Down the Dark Path Books, Paintings, and delicious darkness from J Edward Neill

Painting with Darkness – Part XIV

March 25, 2017 | Art! | Permalink

Lately I’ve moved away from standard acrylic, oil, and ink paintings.

…and into pencils, charcoal, and graphite.

Away from trees, dark towers, and spooky cityscapes.

…and into beautiful women.

And so, Painting with Darkness Part 14 is all about a little (actually it’s huge) graphite canvas I’m calling Mother of Midnight.

Here’s a few progression shots:

mom1

Just her face…

mom2

NSFW? Not quite…

mom3

Adding some clothes. Sort of. And no, that’s not an afro. It’s a hood.

mom4

Shadowing coming along. Needs face work, background, and texturing.

mom5

Almost done. Working with graphite is fun. I went a little nuts with the swirls.

mom6

Before final touch ups and eye shading…

And here’s the final painting:

IMG_0258

If I learned one thing during this piece, it’s that graphite is super hard to photograph. It’s highly reflective, meaning any backlight at all bounces into the camera lens, which tends to wash the photo out.

The actual canvas (24″ x 48″) is extremely detailed, which some of these pics might not reveal.

Live and learn.

* * *

If you like this Painting with Darkness entry, check out the other thirteen: I, II, III, IV, V, VIVIII, IX, X, XI, XII. XIII.

To dive into the series that inspired this piece, click this.

Until next time…

J Edward Neill

The Hecatomb – An Extensive Loss of Life

March 23, 2017 | Books!, Horror | Permalink

Hecatomb front cover hi rez

Hecatomb – ‘heka’tom/ (noun) – An extensive loss of life for some cause.

or…

The name of my terrifying new novella, NOW available.

Hecatomb front cover hi rez

In a drowned village, on a dark shore, in a city of white stones, an ancient evil stalks.
It has no name, no face, and no desire but to see the death of everything…
…and everyone.
Down through the ages it exists, sleepless and void, a relic from the world before humanity.
One dead. Every night. Forever.
Until nothing remains.

J Edward Neill

Book Sale – The Murder of March 22nd

March 22, 2017 | Books!, Free Stuff, Kindle Countdown Sale | Permalink

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With any luck, the day you’re reading this is Wednesday, March 22nd.

And with a bit more luck, you like to read books.

Now then…

As of today, I’m offering half my entire body of work for sale. That’s more than a dozen titles.

Several titles are knocked down to only $0.99.  Most titles are free.

That’s right. Free.

Why would I do such a thing? Easy. I want reviews. If you happen to download one of my books (or several) I hope you’ll take a few seconds to leave an honest review on Amazon. If you need help learning how to review, here’s my simple guide.

View all my on-sale books right here.

Or take a quick swim in these titles right here:

Hecatomb front cover hi rez101-deeper-darker-cover101-questions-for-humanity101-questions-for-midnight-front-cover101-questions-for-single-people-front444-questions-for-the-universeh-e-tesseranether-kingdom-createspace-bright-coverold-man-of-tessera ultimate-game-quiz-front-covermachina-obscurumthe-ultimate-quiz101 Questions for Men Front Cover

 **

J Edward Neill

 

Released – Darkness Between the Stars

March 17, 2017 | Books!, Darkness Between the Stars, Sci fi novella | Permalink

DBTS Promo Pic

Little Joff always dreams of the stars.

He knows something is out there, but he’s not sure what it is.

Because there is something out there.

And one day, after all the dreams of his childhood fade, Joff will sit on a ship as it spirals through the void.

Alone.

With all the time in the world to count the stars.

And measure the darkness growing between them.

*

 – from J Edward Neill, author of A Door Never Dreamed Of

*

Darkness Between the Stars

Now available on Amazon.

A free preview is here.

darknesskindle

The cover art is by Amanda Makepeace. Find her here.

Free ARC copies are available for reviewers. Find me here.

J Edward Neill

Author of A Door Never Dreamed Of

The best looking video games ever

March 17, 2017 | Video Games! | Permalink

Ever daydream of being somewhere other than wherever you are?

Well?

Maybe you fantasize about slumming at a beachside tiki bar?

Maybe you daydream of sitting in the backyard on a warm night, soaking up a pitcher of sweet tea?

Or mayyybe sometimes you dream of nestling on a couch with all the lights off, controller in hand, television ablaze with an amazing video game?

Yeah. You know you’ve thought about it. It’s ok to admit. I’m right there with you.

Yeah. That’s Skyrim, not reality.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate where we are these days. We’re in the golden age of video games, and that’s no exaggeration. As far as new forms of art (yeah, video games are art) games are advancing leaps and bounds ahead of other industries. Hollywood movies are kinda stagnant. Television is all reality shows, zombies, and superhero/crime drama.

But games…well.

Every time a new year rolls around, we get to swim in a shiny ocean of faster, prettier, more artistic gaming entertainment. For $60, you can either take your family to see a single 2-hour movie at the theater OR you can buy a game like Skyrim, Witcher, or Zelda -Breath of the Wild and create stories of your own via your console of choice.

Breath of the Wild

And so here we are. Another new year. After a powerful 2016, which saw a waterfall of hot, stunning titles roll over the precipice, we’re primed for what could be the most beautiful year of games ever. And I don’t just mean good games like I’ve listed here, but gorgeous, artistic, crazy-good looking titles. Like sharp and futuristic Mass Effect 4 and noir-looking Vampyr.

Which begs the question: what are some of the most beautiful game titles of all time?

Well…for starters:

Limbo

Zelda – Wind Waker

Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt

Metroid Prime 3 – Corruption

Mass Effect 3

 

Ori and the Blind Forest

Beyond Good and Evil

The Last of Us

Halo 3

Inside

Half-Life 2

***

A while back (and I mean WAY back) game-devoted site IGN did an article focusing on the best graphics ever. Now I don’t mean to be picky, but great graphics don’t always translate into superior beauty. Yes, realism is nice. And yeah, a poppin’ frame-rate is great. But sometimes it’s not the sharpest, most advanced games that strike an artistic chord.

Take Playdead’s Limbo and Inside, for example. Neither game was a technological achievement, but both were atmospheric, subtle, and beautiful. And let’s not forget Wind Waker, now more than a decade old, using cel-shading to give gamers a whole new perspective of Link. Both were risky moves by their developers, and both paid off.

Speaking of developers, they haven’t always had the tools they do today. Take one look at my progression of best games ever, and you’ll see the jumps we’ve made in graphical power.

Which begs the question: which old-school games are the most beautiful?

What about….

