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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Ari's LiveJournal:

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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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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
1:02 pm
Urgent ArmadilloCon update!

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

Hey, folks.

I’m deeply sorry to say that I’m going to be absent from this year’s ArmadilloCon.

hate doing this, especially so last-minute and especially to a local convention of which I’m very fond, but a medical issue that was supposed to be cleared up by now… isn’t.

I should be fine fairly soon–don’t want to worry anyone–but it won’t be by this weekend.

My most sincere apologies to everyone, fans and fellow authors/artists, I was hoping to see. When all this is done with, I’ll try to arrange a couple of local signings of my own somewhere.

Thanks, everyone, for your understanding.

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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
11:05 pm
Marvel’s Well-Meaning Mistake

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

Among the many changes Marvel is making to its characters in the Marvel Now! line, the most recent is the announcement that Steve Rogers is laying down the mantle of Captain America (for what I believe to be the 247th time), and his replacement is said to be Sam “The Falcon” Wilson.

I have a problem with this, and it’s not the one you might expect.

I’m pro-added diversity in comics. Thor’s a woman now, great! The Ultimates version of Spider-Man is Miles Morales, great! And while I have a personal attachment to Steve Rogers, if there’s going to be a new Cap, I not only don’t object to, but celebrate, the fact that he’s black. (Even if his new mask is kinda goofy looking.)

But it should not have been Sam.

Oh, it makes sense from an in-character perspective. Sam Wilson’s one of the good guys, someone Steve knows well and trusts. My problem is with the meta-narrative.

Sam Wilson–the Falcon–may not be as big a name as Storm, or the Black Panther. The fact remains, though, that he is one of the few black superheroes to have built his own successful, popular identity. He was a success story, on a very limited list of success stories.

Making him Captain America is taking that away. It’s the opposite of diversifying the line, because it’s taking a minority character who made it on his own, and turning him into another minority character who had to build on the name of a straight white male.

I realize it’s too late, but… if by some miracle someone at Marvel sees this, please. By any and all means, give us a black Captain America–but let Sam remain the Falcon. He’s earned it.

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Friday, June 27th, 2014
10:00 pm
This is your culture on drugs

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

There’s a short story open-call going around that caught my eye. Or rather, one detail in the submission rules caught my eye.

I’m not naming the anthology in question, because my problem isn’t with the anthology. They’re just reacting to the culture in which we all live, and I don’t want people to misunderstand me and think I’m yelling at them. I’m not.

I’m yelling at a lot of other people, though.

The rule in question reads as follows:


  • Stories must conform to the “Indiana Jones” rule of thumb regarding, sex, violence, language, drug use, etc. We try to keep things here appropriate for most audiences, so if it’s something you’d conceivably see in an Indiana Jones story, it should be fine (i.e., melting faces are okay, F-bombs, in general, are not).


Really let that sink in a moment. “Melting faces are okay, F-bombs, in general, or not.” Think about it.

What the fuck is wrong with entertainment standards in this country?!?!

Bullets flying, people dying, acts of horrific, gory violence… These are no problem. But a “bad word”? A breast on prime time TV? That’s a goddamn outrage.

This is wrong; so wrong. Aesthetically. Ethically. Morally.

It’s a word. Fuck fuck fuck. Fuckity fuck fucking fucky fuck.

Or a body part. Oooh, your kids are going to be traumatized seeing something for two seconds that not only do they already know mommy has, but which they fed off of for a year and a half.

I like violence and gore in fiction, where it’s appropriate. I’m not suggesting it be curtailed (though a case could be made for certain TV shows). But the idea that it’s okay, where the others aren’t? It’s backwards, in every conceivable way, shape, or form.

Get your act together already, American culture. This isn't even Puritan; it’s just lunacy. And hypocritical lunacy to boot.

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Saturday, May 31st, 2014
11:32 pm
Seriously, Fuck Cancer

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

I have far too many friends and colleagues, people I genuinely care about, suffering through one form or another of cancer right now. Hell, one would be “far too many.”

I’m tired of wishing there was “something I could do.” So I’m doing something, however minor a gesture it may be.

I have dropped the price of my short story collection, Strange New Words, across Amazon, Smashwords, and DriveThruFiction. This applies to both e-copies and hardcopies. I haven’t decided yet if this price drop is permanent or temporary.

What I have decided is that I will donate the entirety of any profit I make on sales of Strange New Words, throughout the entire month of June. Not to an institute or to a program, but directly to a handful of the people I know who are struggling with cancer right now, to help defray the ungodly medical costs these things accumulate. It probably won’t be much, in the grand scheme of things, but I’d like for it to be something.

If you haven’t picked up SNW yet, please consider doing so now. If you have, please encourage other people to. And definitely help me spread the word, if you’d be so kind.

Thank you so much, every one of you.

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Friday, May 30th, 2014
2:06 am
May 30, 2014: ArmadilloCon schedule

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

Heya, folks. While travel budget (or lack thereof) is limiting my con attendance this year, I will be participating rather substantially in ArmadilloCon, here in Austin. This year, that’s July 25th-27th. Really hope to see some of you there.

You can see the total programming schedule here, but my specific schedule is as follows:

Friday, July 25

6:00 PM, Conference Center: Required Fantasy panel

9:00 PM, Room F: 40 Years of D&D panel

10:00 PM. Conference Center: “If Only They’d Consulted Me” panel

Saturday, July 26

4:00 PM, Dealers Room: Signing*

10:00 PM, Room D: Evil Characters panel

Sunday, July 27

12:00 PM, Room E: Sub-genres of Fantasy panel

*Note: While there are book vendors in the Dealers Room, and they usually have some of my novels available, I absolutely cannot guarantee that any particular work will be there. If there are specific books that you’d like to have signed, I strongly recommend that you purchase them in advance and bring them with you.

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