How to accidentally start an ARG…

“Christian Marcus is in over his head, and I can tell he’s loving it. Hopefully it won’t kill him.

Marcus, a scenic designer by trade who is the wizard behind some of the most beautiful bars in LA (No Vacancy, Butchers and Barbers, Pour Vous), and his fiancé Erika Diehl have found themselves at the center of a web of lies and deceit that is being teased apart by a couple of thousand people around the world.

That is, they’ve started an Alternate Reality Game, of sorts. Partially by accident.”

via Murder! Mystery! And A Wedding! Finding ‘The Lost Tears’ or ‘The Accidental ARG’.

Mystery Show

I’m late to the podcast party. Just last week I binge-listened to Season One of Serial. I’d been intrigued when it was all happening last year but knew, just knew, that if I so much as peaked into that rabbit-hole as it was happening that I would be sucked up for days, weeks, months into reading all of the blogs, all of the reddit, all of the everything. Time and attention I couldn’t afford then (or now). So, as it stands to date, I’ve only “lost” one afternoon to trawling the net for more tidbits, more story, more speculation because I joined late. I think I got off lightly.

However, although I managed not to get too sucked into Serial itself I am now facing a bigger podcast habit: I’m subscribing to shows and downloading episodes faster than I can listen to them. It’s books all over again.

One of the episodes I’ve enjoyed most so far is S1 Ep 1 of Mystery Show: ‘Case #1: Video Store’.  The initial case appeals to me (a store that’s there and then not there) because it reminds me of something that happens in The Changeover by Margaret Mahy (a favourite childhood book of mine). But, beyond that, I enjoy the way that Kine tracks down leads using a mixture of deduction, intuition and imagination. It’s a little bit Special Agent Cooper and unexpectedly moving. I’m hoping the rest of the season, although perhaps a little more mundane on the surface, will prove just as interesting.

The Unanswered Question

I was about a quarter of the way into The Peripheral (William Gibson 2014) when it hit me that there was a lot more going on than I had realised; in both the novel and the “world” of the novel.

Up to that point I’d noted a few nouns here and there that I didn’t recognise (and which the Kindle’s look-up features didn’t help me identify) but I’d been happy to let them remain loose. To assume, I suppose, that it was their “colour” and not their specific meaning that mattered. I’d had a similar moment reading The Seed Collectors (Scarlett Thomas 2015) recently where I’d enjoyed reading the flow and feel of the words (as narrated by a non-human character) rather than needing to lock-down their specific meaning.

But, at around the 1/4 point it became clear that what I needed to know (and what I could know) was going to expand. In a big way. It was unexpected and tremendously enjoyable and I’m not sure I recall feeling that exact thing while reading a novel before. I was already enjoying it and then it got so. much. better.

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