Get a Free Short Story Mailed To You!

I am delighted to announce I am starting up a free short story service here at One Wet Sneaker.  I’m always digging up great old stories online, and want to learn to use an certain automatic email program, so I thought I’d combine them this way.  These are the best short stories I can find.  In one case, the story is so good that I’ll be typing the story in from a scanned document.  It’s in the public domain, but it’s not on the web in text format anywhere.

(This particular story was the inspiration for Neil Gaiman’s story Coraline, and in my opinion it’s a much deeper and weirder story.  It’s less spectacular, but far more strange. — But until I type it up, I have plenty of other great stories lined up.)

So, sign up and enjoy a short story mailed to you every week — free!

Published in: on July 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm  Comments (4)  
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Weird Hamlet — retranslated from the French

Back when I was researching Hamlet for something I would later write up in Hypnotized by Hamlet, I came across reference to a French translation.

The translation of Shakespeare’s play was written by Dumas — yes, the same one who wrote Count of Monte Christo and Three Musketeers.  Since Count is a classic revenge story, I figured it would be worth a read.

But I couldn’t find it in English.  Even the miracle of inter-library loan couldn’t help me.  Finally, I had the good fortune to cross e-paths with Frank Morlock, who at that time had a nearly-completed translation.  He has since put the completed Hamlet, by Alexandre Dumas online.

If you’re curious, the Conrad he mentions is indeed me:  I nagged him to complete the project.  I was surprised to see the mention.  It was a selfish nag.

Dumas’s Hamlet is interesting in comparison to Shakespeare’s and Bellefrost’s, because both Dumas and Bellefrost wrote comparatively normal stories, whereas Shakespeare’s is pretty weird.  If you’re interested in identifying those weirdnesses, one tip is to compare with a non-weird text.

…as you can see, I don’t much go for proper academic terminology.

(I kind of want to read the Klingon Hamlet, but not badly enough to learn Klingon.  I admit I did have a copy briefly, but not knowing the language…

(If only some Klingon bilingual would take a tip from Mr. Morlock and translate the Klingon Hamlet in English!)

Published in: on May 12, 2012 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Alternate Universe Friends

A peculiar Ren’Py fanfic now available through the website, this probably-copyright-infringing game is liberally illustrated with photoshopped screen captures from the TV show. It’s not entirely clear whether the images are stills, or overlays assembled on the fly.  It’s a Friends episode in a universe where Hitler won World War II.

The narrative frame is introduced from (presumably) the real-world Friends universe, with the crowd all gathered around speculating on what it would be like if the Axis had won the war. They chatter for just a few seconds (Ross: “I’d be half Japanese.”) before the game begins.

So you’re immediately waiting for the punchline, and this (for me) was a major part of the game experience. There’s no one player character. Instead, you’re given little choices, about what the characters say, and a few choice-points that seem to influence the plot. I didn’t play it more than once — I was never into the show, and the game is enough like the show for me.

The minor choices in dialog set up different retorts from the other characters, which are bland-witty in much the way I recall from the TV program. A great deal of the discussion is about a dress of Monica’s, which looks good but is not appropriate for any particular occasion, so the other characters all chime in with ultimately unhelpful ideas about where she can wear it. There’s a sub-plot about Joey’s job, which is a minor acting gig but which may lead to something better.

So what about Nazi New York? (more…)

Published in: on March 19, 2012 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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(meta-review) I don’t play hentai games, but…

I don’t play hentai games.  That’s not a rule of mine.  I would if I wanted to.  I even hopefully, but half-heartedly, checked a few out once.  Just for some reason they don’t do it for me.

However, this short review of an adult “video novel” video game, I guess written in Ren’Py, struck me as kind of interesting:

Played the game and I have to say I liked it was pretty good for a non-professional title, good enough for me to personally go through the game and get all the endings to see the harem ending and the alien invasion ending, keep up the good work and would like to see another…

The author seems to have removed the game from circulation, so there’s no telling if my curiosity would have gotten the better of me.

