humanoid cave-dwellers.

There were a couple of things that I didn’t like about the movie. The first was the very obvious love triangle between Sarah, her husband, and her best friend Juno in the beginning which they bring up toward the end of the film. Was a petty fight really necessary with all the shit that was going on? I didn’t think so. But it was satisfying to see Sarah pull a Shane Walsh(The Walking Dead) and leave Juno to her demise. The second thing I didn’t like was that the endings were different between the original and the American release. The American version ends with Sarah escaping alone then later seeing a bloody mutilated Juno riding shotgun then BAM…end credits. That was for a jump scare and it was tacky. The original version had that same scene but more was added where we see Sarah wake up still in the caves with a fading torch while echoes of the cave monsters close in.

All together, i loved this movie and I give it an A-

“Frankie’s Army” Has Monsters of Epic Proportions

0

Director: Richard Raaphorst

Writers: Richard Raaphorst, Miguel Tejada-Flores

Starring: Karel Roden, Andrei Zayats, Luke Newberry, Joshua Sasse

The Netherlands has reminded us what good special effects is. I’m not saying CGI is the worst filmmaking tool, I’m just saying that less is more in some cases. Frankenstein’s Army is the perfect example how a little makeup and fabrication work can create awesome monsters.

Set in WWII, a group of Soviet soldiers are on a mission to rescue their comrades from behind enemy lines. However, the farther they go into Nazi territory they realize that the Nazis are the least of their troubles. Monsters constructed by a mad scientist terrorize the both sides of the war giving the Soviets little chance of surviving.

Like I said earlier, old Hollywood magic is what made this movie so entertaining. As grotesque and gory as the movie is, the monsters were like individual works of art. The creativity was astounding. You had some that had propellers for heads, power drills for noses, saws for hands, etc. There was blood, guts, and brains! You’ll see what a mean about about the brains…that scene was hilarious!

Here’s some of the Concept Art:

Although “mockumentary” films are overused, I thought it made the movie fun. It had a vintage feel to it and I do like a shaky camera to add to the confusion of a horror scene. Not too shaky, of course, but the disorientation adds to the horror.

Was the plot silly? Yes. Was the ending predictable? Absolutely. But you’re not going to watch Frankenstein’s Army for the plot. It’s all about the monsters here and I know that you’ll enjoy each and every one!

Am I the only one who thinks this would make a great video game?

Trailer:

Billy and the Cloneasaurus

0
Steve Kozeniewski, Published by Severed Press (2014)

Published by Severed Press (2014)

Buy the book HERE and connect with the author

Amazon – http://amazon.com/author/kozeniewski
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KozAuthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/outfortune
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7183355.Stephen_Kozeniewski
Blog – http://manuscriptsburn.blogspot.com
Mailing List – http://kozauthor.campayn.com/contact_list_form/signup/10334

The Damsels love when authors submit their books for us to review, especially when it’s well-written speculative fiction. Stephen Kozeniewski’s “Billy and the Cloneasaurus” is biting, thoughtful dystopian fiction from Severed Press. Clones, dinosaurs, and a corrupted “Williamerica” paint a frightening alternate reality where the idea of individuality and capitalism are distorted to the nth degree. It’s a call-to-arms, if you will, and a well-timed one at that. Critics of dystopian fiction always bemoan the genre’s inherent “preachiness” and bitch far too much about the potential for pretentiousness on the authors’ part. Be assured, dear readers, that “Billy and the Clonesaurus” doesn’t fall prey to preachiness or pretentiousness. I would happily say so if it did. Mean-spirited zingers are fun to write but funnier to read. And I do try to please.

The novel’s satirical undertone is entertaining and relevant. HOWEVER (and there must be a capitalized however in any review, right?) given the author’s unsubtle disdain for clichés, I couldn’t help but be irritated by his approach to one of the minor (but which should have been major) characters, which is, perhaps, the novel’s biggest flaw.

