Month: November 2015

November 30th – December 6th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving or just a nice day off, dear readers! We certainly had a good time in [UNSPECIFIED LOCATION] along with our dear [REDACTED]! We made some roasted root vegetables with a cider glaze! It was lovely. We also spent only the minimum socially acceptable time paging through Steam sales.

Recently, thanks to local notable Jeffrey Rowland, we became aware of the excellent podcast Limetown. It is excellent and spooky! We recommend you check it out like we did all this afternoon while we were supposed to be writing.

Are you interested in helping out a cool local game designer make a series of excellent and interesting games that investigate the form and function of play? You have a few hours left to do so! Do so by supporting Playing Nature’s Year at Kickstarter! Then also just like, buy these games.

Do you like fun role-playing games? Yes obviously we all do. We recently had a chance to play the absolutely engaging game The Dread Geas of Count Vulku with its creator Epidiah Ravachol and goodness was it a cracking good time! It has a Geas, it has Dread, it has the Count, it’s great! It’s a hack of the base Dread system that we think is actually even more fun for the players and the GM! Pick it up in the latest issue of Worlds Without Master!

Are you perhaps buying gifts this holiday season? We feel like a good first place to look for good gift ideas is the spectacular Valley Creators page! A lot of great people in the area would definitely appreciate your business.

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!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, November 30th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Final Session!
You’re a published author by this point. Pulitzer? Please. Nobel? Several. Teen Choice Award? Frustratingly eludes your grasping fingers. Put the finishing touches on your latest magnum opus at the last write-in with Forbes Writer in Residence Naila Moreira!
Friday, December DATE
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Art Journal Study Group
Journals! They’re a useful way of jotting down ideas, sketches, concepts you’d like to follow up on! This group focuses on helping you get used to this fun and helpful activity! It’s moderated by Laura Curran, an artist creating, exhibiting, teaching, studying, and publishing for over 30 years!

Board Games:

Saturday, December 5th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Star Wars X-Wing 101
X-Wing! What’s fun about this game? Basically, you get to play the most exciting bits of that one movie series everyone likes a bunch. We’ve only actually played Armada, but this seems like an equally-good scaled-down variation that focuses on fighter squadrons. Learn how to play with the friendly folks at Modern Myths!

Books:

Wednesday, December 2nd
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Author J.R. Greene Presents
Quabbin! Quabbin? Quabbin. We all know about Quabbin in some form or another. At some point we’ve each of us had to come to terms with the Quabbin that resides in our own heart of hearts. Join J.R. Greene for a brief slideshow of Historic Quabbin photographs and a pick up a copy of his 2016 Historic Quabbin Calendar!
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Tzivia Gover, Joy in Every Moment
Happiness and mindfulness! It’s probably a good thing? Look we don’t have a better answer as to how you can feel decent more often, so it’s worth a shot. Well, also try videogames, those have been a big help for us. Take this opportunity to meet and greet the author and maybe buy a book!
Thursday, December 3rd
Packards [14 Masonic St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm
The Martian Book Discussion & Dinner
For the last book discussion of the year, the Western Mass Sci-Fi Meetup Group is going to be talking about the extremely neat book that was made into a very popular movie recently: The Martian!

Computers:

Tuesday, December 1st
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Work
Are you a coder? Do you weave the webs that we use to communicate? Are you a designer that makes stuff using computers? Talk to some other people! You probably don’t get out enough and this is a great chance to meet some nice people at a nice little cafe/bar!

