To help myself remember how I felt about various things that I finished
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Lord Valentine's Castle
I started reading this book in 1988, and just finished it now. It's a fantasy novel featuring a troupe of jugglers. There is lots of detailed talk about juggling patterns and what it feels like to perform, etc., which is novel and interesting, especially if you are a juggling nerd like me. Majipoor makes a pretty interesting story world (a hundred billion people, multiple alien races, etc.), and there are some cool events... but instead of building to some great climactic ending, the novel kind of peaks in the middle, and then gradually runs downhill. I know there are more books in the series, but I doubt I'll read them. If I understand right, the Flying K's helped consult on some of the juggling stuff, and it shows -- some of their juggling philosophy is in there. My two favorite parts of this book are that it does a good job of explaining what skilled juggling feels like, and also this picture of the author on the back cover.
Jesse Schell has taught Game Design and led research projects at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center (www.etc.cmu.edu) since 2002. Jesse is also the CEO of Pittsburgh’s largest videogame studio, Schell Games (www.schellgames.com), the author of The Art of Game Design: a book of lenses (www.artofgamedesign.com), and the former chairman of the International Game Developers Association (www.igda.org). In 2004, he was named one of the world’s Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT’s magazine of innovation.
Before coming to Carnegie Mellon, he was the Creative Director of the Disney Virtual Reality Studio, where he spent seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and Disney Online. Before that, he was a software engineer at IBM and Bell Communications Research, and a writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer's Mime Circus and the Juggler's Guild. You can email him at jesse(at)schellgames.com.