“A great fangirl who may in fact be a droid if the amount of podcasts and blogs she participates in is any indication”

 

– Matt Applebee, Far Far Away Radio

 

About

Hi, I’m Saf.

I’m a writer, narrative designer, and podcaster residing in Auckland, New Zealand. I do photography on the side, and am the Vice-Chair of the New Zealand IGDA chapter.

My experience includes media analysis, prose (from short fiction to novel-length), game writing, narrative design, reviews, event coverage, and columns of various tones. My current writing can be found at Not Saf for Work, Tosche Station, and Making Star Wars.

I am also familiar with photography, the Adobe Creative Suite, audio and video editing, social media, and event organization.

Need a talented and passionate writer? I’m your gal.
Contact me at safdavidson@mail.com.

Articles

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Panem Today, Panem Tomorrow, Panem Forever in Our World

“How Katniss was used to advertise the films in our world is exactly how she was used to sell violence and compliance in the series.”

An analysis of how Young Adult dystopian fiction often reflects our world, how our world reflects much of The Hunger Games‘ Panem in return, and how this was made apparent by the advertising campaigns for the films.


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Start With What You Know Is True: Mental Health in The Hunger Games

“The idea that childhood is happy is a misplaced one; depression doesn’t discriminate by age, and many young people in our world grapple with mental illnesses that nobody will talk about.”

A look at how mental health is portrayed within The Hunger Games, mainly within the novels, and how important that representation is for young adults in the real world.


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Why Shouldn’t We Share Games, Too?

“Play, even in adulthood, cannot be overstated in its importance. It can even help us with facilitating connections: playing a game that encourages helping others will in turn make us more likely to do the same in the real world.”

A guest post written for Leaping Tiger about the importance of sharing beloved games with friends, whether multiplayer or otherwise.


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Leia Organa, and the Women Left Behind

“Where Leia is stripped of her clothes and turned into a sexual object, but keeps her strength and agency regardless, Padmé is separated from her political role—her own strength—and turned essentially mute.”

An examination of the representation of women in SFF, and of why Leia Organa still stands out.

Games

Bloom

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A branching interactive fiction with mechanics based around the Spoon Theory, created as an expression of living with a chronic illness. More information here.


Loverwatch
(in development)

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A dating sim based on Overwatch, initially spawned from #iluJam. I am writing Mei’s route, which I have narrative control over. I work collaboratively with the team to write a story that not only contains meaningful choices, but also fits with the other two routes and the existing universe of Overwatch. Website here, which includes my post about making choices matter in branching narratives.


Dynacorp
(in development)

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Dynacorp is a procedurally generated platformer about one bot’s affect on an alien ecosystem. I worked with Rox Flame, the creator, to create lore for the characters and planet, and helped with refining the narrative arc of the game. I also assisted with writing promotional material during its crowdfunding campaign.


Witch vs Twitch

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Created during Global Game Jam 2016 with the theme, “Ritual”. Within our larger team, I worked in a writing duo as a narrative designer, editor, and writer, creating the lore for Witch vs Twitch‘s world, and scripting the dialogue for the two characters. Though the game is unfinished, my original dialogue and lore documents contain much of what I wrote.

Reviews

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Saf’s Review: Life Debt

“Though Life Debt is still third person present and still written with Wendig’s particular flair, the prose of this novel feels far more accessible and less eccentric than that of Aftermath’s, as if Wendig has settled more into writing Star Wars.”


Written for Tosche Station.

Lieve Oma: An Ode to Grandmothers

“With a simple, bright visual style, the game is kept visually lighthearted while the story touches on very real topics and themes that are relatable for both young and old.”

 


the-banner-saga-croppedTeacups & 1UPs: The Banner Saga

“I became bitter, and I could feel the same happen to Rook, the protagonist of much of the game. He and I became one, saddled with hundreds of people we couldn’t feed, and faced with decisions we didn’t want to make.”

The first of a new series of columns where I explore games I’ve played and pair them with tea.

 

Prose

I write science fiction that often explores humanity, relationships, and moral ambiguity. I have a particular fascination with artificial intelligence in fiction, and how the portrayal of such can contrast with and highlight human emotion.

Mountain Sound

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With the cities aflame and massive warships silhouetting the sun, the human race is once more on the verge of destroying itself. The countryside was supposed to be far from the war, but death spreads like a virus—not that Efa would know. An android built for many jobs, Efa was given only one: to protect the sheep placed under her care.

Until a dying girl stumbles upon the flock, shattering Efa’s peaceful existence and forcing the android to think beyond her basic programming. The war is coming—has already come—raising new questions neither of them can answer alone. All Efa knows is that she cannot abandon her sheep.

•••

My first serial, now complete, which tells an isolated story of an abandoned robot shepherd and a runaway orphan girl as they deal with the aftermath of a war that has destroyed both their lives.


Tourist

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After a fatal car crash, Allegra finds her artificial mind placed in a new body previously belonging to a young woman named Melissa. This body comes with more baggage than Allegra expects: Melissa’s best friend claims she was murdered, and seems determined to force Allegra to help her solve the mystery.

Newly struggling with depression and a shifted sexuality, Allegra must learn to navigate a stranger’s past, new relationships, and dark secrets that threaten to tear apart the lives of those she cares for.

My current ongoing serial set in a not-too-distant future, where AIs are placed within human bodies to live their lives alongside their biological counterparts. It is a mystery and a coming of age story about young adulthood, dealing with loss, and the fraught relationships that spring from the liminal spaces between being a teenager and becoming an adult.


How to Say Goodbye (With no Words)

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A short fiction about a girl who meets a boy at a swimming hole and how her life is affected from then on. It’s a story about love, and a story about loss.

It is also about falling in love with a robot.

Podcasts

I’m an award-nominated podcaster who has appeared on a variety of podcasts over the past two years. Though my main podcasts are Star Wars related, I also often speak about gaming and literature. I am known for my sense of humour and my determination to speak about matters that are important to me, such as diversity, mental health, and good storytelling.

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Rogue Podron

A weekly book club podcast reading through the old Star Wars X-Wing novels, with much added humour.

 


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Western Reaches

A fortnightly grab bag discussion of books, games, and other media hosted by two female writers. Very diversity focused, with frequent interviews.

 


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Blaster Canon

A monthly Den of Geek podcast that breaks down Star Wars beyond the films, digging into ancillary material both canon and otherwise.

 


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Of Dice and Droids (Mercenary group)

An RPG campaign podcast set during the Rebellion era of Star Wars using Fantasy Flight Games’ Edge of the Empire system.

 


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Ace Space

A podcast about being ace and loving space. Featuring discussions about asexuality and aromanticism, representation, and anything else our hearts desire.