Zelda – Majora’s Mask

Quake

Neverwinter Nights

Myst

Knights of the Old Republic

***

Admittedly, it’s slim pickings if you go much older than the mid-90’s. Games back in the day had to be fun first, pretty last. That’s not to say old-school games don’t have moments of beauty, but the highly pixelated graphics usually meant the beauty was due to the story or the atmosphere.

And that’s the true test, isn’t it?

A fun-to-play game can be good, but it’s the rare game that makes us think and feel, and thus it’s the rare game that’s truly beautiful throughout.

Games can be art. Art can be games. The better developers gets at making them, the more the line will blur.

And that’s a good thing.



 

You say you’re a video game god? Find out the truth by taking this quiz.

J Edward Neill

Creator of Coffee Table Philosophy 

Painter of Darkness

This article is a mirror of my original Tessera Guild post.

Tiny Painting – Callista

March 12, 2017 | Art! | Permalink

Callista Pencil

My latest fix has been painting portraits of beautiful girls.

Some are friends. Others…well…

I enjoy the challenge of capturing certain expressions, especially the look in a serious woman’s eyes.

So…

Recently I sketched, inked, and watercolored a girl appearing in my latest novel Darkness Between the Stars (and its upcoming sequel Shadow of Forever.)

Here’s the sketch:

Callista Pencil

She’s tiny, only 6″ x 8″.  Even so, I toiled for hours getting the cold light in her eyes right.

And here’s the final version, with a few inks and watercolors added:

Callista hi rez

If you like Callista, you might also like these.

Prints are available here.

J Edward Neill

Painter of shadows

Extremely prolific author

New Painting – Firebirth

March 8, 2017 | Art! | Permalink

Firebirth

I rarely paint composition pieces.

Actually…this is my first one.

Introducing ‘Firebirth’ – a little painting about a dragon, an egg, and a burning forest…

Firebirth

Firebirth – 16″ x 20″ – Watercolors and acrylics on canvas

If you like this painting, you might also like these.

More fires to come…

J Edward Neill

New Painting – The Hecatomb

March 3, 2017 | Art! | Permalink

Hecatomb hi rez

Not exactly forever ago, I wrote a novella.

I called it The Hecatomb. To support it, I decided to paint my own cover art. I’d done cover art before, but usually only for smaller, cleaner, non-fiction books.

Here it is:

TheHecatombWeb

It’s ok…I guess. I’ve never truly been satisfied with it. It lacked the sharpness I desired. I left it alone for a while, but always felt the itch to change it.

And so recently, I did…

Here’s the new Hecatomb painting, sharper, more vivid, and greener than its predecessor:

Hecatomb hi rez

Much more satisfying, at least to me.

Recently, I formatted this piece into The Hecatomb’s new cover art.

Hecatomb front cover hi rez

The original (without lettering) is 16″ x 20″.  Prints are available here.

Meanwhile, if you like this style, you’ll probably like these.

See you soon with more dark, ethereal art.

J Edward Neill

Remember

February 26, 2017 | Books!, Darkness Between the Stars, Sci fi novella | Permalink

Sleeper Inside Cover Pic

Remember 

It was always hot beneath Sumer’s two suns.

At night, when the blue and crimson stars slid beneath the horizon, the heat had a way of lingering. The high green grass beyond my house soaked up the day’s warmth, and the rains that had fallen each day became a nightly fume, blanketing the fields in steam, roiling in grey clouds off the little green-watered river.

Even so, I liked to walk at night.

It was calm, and I could be alone.

Most evenings, after the rains ended and the clouds cleared off, I liked to dim the lights in my little glass house and stroll out into the fields. Most people who’d lived in the village nearby had moved on to more fertile grounds, something I’d been helping them do for almost twenty years. By then, I was one of only a few dozen people left, and my plot of land was a good two kilometers from the others.

It could’ve been a peaceful life.

I might have lived out my days alone and content.

I could’ve grown fruit in the summer and Earth-like crops during winter. It’s not as if anything on Sumer would’ve stopped me. The hot, wet planet didn’t have any animal life other than the species’ the Exodus people had introduced. It was all plants, all forests and farms and dark green rivers.

The world was a garden. And I was its farmer.

And so, on a night some twenty years after I’d first landed on Sumer, I prepared for my walk the same as every evening. I strapped on my thick boots and threw a towel over my shoulder. I had to wear the boots whenever I walked in the high grass between my house and the green river. Some of the blades were sharp enough to take a toe off, and my legs were already marked with hundreds of small scars. The towel was for my sweat, which would start streaming down my forehead the moment I left the cool confines of my simple glass dwelling.

I wasn’t as young as I’d once been.

I was as fit as ever, but twenty years of building pipelines and digging irrigation trenches beneath the grueling sun had taken their toll.

Or maybe it’d been something else that had aged me.

The stars were many that night. I waded through the shallow fog, alone and silent. Like so many eves, I felt as if I were the only living soul on the planet.

Or in the universe, I thought.

But as it turned out, I wasn’t as alone as I expected. At the green river’s edge, I stood in the starlight and gazed across the water.

And my heart skipped a beat when I heard her voice behind me.

* * *

Remember is the introduction to my upcoming book, Shadow of Forever.

Shadow of Forever is the sequel to this, which I think you’ll like.

Look for more Shadow of Forever excerpts in the future.

Until then…

J Edward Neill

Countdown to Dusk

February 23, 2017 | Darkness Between the Stars, Sci fi novella | Permalink

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For the next few days, Darkness Between the Stars is available for just $0.99.

* * *

3,000 years from today, Earth is unrecognizable.
Stark cities made of black towers and white houses dot the planet. Tiny robots and powerful dream-inducing software keep humanity entertained. Nearly everything is automated.
But on one rural farm, a lone family lives a remarkably old-world lifestyle.
They harvest wheat. They repair their machines by hand. They drive the only combustible engine car left on Earth.
At night, the family’s youngest member of watches the stars and dreams of one day flying between them.
And when he sees them begin to disappear, he knows what will happen…

The beginning of the end.

- Darkness Between the Stars -

A sci-fi novel by J Edward Neill

* * *

DarknessPaperbackFront

Get me for $0.99.

And review me if you can.

Thank you,

J Edward Neill

Preview – Darkness Between the Stars

February 20, 2017 | Books!, Sci fi novella | Permalink

DarknessKindle

It’s true.

I’m done writing philosophical books for now.

I’ve got no plans to publish anything else like this weird little thing.

And I’m pretty much out of horror ideas.

So it’s like this. I’m getting back to my roots. It’s time for more darkness, more shadows, and more end-of-the-universe type books. It’s my bread and butter. It’s my dice-move on the dance floor.

