A Theory of Fun for Game Design

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:02 am
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
Raph Koster's A Theory of Fun for Game Design (2nd ed.) has been on my wishlist for something like the past five years. I picked it up recently by ordering it through my local game store (which is technically also a bookstore and is in the process of signing on with distributors or however that goes). It is an absolute delight.

I'm glad I sprung for the hardcopy of this for two reasons: one, I like to mark up my nonfiction, and two, its formatting! The left-hand page in every two-page spread is text; the right-hand page has an illustration related to the material on the left-hand page. While the illustrations are not technically the most accomplished, they are generally extremely effective communicative cartoons or diagrams.

This book comes with a ton of blurbs, and Cory Doctorow's--"Does for games what Understanding Comics [by Scott McCloud] did for sequential art"--pretty much sums up how I feel. I've read other game design books that were insightful, or thorough, but the Koster is accessible and very interesting in its approach to what makes games games, and how to make them fun (in the instances where that's a thing--cf. Brenda Romero's Train).

One of Koster's arguments is that "with games, learning is the drug" (40)--a game that interests us is one that strikes the necessary balance of not too easy (Tic-Tac-Toe, for most adults) and not too hard (multiple failure modes possible, depending on the individual--witness me and chess or go [1]). He suggests that games (and play, which is common in a lot of young animals!) are an artifact of how we try to learn survival skills, and moves forward into making suggestions as to how to move the form forward into values/skills more suitable for the modern era than "kill things" or "jump over things" or "search for all the things."

[1] Joe gave up on teaching me go when I told him I have severe difficulty with visual patterns. In fact, I am starting to wonder if aphantasia just screws me over for this kind of game in general. :p

There's also a particularly interesting chapter on ethics and entertainment where he discusses the difference between the game system and the flavor/dressing:

The bare mechanics of a game may indeed carry semantic freighting, but odds are that it will be fairly abstract. A game about aiming is a game about aiming, and there's no getting around that. It's hard to conceive of a game about aiming that isn't about shooting, but it has been done--there are several gmaes where instead of shooting bullets with a gun, you are instead shooting pictures with a camera. (170)

The bare mechanics of the game do not determine its meaning. Let's try a thought experiment. Let's picture a mass murder game wherein there is a gas chamber shaped like a well. You the player are dropping innocent victims down into the gas chamber, and they come in all shapes and sizes. There are old ones and young ones, fat ones and tall ones. As they fall to the bottom, they grab onto each other and try to form human pyramids to get to the top of the well. Should they manage to get out, the game is over and you die. But if you pack them in tightly enough, the ones on the bottom succumb to the gas and die.

I do not want to play this game. Do you? Yet it is Tetris. (172)


In general, Koster has a background in game design AND writing AND music, and he draws on all three in his analysis of games, as well as other disciplines (e.g. psychology). It makes the book a scintillating read. I can't believe I waited so long to read this--but it was exactly what I wanted to read last week, so hey. Highly recommended.
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
I looked at the calendar, Ray.

The HFA's all-night half-marathon this year is vampires. Of that lineup, I have seen only the Hammer Dracula (1958), but some of the rest—Near Dark (1987), The Hunger (1983), Dracula's Daughter (1936)—I've had designs on for years. This should be great. People are going to be so nervous, stepping out into the ash-making sunlight at the end of that long, bloody night.

I see also from the October and November calendars that the archive appears to be embarking on a William Wellman retrospective. The trick here will not be living in the theater for most of the fall. I've seen a number of the titles announced so far, but hardly any of them on a big screen—they're pre-Code, they turn up on TCM. I know I want to see Night Nurse (1931), Heroes for Sale (1933), and Wild Boys of the Road (1933) because they are three of my favorite pre-Code movies, period. Maybe Other Men's Women (1931) just because I like Grant Withers and all five minutes of James Cagney in it so much. Safe in Hell (1931) is one of those titles you can't turn down. I've been seeing stills of cross-dressed Louise Brooks in Beggars of Life (1928) for years. For some reason I always forget he directed Nothing Sacred (1937) and think of it as an unusually cynical Frank Capra.

I'd ask why I have a real job except I worry it would trigger irony, so I'll just wish I had a real job with more time to write about movies.

Budget also couldn't hurt.

