Science Fiction and Fantasy

Asking the Wrong Questions

I found Abigail Nussbaum’s blog through her comments at Andrew Rilstone‘s. I was intrigued to stumble across another Israeli Rilstone admirer, and delighted to find that she’s a discerning fantasy fan writing an intelligent book blog. Cool posts I read include (19th Century) rationalism vs. the unfathomable nature of the fantastic, an interesting piece about the slide towards anti-intellectualism in the Myst game series (which gives enough background to captivate me, someone who has never seen, let alone played, any of these games), and in geek culture in general (She cites a Farscape episode I saw, as Buffy, Angel and Battlestar Galactica).

(Why does it feel like I’m writing a report on this?)

Anyway, this is great stuff. Worth a look even for people who aren’t going to read long essays is her brilliant Condensed version of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, which just nails it. Probably worth avoiding for a short while are her thoughts on the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (which I’m going to go read as soon as I finish the book).

Blather short

You can be KING, testmail!

Used to be, people would fool around writing programs to generate random text, prose or poetry.
These days, you can sample the state-of-the-art in this field by going through the spam in your inbox.

Blather Roleplaying

Spartan Heat

My computer is a hot and slow laptop propped up on a desk with the sound system, TV and a USB Disk hooked up to it, in a sweltering enclosed balcony stuffed to the brim full of mildew-scented comics in plastic bags.

All this isn’t very conductive to spending time on it, let alone writing inspired blog entries. Or even posting the usual linkage.

I thought of a campaign idea yesterday, while watching The Bourne Supremacy. The image of Karl Urban as a Russian hitman on his day off, sitting in a bar surrounded by chicks, made me think of footballers. Virile and young and in a glamourous profession where you’re all used up by the time you hit thirty. Maybe thats why they bond so easily with models. Anyway, hitmen as footballers. And (since this is my brain drawing the analogies), Supermen as footballers.

So, the idea is a campaign called Spartans: people with superhuman strength and speed and toughness, who can fly (the classic Superman package, in other words). Mostly young (because you don’t last in that line of work), mostly male (because supermen are proportionally stronger than superwomen? Or superpowers are more common among men?), a campaign about action and power and testosterone unleashed, a campaign about dying young and with style.

Sort of like our games, before Israel brought a feminine touch to it.

Maybe I should run this to myself, like a Shiffer.