My new book? It’s called Darkness Between the Stars. It’s out now. Here’s the Amanda Makepeace cover art:

DarknessKindle

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Oh…and here’s the entire first chapter:

* * *

Earthbound

  

Many years before they selected me to save humanity, I knew who their choice would be.

Maybe that’s why they picked me. Maybe they planted the idea in my head when I was only a little boy. Or perhaps it was a simple matter of me guessing right. But somehow I knew.

I’m meant for something else, I remember thinking.

I’m not destined to be earthbound.

Those were strange thoughts for a six-year old boy. No, they were beyond strange. They were surreal. It was the year 4901, and I had no concept of what those feelings meant. I didn’t know anything about deep space travel, the Thousand-Year War, or humanity’s exodus from Earth. Everyone else in the world knew about these things, but not me. Not little Joff.

All I really knew were my father’s wheat fields, my mother’s love for me and my sister, and my teddy bear, Alpo, who was missing his right arm.

Alpo’s story was a funny one. He was named after an aluminum can. And it wasn’t just any can, but a three-thousand year-old one I found in the dirt in one of Dad’s fields. ‘Alpo,’ it said in faded yellow print. Maybe that’s why Dad used to say our fields were the most fertile of all. Something about being on a landfill. Something about wheat growing better on top of thirty-century old garbage.

Whatever.

I didn’t care. I was six years old. The same night I found the ancient can, I sprinted home and renamed my teddy bear. Everything in the world seemed right.

Those were the best of days. We were happy, all of us. We lived in a valley with mountains on three sides. Our fields of golden wheat swayed to breezes that never stopped. All around our little stone house, pale streams tickled the earth, clean and crisp as anything. Life wasn’t always easy, but it was quiet. Our family was untouchable, a last island floating on an ocean of technology.

Although weren’t entirely isolated.

A city lay just outside our valley.

By modern standards, Donva was a small town. To a six-year old boy who’d rarely been beyond his valley, it was awe-inspiring. They’d named Donva after the woman who’d first suggested a settlement there. Like most cities back then, it was all blacks and whites. Not the people, mind you. The buildings. Skinny dark towers jutted skyward from its heart, while warrens of pale, impossibly clean dwellings sprawled in the towers’ shadows. People lived in the little white houses and worked in the big black spires. Donva was so tight-knit that almost everyone walked everywhere. The only time anyone took a train or a hover-truck was to leave the city entirely, which most people rarely did.

I remember one of my earliest visits.

We were in the car on a warm, sunny morning. It was Mom, my sister Aly, and me. We weren’t piloting one of those fancy, matte-grey hover-trucks, but instead we rode in a combustion engine car. Yes, those. The same kind they say fouled the air centuries ago. And so rare in 4901 that only a hundred or so existed, while even fewer actually worked.

So when we rolled into town on a shiny white road everyone else used for walking, we got the best looks from people. They smiled, waved, and stopped to say hello to Mom. They didn’t begrudge our pretty chrome prize, but instead welcomed the sight. It was the way things were in Donva. It wasn’t like the big cities, the scary cities.

I’d have had more fun that morning if not for Aly. She always made it a point to start little wars with me every time we were in the car. That day was no exception.

“You’ll never get to sit up front,” she told me for the thousandth time.

“Yes I will,” I argued. “I’ll be bigger than you someday. Dad says so.”

“But I’ll always be older.” She made a face. “Which means the front is mine. Forever.”

I felt myself getting angrier. If there was one thing I hated, it was injustice. Aly saw me grinding my teeth and grinned at me. I waited for Mom to stop our brewing battle, but she didn’t. I think she wanted us to fight it out without her help.

“We’ll run out of gas someday,” I told Aly. “Dad’s big tank will go dry. Then we’ll have to walk. There won’t be any front seats. You’ll see.”

She laughed at me. “It’ll be funny, you on your skinny legs. You’ll get half a kilo, and Mom will have to carry you. Isn’t that right, Mom?”

In her fancy black shades and wide-brimmed white hat, Mom didn’t say a word. She turned the wheel and drove down a side road. I think I saw her shake her head, but from the back seat it was hard to tell.

“I’ll break your dolls.” I decided to fight dirty.

“I’ll tear Alpo’s other arm off,” Aly shot back.

“I’ll steal your books,” I huffed.

“I’ll chop off your hair while you’re sleeping.” She smirked.

“Oh yeah…well…I’ll steal your skypad,” I dared.

Aly’s mouth fell open. Mom slowed the car and took off her sunglasses. I knew right away I’d gone too far.

“What did I tell you about the skypad, Aly?” Mom stared at my sister, calm as a cloud before a storm.

Aly glared at me. If she’d have turned any redder, her head might’ve burst.

“If your father catches you with it, he won’t even bother to sell it,” Mom continued. “He’ll throw it in the combine and grind it into powder. You know how he feels about those things.”

“But Mom—” Aly tried.

“Tomorrow we’re coming back here,” Mom cut her off. “You bring the pad. We’ll sell it, and you can use the money for whatever you want. But no tech. No vids, no sprites, and no dream-makers.”

“Mom—”

“Non-negotiable,” said Mom.

And that was the end of it.

We kept driving. Aly hated me, and I didn’t say another word. I hadn’t meant to get her into trouble. I’d just blurted out the thing I knew would win the argument. I’d always been good at winning. Not so much at surviving the aftermath.

If Aly was heartbroken, she had every right to be. Our father’s disdain for technology was legendary. He didn’t like vids, which usually just spouted ads for other tech. He really didn’t like sprites, which floated around people’s heads and played whatever media their users wanted them to. And he really, really disliked dream-makers, which were known to be addictive, so much that some people never slept right after just a few days of using them.

But above all those things, Dad didn’t like skypads. Skypads were like pieces of almost indestructible paper. You cold bend them, stick them to walls, wear them, whatever you liked. And using a skypad, with the right hacks, you could connect to and view everything. If you wanted to watch a signal from a satellite on the far side of Earth, you could do it. If you fancied eavesdropping on feeds from near-orbit space stations, it was easy to make happen. But worse than anything, if you wanted live video of world news, which Dad despised, all you had to do was click a button, and every channel in the world opened up beneath your fingertips.

I was sure all Aly used her skypad for was to vid-chat with her friends, but that wouldn’t matter to Dad. He assumed the worst of most technology. And therefore he’d banned it from our household.

That night at dinner, Aly and I sat in silence at the table. Dad heaped potatoes and greens on our plate, and both of us nibbled. It didn’t take long before Dad noticed us.

“What’s on your mind, Joff?” he asked me.

“Nothing,” I fibbed.

“Aly?” he pried.

“Nothing.”

Dad took another bite. He knew something was up. But as was ever his way, he didn’t get angry.