Face Off through 3.1

Aug. 21st, 2017 10:21 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
Read more... )

Also, now I have an incredible desire to watch the Clone Wars cartoon so I will have to save up for the DVDs. Maybe Christmas? XD

[hxx] [story] Sword-Shopping

Aug. 21st, 2017 09:13 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
For S.B.
Prompt: hexarchate, "calendrical sword."

Ajewen Cheris and her girlfriend Linnis Orua paused outside the shop. A banner of ink painted onto silk fluttered in the flirtatious artificial breeze. Orua had grown up on a station with less naturalistic ideas of aesthetics, and found this dome-city with its aleatory weather nerve-wracking. She still spooked whenever there was a wind, which entertained Cheris because Orua also had long, luxurious waves of hair that rippled beautifully. "We were always told to be aware of strange air currents as a possible sign of carapace breach!" Orua had protested when Cheris teased her about it.

"Blades for All Occasions," Cheris read. She had been saving for this moment throughout the first two years of academy, and practicing for it besides. Orua didn't understand her fondness for the sport of dueling, but she had agreed to come along for moral support.

"Well, no sense in lingering outside," Orua said. She grinned at Cheris and walked forward. The door swooshed open for her.

Cheris followed her in. A tame (?) falcon on a perch twisted its head sideways to peer at her as she entered. The falcon was either genetically engineered or dyed or even painted, although she wasn't sure how she felt about any of those alternatives: its primary feathers shaded from black to blood red, with striking metallic gold bands toward the tips. It looked gaudy as hell and quintessentially Kel.

Orua was busy suppressing a giggle at the falcon's aesthetics. Cheris poked her in the side to get her to stop and looked around the displays, wide-eyed. Her eyes stung suspiciously at the sight of all those weapons, everything from tactical knives to ornamented daggers with rough-hewn gems in their pommels and pragmatic machetes.

But best of all were the calendrical swords. Deactivated, they looked deceptively harmless, bladeless hilts of metal in varying colors and finishes. Cheris's gaze was drawn inexorably to one made of voidmetal chased in gold, with an unusual basket hilt. It was showy, extremely Kel, and an invitation to trouble. Only a cadet who had an exemplary record and was an excellent duelist would dare carry such a calendrical sword. And besides, the lack of a price tag told her there was no way she could afford it even if she could, in honor, lay claim to such a thing.

Cheris sighed, then looked up into her girlfriend's eyes. "I wish," she said, her voice soft.

"Let me help you pick," Orua said, ignoring the sales assistant who was watching them imperturbably with his arms folded behind his back.

Cheris blinked. "I thought you didn't know anything about dueling?" she teased. Orua paid more attention to the special effects and makeup on dueling shows than the actual dueling.

"I don't know anything about dueling," Orua said, as the sales assistant radiated disapproval. "But I know a lot about you." Her eyes turned sly, and Cheris hoped that Orua wouldn't get too specific here of all places. She grabbed Cheris's hand and tugged her along to a completely different display. "Look!"

At first Cheris wasn't impressed by the calligraphy-stroke plainness of the calendrical swords on display. Then she saw that that the metal evinced a faint iridescence, like that of a raven's feather. She particularly liked the one whose textured design incorporated the first digits of the base of the natural logarithm.

Orua stooped to whisper right in Cheris's ear, "Tonight I'm going to see how many digits of that number you can recite before I get you to--"

"I'll buy this one," Cheris interrupted, very loudly, and pointed.

Unseen, the sales assistant and Orua exchanged winks.

Well, it could've gone better

Aug. 21st, 2017 07:56 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I wanted to be there right when the museum opened - missed that by about an hour.

DID get the glasses. Boy, those were something. They seemed completely opaque until you looked up at the tiny, orange, dim sun. (The kids sold theirs to people even later than we were!)

Missed the lecture due to some miscommunication. Didn't see other exhibits, same reason.

But we did enjoy looking at the sun through the (shared) glasses, and the kids really loved making pinhole projectors on index cards. I'd expected they would - they wrote their names and all!

One thing that was not explained to me in the documentation, but in retrospect should've been obvious: The dimmer the light got, the closer the index cards had to be to make a clear image. At the beginning, having one on the ground and one in your hand was good enough. By the midpoint, when it was 70% covered and dark (and when we were done) they had to be right next to each other.

