DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

You met me at a very strange time in my life...

Read my novel: COMPLETE DARKNESS

Monday, May 16, 2022

Matt can do MAGIC: A Rough Guide (review)

 


Magic: A Rough Guide

Nathan McGrath (@NathanMcGrathSF)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

“Holy Mike Foxtrot, Chris, what the hell? Forget the crapracadabra and warp us out.”

Sometimes you find a book where the concept is so strong it punches you in the face and makes you grab a copy… Magic: A Rough Guide packs one of those – imagine if Magic is real but is a terrorist offence thanks to the shady types in power… 

I was sucked in by the thought of magic power being in the hands of ordinary people but I can see this was never going to go down well with Government and corporations. Can you imagine if people had the ability to turn Boris into a walking knob? Oh, I’m being told that this has already happened – my bad. 

Anyway - meet young Lizzy – she’s the main character here and her story is that she was imprisoned after seeing her parents executed when she was five years old. But things might change if she really is the one who could change the balance of power – probably teaming up with a plucky potential partner Chris (a bit of a chancer who is having more fun carjacking and playing videogames until he realises he, too, is a sorcerer. 

'The talented Elle Fanning would make a great screen Lizzy'

These two likeable heroes are up against not just a brutal militarized government, but also a host of unstoppable ‘Reavers’ which tear people apart and a vampire queen too – the odds don’t look good!

As the dark forces hunting for the location of the most powerful book of spells ever written, cross the destined paths of Lizzy and Chris, they are thrown headlong into a conflict that will decide the fate of us all. I enjoyed McGrath earlier Nanopunk novel and so am delighted to say that I liked Magic even more. This is a tale that packs in plenty of action/violence and has a nice sense of real menace from the baddies.

For me the prose is a bit overly detailed, but if you’re the type who likes to know exactly what the characters are wearing at all times and what they have for breakfast – this will actually be a plus point for you!?

The winning blend of technology and magic works a treat – plus the world described here is scarily plausible (magic aside)… Recommended for those who fancy something a bit more brutal, scary and anarchistic than your normal magical adventure.


Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:

öööö1/2

(4.5 - Get on this Magically turbo-charged adventure)


I got chance to fire some questions at Nathan - this is how he responded:
 
Matt: If scientists ever managed to create a giant mecha version of you – who or what would be your nemesis?
 
Nathan: Professor Archon and his army of nanobots. battalions of nanobots with different abilities, corrode, short circuit, encrypt, take over
 
Matt: What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or watched in a book/film of any genre?
 
Nathan: The final scene in Terry Gilliam's Brazil where the guy is imprisoned but believes he's free
 
Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be?
 
Nathan: Hacking every back, investment, insurance system along the way and transferring all the trillions into the accounts of everyone lining the streets.
 
Matt: Who inspires you most (can be living or dead)?
 
Nathan: Sri Ramana Maharishi.
 
Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask?

Nathan: My clone
 
Matt: What is the meaning of life? 

Nathan:To realise all meaning is an illusion. That stuff has no magical properties, it's just stuff so enjoy everything, want nothing.
 
Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given?

Nathan: A pair of brass candlestick holders.
 
Matt: If you could have a sidekick robot – what would it be able to do for you?

Nathan: Walk the dogs, cook and bake with me in perfect harmony, proofread and copy edit my writing, play a guitar
 
Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?

Nathan: Who is thinking this?
 
Matt: Any final words you like to add...

Nathan: Is consciousness, being the result of physical phenomena, subject to quantum physics and superposition? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Darkness-Darkmatters-Matt-Adcock/dp/0957338775

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Matt is THE BATMAN (review)

 


THE BATMAN (15)


Dir. Matt Reeves (@mattreevesla)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20

“I’m just here to unmask the truth about this cesspool we call a city.” 


Batman reimagined by the Cloverfield / Apes / Let Me In guy brings a sinister and impressively dark vive to Gotham City where amongst the dubious underworld and dodgy politicians a sadistic killer begins to leave a trail of cryptic clues, and bodies...

Robert 'FFS Twilight' Pattinson dons the cowl and cloak - and despite my reservations about him actually turns out to be an ace new Batman! This film feels a lot like the original detective comic roots of the character and the esthetic is something like SE7EN.

As the plot cranks along (it's a bit long might be my only real gripe) - the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator's plans become clear. Bats  must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued the metropolis.



