Words and Chaos

Clothing Generator

Here’s one of those generators I mentioned a while ago. The syntax isn’t great. I’m not going to make it work perfectly, if I’m honest, but it was a good introduction to how to lay out the syntax and fit things together. It’s functional. The phrasing of later generators should be far more consistent.
But, in the meantime, have some fashion.

Tailor made.

A Novel Idea Week VIII – Michael Ridpath, Where the Shadows Lie.

For August we take a look at Michael Ridpath’s ‘Where the Shadows Lie’. The book is the first of a thriller series blending crime fiction and Icelandic mythology.

Recorded at the Steam Engine in Waterloo, London. A pub that appears to be doubling as a Robbie Williams fan club.

Listen and download here:
Michael Ridpath, Where the Shadows Lie.

A Novel Idea, Week VII – Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation

For July we’re back at the Parcel Yard, King’s Cross, where we discuss Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer. Winner of the 2014 Nebula Award for Best Novel. Jumping into the cosmic horror realm, and human isolation, we explore area X with Ghostbird.

Listen to it:
Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation


Oh Christ, it’s been far too long since I updated this. Apparently I’ve been away since the end of May. Time flies. I literally thought it was the end/mid of the last month that I last posted.

Errr, well, I can account for that. Sort of. July at least. I was on holiday for most of July. A week at the start, a weekend in the middle. Catching up on work in between. June… I’ve got no excuse for June.

Either way, I come bearing vaguely interesting updates:


I’ve been actually making generators. Usable generators. Not just these lists of things I generate on my Jack Jones and feed you. I want to share them with you at a slightly later date. I have a clothing generator so far. Needs a bit of work, and because it was the first thing I made. It’s a bit janky, syntax wise, but you can get clothing out of it. Mostly very gaudy.
It is coming. Needs some extra bits, but I’m mostly done with it.

It spits out things like this:

• This rectangular Tunic is made from blue fur. It is patterned with floral green, purple, and grey on the one edge.
• This plunging necklined Top hat is made from purple teeth. It is patterned with chevron white turtle on the centre.
• This sleeveless Fedora is made from black ivory. It is patterned with repeating green and red on the edges.
• This frilled Long tunic is made from green scales. It has symbols in white in the shape of a cockerel’s upper body on the edges.
• This short sleeved Porkpie hat is made from pink bone. It is patterned with interlinking purple on the sleeves.
• This square Scarf is made from purple PVC. It is patterned with trellised green and white on the top.
• This plunging necklined Justacorps is made from green PVC. It is patterned with celtic knot black snake outlined in orange on the back.
• This ornate Kimono is made from green PVC. It has flaming bronze trim on the top.
• This turtle-necked Jersey is made from red leather. It is patterned with horizontal rows of orange, pink, and yellow man on the entire garment.
• This simple Wrap dress is made from purple scales. It has multiple fur spikes on the bottom.

I’m also working on a character generator.
It’s very early stages at the moment. Still working the descriptions. I want to get descriptions and personality in there. There’s a lot of do.

A Novel Idea podcast.

This will come very soon. Tomorrow, the weekened. Something like that. This month we’ve been reading some weird fiction by Jeff Vandermeer. Some interesting conversation arises. I’ve always been a fan of weird fiction and it probably shows.

A Novel Idea, Week V – Laline Paull, The Bees

For May we’re talking about Laline Paull’s ‘The Bees’.

Published in 2014 by Fourth Estate, this is Laline Paull’s debut novel. It was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2015 and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize for New Fiction 2015.

Listen to it:
Laline Paul, The Bees

Scenery clusters

The other day I posted about the scenery generating clusters I was using. I thought I would post a few up and perhaps give some people a couple of ideas.

