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A No Doubt Mad Idea, by Stephen Minkin

The cover of a novel. The image reminds me more than a little of Gualala, Calif., which as any trufan knows is the home of R. Twidner.

I remember going into the Huntley Bookstore at the Claremont Colleges, and seeing this face-out on the fiction shelves. The drawing was so appealing I reached right for it -- proof I will buy a book for the cover, if done well.

Minkin's novel is a mix of Northern California in the 1970s and his own term "ludics." That is, the study of games, not just for their own sake (though that too) but also as an element in culture and civilization more broadly. It's inspired by Johan Huizinga's Homo Ludens (that is, "Man the Player" - and wipe that smirk off your face).

There are illustrations of games at the start of each chapter. There are quotations running by along the bottom edge of the pages. (One time, when I spoke to Minkin, I mentioned that turning the novel into HTML would provide one of the few justifications I know for the MARQUEE tag.)

Here are my previous quotes of Minkin, and I tweeted a quote of his earlier today.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 19th, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
Thank you for the introduction to the author - and the reference to R. Twidner!
Jul. 23rd, 2009 08:47 am (UTC)
Hi, Hal!

Thanks for the props!

I am currently finishing up my second novel, set in 1870 in California. My schedule of calling 370 square dances a year in recent decades has necessarily made work on it sporadic.

I have a couple of pages of quotes on my web page that you might enjoy, the first page consisting of dance and music related material, the second on the whole catastrophe:

Rita and I have been hosting Shakespeare readings at our home every couple of months, -- if you plan on coming down this way give us fair warning and we'll get you a seat.

And I'll give you a heads up when Robert's Reel is ready to be released.

Bright moments,


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )