World Fantasy, Arkham City, Tales, and Spinning Plates

Well, a whirlwind week has come and gone. We were at World Fantasy, but the wife was having a hard time and so, sadly, we only got to enjoy about half of the events, so no epic con report from me. Good to catch up with friends and meet some indie publishers and shoot the shit and laugh a lot. Hope everyone else had fun, too.

I was hooked on Arkham City, but I think I finished the main arc! I wonder if the rest of the game is playing in the sandbox or if I missed something. Hope so, because there was a lot to like about the game. Great action and environment. Batman can do cool stuff. My big problem was the ladies.

The game is pure fanboy wish fulfillment, so I get that all the women are built like Penthouse Pets, but none of them were as interesting or as strong as their source material was or should be. Harley Quinn was way more vicious and deadly in the first game. In this one, she’s a major disappointment. She’s supposed to be maniacal, and that needed ramping up to the extreme. She should be the most engaging of  the gals, and they dropped the ball with her big time.

Catwoman, who was never my fave, needs a personality fix. Sexy is fine. Sexy and boring is not.

But the big oops for me is Talia. While by far the most interesting and masterful of the ladies in Batman’s world, in the game she is portrayed as naive. Nuh uh. Ra’s Al Ghul did not raise a fool! She’s smart, deadly, with an aristocratic bearing rooted in her being kick ass as well as eye candy.

So, whatever they do next with the franchise, I hope they clean up their act when it comes to the heroines, she devils, vixens with venom and femme fatales of Gotham.

Much goodness on the reading front. Dennis Johnson’s JESUS’S SON is absolute gem of a collection. It’s sitting well with KNOCKEMSTIFF, by Donald Ray Pollock, some fine lit grit from a gent who spent thirty years working in the pulp and paper industry before getting an MFA.

It got me thinking. Remember when you’d read an author bio, and all it listed where the jobs they worked? Before MFAs existed? Kind of cool he’s mined his life and applied it to fiction. Wonder what he thought of his classmates!

Lots of stuff churning in Ridlerville. My agent and I are primed on my “Karate Kid with Wizards” book. A short story sale last week added a little warmth to the sun. I have to get two other books on track this weekend, plus start cleaning up a non fic project while working on my next historical work. Spinning plates, Ridler style. Let’s hope none of them crash too soon!


About ridlerville

Jason S. Ridler is a historian, writer, and improv actor. He is the author of A TRIUMPH FOR SAKURA, BLOOD AND SAWDUST, the Spar Battersea thrillers and has published over sixty stories in such magazines and anthologies as The Big Click, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Out of the Gutter, and more. He also writes the column FXXK WRITING! for Flash Fiction Online. A former punk rock musician and cemetery groundskeeper, Mr. Ridler holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. He lives in Richmond, CA. Visit him on Facebook at
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