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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Impromptu Take Your Daughter to Work Day

by Ken Newquist / February 14, 2008

My dad was a science teacher, and I spent many a day going to work with him, on Saturdays or summer days, while he set up his classrooms, rebuilt bulletin boards, and generally did teacher stuff. I have pleasant memories of wandering through empty schools, exploring new corridors, and taking the occasional break to draw epic space battles while my dad put the finishing touches on a display case packed with jars of preserved crittees caught at Sandy Hook.

Game Day: Who Watches the Watchmen?

by Ken Newquist / February 1, 2008

 Watchmen Back in November, when I was working on my novel, I wrote a scene in which the main characters got together for a graphic novel book club. When I mentioned this to my gaming group, they thought it was a great idea ... and that we should give it a try in the real world.

After much discussion and a few delays, we're finally doing it. Our first-ever Graphic Novel Book Club will take place tonight at WhichBrew, where we'll be eating good food, drinking local beers, and discussing Alan Moore's classic (if highly depressing) graphic novel Watchmen.

It's a tough novel to start with because it truly feels like a novel. It's dense and literary, with some chapters that spin the narrative wildly out of control, and an ending so depressing it could drive you to drink. It's dystopian alternate history 1980s has almost no sympathetic heroes; there are plenty of reasons to hate them, and almost none you can admire.

Nuclear Midnight is now 5 p.m.

by Ken Newquist / January 31, 2008

I’d settled into a good routine. Get off work at 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., go to the gym, and then get home by 6:00 to 6:30 in time for dinner with the family. Take care of the kids – giving them baths and cleaning up the house – and help herd them into bed by 8:30. Then my wife and I would have the evening to ourselves. That was the theory, and it was also the practice for a good long while.

And then Luke became a toddler.

Radio Active #61: Leopard, 4th Edition, Secret Lairs, Google Code, Kobold Quarterly

by Ken Newquist / January 29, 2008
Cover: Kobold Quarterly

Radio Active returns to its somewhat regular schedule as I talk about family visits, getting more sleep, hacking Moodle and trying out Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

In Netheads, I talk about getting a sneak peak at D&D 4th Edition through already-released products like the Book of Nine Swords, discover a new Secret Lair for masterminds and minions to hang out in, and experiment with Google Code. Finally I have a review of the new print magazine Kobold Quarterly, which just may be the Dragon replacement that gamers are looking for.

Jonathan Coulton in the Lehigh Valley?

by Ken Newquist / January 25, 2008

Geek musician/singer Jonathan Coulton (Skullcrusher Mountain, Re: Your Brains) lives in Brooklyn, New York, which isn't all that far from the Lehigh Valley. Yet to the best of my knowledge, he's never played here, which is something I'd like to change.

There's a Lehigh Valley "demand" for him in Eventful:

GoodReads Catches Fire

by Ken Newquist / January 24, 2008

GoodReads is a social networking site for readers, allowing users to add their book collections to online bookshelves and then share those collections with friends. Books can be stored on different book shelves, rated, and reviewed. You can compare your collection to that of a friends, with the site giving you a side-by-side comparison of ratings for the books you have in common as well as a percentage indicating how much alike you are.

Behold ... the Dice of the Elder Gods!

by Ken Newquist / January 23, 2008

My brand-new, yellow-painted, Chaosium-sanctioned Call of Cthulhu dice by Q Workshop arrived today from Poland:

 Call of Cthulhu dice by Q Workshop

I've got to say -- these things are easily the most beautiful, well-crafted dice in my collection, and I'd put them up against any of those meteorite dice in a geek cred show down. I mean, sure, dice made from space rocks are cool, but when are you going to use them?

Top of the Pile: Messiah Complex, Penance, End League, Gunslinger Born

by Ken Newquist / January 23, 2008

Last week was a light one for Marvel (or at least the Marvel titles I read) so I let Tony at Phantom of the Attic talk me into trying out a couple of other titles. In addition to my X-Universe standby – this week it was “New X-Men”, Part 12 of the Messiah Complex – I picked up Penance: Relentless #5 and Dark Horse Comics' The End League.

Finally there’s Marvel's The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born, one of the four graphic novels I got for Christmas.