Bloggins update: Electric Sheep unveiled, Goodbye compulsory education, Up, Down, Left, Right

Right. More below.

I’m coming out of a heavy time now. I’ve just finished five years of compulsory education in which I fought depression, started writing, fell in love, broke my heart, laughed, cried, learned, shuddered, discovered who I am and discovered where I want to go. It’s fun starting to write professionally when you’re young, since you can see all the stupid mistakes and how you’ve evolved over time – not just with writing – but with your entire life. A lot of my friends are leaving for college, I’m staying on for sixth form with a lot of my friends to do English Lit and English Lang, History, Psychology and IT.

My exams are about to reach boiling point, my prom is coming up and I’m about to walk into possibly the scariest point in my life. I think it’ll be when I can safely say that if I do this, then I will be a writer for life. I am of course talking about Project Electric Sheep.

Come August 3rd, the launch of Up, Down, Left, Right – Volume Two I will have been writing for over three years professionally. I’ve written for Platform Nation, Screenjabber, The Gamer Studio and (the much delayed piece for) Killscreen Magazine. I’m about to enter the Machine of Death contest and perhaps sink myself inside fiction writing again. For now, however, I think this is the time I become a writer forever.

Project Electric Sheep is a project I conceived months ago one fateful night. I’ve been pouring over notes, collecting bits and piecing stuff together to get ready for this thing. I envisioned it before chasing after Mojang to ask if I could write 300 pages on what it means to make a video-game. They declined, citing the fact that the press is currently surrounding them like sharks and the fact they’re about the change the world come the release of Scrolls. If they can pull off the whole wooden game to video-game transfer, as I believe they can, then video-games will win forever.

Project Electric Sheep came about around early November. It was in this weird state of my life where I was about to cross over the Screenjabber and coming off into a world of examarthon with school. It was a punishing time for me and I think one specific event changed me inside. It’s a cornerstone of science-fiction, one of the greatest things ever created and I believe it to be one of the most important artistic works of humankind’s history. It revels in political, scientific, philosophical and cultural thematics that rage into the heart of such timeless ideas and literary traditions of ‘What does it mean to be?’

It’s not the book.

I am of course talking about Ridley Scott’s 1982 science-fiction, neo-noir epic Blade Runner.

It’s my second favourite film in the history of forever. It’s going to haunt me for the rest of my life along with Philip K. Dick’s absolute masterpiece of literature – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – which is my favourite book of all time. The first time I saw this film I knew instinctively that this would change my life in some way.

Now I pour over it everyday, examine and cross-reference. I draw links to Thatcherism, Reaganomics, modern-day political crises and cultural, societal and philosophical reflections of the beginning of the eighties. It was in the weird period where the Cold War was winding down and every single political pundit was reflecting over the apocalypse that could have been. It was a scary, scary time and you can see that run through the films of the time. 1982 was the greatest year in film with Blade Runner, First Blood, E.T, Gandhi, Poltergeist, Tron, The Thing among many, many, many others.

And that is why I have to write a book about it.

I am writing 300 pages on Blade Runner about its cultural, political, social, philosophical and scientific significance. I’ll go into Reaganomics, explore the philosophy that Phil explored in the book, the history of science-fiction cinema, the modern day relevance and give my own take on that age-old fan debate. You know the one.

It’s called… well I’m split between titles.

The Unicorn or Tears In Rain. For now I’m siding with the later, with each given the sub-title of :A Political, Philosophical, Cultural, and Historical Exploration  of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982).

A mouthful, huh?

I’m self-publishing it private to myself to hand out copies to friends, teachers and keep as a little memory bag of that weird time where my life changed. Aside from this private venture I will be releasing this giant thing free of charge in both .PDF and Kindle format for you all to enjoy. I’ve had some offers from certain sites and I want to prove myself able to flex between exploring various mediums, and this might just be the thing to bring me up to pace.

So…

Tears In Rain: A Political, Philosophical, Cultural, and Historical Exploration of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982)

Is coming around the end of August.

August 3rd is Up, Down, Left, Right – Volume Two release with both .PDF and Kindle editions. It’ll be the three year tipping point of my professional writing point and I intend to make a giant splash in the game journalism world. I probably won’t and I’ll go ahead and rant on about that in Volume Three which I’ll be formally unveiling long after Volume Two‘s release. Not too long, it’s still a 2011 release, but for now all you need to know is the sub-title; Everybody’s a loser and nobody’s a critic. I’m going after games journalism with (hopefully) an entire section written by some guests.

Volume Two production starts July 1st until mid-month where I’ll take the drafts and make them into something super shiny. I’ll create a Kindle edition in the third week and then in the fourth I’ll move directly on to finalizing all of my notes for Tears In Rain. For the whole of July and August I’ll be functioning on a 7AM to 5PM work schedule, doing 100 push-ups and writing for 10 hours. I might extend it once in a while to 7PM for laughs or even pull another 24 hour writing cycle. I’ll be under immense self-pressure and I hope to power through Tears In Rain in time to edit it, re-draft it, format it and release.

This means two things:

1) I work too hard.

2) I likely won’t have any break at all during July/August and I’ll rush straight into another year of school completely exhausted.

This also means two things:

1) I will not stop writing for the whole of 2011.

2) I have decided to take a month ‘off’, possibly January 2012. You won’t be getting any writing from me, no reviews and no commentary. I need some breathing space, a time to relax and play video-games and watch my giant backlog of films and my giant backlog of books. It’s also during the heated ‘AS Level Exam’ period which means I’ll still be under immense pressure anyway and I need to take some of that off. I’m tempted to stall it into July 2012 but I have ideas in mind for next year’s book projects which I don’t want to miss out on. We’ll see, it’s not set in stone.

That’s all I think.

Other things: The third part of my Gamer Studio column went up. Game critique corner on New Vegas – Honest Hearts coming Saturday.

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