Alastair Reynolds and Puerto Rico

If you’re into science fiction (with a hard emphasis on science, not just any speculative fiction), you should be aware of Alastair Reynolds’ work. Particularly the trilogy of Revolution Space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap should be on your reading list; it’s a stunning piece of literature.

The tie with Puerto Rico, everybody’s favourite game, is that Absolution Gap has a character named Seyfarth. It’s a minor character late in the book, but it got me thinking — is Reynolds a board gamer and is it a subtle nod to a master designer?

Turns out the answer is no. I asked him about it, and he replied to my e-mail very promptly. Reynolds doesn’t remember where he got the name, but it’s not from Andreas Seyfarth. It’s a shame, but then again, it was an unlikely idea to start with. They’re still good books.

As long as we’re talking Puerto Rico I should one thing that bothers me a bit (tiny wee bit, but still): BSW should definitely have better records of player success. The victory percentage is depressing. As my records show, my winning percentage in my 26 games is 23%. A system that would give credit for good placement outside winning would show that many of the games I’ve lost are nice second-place finishes… There are many games, where I lost by one or two points only. Like yesterday’s session: I won one game and lost the second by one measly point.

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