Several people, hearing me launch into another spiel on how "our eyes work the same way" and "the image is backwards and upside down - look, compare it! - but when it happens in our eyes our brains automatically flip it" asked if I was a teacher or a scientist! LOL. Only the former in a very *literal* sense, but this is something I've known since I was six or so. I had a book on the structure of the eye. (I didn't say that. I just said I homeschool and I made the kids listen to me talk to them about it.)

And then on the way back we talked about the Statue of Liberty and all. I heard a tour guide the other day say that the original model for the face was the sculptor's girlfriend, not his mother as in the finished version, but I don't know if that's correct. Still, "she looked too sexy" is obviously a story that's hard to give up!

Happy Eclipse Day!

Aug. 21st, 2017 07:35 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

We didn’t make it down to see totality, but my part of Michigan got about 80% eclipse coverage today, which was still pretty sweet. My son and I went to a library presentation this morning, where I was reminded about pinhole viewing, which led to this:

Pinhole Eclipse Projection

I’d ordered a solar filter for the 100-400mm lens on the camera. We also had some eclipse glasses from Amazon from a few weeks back.

I took a little over a hundred pictures, and was able to stitch some of the best into an animation.

Solar Eclipse Animation

Those black spots are sunspots. All in all, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out!

I also stitched together a static time-lapse, and added back a bit of color the filter stripped out. (Click to enlarge this one for a much better view.)

Eclipse - Time Lapse

Didn’t get much else done today, but I’m okay with that. And maybe for the 2024, we’ll be able to make it down to see the total eclipse!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Things You Can Believe In

Aug. 21st, 2017 06:24 pm
yourlibrarian: Sam and Dean are trustworthy (SPN-YouCanTrustUs-cakeholes)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) Has anyone else watched the movie Their Finest? I loved it. Read more... )

2) We've been watching Manhunt: The Unabomber and it only confirms my belief that the best and the brightest do not go into law enforcement. (Or if they do, chances are they don't last there). I actually found myself agreeing with the Unabomber's view of them. Read more... )

3) That people were more concerned about their legacy and the standing of the agency than actually thinking outside the box (although if you've got written evidence, how out of the box could linguistic analysis possibly be) contrasts rather painfully with the noble and dedicated view of investigators in fiction. (Although why should we expect these agencies to be different than any other workplace?) I couldn't help being reminded of their shortcomings when reading the following though:

"To push the limitations, I downloaded all the novel-length stories of the fifty most prolific Twilight fan-fiction authors on Fan-Fiction.net—each of whom had written more words in the Twilight universe than Stephenie Meyer herself. I thought that if you compared writers writing at about the same time as each other in the same universe about the same characters and in the emulated style of one author, the word frequencies might not have as much determinative value. Instead, it was 99.7 percent accurate at picking out who the true fan-fiction author of each story was."

4) We also recently watched Race, the Jesse Owens story. It was ok but the timing of seeing it was quite good. Read more... )

5) Nothing like finding a story that's rare in the fandom only to discover that, not only was it not finished, but it and all the author's other stories have disappeared from the net so you can't even look for their other work :( Read more... )

I am fail

Aug. 21st, 2017 06:01 pm
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
I'm not going to do it but I crave to someday write a training cruise/school/dance academy/conservatory/??? mashup disaster story.

Alas, I have this novel to work on. :p 2,000 words on Dragon Pearl today! (I'm doing revisions, but I had to rip out a few chapters that weren't working and replace them with all-new ones, always thrilling.)

Tasty foods

Aug. 21st, 2017 06:27 pm
kass: a container full of wooden spoons for cooking (spoons)
[personal profile] kass
Tonight's dinner is vaguely adapted from Mario Batali, and it's simple and tasty and should feed me for several days, so I'm saving the recipe here.

If you keep kosher and do not regard chicken as pareve, or if you don't do dairy, you won't want to add the goat cheese. (In that case you might add some olive oil, for mixing purposes.) And if you are gluten-free, you'll want to use gf pasta. But aside from those things, this recipe ought to work for most folks, I think, assuming that you eat pasta in the first place. Clean-up is also easy: one skillet, one pasta pot.

