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Tycho / on Fri, Aug 13 2010 at 12:00 am

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Breaking It Down

Reaction to Wednesday’s comic fell, conveniently for my purpose, into two camps: those who found a phrase like “raped by dickwolves” a stunning return to form, and those who felt that we were somehow advocating the actual rape of human beings.  It sounds as though we’ve already satisfied the first camp, but an effort should certainly be made to assuage the latter.

Immediately after PAX East, which is to say the very next day, before the last leg of a book tour that would strip my mind of the knack for contiguous thought, we went to Irrational Games briefly to talk about the game they would eventually call Bioshock Infinite.  When you are making something, you don’t always know exactly what it is.  That destiny had to be revealed, and the work of this revelation has taken years.

Even though I make things all the time, things which did not exist prior to their making, I still forget that a game (or a book, or a song) doesn’t just jump out from a big crack in your head. This is stupid on the face of it, I know.  I know that I have to tug on them, and tug, and coax, and plead, but for some reason I imagine that this task is much easier for others.  This is all top of mind because I was somehow entrusted with a “beta” of Patrick Rothfuss’ new book The Wise Man’s Fear, which packs in all the longing, visions, and tremors of gritty, shantyhouse meth.  His site features a quote which reads:

THE POWERFUL DEBUT NOVEL FROM FANTASY’S NEXT SUPERSTAR

but I know he didn’t write it, and wouldn’t have.  We met at San Diego Comic-Con, and the promotional photos featuring the pensive brooder don’t capture the man entire.  He might brood pensively on occasion, perhaps on Broodsday or during Pensivus, but that doesn’t appear to be his default gear.  His default state is a man genuinely surprised by the reaction to his work, who has taken on the reader’s faith in him as a trust.  He sent me only half the book, which read like a full book, and satisfied like a meal - the second half (which could probably be a book in its own right) is forthcoming, and I’m considering waiting on the stoop for its arrival.  I asked him to look at my own stuff, stammeringly, and he said he would.  I wonder how many requests like that he gets per minute.

I am thinking about process because generally I have the luxury of hiding behind Michael’s incredible art or Robert’s preternatural business savvy in my creative endeavors.  It is a rare thing to create something on my own, let alone show the result of that harrowing process to another person.  Writing the third episode of Precipice is almost pure horror, but I’m beginning to feel my hand closing around its throat.  I could never decide if I wanted to be Douglas Adams or H. P. Lovecraft when I grew up, and now that I’m grown up, I’ve decided that I don’t have to choose.

Today’s PATV offering is from longtime allies Mega64, and concerns the scourge of digital drugs.  I understand these young men are on the hook to send us a video each month, which is great, because they are great and I like them.

(CW)TB

oh, the water


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