Archive for April, 2012

Sly Mongoose

Posted: April 25, 2012 in Reading

I was feeling lame yesterday evening so got all fall-asleepy but I finished off Sly Mongoose by Tobias Buckell.

Sly Mongoose is about Timas, a kid who lives in a floating city on a Venus-like planet called Chilo. That’s all sulfuric acid clouds and such for you non-astronomy types. He throws down working on mining drones on the surface in a huge antique pressure suit because he’s small enough to fit in it. Meanwhile Pepper, a mongoose man of the Raga (ie awesome spec-ops kinda soldier) literally crashes down in Timas’ city. He’s bringing a heads up on nasty aliens who’ve come looking for something? What are they looking for? Not telling! But it’s all importantlike for the sake of peace in the galaxy. Sounds cheesy but I swear it doesn’t work out that way. I can’t elaborate without blowing some awesome moments. We can live with that.

This is the third book in the Xenowealth series that starts off with Crystal Rain which I mentioned back here with it’s break away from the Eurocentric view. It’s freshly re-released in my favorite mass market size so I gobbled it up on my last book run. Now it’s been ages since I’ve read either of the other two books that preceedSly Mongoose and at first I was hesitant to dive in but had at it anyways. The book is written with a summation of what happened before it which jogged my memory some. I never felt it was absolutely dependent on the previous books and while I may have seen more things if I had read the others recently, I never felt I was at a loss.


So what’s cool about this book… We get a good sense of the city early on in this harsh environment. Cloud City this isn’t. This isn’t even an oasis in the desert, it’s a clinging to the edge kind of city. They’re a city full of poor refugees and they know it, having a chip on their collective shoulder when dealing with the more prosperous cities. It’s an interaction which changes as they story progresses. It’s a change born of desperation, yes, but it’s still a positive change when it could have very well gone in a less beneficial way. We tend to see a bit less of the city as the narrative moves around and focuses on more pressing matters than the setting. It’s a bit of a shame because it’s one of those settings that I really want to know more about, but it’s not something I thought about until I was sitting here typing this. While I was reading the book, I was wholly engrossed in it, not longing for more setting.

Pepper is a bad ass hands down. He spends most of the book minus some limbs but doesn’t let that slow him down at all. It’s a mild inconvenience at most for him. I thought Timas grew a lot through the course of the story. He had a lot of literal and figurative weight on his shoulders, fate of his city and all that. But he was pretty timid during the early stages of the novel and the adversity he faced, made him come out the other end as a stronger person, doing what he feels needs to be done rather than simply reacting to what others expect from him. I was a bit disappointed there wasn’t more of Katerina in the book. She’s an avatar of the Aeolean Concensus. (seriously sorry if I screwed up the spelling on that) They’re the prosperous floating cities around the rest of Chilo. All their citizens are networked together, not in a hive mind Borg kind of way but more like an Internet in their brain kind of way. They use this to vote on everything. That’s how their government works and  things like being an avatar (like a diplomat, but avatar is the book’s choice of wording) are all chosen by chance. Hence a teenager as the speaker for a whole society. She’s on the cover of the book with Pepper and a large rifle. She was an important character but not as much as being on the cover might suggest. I understand that kind of thing is out of the author’s hands. This is really more of a “I want more!” kind of a statement than a “Gr! Book covers! *shakes fist*” kind of a statement.

So yeah. Enjoyable characters, solid city building (grander world building having taken place in the earlier books) and tension-action-drama abound. Seriously, I would go into the bad guys more but they are delightfully unexpected for a sci fi book. I really want to go into them more. But I can’t bring myself to steal that moment I had when they showed up. Page 51. You’ll know exactly what I’m talking about when you get to it. So go check out this book. I know I’ve read a bunch of Buckell’s stuff lately and I’ve talked about even more but that’s because his stuff is worthy of all that. You wouldn’t go wrong at all with any of his books.

Next up, Well of Sorrows by Benjamin Tate

The Quantum Thief

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Reading

I need to start off talking about The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi by saying this book has a huge learning curve. Holy crap it’s huge.

The quick version of what’s going on… Jean le Flambeur is a thief. Every morning he has to kill a copy of himself so he can get on with his life. He gets busted out of his “kill your self in the cell next door” prison by Meili and her sentient spaceship. They’re off to Mars and Oubliette, a city that moves around the planet with some crazy privacy laws. With a detective on his tail, Jean has to steal something from someone who knows all his moves…. himself (dun dun DUUUUN!)

