May. 8th, 2008

heron61: (Space)
I’ve been holding off finishing Alastair Reynolds’ galaxy-spanning epic, House of Suns, (which I mentioned previously in this post) because it’s his best work to date, and it’s been such a joy to read that I didn’t want it to end. Having a short break in my work, I finished it tonight, and the ending was as good as the rest. It was a novel of the power of friendship, love, forgiveness, and wonder across literally millions of years. It also contains a fairly important line that was delivered with absolutely no irony "Nonetheless, we offer you forgiveness. What is the point of being a superior civilization if you can't do that once in a while?", and another line that is something that is exceptionally true, at least for me: "Surprises are good. It's what we live for, sentients like you and me.". It is above all else an impressively humane novel and unlike much of his earlier work, not deeply sad. Alastair Reynolds and P.C. Hodgell are far and away my favorite authors, and this is the finest novel I've read in quite a number of years.
heron61: (Dandy)
Steampunk isn't my personal style (although it's somewhat close, and I'd certainly carry a brass-covered iphone), but I definitely appreciate it, and know several people who it works perfectly on. For them and everyone else, here's a truly impressive NYT article on steampunk style, which seems to actually "get" the idea, is in no way dismissive, and (most impressive) features images of people of all shapes, sizes, and races and with many images of both men and women. Very nice indeed.

I was especially struck by two quotes (the first by someone interviewed, the second in the text in the lovely photo gallery) that work well for me:

"This is more refined. It goes back to a time when people had some dignity.
"the style is also an expression of a desire to return to ritual and formality..."
heron61: (Gaming)
I’ve written a whole lot of gaming supplements, and major portions a number of RPGs, and yet I’m essentially never tempted to play anything out of the box. I’m by nature a tinkerer and when I look at a game, my first thought is how to change it (in both setting and rules) to better fit what I would want to do with it. So, here are a number of the games that I’ve worked on and what I’d like to do with them. Campaign ideas found here )

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