This is an index of films, books, and pretty much anything mentioned on the site that an English teacher might call a "text", along with links to where they come up. Also: things that I just like.
Also, for stupidly comprehensive lists of everything I've ever absorbed into my porous little brain, see:
Arranged by author.
The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes (2011)
A wonderfully written, deeply introspective mystery about the gap between memory and reality. Quite a page-turner.
Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, Robert Brockway (2012)
A great little sci-fi novel by Robert Brockway, who also happens to write for one of my favourite websites, Cracked.com. It’s about a society that’s addicted to time travel, and it’s as funny as you would expect from a Cracked writer.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan (2013)
A very grim, very graphic story about an Australian in a Japanese WWII prisoner-of-war camp. It's very well written and full of fascinating characterisation, but it was tough to get through.
At the Mountains of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft (1936)
While a bit stylistically old-fashioned, AtMoM is a great piece of cosmic horror. It gave birth to the entire ancient alien trope - for good or ill. Although Lovecraft was a horrible racist, this book steers clear of that, so use your own judgement. It's in the public domain, so it's available for free on most eBook storefronts or here.
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell (1949)
The dystopian novel. Orwell's ideas about total surveillance, total war as a method of control, and the obliteration of language and history are perversely fascinating. For a time it was my favourite book.
At the start of Year 12, my English teacher told me to bring in a book that I wanted to use as the jump-off for my major work. I had just read Nineteen Eighty-Four, and was still thinking about it. Copyright came right out of that.
Ransom, David Malouf (2009)
A vivid, almost poetic, emotional retelling of a section of Homer's Illiad. I studied it for my first uni-level English literature class and quite liked it.
The Road, Cormac McCarthy (2006)
A resonant, beautifully written piece of post-apocalyptic fiction following the journey of a father and son.
I wrote a short story imitating the style, right here.
Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling (1997-2007)
Harry Potter needs no introduction. I've read these books over and over and Rowling's characterisation and imagination never fail to charm me.
The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger (1951)
Love it or hate it, this book definitely exists.
The Pitcher in the Hive - A short story written in response to our beloved Catcher.
The God Engines, John Scalzi (2009)
For more info, see my review!
Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley (1818)
One of the first works of modern science fiction, and a fascinating exploration of the relationship between creator and created.
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien (1954-1955)
The foundation of a genre. Tough to get through, but worth it. The movies are great.
Copyright - The Return of the King is mentioned briefly in 'Collection'.
World War Z, Max Brooks (2006)
A really unique, fascinating and thoroughly thought-out take on zombie fiction. It takes the form of a postwar oral history of a zombie apocalypse. Although not without its charms, the movie really didn’t do it justice.
The Tulisan War (work in progress) was heavily inspired by this novel.
Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold History of English, John McWhorter (2008)
A fascinating account of the evolution of the English language.
The Universe and Me - Part 8: Nations - mentioned briefly.
Beowulf (c. 8th century)
Beowulf is an epic Old English poem about a monster-slaying Scandinavian hero. It's pretty awesome. The version I'm most familiar with is Seamus Heaney's 1999 translation, although I've also had a look at Howell D. Chickering's Dual-Language Edition, which has the Old English script alongside a modern translation.
The Macquarie University student publication. I think it's pretty cool. They give the physical version out for free on campus, and then it goes online later.
The Quarry is (also) a Macquarie University student publication, one that comes out every year or so - it gets produced as the final unit of the Creative Writing major. There's some awesome writing up there.
I helped edit this current issue, and one of my stories is in it!
The Young Writers Showcase is a collection of the best Extension 2 English (that is, final high school year English here in NSW, Australia) major works from the year.
Copyright - my major work, which featured in YWS 12.
Arranged by title.
Alien (1979 - 2017)
I like the Alien movies quite a lot - mainly the first two. Aliens is a contender for my favourite film of all time. I also don't dislike Covenant or Prometheus.
