Ari's Journal
 
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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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    Monday, April 14th, 2014
    7:05 pm
    One last howl

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

    Today, CCP–White Wolf’s parent company–pulled the plug.

    Didn’t know White Wolf was still around? That’s understandable. They stopped publishing pen-and-paper RPGs some years ago. A great many of the staff went and founded Onyx Path, the company that is currently publishing the World of Darkness games, as well as Exalted, Scion, and other stuff. They’ve been a worthy successor.

    But White Wolf still existed, in the form of people at CCP working on the Vampire MMO. Today, a huge number of them have lost their jobs, to say nothing of years of hard, thankless work that will now never see the light of day. The last formal vestige of White Wolf is gone.

    This is a big deal for me (though certainly not nearly as big a deal as it is for the people who were laid off). Vampire: the Masquerade was the first non-D&D game that I got into long-term. (I’d played others, but only briefly or sporadically). It was the first RPG I played with the woman I’d later marry. It completely changed the way I thought about running games.

    But more than that… White Wolf gave me my career. After years of failing to break into fiction, it was White Wolf–and Justin Achilli, specifically–who gave me my first professional writing shot. It was the freelance work for WW that led me to D20 work; the d20 work that led me to official D&D work; and it was through WW and Wizards of the Coast that i was finally able to get my foot in the fiction door.

    Would it have happened without them? Maybe. But it wouldn’t have been the same, and anyway, it did happen with/because of them.

    As I said, Onyx Path is a worthy heir. Heck, it’s many of the same people. I hope to work with them again in the future, and I wish them all the success in the world. But I’m still sorry to see the end of the company that started it all for me, and the effect it’s having on some very good, very talented people.

    Farewell, old wolf.

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    Friday, March 28th, 2014
    12:08 am
    What We Darn Well Better Not See in Star Wars VII

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

    There are a lot of places the new Star Wars movies could go. A lot of directions they could take. Plenty of options, plenty of ideas.

    Let me tell you what is pretty much at the top of my list for options that would be absolutely the wrong idea.

    (Well, my “worst realistic possibilities” list. I’m not counting things like Gungan Jedi or finding out that Jabba is Han’s twin sister.)

    And the funny thing, it’s already been done. And it was a bad idea then, too.

    Let us return to… I don’t remember. Some year in the early 90s. And a comic book series called “Dark Empire.”

    “Dark Empire” was quite popular at the time, and to this day, I cannot fathom why. I mean absolutely zero disrespect to the creative team–there was nothing wrong with the writing as such, or the art, or any of that. Nonetheless, it was an absolute travesty as a chapter of the Star Wars saga, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. Jar-Jar was less damaging to the saga than “Dark Empire.”

    So, back to the movies, my number one thing I do not want to see. I won’t be so hyperbolic as to claim it’s a dealbreaker–I’ll be standing in that line, and we both know it–but it’s close.

    Do not, do not, do not, DO NOT bring back the Emperor. No miraculous survival. Sure as hell no clones. Not even whatever the Dark Side equivalent to the “Force ghosts” might be.

    NONE OF THAT.

    Vader’s sacrifice at the end of Return of the Jedi is the entire reason for the original trilogy to exist in the form we know it. (Stress “in the form we know it.” Before Lucas decided Vader was Anakin, it would’ve gone differently, of course, but that would’ve made two of the three movies entirely different.)

    It winds up being the focal point of all six movies we have to date. It is not only the single most meaningful decision point in the Star Wars saga, it was one of the archetypal such decision points in genre/popular culture. Period. Full stop.

    Bringing the Emperor back, after that? In any way, shape, or form? It renders that sacrifice utterly meaningless.

    I can already hear the arguments. “But it still showed his change of heart!” “But it still dealt the Empire a major defeat!”

    Yes, this is true. It’s also not enough.

    You cannot take away the primary accomplishment of that act, the single most impactful, important victory, and still claim it has the same meaning. It doesn’t change damage the story of that moment, but of that entire movie, and through that the entire series.

