October 26th – November 1st

XMen39Int1The Valley Nerd Watch!

So last week we had the pleasure of playing a “hack” of the locally developed and quite roundly well-regarded horror-RPG Dread! In fact, we had the singular experience of playing it with the prolific promulgator of preternaturally purple prose himself, Epidiah Ravochol! It is because of this we were able to learn his darkest secret: when he says you need to make a “pull” from the Tower of Dread, about 40% of the time he says “pool” instead.

So first off: what’s a “hack”? Well, within the tabletop community it’s basically when you look at something that already exists and figure out how to tweak some of the rules and maybe the setting in order to turn it into something similar yet significantly different in feel or mechanics. So in this case, where Dread is kind of a “you are in a standard horror flick with like zombies or a wolfman and an old man who says you ain’t gonna find nothin’ at the old McAlister Place… leastwise nothin’ living” the hack we played is something entirely other.

“The Dread Geas of Duke Vulku” is Dread with a bit more direction and structure, and it provides an interesting contrast. It’s set in a world quite unlike our own, more Strange Fantasy or Fantasy Horror or Basically Like Lovecraft But Better Written Because Things Are Actually Described Using Words.

Because in each situation a player has a known quantity of moves, the many confusing and strange situations are a bit more approachable. Say you happen upon a friendly mill town in which all of the people have sewn-shut eyes. It’s a simple matter of one pull to find out what is dangerous about this, one pull to notice something important, one pull to silently remove yourself from the location, etc. And then, because it’s Dread, you inevitably die from a falling tower. It’s a really fun time and we can’t wait for it to be officially released! Also, buy Dread!

Also! The final ten days of the Woodpenny IndieGoGo campaign for the extremely cool Ben Sollee VR Music Video “Vanishing Point” are here! You should support them, and then get that cool Google Cardboard setup and stare into the awesomeness of the future!

As always, be sure to check out the Weekly Events page! There are a lot of fun things happening this and every week! And don’t forget to check out the updated Book Clubs List!



Tuesday, October 27th
Edwards Public Library [30 East St, Southampton, MA 01073] at 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Scary Fairy Houses!
Celebrate Halloween by creating a tiny house for tiny horrors to nest within! Which actually we guess if you left them out and they got all grody with rot and bacteria, that’d actually just fufill the purpose of the exercise. Neat! Bring your own box or base as a foundation. Call 413-527-9480 or sign up at the Library!
Wednesday, October 28th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Kickoff Party
National Novel Writing Month is this November! Forbes Library will be supporting people in the Valley who want to take on the challenge. The Forbes Writer in Residence, Naila Moreira, will host regular “write-ins” during November! At the kickoff party, best-selling novelist Jacqueline Sheehan will inspire writers and answer questions about the writing process!
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Write Here! Write Now!
Writing a novel in a month? That’s a tall order of fries if we’ve ever heard one! Well, maybe you can get motivated and meet that lofty goal with this writing workshop series! Ages 12+, including middle and high school.

Board Games:

Wednesday, October 28th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Family Board Game Night
Board Games and snacks hosted by the kindly librarian Tim Hayes! There’s going to be Carcassonne at the this one! Carcassone is super fun. Not interested in the featured game? Check out the collection!
Sunday, November 1st
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix
Heroclix! You get these little plastic miniature things that are so adorable you can’t even believe it and then you use some rules to fight other groups of little plastic figures and it’s great. It started with just Marvel stuff we’re pretty sure, but now probably has 14 variations of every character you like!


Tuesday, October 27th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:30pm
Cammie McGovern, “A Step Towards Falling”
Cammie McGovern will read from her latest Young Adult title. Told in alternating points of view, this powerful novel is about learning from your mistakes and trying to forgive! Oh, and it’s about the bystander effect to some degree. Sounds like an interesting novel! Books will be available to purchase at the event.
Thursday, October 29th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Rita Zoey Chin, “Let the Tornado Come” & Mira Bartok, “The Memory Palace: A Memoir”
A pair of exciting memoir authors at the Odyssey! Rita Zoey Chin will discuss her book about the sudden onset of severe panic attacks. Over the course of treating them, she has to deal with her own past as a runaway. Mira Bartok confronts schizophrenia in a poignant literary memoir about family and mental illness.


