Pixel Scroll 1/17/17 ‘Twas Pixel That Killed The Scroll

(1) ASK ME ANYTHING. SFWA President Cat Rambo visited with her fans at Reddit today — “Yup, It’s My Real Name: AMA with Cat Rambo”.

I think that, more than ever, it’s important for writers to be working together and sharing notes. I see a lot of scams out there, and also some increasingly shady activity on the part of some of the traditional publishers.

Perhaps at one time, a writer could live an existence where they produced a manuscript, handed it off, and got enough money to go write another. Increasingly, though, that’s not the case and writers have to spend at least a little time thinking about marketing themselves – even if they’re publishing traditionally. Publishing continues to change rapidly, and writers need to stay on top of that, because they’re the ones with the most at stake.

(2) BUSINESS WISDOM. Kristine Kathryn Rusch continues her advice to writers in the aftermath of the latest publishing fiasco — “Business Musings: All Romance Ebooks & Visions of the Future Part Two”.

But I’m not here to discuss the merits or lack thereof of Booktrope or ARe. I did that in other posts. What I need to discuss here is the future.

You see, these closures were right on time. And several other closures will follow in the next few years.

Some of the upcoming closures will be predictable. And others will catch us all by surprise.

Why am I saying this?

Because three different factors are coming into play in the next few years. These three factors intertwine, at least in the indie publishing industry, which will amplify the result.

You’ll need to bear with me. This will take some explaining.

One note on terminology. When I say indie publishing, I mean the non-traditional side of the publishing industry. Indie publishing encompasses the self-publishing revolution which started thanks to Amazon and the Kindle in 2008. (Amazon released the Kindle in November of 2007, just in time for holiday giving.) Some writers still self-publish, but many use services or have created their own publishing companies to publish outside of the mainstream infrastructure. Hence, indie as in independent. (What confuses all of this was that, back in the day, many small but traditional presses called themselves independent presses. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about publishing that could not have happened in 1985.)

So, what are these three intertwining factors that will impact us in the next few years?

They are:

  1. A gold rush
  2. An investment bubble
  3. A business cycle

(3) GHOST TOWN. Comic Excitement, whose antiharassment policy made news ahead of last weekend’s debut convention (“They Think It’s a Joke”), reportedly bombed. Trae Dorn covered it in Nerd and Tie — “Comic Excitement Convention’s Flop and the Hubris of Man”.

You’d probably be forgiven for not knowing that “Comic Excitement Convention” (yes, that’s the actual name) took place this last weekend in Los Angeles, CA. Despite their touted $10,000 cosplay contest prize, it doesn’t seem like a lot of effort was put into marketing the con.

Which is probably why hardly anyone showed up.

The first year convention occupied Kentia Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and although early promotional materials talked about expecting a massive turnout, at con observations estimate attendance to be under a thousand. The whole thing… well it seems to have been a mess….

(4) NO SH!T SHERLOCK. Naked Security says those rascally Russian hackers are suspected of another break-in — “BBC launches probe into leak of Russian-dubbed Sherlock finale”.

Damn you, Russia, we wish we knew how to quit you!

If you’re not hacking our politicians  and our politicial machinery, you’re leaking a Russian-language version of the recent season finale of the BBC’s hotly anticipated Sherlock a whole day earlier than it was supposed to air.

Maybe. Allegedly. At any rate, Russian state TV is definitely investigating the leak “in close contact with the BBC”, according to Russia Today (RT), Russia’s English-language broadcaster.

Russian Channel One is blaming hackers for the show’s last episode, dubbed in Russian, having been illegally uploaded for all to see and all Russians to decipher on Saturday.

(5) SIMPLY HORRIBLE. Cheatsheet argues these are “10 of the Worst Sci-Fi TV Shows of All Time”. But first on the list is Space:1999  — how can that be right?

