Jumping back in the ring starting with a review. Going to start with my friends (well a good portion of them are kinda) over at Flying Island Press and their cloud breaking…(it’s a freaking Flying Island you break the ground and people die…) new approach to a paid E-zine.
In the spirit of full disclosure – This review is fairly spoiler free since it is paid content I don’t want to devalue their product It’s all cool some of it VERY FUCKING COOL to find out just how cool make the purchase it’s only $1.99 for your choice of PDF or MP3 or $2.99 for both- I’m trying out a new format for the reviews lemme know what you think.
Title: Flagship 01
Author: Flying Island Press / Various Authors
Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy
Released: July 1st 2010
Price: $1.99 for Either Print PDF or Audio MP3 or 2.99 for Both – Subscriptions available soon
Available At: http://flyingislandpress.com/flagship
@FlyingIslandPre on Twitter
Media: PDF or MP3
Rating: K for Kick Ass what you want me to pretend I’m the MPAA or the RIAA – Suitable for all ages – Well at least this Episode
Content: Over all fairly well chosen stories. Not sure if they were meant to be quick drafts or were finished products but there are definite quality differences in the content. I disagree with which story they chose as a “Feature Story” but then again I may be thinking along differnt lines then they.
Production: Mostly well put together – Some audio was provided by authors some was done with better equipment / sound quality than others. Over all not bad, especially for a first issue.
Cast: Varied – Some of the Stories were read by their authors.
Story: Over all I liked the Stories More details under their specific Titles. The following reviews are as spoiler free as I can make them, after all they’re all good solid stories that alone would be worth the price of Issue one.
Pirate – by H E Roulo – The Featured Story –Good Story though I think it needs a little work. It’s not bad but I can’t help feeling something is missing. Very Light hearted in my opinion. Doesn’t capture me though. Doesn’t grab on and refuse let go, and other stories in this issue were able to do that. I think given a little fine tuning the story can be better. I can’t tell you what is off about it only that something is off. Like that tasty soup your gramma just made that’s just missing a little something. If this were pass fail definitely pass, it’s a good story with a nice twist. Definitely look forward to seeing more from the Author.
Affinity – By Mary Merrell – This was a story that I was about to skip through when it got interesting. Slow start decent middle and an ending that left me wanting more. Definitely can’t wait to see more from this Author, and hopefully it will have a little more about what happens to young Talon. After a slow beginning this story gripped me making me want to know more about the world around our hero. With some work this could easily become a standalone podcast novel or even a decent podioserial in the vein of the old radio dramas of the past. Something about this story tells me that expanded and turned into a full cast podcast could be a fun run.
Ruby’s Child – by Phillip Carroll – Not sure if this one made it into the Children of Az series that PG Holyfield released late last year, but if it hadn’t if should have. I feel this comes a very close second for my favorite of the issue. Starts strong and keeps pace the entire trip through. I am going to keep my eyes on this author.
Inciting Incident. – by Bake M Petit – The pacing of this story just seemed off not sure if it was the story or the read. It’s a fun Super Origin story that definitely needs some work. I’d like to see more from this world and get a better feel for it. That might be truly what I need – Yeah sometimes the info dump helps the story instead of killing it. The pacing of the audio kept getting in the way of letting me drop fully into the story it distracted me enough where I couldn’t fall all the way in. Still an enjoyable piece and others might not have my same issue.
Apprentice – by Mike Plested – Easily tied for my second favorite of the issue. I like the way the master wizard and the abbot think. Good story, good lesson within as well. Plus I always love a good twist. Can’t really find anything negative about this story except that it starts a little slow but understandably so. Hopefully we can see more of Charlie as the time passes I’d like to see where the author could take him if given the chance.
Snake Skin – by Brand Gamblin – WOW… just WOW… This should have been the feature- Easily my favorite story in the issue. This shouldn’t have surprised me as I loved his podcast novel, and his Calls for Cthulhu videos. This story took a very different road than I thought it would, it took me by surprise more than once. Good twists in the story. This one definitely needs to continue.
The Skinny from the Fat Guy: Again I don’t want to give away any spoilers so the reviews are a little bland. But as I stated before each of these stories are well worth the cover price (if not more) on their own, all bundled together it’s a freaking steal. I really can’t wait to see more from the authors of the individual stories, and from Flying Island itself. I definitely plan on subscribing once they get that fixed.
Overall I give Flagship a hearty recommendation.
I like the fact that viewing the file on my Ipod it actually told me where I could find the stories by time stamp.
Flagship is a very well put together E-Zine it’s a fun ride.
Nifty Tech Blog by Doc Coleman aka @Scaleslea on twitter (but you prolly got that by the @ if not serioulsy how the hell do you find me? And doesn’t he totally look like a villain out of Wild Wild West in his pic?)
Genre – Tech \ Review \ FF Banner
Format – Blog – Location: http://www.niftytechblog.com/
Released – 2-2010 to Present and hopefully / likely for a while yet to come.