    “Darth Vader killed the Emperor at the cost of his own life, in order to save his son.”

    It is not just a weakening of symbolism, but literally bad storytelling, to come along afterward and undo that. To literally undo a prior story.

    Find a different direction to in the new movies, okay? Don’t try to recapture old glories. Create new ones.

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    Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
    11:00 am
    February 19th, 2014: Win a signed book! Win almost TWENTY signed books!

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

    Crossing_the_Streams

    Hey, folks. Welcome to “Crossing the Streams 2014,” a flippin’ huge, multi-author book giveaway! Some of you are familiar with this concept, as we’ve run this once before; for others, this’ll be the first time.

    I, and roughly twenty other speculative fiction writers (give or take)–mostly novelists, but some short story and comic writers as well–have thrown in together to create something huge for you guys.

     

    CLICK HERE FOR THE CONTEST PAGE!

    Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
    12:44 am
    A Heartfelt Thank You

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

    Well, it’s taken me longer than I’d intended to put this up, but at least it’s here.

    Guys, I cannot begin to thank you enough. The call for help I posted was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but you all really came through with more generosity than I could have hoped. While things remain extremely tight, we were able to get through the immediate crisis due entirely to all of you who helped out.

    No idea how I’m going to show my gratitude yet, but I’m damn well going to think of something. You’re all the reason I do what I do.

    Thursday, December 19th, 2013
    9:23 pm
    I need your help

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

    This is–in terms of both personal and professional pride–one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. That it comes in the middle of the holidays just makes it even worse.

    As many of my fans and friends already know, I suffer from a number of health issues, both physical and emotional. For a large chunk of this year, the dosages on my depression meds were wrong, leading to a long period where I was far less functional than I should have been. One of the results of that was that I got less work done this year than I should have.

    Well, on top of that, I have several payments that are past-due to me that have not yet arrived, and I’ve just had several months straight of unexpected expenses (personal, health-wise, pet-health-wise, and other).

    Bottom line, we’re deep in the red and I’m not sure about basic expenses or rent next month.

    hate talking about this in public. I’ve stopped myself from deleting this blog entry several times already. Embarrassed doesn’t begin to cover it. But I need help, not just for me, but so I don’t let my wife–who’s always been overly supportive of me and my career–down.

    If you want to help… Well, my preferred method, because I have some pride left, would be for you to purchase a copy of Strange New Words. Because it’s self-published, I get a larger portion of the purchase price than I do on any of my other books, and I get said royalties much sooner as well. I know a lot of you gave to the Kickstarter and thus have a copy already, but if you’re thinking of a holiday gift for the fantasy fans in your life, this would be one good option. You can find the book here, on Amazon, or here, on Smashwords, or here, on DriveThruFiction.

    If you’d really prefer to just donate directly, my Paypal e-mail is amarmell@austin.rr.com. Every tiny bit is certainly appreciated. But please do give some thought to picking up the book instead. It feels a little less like I’ve got my hat in my hand.

    Thank you, all of you, for everything you’ve done. I hope my work has brought you–or will, in the future, bring you–enough enjoyment to make up for me asking this of you.

    Yours in gratitude,

    Ari Marmell

    aka

    Mouseferatu

    –Rodent of the Dark

    Thursday, December 12th, 2013
    5:38 pm
    Than to Serve in Heaven

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

    Broken Time Blues“Than to Serve in Heaven” first appeared in When the Villain Comes Home. This anthology is published by Dragon Moon Press, and edited by Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood.

    The story has since been reprinted in my Strange New Words anthology.

    Credits: Sole author

    Cover art by Galen Dara.

    Availability:

    • Amazon.com
    • Barnes & Noble.com
    • Indiebound.com
    • Powells.com

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    Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
    1:38 am
    December 10, 2013: To explore Strange New Words!

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

    And it’s ready!

    Strange New Words, my novel-length collection of short fiction, is finally available. Thirteen tales–some of which are reprints, some of which are brand new to this collection–ready and waiting for you!