So that doesn’t sound too bad does it? Well lets have some background on our author, Hannu Rajaniemi. He’s from Finland but lives in Scotland and writes in English so the language itself doesn’t have any translation issues. Rajaniemi has a full on PhD in Mathematical Physics. His day job is running a math guy think tank. I read Discover magazine so I’ve got an awareness of things like quantum entanglement and some of that stuff where science and philosophy get all fuzzy and the learning curve was still pretty damn steep. The jargon and tech is very intimidating in the opening chapters. Early on with Jean’s quantum prison face off, the book reminded me a lot of the 60s and 70s New Wave science fiction and early Zelazny which can get pretty dense. I actually had to give myself a target page number, one of those “If it doesn’t hook me by page” whatever deals. Ironically, it was about three pages later it got me. I won’t ruin the surprise, but the zoku enclave is awesome.

Once you get used to the jargon and tech of The Quantum Thief it really starts to pick up as a futuristic caper story. Jean is pretty dashing as the thief with Meili reining him him, figuratively and literally. Isidore is the detective that gets sucked into the whole mess. There vigilantes and a Martian underground set in an truly unique backdrop. That’s not something I say idly having read a lot and seen a lot of futuristic literary worlds. The privacy laws engrained into Oubilette creates unique interactions between people.

But at it’s heart under all that is a cop vs robber kind of tale. This is set to be the first of a trilogy, I think the second is out in the UK already but don’t quote me on that, and I’m interested in seeing where this goes. They kind of got distracted from what I thought they were going to be doing. But the proper plot strings of this book get wrapped up in a satisfying way while leaving the requisite room for the next book. Jean and Isidore have character growth going for them. Meili has some but I get the distinct impression that she’ll have more of a focus in the next book so I wasn’t bothered by this.

There was actually a Book Throwing Moment towards the end during the height of the caper. I also love that the cover was pulled from a scene in the book itself and I found it. It’s a pretty awesome cover and an equally awesome scene. I would highly recommend giving this book a shot and if you get stuck, keep having at it for a few more pages and give it another shot. Also, get a primer in quantum mechanics.

Next up, another Tobias Buckell book, this time Sly Mongoose.

After the Golden Age

Posted: April 12, 2012 in Reading

I’ve been on fire with my reading count this week. Two and a half days to finish After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn.

This book caught my eye with the cover sitting on the shelf at Books-a-million on the last book run. A lot of their SF/F section is high fantasy and space opera and sitting in between starships and swords, a red clad super hero. So right in the title, duh, golden age. The world and certain points of the plot harken back to classic comic book tropes. Think classic Superman or Batman. Ok sounds done to death a bit though, I mean… it’s not like someone needs to be a big comic nerd to know what’s going on with that sort of thing. Think again.

What’s awesome about this book is that it plays with the point of view. I love that kind of stuff. Some of my favorite books and some of the most fun things to write play around with different POVs. This book follows Celia West, daughter of Commerce City’s foremost super hero husband and wife team, Captain Olympus and Spark. What does she do? Nada. Ziltch. Ziparooni. Not exactly easy to be the kid of a super hero. It leaves some trauma but Celia’s tough and is making her own way in the world, having gone through college and working as a forensic accountant. She likes her job, she’s good at it, but her parent’s arch enemy gets pulled in for a little Al Capone. And what do you do when the Destructor’s books need to be looked at? Poor Celia gets sucked back into the world she tried to get away from. Secrets get aired and the city is in peril. ‘Course it is. Now what’s Celia gonna do about it without a scrap of super powers?

Well I’m not going to tell you that part, you’ll have to read it yourself. Let’s talk about the goings on in the book. Like I mentioned before, a lot of Commerce City seems familiar. Captain Olympus and Spark aren’t edgy modern comic heroes, even though we do get to see them as real people with flaws when they are in their Warren and Suzanne mode. Celia is between the worlds here. She’s related to Captain Olympus and Spark, hangs out with Typhoon, but she’s not really a part of the supers community. But secret identities were revealed ages ago, so everyone knows the Celia West and just wants to know what it’s like to be related to all the heroes. Her point of view as an outsider shines a bit of light around the corners of the ‘golden’ world.

