Saturday, June 7, 2014


Invocation is now available free under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND-BA-BA-BOP-SKI-BI-WA-BOP 4.0.

.MOBI for Kindle
... or a paperback (UK/US)


"If JG Ballard had written an Enid Blyton girl's own adventure on Facebook under the influence of mind-altering drugs, he might have ended up with something like Invocation. Or maybe not. Jo L Walton's hallucinatory anti-fantasy fantasy is a kind of Harry Potter for the Contemporary Poet, a neurological black comedy, a Clockwork Orange for the 21st century, a satire in which contemporary Britain dissolves in the acids of the hyperreal, a paranoid critique, a nonsense that constantly threatens an ambush by alarming lucidity. Being like everything, it's not like anything else. 'Anything that is unlike anything else is sad,' says one of Walton's uncharacters. Maybe. But in this case, it's also perilously funny. Did I say it was gloriously written? Perhaps that's how Walton gets away with it. I'm awaiting the final instalment with pleasurable trepidation."
— Alison Croggon

". . . a hyperreal comic thriller and, I’m pretty sure, one of the most urgent, smart and exciting fictional projects of the moment . . ."
— Colin Herd, 3am Magazine

Thursday, June 5, 2014

All in a Day's Play

I've uploaded two scraps of a paper-in-progress to

Are there any games in game theory?
Work Without Toil

The second one is really about trying to define gamification -- define it in a way that doesn't take the concept of a game for granted, a way that doesn't commit you to believing all that stuff about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (unless you want to), and in a way that accommodates obvious examples of gamification like Khan Academy, but also just about includes non-digital stuff -- basic labour movement accomplishments (eight hour working day, health and safety), improvised coping mechanisms that are pretty much all in the head (like smooshed up mountaineer Joe Simpson's heroically disciplinary descent).