Pathfinder

September 12th – September 18th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Our friends got married yesterday! It was wonderful and we think they are both the best, good job friends! They’re both very smart and very cool and this is the start of a beautiful marriage. Hooray for love and large parties with a lot of strange traditional elements!

We had an amazing time playing the COIN game Falling Skies this weekend and it was pretty neat! It went a ton faster than we’re used to with COIN, in part because we absolutely annihilated an overconfident Caesar, setting off a series of events that ironically wound up costing us a victory since it made it impossible for the Romans to mess with the competing Gallic tribes. Delightful game!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! As always, be sure to check out our Patreon and 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:

Tuesday, September 13th
Mead Art Museum [41 Quadrangle Dr, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Conversations on a Bench featuring David E. Little
Talk to a man who runs a museum about art and life and we’re not saying you should do this but what if you just went down that list of questions to fall in love? http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/no-37-big-wedding-or-small.html
Thursday, September 15th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
2016 Amherst Poetry Festival Day One
Woo boy, lots of stuff here. There’s a poem scavenger hunt, there’s a poetry walk about death that also includes a free doughnut, then there’s a poem open mic along with featured readers Karen SKofield, Eric Wasileski and Adam Grabowski. More details at https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/amherstpoetryfestival
Friday, September 16th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 11:00 PM
2016 Amherst Poetry Festival Day Two
Again! Tons of stuff! There’s a panel presented by local collective Slate Roof Press about poetry of home and exile. Then the Center for Humanistic Inquiry will present “Poems of displacement”. Then there’s going to be after-dark poems with Donald Vincent otherwise known as Mr. Fantastic’s cool brother Mr. Hip. Then finally, a Poetry Slam at Bistro 63! So much to do! More information here: https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/amherstpoetryfestival
Saturday, September 17th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Emily Dickinson Marathon
All of Emily Dickinson’s 1,789 poems will be read, starting at 6am. This will take 14+ hours. It seems like maybe someone made a bet? Or like is this how they keep her vengeful ghost contained? Yeesh. Wow. Welp, it’s definitely a good way to remember a great poet and hear some of her work! Like any particular piece. Because this is all of them!

Board Games:

Saturday, September 17th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament
There are four sections: K-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. Round one starts promptly at 10am, and there are trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each section. Entry is free! Bring a chess set and a clock if you’ve got them, and a bagged lunch. Be the coolest person there by bringing 10 chess clocks.
Sunday, September 18th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
New week, new team: this time you must construct your team entirely of people who have one larger limb. That’s right, it’s going to be like Hellboy and then exclusively asymmetrically designed 90’s characters almost all from Rob Liefield!

Books:

Sunday, September 11th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
The Poet and the Bard
Find out more about the relationship between Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson! She took inspiration from his work to such a degree that it’s hard to understate, and from her love of his work became more engaged with her own impulse toward poetry. Admission is $15 for nonmember adults, $10 for members, and $5 for students K-12
Thursday, September 15th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Affinity Konar, author of Mischling, in conversation with editor Lee Doudreaux
Affinity Konar, whose book Mischling is about twin sisters who fight to survive the evils of the second world war will speak to Lee Boudreaux about the more obscure mechanics and secrets of the Final Fantasy series just kidding no it’s probably about the book Mischling which sounds both terrifying and inspiring. Anthony Doerr calls it “One of the most harrowing, powerful, and imaginative books of the year”!
Saturday, September 17th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Peace and Justice in Children’s Books at the Greenfield Public Library
The GPL and the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice celebrate International Peace Day with children’s books! Patricia Hynes will speak about this collaboration, Kat Lyons will read aloud from some books, and you’ll have refreshments! Delightful day for the whole family.

Card Games:

Sunday, September 18th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant St., #B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier – Dublin 2017
The winner of this PPTQ will qualify for the Regional Pro Tour Qualifier and a chance to play in the first Pro Tour of 2017 and possibly to qualify for the Pre-Pre-qualifier where you can almost qualify to qualify to place in the 2018 ULTRA TOUR. It’s $30 with a cash pay-out based on attendance, decklists required, $30 entry fee!

Comic Books:

Sunday, September 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Comic Creator’s Jam
Get together with your fellow creative types to discuss the business and the art of making comics! Lots of locals have done some really impressive and interesting artwork and they’re happy to talk to you about what works for them! Plus you get to play fun drawing games to get the creative juices flowing and you’ll probably make a friend!

Community:

Tuesday, September 13th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Writing a Resume
Writing a resume is terrifying and there’s not really a 100% correct way to do it. Get some help. For real, if not this then ask your friends. But like, this one is probably a good place to start if you’re beginning the process. Good luck!

Computers:

Wednesday, September 14th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Agile Methods Meetup
Dev teams! Are you an Agile team? Do you want to be one? Come to share and learn! There’s a show and tell focus this month, where people will show their current agile-ish processes followed by some Q&A and discussion. Last Call Media, Queen Lake Consulting and Knectar, the company founded and staffed entirely by hummingbirds, will all be in attendance to show you what’s up!

Entertainment:

Thursday, September 15th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Cookies with a Curator: The Castle on the Hill with Dylan Gaffney and Elise Bernier-Feely
Forbes Library was dedicated October 23rd, 1894 and nicknamed the “Castle on the Hill”. See images of the building, collections, and staff and share your own memories of the library! Find out how the library managed to fend off the Mirror-Ships of the Shifting Realms! Discover the secret of the statue that weeps tears of blood whenever an animal is harmed on the grounds of the library! See where the defense mech is stored! An educational experience indeed!
Friday, September 16th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
14th Anniversary Party
Happy birthday to Modern Myths! A party is in order! Food, soft drinks, vegan cupcakes, and door prizes for everyone! Also a GRAND PRIZE of a Lifetime VIP pass that comes with $140 in store credit!
Saturday, September 17th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Leather and Wool: Early Industries in the Lost Village of Roberts Meadow by John Clapp
John Clapp will talk about his forthcoming book, “The Lost Village of Roberts Meadow”, focusing on the rise and fall of this mysterious village’s wool and leather industries. While the village’s early days in the pocket dimension next to ours were prosperous, they had a real hard time as the Bargheist attacks grew more frequent, making the Leather Trees and Wool Dragons harder to harvest from.
Sunday, September 18th
Historic Northampton [46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA 01060-2406] at 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
From Northampton to the Boundry Waters
Take in the beauty of the Connecticut River in a 16-person Dragon Boat and fight off the mer-people that populate it using the on-board Dragon Cannons, high score gets a t-shirt! You’ll also learn about the natural and cultural history of the river with Betsy Powell, founder of Paradise City Dragon Boat, and Laurie Sanders, co-director of Historic Northampton and naturalist!

