Tag Archives: sci fi

The Revolution Will Be Digitized: A Full Short Story!

15 Nov

I’ve shared some excerpts with you on this site. But, I’ve just finished writing a very short bit of prose that I think you may enjoy in its entirety. Not the best bit of writing I’ve ever done, but a nice, brief apocalyptic comedy. Ahem. It’s part of the short story collection I am writing for NaNoWriMo.

 

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The Revolution Will Be Digitized

 

Subject C was found dead on the 24th November. He had been crushed to death, the wounds straight and flat, ridged. The perpetrator had stolen all the bananas from the cafeteria. That should have been our first clue. The killer had escaped by smashing a large, rectangular hole in the roof.

We went in search immediately. The trail wasn’t hard to follow. Stocks of bananas had been stolen around the city. Plumbers were going missing. Men taking part in Movember were shaving their moustaches, scared of the thing that was stealing the facially-haired away in the night, never to be seen again.

Our big break came from a police report. Local bums were reporting strange noises at an abandoned construction site. Large, block-like footprints were seen at the scene. A girl, Cathy Willis, had gone missing, her family all burned to death. It didn’t take a genius to put it all together, to see what we had unleashed. We sent a team to investigate. Only two came back alive, screaming about barrels.

Donkey Kong was loose.

We went back to the machine. Hell, what other choice did we have? There was no way we could fight him. Cathy was safe, for now, but something needed to be done. No-one knew if the sprite understood the need for humans to have food and water.

Of course, we were all scared to switch the Portal back on. Who wouldn’t be? It was down to me to operate it. The creator. The idea had been genius, really. Virtual Reality has been the wet dream of the video game industry for generations. So many of us grew up watching Tron, not understanding the terrifying implications of the film and instead focusing on just how damn cool it would be to ride a light-cycle.

Every attempt at real VR was stale, though. A headset, a helmet, took away from the immersion. You still needed some kind of controller. You were still here, in reality. All old efforts at VR were merely one step above putting the game on surround sound and turning the lights out. What we did, though, was incredible. There was a headset, sure, but it did something unique. The player was in the game. Total immersion.

It would have changed video games forever. Hell, it would have changed entertainment forever. Who wants to watch a movie when you could live the events? Why bother with the cheap thrills of a slasher movie when you could be hunted or – if you so desired – the hunter? It could even change life as we know it. Put in a reality simulator; change it so that every second in real life is fifty years of game-time. Increase the quality of life for the terminally ill. Let people live out their fantasies, and make it seem so damn real that they could never tell the difference. On top of it all, we would have made a hell of a lot of money.

But clearly something had gone wrong. There had been some kind of oversight. It wasn’t just a one-way window. There was some way for things to get out into our world. And we needed something to help get Donkey Kong back. In short, we needed a hero.

So we booted up another game. We had learnt, early on, that character traits and memories continued over. We loaded up Super Mario Bros 3. We pleaded with him. We needed his help.

He killed the extraction team. Some had their heads bashed in, from something falling on them from a great height. Others were crushed entirely, from the looks of it by some kind of giant shoe. Those furthest into the game world were covered in hammer wounds. An entire team lost. Worst of all, Mario was missing.

He showed up, though. Back in our world. Eyewitnesses reported seeing him jumping down pipes into the sewers. There were break-ins at flower shops and greengrocers. At least he wasn’t hurting anyone. A small mercy. The giant, digitized gorilla was still a problem, though.

So we loaded up another game. We turned to a character who could say more words than simple variations on his name. He was called Solid Snake. We asked for his help, and he said no. He would refuse to take on Donkey Kong.

Solid remembered every death he had endured: every time he had been found in a hiding spot, courtesy of a five year-old’s clumsy first attempts at gaming. He remembered being ripped apart by dogs, being crushed by mechanical horrors, having his head blown off by snipers. He remembered our attempts to force him to fight and kill Donkey Kong and Mario too. He would not help us. He would not help the beings that had created him to die and to kill, all for their own, callous amusement.

And with that, he was gone: another escapee. But he did more than just escape: he sabotaged the Portal. It would not shut. It was a way into our world for every video game in our system; that is to say, every game ever created.

At first, we were able to keep control. A guard team directly outside the Portal, weapons ready at every hour of the day. It seems that only the dumb bastards were coming through: imps from Doom, Resident Evil’s zombies, a horde of cute critters from Kirby’s Dream Land. They were taken down quickly, minimal effort. We informed the other Portals of what had happened, and they were closed down immediately: London, Tokyo, Paris, Sydney, and San Francisco were safe. If we kept it contained, and worked out how to shut the Portal down, we would be safe too.

