Saturday, 1 August 2015


I’ve never been to GenCon, and I certainly haven’t followed the Ennies, it’s not really where I intersect with the hobby. However I am aware thanks to social media that Red and Pleasant Land has just won a bunch of awards (gold for best writing and silver for best adventure and product of the year, I think) in spite of having a fanbase supposedly in the minority compared to the total number of voters, and therefore “no chance of winning”.

This means a decidedly not mainstream-common-denomenator-product, produced by a not mainstream publisher, won several awards. It means that it is possible for a niche, independent product to win a mainstream popularity contest on quality of writing and vision. Much more interesting than yet another award going to a mainstream game line that I have no interest or investment in. (At this point I confess that I don’t own a copy of RPL yet, though I’ve got Vornheim and Death Frost Doom and I like those, they’re quality.)

And yeah, Zak S has his fans, there was still a hype machine, but… as far as I’m concerned that’s fair play, that’s politics. So congrats to Zak, James Raggi and whoever else worked on RPL! Jolly good. But while we’re at it, two other awards I care about:

Congrats to Stacy Dellorfano for the Contessa Blog award!

…and to Kenneth Hite and Robin D. Laws for the award for Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff!

At least, I think I’ve got that right.

(I know some people might be annoyed by this owing to the personalities involved… well, whatever. I don’t have a dog in that fight. Also personally this weekend is shaping up to be shit on a stick without the stick. Let’s just try to get along and be happy for each other, eh?)

Friday, 28 November 2014

Dream Diary

Something a bit different today. I’m not in the habit of remembering dreams much less writing them down in a blog, but these were so vivid I can recall them hours later.

Dream 1

The first was me being in a school assembly hall (as an adult) watching a film on an old-school projector and screen, sitting next to a woman I didn’t know. This was intercut with scenes of me waking up in the dark in a pool of rubbish somewhere with a dead body next to me, and her somewhere else with a body next to her.

Then I found myself in a third location in an apartment, being held hostage and forced to submit to bizarre orders under threat of hurt being inflicted on my loved ones (which may or may not include the woman in the pool).

The last part of the dream involved me being forced to swallow a fist-sized gobbet of semi-molten gold, held towards me at arms length in a pair of tongs by a six-foot tall assassin in a trenchcoat. I protested a bit saying I can’t possibly do that, and he replied in a rather jovial way that it would all be fine and I could swallow it no problem. I set to trying to deform the ball with my hands, because it was still liquid inside, and maybe if I made it more like a cigar shape I could get it down.

Then I woke up.

Dream 2

The second was in some high-tech office building with a big void in the centre (like the megablocks in Dredd) and the means of getting to different rooms was to wait for a platform to take you across — a platform with no guard rail, just a flat hovering sheet of metal. There were other high-tech things too like the lunch que, where you programmed in your chosen meal (I had a pre-programmed “usual”).

Then in the afternoon there was some kind of military drill where all the platforms were locked down. This was a scheduled thing that happened every thursday, and it meant all the office workers who needed to get to the other side of the building for meetings were forced to climb through crawlspaces and up to service platforms, where they’d leap meter wide gaps to get where they were going. Dozens of people in suits and lab coats and security armour jumping back and forth, and no-one fell, which was a surprise.

Then the dream cut to the roof where there was some kind of real military incursion going on — a lone assailant in a helecopter was shooting the place up, but really it seemed to be a vendetta between them and a corporate employee who also had a helecopter with guns. Eventually one or both of them were shot down, and the first one dispatched the second on the ground by forcing some strange breathing apparatus — it looked a lot like a pair of big blue lips — over the other’s nose and mouth. Instantly the victim’s lips and tongue went blue and swelled up, and they started convulsing as the invading chemical (biological agent, nanotech weapon?) began rewriting the geometry (and function?) of their internal organs, with unpleasant popping sounds.

Then I woke up.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Michael Gove Turing Test

Michael Gove and the Turing Test

Brought to light in this G+ post, which included the following exchange:

“But could he pass a Voight-Kampff test?”

“You reach down and flip the education system on it’s back, Michael … it’s trying to turn itself over, but it can’t. Not without your help. But you’re not helping…”

Monday, 12 May 2014

New Scenery

So, I’m trying something out with the scenery… the images come from some random ink drawings I did when using up the last few drops in the ink converter before flushing the pens out.

Inkscape2 z

The Sea

Inkscape4 z

 Tower Between Realms

Inkscape5 z

Degrees of Infection

A bit hit-and-miss. Unfortunately the scanner doesn’t pick up the lovely red sheen in the first one, but it’s there. Images copyright me, whatever.

Friday, 7 February 2014