The cast are excellent - full props to new Penguin Colin 'We'll always have that time we met for Miami Vice' Farrell and Zoë Kravitz who is a high quality Cat-woman. Alfred is reincarnated and under-used in the form of Andy Serkis who excells and Paul Dano brings good Riddler sinister / manic disorder - a far cry from the prancing antic of Jim Carrey.

DC have rolled the dice and come up winners with this fantastic reboot - can't wait to see what they do next!!


Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:

ööööö


(5- It's not just a signal - it's a warning!!)


Awesomeness ööööö – Bat-tastically-dark and powerful

Laughs öö – The jokes on you Batman

Horror ööö – Deliciously grim in places 

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - Vengeance is mine


Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out about my  dark sci-fi novel...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Darkness-Darkmatters-Matt-Adcock/dp/0957338775








 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Matt meets The Last Traven (review) and their creator



The Last Traven: Book One of the Creature Chronicles 

Penny Dragone 

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

"Long ago, before all the trees had names, before rivers ran down the mountains, and before life became divided by race, there lived demons..." 


Once upon a time in a far-away land where humans were but a myth, lived demons of immense magical abilities. This is the back story for The Last Traven which sees new fantastical races of creatures created by the all-powerful demons – if only to battle each other for the amusement of their magical overlords. 

A powerful Book of Demons was created which had the power to unite the three races of creatures (The Ferons, Granicians and you guessed it Travens), but instead of harmony the book only fuelled war. Meet young Avia – sole survivor of a genocide which leaves her as the last living member of her race – yes she is the ‘Traven’ of the title. Sworn to seek revenge on those who massacred her loved ones and took the Book of Demons for themselves – this is her story of vengeance, love and magic. 

If you google Penny Dragone and get this - I'm told this isn't a pic of the author!?


As the demon Olivia escapes from the book and becomes involved in the life of Avia and those around her, destiny may be harsh for all who cross the path of the last Traven. Penny Dragone has created a fun and exciting fantasy adventure here which tells ancient tales echoing Romeo and Juliet among others and mixes them with a treatise on guilt, friendship, and bloodlust. 

This is a fun book that keeps you turning the pages to find out how it will all end and it leaves the door open for another book in the Creature Chronicles series to follow. 


Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:

ööööö

(5 - Fans of fantasy should certainly seek this out!!)

I had the chance to ask the author some Q's and here is what she said:

Matt: If scientists ever managed to create a giant mecha version of you – who or what would be your nemesis? 

Penny: My own vengefulness. I would lose control of my need to stop all who have or will do wrong. My new strength would consume me and I would want to use it constantly. 

Matt:  What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or watched in a book / film of any genre?

Penny: I would have to say a book I read about Vlad the Impaler. Learning that he was able to enjoy a meal with enemies impaled on stakes around him truly disturbed me. 

Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be?

Penny: It would be a parade of every mythological creature from all the old folklore...selkies, dragons, griffins, minotaurs, fairies, centaurs and so on. Magic would come to life. 

Matt:  You’re in a strange town with £100,000 that you have to spend in a single evening – talk me through what you get up to… 

Penny: I would find a derelict old mansion that had been uninhabited for hundreds of years due to obvious evidence of hauntings. I would purchase it and prepare to meet fascinating beings from the other side. 

Matt:  You’re asked for a line of ‘Wisdom’ that will be taught to every citizen on earth - what is your line?? 

Penny: Take chances so you will not one day regret what you missed. In the words of Irving Stone "...it is better for him to have said it; now perhaps it won't fester in the dark places of his mind." 

Matt:  There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask?

Penny: My clone that was created unbeknownst to me. It was part of an experiment with hundreds of others that were meant to be destroyed, but somehow my clone was not. It grew, surveilled me and waited for the opportune time to remove me and steal my identity. 

Matt: What is the meaning of life?

Penny: To better our world, be it through art, music, athletics, wisdom or simply by just being ourselves. Smile at someone who is used to seeing frowns; help a stranger; plant a tree. Any small thing done in one's lifetime to make this a better place, is the reason we are here. 

Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given?

Penny: My children. They have taught me to be patient, selfless and compassionate. 

Matt: If you could have a sidekick robot – what would it be able to do for you?

Penny: Transport me through time so I may go on endless adventures. I would witness the building of the pyramids, the planning of StoneHenge, fight beside King Arthur and visit with my ancestors. 

Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?

Penny: It's been real, it's been fun, See you again when there's no sun.

Find out more about Penny's work and world - check her INSTAGRAM / FACEBOOK



Wednesday, January 26, 2022

New Year, New Comic Anthology (featuring Complete Darkness)

 


The Future of Comics is here... New Year, New Stories 2022

Matt Adcock (@cleric20)


Just when you thought it was safe...New Year, New Stories 2022 bursts onto the scene with a celebration of indie comics which are new for 2022! Am absolutely delighted to have Complete Darkness feature in this alongside a host of new talent!!

This project was conceived as a way to raise awareness of the indie comic artists who would normally rely on conventions to spread the word about their work. 

With 2019 and 2020 seeing loads of cancelled conventions, the Shades of Vengeance Comics team came together with several other indie creators to share their expertise in crowdfunding and generate the deserved excitement about some of the stories that you probably didn’t even know were published!

Get on board for:

- An anthology of 15 comics between 6 and 12 pages long. That’s right, there are 15 separate stories in this anthology, which comes to 156 pages in total! These are just a taste of the work of these amazing creators - each story also features a “links page” which allows you to find out more about your favourite creators in the anthology. There’s loads more detail on the Kickstarter page, so check it out to learn more about the stories. Find out HERE

click this image for more info
 
- It’s the second anthology of its type. The level of support that appeared for the indie creators who submitted to the anthology last year was amazing! Don’t worry if you missed it, we’re offering the chance to catch up by getting hold of New Year, New Stories 2021 through this Kickstarter… Check the Kickstarter to see photos of the previous print, giving you an idea of what to expect from 2022’s anthology! 

 - These titles all came out during 2021 or are yet to be released… Every story in New Year, New Stories 2022 either came out in the last twelve months… or hasn’t been published at all elsewhere yet! Nothing’s stopping the creators doing that, if they wish, but these are some of the freshest stories from these amazing creators, so check them out and help bring them to reality! I have been creating for almost a decade.
 
I asked Ed Jowett who is the supremo behind this project why he did it - he said:

"I love telling stories and bringing my ideas to life whether on paper, via audio or in other ways. For me, every story is an expression of the universe that it’s in… and I see myself as a universe creator and worldbuilder first, and a storyteller second.
 
I also love enabling others to tell their stories, which is why I started the “New Year, New Stories” project! As the editor, it’s been very rewarding to see stories I otherwise might never have been able to, and help people who had no idea how to get their work printed hold it for the first time." 

What a legend!


Writing, Marketing and Promotion



Writing alone may not be enough…

Matt Adcock (@cleric20)

I get asked a lot about my philosophy regarding book promotion – especially by other authors. 
Having worked in marketing and communications for over 25 years it sometimes feels like I’ve been training to market my writing all my working life!? I have to admit that there wasn’t much on book promo in my creative writing degree at university but I have picked up a few things – mostly by asking the question ‘what would appeal to me’? and then finding ways to act on those thoughts. 

When I got the publishing deal for Complete Darkness I got the chance to think of some ways to drum up pre-orders. Having a few artist types who I know – I sent them the manuscript and cheekily asked if they’d create a piece of art of one of the characters – which I’d get printed on promo cards that I could give out at events. This strategy paid off with some great art coming in and allowed me to approach events such as FrightFest London, ComicCon Scotland, Stars of Time etc who all agreed to distribute the art cards to their delegates in the show’s goodie bags. 



Having the cards as assets to offer allowed me to be confident in approaching events - I got in touch with the organisers of TitanCon in Belfast who asked if, alongside the card promo, I’d like to do a reading on stage there – what I didn’t realise was that the event also had George R.R. Martin reading!? 
On the day before I nervously read my first chapter my amazon presales rank was 6,550,000th in the world. The next day I’d jumped 6,549,125 places and sat at 875th. 