In the past decade or so, science fiction on television has seen a dramatic uptick in both quantity and quality. Shows like Westworld are keeping critics engaged and audiences coming back for more week after week, but while a number of sci-fi shows over the years have developed significant cult followings, others have become notorious examples of just how bad the genre can be when it isn’t executed effectively. Here’s our look at some of the worst sci-fi shows to ever hit the small-screen. For the record, we’re focusing specifically on live-action series only. So any infamous animated shows won’t be appearing below….

  1. Logan’s Run (1977–1978)

Based on the popular sci-fi film of the same name, this television adaptation has remained largely forgotten. An attempt to cash in on the film’s success, the show — which starred Gregory Harrison as Logan 5 and Heather Menzies as Jessica 6 — lasted only 14 episodes before network executives called it quits.

(6) ROSARIUM MAKES A DEAL. Bill Campbell’s award-winning Indie house Rosarium Publishing will be publishing Taty Went West, the critically-acclaimed fantasy debut novel by South African born writer, artist, and musician Nikhil Singh.

The story is the first in a trilogy of what Singh describes as “Alice in a necrotic Wonderland” and follows Taty, a teenage girl who is forced to run away from home and escape to The Outzone, who discovers along the way that she has extrasensory powers. She finds herself kidnapped and dropped into a world filled with a motley cast of eccentric characters, including a feline voodoo surgeon, a robotic sex slave nun, detachable siamese twins and a sinister pleasure peddler who wishes to exploit her gifts.

Described by Lauren Beukes as “a hallucinogenic post-apocalyptic carnival ride,” Taty Went West is part satire, part science fiction and completely fantastic. Singh’s prose style of writing and elaborate descriptions are only enhanced by the gorgeous illustrations which head each chapter and are drawn by the author as well.

Nikhil Singh art

(7) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY GIRL

  • Born January 17, 1933 — Shari Lewis, actress and puppeteer, best known for Lamb Chop.

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born January 17, 1931 — James Earl Jones, who became even more famous by voicing Darth Vader,

(9) COVER UP. Out of Print has a line of clothing featuring the art from classic sff/f book covers.

The-Outsider-and-Others-Mens-Book-T-Shirt_01_2048x2048clockwork-orange_Womens_Red_Book_T-Shirt_1_2048x2048

(10) FLAME OFF. CinemaBlend knows “How Lynda Carter Helped Supergirl With That Old School Wonder Woman Reference”.

The CW’s Supergirl has dropped nods to major superheroes of DC Comics history many times over its first two seasons so far, and it surpassed itself in a Season 2 episode that featured legendary actress Lynda Carter as President Olivia Marsdin. The episode managed to sneak in an unforgettable reference to Carter’s role as Diana Prince on Wonder Woman. I spoke with veteran TV director Rachel Talalay about her work directing Lynda Carter and star Melissa Benoist on Supergirl, and she told me this about what went into the Wonder Woman callbacks in the “Welcome to Earth” episode of Season 2:

They were written in the script, and they were absolutely embraced. We were allowed to push them, but they were definitely in the script. That was great because that gave us permission to just say ‘We know we’re doing Wonder Woman homages.’ So there was an absolutely magical moment when it was scripted that Melissa was to do the Wonder Woman twirl to put herself out when she was on fire. Lynda came and said, ‘I’ll show you how to do it.’ I have on my phone a video of Lynda Carter showing Melissa Benoist how.

(11) THIRD ROCK. Curiosity has found its third meteorite on Mars.

NASA’s Curiosity rover has spied a potential meteorite on Mars, which would be the third it has found since it landed in August 2012….

There’s a bit of a puzzle about these meteorites, though. On Earth, 95 percent of all meteorites are stony, and only 4.4 percent are iron. But so far on Mars, all eight meteorites seen (three by Curiosity and five by Opportunity) have been iron.

(12) RAPT ATTENTION. A subject near to our hearts: ”Striking photos of readers around the world”.

A new book brings together Steve McCurry’s photos of readers, spanning 30 countries. From a steelworks in Serbia to a classroom in Kashmir, they reveal the power of the printed word….

