Oh, no! I’m related to…a gamer!


Only by marriage, though, and he’s a gamer-in-snark, so that might make it tolerable. My son-in-law, Kyle Hughart, is trying to get a parody rpg, Ragequest: the Worst Game, greenlit on Steam.

“You know I can’t stay,” he said softly. “And you can’t go. The house wouldn’t be the same without you.” She didn’t speak. She couldn’t find the words to respond. She just watched his figure grow smaller, and smaller until it was gone. That’s how I would end a romance novel about a congresswoman and a snowman if I were to write one, but I didn’t. Instead I made Rage Quest: The Worst Game! A snarky, low-def odyssey through the trials and frustrations that unite gamers everywhere.

You’ll play as Ivy, a daring and cynical adventurer, as you spend 3-4 hours traversing a modestly-sized world of cheeky dialogue, terrible puns, and lovingly crafted artisanal frustration. Will your skills and irrational dedication to finish what you’ve started triumph over the forces of bad camera tracking, long cut scenes and useless allies? What other perils might lie in store for your delicate temper and extra-throwable wireless controller!? Find out for yourself as you explore the game already being called “Game-changing,” “Extraordinary,” and “Graphically extant” by a sentence you’ve read! Rage Quest! Mean-gift it to your enemies!

I worry that my daughter will starve. If you have a Steam account, vote for this game so my son-in-law can buy a package of ramen. Or maybe two.

What are your comfort books?


The Bloggess brings up an interesting question about comfort books — those books you read multiple times, because they inexplicably make you feel good.

I was just talking with Victor about comfort books…those books that you read over and over because you find them comforting even if you don’t understand why. He thinks I’m insane and possibly I am, but there are certain books I turn to when my head is in a weird place and I need to go somewhere I’ve been before and relax. I’d tried to explain it to him and he almost understood until I started listing a few and then I realized that most of my comfort books are full of murder and angst and bizarreness and are not really what anyone in the world would consider to be a happy or relaxing read. Books like Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and Geek Love and From the Dust Returned and The Stranger. Worn copies of Bloody Business and Stiff and The 3 Faces of Eve and Alice in Wonderland and pretty much any of the Sookie Stackhouse series. Books that may not make it on my top ten list, but that I compulsively read again and again.

I thought about it, and I mostly lack anything like that — I like newness, so I keep digging up new authors and new stories, and I don’t do much re-reading. But there’s one exception, one book that I dredge up every few years to re-read. It’s probably one you never heard of.

[Read more…]

Diseased puppies taint the Hugos again


The Hugo Award shortlist is out, and it has some good stuff on it. In the best novel category, I’m torn between Ancillary Mercy (that whole series has been a revelation) and The Fifth Season, while among the novellas I’ve been generally impressed with Nnedi Okorafor, who has been waking me up to a fresh perspective.

So there’s no shortage of good writing in the list, but at the same time, the Rabid Puppies have injected a lot of crap in there, too. It’s as if they can’t make up their minds: do they want to build credibility by nominating already popular works, taking credit for promoting well-written material, as Scalzi points out, or do they want to make a mockery of the whole process, since they know they’re not going to win? It’s a weird game they’re trying to play.

So they simultaneously promoted a Neil Gaiman graphic story, and a Chuck Tingle short story. Which is it going to be, guys? Are you making a play to see your point of view seriously represented, or are you just playing games with the nominations?

I think the joker strategy won out, given the large number of nominations from the publisher Castalia House, Vox Day’s little dreck mill. I wonder when they’re going to give Chuck Tingle a contract?

Bonus! I can read Space Raptor Butt Invasion for free through Kindle Unlimited, so I ordered a copy. Look what Amazon tells me are recommended now, based on that purchase: John Wright and Vox Day. Such perfect bedfellows.