Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science Fiction & Fantasy

This is what the ‘Alternate History’ genre is all about. Alternate History looks at history – this is applicable in any country of the world – and asks the question: ‘What If?’ What if British India hadn’t occurred? What would have happened if the British capital city had been built elsewhere – say, where Newcastle-upon-Tyne is today? Would that have altered the course of history? Alternate history can ask and answer so many questions – and sets your thoughts chasing off on all sorts of trails!

Alternate History

Alternate history is often alluded to as allohistory. To those aficionados of alternate history, it is frequently referred to as uchronia or uchronie which is what the French call alternate history; as parallel worlds; or even as abwegige geschichten. Regardless of which name alternate history is known by, it involves past events with their outcomes ultimately altered – and then subsequent events evolving from the altered perspective. Robert Sobel used alternate history as the primary plot in his book ‘For Want of a Nail…If Burgoyne had Won at Saratoga’. Similarly, Peter G Tsouras wrote ‘Gettysburg: An Alternate History’.

Alternate history has also been referred to as ‘counterfactuals’ which is not completely accurate: counterfactuals really relates more to academic historical research than it does to the genre of science fiction. You will find a good selection of these kinds of books in our alternate history section: One book I would particularly recommend is that written by Professor David Krasner, entitled ‘Unmaking the West: What-if?’ I am not going to say a word about this book – you will have to read it yourself!


Magic, the supernatural and Middle Earth: stories such as ‘The Middle Kingdom’ and the series of ‘Lord of the Rings’. Fantasy as a genre avoids the nasty and macabre – it also avoids the scientific. Fantasy is – well, pure fantasy! It’s what dreams are made of. Tolkien’s books follow the fantasy theme perfectly. Add parallel kingdoms and you have ‘The 10th Kingdom’ which is now available on DVD – and well worth watching! Add magic and you have John W. Campbell Jr and the stories he wrote for ‘Unknown’ magazine. Add destiny and you have ‘A Storm of Swords’ by George RR Martin: you will find this book on Page 5 of the Fantasy section under the Science Fiction tab on our website. It’s a good read and the 3rd volume of the six-part epic novels, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’.


Gaming has really come into its own since the advent of multimedia and the internet. In fact, gaming software must be one of the products being sold more and more, even during these times of recession. Believe me, once you start gaming properly, you will become hooked! It is probably one of the safer addictions to have, anyway! Today, the Games Workshop Group plc is one of the most prestigious war-games companies, listed on the London Stock Exchange. It sells war-games software and games around the world from their base in the UK. A completely different company, Game Designers’ Workshop, was also in the business of selling role-playing games and war-games from 1973 until it closed in 1996.

The vast majority of this gaming software is based on science fiction of one sort or another – time travelling, myths and legends, magic – and any other slant incorporating one or other mix of groups. In 1977 ‘Traveller’ was first introduced by the Game Designers’ Workshop: this game is now carried forward by Mongoose Publishing. In nearly all cases the games are drawn from imaginary events occurring in the far future. Rules are drawn up for the players to follow and players progress through the different levels, buying and selling equipment and weapons to progress further into the imaginary realms of the games. As a player myself, I can understand the magnetism that keeps players totally engrossed but, unless you are a games’ devotee, you wouldn’t really understand the draw gaming can have on you.


Arguably, one of the more respected science fiction films has to be ‘Contact’, starring Jodie Foster as Dr Ellie Arroway, directed by Robert Zemeckis. This film, released in 1997, was taken from the book ‘Contact’ written by Carl Sagan which you will find on our website, along with a variety of his other books: ‘Cosmos’; ‘Pale Blue Dot: a Vision of the Human Future in Space’; ‘The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark’; and ‘The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence’ – all of these books, and more, can be found on our website, under the Science Fiction banner.

