Game of Thrones

What we have here in “Game of Thrones” in a nutshell is a dark, epic tale, a character driven story with magic in the background. Characters come first, then the action set pieces. Lots of death and sadness and poor choices, but also some amazing choices and truly good intentions. In my eyes, it’s brilliant storytelling and I am loving it. Truly breathtaking (As I write this, the series will end next week)

Villains aren’t 100% evil; heroes aren’t 100% good. GOT characters are all flawed, flawed, human characters who even through life MASSIVE changes, good or bad still can turn and do something horrible and unexpected. Or, a character can go through darkness and come out a better person and become a ‘hero’-I hate that term by the way. Hero is so ‘black and white’.

George R.R. Martin always hates predictability, no characters in this show are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ They make choices and it all has consequences. I feel like 99% of the internet disagrees with me and chucks it up to ‘laziness’ and ‘shock value’ and some of the fans are hateful of everything in this show that isn’t seasons 1-6.    

I really do think events, from Season 1 onwards are all foretold, whether we like them or not. This show is not for masses who want things clean cut and dry, for good and evil to be neat. This show is for people who want true darkness, bloodshed, uncomfortable moments of anger and sadness, to see people triumph and then fall (and fall and triumph in good cases)

 Humans don’t do things that make sense 100% of the time, sometimes people are complex. It’s not lazy writing, it’s true to life.

The GOT fan base is odd, why do we have to nitpick everything and hate something that really doesn’t deserve it? I think people calling the show poorly written in the last two seasons are wrong, they can have their opinion of course, but I truly think the show is still brilliant. Sure, I think in the earlier seasons the dialogue WAS better in spots, but I still call this my favorite TV show of all time.

Regardless of how it all ends, even if I’m sad or disappointed, this show took me on a ride that I will never forget. Knights, castles, dragons, war, vengeance, huge wolves and dragons who took my imagination away-it’s everything I would want in a show. It made me feel like a little kid watching “Lord of the Rings” again.

For reference whether you’re a fan of the show or just getting started, my favorite character is Daenerys Targaryen, I won’t get into her arch because it would be huge disservice to the writers and the amazing actress who portrayed her, Emilia Clarke but I think she had the most interesting (plus hey, I gotta thing for dragons!) I liked every season equally, yes, I am in the minority when I say that, people might @ me and call me crazy and ‘how can you like lazy, boring writing?’ etc.  I loved every moment of this ride. I didn’t wait because no matter what happens, this show will forever inspire my writing and my characters, I’m not sad it’s going to be over- I’m glad I had this journey.



by Aaron B.

It’s no secret I love fantasy, ever since I started watching “Game of Thrones” I really got suckered into the whole world. I also love “The Dark Crystal” and when I was younger, “Lord of The Rings” was a huge part of my life. As far as reading, I could never quite get into the genre though. I always found books in that category long and boring. My ADHD probably had something to do with it, but even the GOT novels I didn’t enjoy, I could only get through about four chapters before I shrugged it off.

As I browsed through Amazon endlessly looking for some fantasy series to get into, I saw an ad for a series called “Child of the Daystar” (The Wings of War Book 1) and what struck me was the character on the cover. More then fantasy, I love anthropomorphic beings. Aliens, Dogs, dragons, whatever. I am a sucker for anything with humanoid creatures. I also love big, buff dragons (no surprise since my own novella “Forlorn” features one) Of course, when I saw this cover, I needed to know more. The description really got me. ‘Among the scattered fringe cities bordering the Cienbal desert, the true name of the Monster of Karth is spoken only in whispers…Raz i’Syul Arro.’

A badass monster in a fantasy world, where he isn’t some side character and the humans take center stage-but HE takes center stage? This really was what I was looking for. I read a short sample and I was hooked. I bought it that moment. I was in New York at the time and only had my phone, I read the first chapter on my phone, but I was that into it. The first book was really, really good.

The writing style was something I could really get into. No super long descriptions that go on and on and on, but an author who knew what to tell, just enough to get you used to the world but not so much that I found myself asking ‘when it stuff going to start happening?’ lots of action, blood and revenge. Themes that I love and try to emulate in my own writing.

The way Bryce handles Raz slicing through bad guys and taking vengeance is really for me, the heart of the character. Vengeance is such a big part of these stories, not in a formulaic way though. It’s always exciting to see what new obstacles Raz will come across. Seeing people who do horrible things let lessons dished out by a buff lizard (atherian) is amazing.