So the story is very classic in its nature. I picked out the gist of what was going to happen around Act 2. I didn’t really have much of a problem with this though. Using the comic conventions and setting kind of offset that for me. It’s like when Superman was throwing down… yeah you know it was probably Lex Luthor, but it’s the how and the details in between that get you hooked. Same deal here. I guessed right, but there was more to it than just that one bit I could pick up on, the how and the details are what keep the story moving along here. The end was a touch abrupt for my tastes but I still walked away satisfied from this one.

Next up… The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi.

Discount Armageddon

Posted: April 10, 2012 in Reading

Finished the latest read last night, Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire.

When I grabbed this book, I was looking for something a little different than the last few I’ve read. This is very much that and that’s 100% a compliment.

The urban fantasy subgenre is one that I find equally fascinating and frustrating. After I read Neverwhere for the first time I wanted to devour all of it. It was new and different from the high fantasy I had been reading for years. Well, now it’s not so new and I’m still searching for the different. Back when Rhode Island still had useful bookstores, I could peruse the SF/F shelves and they would be inundated with books written by men and women who clearly watched a metric ton of Buffy. Don’t get fooled by Discount Armageddon. Yes this book is a girl kicking supernatural ass just like Buffy was, but it has a scope and a voice vastly different and way too cool to pass up on.

Let me talk about the scope first. There is talk of magic in this book but it’s very minor and used almost offhandedly. This book is all about a human ass kicker and cryptids. “What’s a cryptid?” Bigfoot. There. I just explained it. A better definition? Fine. They’re creatures that science hasn’t proven if they exist. So bigfoot. Want the typical vampires or werewolves? Move along. The creature cast here is large and one of my favorite parts is that a lot of them were new to me. Ever heard of an ahool or a waheela? Me neither so I thought it was pretty damn cool that they were hanging out in New York. On top of these creatures I’ve never heard of there are ghouls and boogeymen and bugbears. It’s like the D&D monster manual is thrown in for good measure. I’m all for this. In a way the cryptid diversity makes the world of this book a bit more realistic.

What do I think is the other biggest selling point to Discount Armageddon? It’s the voice this is written in. The first thing you read is on the unnumbered page before the prologue. I’m just gonna quote it. “Cryptid, noun – 1. Any creature whose existence has been suggested but not proven scientifically. Term officially coined by cryptozoologist John E Wall in 1983. 2. That thing that’s getting ready to eat your head. 3. See also ‘monster.”

Delightfully irreverent and exactly what you’re in for. The book is told from the point of view of Verity Price, the aforementioned ass kicker. She’s snarky and blunt and completely refreshing. Verity is the kind of person that would fit in with my friends so it made for an easily accessible read even though I’m not freerunning across Manhattan or ballroom dancing or kicking ghoul face.

So what does the refreshing Verity Price and her casting of characters do? Well she’s a west coast girl who went to NYC to make her own way in the world as a professional ballroom dancer at the same time as being a cryptozoologist. An ass kicking cryptozoologist, don’t forget that. She watches out for the good cryptids and roughs up the bad ones, preserving the ecology of New York. I really liked how humanity was a part of the ecology of the city. She meets Dominic, part of the faction her family left generations ago because they like to kill all the cryptids, no questions asked. He’s a noob and while she’s not, she is separated from her normal support network in a new city. Now a lot of cryptids are disappearing and she thinks he’s killing them and he thinks she’s tipping them off to get out of Dodge. Now add sewer lizard men. And a dragon.

The character progression through the book is logical and satisfying. The minor characters are interesting without being distracting from the main characters and story. McGuire has written other short stories set in the same world (available here) and it is clearly going to be a series. I’m quite happy with this.

Now go read it. It’s thoroughly awesome.

State of the Novel – April

Posted: April 8, 2012 in Writing

I’ve been talking a lot about my reading lately and I was talking about Novel Attempt Number 4 today so decided it was appropriate for a State of the Novel.

I’ve mentioned before that I hand write first drafts now. This helps me because it postpones the constant editing until later, when it’s an appropriate time to do said editing. But at the same time, it leaves me room to make notes and such for when I do go back to editing. At times of writers block though, I have gone back and typed the early stages of the novel into ye old computer.

So 17k words in the computer. That constitutes half of Yellow Notebook. My handwritten pages are halfway through the second Red Notebook. My estimate of actual word count is around 30k-ish.

I do have the rest of the major plot points blocked out so by my estimate I’m in the 45-50% complete range. I like to leave a lot of wiggle room in my outlines though so it might mushroom. I’ve had a few chapters do that already and go in directions I didn’t expect and that’s always an awesome feeling. So something may happen to change that percent complete mark but once I sat down and realized I’m nearing the halfway point, it felt pretty awesome.

