Monthly Archives: December 2014

2014: A Year of Reading Intermittently

It was a strange year. I can’t say it’s been a good year. I started a lot of books and didn’t finish them. By my count, I only finished 82 books this year. Half of those were probably comic books.

In no particular order, here were some that really stood out:

My Heart is an Idiot by Davy Rothbart

A book of autobiographical essays. Charming and memorable. The one with the lottery tickets was my favorite.

To Be or Not To Be by Ryan North

Hamlet turned into a choose-your-own-adventure story. A delightful mashup.

Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon

Along with Inherent Vice, one of Pynchon’s most readable books. A strange ode to a pre-9/11 world.

Saga by Brian Vaughan

The best comic book I read all year. A true delight. And captures something true about the wonders and horrors of bringing new human beings into the world.

Triton by Samuel Delany

This book captured more closely, in retrospect, the mood of 2014 at large more than anything else I read this year. Written in 1976.

The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer

Not my favorite of his work, but still an amazing three books. There’s nothing else like it that I’ve ever read. I prefer his more surreal stuff, but good for him for doing what he needed to do to get on the NY Times Bestseller List.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Yeah, I cried. What can I say. It’s heart wrenchingly charming and sad.

Tigerman by Nick Harkaway

I’ll sing Harkaway’s praises until the cows come home. This one’s well worthwhile, even though it’s such a dude’s book.

Not such a bad year in reading, I suppose. Still, here’s to a better reading year in 2015. It’d be nice to find that rhythm again.

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Max’s RPG Setting

Max has been really getting into roleplaying games. So much so, that he’s started coming up with his own worlds. He wanted me to type this up and put it online:

There are two worlds: a fantasy world and a science fiction world. They are at war. They’re fighting about each other’s technology.

Part 1: Science Fiction World Information

The general of the SF world gives every one of his soldiers a mini-teleportation unit that lets them get to the fantasy world. The general of the SF world fights duels with the fantasy general in hyperspace. One wins, another wins, one wins, another wins. They use pickaxes in their duels, because they’re neither SF nor fantasy.

Part 2: Fantasy World Information

The general of the fantasy world gives his trolls and goblins one fairy each for teleporting to the SF world. The troll and goblin weapons are swords, spears, crossbows, bows and arrows. They use tools for weapons. They have very different armor from the SF world. Their armor is leather.

Part 3: SF Combat and Protection

The SF world armor is machinery. Their weapons are guns and laser guns. They have gas masks and spacesuits.

Part 4: Fantasy Creatures

Trolls, goblins, fairies, a little bit of humans, dogs, wolves, animals, griffins, a couple cyclopses.

Part 5: SF Creatures

Mostly aliens and robots plus humans.

Part 6: Fantasy Items

Magical globes, lucky rings, health rings. Potions: poison, strength, sleeping, swiftness, leaping, slowness, healing, fire resistance.

Part 7: SF Items

Medical robots, robot soldiers, spacesuits, flying cars, cigarettes, solo planes, teleportation units, jetpacks.

The Rules

You only play as a soldier, watchman, spy, or idiot.

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