 As the launch approached I managed to top some of the specialist Amazon charts and so finally on day one over 300 copies were sold. In October 2019 the book was unleashed on the world and I arranged a launch event. As my book deals with the topic of mapping ‘Hell’ I invited and Vicar and Satanist to a London pub, sold tickets and put on wine and chips (fries if you’re a US reader). 35 people paid £10 and that gave me the budget to give each a signed copy of the book as well as some free drinks etc. The event got some national specialist press coverage and led to a journalist reviewing the book. They picked Complete Darkness as one of the ‘Top Books of the Year’ for the UK Den of Geek site alongside new books from Philip Pullman and Margaret Atwood – it was a huge credibility boost. Think it's still live so have a look: DEN OF GEEK'S TOP BOOKS OF YEAR

Since launch interacting with readers and being available is part of the author promo I enjoy. I’ve guest-hosted a writing radio show, been interviewed on lots of podcasts and spoken on panels at events. 


One of my favourite things that has happened was when a reader took the time to make and paint figures of my two main characters – they now sit on my shelf and make me grin every time I see them. It’s been a wild ride since then and a second novel is on the way along with several short stories published in various anthologies. 

Now my excitement levels are maxing out because Complete Darkness has become a comic too. My dark near-future story was developed into a comic format during the lockdown with artwork by Northern Irish artist Karl Brown. As a comic book fan, I'm beyond delighted to have the chance to now launch my own. Comics are an art form that are becoming more appreciated by the mainstream, with many of them becoming Netflix / Amazon series too so who knows where this might lead? It’s been scary launching the comic through Kickstarter as it’s very public if you fail but fortunately, we have fully funded the comic and made the stretch goal of getting a 2000AD Judge Dredd artist to create a limited alternate cover too (see below)!? 

The inspiration (left) - the alt cover (right)

Creating the merchandise folk have pre-paid on the Kickstarter for, like t-shirts, snood bandanas and new art cards for the backers has been fun – some have even taken the chance to have themselves immortalised by being drawn into issue two as a cameo character… 


The other great thing about the comic is that it introduced the novel to new readers with 42 of the backers buying the book alongside the comic. You can grab a copy of comic HERE

Thanks for reading (literally)...

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Darkmatters Top Ten Films of 2021

 Darkmatters Top Ten Films of 2021


Matt Adcock (@cleric20) shares his fav movies of the last year...


10. Bull

I'm a huge fan of Dead Man's Shoes so this brutal and fascinating tale that follows similar lines was a must-see for me. Here's the official synopsis: 

After a 10-year absence, former gang enforcer Bull returns to his old haunts to find his missing son and seek revenge on those who double-crossed him and left him for dead. Painful secrets from the past will soon be revealed and like a man possessed, Bull will stop at nothing to get back at those who must atone for their sins. 

Check the trailer here:



If you're a fan of Maskell's work in  Kill List or the original excellent Channel 4 version of Utopia, you know not to cross Neil Maskell when he’s in a bad mood. He's a British actor who will hurt you badly and I don't mean in an emotional way... Bull sees him playing the mysterious 'Bull' – a man returning home after 10 years away with bloodshed on his mind and boy does he deliver...


9. Nobody

Nobody is a slick and violent thriller that harks back to old school Arnie classics and mixes in some fight work worthy of The Raid and John Wick films! Caution even this trailer is pretty extreme:


The star of Better Call Saul star strikes a blow (actually lots of them) for all of us men over 50!! This is furiously entertaining stuff seeing a suburban father taking on the Russian mob!!

tax returns eh...


8. Free Guy

As a huge videogame fan I (and having a crush on Ryan Reynolds) I fell hard for this refreshing and original take that explores video game characters' daily lives. Packing a full-on energy that is infectious and some real heartfelt and thoughtful moments too - this is a fun time for anyone!

Highly recommended - and not just for the audacious 'other film franchise' easter eggs or the most excellent use of a Maria Carey track ever!


7. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar    

Lifelong friends Barb and Star (Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo) embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time ever. What follows is some of the most joyful cinematic fun ever to be committed to screen!

 

Read my review of Barb & Star here


6. Promising Young Woman

"Even though the gods are crazy / Even though the stars are blind / If you show me real love, baby / I'll show you mine / I can make it nice and naughty / Be the devil and angel, too / Got a heart and soul and body / Let's see what this love can do / Maybe I'm perfect for you…” 

Arriving like a shotgun blast of expertly timed catharsis, Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman hits hard with its message that claiming to be a ‘nice guy’ isn’t enough in this world where #MeToo still needs wider engagement.


Read my review of Promising Young Woman here


5. Censor

Hey, do you remember when your mum warned you that watching scary movies would warp your brain and turn you into a homicidal maniac? Well here's the movie proof that she might not have been exaggerating!?


