If this post has no other effect than a textual reunion how appropriate! This story was just a conspiracy to pique the interest of former Names and Players from IF history to create a reunion of sorts. Genius really. Look around, They are all here and you know there are some behind the scenes communications between the interested parties as a result of all this hoop-lah. I certainly appreciate it! I also find the numerous casual slurs posted here in his direction incredibly cowardly and distasteful.
I am, sadly, too young to have been a good Infocom fan. Unfortunately, there is just too much for me to even say. The chappies opining here that they would care not a whit should someone post their private correspondence on the internet are most likely nonenties whose private correspondence would be of interest to no one save their mothers, out-of-work mental health professionals in need of amusement, and a few nostalgiac prostitutes tracking down the punter who gave them that particularly narsty dose of crabs back in As for Michael Bywater, I disagree with most of what he has said but I entirely understand why he would feel the way he does, and I cannot think badly of him for a second over it.
And sometimes humans make wonderful things, and make wonderful things happen. I really miss your products; they were the high point of the s for me. Look at this page. Andy would be lucky if that ad pays for the bandwidth used on this page. And besides, what Andy posted was the hard part. But original documents? Those can never be duplicated. This is a hard one. I appreciate the information here and have a history as an avid gamer.
Zork was one of my first games. I think that one might want to look at the legal issues. This information is still the property of another company regardless of of the value of the information to us. It is still recieving stolen property. Other than that, wow… I actually read all the posts, I enjoyed it a great deal. I just really think it could have been done better. I truly enjoyed the games and I had a great deal of fun reading all of this information.
It reminded me of the many days spent with bleary eyes from too much gaming on an old Trash Those youthful days have impacted so many of us, the changes taking place then have had such far reaching scopes, and the legacy that is left behind is sure to never be forgotten. Without them, without you, much of what we take for granted today may well not exist in the current form. People being people. IT people ride more than one trainwreck in their careers: systems with a acronym names that live short lives and are now forgotten by all except the handful of people that wrote on them.
Rejoice in some real history for a change. Thanks for publishing this. I loved the earlier raw pieces on the history of Infocom. A worthy successor. Very glad you just published, and I think you also know why. Michael Bywater seems like the villain out of central casting, but I can remember a few times I was paid to work on a project without any support, supervision, deadlines or clear goals. I hated it, but I cashed the check too. I for one desperatly love you for posting this.
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I have always been a big fan of DNA and miss him dearly. Thank you to all who were involved. I too have a dozen or so Infocom games in their original packaging — complete with swizzle sticks, rubber bugs and god knows what else in the doohicky line. Michael: Your replies read far worse then the emails portray you. Journalism, like language and the computer games market, is not any one thing and changes over time. From the tone of your replies, I guess you might well have blocked this material from being published at all….
Finally: can we get a pledge fund going to actually pay some of these guys to finish the game? Who else is going to show them the money? I especially love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. How awesome is that. Extrapolating from even less and less, that puts all these comments in a different light as well. As I programmer I want to be able to write things like that and as a manager I wish more of my programmer would write things like that. I want more quality control emails from the illicit archives!
The number of REAL good adventures based on the Z interpreter over the last 10 years is simply astounding. Although Baio wrote the story, I wonder what Eileen thinks of all this over at xyzzynews. As a long time text adventure fan, I was delighted to read about this find.
While it may have been rude for Andy to publish the e-mail excerpts without asking, I for one do not think any less of anyone involved, based on having read them. That goes for Michael Bywater in particular. Yeah, Infocom made better games than Magnetic Scrolls, but does it have to be a nationalistic thing? Michael Bywater: if you think the article misrepresents you, an effective way to proceed would be to present your side of the story—either here, or on your own web site.
I would probably have contacted the people concerned, via an anonymous account. Oh yeah, one last thing: if John Molloy who worked for Magnetic Scrolls happens to read this—John, please e-mail me and let me know if you got the CD I tried to send you. The address is on my web site. This post was a trip down memory lane, and a brief, and surely incomplete and narrow look inside the company that produced games that influenced a whole bunch-o-folks. To those wrapped up in negativity over this post might want to take a deep breath and talk a walk, with your dog if you have one , in some place sunny and green.
I grew up in the golden age of Infocom games. When a new one was released it meant I worked a few extra hours after school to afford it. My Commodore 64 had a few trusty accessories… a floppy drive, a nice for the time monitor, and my endless collection of Infocoms. As games have matured I find myself wanting the simplicity of what I had back then. I miss them dearly because I was the one who made them graphic in my head. The parser technology in Enchanter drove me to write my own game engine for the 64 and I developed but never published my own text adventures for friends and family.
I know the mass market would not support it, but just a note to whomever still now? Publish them via direct download from the web… people will buy them. Thanks for this article… believe it or not I still have my collection of old Infocom newsletters New Zork Times, remember? The only real suprises are the text from the bar scene at the beginning of the first game is in it, and text for the unimplemented crater. It is as if a sperm whale had inexplicably materialized several miles above the surface of Magrathea and immediately plunged downwards, reaching terminal velocity almost immediately, terminal incomprehension soon afterwards, and, finally, terminal impact just as it was wondering whether it was going to have a nice day.
The crater continues south-west and south-east, and the blighted ground lies to the north-west. Below you is a build-your-own-dead-whale kit glue not included. If you fell from here to the ledge you would probably break and ankle and nobody would hear you screaming and you would die from pain and exposure. So what are you making all the fuss about? Michael Bywater, I understand where you are coming from and agree with you. Being a man of principals myself I realize the reason you refuse to divulge your experience.
