Front Page

Content

Authors

Game Index

Forums

Site Tools

Submissions

About

KK
Kevin Klemme
March 09, 2020
34634 2
Hot
KK
Kevin Klemme
January 27, 2020
20142 0
Hot
KK
Kevin Klemme
August 12, 2019
7173 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
December 19, 2023
3434 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
December 14, 2023
3132 0
Hot

Mycelia Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
O
oliverkinne
December 12, 2023
1858 0
O
oliverkinne
December 07, 2023
2307 0

River Wild Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
O
oliverkinne
December 05, 2023
2039 0
O
oliverkinne
November 30, 2023
2273 0
J
Jackwraith
November 29, 2023
2784 0
O
oliverkinne
November 28, 2023
1846 0
S
Spitfireixa
October 24, 2023
3428 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
October 17, 2023
2464 0
O
oliverkinne
October 10, 2023
2364 0
O
oliverkinne
October 09, 2023
2111 0
O
oliverkinne
October 06, 2023
2326 0

Outback Crossing Review

Board Game Reviews
×
Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

What books are you reading?

More
23 Jul 2022 06:21 #334423 by drewcula

Gary Sax wrote: Cocaine is a hell of a drug.


That's probably my favorite Stephen King trivia. He was so high & drunk at the time, he has no recollection of writing 'The Tommyknockers.'

Knowing that confession before reading the book makes it an enjoyable experience.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
23 Jul 2022 12:09 #334427 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic What books are you reading?

drewcula wrote:

Gary Sax wrote: Cocaine is a hell of a drug.


That's probably my favorite Stephen King trivia. He was so high & drunk at the time, he has no recollection of writing 'The Tommyknockers.'

Knowing that confession before reading the book makes it an enjoyable experience.

Voice of experience here: Knowing that confession after reading the book does not. That was the last Stephen King book that I ever read.
The following user(s) said Thank You: drewcula

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
23 Jul 2022 12:13 #334428 by Shellhead

Shellhead wrote: I am halfway through The Honours, by Tim Clare. It is the story of a plucky tween girl living at a peculiar country estate near Norfolk, England in 1935. The overall picture is not yet clear, because everything is from the viewpoint of a 13 year-old, but there seems to be a shadowy society of intellectuals living at the estate, and they may be conspiring with enemies of England. There also seems to be a creeping Cthulhu mythos sort of threat that may even involve an interdimensional portal. There are definitely secret passages and a network of subterranean tunnels beneath the estate, and the whole book starts with an ominous flashforward.


I wrote a little too soon. About midway through The Honours, there is a major turn of events and followed by a wave of action and excitement. The author doesn't slow down the pace to the reader what everything means, he just shows you a lot and leaves you running to catch up. It's great because it preserves the strangeness and mystery until the answers are finally earned. The plucky girl is no paragon, she is stubborn, disobedient, and utterly lacking in social graces, but she will win you over as the pages fly by.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
25 Jul 2022 15:09 #334486 by dysjunct
WHY WE DID IT: A TRAVELOGUE FROM THE REPUBLICAN ROAD TO HELL by Tim Miller.

Yet another "disaffected Republican comes clean and tells all" book. Miller worked in GOP politics for a long time, even though he's pretty young. The book is kind of equal parts Miller's story, the psychology of selling out, and juicy anecdotes.

The psychology is the most interesting part. Miller's story and the juicy anecdotes are fine and fun (respectively), but there's lots of that type of stuff out there. But how political operatives get to the point where they don't even realized they've sold their souls, that is depressing and shocking. It's all about two things: compartmentalization and "The Game." The Game is winning elections. Make your guy look good, make the other guy look bad. If your guy wins, then your tricks and tactics were justified. If your guys loses, then you need to use dirtier tricks next time.