Aladdin (1992 - 2019)
Lachlan's Top 10 Films of 2017 - mentioned briefly.
Baby Driver (2017)
Back to the Future (1985 - 1990)
Nothing beats a classic. Parts II & III are a little weaker than the original film, but that original still holds up fantastically.
Time Travel in Fiction - for obvious reasons, this movie comes up.
Beauty and the Beast (1991 - 2017)
Lachlan’s Top 10 Films of 2017 - the remake is mentioned intoy a less-than-positive light.
Blade Runner (1982, 2017)
Blade Runner is a real slow burn that took me a couple of viewings to warm up to; but I'm now convinced that it's great. The sequel Blade Runner 2049 is just as good, and just as slow.
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - Both films come up.
The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005 - 2012)
Two of the best superhero movies ever, and also The Dark Knight Rises.
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - The Dark Knight comes up in the context of Dunkirk.
DC Extended Universe (2011 - present)
The DCEU is DC's crack at imitating Marvel's success at a shared cinematic universe. So far, they haven't had much success. I find it difficult to fully recommend the DCEU, but Wonder Woman is pretty good. And, for some deep-seated psychological trait I really don't understand, I don't hate Batman v Superman.
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - Wonder Woman gets an honourable mention, and Justice League is also mentioned (in a less honourable capacity)
Get Out (2017)
Ghost in the Shell (2017)
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - mentioned not-so-positively.
Christopher Nolan’s science-fiction magnum opus, full of physics talk that's downright arousing at times. Also, it's visually stunning and seat-grippingly intense.
Kingsman (2014 - present)
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - both films come up in the context of how bad that second one is.
The Lion King (1994 - 2019)
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - mentioned briefly.
Far from being a standard sci-fi film, Looper explores some pretty deep morality and succeeds as a human drama, albeit with time travel and some excellent action scenes.
Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008 - present)
I have a taste for comic book movies which doesn't have a corresponding taste in comics - I like them occasionally but I've never been crazy about them. The series I have followed most closely is the MCU. What Marvel set out to do in 2008, a large interconnected universe of films with intertwined plotlines, had never been done before, and still has yet to be imitated in any proper sense. The MCU had its ups and downs at first, but it hasn't really had any terrible misfires, and most of the movies are at least quite good.
A Corner of Australia: Road Trip February ‘18 - mentioned very briefly.
Pirates of the Caribbean (2003)
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - the fifth one is mentioned specifically in the context of how it’s definitely not one of my top movies of 2017.
Planet of the Apes (1968 - present)
Which Nintendo characters would burn in holy water? A comprehensive study - mentioned briefly
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - honourable mention for War for the Planet of the Apes.
Rear Window (1954)
One of two Hitchcock movies I've seen and the only one I've enjoyed, Rear Window is a fun thriller with a surprising number of layers (visible to me only because I studied it twice in high school).
Private Display - A quote from the film was the stimulus for this story.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - mentioned briefly in comparison with Dunkirk,
Star Trek (2009)
Star Wars (1977 - present)
If you're reading this, you probably know what Star Wars is. The original trilogy is a classic, while my feelings on the prequels are a mix of nostalgia (since they came out during my childhood and I adored them) and retrospective cringe. The ones since Force Awakens are pretty good so far, especially Last Jedi.
Terminator (1985 - 2015)
The first two films are classics; Terminator 3 is passable; skip Salvation and Genesys if you can help it.
Toy Story (1995 - present)
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - mentioned briefly.
X-Men (2000 - present)
Lachlan's Top 10 Movies of 2017 - Logan gets a place and Deadpool is mentioned.
Arranged by title.
Doctor Who (1963 - present)
I started watching this when it was revived in 2005. The quality (and continuity) of the show is wildly inconsistent, but I think it’s worth checking out the seasons 2005 onward. If you really want to chew up your remaining years, maybe it’s even worth delving back into its long, long history.
