Feb
15

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Board Game Bonanza

forbidden islandWell, not a bonanza, really, but my wife and I picked up Forbidden Island and Pandemic this weekend, and I’ve been researching other board games. We don’t have too many of the modern ones, as we’ve continued role-playing games over the years. A lot of the modern board games people rave about are sort of like “role-playing lite,” like Defenders of the Realm, and I figure if I want that feel I can just run a paper and dice role-playing game.

But there are scads of great looking modern games even apart from those. I’m most drawn to games with ancient civilization building and war themes, as you might expect, and other tactical games. I’ve heard wonderful things about Tigris & Euphrates for years but haven’t picked it up — I don’t imagine my wife would like the conflict aspect of it. (One of the reasons I have gotten into solitaire games is that I can play tactical scenarios that way.) Read More

Feb
12

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Rare Treasures

lybeck 1I’m still moving forward at a fast clip into the rough draft of my next book, although I’ve had a slow start this morning. Now that I’m not reading a long Conan story every week, and that the season is over for my daughter’s high school swim team, I have a little more time to read. On the docket soon are some books by friends and acquaintances, the first being an e-book I’m long overdue getting back to (sorry, Peter!).

First, though, I’m finally finishing a read through of an anthology that’s a little like a mixed tape. I discussed my collection of one-of-a-kind pulp anthologies a few years ago if you want a little more information. Each was created, compiled, and hand sewn by pulp collector Al Lybeck. The one I’m reading right now includes several short novels: Read More

Feb
10

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Full Tilt Wednesday

hulk computerDrafting this new, eh, draft, is going so well I didn’t want to take too much time out to create a post for the day, but I did want to stop and thank all of you who joined in the Conan re-read. Bill and I enjoyed sharing our thoughts with all of you, and exchanging opinions.

I also want to thank Bill, who’s simply a brilliant writer. His insightful comments were a huge factor in the success of this re-read. But then he’s a brilliant guy and it’s a pleasure to name him my friend. He’s been talking about getting back to fiction writing, and I’ve been trying to encourage him in that route. The rest of you should as well. The problem with being named “Bill Ward” is that there are apparently a whole lot of creative folks with the same name, which makes it hard to launch your writing career. If you perform a search for his work, you’re apt to turn up someone else. He may have to start drafting under a pseudonym. Read More

Feb
5

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Conan Re-Read: Conclusion

conquering sword conanBill Ward and I have just finished a re-read of every complete story of Conan the Cimmerian written by Robert E. Howard.

Howard: It’s hard to believe it’s been six months since we started this re-read. But then it’s hard to believe it’s over, and it’s hard to believe that there aren’t any more Conan stories. Such a fantastic character practically begs to have more adventures told about him, which is probably why the regrettable Conan pastiche industry popped up. Well, maybe not entirely regrettable, because I’ve read some I’ve really enjoyed. What’s regrettable is that for a long time they were packaged on equal footing with the real thing, or made available even when the real thing was out of print. Read More

Feb
1

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January Wrap-Up

dakins stationFebruary’s here. That’s hard for me to believe. One twelfth of the New Year is already over, and it was a blur. But looking back I suppose it’s been a good month. I have managed to not be nearly as pedal to the metal and have been taking time to relax on many evenings, something that didn’t happen much the whole back half of 2015.

Over the weekend I finished my friend Ian Tregillis’ new novel in manuscript and found it delightful, and later I finished a short Merle Constiner novel. He has only a handful more that I haven’t read (well, 8 may not normally be considered a handful, but they’re all quite short) so I’m going to read something completely different and pace myself. Read More

Writing

After the Book Deal

Monday, January 10, 2011

In May of 2010 I posted two short essays on the Black Gate web site about something that had been a kind of holy grail for me: obtaining…

Signing the Contract

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Last week I wrote about obtaining my first book deal. Over the next few months I thought I’d talk from time to time about what happens next. As…

How to Get a Book Deal

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In late July of 2009 I got an offer for a historical fantasy novel from St. Martin’s imprint Thomas Dunne featuring my series characters, Dabir and Asim. The…