spooky action at a distance

a SFF & IF review


June 2016

IF review: parser as hallucination in “Lime Ergot”

“Lime Ergot”, by Caleb Wilson, was first written for ECTOCOMP 2014 and is now playable at Sub-Q Magazine, here.

I said last time I wanted to play a parser next, and so indeed I have done; and that I wanted to play a parser while thinking about voice, so clearly I have chosen correctly in selecting “Lime Ergot”, a very weird and very gorgeous little game which uses the parser mechanic to model a hallucinatory world of post-colonial rot.

Continue reading “IF review: parser as hallucination in “Lime Ergot””

SFF REVIEW: consciousness and the constructed self in “Suicide Bots”

“Suicide Bots”, Bentley A. Reese, at Shimmer (

I haven’t been able to get Bentley A. Reese’s “Suicide Bots” out of my head since I read it weeks ago. Its prose worked its way under my skin, which is understandable, since the story relies on linguistic recursion to drive its narrative. But it’s one of my favourite stories this year about robots, AI, and ethical botmaking. Continue reading “SFF REVIEW: consciousness and the constructed self in “Suicide Bots””

INTERVIEW: Bruno Dias on Voyageur and procedural generation

Next in our series where we interview prominent IF and SFF authors about craft, Cat and Arkady talk to Bruno Dias. Bruno’s work “Cape” was nominated for an XYZZY award, and he won Best Technological Development for Raconteur, a platform which simplifies writing interactive fiction in Undum. His recently-announced game Voyageur, a procedurally generated space exploration game, is one of Failbetter Studios’ first funded indie projects and is slated for a Q4 2016 release. We caught up with him about the meaning of “meaningful choices”, procedural generation, and the importance of interdisciplinary creativity.

Continue reading “INTERVIEW: Bruno Dias on Voyageur and procedural generation”


Our third themed review exchange. This time: ALIENS.

Continue reading “REVIEW THEME #3: Aliens”

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