The Sports Thing

In the spirit of writing as a team sport, Alex Livingston reached out to me about the release of his cyberpunk novella, Glitch Rain. I am excited to help shine a spotlight on the release of Glitch Rain, and also to give Alex a spot to talk about the sports thing 🙂

The Sports Thing

A guest post by Alex Livingston

Can we talk about the sports thing? And how I’m obsessed with fake sports, but can’t stand real ones?

I can’t be the only one who can talk Quidditch strategy but isn’t sure how many players are on a basketball team.  Name three podracers? Easy. Name three NASCAR drivers? Umm….  I don’t remember the names of the characters in BSG, but I remember Pyramid.

You’ll forgive me a little hyperbole; I have a passing familiarity with the more popular sports, and spent a few years actually watching hockey. Like on television and everything. But I’m not going to tell you how many hours I spent playing the quote-unquote minigame Blitzball in Final Fantasy X, managing my team and drafting players with a pragmatism and alacrity I wish I could apply to other parts of my life.

So what’s wrong with me? Here, presented for my entertainment in actual real life, are highly-trained professionals working for teams which have histories far broader and more fascinating than any fictional sport. And yet I’d rather reread the chapters about Welters in The Magicians.*

My best guess is it’s in the presentation. Just as drama is life with the dull bits cut out, Quidditch is hockey/cricket shown to me in mere minutes. No endless droning commentary, no low-scoring games, no sigh-inducing stoppages in play.

Also, we’re all pretty much on the same page when it comes to fictional sports. There’s only so much one can know, unlike actual for-real sports. We’ve got what’s in the books, and that’s it. That well only goes so deep. So no feelings of inferiority for not being able to name anyone from the starting lineup of the 1976 Philadelphia Flyers.

Of course, there’s flying in Quidditch. And magic. And weird words to nerd out about**. And wizards interfering from the stands. And all that good stuff. Maybe if I call the endzone “the grim plain of the Obsidian Windprinces”….

Now Akuba, the main character of my novella Glitch Rain, she lives in a fairly sports-free environment. She knows who the big players are, but only if you define ‘big’ by their status as socialites and party people. She has certainly been hired by the managers of a few players to hack the feeds and make sure no pictures from their A-list escapades end up on instagram. But you won’t find her sitting in the stands of a AAA baseball game any time soon. Unless you’re buying the drinks.

And if you invite me to a AAA baseball game, please don’t be mad when I play Final Fantasy: Record Keeper on my phone.

(P.S. Don’t get me started about fictional games (as opposed to sports). Sabaac vs. Pazaak? 3D chess? The deck of cards used in Wicked Grace? Whatever that board game is in DA: Inquisition? Settle in. This is gonna be a long one.)

*Headcanon: the kings and queens of Fillory play Welters while they’re there, living out old rivalries and trying their skills against the magical beasts. Eliot tries to convince a giant to join his team at one of their month-long tourneys, but Janet threatens to show the court an accurate picture of how Eliot dressed first year and the king relents.

**The quaffle is leather without any seams? How is that possible? OH WAIT MAGIC.

GLITCH RAIN

Glitch Rain
This high-speed cyberpunk novella is sure to be an adventure you don’t want to miss.
Akuba is a low-level hacker for the city’s wealthy, making just enough to keep her bills paid and her booze flowing. Her job is to scrub the social feeds for faces who don’t want to be seen, hanging out at parties to guard the elite from errant social media statuses and incriminating photo posts. Not the most glamorous job, but she’s getting by. When an old debt comes due early suddenly she is the one who needs to keep her face out of the drones’ omnipresent eyes. Thrown into the high-stakes world of international cybercrime, Akuba will have to have to outmaneuver unlimited surveillance, high-tech con artists, and an international hacker kingpin if she wants to survive. Every identity has a price in Glitch Rain.
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