Like my own Shahrazad, I’ve told myself 1,001 stories to keep myself distracted from (doing) bad things.
The ugly, The bad, The good, The list™
My translation: Edith Södergran - “Framtidens skugga” (1920)
Although I already had a pretty positive opinion of Vance based on ‘Lyonesse’, ‘The Narrow Land’ surprised me with a couple of really good tales.
Ursula K. LeGuin’s ‘The Eye of the Heron’ is an engaging novella about oppression and resistance in a new world.
Tove Jansson’s collection ‘Dockskåpet’ (The Doll’s House) has a number of gems. Most of them are character sketches, between ten and twenty pages. Domestic troubles, strange obsessions. A novel or story collection can itself be a kind of textual doll’s house, with little rooms of drama and tiny furniture.
Mona is a short story by Leigh Alexander with gorgeous illustrations by Emily Carroll. The story is part sensual urban horror, part homage to the game Silent Hill 2. The story recently went on sale, and I provided the design for the e-book versions. Have a look at the design below, and don’t forget to buy a copy of the story!
Recently, I had the honour of being guest editor on Memory Insufficient, the games history ezine. I edited the special issue on Language and Games. You can read the editorial from the issue below, but really you should just go and download the whole issue here [pdf], because it’s free.
Recently, I’ve become more and more interested in book design and typesetting, and I decided that I wanted to become better at it, and offer it as a service to other people. In the growing world of e-books and digital reading, there is something of a dearth of good design, and the aesthetics that I admire in printed books have for the most part not found their way into the digital realm. As an exercise, I’ve started playing around with some public domain fantasy literature that I wanted to read anyway, such as the (early) works of Lord Dunsany. In that spirit, I’ve recently completed a PDF setting of The Sword of Welleran And Other Stories, originally published in 1908.
Over on First Person Scholar, I’ve published an extensive book review of Nordic Larp, an impressive and beautiful overview of the Nordic live-action roleplaying scene. In it I discuss how the book shows the diversity and experimental drive of the LARP scene in Scandinavia, and approach it briefly from a play-theoretical perspective.