I actually just plugged my way through a tough chapter this week. There was a lot of dialogue to the last chapter. That doesn’t come naturally to me. I need to keep from talking about things going on and having the *characters* talk to each other about what’s going on. It’s working but slows down my pace especially since this last chapter was all dialogue between two characters that are alike so there was a fine line I had to ride to keep them from being too similar. I’ve also got a character who has made a habit of talking to himself to avoid massive blocks without any spoken words.

One of my closest friends Jay has agreed to trade chapters and/or shorts on Saturdays. Immoveable deadlines work well for me, hence getting though the last chapter. I can’t impose them on myself and he has no qualms at all with yelling at me if I don’t finish one on time. I’m feeling positive that this will be really good for me to finally finish this damn thing.

Which is good because my notes for the next novel are starting to pile up.

Arctic Rising

Posted: April 4, 2012 in Reading

So as promised, Arctic Rising by Tobias Buckell.

First off, I’ve got to say I was excited for this one. You can clearly see me make a stupid face in happiness when my signed copy came in the mail. Out of the Sixty-Four from last year, only Embassytown was the only one I read in hardcover. That just goes to show how much I’ve got to anticipate a book to get it instantly in HC rather than wait for my happy little mass market size.

Lemme give you my own version of the inside flap summary. Anika Duncan pilots an airship (!) for the UN Polar Guard. This is rather needed what since there is no more Arctic ice cap. Some Bad Things happen to her ride because she’s trying to do her job and some mean looking radiation shows up on a beater of a Russian cargo ship. A lot of unwanted attention starts flying Anika’s way as she fights the system to try making things right. She gets stuck between spy agencies and green corperations on the floating north pole city of Thule in a fight over a geo-engineered super weapon.

I started this book last Friday and polished off the end on my lunch break yesterday. This book is a fast read and it’s on the shorter end of average. Neither of these things are bad. This book is as long as it needs to be, feeling neither cut down nor elongated for the sake of a page count. The pacing and length work because of the tropes stolen from another genre.

See, first off this is a near future sci fi book. Frankly, I find the near future stuff fun. It’s neat to see technologies that are being talked about now, as part of the world of the book. Anika has a pair of Oakleys that work as a live action heads up display which Google is working on now. Cargo ships motor around with giant parasails to cut down on fuel costs. The near future stuff applies socially as well. With the Arctic opened up, all the polar countries are now the major players in the world. Alaska is now the big guy in the US in more than just land area. Canada and Greenland are the go to countries for work and resources. The whole northern frontier plays like a Wild West kind of environment. The most interesting, and realistic, social bit is Greenland being wicked restrictive of people coming into their country. Three months of work then you’re out til next year because they don’t want to instantly become a minority in their own country. This near future world reminded me a lot of Paolo Bacigalupi’s The Windup Girl in that all of this is very logical and something that sounds totally plausible.

Now take all these nifty near-future tropes and throw them into a blender with a spy book. We’ve got agencies and black ops and smugglers and governments making people disappear. There are layers of disavowal and constant bluff and double bluffs. This makes the speed of the book work in a very satisfying way. There’s no such thing as down time in a race to save the world.

SoArctic Rising has got the plot and the pacing. Let’s talk about Anika. I find her a very compelling character. As a person, she’s out of her element like no one’s business. She’s a city girl from Lagos Nigeria, but up in the Arctic, the UN let’s her fly airships. Anyone who loves their job can get a thumbs up from me, there’s a lot to be said for job satisfaction in real life and for a character who will literally go to the ends of the earth to do what she wants. Our other two main characters are Roo Jones, a quasi freelance spy for the Caribbean Intelligence Agency. He lives in a catamaran and tools around the ocean doing his work, and Violet, a club owner and drug runner. A varied but completely capable crew. But they’re not front line fighters and that’s actually kind of refreshing. All three of these people will shoot someone if needed, but they’re not James Bond or SEAL team or Tijuana hit squad. I like my characters to have flaws and limits to them. Even Superman has kryptonite.