McCurry’s photos are made up of those moments, glimpses of people absorbed in the written word, many unaware they were being photographed. The Swiss poet, novelist and painter Hermann Hesse gave an insightful description of what can be an all-consuming experience in his 1920 essay On Reading Books. “At the hour when our imagination and our ability to associate are at their height, we really no longer read what is printed on the paper but swim in a stream of impulses and inspirations that reach us from what we are reading.”

(13) SAD POOKAS. I’ve been informed these aren’t the droids I’m looking for. I also just realized I love Big Brother.

(14) NEWS TO ME. There’s such a thing as a Game of Thrones edition of Monopoly.

Featuring custom Game of Thrones packaging, stunning game design, and large, hand-sculpted custom tokens, the MONOPOLY: Game of Thrones Collector’s Edition Game will transport fans into a world of intrigue, valor, and betrayal. After all, when you play the MONOPOLY: Game of Thrones Collector’s Edition Game you win, or you go bankrupt!

MONOPOLY: Game of Thrones Collector’s Edition Game includes:

– Custom Game Board Featuring Westeros awaits your rule

– 6 oversized, hand sculpted tokens elegantly cast in zinc. Includes: Crown, Direwolf, Dragon Egg, The Iron Throne, Three-Eyed Raven and White Walker – Game of Thrones MONOPOLY money features the symbols of Westeros and Essos….

(15) BRADBURY PLAQUE. Mentioned in yesterday’s comments, here are photos of the plaque in UCLA’s Powell Library commemorating the spot where Ray Bradbury wrote Fahrenheit 451 on a rented typewriter. John King Tarpinian, who was instrumental in getting the school to put up the plaque, appears with Bradbury and Dennis Etchison in the second picture,

Plaque commemorating Ray Bradbury's use of Typing Room at UCLA's Powell Library to write Fahrenheit 451.

Plaque commemorating Ray Bradbury’s use of Typing Room at UCLA’s Powell Library to write Fahrenheit 451.

John King Tarpinian reading plaque to Ray Bradbury

John King Tarpinian reads the plaque to Ray Bradbury. Dennis Etchison is on the right.

(16) BELIEVE YOUR LYING EYES. L’Illusion de Joseph, on Vimeo, is a charming look at 19th-century “phenokistascopes” and the unusual images 19th century people found entertaining.

[Thanks to Chip Hitchcock, Martin Morse Wooster, Daniel Dern, David K.M.Klaus, BGrandrath, kathodus, JJ, and John King Tarpinian for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Robert Whitaker Sirignano.]

77 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 1/17/17 ‘Twas Pixel That Killed The Scroll

  1. Any show by Irwin Allen. All shows by Irwin Allen. When I was young I might recognize individual shows or movies as awful, but I think Allen was the first producer whose name I came to automatically associate with awful, dreadful, jaw-dropping crap.

  2. I don’t want to bash Monopoly, but the fact that bankrupt players are out of the game is not a positive aspect of the game as a social activity. If you start with, say, 6 players, and one by one they go bankrupt, then before the game ends you have a majority of the original group no longer involved in the game, and quite possibly wandering off to do something else. Ideally, a board game ought to keep all the players in participation until the end.

  3. My recollection is that I was bitterly disappointed by Time Tunnel, expecting it to be based on Tunnel Through Time — attributed to Lester Del Rey, written by Paul Fairman — which I’d gotten from Scholastic Book Club.

    It did start me on a Del Rey kick, the most formative part of which was reading his nonfiction works. It was either “The Mysterious Earth” or “The Mysterious Sea” (I read them c. 1966) where I learned about mid-ocean ridges. Del Rey’s explanation made me realize that geology was ripe for what I later learned to call a paradigm shift.

