Monday, April 23, 2012

Scary stories

Just the same as most reasonable people, I like stories and games involving zombies and vampires and ghosts other scary stuff.  Also psychological horror.  I don't much like the more modern gross out or torture stuff like SAW or Human Centipede.  B-movies can be charming but they have to be witty for me to like them- I prefer Evil Dead to something like Texas Chainsaw for example.  Tops in horror however has to be metaphysical horror, I like the whole uncaring universe, madness inspiring lore about old civilizations and weird dream realms and un-knowable alien races vibe in general.  I like that kind of horror way more, including where it crosses over into Fantasy or Sci-Fi like in Karl Edward Wagner's Kane books or in movies like Pandorum or Alien.  I dig that Cthulhu style mythos - but you know I hadn't actually read much Lovecraft.

Then I got my phone.

I haven't really made the jump to reading many books in electronic format.  I have grabbed a bunch of free books from Google Play including a Japanese fairytale book, Dracula, some Mark Twain and The Backwoods of Canada by a Canadian woman written in the early 1800s. Some good stuff there for sure but I got a lot more downloaded than I have yet managed to read. I have however found that the book clients on my phone to be a perfect platform for reading short stories.  For less cost than cup a coffee, I have got a copy of the Definitive H.P. Lovecraft from Kindle and am reading along with the HP Podcraft literary podcast.  This podcast is a light-hearted look at the stories of H.P Lovecraft done in the order they were published and is well produced and has some really good readings.  The commentators generally have some post story analysis and/or historical footnotes too - so is a great way to get into the writing.  It's also pretty funny and they bring in enough analysis to place the works, but not so much as to be dry.  I'd consider reading along with the podcast a light independent study type introduction, and it's a great way to catch up on your Cthulhu.  See I'm bettering myself.

I think I'm on episode 14 now - I just finished reading The Street and I'm going to download the episode tonight so I can listen to it in my car tomorrow.  I think there are 80-90 episodes so I have a way to go yet.  Good times.

*I need to brush up on my Robert E. Howard reading too.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Grab Bag

I haven't posted anything here for a while so I'm just going to ramble on for a bit.

The top referring link to this blog is some Russian skin care site which looks really legit and great.  Oh yea.  Really I can't even fathom how that spam business works since they just jam up everything with broken or weird looking links.  Do people buy stuff from them or do they just hope you miss-click on their links?  Well if they want to increase page references are they barking up the wrong blog.  I do apologize if there are legitimate Russian skin care enthusiasts who also follow my infrequent posts.

Minecraft is still a thing.  I get a kick out of playing still and a couple friends and our kids have popped in and are doing stuff so it's a shared world that is fun to visit.  It's fairly low impact gaming compared to a MMORPG or even a co-op shooter like Left 4 Dead or Battlefield - because aside from the occasional tricky situation (last night Bingo and I found a fortress in the Nether and got killed by blazes!) it's pretty easy to pop in, do some stuff, then pop back out.  You don't have to dedicate an hour to it, which of course means you end up playing 3 hours...  It's a lot of fun though.  In the past week I've found a village up in the north lands and had to set them poor buggers up with some decent shelter and fencing so they wouldn't wander off and fall into a cave, or get killed by zombies.  They thrive now due to my generous guidance - all hail Lord Hobo.  Bingo also taught me how to tame wolves to get dogs, and we found out how if you do PVP dogs are a good thing to have.  I hit him once and his dog still growls at me days later.

I started funding a couple kickstarts (small K as one was actually on Indiegogo) for RPG material.  I missed out on the Kickstarter for the black box Glory to Rome which I regret but I did manage to get in on the Parsec RPG which looks to be pretty cool which I don't mind supporting since it's a small press doing good stuff. I am also signing on to get a hard cover copy of Lamentations of the Flame Princess which was something I wanted to buy in stores except there was no such thing.   I noticed that Steve Jackson is Kickstarting a big box deluxe print of OGRE which looks so awesome but which is a bit out of my ROI range.  That's something like the last BloodBowl reprint or the War of the Ring Collectors edition which I wished to purchase but just couldn't justify.  They look so nice and would be great to have on display in a stately gentleman's condo, but I wouldn't get the value out of having them sit on a shelf.  Crowd-funding is a huge revolution in product production - especially the publishing industry.  Between  kickstarts and PDF publishing, the whole industry really has turned inside out and the small nimble companies seem to have the edge if they can work with the smaller margins and still get their message out.

I was also reading some Facebook threads where people were shouting out chess moves at each other.  To me that's like using the telephone to send morse code messages to people. Really get a digital room guys.  It reminded me of all the great boardgames people are not playing online - like Colossus and Conquest and M.U.L.E - or that fine site where you can play diplomacy with folks - spending the week emailing threats and promises to people and then sending in your orders and having the site execute them all  and update the board.  It even has an online conference board for planning sessions.  And that's all just web - don't even get me started on tablet and smartphone games.  Also Google + is awesome good for playing RPGS.

Ah Internet FTW.