“A beginning is a very delicate time.” Dune (film 1984), by Frank Herbert

Everyone has to start some where. Dune starts with Paul Atredies’ future wife telling the story of how her future husband became Moab’dib. Looking for Group is based out of Seattle. There are two authors, me, Noccie,  and my darling husband, Kane. Kane and I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog for a long time. PAX 2013 made us realize, this needed to become a reality. We do too many interesting things and love so many geeky things that it just makes sense. To start out we are going to discuss memorable beginnings.

Everyone has played a game, read a book or seen a movie that has a beginning that just sticks with you. As a writer, there is so much pressure to grab their audience from the start.

What are your favorite beginnings?

Video games: I will never forget the beginning for Final Fantasy VII. The scene was set on the train as you speed away with our heroes, Barrett, Tifa and Cloud. There is also Fallout. All three Fallout games have great starts. The first game where you find out about life in the vault. You are cast into the wastes in order to find a water chip. The second game where you have to fight your way through a temple to get your vault suit and find… a water chip. Wait… how does the third one start? Your child hood and then you have to leave the vault, exiled because you Father has abandoned your fellow vault dwellers. They all have a memorable story that frames games that are digital choose your own adventures.

Movies use action, imagery, or narration catches your imagination right away. They almost cheat because just getting you into the theater and showing you an image is easier. This summer introduced the American audience to GIANT ROBOT COMBAT. Pacific Rim is technically not the first movie to do this but it had a big budge and really affective advertising. The beginning sequence of the movie leaves you stunned and exhilarated at the same time. Every movie should start with robots fighting kaiju. Pacific Rim actually starts with Raliegh and his brother co-piloting a giant robot. The robot has a neural link between the two pilots. When they are locked in they share memories and thoughts. This was a design decision, if they didn’t have this link, the machine overloaded the pilots brain. I am not ruining anything but it is a little bit of a spoiler. Raliegh’s brother dies after an intense fight with a Kaiju named Knifehead. For those of you that don’t know, kaiju are monsters like Godzilla and Cloverfield. The whole set up was exciting and then emotionally shocking. You get involved in these brother’s lives in a short time and then one is ripped out of the control bay of the robot, whole still linked to the other. I won’t forget that opening for a long time. Not only was I engaged visually by the amazing CG but my brain was stimulated by empathizing with the main character right off the bat.

Books have even more pressure to grab your attention at the first word. “The Hobbit,”  “Twilight” (oddly enough) and “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” all have beginnings that stick with you. Some of them you wish didn’t stick with you, but they do. Damn you “Twilight!”

YES, I did read those books. YES, I did see two of the movies. I watched the movies with the RIFF TRAX. “Twilight” is memorable in some weird, twisted, mundane alternate reality. Really, just take a Jane Austin novel and make Mr. Darcy, or whoever, a vampire. There you go, “Twilight,” except Jane Austin was a better writer. I will go into that later. I prefer my vampires more like Armond and Lestate, or Gary Oldman as Dracula. Maybe we can talk about vampires verses whampires later.

Let’s talk about a book that’s not as reviled as it loved by prepubescent girls. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is a wonderful start to a fantastical science fiction series. Anyone that knows Douglas Adams, is aware that his books are funny but artfully written. Picture yourself about to start your day with a cup of morning tea. Suddenly, your world is shaken because the city shows up to demolish your cottage to install a highway. Oddly enough, your very strange friend Ford Prefect appears with his towel because the Vogons are trying to do the same damn thing to your home world. Don’t panic and don’t forget your towel. I loved this series and read them all. I have a lovely, leather bound edition with all the books and a short story included. What always tickled me about this set up was the juxtoposition. The author was trying to show how while we are wrapped up in small things, in our small lives, the same things are happening on a bigger scale in the world around us.

In closing, the I hope our beginning is memorable. Please don’t remember that I read that horrible series with sparkly vampires. Remember that… I love My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic instead.


  1. Andrew Wonders says:

    Looking forward to reading more in the future! By god, I love anything that invokes a “Dune” quote, especially from Lynch’s movie (which I feel is far superior in aesthetic and feel to the SyFy channel mini-series). Minor spelling nit-pick, though: it’s “Atreides” and “Muad’Dib”, respectively. Yeah… I’m that guy. Anywho, great start to the blog!

    • Noccie says:

      Aw, thank you. I do love “Dune.” I really loved the David Lynch movie and agree the atmosphere is more like the books. Thank you for correcting my spelling. Sometime down the line, I may have to blog about “Dune.” I own the mini series from SyFy as well and keep hoping someone will do the rest of the books in a decent manner. The mini series was decent but William Hurt, hurts my soul every time he speaks. They just didn’t get the claustrophobic feel of the original materials and had some bad actors attached. -sigh… angst!-

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