Two points I accidentally excluded from my recent set of recommendations:
Another subject on which Neil Gaiman and I agree is the goodness of the Ditty Bops. Last August, after Mr Gaiman mentioned them on his site, I checked out their site and listened to the audio streams from their album. The next day, I purchased the album from the iTunes Music Store. I’ve meant to mention them here for a while, but I’ve kept forgetting.
I am not alone in recommending A Miracle of Science. Rebecca Borgstrom writes, “It’s life-changingly good, albeit in the fashion of the best tea you’ve ever had rather than the fashion of a stranger handing you $1,500,000.”
Ms Borgstrom is the author of the exquisite Hitherby Dragons, an all-text webcomic that posts a new story daily (or, as of late, bi-daily). Most of these stories are “legends”, performances put on by the crew of Gibbelins’ Tower to help them make sense of the world. The remainder are stories about the crew themselves, their ancestors, and their world.
It’s surreal and funny, filled with unexpected pop-culture references and sorrow. There’s so much of it, in fact, that I’m not sure what to recommend to first-timers. Here’s an eccentric selection that mostly focuses on Hitherby’s melding of pop-culture and myth.
- “Anecdotes from the Matrix”; computer science koans
- “Once Upon a Time, There Was…”; a short tale whose form reminds me of the structural games Gödel, Escher, Bach
- “The Alphabet Game”; Susan travels through a ruined world to face the prototype of the Fisher-Price Ultimate Evil. If you only plan to read one of these, I recommend this one.
- “Oriane”; having neglected to lock her closet door, Oriane must follow the cut-up doll through the caverns beyond her sock drawer.
- “Ragnarok”; the Superfriends at the end of the world
- “Rainbow Noir”; Rainbow Brite vs Nihilism Bear
- “Greensleeves”; “My name is Theodore Winky, and I am already damned beyond Mr Falwell’s dreams.”
- Multi-part epics (after reading each post, continue to the next until the
story is over):
- “Countdown to Annihilation”; the Origins Bomb will destroy everything older than 10,000 years—thus proving creationism. Also recommended by John Holbo.
- “Unclean Legacy”, the talented children of Gargamel and the matter of his legacy
Ms Borgstrom is also the creator of Nobilis, a role-playing game which I am told is excellent. Based on what I’ve read about it and what I’ve seen of her other work, I’m tempted to pick it up just to read it.