However, if you adhere me, some food for thought:. And with you gone so would your entire experience be remain lost to all forever. Do you not owe it to yourself, for as I suspect you also be a man of accuracy and data integrity why are we called semantics chasers? I spent a week in London specifically to pick the brains of the MS development team. The technology of course is long-forgotten, but there was a lovely evening finishing off a bottle of Laphroaig 10 year old, I think with Mr. Infocom in general never mastered collaboration, especially with outside writers; I think the heroic approach to game development, probably necessary for PR purposes, precluded that.
Well, I thank whoever preserved this drive for all these years, and I thank Baio for posting it. If you have issue with the facts, fine. If you have issue with the one sided aspect of these files, fine. You could respond. You HAVE responded. Who they belong to now is a question Activision? Confidential internal company emails have been busted open without any consultation of the companies that may still own them, or the authors of the emails. While it all makes an interesting read, blithely releasing internal private emails wirtten by people who are still alive who worked at a company a scant couple decades ago is complete crap.
I recommend Andy Baio call his lawyer, and also recommend that he prays no one else does. To all of the ex-Infocom folks who commented here: Thanks for lending some additional perspective to the story presented by the archive. Like many here, I grew up with Infocom games and Hitchhikers in particular stands as one of my favorites. And to Andy Baio, thanks for posting.
I just had to sign in to echo a Thank You to all the Infocommers who are here. You fine peeps helped secure my long standing interest in computers, programming, and gaming. It contains a captured moment in time that clearly cannot illustrate the whole situation, but can be used as a starting point to telling the whole story. This is the time and place to clear the air and share your sides. Someone at Infocom should have had the foresight to destroy this drive.
I mean, a company full of coders, hackers, and general geeks should have known better. Tim and Michael could show you the scars. Magnetic Scrolls never gave -me- any Laphroaig, although I do remember some very nice wines…. MS were great people, with excellent technology and ideas; they were the competitor that we had the most respect for.
I am a huge Infocom fan, but Seastalker just sucked. In my ignorant opinion, the problem with the Restaurant game was the reason for making it. When something sells big, the suits always want to find a way to replicate the success. The creative types are seldom sanguine about going along with a lame derivative sequel, and rightly so. Under what legal theory? Everyone needs to cool their jets, no attorney would take that case. Except maybe in England. Yet, it is exactly that: voyeurism. It would have been proper to for Mr. Baio to give those involved a heads up about what he had in his position and what he intended to do with it.
As has been posted before, this is common courtesy. He has apologized for it, but it is certainly something to keep in mind for next time. Bywater and be upset about the this was initially handled. I can certainly relate to Mr. What a find! You made it a very entertaining read. Now if only someone could find an old Sierra archival disk…. My personal opinion is Bywater is at least a jerk and at most an expletive deleted same with the other Michael non-bywater one wonders if it was just a pen name.
Sometime shortly after the NDA was signed, Infocom went belly up. Or at least, to me, they just disappeared. I also got copies of original fortran source code for Zork, Adventure and Empire from the original authors to do with as I pleased, or so they said. Those are two of my other favs of the time. I agree with most of the postings here, as a fan and heavy purchaser of the games, and some involvement with Infocom, I want the whole story, we want to see this stuff, and hear more about it.
Fill in the blanks, show us the real history. However, the designers and writers working on games are deeply familiar with programming games so Textfyre sort of has the best of all worlds. As for the dirty details, we use MS Word to develop the design. We also started using SharePoint Services to have a project plan and team website to upload documents. We even have a build process that recognizes code changes in Subversion, builds the game file, zips it up, and uploads it to the team site for the testers. I bought it new and it never ran on anything. What are the max system requirements? Also, as an avid participant in the Kingdom of Loathing, I would like to thank all the Infocom team for their efforts.
You inspired the direction of that game, some of the content of that game, and live on, through that game. People: I was very angry yesterday that I had been publicly misrepresented without being consulted. I would bet most of you would feel the same if it happened to you.
Act of Faith
Why would anyone do that? Everyone loves a good fight. You were able to choose different endings, affect the universe, guide character development, and explore the universe without a mess of guessing which word to use so the lying parser will understand you. All in a stolen spaceship you could walk around in and land on gorgeous planets. Finally, I agree that we all need more interesting games. I wish I had the funding to pursue such a grandiose concept. So when are we going to get our voice activated text adventures? What are you trying to accomplish by not sharing your back story with us?
Ultimately, does this affect you so strongly that you cannot ungrudgingly speak about your experience? Many of us are interested in your story, but you allow the opinions of a few others to ruin something that is special to us who are more interested in history than ego. Fascinating story, made much more interesting by the comments from the people involved. There is now a plugin module available for the Asterisk PBX phone system that lets you play Zork by speaking into the phone.
Great fun and is a nice surprise for callers to get as your answering machine, instead of leave a message after the beep. And now just a short rant. There are enough of us Infocom fans out here making money in our our new jobs as writers and technical people, inspired by the original games. We want more text adventures games. Feed us! Bring back Infocom. Would talking about how much we hate you some more convince you to dredge up those wonderful anecdotes about trying to salvage another Infocom project circling the drain?
We demand that you reminisce with us at length about this project; posterity requires your immediate response! The Infocom Drive and kudos to Andy for posting it makes me wonder. Just a thought…. However, you accidentally created a forum for the principal characters in the story to gather around and discuss their recollections. Reading their posts is wonderful and enlightening and entirely on the level. I just wish that the conditions for this discussion could have been provided some other way.
Good software authors and good authors in general are creative and passionate. They have strong, sometimes short-lived opinions, especially during frustrating release cycles and perceived boondoggles. Look at the reaction by the people involved! It might have been the kind of article that Mr. Baio could have published somewhere other than a blog. Thanks for the great hours and hours of enjoyable frustration sitting in front of the Mac everyone! Oh btw — can anyone tell me what to do with the green frob? Anyway, I agree with the people here suggesting it was unwise to release proprietary information gleaned from a hard drive which was not acquired legitimately or at least acquired in a questionable manner.
