Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Closing tabs.

Of course, one of the primary reasons I'm feeling overwhelmed is due to the whopping huge number of open tabs that I seem to have accrued. Seriously. Safari has crashed twice in the last twenty minutes because I have literally dozens of interesting things up in tabs at the moment. I will now link to a number of them here, so that I can share them with you, oh faithful readers, and cache them for my own future consumption.


  • Secret Histories and Con-Artists: a roundtable discussion with John Crowley, Jeff Ford, James Morrow, and Tim Powers. A fun conversation between some of my favorite contemporary authors discussing a common theme in their recent works, which may or may not have been sparked off by The Da Vinci Code. Given the prominence of secret histories in my own current works, I found the whole thing compelling. One of my favorite insights, from John Crowley: "Maybe you could distinguish between books that are about secret histories (like The Crying of Lot 49) and secret histories themselves. What Pynchon got was that we'd rather be titillated by the possibility of the secret history than to hear it explicated." Also, don't forget to check out the second half of the interview as well.

  • We're Not Listening: An Open Letter to Game Researchers. An interesting article in Gamasutra about the impact, or lack thereof, of academic research upon the actual games industry. Given that my friend Nick Hunter is now working as a producer at EA and my other friend Dave Edery is now working as an Xbox Live manager at Microsoft, I'd say we're having some impact... But then my distinctly mixed reaction to Jesper Juul's presentation of his new book Half-Real here last night suggests that perhaps the industry isn't listening that hard for a reason.

  • In Praise of Third Place: The New Yorker on the Nintendo Wii. " Two weeks ago, the début of Sony’s PlayStation 3 was greeted by crowds of hysterical consumers anxious to get their hands on the new consoles billed as the most powerful gaming machines ever. When Nintendo’s new console, the oddly-named Wii, appeared, a few days later, thee were excellent reviews and expectations of good sales, but no more talk about world conquest. If Sony and Microsoft are the major-party nominees, Nintendo is more like a cool third-party candidate." I'm not so sure about that. Scuttlebutt around these parts is that the Wii is by far the most fun of the three platforms. I'm the most excited about the Xbox's opportunities for indie development, but I can't wait to take a crack at The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for the Wii. The article continues, though: "Nintendo, though, has not just survived out of the spotlight; it has thrived. It has five billion dollars in the bank from years of solid profits, and this past year, though it spent heavily on the launch of the Wii, it made close to a billion dollars in profit and saw its stock price rise by sixty-five per cent. Sony’s game division, by contrast, barely eked out a profit and Microsoft’s reportedly lost money. Who knew bringing up the rear could be so lucrative?" Sounds like Mario's set to stick around for a long, long time.

  • NYT: Four Mothers of Manga Gain American Fans with Expertise in a Variety of Styles. Astounding: the four-woman studio named CLAMP is responsible for a whopping twenty-two popular manga series in Japan, including the imported-to-America Chobits and X.

  • It's Not a Graphic Novel, Percy. I'd like to welcome Eddie Campbell to the blogosphere. His Fate of the Artist books are some of the best quasi-autobio comics I've read, and of course his work on From Hell is legendary.

  • Get Ready for 24-Hour Living. Scientists are hammering away on pills that will safely "do for sleep what the contraceptive pill did for sex - unshackle it from nature". Go, guys, go!

  • Henry in Gamasutra. I love seeing these interviews with Henry, especially when they start asking him about the kinds of media he himself consumes and generates. In this article, Henry starts things off by confessing a love for casual games (ahh, Super Collapse), Miyamoto's side-scrollers (who doesn't love Mario?) and, my favorite, his experiences with us playing Guitar Hero: "These days, I am most likely to end up playing Guitar Hero, which is a favorite in the graduate student lounge here. I'm not particularly good at it, which means that students often want to play against me. Getting your head handed to you by one of your students is payback for all of the demands I make on them in the classroom." It's so true.

  • Creatives Understand. I so want one of these t-shirts. XL, please.

  • Joss Whedon on the comics-only Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8. Hello, THESIS.

  • Studio Boss: Poor Game Scripts Result in Poor Acting. Well, duh.

  • The Darkening Garden: A hort Lexicon of Horror. Is it weird that this is sitting near the top of my Christmas list?

  • Preacher to HBO? Courtesy of Warren Ellis, who indicates that Garth Ennis' reaction to the story on Sci-Fi Wire is, apparently, unprintable. One wonders what that means.

  • Greg Costikyan: "Why are there no Prestige Games?" The founder of Manifesto Games ponders about the dissimiliarity between games and cinema, which trends closely to a lot of the thoughts I've been entertaining lately about indie gaming and "art house" games. "Prestige films get made, and get attention, even though they are often economically marginal or even "failures" (in a pure ROI sense), because studios understand that there are real (if intangible) benefits from being associated with prestige films. The same is true in publishing; the sorts of books that win awards are not, typically, the sorts of books that sell best. Yet publishers are eager to be associated with award-winning books, and trumpet books and authors who do win awards. They understand that having a reputation as being a publisher of fine literary works will make authors and agents more eager to do business with them, and reviewers more willing to take a look at the next book they push."

  • The Wii's Indie Future? Ian Bogost ruminates about how the Wii could open up to garage gamemakers. "Developers of serious games, art games, political games, newsgames, and other related genres often share a similar goal of expanding the possibility space of video games. This common goal may suggest a possible alliance of interests between serious games and the Wii." Again, I'm all ears.

  • First Japanese mobile phone novel award. Also courtesy of the Good Mr. Ellis – this is fascinating stuff, made only more so by the fact that there were apparently over 2,300 entries in the contest!

  • The Faux Return of Jack Ryan. As a writer, I have to say "Whaaaaaat?" Apparently a loophole in the contract allows Paramount to make new Jack Ryan films without any input from Tom Clancy. Does this seem boneheadedly wrong to anyone else?

  • Can You Create a Gaming City? The city being discussed over at Joystiq is Philly, but I'd love to see someone apply the same logic to Cleveland or Columbus. (NEO Game Initiative, I'm looking at you here.)

  • NYT: An Ancient Computer Surprises Scientists. Cooooooool.

  • Reason on the Futures of Entertainment Conference. One of the best write-ups of the conference I've seen yet.

  • Disney Vault 28. Apparently it's crazy expensive, but the highly-stylized Disney stuff in this new LA-only store sounds sweet.

  • Justin Hall on "Passively Multiplayer Online Games". Check out Justin rocking the sweater vest!

Okay, that's more than enough for now – this little exercise just made an hour and a half vanish. Rats. Back to work-work now...

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