03 November 2010

I bought a Kindle!

Kind of on impulse, kind of due to a confluence of suggestions and the current exchange rate, I bought myself a Kindle ebook reader. It turned up in the mail last Tuesday and I've been reading stuff on it happily since then - except for a now quite obsolete feeling paper edition of The Fall, received as a birthday present (note: not quite as original as The Strain was, but just as exciting).

The text is very readable, and seems to be somewhat easier on the eyes than an actual book (and much nicer than an LCD screen). I've been reading faster using it, maybe because you have to do less work (no movement of pages, etc). It has the obvious advantage of being able to hold ~3000 books in a package that is about the size of a paperback, except much thinner and slightly lighter. Another nice service is that many of the Amazon books have a free sample, allowing you to read the first chapter or two of something for free to decide if you want to buy it.

Disadvantages are that the "instant delivery" of new texts makes it easy to spend a lot of money, and that some books are restricted by region, meaning now and again I am prevented by publishing restrictions from giving people money in exchange for their goods. I assume that the publisher and author would actually like me to buy their products, but it seems that some confluence of dumbness prevents this. The screensaver is also a little annoyance, as you can't customize it at all and some of the images aren't so great (particularly the creepy picture of Emily Dickinson.... eek!).

Oh, and it's not going to be any use for pdf game texts, something I would quite like to have available in this format. I think that the ideal electronic device for these is a few years away (or maybe just too expensive - I'm looking at you iPad).

Overall, I recommend the thing. It is good, and means I don't need to worry about getting more bookshelves quite as soon as I might have.

Gaming Update

Not much to review over the past few months, but I did jut buy myself copies of Time & Temp, How We Came To Live Here, Dead of Night and some Trail of Cthulhu scenarios. Expect reviews of those texts soon and reviews after play some time later.

I'm still MCing one game of Apocalypse World and playing in another. This is a fantastic game, and I highly recommend it. Even if a post-apocalyptic setting doesn't really do it for you, it's worth a serious look. In play, it generates really great, emotional character stuff all the time. As an example, one of the advancement options is "create a second character to play as well as your first one", something I have done in the game I'm playing in. The new character comes in somewhat disconnected to the existing characters and story, of course, and he spent two sessions as an outsider, really, to the things going on. Then, at the end of that second session a few move results suddenly brought him right into the centre of everything that is happening (specifically, some responsibility for causing the apocalypse and a hint of how to repair the world). It's awesome stuff, now he's got a huge plan to save the world ahead of him. The abilities of the characters to change the world (even just the local part of it) make for great play, as much when you fail a roll as when you succeed. So play it!

I didn't mention that I got my boxed set of FreeMarket in early August. It's pretty! The game is the same, so no news there, but the components are lovely. It looks like they even have some copies left, so if you were thinking about grabbing it there you go.