Kids:

Thursday, September 15th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Laser Tag at the Library!
Lasers! Lasers in the hands of children. This is what we’ve come to, having our youth vaporize each other for our entertainment. I can’t believe libraries are in support of this but we can do nothing but inform you of the terrible truth. Write your congressperson to ask them to end child-vaporizing!
Saturday, September 17th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
David Soman, The Monster Next Door
From the creator of Ladybug Girl and Three Bears in a Boat, this funny and endearing tale of friendship is perfect for fans of The Adventures of Beekle, but absolutely NOT a good fit for fans of any other book. It’s a real specific niche audience. Have fun with your kids learning about a silly monster and a boy becoming friends, becoming enemies, and… becoming friends again? It’s almost too beautiful to hope for.

Movies:

Wednesday, September 14th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Summer Stock on the Silver Screen: Meet Me in Saint Louis
Judy Garland, Tom Drake, Margret O’Brien, and other names that aren’t Judy Garland so we don’t recognize them make this a musical that’s hard to beat! It’s about… singing mostly. St Louis probably comes up? But likely that’s a distant second to having attractive people with nice voices sing about life and love!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
All Guantanamo is Ours
The Cuban story of Guantanomo, as told by Cubans. Cuban perspectives on a US military base in their territory, occupied by the US since 1903 and used as a convenient point for extradition despite ostensibly being enemy territory. This is a free film screening followed by discussion. Learn more about a topic that you’ve likely got a real surface-level understanding of despite like a decade and a half of recognizing the name Guantanomo.
Friday, September 16th
Amherst Cinema [28 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:30 PM to 11:00 PM
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
Cowboy Bebop is a fine show with some smooth as heck designs and a killer soundtrack that all the neat folks like. The movie isn’t as good as the show! But it’s fun! Plus it’s on a big screen. We like that Cowboy Bebop made the show’s universe feel large even though it was all in the Solar system. Kind of like Firefly. Kind of like Firefly in a LOT of ways!
Sunday, September 18th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
For the Love of Spock
A look at the late, great Leonard Nimoy and his most beloved character, Mr. Spock! Written and directed by Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam, and narrated by Zachary Quinto, it includes interviews with both the original cast members and the new series cast members! Spock is delightful. He’s so emotionless and cold except like every other scene. Students $4, Members $6, and general admission $8!

RPGs:

Saturday, September 17th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM
D&D Storm King’s Thunder GIANT ADVENTURE
An all-day D&D mega-adventure as you take part in a special excursion against the giants! It’s $20 per player for a full day of gaming including pizza and a soft drink. You need to register and pre-pay ASAP to guarantee a spot, though! There’s a limit of 15! Also, you shouldn’t fight giants they’re so big.
Sunday, September 18th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
7th Sea RPG
The 7th Sea RPG! Set sail and be an adventure-pirate! Wear your ruffliest shirt! RUFFLIER! Yes, now you’re ready. Buckle up your swashes and try to steer toward the fun-rogue side of piracy instead of the deprivation-and-terror side of things. Oh, although you could totally make this like a horror RPG, crew all slowly losing hope as food goes low and the wind dies, strange sounds below deck… oh! Or just straight up a Sunless Sea campaign!

Science:

Monday, September 12th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Nerd Nite NoHo
The best thing you can possibly do with your night! It’s got the most charming and personable human being in the Valley hosting it so that’s a big draw and also this week they’re pairing Language and Weather, the Natural Couple That We All Agree Makes Sense! We’ve got linguist Brian Dillon talking about how we hear what we want to hear and then we’ve got weather enthusiast Jasper Lapienski talking about the local weather, using data going back hundreds of years! That’s right the Valley knew future nerds would want to know about the weather so they got on that quickly.

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May 23rd – May 29th

The Valley Nerd Watch!

It’s not really a local game, but heck: DOOM (2016 Version EX Hyper Edition) is a fun time according to us. If you are into using a fanciful arsenal to shoot demons in their faces, you will not go wrong. Surprisingly, one of our favorite elements of the game was the low-key comedy of Doomguy’s characterization as a comical barbarian with a very single-minded dedication to destroying Hell with high explosives.

Speaking of local games, some local games are out for you to check out! A lot of these come from the Pioneer Valley Game Developers page, and some from friendly folks on Twitter.

LoveLime – A game about a lime who is trying to date other attractive fruit. The lead developer is Sam Luangkhot, a student at Smith College who apparently saw Hatoful Boyfriend as a challenge. You can download the demo here!

Pirate Squabbles – A game developed by GlowLime games in one semester at Hampshire College. It’s a point-and-click adventure for your phone about pirates! Get the full game on Google Play or the App Store!

Vanishing Point – Less a game than a cool as heck VR music video, this is finally on Android! Experience Ben Sollee’s beautiful music alongside Pat King’s beautiful virtual ride! Check it out on Google Play!

We look forward to more video games coming out of our little corner of the world! Keep up the good work, everyone!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! 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 Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Art:

Tuesday, May 24th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
UMass Writing Project for Teachers
Contact Bruce Penniman at 413-687-0910 or penniman [at] english.umass.edu to find out more about this mysterious writing project for teachers! We’re thinking it is probably that they’re working on the next Star Wars film.
Thursday, May 26th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Emily Dickinson’s Shakespeare with Dr. Paraic Finnerty
Dr. Paraic will clarify the role that Shakespeare had in Dickinson’s life by locating her allusions to his writing in the 19th Century American context. He’ll shine new light on Shakespeare’s wide-ranging presence in Dickinson’s life! This is free and open to the public, no reservations required!
Saturday, May 28th
Jones Library [43 Amity St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Jones Library Makerspace (Ages 8-12)
Make a thing. Any thing you can imagine! A bunch of supplies are available for a child aged 8-12 to indulge any fleeting creative impulse and make physical the artifacts of their imagination.