Entertainment:

Wednesday, December 2nd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
First Wednesday Speaker Series
Author as well as – and this is a rare appellation in the modern era – Adventurer Jeff Belandager is going to adventure his way to the LeVanway Meeting room for a multimedia journey through the history, the oddities, the paranormal weirdness of the Bay State!
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00am
Meet-and-greet with the Grinch!
We can only assume this is post-Event Grinch. If it was the prior Grinch of legend, no child would want to be near this green fuzzy Christmas grabber. There’s going to be a read-aloud from the famous book by famous local author Dr. Seuss and a photo opportunity with the large-hearted Grinch!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 8:30pm
1000 Words: Telling Stories Through Photography
Curated and moderated by the wonderful Forbes Writer in residence Naila Moreira, this series meets on the first Wednesday of every month in order to discuss the Modern Real and Surreal writers and artists of our age.
Thursday, December 3rd
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Jones Library Trivia!
Mark “Harpo” Power is not only the second most famous person with the nickname “Harpo”, he’s also the host of Trivia at Jones every first Thursday of the month! Bring friends and family for 2 rounds of 15 questions, maximum 5 per team. Suggested donation is $5 – $10 per person!

RPGs:

Thursday, December 3rd
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 10:30pm
Indie RPG Night
Try some interesting, weird, possibly haunted RPGs! RPGs that have driven greater persons than yourself to a mute uncomprehending appreciation for the wonder of the universe! Also some games by locals, which is neat! We got to play a game with Epidiah Ravochol GMing! A game that he made (and is available now and great)! There’s a $5 entry fee that converts to a voucher instantly!
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Role-Playing Campaigns
Are you into D&D? Maybe you’re more of a Pathfinder? Maybe a FATE person? Well, take a gander at Modern Myths tonight! It’s a place for you to join D&D Expeditions with your Adventurer’s League character, or set up a game of your own. Admission is $5 for the night, but DMs/GMs play for free! Contact Modern Myths for details!
Saturday, December 5th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
D&D 5th Ed
Stop by the lovely Comics N’ More for a fun game of the RPG that arguably was the earliest of the modern RPGs: D&D! This is going to be a 5th-level adventure, but not to worry! You can join in at any session and there are pre-made characters ready for you! It’s hosted by Neal Robinson, the best GM in the world?

Science:

Tuesday, December 1st
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm
Gas Pipeline Roundtable
How will the proposed Northeast Energy Direct Gas Pipeline impact Massachusetts? Is is at all a good plan? Attend this round-table to hear people directly affected by the proposed pipeline speak about the possible consequences!
Saturday, December 5th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Jones/ARPS Makerspace
Makerspaces are DIY spaces in which people can gather to learn, create, and invent! Join the nice folks at Jones for a collaboration with the Amherst Regional Public School as they offer another exiting series of programs! Ask at the Jones Library Kids Desk about registering for your age group.
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Lydia Maria Child and Anti-Slavery Work in Northampton
Lydia Maria Child was one of nineteenth-century America’s most popular female writers and a very dedicated abolitionist. She wrote drama, she wrote advice books, and in the 1830s she joined the Boston abolition movement and published a lot of works on the rights of Native Americans, African Americans, and women. Patricia G. Holland of Amherst College will guide you through the history of this notable local nice person!

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November 23rd – November 29th

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The Valley Nerd Watch!


Happy American Thanksgiving, everyone! It’s this week, in case you were not aware. During this holiday, Americans come together to eat things. In many ways, all of our holidays are about coming together to eat things. In this particular iteration we collectively dare each other to eat a whole turkey. Most people give up on the dare early, and just have friends and family come help out. Thus, a holiday is born.

Remember, Friendsgiving is also a thing! We know there are a lot of grad students out there in the Valley who might not have the resources to make it back home for a holiday on account of the atrocious rate of pay that grad students endure. What? Were we formerly grad students? Why would you ask? Anyway, if you too want to save some funds, invite over friends for a potluck of “whatever is tasty”. You don’t have to take the Turkey Dare if you don’t want to.

Finally, please no one reading this go shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. For real, do you need to? There’s basically nothing out there that’s getting more than like a 10% price drop in real terms. And when you go to a store and you see a real human who was forced to wake up at 3:00am to work the worst day of their year for $10 an hour, it hurts you in a manner that a few percent off a big-ticket consumer item cannot heal.

Do your deal-hunting on the appropriate day: the week after Christmas, when retailers are desperately offloading their stock.