Compartmentalization is related. You can't let yourself think that your tricks and tactics ever have any consequences. Because if you did, then you might let off, and then your guy loses, and you are failing at The Game. So Miller, despite being gay, worked for many homophobic politicians over the years. It's all The Game, and getting bigots into places of power doesn't actually have consequences. (*cough*)

One interesting anecdote: Miller observes that much of the GOP base thinks that the DC-based operatives like him are elite and out of touch and don't know what the base wants. This is not true. Operatives have tons of data. They know exactly what polls well, exactly what kind of fundraising emails get the best response, exactly what kind of clickbait keywords and headlines get clicks. They know exactly what the base wants -- they just don't care. Or rather, the base cares because they are legitimately worried about whatever issue (real or not). The operatives care because it helps them raise money and win elections. If the base changed its mind on something, the operatives would immediately change what they care about.

Another anecdote: After Trump announced his candidacy, Miller and a bunch of other longtime GOP operatives formed a PAC to defeat him. They called it the "Our Principles PAC," because Trump was not principled, not conservative, doesn't care about anything except himself, and would be a disaster for the country and the GOP. After it became clear that Trump was going to clinch the nomination, the Our Principles PAC dissolved. A few weeks later, Miller got a call from another former PAC member, inviting him to join the member in working for a pro-Trump PAC. Miller was gobsmacked -- "We formed a PAC, called OUR PRINCIPLES, on the grounds that conservatives are supposed to have them and Trump doesn't measure up, and now you're saying that those principles didn't really matter?"

Miller was a Republican until 2020, when he registered Independent.

The book is entertaining and well-written and very funny. It is a little bleak. I don't know if it will rehabilitate Miller. Miller is a fun conversationalist and I enjoy listening to him on the wonk podcast circuit. And, he's just one guy, he didn't create the system, and (like so many others) he could have kept his head down and mouth shut, and kept getting those sweet consultant paychecks from the GOP machine. But he was a big part of the problem.

I guess my ire should be directed at the thousands of people who never spoke out, never quit a six-figure job, and keep perpetuating the issue today -- rather than the very small number who have actually taken a stand (Miller, the Lincoln Project people, Jeff Flake, etc.), lost jobs, and in some cases gotten a lot of death threats and other abuse. I still feel like grabbing Miller by his lapels and yelling at him though.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shellhead, HiveGod, stormseeker75, mezike, sornars, Kmann, Dive-Dive-Dive!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Aug 2022 09:20 #335027 by hotseatgames
I just finished reading all 8 books in the Dexter series. Many people do not know that the tv show was based on the books, although they mainly only took the characters; the storylines were all completely different except for the first book, which the first season closely copies. TLDR; the show is better, watch it and stop after season 4.
  1. Darkly Dreaming Dexter - a good introduction, and one of the better books in the series. As mentioned, is roughly analogous to season 1 of the show.
  2. Dearly Devoted Dexter - so forgettable that I couldn't tell you much about it
  3. Dexter in the Dark - the low point of the series, I almost quit the whole experiment
  4. Dexter by Design - starts out weak but gets better as I recall
  5. Dexter is Delicious - things are looking up! Dexter deals with a cult of cannibals. Pretty good!
  6. Double Dexter - This one would have made a great tv season. Very good. Possibly the best since the first.
  7. Dexter's Final Cut - While a good book, it commits a continuity sin that bothered me, with entire characters literally not mentioned, when they should have been
  8. Dexter is Dead - In a first for the series (and a last, as it were) this story connects directly with book 7. Until now everything had stood on its own. One character is still strangely MIA, but another that had been MIA is suddenly in the mix again. A fitting end, and far better than the end that the tv series gave us.
The following user(s) said Thank You: BillyBobThwarton

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Aug 2022 09:42 #335029 by Shellhead
I am currently re-reading The Great Shark Hunt, by Hunter S. Thompson, the notorious gonzo journalist who wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I first encountered Thompson's writing as a college freshman. A neighbor loaned Fear & Loathing to my roommate, thinking that he might like it. That was a serious miscalculation, as the roommate was a very basic fellow who studied hard, watched Cheers, and drank cheap beer. As a compulsive reader, I tried the first chapter and became utterly hooked. I kept reading Fear & Loathing, often laughing out loud while reading. This endlessly annoyed my roommate, who said that laughter is inappropriate unless other people are also laughing. I asked him what about him laughing while he is watching Cheers? He patiently explained that sitcoms like Cheers always have a laugh track to give people permission to laugh while they are watching alone. Interesting, but disturbing. My old roommate is now one of my Facebook friends. He never posts, and in his profile pictures with his nice wife and kids, he looks reluctantly sober and dead in the eyes.