Board Games:

Saturday, May 28th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
X-Wing 101 & Open Play
X-Wing is a game set in the very popular Star Wars universe in which you attempt to blast to smithereens the spaceships of your opponent. It’s a tactical tabletop game which means lots of measuring distances and dice rolling and it seems a lot of fun. Learn how to play it at Modern Myths! Requires a $5 Day Pass which is immediately converted to store credit.
Sunday, May 29th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Sunday Heroclix!
Heroclix! Try this on for size this week: make a Heroclix team that is entirely comprise of characters with the ability to change shape. Beast Boy, Wendigo, the Hulk technically, Super Skrull, Morph, Normal Skrull… there are actually a ton of shapeshifters in comics dang.

Books:

Tuesday, May 24th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Thad Carhart, Finding Fontainebleau: An American Boy in France
In the 1950s, just after WWII, Thad Carhart’s family packed up and moved to the town of Fontainebleau in France. In his memoir, Carhart weaves stories from his family’s life with stories from the town and of the massive Chateau of Fontainebleau that defined it.
Thursday, May 26th
Pizzeria Paradiso [12 Crafts Ave., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Red Mars Book Discussion & Dinner
Discuss the classic by Kim Stanley Robinson while munching on pizzas. Discuss the grand scope of the first in a trilogy of novels about Mars, this one covering the brave first 100 colonists. Just tell the staff at Paradiso you’re there for the book group. You’re expected to order something to eat to justify the whole getting a nice room for free. RSVP to make sure you can fit! Not a fan of this particular book? See the whole 2016 reading list here.
Saturday, May 28th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Megan Dowd Lambert & Nicole Tadgell
Local author Megan Dowd Lambert and illustrator Nicole Tadgell are back to talk about their newest picturebook ‘Real Sisters Pretend’! Two adopted sisters have a conversation about how adoption made them ‘Real Sisters’ even if they have different birth parents and don’t look alike. Attendees will enjoy snacks and a storytime, and are encouraged to add drawings of their own families to a mural to be displayed at Odyssey!
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [125 West Bay Rd., Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Eric Carle Book Signing
A limited number of tickets distributed day of! No advance tickets. Meet Eric Carle! Plan to arrive early to make sure you get a chance to see Eric. He’ll be signing books only, a 3 book limit, and no personalization. Dang that’s gotta be heck on the wrist, signing for hours and hours. Have fun!

Card Games:

Saturday, May 28th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Marvel Munchkin Splash
Munchkin: we gotta admit we’re not super into this game, everyone! It’s too long to be short and too short to be long. The jokes are there, but they’re not like “haha” funny, they’re just kind of references to things we like. BUT we’re not the only people in the world and a ton of other folks dig it. So try the Marvel version and enjoy the Marvel puns contained within!
Sunday, May 29th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Marvel Munchkin Splash
Marvel Munchkins again! Except with a twist: this time it is just a humongous box of Munchkins from Dunkin with the names of superheroes written on the outside of the box. Delicious.

Entertainment:

Monday, May 23rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Percy Jackson Auditions
Audition for and get more information about the Percy Jackson Experience the Book event that’s going to be held on June 19th! Contact Kay Lyons for more info at 413-772-1544 x5104
Wednesday, May 25th
Goodwin Memorial Library [50 Middle St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Organic Gardening for Everyone
Learn how to cultivate the fruits of the earth with Naturalist, Landscaper, and Unusually Appropriately Named Person John Root! Trick entropy into helping you maintain the ordered arrangement of your complex body parts! Free admission, with perennials for sale!
Thursday, May 26th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School St., Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Laser Tag in the Library!
Have you always wanted to vaporize your friends, local teen? Well rein that in, that’s not an urge you want to indulge. But if you’ve always wanted to play laser tag with your friends well you’re in luck this week! Run around the library shooting beams of light at each other because it’s fun!
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Anime Club
Anime is by all accounts animation produced primarily in Japan. We mostly have seen anime about punches, but we’ve got it on good authority that punches are not the sum total of anime. Talk to fellow fans in Palmer this week! Probably watch some, too!
Saturday, May 28th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Dickinson Meets Shakespeare in the Garden
Enjoy a performance of Shakespeare in the garden of the Emily Dickinson Museum! actors from the Springfield Conservatory of the Arts and the Hampshire Shakespeare Company will bring scenes from Dickinson’s most beloved Shakespeare plays to life! Free and open to the public, no reservations required.
Sunday, May 29th
The David Ruggles Center [225 Nonotuck St, Northampton, MA 01062] at 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Sojourner Truth Memorial Walking Tour
Sojourner Truth was an African-American abolitionist and women’s rights activist. She was born into slavery in New York, but escaped with her daughter to freedom in 1826. Her best-known speech was delivered extemporaneously in 1851, and widely know by the title “Ain’t I a Woman”? Learn about this important woman during a walking tour this weekend!
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
The Poet and the Bard
Explore the houses where Shakespeare became an invisible but important guest. Dickinson became a huge fan of Shakespeare during a period in which public estimation of the Bard rapidly changed from thinking he was the bee’s elbows to thinking he was the bee’s knees. Find out more on the tour!

Movies:

Wednesday, May 25th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
FLOW: How Did a Handful of Corporations Steal our Water?
Hang out at Forbes and watch an award-winning documentary about the growing World Water Crisis. As the supply of fresh water dwindles, this documentary offers a clear look at why. Interviews with scientists and activists raise the question “can anyone really own water?” You’ll also see some possible practical solutions to the issue, so that you do not sink into a deep pit of despair immediately.
Smith College Chapin Lawn [Northampton, MA 01063] at 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure
Cinema Northampton presents a free outdoor screening at Smith College of the seminal weird/charming film about eccentric man-child Pee-wee Herman. Bring a blanket and snacks!
Sunday, May 29th
Yiddish Book Center [1021 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Sholem Aleichem: A Conversation with Ruth Wisse and David Roskies
Recorded live at the Yiddish Book Center last fall, two engaging Yiddish scholars discuss the inimitable Sholem Aleichem on the hundredth anniversary of his death. Learn and laugh! Students get in for $4, members for $6, and the rest of us for $8!