Not a ton of events out there this week, for pretty obvious reasons. So in addition to events, we’re going to give you all a few recommendations for fun board games to play with people who maybe don’t have a ton of experience with board games or whatnot!

For one-on-FUN (one-on-one) we recommend Breaker Blocks! We got it at Topatocon, and it is good. Bit involved but no more so than any card game, and it’s about 15 minutes per match so that’s nice too.

For bigger games, we had a lot of fun with Mysterium recently. The rule book is a bit tough to figure out sometimes, but the basic game is simple. One player is The Ghost. One to six other players are The Mediums. The Ghost is attempting to communicate the Who, What, and How of a murder to the Mediums. But being a ghost the ghost can only do this via Ghoooostly Visions!

The gameplay amounts to the ghost player just going wild with frustration as they think “aaaaah these cards are so mysterious and hard to figure um uh er okay this one has some green in it and that person wears a bit of green maybe that will communicate it!” and it’s a real fun time of frustration and venting for all.

Also, try Cosmic Encounter, it’s impossible not to enjoy Cosmic Encounter.

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! And take a look at the Valley Creators page! It’s great!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, November 23rd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
So. You’re in the final stretch. Yes, the full scope and depth of the Uncanny Astounders Pentology is becoming apparent to you, the void screams as you wrench from it the secrets of the Great Words and weave together a world! So if you need help with that, check out this neat write-in session where you’ll get some help and encouragement.

Board Games:

DAY, November DATE
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroclix! The only game in which you can pretend you’re the evil Puppet Master, controlling all of these heroes in a horrific forced battle to the death! Oh! You could do a Defenders themed team in celebration Jessica Jones coming out!
Tuesday, November 24th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Family Board Game Night
Librarian Tim Hayes is hosting a night of board games and snacks! This month will feature several titles from the collection, but visitors are invited to bring their own! Maybe the ones we’ve suggested above! Test them out before Thanksgiving.

Books:

Tuesday, November 25th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 – 8:00pm
UMass Press Reads at the Jones Library: John Bracey, James Smethurst & Friends
The UMass Press is pleased to bring another presentation in their Author Series for the month! This reading will feature readings from SOS- Calling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader. Bracey and Smethurst are both professors of Afro-American Studies at UMass Amherst!

Computers:

Tuesday, November 24th
A SECRET LOCATION
Computing in the Cloud with AWS or Google – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
This month there’s staff from Stratus EMR and Fiksu talking about cloud computing using Google and AWS! If those words sounded like real words to you and not a magic spell, there’s a good chance you’ll be into this! Basically talking about using cloud services in a practical context for a business, neat! You need to join up at the meetup to see the location though!

Movies:

Monday, November 23rd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Northampton Committee to Stop War Presents: War Game
The Northampton Committee to t Stop War presents a free showing of War Game! This is a short animated feature about how war’s pretty fun! Just kidding, it’s horrifying and will encourage you not to support war. Hence, the committee showing it.

RPGs:

Saturday, November 28th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Public RPG: Mutants and Masterminds
Play in a monthly superhero themed RPG! Make that character you dreamed up when you were 11 that’s like Wolverine only she also has all of the Martian Manhunter’s powers a reality! Pre-made characters are also provided. Hosted by Crispy/Nola who we think is some sort of candy bar or possibly a shapeshifter.

November 16th – November 22nd

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The Valley Nerd Watch!


Bit late again, we know. But hey, look on the bright side: it’s out by the time you’re reading this, right? Yes, flawless logic wins the day. Prepping Nerd Nite takes a bit out of us, alright?

So also a big part of the reason we took so long today is because of…

Drumroll please.

Do it. We can tell.

Alright, good job. That drumroll is apropos to the moment. It’s a big moment!

We’ve created a Valley Creators hub! It’s a place you can check for a bunch of super-cool people who are going to appreciate your business. We tried to stick mainly to people with products available for sale, because we figure that will be the most helpful for people? It’s kind of just a way for us to keep track of all the wonderful stuff we’ve been lucky enough to discover, really! There are so many people around here doing so many wonderful things, and we really encourage you to check them out!