At the very least, the potential threat of legal action would generally be a deterrent. I would only publish unsolicited e-mails to myself because I believe that when there is an e-mail exchange, like an exchange of letters, the parties to which they are addressed jointly own the rights to the exchange and as such any one of them would potentially be justified in releasing the information although if absolute secrecy was asked for and given, the person releasing said e-mail exchange in public would look the worse for having betrayed that trust.
However, this is clearly not the case, and I do think Mr. I suspect that most if not all people involved in all this would have been more than happy to put in their 2 cents if asked, and possibly even given permission for their old e-mails to be published, but they were never asked and so never given the chance.
I respect the fact that despite some of the exchanges published without permission may have portrayed some people in a negative light, those people still have managed to find it in their hearts to forgive the faux pas and concentrate on giving their recollections and opinions upon an admittedly interesting and historically significant discovery about a software company and vaporware which had a huge impact on their fans everywhere. I agree that Mr. But I fully believe that Infocom as a software company had a huge impact on budding young gamers, Douglas Adams fans, etc.
It would have been enough to just mention having come into possession of such a valuable find, and that the principals involved were being contacted and permissions gained to publish excerpts from the hard drive, and then go from there. Bywater that it leans more towards yellow journalism than something of Pulitzer Prize-winning calibre. I think another H2G2 game, especially one done well, by people of obvious talent such as those ex-Infocom people and Mr.
Bywater, would be well-received since the market is current devoid of really great adventure games or solo RPGs or whatever you want to call them. I found this story, and the ensuing commentary from people who were involved at the time, fascinating. Side note: Many of the original Infocom games are available to play on the Gametap subscription service. Either here, or elsewhere, it would be interesting for a number of reasons.
Oh, and thanks. I really enjoyed beauracracy. In fact, that should go out to all the writers, imps, accountants and tea-boys that made all of the Infocom games possible, so please treat it as though it does. Discovering Infocom and before that Scott Adams Adventures in my early twenties had a huge impact on my life.
Their influence in terms of player engagement in my own college teaching and e-learning projects persists to this day. Thanks to all the creative folks involved. These games were significant cultural contributions in the context of computer use. Was I addicted or what!? And yes, they have playable downloads available.
It would be like a really cool movie, if someone with lots of money offered all the IF people lots of money to get back together to re-do HH for all of us who never had the chance to play it…. Yes, give the egg to the thief.
In the end, I had to cheat to get that one. Those IF developers have devious, twisted minds The BBC have had it available to play online here for the last three years. Besides Marc Blank has to get out the w with chattermail, and I am sure everyone else has plenty else going on. Thanks for the memories though Infocom. I loved the Enchanter series the best, although I never beat Spellbreaker. I could perhaps go on, but Phil Binkowski pm really made anything else I might say redundant — well played, random internet person. I suggest that Andy take this post offline until he can get approval from all interested parties.
Most of the comment above is based on your conduct in this thread, not begging for words of wisdom from you. For the record, I am in no way associated with that work, just a punter. Peter Wentz wrote: The chappies opining here that they would care not a whit should someone post their private correspondence on the internet. Now, when someone says something like this, I check my postings to see if it could be construed that way. Regardless, I totally back the argument of personal privacy. Now we come to a sticky question: were personal privacy principles violated? On the face of it, yes.
The legal reality is no. These were corporate e-mails on a corporate server concerning corporate material. That makes them corporate e-mails and who has legal rights to them depends on whether the sale of the company included the ownership of material held under accidental? Finally, should he have spoken up and asked? Well, if this was investigative journalism, the answer is probably no.
Rich Klein You read it all. And so did many others. If Bywater still makes his living by selling his work to anyone interested in buying it, then this post has been a benefit to his bank account. There is no such thing as bad publicity and the only thing worse than being talked about….
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Maybe Mr. Bywater should consider sending Andy a gift basket as a show of thanks for the spike in popularity his blog must be enjoying right now. I am certainly not claiming entitlement, but thank you very much for putting words in my mouth. Indeed, I have not writ a single deplorable word related to this topic. I am not worthy of your attention. I think what I like most about this is the fact that all the people criticising Michael Bywater for being a pompous cock or whatever are throwing around the rudest insults based on virtually no information. I happen to know Michael, and I think I know who the real pompous cocks are in this room hint: not Michael.
Why the hell would you be damned if you decided not to publish a bunch of private communications? Our privacy is eroded seemingly on a daily basis anyway, so why are we so happy to allow this kind of thing? In other words, try not to be too much of a dick. I expect some of you would be interested. Am I ever going to tell anyone the details, let alone publish them on the internet? The hell I am. Private things deserve to remain private.
Well done. Big tick. Go and stick your head in a pig. Think about it, if those had been actual letters mailed through the Postal service you just cheerfully opened and shared with everybody, you would be in jail right now. Yeah… Nice. Again… Nice. So, having admittedly enjoyed getting a glimpse at all this, I must now retire, for I find I have a curious urge to take a shower. First and foremost I would like to tilt my hat in acknowledgment of the great gifts that Infocom, and all those involved in the creation of their wondrous products, gave to an entire generation.
Secondly, I would like to thank Andy Baio for bringing this information to light and giving an entire generation the opportunity to walk down memory lane. Although I agree that it was an innocent oversight not contacting those involved prior to publishing the information, everything else I would have done the same if I were in your shoes. I have been working with computers since and have made my living as a Systems Admin for the better part of those years. Initially I had wished the publisher had consulted me first, but in the end I realized that although what I wrote was in the strictest of confidence, I eventually resigned that it was inevitable that these e-mails would see the light of day.
Like it or not, we live in a world that has changed dramatically and continues to change although the human condition remains the same as it ever was. That is the dynamic of our time. Those who resist it are doomed to be the dinosaurs of our time, yet those who embrace it will contribute something relevant to the generation next to come. Those far wiser than any of us here would tell us to live our lives without regret. Verily, if one lives true to their Wills, then one should never feel the need to apologize or explain themselves for the things that they have chosen to say or do.
Certainly, if one abides by such a simple rule then no thing, whether from the past, present, or futures yet to come, can bring them any amount of embarrassment let alone harm. If you have an opinion, then by all mean speak it or forever hold your peace. If you want history to represent your side of the story then by all means write voluminously upon your perspective, and whatever else you may do, be sure to be the one who gets the last word.
Again, kudos to Marc Blank and Dave Lebling, and the rest of the Infocom crew, Michael Bywater, and even the Magnetic Scrolls crew who were my second-fave game designers from that era. You were the pioneers that inspired not only an entire genre but a generation. You also forego the right to privacy within the company on those matters. Thank You for the amazing work you did and the countless hours of entertainment you provided and still provide to this IF junkie. Not really. It was just an indulgence and got wearisome both for me and all three readers. But I take your point. For anyone who is interested in the story, rather than watching people have fits of the vapours, I think I will publish the background.
Just not here. And only after running it past the others who were involved. The tone of some of the comments here, especially those directed to Michael Bywater by anonymous commenters, is offensive and uncool. Insulting or inflammatory comments without a full name and email address will be removed, from this point forward. Except that he is neither the sender nor the recipient of the messages in question, he is merely mentioned in them. Either the sender, the recipient, or crucially, as this is all internal work-related correspondence, their employers at the time could have given permission for this stuff to be published.
I contend that there was no reason to consult him, and he would have no reason to know if the people who had the rights to release these emails were consulted. Ok, ok, we have 15 Windoze workstations and 2 servers, too, but I try not to mention those in public. So no reason, really, why you should know that journalists only ask permission when they need to, but always make every possible effort to contact the people they are writing about.
If that sends anyone into another fit of the morally-righteous vapours, all I can say is: head between your knees and breathe slowly into a brown paper bag. To Michael Bywater: I agree you should have been consulted. But are you really that easy to get ahold of? Case in point: Also, even if he had emailed you, what are the chances that your spam filter would have trashed it?
What if you overlooked it? In true 2. What can we do to change your mind and see your side of the story? Even though this material is at least 20 years old, the copyrights and assorted legalisms assorted with intellectual property may still apply. So the question becomes, who really owns the rights to this data? And is Mr. Baio about to receive a massive legal missive from the legal owner? Sure, IF may have gone belly up, but property never dies.
It just gets feasted upon by the scavengers who seek to take what gold may still be attached to the corpse.
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As far as Mr. In any case, he gets paid for writing… and since Mr. Especially as there is at least one advertisement and it may be generating revenue. But then again, any information is workable as long as you take it with a rock of salt. Also, Thanks for all the Fish… BabelFish. That certainly sounds like a book to me. Am I the only person here who thinks the contents of the drive are far more interesting than anything Mr Bywater has to say here or elsewhere?
I think the facts which I believe I can call them extracted from this drive are a much more objective record on the workings of Infocom than anything an artistic collaborator could add from memory 20 years later. Do you mean me? If so — yes, it can get worse than it already is. And yes, Restaurant is in there, but not in the detail I think the people here who are interested in it would like.
Everyone likes talking about themselves. Just to echo some comments that have already been made. As a person who worked as a journalist for several years, Andy, you probably crossed the line in reprinting e-mails without consultation or atleast warning the individuals. Journalist or not, there is an ethics issue involved here as well as the personal right to privacy.
Even more reason to have the principles involved in the discloser. To Michael Bywater: While the content of this blog post does paint a possible picture here where the players at the time seemed less than pleased with your performance later on in the project, this is 20 years ago and nothing more than a historical narrative. While I understand your perspective, I can think of few internet communities who would have responded positively to your aggressive posts. Unfortunately, from what we know of Activision they are downright brutal on this sort of thing. Thank you for posting this.
I can very easily see myself being just as frustrated with senior management as these people were twenty years ago. First, the company had sunk a lot of resources into the development of what would have been a remarkable database app. The whole market was changing fast. The resources problems were more to do with cracking the collaboration problem, and, in particular, the fact that it was vacation season and the man I was due to be working with had a long-booked holiday shortly after I arrived. The excerpts which Andy Baio put up on his blog were the most sensationalist because they arose at periods of great stress on the project.
Actually Dave is a thoroughly nice guy who was simply trying to fight his way out of a tangle because — like all of us involved — he wanted the thing to succeed. I stress this again: everyone was on the same side. I adored all the Infocom games I could get my hands on. A great deal of my tiny allowance would go towards these games. I remember pouring over the game catalogs, carefully deciding over and over again which one I wanted the most…. I absolutely loved the New Zork Times… I must have read and re-read each one countless times.
I can recall one moment of personal glory. As a young child, I remember solving one puzzle involving entering a computer and zapping some kind of debris that was breaking the computer. I remember that I figured this out when my own father could not. I remember that moment as an incredible coming-of-age experience that changed my life.
And I owe it to some of the people posting on this very page. On a side note, just this morning I had my Roomba vacuum cleaner running. Being a cleaning robot, his name of course is Floyd. But, I wanted to highlight a couple of comments on legality of posting this stuff. First of all, in the US, 25 years ago, intellectual property cognizance was much lower than it is today — witness an above commenter who was given source code to a bunch of games as a going-away gift when Infocom went down! Regardless, generally, these e-mails almost certainly belonged to Infocom, and then to whatever company bought the assets of Infocom on its demise.