One of the things that I found absolutely awesome is how the book deals with part of Anika’s character. She’s gay, which just is. I couldn’t care less about things like, some people are so of course some characters are. I’ve read some books though that make a huge deal about having homosexual or minority or whathaveyou characters. They come off as “Oh lookit me! Look over here I’m so socially progressive so I’m going to flail about this detail which has no bearing on any other aspect of the book!” Now, who Anika is interested in actually does have bearing on the book, since that’s how she knows Violet. But in two simple paragraphs when one character asks about it, Buckell deals with it in two of the smallest paragraphs but two of the most hilaroius. I won’t ruin the moment, but trust me, you’ll know the awesome moment when you get to it.

The other intangible that I really enjoyed about this book is the complete lack of Americacentricness. It’s a big word I just made up. In a world where the Arctic is big, of course the US would have a presence there, but it would be foolish to think that America would still be the big man on campus. There is an American presence, but it is not the focus at all. The book takes place in Canada and the iceberg city state Thule. Roo isn’t even from the Arctic, but the Caribbean nations want a piece of the action too and if you need more explanation than that, it’s there and completely logical in the near future spy world we’ve got going on here. With genre books taking so much flack all the time for being Euro- and American- centric all the time, the change of point of view is refreshing, even to us Americans too. I like seeing new angles, people and ideas just as much as anyone. If you’ve read any of Buckell’s other books, this is a theme you will easily and happily recognize.

So let’s sum this up. The plot is awesome, the near futureness is plausable and realistic, the spy action is just that, epic action, and the characters are well developed and likable. The book ties up all the loose ends (unlike certain other other things I finished recently) except for that one thread leading to a sequel. Didn’t bother me one bit because it fit in with the spy themes real well.

So go read this.

Next up…. Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire.

Mass Effect

Posted: April 3, 2012 in Genre

So in one twenty four hour span I finished Mass Effect and Arctic Rising. I want to give both of them the justice they deserve so Mass Effect is up first what since I finished that last night, andArctic Rising was finished on my lunchbreak at work. I’ll pontificate about the book I just finished tomorrow (and I’ve got some pontifications ready).

Before I forget, spoiler alert. I’m gonna talk about the ending.

Now you’re all like “Dude. Really? Video games?” and I’m all like “Yeah but…” because I’m not talking about this from the point of view of a video game reviewer. Absolutely I could if I wanted to. I may not be a hard core uber gamer or anything, but I play plenty. I’m here to talk about Mass Effect in terms of narrative. Back when the first game in the series came out in 2007, the story was what blew so many people out of the water. Now, a game still needs to play well as a game (Homefront, I’m looking at you for a great story and crap gameplay) so it played well too. But when BioWare dropped the first, it really put a game’s story up on the same pedestal as the guns and graphics.

Yeah yeah, Assassin’s Creed dropped in the same holiday season and Kotor existed and yada yada yada but whatever, Mass Effect built on and improved on the story and dialogue tropes of Kotor. Deal with it ’cause we’re talking Mass Effect, not video game history.

On top of all the effort put into the story, I completely agree with the idea that Mass Effect is the most important sci fi franchise of this generation. Trek was the product of the Cold War and I could get all film nerdy about how Star Wars was from the 70s but really a throwback even then but whatever. This generation… it’s Mass Effect.

So I was wicked excited for this game when it came out and I picked it up on day one and plugged away at it in those bits of free time I got. I beat the game last night after about 27 hours of gameplay, putting the total of all three around 100 hours. To put this in context, I tend to read 50 to 60 pages an hour. Average paperback being 350-400, I knock them off at about seven to eight hours of read time spread out over a few days depending on how busy I am. In 100 hours of focused reading, I could take out an entire shelf. Needless to say, I’ve become quite invested in the story. Because I wanted to stay invested in one, singular story, I never once played a second run through of any of the games. One character, one story. Now stack that up with the twenty characters you can take with you as part of your squad across all the games.

Holy crap I was getting nervous at the end of the game that someone wouldn’t survive! I remember helping Legion become an individual, saving Tali’s ass in the back alleys of the Citadel, having to choose that Ashley lived instead of Kaiden, helping Thane keep his son from becoming an assassin. I want every single one of my crew to survive this mess.

Of course this can’t happen. A lot of the characters which were playable in ME2 were NPCs in the third game. While I did miss out a little bit from a gameplay standpoint, it all makes sense from the story’s point of view. I can accept that, as much as I miss tooling around with Jack.

This goes back to that Boskone panel that keeps popping up in all the things I talk about and Jennifer Pelland saying how bad things have to happen sometimes otherwise any good things that happen aren’t legitimate. I can get behind that and accept that some of these characters I care about had to end up on the wrong end of that stick.

