And at long last November limps its way to the finish line, finally collapsing to the ground. November is dead. Stone cold dead and along with it many other things. The latest pandemic of winter-writing-fever should now be in remission and this years flock of moustache’s wither and curl beneath the ministrations of the razor blade, gone until next year’s season. The end of November sees a return to normality, we are now safely out of this autumnal twilight zone. The normality we now enter is of course a sham. For the normality we now embrace is that of tinsel and snow and cheery faces, of panicked buying and dashing hither and thither to find just the right material expression of our love to foist upon family and friends. With such a prospect in store part of me will miss November.
The end of November brings with it the close of Pictonaut Challenge number 15, the sci-fi bonanza of The Grid.
This little slice of sci-fi, as mentioned at the start of the month, is the work of Darren Douglas. What I didn’t mention was that it was concept art for the video game WipEout 2048. I’m sure some of you are probably scratching your heads and thinking “Well that’s nice and all. But what exactly is this WipEout and how is it relevant and pertinent?” The WipEout series was the brain child of Sony’s now sadly defunct Studio Liverpool, and it was quite possibly the most wonderful and heart-achingly beautiful video game I have ever played. Sir Marc of the Most Noble Order of Jolt recently waxed lyrical on the subject of WipEout over at his Team Liquid blog, and the man was right. No other racing game captured the same seat-of-the-pants adrenal thrill of hurtling through a futuristic shopping mall on an anti-grav sled, edging towards the sound barrier while you try to dodge the missile that the upstart bastard in the Piranha just tried to ram up your tail pipe. Sure, some might claim you can get a similar experience from Mario Cart, but that’s always so jovial, cute, insipidly quaint. It lacks the viscerality and heartless brutality of WipEout. it also lacks the seriously thumping elctro soundtrack, featuring the likes of Leftfield, The Prodigy and Orbital.
My love of this sublime dystopian racer didn’t so much colour my wordascope for this month as up ending several cans of paint all of it before rolling around in the growing pool giggling manically. Mr Clayton took a radically different approach to his wordascope. I now present both of the for your delectation.
The Rogue Verbumancer – This race is mine!
James Clayton – I am a space god. I am the force of violent victory. I am the exulted angel, hero of the heavens.
Remember to check back tomorrow for the start of December’s Pictonaut Challenge.