My Favorite Things with Andrea Judy

They might not be raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but that doesn’t mean that we love them any less. Welcome back to My Favorite Things, the weekly column where we grab someone in speculative circles to gab about the greatest in geek. This week, we sit down with author and Speculative Chic contributor Andrea Judy! What does Andrea love when she’s not working on her latest story? Spoiler alert: endless rivers, strange things, beautiful and frustrating games, and women defending their own castles, thank you very much. Read on for more!


Up at the top of my favorite things is the incredible comic series, LadyCastle! At only 4 issues long for the full series, it’s an amazingly fun, short ride. The artwork is incredible, and the story is witty and filled with a ton of pop culture references. It’s a great short fantasy series all about ladies being amazing as they work together to hold the castle against an onslaught of monsters brought about by a curse. This is Delilah S. Dawson‘s first comic, but she was already one of my favorite authors. The Shadows series (written as Lila Bowen), which starts with Wake of Vultures remains one of my top novels because of its incredible characters and magical world. LadyCastle plays on a lot of the tropes that come from King Arthur and the Round Table era and a load of Hamilton references. What’s even better is that it’s something I can share with my 11-year-old niece so we can fangirl out together.

I’m late to the party on The Flame in the Flood, a survival video game, but I’m obsessed with it now. You play as Scout traveling a flooded and ruined world with your trusty dog Aesop. During the game you have to steer your makeshift raft through rapids and ruined towns, find food and clean water, and survive animal attacks. While there is a very loose plot, the main objective is to survive, and you can even play in an endless mode where the river never ends.

There’s no real explanation of what happened to create this apocalyptic landscape and there’s not even a hunt for a way to save the world. All Scout needs to do is survive. There’s something almost tranquil about a game with a free-form shape that has no plot, sidequests or other objectives to keep track of. I’ve made it a whole 50 miles down the river, and I have no plans on stopping anytime soon.

Of course Stranger Things ticks all of my boxes: creepy, nostalgic, nerdy. I was hooked from episode one and devoured the entire season in one sitting. Now I need more. I love the group of misfit kids, sticking together against an unknown evil, and I adored how they came to understand this supernatural evil by using Dungeons and Dragons. As a tabletop gamer, it always makes me happy to see DnD shown as a positive, useful thing. It was such a great show that I could watch over and over and catch new things every time. I am already counting down the days to season two, and I cannot wait.

Never Alone (also known as Kisima Inŋitchuŋa) is one of the most beautiful, fascinating, and frustrating games ever, but I love it so much. Using the traditional Iñupiaq tale, “Kunuuksaayuka,” as the basis for the plot, you play as an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and an artic fox. You must solve puzzles to find the source of the blizzard that destroyed Nuna’s village. To get answers you must travel far and face off against a variety of monsters while figuring out how to get both Nuna and her fox friend safely through the blizzard-ravaged world.

What’s really interesting in the game is that instead of coins or weapons, your rewards are cultural insights into the Iñupiaq. The game play is almost entirely focused on solving various puzzles as the player switches between Nuna and the fox (you can also play it co-op with someone else). Nuna can pick things up and use her bola while the fox is quick and can get to places Nuna can’t reach. Some of the puzzles can be very frustrating, but the game is gorgeous and one of the games I go back to again and again.


Andrea Judy is a writer who makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia. Passionate about language, she writes in multiple genres, and she has had both poems and short stories appear in various literary magazines as well as in several anthologies. She also studies and writes about fandom and video games. Her first digest novel, The Bone Queen, was published in October 2013 with the sequel, Blood and Bone, out in February 2015.

4 Comments

  • Shara White September 4, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Yeah, so I always get a sneak peak at posts, being the Editor-in-Chic, and so I got super-curious about Never Alone and made my husband download it (because I don’t play games). It’s super-cool, and I love the cultural tidbits thrown through-out the game!

    Reply
  • Nicole Taft September 4, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Haha, a couple things on my To Watch and To Play list! Still haven’t gotten to Stranger Things, and Never Alone is on my Steam wishlist!

    Reply
    • Andrea Judy September 5, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Oh man, Never Alone is soooo good! It’s a lot of fun, especially playing with someone else. Stranger Things sucked me in the moment we hit episode 3. I just devoured it non stop after that.

      Reply

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