Tera: A Lesson in How Not to Dress Women

Recently, my friends and I were looking for a new multiplayer game to play together. We found a free game on the PS4 called Tera and figured we’d give it a try until we decided on a new game to buy. We lasted all of two hours or so before the overall gameplay was so horrendous we all promptly deleted the game. But the biggest criticism started long before we made it to the actual game. I’m going to pop back to a topic I’ve mentioned before, and will probably cover again—Women’s Fashion.

In my last post about women’s fashion in fantasy and sci-fi art and games, I rallied for giving women decent support and not defaulting to boob armor. It’s a pet peeve of mine. But what Tera offered was so terrible that I actually texted my friend that I was tempted not to play on principle.

We did end up playing, and a great deal of the initial amusement that kept us going as long as we did was from joking about each new horrible outfit the women ended up with, especially since we had a group of men and women and so saw the perfectly acceptable and sometimes the utterly over-dressed men. (At one point I was convinced men in this world were stealing all the clothes so the women were left with nothing.)

Let me show you some examples. Be warned, these are not safe for work.

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Aphantasia: How Do You See Your World?

Aphantasia light blub

Recently, I was listening to the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast and came across an episode on aphantasia, which really got me thinking about how we visualize our worlds. Mainly because I connected quite a bit with what they described. Aphantasia is where a person is not able to visualize imagery in the “Mind’s Eye.” As I write fantasy and science fiction, things that literally no one has seen before, I found it very interesting that I saw many aphantasic tendencies in my own visualization process. So, let’s take a look at what that means.

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Horizon Zero Dawn: Two Worlds in One Game

Horizon Zero Dawn Aloy

Today I want to look at the world of one of my favorite recent games. And, yes, I am using the word recent rather loosely here. But seeing as I only got it late last year and have played it twice since then, I’m going to count it as recent. And since it has been out for more than a year, I’m going to spoil a few things during this review, though not too much.

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Change of Pen Name

As of now, I’ll be switching my pen name from S. L. Scott to Shana Scott to avoid confusion with another author. On my publications page any stories published as S. L. Scott will be noted.

Thanks for following me, and I hope to have many more stories under my new name.

Escape Pod: A Cure for Homesickness

celebrate author Shana Scott

I’m thrilled that my story “A Cure for Homesickness” is kicking off Escape Pod‘s month long Artemis Rising event. You can read or listen it to from their website or download it on any podcast app.

I tend to write more fantasy than sci-fi, but Krem and Max have made me fall in love with their buddy comedy in space and demand more stories of them. Far be it for me to ignore them. 🙂

Enjoy!

The Last Guardian: A Hollow World

The Last Guardian Boy and Trico

After a short hiatus due to some health issues, I’m finally feeling up to writing again. As promised, let’s continue looking at the dangers of how much world building to reveal. Last time we saw how too much world-building can bog down an otherwise good story through Ready Player One. Now we’re going to talk about how too little world building can leave your audience frustrated and upset. For this, we’re going to leave books and head to the world of video games for The Last Guardian.

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New Story Available

fireworks author Shana Scott

The Curse of Manorville House” is officially available for purchase on Amazon for 99¢ or free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

The main character is loosely based on my grandmother who died this past January, so I’m pleased to see it found a home.

I like to think of this as the senior citizen version of Supernatural. An elderly woman living in a retirement home finds herself drawn into a journey to another dimension to break a curse that brings death to any resident visited by a strange cat.

Enjoy!

Ready Player One: When You Know Too Much

Ready Player One

In these next two posts, we’re going to be looking at an aspect crucial to world-building that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves, or it gets too much, and both of those are dangerous. I’m talking about the info dump. There is a fine line between giving too much and not giving enough, and right there in the center is the sweet spot of world exposition.

Today we’re going to be looking at the dangers of too much world-building through the novel Ready Player One. Let’s log in to the OASIS and see what’s going on.

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi — Why Kylo Ren Doesn’t Care about Power

Star Wars The Last Jedi Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren’s character gets labeled as power-hungry a lot, but that’s not what his character’s about. Power is only a means to an end.

Warning: THERE WILL BE MASSIVE SPOILERS!

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Star Trek: Discovery – Does It Want to be Star Trek?

Star Trek Discovery

Last time we looked at how well the Star Trek-like show The Orville managed its world building. Today we’re going to pop back to Star Trek’s real universe in Star Trek: Discovery and see if they were more or less successful in their world building efforts. I’d like to reiterate that this critique is not measure the success or failure of the show overall, merely how it handles its universe. I’ll try my best to keep my feelings toward the show neutral, though a bit’s going to leak through probably when we get to the Klingons. There will be a discussion on the klingons.

Fair warning: there will be some spoilers for the show. Read More

Mirrors & Thorns

Mirrors & Thorns is now officially available for order in both print and ebook format.

My story, “Maria Morevna and the Deathless One” is included. The characters are very loosely based off of two in Russian folktales: Maria Morevna and Koshchey the Deathless One. It’s always fun to look at old stories in a new way. Read More

The Orville: Does Its Universe Hold Up?

The Orville Crew

Given my love for all things Star Trek, including fun parodies of Star Trek, I thought we’d delve into two new shows in the next couple of posts and look at the success or failure of their respective world-building schemes: Star Trek: Discovery and The Orville. This isn’t a debate over which is better or worse in relation to the ultimate Star Trek fandom. I have my own opinions on that and shall strive to keep them to myself since I know how divisive that is at the moment. All I want to examine is the way the shows have created their universes and whether or not they can hold up over time. Read More