‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’ Hemingway didn’t even need 40 characters to tell a whispered story that kicks like a mule. So you’d expect Twitter’s comparatively luxurious 140 characters to have delivered some hammerblows – especially since its fifth anniversary has prompted some useful appraisal of the platform’s non-fiction highlights.
The groundwork’s there. Flash Fiction’s succinct concertinaing of narrative continues to thrive online. A roundup by Wired even gleaned a companion piece to my favourite Alan Moore story -
Machine. Unexpectedly, I’d invented a time
- Alan Moore
Never thought I’d write that as a headline. I’d been kicking around the idea of doing level three of the classic arcade game R-Type as a ‘Fighting Fantasy’ style multiple choice for a while though, and when Google Forms released logic branching functionality I had just the tale to try out in it.
I really enjoyed last night’s first #livescript on Alien, even if three viewings of the movie in two days exposed some flaws in that metal black armour. Setups like Parker’s avarice and Lambert and Ripley’s rivalry didn’t really get paid off; for every awesome character dilemma like the inner hatch, several fly past unexplored; and the break-neck third act ultimately comes at the cost of emotional engagement. These same flaws are sacrifices at the altar of the movie’s enduring mystery though, and if there wasn’t the back and forth of discussion I’d hoped for in this first exploration, the challenge of commenting on a film as it happens hasn’t put me off future trips…
Sequels, prequels and Predator monster-mashups have meddled with its DNA but the original Alien still casts a strange and terrifying shadow over a generation of dreamers. As a kid, it’s portentous, abstract one-sheet poster suggested to me a kind of grandiose fear, while gleefully described schoolyard testimonies and a library copy of Alan Dean Foster’s novelisation teased all the horror and none of the mystery of the experience til I finally caught the film on a tiny black and white portable.