Also in the news:

What? Local Holiday Pickups in Easthampton, MA!
From now until sometime Christmas, you can pick up your order at our Holiday Pop-Up Shop in Eastworks in Easthampton, MA! Just select “I Will Pick Up My Order in Easthampton” From the Checkout Shipping Selection Menu. Your order will be ready to pick up 24 hours after you place it. You can pick up Wednesday – Sunday from Noon to 6pm.

But Where and When Do I Pick it Up??

At our Holiday Pop-Up Shop in Eastworks in Easthampton, MA!

TopatoCo @ Eastworks
116 Pleasant Street, Suite 142 (First Floor across from the RMV)
Easthampton, MA 01027

Between Noon and 6pm, Wednesday through Sunday!

If you forget the address don’t worry, it will be in your confirmation e-mail, or tweet at us @topatoco!

Finally, a direct reason why it pays to live near TopatoCo! Well, that and the fact that the Happy Valley is awesome!

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 and the Valley Creators hub!

THIS WEEK


Books:

Monday, November 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
It’s the halfway mark! By now, you’re probably about 67% through the nineteenth novel of the series you write under your pseudonym “Crack Whiplash”. That’s the one about space cowboys. But if you need some help staying motivated, give a chance to this lovely group of people headed up by the Forbes Writer in Residence, Naila Moreira. Get to work!
Tuesday, November 17th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Children’s Book Writers Group
Adults who write for children are invited to attend a critique group at the GPL! It’s facilitated by Nell Wright, and participants can discuss skills, share tips and opportunities, and just read and discuss stories! Sounds like an awesome resource for local authors.
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Wen Stephenson: “What We’re Fighting For Now Is Each Other: Dispatches From the Front Lines of Climate Justice”
We face a radically changing world that’s kind of horrific in a lot of ways, yeah? Well, what do we do about it? Wen Stephenson tells his story of radical environmentalism, and encourages the reader to reconsider the struggle. He explains how modern environmentalism is closer to a human-rights campaign than a traditional environmental protection campaign. Sounds interesting!
Wednesday, November 18th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Peter Davis: “Girl of my Dreams”
Acclaimed author and Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Davis presents a novel of sweeping scope covering hollywood in the 1930’s! A young screenwriter, the depression, communism, suicide, love, excitement, ambition! It’s got it all!
Thursday, November 19th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Omar Dahi and Michel Moushabeck: “Soup for Syria” Soup Potluck
Syria is facing enormous crisis at the moment. Neighboring countries have had a hard time accepting refugees. Acclaimed chefs and cookbook authors have come together to help food relief efforts. The profits from this excellent cookbook will be donated to help food relief efforts through the United Nation’s UNHCR. Help out, and try sample soups!
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
UMass Press Reads at the Jones Library: Christian Appy & Clark Dougan
The UMass Press is pleased to bring two great authors to the Jones Library! Christian G. Appy is a professor of history at UMass Amherst, and Clark Dougan was a senior editor at the UMass Press. Both have written numerous books on the Vietnam War, and here present Appy’s latest, “American Reckoning”.
Friday, November 20th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 5:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
It’s PAST the halfway mark! By now, you’re probably about 97% through the nineteenth novel of the series you write under your pseudonym “Crack Whiplash”. That’s the one about space cowboys. Figure out that climactic space-cattle space-rustling sequence with this meetup!

Comics:

Monday, November 16th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Queers in Comics & Games
A monthly discussion group on the Third Monday of each month! This friendly group discusses topics such as LGBTQIA+ representation in comics and games! They’re a great source for fun conversation and good recommendations. Admission by $5 day pass, which you can immediately redeem as store credit!

