Poor old Michael Finnegan, begin again
-  trad.

My Links Page


Roleplaying Links

First and foremost, I direct your attention to Mant's Lair, an excellent site (which just happens to boast a few of my own musings on the World of Darkness). If nothing else, it is worthy of note that Mant maintains a sizeable page of further links.

Wiigii! The all-time world's most useful roleplayer's resource has returned! The Onomastikon is a massive compilation of names from cultures worldwide, well-organised and decently researched. It is not totally authentic, but is far and away good enough for naming RPG characters.

Then there is the A.G.V.T.M homepage, of minimal interest to non-posters however.

The White-Wolf homepage is also an option. It's a bit sell-sell at times, and to quote Phil Masters (author of the Vocabulary of Roleplaying: "Unfortunately, their site lives up well to their reputation for being dark, gloomy, and unintelligible..." But it will tell you what's coming out when, and gives the occasional useful download.

For a better idea of what the White-Wolf Storyteller game series is about, I recommend Mant's Lair or some of the sites he links to, rather than the official homepage.

For a host of groovy material about White-Wolf's Aberrant game, check out  N! Prime. It has some wonderful in-game news articles and a delightful agony column for superheroes, and some out-of-game stuff as well.

Phil Masters' homepage has quite an array of stuff; some of it good and useful.

Another worthwhile visit would be to Hogshead Publishing, the current home of the old classic Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. WFRP is perhaps the best fantasy roleplaying game ever written, in terms of setting and feel if not of mechanics.

Unlike White-Wolf, the Hogshead page is pretty clear for those with no prior knowledge of the games; so check it out.

Critical Miss: The Magazine for Disfunctional Roleplayers is an online gaming magazine. Very funny, and almost alarmingly true to life, and occasionally it even contains useful information.

I also recommend - and I can not do so strongly enough - Steve Jackson Games' Pyramid magazine. It's all on line, and costs $15 per year subscription, including all the archives and stuff, which is worth it for Kenneth Hite's Suppressed Transmission column alone. Use the button below to sign up now, and I get an extra month's subscription!

Some people play their rpgs the minimalist way: Paper; pencil; dice. Some of us however, go to a little extra effort - especially when running the game - to create the atmosphere we want. To give an example of what I mean, here's a little something my friend James and his fellow Keepers dreamed up for a game of Call of Cthulhu Live. It's called Cybertronic, and it just goes to show what you can achieve if you take the time.

In a less extravagant vein, here's some of James' own work, for yet another CoC Live game. It's called the Osiris Club, and gives an idea of another way the internet can be used as a gaming aid.

A new addition to the Cybertronic fold is the Cybertronic Foundation. This is the homepage for the whole darn gaming group, and may be of particular interest to roleplayers in James' part of California.

Call of Cthulhu itself is a product of Chaosium Inc., another worthwhile Roleplaying company. Follow the Elder Sign to their webpage.

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Jess Nevins has provided a boon to all fans of Victorian, Pulp and Golden Age adventure stories with his catalogues of Fantastic, Mysterious and Adventurous Victoriana, Pulp Heroes (and Villains), and Golden Age Heroes.

For those playing in the pulp era, the guide to 20's Slang may be useful. It's like another language at times.

Away from Roleplaying, regular board and card games at a very reasonable price can be found at the James Ernest/Cheapass Games Double Secret Website. It does exactly what it says on the tin.


The Crawly Links:

This is the website for a book about my ancestor, Charles Grover, written by my mother.

This is Freeserve, who supply this webspace.

And this is Queens' College, which made me the man I am today (God help us all).

Film Links

Have you ever been watching a film and thought to yourself: "I know this method of composing an artistic view of a lake; who is the cinematographer on this?" Well; if you have, and you're not a film student, you might want to seek professional help, but for  those who want to know these things, and for the rest of us who want to know who was in  that film, the one with him and her, directed by that guy, there is always the Internet movie database (UK site).

Also of some interest is The Invisible Actor; a site which pays tribute to Hollywood's less lauded stalwarts. The presence of Julian "Acting as Wooden as Ever, Bless 'im" Sands notwithstanding, a worthy cause indeed.

