Play the Plot: Tabletop Games for Your Favorite Fantasy Book

“In honor of this glorious, beautiful, multitude of games that are just begging to be played, I’ve set up a few tabletop roleplaying games with some new pieces of genre fiction. I tried to pick out games that have been written recently, and none that originated in the 70s! Take a look, and maybe support a game or two. We’ll start with Fantasy, diving right in with games and books that go from epic to short, historical to urban, so take a deep breath, and let’s dive in.”

Linda H. Codega, “Play the Plot: Tabletop Games for Your Favorite Fantasy Book.” Tor.com. October 5, 2020.

Social Chronophage

“The social industry doesn’t just eat our time with endless stimulus and algorithmic scrolling; it eats our time by creating and promoting people who exist only to be explained to, people to whom the world has been created anew every morning, people for whom every settled sociological, scientific, and political argument of modernity must be rehashed, rewritten, and re-accounted, this time with their participation.

These people, with their just-asking questions and vapid open letters, are dullards and bores, pettifoggers and casuists, cowards and dissemblers, time-wasters of the worst sort…Time is not infinite. None of us can afford to spend what is left of it dallying with the stupid and bland.”

—Max Read, “Going Postal.” Book Forum. Sept/Oct/Nov 2020.

Review of Richard Seymour’s The Twittering Machine, which is worth reading in its own right.

h/t Velcro City Tourist Board.

The Street Art Manual

“Bill Posters wants to teach people how to hack the streets. The graphic artist, activist and researcher (real name Barney Francis) has written an “illicit, tactical guide to creating art in public”. The Street Art Manual is an 11-step guide to street art covering the basics of graffiti and stencil work as well as providing an in-depth look at social media-grabbing work like urban murals.”

—Henry Wong, “‘It stops the one-way flow of corporate bullshit’: graphic artist Bill Posters on subvertising.” Design Week. August 27, 2020.

The fact that this article is from a trade rag for advertising creatives says volumes.

Available via Rough Trade. h/t The Quietus.

Joe Biden Profile

“Richard Ben Cramer wrote a great book about the 1988 presidential campaign, entitled “What It Takes: The Way to the White House.” It may be the best book about an American presidential campaign ever written. Mr. Cramer followed six candidates who ran that year — George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Gary Hart, Joe Biden, Dick Gephardt and Mike Dukakis. The Bush and Dole portraits are hands-down the best profiles of those two men that you will ever read. The book’s added value this time around is Cramer’s profile of Biden. You feel like you know him after you read it.”

—John Ellis, “Sunday Supplement!” News Items. August 9, 2020.

Action Park

“It was not long before our visitors reworked our advertising to better reflect their experiences: ‘Action Park: Where you’re the center of the accident.’

The risk did not keep people away. The risk is what drew them to us…

…Action Park has become a campfire tale, an urban legend, a can-you-believe-this snapshot of our culture that seemed to pre-date liability laws and lawyers.”

—Andy Mulvihill, “Remembering Action Park, New Jersey’s Deranged Theme Park, ‘Where You’re the Center of the Accident’“. Esquire. July 2, 2020.

Loved this excerpt, and plan to read the book.

Brought to Light

“In 1989, at the very end of the Cold War, a group of four prominent mainstream and alternative comic book writers and artists created a double volume graphic novel exposing the rampant injustices, assassinations, and terrorism facilitated by the CIA and its creatures worldwide, ostensibly to fight global communism in the years following World War II. This pair of books, sold under the shared title Brought To Light, came courtesy of one of the only justice movements since the Church Committee to successfully take on the American deep state and confront the CIA’s historical criminal behavior.”

-Brought to Light is a graphic novel of two parts: Shadowplay — The Secret Team and Flashpoint — The La Penca Bombing

Shadowplay is by Alan Moore and “centers on an avatar of the CIA and American imperialism in the form of a maniacal, drunken bald eagle who ‘represent[s] the Company,’ the common sobriquet for the CIA, and who explains American intelligence interference abroad in terms of the brutality and murder necessary to protect American (business) interests.” Flashpoint provides the details of an assassination of a former Sandinista who has switched sides to join the Contras. However, he found the CIA’s involvement with the Contras troubling, and he was assassinated before he could reveal too much about the CIA and what became known as the “Iran-Contra affair” in the United States.

h/t We Are The Mutants.

Tachyon Humble Book Bundle

“Get ready to ride off into the stars and charge into magical battles. We’ve teamed up with Tachyon to provide you with a bundle of imaginative digital sci-fi and fantasy books for your reading pleasure! Get ebooks like Ivory Apples by Lisa Goldstein, The Very Best of Caitlin by R. Kiernan, and Beyond Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.”

Humble Book Bundle: Celebrating 25 Years of Sci-Fi & Fantasy from Tachyon.

Most excited about Jo Walton’s Starlings, The Best of Michael Moorcock, Bruce Sterling’s Pirate Utopia, and Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology in this collection.