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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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    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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    Saturday, August 10th, 2013
    8:21 pm
    August 10, 2013: GenCon schedule

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

    Okay, GenCon is in four days.

    Excuse me one moment.

    AAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!

    Ahem. All right, that being dealt with, I’m hoping to see some of you there. My tentative schedule is as follows:

    Wednesday, 9:00 PM: I’ll be attending the Diana Jones Awards with some friends. I won’t be doing anything official, or have time for any long conversations, but do feel free to stop me and say hi.

    Friday, 2:00 PM: Signing, at the Authors’ Symposium signing table.

    Saturday, 8:00 AM (sob): “Exploring Genres” panel, Symposium Room 1. Seriously, who plans anything at 8:00 AM at GenCon?!?! o.O

    1:00 PM: Signing, at the Author’s Symposium signing table.

    2:00 PM: “YA” panel, Symposium Room 1.

    Plus, of course, a lot of random wandering around. If you happen to spot me somewhere, I’m more than happy to say hi, even sign a book or two, but please remember I’m there with my own people, too. :-)

    See you all there.

    Wednesday, July 31st, 2013
    4:37 pm
    July 31, 2013: Space City Con schedule

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

    Hey, folks. Space City Con is this weekend, in Houston. I shall be there. Some of you shall be there. There should probably be some together being there.

    So, my (tentative, subject to change) schedule is as follows:

    Friday, 3:00 PM–A panel on well, me and my work. o.O I imagine a good chunk of this will be Q&A, and damn near anything goes, so stop by! (I may or may not also give away a signed book or two.) Panel Room 6/Briarpark 3

    Friday, 5:0o PM–Signing, at the Murder by the Book booth

    Friday, 7:00 PM–Panel on game writing and moving into fiction, with (tentatively) Rob Schwalb, Bruce Cordell, Torah Cottrill, Miranda Horner, and me. Panel Room 2/Ballroom G

    Saturday, 4:30 PM–Signing, at the Murder by the Book booth

    Sunday, 2:oo PM–Signing, at the Murder by the Book booth

    Plus a few events that I might decide to crash. ;-)

    Hope to see some of you there.

    Monday, July 22nd, 2013
    10:09 pm
    July 21, 2013: Convention Season!!!

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

    I realized I haven’t made a point of this yet…

    I have formal signings at Space City Con (Houston) and Gen Con (Indianapolis) next month. I know at least some of my books will be available at both cons, but I can’t swear to which ones or how much. If you’re going to be at either, feel free to bring any of my books you already have, and I’ll be happy to sign; you don’t have to have purchased them at the con. :-)

    Specific schedules when I know them.

    I will also be attending WorldCon, which is at LoneStarCon (San Antonio) this year, but I’m just going as an attendee, not a guest, so I have no signings or panels. (I also may only be going for a couple of days of the con; we’ll see what shape I’m in after the first two.)

    Hope to see you guys at one of ‘em.

    Sunday, June 16th, 2013
    12:34 am
    Yes, I Still Believe a Man Can Fly

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

    So… Man of Steel.

    I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I liked it a lot.

    First, the non-spoilery stuff:

    I liked pretty much every casting choice. I think a few people were wasted, but hopefully they’ll have bigger parts in future movies. Henry Caville is Superman, AFAIAC. Nobody’ll ever replace Christopher Reeve for me, but I’m happy to have Caville do any number of these.

    I disagree, strongly, with the people who say it’s soulless. It lacks the whimsy of the Reeve movies, but then, it also lacks the problematic slapstick. There are several scenes of joy/excitement, however. Maybe not as many as there could/should have been, but the movie is hardly dreary through and through.

    I felt that some of the action sequences went too far. There’s only so much destruction you can wreak on a city before–even in a comic book movie–it becomes unbelievable. The Avengers pushed up against that line. Man of Steel… Well, leapt across it in a single bound.

