Spreading (And Eventually Curing) The Virus

My husband is a board game enthusiast. He’s really fond of hobby games. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s a broad descriptor for those expensive board games that you might have seen in places like Barnes and Noble. We’re not talking about Scrabble, or any of the myriad Monopoly games. These are games that can take hours to play. We used to play regularly with another couple, but we had a pretty major falling-out with them a few years ago and haven’t had any “board game” friends since.

Well. Being who he is, Mr. Price has infectedintroduced a new set of friends to the world of hobby games. This all started with Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment. Having observed our friends’ enjoyment with that game, Mr. Price decided to attempt to ease our friends a little further into the world of hobby games with one of the best introduction games: Ticket to Ride.

The game has a deceptively simple premise. One is given tickets, which are routes that you must complete with your tiny plastic trains. You complete these routes by drawing color cards that line up with various lines between major cities. Any routes that you do not complete by the end of the game result in negative points. As I said, it’s deceptively simple. Children can play the game. However, a ton of strategy comes into play. I’ve had to make backup plans for my backup plans in past games. We ended up playing this game with our friends during the last two weekends. After the first game, our friends enjoyed the game so much that they both bought the mobile version. Last weekend, we played twice. One of them solidly trounced both Mr. Price and myself. We’re planning to go a little further and introduce them to Pandemic, which is a cooperative game. It’s you and your compatriots versus the game itself, which intends to destroy the world. It’s kind of like a reverse Plague Inc. (where you play as the plague which aims to destroy the world, and which I’m terribly fond of…I’m not certain what that says about me).

It’s been a ton of fun, and I hope that they catch the bug a little bit stronger than they already have. It would be nice for Mr. Price’s enormous collection of games to finally get some usage. Plus, we all know how much I love sharing the things that I love. It’s pretty much my rasion d’etre these days. Hopefully, within a few weeks, I can report back on our attempt to save the world from an unknown plague.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Quick note!

A few weeks ago, I took my turn on My Favorite Things over at Speculative Chic. This is a regular column in which we typically invite guests over to share the things that they love best. The regular contributors take a turn every now and then, too. Here’s mine. My most recent edition, anyway. There’s a link to my first one within the text of this year’s column, so if you’re super curious, you can have two for the price of one.

Once Upon a Time, Again

“They force fed me something called ‘bologna.'”

That’s a line from yet another episode of Once Upon a Time, uttered by one Captain Hook upon his release from real-world jail. He states that he’s spent time in the “brig” before, but none so horrifying as our standard jail. Bologna can be pretty terrible, especially if you don’t know what you’re dealing with.
Yep, I’m still watching this delightful, visual crack-fest. I love it so much. It’s over-the-top, and the special effects are occasionally bad (as in, you can see bits of the green screen that was obviously used to create a LOT of the background sets), and the showrunners don’t give a flying fuck about accents. Belle, for example, is played by Emilie de Ravin, who’s Australian. A pre-iZombie Rose McIver plays Tinkerbell. Both of these lovely actresses use their native accents on the show. It’s a little off-putting, to say the least. I can almost buy the fairy having an accent, but Belle? Is the only one of her family who speaks the way that she does. It’s weird.

What I really love is the fact that the show takes every single public domain work of fairy and folklore that it can find, tosses it in a blender, and then pours out this delightful smoothie of weirdness. The main characters are dealing with the flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West as I write this. I watched Snow White and Prince Charming fight Medusa a few episodes ago. Robin Hood and Sir Lancelot have made appearances. Doctor Freaking Frankenstein is in this show (and his episode is shot in black and white, which makes for a particularly fun experience).

Cut for more rambling.

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On Piracy And Why I’m A Little Pissy Today

So. This happened:

If you want to read the entire thread, go on. I can wait. If not, long story short: somebody took an eARC of Seanan McGuire’s Middlegame and uploaded it to a book piracy website. I am beyond infuriated at this behavior. One, because McGuire’s probably my favorite writer. I am not exaggerating when I say that I am still alive because she is still publishing books. So to see that her work is being stolen? Sends me into a fit of rage so strong that my hands are actually shaking a little right now. The person who created one of my actual lifeboats had her work stolen, and her future work jeopardized because of potentially lost sales.

Secondly? As a book blogger who is doing her damndest to read and review responsibly with NetGalley so that I can keep a good rating and keep getting access to eARCs, I am LIVID with the person who got access to Middlegame and decided to just throw it up on a piracy website. This person is endangering the entire eARC process for the rest of us. I don’t get paid to do this; this is my hobby. I spend my time reviewing books because I love them, and I want other people to read and love them as well. I have purchased copies of easily two-thirds of the books that I received early access to, because I enjoyed them that much. Some idiot, the same idiot that has done this to plenty of other authors, is potentially poisoning the well for the rest of us. Other writers have managed to convince their publishers to skip eARCs; if McGuire’s publishers decide to stop offering her work via NetGalley, I’ll live. I’ll be pissed off that one person ruined it for the rest of us, but I’ll live. And I wouldn’t blame them one bit.

Kindle Roulette

On March 2nd, having just finished the second InCryptid novel, Midnight Blue Light Special by Seanan McGuire, I decided to play a game. I have so many Kindle books. So many, indeed, that Mr. Price accidentally nicknamed my Kindle “Thousands of Books” — he came into the living room a few years ago, looking very disgruntled. He didn’t mind, he said, that I bought so very many books. He just wished that I would take better care of them. When I inquired as to what he meant by that statement, he replied that I had left thousands of books just laying on our bed. Then I got his meaning and had to smile.

Cut because I care. Read on if you want to learn about Kindle Roulette (and you do). Continue reading

[Book Review] Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

Once upon a time, I wasn’t the nicest of people. I wasn’t a part of the Let People Enjoy Things movement. So I wrongly looked down upon romance novels and those who chose to read them. A friend of mine told me about Jewels of the Sun in those dark, unenlightened days, and recommended it highly. So I read it on a whim and discovered that it was a romance novel with a hidden fantasy element. I was so enamored with it that I read the two followup novels, Tears of the Moon and Heart of the Sea immediately afterwards. I would go on to read almost a dozen or Roberts’s other fantasy-romance novels, with great enjoyment. I was still a little bit snarky about the romance genre, and I acknowledge that I was wrong. I know better now, and even if I’m not an avid romance reader, I do enjoy them from time to time.

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[Book Review] Rivers of London: Body Work and Night Witch

I return! I was too busy being sick to string together enough sentences for any blog entries last week, other than my review of That Ain’t Witchcraft for Speculative Chic. I really loved that book, and I can’t wait for the next one. It’s going to be a long year. It might be time for an end-to-end reread of the InCryptid series. In the meantime, I’m still working my way through Rivers of London! I have reached the graphic novel portion of the series.

My friend Lane, when she reviewed this series for Speculative Chic, mentioned that she didn’t read the graphic novels, and it felt like there were some weird gaps in continuity. So I treated myself to all of the currently existing graphic novels in the series, and dug up a reading order that included them within the novels’ timeline, and hopped in. This is partially because events that happened in Body Work and Black Mould are referenced in The Hanging Tree, and I wanted to find out what happened, especially given that Sahra Guleed (who is awesome) was involved.

Short reviews, maybe a few spoilers Continue reading