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Yesterday, I did a very respectable 1,362 words on Chapter Two, despite being entirely out of sorts. This brings the total for Chapter Two so far to 5,013, which leads me to believe that the chapter is, roughly speaking, about half finished. I may have it done by Saturday. But I am still out of sorts, perhaps worse today than yesterday. The cold isn't helping in the least. Last time I checked the temperature, about half an hour ago, it was only 21F out there. Most likely, I'll not leave the house again today. I have my old velvet coat from Salvation Army, the one with the ugly tortoiseshell buttons, and I have my fingerless gloves, and I will spend the day hunched over this keyboard like something from a steampunk adaptation of a Charles Dickens novel, pecking away for a lump of coal. What worry have I of carpal-tunnel or a bad back or my failing eyesight. This might be as good as it gets. Looking back from, oh, let's say 2019, this may prove to be my fondest memory. But I was speaking of Chapter Two. Yesterday, and the day before, Soldier met the Bailiff for the first time. She was only five years old. The constant reader will, hopefully, recall the Bailiff from "So Runs the World Away," In the Garden of Poisonous Flowers, and "The Dead and the Moonstruck." He is one of my favorite returning characters. Sort of a cross between Edward Gorey, Santa Claus, and Robert Mitchum's character in The Night of the Hunter (meaning no disrespect to any of those fine gentlemen, especially Santa Claus).

I would love to love the cold. I would, truly.

Other things that must be done: e-mail my editor at Penguin about the notes he sent me on the prologue of Daughter of Hounds, because I don't have ProEdit and can't read them. E-mail Richard Kirk about To Charles Fort, With Love. Order copies of Silk and Murder of Angels (via e-mail). E-mail Leh'agvoi about his revisions to the storyboards. I never call anyone these days.

I'm quite disappointed in Damon Knight's Charles Fort biography. It started out well enough, but round about Chapter Four, it sort of ceased being a biography and started being a regurgitation and interpretation of The Book of the Damned and Fort's writing in general. I understand that biographical details on Fort's life are scarce, but I'm beginning to get the feeling that Knight just didn't try that hard. Chapter Eight is wasted with an annoying and futile defense of Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision (and thus the author demonstrates, by seeing Fort and Velikovsky as fellow travelers, that he understands Fort not at all). Chapter Seven is a rather tedious indulgence on the part of Knight, as he attempts to create elaborate graphs demonstrating correlations of one sort or another within Fort's data set, especially during the period of 1877-1892. There are charts and diagrams that made me squint, and even though Knight notes that Fort never used either, that he distrusted and abhored statistics, the author plunges merrily ahead with this "Fortean" statistical undertaking. Some of Damon Knight's thoughts on space-time annomalies are interesting, particularly as they relate to premonitions, but the ideas are recounted in an extremely simplistic, anecdotal manner. I'm at Chapter Ten now and almost done with the book, and it seems to be getting back around to being a biograpy of Charles Fort. We shall see.

I'm also struggling with The Legacy of Kain: Defiance on PlayStation. I think my biggest problem with the last few games that I've tried to get through (Devil May Cry II, Bujingai, etc.) is that they are, just beneath the surface, nothing more than old-fashioned platform games. Last night, I described The Legacy of Kain: Defiance as Donkey Kong for goths (with some of the most tiresome cut scenes ever written). I'm tired of games that are so obviously games. I didn't even make it all the way through the most-recent Ratchet and Clank, for this very reason. I want a game like Primal or The Chronicles of Riddick that sucks you in and makes you forget that you're playing a game. Otherwise, it's just sports for geeks, and I frelling loathe sports. Ah, well. I am getting a lot more reading done.

Okay, I should wind this up. Spooky's about to leave for the dentist. Which brings me to the last order of business, the eBay auctions. Please check them out. Spend some money. Last night, we added a traycased lettered of Wrong Things, along with one of the lettered hardbacks of Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold (letter ZZ).

Comments

( 20 comments — Have your say! )
remipunx
Jan. 18th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
I am not totally sure what style gaming you are into, but my family, and most of my friends are hooked on Kingdom Hearts. And the second version comes out soon.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 18th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
I am not totally sure what style gaming you are into, but my family, and most of my friends are hooked on Kingdom Hearts. And the second version comes out soon.

Thanks for the rec, but no, the Disney stuff just freaks me out.
wishlish
Jan. 18th, 2005 04:54 pm (UTC)
Three quick gaming thoughts:

1. My darling wife got so sick of Ratchet and Clank 3 that after she finished the game, she announced her retirement from video games, and she meant it. And she hasn't touched the Playstation since. I was rather saddened by her decision, but I'm starting to understand.