  4. Nah. Just play the good games you like and let those of us with different opinions play the games we like.

    But your opinion is wrong!
    No, of course you’re allowed to play any game you like, but there’s actually two things at work here.
    One is that when I say “One of my hobbies is playing board games with friends and family” people go “Oh, like Monopoly” (or in rare cases “Oh, like Risk”).
    This is annoying because I’ve not played Monopoly in… Yeesh, 25 years or so. The games I play are not “like Monopoly” because of the issues I see in that game. I’d also have issues if somebody assumed that all games I played were like Munchkin, because I don’t feel that that’s a good game either. Funnier than Monopoly, mind you, but still a game overstaying its welcome.
    The other is that when we talk about broadening the hobby, by which we often mean making it less of a hobby and placing the gaming we like more in the family entertainment position that games like Monopoly and Risk occupies, somebody will show up to tell us how Monopoly played by the specific rules is a shorter game than the houseruled game that is played and hated. Which might be true (my recollection of rules is mostly uncanny, but 25 years later with a game I never really cared for, I can’t remember more than 5% of verbatim rules text, and there might even be differences between Swedish and English/American rules texts) but it doesn’t matter what the actual rules are if people keep playing by house rules. And hate the game. And then we are back at the modified “Board games? Like Monopoly? Man, I hate that sh-“. Which is why I’d like to change the standard board game from Monopoly to something which is, let us say, a bit more modern.
    Now, you might say “You’ve been a terrible ambassador for the board game community here”, which is true, I do it better when I can pull a game out of my pocket and say “Let’s play this instead” and work from there. But it was a bit of my tiredness with how people keep defending Monopoly with claiming that the house rules are the problem and not the mechanics, which is the main problem we tend to have with it (not saying that this is what Paul did, it merely had a shape close enough to it to set me off on a path culminating in this rather larger then expected tirade).
    TL;DR: Why don’t we play Pandemic instead, and hate only the game rather than one another in addition to the game.

    I don’t want to bash Monopoly, but the fact that bankrupt players are out of the game is not a positive aspect of the game as a social activity. If you start with, say, 6 players, and one by one they go bankrupt, then before the game ends you have a majority of the original group no longer involved in the game, and quite possibly wandering off to do something else. Ideally, a board game ought to keep all the players in participation until the end.

    Well, yes, player elimination is generally considered a very bad thing when it comes to games, unless they are short enough and exciting enough that you can watch the rest of the game and have fun for a bit until the game is over and you have another go (or switch to another game).

  5. @Darren Garrison: How often is someone going to run across all venomous animals combined? (Assuming that their name isn’t “Rincewind”.) Riiiight.

  6. One is that when I say “One of my hobbies is playing board games with friends and family” people go “Oh, like Monopoly” (or in rare cases “Oh, like Risk”).
    This is annoying because I’ve not played Monopoly in… Yeesh, 25 years or so.

    Then maybe it would be more effective to say, “One of my hobbies is playing board games like XXXXXXXXX with friends and family.”

    Whenever someone wants to replace a common reference with something they’d prefer, I’m reminded of the efforts to get rid of the terms “sci-fi” and “comics,” neither of which worked. We did get “graphic novel” stapled onto comics, and no one seems able to agree on what it means, but that’s about it.

    The other is that when we talk about broadening the hobby, by which we often mean making it less of a hobby and placing the gaming we like more in the family entertainment position that games like Monopoly and Risk occupies, somebody will show up to tell us how Monopoly played by the specific rules is a shorter game than the houseruled game that is played and hated.

    But that’s not what was going on here. This was a news item about a “Game of Thrones” version of Monopoly, not an effort to broaden the hobby. Paul wasn’t recommending Monopoly over anyone’s efforts to broaden the hobby, he was commenting on the news item and actually criticizing Monopoly as boring.

    It was actually a discussion of Monopoly, not an attempt to derail anyone talking about any other games.

    Which is why I’d like to change the standard board game from Monopoly to something which is, let us say, a bit more modern.

