Game Write is a recurring series dedicated to the fiction of game industry veterans. From the best-selling titles of Drew Karpyshyn and Austin Grossman, to the obscure classics of Jane Jensen and Sheldon Pacotti, this series hopes to unearth both the gems and the trash we tend to leave buried in the credits. In this entry, we look at Sheldon Pacotti’s newest novel, Gamma — the first new piece of fiction from Pacotti since he entered the game industry with Ion Storm’s Deus Ex in 2000 — and a fascinating look at a near future ruled by biotechnology and growing social unrest.
The Flight of the Iguana is a fantastic collection of 29 essays, written by David Quammen for Outside magazine between 1984 and 1987. Some of them are, at this point, dated by modern research, but Quammen is a fantastic natural science writer, whose skill at presenting complex ecological concepts to layreaders is perhaps paralleled by only John McPhee, Rachel Carson, or Robert Sapolsky.
Any coverage of civilian life in North Korea will be fascinating, and Guy Delisle’s Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea doesn’t challenge those expectations. Delisle worked as an animator for 2 months in Pyongyang, and his experience during those two months doesn’t say anything new or particularly exciting compared to other literature or documentaries out there, but it’s still an engaging format and an engaging experience.
Pyongyang’s a shell of a city, where everyone’s role is to keep up appearances: Make the city and the country look prosperous and content and happy. It’s all very blatantly Nineteen Eighty-Four.
I feel like I’ve grown up with Dave Eggers.
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000) and You Shall Know Our Velocity! (2002) appealed to my youthful naivete; What is the What (2006) and Zeitoun (2009) my maturing empathy; the Circle (2013) my interest in social media issues and technology (though I disagreed with the simplified, negative message); and his two latest (Your Fathers, Where are They? and the Prophets, Do They Live Forever?  and Heroes of the Frontier ) my quieting hopelessness as I get way too old to have not done anything yet. I keep expecting to hate the next book of his, or find his simplification of issues boring, and yet I always come away feeling simply — comforted. He’s a close friend, far too smart and far too humble for his own good, always happy to spend time with you.
Game Write is a recurring series dedicated to the fiction of game industry veterans. From the best-selling titles of Drew Karpyshyn and Austin Grossman, to the obscure classics of Jane Jensen and Sheldon Pacotti, this series hopes to unearth both the gems and the trash we tend to leave buried in the credits. In this entry, we look at Sheldon Pacotti’s short story collection, Experiments in Belief — featuring a variety of science fiction stories written throughout the ’90s on the complex interplay of science, ethics, religion, and politics.