Notes from the Kraken: December 20 2015

In All, Notes by David

Welcome again to We Have Always Lived in the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this week’s posting schedule, but first, a little Seafood for Thought.

Let’s talk about board games. We here at the blog are big fans, and each of us has our own preference. Personally, I have really enjoyed games by designer Antoine Bauza. Probably most well known for the euro-style game Seven Wonders, Bauza has proven adept at making a variety of gaming experiences, whether it’s creating fireworks in Hanabi, enjoying a lovely jaunt through Japan in Tokaïdo, doing our best to handle a crazy panda with Takenoko, or combining your efforts with your friends in the brutal kung-fu game Ghost Stories. Each of these games is quite fun, and you can something great in Bauza’s ouvre no matter what type of board game you are looking for. Last year, Bauza went back to the Ghost Stories well with Samurai Spirit, a cooperative game that adds a supernatural spin to Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai. This game comes with a wide variety of difficulties, and seems to have simplified a lot of Ghost Stories to make it a more streamlined experience. It is a lot of fun, and well worth a play, as are all of Bauza’s games (except for maybe Rampage, but hey, no one is perfect). So do yourself a favor, and give one of his games a try. You definitely won’t regret! Oh, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

David Robertson

Even in the depths of the Kraken, it’s the heart of the holiday season, so we will be light on content this week. With one notable exception. There was this little film some people may have heard of called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It was kind of a big deal, so it’s the only thing we’re talking about this week. No specific dates for these, so check back later this week for the following:

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Spotlight on Blogs Past:

The year is coming to an end, and with it, this year’s set of The Anticipated. David decided it was time to get some of his previous ones up in the archive, so enjoy the rest of The Anticipated posts from 2015, now up for your perusal.

Catch of the Week:

Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week.

Kyu: As December rolls on toward the holidays, I give you all a gift: the gift of TANIS. What is Tanis? It’s hard to describe. It’s a rumor on the darknet; a fable out of time; a whisper across the murk of history. It’s also one of the best podcasts currently airing. Every episode, host Nic Silver weaves a supposedly true story about his investigation into the myth of Tanis, which might be a real place, or a fictional landscape, or a vastly powerful idea. Either way, Silver’s on the hunt, searching for the truth through a dizzying maze of conspiratorial corporations, inspired artists, mysterious deaths, historical connections, and crazy theories. Combining the best lessons from production company Pacific Northwest Stories’ previous narrative experiment, The Black Tapes Podcast, with a thrilling, sprawling concept that works perfectly for internet radio, Tanis is a brilliant and engrossing work. And it regularly gives me chills. Seeking Tanis? Run.

Keskel: This week I recommend the manga Übel Blatt. It’s a revenge story in the style of Berserk, if the main character were a loli elf boy. Oddly enough, this makes him more badass, not less. Check it out!

David: I mentioned this last week, but SyFy has decided to take TV seriously again, and the biggest lynchpin of this is The Expanse. Based on the novels by James S. A. Corey, The Expanse is a space opera that has been called “Game of Thrones in space.” We’ll see how true that sentiment is, but so far the show has been awfully good. You can stream the first four episodes on SyFy’s website, and it is definitely worth giving a shot while the rest of television is on hiatus.

That’s it for this week. We hope you continue to find the Kraken to your liking, and that you enjoy your holiday. We here in the belly of the beast have no reprieve, but you do. Make the most of it.