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The culture writing of Adam Cadre
October 16, 2008 2:45 PM   Subscribe

If you've never heard of Adam Cadre, then Adam Cadre is the best internet writer you've never heard of. He's a novelist and interactive fiction (a.k.a. "text adventure") author, but his site is packed with some of the clearest, most entertaining (and most personal) cultural writing around. It's a blog-esque sort of deal with posts prompted by films, books and other. Choicest articles include a to-the-point takedown of Stranger in a Strange Land, thoughts on Lanark and trolls who have never known love, an exegesis of the virtues of The Sweet Hereafter and the story of his near-lifelong relationship with Cosmos.
posted by colinmarshall (21 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ready, Okay! was probably one of the defining books of my teenage years. Although finding out that I had lived blocks away from him several weeks after I read the book and that he had very recently moved ... sucked.
posted by griphus at 2:50 PM on October 16, 2008


Just started messing with his IF "Photopia." Already very, very unusual and intriguing.
posted by jbickers at 2:52 PM on October 16, 2008


Photopia and 9:15 are the must-plays of his oeuvre, IMHO. The Lyttle Lytton is great (I'll enter someday!), and while I can't find the link, I remember he did a breakdown about apple varieties that entertained me greatly.
posted by lumensimus at 2:55 PM on October 16, 2008


I made the mistake of starting with his review of Lanark and now I just want to slap the smug fucker. Maybe give the rest a try when I've got over that.
posted by Abiezer at 3:14 PM on October 16, 2008


Play Photopia. It's completely unlike any "text adventure" you've ever seen, devoid of inane read-the-designer's-mind puzzles (or any puzzles at all, except one part that's sort of a puzzle) and really exemplifies the idea of interactive fiction. It's more like an "interactive experience". It's really amazing. I played it when it came out and recently played it again to see if it held up, and it's just as great 10 years later. Why are you still reading this? Go play it! Now! Although you may need to go through it more than once to grasp the significance of everything that happens.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:41 PM on October 16, 2008


Review of Photopia on Playthisthing
posted by honest knave at 3:56 PM on October 16, 2008


That Stranger in a Strange peice is great.
posted by Artw at 4:21 PM on October 16, 2008


Only read the Stranger in a Strange Land take-down so far and found my self nodding so hard I thought my head would fall off.

I read that needlessly messianic screed when I was a callow youth because it had a reputation as a SF masterpeice - and it was the name of an Iron Maiden song I liked (they seemd to have quite a fixation with Sci-Fi, but I digest). It's reputation was not deserved.
posted by JustAsItSounds at 4:44 PM on October 16, 2008


Just played Photopia.

Whoa.
posted by rivenwanderer at 4:48 PM on October 16, 2008


Play Photopia. It's completely unlike any "text adventure" you've ever seen, devoid of inane read-the-designer's-mind puzzles

Well, after just trying Photopia and escaping the crystal labyrinth, I'm not sure I agree with you there.
posted by Izner Myletze at 4:51 PM on October 16, 2008


Photopia, whilst IMHO overrated (post hoc, years after first playing it) , got me into interactive fiction.

9:05 is my favourite.
posted by popcassady at 5:24 PM on October 16, 2008


...actually, I take back that 'overrated' remark.
posted by popcassady at 5:25 PM on October 16, 2008


The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress is still ace though.
posted by Artw at 5:38 PM on October 16, 2008


Photopia was interesting and good. Unfortunately, he was an ass to me once. I haven't been able to enjoy anything he's done since, really.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:13 PM on October 16, 2008


The attempt at troll psychoanalysis bothered me at first. Then I looked up the Usenet writings of the troll in question and I couldn't really feel bothered anymore. I mean, what kind of response do you expect from someone who's been harassed for years by a sadistic stranger?

Still not his finest piece of work, though.
posted by decagon at 7:45 PM on October 16, 2008


OMG, this guy is so fisticated, he can do a smack-down on one of the most successful SF novels ever! I bet he's also a real marksman, that can shoot ducks, in a barrel! Not everyone can slam 40 year old science fiction novels, that's really difficult.
posted by Goofyy at 11:48 PM on October 16, 2008


I can't believe you missed out a link to the brilliant "Wikipedia Brown".

Mr. and Mrs. Brown had one child. They called him Leroy, and so did his teachers.

Everyone else in Idaville called him Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is a web site giving information on all branches of knowledge. It allows visitors to add, remove, or otherwise edit and change its content. It is therefore possible for large numbers of people to create articles and update them quickly as new information becomes available.

Leroy Brown's head was like Wikipedia. It was filled with facts he had learned there. He was like the entire Wikipedia web site walking around on sneakers. Simon Baron-Cohen had written a paper about him.


posted by atrazine at 12:55 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not everyone can slam 40 year old science fiction novels, that's really difficult.

OMG - did you just slag someone on the internet?!?! How did you surpass the enormous obstacles involved?
posted by Sparx at 4:27 AM on October 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Whoa, I just spent all day reading his archives. His discussion of William Sleator books is unparalleled. I'd like to see what he has to say about Robert Cormier.
posted by cereselle at 3:07 PM on October 17, 2008


I have been a Cadre fan for a long time. I wonder if he's on MetaFilter -- I think he'd like it here. If you are looking for a nice little puzzle game, Lock & Key is really nice. Kind of like the Grow series of Flash games, in that you have to assemble a bunch of parts into a ideal whole.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:28 PM on October 17, 2008


Well, after just trying Photopia and escaping the crystal labyrinth, I'm not sure I agree with you there.

If you think the crystal labyrinth "puzzle" (which isn't really a puzzle at all) is the sort of inane read-the-designer's-mind puzzle I meant, you must not have played many adventure games. Play Infocom's "Spellbreaker" sometime. Better yet, don't, as it's the 21st century and there are much better ways to spend your free time.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:14 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


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