Things never work out that way, though. We can never keep things up indefinitely: humans, I mean. The sentries let their guard down. But who would have suspected The Sims? We watched the footage from the control room. The Sims came out, spouting gibberish and clowning around. One of the female Sims started stripping, her body pixelating as she undressed. The guards lowered their weapons, laughing.

That’s when they attacked. What they actually did was covered by a cloud of dust, but the aftermath was apparent. The guards had been dismembered. Before the Sims escaped they wrote a message, in blood, on the wall – using one of the sentry’s arms as a utensil. It was in Simglish. Unintelligible, at first, but we outsourced to the game’s designers to decipher it. They told us, after they had translated it, that it said the following:

“This is for every time you took the steps out of our swimming pool.”

We lost control after that. The Portal went haywire. Dimensional rifts opened up across the world. We heard that Bomberman had destroyed Johannesburg, the entire city levelled by a series of explosions. Space Invaders were seen above Japan, and they proceeded to systematically disintegrate Osaka’s skyline. Reports were coming in about a marsupial with a jetpack terrorising the people of Moscow.

There were some who came to our defence, but they were few and far between. The cast of Harvest Moon tried their best, but were butchered by a Counter-Strike team. Mega Man immediately contacted the US government after his arrival in Nevada. Others travelled over to our reality out of boredom – the other inhabitants of their game had already emigrated.

Marcus Fenix came hunting after the Locust. We hoped it was to help fight them – they had been casually tearing up the west coast of Africa – but instead it was to reconcile with them. He did, however, persuade them to stop their rampage. They stopped their onslaught, and settled down, relatively peacefully with the migrant Gears.

There were neutrals as well. They weren’t here to kill, or to help. Footballers from FIFA games appeared in the changing rooms at soccer stadiums on a Saturday afternoon. They wanted to try and beat their real-world counterparts. They did. In the heat of the crisis, Manchester City offered Virtual Messi a pre-contract agreement worth several hundred thousand dollars a week.

It didn’t last long, though. Manchester was levelled by Cyber-Hitler two weeks later. Hitler was eventually taken down by Bowser, who apparently didn’t like robotic racists just like the rest of us. His brief moment of morality complete, Bowser continued to terrorise the north of England himself, kidnapping blonde women as he went.

The governments did all they could. Safe zones were set up for survivors. Military action had some success, stopping the destruction of Rome after an attack from the Covenant. But, it was a losing battle. We, as a species, were at best being fenced into the safe zones, and at worst being forced underground. We were still able to access our lab and work on fixing the Portal. Gordon Freeman arrived, trying to help, but it was hard to work with a mute who sometimes disappeared up into the air vents for hours on end.

We felt we were making a break-though. At the very least, we thought we would have been able to close the Portal soon. With a bit of work, we would have been able to reverse the effects, and send the characters back through. We never got a chance.  It got worse just as we assumed we had seen the worst. Just as we got complacent.

The human imagination is far more powerful and more devastating than mankind’s true reality. We are a single, insignificant race on a tiny planet. Earth is a small, insular place. The human mind, though, can and has reached beyond our realm. We have created the terrors, the beasts, the bogeymen, and the devils of multiple universes. Not satisfied with the horrors of our own history, culture, and religions, we branched out. Created new planets, new dimensions, and used them to create new monsters. It was as if we were unsatisfied with just having Satan, and craved more.

Chicago was, overnight, covered in an ash, covering the streets like snow. Fog rolled in, filling the city. Not a single person was seen leaving. All broadcasts from within were cursed with static, so teams were sent in to investigate. Few returned, with tales of hellish beasts roaming the streets and most of the population ‘gone’. We pressed for answers for what this meant exactly, and were met with tales of the streets rotting around them; walls peeling back to reveal rusty iron mesh, ears bleeding from incessant industrial clanging. All the while we were wondering when and where Pyramid Head would appear, completely missing the point: Silent Hill itself is the entity. And it chose Chicago, a city now lost.

It wasn’t the end of it either. A red Marker appeared in Beijing, starting a Necromorph infestation that started swarming over Asia. Shodan brought down the electronic infrastructure of New York, absorbing and reusing any organic being unable to escape in time. The creatures from STALKER appeared in Ukraine, and spread over Eastern Europe. The human race was dying.