    Right now, it’s available at Amazon, for Kindle, and at Smashwords, in multiple formats including PDF and EPUB. All for what I dare say is quite a reasonable cost. ;-) Although not ready yet, it will also eventually be available as a softcover print book through Amazon, and as a PDF, a softcover, or a hardcover through Drive Thru Fiction.

    I appreciate the support of each and every one of you; I couldn’t have gotten this out alone. I’m really proud of how this came together, and I’m looking forward to hearing what you all think.

    (And yes, I’ll be doing a formal catalog page for this book; just haven’t gotten to it yet.) :-)

    Don’t forget to pick up Lost Covenant while you’re at it. ;-)

    Thursday, December 5th, 2013
    10:32 pm
    Some Agents of SHIELD speculation

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

    Spoilers if you aren’t caught up through episode 7 or so. Click through for geeky rambling.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
    2:36 am
    December 3, 2013: It’s Book Day for Lost Covenant!

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

    Throw the confetti, blow the noisemakers, and hide your wallets! Widdershins is back!

    Today is the official release day for Lost Covenant, book three of the Widdershins series. As with the prior two, Thief’s Covenant and False Covenant, there is humor and horror, action and mystery, and much more.

    If you’ve been following along, the next adventure’s waiting for you. If you haven’t met Widdershins yet, give Thief’s Covenant a whirl. (You can read them out of order, but it’s far better if you read them in sequence.)

    I’m really proud of how this series has turned out so far. I hope you guys are all enjoying the ride.

    Lost_Covenant

    Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
    10:10 am
    November 19, 2013: Huge “Ask Me Anything” Q&A tonight

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

    Heya, folks.

    This evening, I’ll be doing an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) over on Reddit.com. All you need to do to participate is go there and, if you haven’t already, sign up for the Reddit forums.

    It’ll be starting at 7 PM Central Standard Time, and seriously, anything (that’s not rude/obscene/illegal) goes. I really hope to see a lot of you there. :-)

    It’ll all be happening here: http://www.reddit.com/r/Fantasy/comments/1qzek1/hey_redditshaped_internet_im_ari_marmell_novelist/

    Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
    2:13 am
    What price continuity?

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

    I’ve been on a bit of a comics kick, lately. Here’s more.

    One of the problems Marvel is currently looking at (there are a few articles on the topic making their way around the net) is that people who watch their movies and then try to go read the comics are likely to be lost.

    Hell, people who have been reading the comics are likely to be lost.

    Continuity has become a Gordian Knot, if the knot was also a bear that mauled you before tossing you into a convoluted death trap from the old 60s Batman TV show.

    Hell, DC’s recent reboot–the “New 52″–was meant, in part, to resent continuity so new readers could climb aboard. Of course, they muddied that up by keeping some ongoing plotlines from before the reboot, and then launching into multiple cross-title mega-stories that threw up different barriers to entry, but still, that was part of the intent.

    Ditto Marvel’s Ultimates line, but that swiftly grew as convoluted as anything else.

    How many characters have died and come back? How many times? How many different characters have used the same names? Try reading the Wikipedia articles on some of these characters. The “summaries” take up thousands upon thousands of words, and are still often impossible for an outsider to follow.

    People talk about superheroes as “modern mythology,” but they have a problem to deal with that mythology doesn’t. They’re ongoing. Heracles’ body of myths is fixed. People may tell new stories about him, but they’re not–if you’ll pardon the use of the term–canonical. Heracles can get married, have kids, then lose his family; he can kill his foes without them coming back from the dead; because these aren’t characters that need to be available for new stories down the road.

    Now try killing off, say, Lois Lane. Good luck with that.

    And the thing is, there is no possible fix that leaves continuity intact. There’s no way to tell a story for decades, and yet still have a new reader able to hop aboard at any time without some amount of confusion.

    So here’s a thought. Don’t try.

    What I’m about to suggest will be heresy to many comic book fans, but…

    I’ve come to believe that DC and Marvel should reboot/reset their universes regularly. Maybe every ten years or so.