RPGs:

Thursday, May 26th
Palmer Public Library [1455 N Main St, Palmer, MA 01069] at 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
RPG Club
You can be anything you want to be in an RPG! An astronaut who kills dragons, the president who also kills dragons, a gnome that becomes president of the Forgotten Realms and kills dragons… the only limit is your imagination! Hang out with fellow adventurers in Palmer!
Friday, May 27th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Rd., Chesterfield, MA] at 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM
Magestry LARP 2016 Spring Season – Game 3
Petalsong lingers in the air with the Magestream restored and one of the Mongrel Shadow Queen’s most powerful allies defeated. Now, Elmerton has other problems. Can they get a tribunal council going to convict the evil House Windlock? Are the sores growing from the trees and buildings going to wind up being a big deal? New creatures emerge from flickering portals to bedevil our heroes. And for yet another year the town turnip farmers wonder if they’ll ever have a year where the planting season isn’t such a danged ordeal.
Saturday, May 28th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Dungeons & Dragons!
Dugeons traditionally were not actually sprawling extravagant underground ecologies packed to the gills with treasure. Mostly they were like, terrible rooms. But heck, with a fantasy world, why not go wild? Play a 5thl-level adventure hosted by the friendly Neal Robinson! You can hop in any time, there are pre-rolled characters available for new players!

Science:

Saturday, May 28th
Emily Dickinson Museum [280 Main St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Archaeology at the Emily Dickinson Museum
Members of the museum are invited to participate in an ongoing archaeological dig on the ground of the Homestead! Learn new skills, make exciting discoveries, dodge poison dart traps, steal the mysterious treasure that made Dickinson a poet! You must attend the orientation to get cleared to work, because they gotta make sure you don’t just take a hammer to everything. Spots are limited, register here!

Video Games:

Monday, May 23rd
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Minecraft Group
Minecraft is such a sensation we probably don’t need to tell you what it is. But basically it’s like a beta version of the Matrix. Children love it, and should hang out at Forbes with other Minecraft-playing children in order to have fun and socialize outside of the Cyber Zone. [a black cat walks by]
Friday, May 27th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Minecraft Club
Minecraft is such a sensation we probably don’t need to tell you what it is. But basically it’s like a beta version of the Matrix. Children love it, and should hang out at Forbes with other Minecraft-playing children in order to have fun and socialize outside of the Cyber Zone. [a black cat walks by… again?]

January 25th – January 31st

The Valley Nerd Watch!


This’ll be a quick one since we’re suuuper tired at the moment. Woogh. Look, let’s just say that if someone asks you to play the Game of Thrones Board Game at 4:00pm, clear time until like 8:00pm the next day. It was great, though! Lots of fun, we did not win but we had a dastardly plan to do so and everyone was really fun to bicker with.

Board Game Day at the Deuce was a heck of a good time overall! Lots of nice people to speak with, new people to meet, generally a bunch of friendly people having a good time. Plus, there was free pizza which we honestly thought was a mirage for a minute. Free pizza! That’s the stuff of which dreams are made.

We also had an exciting and entirely unexpected experience: we tried a new game! Like, brand-new to everyone and we were some of the first play-testers! In deference to the creator, we’re not going to go into details while it’s still at an early stage, but it was a bunch of fun! It was a party game not unlike the sort of Apples-to-Apples-alikes that are storming our bacchanals with pre-written middle-of-the-road jokes. This one was, in our opinion, more clever. It was an effective ice-breaker and encouraged a delightful creativity! Well done, local designer!

We also want to mention here that due to circumstances beyond our control or indeed the control of any mortal man, Nerd Nite will not be happening in February. But fret not! Like Orpheus before, it will defy the gods and return from the land of the dead in March with some real fun presentations you’ll like a lot.

Go check out the Valley Creators page! 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:

Saturday, January 30th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
The Mail-Art Club
Oh, this is so nifty! An afternoon of art-making with the express purpose of posting it to a friend, family member, or maybe a Safe Passage shelteree! Before the start, there will be a screening of a documentary of an aspiring artist. We have loved getting postcards from pals, so this sounds pretty great! Registration is required, contact jonlackman [at] gmail [dot] com.
Sunday, January 31st
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Painting Workshop
Painting is a ton of fun! Not just painting Standard Style on a flat surface, but also painting miniatures! Miniatures are fun to use in a lot of games, but wow do they make a more effective-looking little adventuring team when they’re all nice and painted. Join the crew at Modern Myths to learn useful techniques! Take a painted miniature home!

Board Games:

Saturday, January 30th
Off The Wall Games [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 11:00am
Warmachine Steam Roller
We’re not really Warmachine players, so we’ve got no earthly idea what “Steam Roller” means in this context. But to take a stab in the dark we’re pretty certain it means two mighty armies of morally questionable empires will clash in epic fashion across strategically important folding tables. There’s a $10 entry fee, and that means probably there are also prizes!
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 11:00pm
One Night Ultimate Vampire Splash
Thanks to the Envoy Program at Modern Myths, they’re going to have a demo feature of a cool new game! It’s a game about finding the evil Vampire in your midst before the night is through. Sounds great for parties!

Books:

Wednesday, January 27th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Jill Gagnon and Mike MacDonald, Choose Your Own Misery
These clever folks wrote a “choose your own adventure” style book, but focused on darkly comic adventures through everyday places! Perhaps forgetting that like 90% of the actual Choose Your Own Adventure books were packed to the gills with death and other dark doings. Come see them read and speak about the book series!
Thursday, January 28th
Pizza Paradiso [12 Crafts Ave., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm
Dune Book Discussion and Dinner
Dune! A classic. The greatest start to the least necessary series of sequels in book history. It’s a heck of an interesting book that you’ve probably already read if you like sci-fi. Why not hang with some nice folks from the Western MA Sci-Fi Meetup group and talk about it?
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:00pm
Jeanne Braham, Available Light: Philip Booth and the Gift of Place
Local author Jeanne Braham will talk about her new book about an author of lyric poems. Most of them were set in the landscapes of Downeast Maine. Jeanne Braham looks to ignite new interest in this intriguing poet with her comprehensive biography!

Entertainment:

Friday, January 29th
Odyssey Bookshop [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 7:30pm
The Bookshop Music Sessions: JD Parran’s Harlem Reunion
A new music series at the Odyssey! Music! In a bookstore! Don’t tell the Silent Ones, lest they rend reality asunder in their rage. Browse, listen, support a local bookstore while hearing the excellent improvisational performances of JD Parran’s Harlem Reunion! Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for students and seniors.
Saturday, January 30th
A MYSTERY LOCATION AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS at 6:00pm
Dinner and Star Wars Holiday Special
We’re pretty certain this qualifies as a threat. Bring $5 for food, and then embrace the darkness that lives inside all of us. Join the meetup to find the location!