Amongst the Media section you will find ‘Doctor Who: The Taking of Chelsea 426’ by David Llewellyn – plus Babylon 5, Batman, Blake’s 7, other Doctor Who vignettes, Lensman, Red Dwarf, Star Trek, Star Wars, The Crow, X-Files, and Xena

Science Fiction

Filed under the umbrella of Science Fiction you will find anthologies; classic science fiction; cyberpunk; science fiction encyclopaedias; graphic novels; high tech science fiction; adventure; history and criticism; science fiction series; and short stories. There are some delightful books within this section: here, you will find ‘Orbus’ by Neal Asher. This book has echoes of ‘Star Wars’ crossed with ‘Deep Space 9’although the story it tells is all its own. Another charming book is ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ by Philippa Pearce – a ‘garden that shouldn’t exist’. Do you find this as intriguing as I did? If so, you will love this read – a true and classic science fiction novel to lose yourself from reality in.

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Source by Suleman Thadha

How to Level Fast in Age of Conan – Reach Level 80 in 5 Days!

How to Level Fast in Age of Conan – Reach Level 80 in 5 Days!

Age of Conan is the new MMORPG game to hit the online gaming scene by storm and even the developers themselves have been surprised by its sudden popularity. AOC is much like World of Warcraft that its based around a character of your choice and you have to develop that character over the series of quests and missions you go on. As a result of fulfilling these quests or tasks your character gains experience and as the call it ‘level up’ in experience.

Leveling your character in Age of Conan can dictate how you progress in the future and gives you more power to compete with stronger heros and also inherit more abilities.It can be very frustrating to level your hero sometimes it can be slow and even put you off the game, but there is AOC leveling guides on the internet much like WoW does that teaches you how to level up FAST and shows you how to do it and where you go to level up the fastest way possible.

You might think these Age of Conan leveling guides are just full of hacks and cheats codes but they actually contain tips and techniques from Pro AOC gamers that have used these methods to level fast reach lvl 80 within 7-8 days!

Be careful when you look for guides because some are scams and contain no useful information at all. The best places to go are forums and just do a search under “Age of Conan Gold guide and tips”.

The ones that are good are from AOC gamers themselves that share their knowledge about how they gather gold and Age of Conan free and fast, you can make a lot money by using their tips and then reselling that gold to AOC noobs that are too lazy to farm gold themselves but want to take the easy route and buy their way to success.

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Source by Patrick Kaa

Find The Most Fun Hunting Games For Mobile Devices!

Find The Most Fun Hunting Games For Mobile Devices!

Love hunting? Finding it hard to find time to do it? Why don’t you try playing some fun hunting games on your mobile devices?!

Hunting games can be a wonderful substitute for real hunting, because let’s admit it, not everyone has the time, availability or the money to actually go out to the woods and hunt.

These days there are many fun hunting games online that can be played on mobile devices, so it doesn’t really demand much from the players to start hunting virtually – all one has to do it to download a game, go through a short tutorial and start playing!

I’ve gathered here some of the most fun hunting games for you, so make sure you give them a try!

Deer Hunter 2014 – In Deer Hunter 2014 you will find yourself in the wildnerness and experience a visually stunning FPS hunting game. You will travel from North America’s Pacific Northwest to the Savannah of Central Africa and take a journey to hunt the world’s most exotic animals. This simulator has great shooting mechanics and amazing visuals, it has some interesting and challenging missions and it actually gives you the feel of a real hunting adventure. There are over 100 animal species in the game, like bears, wolves, cheetahs and much more. Hunting the deer is only the beginning, so don’t be misled by the name!

Deer Hunting – 2015 Sniper 3D – In this game you will find yourself in the midst of the winter season, when snow has covered the mountain fields and it’s totally freezing out there. This time is the perfect time for the hunter, so grab your shooting gears and go out there! In Deer Hunting – 2015 Sniper 3D you will let out the hunter in you – the game is filled with action, hunting and shooting, and you will get to shoot many deer and lions. You will see the most thrilling winter scenarios – the sound of the weapons, animals, wildlife, forest, mountain and birds. You will work on your shooting skills and become the ultimate virtual hunter, so when you go out there to do some real hunting, you can be sure you’ve polished your skills and you are good to go.

Jungle Sniper Hunting 2015 – In this game you will go to the jungle with your sniper rifle. The jungle is full of animals and the hunting possibilities are endless – you will experience the thrill and adrenaline of a hardcore hunting adventure and enjoy a realistic environment, variety of animals, unlimited number of hunts and much more. This is a brilliant game and it is extremely fun, so give it a try!