Computers:

Thursday, November 19th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Western MA Drupal 9 Release Party
Drupal! A web dev thing. There’s a meeting of the Western Mass Drupal Users Group this week, and it’s going to be to hold a party for the release of a new iteration of Drupal! Exciting, if you’re into Drupal!
Friday, November 20th
Packard’s Bar [14 Masonic St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 8:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Dark
A regular meeting place for coders, designers, and just in general awesome folks who do things that relate in some manner to the internet and code! Meet some new friends, trade secrets, dance the dance of the coders!

Entertainment:

Tuesday, November 17th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
IttleBits Building Club
Color-coded circuit boards snap together to produce sophisticated electronic things! Sounds pretty excellent. It’s for agest 8-11, teach kids to build electronic devices! But have a conversation about the reasons NOT to build death rays.
Wednesday, November 18th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Learn to Play Ukulele (for Adults)
Ukulele educator Julie Calamine will offer a beginner’s ukulele lesson and strum-along at Palmer! Fun times, intended for adult beginners and non-musicians. Hype yourself up for The Well-Tempered Ukes later in the week!
Friday, November 20th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Craft Night
Craft Night in Sunderland! Not much in the way of details but… hey, seems fun. Did you know the Fury Road cast had a knitting circle? Apparently Tom Hardy had a tough time of it, but Nicholas Hoult and Charlize Theron were a dab hand.
Saturday, November 21st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 2:30pm
The Well-Tempered Ukes
A musical residency at Forbes! Delightful. Listen to the Well Tempered Ukes sing and play early music, as well as parlor and art songs! It’s free of charge to see, but donations for Northampton’s Interfaith Winter Shelter will be accepted.

Movies:

Wednesday, November 18th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:35pm
The Theory of Everything Screening
Stephen Hawking, best known for his role as “Professor Stephen Hawking” on Futurama, also had a surprisingly varied career in the sciences! This movie has definitely been regarded as a kind of lightweight biopic by people we trust for movie reviews BUT hey, it’s a famous scientist biopic and that might be up your alley.

RPGs:

Thursday, November 19th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Ongoing RPG campaigns
Role-Playing Games are a fun time for all. Whether you’re into D&D and you’re looking for a group, or you’re GMing a a game of FATE and you want some eager new players, come hang out! Admission by $5 day pass!
Saturday, November 21st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Wars RPG
Star Wars! We hear some of you are pretty into this obscure 70’s relic. Though long forgotten by all sensible people, a dedicated fanbase has somehow kept hope alive for the possibility of a dozen new films that all make billions of dollars. Play in that cool space-fantasy world with the RPG!

Science:

Monday, November 16th
Union Station Banquets [125A Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Nerd Night NoHo: Bitcoins and Bird Bits!
Science of two real disparate types! First we’ve got Gavin Andresen presenting “From Stone Money to Cypherpunks: What does the Island of Yap have to do with Bitcoin?” Bitcoin is familiar to us mostly as a way of starting arguments on the internet, so it’ll be interesting to learn more! Then we’ve got Patricia Brennan with “Why are there so many freaky genitalia, and why do we care?”. Which honestly kind of sells itself. Also, local notable and handsome genius James Olchowski will host, to the delight of all.
Wednesday, November 18th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Wednesday Wizards Science Fun
Each week, a guest presenter will come to the LeVanway Room of the GPL to introduce you to a new science concept with a book and an activity. It sounds kind of great, though we’re not certain the expected grade level. Then again, it’s not like we super got a hang of osmosis the first go-round.
Thursday, November 19th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Cookies with a Curator
Learn about Jonathan Edwards with Local History & Genealogy Librarian Elise Bernier-Feely! See source documents and learn about this 18th-century theologian!
Saturday, November 21st
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 2:00pm
History of Nature Printing
Nature printing! It’s pretty fun! Leonore Alaniz will discuss inking foliage and direct imprints it onto paper and cloth. It’s kind of cool to look at! It’s been used to track things throughout history, and also just for a fun time collecting cool pictures!

November 9th – November 15th

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The Valley Nerd Watch!