Seriously. Spoilers.

So I’m tooling through the game getting to the end and the showdown with Kai Leng was satisfying, if not seriously surprising. I actually thought he was going to stab Liara who was standing closest to him. I was all like “Turn around damnit! You’ve followed me everywhere! He can’t stab you!!” I Renegaded through it even though I almost always do Paragon, mostly I think it was a twitch reaction whenever I see the option come up, but again, I’m really gunning to keep everyone alive.

So far everything is awesome. Tension galore because I thought someone wasn’t walking away from that Cerberus base. Now it’s off to the showdown on Earth. Awesome, let’s have at this. My party is Tali and Liara, as it has been every single time I’ve had the choice (Jack filled in during ME2). The run up to the very end is appropriately hard fought and epic. I was satisfied with the gameplay, very good challenge to success ratio. I thought I saw a laser cannon waste Grunt, but I wasn’t totally sure. I felt bad I wouldn’t be seeing him at the end, but he wanted a glorious death in combat. I can be satisfied with that. I get shot by a similar laser, wasting my whole strike team. Crap I think my squad died and I’m really not happy with that because I kept them with me thinking it was the best chase that they could live. But the whole thing is ambiguous. I’m scratching my head but trusting it will be cleared up.

Now we’re at the very end. Anderson fights to the end but can’t quite make it. Holy shit that’s sad. But oh eff me, the buttons I pressed didn’t do anything, I gotta go up this elevator and talk to the actual Crucible and now those weird ass dream sequences make sense. Now here’s the big moment, I have to make a choice how to save the galaxy. The whole damn galaxy. One will definitely kill me but will be a longer guaranteed peace afterwards but no galactic travel. Hope everyone likes the planet they’re on now. The other might not kill me, nothing was mentioned about destroying the mass relays that facilitate galactic travel, but it kills off all synthetic life. Crap.

I go with the one that gives me a better chance of living (also, both the other guys in my office playing did the same thing). I feel really bad about this because I helped all the synthetic geth but then just killed them off at the end, same thing with EDI, but I want my version of Shepard to end up with his lady friend again at the end and shoot for that happy ending even though I don’t think it’s looking good at this point. And boom! Explosions. And for some reason my ship and crew are racing through the mass relay. Why? Double You Tee Eff?? The battle is on Earth, I see no reason for you to be racing ahead of a shock wave that I thought wasn’t supposed to be destroying these relays. Why the hell is this going on? I’m at once tense because I want them to survive and the ship isn’t looking so hot but still, seriously confused as to why they were there at all.

Bam! Crash land on uninhabited jungle planet. Time to create a new society. That’s the big ending thing that so many people are pissed off about I guess. I’m neutral about that. It comes off as very old school sci fi to me which I’m not against, but it seems out of place a bit for a series that wants to mix up a lot of our genre tropes. (I really like the word trope) Out of the wrecked ship three people come out. Joker, the pilot who wasn’t a regular playable character but was in all three games, Liara and Ashley. Ok good, Liara was my Shepard’s lady friend so she was on the top of my “must survive my game” list. But wait… she was ambiguously shot in the face by the laser with me. Well, I was unconscious so maybe she did something cool and survived. Show me how. Seriously. Damnit game! Show me how this works!! I want it to work but I want logic too!!

So on this final battle, one definitely dead, three definitely alive and two question marks. That’s six out of what… thirty? What happened to everyone else?

I was awake a lot last night thinking about this. I didn’t hate the ending. The new planet thing seriously doesn’t bother me, but I definitely didn’t like what happened. And I figured that it’s because it doesn’t seem complete to me. I understand sequel possibilities in anything successful, games, books or movies. It happens and while sometimes I think it’s cringe worthy, I can live with that, we’ve all been living with that for ages. But there are just too many strings left unattached. How hard would it be to show a montage of cut scenes in those final moments showing how my friends and allies fared? Me and Garrus made a pact to buy each other drinks in heaven, is he pouring one out to his dead homie (me) or do we have that drink in the afterlife? Does Tali take off that helmet and breath some fresh air before dying or does she go back to her homeworld and build that house she talks about? I can list off dozens more of “What happened” questions.

After all this my biggest urge after playing is to write endings. Good, bad or whatever… any ending is better than none. I love these games and will probably play them again. I still think Mass Effect has changed, not only video games, but the genre as a whole for the better. I just want a little bit more. Two, three scenes more and I could be happy. I guess I’ll just make them up myself.