The RPGrrl's Blog

{October 31, 2010}   Happy All Hallow’s Read

Last weekend, Neil Gaiman suggested to his readership that, in honour of Hallowe’en, we begin a new holiday tradition: the gifting of scary books.  He says that there aren’t enough traditions that involve the giving of books, and I, for one, agree!  I’m not the only one, either.  A fan site for All Hallows Read was put up during the week, detailing the “rules” of the exchange, and providing links to articles, suggestions, and resources to help people celebrate this first official year of the new tradition.

I resolved, as soon as I heard about this on Twitter, that I would participate.  I knew I wanted to give away a scary book, but I wasn’t sure how to do it.  In the end, I decided on a multi-media approach.

Firstly, as I am out here in the blogging universe specifically to talk about RPGs, it seemed only absolutely appropriate that I give a Role-Playing Game to my readers.  I wanted to be equitable, so here is a gift for everyone: Psychosis.  This is a Role-Playing game of shifting reality played without character sheets or dice, but using tarot cards as character indicators and also to determine the outcome of challenges.  Full disclosure: I have not played this game, but I intend to; as soon as I manage to unearth my tarot deck.  Also, I did not find this game all on my own: the helpful folks over at the Free RPG Blog added it to their collection.  The link above is theirs.  I’m just pointing you folks to it 🙂

Secondly, I want to share something I love with you: audiobooks.  As a busy human being, I frequently find I don’t have the time to sit down and read a hard-copy book (or even a digital-copy book!)  There have been periods in my life where, if I wanted to get any reading done at all, it was in short snippets while grocery shopping if I thought far enough ahead to bring my iPod and earphones.  I have cultivated a great appreciation of audiobooks for that reason, in part.  (The other part is probably because I’m a rampant audiophile!)  Last spring I stumbled across the absolutely amazing, entirely volunteer efforts of Librivox.  I was instantly in love.  What they do is, through the efforts of volunteer readers and audio editors, they record the chapters of public domain books for the audio-enjoyment of the general public.  Their goal is to record every book available in the public domain.  (That’s pretty lofty!)  I’m even signed up as a volunteer, though I have not worked on any completed projects yet.  (When I do, I’ll link it in this blog, though!)  In the meantime, in honour of All Hallow’s Read, I present to you, precious readers:
The Collected Public Domain Works of H.P. Lovecraft
Ghost Story Collection 6
(chosen ’cause I like Virginia Woolf.  Yes, I admit it.)
Horror Story Collection 5
(chosen, mainly, because it does not contain repeats of any of the Lovecraft stories above, though I encourage you to download the other collections, anyway!)
Download, listen, and enjoy!

Many gifts of horror for my blogosphere friends!  I sincerely hope you enjoy these, and any other goodies you discover along the way while further investigating the Free RPG Blog or Librivox.  Ok, now I feel better.  New tradition duties discharged!  But wait, there’s more!

I’m a sucker for a blog-comment give-away.  I fully admit that I snagged this give-away idea shamelessly from Strange Ink, who is much braver than I.  Once upon a time, I embarked on a quest to read every Stephen King story I could get my hands on.  I was unsuccessful in completing the task, but very successful in learning that I really like his work, and now I at least own most of it, even if I haven’t read it all yet.  I used to consume a novel a day while working on my father’s salmon troller, and picked up anything I could find at the free book exchange bin at dock in Port Hardy (which is where I got my hands on my first Stephen King, Salem’s Lot.)  This is how I came across the most traumatizing horror novel of my young reading career: John Saul’s When the Wind Blows. I still shudder to think about it. I really gave up reading horror when I was 12, because I couldn’t handle the nightmares horror left running through my over-active imagination, and that book was the main catalyst.

So, the contest is this: comment on this post telling me the scariest book you’ve ever read.  I’ll leave this contest open for one week (until November 7th at 11:59pm Pacific Time)  and on Monday the 8th I’ll randomly select a commenter as winner. Edit Nov 8: Contest Closed. Like over at Strange Ink, the winner will receive an agreed-upon scary book (“in print, paperback or e-format, because seriously, I am a writer, not an independently wealthy book collector.”)  I’m also going to send the winner a copy of NewbieDM‘s super-popular RPG Kids game (which can be just as scary as you figure your munchkin can handle, if you want it to be!)  The winner will also get a free copy of my husband’s RPG when it’s available (we’re currently in beta testing.  Feel free to contact me for more info about it!)

Best of luck! and Happy Hallowe’en!


et cetera