Safety Nation Chapter 1

It’s been a week since the announcement of my novel, Safety Nation. Now, I’m pleased to share the first chapter with you. I haven’t decided how many chapters I’m going to post online, but it will probably be around 100 pages of the book.

In the coming weeks you can expect more chapters, as well as the release date, and the cover art. Each update is really exciting for me. All the various aspects are still getting finalized (fonts, book size, layout, etc.). Really boring stuff for everyone else, but agonizing for me, because I want it to be perfect.

It probably goes without saying, but this chapter, as well as the entire book, is copyrighted.

Without further ado, enjoy the first chapter…

— — —

Safety Nation by Logan Riley


Sex Detail.

I hated this job. Of all the possible assignments, this was the most disgusting. We spy on people having sex. Not the glamorous movie version of sex where two attractive people make well-choreographed love. It was usually two sweaty slobs clumsily slapping their bodies together. After several years away from this assignment, I was back, and not by choice.

The van was hot, and the stagnant air choked me. I tore at my tie and jerked the collar of my shirt down. That didn’t help. The stifling air was made worse by the body heat of the man next to me. Huxley sat with a pair of binoculars stuck to his face like they were an appendage. He sported a perverted grin.

Huxley was getting into it now. A rivulet of drool trickled from his mouth. I caught a glimpse of a substantial bulge in his pants, and quickly wished I hadn’t. He was a man who loved his job.

Continue reading ‘Safety Nation Chapter 1’


Safety Nation is Coming Soon

Safety Nation is coming soon. What is Safety Nation? It’s my first published novel! That’s right, your (un)friendly neighborhood BrikHaus is publishing a book. After years of trashing other people’s hard work, now it’s my turn to face public scrutiny. I’ve toiled away for a long time writing as a hobby, and I’ve finally written something I think is good enough to share with the world.

In the coming weeks I will be providing updates on the status of the book: the cover art (what you see above is not it), the release date (sometime in December, but the final date isn’t firm yet), and several chapters. Be prepared for lots of text to grace the site as I take a break from watching Michael Bay shitstorms, fake hipster crap, and moeblob anime abominations. I still plan to post my regular stuff intermittently, just so Awesomely Shitty doesn’t become a complete advertisement.

And what is Safety Nation about? Well, it’s a satire of dystopian literature, a genre that takes itself far too seriously. It’s also based in part on my own torturous experience working for a huge, dumb bureaucracy. I’ve included the exciting book blurb for your reading pleasure below:

Safety Inspector Smith never wanted to save the world; he only tried so he could get some peace and quiet.

Smith has been a government drone for thirty years. He works for an institution obsessed with the safety of its citizens. Whether it’s making people practice safe sex, abolishing all junk food, or replacing real grass with hypoallergenic artificial turf, the government uses its Safety Inspectors to make sure everyone stays safe. But Smith doesn’t care about any of that. All he wants is to move away from the bustling city, its people, and all its regulations.

Stuck in a terrible job, Smith sees a glimmer of hope in his new partner, a rookie named Lowry. He soon learns she has a greater knack for government work than he ever did. Together, they cut corners, dodge red tape, and fool their dimwitted superiors into giving them promotions.

Just when things are looking up, a maniac threatens to overthrow the government. Smith couldn’t care less, but Lowry jumps into the fray. By a twist of fate, Smith holds the key to saving the world, and he would do anything to help his friend.

Darkly humorous, “Safety Nation” is a satirical take on dystopian fiction, told in a hard-boiled style.

That’s it for now. I’m really excited for you to read this book. Hopefully, all three of my regular readers will pick up a copy. I had a lot of fun (not to mention agonizing over) writing it, and I hope you get to enjoy reading it.


The Accountant, The Innkeepers

The Accountant

I think it’s great that Hollywood is finally recognizing Autism, and giving its sufferers, such as Ben Affleck, starring roles in films. Affleck plays a shady accountant that fixes books for drug lords and terrorists. Working with such greasy clientele, he’s had to keep a low profile. The government has been tracking him for years, and finally gets a break in the case to hunt him down.

Simultaneously, Affleck gets a new assignment, one that causes him to cross paths with hired guns. As a kid, his psycho father trained him in martial arts and marksmanship. So, Affleck is able to kill quite handily. He goes against said killers while trying to keep his identity a secret.

The movie works well on pretty much all levels. The story is smartly written, and paced evenly, although it’s a bit slow in parts. We learn Affleck’s history through well-placed flashbacks, and there is even a stunner of a twist ending that I won’t spoil for you here.

It’s not an action movie, although there is some action in it. The action isn’t anything to write home about; don’t expect this to be the next John Wick. It’s more a thriller, a story meant to keep the audience guessing. The acting is also pretty good, too. Affleck barely emotes, and when he does, it’s mostly for laughs. For once, he finally found a role he was suited for.

Overall, it’s an above-average thriller, but probably won’t be one we remember ten years from now.

Verdict: Good

The Innkeepers

This 2011 horror film has rave reviews, but I can’t understand why. It’s certainly not the worst horror film ever made, but it is far from the best. It might actually be the most disappointing one I’ve seen.

It features a pair of hotel employees trying to figure out if their hotel is haunted. The film starts out promising. It takes its time setting up the characters and the atmosphere. It lets the audience get to know the surroundings, and slowly builds a sense of dread. The problem with most horror films is they go right for the jump-scares without giving the audience any time to settle in.

