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Monthly Archives: October 2010
Coming Soon: Custom Random Title Mugs from the Title-O-Tron

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

Random Sci Fi Titles Generator MugsThis isn’t online yet, but I’m sort of jazzed about it anyway: I worked out a way to connect my Thrilling Tales Pulp Sci Fi Title-O-Tron to my online shop, so that by clicking on a title you can automagically generate a coffee mug with that title on it.

So soon you’ll have a chance to create mugs with a Thrilling Tales logo and, say, "The Astronomer That Misplaced the Galaxy", or "The Airship of the Phantom Horde", or even "The Great Cephalopod of the Moon". Which (as I calculate it) will make your life complete. No thanks are necessary: I do this for the good of Humankind.

I’ve got practically no control over the typography, unfortunately, but when I’ve spiffied up the mug backdrop and made a pretty web interface for it this should be going into my Retropolis site in the coffee mugs section.

This picture’s from a screen grab of the whole astonishing mechanism in action. It’s aliiiiive!

UPDATE: The Mug-O-Matic is now live!

 
 
World’s Greatest Megalomaniac T-Shirts: Go Forth, My Robot Minions!

Filed under Works in Progress

Worlds Greatest Megalomaniac T-ShirtsYep, they’re here: the Worlds Greatest Megalomaniac T-Shirts, in both a Girly Edition and a Manly Edition.

I have to admit that I’ve got some reservations about this. I’m still not sure what would happen if TWO World’s Greatest Megalomaniacs were to show up in the same place; like, for example, well, anyplace.

There’s this implicit logical problem with there being two of the World’s Greatest anythings: but if, say, two World’s Greatest Dads show up, it seems mostly harmless.

If two World’s Greatest Teachers show up, well, that’s a little more serious, and some frightening eyebrow arching is likely to happen.

But if two evil geniuses, each bent on world domination, should show up at the same party in these shirts…. I’m just afraid that the fabric of spacetime would distort and rip and something with too many tentacles would arrive from the Dungeon Dimensions.

I can’t wait to find out!

 
 
In the 1950s, Little Johnny Could Have His Own Nuclear Test Lab

Filed under Found on the Web

Atomic Toys. Don't Try This At Home.

From Gajitz: an article about an early 1950s "Atomic Energy Lab" toy kit with nifty experiments, a Geiger counter, and… wait for it… real uranium.

 
 
Thrilling Tales: Lair of the Clockwork Book Draft is Done!

Filed under Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, Works in Progress

Lair of the Clockwork BookPardon me while I dance the happy dance: I know it’s not a pretty sight, but humor me, please.

This morning I finished the first draft for my Thrilling Tales story The Lair of the Clockwork Book.

You can continue to visualize the happy dance going on, here, though I honestly can’t recommend it. Now "finishing" the first draft really means that now I have to go through it and destroy everything that makes it a first draft. With a notable lack of mercy and steely determination, if not thews, for which, I’m afraid, it is too late to hope.

And it’s only once I’ve done those things that I’ll start the main event, which is working on the… um.. roughly 120 illustrations, which I’ll be doing a couple of dozen at a time.

In spite of my worries about my page count it’s come in at pretty much the right length: at two updates a week the story will run for about 60 weeks on the web and come in at just about the right number of pages for the print edition. So it’s all good.

Anyway, the short version (too late!) is: first draft done, lots of work to do, then pictures, which take forever, and, of course, happy dance. I’ve gotta quit doing that.

 
 
Zork for the Kindle: Text Adventure Games on an E-Reader

Filed under Found on the Web

You are in a maze of twisty e-readers, all alike:

Text adventure games for your Kindle

This is possibly the coolest use I’ve heard of for an e-reader device.

As I said previously I have two strong feelings about e-readers: first, that the devices are inherently neat and desirable; and second, that the licensing restrictions on e-books make them a terribly stupid thing to buy.

This is something else: it’s a Kindle-formatted web interface to several of the old Infocom text adventures (as I write, Zork 1-3). Kindle users can connect to the web site and type their way through the craziness. Of course I used to rely so heavily on my scribbled maps when I played these that the player might also want to pack a notebook along.

It’s truly interactive because it’s communicating with an interpreter on the Internet. It would also be possible to convert a multiple-choice adventure game for the Kindle by starting with one long HTML file with internal anchor links, and converting from there: that end product, though, would be an actual e-book. This is something else, and it’s a great idea!

Via Ars Technica.

 
 
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