• The Desert of Souls

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In 8th century Baghdad, a stranger pleads with the vizier to safeguard the bejeweled tablet he carries, but he is murdered before he can explain. Charged with solving…

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  • The Bones of the Old Ones

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped…

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  • The Waters of Eternity

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    Venture into the time of the Arabian Nights with stalwart Captain Asim and the brilliant Dabir as they hunt an unseen killer that craves only the eyes of…

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  • Plague of Shadows

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In the third official novel in Paizo’s Pathfinder Tales line, the race is on to free Lord Stelan from the grip of a wasting curse, and only Elyana,…

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  • Stalking the Beast

    Monday, August 13, 1066

      When a mysterious monster carves a path of destruction across the southern River Kingdoms, desperate townsfolk look to the famed elven ranger Elyana and her half-orc companion…

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  • Through the Gate in the Sea

    Saturday, July 7, 1066

    Deepwater salvager Mirian Raas and her bold crew may have bought their nation’s freedom with a hoard of lost lizardfolk treasure, but their troubles are only just beginning…

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  • Beyond the Pool of Stars

    Monday, June 25, 1066

    Mirian Raas comes from a long line of salvagers, adventurers who use magic to dive for sunken ships off the coast of tropical Sargava. When her father dies,…

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  • For the Killing of Kings

    Saturday, January 7, 1065

    Their peace was a fragile thing, but it had endured for seven years, mostly because the people of Darassus and the king of the Naor hordes believed his…

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Oct
15

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Revisiting Some Sword-And-Sorcery

As I work away on various projects, I thought I’d link back to some earlier posts.

First, having just re-read “Queen of the Black Coast,” I recently revisited observations Bill Ward and I had about an earlier re-read. Bill knocked this one out of the park.

Second, Bill and I looked at a great Brackett story, “The Moon That Vanished.” We’d meant to analyze more, but we’ve both gotten pretty busy.

Lastly, here’s a post I penned back in 2013 discussing and contrasting the way Jack Vance and Robert E. Howard depicted women in their fiction. I don’t want to spoil the post, but I have to say that after binge reading a huge amount of Vancian fiction I hold even more strongly to my conclusions, and came away with some rather icky observations about some plot preferences Vance liked to return to again and again. And I don’t think they were employed, like some Robert E. Howard features, because he knew it would get him a cover. (If you’re not in the know, REH figured out that if he wanted a cover illustration for Weird Tales, the editor would be highly inclined to give him one if he put a whipping scene in the story. I can’t say for sure whether that actually meant more sales, or if it’s something that editor really enjoyed.) For all that I love Vance’s amazing world and culture building, he repeatedly has young women, just barely mature, being raped. Sometimes it’s depicted as “lighthearted” and one time it preceded the woman’s death.

Oct
12

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Solitaire Gaming

I haven’t discussed solitaire boardgames in a while, mostly because I’ve been far too busy to play them.

But my copy of Corsair Leader, courtesy of a Kickstarter campaign I joined, is finally here. It’s been a blast looking through all the pieces and starting my rules skim. While cleaning various parts of the house I’ve listened to some reviews and half-watched some playthroughs. I hope to be able to try it out soon.

I also stumbled onto some really nice video overviews of solitaire wargames courtesy of The Player’s Aid. Here’s a link to their discussion of simpler solitaire wargames, and here’s a link to more complex ones. They discuss a lot of games I like, own, or have owned, or am interested in owning.

They don’t discuss my three favorites, Ambush!, B-17 Leader, and Lock ‘n Load Tactical. But there are SO many solitaire games available these days that they couldn’t possibly cover them all (and Ambush! is long out of print anyway). We’re really in a boardgame renaissance right now, and that includes solitaire games.

Oct
11

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Perilous Momentum

An Iconic Frank Frazetta painting of Conan.

At long last the official web page of the new book imprint I work for has launched, although it’s more of a starter page. There are ambitious plans afoot for what the web site will contain. You can see the beginnings of it here, and if you click around you’ll find a brilliant essay by the brilliant Bill Ward. He’s written a number of essays for the site, and so has the equally brilliant Ryan Harvey, but in its primal form the web site is only showing a few pieces. Nor does it permit comments on the article page, but it will eventually.

You can also see an excerpt from John Chris Hocking’s second Conan novel, Conan and the Living Plague.

While many with the imprint are in Frankfurt this week, I’m editing some more Conan work. And I’m also revisiting some Conan pastiche. I’d never read Conan and the Grim Grey God by Sean Moore all the way through, and you know what, it’s pretty good. I don’t think he quite got some of the feel right, but he comes really, really close. This one of his is definitely going on my best of pastiche list. If the poor fellow hadn’t died so young I’d definitely be pushing to reach out to him for more work.

 

 

Oct
5

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Philosophical Conundrums

As I was working in the yard earlier this week, I began to ponder an important philosophical question.

Fortunately, They Might Be Giants had the answer.

 

Oct
4

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Magician’s Skull 2

I’m pretty much busy night and day these days. I’m not complaining, because I’m having an absolute blast with all this writing and editing. But I haven’t quite figured out how to fit in time to update the blog regularly. My new theory is that I’ll try to prep stuff on the weekends, so we’ll see how that works. I still have a couple of more interviews with writers from Tales From the Magician’s Skull to take live.

Speaking of the skull, issue 2 hasn’t gotten many reviews. I’m not sure what’s up with that. But here’s a glowing one that just went live over at Black Gate, courtesy of Fletcher Vredenburgh.

Here’s the kickstarter for a new game by the talented (and award-winning) Sarah Newton, kind of a Dying Earth sort of thing that looks waaaay cool. I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of Sarah’s work, which is always loaded with clever plot hooks and fascinating backgrounds.

And my old friend, that brilliant essayist and award-winning short story writer Ryan Harvey, has a kindle short story just right for a cool October evening.

Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, especially the Skull, who doesn’t want to spread the news yet, but I’m working away on issue 3 of Tales From the Magician’s Skull.

Now I must away. I have tales to write and tales to edit…

Writing

For the Killing of Kings Preorder

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

I’d like to thank Jennifer Donovan at St. Martin’s for clearing up the issue at Amazon with the pre-order button on my upcoming novel, For the Killing of…

GenCon 2018

Monday, August 6, 2018

I’m back from GenCon with some amazing memories, some fine stories, and some gaming treasure, and I’ll probably be talking about some of it in the coming days….

Novel Lessons 4.5: Between the Novels, Part 2

Sunday, July 15, 2018

One of the reasons I wrote last week of learning from other genres is because of one of the problems plaguing me in the as-yet uncompleted The Maiden’s…

Beta Readers

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The other day I was asked what the best way to find beta readers was. In short form, you have to network with other writers. I found my…

Novel Lessons 4.5: Between the Novels Part 1

Monday, July 9, 2018

After I took my last post about novel writing live I realized that I’d left a few things out. I’ve written before on the importance of reading outside…