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China Miéville talks to Handshake about the ‘endless, accelerated cycle of monstrous creation’ in RPGs, world-building

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Last week at C2E2, I was very fortunate to run into the incredibly talented and humble British author China Miéville after his spotlight presentation, which included a reading of his upcoming book Embassytown. Aside from creating worlds that go beyond what any single genre can encompass (in his “asymptotic” quest for the “completely alien Alien”), Miéville is currently slated to publish a new book every year until 2014 and is currently in talks with Marvel Comics to author a graphic novel as well. At the same time, some fans of his work are working to produce an RPG based on Bas-Lag, the semi-fantastic setting for three of his novels (Perdido Street Station, The Scar and Iron Council).

But you can’t find any of this information on his Tumblr. There Miéville only posts artworks/found items he appreciates, terse observations about British politics and artistic (either drawn or written) renderings of his thoughts.

In my interview with Miéville, I attempted to explore the motivations behind his world-building and the RPG influences that go into his works. Here is the result:

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Journey into C2E2’s second day

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The Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, the Second City’s own geek pilgrimage festival, takes place this weekend and fans from all around have flocked to the many events filled with too much to do and too many great people in only 3 days.

Here is how we winded through the hazy blur of storm troopers, fandom personalities, as well as the endless lines of shops with collectible games, comics and T-shirts on the con’s most action-packed day, Saturday:

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Where you should go at ComicCon quiz

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ComicCon is halfway done and we at Handshake thought we’d have a bit of fun suggesting what to in these last two days. Since our friends at io9 already made a ComicCon flowchart, we at Handshake decided a quiz would be the next logical step…well maybe just a next step for deciding where to go in the biggest geek pilgrimage of the year!

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The September issue of Handshake magazine

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Here it is. The September issue of Handshake magazine. So much to read. So much to do.

Cory Doctorow. Bionics. Legos. Puzzles. Missions. Accordions. Finding love in the age of the Internet.

There’s molecular gastronomy and the power of cow poop (unrelated). We suggest our five favorite violent video games for the Supreme Court to play.

We teach you how to fall out of a plane, run a ponzi scheme, and fight a bear.

There’s a list of 25 ladies you’ll love. A Handshake writer reports on the Pai Gow scene from a Connecticut casino. An Alex Petrowsky original comic makes its debut.

Beat music. Hickory golfers. Cameras reviewed. More. More. More.

Wait, why are you reading this list? Just read the magazine, it’s right here:


Download the .pdf

Good reading and good luck, Agents.

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New feature: Five steps to starting a career in corporate espionge

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Want to pull a Gizmodo, but with far more sophistication? Handshake‘s Garrick Otero shows you how in our new feature.

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Video Games Vs. Basketball: Which Are More Violent?

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Last night, the Los Angeles Lakers won their 16th NBA Championship title.

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Now Serving: Lord of the Rings, Live

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Photo by Matthew Millham

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Handshake just returned from a three-day military embed with Ragnarok, the biggest live-action boffer battle game in the U.S. of A. This isn’t D&D live. It is a real-life butt kicking with soft(ish) weapons wielded by people who love to hit and be hit.

It is anything but bloodless. Its participants anything but shy. We’ve seen more bare nipples the past three days than Madonna’s had boyfriends.

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Ziplines: A Secret Agent’s Best Friend

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HUNTER, N.Y. – Top-level Handshake agents, or any special operative, must have building-to-building capability. Unfortunately, flying powers are tough to come by in this economy, especially with the diluted mutagen market.

Handshake researched alternative methods, and found an aerial training exercise for its agents: the zipline. Used by Batman, Spiderman, and Dark Wing Duck, a zipline has many advantages: high speeds, overhead sight lines, and the silent attack.

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Three Hundred Miles to Bust: Handshake Takes On Pai Gow

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Image via gail m tang on Flickr

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Here’s something to file under “do as I say, not as I do”: Don’t drive 300 miles to play Pai Gow at a Connecticut casino without first understanding at least the basics of the game.

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