The blog of science-fiction and RPG author C.T. Phipps (The Supervillainy Saga, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, Red Room, Straight Outta Fangton). The United Federation of Charles chiefly reviews video games, science fiction novels, and media related to video games. The author is known for writing essays regarding video games' social relevance as well as discussing their subtext. Reviews tend to be positive and have many 10 out of 10 scores, which makes the exceptions all the more glaring.
The blog has gone through a number of changes through the years, now being home to more Cthulhu Mythos, Fantasy, Grimdark, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and Zombie-related media than Star Trek (which it was originally created to review).
The blog can be read here.
This blog contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: Attempted to read and review every piece of Assassin's Creed media. Got roughly halfway through before having to give up.
- Accentuate the Negative: Seems to do the opposite as he only likes to review books and games he enjoys.
- Ascended Fanboy: His grimdark reviews eventually got the author picked up as a reviewer for Grimdark Magazine.
- Author Appeal: Dark and gritty video games, heavily political analysis, and indie fantasy series. Oh and Star Trek.
- Berserk Button: Artistic License History is a Berserk Button for him. He went into a rant about Cole from L.A. Noire saying the Japanese oil embargo was wrong. Justified as the blogger is a former history proffessor.
- Cosmic Horror: An extensive number of reviews deal with pastiches of H.P. Lovecraft by authors like Brian Lumley, David Niall Wilson, and David Hambling.
- Cyberpunk: Another major subject of the website with a heavy focus on reviewing books with these themes. Altered Carbon gets heavily featured, starting with the books and moving to the series.
- Dark Fantasy: One of the primary things reviewed on the website with video games like Dragon Age, The Witcher, and the works of Joe Abercrombie being heavily featured.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Is a peppy and cheery site with a Star Trek logo which primarily reviews dark fantasy, grimdark, post-apocalypse science fiction, and horror.
- Expanded Universe: Has a whole section devoted to the extensive discussion of the Star Trek Expanded Universe and the Legends Star Wars Expanded Universe.
- Grimdark: One of the chief things reviewed on the website with a large number of essays dealing with the subject.
- Lovecraft Lite: His Post-Lovecraftianism essay and discussion of how modern authors can draw from new political theories as well as fears without dabbling into the more troubling elements of HPL.
- Nice Guy: His review style. The vast-vast majority of his reviews and essays are positive and talking about what he loved. Even criticisms tend to be framed in terms of how they could have been improved.
- Ridiculously Average Guy: Claims this is the basis for his reviews as he is a casual gamer who isn't very casual.
- Self-Deprecation: Numerous reviews indicates he considers his reviews something no one reads.
- Serious Business: Often goes into elaborate and lengthy discussions of the politics of games like Deus Ex, Vampire: The Masquerade, and The Witcher
- Our Vampires Are Different: Discusses the best ways to do vampire novels as well as maintain the horror of the creature. One of the ways he discusses this is differentiating your vampires from others.
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: In-universe. The "Essays" section that contain academic reviews of video games, vampires, zombies, horror, and comic books.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Discusses the various ways the zombie has evolved as well as the best way to use them. He actually has an essay about how "slow shambling zombies" are more effective than runners.