Virtual hunting can be an amazing experience, so try some of the most fun hunting games for mobile and see for yourself!

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Source by Billy Mike

Benefits of Gaming – PC and Video Games

Benefits of Gaming – PC and Video Games

New PC and video games are not only capable of providing fun and excitement for everyone, but they can also give certain benefits and advantages.

With the help of advanced technology and popularity, the gaming industry has advanced and expanded rapidly over the years.

If we are looking for categorization of videos games, they are broadly divided into eight major categories:


These are fast paced and may contain a large amount of violence due to this. Action games are usually inappropriate for children. Such games fall under the category “M” (mature-rated). Examples are Halo, Star Wars, Jedi Knight and Enter the Matrix.

Adventure and Role Playing

These are normally not as graphic as action games and can take the player into surrealism and fantasy. Though adventure and role-playing games often contain violence, it is not found to be as intense as the violence in action games. Examples of this category are Borderlands 2, Final Fantasy, Legend of Mana and Billy Hatcher.

First Person Shooters

As the name implies, it is a game in which the player sees the action through the eyes of the character he is representing and involves the use of pistols or rifles to kill the enemy. Due to the violence involved in this genre of games, they are not suitable for young children. Examples of these games are “Half-Life, “Half-Life 2”, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” and so on.

Construction and Management Simulation (CMS)

As the name suggests, in the games belonging to this genre, the players are expected to build, expand and manage imaginary projects and communities with very little resources. Examples of this genre include, “SimCity” and “Harvest Moon”.


Here the accent is on strategy rather than on violence and these games are slower which gives the player time for strategic thinking, resource management and planning to achieve victory. Most are warfare based and so violence is not completely absent. These games are not suitable for children. Some examples are Advanced Wars I & II, Civilization V and Crusader Kings II.


These are video or computer games that simulate real world situations under game settings. In this category, the three well-known games are Racing Simulators, Flight Simulators and Sims. There are lots of games in this class to entertain children. Some examples of simulation games are: Football Manager, Farming Simulator 2013, The Sims and Evil Genius.


The Platform Game or Platformer is consists of jumping between suspended platforms of varying heights or obstacles and sometimes both to move forward in the game. Some examples of Platformer are 40 Winks, Abuse, Action 52 and Adventure Island.


Puzzle video games are a class of games that require puzzle solving. The kinds of puzzles that need to be solved can involve many problem solving skills such as using logic, word completion sequence solving, strategy and pattern recognition. Some examples of Puzzle Video Games are Mario, Bejeweled 3, Cradle of Rome 2 and Hidden Objects.

While on the subject, let’s not forget Sports games such as NHL 13, and FIFA Soccer 13 and Arcade games such Chicken Shoot 1, Toy Story Mania and Angry Birds to name a few.

Nowadays, video games are enjoyed by a wide cross-section of our society, from toddlers to grandparents and these have been accepted by everyone as a good manner of entertainment and seen to be better than watching TV as it requires the viewer’s participation and interaction.

The general feeling is that video games do not provide any benefits to the player and especially so in the case of children.

Contrary to this belief, there are many benefits in allowing children to play certain types of games. Most important of these benefits is the development of:

· Cognitive thinking skills

· Fine motor skills

· Real-time decision-making abilities

· Hand-eye coordination

· Cooperative playing skills

Keeping video games out of the reach of children can only deprive them of these benefits.

A child’s imagination can be stimulated through role-playing and adventure games. Even if some of these games can seem tasteless due to its graphic nature and violence, they can play a positive and important role in a child’s development by promoting teamwork, building confidence and improving motor skills. Playing such video games will only provide a child with a healthy means of expression.

Certain video games are believed to teach children high level thinking skills which they would benefit from in the future.

Now that we have looked at the benefits for children, let’s look at what benefits video games hold for the rest of us.

Research into the pros and cons of video games are being conducted by various bodies including universities in some parts of the world and the result is that the pros outweigh the cons in respect of benefits.

