Zero Summer

Apr. 4th, 2013 07:13 pm
green_dreams: Books, and coffee cup with "Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book" on the side. (Default)
Zero Summer identifies itself (quite honestly) as a wordy Western RPG. It's a free browser-based game, that uses (almost) the Fallen London engine. It's fairly grindy at times, which is usually really not my thing. I cope with it for the writing; I actually think that the amount of text helps me slow down and not click through it all so quickly.

Here's the thing: there are individual stories (as opposed to the repeatable mundane actions) which cannot be repeated. You play them once, you read them once, and then they are gone forever, unless you care to start over again with a new character. So when I run across a step in the story that reads in part (yes, in part; I did say it was wordy):
What does it say? It says: under clear skies and the fresh fingernail moon and the bright brilliant stars when the world was young there was the masterless Dog. And still he howls. His voice freezes the blood. His tongue is warm and wet. His pelt flea-bitten but strong and golden. His ears hung with carved wooden rings. His eyes too-human. His paw outreaches. A mark is left.

Suddenly Jim is on you, wrestling the book away and slamming it back onto the shelf where you found it. Real panic in his eyes. A high unexpected color.

"What did you see?" he says. Demands. "What did you see?"

Under a fingernail moon, there was a hound. Under the clear sky he reached out. Under his paw there came a mark. It itches and burns. It weighs on your heart.
...when I come across that I stop, and reread, because I know there are no save points, no rewinds, no YouTube captures, no wikis, no-one I can ask for an explanation. (Okay. Technically I could go poking around the Failbetter forums and see if anyone had theories, but it's not like sitting around a gaming table and troubling a Storyteller for clarification, you know?)

It's oddly lovely, and no less so for being so transient.


ETA: Aaaaaaand I just got a message related to that specific storylet. I'll, uhm, be shivering gleefully, visiting the Scrublands, and dealing with the Jackal-Caller now. :D
green_dreams: (telling stories - trust me)
By then serials were dying anyway, and of what use was a green suit with a long cape and wings on the sides of its cowl? In the real world, there was no room for Green Falcons.
Got to work this morning and I couldn't get "Night Calls the Green Falcon" out of my head. It's from Robert R. McCammon's Blue World collection, or at least that's where I first read it.
A shriek like the demons of hell singing Beastie Boys tunes came from the speakers.
So I went looking, and bless the man, he has the whole thing up on his website. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised; it's written as a serial, it really suits being posted online.
"No, I haven't seen him for a while, but I know what his name was." He grinned, gapped-tooth. "John Smith. That's what all their names were." He glanced at the Green Falcon. "Can you breath inside that thing?"
It's about a man who used to play a hero in the old movie serials--you know the kind, right? Ten chapters to a story, dramatic cliffhangers, come back next week for the next thrilling episode in this dynamic mystery, "The Star and Question Mark"!
"Hey, amigo," the man said, and flame shot from the barrel of the small pistol he'd just drawn.
I mean... okay, it is not entirely surprising that I am a sap for stories about people trying to live up to the stories; ones about the power of stories to change the world. Galaxy Quest. Shakespeare in Love--not the romantic plot or subplot or whatever it was, but the sheer weight of the theatre, the "I don't know. It's a mystery." Hogfather, and the difference between the sun coming up and a giant ball of flaming gas illuminating the world.
He kept going to the stairs, burdened with age.

"‘Dear Davy,’" the voice rang out. "‘I am sorry I can't come to Center City this summer, but I'm working on a new mystery...’"

The Green Falcon stopped.
I'm not saying it's great art. It's a four-colour story, bright and simple and clear. It has a grim and bloody moment or two, but then of course it does; they always did.
Who was he? somebody asked. The Green Falcon? Did he used to be somebody? Yeah, a long time ago. I think I saw him on a rerun. He lives in Beverly Hills now, went into real estate and made about ten million bucks, but he still plays the Green Falcon on the side.

Oh, yeah, somebody else said. I heard that too.
I heard that too.
green_dreams: A woman from behind, with an octopus splayed over her butt. (sucker butt)
Proof that it's been a long busy week: I haven't mentioned this yet...

The latest issue of Innsmouth Magazine, available here for free (online or in PDF), and here for $2 (buyyyyyy ittttt... It's $2! When was the last time you got half a dozen good stories for $2?). Enjoy!


