Astronaut Island Blog

Astronaut Island is the home of Marty Allen's writing about pop culture, video games.

Life on Astronaut Island: What's this blog about?

Hi. I'm Marty. I created Astronaut Island as a wayward home for my non-fiction writing to live. In a tattered spacesuit. While it is hard to know exactly what this island will contain without having explored too much of it yet, I can make some guesses.

I'm thinking it's an island. With one or more astronauts on it.

 Documents of early explorations, 2017

Documents of early explorations, 2017

Slightly more specifically, I will often write about culture here. I daresay much of that culture will be of the “pop” persuasion. Within that context, there will be a healthy amount of chatter about video games, playing them, and their industry. Particularly right out of the gate, as I'm currently neck-deep in my newly-acquired PS4 and laying in wait beneath my blanket-fort-of-the-mind for Nintendo's Switch. But I'd very much like to leave the proverbial Island Door open to other topics. I'm deeply engaged in television, movies, writing, creating, life, and living it. The good stuff.

While I accept and acknowledge that we are currently in a best case: crumbling empire/worst case: apocalypse scenario, I must write about Super Mario. Somebody's gotta fight Bowser.

This blog is also a sneaky tool. Astronaut Island is a place for me to keep my writing practice sharpened, too, like a spear designed to defend against unexpected indigenous dinosaurs. As a writer (and reader), I love both fiction and non-fiction. And I want somewhere to put the latter, which in its turn helps me sharpen the former. I often have mouthy opinions about various things, so perhaps putting them down in a committed fashion will be good for me. I thrive on constraints, like a kid in a limited but well-curated candy store.

I am also a practicing artist. I consider all of my work as a writer, artist, and musician to be pulling from the same source and living in the same space. But at the end of the day, you can't look at all of that space at once, lest it drive you mad (like, you know,  looking at all of space). As a creator I'm committed to crafting experiences that inspire a sense of wonder and connection, and do so via a variety of mediums. But in order to feed the hungry artist within, I joyfully engage in the creations of many other people. And I'd like to write about that experience, too, hopefully particularly highlighting that which has inspired me (or deriding that which I thought should have). A vicious little snakehead devouring itself for mostly my benefit.

I feel compelled to state all of this because I want to create a space where I can write a video game review in the same place that I write about the evolution of pop culture's love of the superhero movie alongside a think piece about modern manners. All of which is theoretically tied together via my voice and viewpoint. That crazy old thing!

Thankfully, we live in a world where #tags dictate much and more of what we see and where it goes (and I'll be cross-posting lots of this stuff in more topically-relevant spaces). So it's my true hope that you'll find my non-fiction if one of our related topics pings outward into the great beyond of the internet and the collective hive mind. If you're curious to engage in my wonky perspective regarding a variety of topics, take the plunge and put on a spacesuit, the island has plenty of room. Just mind the dinosaurs. They think astronauts are delicious!