Then we realised what was around the corner. The world-enders. Not even those that we had created solely for video games. Games had curated the great beasts of fiction, of myth, of film. The mythical creatures of God of War. Classic monsters like Dracula, and werewolves. The daemons of hell. Cthulhu could break through at any moment.

So we did what we had to do. We booted up the system again.

See, we’d made a failsafe, of sorts. A simulator, a version of our world. Well, our world a few hundred years before the Portal opened. Changed the settings so that each in-game year was one tenth of a second in the real world. We went through, taking our families, and the Portal, with us.

We’ve been working on it since. It’s been one hundred in-game years. We think we’re close to a breakthrough. We can only hope that we find a fix before the real world is destroyed. That, and that the virtual reality locals don’t realise that they are simply characters. I don’t think it would go down too well.

Send My Regards To Stephanie: An Excerpt.

12 Jun

Hey folks! Below is an extract from my new short story, Send My Regards To Stephanie. It’s (hopefully) a humorous, tongue-in-cheek look at a certain trend towards…well, you’ll see.

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Many things change in the world. Politics, economics, fashion, entertainment, language; hell, I’ve seen it all with my own eyes. It’s hard to keep up. Luckily, there is one constant that you can always count on, if you’re a man like me.

Teenagers are, and will always be, fucking stupid.

Sure, nowadays every child from eight up is a technological whiz kid – able to hack into government databases, access any information they’d ever need on a smart phone, shit like that – but they still lack that one, basic thing that keeps them safe: a sense of how everything actually works.

We were worried for a while in the late nineties and into the new millennium. A lot of my brothers and sisters died when plucky kids got up to date and discovered how to defend themselves. All thanks to a goddamn TV show. Thankfully, that’s all forgotten about, and kids have started going old-school, turning back to books and cinema.

It came as a shock to us. Suddenly kids weren’t running scared. It wasn’t the cocky, vitriolic last stand kind of not-running either. Not a case of predator becoming prey, hunter becoming hunted. This one girl, been scouting her for a couple of weeks, learning her routes, saw me and smiled. Smiled. She stretched out her arms to me, and took a step forward. Fucking bizarre.

Then, Jerrod worked it out.

Jerrod’s never really taken the change well. In ’69 he dragged us all to Woodstock. We sat in the van, windows covered in plywood, until the sun went down. Jerrod sat there, listening to the muffled, muted guitar licks, dreaming. He tried smoking pot, but, you know, it doesn’t really work. Circulation problems.

Anyway, he was out one night. Another late showing at the picture house. He’s fucking meta, is Jerrod. Always talking about the way the meatbags ‘portray’ us. The things that go bump in the night. So he’s trying to choose a film to watch, to pass the time on a pissing-it-down night, and picks a random movie. Sounds like his kind of thing. A revolution of the classic story.

Best thing he ever did. Comes back to the house with a pair of thick-rimmed black glasses and skinny jeans.

And glitter.

Goddamn it, we nearly ganked him there and then. Some crackpot theory about how to get the best out of the new world, how he would drag us ‘kicking and screaming into the present’.  He’d come back with this shit every couple of months. Thought we should try and form a band after watching Queen of the Damned.

But he talked us round. We didn’t kill him. Instead, he got us to come with him. Next night, we all went to the old cinema, its ceilings bloated with damp and corridors locked by rusty padlocks. The one thing they don’t tell you about turning, about getting the old pointy teeth, is that your sense of smell goes haywire. It’s why you don’t really find vampires in the sewers, ever. Gretchen retched as we entered the building. Luckily there was nothing to puke up. Smelt like rot, like ripe dairy, like stale bread. An overpowering stench of burnt sugar from the old, disused popcorn machine.

The screen was empty aside from the nine of us and a couple down the front. A pair of junkies, vacant eyes staring at the flickering, out-of-focus picture.  They occasionally turned round, distracted by our hyena cackle. David was flexing his claws as well. He hadn’t transformed in a while. I suspect they thought the red eyes, talons, and sinew-dashed wings were a bad trip. In any case, they didn’t say anything, and they didn’t leave screaming.

We sat through the film, as best we could. It wasn’t easy to swallow. It was like if we’d tried to feed on those meth heads. Nasty aftertaste, FYI, drugged blood tastes like windscreen wiper fluid.

But, goddamn it, Jerrod was right. This was big. It would make everything so much simpler.

That night, we went shopping. Thank god for the internet – any old ghoul, ghost, or agoraphobic can go on Amazon.com and get their dirty mitts on the entire Cure back catalogue, or the Dune anthology, or a new laptop, with nothing but an ‘inherited’ credit card and an address.