    As with “sci-fi” and “comics,” the general public is going to roll with the familiar more than they’re going to listen to any of us niche communities tell them to change their heathen ways. So there, I’d say the same thing I said about “sci-fi” and “comics” — the way to do that is to popularize another example, so that it becomes a more common usage. But it’s not easy.

    Now, you might say “You’ve been a terrible ambassador for the board game community here”

    I wouldn’t dream of saying that.

    I might say that as commentary on a news article specifically about Monopoly, though, commenting on Monopoly rather than some other game seems perfectly reasonable.

    But overall, I’d say it’s probably going to be considered a default game by the general public as long as it’s as predominant in the culture as it is, so heading off “Oh, like Monopoly” by giving some other example first might be more effective than hoping people will just stop thinking of Monopoly as a default. They won’t, just as people won’t stop asking comic book writers if they draw them, too. They’re working off their consensus, not ours, and general consensus outweighs interest-group-specific consensus.

    Me, I like Monopoly, but I don’t think I’ve ever brought it up in the kind of situation you describe.

  7. @kathodus

    re: storybundle

    No, I’ve never heard of any of those authors, and right now (and for the next two months) I’m buckling down to my Hugo reading. I just thought I’d pass along the email for anyone who might be interested.

  8. @Kurt overall, I’d say [Monopoly’s] probably going to be considered a default game by the general public as long as it’s as predominant in the culture as it is, so heading off “Oh, like Monopoly” by giving some other example first might be more effective than hoping people will just stop thinking of Monopoly as a default.

    Or, you could say “yeah” and move on. To expand a little on what Kurt said, most people who say “like Monopoly” in those situations are simply using Monopoly as a synonym for board games, and are not attempting to say that the board game you are referring to is more like Monopoly than it is like Chutes and Ladders, or backgammon, or Life, or Parcheesi, or Risk. Monopoly has its faults, but it pretty much the default board game for Americans of a certain age. Everyone I knew growing up had it. Every hospital waiting room had it. Anywhere you would go to that you might expect to have a board game, would have Monopoly if it had any games at all.

    When people say “Like Monopoly,” they are just using a cultural touchstone to put the conversation in context. They are politely acknowledging your hobby in terms they understand.

  9. Reading: I finished Kij Johnson’s Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, which was excellent — she clearly has great affection for Lovecraft, but (unlike others I could name) also recognizes his weaknesses & blind spots. And then I saw the trailer for Hap & Leonard, season 2, so it looks like I’ll be reading Joe Lansdale for a while.

  10. To expand a little on what Kurt said, most people who say “like Monopoly” in those situations are simply using Monopoly as a synonym for board games, and are not attempting to say that the board game you are referring to is more like Monopoly than it is like Chutes and Ladders, or backgammon, or Life, or Parcheesi, or Risk.

    I actually tend to think they’re using it to mean “Oh, is one of them Monopoly?”

    To veer into my comics experience again, when I tell people I write comics, they often ask something on the other of “Like X-MEN?”* Whether they’re using it as a general or specific example, I usually answer, “More like AVENGERS, IRON MAN, those guys.” And that seems to answer their question just fine.

    *this is an improvement over earlier, pre-superhero-movie-boom years, when they would ask, “Like DOONESBURY?” or “Like GARFIELD?”

  11. Then maybe it would be more effective to say, “One of my hobbies is playing board games like XXXXXXXXX with friends and family.”

    “…playing board games like Ticket to Ride…”
    “…playing board games like Carcassonne…”
    “…playing board games like Seven Wonders…”
    “…playing board games like Battlestar Galactica…”
    “…playing board games like Agricola, but not so much these days, we generally tend to play Caverna, you know…”
    To which they’d respond “Huh?”, which is perfectly fine. Then one would have to explain how these games are different from Monopoly, which is where my annoyance originate. I’d rather the Fraggle Rock Board Game was the mainstay. ‘Cause Fraggle Rock is awesome. And also with a more interesting board game than That Dude In a Top Hat.