Movies:

Wednesday, January 27th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Movie Screening: The End of the Line
A free film screening sponsored by the Committee to Stop War with co-sponsorship by Stop the Pipeline Massachusetts Homeowners Speak Out. Through interviews and public meeting footage, End of the Line tells how ordinary folks protested a natural gas pipeline through 13 Kentucky counties, successfully getting it the heck out. Inspirational for people interested in getting the same thing to happen in MA! Discussion will follow the film.

RPGs:

Monday, January 25th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Pathfinder
Pathfinder! Pathfinder is a fun game for the sort of folks who are looking for D&D but not exactly. Go ahead and hop into a session! There are dice and pre-created characters waiting for you if you do show up! Also, friendly people to talk to!
Saturday, January 30th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 12:30pm – 3:30pm
D&D 5th Ed
Dungeons & Dragons: it’s like Pathfinder except with adventurers meeting in much more serendipitous manners. You can join this 5th-level adventure at any point, why not now? There are pre-made characters and dice provided, and it’s hosted by the friendly Neal Robinson.
Powder Mill Barn [32 South Maple St., Enfield, CT] at 3:00pm – 10:30pm
Magestry Winter Party
Party! Party with a bunch of Magestry folks at this entirely out-of-game affair. Admission is $20, and you can pay at the door. There’s also a holiday gift of 20 Skill Points! It’s a great opportunity to hang out with folks without needing to dedicate a whole weekend to being in character!

Science:

Monday, January 25th
Union Station [125 Pleasant St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
SciTech Cafe: Einstein’s Spooky Action at a Distance
Come see Professor William Wootters – a professor at Williams College – speak about quantum mechanics! Learn what a photon is, how far-apart photons can be “telepathic”, what quantum teleportation is, and how to shoot beams of coherent cosmic force out of your fist by arranging your fingertips along the “grid”. It’s free, and fun!

Video Games:

Thursday, January 28th
Franklin Patterson Hall, Hampshire COllege [893 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 4:00pm – 5:00pm
MAKE TALK PLAY – Word Snack Postmortem
A bonus MAKE TALK PLAY event! A brief step away from the venerable Quarters to check out Hampshire College! That’s because this will be a sit-down with the team behind the clever game Word Snack, created by the Interdisciplinary Game Studio Class at Hampshire College! It is a time that will be delightful and insightful!
Friday, January 29th
Adele Simmons Hall, Room 126, Hampshire College [893 West St., Amherst, MA 01002] at 5:00pm – 5:00pm Sunday, January 31st
Five College Global Game Jam
Hampshire is going to be the local host for the great Global Game Jam! What is it? It’s making games! Just like, as fast as possible. You have two days to try to take some idea from inception to exception-al! Anyone is welcome! If you’ve got skills in art, audio, programming, or design you’re particularly welcome! Find out more at the site!
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Minecraft Club
Were you aware that most children actually live in Minecraft now? It’s true! It is the entire universe to these tots. And for good reason! You can basically do absolutely anything and there is no limit to the number of dogs you can have. Register your tiny craftminer at the children’s desk, and enjoy free play, group games, and challenges!

 

January 11th – January 17th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


This past week we forgot an important nerd date! The incept date for Roy Batty, the replicant hunted by Rick Deckard in Blade Runner! January 8th, 2016. We’re officially in the future! Wow, that was a great film. We’ve always been fans of the oddly prescient Phillip K. Dick, and it’s kind of amazing how prolifically and inconsistently adapted his work has been. The gulf between Blade Runner and Next is just inconceivable.

Local creator and notable nerdable Joshua A.C. Newman has also written an excellent article on the topic of Roy Batty and what it means to behave like a human being. It’s an interesting consideration of the film’s themes, and it makes us totally want to re-watch it!

Nerd Nite is tomorrow! It’ll be a bunch of fun, it’s at World War 2 Club this time, so make sure you don’t go to Union Station! Try to think of interesting questions ahead of time so you can efficiently deploy them when called upon, that way everyone is less nervous.

Oh! Also, important update for Amherst area nerdy people: local collectively-owned game store Worlds Apart Games will be changing hours! Now it is open Noon – 10pm 7 days a week. That’s a pretty convenient schedule in our opinion! Be sure to support this wonderful local shop that’s staffed almost entirely by volunteers, which is wild!

Go check out the Valley Creators page! 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 Book Clubs List!

THIS WEEK


Board Games:

Saturday, January 16th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Pixel Tactics Deluxe Demo
Thanks to the awesome Envoy Program, Modern Myths is having a demo of an interesting new game! Stop by and try! Pixel Tactics is a head-to-head card game for two players that tries to recreate the feel of a Strategy RPG! Check out more at the publisher website!
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 10:00am – 2:00pm
Palmer Scholastic Chess Tournament (Grades K-12)
Are you a chess person? Do you feel the moves in your chess brain before they happen, anticipate your enemies? Do you feel like you could probably win a game of chess against a bunch of people? Can you bring your own chess set and clock and a bagged lunch? Are you getting annoyed of questions? Chess tournament, free entry!
Sunday, January 17th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Feng Shui 2
Pretty certain this is a game, and not simply the process of going to Modern Myths and rearragning their furniture. But then who knows? Either way, it’ll be entertaining!

Card Games:

Friday, January 15th
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00am – 11:00pm
Oath of the Gatewatch Pre-Release Event
Do battle with the sorcerous hordes at Worlds Apart Games! It’s going to be a … magical time! A … blast of magic stuff! A… card game you play in several swiss rounds for prizes that has an entry fee of $25!
Saturday, January 16th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at 11:30am and 5:00pm
Oath of the Gatewatch Pre-Release Event
Magic the Gathering players: rejoice! Time for a new release. Off the Wall can help you with all your magical magic needs! It’s a $25 entry fee for a chance to win a bunch of boosters and prizes and also put your legit billion dollars of Magic cards to use!
Sunday, January 17th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at 11:30am and 5:00pm
Oath of the Gatewatch Pre-Release Event
The same thing as the Saturday event, but on Sunday and also in this parallel reality where there was never such a genre as Spaghetti Western. Did it have far-reaching effects? Sort of! It’s hard to explain if you’re not from that reality.

