Monthly Archives: July 2011

These Are Relevant to My Interests

Misty and I have been crazy busy thanks to life and work and kids and everything, so in lieu of actual content, have two videos!

First, what if Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince were really a teen coming-of-age comedy?

Second, what if Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic were possessed by the Space Core from Portal 2?

The answer to both questions, of course, is “It would be awesome.”

Continuing the Franchise

Now that the Harry Potter movies are over, I expect that there are movie executives scrambling around, trying to discover the next big thing. Since young adult books are still popular, I expect that’ll be their focus — perhaps the Hunger Games trilogy or Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series will garner a huge audience.

I have a humble suggestion: why not re-work the Harry Potter series? After all, with a few tweaks I think you could bring in a whole new audience. To that end, I give you a scene from



The room in this broken-down shack is dominated by KEMPTID, a giant of a man with an umbrella. He is talking with RICHIE, a young eleven-year-old with round glasses and dark hair.

     Y’see, Richie, yer’ a wizard.

     I’m a what?

     A wizard, o’ course, and a thumpin’ good’un, I’d say, once yeh’ve trained up a bit.

     That makes no logical sense.

     What d’yeh mean?

     Look, there isn’t any such thing as magic. The universe can be perfectly explained by the natural laws of science.

          (taken aback)
     But, but yer parents–

     They died in a car crash.

     No. He Who Must Not be Named, a dark wizard, killed ’em!

     Really? That’s more plausible than a car crash? There are a little over two thousand car-related deaths per annum in the UK. Do the math.

     But…but…all th’ letters, Richie! And I c’n do magic with my umbrella!

     Any stage magician worth his salt could do the same. Your anti-scientific flim-flammery will find no toehold with me, sir. Now shove off. I’ve got a perfectly mundane life as a friendless orphan to live.

I’m not sure how to spin this out into eight movies, though. Perhaps I should have taken the approach that Eliezer Yudkowsky took for Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.

Hey, Stephen, How’s Liza Recovering From Her Surgery?

Friday, Liza had minor surgery to close an umbilical hernia. Our scene takes place Sunday afternoon.


This standard suburban living room is square and has all of its furniture away from the walls, leaving a continuous track around the center of the room. The MAN is in the living room. The GIRL enters and begins running laps around the room.

     Hey, what’re you doing?

     Running a race. I’m racing my invisible friend Jai Alai.

The GIRL continues to run at top speed.

     Is that hurting your stomach?

     Yeah. (beat) But I don’t care.

Exeunt omnes


Perhaps you haven’t gotten enough of me on this blog, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, ifMUD, and the many other online places I haunt. Boy, do I have a treat for you! Jason Scott is releasing the full interviews he filmed for his interactive fiction documentary GET LAMP. One of those is mine! Now you can hear me talk about interactive fiction for over half an hour.

I’m really pleased that Jason’s releasing the full interviews. We don’t have a lot of examples of people talking about interactive fiction at length. Jason’s changing that by making these interviews available.

U2 in Nashville

The first time I heard U2 was 1986. A friend let me borrow “The Unforgettable Fire” on cassette tape. I fell in love with “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and was pretty much hooked.

This is my view from the 27th row last night:

The show was UN. BELIEV. ABLE.

It was made better by getting to go with some of the people who know me better than anyone in the world.

Gals, let’s not wait another 20 years to see them again, huh?