The Great Shark Hunt is a collection of many past articles written by Thompson. I last read this hefty tome when in the mid-'80s. Thompson had solid reporter instincts and wrote with memorable style, but liked to throw himself into events while drunk or on drugs. Sometimes he delivers uncanny insights and sometimes he misses the whole story but delivers some amusing details about his drugged failure to get the story. So far, I have just read his account of attending the Kentucky Derby in the early '70s and also his coverage of Olympic skiing champion Jean-Claude Killy's post-Olympic career with celebrity endorsements. I'm not old enough to remember Killy, but Thompson's writing brings him into sharp view. Aside from the sports writing, there are articles featuring travel, politics, and culture that I am looking forward to reading again.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HiveGod, sornars, Erik Twice

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Aug 2022 13:57 #335030 by dysjunct

hotseatgames wrote: I just finished reading all 8 books in the Dexter series. Many people do not know that the tv show was based on the books, although they mainly only took the characters; the storylines were all completely different except for the first book, which the first season closely copies.


Back in the day, I worked in bookstores. There was one older lady I worked with who was the queen of all genre lit. Voracious reader; read everything from romance to horror to fantasy to westerns; basically anything that wasn't highbrow fiction. She kept an index card file with the names of customers (she had customers she'd been helping for three decades who'd followed her from one bookstore to another). Each card had a list of the authors the customer liked. She had another file with the names of authors; on each card was a list of which customers liked that author, so whenever that author released a book, she'd put copies on hold and call the customers.

Anyway, one day I was working and she walked up with a copy of the just-released Darkly Dreaming Dexter. (She'd read it the day it came out.) She shook it in my direction and said "This is going to be huge. I bet they're going to make a bunch of movies and make a billion dollars." Turns out, except for it being prestige TV, she was right.
The following user(s) said Thank You: jason10mm, hotseatgames, sornars, DarthJoJo, n815e

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Aug 2022 16:59 #335032 by Erik Twice

Shellhead wrote: He patiently explained that sitcoms like Cheers always have a laugh track to give people permission to laugh while they are watching alone.

I'm just speechless
The following user(s) said Thank You: ChristopherMD, HiveGod

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Aug 2022 21:02 #335034 by ChristopherMD

Erik Twice wrote:

Shellhead wrote: He patiently explained that sitcoms like Cheers always have a laugh track to give people permission to laugh while they are watching alone.

I'm just speechless


It's like crying in the rain. The laughter just blends in.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
16 Aug 2022 00:49 #335035 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic What books are you reading?

Shellhead wrote: He patiently explained that sitcoms like Cheers always have a laugh track to give people permission to laugh while they are watching alone.

Pretty sure that's wrong.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
16 Aug 2022 04:26 #335036 by mc
Replied by mc on topic What books are you reading?
Embassytown by China Mieville. As a bit of a language nerd been meaning to read this for quite sometime. Sci-fi semiotics? Ok, sign me up. (pun, intended).

So there's this planet where the original inhabitants trade with humans (and others) for their crazy biotech. Maintaining good relations and the ability to trade is hard though, because the aliens speak with two mouths at the same time, and can't understand speech spoken by others unless the two mouths come from the same mind. So humans train these twins to be able to do it and like surgically keep their minds to be exactly the same every night so they can continue to talk to the aliens. But the other thing is that the alien language is literal in the extreme. They can't lie, because their speech is truth, it's not just symbolic, it is that literal. The aliens get humans to do crazy stuff so that they can then use them as similes when explaining things; if they haven't seen them do it, then it doesn't exist kind of thing. So yeah, it's nicely done and hinted at in a sinister manner - the main character is a simile and she is "the girl who was made to eat". And there's like "the man who sleeps with fishes every night". And " the man who was cut open". All so they can say "it's like the man who was cut open". So there's this subculture of similes, people who are bits of the language of the aliens. And they have fans, like, the aliens come to look at them or whatever.