Watching Censor is a visceral experience and it's a bold, brilliant exploration of the video nasty sensation and those who had the job of censoring them!?


4. The Night House

Reeling from the unexpected death of her husband, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in the lakeside home he built for her. She tries as best she can to keep together-but then the dreams come. Disturbing visions of a presence in the house call to her, beckoning with a ghostly allure...

Spooky huh? You betcha... this is a quality mystery trip worth taking!




3. No Time to Die


Director Cary ‘True Detective’ Fukunaga brings his A-game that kicks off with an emotionally charged assassination attempt and doesn’t let up for almost 3 hours of high-octane quality Bond. The plot might be your standard bio weapon developed by shady scientists, obviously falling into the wrong hands –those of new baddie on the block Safin (Rami Malek). Safin has a great taste in spooky masks and a personal grudge against Bond so you know it’s gonna kick off big time when Bond tracks him down…



Read my review of No Time To Die here




2. Spider-man: No Way Home

This was the feel-good superhero event of the year. Picking up directly from the last film -Spider-man has been outed thanks to Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), so Peter Parker (Holland) seeks an extreme solution to regain his privacy: get Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch) to magically bend reality so that nobody ever knew. However, when the spell goes wrong, the resulting multiversal mishap imports some of Spider-Man's most sinister enemies from other universes...

It's an absolute blast - literally.


1. Dune

Epic is pretty much every way - Dune (pt1) was a sensation.  

As a huge fan of the books, I enjoyed the 1984 Lynch version and even had time for some of the mini series but Denis  'Blade Runner 2049' Villeneuve delivers something incredible here... 

The story of how Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. Facing malevolent forces which leads to conflict over the planet's exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence, only those who can conquer their own fear will survive.

MUST SEE...





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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Matt wants to be a Millionaire (game review)

 



Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Board Game

Ginger Fox Games (@GingerFox_UK)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)


Love or hate the questions for money gameshow - it sure is a compelling premise and most of us have wondered how we might do / what we might win if in the hot seat...

Now it's your chance!! The clever bods at Ginger Fox Games have created the whole Who Wants To Be a Millionaire experience - in a box so you can play it at home!? Yes, the nation's much-watched TV game show can be played head-to-head with your family and friends in the race to reach £1 million (money not included alas). 

best enjoyed with family and friends

The game is nicely crafted and allows you to relive classic moments from the show and tackle the iconic money ladder using only your wits and digital lifelines (accessible through a smart device) to reach the top. There is a lot of tension when you're getting towards the top of the board, but there is always the threat that if get a question wrong and you fall back so careful picking of where to 'stick' is vital...

Digital lifelines are fun

Like in the TV hotseat you get the chance to use lifelines - you can literally phone a friend, or log online and ask the audience. Other options include asking the host (you take turns to be host), plus the old 50:50. 

The biggest question you face is 'do you have what it takes to become a (virtual) millionaire?'

The is fun but i can see it gettig a little old once you've been through the questions a few times... It can be played by 2 or more players, with recommended age 14+.


Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:

ööö1/2

(3.5 - Phone a friend and invite them round to play!)



Full disclosure - a copy of this game was provided for review purposes :)


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Darkness-Darkmatters-Matt-Adcock/dp/0957338775

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Matt faces his End Game (review) and meets David Toft


End Game

David Toft (@Dmtoft)

Reviewed by Matt (@cleric20) Adcock

“Wilson gasped and looked down. A crawling infant had locked its teeth around the back of his ankle. He shook his leg free and then kicked the child away, punching out with a fist at the same time and sending a headless body reeling back into the crowd.”


Welcome to a dark very near future where all around the world a wave of suicide attacks are bringing society itself to the brink of war and worse… Previously stable governments teeter towards collapse, the authorities are at a loss against a seemingly unstoppable co-ordinated series of attacks. Leading the investigation is Scotland Yard’s Stuart Wilson, backed up by Bill Rubek from the USA. They are aided by a mystic Karrinaand they’ll need the magical back up because the enemies they are dealing with are channeling magic!!


As the carnage and anarchy mount, the authorities begin to fear what they are facing. Could it be that the attacks are being carried out by those already dead? How desperate of depraved do you have to be to sell the very soul of a loved one  into servitude of a madman?