As many of you are aware, and hopefully took part in, there was an auction event earlier this year with the proceeds to benefit the daughter of podcastings own Podfather the legend, genius, creative demigod and all around good guy, Tee Morris aka @TeeMonster (put the right number of zeroes on the check this time Morris). The Boom Effect auction named after the Sonic Boom (Tee’s Daughter but you all knew that because you all took place in it right… right… don’t make me get the big stick I said RIGHT???… oh yeah internet can’t hear you… I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt this time…. and maybe next time too I am a nice guy after all…) went off without a hitch (well other than they obviously were broadcasting from the TARDIS because of the time dilation effect…) More money was raised than could have been hoped for and has been reported to be in Trust for her. It truly was nice to see the community come together and in such a wonderful way, I tip my hats to you all (yes hats… you think all these personalities enjoy just one style of hat… that’s just degrading…) and thank you for helping out in Tee’s, and SB’s time of need, now for those of you still interested in SB’s time of want I hear that Ponies are real big on little girls’ list of stuff they must own…
As part of the auction Odin / @Odin1Eye of View from Valhalla and I submitted a lot where the lucky (courageous) bidder (victim) would be simultaneously ripped to shre errr… I mean discussed, on both of our blogs. The Nifty Tech Blog was the winning bidder and both Odin and myself appreciate the generosity shown in taking a chance on us and helping in this cause.
Unfortunately, next came life a kicking us in the nards. Yup, believe it or not, two vikings managed to drop the ball on somethign that should have been an easy event… hey when you’re as damned good looking and witty as Odin and I you can’t always be on the ball. We both ended up with life issues that prevented us from providing the intentioned roast of the winner’s content. So, you will get my take on it here, and Odin has already posted his “over there”. I do apologize for how long this took. There have been personal issues that I’ve been battling, which if you’ve been following me for any length of time already know.
This is a little out of my norm for a review well because this is a little (okay a lot) out of the norm for the kind of content I generally peruse. I mean there is not a hint of Vikings, or car chases, or space ship fights or smart assed pirates giving what for to snarky queens ANYWHERE. I mean epic fail there, but as it’s a Tech review and not fiction content we can’t all be perfect, but as far as it being a tech review it’s actually full of win and even the parts of it I didn’t like so much came up draw rather than lose.
This is a site dedicated to Tech – He claims Nifty tech and I’ll agree with the non Mac tech… but that’s becaused I’m a biased prick and despise all things Mac (okay except for an Ipod touch).
Tech Blogs and reviews are not my cup of tea – Yeah I’m a tech support geek by trade yet I don’t go all gaga over tech reviews. I’m tech support by virtue of talent and knowledge, not for the love of all things tech / computers. I know tht even before the auction Odin had a ken for Doc’s Blog but I first heard of it when he won.
Now let me say this upfront – Were I more of a tech / gadget freak this would totally be my ball of wax.
Content – Doc has a nice array of items that he (and some guests) have posted on. Apps for Iphone – Itunes – Solar powered speaker thingy some nutjob just couldn’t stop raving about ;P.
Plenty of information, screen caps, and pics so you can see the tech in action not just read about how freaking cool this is. I give it high marks as far as being a good place to find out about cool toys, and being very informative.
There are plenty of useful gems out there – Dropbox is one that I use myself and appreciated seeing someone else tote on about it. He’s had a chance to review the Apple Cornelius (I still maintain that Cornelius is a much less silly name than IPad) and I want one even more, he’s reviewed Google Voice andother service I personally use and enjoy, and there’s Delicious Library – a Mac only product that makes me scream I want I want I want, even though Mac is the DEVIL, (I will maintain that stance until I can afford one, or one is gifted to me and I have a chance to work with it.)
Doc includes a FF section you guessed it every Friday to inform people about cool peeps to follow in twitter. Lot of fun peeps to check out, if you’re not into the toys as much at least check it on Fridays for some quality people to follow on twitter, along with some good info why they’re so freaking cool.
Production – Well it’s a blog, so it’s not like we can talk about sound quality or casts or sound effects or anything like that but there is production value, there is layout and there is time spent making sure it looks the way he wants. I personally like the site it’s easy on the eyes, there isn’t a lot of distracting sparkly banners and motion. The true star of the show is the content not the flash and glitz of a “kickass site” (which most “kickass” sites make me want to kick the designer in the nards for making the thing too damned busy). Doc did a very good job putting the site together
Over all – Even though I’m not the tech blog kinda guy, it’s an enjoyable read, there is plenty of good information, it’s a little on the dry side but then again that’s how I feel about all tech blogs which is why I tend to avoid them. EVEN THOUGH I am not a tech blog kinda guy I do have this one on my RSS feed, and though I don’t check it religiously I do give it a once over every week to week and a half. Now that’s kinda like getting a kid that hates broccoli to eat it one meal a week and ASK for it if it’s not been served in a while. There really isn’t much I can bitch about. It’s good solid and well thought out delivered in a decent layout with a well thought out review with good images so you can see the product as well as read about it. Had I not been directed to it I would have overlooked it, but I am glad that it got my attention.
While it may not be a wild thrill ride that I can’t get enough of, it is a well written, and valued part of my week. I thank Doc for a job very well done, and I look forward to seeing where things go from here.
Disclosure: As mentioned above, this review is being provided in an effort to make good on payment rendered. I would like to state however, that I really do like and endorse The Nifty Tech Blog and label them as a good read.