    It’d be a “soft” reboot, in some respects. No dramatic changes to the character. Their origins may be tweaked or updated, but not changed. Peter’s bitten by a genetically altered spider instead  of a radioactive one. Frank Castle’s a veteran of Desert Storm rather than Vietnam. Whatever.

    But the plotlines reset. Not so the writers can do the same thing all over again (some repetition is inevitable, but there’s already some repetition), but so new readers never have to go back too far. Continuity is limited in terms of how ludicrously complex it can get.

    It also means you can try out different directions, make “real” changes. Don’t like the fact that two characters have gotten married? Well, wait for the next reboot. Tired of characters coming back from the dead? You can kill them off “permanently,” because that just means it’s permanent in this cycle.

    Obviously, if a change is amazingly popular, you can keep it, writing it into the character “core” that remains from cycle to cycle. But that’d be a rare thing.

    It also means you can tell a complete story. Maybe the editor/writers have a fantastic plotline in mind that culminates in the death of the entire Justice League. Under this system, as long as it’s at the end of a “cycle,” you can do that. And you don’t have to magically bring them back, because in “that universe,” it was permanent. You just then have the new/slightly altered versions for the next cycle.

    (I’m talking about a meta-level reboot, here. Not “Flash goes back in time and changes things so we have a new universe.” That’s a story-level/in-character reboot. I’m talking about DC saying “We’ve told all the stories we’re going to from that version of our mythology, here’s the new reset version, and we’re treating this new continuity as though it’s always been the only continuity.”)

    Ten years is not a limitation, not really. There are very few stories you can’t tell in that length, or with that amount of continuity.

    Oh, and something else this would do? This would allow superheroes–who are supposed to be embodiments of justice–to actually deliver some. Because the way things are now, “justice” as a concept doesn’t exist in mainstream comic books. But that’s a future blog entry.

    Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
    9:57 pm
    Warning: Serious Comic Book Geekery ahead

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

    I’ve been watching a lot of cartoons in my spare time recently. Because I am (ostensibly) an adult, and therefore I can choose to fill my hours this way. :-P

    Now, we all know that there are almost no superhero powers that stand up to close examination. And normally, I just accept that. I don’t worry about what actually propels Superman when he flies, or the precise mechanism by which Spider-man sticks to walls (except when it’s handled stupidly).

    But… There’s one that I cannot stop nitpicking in my mind.

    Let’s talk super-speed.

    Both Superman and the Flash have, in various incarnations, been given different maximum speeds, but even when they’re not breaking the speed of light, they’re still fast enough to circle the world in a matter of minutes.

    Let’s leave aside, for the moment, the fact that Flash would have to be just as invulnerable as Superman to even survive that. I’m nitpicking at more of a story level.

    Flash has to be able to react at that speed, too.

    So… There is zero–literally zero–way that any human could pose a threat. None.

    Lots of fight scenes between Flash and people with mechanical gimmicks involve him running just out of reach of lasers or freeze rays or whatever, until he works his way closer. Or a villain catching him by surprise and shooting him with something from behind.

    Thing is, a fight between Flash and anyone who doesn’t have equivalent speed should basically look like a quick flash of light, followed by a smear on the wall.

    We’re talking about someone whose reaction time is such that, if you did shoot him from ambush, he can move out of the way between the time the bullet hits his skin and the time it actually starts to penetrate. Let alone between the time the trigger’s pulled and the hammer falls, or travel time after the bullet leaves the gun.

    You can’t hold someone hostage. You can’t hold down a dead man’s switch and threaten to blow up a building. None of that matters, because Flash or Superman can have the device out of your hand not only before you can use it, but before the signal that says “Hey, he moved!” has traveled from your eyes to your brain.

    I know, this is pure nerd-ranting. But it bugs me in a way that other power discrepancies don’t, because it’s so clearly plot-specific. It’s not even that Flash’s or Superman’s speed (for example) varies from story to story, it varies in the midst of a story. And it varies this way because otherwise it’d be damn near impossible for writers to threaten these characters.

