I read three books recently. None of them were my books. Most of the books gotten for me in recent years I have yet to read because, well, I can always do it later, in theory. Whereas, my mother is working on getting rid of some of her books, which includes a lot of mysteries.
Why not a Mother’s Day themed post? Family tradition, at least as far back as my grandmother, that we don’t celebrate it.
Sherlock Holmes story I would not consider a pastiche as it didn’t really imitate ACD in style, just used his characters. It was interesting to read but, much like recent Star Wars movies, you can pick at it more and more after the fact. I read some reviews afterwards and I could see the problems with it. It wasn’t much of a SH story. SH was incapacitated for much of the early book, it involved romantic notions involving not-Watson, it was goryesque (for me, irrelevant), it had Mycroft swinging between appearing to be brotherly and being mucho manipulative. And, then, I realized it didn’t really try to solve any mystery. As I’ve said before, SH stories aren’t about good mysteries, they are about fanciful characters and dramatic moments, but they still use a mystery as the basis of a plot. In this case, sure, you could call the beating up of SH by an unknown assailant a mystery and some boring murders, but it’s not a SH-style mystery. Once SH is on stage, you are pretty much just left with determining which of two brothers is a bad guy, where forensic type clues are largely meaningless.
Then, I read a Robin Hudson novel – that’s the protagonist’s name. Author would be Sparkle Hayter. It was fine. Expectations are different. The focus was on presenting an appealing protagonist and I’m all for redheads built like Rita Hayworth who keep poison ivy around in their apartments. What this book had in common was that it was very, very focused on characters and the mystery was pretty unimportant. Some guy gets killed and there’s barely any explanation as to precisely how by the end of the book. I’m not sure the supporting characters hold up as plausible given the relationship drama and the events of the book that cause all sorts of public scandals. But, I wouldn’t be opposed to reading the other four Robin Hudson books, until I’ve read another.
Recently, I took a couple of sessions to read a Judge Dee book. I had never read one before. It was more mystery focused than the first two. The cultural elements are distracting, with some of the diction sounding a bit too modern, but, hey, written in the ’60’s, so whatever. It was fine. I thought maybe it would be somewhat inspiring for L5R or whatever, but, even with fantasy elements, not so much. I didn’t feel that strongly about any of the characters, which is contrastriffic to the other two books.
There are mysteries that can inspire me, whether it’s gaming or writing fantasy. In fact, I still retain minimal recollections of being interested in doing a series of stories with a mystery feel involving a witch and her stepdaughter paladin. But, I’m not feeling much from these books other than being somewhat transported to the realmscapes of the mind.
So, what has been going on gamingwise?
Shadowfist, where I gave up on the second of two games Thursday because I felt like I was wasting too many of my resources trying to keep the game going. I still don’t get enough deckbuilding done as it’s not easy for me to throw something together before we play and I’m usually interested in vegging for a bit after we play.
Traveller rulebook updates. Commenting in our playtest forums. Playing with Jeff yesterday as he was in town. I wrote about our play session to some degree on the Traveller forums.
I need to do some work on session three of Rokugan 1600, The Northern Front. I have ideas I like, but ideas don’t make product.
True Dungeon forumites up in arms about Gen Con electronic tickets and no ghosting policies. I just hope our situation isn’t affected by “improving the experience”. In general, I still come from things with a casual player’s perspective rather than 1%er’s viewpoint, so a lot of things don’t steal my sheep.
I finally bought V:TES cards from drivethrucards.com after it kept denying my checkout because my name wasn’t in my address even though I had ordered stuff before with the same address. Otherwise, haven’t been thinking much about V:TES. At the rate I’m going, Origins prep would likely happen right before Origins, which is way too late for the number of decks I should build.
To a degree, have I gotten to the point of imitating my old habits? I don’t build decks that often, yet have three games I have reasons to build decks for. I don’t try to play RPGs. I acquire more stuff seemingly because I feel I should rather than for a passionate desire to have the stuff.
Everything seems to be waiting on conventions. KublaCon for HoR engagement. Origins for V:TES engagement and TD engagement. GC for HoR engagement and TD engagement. Traveller is when I’m needed for something rather than trying to get ahead of the curve on our release plans.
On the other hand, finding solace in something distracting with no greater project impact, like driving through a short novel is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been inclined to do. Then, there’s getting caught up on Arrowverse shows, which is so not that great. Still haven’t broken down and watched an Into the Badlands episode for season three, so maybe that will be inspiring when I get around to it.