Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Pyramid of Death--Part One

Hey there, fellow travellers!

Here's that bonus episode I've promised you. It's short, but sweet, and full of crunchy goodness!

I've taken the plunge into sci-fi and fantasy once again. This time, I've written a slightly pulpy sci-fi adventure story about Exo-Archaeologists Hazy Jack and Deirdre "Amazon" Yeats. I really enjoy writing these characters. I hope you enjoy listening to them. This is part of an ongoing serial that will continue until the story is finished. I give you the first installment this week, soon to be followed by future chapters. The Hazy Jack and Deirdre stories form the basis of a much larger work that I'm putting together as a fix-up. Hopefully, I can finish the entire book of novellas before the year is out--and then, off to the publishers!

Let me know what you think. I always appreciate hearing from you.

As always, you can listen to the story here, and download it from my host at Archive.org

In love and ancient tombs, Johnny Zombie.


Some links of interest:

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Good evening, spacecats.

Tonight, Dillon and I blast some zombies with the lovely Dr. Zahara Cody, as we review Joe Schreiber's novel DEATH TROOPERS. It's Night of the Living Wookie, as the dead rise up in a galaxy far, far away. The crew of the imperial prison barge Purge are dropping like flies off a bantha, and only six survivors remain. Join Dr. Cody, Trig, Kale, and two surprise special guests as they battle their way against an army of the undead.

Trade in your lightsabers for boomsticks...it's gonna get messy in here!

This is part one of a two part review of Joe Schreiber's Star Wars novel Death Troopers. You can catch up with Joe at his blogspot site: http://scaryparent.blogspot.com/

You can listen to the undead carnage on our site here, or you can download us from Archive.org


In Part Two of our Deathtroopers review, I discuss a rather disturbing video game commerical for the 1980's classic Joust.

Part Two will be on its way next week, along with a bonus episode of fiction by your's truly, John Z.

In Love and Droids,
Johnny Zombie

Image by The Unknown Stranger

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Games that Never Were

Good evening readers,

As you all know, I am a big fan of the Wayback Machine. I am a consummate traveller of both time and space--in both the physical and psychological sense. Recently I've gone on a journey of discovery, which has lead me to new appreciation of pulp writing from the golden age of sci-fi, action, and fantasy. I am also one for nostalgia in my own time period. Quite often I will revisit movies, music, T.V. shows, books, and video games of the 1980's. It can be both refreshing, and sometimes heartbreaking, to salvage the flotsam and jetsam of one's own childhood. Oh, the things we give up for modernity, only to crave them once more in adulthood.
I've recently come across some fantastic vintage video game sites. Links to these sites will be posted below. I got to thinking as I perused and played these forsaken titles, that vintage games had the best cover artwork of all time. Their images evoke danger, excitement, and fantastic characters, creatures, and place While their plots, and graphics may have been simplistic, the game play is nonetheless challenging. Still, the artwork is unsurpassed by anything we have seen today.

In honor of the old 2600, and other systems, I submit to you Games That Should Have Been...But Never Were

1. Tea Time With Douglas
Sit down for a refreshing cup of Earl Grey with the Author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Be prepared for intellectual combat with the Neutromatic drink synthesizer, as it refuses to dispense a hot cup of brown joy. Then it's drinks with Richard Dawkins and Ford Prefect, as they contemplate what came first, "The ape, or the ape man?" Round it all off with a trip to Algol, and a quest to save the endangered species of The Milky Way Galaxy. Be sure to avoid the Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, they're killer.

Weapons: towel, wit, and sarcasm.
Enemies: Vogons, narrow-minded people, Fundamentalists.
Life saving reference guide: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Allies: Ford Prefect, Arthur Dent, Zaphod Beeblebrox, Trillian, and Marvin The Paranoid Android.

