Flintpunk and Geekomancy [Sword and Laser 179]

Would you like to be in a George R. R. Martin Book? Got $20K? Don’t mind being killed? Good. You can help wolves. Also we give our first impressions of Brian McClellan’s The Promise of Blood and talk Geekomancy with Michael Underwood.

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The Return of Zita the Space Girl

Ben Hatke’s Zita the Spacegirl kids’ comics are a huge favorite around these parts. In The Return of Zita the Space Girl, Hatke wraps up his first story arc in a way that can only be called an absolute triumph. Cory Doctorow reviews it.

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A book that plays tic-tac-toe with you

ttt
Tic Tac Tome is a book that’s smart enough to play tic-tac-toe with you – no batteries required. You start on the first page by deciding which of the 9 spots to place your X. Then turn to the indicated page number to see where the book places its O. And so on, until one of you wins (or you have a cat’s game). To let the book start first, flip the book over and start from the back page. The photos above show a game started by the book and ending in a cat’s game. I can’t wait for the Chess version – it’ll be a couple of hundred million pages long, so I’ve cleared a spot on my bookshelf for it. (via Wink)

How to rebuild our world from scratch [Gweek 150]

Maybe it was a viral pandemic, or an asteroid strike, or perhaps nuclear war. Whatever the cause, the world as we know it has ended and you and the other survivors must start again. What key knowledge would you need to start rebuilding civilization from scratch? This episode of Gweek is brought to you by stamps.com.

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Flash Point: Fire Rescue - a game of high-stakes trade-offs

Flash Point: Fire Rescue is a co-operative game about firefighting for 1-6 players. Both its difficulty and its complexity are hugely adjustable, such that it’s suitable for anyone from families with elementary-age children to groups of adult gamers. Where Escape: Curse of the Temple is frantic and breathless, Flash Point is deliberate and tense. Jon Seagull reviews.

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Wink's remarkable book picks of the week

winkssWink is a website that reviews one remarkable paper book every weekday. My wife, Carla Sinclair, is the editor. We take lots of photos of the covers and the interior pages of the books to show you why we love them.

This week we reviewed:

The High Fidelity Art of Jim Flora – Joyously explosive art from a forgotten illustrator of 1940s jazz records

Big Meals for Little Hands - Sophisticated meals that kids will enjoy making as well as eating

Dian Hanson’s History of Pin-Up Magazines – A jaw-dropping seventy-year history of prurient pulp

The Timechart History of the World – A spectacular 14-foot-long foldable chart that graphs world history from 4,000 BC to today

Graffiti World: Street Art From Five Continents - Jam-packed with 2000 images, Graffiti World is the best gallery of world-wide street art

The Engineer’s Sketchbook – A collection of timeless mechanical concepts explained with basic principles

Take a look at these books and many others at Wink. And sign up for our Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

How to find four-leaf clovers like Sherlock Holmes [Gweek 149]

Our guest Maria Konnikova is a New Yorker contributing writer. She covers science and psychology for The Atlantic, and The New York Times. We spoke to her about her book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, a great overlooked crime novel, her favorite podcast, and lots more.

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Dian Hanson’s History of Pin-Up Magazines

Matt Maranian finds that there’s a lot to learn about the history of pin-up magazines, more than you’d ever imagine, and this set leaves no stone unturned and no skirt unlifted.

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Saga Volume Three: weird all the things!

It’s been nearly a year since the publication of volume two of Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ spectacular Saga comic; but at last, volume three is at hand. As Cory Doctorow discovered, it was well worth the wait.

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Matt Taibbi's The Divide: incandescent indictment of the American justice-gap

Matt Taibbi’s
The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
is a scorching, brilliant, incandescent indictment of the widening gap in how American justice treats the rich and the poor. Taibbi’s spectacular financial reporting for Rolling Stone set him out as the best running commentator on the financial crisis and its crimes, and The Divide — beautifully illustrated by Molly Crabapple — shows that at full length, he’s even better. Cory Doctorow reviews The Divide.

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Wink's remarkable book picks of the week

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 6.46.25 PMWink is a website that reviews one remarkable paper book every weekday. My wife, Carla Sinclair, is the editor. We take lots of photos of the covers and the interior pages of the books to show you why we love them.

This week we reviewed:

The Engineer’s Sketchbook – A collection of timeless mechanical concepts explained with basic principles

Incredible Cross-Sections - a books that simplifies complex things by bisecting objects on super-size pages

Secret Identity – The fetish art and bizarre fate of Superman’s co-creator

Recording The Beatles – A hefty book in a box that comes with tons of goodies and everything there is to know about the Fab Four recording at Abbey Road

Magic Color Flair - An enchanting collection of Disney artist Mary Blair’s delightful art

Codex Seraphinianus – This is the weirdest book you’ve ever seen

Take a look at these books and many others at Wink. And sign up for our Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Greenwald's "No Place to Hide": a compelling, vital narrative about official criminality

Cory Doctorow reviews Glenn Greenwald’s long-awaited No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State. More than a summary of the Snowden leaks, it’s a compelling narrative that puts the most explosive revelations about official criminality into vital context.

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Critical cruelty at One-Star Book Reviews

rj
“First of all, the whole thing is almost all dialogue.”

Further to our old friends at You Can’t Please Everyone, a Tumblr devoted to “reviews of classic books, culled from the internet’s think tank”: One-Star Book Reviews.

Wink's remarkable book picks of the week

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 6.46.25 PMWink is a website that reviews one remarkable paper book every weekday. My wife, Carla Sinclair, is the editor. We take lots of photos of the covers and the interior pages of the books to show you why we love them.

This week we reviewed:

Codex Seraphinianus -- the weirdest book you’ve ever seen

The Oldest Living Things in the World -- a captivating look at ancient organisms along with a personal memoir of science and adventure

Strange Maps -- q collection of fun and peculiar maps that you won’t find in an ordinary atlas

Art Forms from the Ocean -- exquisite drawings of single-celled plankton

How to be a Genius -- fun exercises to boost your brainpower

X’ed Out and The Hive -- a thrilling continuous nightmare by comix master Charles Burns

Take a look at these books and many others at Wink. And sign up for our Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

The oldest living things in the world

The Oldest Living Things in the World is an amazing hybrid,” says Carla Sinclair, “part traditional coffee table book displaying gorgeous photographs, and part memoir of Rachel Sussman’s journey trekking around the world to photograph the oldest living things that she could find.”

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