m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...


Click Your Poison #5, MAROONED: Will YOU Endure Treachery and Survival on the High Seas? by James Schannep, is out! I’ve loaded it up in my Kindle, though right now I’m in the middle of reading a LitRPG novel where the main character just got gored to death by a dire bear, so I haven’t insta-died of exposure on a desert island yet. But I’m looking forward to many parched deaths to come, and to reading volume #4, SUPERPOWERED, as well.

BDO Recommendations from Reddit

Via reddit again: Today’s Big Dumb Object (BDO) non-story is a thread at Reddit about favorite BDOs. Some of the BDOs aren’t (e.g., Anathem) and others I haven’t read so I can’t vouch for their being actual BDOs (yet): Blame, Marrow!, The Architects of Hyperspace, The Stars Are Legion, The Expanse, Grand Central Arena, Confluence, Vast, Rogue Moon (an oldie), Dark Orbit, ShipStar (Larry Niven and Greg Benford), and Strata (Terry Prachett).

Death Cave

I’ve more or less finished Death by Halloween, David Warkentin 2013 (Kindle Unlimited and paperback), the first book in his Adventures You Choose series. A second was promised, but I’m not holding my breath.

I read my way through four or five deaths, all very different except once when the author scolded me so much for my cowardice that I decided to check out the brave option. (It was just as fatal.) If you’re looking for horror, it’s here in spades, but in that drawn-out, cinematic way where the decisions of minor characters never seem to save them or do much good at all.

So if you’re looking for interactivity, it’s not necessarily here. The passages are long and the choices at the end are often just between right and left like you’re back in the Cave of Time. The author even boasts of the disconnectedness of different paths:

When I started writing this book, I wanted to make it as interesting as possible, so I made a decision. I decided that the realities of each story would be defined after the choice, meaning that every time the reader made a choice, a new reality would be created within the story.

(The technical term for this is a Time Cave.) I agree that it makes the story more interesting, but less interactive for adult readers. I’d recommend this book to horror lovers for its encyclopedia of deaths, but not to modern CYOA readers, for whom part of the pleasure of reading is gaining some understanding of the larger structure of the story.


While contemplating my forthcoming updates to PrePub and how I would make a dead-tree version of an e-gamebook, I found an old LaTeX gamebook package. It doesn’t actually do that much, but then there’s not much to do and it’s always handy when someone else has already done it for you.

Scree 3.0.3a

I’ve updated Scree3, my Scrivener 3 template for writing hyperfiction with Twine/Twee, to handle internal document links. That way you can auto-create scenes just by linking them (as in the Twine GUI), and also zip around your scenes within Scrivener by clicking the links. The new version number is 3.0.3a.

Scrivener 3 is still Mac-only at the moment, with the usual free 30-day-total trial for new and Scrivener 2 users.