It hasn't got quite into the language as much as I had hoped, to be honest, but, pretty good overall, and he plays with the language of the protaganist a fair bit if you're paying attention, in terms of how they describe things and so on, but also, the signals that they give through what they say - there's a lot of subtle stuff going on which is almost ironic given the ideas. Plot is there's this massive shakeup of everything because there is an event that just shuts the aliens down and they'll only communicate with one ambassador and don't give a shit about trade anymore.
The following user(s) said Thank You: dysjunct, HiveGod, mezike, sornars, Nodens, DarthJoJo, Dive-Dive-Dive!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
16 Aug 2022 09:18 #335039 by Shellhead

RobertB wrote:

Shellhead wrote: He patiently explained that sitcoms like Cheers always have a laugh track to give people permission to laugh while they are watching alone.

Pretty sure that's wrong.


I hate the idea, but out of curiosity, I looked at the wikipedia entry for Laugh Track and that is sadly the rationale. Scroll down to Effects and then Legacy and Support in that wiki. Maybe "permission" is too strong a word, and some people just need some guidance to know when they are supposed to laugh. One critic points out that the results would be absurd if applied to other mediums. Imagine watching a murder mystery and a voiceover told you that a certain suspect onscreen is suspicious. Or a scary movie where a voiceover tells you that something onscreen is scary. On the other hand, movies and tv shows do that all the time, only they use music to cue your emotions.
The following user(s) said Thank You: RobertB, Nodens

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
16 Aug 2022 10:33 #335040 by Nodens
Replied by Nodens on topic What books are you reading?
In a crime movie, a British accent or being a smoker won't help your case.

Natural Born Killers used a laugh track to great effect.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
16 Aug 2022 11:47 #335041 by Joebot
Replied by Joebot on topic What books are you reading?

mc wrote: Embassytown by China Mieville. As a bit of a language nerd been meaning to read this for quite sometime. Sci-fi semiotics? Ok, sign me up. (pun, intended).


It's been a long time since I read Embassytown, but I remember it being delightfully weird and kinda dense to get through, like all the best China Mieville. I've read every work of fiction the man has written (except The Last Days of New Paris which I simply could not get through), and I'm very sad that he doesn't seem to be writing fiction any more. To my knowledge, he hasn't published any new fiction since 2016, and he's got nothing new scheduled.

I need to go back and revisit Embassytown. The one that really sticks in my head the most over the years is The City and The City. My favorite is still Perdido Street Station though. That book is fucking bonkers.

I'm currently reading Blue at the Mizzen, the 20th and final book of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturn series. I can't believe it's almost over!
The following user(s) said Thank You: mezike, sornars, Nodens

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
16 Aug 2022 12:28 #335042 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic What books are you reading?

Shellhead wrote:

RobertB wrote:

Shellhead wrote: He patiently explained that sitcoms like Cheers always have a laugh track to give people permission to laugh while they are watching alone.

Pretty sure that's wrong.


I hate the idea, but out of curiosity, I looked at the wikipedia entry for Laugh Track and that is sadly the rationale. Scroll down to Effects and then Legacy and Support in that wiki. Maybe "permission" is too strong a word, and some people just need some guidance to know when they are supposed to laugh. One critic points out that the results would be absurd if applied to other mediums. Imagine watching a murder mystery and a voiceover told you that a certain suspect onscreen is suspicious. Or a scary movie where a voiceover tells you that something onscreen is scary. On the other hand, movies and tv shows do that all the time, only they use music to cue your emotions.

The gist I got from the article (granted, it was late and I was tired) was that the laugh track started out as the answer to the problem of trying to film movie-style in front of a live audience. Some of the live audience was literally going to have a wall in their way sometimes, and the laugh track helped those folks realize that something funny happened. But pretty soon they realized they could ditch the live audience and use the laugh track to cue the broadcast audience for laughter, and control (to a certain extent) the audience response. "That was supposed to be crazy funny, so laugh harder!"

I think your friend is right about 'permission to laugh', but it's a side effect.

These days a laugh track feels weird to me, and I don't think it's because I'm snooty. The last few comedies that I've made a point to watch, Arrested Development, Veep, and Silicon Valley, all don't have laugh tracks.

And this one shows that you have to write for (or not for) the laugh track.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gregarius, Kmann

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary Sax
Time to create page: 0.275 seconds