Well, we start out with my love for Robert V. S. Redick’s MASTER ASSASSINS, which I did not expect to love, but after about 3 seconds at his reading at Boskone, I knew I would die if I did not
eat read it all that week.
So I did.
And I said things about it on Facebook like:
Oh, man. Robert V.S. Redick. Holy yatra in the Stolen Sea. Oh, boy. Oh, damn. I just finished your book. Wahhh.
Whoa. Wait… And, like, the next one is not even DONE yet, is it?
WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF? I SHOULD ONLY READ SERIES ONCE THEY ARE UTTERLY OR EVEN MOSTLY FINISHED!!!
But. I have to say. If my life falls in such a way that I never read another book—yours is a good one to end on.
PHEW! So it’s not my imagination, all the incredibly nuanced and complicated work this book is doing!
I have felt, reading it, that it is not a book I would be able to recommend LIGHTLY, or without proper trigger warnings. But I would recommend it ardently. And fervently.
It’s… not an unflinching look at war and misogyny, but… more like, flinch-making. Worth every deeper look, but oh, the woe of this world!
But all that was back in February.
I mean, come on! Is my love of such THIN AND STARRY COBWEB STUFF that I can forget about this book in a mere two measly months? NO!
Especially not when I get a huge jolt of Girardian mimetic desire as soon as Hernandez starts reading it.
(Hernandez is my husband, by the way. Carlos Hernandez. He’s fancy. A professor, author, game designer. Has a book coming out next year, you know. Sal and Gabi Break the Universe. Awww yeah. Plus, green eyes. Curly hair. Super hot. And a genius. If you’re reading my blog, you probably already know all this because you are probably my mama. HI, SITA! So, if you’re not my mama, lemme explain: I occasionally call Hernandez by his last name, Hernandez, because it makes me feel butch, like we’re on a football team or something, and if you know me and my polka dots and my crinolines and my hair flowers, then you know that feeling like you’re on a football team is kind of like feeling that you finally got IN.)
So Hernandez is taking his turn reading MASTER ASSASSINS, and I’m all like
WHAT PART ARE YOU AT, HERNANDEZ
and he’s like [THIS PART]
and I’m like WELL YEAH I LOVE THAT PART MAYBE I SHOULD REREAD IT
and he’s like MOTHER OF PEARL, COONEY! GET YOUR OWN DANG BOOK!
so I’m like FINE I’LL JUST BE OVER HERE ACROSS THE COUCH FROM YOU INVENTING A WHOLE NEW FAN GAME BASED ON MASTER ASSASSINS INSTEAD SO THERE!
and he perks up and looks REALLY INTERESTED, ’cause he’s (aforementioned) a game designer, and he’s all like THAT MAKES ME FEEL GOOEY, COONEY and grins at me, and crosses his feet at the ankles, so now I HAVE to do it.
Plus, we’re going to visit Robert Redick (author of MASTER ASSASSINS) at his HOUSE in June, and I want to bring him a HOST GIFT.
So making a fan game based on his book is kind of like baking brownies, right?
Especially since I have NEVER DONE SUCH A THING BEFORE! Made a game, I mean. Not baked brownies. I mean, I have baked brownies. Out of a box.
And I’ve watched Carlos (Hernandez, that is, my husband–don’t want to confuse you) make games. And like he says (he said it tonight, in fact, just now, to me):
“YOU CAN’T BE TIMID, YOU JUST GOTTA TRY THINGS!”
So I’m gonna.
I have a few ideas. They might not work. As soon as I’m done writing this blog, I’m gonna spend my evening doing two things.
- Scouring Redick’s MASTER ASSASSINS text for poetry and song (his text is rife with them) and poetic language (same). I want to extract about 200-250 “fragments” of poetic text and print them out on cards. The players will then draw two (maybe?) at random, and then have to write the next two lines. Sort of build a poem–or maybe a prophecy–that way. Maybe completing the poem/prophecy is the only thing that ENSURES THEIR SURVIVAL AS THEY FLEE ACROSS THE DESERT. Very thematic. Themic. Themey.
- Making a “paper fortune teller” or a “chatterbox.” I have to consult Youtube. This video, I think. You know those paper monster things in GRADE SCHOOL where you stick your fingers in it, and it’s sort of like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, and it tells you who you’re going to marry or if you’re wearing polka dot underpants? Yeah, I wanna make one of those. It’ll be a game piece I call THE PROPHET and it’s gonna maybe be one of my main mechanics. Introduces the element of chaos. Like dice. Or maybe WITH DICE. Also THEMATICALLY, uh, THEMIC for MASTER ASSASSINS.
Hernandez suggested calling the game “CANON,” as in the players/fans making their contribution to the Redick Canon. So that’s the working title.
It’s all still very vague in my head, but bear with me. I’m new at this. And it’s all in fun. My SUPER SEEKRIT NIGHTTIME THING after working all week on my forever-fiction-revisions, 8th draft of novel, 3rd draft of novella, blah blah blah. I’ll keep you posted here. Or I’ll GIVE UP IN SHAME! Either way, you’ll probably know about it.
Maybe if I can get an iteration on its feet, you all will help me playtest it! WHAT FUN! (THAT’S RIGHT, MAMA! I’M TALKING TO YOU! HI! PLAY MY MADE-UP NOT YET REAL GAME WITH ME!)
Oh, and also read this BEAUTIFUL blog he wrote about it: “Wrath, War, Love, Feminism: On Mixing a Four Shot Fantasy Cocktail in Master Assassins.”