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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Ari's LiveJournal:

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    Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
    11:30 pm
    Zero stars

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    I was just followed, on Twitter, by one of those “Buy Amazon reviews!” services.

    I blocked them and reported them as spam. And the only reason I didn’t do more than that is that the “Crotch-punch poster over the Internet” attachment I ordered is out of stock.

    Let me be clear. Authors rely on reviews. Word of mouth sells more than anything, and reviews are–and generate–word of mouth.

    But that only works as long as readers believe that at least the majority of reviews are honest/accurate, at least where the reviewer is concerned. “Services” like this? They’re not helping you. It becomes real obvious, real quick, if a book is paying for good reviews. All you’re doing is damaging the readers’ trust–and not just of you, but of all reviews, and by extension, of all authors.

    So, to the folks at the “service” who followed me–briefly–and to the folks at all other, similar services, and to the authors who use them…

    Kindly piss the hell off, and stay there.

    No love–and sadly, no ability to crotch-punch you via the internet,

     

    Ari

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    Monday, March 16th, 2015
    4:12 pm
    Heavy Sulfur

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    OA_cover“Heavy Sulfur” appears in Operation Arcana, a Military Fantasy anthology published by Baen and edited by John Joseph Adams.

    Credits: Sole author

    Cover art by ????.

    Availability:

    • Amazon.com

    • Barnes & Noble.com

    • Books-a-Million

    •  Powells

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    4:12 pm
    Heavy Sulfer

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    OA_cover“Heavy Sulfur” appears in Operation Arcana, a Military Fantasy anthology published by Baen and edited by the John Joseph Adams.

    Credits: Sole author

    Cover art by ????.

    Availability:

    • Amazon.com

    • Barnes & Noble.com

    • Books-a-Million

    •  Powells

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    Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015
    2:08 am
    February 3, 2015: Covenant’s End bookday!

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    Noisemakers and party hats for everyone!

    Covenant’s End is officially out and available, at all the usual places! Here’s a few of the reviews thus far:

    Everything comes to a head in Covenant’s End. If you’re at all a fan of Widdershins, you really don’t want to miss this one.

    And if you’re not yet a fan of Widdershins? The first book of the series, Thief’s Covenant, is available on Kindle for only $3.99 for the month of February!

    This series has been a hell of a ride. It’s seen me through a lot of years, a lot of ups and downs. Thank you all for riding along with me.

    Covenants End

     

     

     

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    Monday, February 2nd, 2015
    3:55 am
    The Alpha and Omega of Widdershins

    All righty, folks. One more day--one--until Covenant's End hits shelves and e-readers everywhere. Now that the fourth and (at least for now) final book of the series, now's a great chance to pick up the very first one, if you haven't already.

    For the month of February, Thief's Covenant is available for only $3.99 on Kindle! That's, like, a whole lotta dollars off. Seriously, go. Get it. You've never had less of an excuse not to.  ;-)

    Oh, and just a quick reminder, for those who missed it, that I'm now offering a low-cost critiquing/editing service. Check it out, see you might find it useful.

    Thanks much, folks. See you tomorrow for the CE release!

    Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
    3:21 am
    Need your fiction critiqued?
    Well, I decided to take the plunge, and I am now officially offering a fiction critiquing/editing service. Take a gander, let me know what you think, and if you're interested, I hope to be hearing from you shortly. :-)
    Thursday, January 15th, 2015
    4:04 am
    An Open Letter to Paramount Studios

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    (Because we all know they read my blog with bated breath on a regular basis.)

    I’m not a big-name author. I’m not a scriptwriter. But I have written and published enough that I think I can say I have a pretty good grasp of story. So I’m going to point something out that you’ve probably already thought about.

    No matter how good the writers, no matter how good the scripts, you cannot do justice to a five-year mission with movies that come out every three-to-five years.

    The third Star Trek movie of the new continuity is coming up. We know that the cast signed a three-picture deal, and we know that at least some of them have already said they’re ready to move on.

    So… You’ve had blockbuster movies, films that did better than any prior Star Trek films. And you’re going to have to recast anyway.

    Cast actors willing to sign on for a series and bring Star Trek back to television.

    You have an audience; the success of the movies proves that. You have a clean slate, to create brand new stories and revisit old ones, as you choose. You can write episodes to satisfy the action-lovers, and episodes to satisfy the more cerebral fans.