Small island Channel Trench Crater Shrubland
Savannah Narrow river FeaturesTorch Urban – Town
Steppe Basin An irrigation ditch Animal Bones Flagstones
Tundra River Stones Cobblestones A pile of logs
Desert Natural arch Bushes Burial site Plains
Woodland Estuary Stocks Stones A chair
Small island Valley Tunnel Dormitory Dairy farm
Woodland Crater Pathway Lava flow Crumbling wall
Woodland Headland Alcove A bedroll Mesa
Large island Gulf Scene generatorRotten food Crater
Steppe Dale Vale Torch Smithy
Desert Valley Alcove Glacier Smithy
Savannah Valley Winding road Animal skull Cross roads
Grassland Oasis Workbench Wall Boulder
Jungle Glen Bank Fresh blood Stream
Sandy coast Plateau Lake Berries Pools
Shrubland Gully School Poultry farm Plains
Grassland Peninsula Floodplain Butchers Peak
Woodland Shelf Some tablets Tanning frame Impaler’s spike
Jungle Mountain pass Signpost Overhang Dense undergrowth
Small island Volcano A fresh meal Crater Floodplain
Mesa Peninsula Mountains Small religious building Human skull
Large island Lagoon Natural arch Poultry farm A firepit
Steppe Vale Marsh Market Grassland
Forest Narrow river Bank Dune Church
Sandy coast Trench Rocky coast Stairwell Bell
Savannah Geyser Tomb Prison Sign
Shrubland Oasis Fallen Branches Cottage Lookout post
Subterranean Shelf Sand hill Skilled Carving Watermill
Woodland Lake Bell tower Pyre Herbs
Forest Natural arch Discarded Wagon Wheel Forest Standing stones
Sandy coast Waterfall Road Pond Gulch
Shrubland Shore Kiln Mountain pass Few trees
Mesa Ridge Large island Furnace Taiga
Mesa Channel Roadside inn Stream Impaler’s spike
Sandy coast Channel Fruit Overgrowth Ranch
Marsh Sinkhole Lava flow House A doorway
Small island Crater A herb garden Carving A ditch
Woodland Dry lake Chains Knoll Dung
Marsh Urban – City Pillar Old blood Bog
Desert Natural arch Alcove Terrain:Some chairs
Woodland Mountain pass Pool Fallen birds nest Thicket
Mesa Urban – slum Gorge Gem mine Elaborate altar
Large island Vent Shelf Discarded Wagon Wheel Ruins
Desert Peak A ditch Rocky overhang Natural arch
Tundra Urban – City Kiln Wasp nest Desert
Mountains Lava lake Bee hive Library Carving
Shrubland Narrow river Breaking wheel Pit Church
Subterranean Pools River River A crater
Grassland Crater Gulch Pit Lake

Scenery Shenanigans

I’ve been experimenting with scenery generation. I divided it by biome, terrain type, and then three features. So it spits out something like this:

Mountains Cape Few trees Bars A crater
Woodland Knoll Small religious building Flagstones Furnace
Mountains Bay Old Ash Many boulders Ore mine
Jungle Peak Boards A bed Bench
Taiga Saltflat Cross roads Plain obelisk A lean-to
Taiga Dale Gallows Bee hive Gutter
Marsh Chasm Quarry An irrigation ditch Broken wagon
Shrubland Flatland Carved Obelisk Pile of stones Standing stones
Rainforest Overhang Fresh corpses Lighthouse Bell
Rainforest Estuary Skilled Carving Ring of sharp stakes Ruins

I’m not sure if biome is technically the correct term, to be honest, but it’s broader than something like ‘a hill’, so it’ll do. Regardless, it works pretty well for me. I was able to get the following out of it in about ten minutes:

‘There’s an island off the cape. At an abandoned building site on the island you find a single chair and a wagon wheel.’

‘A stretch along the peninsula is dominated by seed strewn shrubland and haphazard nests of insects. There is also a discarded crate.’

‘In a savannah, on a river bank, the road runs out. The end of the road is marked by a broad pillar besides which is a scruffy merchant’s shop.’

‘A rocky glacial coastline where someone built a lighthouse. Apparently they had a preoccupation with punishment. The bottom of the lighthouse features a prominent scaffold and a pair of heavy chains nailed to a rockface.’

‘Through the highlands, beside an inlet, you find a bedroll tucked under a sign directing you to a pig farm.’

‘The woodland ravine used to contain a river. That river has long run dry. Now there are just disparate bones and skeletons. And a noose…’

‘A series of bluffs out in the plains mark the location of a temple surrounded by high fences. A nearby tree buzzes with the endless work of a beehive.’