“Nothing?” he said while he chewed. “The funny thing about nothing is that it’s always something. You went to Donva today. That’s something. You brought home salt, spices, and a new kettle. That’s something more. And I’m sure you both saw your mother’s new hat. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? That’s definitely something.”

Aly dropped her gaze to the floor. I knew what she was thinking. And I also knew our father.

He knew about the skypad.

He’d already found it.

“Just tell him, Aly,” I whispered.

“Tell him what?” She stared a hole through me.

“You know…”

Dad gave both of us The Look. We knew what it meant. Whenever he broke The Look out, it meant he wasn’t going to say another word. No one at the table, Mom included, was allowed to speak, eat, or leave until The Look was answered.

And on that night, the only right answer was for Aly to admit she’d been hiding a skypad in her room for almost three months.

I wanted to answer for her. My sense of justice told me that the sooner we fessed up, the better. But The Look that night was less for me and more for Aly. Dad wanted her to fess up, not for me to protect her.

I’m not sure how long we sat there and waited. The steam stopped rising from our potatoes and our greens got cold. Aly looked to Mom for an escape, but Mom just sat there with her hands folded in her lap. She and Dad were a wall. There was no getting around them, no climbing over. The only way to get through was to tell the truth.

“I…” Aly’s voice cracked. “I have a skypad. And I know what you’re going to say, but…it’s not what you think. I don’t care about watching the fights in the wasteland. I don’t hack into the space stations. I just talk to Sara and Melina. That’s all.”

“And?” Dad still wore The Look.

“…and sometimes steal a show from the satellites. But nothing gory, Dad. No war feeds.”

I knew she’d told the truth. Not because I believed her, but because Dad lifted his cup and took a deep swig of warm milk. He wouldn’t have done it had Aly lied. It would’ve gotten a lot worse.

“So…does that mean I can keep it?” Aly asked.

Our father let out a great gust of air. I sensed he was just a little sad.

“No,” he said.

“But why?” Aly pleaded. “I’m not using it for bad stuff!”

“I know you’re not. But the answer’s the same. It’s done, Aly. It’s gone.”

She looked angry at first, then stunned. I think her plan had been to blame me for everything. But it was obvious Dad had known all along. He’d destroyed the skypad while we’d been in the car arguing about it.

Which meant it wasn’t my fault.

 

* * *

The next months were a strange time.

The same as every day, we worked in the fields. It was summer, which meant keeping up the irrigation trenches, feeding the chickens, and doing lots of maintenance on our aging machines. Dad was teaching me to be a blackthumb, which meant I had to learn all about machinery, and that I came home every night with oily hands and dirty clothes. At six years old I probably should’ve been attending school in Donva with Aly, but Dad didn’t want that for me, and I didn’t mind.

“We’ve got enough tech designers and programmers to last ten generations,” he’d say. “So here you’ll work, learning machines. And if ever you need a job in one of the cities, you’ll be the best damn blackthumb they could hope for. You’ll be a master, and you’ll command whatever salary you want.”

And so I watched, worked, and learned all the things my father wanted, even though being a blackthumb wasn’t what I cared about. I did it because Dad wished it and I loved him, though in my heart I wanted something else. I didn’t know exactly what that something else was. But I felt it inside me, a dream smoldering in my mind, a hot thumping in my chest that wouldn’t go away.

I suppose, if I’d understood it better, I would’ve tried to snuff it out.

I don’t know if life would’ve been different. Maybe they’d have picked someone else.

Maybe not.

It wasn’t until near my seventh birthday, on a cold winter’s eve after a long day’s work hauling wood down from the mountains, I learned something about why my father was the way he was. I don’t know why I decided to go to the storage barn instead of rushing home to dinner. Tired as dirt, I wandered off the path and dropped my last stack of firewood against the barn’s outer wall.

And then I pushed the sliding door open and walked inside.

The barn was dark inside. We didn’t have any animals in it; the cattle were in a different barn. I slid inside to escape the howling wind and catch my breath before dinner, and I pushed the door shut behind me. The smells of old wood, of tools that hadn’t been used since summer, and of cold, hard soil drifted through the air. I reached out for the old bench that sat just to the door’s left, and I sank onto it, limp as a dishrag.

If I’d had a blanket, I might’ve slept the night in the barn. I was that tired.

Yet no sooner did I lean back against the creaky old bench than I smelled something else. It wasn’t wood or rusty tools or dirt.

Smoke, I know.

What’s that old saying Dad made up? About smoke and fire?

I stood back up. I don’t know why I did it quietly. Most of me knew no one else could possibly be in the barn with me.

Or could there be? I wondered.

I followed my nose. Soundless as a falling star, I crept through the darkness. I’d been in the barn a thousand times in my life. I knew where the door to the tool room was.

Five steps forward.

Turn right.

Seven steps through the narrow hall.

Now touch the door.

I reached out and touched the planks to the tool room’s door. They were warmer than I expected, and the smells wafting between the cracks caught me right in the nose. I put my ear to the door and listened. A voice, so far away, made its way to me. It wasn’t Dad or Mom, or even Aly. The voice was too small, almost like it came from…

…a skypad.

I can’t remember just when I’d learned to be so stealthy. Maybe it was part of having an older sister and knowing how to sneak past her bedroom without her coming out to chase me. But somehow, someway, I pulled the door open wide enough to see inside.

And Dad didn’t hear me.

In the little room, in the quiet heart of the old barn, he sat there on a stool, his workbench laid out before him. An old-world cigarette dangled between his fingers, but he wasn’t smoking it. Nor was he working. He had his back to me, and over his shoulder I saw the skypad’s soft blue glow. He’d stuck it to the side of our red toolbox. I saw it plain as the sun shining, a crown of wrenches standing just behind it.

I stood there and I watched. My shock at seeing Dad so absorbed in the very thing he’d always said he hated didn’t last. I guess I wasn’t really surprised. Maybe I’d known all along.

The program he’d found, The Dusktime Dispatch, flickered on the skypad’s screen. It was a blurry image, doubtless stripped from a satellite thousands of miles away. To hear the voices talking, I had to tune out the entire world, which was easier than I expected.

“What we’re looking at is all that remains of the city they used to call Lun-dun,” announced a man in a flak-jacket and a black beanie hat.

“Yes, Lukas. We know that,” said the newsman.

The two men appeared in separate frames on the skypad. On the right, the newsman sat in a too-clean office somewhere in a vast city. Meanwhile the man in the black beanie, Lukas, occupied the left frame, its edges burning bright red from the approaching sunrise. Lukas looked brawny and a bit dangerous. The skeletal remains of a vast city, which must’ve been a thousand times the size of Donva, stretched out behind him. The sight scared me more than a little.