Welcome to a slightly late and slightly small Nerd Watch! We’re heading toward that most American of Holidays: Canadian Thanksgiving The Sequel, which we hope you all have a good time celebrating. Definitely let us know if you’re writing for NaNoWriMo, or if you’ve read anything interesting for NaShoStoReMo, which sounds more our speed. Just read a short story a day instead of writing an entire danged novel.

We’ve had the opportunity to read the very excellent stories contained in Gods, Memes, and Monsters. A novel that has short stories by a ton of authors, including local notables Emily Care Boss and Julia Ellingboe. It’s a sort of updated bestiary for the modern world, and it runs the gamut from old-school creepy to basically long form jokes. A lot of fun, we recommend you find a copy.

We also got a chance to check out Paranormal Petunia, by local creator Chris Collins. It’s a legitimately neat comic about a paranormal investigator who can see ghosts and suchlike, and mostly is just getting by while helping people through their personal tragedies. I’ve always been kind of a fan of the paranormal dealings as externalized therapy genre, when it’s done well. And it’s got some rather creepy bits in it too, very neat.

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!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, November 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
Forbes Library supports National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) by helping writers stay dedicated! The forbes Writer in Residence, Naila Moreira, will be there to help you figure out how to ensure a jaw-dropping climax to the latest in your Superpostion Cycle.
Friday, November 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 2:45pm
Art Journal Study Group
Moderated by local artist Laura Curran, this art journal group will help people explore new ideas and experiment with new techniques in a supportive environment!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 5:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
Continue your writing! You’re almost there! Think of all the filthy lucre you’ll make when you finally get that HBO series based on your Ultramyth Quintilogy!
Saturday, November 14th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Art Walk
Join the lovely staff at Comics N’ More for art! And not just the art that resides in the titular Comics, but the art that resides in the N’ More that is Easthampton! They’ve got a little gallery space and it’s great so you should check it out!

Board Games:

Friday, November 13
Burger King Community Room [344 King St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 10:00pm
Tabletop Game Night
Another night of tabletop board and card games on King Street! A fun time with nice people. Bring a game to share! Cards, boards, just so long as it isn’t the Most Dangerous Game! Wait no. We suppose everyone brings the Most Dangerous Game with them just by attending. Just don’t hunt each other, we guess is what we’re saying.
Sunday, November 15th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Sunday Heroclix
Heroclix, the game that finally makes the clix the hero! Wait no it’s a game about superheroes and actually the little miniatures don’t click very much at all. For a challenge, construct a team of nothing but lawyers!

Books:

Monday, November 9th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:00pm
Alex Gino & Leslea Newman
Join Odyssey for a discussion about LGBTQ issues with two middle grade authors! Alex Gino has been involved in queer and trans activism for years, and Leselea Newman is the author of 65 books, one of the more famous ones being “Heather Has Two Mommies”.
Tuesday, November 10th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
UMass Press Reads at the Jones Library: Bruce Laurie
Bruce Laurie is a professor of history emeritus at UMass Amherst. His latest book is “Rebels in Paradise: Sketches of Northampton Abolitionists”. He profiles five rebellious figures who launched the abolition movement in Northampton and links it to broader national developments. Free and open to the public!
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Lauret Savoy: “Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape”
In a provocative and powerful mosaic of personal journeys and historical inquiry across time and a continent, Savoy explores history and race in the United States.
Saturday, November 14th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 4:30pm
Megan Lambert, “Reading Picture Books with Children”
Do you love picturebooks? Do you read them with wonderful young people either personally or professionally? Do you wish you had a better idea of how to make the reading experience more engaging? Come see Megan Lambert speak!

Computers:

Wednesday, November 11th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Project Management Meetup
Project managers! Or just people who have to deal with large complex projects involving many people! Come hang out, network, talk about how to manage stuff. It’s a fun time with people who can help you do what you do better!

