Author Archives: midiguru

The Act in Interactive

Yesterday this year’s Interactive Fiction Competition (IFComp) drew to a close. Seventy games were entered. My entry (“The Only Possible Prom Dress”) finished at #8. Privately I had been betting on #10, so I have nothing to complain about. Anybody … Continue reading

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Easley We Roll Along

If Wikipedia is to be believed, Easley Blackwood Jr. (born 1933) is still alive. We should all be so lucky! Forty years ago I interviewed him for an article in Keyboard. He was so articulate that the interview ended up … Continue reading

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Ghost Stories

No, I’m not going to tell you how to write a story with ghosts in it. What interests me are the ghostly ideas that drift, unexamined or even unnoticed, across the pages of even the most realistic fiction. I don’t … Continue reading

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Heretics R Us

In 325 A.D., the emperor Constantine arranged a conference among the Roman world’s Christian bishops. Accounts vary, but about 300 bishops traveled from near and far to the city of Nicaea, in what is now Turkey. Constantine paid for their … Continue reading

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Processed Art Substance

A couple of weeks ago I participated in a Zoom panel discussion about the use of AI (artificial intelligence) software in the arts. This was hosted by Nick Batzdorf, who is the content director at the Synth & Software website, … Continue reading

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Let Me Count the Ways

I first encountered a synthesizer in 1975. I had just been hired as an assistant editor at a startup magazine called Contemporary Keyboard. (The name was later changed to Keyboard.) My boss, who was living down the walkway in the … Continue reading

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You Have Been Eaten by a Grue

Having entered my new text adventure game (“The Only Possible Prom Dress”) in this year’s Interactive Fiction Competition (IFComp), I figured I really ought to check out some of the other 70 entries and rate them as a judge. Authors … Continue reading

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The Great Red Spot

I’ve been re-reading James Gleick’s 1987 book Chaos. A lot of chaos theory is about mathematical abstractions, but it also has a very practical side. The Great Red Spot on the surface of Jupiter is still a bit of a … Continue reading

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Are We Board Yet?

I’ve always been fascinated by board games. Over the past three years I’ve acquired quite a nice collection of clever and colorful modern games. We’re not talking Parcheesi, Risk, or Monopoly, though I do have a few classic games on … Continue reading

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Fumble-Fingered

I’ve memorized a fair amount of piano music. I can sit down at the piano and play for an hour, going through ten or fifteen pieces, without opening any of the books of sheet music that are stacked next to … Continue reading

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