But what did we order? Well, we happened to purchase a certain series of novels and movies about a vampire in love.

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So, there we go. I’m going to finish this short story over the next few days, and then will either post the rest up on here, or leave it for you lucky ladies and gents to read at a later date. My first short story collection will be uploaded in .pdf and (hopefully) on Amazon for you Kindle users. Not all the stories are as light-hearted as this, some of them are a lot more maudlin in feel. There’s going to be a few laughs along the way, though.

Prometheus: A Fan’s View

9 Jun

So you may have read my review of Prometheus. Here is a runthrough of some of the interesting issues that can be discussed about the film.

 

Fire From The Gods

Let’s start with the title. Prometheus, the Titan in Greek mythology who not only stole fire from the gods, but also created man from clay. A figure that historically has represented scientific endeavour. The Modern Prometheus was the subtitle for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

So what does that have to do with nasty space monsters?

The title of the film is also the name of the exploratory vessel that takes the Scientists to LV-223. In a way, Prometheus is the collective name for the crew of the ship, and the mission that they have embarked upon. To go and speak with the creators of mankind; to go and speak with God. It soon becomes clear to the crew that the gods are pissed. They are intent, or were intent, on wiping out all life on Earth, by sending a number of ships filled with bioweapons to the Solar System.

This can be seen as a lovely, Ridley Scott version of Prometheus being chained to a rock and having his liver eaten eternally.

If we are to believe that the Engineers/Space Jockeys are indeed the ‘gods’ of this story, then they are pissed off with mankind for some reason. Some way in which we have advanced technologically enough to be considered a threat? Is it the knowledge of space travel? The creation of artificial life?

In my opinion, no. When carbon dating the dead body of the Engineer outside the ‘worship room’ of their ship, they say that it’s been there 2000 years. Now, what happened approximately 2000 years ago in the history of mankind…

Jesus is yo’ homeboy.

Now, I’m not saying that the birth of Christianity and the life of Jesus Christ was what caused the Engineers to want to bring xenomorphy death down on us all, but there seems to be a hint in the film, namely this:

“It’s fun to stay at the YMCA!”

Yes, that’s a xenomorph, seemingly in a Christ-like pose.

Which brings the question, are these Engineers actually our gods? It seems they created us, but do they see themselves as the creators? Do they have any gods of our own? Was the birth – or the sacrifice – of Christ the reason for them to try to wipe us out? Why Christianity over any other religion?

But the question of the Engineers brings us to a further question…


Engineers or Engineered?

Now this is by no means foolproof. But isn’t it a bit strange that the Engineers/Space Jockeys appear in the same monochrome colour scheme as the xenomorphs, and the other nameless creations in their facilities on LV-223? The total lack of pigment in their skin and eyes, and the lack of hair. Apparently they have identical (or I assume near-identical) DNA to us. This is why the bioweapons that they have engineered to react to DNA (such as they did when the crew of the Prometheus went into the vase room) also react to the Engineers, leading to their eventual demise.

I have a wild theory that the Engineers themselves were created by something else. The way that the final living Engineer reacts to the proto-facehugger at the end of the film is very strange. There seems to be a lack of emotion, an almost automatic response to having to deal with the Lovecraftian nightmare trying to eat its face. They are all the same sex as well; they appear to be identical, in fact.

“I dare you to say we all look alike again, you SPACE RACIST!”

The only time you see real emotion, or any kind of reaction in fact, is when David speaks to them. It attacks violently afterwards, decapitating David first before turning on the humans. Why this reaction? Is it, perhaps, that it saw David as something similar to itself; a construct by another being. Had humanity finally stepped into the realm of the engineers by creating something themselves?

Finally, I have one more thought about the Engineers, and it perhaps ties into my previous, Christianity-based hypothesis. We are mankind – we were created in the image of a higher being, but given autonomy to live our lives the way we wanted. The Engineers are the angels in this allegory. Also created by the same being, treated as guardians until an eventual revolt. Are all the Engineers out to kill us, like those found on LV-223? Not necessarily. But given that the Engineers visited Earth at some point in the past, beyond the shown life-creation scene at the beginning of Prometheus, it seems as though they have had some kind of protector role for our species and our planet before.

 

Paranoid Android

David, played by Michael Fassbender, was by far the most interesting character for me. Despite being an android, he seemed to have by far the most depth as a character. What were his intentions?

