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Subject: Just got this sci-fi novel from the library and it's about BOARD GAMING rss

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Skeeve Yoshikawa
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Hello everyone,

I was browsing through the library last week, looking for something different to read and this caught my eye.
I realize the book is four years old, so you may have already discussed it.



Harry Turtledove is one of my favorite authors and when I saw the cover, I knew I HAD to read it.
It's set in an alternate future communist Italy, ruled by the Russians.
A board game shop sets up and the teenage heroes of the book learn how capitalists ran railroads for profit and how much fun the games are--
which immediately sets them against the secret police.
Then they learn that the people running the game store are time-travellers who use boardgames to foment revolution.
I've not finished the book, yet, but either way, it's fun to see railroad games used as "counter-revoulutionary" tools. cool

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Boaty McBoatface
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DJ Skeeve wrote:
Hello everyone,

I was browsing through the library last week, looking for something different to read and this caught my eye.
I realize the book is four years old, so you may have already discussed it.



Harry Turtledove is one of my favorite authors and when I saw the cover, I knew I HAD to read it.
It's set in an alternate future communist Italy, ruled by the Russians.
A board game shop sets up and the teenage heroes of the book learn how capitalists ran railroads for profit and how much fun the games are--
which immediately sets them against the secret police.
Then they learn that the people running the game store are time-travellers who use boardgames to foment revolution.
I've not finished the book, yet, but either way, it's fun to see railroad games used as "counter-revoulutionary" tools. :cool:



And no doudt the USA ends up ruling the world.
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Patar Absurdus the Shananigator
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slatersteven wrote:
And no doudt the USA ends up ruling the world.


One can only hope... devil
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Logan Mann
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Im in between books just now...perhaps I'll try and look this up
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A boy named Sioux
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Here's another good one; Iain Banks' The Player of Games...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Player-Games-Culture-Iain-Banks/dp/1...

...though the boards in the game are even bigger than Arkham Horror.
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David Debien
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Siouxfire wrote:
Here's another good one; Iain Banks' The Player of Games...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Player-Games-Culture-Iain-Banks/dp/1...

...though the boards in the game are even bigger than Arkham Horror.


Which is what I expected when i clicked this link.
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Chris Sessoms
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I will have to look into this book. I love Harry turtledoves work. In the presence of mine enemies is one of my favorite books.
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James Boardgame
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How about a novel about a real game? The new (posthumous) novel by Roberto Bolano "The Third Reich", a critically acclaimed book that is centred on a misanthrope obsessed with the wargame Rise and Decline of the Third Reich.

From the Amazon summary:

Shortly after becoming the German war-games champion, Udo Berger and his girlfriend, Ingeborg, holiday on the Costa Brava. There they meet another vacationing German couple, Charly and Hanna, and a band of shady locals who introduce them to the darker side of life in the town. Then, late one night, Charly disappears without a trace, and Udo’s well-ordered life is thrown into upheaval . . . Frightened, Udo refuses to leave, even after Ingeborg returns home, and his increasingly feverish dreams push him into delirium. As everything slips beyond his grasp, he attempts to re-assert himself by engaging the enigmatic and severely disfigured El Quemado – a foreigner who lives in a Spartan burrow on the beach – in a days-long match of his favourite war game, Third Reich. But, too late to stop the madness, he realizes that the consequences of this game are much more serious than he ever imagined. Combining the exhilaration of The Savage Detectives with the darkness of his later work, The Third Reich – Bolaño’s first new novel since the epic 2666 – is a visceral book exploring memory, madness and violence. It is both the perfect way to discover the dazzling genius of Roberto Bolaño and an unmissable addition to the oeuvre for those who already have. ‘Bolaño writes with such elegance, verve and style and is immensely readable’ Guardian ‘Readers who have snacked on a writer such as Haruki Murakami will feast on Roberto Bolaño’ Sunday Times
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Don Weed
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Here's another one that can be a bit disturbing (especially for somebody like me!). A well written novel of when a person can't separate reality from the game.



And here's a series that I wish WOULD be made into a game! The Lost regiment series by William Forstchen.



Would you believe Yankees vs. Orcs in a very convincing sci-fi treatise on the escalation of war.
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Boaty McBoatface
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schkff wrote:
How about a novel about a real game? The new (posthumous) novel by Roberto Bolano "The Third Reich", a critically acclaimed book that is centred on a misanthrope obsessed with the wargame Rise and Decline of the Third Reich.

From the Amazon summary:

Shortly after becoming the German war-games champion, Udo Berger and his girlfriend, Ingeborg, holiday on the Costa Brava. There they meet another vacationing German couple, Charly and Hanna, and a band of shady locals who introduce them to the darker side of life in the town. Then, late one night, Charly disappears without a trace, and Udo’s well-ordered life is thrown into upheaval . . . Frightened, Udo refuses to leave, even after Ingeborg returns home, and his increasingly feverish dreams push him into delirium. As everything slips beyond his grasp, he attempts to re-assert himself by engaging the enigmatic and severely disfigured El Quemado – a foreigner who lives in a Spartan burrow on the beach – in a days-long match of his favourite war game, Third Reich. But, too late to stop the madness, he realizes that the consequences of this game are much more serious than he ever imagined. Combining the exhilaration of The Savage Detectives with the darkness of his later work, The Third Reich – Bolaño’s first new novel since the epic 2666 – is a visceral book exploring memory, madness and violence. It is both the perfect way to discover the dazzling genius of Roberto Bolaño and an unmissable addition to the oeuvre for those who already have. ‘Bolaño writes with such elegance, verve and style and is immensely readable’ Guardian ‘Readers who have snacked on a writer such as Haruki Murakami will feast on Roberto Bolaño’ Sunday Times


If it were about Diplomacy I might understand, but Third Reich?
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Rick Keuler
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I thought for sure this was going to be about Interstellar Pig. The game in this book was so interesting, I made a full blown version of it for a middle school project that, while not incredible, was playable. My friends and I would play it from time to time and had fun.