Lukas adjusted his black beanie and continued:

“Now, as we’ve talked before, today’s the day we’re sending a team into Lun-dun to test the Exodus craters for radioactivity. It’s our hope, after all this time, the levels of poisoning might’ve dropped well below critical toxicity.”

Me being not quite seven years old, I shouldn’t have understood all those fancy words. But I did. I’d read all of Aly’s school books a dozen times, probably while she was hiding and watching the very same skypad Dad and I were watching now.

“When does your team depart?” the newscaster asked.

“In one hour,” said Lukas. “They’re suiting up in their safety gear now.”

“Well…” The newscaster looked concerned. “We’ve talked about this before, about the ERM, the Exodus Reclaiming Mission. But what we’ve never really discussed, Lukas, is exactly what you and your team hope to reclaim. Now that you’re there, and now that we’ve got every skypad in the world tuned to this feed, what can you tell us? Can you say what it is you’re looking for?”

Even on the grainy little skypad screen, I swore I saw Lukas hesitate. It wasn’t even a flinch. It was something about the way he breathed.

Whatever he says next will be a lie, I thought.

“Resources,” said Lukas. “Of course, much of Lun-dun was burned away during the Exodus. But there’s still resources. Precious things beneath the craters.”

“What precious things?” The newsman sounded skeptical.

I didn’t know why, but in that moment I wanted to hear Lukas’ answer more than anything I’d ever heard in my life. I didn’t just want to know; I needed to.

And that’s the exact moment Dad flicked the ashes off the end of his cigarette and glanced over his shoulder.

“Joff?” he said.

I didn’t know how to answer. I just stood there, frozen the same as the icicles hanging off the barn’s roof. I’d figured he’d known I was there. After all, he’d always known everything.

But this time it turned out I’d truly surprised him.

And worse, him facing me meant the skypad was blocked and I couldn’t hear what Lukas said.

Oh God. I shivered. Dad’s never gonna trust me again.

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Look for Darkness Between the Stars on Amazon.

In the meantime, if you liked this little chapter, you’ll definitely like A Door Never Dreamed Of.

J Edward Neill 

Two New Paintings – Worldheart and Emme – the Pale Queen

February 20, 2017 | Art! | Permalink

Emme-the-Pale-Queen-hi-rez

I’ve been staying up extra late this year.

…painting, writing a sequel to this, and painting some more.

The writing pays the bills, but it’s the painting that makes me oh so happy.

Here’s two of my latest:

Worldheart

I call this one Worldheart. I had no specific plan when I painted it…other than to add a whole bunch of writhing roots and vines. I really like the dark and powerful greens. This one was so fun to create I’m thinking of buying a huge canvas to paint a deep crimson version.

Worldheart is 16″ x 20″.  It’s available on Society6.

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And next, Emme – the Pale Queen:

Emme-the-Pale-Queen-hi-rez

As practice for my next big series of painting pretty girls, I painted Emme. My latest style is minimalist color, focusing on texture, shading, and the challenge of painting human expressions.

Emme came out nicely, I think.

She’s 16″ x 20″.

If you liked these two pieces, you might also like these.

J Edward Neill

 

Searching for the nothing.

February 16, 2017 | Life | Permalink

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First, to set the tone, a few pictures:

searoadimagesYT53MQB8Icecity

And now, words:

Look, before we get started, there’s something you should know. I’m not depressed. In a world where everyone I know has anxiety, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or just simply dry, cold malaise, I am free. I have no sadness, no anger. Nothing makes me nervous. I’m not on any medications and never have been. My senses are sharp, my mind the razor I need it to be.

Even so…

A while back I wrote about longing for rain. It reflected my status as an official lifelong wanderer. But this isn’t that, not quite. This is something else. Something deeper.

Last week a friend looked me in the eyes and said, “There’s no hope for you.”

And she meant it.

Now, she didn’t mean it in a cruel sense. She said it as if it were as real as gravity, as if everyone on the planet knew it the same as they know the sun comes up every morning. At first I brushed it off like I brush everything off. There’s not a bird in the world with feathers as oiled as mine. And yet, many days later, a part of me remembered what she’d said. And I thought about it. And I put some music on in the background. And I sat on my patio with the rain pounding the earth.

And I wondered whether she was right.

As an aside, the rain just started to fall. Just now. I opened up my windows. It’s pretty much the best sensation in the world. You should try it sometime.

Anyway. Where was I? Oh. Hope, and not relying on it. You see, I have this theory. It’s not really mine, but I claim it all the same. Hope is a mistake, it goes. Sounds depressing, right? It’s not. Not even a little. It’s simply a notion that hoping for something isn’t the same as moving toward it. That wanting something isn’t enough. That in order to earn your trophy in this life, you have to open your claws and snatch it from the void. And no, it doesn’t matter whether this existence has any meaning, any grand purpose. It’s what we have. It’s ALL we have. You either snare it by the throat, or you wash away with the flood.

So why did what this girl said matter to me? Why, when nothing else registers, did I keep it on my mind? I’m not sure. But what I do know is that it reminded me of something I hadn’t felt in ages. And when I say ages, I mean decades. Because you see, there was this dream. I used to have it nightly, like seriously every night, for years. I must’ve wandered through it a thousand times. And later, when the dream stopped, I daydreamed it. I’d take walks in the woods and dwell on it. I’d be in the middle of conversations with friends, and it’d steal my mind away. (Sorry, friends. You deserve better.)

The dream went a little something like this:

I’m the only person on Earth. Not the last person, but the only one who ever lived here. It’s raining. It’s twilight, and I can see the sun smoldering behind the storm clouds. I’m walking on a street between buildings that don’t exist. No one built this street; it’s just there. And then I’m walking on a shore beneath impossibly bright stars. And then I’m driving at night through a city no one lives in. No one made my car. It’s just there. After all of this, I take a journey. Down the street, across the ocean shore, toward a nameless place in my car. I travel into oblivion.  I wander into nothing.

And I love it. Utterly.

I suppose some people might call it a nightmare. The loneliness of it all, the shadowed atmosphere, the destination of nothingness. Nah. It’s not a nightmare. It’s just a feeling that I, and I bet most people alive, carry with us. You want something, only you don’t know what it is or where to find it. I say want. I mean need. We need to find this nameless thing, whatever it is, and yet there’s no way to catch it. There’s nothing. It’s like a video game quest for which there’s no solution. I mean, just imagine you’re playing The Legend of Zelda, but instead of needing to find eight pieces of Triforce, you need to find infinite pieces. You’ll play the game your whole life, but you still won’t know what you’re looking for.

