Jun
30

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Fantasy Recommendations

hulk thinkHaving noticed that I almost NEVER talk about any modern fantasy these days, and further noticing that I have been reading nothing but books that are at least 30 years old and outside the genre I actually write it for most of the last year, I’m opening up the floor.

Regular visitors, you probably have a sense of what I like. Fast paced, imaginative prose. No padding (knowing today’s market I guess I can suffer through some minimal padding, but not much). Strong characters. Actual heroism and not constant nihilism.

What can you suggest? Tell me about it.

Jun
28

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Solitaire Gaming

nemo's war

My Kickstarter copy of the second edition of Nemo’s War arrived from Victory Point Games, but I’m not opening it for my birthday. It was a BIT late coming in from the Kickstarter (I originally thought it was going to be a Christmas present last year) but it’s there in a box waiting for its mid July debut in the household.

Anyway, on occasion of that, here’s the secret origin story of how I got involved in this whole crazy solitaire gaming hobby. You’ll note that I’ve since become aware of a whole slew of additional solitaire gaming companies, like White Dog and Hollandspiele and DVG and Decision Games, to mention just a few more. And there’s a great new updated Barbarian Prince download, which I detailed at Black Gate.

You’ll notice that I mention the tactile pleasure of sitting down with a board game. I’ve grown to appreciate that more and more. I spend so much time hunched in front of a computer already. I feel — without any kind of medical study backing me up, mind — that it must be exercising a different part of the ‘ol brain than working with a computer does, and I’m sure learning all the rules and mastering different tactics is good for stretching the gray matter. That, of course, is the side benefit, because the game play is FUN.

But if I keep blathering I’m going to completely lose track of the whole point of re-printing an article because I’ll have spent too much time typing this intro! I must spend a chunk of the day working on the secret sword-and-sorcery product before I get to writing, so I’d best get to it. Here’s what I knew about solitaire gaming back in 2011: Read More

Jun
26

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L’Amourapalooza

Lamour

My wife’s Aunt Judy, fellow bibliophile, gifted me with her entire L’amour collection. Thanks, Judy!!!

You can see it there in stacks and stacks of  its glory. In all my years I’ve read but ONE L’Amour. You folks out there have any suggestions on where I should start?

Jun
23

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One Sword for Love

one sword for loveI finished another Gardner Fox historical earlier this week, and it was a cracking good one. Any of you who love a good Harold Lamb swashbuckler would have seen some familiar features, enough that I couldn’t help thinking that Fox must have read some Lamb. That’s fairly likely, actually, given that Lamb was one of the most popular writers in one of the two magazines best known for historical fiction (Adventure and Argosy — Lamb wrote primarily for Adventure).

As a matter of fact, the whole thing read rather like an R-rated version of a Harold Lamb Crusader story. So you get the gritty, tough, man-at-arms, but you also get some far racier moments that happen on-screen. That sword he’s holding, by the way… you don’t get much of that, because our protagonist’s preferred weapon is a spiked ball on the end of a chain with which he’s frighteningly proficient.

You’ll note that there’s a lovely blonde woman on the cover, and you don’t get much of THAT, either, because the romantic lead is a Persian Princess.

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Jun
19

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Woman of Wonder

wonder womanWe finally slid away to catch Wonder Woman this weekend and it was far better than I expected. Some people talked about rough dialogue and others complained about special effects (I never understand that, really – how do those people get by when they’re seeing old movies, or attending the theatre?). Others said it wasn’t as good as the hype.

I figured I’d end up coming away in agreement with all three, because A.) most science fiction/fantasy shows end up with slavish devotees regardless of a show’s quality, and B.) people wanted to like it. But I found it an enjoyable and exhilarating and sometimes moving summer blockbuster. It achieved everything that the first Captain America managed occasionally to do (or, more fairly, throughout its first half and sporadically thereafter) and did it over the course of its entire run.

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Writing

Links and Elyana Sadrastis

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Keeping with ancient tradition (established last Thursday) I have more Links of Interest. PLUS a few updates on my Paizo book, now vacuuming up all of my time….

Pedal to the Paizo

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I have lots of cool things on my radar, but my blog is apt to be quiet for a bit. There are only a few weeks left before…

Step One

Monday, March 4, 2013

I had been writing fantasy and science fiction for years before it finally dawned on me that if I was really serious about it I really ought to…

Invocation of the Muses

Thursday, February 14, 2013

One of Steven Pressfield’s main topics of focus in The War of Art is the fight against what he calls Resistance — the unrelenting struggle a writer faces…

Plague of Titles

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I thought I’d pen a quick note just so everyone knew I was still alive. There’s a lot of activity here at Jones central, and some of it…