    So here’s an idea. Why the hell make them that inhuman?

    Isn’t it enough that Superman can lift an oil tanker? Does he really need to be able to push the moon out of orbit? (Again, leaving aside the whole “He’d go through it before it moved” issue.) In Marvel comics–IIRC–Quicksilver can run at several hundred miles an hour. Isn’t that–or even several thousand–enough? Does the Flash have to be able to reach a good portion of the speed of light?

    I know, I know. I’m ranting. It’s “just comic books.” (And for those who can’t read my tone over the internet, this is a tongue-in-cheek rant. It’s something I’m poking at because I’m a geek who loves this stuff, not because I’m genuinely pissed or anything.)

    But even in “just comic books,” I prefer well-told stories to poorly told ones. And when your main character’s abilities are determined by what s/he’s facing–by the needs of the plot, not what’s been established–that doesn’t lead to well-told stories.

    You may now proceed to throw tomatoes at me and tell me to lighten up.  :-P

    Friday, November 1st, 2013
    9:39 pm
    An Open Letter to Marvel Studios

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

    (As if there were a chance in hell of them seeing it.) ;-)

    I’ve seen, in a couple of different interviews now, Kevin Feige make comments to the effect of “It’s great to have Daredevil and the Punisher back in our hands, but we’re sitting on them for now, because we’re not sure yet what to do with them.”

    We have also been told that you guys are getting into TV in a big way, in the near future.

    And we know that one of the most common complaints leveled at Agents of SHIELD is that it doesn’t have enough crossover with actual known characters.

    Surely I cannot be the only one seeing the opportunity here.

    Daredevil is a costumed superhero. He has name recognition. He’s flashy. He’s action-oriented. And–this is important–both his own superpowers, and the superpowers of most characters associated with him, are special effects-lite. In other words, cheap.

    The character has some amazing story arcs, tales that absolutely cannot be done justice in a single two-hour movie. I have two words for you: “Born Again.”

    Daredevil is not such a big name that you’re risking anything by putting him on TV rather than in a movie. Especially after the reception of Fox’s earlier attempt at the character, the odds of making a truly successful Daredevil movie are not nearly as big as other characters–but that could change if the character first establishes a fanbase on TV.

    And because it would be on TV, you can cast to the character without worrying one tiny bit about star power. If you want to do a movie later, and the series is successful, you’ll have made your own.

    And hey, who would make a great recurring guest star, sometimes ally, sometimes enemy? With potential for his own spinoff if this version of the character proves popular? Why, one Frank “The Punisher” Castle. He’s tough to do on network TV, but not impossible.

    And crossover episodes with Agents of SHIELD would be viable, because DD isn’t beyond the power range of a “normal” human; you can threaten him and Coulson’s team with the same adversary in the right storyline.

    Seriously, guys. I’m not an expert, but from the PoV of both an author (including one who has worked with licensed characters) and a fan, I’m really not seeing a downside to this. Why is this not happening?

    Monday, October 7th, 2013
    7:08 pm
    A Moment of Your Time, Please

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

    Folks, this doesn’t actually have any direct bearing on my work at all. It’s just something about which I’m reaching out to everyone I can, and you guys are part of “everyone I can.”

    Eugie Foster is an amazing writer–and an amazing person. She’s a dear friend. And she’s just been diagnosed with cancer. Please consider buying something to help her out, in this time of great financial (among other) stress. It’d mean a lot to her, and to me. You can about it–her situation, and which books/stories of hers are most helpful, financially–here: http://www.eugiefoster.com/a-little-help-from-my-friends.htm

    Thank you so much, for anything you can do.

    Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
    4:28 pm
    September 24, 2013: Last Two Days!! (Also, WaCon)

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

    Okay, folks. Less than two days left in the Strange New Words Kickstarter! Less than two days to be a part of it, claim some cool backer rewards, and help push us over the line to meet a couple of our stretch goals.