Entertainment:

Wednesday, January 13th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Race: the Power of an Illusion
Race is a complex sociological construct that has an extreme influence on our experience of the world. It’s worth thinking about often, and trying to understand! Join the Committee to Stop War as they show a documentary about this difficult and interesting topic! It’s free, and you may learn something!
Thursday, January 14th
Sunderland Public Library [20 School Street, Sunderland, MA 01375] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Laser Tag
Live out your fantastic dreams of shooting people with lasers only they’re significantly less cool because they’re invisble but hey it’s still pretty fun and whatever at least it’s not paintball those things hurt and they’re craaazy expensive anyway. NOTE: This event is for Teens!
Saturday, January 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Merchants of Doubt
The League of Women Voters Northampton Area, NAACP Amherst Area Branch, Climate Action Now of Western Massachusetts, Represent US of Western Mass, and the Forbes Library present a thing about the horrible sort of easily-bought scientific minds who help to generate plausable deniability about the impact of global warming. For real, these people! They’re eating away at the foundations of scientific thought in a way that is real distressing to us here at the Nerd Watch. Check out a documentary that will probably make you mad!

RPGs:

Monday, January 11th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Pathfinder
Pathfinder is a high-fantasy adventure RPG about groups of self-interested people working together to explore the most dangerous – and profitable – parts of world! Basically pretend to be a fantasy Indiana Jones with your pals at Modern Myths!
Saturday, January 16th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 12:30pm – 3:30pm
D&D 5th Ed
Stop by your friendly local comic shop to play the newest edition of D&D: that RPG many people recognize! This is a 5th level adventure, but new players are welcome! You can join in at any session with a pre-made character. It’s hosted by Neal Robinson, who is an actual wizard.

Science:

Monday, January 11th
The World War 2 Club [50 Conz St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Pathfinder
The Nerd Nite for this month will introduce you to the Kardashev Civilization Scale, an interesting futurist concept presented by artist and middle-school teacher Aaron Jensen. It will also let you know what food was like in Medieval London, with Dr. Rebecca Slitt telling you it was actually pretty cool and not gross a lot of the time!

December 14th – 20th

The Valley Nerd Watch!


Happy December! We hope it’s a good month for you, despite the fact that you’re likely dealing with a bunch of holiday-related stress. Or finals, maybe? Man, we’re so frigging happy we don’t have finals any more. Wow, like the working world has its own problems obviously, but finals were the wooorst. Speaking of the worst, today’s Nerd Watch is a bit later than we’d like it to be thanks to the magic of *migraines*.

Speaking of how migraines are the pits, have you checked out Hannah Shaffer’s brand-new Kickstarted game “14 Days“? It’s about migraines and how people deal with them. Speaking of Hannah Shaffer, have you heard the news? She’s presenting tonight at Nerd Nite NoHo, the most important and entertaining event in all the month of December! She’s going to talk about RPGs, which are good times and also slightly intimidating. Also presenting: Pat King! Pat King is a game designer, and he’s going to talk about his experience creating a VR music video thing called “The Vanishing Point” that is super nifty.

This holiday season, don’t be a danged fool! Check the Valley Creators list to find out which local notable nerds you can support via capitalism! You can also send them a kind card or something, but we’re almost certain they’d appreciate your hard-earned cash as well. There are a ton of people on that list! You’ll find gifts appropriate for friends and family of all ages and interests. You’re welcome.

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:

Wednesday, December 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 8:30pm
NaNoWriMo Reading
Finally! A chance for the Saga of the Ice Masters to reach a wider audience! The 45-volume series you wrote over the month of November is brilliant, we all know that. But it still hasn’t received the recognition it deserves. Take your brilliance to the masses by reading selections at this event coordinated by Forbes Writer in Residence Naila Moreira!
Friday, December 18th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Art Journal Study Group
Hey are you into Runes? Well, who isn’t nowadays? The only way to become more powerful in the art of Rune Casting is, as we all know, developing a unique artistic style to allow for more complex Rune Combos! Learn to use the power of art journals to lay waste to your enemies in this unique course hosted by a talented and experienced artist!

Board Games:

Wednesday, December 16th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at All Day
Christmas Party
Delightful! A lovely party for a dark time of the year. This particular party features all day open gaming, as well as demos of Kings of War and a raffle from the venerable 131!
Sunday, December 20th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] at 12:00 – ???
BattleTech Alpha Strike Demos
We played the BattleTech RPG two times. We made characters the first time, we fought once out and once in mechs the second time. It still sticks in our head for how intense it was. Our favorite part? The fact that our character lost all four of their limbs over the course of their career in accountancy, thanks to some bad dice rolls in character creation. Anyway! Alpha Strike seems cool, learn to play Sunday afternoon!
Greenfield Games [228 Main St Greenfield, MA 01301] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Star Trek Attack Wing: Temporal Cold War Tournament Month One
So hey Enterprise was a pretty terrible show, right? But people generally seem to have positive feelings toward some of the later Temporal Cold War stuff! This Attack Wing tournament will see you trying to keep a raging battle away from the surface of an… EXPLOSIVE PLANET? There’s a $15 entry fee, which gets you a booster and a chance for prizes! Bring a 90sp starting build, to which you will add the booster pack!

Computers:

Tuesday, December 15th
MYSTERY LOCATION SHOWN TO MEMBERS
Getting Started With Docker – Monthly Full Stack Meetup
Michael Klatsky (VP – Systems at Esperdyne Technologies, LLC in Hadley voted “name most indicative of likely contribution to some sort of sinister alien takeover of Earth: five years running) is going to join to talk to people about how to use Docker effectively! Join up at the Meetup to find the location!
Thursday, December 17th
Amherst Media [246 College St., Amherst, MA] at 6:00pm
Western MA Drupal Meetup
Drupal! A useful web design framework that you probably are using or interested in using. Come talk to a bunch of people who also work with Drupal about your own work and how to solve problems and all that jazz! Fun and useful.
Friday, December 18th
Last Call Media [136 West St., Suite 01, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:00pm
LCM 2015 Holiday Party!
Ah, the Holidays. A time for togetherness in the face of the darkness and dreariness of our Temperate Zone winter. The Last Call Media team invites one and all to a nice party the… same day the new Star Wars movie comes out. Hm. Might be low attendance.

