Three recommendations: A game, a TV show and a book

I've had the flu over the past week and have been in and out of a delirious state. Even though I've been driving the porcelain bus that hasn't stopped me from getting in some good leisure activities. I have for you three solid recommendations for things to consume in your idle hours.

The first is the game FTL. Many of you in the indy gaming scene may have already played it, and I'm as usual, late to the party. I love this game. Its charm is that it's disguised as a very, very simple retro space battle game. In reality, it's an immersive strategic adventure that has given me more thrills than I deserve for $10. The basic premise is that you're a single vessel racing across the galaxy to bring news of impending rebel invasion. Along the way you build up your ship, meet aliens who join your crew and kick rebel ass. FTL is different than many games in its genre in that it's meant to be played in a single sitting. There are no save points, this adds a lot to the thrill. An entire game can be played from start to finish in about an hour.

FTL is a little bit famous for a very successful KickStarter campaign. If you're in to well-balanced space opera battle games, I heartily recommend this title, and for ten schmackos, you really can't go wrong.

My second recommendation is the TV show Fresh Meat. If you're in the UK you are probably well aware of it - as it's into a second season already. I have to admit, I've been a little disappointed with the new season of the now Harmonless Community. If you'd like to see a comedy that deals with college life that is a little more raw and sometimes side-splittingly funny, give it a try. It's made by the creators of Peep Show, and even has Robert Webb in a minor role as a sexually ambiguous college tutor.

My third recommendation (are you still with me) is a SF book called Constellation Games. I bought it based on a recommendation from Cory Doctorow - and I have to say it's been a really great read. It's messy, written in the form of blog posts, emails and rants - but it somehow works. The plot involves an earth-visiting group of alien visitors who belong to a multi-species "hippy anarchist" society. The main character is an earthing who creates crappy video games for a living and wants to review alien video games for his blog. He gets samples of ancient gaming systems from multiple races and puts them through their paces. At the same time he's dealing with the integration of the entire human race into this new pan-galactic society. This is not a normal space opera SF, it's very Internet nerdy and hits me in my sweet spot. I make this as more of a guarded recommendation- if you love the culture of video games and want to get your head around what they would be like in alien cultures - you may find this book expands your mind a bit. Buy the ebook directly from the little publisher - it will make you feel good.

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