If I’ve lost you, I’m sorry. I’m deep in my cups. And there’s a chocolate cupcake on the counter, waiting for me to finish this article.

In ‘longing for rain,’ I talk about how people spend their lives searching for a place, a moment, or a state of mind. It’s an ideal, so to speak, of where we want our lives to go. We know in our hearts what or where it is, and we gravitate toward it. But this is different. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. I hope you do. If you’re like me, you’ve dreamed of a place that doesn’t exist, but you still want to go there. You’ve constructed a small hope in the back of your mind, and yet you’re without a means to fulfill it. Even so, you want it. A part of you thinks you can get it. Maybe you can. But wait…no you can’t. Because you can’t catch nothing. You can only catch something.

Am I making any sense?

J Edward Neill

Author of deep, dark thoughts.

And of extreme human dilemmas.

This is a mirror of my original Tessera Guild article.

New Painting – Where Dreams Die

February 12, 2017 | Art! | Permalink

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In the world’s deepest, darkest woodland, all dreams perish.

…and all thoughts turn to despair.

My latest painting, Where Dreams Die – available in a variety of print sizes at Society6.

Where Dreams Die hi rez

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The original is a three-panel painting. It’s available for $200. Photos available by request.

If you like Where Dreams Die, you might like these.

J Edward Neill

New Painting – Blood Princess

February 6, 2017 | Art! | Permalink

So I decided to challenge myself.

I wanted to create something using several different art styles. In this case, I desired pencils, inks, watercolors, and acrylics.

Turns out I was enjoying the lull between writing two books when I the idea hit me, and so I had more time than usual to work on painting.

…and thus was born Blood Princess:

SFW Blood Princess

The safe-for-work version. She doesn’t much care for sunlight. But I needed some to snap a few pics.

Blood P 2

The not-so-safe-for-work version. This vampiress hits the gym often, methinks.

Blood Princess Pale Full

And the full-blood version. A little less light…a little more shadow.

Prints of this wicked thing are available here.

The original is 12″ x 24″.

If you like Blood Princess, you might also enjoy these.

J Edward Neill

How many buttons will you push?

February 6, 2017 | Books!, Non Fiction | Permalink

Big Shiny Imperial

In Big Shiny Red Buttons, a variety of fun, serious, and absurd scenarios awaits you.

More than a hundred buttons are just dying to be pushed. The only question is: will you push them?

Suppose something terrible will happen if you don’t? What if pushing a button would bring you great prosperity, but cause harm to someone else?

Every scenario is different. Some will make you laugh, while others will force you to think. Some are serious, and some flat out absurd.

So how many buttons will you push?

And how many lives will be changed if you push them?

Want to start pushing buttons right now? Go here!

Want a few samples? Scroll down!

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Push me. Buy me.

Sample Buttons!


Sell your Soul Button

 Whenever pushed, this red (but flecked with gold) button deposits $1,000,000 into your bank account.

The only price: it also shaves three years off your lifespan every time you push it.

So…

Will you push it?

How many times?

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The Combusti-Button

One tap of this big round button will destroy any one cultural phenomenon.

Completely.

Examples: memes, Facebook, hashtags, a specific music type, a specific slang word, a new fashion, et cetera.

You only get to use it once.

Wanna push it?

Whatcha gonna combust?

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The Duplication Button

One press of this unassuming button can be a powerful thing.

If you use it, any one person in the world will adopt your moral code, your intellect, and your view of the world. They’ll still be themselves physically, but their mental state and beliefs will resemble yours.

You only get to push it once.

Will you?

If so, who’s your target?


Big Red Shiny Buttons – the most fun you’ll ever have in a book.

Enjoy!

J Edward Neill

Creator of Coffee Table Philosophy

Painter of Extreme Darkness

Begin your journey Down the Dark Path

February 2, 2017 | Books!, Down the Dark Path, Links!, Tyrants of the Dead | Permalink

Soul Orb DDP Cover Slightly Brighter

 Down the Dark Path

 Down the Dark Path
Darkest of all dark fantasy epics.
When Andelusia Anderae leaves home in search of a better life, she plunges into the world-ending war between Graehelm and Furyon. The deeper she falls, the more she senses the dark powers rising within her, and the more she realizes she is not so different than the enemy.
Down the Dark Path chronicles the struggles of six individuals during the Furyon invasion of Graehelm and sets the stage for the horrific powers lurking behind the war. For even as the Furyons threaten to end all life, the true enemy, the ancient civilization of the Ur, draws nearer to rebirth.  

Click the cover art to get started:

Soul Orb DDP Cover Slightly Brighter

Your reviews are appreciated. :)

J Edward Neill

Dark Moon Daughter – Darker Little Damsel

January 26, 2017 | Books!, Dark Moon Daughter, Tyrants of the Dead | Permalink

Dark Moon Daughter

On the heels of shadowy epic Down the Dark Path

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Andelusia knows she is not like other girls.

More than ever, the night calls to her, the stars grant her serenity, and the shadows of black magic pool within her blood.

In the dark spaces between her dreams, she feels the power of the ancient world awakening.

And as the enemies of mankind prepare for the world’s end, she must choose:
Fight them…
…or join them.

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And when you’re done with Dark Moon Daughter, end the world with:

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As ever, your honest reviews are appreciated.

Love,

J Edward Neill

A Door Never Dreamed Of – the Countdown

January 18, 2017 | Books!, Sci fi novella | Permalink

dnd

For the next few evenings, my sci-fi novella A Door Never Dreamed Of is only $0.99 (or £0.99 in the UK.)

It goes a little something like…

A thousand years from today, nearly all of humanity is jacked-In.
We sleep, connected to machines, dreaming our lives away.
For most people, it’s the perfect life.
But for the few who never jacked-In, it’s exile.
Abandoned, persecuted, and betrayed, the Outs plot their vengeance across the centuries.
And when they open the Door, only one way of life will survive…

dnd

Buy A Door Never Dreamed Of here.

And learn more about my other titles here.

Thank you for reading,

J Edward Neill

 

Ashes for Ande – Sketching a pretty girl

January 10, 2017 | Art!, Books! | Permalink

Sometimes…every once in a while, I decide to step up my art.

Usually I work on abstract paintings with lots of deep, dark color, like these.

But lately I’ve set my sights on something realistic.

I’m calling my newest painting Ashes for Ande. It’ll eventually (hopefully) be a book cover for my next series, Ashes of Everything. For now, I’m going to catalogue her creation. As I complete each step, I’ll update this article. If you want to see the finished piece, keep checking back. I’ll post more pics and descriptions along the way.

