Saturday, 29 May 2010

Little Wars ... on my iPhone

Whilst idly looking at what books were available to download to my iPhone, I began searching for the works of H G Wells. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that an audio book version of his famous LITTLE WARS was available ... for the princely sum of £0.59!

Needless to say, I bought it, and with a bit of luck I hope to listen to it over the next few days.

Now if only I could persuade John Curry to make audio book versions of everything in he is publishing as part of his HISTORY OF WARGAMING project ...

7 comments:

  1. Actually Bob, librivox.org has a free recording of Little Wars by the redoubtable Mark F. Smith of Simpsonville, South Carolina. Mark has also done several other recordings that beat looking into. I particularly recommend 'The Point of Honour' by Joseph Conrad.

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  2. Conrad Kinch,

    Thanks for letting me know about this.

    I am only gradually finding out that I bought a lot more than just a mobile phone when I got my iPhone!

    All the best,

    Bon

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  3. Bob, much as I love Little Wars, I cannot imagine it - or any other set of wargame rules, for that matter - benefitting from being read aloud. By their very nature, such texts are written to be referred to during play, not necessarily read from cover to cover like a novel.
    Of course, the Security Services could use readings of many of Phil Barker's rules as a form of aural torture!

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  4. Bob, since HG Wells is - alas! - no longer available to read Little Wars, the question is: who should be chosen to read it aloud, and in what style should it be read?
    Unlike novels, which offer readers obvious opportunities to use tone of voice and/or accent to dramatise conversations between characters, wargame rules are not really designed to be read aloud, but to be dipped into at random as required during play. I find it hard to imagine that a reading of such rules would be either very entertaining, or very effective as a method of running a game. I can think of several rules that it would be torture to listen to!
    I fear you are in danger of being seduced by the new technology and abandoning the 'old school' frame of mind...

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  5. I'll Second Conrad's comment and add that project gutenburg has many public domain texts of interest to gamers..

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  6. Arthur1815,

    Fret ye not! I will always prefer the written word when it comes to wargames books ... even if they are written in what has come to be known as 'Barkerese'!

    The reason for the download was two-fold. Firstly, because it was there and as my iPhone is a new toy, I just felt that I had to have it. Secondly, because I like to listening to books whilst driving (or when trying to get to sleep), I thought that this would make a change from the thrillers I normally listen to.

    Luckily H G Wells wrote LITTLE WARS as a book rather than as a set of rules, and it is actually quite enjoyable to listen to. So far I have got to the end of the first chapter and I am looking forward to hearing the rest.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. PatG (and Conrad Kinch),

    The version I downloaded is the one recorded by Mark Smith, and it makes very pleasant listening. It is not as good as actually reading the book yourself ... but it is not a bad substitute.

    I also use Project Gutenberg as the first place I look for the text of out-of-print books, and have been surprised by the sheer number of books that are available there.

    All the best,

    Bob

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