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Glowing pixels

I have a soft spot for small games. By that I suppose I mean games that are built by small teams, that attempt to do something unique. One of my favorites of the last few years was Firewatch, a visually delicious and narratively fascinating game about a troubled guy spending

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General systems collapse

Apparently in the Late Bronze Age, starting about 1,500 years before the Christian era, the Eastern Mediterranean region was characterised by a system of centralised palace governments, which redistributed money and goods thorugh complex and specialised city economies. I read about this on Wikipedia. Trade routes were highly developed

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Epistolary novels

An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic "documents" such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use. —WikipediaEpistolary novels are, in my experience,

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A book for me

Now and then, a book isn't for me. That's kinder to say, I think, than This book is bad. As an author myself, I've heard Your book is bad plenty of times, and no matter the reason behind it, it never feels nice. The book I finished reading recently wasn't

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The books on my desk

A couple of years ago, taking a cue from Austin Kleon, I squeezed a second desk into my study. In Steal Like an Artist, Kleon wrote: I have two desks in my office—one is “analog” and one is “digital.” The analog desk has nothing but markers, pens, pencils, paper,

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Quotation marks

There's something wonderful about a story that dispenses with quotation marks. As I mentioned before, I've just finished In the Quick, by Kate Hope Day. Not a quotation mark to be found in Day's novel. Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Kent Haruf's Plainsong. Severance, by Ling Ma; Normal People, by Sally

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Little novels

I've just finished reading In the Quick, by Kate Hope Day. It's a slim novel, with fifty-three chapters, many of them quite short. Some of my favorite novels over the last two years have been "little" books. Jenny Offill's The Dept. of Speculation, or Alexandra Chang's Days of Distraction. West,