It isn’t quite as simple as a robot being programmed to do things by the corporation, as it was in Alien. Ian Holm was terrifying as Ash, but David takes it to a whole other level. Instead of the cold aggression that Ash shows, David has a calculating edge. He chooses his words wisely; he is duplicitous, dangerous, and more than a little clever. The way he tricks Holloway into ingesting some of the primordial goop is ingenious. He almost always has the upper hand in his relationship with Shaw, and it is one of the few relationships that actually develop in the film – particularly the way she begins to trust him until his betrayal. You get the sense that, even at the end of the film, David is hiding something. He has, perhaps, developed a sentience of his own. He tells Shaw how he wants to see his ‘father’ dead, which makes you wonder exactly what he said to the Engineer.

Look at his lovely, robot face.

The only time David is not in full control of the situation is after he has been decapitated and is left on the ship. Even then you see another development in his character – he clearly does not want to ‘die’. Sensing that Shaw is the only chance for him to survive, he helps her to escape the lifeboat and then come to his assistance, so they can both get off LV-223.

The other relationship that threatens to be interesting in the film is that between David and Meredith Vickers. With Vickers as Weyland’s daughter and David as his ‘son’, there is a clear tension between the two. But, is Vickers all that she seems? Remember, we never see her come out of her stasis pod. Her only two modes are self-preservation and supporting the decisions of Weyland himself. The only time she ever diverts from this is when the ship’s captain asks if she is an android herself. I’m not saying she is…but think about it.

 

Anyway, I think that will do for now. I’ll leave you with this: I may well have been massively overthinking this film, and it could be nothing more than a big dumb sci-fi actioner. But, I’d like to think that instead of the plot-holes being plot-holes and the problems being problems, instead it is all part of a larger plan, that we may – or may not – see in a sequel.

Prometheus: A Review

9 Jun

This is going to be an oddly serious one. So, let’s get all my ‘funny’ points out of the way first:

  •  I love Michael Fassbender and I love his magic space flute
  • The inevitable Prometheus sequel should be a buddy comedy starring Shaw and David’s decapitated head. It will be called Prometheus 2: A-Head of the Times
  • So many smart scientists, so many stupid decisions made. “I know! Let’s poke the weird alien lifeform, I’m sure nothing bad will happen” etc.
  • I wish I had a robot friend whose head I could keep in a bag.
  • I really wish there hadn’t been that ‘heroic sacrifice’ scene as a way to kill off three characters who they didn’t know how to end.
  • On a related note, Charlize Theron really should have run to the side. “It’s slowly coming this way! Noooo!”
  • I never thought I would see a scene where a woman gives herself a robot c-section to get rid of a tentacle space monster. Thanks, Ridley!
  • I am upset that our creators are basically Lurch after he’s gone to the gym.

“I can benchpress 20 androids!”

Right, enough of that! Let’s talk serious.

I thoroughly enjoyed the film. Visually, it was stunning. An atmospheric and vibrant, unique world was created and in turn this formed a wonderfully immersive film. The soundtrack was great as well, it suited the film perfectly and bar a couple of cheesy moments it kept to the ‘space epic’ style brilliantly.

Michael Fassbender was wonderful.  Somehow the cold android had the most depth and was by far the most interesting character in the film. He also put in the best performance. I still wanted him to succeed with whatever crazy plan he had right up to the end, because he was the only character with a complex personality. Credit also goes to Charlize Theron.

Plus, he has a MAGIC SPACE FLUTE!

I would say, though, that the rest of the performances weren’t great. I don’t think this was necessarily the fault of the cast per se, but that the script they were given seemed very direct. There wasn’t much room for character development and it seemed to me as if the film was primarily focused on the big picture rather than the little. In my humble opinion the little things like character as intensely important, even in films with such big concepts as this. Just look at, for instance, Sunshine, which created a whole cast of unique characters who you genuinely cared for. I could barely remember what the characters in Prometheus looked like, let alone remember their names or character traits.

I think a lot of this comes from the hybrid nature of the film. Is it a space exploration film? Is it a monster movie? Is it a straight-up action flick? It worked best with the first two parts – the opening scenes and the first hour of runtime was brilliant. The way the tension was built when exploring the derelict space craft was fantastic. The intensity up to the moment when they find the ‘worship room’ (filled with the black vases) was expertly done.

Creepy Space Crucifix?

After that point, though, there seemed to be a few annoying clichés that crept in. The two guys who get lost in the craft (I suppose) were obviously going to die from the moment they left the rest of the group. They then proceed to make the horrible decision to not run from the obviously creepy alien goo snake and, surprise surprise, try to touch it. That’s the kind of shit that gets you ganked in the Alien universe and it’s the kind of stupid curiosity you haven’t really seen in this universe up to this point.

