August 2017 – ‘Lavori d’Aracne’ series by Emily Short

Welcome to the sixth month of Text Club! (FAQ)

Our three games this month are the ‘Lavori D’Aracne’ series by Emily Short, namely:


The beautiful life is always damned, they say. As for you, you’ve 
overexpended yourself: fifteen years of prominence, champagne, 
carriage rides in the Tuileries, having your name whispered behind 
manicured hands, getting elegant ladies out of elegant fixes – 
and you’re in debt. Bound by oath and honor to a pack of scoundrels. 
Your father, old peasant that he was, could have warned you against 
their type. 

by Emily Short, 2002, ifdb

Play ‘Savoir-Faire’ in your browser or download the zblorb file.

Damnatio Memoriae

14 AD. Agrippa Postumus, grandson of the recently-deceased Augustus, tries to avoid death at the hands of the next emperor, Tiberius. At his disposal: a couple of old manuscripts, a lamp, and a recalcitrant slave. And a powerful knowledge of the Art of Venus Genetrix, of course — the magic eventually known as the Lavori d’Aracne.

by Emily Short, 2006, ifdb

Play ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ in your browser or download the zblorb file.

First Draft of the Revolution

It is dangerous to deceive a husband of magic-using rank… 

Juliette has been banished for the summer to a village above Grenoble: a few Alpine houses, a deep lake, blue sky, and no society. 

Now she writes daily to her husband. She tells how she went for a walk and ended thigh-deep in mud, how the draft comes in around the window, how extravagantly she has spent on new gloves, how she misses Paris. 

She plans her letters on ordinary pages, but when they are ready, she copies them on paper whose enchanted double is hundreds of miles off. The words form themselves on the matching sheaf in her husband’s study. No time is wasted on couriers. 

First Draft of the Revolution is a puzzleless interactive epistolary story, in which the reader interacts by revising the letters exchanged by the characters. 

by Emily Short, Liza Daly & Inkle, 2012, ifdb

Play ‘First Draft of the Revolution’ in your browser.

“Savoir-Faire” is listed as “Forgiveness Rating: Cruel” on ifdb, but we can do it.

If you want to play “Savoir-Faire” and “Damnatio Memoriae” in a cozy desktop app rather than in your browser, you have several options. I’m partial to Lectrote.

I’d like to try a new discussion format this month, where we just open up discussion from the start instead of waiting until the last week of the month. So feel free to chime in below as you go. Watch out for spoilers. It’s an experiment!

I think this is going to be our best month yet!


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