Only one more week before there's real book news, so definitely don't look for any book news in this post. Just my impressions about a new video game.
Yesterday, the standalone sequel to Subnautica, entitled Subnautica: Below Zero, entered Early Access on PC.
Subnautica is a survival game about crash-landing on an ocean planet and surviving in an alien ocean while unraveling the mystery of what caused your ship to crash and figuring out how to get off the planet. It's one of my favorite games of all time because of how immersive it is; the environment design is insane, and it really conveys the feeling of being alone in an alien ocean.
It's scared me more than any horror game ever has, and it's not technically horror. You just don't know what could be beneath you in the ocean as you're swimming along. Hearing strange noises.
I initially found Subnautica shortly after it was released in Early Access, and I fell in love with it when it was unbelievably buggy and had no content. Every patch, I played through it again, because I was hunting for those little moments when I was lost in a dark ocean shivering because I was sure there was something behind me and I didn't want to turn around to see what it was.
Below Zero is already far more complete than the original game was in its first release, which is to be expected for a sequel made using the original engine and assets. The first game is a survival game with a story, while this strikes me more as a story game with survival.
You play as a researcher in the arctic of the same ocean planet, and this time you're exploring the depths of a freezing ocean while investigating the history of some alien artifacts. Your character actually has lines and personality this time, and she interacts with her sister, who monitors her progress from an orbital station.
There are only about three hours of story content in the game so far, but I've already played it for about five, just building and seeing what new arctic creatures I can find.
If underwater alien survival sounds appealing to you, I highly recommend giving Subnautica a try if you haven't already. And if you have, Below Zero is shaping up to be a worthy sequel.
Screenshot below, just to prove that I'm telling the truth. Nothing to see there except a really cool video game.
I ordered those limited-edition Most Stuf Oreos, and they still haven't come in yet. They were supposed to have arrived today, but when I checked my doorstep, the only package was for tools I didn't want.
Is there anything worse than waiting for news you're really excited for, only to get something uninteresting and mundane instead?
I just can't stand those people that make you think you're about to get the news you want to hear, but no, it's just another day waiting.
You guys wouldn't know what that's like.
...on a totally unrelated note, I met with The Team today. I know when I'll be able to share news. Those of you on my Facebook page my have noticed a countdown. You may have noticed that, if the pattern continues, it will end on a certain Friday soon.
When that day comes, there may or may not be news.
And hopefully by then, I'll have my Oreos.
THE TEAM still has book news under strict embargo for the next few weeks, but I can guarantee that we have something in the pipeline. There's news coming, I swear. News.
...but the members of THE TEAM are slashing their fingers across their throats, so I'm going to have to move on. Here's a quick review for two animated movies I saw recently! I liked them both!
Dragon Ball Super: The Broly Movie, You Know, The One With Broly
I'm a simple guy. I go into a DBZ movie to see Goku power up until he beats the bad guy. Usually, there's nothing else to them, and that's fine with me.
The Broly movie takes it to the next level. There is an actual story, with real character development and world-building that adds to the existing universe and complements the canon. They spend a weirdly long amount of time showing you the cultural impact of scouters and the political shift as Frieza took over his galactic empire from his father, King Cold. They get into Saiyan culture, both its pros and cons. They develop minor members of the Frieza Force into characters with their own quirks, backgrounds, desires, and goals.
...if that makes you say "Ew, no, get all that out of my Dragon Ball. I just want to see Goku punching an oiled-up dude into the moon," then don't worry. The meat of the movie is classic DBZ. But they still fit more character and world development into the first half of this story than into the entire Buu Saga.
Part of the movie's foundation is the parallel relationship between the three surviving full-blooded Saiyans (Goku, Vegeta, and Broly) and their respective fathers.
I didn't know I wanted that until I got it.
All this story is in the first half, and the second half is basically a 45-minute anime music video. So whatever you wanted out of a DBZ movie, it's here.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Why Are There So Many Spider-Men: The Movie
Continuing in the theme of "animated movies I expected very little out of," here's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. It's fantastic, and it's not making enough money.
Go see it.
I basically can't recommend it highly enough. I enjoyed the Broly movie, but I'm an unapologetic DBZ shill. I would have walked out happy from an hour and a half of Goku punching some dude. If you're not into DBZ, then sure, don't watch Broly. It's definitely for fans.
But Spider-Man...I can't imagine the person who wouldn't enjoy Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Do you like Spider-Man? Do you like superheroes? Do you like innovative animation? Do you like fast-paced, engaging stories? Do you like humor? Do you like good movies? Do you have a beating human heart?
This is a good movie to see before it's out of theaters, because the music and animation are so cool, but if it's too late for you, watch it on Netflix or however you can get it.
I wouldn't say it's my favorite movie of all time or anything, but it's one of the few that I recommend without reservation to basically everybody. So if you haven't seen it, see it.
Anyway, let me know in the comments what you thought of these movies! Or tell me how I deserve to die because this post isn't about OKAK or Underlord!
P.S. I also saw Aquaman. Yep. That was also a movie that I saw.
I was working on a New Year's post, but I really wasn't feeling it. Mostly, it's because I was using 3-400 words to say "Happy New Year!" and nothing else of substance.
I have book news, but I can't share it yet. There definitely isn't any book news in any images or pictures that may or may not be shared on this post, so you probably shouldn't even look.
And in the absence of book news, as many of you know, I'm always struggling to think of what I should share in this space. If I were you, I'd probably only be following this blog to find out about new book releases, and the second there's a post that isn't about the next book, I'm out.
However, today I decided to talk about what's really on my mind. Which has to do with how I write and produce books.
And that "how" is very simple: I panic.
Tim Urban, on his excellent blog Wait But Why (which you should totally read), has a famous post about procrastination. He does a TED talk on the same subject, which I haven't linked but you can easily find on YouTube.
In this post, Tim imagines two forces battling in the procrastinator's brain: the Instant Gratification Monkey and the Panic Monster.
The Monkey lives in your brain and always begs you for something now. It tells you to check Reddit every two seconds, and that you can always start working in just a second, because now you should watch that new YouTube video.
The only thing that scares away the Instant Gratification Monkey is the Panic Monster. When you panic, when the deadline is looming and you have no time left and you're going to fail the class, the Panic Monster takes over. And now the Monkey runs away. It's easy to avoid procrastination when you're panicking.
This concept resonated with me so much that, a few years ago, I actually bought a plush Instant Gratification Monkey that I keep around my house. Here he is lurking behind my laptop as we speak:
I've written a lot of books. More than most people do. But all of them, I've written while the Panic Monster is in charge. Which means I durdle around for too long and then shotgun out a book in a panic.
That's not great. So I've been working on trying to control my procrastination, so that I can write books in a steady, healthy way, rather than with the Panic Monster at the wheel.
...although I haven't been super successful thus far. Maybe tomorrow.
P.S. For real, though, go read Wait But Why.
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