Entertainment:

Wednesday, December 16th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Meet a Lego Star Wars Animator
So hey one cool thing about the area is that Doodle Studios in Connecticut does a metric crud-ton of LEGO animation work! It’s pretty cool! You’ll get a chance to meet Elizabeth Popolo, an animator for Doodle who’s going to show off some of her work on LEGO Star Wars animation! She’ll also have a Q+A afterward! And there are trivia questions and prizes! The best night to prep for The Force Awakens!
Saturday, December 19th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 11:00am – 1:00pm
Jedi Training
Jedi training! Children ages 7 and up can come test their mettle! First, you make your own Light Saber and Star Wars crafts, then test your skills against the Jedi obstacle course! Costumes are welcomed and encouraged, registration for the craft portion is required!

Movies:

Wednesday, December 16th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 6:30pm – 8:00pm
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Ahhh, the coolest of the Tim Burton filmography. Also, the one that struck some inexplicably strong chord with that one friend of yours and caused you to watch this 43 times in high school. But it’s been a bit since High School! Watch it again at the beautiful Forbes Library!

RPGs:

DAY, December DATE
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027]  at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
D&D 5th Edition
Dungeons? Basically like basements, only with a lot more stuff and sometimes cults. Dragons? Ever had a pet lizard? That’s the basic scope of it, but they like gold instead of heat lamps and rocks. This is a 5th level adventure that you can join at any session! The GM, Neal Robinson, will show you a great time.

Science:

Monday, December 14th
Union Station [125 Pleasant 125, Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Nerd Nite: VR and RPGs
Beyond having the most charming host in the universe, Nerd Nite this month will be a really neat time with two charming presenters. First we’ve got Hannah Shaffer, talking about coming to RPGs as an adult player and designer, and then we’ve got Pat King, talking about an awesome VR music extravaganza he made! There’s a $5 ticket, but in exchange you get a great rocket stamp.

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!

September 21st – September 27th

XMen150CoverThe Valley Nerd Watch!


First of all, Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day! You should definitely register to vote. It’s not that hard, and until you can enact your brilliant scheme to become ruler of this foolish planet it’s probably the most effective way to work your will on the nation. Remember to vote in small local elections! They seem unimportant right up until you realize some real jerk of a person is in charge of some vital local resource for another four years.

Second: Oh goodness TopatoCon! It’s here! It’s finally here! It’ll be so delightful. Lots of great people have come from all over to show you their wares and generally chat a bit. We highly recommend that if you have funds available, you purchase as much as you are able from people who produce art that you like. Not only is it helpful for things like making sure they can eat and live indoors, it also allows them to experience some relief from the crippling anxiety that can arise from doing a bunch of cons.

“Aaah.” they sigh contentedly as you leave their table “I made like, lots of money. I can relax.” Help these gentle artists achieve a state of relaxation, won’t you?

There are far too many people attending to list here, but suffice to say there will be a lot of great people you will enjoy. Anthony Clark is one of our favorites for instance, and local hero Joshua A.C. Newman will be there exhibiting his fabulous games.

Finally, we’re doing a fun thing! A Towerfall Tournament at The Quarters with the help of the nice folks at the Pioneer Valley Game Developers! It’s going to alter slightly based on the number of participants, but you can expect several pulse-pounding rounds of competitive arrowing each other to death!

What is Towerfall, you might ask? One of the best local competitive multiplayer games since Super Smash Bros is what! It’s a fast-paced one-hit-kill free-for-all single-screen deathmatch starring a colorful cast of pixelated pincushions! Not an expert? No worries! Come early and we’ll have a bit of freeplay practice to acquaint people with the basics. It’s also very, very simple to play. Sign up on our Facebook page!!

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


All Interests:

Saturday, September 26th
Eastworks [116 Pleasant St., Easthampton, MA, 01027] at 10:00am – 6:00pm
Too much is going to be happening to really cover here but how about listening to the brilliant Evan Dahm talk about world-building? Why not check out neat old things with funny person host David Malki? Why not check out extremely cool person Kate Leth record one of her Kate or Die podcasts? There’s so much! That’s not even the exhibit hall, that’s just panels!
Sunday, September 27th
Eastworks [116 Pleasant St., Easthampton, MA, 01027] at 10:00am – 6:00pm
Gosh or you could see Kate Leth along with fellow awesome artists Jess Fink, Danielle Corsetto, and Spike discuss women, their bodies, and comics while being moderated by local nerd and author Emily Nagoski! Or head to a Comic Jam! Or a Game Jam! We’re so excited everyone it’s all happening!

Board Games:

Thursday, September 24th
Palmer Public Library [1455 North Main Street, Palmer, MA 01069] at 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Board Game Night: Ticket to Ride
Ticket to Ride is an award-winning classic about trying to control train routes across North America. Complete routes in complex patterns to gain the most points and wrest victory from your friends. Players of all experience are welcome, though children under 15 will be asked to play at the same table as their parents or with peers.

Books:

Monday, September 21st
Hooker Auditorium [Mount Holyoke College, 9 College St, South Hadley, MA 01075] at 6:00pm
Holly Black and Cassandra Clare: The Copper Gauntlet
Join the Odyssey Bookshop in welcoming these two wonderful authors and celebrating their latest collaboration! The second in the bestselling Magesterium series, it sounds pretty neat! Magic and the nature of good and evil and a healthy mistrust of authority figures.
Thursday, September 24th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 10:00am – 12:00pm
What’s Your Story? Memoir Writing Group
Memoirs! Everyone’s got memories, only a select few have memoirs. Join that elite group! Presidents, kings, the titans of our time… and you! This program explores memoirs in many forms and uses exercises to help spark memories and encourage writers to experiment!
Saturday, September 26th
Greenfield Public Library [402 Main St, Greenfield, MA 01301] at 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Quidditch Club for Kids
Quidditch! The sweet science. The most dangerous game. The game where really, doesn’t the golden snitch basically invalidate most play? It seems difficult to balance. You can play the Muggle variant of Ground Quidditch and take Hogwarts Extension courses with Professor Minerva “Hardcastle McCormick” McGonagall!