SYNOPSIS

Six billion identical clones make up the entire population of Earth, and William 790-6 (57th Iteration) is exactly like everybody else. In his one year of life he will toil in suburban mediocrity and spend as much cash as possible in order to please his corporate masters. When 790’s first birthday (and scheduled execution) finally rolls around, a freak accident spares his life.

Living past his expiration date changes 790 profoundly. Unlike other clones he becomes capable of questioning the futility of his own existence. Seeking answers in the wilderness, he discovers a windmill with some very strange occupants, including a freakish, dinosaur-like monstrosity. Which is especially strange since every animal on earth is supposed to be extinct…

Without giving away spoilers, one of the “occupants” in the mysterious windmill happens to be a woman. And like most dystopian stories (written by men) women are treated as an afterthought to the Grand Political Message or as mere accessories to the Crippling Male Angst that drives the subversive action to its conclusion. Willa suffers from the same fate, unfortunately, which knocked the five-star rating I had going in down to a four.

It seems Willa’s only function is to literally have sex with the male hero. Odd. Because she would be in a better position than any of the other Williams to Save The World (or at least play SOME part in it) due to her radical upbringing and fondness for politics. But no. Willa is just the well-read virgin who waits in her room while her father and Billy make all the important decisions. I’m ignoring the weird incest/clone, uncomfortable age difference here for propriety.

The ending wasn’t surprising or satisfying, but happily-ever-afters and dystopian horror don’t play well together. This book entertained and I would recommend it to lovers of bizarro and speculative fiction. Four stars out of five for “Billy and the Cloneasaurus.”

Life is Strange

0

Life is Strange from Dontnod. Episode 2 release expected at the end of March.

I love this video game. No, really. I played it twice. I love the beautiful graphics. I love the rich, well-written story. I love its addictive playability. Frankly, I just love everything about it. Life is Strange is an interactive, time bending game, where each of the player’s choices can be remade or changed to choose your own adventure. The protagonist, Max, is a shy 18yr old student at a photography school. She deals with Mean Girl style bullies, gun violence at her school, and complicated friendships all while trying to make sense of her time travel powers. Sounds like a cute game for kids, right? WRONG. This game is not for children! It gets surprisingly dark once the high school stuff is taken care of. Horror, suspense, violence, and drug use ups the rating to Mature.

Developer Dontnod knocked this game out of the park. And good news! There’s still time to catch up and play the first installment before the expected second release this month. Trailer below.

This video game is easy and fun to play with a charming soundtrack. If you’re a fan of story-rich games featuring real world issues, Life Is Strange is definitely for you.

A+

GISHWHES is on the rise!

0

https://www.gishwhes.com/images/gishwhes2014-full-logo.png

So this year I, Damsel Bruja, have decided to do something extremely crazy and possibly life changing……I’m going to do GISHWHES!

GISHWHES stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen and it was started by Supernatrual star Misha Collins. On August 2, 2014 the Hunt will begin and he will most likely ask us to do crazy things but if he asks me to jump out of a plane wearing a tutu while singing God Save the Queen, I’m not fucking doing it.

Anyway, this is all for charity and a chance to break a world record. GISHWHES has already broken 5 world records and I think that would be cool to be a part of. Unfortunately, registration is closed so maybe next year you all can sign up. If you can’t afford it, like me, you can sign up for a “gishcholarship” and hope someone is generous enough to sponsor you. Someone did this for me and I’ll be forever thankful.

Anyway, my team is IDontThinkSo and I hope that we have what it takes to get half the things on the list! I’m super excited but really nervous too. I’ve seen some of the things that were one past lists and I’m a little worried I won’t be able to get some of these things done. For example, one of them was find a machine that simulates skydiving and take a picture of yourself eating a sandwich(extra points if it’s a sloppy joe) in it.

*sigh* Well, I’ll keep you updated on how I get some of the challenges done. Which Team IDontThinkSo luck and pray that I don’t get arrested or committed to the Funny Farm.