2. Solomon Kane--Puritian's Rage!
Yes, Robert E. Howard's avenging angel is back to punish the wicked in 16th or 17th century Britain, and Africa. Join Solomon and shamanic sidekick N'Longa, as they battle demons, pirates, and anybody who has the misfortune of crossing them. Evildoers, don't even think of burning down a village, or roughing up a young woman. Solomon has got your name, and his shitlist is a mile long!

Weapons: Twin flintlock pistols, rapier, Staff of King Solomon, badass puritan hat and cloak.
Enemies: The Fishhawk, Le Loup, anybody who gets in his way.
Life saving reference guide: The Bible
Allies: N-Longa, The Almighty One.

3. The Hobbit Hangover
Bilbo has had one too many, and it's up to his wizard pal Gandalf to sober him up. Join the wizard in gray as he quests for the right ingredients to save his furry-footed friend from a splitting headache! Journey to the Inn of the Green Dragon. Clash staffs with Sarumon, philosophize with Lord Elron, and toke on that pipe weed. It's gonna take all our skills to complete this quest.

Weapons: Staff, wizard powers, a hell of a lot of patience.

Enemies: Sarumon, cheery-faced Hobbits...we hates Hobbitses!
Life saving reference book: Wizarding and You by Gandalf The Grey, Albus Dumbledore, and Merlin.
Allies: Unless Aragorn can stop chasing after Elvin skirt, you're on your own, chum.

4. Red Sonja's Dungeon Boudoir
Pain never felt sooo good. Chained to a post, it's up to you to wait until Red Sonja of Rogantino (R.E. Howard's beautiful barbarian babe) comes to save your sorry hide. Watch in wonder as she tears through attackers, rips abs...I mean, rages and rampages as only Red Sonja could. Marvel as she takes on the dungeon mistress in a final fantastic showdown of feminine strength!

Weapons: Sword, bad attitude.
Allies...(note, the author of this page was too busy daydreaming to finish his synoposis. The handwritten notes he prepared were sent to us covered in drool--at least we hope it's drool. Either way, the pages were illegible and stuck together).
...I need a cigarette after that review...

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but it does give you an idea of the lost opportunities of Atari, Colecovision, and other game systems.

Look for another episode of the podcast comming this week, as we review Joe Schreiber's Star Wars novel DEATHTROOPERS. This will be followed by a bonus episode of original fiction by Mr. John Z. himself. Next week: Hackers, Vintage Video Games, and Blue Boxes.

In love and pixels,
Johnny Z.

Play over 500 vintage Atari games here: http://www.2600online.com/
Make lables like mine here: http://www.labelmaker2600.com/
More Atari goodness, and awesome box art can be found at: http://www.atariage.com/

Friday, August 6, 2010

Episode Seven--Saturday Morning Cartoons of the 1980's

Good evening, Children of the Night!

This week we have a FULLY loaded show, as we remember cartoons of the 1980's...in a horror, sci-fi, and sword and sorcery vein. We discuss such classic shows as The Real Ghostbusters, Droids, and Ewoks. We also touch on the childhood cultural phenomenon known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which will have its own episode...soon enough).

We also discuss not so classic efforts as Thundar The Barbarian (paging Robert E. Howard! Someone has ripped off our favorite barbarian), and The Dungeons and Dragons cartoon (a diamond in the rough, that could use some polish).  
(Left) Sheila The Rogue, one of the early influences on my redhead addiction. 
Thanks to D&D for my unsatisfied yearnings. (Right) Thundar channels Conan and Luke.    

We also revisit the now famous Time-Life book series, The Enchanted World, in commericals hosted by Vincent Price! (see embeded video).

A D&D Cartoon fan video, featuring Sheila and Hank.

This is the longest episode of the podcast so far, two hours and four minutes! I hope you have as much fun as Dillon and I did. You can listen to the discussion here, or download us from Archive.org 

As bonus features, I have embeded several videos and links this week.
Such as...
Top Cartoon Crushes

Fugitoid and the TMNT (Scroll back a few pages to get to the origin story of Fugitoid)

In love and monsters,
Johnny Zombie

Feedback is greatly appreciated!