Card Games:

Friday, September 25th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 11:59pm – 4:00am
Battle for Zendikar Midnight Pre-Release
A new 2-set block of Magic: the Gathering cards! Come check out new full art lands, brand new dual lands, and amazing Eldrazi! You know what they say about Eldrazi: “Their nature is ceaseless hunger”! Check out the latest MtG set a week before it goes on sale in a sealed deck tournament. Build the best 40-card deck you can, and compete for promo cards! It’s $27 in advance, $30 at the door!
Saturday, September 26th
Modern Myths [34 Bridge Street #4, Northampton, MA 01060] at 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Battle for Zendikar Saturday Pre-Release
Are you the sort of person who doesn’t want to stay up until four in the danged morning playing in a MtG tournament? Try doing it on a sunny Saturday afternoon instead! Grab lunch at the Roost first. Same as above, $27 in advance, $30 at the door.
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] 11:30am – 4:00pm
Battle For Zendikar Pre-Release Morning Slot
Battle for Zendikar! We think this means you’re battling in order to possess Zendikar, not that you’re a Zendikarian patriot attempting to promote the interests of Zendikar. That is, assuming Zendikar is a geographic area. This is a $25 sealed-deck tournament that includes a Pizza Lunch!
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Battle For Zendikar Pre-Release Evening Slot
Have something besides MtG to do in the morning? Try the evening! It is essentially the same except that everyone in this tournament has bargained with one of the fey folk to gain perception beyond mortal ken. Again, $25 sealed deck, and a Pizza Lunch dinner.
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00am – 10:00pm
Battle for Zendikar Pre-Release
Another one! Jeez. Well, this one has a few more details. It’s $25 to register for a four-round sealed tournament with free pizza as supplies last. Players with a 4-0 record get $50 in store credit in addition to lots of prize packs!
Sunday, September 27th
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] 11:30am – 4:00pm
Battle For Zendikar Pre-Release Morning Slot
Ah, you unlucky fool. You couldn’t make it on Saturday. Saturday was… well. It’s cruel to discuss it with you. You’ll never see the golden shores of that happy day. Again, a $25 sealed deck tournament with a Pizza Lunch brunch.
Off the Wall Games [41 Russell Street, Hadley, MA 01035] 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Battle For Zendikar Pre-Release Evening Slot
This one is interesting, actually. For the final pre-release event they’ve secretly replaced all the cards with standard playing cards. Lets see you incinerate your foes when all you’ve got is a 1/1 Club! Again, $25 sealed deck tournament, with a Pizza Lunch second breakfast.
Worlds Apart Games [48 North Pleasant Street B2, Amherst, MA 01002] at 12:00am – 10:00pm
Battle for Zendikar Pre-Release
Is the handsome guy in armor Zendikar? Are we battling for him? Possible for his hand in marriage? We’re really not certain what MtG lore is all about. Either way, yet another tournament with again a $25 entry fee plus a ton of prizes and free pizza. This is a busy weekend for people who play Magic!

Entertainment:

Thursday, September 24th
Forbes Library [20 West St, Northampton, MA 01060] at 2:00pm
Cookies with a Curator
Stop by Forbes for some informal conversation and show and tell with also cookies that you can eat! This Thursday, see Lost Northampton with Dylan Gaffney. Lost Northampton consists of images of buildings and homes that are no longer standing, trapped in the mists of time. Professionals are on hand in case anything breaks out into our era during the viewing.
Friday, September 25th
Academy of Music [274 Main St., Northampton, MA 01060] at 7:30pm
TopatoCon Presents: The Doubleclicks featuring Molly Lewis
Two excellent musical acts! The Doubleclicks sing stuff that’s often nerdy and comedy. They wrote the theme song for Cards Against Humanity, in defiance of the fact that why does a card game need a theme song. Molly Lewis won “Ukulele Video of the Year” from UkuleleHunt.com. She also sang to Stephen Fry a song she wrote about wanting to have his children. Fun stuff! Tickets are $15.
Sunday, September 27th
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Avtivated Story Theatre
Two folktales from Eastern Europe will be presented! The Dragon of Krakow, from Poland and Something from Nothing, from the Jewish tradition. Apparently the Krakow dragon might be due to people finding some fossils that they mistook for Dragon bones! Neat! For Children 4-10 and their families.

RPGs:

Friday, September 25th
Chesterfield Scout Reservation [22 Sugar Hill Road, Chesterfield, MA] at 7:00pm
Magestry LARP Autumn Game 2
Live Action Role Playing! The most intense and interesting experience you’re likely to have playing an RPG! Magestry has just altered some rules to make things easier for new players, too! The fee is $30 for first-timers, including a Saturday dinner, and it’s free for volunteer staff! Email Info@Magestry.com to get a free account for the online character generator.
Saturday, September 25th
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Public RPG: Pathfinder Pirates
Piracy, a life consisting primarily of exactly the things you do not want, plus scurvy. But not in fiction! In fiction, mostly you get to swash on a good day and buckle on a great day. We recommend playing a pirate whose sole motivation is to possess the most exciting warddrobe. New players are welcome to join at any session! Pre-made characters and dice are provided, and host Tim Shields knows what’s what.
Comics n’ More [31 Union Street, Easthampton MA 01027] at 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Public RPG: Mutants and Masterminds
Super-heroes! They’re great fun to observe, because their small interpersonal conflicts tend to lead inevitably to visually impressive brawls. Play one in a monthly RPG! New players are welcome, pre-made characters are provided. Hosted by the enigmatic and possibly super-powered Crispy/Nola.

Science:

Wednesday, September 23rd
Jones Library [43 Amity St, Amherst, MA 01002] at 6:00pm – 7:00pm
Science Cafe
Gut Feeling: A diverse and healthy microbiome, with Dr. Jeffrey Blanchard. Have you considered that you’ve got millions of tiny creatures living in you? Human gut bacteria outnumber your own cells ten to one! Life is a parade of horrors! These bacteria determine a lot about your and how you live. This cafe will explore how our lifestyle influences and is influenced by gut bacteria! Free and open to the public.

Video Games:

Friday, September 25th
The Quarters [8 Railroad St, Hadley, MA 01035] at 6:00pm
The VNW/PVGD Towerfall Tournament!
Towerfall! A great gem of a game that everyone loves or WILL love. Challenge your friends and some friendly strangers to a match, and win fabulous prizes! It costs $5 to enter, and two winners will split the entry fee pool 60/40. The two runners up will receive prizes as well! Be sure to sign up on the Facebook event!
Saturday, September 26th
Eastworks [116 Pleasant St., Easthampton, MA, 01027] at 10:00am
TopatoJAM!
Want to hang out at TopatoCon BUT ALSO make a game in a stunningly short period of time? You may! You must! TopatoJAM will let you do that! Open to developers of any skill level with a suggested $5 donation. You MUST REGISTER