    A five-year mission. A five-year series. Or heck, do a couple years, then a movie, a couple more years, then a movie… Have your cake and eat it, too.

    The fans are ready, the franchise is ready. And it’s the only way to truly do Star Trek–five years of exploring the galaxy–any justice.

    Let’s start hearing “These are the voyages…” on a weekly basis again.

    Time for the Enterprise to come home. We’re waiting for her.

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    Sunday, January 11th, 2015
    5:03 pm
    Texas Ranger

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    *cough*

    Walker1

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    Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
    2:27 am
    January 7, 2015: Her time is coming

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    Happy New Year!

    To all of you. Perhaps not to Widdershins.

    Four weeks, and counting…

    Covenants End

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    Thursday, December 4th, 2014
    11:09 pm
    Linguistic divisions

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    The news these days has had me thinking, and it finally made me realize something.

    You see, I despise the [Whatever-American] terminology for ethnicity. Asian-American, African-American, all those. Hate those terms with a passion. And I’ve finally figured out why.

    They’re dangerous. The whole non-racist/post-racial society that we want? Those terms are detrimental to the whole thing.

    Why? Because they’re hideously racist. And even worse, they’re insidiously racist.

    Because they imply, by definition, that white is some sort of default. “Oh, if you’re white, you’re just American. It’s everyone else who needs to be specially identified.”

    That sort of thinking is what keeps “us vs. them” alive, even in the minds of people who otherwise aren’t prejudiced. It’s the sort of thinking that leads to people assuming that all characters in books have to be white, or casting Sigourney Weaver as an Biblical African queen.

    When was the last time you heard someone referred to as a Caucasian-American? You haven’t, or at least not often, because the language itself has trained us to think of “Caucasian” as the unspoken default. We’ve already learned, throughout history, that you cannot have “separate but equal.” So how can we possibly reach equality when the language itself works at keeping us separate?

    If you’re an American citizen, you should be an American. Period. Ethnicity should have no bearing on it, and the terminology for ethnicity should not draw on citizenship.

    There is no “default” except human. Our language needs to reflect that, not cloud it.

     

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    Monday, December 1st, 2014
    5:21 pm
    December 1, 2014: Extra-cheap Mick Oberon!

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    Dec. 2 Edit: Aaaand it’s over. ’twas apparently a Cyber-Monday sale. I hope all of you who picked it up have a good time with it. :-)

    Original Post: Hey, guys. Right now, Hot Lead, Cold Iron is available on the Amazon Kindle for the obscenely low price of $2.99! I honestly have no idea how long this special price is going to last. If you don’t have the book yet, or want to gift it to someone, now is absolutely the best time. :-D

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    1:37 am
    Engineered

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    madness“Engineered” appears in Madness on the Orient Express, a Lovecraftian anthology published by Chaosium and edited by the esteemed Jim Lowder.

    Credits: Sole author

    Cover art by ????.

    Availability:

    • Amazon.com
    • Barnes & Noble.com
    • Chaosium.com

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    Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
    1:04 pm
    November 27, 2014: You hear something?

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    So, several people have asked me about audio books for the Widdershins and Mick Oberon series. I kept telling them I might “have an announcement soon.”

    Well, it’s taken long enough, but it’s “soon.”  ;-)

    The Cutting Corporation, aka GraphicAudio, releases Hot Lead, Cold Iron next week! Find more about it here. Hallow Point and the Widdershins series to follow starting mid-next year.

    For those who don’t know them, GraphicAudio products are almost of a radio play than a standard audio book. They include music, sound effects, all that good stuff.

    I hope you guys find them worth the wait. Happy Thanksgiving to them what celebrates it. :-)

    (Edit: Yeah, it’s only the 26th. Oops. Pretend it’s a glimpse into the future until tomorrow.  :mrgreen: )

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    Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
    11:50 pm
    A partial solution to online trolling?

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    So, online trolling and abuse have been in the news a lot. And a lot of people (including Wil Wheaton) have pointed out that anonymity, and thus lack of accountability, are a major part of the problem.

    At the same time, there are truly good reasons for some people to stay anonymous. So how do we reconcile those?

    Well, I’ve had a thought.

    Lots of online games have PvP (Player vs. Player) and non-PvP servers. The user has a choice.

    Why not offer Anonymous and Non-Anonymous servers?

    Nobody who wants to stay anonymous is required to give up that right. But those who choose to can offer up their own true identity, for the right to play only alongside others who were willing to do the same.

