The fourth installment of this weird, wild and wonderful chapbook series is here! This time, the theme is a shared world SF thingy. Check out the awesome cover and download all the skiffy goodness for FREE here!
Each time I write a story for the chapbook, I try to do something different. Push some of my limits. “Impracticable Dreams” was a gory, horror-fest look at stand up comedy (believe it or not, I do not write a lot of gory stuff!). For “A Cemetery Romance,” I mined some of my experiences as a cemetery groundskeeper to write a love story, something that terrified me. I almost never write historical fiction, but “Iron Horse in the City of Stone” was a steampunk war story written as a epistolary tale using a lot of my knowledge of the Great War and the Great Game for Central Asia.
As you can see, I’m trying not to write the same story twice. Trying to grow a bit with each kick of the can.
This time, my tale, “Game Over at the Nova Bijou” is rooted in my love of arcade games and my rather sad existence during my Bachelors of Arts in history at York University, the most Orwellian campus in the world, bracketed by a faux Roman facade stolen from a DW Griffith film set.
I spent a few zillion hours either at the Cock and Bull pub or its adjacent arcade, the aptly named Addiction. Me and my partner John Boy would play Galaga and this insane western game (whose name I can’t recall, but it was a fast shooter and you fought a giant snake and train monster and it was awesome) for shit and giggles after a pint and a sandwich before he headed of to an anthropology class and before I returned to either a military history class or some seminar on fantasy or crime literature (York did have some cool courses: where else would I get to study the Canadian Army’s efforts in the Scheldt, the role of personality in the novels of Jim Thompson, or the use of evil in Tolkine’s Lord of the Rings).
But I had a lot of spares between classes, and lived an hour away from campus, so I’d spend a lot of time mastering the fine art of wrestling in Wrestlefest! By fourth year, I owned that game. I played it like a Zen master, cool and fluid. I probably have more fond memories of killing time with that game than just about any others during my four years of undergrad. Can you tell I wasn’t a big fan of York?
Well, I figured I’d try and write about the love of the game and the joy it brought me in an environment that made me depressed. So I raise a glass to all you gamers out there, who are frag zillas of the MMO and console gaming worlds. This story is for you.