investment opportunities

CLANG Kickstart update

My friends at the secret clubhouse are already more than halfway to their goal of $500,000 to fund a virtual sword-fighting game, and they’ve released another video to help draw in more investors. This one features a capitalist in a giant hamster wheel:

More info about CLANG can be found on the Kickstarter page, here.

In other Neal Stephenson related news, Joe Cornish, the director of Attack the Block, has been hired by Paramount to do a film adaptation of Snow Crash. Woot!

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In which my friends try to Kickstart a swordfighting video game

When I’m not in total writer introvert mode, I occasionally hang out with this Western martial arts group whose members gather in a secret location to (a) hit one another with blunt objects and (b) hack up innocent pop bottles with sharpened versions of those same objects.

Although hitting one another remains the group’s core mission, over the years there have been spinoff projects, such as The Mongoliad. One of the group’s long-term goals has been the creation of an accurate (and fun) Western martial arts simulator, aka a swordfighting video game that doesn’t suck. As group founder Neal Stephenson explains above, they’re finally ready to get to work on that, so they’re doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise $500,000 in funding.

The game’s working title is CLANG. You’ll find more details on the CLANG Kickstarter page, here. The funding period runs through July 9, and as of this posting they’re already more than a fifth of the way towards the half-million-dollar goal.

(N.B. As was the case with The Mongoliad, I’m not directly involved in the project. At least, not yet. But you can be sure I’ll be dropping by the clubhouse to help playtest the game prototype.)

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Queen Anne Books is looking for a buyer

Patti McCall, the owner of Queen Anne Books, one of my favorite Seattle independent bookstores, has just announced that she is planning to sell the store:

Almost 14 years ago, Cindy Mitchell and I met with Randy and Alice to discuss the possibility of buying Queen Anne Books, sealing the deal July 31, 1998.  It has been an amazing ride: Borders Books and Barnes & Noble were the ‘big, bad, box stores’; Amazon was a new and far-reaching idea just beginning to take off; Tower Books was our nearest competitor; and there was no such thing as an e-book. After a couple hundred book club meetings, four amazing Harry Potter parties, countless author events and 14 Holiday Magics, I have decided it is time to turn over Queen Anne Books to a new owner — someone who will bring fresh energy and ideas to a business undergoing a radical and exciting transformation.

During the five years Lisa and I lived on Queen Anne Hill, Queen Anne Books was our local indie, and in addition to just being a wonderful bookstore, they were incredibly supportive of my career, handselling literally hundreds of copies of Set This House in Order and Bad Monkeys. Unfortunately, even with their help, I haven’t quite reached the level of success where I can afford to buy the store myself, but hopefully somewhere out there is a well-heeled investor—Bill? Paul? Nathan?—looking for a new opportunity. It’s a great business in a great neighborhood.

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