    So, what are you waiting for? Help an author out. ;-)

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1253132974/explore-strange-new-words

    Also, going to be in or around Waco this weekend? Why not come to the very first WaCon, Waco’s own gaming convention? I’ll be there–but so will some other cool guests, so you should come anyway. ;-)

    Hope to see some of you there.

    Wednesday, September 18th, 2013
    6:15 pm
    September 18, 2013: Done but Not Finished

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

    We made it. Thanks to a whole mess of generous backers, Strange New Words will become a reality. :-D  I’m very, very grateful, and I hope to make this a product more than worth everyone’s efforts.

    But…

    We’re not finished! There’s a week left to go, and I’m planning to work extra hard to see if we can’t make some of our stretch goals. And trust me, you want us to make those stretch goals. More art for the book, an entire additional novelette-length piece of fiction… These and more are just a short ways away.

    You’ve already done so much for the project, and for me. If you can help just a tad more, by spreading the word, we can make this book even better than promised.

    My deepest appreciation to all of you. I very literally wouldn’t be where I am without you.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1253132974/explore-strange-new-words

    Saturday, September 7th, 2013
    8:47 pm
    Lucky 13

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

    I have now read through the bulk of the 13th Age core rulebook, with only portions of the default setting and the magic items rules yet to go. I feel that’s enough to give an overall assessment, and while not a one of you asked for it, I’m going to anyway. :-P

    I’d rather get the negatives out of the way first. I feel like there are a number of spots where the rules could have used clarification/editing/further examples. It took me a while to grok just how the ritual system works, for instance. I also feel like there’s an unfortunate lack of variety in some of the class’s spell selections, class selections, and the monsters, but those can, at least, be addressed in future books.

    What do I like about 13th Age, then?

    Damn near everything else.  :-D

    Narrative focus. Unique character plots. Flavorful uses for spells and rituals (and a game that encourages creative spell use, rather than a rigid “This is the only way the spell can work!” attitude). Simpler character options and combat than 3E or 4E, but not so much so that they’re uninteresting. Dramatic/descriptive rather than tactical combat. (Yes, for some players, that’s a bug. For me, it’s a feature. A gold-plated one, even.)

    I love the free-form rulings. I love the “escalation die” mechanic. (No, really. Love.) I love triggered/flexible powers. I love some of the icons, and the concept of icons. I love the Overworld. I love the flexibility of the wizard’s non-combat spells (even if, as I said above, I’d like more variety in all manner of spells). I love “one unique thing.” I love the incremental leveling. I love the lack of XP. I love the emphasis on describing/entertaining the table when casting spells or otherwise using an effect, as opposed to just “I cast [blah].” I love a game that admits to the fact that balance is an art, not a science, and cannot be exact, and thus doesn’t try to pretend that it can. I love how resurrection works–and how it doesn’t.  :twisted: I love the fact that, from the moment of character creation, the characters are influencing the campaign plot/world, even if only in small ways.

    Is everything perfect? Of course not. There are definitely mechanical elements/aspects I wished worked differently here, or had been included there. A very few that I was unimpressed with.

    But said imperfections are minimal, AFAIAC, compared to everything else.

    I don’t know what D&D Next is going to look like, so I have no idea what I’ll think about it when it’s out. But for now, at least? If I was running a campaign starting next week, 13th Age–not 3E or 4E–would very likely be my “D&D” of choice.

    Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
    9:58 am
    August 27, 2013: To Explore Strange New Words…

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

    When I announced some major release dates yesterday, I said I had more big news to come. So, here ’tis.

    I need your help to make this happen:

    Strange New Words_sm

    What is it? Strange New Words is a collection of short fiction–fantasy to horror to mythology, funny to FUBAR. By word count, it’s to be roughly half reprints from various anthologies/other markets, and half all original, never-before-seen fiction.

    Oh, and some of that original fiction includes a brand new story set in the world of The Goblin Corps!

