Robert Wm. Gomez's

Savvy Show Stoppers by Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet (10/10)

Format: 
CD

While technically I could say that my love of surfy, guitar-based instrumental music started when I would listen to my parents' old Duane Eddy 45s on a cheap turntable in our basement back home, this record is the real starting point in my love of the genre. Shadowy Men had a way of taking fairly simple but catchy songs and infusing them with tons of energy and fun. While the playing is top-notch, this is a band that really excels at arrangement. Every guitar tone, found sound or "woo!" comes together perfectly.

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (8/10)

Another solid Discworld novel with lots of vivid characters and humorous situations.

The Longest Journey on PC (8/10)

The Longest Journey

Fresh off of completing Broken Sword, I decided to continue my point-and-click adventure gaming with The Longest Journey. Like Nico from Broken Sword, April Ryan of TLJ has one of those early nineties reverse mullet hairdos, short in back and long in front, but that's about where the similarities between these two games ends. TLJ is far more epic in scope with your standard video game "you must save the world from certain doom" plot. The game is massive, but it is broken up into smaller digestible chapters that could generally be completed in one sitting.

Pappy's Corn Squeezin' by Sit n' Spin (7/10)

Format: 
CD

I've already written up this CD at my Planet Pimp website, let's just say this is decent, albeit somewhat generic, rock that gets bonus points in my scorebook for being on Planet Pimp.

Mass Effect 3 on PC (9/10)

Mass Effect 3 - No, this screengrab is not from limbo.

Mass Effect 3 is the satisfying conclusion to the Mass Effect trilogy (ME1 & ME2). The Reapers have finally come to reap and it's Shepard's job to unite the galaxy against them. Along the way you meet up with old allies (the ones you didn't kill last time around), fight with all sorts enemies and hide behind a lot of cover.

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.