    And I do think it was lacking in terms of seeing Superman, well, protect people. There seemed very little effort made to acknowledge the bystanders in any of the massive throwdowns.

    But in the final analysis, it felt like a Superman movie. I bought Caville as Clark, Amy Adams as Lois, etc. Wasn’t quite as happy with Zod, but that’s just because I have a fixed image of Zod in my head, and this wasn’t quite it. It didn’t not work for me.

    The other stuff I want to discuss requires spoilers, so…

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Friday, May 31st, 2013
    4:05 pm
    May 31, 2013: War is Coming!

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

    I’ve neglected to make a fuss over this, as I’ve been battling the All-Mighty Deadline on the latest Widdershins book, but I should point out that In Thunder Forged, first printed tie-in novel to the Warmachine and Iron Kingdoms properties, is coming out next week! It’s already available for preorder at all the usual places.

    I have, as always, made every effort to ensure that even people not familiar with the property can enjoy the book and not feel like they’re lost on anything of importance.

    Hope you guys’ll give it a look, and enjoy what you see.

    2:27 pm
    Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

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

    Testing of new plug-ins. Move along, nothing to see.

    Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013
    8:14 pm
    Lost Covenant cover

    Holy crap. Apparently I got scooped. Even I didn't know this info was public, or this picture existed. o.O

    (Semi-spoiler for the epilogue of False Covenant in the synopsis, FYI.)

    Friday, April 12th, 2013
    8:34 pm
    Mannah MaNominated!

    Had a funky night with little sleep, napped away much of the afternoon... And woke up to this:

    2013 Scribe Award nominees.

    Um... Wow. There are some really good books and writers on that list. I'm kind of humbled to be up there with them.

    Good luck to every one of the other nominees. I hope you all come in a really close second. ;-)



    Current Mood: ecstatic
    Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
    12:01 pm
    And here it is!

    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.

    -------------

    Uncover the occult mysteries and deepest secrets of gangland Chicago, from the underworld to the Otherworld. Hot Lead, Cold Iron, by Ari Marmell, coming spring 2014 from Titan Books.

    Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
    12:34 am
    Cake and Candles

    It's after midnight here, which makes it the 27th, which means I can post this.

    There's been a lot of fuss in political news about people not knowing, or arguing about, how old the world is. I just laugh at them. I know exactly how old my world is, because I know when she was born.

    Happy birthday and more gratitude than I can begin to express to the woman without whose seemingly endless reserves of love, support, and patience--woo, boy, especially patience--I wouldn't be remotely near where I am today. Or who I am today. If you've ever enjoyed a single word I've written, or a single conversation we've had, it's due as much to her as it is to me.

    I love you, George.

    Monday, November 19th, 2012
    11:51 pm
    "Triumph Over Tragedy"

    So, a little while ago, I heard about a project being put together by fellow author R. T. Kaelin. Called Triumph Over Tragedy, it's an anthology intended to benefit the areas and people hit by Hurricane Sandy, and all proceeds go toward the Red Cross relief efforts. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute a story of my own, and to see how many other authors responded as well. We need your help, though. If you're willing to contribute, please visit the project's page over at IndieGoGo, and maybe chip in a few bucks to help us help others.

    Even if you can't, just spreading the link around would be of great help.

    Thanks, everyone.

    PS: The Civilian Reader blog has an entry about the project, in which several participating authors discuss their own contributions. You can find that here. I, of course, being the chatterbox that I am, wrote a much longer response than they expected, so it's up as a separate post. That's here. But if you're just going to click on one link, please choose the project page, above.

    Thursday, September 27th, 2012
    7:59 pm
    Time for a Change

    Partly because I felt like it.

    Partly because I decided it was time to make a counterstrike against the encroaching hair loss I’ve been bitching about for years. If it’s a battle I have to lose, I decided to lose it on my own terms.

    And yes, I did have to include the sunglasses. 8-)

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

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