Star Trek (1966 - present)
My introduction to Star Trek came from the J.J. Abram's pseudo-reboot, which had an act of time travel cause the birth of a new timeline where everything is shinier and more lens flary. It’s pretty great - it also has almost nothing to do with Star Trek. I’ve gone back and watched some of the older stuff since then. There’s some excellent Trek, and there’s also some thoroughly mediocre Trek.
Age of Empires (1997)
The Checklist - My History with Games - mentioned briefly
Alien: Isolation (2014)
As frustrating as it can get, it's probably the best Alien game.
Animal Crossing (2001 - present)
Atic Atic (1983)
Bayonetta (2009 - present)
Braid is an amazing game. It's a puzzle platformer that uses time in some fascinating ways - primarily, you can reverse time whenever you want. The feeling of epiphany it gives you when you solve some of those puzzles is just outstanding.
Castlevania (1986 - present)
A hard-as-nails masocore platformer with an oddly touching story, including one of the best portrayals of acute anxiety out there.
Dig Dug (1982)
I like some old arcade games a lot, but Dig Dug isn't one of them. It's still worth playing though.
Donkey Kong (2010)
The Checklist - Rayman 2: The Great Escape (PS1) - Donkey Kong Country Returns is mentioned briefly.
Duck Hunt (1984)
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)
A strong contender for my favourite game ever, and second in hour count only to Minecraft.
Far Cry 4 (2014)
This game lets you use a grenade launcher as a sidearm. 10/10.
Final Fantasy (1987 - present)
Fire Emblem (1990 - present)
F-Zero (1990 - 2004)
Half-Life 2 (2004)
Halo: Reach (2010)
Lachlan's Top 5 Games of 2017 - mentioned briefly.
The Checklist - My History with Games - mentioned briefly
Ice Climber (1985)
I like how they turned the levels into Smash Bros. stages.
Kid Icarus (1986 - 2012)
Kirby (1992 - present)
Knight Lore (1984)
The Legend of Zelda (1986 - present)
One of my all-time favourite game series - maybe the favourite. The enrapturing worlds, the charming charming, the occasionally heart-wrenching stories, Zelda has had my love for a long time.
The Checklist - My History With Games - mentioned briefly
Lachlan's Top 5 Games of 2017 - the original Legend of Zelda, Twilight Princess and Breath of the Wild all come up.
Lunar Jetman (1983)
Mario (1981 - the heat death of the universe)
Mega Man (1987 - present)
Metal Gear (1987 - 2017)
Metroid (1986 - present)
Daedalus: The entire game is inspired by Metroid, and the series is mentioned briefly in the proposal.
Lachlan's Top 5 Games of 2017 - mentioned briefly
The Checklist - SteamWorld Dig 2 - Super Metroid is mentioned briefly.
Minecraft (2009 - present)
I have played way, way, way too much Minecraft.
Mother (1989 - 2006)
Motherload & Super Motherload (2004 & 2013)
Back in the distant days of 2005, when I was in primary school, during free play time my friends and I would rush over to the computers and boot up Miniclip.com. Among the many quality flash games available there was one called Motherload. I played the absolute shit out of the game and actually finished it. At some point in recent history, I realised there was a sequel/remake, and I had to play it. No regrets.
Night in the Woods (2017)
An honestly touching and brilliantly weird story game.
The Orange Box (2007)
The Checklist - My History With Games - mentioned briefly.
Pac-Man (1980 - present)
Pac-Man is still pretty dope, and those ghosts are still motherfuckers.
Persona (1996 - 2017)
Lachlan's Top 5 Games of 2017 - Persona 5 is honourably mentioned, and Persona 4 comes up in that context.
Pikmin (2001 - 2017)
Pikmin is a really neat series of puzzle/strategy games, one of my nostalgic favourites. I love the biological focus of the games, written as though from the perspective of a naturalist looking at all the bizarre creatures. The first one is my favourite, even if I'll acknowledge the second is better. The third is pretty good too. I actually pumped my fist in the air when I found out Olimar was going to be playable in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
Pokémon (1996 - present)
One of the closest things to a perfect video game.
