Deep Space Discs

As most of us know by now, being stranded on a desert island these days means becoming instantly embroiled in adventures involving mysterious hatches, smoke monsters and electromagnetic anomalies. You wouldn’t even have the time to listen to your favourite CD ever, or settle down with a good book.

The silent voids of deep space, however? Now there’s a desolace worthy of a castaway from the 21st century! And so, if you were left drifting through space, and could have one book, one album, one game (or film), and a luxury item, what would you choose?

I would take these:

1. Book – The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

As a young’un I was a rather voracious reader – a bit like Mathilda, but without the domestic abuse and psychic powers. However, for all my word-munching,  I didn’t know what comedy writing truly was until I stumbled across The Guide. Obvious thematic practicalities aside, I chose this book as my papery space companion for a few reasons. Firstly, it is emminently re-readable; there are a wealth of clever little details to pick up on, and the humour hits home on so many levels that it demands just a little bit more effort from the reader than they might be used to. And that was what attracted me so much as a child, and has kept me coming back. Secondly, this particular version of the book is comprised of all five parts to the story, so once I’d read the first three books, I would go about trying to rewrite the last two so that they were better, keeping me well occupied between bouts of space-snoozing. This leads on to the third point, which is that on reflection, the appreciation of Mr. Adams’ writing style served me well as a diving board into my own scribblings.

2. Album – Appetite for Destruction (Guns N’ Roses)

There are more complex compositions out there, sure. And those which perhaps invoke a fuller spectrum of emotions across their tracklist, but to me, if I was lost in the universe with no sign of rescue, nothing beats Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction for sheer energy and bravado. The guitar licks in this raw monstrosity could melt suns, and there’s not a single duff* track in there. Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City and Sweet Child of Mine are the well-knowns, but it’s the dynamic riffs of tracks like Nightrain and You’re Crazy that would keep my spirits burning long into the endless night.

3. Game – Planescape: Torment

This is a rare beauty of the gaming world. The experience offered by Planescape: Torment transcends  simply being something to ‘play’.  You take on the role of The Nameless One, a man who, for one reason or another, cannot truly die. He has lived thousands of lives, but each time he dies, he loses part of his memory. By the time we pick up his story he is waking up on a mortuary slab, covered in tattoos, with absolutely no knowledge of where, when, why, or who he is.

‘What can change the nature of a man?’

Along The Nameless One’s journey, it is you, as the player, who addresses that question, exploring his past and present, and forging his future. It’s a role playing game, with a script of 800,000 words. Yep. And the number of different decisions and choices you can make are astonishing, as you explore Sigil, a city of doorways to every other plane of existence. And those doors could be anything – a word, a feeling, an object…

Aside from its thoughtful reflections of the decisions we make, and what makes people tick, PS:T is also highly replayable due to the number of different paths it is possible to take through the game. So off it goes with me into space!

4. Luxury Item

Pens and paper for writing. Technically multiple items, I suppose, but it’s my catastrophe – I’ll let myself off. And who knows, with all  that time I might actually get something finished. And, er, be the only person to read it…



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9 Responses to “Deep Space Discs”

  1. Ken Kiser Says:

    Book: Fifthwind. Not because I’m narcissistic, but because I’d want a constant reminder that I accomplished at least one goddam thing in my pathetic life.

    Album: Alan Parsons Project – Tales of Mystery and Imagination. I like Poe and I like progressive rock, and I like classical music. This album hits all three.

    Game: Myth II – Soulblighter. Dunno why, but I never ever get tired of this damn game.

    Luxury Item: Telescope. So I can look up and see the gods laughing at me.

  2. Alex Masterson Says:

    Good choices 🙂

    I’ve always meant to check out The Alan Parsons Project. Tales of Mystery and Imagination seems like a good place to start!

    • Ken Kiser Says:

      Well, in that case, I come bearing gifts. Click this link:

      It is about 60MB so might take a couple of minutes.

      • Ken Kiser Says:

        Oh… it is important to note that tracks 6 thru 10 are an “opera” of “The Fall of the House of Usher” and are intended to be played in order and in their entirety.

        Though this is APP’s first album. I feel that “Pyramid” is their best. Okay… enough about APP (I’m a huge fan 😀 )

      • Alex Masterson Says:

        Had the chance to give the album a few listens through – it’s absolutely brilliant! I love concept pieces like those five tracks you mentioned, and the guitar work is damn fine throughout.

        Pyramids, you say…


      • Ken Kiser Says:

        Should you want Pyramid, I just might be able to *cough* arrange something. Just say the word.

  3. amberbiesinger Says:

    Book: Howls Moving Castle. Its fanciful, has a great romance, great characters, magic! And it makes me giggle always. Its a good uplifting story

    Album: I do not like anyone enough to just go with one Album, I’d have to have a mix tape. Possibly Chicagos sound track or something similar. I like to sing to things and dance, so whatever does that works for me. OH! Wickeds soundtrack, there you go.

    Game: Bejeweled forever!! I will never stop wanting to beat my own score.

    Luxuary Item: Clay. How I love the moldable stuff.

    • Alex Masterson Says:

      Hmm, Wicked’s worth checking out then? I always see posters for it when I’m down in London, one of these days I’ll go give it a watch 😛

      • amberbiesinger Says:

        Wicked is good, not as good as the book, annnnd the soundtrack is pretty much all you need. But it’s good to know why they are singing, though you can pretty much follow it with the songs.

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