The Times Has a Moment with IF

Sunday 6 July 2014, 11:12 pm   //////  

The New York Times has an article (online today, in print tomorrow) entitled “Text Games in a New Era of Stories,” about ye olde interactive fiction and new-fangled manifestations of it, including Ms. Porpentine’s Howling Dogs and Ms. Short’s Blood & Laurels.

(Okay, it must be admitted that even The New York Times didn’t refer to the author of Howling Dogs as “Ms. Porpentine.”)


  1. It’s always weird to read other people’s rundowns of your subculture. I wonder why he says “Ms. Short is not a particularly fine writer of sentences”? I’ve always liked her writing, but maybe it doesn’t pass muster in the upper echelons of society as represented by the New York Times?

    Comment by Healy — 2014-07-07 @ 4:54 am
  2. Yeah, it’s hard to say. It’s quite formidable to get mentioned in the Times at all, even in a way that involves some equivocation in addition to the praise. And, actually, the article is not really long enough to explain what the writer means there. So, I think my response to something like this would be … to write more interactive fiction.

    Comment by Nick Montfort — 2014-07-07 @ 9:06 pm
  3. Funny, that line bothered me too, and I casually asked the writer about it on Twitter. His response, “Good writing is more than pretty sentences. I quite liked Blood & Laurels. I hope that was clear.”

    Comment by Andy Baio — 2014-07-13 @ 7:48 pm
  4. Andy, thanks for both asking about that and linking to it here. I figured there was some much more nuanced point behind that, but it’s hard, even for a NYT writer, to get to such a point clearly in a short article about new types of writing.

    Comment by Nick Montfort — 2014-07-13 @ 7:54 pm

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