Puyo Puyo Tetris (2014)
Rare Replay (2015)
A collection of 30 games from the developer Rare, including Banjo Kazooie Nuts & Bolts and both Viva Piñata games. Which pretty much make the game worth it by themselves, but the rest of the games are worth playing and there are some brilliant extra features.
Rayman (1995 - 2015)
Rayman 2 was one of my earliest video game experiences, and it lives inside me still. Rayman 3 is also one of my favourites, and Origins and Legends do pretty good. I never managed to finish the original Rayman, and it remains my white whale to this day.
Sabre Wulf (1984)
The Simpsons: Hit & Run (2003):
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991 - present)
I have a deep love-hate relationship with this series. I actually like the anime bullshit that crept into the stories of the 3D games, and the soundtracks are always something to listen to.
Lachlan's Top 5 Games of 2017 - Sonic Mania gets an honourable mention, and Sonic Forces is mentioned in a somewhat less positive light.
Space Invaders (1978)
The Checklist - Galaga - mentioned briefly.
Splatoon (2015 - present)
Star Fox (1993 - 2017)
SteamWorld Dig (2014 - present)
Super Meat Boy (2011)
Super Meat Boy is a brilliant masocore platformer, one of the harder games I've ever finished.
Super Smash Bros. (1999 onwards)
Ah, Super Smash Bros. Those nights of endless battle against my friends. Those months of checking the blog daily, in the lead-up to Brawl, 4, and Ultimate to see what new Nintendo thing would be revealed for you next. This series is responsible for a lot of fond memories for me.
The Checklist - Gyromite & Duck Hunt - mentioned briefly.
The Checklist - Ice Climber (mentioned briefly)
Which Nintendo characters would burn in holy water? A comprehensive study - Ultimate is the basis for the article.
Titanfall 2 (2016)
It's pretty sweet.
Wii Fit (2008 - 2014)
Arranged by artist.
The Boys of Summer, Don Henley (1984)
It's a pretty good song.
Copyright - The song plays a weirdly pivotal role in the plot of the story 'Royalty'. In a ridiculous coincidence that I only just noticed, it was released in 1984, and Copyright was very much inspired by Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. I'd love to take credit for that, but I honestly don't think it was intentional.
American Idiot (Green Day)
A hot contender for my favourite (non-soundtrack) album of all time. When I was little I thought it only had edgy appeal, but then, once my sense of musical taste actually appeared, I realised how damn good this album is.
Bangarang, Skrillex (2011)
This EP is the reason I accepted dubstep into my heart.
'The Devil's Den' is mentioned briefly in Copyright, the story 'Ministry', as being the favourite song of a corporate overlord supervillain. Seems about right.
My favourite source for informative humour. Full of articles and videos that provide startling insights on science, society or pop culture while being effing hilarious. Also the pioneers of the list format that became standard in the post-BuzzFeed world. The podcast is pretty good.
I feel that the site has gone downhill somewhat since I first wrote this - I don’t really read it any more. Maybe it’s still worth checking out.
The funniest video game website on the internet, and the provider of my all-time favourite podcast.
Back in its glory days (or at least the glory days in my head), Miniclip was chock full of classic flash games. It was a favourite of my primary school cohort.
It somehow only just occurred to me to list this here, even though probably about 3/4 of the pages on this website have a link to it. I think i forgot about it because it's so deeply entrenched in my everyday life that it just slipped my mind that it's even a website. It's my go-to for everything, whether it's a quick overview of a subject, as a pointer to deeper research, or to check a few quick facts. The number of times I've gone on multi-tab Wikipedia sprees deep into the late night is difficult to count. I genuinely think it's the best website there is, accuracy controversies be damned - I've never found a serious error in anything I've used it for. Its goal is noble and its information is extensive. Keep on trucking, Wikipedia.