‘A stone-strewn estuary, where they set prisoners to work on a farm as a means to earn their redemption. When they weren’t planting crops and looking after animals, they’d make things in the workshop. There’s still the famous blocked up tunnel under the walls where some of the prisoners made their escape…’

‘A coastal hamlet with a prominent bell tower. It sits on a broad hill surrounded by a ring of sharpened stakes. At the foot of the hill, by the side of the road, there’s a scaffold with a noose.’

‘A dry river bed threads through the bluffs of a small island populated by nothing much apart from the berry bushes. Outside of the dry riverbed, the only thing remarkable about the island is the tall impaler’s spike.’

I was able to sketch a little map out based on ten of these. The geography f the whole thing almost certainly doesn’t make much sense – there’s a lava lake more or less next to a tundra. Also, because it goes from the macro right down to the micro, if you’re trying to use it as a mapping inspiration it’s a bit weird to try and mark something like a beehive in a forest. There’s ways and means around things like that – a key or something at the side, but it was an interesting experiment and kind of worked.

Word Clusters #31: Moist Whip

Looks like I missed April. I did originally post this back on the 15th, but I think I posted it as an entire page… rather than a post. Well done me.

They’re Storytelling
Cat-folk Loopholes
Breakwaters Sagacious
Theorise Jet Boat
Overt Longswords
Grievance Unprotected
Courtly Funicular Railway
Slopes Facility
Extended Dissension
Regional Face
Serving Platter Warranty
Universe Freshly
Tenet Sweet
Moist Whip
Measles Advancements
Hornes Bull Snake
Schooner Retaliate
Hoped Dismembered
Alemannia Doomspinner
Support Beachcomber
Chaotes Non-Standardized
Vitalizing Woolf
Mississippi Circumvented
Sovereign Consultation
Nsa’s Rebellion
Accompaniment Breadknife
Cryion Cracked
Wing Chair Soybeans
Gold Leaf Garnished
Family Tree Looted
Wished Generalized
Standin Receding
Icicle Headmaster
Useless Peak-Capped
Deely Doleful
Showroom Faults
Knock-Back Causeway
Surf Waterspout
Economy Soaked
Rending Daytime
Hairline Invention
Taker Rile
Glamorous Committed
Meat-Eater Noon
Cart Whispers
Elusive Viking
Climatology Megaraptor
Wedge-like Swarm

The is Only Chaos: You’re Right: Wealth Isn’t a Dirty Word.

‘Hypocrisy’, however, is.

“It’s the politics of envy!”, “Wealth isn’t a dirty word!”, “This is just another war on the rich!”

My, it didn’t take them long, did it? To turn this Panama papers leak into a establishment-media driven pity party for the privileged. Same rules as ever: prizes for the most vocal human answer to the yeast infection…

No, you insipid strings of afterbirth, nobody’s claiming that the rich are inherently as vile as you are. If we believed that, we’d have to gut J.K.Rowling and lynch Keanu Reeves. No, the public are not angry because of the size of your bank account. We’re pissed off because, despite being told we’re all in this together, you still play by different rules than the ones you set out for ‘everyone’. Is there a dictionary entry for the “elite” with variable definitions somewhere?

We’re seeing cuts for the vulnerable and the sell-off of every public asset and service available, while you put a £70 billion hole in the economy every year. Sure, it’s legal and anyone can do it. I’m willing to bet £70 billion that if everyone suddenly opened up a business in off-shore islands where we all legally hide our profits, it’d suddenly become very illegal. Also, I suppose we should ignore the fact that record numbers of people are living off of food banks, in a first world country, in the city inhabited by more super-rich residents than any other city on the planet.

Silly proles, why didn’t those people just open up an off-shore business in Panama?