Entertainment:

Saturday, November 14th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Forbes Library Doctor Who Club
Who? A doctor? A doctor of what? Not a doctor of medicine, certainly. Not a PhD, doesn’t have the right temperament. I think this man might be some sort of traveling vagrant! If you too love the Doctor, head to the Community Room! Contact Jason (junglejasonjr@gmail.com) for more information!
Thursday, November 12th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Anime Club
Anime! Animated things you can watch, a good time for all. Open to teens and young adults ages 14 and up!

Movies:

Monday, November 9th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
The Story We Tell
Filmmaker Sarah Polley investigates the truth about her family history via a series of revealing interviews. Sounds interesting!

RPGs:

Thursday, November 12th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
RPG Club
Create a character! Explore their adventures! Meet their parents! Be sure to be on your best behavior! No, what? No how could you say that? No more adventures make a new character. All ages welcome, no experience necessary.

Science:

Saturday, November 14th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 1:00pm
Wolf Talk!
Wolf Talk clarifies many misconceptions about one of our most valued endagered species: Moose! Wait no, Wolves! You’ll learn all about these surprisingly friendly creatures, including their eating habits, pack structure, history, and different populations around the world! This presentation is for children and their families.

November 2nd – November 8th

XMen148Int1The Valley Nerd Watch!


Halloween! The best holiday of all for those of us who want to dress up in awesome costumes all the time but are held at bay by the strictures of a society that can’t hope to grasp our magnificence. We’re just saying we don’t get why a Dr. Doom costume isn’t considered “workplace appropriate”. There are a multitude of workplace uses for power gauntlets, you fools!

We hope our dear readers were able to attend one of the excellent Comic Fest events at Modern Myths or Comics N’ More. Or both of them! They seemed like fun, but we were too busy getting ready for a Halloween party. It was a fun time, and we played that most Halloween-appropriate of games: Space Cadets Dice Duel.

Hey we know it’s no longer Halloween, but if you’re still interested by spooky things, you should check out the comic Eerie PD. It’s done by a couple of very nice locals, and it’s just updated with two pages to celebrate the eeriest of holidays!

You can also now pre-order a comic of the absolutely excellent work by local artist KC Green, Graveyard Quest. Simply go to a comic shop near you and order it through Previews, code NOV151548! As is standard for a lot of works by KC Green, it’s absurdist and funny at the same time as it manages to be distressing and emotionally affecting. We really can’t recommend it enough. Plus the cover is awesome.

Actually KC makes the pitch best:

I did Graveyard Quest! You should help out and preorder them however you can! Go to your comic book store and yell and scream up and down until they order graveyard quest! Me me, i wanna quest in the Graveyard, you say! Me! I wanna go to hell and find my dad! I wanna get a mole and make him me friend! me! I do! Well just get your crap over to a comic book store and tell the employee there that you just gotta have the quest! The Graveyard QUest! Go and tell the owner of the store to give you the Graveyard to Quest through! Tell them, tell them! Let them know your feelings, open up to the stranger at the comic book store! Let them know! Let them know!!

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!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Monday, November 2nd
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00pm – 6:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
Writing a novel in a month? Is it the second day and you’ve woken up realizing that oh shoot writing is actually immensely difficult? Then hang out and recharge with fellow writestronauts at the Forbes!
Friday, November 6th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 2:45pm
Art Journal Study Group
Art journals are a time-honored tradition for keeping cool ideas in a place where they’re easily accessible. Come experiment with new ideas and develop your artistic vision with Laura Curran, an artist who has been creating, teaching, and publishing for over 30 years!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 5:00pm
NaNoWriMo Write-In Session
By this session you’ll probably already have the first three novels in the Seditious Chain series all locked up, so it’s more about editing and negotiating publishing rights than anything.
Saturday, November 7th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Gallery for a Night
This will feature art from a variety of local artist in addition to the ever-popular Themed Baskets! We’ve been leaving our baskets un-themed like fools all this time! Tickets are $20 and there’s a raffle for an iPad.

Board Games:

Saturday, November 7th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at 11:00am
Malifaux Tournament
Malifaux! It’s a miniatures game. We’re super bad at figuring out the salient differences in miniatures games but Malifaux looks pretty neat, kind of horror-influenced. Registration is $12, prizes will be awarded in store credit for 1st, 2nd, and best painted.

