What is Spaces Left Blank?

A newsletter sent out at least once a month, with short essays/reflections on various forms of interactive fiction, prose-driven games (often RPGs, but not only), hypertexts, digital textuality, unusual techno-textual artifacts, and other works of electronic literature.

Why subscribe?

To receive new essays in your inbox and to have access to the archive. Because you think multi-linear, electronic texts are fascinating, because you love wordy video games, and/or you are interested in the interplays between language and technology. Also because you are a wonderful person.

Free vs paid subscription?

Spaces Left Blank is free and will remain that way. Nothing will ever end up behind a paywall. You can go for a paid subscription if you like my writing and wish to support me. It would mean the world, and help me pay the bills, but it is entirely optional.

Who are you?

My name is Axel Hassen Taiari. I am from Paris, France—well, the general area. I am a writer and narrative designer. Currently contributing to Neurocracy, a sci-fi hypertext/adventure game. I have published short fiction, mostly sci-fi, fantasy, and noir. My debut novel, a cosmic horror/ghetto/anti-colonial story called Ruination, will be released by King Shot Press in 2021. Think anti-racist Lovecraft set to a dope French-Arab hip-hop soundtrack curated by hacktivists. I have also written some articles.

I have an MA in Literature-Culture-Media (specialized in English Lit). My thesis, The Heroes We Never Are, deals with computer role-playing games, player interpellation, and the subjugation of the Other. As much as I love CRPGs, my thesis argues that most games belonging to the genre are incredibly manipulative, and that they often reproduce hegemonic forms of violence and oppression while claiming otherwise.

Looking for my next game writing gig, so please feel free to reach out.

Anything else?

You can find me on Twitter here.

I have a ko-fi right here.

My favorite rappers are Aesop Rock and MF DOOM.

I hope you are well.