Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Twenty Sixteen: That's The Math

Sula and I moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick this Summer and it has been a net gain on almost every axis. The landscape is austere and humbling, the light and space and air has been rejuvenating and invigorating. Kind of like hitting a reset button on all the backed up stress and anxiety which got stored in my body when I lived in a large city. Our house is roomy and comfortable with huge picture windows on both floors. Everywhere we look there are trees. I feel more connected to the Universe. Sula rides her bike to work through a wood (weather permitting). We see more of each other. We have more bandwidth for coping with the natural stresses of life.

I miss my friends. I feel more healthy. I miss my friends. I feel more healthy. I miss my friends. I feel more healthy. That's the math. However many times I screw up the napkin and start again.  With all the lines of subtraction and addition, that's the message: division. And, I could feel Toronto turning me into someone I didn't want to be. Every time I was on my bike and a motorist told me to get the fuck off his road, I felt my humanity shrinking from the world. I could feel myself hardening.

(Two years ago, on my way home, a driver on College Street swerved into me repeatedly, purposely trying to knock me off my bike. I hadn't done anything. I'm a model cyclist, respectful of traffic laws and those big metal machines I share the road with. It was a moment which scared and shocked me deeply. It led to this question: How much longer can we live in this city which is feeling increasingly hostile?)

And then the rest of 2016 happened. I bounce off the date because according to my internal clock it's still the late 90s and 2016 feels like a very far off, science fiction date. I have trouble coping with all the horrible things that happened this year. It feels to me like the world is hurtling toward a crisis. I feel myself getting older and more and more out of sync with things. It feels a lot like that driver who tried to knock me off my bike has been given permission to act that way. That his attitude toward sharing space in the world, his intolerance, has been legitimized, given a face and a voice.

Maybe all generations feel this way. Maybe this is what the counter culture movement of the 60s - with their free sex and drugs, strange clanging music and anti-war protests - felt like to the people who'd lived through WWII.  Did it look like the rejection of everything they held to be good and worthy?


But it still makes me feel sad and small.

And I miss my friends.


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Very Late, Update

Eight months? That's a very long time for a website to lay untended. If framed inside an understanding of marketing and audience retention it's a suicidally long time. One might be moved to wonder if I was sabotaging the site. I'm not.

The past eight months have seen some huge changes for Sula and I. The largest of which is we moved to New Brunswick and that move demanded an enormous expenditure of energy and attention. I simply had nothing left over to devote to The Crooked Crow. Now that we're settled, more or less, I feel like I can turn my focus back here.

So let's start with something Malazan related, because that series is the most incredible sequence of books I've ever read. kurist04, a fan of the series, has assembled an intro to the world of Malaz. Something to help new readers keep their bearings while they tackle the heavy plotting and unfamiliar names and nouns.

If you've been thinking about trying the series but have heard it's hard to get into or to keep track of, you may want to check out the guide, HERE

Happy Reading!



Thursday, February 25, 2016

you with the sad eyes...

April 12.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Warhammer Quest

Postie brought us a package today from the U.K.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Joe Abercrombie: Year In Review

My favourite author has posted his yearly update, reporting on writing and t.v. and whisky and video games:
What with the releases and the touring it’s been a slightly strange, piecemeal year on the writing front.  Jan and Feb were spent finishing off Half a War, which needed a lot of editing (much of it done on the road in Australia).  Then I had a lot of trips and travelling around the two book releases, in between which I was writing the last four or five stories to complete my collection Sharp Ends.  Then, over the last few months, I’ve been working up ideas for a new trilogy in the world of the First Law, and starting to experiment with the first few chapters, which is showing some promise in between my traditional and entirely predictable slumps into pessimistic despondency.  It’s a strange thing – no matter how many books you write you never really feel fully equipped for the one you’re writing.

Full Story: HERE


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Rebuilding for Xmas

Monday, December 21, 2015

Seven Game Design Lessons From Netrunner

Here's a pretty good overview of the mechanics and systems of Netrunner:

Many CCG-style card games, starting from genre founder Magic: The Gathering, tend to have a snowball effect, where a player with the best board position (e.g. more cards in play, stronger units on the board) keep on getting a better position, and it gets more and more difficult for the opponent to turn the game around.

In Netrunner instead the actions required to win, as advancing agenda cards for the corp or making runs for the runner, requires the spending of both clicks and actions, so the player that scores points unavoidably gets poorer and the board state moves toward a new balance.This situation makes for boring endgames where there isn’t fun neither in winning or losing. 

To limit this effect there are usually specific cards that balance the situation, destroying all cards in player (Wrath of God in Magic, Valar Morghulis in AGOT:LCG) or giving an advantage to the losing player (Magic Drain in Summoner Wars). Usually these cards are not appreciated by the player, and seen as unexciting necessity.

Full Story: HERE