May. 28th, 2012 12:04 pm
green_dreams: (snail love)
I confess, I quite missed the nuances of the Thor movie. But a blogger and historian has thoughtfully examined it, and provided an explanation for what might have initially seemed like an awkwardly written and presented story. For example:
The way Wayland the Smith went overboard designing these insane helmets was a great way of communicating his silent protest over being forced to build that ridiculous whopping robot thing.
It's so subtle! And a much more satisfying explanation--indeed, an explanation at all--for some of the costuming.

They also look into the Avengers movie, and its trenchant commentary on nerd culture and the envisioning of the future.

Damn cold.

Mar. 5th, 2012 12:19 pm
green_dreams: (cold rows of crosses)
The mercury (does anyone actually own a mercury thermometer?) is slowly creeping up from this morning, when it was -17°C (-26°C with the wind chill). Looking forward to Wednesday, when it's meant to get up to 11°C. Not - 11°C. 11°C. Okay, yes, that's the low of one day against the high of another, but that's still a 28 degree difference in two days, ignoring the damn wind.[1]

Oh, March. Aren't you just an interesting time, meteorologically speaking. And I cannot wait for the time when I no longer need to worry about my ereader freezing. Literally.

(Yes, yes, paper books don't freeze. However, the pages get blown around, they fare much less well in precipitation, and turning the pages takes longer, which at the temperature that causes my Kobo to freeze is actually a significant consideration because I do not want my fingers out in that cold. Also, Innsmouth Magazine.)

((Possibly this last could be remedied with knit gloves that had leather patches sewn over the fingerprints? Hmh.))
[1] That's 1°F, -15°F, 52°F, and a 51 degree difference for those of you using Farenheit.
green_dreams: Teddy bear wielding wooden sword to fight off terrible monster. (idealistic teddy bear)
It's February again, so a tiny Canadian micropress is gearing up for another year of extravagantly doing things like "buying cover art" and "paying authors" and "distributing free stories". So if you'd be interested in their books, or the latest or second-latest issue of their magazine[1], it'd be a good time to pick one up. (I am torn on which one to suggest, but I think I would say Historical Lovecraft if you had to pick just one.)

Also, if you happen to, er, own all their books and all the ebook copies of their magazine, you can just donate. There's a link on the main page and donating enters you into a draw for a prize.

On the strength of the magazine alone, which has been running for three years now and which makes me squeak happily and go buy a copy even though all the stories are free, I figured I'd skip a couple of fluffy coffees and send the money their way. They're worth it.
[1] Available in formats for browsers, Kindles, Nooks, Apple iPad/iBooks, Sony Readers, Palm readers, and any word processing program at all ever for 99 cents (total, not each).
green_dreams: (fall cat)

Excolo: a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game
Apply here

So. As some of you may know, I play in a game called Excolo. It's an LJ RP; people comment back-and-forth in-character, and interactions play out, and somehow or other three years pass and it's still going. :) It started out due to BPAL fandom, of all things; people picked a scent they liked and used it as the inspiration for a character or a personality. (BPAL is not actually required to play.)

Character applications are open again, and if you'd like to take a look... well, we're bouncy and tend to babble, but the comm's generally quite friendly. And most people playing haven't ever done it before, so it's not as if there's a high experience threshold required. :D
green_dreams: (EBZ 1)
Echo Bazaar continues to amuse. Don't think there's anything spoilery in the text, but...

Casually tossed nymphs. Of course. )

And I have me a Modish Bonnet, so I can stay there as long as I like.


Apr. 7th, 2011 06:39 pm
green_dreams: (city canyon)
I am discovering, lately, that there are a whole lot of blogs I like to read. Not all of them have RSS feeds, and there are so many that my webcomic solution (enter links to all comics that update on $WEEKDAY into one folder, open all tabs in said folder on $WEEKDAY) wouldn't work, even leaving aside the fact that they don't all update on a regular schedule or the same schedule or....

How do you guys sort out your blog reading? Is there a really simple Firefox plugin I am missing, or something?


Apr. 3rd, 2011 05:46 pm
green_dreams: (EBZ 1)
I have recently been getting back into EBZ, and this text, when you finally get into the Museum of Mistakes, made me grin. I know what three of them are, but I'm a little fuzzy on the bat and the two locks of hair are just kinda tickling my brain without actually providing an answer... Anyone?