Great book, as well, so bonus!
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Rich Shipley
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slatersteven wrote:
If it were about Diplomacy I might understand, but Third Reich?


It is apparently what the author was into in the 80s. A breakthrough game for the time. It is on my list (and I was also a player in the 80s).
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Rasmus Højslet
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Redward wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
And no doudt the USA ends up ruling the world.


One can only hope... devil

... Meeh
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Aaron Potter
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rickkeuler wrote:
I thought for sure this was going to be about Interstellar Pig. The game in this book was so interesting, I made a full blown version of it for a middle school project that, while not incredible, was playable. My friends and I would play it from time to time and had fun.

Great book, as well, so bonus!


A fine YA book. The sequel, unfortunately, blew chunks.
I can think of many sci-fi novels about videogaming, and more every publishing cycle, but boardgaming is still an odd fit for the genre.

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Derek
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Siouxfire wrote:
Here's another good one; Iain Banks' The Player of Games...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Player-Games-Culture-Iain-Banks/dp/1...

...though the boards in the game are even bigger than Arkham Horror.

I've read a few of Banks' books and have loved them all. I'll have to check this out.
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Asa Swain
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rickkeuler wrote:
I thought for sure this was going to be about Interstellar Pig. The game in this book was so interesting, I made a full blown version of it for a middle school project that, while not incredible, was playable. My friends and I would play it from time to time and had fun.

Great book, as well, so bonus!


I read Interstellar Pig as a kid and loved it! I still remember one of the aliens using the phrase "that really helixed up our plans".
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david landes
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Also a good read is MasterPlay by William Wu.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Using a game as a central theme has been done a great many times. The earliest I can think of was The Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (beating out Herman Hesse's Glass Bead Game by a decade or so). The cool thing about Chessmen of Mars was that Burroughs actually created a game worth playing: Jetan. I made my own Jetan set out of oven-fired clay 40 years ago...
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A boy named Sioux
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fluisterwoud wrote:
Siouxfire wrote:
Here's another good one; Iain Banks' The Player of Games...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Player-Games-Culture-Iain-Banks/dp/1...

...though the boards in the game are even bigger than Arkham Horror.

I've read a few of Banks' books and have loved them all. I'll have to check this out.


Definitely! Here's a description of the game...

Quote:
Game elements

The game consists of a number of minor games, such as card games and elemental die matching, which allow the players to build up their forces for use on the game's three giant boards (in order; the Board of Origin, the Board of Form, and finally the Board of Becoming) and a number of minor boards.

The game uses a variety of pieces to represent a player's units (military, resource or even philosophical premises). Some of the pieces are genetically engineered constructs, which may change form during the game according to their use and environment. These respond to their handling by a player and appear difficult to understand — at one point in the book Gurgeh is encouraged to sleep while holding some of the more important pieces so he can better understand them in play.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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quartex wrote:
rickkeuler wrote:
I thought for sure this was going to be about Interstellar Pig. The game in this book was so interesting, I made a full blown version of it for a middle school project that, while not incredible, was playable. My friends and I would play it from time to time and had fun.

Great book, as well, so bonus!


I read Interstellar Pig as a kid and loved it! I still remember one of the aliens using the phrase "that really helixed up our plans".

I remember reading Interstellar Pig to my kids, who also thought it was great. I enjoyed it with them; its Lovecraftian underpinnings were pretty funny.

That's cool that you made the game, Rick - I thought seriously about doing that myself.
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Redward wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
And no doudt the USA ends up ruling the world.


One can only hope... devil

Could be worse
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Siouxfire wrote:
[...] Definitely! Here's a description of the game...

Quote:
Game elements

The game consists of a number of minor games, such as card games and elemental die matching, which allow the players to build up their forces for use on the game's three giant boards (in order; the Board of Origin, the Board of Form, and finally the Board of Becoming) and a number of minor boards.

The game uses a variety of pieces to represent a player's units (military, resource or even philosophical premises). Some of the pieces are genetically engineered constructs, which may change form during the game according to their use and environment. These respond to their handling by a player and appear difficult to understand — at one point in the book Gurgeh is encouraged to sleep while holding some of the more important pieces so he can better understand them in play.

There's also the various ways to up the stakes and to have side bets -- I don't have my copy to hand but IIRC they include pretty much everything from taking minor physical damage to mutilation/gelding/etc.
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Taylor Liss
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You guys will love me for this:

Geeklist: Books which include games
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Paul Nowak
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The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. - GKC
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In G.K. Chesterton's Napoleon of Notting Hill the defense of Notting Hill is coordinated by a toy-shop owner who learned tactics from wargames, and the warroom is the back of his shop.

Interesting considering the first popular codified rules for wargame miniatures was published 5 years later as Little Wars by Chesterton's friend, H.G. Wells.

The book also opens with this line:

"The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up."
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fluisterwoud wrote:
Siouxfire wrote:
Here's another good one; Iain Banks' The Player of Games...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Player-Games-Culture-Iain-Banks/dp/1...

...though the boards in the game are even bigger than Arkham Horror.

I've read a few of Banks' books and have loved them all. I'll have to check this out.
It wouldn't surprise me at all if Banks was a big ol' gamer. There are several game-playing sequences in Inversions, and in one of them the characters just spend half a page name-dropping fictional games. Similarly, a major subplot in Consider Phlebas revolves around a card game, and The Steep Approach to Garbadale is about a guy who made his fortune through a board game company (which instantly makes it the most unrealistic of all, depite not being sf ).
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