Robots And Reddit: Writing And Storytelling In The Future

First off I just heard that The Wicked Library podcast will be reading the short story on my previous post in December, so that’s exciting. It also kind of illustrates the point of today’s post.

A while ago I shared some online interactive horror stories (look through if you haven’t already, they’re very good). The evolution of storytelling is an endlessly fascinating subject for me, from folk tales passed by word of mouth to the invention of the printing press to creepypasta and reddit. Now we can upload a book immediately onto the internet for anyone in the world to read or add a piece to a collective mythos like the SCP Foundation.

In the video below Fredrik Knudsen (whose YouTube channel is a very interesting mix of weird fiction and oddball internet personalities, you should follow him) tells the story of Mother Horse Eyes, the author of strange and disturbing reddit comments which developed into something unexpected.

Look out for the moment when Mother Horse Eyes reveals themselves to be a Douglas Adams fan.

Next up is an interview with Don Coscarelli, director of the film adaptation of David Wong‘s John Dies At The End. He discusses how the book started off as a series on Wong’s website and was recommended to him by an automated Amazon robot.

In 1954 Roald Dahl’s short story The Great Automatic Grammatizator, in which a computer writes a novel, was published. In March 2016 a short novel by a Japanese AI “almost won a literary prize…” though the narrative of robots rising to overtake their human overlords falls apart under inspection. Much of the work was done by humans and the first rounds probably had fairly simple requirements. Still, pretty darn impressive.

By the way I recommend following the twitter mentioned in the article, Magic Realism Bot, it’s highly entertaining.

To finish off here’s a video I uploaded today of my adventures with online interactive horror fiction. Toodle pip!

Annoying Clouds, Pensioner Circuses and Kitten Houses – Stories From My Charity Fundraiser

Well well well, I managed to write with a crayon for four whole hours for Hands For Syria. I raised over 100 pounds which may not sound much but I’m so happy I managed to get more than a penny.

Below you’ll find the stories I wrote non-stop until my brain dribbled from my ears, and the video of Sunday night’s scribble fest. Don’t expect beautiful poetry, I did the first thing that came into my head.

Be warned – I thought I had The League of Gentlemen on very quietly in the background but it’s…really not quiet at all.

Incidentally there’s still time to give, here’s the fundraising page. Thanks so much to everyone who already did. Now I have to go rest my neck.



Board Games For Creative Types

Look at us, aren’t we cool?

Hello everyone! The other day I toddled off to a board game playing cafe thing – there were people, and games, I was outside my house, it was exciting. I know that games such as Dungeons and Dragons are good for creative types, but these are games I’ve played with my own little hands.

1. Gloom. Gothic families suffer tragedies and misfortunes! The aim is to make your family as miserable as possible before killing them off while making other player’s characters happier. Plus you get to tell a story with each move you make.gloom

The best part for me was hearing our tentative attempts at fiction whilst simultaneously worrying about making an incorrect move, resulting in: “Darren Dark tripped over something…and it really hurt…and stuff.” Full marks goes to my friend Nathan for coming out with this: “So embarrassed was she by her fashion faux pas that she refused to be seen in public again.”

Here’s a video clip as an example of people who know what they’re doing:

2. Dixit. If I tried to explain this game, which won the 2010 Spiel des Jahres, it wouldn’t make sense. All I can say is that it’s very French and very wonderful, and the pictures give me lots of ideas. It’s a favourite of mine and my boyfriend and we force it on weeping people every Christmas. Here’s another video:

3. Slash: Romance Without Boundaries. I must make a confession here; I haven’t had a chance to play this yet. However it’s not my fault as they’ve run out of copies and are currently making more. Hooray! I’m sure we all know what slash fiction is. For those uninitiated it involves ‘romance’ between two fictional characters who aren’t known for being a couple, eg: Sherlock Holmes and Watson. What? We all knew what was going on. slash romance without boundaries madeleine swann

Anyway I’m sure this will be very entertaining, here’s a video of people who work for the Cards Against Humanity Game reviewing and playing Slash:

4. Cards Against Humanity. Self described as “the party game for horrible people,” it’s probably stretching it a bit to say this is creative. however you do have to construct sentences and ensure they’re as grotesque or weird as possible, which definitely counts. Fun!

You can play for hours or for a few minutes. One person reads out a black card and the others choose from their deck of white cards to finish the sentence. It’s up to you how terrible you want to be. Below are a couple of my very own choices, plucked from the depths of my mind. Enjoy!


Live Storytelling

I’ve just read two of my stories aloud to a dictaphone, which made me feel a bit silly. Hopefully it’ll help me memorise them as I’ll be performing them this summer as one of my Braintree Ways characters, possibly at the Brighton Fringe, the Camden fringe and a smaller venue in Edinburgh (the paperwork has been arduous).

One of the stories will be The Magic Forest and a comical homage to Edwardian ghost stories called The Train Journey to Hell, and Liverpool Street.

It reminds me of the ancient way of storytelling by the aborigines or the Saxons or American Indians. I like to think of them sitting around a fire passing on tales they heard from their grandfathers – about pimp trolls and trains that take people to Hell.

I was inspired to hurry up and learn all my lines after seeing Simon Munnery perform at Colchester Art Centre last night, his character monologues are genius.