I don’t think my uninterest in adult VN games stems from prudery.  Once I started to write a script for a porn film, based on the theory that the form does not fully explore the options available to it.  The opening scene went like this: (more…)

Published in: on February 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm  Comments (3)  
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IFC10 review – Flight of the Hummingbird

This is a review of a Comp game, and as often happens in reviews of Comp games, I will be Saying Things about this game.  There’s one thing we need before we begin…

There.  I’ll get a new one soon.

Flight of the Hummingbird, by Michael Martin, is a fine game.  It’s entertaining, fast-paced, and very well-polished.  I gather there are a few alternate solutions.  I have only minor criticisms of this game.

I suggest, if you want to play a fun two-hour text game, you make  it a point to play this one before reading further. (more…)

Published in: on October 22, 2010 at 8:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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IFC10 review – Gigantomania

This is a review of a Comp game, and as often happens in reviews of Comp games, I will be Saying Things about this game.  THE PICTURE is coming up…


Gigantomania, by Michelle Tirto and Mike Ciul, is a beginner game, with some faults.  If you need a hint or don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, I’ll post the main goal of each section (as I understand them) in a moment.

The title is not a reference to Stalin, by the way.  In order to create an economy of scale, there were plans to combine villages together into huge farming combines.  These schemes were later called ‘Gigantomania.’


Published in: on October 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm  Comments (3)  
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Let’s Raid Wikipedia!

Who else needs a break from IFComp 2010 awesomeness?

The sad fact is that the Wikipedia article on Plot is abysmally skeletal.  Like an underfed chicken.  And, let’s face it, plot is a super-interesting topic!

A couple times, over the years, I’ve tried to add things to this entry, only to have some “editor” come along, compare the differences and say to himself (apparently):

What is this?  Someone has altered the meaning of this paragraph.  Revert!

–Generally without doing any basic research to see if the new meaning is more factually correct.

BUT, this time I think I’m starting to make some headway.  I’ve got the Latest Reverter saying, “Ok, ok, fine, just go away–”  (Didn’t you love to hear that from your parents?  It was basically carte blanche:   go ahead and paint the cat a better color, just do it quietly!)

You know what I think we need?

A history of plot.  Currently they just have Freytag’s pyramid, which is all anyone says about Freytag and isn’t even why he’s cool.  We can put in some Aristotle to give Freytag some context, work in some Agusto Boal, maybe, for an alternative point of view, and then get modern–

I dunno, you guys tell me:  Who talks about the function of plot in modern video games?  In CYOAs? 

I mean, this is Wikipedia.  We really should have something more than Freytag’s Pyramid.

C’mon, guys.  Pitch in.

Published in: on October 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm  Comments (3)  
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IFC10 review – Divis Mortis

This is a review of a Comp game, and as often happens in reviews of Comp games, I will be Saying Things about this game.

Divis Mortis, by Lynnea Dally, is a pretty standard type of IF game.  There are just a few typos and syntactic manglifications of the structures of sentences creep in warily, like the hobo you don’t know about who’s living under your porch.  But these are rare, and it is over all a solid and fun game:  fun if you like lite, light-hearted horror with a bit of grisle.

I finished it in one hour fifty minutes, and (comparing notes with other reviewers) it seems I got the basic no-frills good ending.

From here on there are

l (more…)

Published in: on October 12, 2010 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  
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IFC10 Review – Gris et Jaune

This is a review of a Comp game, and as often happens in reviews of Comp games, I will be Saying Things about this game.


Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm  Comments (4)  
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IFC10 transcript – Heated

My review of Heated was terse.  I’ll explain by posting the transcript.  The introductory text of the game will pad to the cut tag.  The transcript is commented, with

>* comments written during gameplay preceded by an asterisk, and

//comments written after gameplay preceded by a double slash.

(You may want to read the transcript, or to search for the comments.)

Start of a transcript of

Heated An Interactive Fiction by Timothy Peers Release 1 / Serial number 100930 / Inform 7 build 5Z71 (I6/v6.31 lib 6/12N) Identification number: //B5BB5521-FC26-4227-87EC-FBEAD0EEFE58// Standard interpreter 1.1 (4F) / Library serial number 080126 Standard Rules version 2/090402 by Graham Nelson Undo Output Control version 1/090626 by Erik Temple (more…)

Published in: on October 6, 2010 at 11:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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