On a lighter note, it has often - in fact very often - been observed that certain things happen certain ways in movies, but not in real life. The almost definitive guide to movie cliches expounds at great length. It's articles on particular films kind of miss the point, being more in the line of 'places where this film diverges wildly from reality' than cliches (which by definition shoudl appear regularly in many movies).

Have you ever seen a bad movie. I mean a really bad movie; we're talking Crazy Six bad here. Never heard of Crazy Six? Well you might just learn a thing or two about it at Oh The Humanity - the worst films ever witnessed by human eyes, so it claims.
Actually, I dispute that since it doesn't have either Crazy Six or Convergence, and it seems to count the fact that the Dark Crystal is deeply twisted and disturbing as a bad thing.
On the same line, there's always the Bad Movie Mecca database.

As anyone not living in a cave right now probably knows, Peter Jackson is filming J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings in three parts (pedant's corner: The Lord of the Rings is not a trilogy but a single story arranged into six books and an appendix and originally released in three volumes). This is the web page for the production.
It looks real purdy, but it's a massive undertaking with considerable scope for pitiful and humiliating failure. We shall have to wait and see.

On the subject of The Lord of the Rings; Sir Ian McKellen's official website - he's playing Gandalf - has some site diaries and such, as well as details of his other work. It's pretty swish for an old fella's website.

Now here's a thing. If you've seen the Rocky Horror  Show (or maybe it's only in the Picture Show; I'm not sure, though it might make sense) then you might be interested in the Annotated Science Fiction/Double Feature, which tries to identify and lay out all of the old SF references in Rocky Horror's opening song.

Play that game at the Oracle of Bacon - if you haven't before - and find out why Kevin Bacon is the heart and soul of Hollywood.

The Weird Links

For the cryptid enthusiasts, there is a decent crypozoology site at the staggeringly obvious URL www.cryptozoology.com, for all your chupacapras and mokole-mbembe needs. More generally, The Fortean Times can offer you a wide range of the weird and wonderful.

And speaking of the weird and wonderful, they at least don't get much weirder than the Lord Palmerston.
Boasting a fine selection of children's TV nostalgia (including a near-infamous sociopolitical analysis of Bagpuss, hailed by literally some people, perhaps including the great Oliver Postgate himself, as 'codswallop'), and a virtual barmaid for online drinks ordering, this claims to be Walthamstow's finest virtual pub, and I won't be the one to argue.

h2g2.com is the earth edition of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Basically it's a kind of reference community, where people can post articles on anything they like for others to come along and retrieve later for information or entertainment. I haven't done much here as yet, but I do intend to as some stage.
Anyway: Here's a button which is linked to my personal space.

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Pssst...Wanna commit an atrocity?
Furious George and the Cross-Country Crime Spree. Follow the adventures of a curious little monkey as he commits horrific crimes against humanity and terrorises the law-abiding citizens of the USA.

The Brick Testament is The Bible, done in Lego. It's all well and good until you get to the adult content. All kind of broken.

The Comic Links

As you probably know, there are now comic strips on the internet. My recommendations for a quick, three-panel chuckle are Dilbert - which you've probably heard of - and Kevin and Kel - which you may not have heard of. Both are a little odd, but that's my bag, and I consider them worth a look.

Then there's Goats - my former new favourite comic strip - which makes Dilbert look like Peanuts, and since there is one provided on the homepage, you can reach it by using the animated button below.

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My new new favourite comic strip is Sluggy Freelance. There is a flick-knife weilding rabbit in it, and that is good enough for me.

Another fine and venerable work - in a completely different vein - is DC Simpson's Ozy & Millie. It's simultaneously cute and satirical, and I kinda like that.

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Also getting a passing recommendation are Avalon, Bobbins, GPF and PvP. I read more, but these are the ones I like best.

And yes; I know I read too many comics. You don't see the half of it here.

Finally in the comics vein, I'd like to consider for a moment Sam & Max, Freelance Police. Most famous for their appearance in Sam & Max Hit the Road, a Lucasarts computer game, the Freelance Police (like ordinary police, but with less accountability) also had a TV cartoon, and were born in comic book form.

This site, will give you more information than you could ever want on this ever-so dynamic duo.

Random sites I have known

Check out America's last great underground psychadelic band, The Lost Vegas.