Randomised Melee Weapons

I was intrigued to find out what I could do with randomly generated weaponry. I limited it to melee weapons in a fairly medieval sort of vibe. I tried to keep the general categories of weapon very open, and let the adjectives narrow it down – so, for instance, I’ve only got ‘sword’, instead of ‘rapier’ or ‘scimitar’, etc. It worked fairly well, I could have tailored the adjectives list, but I left it as it exists for the lulz. So some of the results are a bit odd. Took longer than anticipated: I kept adding things to the list of adjectives, so I kept regenning the lists. I’ve done the same thing for clothing, I believe. I might do the same sort of thing for armour, jewellery, and ranged weaponry.

Immense knife with a shivering edge
Curved whip with a depressed bill
Blue axe with a shivering blade
Purring whip with a dappled head
Piquant baton with a dependent guard
Chinchilla flail with a quiviut bill
Overrated baton with a deep handle
Squeamish fist weapon with an educated guard
Gros de londres flail with a false grip
Nauseating dagger with an aberrant handle
Bad axe with an adaptable quillion
Karakul spear with a gleaming bill
Old knife with a military peen
Tan pick with a bitter hilt
Whole fist weapon with an icy hook
Sinewy knife with an exciting head
Last axe with a hideous finger ring
Little fist weapon with a surah finger ring
Single handed baton with a broad head
Nondescript baton with a copper haft
Legal lance with a wistful blade
Changeable flail with a hot butt
Homely axe with a handsome finger ring
Thick flail with a hissing bill
Gruesome polearm with an equine finger ring
Charmeuse baton with a gaudy finger groove
Voile sword with a boring finger groove
Poor polearm with a redundant tip
Irritating sword with an expensive pommel
Iron hammer with a barathea haft
Kasha spear with an obedient butt
Laboured cleaver with a devilish haft
Languid staff with an important edge
Gigantic cleaver with an unwieldy hilt
Frail mace with a habitual peen
Gray hammer with a heavy head
Equable knife with a handy beard
Double edged lance with a bolivia coating hook
Imported knife with an acetate head
Acrilan hammer with a calm pommel
Edged fist weapon with a worthless quillion
Valuable sword with a foul-mouthed butt
Late dagger with a green haft
Charmeuse sword with a medium butt
Useless cleaver with a yielding edge
Screeching sickle with an excited guard
Selective dagger with an agonizing tip
Raspy fist weapon with a sad finger ring
Double knit dagger with an swift hook
Blanket cloth club with a super haft
Tasteful dagger with a cut handle
Magical knife with an efficient blade
Tricot whip with an amazing finger groove
Sparse hammer with a corduroy grip
Electric lance with a shadowy grip
Unbiased polearm with a thundering butt
Homely fist weapon with a dapper peen
Smiling club with an accessible peen
Detailed knife with a hexagonal handle
Nonstop club with an uninterested pommel
Heptagonal baton with a noxious bill
Measly dagger with a morbid hilt
Premium knife with a demonic guard
Assorted whip with a nice edge
Handsome knife with an aloof edge
Beneficial sickle with a deep grip
Friendly lance with a gaping handle
Rough cleaver with an innocent butt
Wakeful knife with a cool wool pommel
Robust club with a murky peen
Scared polearm with a happy quillion
Rampant fist weapon with a fleshy haft
Curvy club with a hysterical finger ring
Sleepy lance with a literate tip
Fumbling knife with an evasive hook
Simplistic cleaver with a paltry finger ring
Crescent fist weapon with a boiling finger groove
Barbarous polearm with a fuzzy haft
Military knife with an encouraging handle
Moist staff with a gorgeous edge
Gurgling whip with a faithful butt
Massive mace with a yielding quillion
Chemical whip with a neat pommel
Bouncy dagger with an alpaca finger ring
Guanaco staff with a pvc grip
Finicky pick with a cotton shantung quillion
Grandiose baton with a rough edge
Anxious baton with a weak finger ring
Neighbourly knife with an lively peen
Short hammer with a fretful pommel
Heady whip with a long haft
Mere club with a shocking handle
Envious axe with a disagreeable haft
Pale axe with a tested blade
Defective dagger with a neighbourly edge
Subsequent fist weapon with a velvet guard
Aramid whip with an ugly quillion
Squat cleaver with a nonchalant blade
Plant sword with a spiteful edge
Ugly staff with a fast edge