Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Link List: Flock or Swarm? The Fables Game, Blake's 7, and Other Such Items of Interest

So this week is dominated by trailers again--this time, it's game trailers, what with a Fables game coming out and the chance to explore Gaiman's Wayward Manor game site, but worry not, you can also discover the precise difference between a flock and a swarm, learn about a new species of mammal, and find out what happens to those leftover bits and pieces in second hand books (at least, it happens if Michael Popek finds them).

1) Ever wonder what the difference between a flock and a swarm is? This Scientific America article explains. In brief: Swarms are a lot less organized inside. This means the single insect has a better chance of finding a mate (probably).

2) Ooh, a newly discovered species, the olinguato, a really cute, fuzzy creature related to but smaller than the raccoon. Apparently, unlike the raccoon, it's still shy and hard to see. I wonder if it will stay that way?

3) Michael Popek, second-hand book store owner and author, keeps a collection offorgotten bookmarks, letters, recipes, pictures, and other items found in the books he sells. “Letters are my favorite thing to find,” he says, though, "Turn-of-the-century letters can be pretty dry, 'When they’re basically talking about ‘It’s time to slaughter the cow,’ or ‘Old Bessie down the road died of tuberculosis.'”

He catalogs most of them them on ForgottenBookmarks.com as well as in his books. It's only most of them: Some things are too raw, like the two-year old journal of a woman trying to get pregnant found recently. He's keeping it for her, should she ever come looking; he himself only read six pages. (Found on Narratively

4) I've mentioned insect farming before. Here's an article with a short clip on farming crickets for food. There don't seem to be any recipes, which is kind of a pity. I like the idea of insects as the new sushi.

Confession: I have eaten bugs, though not recently. I have never eaten sushi.

Trailers, Entertainment Commentary Etc.

1) An article about, and a trailer for, the upcoming Fables game, Wolf Among Us. Looks exciting and noirish, but other than, that I can't tell much. I *want* a *TV* series! I know, I know, a movie is in development, but I want the long-running, slow developing glory of it.

And if there's room for 20,000 different versions of Alice in Wonderland, there's definitely room for more than one or two fairy-tale mashup TV shows.  That means we can keep Once Upon a Time as well.

2) Speaking of games, this is old(ish), but still exciting news: Neil Gaiman is working on a computer game, Wayward Manor. That's Neil Gaiman writing a game, in case you missed it. The protagonist--you--is a ghost trying to clear out all the pesky living residents of Wayward Manor, starting the roaring twenties, which are busy "roaring elsewhere," as Gaiman puts it, and running forward to the future (How far? Who knows!). Sounds like there are one or two mysteries about life and death to solve along the way. In an interview with Mashable, Gaiman adds the additional bit, "I don't want to give anything away but it's safe to say you were killed in the 1880s and you were killed for a reason."

Visit the Wayward Manor website for more images and information.

3) I haven't read this (yet), so I probably shouldn't recommend it, but, seriously: Rex Libris tells "the story of Rex Libris, the tough-as-nails Head Librarian at Middleton Public Library, and his unending struggle against the forces of darkness."

The website is awesome, and gives a brief history of the Ordo Bibliotheca. Here, one may learn among other things, just how useful the library has been in foiling invasion plans:

With the innovation of the teleportation crystal in 1921 by Litteratus Magi Rex Libris, a whole new era in lending opened up: interstellar book loans became possible. By 1960, over ten thousand volumes of extraterrestrial origin had been collected and stored at the Middleton Book Repository, a ceramic encased bunker deep beneath the Middleton Public Library. It remains one of the most important reference collections of xenognomic material, and is often used by the Pentagon during alien invasions.

Here, also, you may learn about the sinister secrets of the missing numbers in the Dewey Decimal System. Think that the absence of number 217 is a coincidence or an oversight? Think again!

Look for reviews of the first two volumes soon, because I am going to read them!

4) In a news-like item: The remake of Blake's 7 might actually be done by Microsoft on X-Box rather than the SyFy channel on cable TV. At least, I'd think BBC News might know what they're talking about, seeing as the show originated in their neck of the woods and all. I say "news like" because it's all "might" and "maybe," but I'm pointing it out, because I keep on following the various and sundry erratic and generally abortive attempts to remake a show that I love. Maybe one day, someone will do it, and maybe they'll even do a good job. If nothing else, they might manage that US DVD release. Please?

5)I kept debating whether or not to link to The Romantics: The Avengers of Classic Lit, complete with superhero powers for Wordsworth, Byron, Keats & co because I loved it so much I shared it all over the web the moment I saw it, but I still love it, and you may have missed it, and even if you've already seen it, you might enjoy seeing it again, so I'm adding it to the list!

6) And finally, in what might end up being the "Dave Elliott" or at least the "Weirding Willows" section of the weekly link list, Dave Elliott has provided a map of Willow Weir (no labels yet, but they are promised). Also up this week is Weirding Willows #1, in its entirety. The Comixology version is easier to read (and only 99 cents), but this free version has additional author comments below, and is therefore worth a look or two either instead of (as you decide whether or not the story has you hooked) or in addition to. I had a mild amount of trouble tracking the pages in order, so here they are, linked for your convenience:

page 1, Page 2, page 3, page 4, page 5, page 6.

Did I miss something wonderful? Let me know, either here in the contacts or by email!

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