Abelard.org has a collection of essays on an eclectic range of subjects, including the psychology of Hitler and the Turing test.

Natural Science is another mixed bag site which I have come across while looking for work-related sites. Likewise the Great Thinkers page, with links to pages by or dedicated to some of the world's great visionaries (for certain values of great; your mileage may very well vary).

H.P. Lovecraft. Melancholy genius or whinging hack? As much detail on the man as you can shake a stick at in the H.P. Lovecraft Archive. It has a button.

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Corvinus. A site containing many downloadable essays on the history of Hungary.

Castles on the Web - does exactly what it says on the tin.

A bunch of links - some broken - to various intelligence service sites and homepages. Be sure to check out the CIA kiddies page.
More specifically, the MI5 homepage is kinda dry, but interesting for consisting mainly of denials that they were there and insistence that they could be.

When you don't have your Brewer's Phrase and Fable handy - and with a number of more expansive texts available - there's a good myths and legends site here, and a very good selection of links to other mythology sites called Mything Links (but the name aside it really is pretty good).

A site on Egyptology hosted by the Newton Institute for Theoretical Mathematics. Weird place to find it, but probably worthwhile.

Far from Egypt, on 'an island near England', are the myths and legends of Orkney.

CryptMUSH has a good page of links on all sorts of things, including mythology, religion and gaming, maintained for a MUSH (multi-user shared hallucination - either an online roleplaying environment or a bong of some sort) but available to all.

An online English-Romanian dictionary.

This site http://www.chesco.com/~artman/person.html has a bunch of collected quotes from hundreds of sources, thus saving me the trouble of collecting my own.

The FireBlade Coffeehouse may have an apallingly pretentious name, but it also has a bunch of online books; which is nifty.

Need caffeine on the move? Penguins®: The Original Caffeinated Peppermints are the answer. And if that weren't enough to earn a recommendation, the same company have had the balls to launch Penguins Lite®: The Original Decaffeinated Peppermints; oh yeah.

Do you ever hanker for burger in the most inaccesible of places? Then why not call Ninjaburger: The world's number one clandestine fast food delivery service.ninjastar.gif (18170 bytes)

If you need to find out train times in a hurry, where do you go? Germany of course. It's a sad fact that Die Bahn, the German information site, has better UK timetables than any UK-based timetable website. Go figure.

Tom Lehrer - a very funny man. Many of his song lyrics are transcribed here.

Flanders & Swann - also very good. Their lyrics and more are at Flanders & Swann Online.

This site here is a catalogue of phrases and figures of speech, along with various suggested origins. It also invites new suggestions.

Terry Pratchett is one of Britain's best authors, and one of the most prolific (not counting Mills & Boon type books, which authors churn out thirteen a year but which I don't really count as writing).
L-Space has a lot of Pratchett related stuff, while the Broom Closet has synopses and classic quotes from almost all of Pratchett's books.

Damian Thompson is a writer on cults and suchlike. He wrote a good article on the dark side of the New Age, to be located here.

Everything you always wanted to know about Islam, but were too afraid to ask.

Or go here, for all your Biblical Apocrypha needs.

Then again, here for a kind of gunbunny heaven; included for the reference of those of my friends writing hardware fetishist action thrillers.

Sherlockian.net is an expansive resource on all things Holmes. Includes links to e-texts, analyses of the stories and the mythos and so forth.

5 Tigers is a resource on - you guessed it - tigers; all five subspecies, from the mighty Siberian, to the comparatively diddy Sumatran.

The Friends' Pages Links

Ben Mansell's page has some of the weirdest links out there, including the marvels of the Timecube (N.B. Redelvis in no way endorses the beliefs of Gene Ray).

Another good friend from my university days is Tim Deegan, who has likewise collected an interesting potpourri of links and holds them on a webpage as browser-independent bookmarks. If you ever wondered what the official website the modern Inquisition looks like (and more) then it may be for you.

Aleks Pluskowski is a total maniac, who works altogether too hard for his own good. To accompany his PhD thesis, journal articles and conference papers, he's created a website called Illuminations. Mad he may be, but you have to admire his industry.

And then there's Tom Oinn. Not a great deal to his page either as yet, but it is there, and having promised friends websites I may as well make it look as if I have some.