Pasta with broccolini, chicken sausage, and goat cheese )

Ko-fi

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:44 pm
settiai: (Buffy -- break_me_love)
[personal profile] settiai
Many thanks to everyone who donated over on my Ko-fi page. ♥♥♥

I'm still going to be putting up a virtual garage sale post later in the week, after I more time to go through things and get a list together, but thank you! I very much appreciate it.

If any of you would like a fic from me as thanks, just leave a comment or send me a message. As long as it's a fandom that I'm familiar with, I'd be glad to write something for you.

Gratitudes

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:05 pm
kass: lilacs, "zen fen" (zen lilac)
[personal profile] kass
1. My friends. Even those whom I don't get to see often enough.

2. The place where I live, which is mine, and is filled with art and photographs and things that are meaningful to me.

3. The glorious green world. I always want summer to last forever, and it won't, but I'm doing my best to enjoy it while it's here.

4. I got to take two and a half days of vacation last week, and they were really lovely.

5. There is rosé chilling in my fridge even now. :-)

How are y'all?
gwyn: (ordinary day _silent_rage_)
[personal profile] gwyn
Perfect morning: Iced tea, bowl of cereal, cat, back deck lounge chair, nearly total eclipse of the sun. We had 92% totality in Seattle, and I could just sit on my lounger and watch. It was amazing. I guess a lot of people in my area got fog, but it was clear as a bell at my house.

I'd been so focused on the cancer stuff that I missed the opportunity to get glasses--the last time we had an eclipse visible here, there was no such thing as fancy glasses, and when they started posting about places you could get them it was too late to do mail order (also they were fakes) for me, and people on our local blog were driving around and calling, desperately trying to track more down. I wasted a lot of time, and mentioned it on the thread--that I'd been so busy with my health I hadn't thought about the eclipse at all and was bummed I couldn't get the glasses (I've done pinhole viewers, but…they're not as cool).

A really nice guy told me he had some spares, and his wife, who works at the Y where I'm a member, brought them with her and I picked them up last week. I'm so grateful to them, so grateful. It was amazing to be able to watch through the glasses. I stayed till every last piece of the moon was gone. Even with sunscreen I'm sure I'll be burned. It was totally worth it.

I've seen two other solar eclipses, but was too young for the first one to really appreciate it, and like I said, the pinhole boxes don't have the same view. I feel like if I croak in surgery next week or afterwards, I'm good. Got to see a big one, and it was wonderful.

I can see why ancient people were spooked by these: the shadows got really long, the sky was dimmer while at the same time the sun was pouring down, the temperature dropped by a few degrees. Blues was definitely confused--he could tell something was going on, and he ended up under the bed for a while. It was eerily silent, too, at totality. This is garbage day in my area, there is always construction going on around here in summer, there are usually people walking dogs and cars driving by. At peak time, it was utterly silent: no noisy, smelly trucks, no people walking, no construction noise. Everyone was watching the eclipse.

Eclipse first, the rest nowhere

Aug. 21st, 2017 02:18 pm
sovay: (Cho Hakkai: intelligence)
[personal profile] sovay
The cloud cover comes and goes and we may not be able to see any of the broken rings of leaf-light that I remember so fondly from the annular eclipse of 1994, but through the (carefully purchased from the NASA-recommended manufacturer) glasses I can see that a shadow has already bitten the sun. I am off to see how much more it devours before we drive it away into the swinging dance of planetary bodies again. I am wearing my Miskatonic University T-shirt. It seems appropriate to this brush with the cosmos.

[edit] No leaf-rings, but I saw the crescent sun: through eclipse glasses it looked like a hunter's moon. I didn't expect much effect on the afternoon so far out of the path of totality, but it was strange light to walk around in, slightly thickened, slightly smoked, the wrong angle and the wrong color for plain overcast or sunset. [personal profile] spatch said it was like someone had dropped a filter over the sun and of course someone had: the moon. We walked to the library and back and intermittently looked up at the sky until the crescent began to widen again and then the real overcast thoughtfully rolled in.

(no subject)

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:22 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Sarah is raising funds to help save her family's house, where they are facing eviction. They are dealing with her mother's illness and recent unemployment, and they are trying to raise $100K to cover hospital bills and mortgage payments. You can read more and support the fundraiser here.

Anon linked to a fundraiser for the legal fees for protestors in Durham, who pulled down the Confederate statue. You can read more and support their legal defense here.

[personal profile] spasticat has been unemployed since October of last year, and while she's been actively looking for work, her benefits and savings have run out; she's raising funds for utilities, medication, and rent. At the end of September she is also moving back home, and needs funds to cover the move. You can read more and support her YouCaring here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

Housing:

[personal profile] in_the_bottle is looking for a new housemate in London, in Fulham SW6, bordering Hammersmith. Two professional females, at least one fandom friendly. You can read more and get in touch here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
[personal profile] sovay
On the one hand, I feel that the most appropriate response to David Rudkin's Penda's Fen (1974) would have been a day in the Malverns and some cloud-watching à la Thomas Colpeper, JP. On the other, I was in Providence when I saw it, and I wasn't sure of the ancestral relationship of Edward Elgar to College Hill. I spent a lot of NecronomiCon walking. That will have to suffice.

Penda's Fen is a 90-minute television play originally commissioned and broadcast as part of the BBC's Play for Today (1970–84); it was directed by Alan Clarke and I have wanted to see it ever since I discovered it somehow in the archives of the BFI in grad school. I finally got my chance Thursday afternoon in the auditorium of the Providence Public Library. It was screened on one of those small classroom projectors; there were about a dozen people in the audience besides me and some of them left or arrived partway through. What I could hear of the introduction seemed to be trying to champion it as a Lovecraftian film—I don't want to misrepresent someone who was mostly less audible than the air conditioning, but while I grant that it is a gloriously weird piece of cinema, if anything I think it's anti-Lovecraftian. Lovecraft's universe is fragile and deceptive, contaminable and contagious. The world that can be perceived is a shell over the world that is, one crack away from collapse into barbarism or madness or the abyss of time itself. Knowledge is a virus and you may well die of it. Your bloodline was compromised before you were born. The Other is always looking for a way in, and it finds one, and down into the dark we all go, unless we turn out to be the Other, in which case the dark is where we should have been all along. I don't have to alter the premise of Penda's Fen to make it resemble this template: a sheltered young man discovers that his ideas of both himself and his nation, from race and sexuality to family and religion, are soul-shakingly wrong. He is "mixed, mixed . . . nothing special, nothing pure." But where that revelation might have sent one of Lovecraft's protagonists careening into the void, Rudkin and Clarke offer an alternate path. Openly political, unashamedly Romantic, their vision affirms queerness, hybridity, and ambiguity as the true heart of England, the small, stubborn fire that the clear-cut forces of oppression—patriarchy, white supremacy, Christian supremacy—are always trying to snuff out. Salvation lies in the liminal spaces, the mixed and marginalized. This is a really cheering thesis to see so forcefully and hauntingly stated, especially since the film itself is less a pamphlet than a dark-and-bright dream of nuclear anxiety, sexual confusion, and folk almost-horror. Its language is Christian and pre-Christian, angels and demons and the echo of William Blake, but it is actually a lot like watching a version of the Bacchae where Pentheus, instead of breaking and being torn apart, shifts shape as suddenly as his cousin into the strange thing he was always meant to be. There is also psychogeography. And sympathetic magic. And Elgar. Anglophile Lovecraft may have longingly written "God Save the King!" but I don't know that he would have endorsed or even recognized the Englishness of Penda's Fen.

Stephen be secret, child be strange. )

I did not manage to catch any of the rest of the film programming at NecronomiCon, but Penda's Fen made the entire schedule worth it. I'm not even sorry I saw it in a library rather than a movie theater, since I am fairly confident its influence extends to the archival, hauntological music of Ghost Box. The real trouble with describing a narrative that treats its otherworld so matter-of-factly and this world with such an eye for the surreal is that even the attempt makes both of these modes sound much more normal than the experience: I have to stress that while Penda's Fen is not in any plot sense difficult to follow, its constant shifting and eventual merging of registers is a lot like having someone else's hallucinations for an hour and a half. I suspect this was part of the reason for the walkouts, although I kind of feel that if you show up for a film at a weird fiction convention, you should be prepared for something out of the ordinary to get into your head; I certainly expect what I saw in that noontime auditorium to stay in mine. It was messy, liberating, ambitious, and very beautiful. It left me hungry for sunsets on hills I've never climbed. It made me contemplate the sacred fires of my own country and who guards them now against the dark. Who is secret, strange, holy, and ungovernable. This dream brought to you by my mixed backers at Patreon.