The heroes battle mind boggling odds and some Dark Materials-esque world jumping as they encounter a race older than mankind… Who or what will be left standing as the End Game plays out?


Toft writes with a cracking pace and some nifty ideas. If you take this wild ride be sure you’re up for it to go ‘full fantasy’ as this isn’t a Line of Duty crime battle but more a Lord of the Rings magic welding tale - nicely fused with the real world bombings as part of it.


End Game is a decent read that will delight those looking for something fresh and engaging - there are bold concepts and a thought-provking mix of ancient and modern worlds.


I had the chance to put some questions to the author in order to get to know him a bit better, here is what David said:   



Matt:
If scientists ever managed to create a giant mecha version of you – who or what would be your nemesis? 

David: - My own self-doubt, always my biggest enemy.

Matt: What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or watched in a book / film of any genre? 

David: – The death of Bambi’s mother traumatised me as a child.

Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be? 

David: – A celebration of The British Empire, blame my 1950s upbringing.

Matt: You’re in a strange town with £100,000 that you have to spend in a single evening – talk me through what you get up to… 

David: - I’d find a quiet corner in a nice traditional pub. I’d savour a few leisurely pints of their best real ale while scrolling my phone for local animal rescue centres. As the evening draws to a close I’d share £95,000 between them, paying on line. That should leave enough for another couple of pints, and for me to buy a round for the whole pub on my way out.


Matt: You’re asked for a line of ‘Wisdom’ that will be taught to every citizen on earth - what is your line?? 
The man himself!

David: – Do no harm.

Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask? 

David: – One of my wife’s sisters – It’s a long story.

Matt: What is the meaning of life? 

David: – Whatever you make it.

Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given? 

David: – A copy of the OED, given as a wedding present 36 (I think) years ago. I’ve used it at least once a day ever since.

Matt: If you could have a sidekick robot – what would it be able to do for you? 

David: – Copy edit my WIP as I go.

Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone? 

David: – Peace At Last



Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:

öööö

(4 - Thrilling magic-peril-em-up that delivers a wild ride)


Buy your copy of End Game here



https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Darkness-Darkmatters-Matt-Adcock/dp/0957338775

Friday, December 31, 2021

Matt faces God in the Machine (review) and Cole Martyn

 


God in the Machine 

Cole Martyn (@ColeMartyn2)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Meet young are Elias and his even younger brother, who are Ronin class citizens – not actually wandering samurai without masters but just poor decent folks – but there just might be some foreshadowing in the nomenclature…

They exist in the wildlands outside the super community of the Citadel where the baddie rulers are in complete control. Yes, so far so much of a well-worn trope in which to tell a cyberpunky dystopian tale of a foretold hero who might just be the hope of the populace to overthrow the fascist-lite dictator who isn’t adverse to some ethnic cleansing on the weekends.
 
Martyn is certainly mainlining pop-culture sci-fi and warrior films drawing from a myriad of (excellent) sources not least Ghost in the Shell, Star Wars, Avatar, Transformers, The Matrix etc but also some martial art fantasies like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and a personal fav House of Flying Daggers. There’s maybe a little Kung Fu Panda in there too and I mean that as a compliment!

 
Along the way there are hero training montages thanks to Shimada an exiled Jedi master-esque warrior who gets ‘Nihon’ Elias started on the basics of combat and then hands him over to Grand Maester Martell – the Sage of Albion (who likes to be called ‘Bumble’). Cue 'Eye of the Tiger' on the soundtrack as Elias becomes all he was meant to be… but maybe not through the ‘traditional’ route thanks to the man-beast genetic experiment Maximus – who is one of the most fun characters – I pictured Max as kind of Aslan-meets-Chewbacca!?
 
Anyway, the future Tory-like government led by Autarch Vicentine who rule over their collapsing planetary ecosystem – mostly by indulging the rich with extended life thanks to forcibly extracting the plasma of the poor - whilst pretending the climate disaster isn’t happening doesn’t sound so far-fetched alas. What we have here then is a pretty classic storyline spiced up with enough cyber tech props, a great AI’s alt-history and plenty of action in the forms of fights, shootouts etc to make God in the Machine very worthwhile seeking out!
 
And if you like this, the good news is that there are more tales from the same universe with the short stories: Icarus, Hades and Nihon available to buy and a sequel on the way too. I will certainly be checking them soon.

