I have an actual according-to-Hoyle vacation on deck, with no work on the docket. Absurd luxury? Yes! Meanwhile, I’m sprinting around like a decapitated chicken trying to finish everything as needs finishing. A preview!
- Structural revisions for The Highway Kind. For what feels like the first time, I’m experimenting with substantially additive revision. Generally, no matter how much text I add to a book, wordcount for the n+1 draft will be the wordcount for draft n minus at least 10%, often closer to 20 or 30. This time I’ve added 15k, and feel deliciously transgressive. A lot of this book feels transgressive, actually—new rhetoric, new tools, new arguments. Of course, I’m feeling all the hesitation one generally feels using new tools, but there’s a lot of freedom here, too.
- (Unrelated: I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a tabletop game system that reflected growing *used* to a tool. Learning a new blade takes me most of a night on the strip—and they make those to Olympic spec. Someone who swaps out their old 10gp beater for a +3 sword might spend a whole adventure figuring out how to use it. Granted, this is a bit simulationist for my current game preferences, but, hm.)
- Reviewing copy edits for The City’s Thirst, which—I don’t know that I’ve actually mentioned this on the blog. Have I? The City’s Thirst is my second piece of Craft Sequence interactive fiction for Choice of Games. You are a troubleshooter working for Red King Consolidated in the first decade or so after the God Wars. Where’s the water coming from? Forget it, Jake, it’s fantasyland. It’s fun; weirder, too, darker, and probably a bit sexier, than CotD. I hope you like it!
- Finalizing my next Bookburners episode—speaking of which, Episode 4, by Mur Lafferty, goes live today! It’s all about How to Serve Man, sort of. And the perils of surgical equipment. Give it a look—or a listen.
- Undisclosed Labor for Seekret Projekt I’m working on with Cassie Clarke, Lindsay Smith, and Ian Tregellis, muahahahaha.
- Ancillary video stuff for Uncanny Magazine.
Speaking of videos, if you’re a board gamer and haven’t already seen Shut Up & Sit Down’s “Tips for the 5 Problem Players,” go do so. The title aside, the video’s actually more about the ethics of gaming, and how to run a fun, inclusive night. (I’ve made most of the mistakes they mention in the video myself.) How to chill out and welcome people into a gaming space! I admire SUSD’s vision of board gaming—what it is, what it can be. Their team loves quality games, obviously, but they also care about the metanarrative of gaming, and I think that vision’s what makes them stand out.
And in the “Max is excited to read this” line: Ilana Myer’s Last Song Before Night hit stands yesterday. Definitely taking this one on the vacation. Poet magicians!
Okay, back to work for me. Rock on, friends.