    Whenever someone wants to replace a common reference with something they’d prefer, I’m reminded of the efforts to get rid of the terms “sci-fi” and “comics,” neither of which worked. We did get “graphic novel” stapled onto comics, and no one seems able to agree on what it means, but that’s about it.

    Not really the same, though. What we want to do is expand the concept in the general consciousness, so as to alter the default. Probably expand it to “Monopoly and Ticket to Ride”, and in the future drop the Monopoly part of it.
    The secretive board gamer agenda, trying to outlaw your love for Monopoly. Although I think the Settlers faction is rather larger, so I’d probably lose my head in the end.

    But that’s not what was going on here. This was a news item about a “Game of Thrones” version of Monopoly, not an effort to broaden the hobby. Paul wasn’t recommending Monopoly over anyone’s efforts to broaden the hobby, he was commenting on the news item and actually criticizing Monopoly as boring.

    Which is why I said Paul’s comment set me off by its general shape, not what was actually said. I am sure that you would be shocked, shocked I say, if you were to find out that I have opinions about these matters.

    As with “sci-fi” and “comics,” the general public is going to roll with the familiar more than they’re going to listen to any of us niche communities tell them to change their heathen ways. So there, I’d say the same thing I said about “sci-fi” and “comics” — the way to do that is to popularize another example, so that it becomes a more common usage. But it’s not easy.

    Well, where I live we have three game boutiques with a population of one hundred {mumble} thousand, which is rather more than one would expect. I am familiar with how two of them meet customers, and they are both of them skilled at insidously working people away from the expected basics and onto more interesting games. This, in conjuction with games like Ticket to Ride showing up in toy and book stores, forwards my agenda of people having more fun when playing games. Also board game coffee shop nights, game nights every wednesday, and suchlike. So, yeah, working on it.

    I wouldn’t dream of saying that.

    But you are a terribly nice fellow.

    I might say that as commentary on a news article specifically about Monopoly, though, commenting on Monopoly rather than some other game seems perfectly reasonable.

    But overall, I’d say it’s probably going to be considered a default game by the general public as long as it’s as predominant in the culture as it is, so heading off “Oh, like Monopoly” by giving some other example first might be more effective than hoping people will just stop thinking of Monopoly as a default. They won’t, just as people won’t stop asking comic book writers if they draw them, too. They’re working off their consensus, not ours, and general consensus outweighs interest-group-specific consensus.

    Well, speaking to Monopoly and its weird longevity, one might ask if it would have the same presence if it had not attached itself, remora-like, to every marketable license it could find. And I suppose there’s something there that makes me extra pissy, ’cause I’m a geek, I want for my geek games to make my inner game geek feel satisfied.
    Given, GoT might be the best fit for a themed Monopoly yet, but I’d rather have a GoT game where you can properly stab a person in the back. And in the face when they turn around. And once more for good measure as they keel over. And there are games made for this. And some of them even have a GoT stamp on them.

    Me, I like Monopoly, but I don’t think I’ve ever brought it up in the kind of situation you describe.

    Well, you wouldn’t, would you? Because, as previously noted, you’re a nice fellow.
    Though I do feel a need to promise that, should we ever meet, I’ll make sure to have a good game that I can pull out of my pocket.

  12. @ Feline: Heh. I get your annoyance, although I rarely run into that situation because I hang out with a LOT of people who play board games, all kinds of them, and who are most definitely aware that Monopoly is not the default. (Also, it could be worse — at least you’re not having to explain LARPing!) But if I were to encounter someone who made that kind of base assumption, I’d be likely to go off on an evangelistic tear about the Empire Builder series of rail-games, which are my favorites (except for Iron Dragon, which I played once and disliked enough not to buy it). However, I don’t think you’re ever going to get anything approaching that level of awareness from someone who isn’t already at least loosely familiar with the fannish/gaming community.

    Although the number and variety of boardgames at coffeehouses (and even more so, bubble tea shops, which is where the under-college crowd tends to congregate) may eventually do something to help.