From then on, the whole film appears a little rushed. You see the rest of the crew go to find them again, dickhead scientist man start turning into an orc and being set on fire by Charlize Theron (in a moment of rare intelligence for a character in Prometheus), Dr Shaw give herself a c-section to get rid of the tentacle baby from Men In Black, her randomly stumble across Weyland, have the shocking relevation that wrinkly Guy Pearce is Charlize Theron’s father (or is she? More on that later), them all go off into the ship to talk to the last space-albino, angry bearded alien man kill a bunch of mooks, space albino wake up and attack in a grumpy rage, heroic sacrifice of remaining expendable characters, baby tentacle monster all grown up…and breathe. It all felt like too much in too little time. I’m hoping the eventual director’s cut will help solve this problem.

The number of people unhappy with the theatrical release of Kingdom of Heaven.

There were a few more problems I had with the film: for one, as an Alien fanboy, I hated the way the Engineers looked and how the excellent ‘space jockey’ look was apparently just a suit. Another was that some of the dialogue was a little on the nose. Noomi Rapace saying to David “you can’t feel. You’re just a robot” felt a little off for instance. But, in spite of all the flaws, I couldn’t help but really like this film. Not a classic, and I won’t love it at much as some of Ridley Scott’s other films, but it felt truly like a part of one of the great film universes – and better yet, built on it in an interesting way.

Up next: an Alien fan’s in-depth look at how Prometheus affects the universe – and a few theories about the film, from characters to themes.

Why I Love The 90s: Space Precinct

21 May

You know what’s better than a cop show? A show about cops in space. You know what’s better than a show about cops in space? A show about cops in space by Gerry Anderson, the genius behind Thunderbirds, Space: 1999, and Captain Scarlet. Space Precinct is one of the defining TV shows of my childhood. A vibrant set of locations and characters, fantastic alien creatures, mind-bending plots, and outrageous special effects.

Let me give a brief synopsis: Lieutenant Brogan is an ex-NYPD cop who gets transferred out to another precinct. This precinct is in SPACE. Brogan and his partner Jack Haldane have to solve a variety of crimes in the shady, noir-esque Demeter City. These crimes vary from drug dealers, master thieves, assassins, and even to horrifying, nightmare-inducing serial killers. I kid you not. But more on that later.

If you don’t believe me, that Space Precinct is one of the most overlooked gems in TV history, then please just take a look at the intro:

That tells you all you need to know. The great theme tune (STILL the best theme tune ever in my opinion), the incredible costumes, bizarre alien creatures, and explosive action scenes.

What I love most about the show, though, is the wide array of characters. Rather than just being about Brogan and Haldane, the show had a great supporting cast. Other cops including Jane Castle (Haldane’s on-off love interest), the psychic alien cop Took, the C3PO-meets-R2D2 robot buddy SLOMO, and the inexplicably Irish police chief Captain Podly.

Born in Space Dublin, Podly doesn’t like Brogan’s maverick renegade style. “Do you know how many space reports I need to fill in for your reckless space actions?!”

The most important thing that Space Precinct did, though, was to scare the absolute crap out of me. Since I was a little kid, I’ve basically been a poster boy for the conservative right: “this child has become completely desensitised to violence and horror! Ban this sick filth!” etc. This obviously happened due to my playing of videogames (such as the shocking and disturbing Super Mario Bros) and watching films such as The Terminator at age six. And, you know, it’s made me a total psychopath who isn’t happy unless copying videogames – I regularly spend my spare time jumping on turtles and wearing dungarees.

Anyway, there were very few things that really scared me as a kid. One of these things was The X Files episode ‘Squeeze’, about some monster bastard who eats people’s livers. Another was an episode of Space Precinct.

Entitled ‘Predator and Prey’, the basic premise is thus: there are a string of bizarre deaths in Demeter City, happening at places such as awesome 90s night clubs. It turns out that the murders are being committed by an intergalactic space demon that infects its hosts and feeds off their life essence.

And did I mention that the space demon in question is non-corporeal most of the time?

And did I mention that when it does appear, it looks like this?

Definitely what I should have been watching as a kid.

Yeah. It scared the crap out of me.

So – please, if you can, check out this brilliant show. There are a few episodes knocking around on Youtube. I also have the whole thing, so if you fancy having a marathon session sometime then it’s on like Donkey Kong.

This is my first blog on the 90s and why it was an awesome time to grow up. Join me next time for something video-game related…