When playing video games, you would need to react quickly and take split second decisions in order to succeed in the given task. It is believed that this kind of practice would provide benefits in real life where you would be able react with speed and take quick decisions.

Brain scientists have discovered that a certain driving video game, created by a research and development team at the University of California in San Francisco could improve the short-term memory and long-term focus of older adults.

It was found that immersion in a game distracts the mind from pain and discomfort. Due to this reason, some hospitals have started to suggest that children and others undergoing painful treatments play games to reduce their distress and anxiety.

Some video games have provided improvement in “Cognitive Flexibility”, which is the ability to switch quickly from one task to another.

Researchers from North Carolina State University found a link between playing video games and mental well-being among the elderly. They found that those citizens who played video games, even occasionally, experienced a state of well- being and happiness.

Gaming can also improve family relationships, as some of these games can and should be played together.

According to some studies conducted at the University of Rochester, people playing certain titles of video games have shown improvements in tests in the following areas:

• Multitasking

• Attention

• Accuracy

• Vision

The only thing a video game player or his or her family needs to ensure is that it does not become addictive in any way. A video game player shouldn’t end up spending hours on end playing games and losing track of time and place and while neglecting duties, personal chores and responsibilities.

Another thing that the parents of minors need to ensure is that their kids get access only to educational or similar games which are suitable for their age group and the good news is that there’s a huge selection of games available that are appropriate for all ages.

A video game content rating is a system is available in many countries and they are used to classify video games into suitability-related age groups with respect to its contents which, if followed, will help to limit the negative aspects of some of the games.

Finally, if video game players are able to play in moderation, and stick only to the categories of games suitable for their respective ages, they can derive a number of benefits as cited above.

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Source by Eric Alexander

The Goodness in Video Games

The Goodness in Video Games

We’ve all heard the many sayings from our parents: “Stop playing video games, they’re no good for you” or “If you keep playing video games you’ll become stupid!” I’m here to prove these wrong. Video games are not always mindless graphics put onto the TV or computer for your child to become zombies. Video games can have a lot of positive effects in all actuality.

There are two major positive things video games do: provide interaction and inspire creativity. Each has different effects on the child. Taking a look at both and really understanding them could help parents make the right decision about video games.

First we have provide interaction. It is just what it says. The video game provides a way for the child to interact with something. It’s a lot better than just watching some TV show or movie. They’re not sitting there mindlessly. They actually have to think about what they’re doing. A lot of games provide a surprisingly entertaining and educational amount of problem solving in them. This is very good for stimulating the child’s mind and getting them to think out of the box. It’s a much easier process to get them to do this than a bunch of pointless word problems for homework.

How do you know this is interaction is positive? Look at the most recent television shows for kids. Most if not all of them have the child interacting in some way. Some shows get the kid to dance, to jump, to move in some way. Some ask them questions or have them singing along. The list goes on and on of how they benefit the child’s learning. Lots of video games are like this. Even non-educational video games provide a healthy amount of learning and exercise for the mind.

More importantly, for me as a writer, I find that video games provide a great amount of inspiration in creativity. I grew up playing video games. It’s not the only thing I did, I wasn’t just sitting on the couch all day playing them, but I did play my fair share. Did it have a negative effect on me? I think not. I did well in school regardless of the video games. I stayed healthy regardless of the video games. I took up an interest in writing from the video games.

Video games present a lot of information to kids. In my case, and probably like many others out there, I was inspired by them. I took plots, characters, worlds and everything I loved about them and started to write my own things. They made me be creative and develop my own stories to tell. At first it might have been similar adaptations to the game since I was young and still not that experienced in writing and reading. But like books, video games helped me develop my ideas in my head and focus me on a path of motivation and creativity.

I hope parents don’t stop their kids from playing games. They should allow them to but of course with supervision and direction. Not every game out there is good for a kid. Parents should know what their child is playing. They should look into what the games are about. They may help the child in more than an educational way. It could make them be a more creative person, even boosting their self-esteem and interest in writing and the arts as it did for me. The parent should even try playing the video game. It’s never too late to be inspired by them.

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Source by Jake Rose