As for the other elements, I do enjoy them. Not as much as Raz’s journey, without him-I honestly wouldn’t have continued reading. But there’s Syrah Brahnt who is a strong female character who possess magic, she’s part of this whole religion, along with really her secondary family, the priests and numerous others at The High Citadel, we do get to learn about the priests a bit as they often bump into Raz. But Syrah is easily my second favorite character, she’s smart, a fighter, sassy and also has some interesting thoughts about Raz.

There is a deeper, dramatic message in all of this action and fantasy. That is the fact that Raz looks and acts like a monster, most revere him as such-but really, he is more heroic then a lot of the characters in the book. This message of discovering tolerance rings so true in society, this series does it without being over the top-but it’s a fact I think about every time I start reading.

Overall, I can’t say enough good things about this series, the world building is huge, the descriptions as I said just enough, the violence intense and totally r-rated (which is how I like it!) Bryce truly is a talented author and without him, I wouldn’t have found a fantasy series to latch onto. I thank him immensely.

Hell Hound (1977) Review

Written by: Aaron B.

I first heard of this book while watching reviews of obscure horror movies (thanks to spookyastronauts), someone made a review of a movie called “Baxter”. About a dog who basically has no remorse or guilt for the bad things he does. I knew I had to read this, animal books and horror books are two of my favorite genres.

The opening of the book details Baxter’s disdain for his owner, an old lady who he eventually pushes down the stairs. He enjoys watching her die, so kicks off the story. The chapters are partly written in an omnipresent fashion, while the other chapters (and my personal favorite ones) were written from the POV of Baxter himself. I sort of wish the entire book had been written in this way, but I also understand that character development happened in the other chapters.

They’re a few startling events in the book, but don’t go into this thinking it’s a bloodbath. This isn’t a slasher, it’s a dark and psychological story about what it means to be a sociopath and have violent tendencies. The story is about the build up to violent acts and the anticipation rather then the actual ‘kill.’ The book is intense because of the lack of emotion not only from the dog, but from one of his owners, a boy who’s obsessed with Hitler and Nazis.

To me, that boy was the most interesting character aside from the dog, every time he was in a scene I was tense, he had quite violent thoughts and very morbid motivations, his parents were at a loss of what to do with him almost the entire time.

There are some sections towards the end which get into animal abuse, which is something I expected from a story like this, but just be warned. I personally can handle it in a story, but it was tough to get threw one section in particular involving puppies.

Overall though, this is now one of my favorite ‘horror’ books, this is one I’ll recommend to other horror fans for sure. This is a rare time where I’d say I could’ve written this story, but I’m glad a very talented author did so already. We need more horror / animal books out there, and this is a great addition to that genre.

FROM THE SKY (Short Film)

Inspired by the work of Dean Alioto and his 80’s horror movie “U.F.O. Abduction”, after his cousin is abducted, Mike goes out to look for her and discovers a horrifying and unearthly payoff to his endeavors, filmed part ‘vlog-style’ and part cinematically to fully capture the terror and isolation of being subjected to an alien encounter.

BLOG PORTION: This movie really came about after I really wanted to tackle aliens again. Of course I made the “Alien” fan film a while ago, but I wanted to do something ‘classic.’ I had seen a movie entitled “UFO Abduction” directed by Dean Alioto. Basically the movie tells the story of a girl having a birthday party, then it is interrupted by aliens. The movie came out BEFORE “The Blair Witch Project”, marking it maybe the first real ‘found footage’ horror movie.

Well, I was impressed by this movie (I had been tracking it for years and I finally saw it on you tube a few months back.) So, when I re-watched it I took notes as to what I wanted to use. The red light for example was Dean’s idea which I ran with, but I also wanted to add my own flare.

So, instead of the entire movie being found footage, I decided to do half and half. Much like “District 9” which showed part news footage and part traditional movie, switching between ‘vlog’ and ‘film’ was a challenge due to editing (converting files and such was a pain) but I’m glad with how that part came out.

The first part of the movie was filmed in February, when my two aunts and my second cousin, Maddie (who you’ve seen in more of my movies) were visiting. They didn’t know they’d be in a movie, so when I took the opportunity to film them, that was there first real reaction. It was very natural and flowed well. Those scenes were the easiest.

My next challenge was to find an awesome alien mask, so I bought one online for 40 dollars, and it was worth it. Took me a while to settle on a final design. The only other big thing to deal with was the set. I wanted to show what happened to my character after the abduction, my friend Cab (who is new to Equus21 Productions) helped me immensely by not only being a camera person, but she helped with continuity and wrapped my brother’s jogger all in tinfoil, which took a while but it came out great.

Over all, this movie was a blast to make-it was cool to go back to something I’ve always loved, aliens and UFOs.