Yuletide Reveal!: Now it can be told! I wrote two stories for Yuletide 2022. The one for which I anticipate more interest is The Practical Boyfriend: A Post-Scarcity Rom-Com. This is a brand new Constellation Games bonus story, the first one in ten years, depicting the meet-cute between Tetsuo Milk and Ashley Somn at the beginning of the contact mission. Guest starring Curic and You'll Only See Kis Echo!, a character you've forgotten about. It's got laughs, romance, and Tetsuo designs a game!

As a fan of high-quality 2012 releases, I'm sure you also enjoy Subset Games' FTL, a death-in-space simulator that inspired certain bits of Situation Normal. Now I'm closing the circle with an fanfic called Try, Try Again, where I used the gallows-humor style of Situation Normal to tell a story in the FTL universe.

Wherever you find yourself today, I wish you a happy new year, and happy reading and writing!

December Film Roundup:

Our Morning Games: In the year or so since Wordle became very popular, bringing along with it the more general online game model of "everyone gets the same quick game every day". Since then, Sumana and I have curated a set of games that we play together most mornings over breakfast. Many games have gone in and out of our list, and I figured the start of a new year was a good time to make some recommendations. I hope you find some fun with any or all of these:

There are also two slower-paced games that we don't necessarily play every day:

The Procedure Sign: My bad-dystopia-SF parody "The Procedure Sign" is out in Issue #16 of Etherea Magazine, a steal at USD $2.

Tommy stared at a blank concrete wall painted hospital green. He heard the hot-air hum of a projector starting up behind him. He squished his eyes closed, but the headband gave him an electric shock that jolted them open.

I did not expect to ever sell this story, because its satire skates so close to the edge of being simply bad. "The Procedure Sign" was directly inspired by an item in the ancient Strange Horizons "Stories We've Seen Too Often" list:

A mysteriously-named Event is about to happen ("Today was the day Jimmy would have to report for The Procedure"), but the nature of the Event isn't revealed until the end of the story, when it turns out to involve death or other unpleasantness. [Several classic sf stories use this approach, which is one reason we're tired of seeing it. Another reason is that we can usually guess the twist well ahead of time, which makes the mysteriousness annoying.]

More seriously, the story was also inspired by the experience of my own mysterious Event: being baptized into the LDS church when I was eight. Assuming the story has any real emotional edge, that's where it comes from.

The Crummy.com Review of Things 2022: Here we go, another year gone and I'm no wiser than before. But I do have some quality recommendations for you!


2022 was a year where I read a few really long books rather than a lot of shorter ones. Here are my top three of 2022:

Live Events

The big live event for me in 2022 was seeing Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in the Music Man revival. It's my favorite musical, as I've surely mentioned here before, and seeing a live professional production live of it a real bucket-list event. We're not going to end up like that sap in The Apartment!

I also did more museum outings and whatnot than I did in 2021, and even took a trip to California to see my family, for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

The Music Man Playbill Ancient D20s seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


As usual, Film Roundup Roundup is up to date with 21 new recommended motion pictures among the ones I saw in 2022. My top ten for the year:

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022)
  2. Local Hero (1983)
  3. L.A. Story (1991)
  4. Glass Onion (2022)
  5. Roxanne (1987)
  6. The Lost City (2022)
  7. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
  8. The Afterlight (2021)
  9. Stalag 17 (1953)
  10. WarGames (1983)


The Crummy.com Game Of the Year is I Was A Teenage Exocolonist. Other games I enjoyed in 2022 include ZERO Sievert, The Barnacle Goose Experiment, and Vampire Survivors. Of our daily games, the ones I most look forward to playing every day are Framed and Artle.

My accomplishments

Ugh, don't ask me about The Constellation Speedrun right now. It will be done eventually. I am working on it today, and this blog post is but a procrastination measure. 2022 saw publication of four of my short stories (see previous post) and I finished three more: "Or Current Resident", "A Place for Monsters", and "Expert Witness". I also wrote two Yuletide fics. Not what I'd hoped, but not too bad.

January Film Roundup:

After writing that I decided to look up what Roger Ebert thought of Rancho Deluxe: He hated it, and I can't find much to disagree with, but I still had a good time.

February Film Roundup:

March Film Roundup:

April Film Roundup: Sumana was out of town for Pycon, so I saw a few films from my "Sumana probably won't like this" queue of movies from the 60s and 70s.

Now, it's time for a Spring Television Spotlight, highlighting interesting episodic serials we've enjoyed over these cold winter months:

[No comments] June Film Roundup:

Speaking of which, let's do a Television Spotlight on Ted Lasso, which just concluded. Overall, really solid and funny. It got a little self-indulgent in the third season, but its self-indulgence mostly took the form of long character studies of characters we liked (Rebecca), or at least had grown not to dislike (Jamie).

However there is one big exception: Nate's third season story arc. We spent quite a lot of time with Nate after his heel turn at the end of season two, and if season three was Nate's season, it would have been justified. But all those leisurely studies of other characters created a major pacing problem with Nate's arc, making it drag on until he made an undramatized face turn near the very end of the show. This violates my storytelling motto: show, or tell, but do one or the other, for gosh sakes! We weren't shown this dramatic moment in Nate's life, nor we were told anything about the mental processes that led to a very consequential decision. For a show that enthusiastically wears its emotions on its sleeve, this pulling back felt very strange.

PS: Trent Crimm 4evah. Breakout character of the show. Fun IMDB fact: Crimm actor James Lance also played Richard, Daisy's boyfriend in Spaced, way back when.

And finally, a rarely seen Live Theater Showcase, starring Khan!!! The Musical!. I saw this play twice during May, and really enjoyed the mix of Trek fanservice and deep musical theater cuts which I only get thanks to reading the Playbill recaps of Schmigadoon! that explain all the references. The show is closing this weekend, but we're talking The Wrath of Khan here, so we're likely to see one remake after another over the next few decades as everyone in off-Broadway tries to recapture the original magic.

Probably my favorite gag is the way the actor playing Spock maintains Vulcan posture and body language even while tap-dancing. And the first song is a great Starfleet recruitment pitch. ("Our socialistic, low-key atheistic, both futuristic and anachronistic Starfleeeeet!") It's that kind of show.


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