Extremely unlikely, even today! Given the gamers comments of strong interest a feeling I share! Just because the implementers are reading this blog, I would like to say that the Infocom games were very instrumental in both my career as a computer programmer and development of many skills in addition to providing many hours of enjoyment. Simon and Schuster, The Nothing to See Here Hotel is more than unusual - it is positively disorderly and rambunctious! And if you thought rambunctious was an unusual word, 'you ain't seen nothing yet'! Steven Butler has created a spirited in more ways than one and rollicking fantasy tale with strange creatures and more created words than you can throw a ghost at!
In the third book of the series involving the 'hidden' Hotel that caters for magical creatures of all variabilities and quirks some bad and some good , the return of their feted ancestor Abe as a ghostly apparition presents all sorts of interesting questions. He also reveals the grand Ballroom which has been magically missing and presents all sorts of astounding possibilities and there is an amazing ride to get there. The drama unfolds when things are uncovered that suggest that all is not what it seems. The quirkiness of this book and the array of weird and wonderful creatures will be enjoyable for young readers.
The explosion of created words reminiscent of the BFG's classic vocabulary is also immensely entertaining in an explodiferous and confusaplonking way! Illustrations by Steven Lenton help to reveal what the imagination cannot quite fathom. Carolyn Hull. Penguin Books, Age: Recommended. Board book. Quentin Blake's marvellous illustrations are on display in this alphabet book which will be fabulous for young children. The famous enormous crocodile from Roald Dahl's book is featured, bringing lots of humour and excitement to the book. Anteater B is for. Books C is for. Crocodile D is for.
The background against which each letter is situated is done in bold colours so that the letter stands out well and this will make it easy for children to gradually learn to recognise them.
The board book is very sturdy, and should hold up to a lot of use from young children. Of course the drawings are wonderful. As well as the fun with the snapping crocodile, children will delight in the 'F is for fox', that has the fox chasing a terrified chicken, and the 'U is for upside down' is hilarious.
Not to mention the 'V is for vegetables' that has an elderly man spitting out a cucumber and will have children and adults in stitches. The 'X is for xenopus A particular sort of frog' is also cute and children will love to try and say the new word out loud.
The familiar illustrations have come from Roald Dahl's books and will be recognised by adults and will be a pleasant introduction to the books when the young child grows is old enough to read them. This is a lively ABC book that should prove to be a keeper. Pat Pledger. Candlewick Press, Puppy is full of energy but also likes to snooze. He has a pile of differently shaped blocks and for his snooze, looks at one which is a rectangle with one long side.
Is this the one he needs for a bed, he ponders. Problem solving skills will be at the fore of every reader's mind as they turn each page. The enticing little dog picks up the blocks, wondering how to put them together and how to use each to its best potential. Each block is described, some rectangles, some squares and some triangles, while each individual block is described with its angles and sides mentioned, teaching a young reader about the difference between the shapes he or she sees.
Wanting a bed, the puppy tries out each of the shapes and decides why the ones he has tried are not the shape of size he needs. Series Time hunters series 7 of Series Time hunters series 6 of Series Time hunters series 1 of Series Time hunters series 4 of Series Time hunters series 2 of Series Time hunters series 11 of Series Time hunters series 9 of Series Time hunters series 5 of Series Time hunters series 8 of Series Time hunters series 10 of Series Time hunters series 3 of Flights of fancy: Stories, pictures and inspiration from ten Children's Laureates.
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- NCEA Reading Response recommendations;
Series Young samurai series 7 of 8. Series Young samurai series 3 of 8. Series Young samurai series 2 of 8. Series Young samurai series 1 of 8. Series Young samurai series 8 books. Series Australian Library series 6 of Series Australian Library series 10 of Series Legends of League series 6 books. Series Dummies Junior series 12 books. Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 8 books. Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 8 of 8. Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 5 of 8.
Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 9 of 8. Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 2 of 8. Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 6 of 8. Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 4 of 8. Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 10 of 8. Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 1 of 8. Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 7 of 8. Series Chinese Calendar Tales series 3 of 8. Series Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series 1 of 5. Series Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series 2 of 5. Series Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series 3 of 5. Series Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series 4 of 5.
Series Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series 5 of 5. Series Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series 5 books. Series Lightning strikes series 19 books. Series Aussie bites 84 books. Series Usborne true stories series 16 of Series Usborne true stories series 7 of Series Usborne true stories series 4 of Series Usborne true stories series 8 of Series Usborne true stories series 18 of Stories for kids who dare to be different: True tales of boys and girls who stood up and stood out. Series Quentaris chronicles series 11 of Series Welcome to the Museum 4 books.
Series Ruby Rosemount series 3 of 3. Series Ruby Rosemount series 1 of 3. Series Ruby Rosemount series 2 of 3. Series Ruby Rosemount series 3 books. Series For sale or swap series 2 of 5. Series Quentaris chronicles series 28 books. Series For sale or swap series 1 of 5. Series For sale or swap series 5 books. Series For sale or swap series 5 of 5.
Series For sale or swap series 4 of 5. Series For sale or swap series 3 of 5. Series Sisters Grimm series 9 of 7. Series Sisters Grimm series 7 of 7. Series Sisters Grimm series 1 of 7. Series Sisters Grimm series 8 of 7. Series Sisters Grimm series 5 of 7. Series Sisters Grimm series 4 of 7. Series Sisters Grimm series 3 of 7. Series Sisters Grimm series 7 books. Series Sisters Grimm series 6 of 7. Series Sisters Grimm series 2 of 7. Series Navigators series 16 books. Series Sterling biographies series 16 of Tuck everlasting Drinking the water from a special spring ensures immortality. The Tuck family has become immortal and faces a difficult situation when a girl uncovers their secret.
Peculiar, The Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged. Bartholomew Kettle and his sister live by these words. They are Peculiars, half-human, half-faery, and hated by both. But, one day, when a mysterious lady magically whisks away a little boy, Bartholomew forgets the rules. And gets himself noticed. Whatnot, The In this sequel to 'The Peculiar', twelve year old Pikey Thomas is missing an eye, a family and friends of any sort. He doesn't seem to have a great deal going for him and he feels it.