  13. All this mention of board games and I haven’t seen my household default: Trivial Pursuit. I’ve got Disney, Warner Bros., Power Rangers 20th anniversary, 80s, 90s, and Millennium versions kicking around. Good times!

    (I also have Scrabble. God I suck at Scrabble.)

  14. @ Lee:
    Yeah, but rail-games tend towards deep-down gaming. I’m not likely to throw ASL on someone who says “I’d like a combat game” because there are combat games that are not completely mental. And if somebody says “I’d like a simple game about trains” I’d give ’em Ticket to Ride, and not try to sell them on any flavour of 18XX. Because what I love and what I use to entice people are not always the same. My complaint about Monopoly isn’t that its not complicated enough, it’s that its complication doesn’t yield fun. Play Tokaido instead. Bathe with monkeys.

  15. To which they’d respond “Huh?”, which is perfectly fine. Then one would have to explain how these games are different from Monopoly, which is where my annoyance originate.

    You could, presumably, leave it at “Huh?”

    Or, if you’re trying to proselytize for games, it’s an opportunity.

    What we want to do is expand the concept in the general consciousness, so as to alter the default.

    As with “sci-fi” and “comics,” I wish you good luck with that.

    Well, speaking to Monopoly and its weird longevity, one might ask if it would have the same presence if it had not attached itself, remora-like, to every marketable license it could find.

    I don’t think it matters whether it would have that presence or not, in a different timeline where they didn’t pursue commercial opportunities and try to sell lots of games, because in this one they do pursue them, and they do have that presence.

    Barbie also pursues this sort of thing, and seems to do well with it. Though I haven’t seen Game of Thrones Barbie…yet.

  16. The funny thing about Monopoly is, that its so old. Saying “Oh, like Monopoly” is like saying “Oh, Computergames, you mean Pong and Pacman and stuff (*)?”.
    But of course, Monopoly is still selling well (most versions greatly outsell any game, Ive published so far), mainly because they are so well known and they are everywhere.

    But things are slowly changing. More and more poeple are discovering modern boardgames and one day perhaps, we boardgamers dont get the reaction “Oh Monopoly?”

    (*) Of course The invention of Monopoly was in the 1920s, way before any computers, so even this comparision is way off.

  17. RE: Monopoly. I apologize for any offense, and thread-derailing I caused, by my comment regarding the merits of Monopoly.

  18. I’m late to the party and hereby perform thread necromancy! In two parts.

    @Paul Weimer: Your comment was fine.

    @Darren Garrison: Steven Gould is a great author and I highly recommend his books. He’s great at taking what sounds like an old or over-used concept (kid is the only one with a special power, alternate worlds, colonization of a faraway planet, et al.) and doing a something unusual with it – and doing it very well.

    ::passes throat lossenges to @Lis Carey::

  19. (5) SIMPLY HORRIBLE. Aw, I liked “Timecop”; its main flaw IMHO was a flaw I see in shows nowadays, too. The main character is supposed to be careful in the past (or doing whatever – this doesn’t only affect time travel shows), but he goes off the rails a lot, making one wonder why he’s such an idiot about the timestream/being subtle/etc. and/or how he ever got/kept the job. Still, I liked the show. I bet I’m the only one, though. 😉

    (6) ROSARIUM MAKES A DEAL. Ooh, nice artwork from Singh! I’d like to see him do a comic; maybe something in the Moebius vein (since the character made me think a bit of him).

    (12) RAPT ATTENTION. Some groovy photos! The one on the NY Subway made me yawn, though.

    (16) BELIEVE YOUR LYING EYES. Wicked cool! 😀

  20. My copy of Terraforming Mars arrived today – it’s out of print, with the reprint available sometime next month, but Stronghold Games found three copies set aside and put them up as a charity auction on BoardGameGeek. I had the winning bid on one of them. I hope to get much enjoyment out of it.

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