New vids: Timeless & Thor

Aug. 20th, 2017 11:30 pm
trelkez: (timeless)
[personal profile] trelkez
Two new vids from this year's VividCon!


White Flag
source: Timeless
music: Joseph

Figure out what you're fighting for, and you'll be okay.

Download & stream on AO3.


Tubthumping
made with [personal profile] sisabet 
source: Thor 1 & 2, Avengers 1 & 2, Thor: Ragnarok trailers, MCU extras
music: Chumbawumba

"Who is the warrior immortalized in this song?" Thor demands to know. "The one who gets knocked down repeatedly, yet cannot be kept down? We must hear of his resilience again!" -- Semaphore by DevilDoll

Download & stream on AO3.
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
[personal profile] morgandawn
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2fWV40z on August 20, 2017 at 08:19PM

Mysteries of the Force http://ift.tt/2x4mCVM

Tags:IFTTT, Fauxthentic History, DWCrosspost

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)

Grr. Argh.

Aug. 20th, 2017 09:02 pm
settiai: (Gus/Shawn -- sporkyadrasteia)
[personal profile] settiai
I would like to state, for the record, that I seriously hate having finances that are in a state where all it takes is one unexpected larger expense to send me panicking. :-/

So, yes, it's looking like my tentative plans to make it to PAX Unplugged are crashing and burning at the moment. And there's a very good chance that I'm not going to have enough money to cover some bills that will be popping up in the next 2-3 weeks, which means I'm probably going to be going through my belongings and putting up another virtual garage sale post in the next few days.

Mainly because the universe fucking hates me right now. Apparently, at least.

It's been awhile since I posted it, so here's my Ko-fi page if anyone has an extra couple of dollars to spare. If anyone makes a donation, I'd be glad to try to write you a short fic in a fandom that I know. And, like I said before, I'll probably be posting a bunch of books and DVDs (and probably some other stuff as well) for sale in the next few days if anyone's interested in such things.
sovay: (Rotwang)
[personal profile] sovay
I am home from NecronomiCon Providence. I hope to write out a real con report before I forget the details, but not right now.

All panels present and correct, including the one I thought I moderated badly; I was asked after that one if I taught for a living (not for years and not in the sense they were asking) and my impostor syndrome was confused. I probably short-circuited my own reading, but again, I sold a copy of Ghost Signs (2014) afterward, so it cannot have been a disaster. All program items in which I was involved were a lot of fun, including the podcast on which I had not originally been scheduled to appear. The Lovecraftian erotica was amazing.

People kept handing me things. A lime-green rubber tentacle, a bandanna for the Lovecraft Readathon, a CD of Bohren & der Club of Gore's Black Earth (2002), a first edition of C.L. Moore's Doomsday Morning (1957), DVDs of The Bat (1959) with Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead and The Lodger (1944) with Laird Cregar, a fictitious vintage program for the HPLHS' The Call of Cthulhu (2005 1927), Andrew M. Reichert's Weird Luck Tales: Monsters (2017). I got the souvenir book as part of being on programming, ditto the lapel pin with its emblem of the leaf-eyed pyramid like something out of Gravity Falls. I bought the Dwight Frye cards, the Lovecraftian postcards, the Miskatonic University T-shirt with an Art Nouveau design instead of the usual university seal, Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles' She Walks in Shadows (2015). I bought a birch-veneer screen print of two witch's cats by Liv Rainey-Smith as a present for my brother and his wife. I think I just picked up the fake vintage newspaper because of its headline "Has Science Gone Mad?!", but its supposed date is my birthday, forty-five years before I was born.

There was not enough seeing of people, but what there was was good. Late last night, I wrote three-quarters of a post on Penda's Fen (1974) that I did not manage to finish before having to check out this morning, so either I will finish it later tonight or I will sleep. Or both.

I am exhausted. Various parts of my body think I was trying to kill them and are now attempting to return the favor. It was worth the early mornings.

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