But, Pikey sees things and people worth knowing that others don't. When he finds out that faeries are real and the past is both a guide and a trap, Pikey begins an adventure that will lead him to know himself and face his fears. Ship breaker In a post-apocalyptic world, Nailer scavenges for copper wire by crawling into the wrecks of ancient oil tankers that line the beaches of America's Gulf Coast. It's dirty, dangerous work. After a hurricane, Nailer finds the wreck of a clipper ship, filled with valuable goods that could make him rich.
Amid the wreckage, a girl clings to life and Nailer is her only hope. He must make a choice. Includes violence. Usually read by students in Years 9, 10 or above. AniMalcolm Malcolm doesn't like animals. Which is a problem because his family loves them. Their house is full of pets. What the house is not full of is stuff Malcolm likes. Such as the laptop he wanted for his birthday. The only bright spot on the horizon is the Year 6 school trip, to A farm!
Over the next few days, Malcolm changes. He learns what it's really like to be an animal. A whole series of animals, in fact. It does make him think differently. And speak differently. And, um, smell differently. But will he end up the same as before? It contains bright, enticing illustrations, detailed facts on each page, an index and glossary, as well as internet links to specially selected websites which contain more information.
First voyage, The The ferocious Crocodile warriors have already killed Bent Beak's pa, and now they seem determined to take out his whole tribe. The only way to survive is to flee the island. As the Yam tribe brave the perils of the sea, will they survive the voyage into the unknown, and what awaits them just over the horizon. An enthralling story about the plight of the very first boat people, of their desperation, bravery and hope. Foggy Little Bay Village has a gigantic problem and it needs a wizard to solve it.
When Meg and Russ are given the desperate mission to find the wizard known as Foggy, they find that he may be more trouble than he's worth. Heroes: Australians at their best Australia's great heroes at their most decisive moments. Last shot, The Steve is a brilliant basketball player with a conflict to solve involving family and his achievements.
Little brother Vithy is in war-torn Cambodia searching for his only remaining family member, his older brother. Magician In a futuristic Tasmania, where our sun is dying, an alien appears who may be able to help. Mates and other stories A collection of short stories about friendship. Based on true story of young Ben Cross and the historical figures that he meets. Although his life is exciting, Ben reflects on the ethics of the choices he has made. Outpost Life on the remote moon Ord is dangerous.
Random eruptions in the ice, extreme cold, loneliness and loss: it's all Dece knows. Until one day he sees a mysterious object caught in the rings of the nearby gas planet, Cotal. With no choice but to investigate, what he will find is so extraordinary that it is almost beyond understanding. Saving Abbie Abbie is a very engaging, six year old, orphan orang-utan on the final leg of an odyssey that will see her reintroduced to her Kalamantan home. Taste of cockroach, A Well-written, easily read short stories for young adults using simple, effective language to tackle mature themes like war and relationships including racial prejudice.
Contains language that may offend some readers. Usually read by students in years 9, 10 and above. Treasure hunters A young boy is rescued from a disaster at sea and joins his father searching for treasure near an Indonesian island. His story is interwoven with that of Diego who is travelling on a 16th century Portuguese treasure ship. Villains: a gallery of Australian rogues Short, simple text that is easy to read but with gutsy content profiling the rogues of Australian history including how they lived and how they died.
Full of action and drama. Wreck A story of survival about two children who discover a rusty freighter on their beach after a cyclone. It appears to be calling them but it could just be a trap. Know it all If you love facts, information, records and trivia, this book will tell you everything you ever wanted to know, with its lists of the weirdest beetles, the fastest jet aircraft, the scariest sharks, the least intelligent dinosaurs and much more.
Belonging This wordless picture book, with exquisite collage illustrations, explores the re-greening of a city, the role of community and the significance of children, family and neighbourhood in changing the urban environment. Circle Each year, bar-tailed godwits undertake the longest migration of any bird. They fly from Australia and New Zealand to their breeding grounds in the Arctic, and then back again.
The godwits follow invisible pathways that have been followed for thousands of years, while braving hunger and treacherous conditions to reach their destination. Mirror This innovative picture book is two stories designed to be read simultaneously. We experience a day in the lives of two boys and their families - one from inner city Sydney, Australia and the other from a small, remote village in Morocco, North Africa.
Where the forest meets the sea A book without words in which superb collages tell the story of a boy and his father visiting an endangered rainforest in Queensland. Window A book without words showing the growth and development of a child and his environment. Superb collages tell the story. Aquatica: a beginner's field guide Welcome to future Earth. Despite repeated warnings, the environment has become polluted to such an extent that many areas of the globe have become uninhabitable and wildlife is now extinct. From the ashes, a new style of 'wildlife' is created.
Wildlife that will not remain harnessed by humankind. Mechanica: a beginner's field guide Welcome to future Earth. Despite repeated warnings, the environment has become polluted to such an extent that many areas of the globe have become uninhabitable, and wildlife is now extinct. From the ashes, a new style of wildlife is created.
Welcome to the world of Mechanica. Giant scrub python, The The giant scrub python is rarely seen by the locals so when Sam and Davey first encounter it, they are terrified but curious. When an illegal animal trader hears about the snake, he is anxious to catch it, even though it is a protected species. Emily Eyefinger Imaginative tale about Emily who has an extra eye on the tip of her finger. This is how it all began. Emily Eyefinger and the balloon bandits Emily is climbing out of a hot air balloon basket when three masked people jump in and make off with the balloon, but Emily is still hanging on to the ladder.
Somehow Emily must survive the flight and catch the robbers. Emily Eyefinger and the black volcano An imaginative tale about Emily who has an extra eye on the tip of her finger. Emily must unravels the mystery of the missing Mint money and she save a village from an erupting volcano. Emily Eyefinger and the city in the sky Emily would never use the extra eye at the end of her finger to cheat at cards or hide-and-seek, but she can find lost objects and reform the class bully.