    I guaran-damn-tee you there would be enough takers to make it worthwhile.

    Sure, that only solves the issues in gaming, not forums or social media or the like. But it’s a start.

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    Thursday, October 9th, 2014
    9:47 pm
    October 9, 2014: Consolidating some release dates

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    Covenant’s End is releasing in February 2015, in hardcover and e-book.

    If you didn’t want to buy the trade paperback or e-book version of Hot Lead, Cold Iron (WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME?!?! *sniff*), the mass-market paperback edition is due out in May of 2015. Just in time for…

    Hallow Point, the second book in the series, which is also out in May, in both trade paperback and e-book.

    Now you know; budget accordingly.  ;-)

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    Sunday, September 21st, 2014
    1:22 am
    Authorial nightmare
    As a fantasy novelist, my greatest fear is that grrm is going to run out of his own characters and somehow start killing off MINE.
    Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
    11:30 pm
    August 20, 2014: Another D&D Gift

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    So, a lot of you have seen my 5e Spell Sorter, and I’m really glad so many people are finding it useful. Thanks once again to the generosity of a friend–one who attended GenCon–I’ve had access to the 5e Monster Manual. And so, here we are again.

    Ari’s 5e Monster Sorter!

    Sort or filter monsters by name, CR, type, subtype (if any), size, alignment (if any), and whether or not the critter’s got Legendary and/or Lair abilities.

    You’ll note some monsters appear multiple times. That was because they have more than one subtype or alignment, and I wanted them to appear in both categories should you choose to sort them that way.

    As before, please feel free to download, to spread the word, whatever. And by all means, if you catch any errors, do let me know.

    Enjoy, folks. :-)

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    11:30 pm
    August 20, 2014: Another D&D Gift

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    So, a lot of you have seen my 5e Spell Sorter, and I’m really glad so many people are finding it useful. Thanks once again to the generosity of a friend–one who attended GenCon–I’ve had access to the 5e Monster Manual. And so, here we are again.

    Ari’s 5e Monster Sorter!

    Sort or filter monsters by name, CR, type, subtype (if any), size, alignment (if any), and whether or not the critter’s got Legendary and/or Lair abilities.

    You’ll note some monsters appear multiple times. That was because they have more than one subtype or alignment, and I wanted them to appear in both categories should you choose to sort them that way.

    As before, please feel free to download, to spread the word, whatever. And by all means, if you catch any errors, do let me know.

    Enjoy, folks. :-)

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    Friday, August 8th, 2014
    3:00 am
    August 8, 2014: A special gift for my fellow D&D fans

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    (Update, Aug 10: Sorter now revised to include subclasses and filtering!  :-D Also, concentration error for mage armor has been fixed.)

    (Original post) I didn’t expect to have this done for some time yet, but thanks to the generosity of a local friend who got his Player’s Handbook early, and the fact that I got a massive head start using the free Basic PDF, it’s ready to go. Thus, I present to you:

    Ari’s 5e Spell Sorter!

    What is it? It’s a spreadsheet listing every spell in the 5th edition Player’s Handbook! It makes sense that the spells are presented alphabetically in the book, but sometimes that makes it hard to search by other details. This spreadsheet allows you to sort by name, level, class, school of magic (you’re welcome, wizards and eldritch knights), by whether or not the spell has a ritual option, and by whether or not the spell requires concentration (you’re welcome, front-line casters).

    So have at. Download, spread the word to other gamers, and enjoy.  :-D (And if you discover any errors or omissions, please let me know and I’ll fix them ASAP.)

    Note the first: This is just a sortable list. It does not include spell descriptions, mechanics, or summaries. This is meant to enhance the spell chapter of the Handbook, not to replace it.  :-P

    Note the second: Two spells are marked with one or more question marks. The paladin’s spell list includes “destructive smite,” but there’s no such spell given. There is a spell called “destructive wave,” which I believe is what the paladin list meant to refer to. The other is “trap the soul,” which appears on the wizard’s spell list but does not seem to be presented in the chapter. (I believe, but am not certain, that it simply got folded into “Imprisonment.”)

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    Friday, August 1st, 2014
    2:16 am
    August 1, 2014: No matter how hard you try…

    Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

    …some promises might be too big to keep forever.


    Covenants End



    February 2015.


    (Art by the absolutely incomparable Jason Chan.)


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