Books:

Tuesday, November 3rd
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00pm – 8:00pm
UMass PRess Reads at the Jones Library: Carla Panciera
Author Carla Panciera will read from her prize-winning book “Bewildered”, published by the UMass Press! Her stories focus on themes such as the desire to belong, the need to heal, and the fear of what happens next.
Wednedsay, November 4th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
First Wednesday Speaker Series
Ruth Owens Jones will share her book “Harvesting History”, a reflection of the rich history of farming around the Connecticut River Valley! We’re pretty sure it was about 100 years of cussing at all the rocks and then everyone moved West.
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Writing about Health, Medicine, and the Body
Bodies are fascinating and terrifying. At this event, three writers will explore the strange geomtry of the human body on scales from the minisculre to the well… person-sized. Topics will include the genome, disease, and the challenges of caregiving.
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Archer Mayor, “The Company She Kept”
At the height of a brutal Vermont winter, a woman’s body is found haning above the interstate. Joe Gunther and the VBI (Vermont Bureau of Investigation) get to work. Spoiler alert: the killer is a maple tree. Author Archer Mayor will read and sign his newest novel!
Thursday, November 5th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Sonia Nieto, “Brooklyn Dreams”
A leader in the field of multicultural education looks back on her formative experiences as a student, activist, and educator. The book chronicles her experience as a teacher in the first bilingual public school in NYC. She will read and sign!
Saturday, November 7th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00am
Karin Lefranc, “I Want to Eat Your Books”
Debut picturebook author Karin Legranc visits the store for some post-Halloween fun! Her book is about a zombie that devours books instead of brains! Attendees will get some snacks and do some crafts. Also, yoga!

Comics:

Thursday, November 5th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
After School Comic Book Club
For kids in grades 3-5! They’ll be discussing “Little Robot” by Ben Hatke and “Cleopatra in Space” by Mike Maihack. It will be educational and adorable. Participants will create their own comic, too! Plus, snacks.
Sunday, November 8th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Comic Creator’s Jam
Are you a comic creator? Are you a creator of one of the integral parts of a comic? Perhaps you’re a wordsmith, a pencil-fist, or an inkromancer? Talk to other folks in the business about the business!

Computers:

Tuesday, November 3rd
The Foundry [24 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
Northampton Webdive – After Work
A regular meetup for people who create things out of the mystic threads we choose to refer to as ‘code’. Mostly web-related stuff, but they’re happy to talk with anyone who mostly types on a computer for fun or profit.

Entertainment:

Saturday, November 7th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 10:00am – 10:45am
Forbes Library Tour
Forbe Library is a pretty nice place with a lot of useful stuff in it. Come see all that stuff in that place! Registration is required, and you can do so here.

RPGs:

Thursday, November 5th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Indie RPG Night
A great time with nice people! Indie RPG Night is your chance to try out new, interesting, often locally developed games. Every time we have attended has been awesome!
Friday, November 6th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Star Wars RPG
The Star Wars extended universe is a complex interchange of ideas that definitively do not work if you look at them too long. Add your own set of awesome laser-sword fights to the pile with the RPG!
Friday, November 6th – Sunday, November 8th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA] at 9:00pm
Magestry Final Autumn Game
Interested by LARPing? Come visit a magical real just in time for their Halloween-equivalent spooky nondenominational holiday! The season finale will be packed full of spookiness, and it’s FREE for volunteer staff. The event is $30 for first time players!

Science:

Saturday, November 7th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:30pm – 3:00pm
The Victorian Lady: Dressing from Corsets to Gloves
History, also known as “the sweet science”, at the Jones! Kandie Carle presents a look at the fashion, life, and etiquette of the Victorian Era. She’s also going to dress in actual vintage undergarments, clothing, and accessories! She’ll tell you about the past in a manner you won’t wish to past up!