2. I think your perfect game would be a goth version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. That game is just *fun*, although it's so massive I use the guide. But it doesn't feel like cheating; it feels like...annotations, if that makes sense. And the environment is so friendly, I'm starting to *like* the gangsta rap, which is new for me (the radio stations that play old James Brown songs were already loved by me, and any game with a Living Colour song can't be all bad). You might want to give it a rental- it's just an amazing game.

3. And I still think you might want to try Katamari Damacy. That game is truly the devil's work. There's a report on Wired that quite a few people have gotten into the game so much that they tried, subconsciously, to play the game in real life. It's a magnificent accomplishment.

greygirlbeast
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:08 pm (UTC)
You might want to give it a rental- it's just an amazing game.

Again, I don't think that's for me. Rap/hip-hop generally annoys the frell out of me. I cannot abide the stuff or its attendant subculture, and stealing cars, taggings walls, wandering about the ghettos of LA just doesn't excite me, no matter how much freedom of movement there might be.

I need straightforward action-adventure. It can have a sci-fi or fantasy flavour. I rather liked Halo 2, when all was said and done, despite certain misgivings. I'm a big fan of all but the most recent Tomb Raider games, Primal, the Riddick game, BloodRayne 2 (mindless though it was), Crimson Skies, Beyond Good and Evil and so forth. That sort of thing. I've just let myself get bogged down in all these silly quasi-platform games. Oh, and Morrowind was huge disappointment and has, for the time being, left me shy of the tedium of role-playing games. Don't even mention the Sims. Ugh.
wishlish
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
Ever try the Jak series? The first is a bit cartoonish, but the second is really interesting (although really hard).

I can see your point about GTA. You have to be at least tolerant of the hip hop subculture to enjoy the game, so the game would drive you nuts.

You know, I just got an e-mail from EB games that reconditioned GameCubes are now $60, and there's a ton of games on that platform that might appeal to you- Zelda, the new Resident Evil...
greygirlbeast
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
Ever try the Jak series? The first is a bit cartoonish, but the second is really interesting (although really hard).

I played part of Jak II, and it was okay. Not as good as Ratchet and Clank, with which it obviously bears comparison, but interesting enough that I might have played more, if something else hadn't distracted me.

I can see your point about GTA. You have to be at least tolerant of the hip hop subculture to enjoy the game, so the game would drive you nuts.

Yep, even the commercials drive me nuts, with that frelling Guns and Roses song (not even rap, and already I'm annoyed).

You know, I just got an e-mail from EB games that reconditioned GameCubes are now $60

Right now, any techno-spending, which can't take place until after Spooky's tooth is fixed and the car's seen to, will go towards the purchase of an 80GB Mac mini.
wishlish
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:40 pm (UTC)
"Yep, even the commercials drive me nuts, with that frelling Guns and Roses song (not even rap, and already I'm annoyed)."

I can't believe they picked that song. I still remember the first set of GTA commercials with the opera song, and those got me hooked into buying the game (although it sits uncompleted on my shelf, and probably will, since GTA:San Andreas is heads and shoulders above the other two games in playability). There are so many other songs in the game that fit the game better- soul numbers, rap numbers. Why use that song, which isn't even from the time the game is set in? ("Jungle" is probably 3 years before the setting of GTA:SA.)

On the Mac mini- is 256 MB enough to run a Mac comfortably? I was thinking of getting one for my wife, but want to know if I should expect to upgrade the memory. I know my WinXP box was a nightmare until I upgraded the memory to 512 MB, and now it's really smooth.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
On the Mac mini- is 256 MB enough to run a Mac comfortably? I was thinking of getting one for my wife, but want to know if I should expect to upgrade the memory. I know my WinXP box was a nightmare until I upgraded the memory to 512 MB, and now it's really smooth.

256 is pretty low. I'm working with 640 on my iBook. I'd probably be upgrading the memory immediately, but mostly I'm looking at the Mac mini as an extra HD, not my main machine.
wishlish
Jan. 18th, 2005 06:07 pm (UTC)
$500 for an extra HD? I just plunked $200 for a 300 GB HD on my PC. Am I missing something? Is it that hard to upgrade a HD on a Mac? Couldn't you just buy an external hard drive and connect it via Firewire or USB? Or am I simplifying the issue too much, as I suspect (I now see the comment "mostly" in there)?

Sorry, I'm a hard drive addict. I have a half-terabyte worth of storage on my desktop, and sometimes...I want more...more...more...You would think 100 GBs of music would be enough, but it isn't. I am so pathetic...sigh...

greygirlbeast
Jan. 18th, 2005 06:15 pm (UTC)
Or am I simplifying the issue too much, as I suspect (I now see the comment "mostly" in there)?

