The Magician’s Skull will Return

The mighty Skull has made an official announcement. Yes, there will be more issues of the sword-and-sorcery magazine!

No, the Skull is not yet open to submissions. The stars are not yet right. Also, I wouldn’t have time to read them. But mostly the stars.

You can read the announcement here!

I haven’t seen any reviews yet of Issue 2, which leads me to think maybe going quarterly would be too frequent. I mean, if people haven’t found time to read the second issue yet in the last few months, how would they find time to have read TWO issues in the last few months?

As the time for the new Kickstarter nears, I hope you’ll help spread the word. I want to reach even more readers this time.

Existing issues can be purchased here. Note that the PDF of 2 is not yet available. Soon, though.




Link Day

Copyright Darian Jones

It’s me, Link Man! I’ve returned to assist Howard while he toils away on numerous important and mysterious projects, none of which probably involve mucking the stables!

First, Deuce Richardson’s authored an interesting article over at DMR books you really ought to look at, especially if you’re a fan of sword-and-sorcery, H.P. Lovecraft, and/or the origins of modern fantasy.

Second, the redoubtable S.E. Lindberg has interviewed the talented Richard Lee Byers, and you really ought to check it out.

Third, Inwell Ideas has released two new encounter decks. I’m a big fan of these — they’re adventure outlines on cards, with a location map on one side and an adventure outline on the other. It’s great stuff if you’re an experienced game master. Each outline comes with the situation, possible hooks, possible complications, and conclusions. If you’ve got the books with rules and monsters, but you need a quick plot, these things are awesome, and highly recommended by yours truly.

Link Man away!




GenCon 2018 Part 3

Leonardo da Vinci, apparently caught in a stasis field at my Indianapolis hotel.

Last week I mentioned that I was, in a way, wearing four kinds of hats when I attended GenCon 2018, and spent most of a post talking about looking around at nifty game treasures and working at the Goodman Games booth.

Wearing the ‘ol writer’s hat, I approached various friends and friendly acquaintances and asked if they’d be interested in considering my upcoming novel for a blurb. As I mentioned early last week, it’s much, much simpler to approach people if you already know them, which is why it’s good to begin attending conventions sooner rather than later, although I wasn’t that mercenary or clever. I first started attending conventions to meet the writers and editors of the stories I loved and to try to find a way into the industry. Doors I didn’t even realize  opened for me when I made friends and contacts with like-minded folks.

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GenCon 2018 Part 2

One way to think about my GenCon presence this year was as a wearer of 4 hats. Hat 1 was as a writer, meeting other writers, editors, and fans. Hat 2 was as a magazine editor and employee of Goodman Games. Hat 3 was as an editor for Perilous Worlds. And hat 4 was as a big fan of role-playing games, boardgames, and books.

I didn’t get as much of a chance to wear hat 4 this year, in part because I was so busy (and gratefully so) wearing the other hats. But I was also constrained in part because of an endless basement remodel. With a lot of our budget still tied up in turning our cinder block storage area into a nice living space I just didn’t feel right buying all the nifty things that interested me, which is why I made only two game purchases. One was a book of magic items for the Arcanis roleplaying game, which I mentioned yesterday, and the other was a nifty looking Viking solitaire game from Decision Games. Online here it’s showing up as $14.00 but I’m almost positive I only spent $12.00 on it at the convention. Anyway, it looks like it’s going to be fun. Read More




GenCon 2018 Part 1

I had so much fun at GenCon this year it’s hard to know where to begin, but as I’m running late already today I’m just going to show you a few of the treasures I picked up.

First, while I was walking to the Modiphius booth with my friend Sarah Newton (talented writer and game designer) I glimpsed a nifty looking role-playing book with what looked like a Roman Legionnaire on the cover. I’ll share some more info about the treasures at the Modiphius booth in the coming days, after I’ve had more of a chance to absorb their glories.

I was so taken with what turned out to be the Arcanis booth that I dropped back by, looked through the books, and met Henry Lopez, the campaign setting’s author. He turned out to be a fan of my work, and after leafing through one book he generously gave me and another I bought I’m now a fan of his. Any of you regular visitors know what a sucker I am for the ancient Mediterranean as a setting. Lopez created a secondary world highly flavored by ancient Rome and other nations, dosed with some Robert E. Howardisms (like serpentmen) and then creatively applied new twists on some old tropes. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on the system and its future releases. This is cooool stuff.



Writing Notecards

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Sometimes I re-learn writing lessons without pain. Or maybe I should say sometimes what I know is a good writing technique gets confirmed, because I actually remember to…

Novel Lessons 3: The Bones of the Old Ones

Monday, June 4, 2018

Three weeks ago I mentioned that it had taken me a year, writing in my spare time, to create the first Dabir and Asim novel, The Desert of…

Novel Lessons 2: Plague of Shadows

Monday, May 28, 2018

Maybe I should label this novel as “2.5” because I’d started my second Dabir and Asim novel, The Bones of the Old Ones, before I set to work…

Language Use

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

My friend Troy asked the other day about my ” ideas on usage of language – how you change it per the setting and world you are writing in,…

Submission Reading

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

When I stepped up to be the Managing Editor of Black Gate, I started running a live journal. It seems hard to believe that was already so long…