February 7, 2011: This Week In e23
I learned something this week. Specifically, Aaron Allston introduced me to the term "throwing the sops," from his "In This Issue" box in Space Gamer #57 (just uploaded this week). I've never heard the term, and can't find a formal definition online, but as he explains it ". . . in other words, 'for Traveler [sic] players, we have . . . for SF boardgamers, we have . . .'"
When writing these weekly announcements of e23 releases, it's easy to fall into the pattern of "throwing the sops." But, as Aaron notes, it is the "simplest, quickest, and least imaginative" way to do so. On one hand, for a guy who writes a great number of Daily Illuminators, "simple" and "quick" are good things. But "least imaginative"? That's a death sentence!
For the most part, I attempt to avoid the trap of the sops by injecting humor, or finding a common thread for all the uploads. But that's not always easy. This week, for example, I looked for a connection between Space Gamer #57, Transhuman Space: Toxic Memes, and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 8: Treasure Tables. There's a SF theme for two-thirds of them, but DF8 is definitively not science fiction. SG is a scan of the physical product, Treasure Tables is an update of an earlier release, and Toxic Memes is technically a GURPS Classic upload (it's a GURPS Third Edition book, but the title is already quite long).
This week, as you can see, I took a "behind the scenes" approach, showing you, Gentle Reader, my thought process as I wrote this entry. Hopefully I've mentioned Space Gamer, Toxic Memes, and Dungeon Fantasy enough to entice you to buy one or more of them; if not, perhaps the pretty covers gracing this entry have caught your eye.
Next week, I'm hoping for a series of releases covering a single topic -- maybe something involving guns.
-- Paul Chapman
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