In the meantime – I had the chance to ask Cole some Q’s: 

Matt: If scientists ever managed to create a giant mecha version of you – who or what would be your nemesis? 

Cole: Great question, I'm still hoping that scientists creating a giant mecha version of me is a possibility. But if they also created a nemesis it would probably look like a mixture of Trypticon from Transformers and the Dragonzord from Power Rangers. I'm probably benchmarking my age here. Not sure why my nemesis is a giant T-Rex or what that symbolizes, but that's what is in my mind. 

Matt: What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or watched in a book/film of any genre? 

Cole: One scene that really struck me recently was in Paul Auster's City of Glass, when the main protagonist Danial Quinn (pretending to be a Private Investigator named Paul Auster), interviews a deranged young man named Peter Stillman (Junior) who was imprisoned for nearly a decade by his father. It was brilliantly written and really quite unsettling. 


Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be? 

Cole: It would be a massive science fiction parade celebrating all things geeky. Star Wars, Transformers, Dune, Gundam, they'd all have massive NYC Thanks Giving Day style inflatables. Imagine the end of Jingle All The Way with Mechs and you get an idea of what I'm envisioning. 

Matt: You’re in a strange town with £100,000 that you have to spend in a single evening – talk me through what you get up to… Well, this could get messy. I'd like to imagine myself having a debaucherously crazy night on the town akin to the Hangover, but in reality, I'd probably end up trying to find the nearest Tesla dealership to finally buy my Model X! 

Matt: Who inspires you most (can be living or dead)? 

Cole: George Lucas has been a huge influence on me. Star Wars gripped me as a child and has never let go (even in the Disney era!). I know Lucas has his faults and people were disappointed with his Prequel trilogy but I had huge admiration for him as an artist, as someone who loved his work so much, he spent the best part of his career working on it. I take inspiration from people who genuinely believe in their creations and are willing to go to incredible lengths to see what's in their imagination come to fruition. Lucas was the epitome of this, he revolutionised the way films are made in order achieve his vision. 

Matt:  There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask? 

Cole: Probably whoever created that giant mecha dinosaur I've been fighting. As far as I'm aware, nobody is currently trying to kill me. 

Matt: What is the meaning of life? 

Cole: For me, life has always been about trying to improve yourself. It is a lifelong journey of knowledge and exploration. Hopefully, you can achieve a little good along your way and make the world a better place for someone else. My aim in life is to pass on what I've learned to my children and hope they avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way. 

Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given? 

Cole: I received an Optimus Prime when I was about 6 years old, I had an older brother and inherited most of his old battered Transformers but this was the first one of my own. I remember having to travel to a Toys'R'Us in a different city to pick up the last one in stock, it was during those times when it was a must-have toy so I was over the moon when we managed to get hold of one. I've still got it and recently passed it on to my son who has now become a massive Transformers fan himself. 

Matt: If you could have a sidekick robot – what would it be able to do for you? 

Cole: I'd quite like an R2-D2 style sidekick, who could drive my car, answer my phone, edit my manuscripts! 

Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone? 

Cole: I'm hoping that Jeff Bezos would have found a way around death before I need to go shopping for a tombstone. If humanity hasn't cheated death by then, I'd probably go for something about being an amazing dad, wonderful husband and best-selling author. 

Matt: Any final words you like to add... 

Cole: Thanks again for your support of God in the Machine, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it. Also, I wanted to pass on my congratulations again on your comic, it is truly fantastic and has made me very jealous. It must have been a fantastic feeling to get it in your hand and the reception online has been fantastic.


Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:


öööö

(4 - Exciting cyberpunky future tale)


Buy your copy of God in the Machine here



https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Darkness-Darkmatters-Matt-Adcock/dp/0957338775

Friday, November 05, 2021

Matt is the Taskmaster (game review)

 


Taskmaster, The Board Game

Ginger Fox Games (@GingerFox_UK)

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)

Taskmaster has been described as ‘a joyously unlikely phenomenon’. 

The sort of culturally relevant and massively engaging fusion of fun, competition and comradery that is highly addictive and pretty much guaranteed to lift your spirits when you watch it. Basically, it’s a game show that both ridicules and torments the celeb comedians who take part in weird and wonderful challenges set by the Taskmaster overlord himself Greg Davies and his smashing pumpkin co-host ‘little’ Alex Horne… 


we 'may' have drawn portraits upside down...