Saturday, October 31st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at All Day
Halloween ComicFest
Comics! Comics are the best way to transmit information into your brain! Particularly information like “check out this totally sweet alien vista” or “wow, what an awesome fight!” Kids who show up to Modern Myths in costume will get a FREE comic! Delightful! Demand candy as well, kids.


Thursday, October 29th
A MYSTERY? at 5:30pm
A regular meetup to discuss issues related to programming in PHP. We know little about PHP except that it’s famously horrible? Maybe other folks will help minimize that pain. This first meetup will be a place to discuss interests and plan topics for the next few months! Click the event link to join the meetup and see the meeting location!


Thursday, October 29th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Anime Club
Anime! It’s animation, and it generally is a thing that you can watch, should you choose. Many enjoy anime, do you? If so, come hang out at Palmer and talk with fellow fans. Open to teens and young adults 14 and up.
Friday, October 30th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Forbes Library Halloween Party
The Forbes Library Children’s/YA Room will play host to a spooooky gathering of ghoooooulish dancing and distreeeeeessing crafts also there will be a bunch of candy and a surprise of some sort!


Monday, October 26th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Movie Showing: Broken Brotherhood
The Northampton Committee to Stop War shows “Broken Brotherhood”, the story of a creation of a memorial to Vietnam Veterans at Colgate University. It’s primarily composed of interviews with people who attended in the 60’s, as well as their children. It provides an inter-generational view of a complex war and significant part of history.
Thursday, October 29th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Halloween Fright Night: Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds
Birds are terrifying enough without them actively attacking us. Those little hidden dinosaurs, biding their time. Their capacity for flight allowing them to conduct nefarious business in the skies, where we can’t follow… This screening is free and open to the public!
Amherst Cinema [28 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Science Fiction Double Feature Picture Show: Videodrome & The Thing!
Videodrome: a movie that while not always outwardly horrific is absolutely packed with distressing images and implications. The Thing: possibly the best “monster movie”? Tight, psychological thrills with a totally awesome set of practical effects for a totally awesome monster.
Friday, October 30th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Gremlins Movie Night
Don’t feed them after midnight! Which, really, what does that even mean? Like alright magic shopkeeper, which midnight? Does it respect daylight savings? What if we travel? You’re ridiculous, magic shopkeeper.
Amherst Cinema [28 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00pm – 12:00am
Special $5 admission! Ghostbusters, wow! A delightful romp about a team of unregulated capitalist monsters who re-kill our beloved gram-grams and shove them into a hell dimension. A heroic EPA agent stands in their way… but can he defeat these nefarious jerks?
Saturday, October 31st
Amherst Cinema [28 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00pm – 12:00am
A second showing of Ghostbusters!


Sunday, November 1st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Saga of the Icelanders
Iceland! It’s… almost the worst place in the world humans have tried to live? We definitely feel like they’ve managed to do a good job with the place but for real it’s one step off from living just in an ice cube. Tell your own story of the discovery and founding of this harsh land!
Thursday, October 29th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Create a character! Explore their adventures! Write a book, sort of, but it’s a really confusing to read book with a bunch of points where the protagonist behaves very oddly. Lots of fun, all ages welcome, no experience necessary!


Monday, October 26th
High Horse [24 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00pm
SciTech Cafe: How to Navigate Environments with Toxins
How do we know what’s safe? When is a disease in a lab animal relevant to humans? What are we learning about the health impacts of flame-retardant materials? Why do we care about toxicity in snails? Sasha Suvorov, associate professor of Environmental Health Services at UMass Amherst, will tell you!
Thursday, October 29th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Cookies with a Curator
Archivist Julie Bartlett Nelson will present “Genealogy Treasures” for Family History Month! And you’ll get cookies, how neat is that? Also “archivist” sounds like a fantasy-world occupation.

Video Games:

Sunday, November 1st
The Quarters [8 Railroad St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 7:00pm – 10:00pm
MAKE TALK PLAY: GlowLime Games
Did you know Hampshire College has a student run startup game-development studio? How awesome is that? Hampshire is awesome. Isaiah Mann will be discussing what makes this little studio such a neat idea! Students making real things outside of a classroom. Excellent, and interesting!

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