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Step 1 – The sketch

ashes-for-ande

On a 16″ x 20″ canvas, I began my work. I used a twenty-year old pencil (not kidding) to outline, shade, and fill. No inks here. To perfect the shadows on her shoulders, neck, and face, I typically over-shaded with the pencil and later used a fine-edge eraser to remove excess. I was very pleased with how she came to life.

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Step 2 – Adding the blacks

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After the initial sketch, I took a deep breath. The easy part was over. The time-consuming (and risky) part began. With deep black acrylic paint, I began filling in her hair, her shirt, and the deep shadows on her neck and left arm. Any slight overuse of paint would have doomed her. Also, at this point, the background may or may not remain. Not sure I’m in love with the grey streaks.

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Step 3 – Deep shading and darkening her eyes

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This part was challenging. I had to use black acrylic paint to shade our girl’s features darker than a pencil alone could handle. Ideally I’d have used a charcoal stick, but I didn’t have a good one on hand. After blacking in her eyes, nose, and mouth, I applied the barest amount of paint to a small, flat brush and worked for a few hours deepening the shadows. Despite my nerves, she turned out pretty well.

Now on to the final step…

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Step 4 – The End

Andes Daughter

Darkened borders. More shading. A little touch-up around her eyes.

Finished…

………………

The painting is called Ashes for Ande. The girl is a not-yet-named character appearing in a sequel to this fantasy book series.

For more of my art, go here.

Until next time,

J Edward Neill

Darkness Between the Stars – Cover Art Reveal

January 10, 2017 | Art!, Books!, Sci fi novella | Permalink

darknessfbbanner

In a few weeks, a new brand of sci-fi fantasy touches down.

A young boy will journey into the Darkness Between the Stars.  And he may never return…

I’ll have 20 softcover editions to give away as ARC’s (advance review copies.)  If you’d like one, and if you’re willing write an honest Amazon review, look me up on Facebook, Twitter, or via email.

And now, the amazing Amanda Makepeace cover art:

darknesspaperbackfront

darknesspaperbackback

A free preview (the entire first chapter) is here.

Darkness Between the Stars – look for it any day now.

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J Edward Neill

Author of sci-fi hit, A Door Never Dreamed Of

Creator of the Coffee Table Philosophy series

The best video games ever – decade by decade

January 10, 2017 | Video Games! | Permalink

Ok. So. Let’s get this started.

First, a few disclaimers:

1. This list doesn’t include sports games, indie titles, fighting games, or sandbox games. And it’s not because I don’t love those kinds of games (a few favorites are Limbo, Inside, Killer Instinct, Crackdown, and Tecmo Bowl) but more because I’m focusing on the big guns. The literal game-changers. The kinds of games one can sit with in a dark room and lose oneself for days.

2. Also, this list represents my personal favorites. These might not always align with popular opinion…I get it. Rather, these are the games I grew up with and love as part of my life experience. In other words, don’t get butthurt if you don’t see Madden 7,000, Halo, or Grand Theft Auto on here. These games are all cool in their own right, but didn’t impact me as much.

Enough.

Here are my top three video games for each decade, starting with the 70’s.

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1970’s

In 1978, I was just two years old. I didn’t have a game system. My only real exposure to the medium was during my dad’s trips to the local tavern, during which he’d plunk me down beside him while he played Asteroids. So…in other words…I played these games a decade after they came out, which serves only to illustrate just how awesome they were and still are.

Combat

Combat (1977)

Combat was one of the first games I ever handled. Featuring two-person, head-to-head matchups between tanks and planes, this bad boy was awesome. I consumed 100’s of hours with friends and family blasting and getting blasted to smithereens. After everyone else got tired of the action, I’d sit down by myself and practice shooting from angles and while moving. My dedication to Combat was a sure sign of an addiction soon to come.

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Breakout (1976)

Beautiful simplicity is how I describe Breakout. You’re a paddle hitting a ball and blowing up bricks. Much like other games at the time, the difficulty was ever rising. The ball moved faster…your paddle got smaller. This game was hard in a way modern games don’t really embrace anymore. You were going to lose. It was only a matter of time.

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Adventure (1979)

Not just among my faves from the 70’s, but definitely an all-time favorite, Adventure was pretty much the industry’s first attempt at building a role-playing game. You’re a dot, and your only mission is to return the holy grail to the golden castle. Only trouble is, the dragons are after you. Somehow, as a little kid, this game terrified and enthralled me. I must’ve played it a thousand times. And again, unlike modern games, victory was not assured. If the dragons get you, it’s game over.

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1980’s

The 80’s for me were a fun, fun time. I had three game systems: Intellivision (with the little slip-on gamepad covers) an Atari 2600, and the original NES console. For a kid growing up in a place where winter reigned for 5-6 months a year, video games were key to my not becoming a career criminal. I’m kidding….mostly.

Tarmin

Treasure of Tarmin (1983)

Without a doubt, ToT was my most beloved game on the old school Intellivision. It was difficult, engrossing, and scary (to an eight-year old.) The theme was more complex than 70’s games, but still direct. You’re a guy in a vast labyrinth looking for a fabled treasure. An army of monsters and traps lies in your way. You will die…a lot (much like a retro Dark Souls.) The scariest part of the game still resonates with me. I remember the noises the monsters would make when they cornered you. Played in the dark, it was enough to capture my imagination for many years to come.

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The Legend of Zelda (1986)

Do I really have to tell you how awesome the original Zelda is? In an era of arcade style clones, Zelda broke away from the pack. As one of the first games allowing players to save games (without a clunky, 30-digit password) it broke every mold. I can still remember sitting in my dark bedroom during winter. Everyone else was asleep. I didn’t have a game guide or a map. I played Zelda hardcore…and still do sometimes.

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Metroid (1986)

1986 was a good year for games, and a great year for a game geek like me. When Metroid came out, the first I glimpsed it was at a friend’s house. He let me play it for all of fifteen minutes before (justifiably) taking his controller back. I was hooked. Completely and utterly.  The only hard part: I didn’t get to play it again until a year later. And then, after I stepped into Samus’s boots, I didn’t play anything else for months.

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1990’s

The 90’s were a strange time for me. I skipped several years of game-playing entirely, but also spent months at a time locked in my room at night, playing until my head hurt. The raw brilliance of the 80’s was over, and a new era of polished titles hit the market. Moreover, I hooked up my first PC computer, which opened up an entirely new world of entertainment for me (and the rest of the world) to consume.

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Civ

Sid Meier’s Civilization (1991)

In 1991, I got my first real job. I was in lawncare in the deep south, which meant days and days of grinding away at grass in 95+ temperatures. I loved it. But what I loved more is that before each workday began, I drove to my coworker’s house and played a few hours of Civilization while waiting for the rest of the crew to show up. If you’ve played Civ, you know about the addiction. One more turn, people. Just…one…more…turn.

