Robert Wm. Gomez's

The Tyranny of Clichés: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas by Jonah Goldberg (8/10)

The main thesis of Tyranny of Clichés begins with the notion that conservative and libertarian arguments tend to get rebutted, not with counter-arguments, but with a series of stock statements like "Violence never solves anything" or "I'd rather see ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be found guilty." These clichés are presented by liberals/progressives (whatever is the label du jour?) as self-evident truths with basis in a pragmatic analysis of the issues.

Alan Wake on PC (8/10)

Alan Wake

Alan Wake was developed by the same people who made one of my favorite games, Max Payne. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent to the awesomely addictive bullet-time shooting mechanics of Max Payne. Instead, the main gameplay hook is that you shine a light on the bad guys to wear them down before you can hurt them with your gun. It's not a horrible system but it gets old really fast.

Silvertip by Max Brand (8/10)

This is the first Western I've ever read. Written in 1933, Silvertip is the story of a gray-templed gunslinger who likes spaghetti and accidentally kills the wrong man. In an effort to redeem himself he gets caught up in a fued between honorable Mexicans (can't a guy just carve a brand into their mortal enemy's forehead and call it even?) and ruthless, torture-loving gringos. Overall, a pretty good and exciting story with e-paper thin characters. Another great freebie from Prologue Books.

Baby Shark by Robert Fate (10/10)

I really liked this noir-ish crime novel set in the dingy pool halls of rural Texas. Lots of great characters and a Kill Bill-esque revenge plot with plenty of brutal action sequences.

Jamestown on PC (9/10)

Jamestown Level 1

I've had this game for quite a while now and have been waiting until I complete it before writing about it. Man, I suck at Jamestown. I don't know if I will ever finish it, so I guess I will say a few things about it now. Despite my inability to finish the game, Jamestown is great.

A Blade in the Dark (7/10)

Outside of Demons, I have not see many of Lamberto Bava's films. A Blade in the Dark has a few really effective and tense sequences. Counter to the title, these horrible killings mostly occur in bright, fluorescent light (not unlike Argento's Tenebre). Unfortunately, the story is terrible. The victims are just passersby who appear in the main character's house for no good reason. The hero's job is that of a horror movie composer.

Dear Esther on PC (7/10)

Dear Esther

Dear Esther is a noble little experiment that pushes the notion of video games as art. The problem is, it isn't much of a game. You walk around a beautifully rendered desolate island in first-person view. As you move along you are fed bits and pieces of a narrative involving a car accident and a woman named Esther. The story slowly comes together as you approach your goal but remains vague and feels unfinished even near at the very end.

The Captain Must Die by Robert Colby (8/10)

Another solid pulp novel from Prologue Books. This time the story follows a group of ex-soldiers out for revenge against their old captain. None of the five main characters is without their dark side so you aren't quite sure who to root for.