This movie sets up atmosphere to a fault.  It spends 1 hour and 20 minutes of it’s 1 hour and 40 minute runtime setting up atmosphere. That amount of setup is beyond excessive. By the time the scares actually come, the audience is bored stiff. It’s a tease more than anything else. Yes, the scares were good, and they didn’t have to rely on startles, which I approved of. But, sadly, it’s a case of too little, too late.

Verdict: Bad


The Bourne Mediocrity (AKA Jason Bourne 5)

Thirty minutes in, and right after a major action sequence, I checked my watch to see how much time was left in this movie. I grimaced when I saw there was still another ninety minutes to go. Jason Bourne, the fifth film in the series, is yet another one of Hollywood’s ill-advised attempts at resurrecting franchises. Instead of wowing, it falls flat on its face, and makes you wish they had stopped with the third film.

The fundamental problem with Jason Bourne is it’s a film stuck in the past. The original trilogy is undeniably phenomenal. It is one of those rare “perfect trilogies” that never makes a misstep. Expanding the series beyond that meant there was nowhere to go, and they would be doing nothing but rehashing old concepts.

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Look Who’s Back

Like many people, I have a morbid fascination with World War II and the Third Reich. Seventy years later, we still produce movies and books set in this era. It was a pivotal time, perhaps the most important in human history. And with the Nazi party being so ludicrously evil, well, it’s hard not to be fascinated by them. Fascination is not the same thing as condoning, mind you. They were evil personified, and it’s hard not to examine them. So, when I heard about the 2014 German film, Look Who’s Back, I jumped at the chance to watch it.

Look Who’s Back is simultaneously one of the most hilarious and frightening films I have seen in a very long time. The premise is brilliant: Adolf Hitler wakes up in modern-day Germany, and everyone he encounters thinks he’s a method actor doing performance art. But he isn’t doing anything like that, he’s the Fuhrer, and he wants to seize control again.

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The Expendables 3, Nightcrawler

The Expendables 3

In many ways, The Expendables 3 is the best and worst entry in this tired franchise. Sylvester Stallone stuffs even more of his buddies in this film than the previous two. It’s mind-boggling to think about how many washed-up actors signed on. There are way too many people, and nobody has any time for character development. That, of course, is something Stallone isn’t interested in. All he wants to do is flash as many old-school action stars on the screen in as short a time as possible, and blow up tons of shit in the process.

This film is the best of the franchise because it tries to have an actual plot. It also tries to give Stallone’s character a backstory. That is far more plot work than the other two films combined. Unfortunately, the backstory is paper thin, and the plot is tired. The only other thing that works for this movie is Mel Gibson as the villain. He’s by far the best actor in this piece of crap, and you can see his trademark charisma on screen. It’s too bad he had to have such a racist meltdown, because he really is a good actor.

This film is the worst of the franchise because of the aforementioned glut of characters and lack of development. Also, the movie is subtly racist. In the beginning of the film, they rescue Wesley Snipes. But then Terry Crews gets shot by Gibson and sits out the rest of the film in the hospital. Apparently, the Expendables team is only allowed to have one black character at a time. What a bunch of horseshit. Finally, there is some atrocious CGI, and Stallone outruns a collapsing building. It’s worse than you can imagine.

Verdict: Shitty


Jake Gyllenhaal is racking up a rather diverse filmography. After his weirdo performance in Prisoners, he turned in a giant creeper role in Nightcrawler. This movie has a brilliant concept, one of those things that you wish you thought of so you could have written the film and become a millionaire. The premise is that TV news stations regularly feature footage recorded by freelancers who go to crime scenes or accident sites. They buy the best footage for use on the air.

Gyllenhaal plays a nightcrawler, trolling the seedy L.A. world for crimes or accidents (mostly blood and guts) that he can sell to the highest bidder. At first, he’s low-level, but he has a knack for the work, and quickly does rather well for himself. He manages to get some crazy exclusives, coming upon a murder in progress before the police even know about it. This story thread continues to the end, with Gyllenhaal beginning to manipulate real world events so he can continue to have news stories to sell.

Gyllenhaal plays a fantastic sociopath in this film. He doesn’t care about others, only himself. He manipulates the TV station, he trounces his competition, and he is completely devoid of emotion. His acting was rather amazing, and you completely believe he is this detestable character.

Nightcrawler showcases a world you never knew existed. From now on, whenever you see a news report, you’ll wonder if it was gathered from a real reporter or a freelancer. Gyllenhaal turns in a memorable performance, and the direction is pitch-perfect.

Verdict: Good


Hara-kiri (1962)

Hara-kiri is a 1962 samurai film directed by Masaki Kobayashi and starring Tatsuya Nakadai. Generally speaking, I don’t really like Japanese live action films much. I don’t know why I keep watching them. They are mostly garbage. Fortunately, this one was a lot different.

It’s hard to explain what this movie is about without spoiling everything that happens. So, I’ll just give you the gist of it. During the feudal period in Japan, many samurai were left without masters (ronin). Some would go to the homes of lords and ask for a place where they could commit Hara-kiri to die with honor. Sometimes, though, certain ronin would not kill themselves, and refuse to leave the Lord’s home unless they were paid off.

Nakadai shows up at the home of one such lord. He is a ronin and wants to commit Hara-kiri. The lord is away, so Nakadai speaks with his head counselor. The counselor is uncertain about letting Nakadai commit Hara-kiri, because the last ronin who showed up for this very purpose did so as a bluff to get money.

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