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Baldurs

Baldur’s Gate (1998)

This was the first game I played on my very own PC. As a diehard role-playing guy (dungeon mastering inspired my epic fantasy book series) Baldur’s Gate put into pixels everything I needed. Build a party, gather weapons, master spells, and go forth to battle a powerful evil. I mean c’mon…who didn’t love this game? Right?

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Diablo

Diablo (1996)

It’s true Diablo came out before Baldur’s Gate, and also true I didn’t discover it until nearly the turn of the century. But ohhhhh, when I sat down to play it for the first time… The dark themes and unbelievably good music sold me immediately. It was creepy. It was engrossing. And truthfully, it was one of the first action games allowing players to win using such a vast variety of tactics. I always played as a wizard…because I like dying a lot apparently.

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2000’s

By the time Y2K rolled around, video games had become mainstream. Everyone I knew had at least one system. It was no longer something only nerds did in their basements. It was a part of daily life, a stress reliever far more powerful than regular television. I was extra lucky in that I had a girlfriend willing to let me play for hours every day (before shoving me aside and taking the controller for herself.) In other words, the 2000’s were a beautiful time.

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Beyond Good and Evil (2003)

Before playing it, I had no idea games could be this absurdly fun. I’d always played top-down isometric games or standard platformers, but this game took a newer, crazier, more beautiful take on things. If you’ve never played BG&E, you owe it to yourself to pick up the remastered version. I honestly can’t even remember the complete plot (because it was pretty out there) but I can definitely recall how much fun I had playing it.

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Half Life 2

Half-Life 2 (2004)

When I picked this game up (as part of the Orange Box) I’d never before touched the Half-Life universe. But by the time I was done fighting headcrabs, using grav-guns, and scaling giant alien towers, I’d played it through three times without touching any other game. Half-Life took storytelling to a new level. It was also serious in a way other games hadn’t quite mastered yet, embracing its dark, futuristic subject matter without the need for laughs. Just writing about it makes me want to go back and play it again…because seriously it’s still better than most modern titles.

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Dragon Age Origins

Dragon Age Origins (2009)

I didn’t care about the two sequels. I never minded the kooky combat controls. I liked the original Dragon Age so much, I wanted it to last forever. Maybe it’s because I’ve always wanted to date a girl like Morrigan (ha) or because Alistair is pretty much every doofus I’ve ever befriended. Whatever. I’d never before had a game make me agonize over which dialogue option to choose.  And I’m not sure I ever will again.

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 The 2010’s

Is that what we call ‘em? The 2010’s? Hell if I know. What I can say is that the modern era is the greatest time ever to be a gamer. Retro games, indie titles, and unbelievably realistic graphics are all a thing now. It’s true games are getting a bit ridiculous to pay for ($60 for a typical modern title) but it’s the price we pay for quality. And usually…it’s worth every penny. Also note, it’s possible or even probable that new games will come out before 2020 that are good enough to make this list. Technically that means this part of the list is 2010-2016…and therefore somewhat incomplete. Probably. Maybe.

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Mass Effect 3 (2012)

Let’s forget about the kickass action. Let’s pay no attention to the amazing cutscenes. Let’s not even discuss the unreal amount of customization. ME3 is all about decisions…decisions. With one slip of dialogue, your characters can be lost or changed forever. Which in a way makes this the ultimate thinker’s game. Who gets to live? Who gets to die? I loved the entire Mass Effect series. It probably helped to inspire this novel. And it definitely pulled me into the story without any resistance on my part.  I hear there’s a new Mass Effect coming out someday soon. I’m there.

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witcher3

The Witcher III – Wild Hunt (2015)

It’s true I’ve gushed over The Witcher before. What can I say? It’s probably my favorite game of all time. Heartstopping action. Smokin’ good graphics. An absolutely killer story. I’m not gonna apologize for all the superlatives. The tale of Geralt, Siri, and the world-swallowing war they fall into is among the best in gaming history. I liked games like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Far Cry, but really they don’t even sniff the same league as The Witcher.

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Doom 2016

Doom (2016)

Twenty years ago, I remember the original Doom. I played it after high school. I played it during high school. I got fired from a job for playing it. I lost countless hours death-matching friends and even girlfriends. And in 2016, the heavens opened up and delivered unto me a gift I’ll not soon forget. Doom 2016 is fast-paced to the extreme, gory to the max, and fun as HELL. It taps into all the retro glory of the original while bringing a whole new level of intensity to the mix. I mean…have you fired the BFG yet? Have you?? Please…make more Doom games like this. Thanks.

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Honorable mentions:

Utopia (1981)

Burgertime (yes seriously) (1982)

Super Mario Bros (1985)

Metroid Prime (2002)

Halo 2 (2004)

Zelda – Twilight Princess (2006) Gamecube version

Crackdown (2007)

Deus Ex – Human Revolution (2011)

And many, many more…

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Hope you enjoyed the list.

For a different brand of entertainment, try this.

And to scare the #$%& out of yourself, go here.

J Edward Neill

Apocalyptic Takeover – A Door Never Dreamed Of

January 2, 2017 | A Door Never Dreamed Of, Books!, human evolution, Sci fi novella | Permalink

JupiterEventTeaser1

A few days ago, a friend asked me which of my books I’d most want to make into a movie.

‘This one,” I answered. “A Door Never Dreamed Of.”

It goes a little something like this:

A thousand years from today, nearly all of humanity is jacked-In.
We sleep, connected to machines, dreaming our lives away.
For most people, it’s the perfect life.
But for the few who never jacked-In, it’s exile.
Abandoned, persecuted, and betrayed, the Outs plot their vengeance across the centuries.
And when they open the Door, only one way of life will survive…

DoorNeverDreamedPaperback1

Get your copy today, and open the Door.

Your reviews are appreciated.

J Edward Neill

Author of the darkest dark fantasy series ever

And creator of the Coffee Table Philosophy series

New Painting – Specter Ship

January 1, 2017 | Art! | Permalink

My first painting of the new year…

It all started with a challenge when a good friend dared me to:

A. Painting something using a rainbow theme

B. Don’t include any trees (which is kind of my calling card)

When I started, I had no idea what I’d end up with. I slathered a canvas with a full spectrum of watercolors…

…and went from there.

side-view

And some more action shots:

1 up-close-specter-ship specter-ship

Specter Ship

36″ x 12″ watercolor on deep-edge canvas

For more of my (slightly less cheerful) art, go here.

For a little something to keep the mood lively this year, hit this.

Until next time,

J Edward Neill