She can even help Great Aunt Olympia find an ancient city in the sky. Emily Eyefinger and the devil bones Emily, the girl with the eye in her finger, finds the bones of an ancient, extinct mouse, that was as big as an elephant and terrified the cats of its day. But the so-called 'devil bones' go missing. Emily Eyefinger and the ghost ship Emily Eyefinger's parents were shocked when Emily was born with an eye on the end of her finger but Emily has discovered that an eye on the end of her finger can be very handy, especially in these adventures. Emily Eyefinger and the lost treasure Having an eye at the end of her finger gets Emily into all sorts of adventures.
When people ask her if she likes having an eye on the end of her finger, Emily says, 'On the one hand I like it. But on the other I don't. Emily Eyefinger and the puzzle in the jungle Emily uses the finger to see out of the back half of a horse suit, catch a quiz cheat and even to solve an ancient puzzle. Along the way she has lots of fun and adventure. Emily Eyefinger and the secret from the sea Emily is chased by gargoyles in Paris, rescues a runaway movie star, disguises herself as a baby elephant and outsmarts a master criminal.
Emily Eyefinger series Any two titles read from this series can be included as official Challenge books; up to five more titles can be included as your personal choice books. Or, you can search for a series name or the individual titles by using the Search function on the top left hand corner of the screen.
Emily Eyefinger's alien adventure The girl with the eye on the tip of her finger is back - and looking into some tricky situations. Emily Eyefinger: secret agent When Emily Eyefinger embarks on a secret mission, to reveal the identity of the elusive King Crim, she has the most exciting and dangerous adventure of all.
Eyeful of Emily, An Meet Emily Eyefinger, the girl who discovers that having an eye on the end of your finger is incredibly handy when it comes to solving puzzles, crimes and problems of all sorts. Ghost and the goggle-box, The The clean-up of dead Uncle Arnold's Sydney house becomes a weird experience when Roger discovers that the old man is haunting the television set. Watch Gary tackle life on a leaky boat with a bad history and chuckle as he gets involved in a film romance with a difference.
Selby must discover who the phantom gagsteris who keeps stealing all of Gary's punchlines. Piggotts in peril The Piggotts of Piggot Place return, triumphantly, in this cleverly-paced story of elusive pirate treasure. Selby celebrates A compilation of stories to celebrate thirty years of Selby , the talking dog. Selby Santa Selby is desperately seeking Santa, while trying to keep his extraordinary abilities a deep dark secret. Selby scrambled Dr Trifle invents a robot called Frank to make life a bit easier. When the Trifles are out, Selby gets Frank to wait on him hand and paw, but things start to go awry when Selby realises just how clever Frank is.
Selby screams Selby needs to speak out, indeed he needs to scream, when he finds himself being pursued by the Beast of Bogusville or dangling dangerously in mid-air. Selby series Any two titles read from this series can be included as official Challenge books; up to five more titles can be included as your personal choice books. Selby shattered The Search for Selby Society is hot on Selby's tail and, as if that wasn't bad enough, so are ghostly gagsters and the Triple Terror in this story full of shipwrecks, evil curses and more.
No wonder Selby is shattered after dealing with all that. Selby snaps The further adventures of Selby, the talking dog who lives with a zany family. Selby snowbound Selby is about to embark on a chilly Antarctic adventure that is bound to take him to the peak of danger Selby sorcerer Willia and Billia, the Trifle's terrible nephews, are again up to no good.
Selby can end their havoc with magic, but Selby doesn't know how long he can keep them under control. Selby speaks The only talking dog in Australia - and perhaps the world - is here again with more adventures and misadventures. And he's still trying to keep his gift of the gab a secret. Selby splits Selby, the talking dog, must overcome his fear of spiders to get to the computer or his emails will go unanswered. Selby sprung Selby is hurled out of the world's only sky-writing embroidery aeroplane to what should be certain death.
The death-defying dog is put to the test time and again in these gut-wrenching and hilarious stories. And, all the while, Morrie Artie, the Evil Genius, and his thousands of agents comb Australia in search of this remarkable dog. Selby supersnoop What with crimes to solve, thieves to foil and adventures to fall headlong into, Selby's the busiest dog detective in the world. But a nosy video camera may reveal Selby's secret to the world.
Selby surfs Surely, Selby's secret won't be revealed just because he decided to go surfing. Selby's joke book From the only talking dog in Australia, and perhaps the world, comes a rip-snorting, rib-tickling collection of good-time gags, jokes, riddles and funny sayings guaranteed to send you into peels of laughter. Selby's secret Selby, the talking dog, dreams of cosy fireside chats with his owners but he realises he must keep his powers a secret otherwise he might be turned from family pooch to family servant. It won't be easy. Selby's selection A super selection of the silliest, side splitting stories chosen by Selby himself.
Selby's shemozzle Mrs Trifle is putting material in a time capsule, ready to be opened in one hundred years. Willy and Billy decide to add notes about Selby and Selby must salvage these before his secret is revealed. Selby's side-splitting joke book Warning! This book could cause your sides to split and your tummy to ache as it tickles your funny bone and rocks your socks with more hilariously, funny jokes from that master of mirth ' Selby.
Selby's stardom Another story in the Selby series about the talking dog. In this adventure, Selby is bound for stardom in Hollywood. Selby, space dog Selby is back and this time he is in space. This humorous story, full of excruciating puns, recounts more of Selby's misadventures as he valiantly tries to keep his gift of the gab secret. Case of the getaway gold, The Anna and Tim find the real thief of the getaway gold. Case of the graveyard ghost and other mysteries, The At the cemetery, pieces of headstone have mysteriously been discovered, along with bizarre notes.
