Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lots AND LOTS of Violence

Well, perhaps not as much as lots AND LOTS, but a certainly a bit.

Three Die Block have been touting Scott Sigler's series for a while now, and at Roy's suggestion I decided to check it out. Rather than being bothered to read the thing, of course, it comes via a free podcast, performed by the author himself.

'A coming of age story set against the background of a lethal pro (American) Football league 700 years in the future'... sounds like crap. But it sounds like my sort of crap, at least.

Scott - who has a really cool, uniquely American, radio voice - asks us to give him four chapters before we make up our minds. whether to carry on or not. It's free, so that's fine. There's advertising at the beginning, which is no problem for me as the thing's free and I've got no spare cash anyway.

It's a bit trashy, in the way that both Sci Fi and Sports novels tend to be. The one problem I have with it, though, is our hero, Quentin Barnes. Quentin is a Quarterback (Mr. QB is a QB, how delightful!), 7 feet tall, unbridled gifts and talent, and a humble upbringing. To stave off the sheer Mary Sueness of the character, Sigler has given him 'flaws' by way of a mean industrial accident scar on his arm, tats that say 'Fuck' and 'You' on his pecs, a fear of space travel and, unfortunately, a racist streak.

Racist in the sense of anti-alien, so more species-ist. Still, it makes him a complete prick.

It's hard to feel that the hero is in any sense of danger as the twelve feet long, ten-limbed alien defensive linemen monstrosities come charging towards him, because actually I'd quite like him to be flattened.

About halfway through the book as I am, I see where the development is going. He's supposed to overcome his hatred of other species (which was brought about by propaganda, of course, rather than him just being a tool), unify the team and step in to the starting (and slightly alien) Quarterback's shoes to make the different alien races shit rainbows and snuggle in the showers.

It's entertaining, but little more than that. Entertaining enough that, when I've finished listening, I may well go and download the next book: The Starter'. Hopefully the main character will inspire a little more sympathy by then.

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