An Extraterrestrial Orgy in L.A.

Last Bookstore FINAL 2They come in peace. Anybody who knows diddly-squat about aliens knows this, as sure as haloperidol prevents demonic possession. What most people don’t know is that aliens, well, they’ll come in just about anything. When E.T. wanted so badly to call “home,” he was really using the galactic equivalent of a phone sex hotline. “To Serve Man” is no more a cookbook than the Kama Sutra. Let me put it to you simply: our extraterrestrial visitors are up for it, all the time. They put it round, you know. This is not just another conspiracy theory filed away in some dusty FBI folder; this is bone hard medical fact. And they can do things involving reversible anuses that you wouldn’t believe.

This is the supposition at the heart of Strange Attractors: Investigations in Non-Humanoid Extraterrestrial Sexualities, the pan-media book published jointly by Encyclopedia Destructica and (appropriately) The Institute of Extraterrestrial Sexuality. The contents of the book range from prose to video, humor to post-queer theory, with the goal of pushing “beyond male and female, beyond queer, beyond any notion of gender, beyond the anthropomorphic to erotic possibilities as vastly varied as the Milky Way itself.”

Why am I telling you all this? Only by way of invitation, my dearlings. On Saturday, May 18 (a mere three days from now), there will be a confluence of Strange Attractors content in the form of a reading/screening by some of the West Coast contributors to the project, myself included. The event will take place at The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles, and will run from 7pm to 9pm (and beyond). Be there, or be limited to mere 3-dimensional geometry. This will be my first time meeting many of the contributors to the book, so I’m not sure what to expect, exactly, but I’m sure it will be a first contact to remember.

After the cut: A new alien comes on Earth! Also, what the hell have I been up to lately?

“A new alien comes on Earth. They use our bodies against us! It may become simply dreadful when it goes in rage!”

Did you think I was still talking about that Strange Attractors thing? Hardly. This is something far more serious. I’m not talking just one lonely, gooey alien, either. How about an entire elite army come on Earth? Just picture the devastation!

I don’t usually use this venue to hawk commercial products, especially when I have not contributed creatively to them, but this is something I’m pretty stoked about. I’ve written in the past about Kickstarter and its promise, and despite some murmurs of disenchantment that the thing of pure malice known as Zach Braff has stirred up in its wake, I’m still pretty much in favor of the platform. In my opinion, people can complain all they want about established entities “exploiting” the platform. That doesn’t change the fact that it has been, by and large, a massive boon for the creative industry as a whole.

Despite my enthusiasm, I haven’t actually funded a lot of Kickstarter campaigns myself. Hey, I’ve got student loans, okay? Galaxy Defenders is a rare exception. I honestly can’t tell you exactly what has me so excited about the cooperative tactical tabletop game “inspired to the ’80s and ’90s sci-fi cult movies.” It certainly isn’t the translation, although I’ve been reassured that the final product will be translated to the highest possible standards. The game represents a substantially larger investment than I’m usually willing to plop down at any one time, yet I can’t help myself. I need it. I am Strangely Attracted (rimshot).

It could be the promise of exclusive goodies that won’t see the light of day after the campaign ends. It could be the VERY familiar forms these goodies take, which are supposedly drawn from the “collective imagination of ’80s and ’90s sci-fi” (they’re Xenomorphs and Predators, people). It could be the hypnotic allure of bright colors and shiny plastic, the conspiratorial wink-nudge atmosphere of the entire 12-mission campaign, the ability to advance and upgrade your character with alien technology like the Noisy Cricket “Jack Russel,” the unicorn from Blade Runner “Lucky Charm,” and the Phaser “Phaser” (“Flanger was deemed too inappropriate…don’t they know anything about aliens!?). It could be the fact that, do to some initially unappealing stretch goals and worldwide shipping rates (all of which has been fixed), it has been an uphill struggle gaining backers, which makes every stretch goal hit a joyous–nay, orgasmic achievement. For whatever reason, I feel a part of this Kickstarter in a way I haven’t previously felt (“I’ll bet he says that to all the girls”), and I’d like to share that joy with you. I encourage you to check out the campaign, the charmingly narrated gameplay videos and heartening reviews, the stretch goals, the limited-edition figures taken straight from Google image search the collective imagination of the ’80s and ’90s, the stretchy stretch goals, and the sense of fun that pervades the entire effort. After that, you can add your pledge, or you can’t. I would not be offended or surprised if you didn’t. If you do, though, remember to tell the Agency that Byron Campbell sent you. You just might get something nice.

P.S: They haven’t made an appearance in the game, but the development team behind the project took their name and image from one of my personal favorite sci-fi classics of the ’80s. I even read the books!

With that uncomfortable endorsement out of the way, I’d also like to fill everybody in on what I’ve been up to and will be up to lately. In case you missed it above, I recently contributed a new article to NerdSpan’s Gaming division, and I plan to follow up with a sequel shortly. In fact, I foresee myself writing these for as long as Kickstarter keeps doing things I am interested in. The next one will include, among other fine projects, the follow-up to one of the greatest video games of all time. Not that I’m excited about it. Why would I be excited? *controls breathing*

I’ve also got an interview coming up in the next few days with Matthew Ritter, the designer behind Boon Hill, gaming’s first graveyard simulator. And in case you missed it a few weeks back, here’s a good reason to Lower Your Expectations. Shadow of the Eternals? Pssh. It might be okay, I guess. *controls breathing*

To all residents, living and dead, of this world and the ones beyond, here’s wishing you a sloppy Saturday. *controls breathing*

*swoons*

Advertisements


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s