Updating the hardboiled detective tale is always tough. While I don’t know the tropes of the genre, I do know the cliches that are involved, thanks to parodies. Adding a bit of steampunk and fantasy can only add more fun for the reader.

The Sightless City takes the standard hard-boiled mystery, and tosses in some speculative elements, without the genre’s dourness. Instead of a mysterious dame and a strange MacGuffin, we get a deep dive into a city’s bowels and an unsteady undercurrent of supernatural conspiracy. The private eye realizes that, far from working alone, he has to know who…


I’m looking forward to the new Trollhunters movie. Even if it ends up surprising us in a bad way, at least we have come a long way to the end. There’s no way that it can go the Game of Thrones route and turn people off the franchise completely because we have the previous seasons, a few graphic novels, and the original novel. At least, that’s as far as I know from watching the first twenty minutes of the movie with my older brother.

One running motif throughout the Arcadia franchise is Shadow Magic, and how it represents the villains…


I don’t often read space operas. The reason is that I’m not familiar with the genre, apart from those in the mainstream. Yet this one made me think about morally questionable decisions, and how one knows to do what is right.

Infinite Retribution has a more potent title than one would think at first. It talks about the cycle of revenge, married with a desire to build a career exploring the stars. When both desires clash, they implode with devastating consequences.

Infinite Retribution By Robert Stadnik

Humans have perfected space travel, but a traitor had taken a ship called the Exodus and is using it…


The first lesson in any skill is you have to admit what you don’t know. When you concede that there is still plenty that you need to learn, then you can take a step back and look for solutions. Acting like you know best is a great way to hurt people, despite good intentions. This behavior can become more harmful when you impose your attitude on friends and family members.

“Gaps in knowledge” is the theme of this episode. Gwendolyn Clawthorne acts on limited knowledge about Eda’s curse, in an attempt to “fix” her daughter. Luz tries to help, only…


Coming to terms with personal grief through storytelling

My grandfather died in March. I haven’t talked much about it because I haven’t been sure how to process the grief. He had developed blood clots, and eventually was lapsing into and out of a coma in a fine Indian hospital. This was before the COVID surge happened which has put India under lockdown.

I played Lost Words: Beyond the Page, and expected it to be a fluffy story about adventure and the power of story. Yes, the game started this way. Then one part made me scream, and cry. It was a good cry, of something I needed to…


Finding answers is not always easy when the adult figures in your life lie or tell pretty answers. That’s why you need to know when to face some hard truths about yourself or your origins. Sometimes there are more questions than answers. King has to learn this.

“Necessary truths” is the theme of this episode. Eda and Luz have been indulging King in his delusions because they truly believe that it’s harmless, and Luz points out that it could be possible that he is the King of Demons. Lilith disagrees, saying that it goes against her studies, and finding the…


Doki Doki Literature Club deconstructs the romance genre and leaves players with a shocking experience

Many have turned to video games for leisure and a needed break from reality during the pandemic. It’s been a time of consuming old favorites and new games. It’s also been a time of re-releases: older games returning to the stage with a facelift and additional content. One game that returned to us is Doki Doki Literature Club.


I used to have a webcomic obsession, owing to a comic book website that would include them as part of their reviews. Later I’d contribute, as a small volunteer with a lot of opinions. Sadly the website is defunct, but the joy of their recommendations remains.

Real Life was one of the top-rated reviews, of the webcomic’s first (and only thus far) print collection. I got interested when I read the review and found out that one strip referenced Darkwing Duck. The review also linked to the main website, where one could catch up on the various stories. …


The best part about having the Gravity Falls team working on new shows is they can explore previous plot threads in a larger fashion, having the experience. We saw Pacifica Northwest turn herself around in the show when realizing she didn’t want to be her parents. Amity is the second version of the former bully that rebels against her controlling parents. She’s gotten larger character arcs, and a focus on development that made people love her. We finally see her Pacifica moment.

“Proper communication” is the theme of the episode. Luz doesn’t understand why Amity is scared of her parents…


Rick and Morty got approved for a total of 90 episodes. It will be interesting to see if Dan Harmon can keep on the momentum and make sure to respect his crew. Season five premieres on June 20, with a lot of aplomb. Season 4 ended on one heck of a cliffhanger, though longtime viewers know that a sort of status quo will be restored. After all, Rick manages to maintain the status quo on a regular basis through his various manipulations.

For those who don’t know, the show is about a genius scientist who takes his grandson on scientific…

Priya Sridhar

A 2016 MBA graduate and published author, Priya Sridhar has been writing fantasy and science fiction for fifteen years, and counting.

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