Thursday 16 December 2010

Looking for a bookish gift that’s not a book? Soho!, a literary board game could be the answer.

The game revolves around collecting “6 pieces of rashly commissioned copy [that] need to be retrieved from a somewhat motley bunch of recalcitrant writers… And, being writers, all 6 are currently holed up in 6 Soho pubs, cadging free drinks, chatting up people half their age (but with, oddly, twice their looks), and complaining vociferously about their agents”.

The characters themselves are drawn with the same cheeky humour including such writing stalwarts as “travel blogger and author of ”Leicester: City of Crisps“, Toby D’Azure” and “Girl-about-town and sparkly-heeled chick-lit tyro Sophie Blush”. Players are required to corral copy from these various literary geniuses. The game is apparently “suitable for all ages, though under-12s might not get some of the jokes and under-8’s will probably throw tantrums. Also, any taxi-drivers will have a built-in advantage, but there’s not much we can do about that – they have enlarged hippocampi, you know”.

The game is a fundraising drive for Smoke, a London-based literary magazine that’s currently on a “short sabbatical to consider its options and work on other projects” including Soho!. As we look to the future of literary journals in Australia, could board games be the new e-books?



16 December 2010


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Mark Zuckerberg on the Time cover

A shocked and spotty Mark Zuckerberg graces the cover of the latest Time magazine as 2010’s Person of the Year. Facebook founder Zuckerberg joins a list that includes Vladimir Putin, Winston Churchill, Adolf Hitler, Richard Nixon (who won two years in a row) and, in a quirky attempt to reflect a change away from the “Great Man” version of history, you.

In a year when Facebook came under greater scrutiny and the subject of the film The Social Network, Zuckerberg’s win seems to be about previous achievements. Time’s salute reads: “In less than 7 years, Zuckerberg wired together a 12th of humanity into a single network, thereby creating a social entity almost twice as large as the US.”

On the runners-up list, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was called a “cypherpunk” who “wrought deep disruptions in the marketplace of state power”. Trapped Chilean miners and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai were also wooden spooners for Person of the Year 2010.

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