Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold is a 1956 novel by C. S. Lewis. It’s quite good, and seems like a very unusual approach to both Cupid and Psyche. The self reflection, particularly of Orual, is amazing. He does a good job of capturing the inward directed nature of our thoughts and musings; Orual is convincing both as a relatively selfless person and as someone who turns her back on difficult knowledge.
Cold Magic by Kate Elliot. I really enjoyed her writing; the book was compelling through. Cat and Bee seem authentic as young women from the striving class in an industrial age analog. A nice job is done mixing industry and magic without stretching into steampunk; the airship that amazes everyone is off screen.
Dresden Files: Cold Days by Jim Butcher. (Book 14) A good continuation of the series; Harry recovers, and it’s quite a journey. The Winter Fae are cruel (as we’ve seen before) and complex; Winter’s deep purpose is revealed and its machinations threaten to strangle everyone. It’s very good, but leans heavily on previous books–after 14 books, I don’t think he expects you to start with this one. (It’s still very accessible, but more than before, it will lack depth and meaning without prior books.)
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller. An incredibly interesting book, set in the real world, today. The lives of the characters feel realistic–and further from my experience than a fantasy hero. Engaging, amazing, well done.
Love in the Time of Seið was designed by Jason Morningstar and Matthijs Holter, and is based on Matthijs’ excellent game Archipelago II. It’s an interesting game–or at least an interesting, very bare bones, scenario. I can imagine it running for a long session, or a few short ones. The mechanics are mostly consensus seeking, hinging on application of six ritual phrases. Very cutting edge; I look forward to trying it. Online resources are available, so you don’t have to cut up your book.
I also read Hollowpoint, which was intriguing. It deserves another read; it looks to do hyper competence well, with a strong emphasis on violence and its consequences.
I’m currently beginning Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson. Set in Boston, 1765, it’s a window on a period where I’ve done little novel reading.
Dice Tower 289: The first non-special episode in a while. Several good games; a good comparison of super hero games [avoid DC, Legendary and Sentinels are both excellent].
Board Games to Go:
131 – An rambling session, mostly talking between friends about other friends. I came away knowing that there’s an online show called Game Night, similar to a less slickly produced Tabletop.
132- The first in a series, a count down of a top 100 board games, as rated by 60+ designers and reviewers. Mark Jackson was one of the presenters, a big part of why I picked this series up. Well done; I look forward to the top 85, which will come in future episodes.
Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff:
21 – Interesting; I particularly liked the first segment on Showing up to Play vs. Showing up to be Entertained. They also wandered into the fields of fudging. The topic was well covered, with divergent views.
22 – The discussion of the roles of mapper and caller was quirky, particularly as we transitioned to their modern equivalents. As usual, it was curious to see what dimly recognized things they’d shine light on.
Roleplay DNA, Episode 16 — Post-Apocalyptic gaming.
Handled unusually, with a particularly nostalgic bent; certainly no mention of Apocalypse World, and no real depth about Savage World’s Hell on Earth. Their theory, that apocalypse roleplaying’s often silly nature unleashes better roleplaying didn’t seem earned–or justified by their examples–but it wasn’t a bad podcast episode.