You are. But then I'm a Mac addict.
wishlish
Jan. 18th, 2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
After all the fun I'm having with my iPod, and remembering 6 hours I lost of my life cleaning up spyware, I'm thinking about it. I'm not there yet, but I'm thinking.
antonstrout
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
I just lost my entire gaming soul to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 over the holiday weekend, and loved losing said soul. I'm curious to try Riddick simply because I know what a gaming geek Vin Diesel is and I hear good things...

Also, if I may ask, who's you're editor at Penguin? That's where I work.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC)
I just lost my entire gaming soul to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 over the holiday weekend, and loved losing said soul.

I reeally wanted to like ST:KotOR, but after a few nights, the bad dialogue, lousy controls, and thinness of the illusion of "freedom" drove me away. I've yet to play a Star Wars game that didn't annoy me.

Also, if I may ask, who's you're editor at Penguin?

At the moment, John Morgan.
antonstrout
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:16 pm (UTC)
Ahh, okay, John is down the hall from me. We talk shop on games.

I'm terribly forgiving on KOTOR because I'm a dork about the d20 D&D mechanics behind the scenes of combat and I also got such different results playing Light and Dark Side. I was also getting my freedom in SW fix from SW: Galaxies at the time so I was pretty doped up.
oddsignal
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC)
Give Defiance a chance - it really picks up towards the end. Some of the gaming involved is pretty tedious, but it's a nice end to a story that has had more depth and scope than virtually any game I can think of, even if I couldn't follow most of it.

Video games for me have always been about stories. This is how I justify my copious induldgences in them, along with comic books, anime, foreign films. I'm told this is geeky. They're told a good story is a good story, whether you play it or read it or watch it or whatever. They are not convinced.

Some games are fun to play, some - I won't name names or mention Final Fantasy at all - we slog through for 40 hours because the story is epic and we're involved in the fate of Tidus or Cloud even if another random battle might push us off the edge. I'm firmly of the story camp. Ratchet and Clank is a farcical comedy, Prince of Persia is an adventure, FFX is a love story, Defiance is gothic horror, Silent Hill is a scary French film. I tend to pick my games on my moods.

As far as Defiance goes, I wouldn't wonder that you find it tiresome and self-indulgent if you haven't played the games before. Nobody will defend the dreary dialogue but you have to look at it fondly, like a four year old with a larger vocabularly than you but no notion whatsoever of what he's saying. It's a guilty pleasure.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:53 pm (UTC)
As far as Defiance goes, I wouldn't wonder that you find it tiresome and self-indulgent if you haven't played the games before. Nobody will defend the dreary dialogue but you have to look at it fondly, like a four year old with a larger vocabularly than you but no notion whatsoever of what he's saying. It's a guilty pleasure.

It has it's good points: the design is quite gorgeous, the hack-and-slash element is moderately satisfying, the feeding thing is nice (though not as sexy as in BloodRayne 2), the music's not bad. But these don't seem to be overcoming the awful writing and the fact that I usually seem to be looking at my character from at least fifty yards away, making the constant platform hopping that much more aggravating.

But yes, story. A good story is a good story, regardless of the medium, and I need good stories in my games.

lou_sytsma
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:19 pm (UTC)
Resident Evil 4
If you are packing a Gamecube - or can wait till the end of the year for the PS2 version - Resident Evil 4 should fit your action bill. It breaks away from the previous versions with a fixed over the shoulder view and no zombies. There is a sequence near the beginning of the game in a village where you are surrounded by farm implement bearing villagers plus a Texas Chainsaw wannabe.

I have suffered several decapitations myself. A true gem of a game and highly immersive - plus no platform sequences. Though there are the occasional puzzles. The focus is on action and gore filled it is with some of the best console graphics to date.

It is a system seller.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 18th, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Resident Evil 4
If you are packing a Gamecube - or can wait till the end of the year for the PS2 version - Resident Evil 4 should fit your action bill.

Yep. That's one I've been waiting for. No GameCube here, just XBox and PS2.
greylit
Jan. 19th, 2005 03:13 pm (UTC)
I don't know if you're strictly a consol gamer or not but...

I played Half-Life Two for the first time yesterday on a friends computer and good fuck it was great. The first twenty minutes or so are like being in a good science fiction movie. You don't know what's going on, you're being chased by masked police over rooftops and through apartment buildings...I really can't say enough about it. I was frightened and excited at the same time.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 19th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
I don't know if you're strictly a consol gamer or not but...

Yep, strictly console. I got interested in HL2 after Halo 2, but until the folks at Sierra gets off there eemas and produce a console edition, I'm out of luck.
( 20 comments — Have your say! )