ETA: Since the link doesn't go directly to the flavour text anymore:
The exhibits are fascinating. It is hard to believe even half are genuine. A tray of thirty First City coins. A stuffed two-headed bat almost the size of a man. A scrap of black sail-cloth labelled 'Achaean, c 1200BC'. Two locks of hair, one dark and the other amber-coloured. The centrepiece of the Museum is a single half-eaten fig. It is unlabelled.
(Extra points for making it a fig.)


Jan. 27th, 2011 09:20 am
green_dreams: (green-eyed grey-faced peering cat)
It is so *weird* having a hard schedule that does not include a definite to-do list. I had forgotten.

Anacrusis is being nifty again, with stories about Ashlock. Includes such lines as
All of it fails one night on a simple run for Kirrily’s money laundry. Ashlock loses a finger; Tach loses a year of his life. And in return, they get a number that wants to kill them both.
After nine months, there's actually noise on the Unhallowed Metropolis comm again. Am so wanting to play that again; this may be exacerbated by John recounting traditions of the British Parliament to me this morning before breakfast.

Laptop battery sinking at accelerated if not (perhaps?) exponential rate. Back later.
green_dreams: (Angel peering)
As some of you may have heard me mention, I'm in an LJ RPG called Excolo. Applications are open again, if anyone is interested.
green_dreams: (really raw day)
So. Up at three to let the dog out, found out one of the cats had made a mess, cleaned up, did dishes, threw stuff in the laundry, set the load running... and of course being tired meant this was all in slow motion, so it took me a while to get back to bed. (Although the discussion was part of that, and was fun.)

I did have a chance to check my e-mail, and link-bouncing led me to a fictional transcript and obituary. Also, the first short-short here made me grin, and the second is a rather pleasant take on fairies.

The interview yesterday... really did not go so well. I like to think this was in part because I was thrown for a loop[1], and not because I am naturally disposed to give bad interviews.

Being downtown in the early morning again's interesting. I'd forgotten how awake it seems. Also, I have just realized how many art/readings/band/show flyers there aren't on the telephone poles out in the suburbs.

There was a garden at the corner of MacLaren and O'Connor that I always rather liked. It was really thick with tall grass, flowers that came up to my shoulder, vines on stakes... It's mostly just mowed flat now.
[1] "What was high school like?" "What did you like about it?" "How did you spend your summers?" "Who were your inspirational figures in high school? In university?" I mean... It was high school, it was last millenium, and it was not a position which required exceptional social skills or a particular adherence to cliques. I refer you, somewhat grumpily, to the sixth panel here.
green_dreams: (Nic Whateley (shinier))
Your head buzzes with black and heady secrets. It's an intoxicating feeling, although not a comfortable one. You leave, realising as you do that the smirk playing around your lips is not entirely your own.

As you go, a squad of Special Constables with white gloves and heavy canvas masks comes up to disperse the crowd. They bring up a squat brass machine on a wheeled cart and begin to spray the offending wall with cleansing acid.
Alright, it took me a while to finally give in... but I am *so* glad I finally started playing Echo Bazaar.
green_dreams: (really raw day)
For the record?

If you are capable of using proper (or at least consistent) punctuation and capitalization and you persistently do not do so, and you are not so stressed that you have for all practical purposes had to give up on other basic niceties of personal presentation (such as showering), and you are presenting your work to other people?

It is possible that someone will hit the metaphorical point where they are only too happy to rip off your metaphorical head and shove a copy of Strunk and White down the metaphorically bloody stump of your neck.

For the record.
green_dreams: (telling stories - trust me)
Cemetery Dance--the publisher, not the magazine--is releasing The Painted Darkness by Brian James Freeman for free.[1] You can grab either the PDF or get streaming audio from, the ebook's got a code for $5 off the hardcover, and I really can't see a downside to this.

(Found it a tiny bit stiff to start--of course, I've been writing in nearly the exact opposite style when I've been awake today--but am already on the second chapter. And am curious, dammit, so I will keep reading.)
[1] No, really free. Like, Cory-Doctorow-levels-of-free. No signups, no e-mails, no hiccups.
green_dreams: (commit no nuisance)
I've noticed a pattern; when I get stressed, I cast on a new project. Work announces they might stop existing? I knit John a facecloth. I get told it will take me six weeks[1] for work to get a copy of Dreamweaver? I start knitting a shrug.

I suppose it's productive, at least. (Also, knitting projects have the niftiest names. And I love this yarn. I keep thinking of it as 'stonespun', some weird combination of 'homespun' for it's not-glossy slightly-uneven feel and 'stone' for the colours.)

