Down and Out in R’lyeh

Catherynne M. Valente‘s Down and Out in R’lyeh is a millennial take on Lovecraft. The story mashes up politics, weird slang, and perversity into a delightfully weird short story. Be sure to listen to Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 18B to hear this story.

Pazuzu thumped his pustulant tail. “The whole system’s rigged,” he chanted, “by the time we’re Elder, there’ll be nothing left for us but the ash-end of the universe. We slobber and serve and ain’t nobody ever gonna serve us. It’s not right. They got it all stitched up nice the way they like it, Yog-Sogoth and Yig and Azazoth and Hypnos and that fat sack of shit down the chimney. Even Mom. Shub-Niggurath herself, I know we love her and all but she spends all day shitting out kids on the dole and fuck me if you and me will ever be able to afford a slavering brood of our own. And then they turn around and call us krugs and layabout shubs when they’re the ones who snooze all aeon instead of rending the mortal world like they always promise. It’s bullshit, Moloch. Bullshit.”

Shax’s three eyes shone hideous, thinking of all those mortal streets she shuffled in her precious bloodpuppets. “You don’t even know how right you are, Zuzu. The mundworld is totally shoggo, believe me. The best they could do against us is cry while they piss their pants. But the Old Ones? Oh no, they just gorge and giggle and yig themselves and dick around while centuries go by and those mundo fucks up there invent nuclear fission. They got everything dank there was to devour and we get squidshit because they were born at the dawn of existence and we weren’t. Because they’re entitled to the whole damn multiverse while we’re entitled to sit on our asses and clap for their crumbs. Why don’t they just fhtagn retire and let the Young Ones come up the ranks a little? I’d be a bloody yellow queen of everything. Come on, you know it’s true! Shax, the All-Devourer, Accursed Meretrix of the Nether Nebulae, Mother of Madness, Flayer of All Things Dun and Shoggo! I’d capture hearts and minds, you better believe. But no, I have to wait, because they love waiting, and maybe when I’m a shriveled old crone I’ll get to devour one measly asteroid if I ask real nice. Fuck that.”

 

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Your Lie in April

The Your Lie in April anime series took me nearly a year to finish and won my heart. I began watching in May of last year and, having savoured the episodes, just today finished the heartbreaking, touching final episode. It’s stunningly animated, magnificently scored and masterfully written. The score especially underscores the emotions that it so effectively generates. It stands out for me as a perfect example of animation that holds heart, humour and meaning.

 

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The series is available for streaming both subtitled (which I recommend) and dubbed (which is fine) through Crunchyroll.

I can’t recommend the series enough, but I have to warn that the opening credits theme is a mighty earworm.

Zombies, Run! The Board Game

The folks behind the best narrative fitness game are producing an audio-driven board game set in the Zombies, Run! universe, Zombies, Run! The Board Game. Board games and running are two of my most vital hobbies, and I’m excited to see a running experience move into the board game space.

The game presents a real-time narrative on a phone or tablet that compliments a fairly simple card game mechanic and uses a dry-erase map. It promises to be immersive and incredibly fun if it carries on even some small bit of the magic of the Zombies, Run! app.

Prepare your 2-4 player team for a frantic, real-time sprint across a zombie-infested landscape! Rescue survivors, uncover secrets, and (hopefully!) find a cure.

With our app, you’ll hear zombies approaching as you work together to escape them. You’ll hear the voices of survivors and make snap decisions about who to trust – and who to stab in the back for a few first aid kits. But beware: they’ll remember this!

You can start playing in seconds – and embark on a journey that’s as quick as 30 minutes, or as epic as 30 hours.

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Living, Persistent World: Your decisions really matter, because the app remembers your choices. Whether you befriend or betray someone, it’ll have consequences. The world changes even without your input, as zombie hordes roam across the map, settlements rise and fall, and the end of humanity moves ever closer.

Environmental Puzzles: While searching for vital supplies, your radio picks up a garbled transmission. A voice cries out for help, lost in the wilderness. The only landmarks are smoke to the north and the sound of water to the south-east. Can you triangulate their position and find them before it’s too late?

Audio Adventure: Board games are about having fun with your friends, not staring at screens! That’s why we keep your eyes off the app, and instead we fill your room with fantastic award-winning audio.

Expandable: Our game can sustain multiple playthroughs, thanks to its branching storyline and massive open world. As with Zombies, Run!, our app gives us the ability to to add new stories, new characters, new zombies, and new maps in the future!

 

Cold Brewing Tea

When I have tea, it’s usually cold brewed. During the Summer and even now as Autumn approaches, a cold drink is far more appealing than a piping hot mug of tea for me. Cold steeping is said to be more nutritious and is much less bitter. There’s no need to sweeten cold-steeped tea, it doesn’t require the energy of heated water and can be kept in the fridge for days.

I use a Bodum Iced Tea Pitcher that has an infuser that locks into it. I put my desired amount of leaves in the infuser, place it in the pitcher, fill it with cold water and place it in the fridge for a couple hours. The result is a smooth, flavourful tea.
The blend of herbs for my infusion tonight follows:
  • Oat straw
  • Burdock
  • Yerba Mate
  • Nettle
  • Linden
  • Mint

Fiddleheads and Sweet Potato Macaroni

On the weekend I visited a local farmer’s market and bought a bag of fiddleheads with the intent of preparing them myself for the first time. Fiddleheads are a delicious curled up fern that are prized here in the maritime provinces during the Spring. Here’s the meal I put together.

Ingredients:

  • 500g or 1lb fiddleheads
  • 1.5 cups macaroni (I used gluten-free corn macaroni)
  • 1 medium sweet potato (approx 250g or 0.5 lb)
  • 1.5 cups nutritional yeast

Directions:

  1. Remove stems from fiddleheads and rinse 
  2. Peel and cube sweet potato.
  3. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil and add sweet potato.
  4. After 5 minutes add fiddleheads.
  5. After 3 additional minutes, add macaroni.
  6. Drain once fiddleheads and macaroni are tender.
  7. Mix in nutritional yeast and serve.