When Anna and Tim stumble across a head, they prove that three heads are better than two and decide to get to the bottom of this deed. Case of the midnight zappers, The Tim and Anna's house has been zapped. The obvious suspects are the local gang called the Zappers, but Tim and Anna aren't so sure. Case of the Runaway Bullet, The A skinny mysteries book. Case of the vampire's wire, The Anna and Tim help solve three separate mysteries. A visit to the museum, a night at the theatre and a dinner invitation all present mysteries that need to be solved. Case of the walkabout clock, The Mrs Wagner's antique clock has gone walkabout.
Clocks are not supposed to be able to walk but there seems to be no other explanation. Skinny mysteries series Any two titles read from this series can be included as official Challenge books; up to five more titles can be included as your personal choice books. A collection of quirky, delicious and outrageously funny poems. Rivertime A boy and his Uncle Egg are on a paddling trip down an Australian river. They come across a swimming wallaby, a crashing koala and some friendly campers.
A story about following your flow, and the unexpected places you may go. All stars 6: Tara goal keeper Tara knows the team can't play without her, she just needs to convince them of that. Coral island, The A classic story of three young sailors, sole survivors of a wreck, who discover the enchanting beauties of the South Pacific. They learn how to live on their tropical paradise but then they are swept into adventures with bloodthirsty pirates.
Fall, the Sam is staying with his crime reporter father as he recovers from a knee operation when he is woken shortly after 2am by loud voices arguing in the flat above. Curious he opens the window to hear more clearly when suddenly a man-sized shape falls the six floors to the garden below. Sam goes to his dad's room to wake him, only to discover that he is gone. Fearful that it may be his father lying in the garden he struggles on his crutches downstairs only to discover that there is no one there. But someone is watching Sam and now Sam is in danger too.
Hanging out together Dogs and humans have been friends for thousands of years. Take a look at why dogs and humans have such a special relationship. His job is to find the Next Big Thing or be sent home. Mac gets taken to The Hive, where innovative kids are creating things way more cutting edge than anything you can buy. And, they're about to test an invention that could change the world.
Mac has found the coolest thing in NYC but he's not allowed to tell a soul. Mac Slater cool hunter: rules of cool Mac's just crashed the latest prototype of his flying bike in front of the whole school. So, when the creators of Coolhunters tell him he's an Innovator, Mac thinks they're crazy. He lives in an old bus and doesn't have a TV, let alone a mobile.
But, Tony and Speed suggest he compete to become the Australian coolhunter. But, hunting cool isn't easy and Mac's opponent will do just about anything to get the gig. Make 'em laugh Take a look at jokes and comedians, and what makes people laugh. Space stations: cities of the future Imagine how your life would be if you lived on a space station.
See how space stations are assembled and how astronauts work and relax on board. Two wolves A knock at the door changes Ben Silver's life forever. Two police officers are looking for his parents. When Ben's parents arrive home, they bundle him and his little sister into the car, claiming they're going on a holiday. Ben begins to realise his parents are in trouble.
He has always dreamt of becoming a detective and now he gathers evidence to try to uncover what his parents have done. Ben will have to make a terrible choice. It's a wild ride Enter the world of amusement and theme parks and take the ride of your life on some amazing, truly scary roller coasters. My life and other stuff that went wrong I'm Tom Weekly. This book is full of my stories, jokes, cartoon characters, ideas for theme park rides and other stuff I've made up.
It's where I pour out whatever's inside my head. It gets a bit weird sometimes but that's how I roll. My life is an exploding chicken and the book in your hands is my attempt to glue it back together again. My life and other massive mistakes Tom Weekly has helped his pop escape from a nursing home. This is the third collection of stories about Tom Weekly and his funny, weird and, sometimes, gross life story.
My life and other weaponised muffins Tom Weekly's life just gets weirder and weirder - this is one runaway car ride you won't want to miss. Tom Weekly: My life and other failed experiments Discover what happens when you mix one kid with nine attack possums. Observe the result of a guinea pig hostage situation. Learn from my get-rich-quick scheme to put Australia's angriest ice-cream man out of business. Get ready to judge the world's deadliest fruitcake competition. And if I survive it all, let's call the experiment a success. More handy stuff inside: 1.
Tips on avoiding household chores 2. Weird facts about guinea pigs 3. This is a nail-biting - make that toe-biting - thrill ride through my life. This is where I pour out whatever's inside my head. Like the time a bloodthirsty magpie out to get me. Or when I had to eat Vegemite off my sister's big toe. And don't forget the day I ate 67 hot dogs in ten minutes.
My life gets a bit weird sometimes but that's how I roll. Top 3 reasons to read this book: 1. Cures for nits 2. Hover underpants 3. Patterns of Australia The illustrations are patterns from ten different landscapes, with a description highlighting some key features. Children can try to find certain objects within each vibrant, indigenous artwork. Stunning images and words showcase the awe-inspiring beauty of the Australian continent. Grace and fury In a world where women have no rights, sisters Serina and Nomi face two very different fates: one in the palace, the other on an island prison where women must fight to survive.
Serina has spent her whole life preparing to become a Grace - selected to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining example of the perfect woman. But her headstrong and rebellious younger sister has a dangerous secret, and one wrong move could cost both sisters everything. Can Serina fight? And will Nomi win? Blueberry pancakes forever Winter has fallen in the world of story and Tuesday's typewriter lies silent. Far away in the Peppermint Forest, Vivienne fears she will never again feel the touch of the sun. When the mysterious Loddon appears in Vivienne's treehouse, he brings terrible danger.
Without warning, Tuesday is swept up into the world of story as she has never seen it before. In this forbidding and unfamiliar place, and without her beloved dog, Tuesday becomes Loddon's captive and has to muster all her resources to survive.