John sent me a couple of links, too. One is an excellent piece on the pristine purity of language, and why all that nonsense about objecting to "man" to cover both sexes is ridiculous--
For years, Niss Moses, authoroon of the well-known negrist tracts A Handbook of Nonracist Writing and Words and Blacks, has had nothing better to do than go around the country making speeches advocating the downfall of "racist language" that ble objects to. But when you analyze bler objections, you find they all fall apart at the seams. Niss Moses says that words like "chairwhite" suggest to people-most especially impressionable young whiteys and blackeys-that all chairwhites belong to the white race. How absurd! It's quite obvious, for instance, that the chairwhite of the League of Black Voters is going to be a black, not a white. Nobody need think twice about it. As a matter of fact, the suffix "white" is usually not pronounced with a long "i" as in the noun "white," but like "wit," as in the terms saleswhite, freshwhite, penwhiteship, first basewhite, and so on. It's just a simple and useful component in building race-neutral words.
Oh, I'm sorry. It's about why all that nonsense about objecting to "white" to cover all races is ridiculous. My mistake.

(Have I mentioned how acceptable "they" is as a gender-neutral term to refer to the individual? 'm just saying.)

Also, [personal profile] kaigou has something on the differences between mental illnesses, disabilities, and people talking out of their ass.
[1] And this is after it first came up three weeks ago. Do not even get me started.
green_dreams: (call. the. police)
So. Stuff lately.

I've been making progress on the knitting. I'm going to see my sister for lunch today. I'm back at work, although I'm coding pages with Notepad because they haven't gotten the new Dreamweaver in yet.

I'm feeling a bit disjointed. It's strange.

I painted a very little bit last week. Nothing finished yet, though.

I've been (re)reading Hunter: the Vigil lately and I'm in that state where you can feel your mind filtering for useful things. "People overlook that? This highway sign says what? Cities can track gunshots how? You have to pay for getting hurt in the States?[1]" Nothing together, yet, exactly, just a constant sifting.

Also, catching up on blogs. This made me laugh (it's here for you non-Dreamwidth people).

Not having a definite end-date for this job is kind of annoying, but given that it's "until we can't afford you or the job is done" and I am coding these pages in Notepad did I mention, I think I'm good for a bit. And I will get notice.

I want to go home and sleep. And wake up without my eyes itching. Although I have finally gotten my new glasses, which helps.
[1] Note to self: somewhere, in some Hunter game, there must be an antagonist who is simply an insurance claims adjuster doing their job and trying to figure out why, after years of quietly paying premiums and being unremarkable, a character is suddenly ending up with burns, gashes, gunshot wounds, broken bones...


Mar. 15th, 2010 09:36 am
green_dreams: (miss you madly)

Library not yet open. Internet access available. ...gah, I don't know. Everyone I'd normally talk to to kill time is AFAICT working or still asleep.

I figure the library will open in twenty, and then the lobby should clear out and I will feel considerably less bad about watching a movie in here while I knit. (Not doing that yet; am sitting on bench, laptop would slip off my knees if not held in place, which makes knitting sub-optimal.) Meantime, my mind's sort of rambling all over the place.

I kind of wish I'd brought Hunter, but carrying a 300-and-change page book on top of the laptop seemed a bit much. May see about grabbing a PDF of it.

Eighteen minutes. Gah. Maybe I'll try writing something. [profile] silent_lorelei's review of Legion made it sound pretty much exactly as terrible as I expected--

--ooooh, if I don't hear something by afternoon, I can maybe go grab Alice in Wonderland at the World Exchange--

--but a couple of the ideas were kind of interesting. I did like the ice-cream man in the movie trailer, and the question of why the little old lady demon shrugged off one attack but not the other has me thinking, of all things, about Scott McCloud. You know how in a car accident, you're more likely to say "He hit me!" than you are to say "His car hit my car!"? Something to do with that, with the extension of perception of self to cover objects at hand.

Mhm. I'm rambling. Also kinda wishing that the copy of Slasher I was looking at hadn't been sold. I'm getting that weird itch to run a game again, and Slasher and Hunter are both looking interesting. Mind, I've got core NWoD (or possibly Savage Worlds), not like I need anything else...

Orpheus, dammit. Someday I will run an Orpheus game, and it will cover the metaplot. All of it.
green_dreams: (cold rows of crosses)
John linked me to this.

Tell me how long it takes you to recognize it. :)
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