Mad, Bad or Dangerous to Know?

Issue 2 of Machineries of Joy, a fanzine on roleplaying games from the Nørwegian Surreal, has doubled in size but I’m now halfway through laying it out. The main image is the character sheet for a hack of Tarot-horror game Psychosis (Charles Ryan, John Fletcher, 1993) called Infernal Desire Machines. I’ve just reread Steve Dempsey’s riotous-but-playful critique of “creative agenda” Tbilisi: it’s inspired by Georgian Dada and is a lot of fun. John Rose has supplied another collage for Steve’s game. It’s beautiful.

Fictoplasm 2/03

Fictoplasm is a podcast about turning fiction into roleplaying games.

Ralph Lovegrove and I chat about Angela Carter’s wonderful novel The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman in the third episode of its second series:-

There’s also this great episode from the first series in which Ralph chats to Dave Morris and Tim Harford about the Lyonesse trilogy by Jack Vance:-




The Cube is 26 rooms across, bringing to mind the Labyrinth of hexagonal rooms from Jorge Luis Borges‘s The Library of Babel (in El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan, coll 1942; trans 1962) in which books combine 25 basic characters – 22 letters, the full stop, the comma, and the space – in every possible permutation, a theme first suggested by Kurd Laßwitz and later reused to popular effect by authors including Isaac Asimov and Douglas Adams. Here though, numbers are the language of nature: the rules of the Cube only seem arbitrary and meaningless. The real enemy is the prisoners’ lack of perspective.

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