So how do you capture the ‘Taskmaster magic’ and turn it into a family-friendly game that anyone from age 8 upwards could jump into and get some of the experience as dished out on TB by Alex and Greg? Well – the lovely boffins at Ginger Fox Games have managed to channel the wacky randomness, the imaginative tasks, and the creative challenges into a superb board game for 3 or more players. 


The players assemble...

The board, cards and task-related accruements are nicely designed and the rule are simple enough to be picked up really quickly. You can choose to have a roaming Taskmaster where you all get a turn or nominate on master who oversees and judges the task – the winner gets the prizes brought by each player in the prize task and gets to hold the rather lovely token of Greg’s head too.... 


varied reactions...

Everything you need for set up is in the game box - the board, rules sheet, scoreboard / pieces, paper slips, the aforementioned Taskmaster trophy as well as 200 task cards plus a pen. What you’ll need in addition is host of household items like paper and pens, maybe some bread, tea bags, tea towel etc and some space to enact the challenges. One lovely touch is that for the final round you can stream Alex via video giving you the task which is very cool!


the ol 'throw round objects at taskmaster' round

We played with some pals and their teenage daughters – it was a brilliantly fun and hard-fought contest that included artworks, physical challenges, poem creation and some ‘acting’ – a very good time was had by all and we’ll definitely be playing this with whoever we can in the future. 



final challenge delivered by Alex...


I can’t think of many better Christmas presents – that will deliver roughly an hour of high-spirited hijinks! 


Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:

ööööö

(5 - Your task is to grab a copy of this game ASAP!)


Here's a handy link: BUY THE GAME!

Full disclosure - a copy of this game was provided for review purposes :)


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Darkness-Darkmatters-Matt-Adcock/dp/0957338775

Friday, October 01, 2021

Matt has No Time To Die (review)


No Time To Die (12) 

Dir. Cary Fukunaga

Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20

“James Bond. License to kill. History of violence. I could be speaking to my own reflection. Only your skills die with your body. Mine will survive long after I’m gone…” 

Ah Mr Bond – we’ve been expecting you. 

To be frank, we were expecting you a year or so back but hey better late than never, I just hope you’ve brought some decent action adventure seeing as this is the final hurrah for Daniel Craig’s incarnation of you… 

Yes, here it is British intelligence’s not so secret weapon is finally unleashed and the good news is – No Time To Die is fully epic! This one has the lot - high drama, obligatory camp comedy, really emotional heartbreak and great action scenes that go toe-to-toe with Mission Impossible et al. 



Director Cary ‘True Detective’ Fukunaga brings his A-game that kicks off with an emotionally charged assassination attempt and doesn’t let up for almost 3 hours of high-octane quality Bond. The plot might be your standard bio weapon developed by shady scientists, obviously falling into the wrong hands –those of new baddie on the block Safin (Rami Malek). Safin has a great taste in spooky masks and a personal grudge against Bond so you know it’s gonna kick off big time when Bond tracks him down… Caught up in the maelstrom of carnage is Dr Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) and her daughter, good old M (Ralph Fiennes), shady scientist Obruchev (David Dencik) and brilliant new agent Nomi (Lashana Lynch). 

Also returning are long time CIA Bond pal Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) with his new sidekick Logan (Billy Magnussen) and even baddie mastermind Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) – who is still pulling strings despite being locked up Hannibal Lecture style. 



As Bond comes out of retirement to race around trying to save the planet– he gets to employ his gorgeously gadget filled Aston Martin to good effect and go on a Call of Duty style gun rampage which is so violent it almost makes you feel sorry for the baddie minions. No Time To Die is packed with quality dialogue, emotional heft and some stunning set pieces that will form part of the iconic James Bond cannon. Has 007 really been replaced so easily by M15? Has the playboy agent finally fallen in love? Can he save the world one last time? It’s an absolute joy finding out!! 





Out of a potential 5 - you have to go with a Darkmatters:

ööööö


(5- Prepare to shaken and stirred – this is essential viewing!)


Awesomeness ööööö – unforgettable scenes 

Laughs ööö – the dry / camp humour is present

Horror ööö – some grimness

Spiritual Enlightenment öö - love eh?


Imagine a world where the earth is becoming hell?

Click below to find out about my  dark sci-fi novel...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Darkness-Darkmatters-Matt-Adcock/dp/0957338775







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