    Why do you need help? Because, frankly, self-publishing a book is only cheap if you half-ass it. I’m a professional, and that means I have a reputation to maintain–and, more importantly, it means an implicit promise to all of you that I will never willingly stint on the quality of my work. Professional editing, original art… None of that is optional, as far as I’m concerned.

    But it costs to do that. Sometimes a lot.

    You’re launching a Kickstarter, aren’t you? How savvy! Yes, Strange New Words is to be funded via Kickstarter. I’ve put together what I believe is both an informative and entertaining presentation, where you can find all manner of details on the project. Including…

    What do I get for helping? Obviously, it depends on what level you choose to back the project, and the specifics are all over on the Kickstarter page. But some possibilities include:

    • A free copy of the collection–including an original story that will not appear when the collection goes to market; it is only available to Kickstarter backers.
    • Signed novels.
    • The chance to name characters in future novels after you or a loved one!
    • And, depending on whether we make any of the stretch goals, far, far more.

    Click on over. Take a look and a listen. Ask questions, should you have any. I hope you find it intriguing enough to help me make Strange New Words a reality. And thank you, all of you, in advance, whether or not you choose to back the project; I wouldn’t be where I am without each and every one of you.

    And if you folks could help me spread the word, and the link, that’d be very much appreciated, too.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1253132974/explore-strange-new-words

    Monday, August 26th, 2013
    4:21 am
    August 26, 2013: Release Dates!

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

    So, I’ve got two books coming out in the semi-near future that I’ve discussed here and there, but never with much in the way of detail. So, here’s detail.

    Lost Covenant, the third Widdershins Adventure, is scheduled to his shelves around December of this year. Pre-orders now available at all the old familiar places. And BTW? The cover rocks.

    Lost_Covenant

    But this is only the first of what’s to come. Around spring of 2014 comes Hot Lead, Cold Iron, the first of my Mick Oberon novels. 1932, Prohibition-era gangland urban fantasy; fae noir, if you will. I’m exceptionally proud of this one, and I hope you guys find it equally compelling.

    Pre-orders currently only at Amazon, but I’ll add all the others as they start to appear.

    Oh, and this cover? Also rocks. :-D

    Hot Lead, Cold Iron

    And for the record? Yet more major news to come in a couple of days. Stay tuned. Same mouse-time, same mouse-channel. (I just hideously dated myself, didn’t I?)

    Sunday, August 25th, 2013
    9:35 pm
    Hot Lead, Cold Iron

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

    Hot Lead, Cold Iron cover_revised Credits: Sole author.</p>

    Cover art by Julia Lloyd.

    Notes: The first in a new series! Uncover the occult mysteries and deepest secrets of gangland Chicago, from the underworld to the Otherworld.

    Availability:

    • Amazon.com
    • Barnes & Noble.com
    • Indiebound.org
    • Powells.com
    • Books-A-Million.com

    Or talk about it on Goodreads.

    1932, and it’s business as usual in the Windy City. Yeah, the economy’s so low it’s looking up at Hell; Capone’s gone up the river; and anyone who knows anything says Prohibition ain’t long for this world. And still the Mob’s big and bad as ever, still got their fingers in every last one of Chicago’s nooks and crannies. You wanna get by in this city? You keep your head down and your trap shut, and you don’t make waves.

    Especially when you got the kinda secrets I do.

    So yeah, I give the trouble boys a wide berth. I sure as hell don’t ever work for them!

    Except when I do. Except when some made guy’s moll tells me her daughter’s been missing for sixteen years, and they’ve been raising a good old-fashioned changeling in her place. Then, my better instincts aside, I start getting interested.

    Me? I’m a P.I. Of course I am. Ain’t all these stories about a P.I? But I’m not your typical P.I.

    The name’s Mick Oberon, or at least it is now. Yeah, like in that Oberon; third cousin on my mother’s side. I’m here in Chicago mostly because I’m in exile from the Seelie Court.

    And like most of you have probably already figured, I’m not human.

     

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