Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Death and games

A while ago, author James Hutchings let a comment on this blog asking if I wanted to do a review on his book "The New Death and others." I told him I could review it from the viewpoint of a gamer looking at fiction for inspiration for his games -- I wouldn't dare making a more involved or academic review of a book even in my own language.

So, having finished reading Mr. Hutchings' book (kindly provided for the review) here are my impressions. First of all, from a gamer's standpoint I like the fact that the book is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License. So you can blog away about an adventure or scenario directly inspired by the book without worrying about legal trouble -- as long as you respect the (very open) license, of course.

"The New Death and others" is a collection of short stories and poems with varied themes, some of them related to fantasy, with a dose of sarcasm and occasional criticism. To me, his writing style is light, good to read but not simplistic or childish. Most of the short stories have some amusing element that let me wondering, sparked new ideas or surprised me at the end. Remarkable, given they are a few pages long each. One of my favorites is "The End," but I really can't comment without spoiling it.

The short length and fantastic nature of the stories (and some of the poems) also make them easy to adapt as rumors or legends, especially for fantasy games. Some might even turn straight into props (lost notes or other records, for instance.)

This was an interesting experience, as I often look for new games from independent game designers but I don't do the same for independent authors. "The New Death and others" has shown me that I should.

1 comment:

anarchist said...

Thanks very much for this review. By the way, you might also find some inspiration in the posts on my blog: