Archive | March, 2008

Matt-M-McElroy

WotC interviews Eberron author Jeff LaSala

Posted on March 20, 2008 by

Wizards of the Coast sat down with The Darkwood Mask author Jeff LaSala recently for an interview: Wizards: How would you describe The Darkwood Mask to a reader thinking about picking it up? Jeff LaSala: It is an action murder mystery in a world where magic (or other supernatural power) is arrayed against you and […]

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Flames

Complete Chronicles of Conan Review

Posted on March 19, 2008 by

This is it, all your Conan stories all in one spot accompanied by an able and long article on the author, a nice long introduction to the world of Hyboria and a smattering of black and white art – both endpieces and plates – to bring some of the old feel of the mystery magazines back in. This is what it says on the tin, a full on compilation of everything Conan behind a nice looking inlaid cover.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

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Matt-M-McElroy

Stephen King talks ‘Dark Tower’ on NPR

Posted on March 18, 2008 by

Stephen King recently made an appearance on NPR’s Talk of the Nation: To the delight of Stephen King fans, the latest installment in the Marvel comic book series inspired by his Dark Tower epic was released in early March. The illustrated saga was kicked off in the graphic novel Dark Tower: Gunslinger Born, which introduced […]

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alanajoli

Happy Hour of the Damned Fiction Review

Posted on March 18, 2008 by


A good urban fantasy can be like a mixed drink. It’s got to have the right flavor—but it’s also got to have a lot of kick. Not so much, of course, that you’ll regret it the next morning. The characters in Mark Henry’s Happy Hour of the Damned might not liken themselves to mixed drinks, but they would certainly appreciate the allusion. Because few zombies appreciate liquor like the heroines in Henry’s novel.

Review by Alana Abbott

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Matt-M-McElroy

The Last War has begun…Cthulhutech

Posted on March 17, 2008 by

Mongoose Publishing has released the Cthulhutech Main Rulebook as an eBook with a reprint of the paper version on the way to stores sometime next month.

2085. Humanity faces extinction. Alien insects from the edge of our solar system, long hidden behind the façade of reality, descend to enslave us. Hordes of unspeakable horrors roll out from Central Asia, laying waste to anything in their path. The church of the fish-god scours the world for lost occult secrets to unleash terrible forces. Dead gods awaken and turn their dreadful eyes toward the Earth. And within hides a cancer, eating away at the very heart of the New Earth Government.

This is the Aeon War. This is the time of CthulhuTech.

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Flames

Scion: Hero RPG Review

Posted on March 17, 2008 by

The characters in Scion are the long-lost, illegitimate, half-human children of the gods of old, the pantheons, the Norse, Greek, Egyptian, Japanese, Aztec and Voodoo pantheons respectively (though I’m not sure Voodoo deserves to be in such company really). There’s the possibility to play scions of other gods and pantheons as well, but these aren’t detailed in this book.

The Scions are contacted, equipped and gifted by their errant parents and put to work to defend humanity from the machinations and monsters impinging on this world at the behest of the Titans. To help them with this they get magical powers, magical items or companions and other gifts from their parents. Superpowered individuals rampaging about the modern world as demigods, fighting monsters and ancient gods (of the wrong sort).

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

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Flames

Lives of Necromancers

Posted on March 16, 2008 by

Bards and Sages releases Lives of Necromancers. In 1834, William Godwin published Lives of Necromancers, an overview of legendary and historic figures associated with the occult. Godwin’s work was more than a who’s who of known magicians and sorcerers, however, but also a critical examination of what he called the “credulity of the human mind.” […]

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Matt-M-McElroy

Favorite Horror Game Contest Ends Today!

Posted on March 15, 2008 by

Today is your last chance to get your entry posted in the Flames Rising Favorite Horror Game Contest! In one paragraph (250 words) or less, tell us what your favorite horror game is and “why.” By “game” we mean role-playing game, card game, computer/video game, or board game. It may also be alternative platforms like […]

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Matt-M-McElroy

Flash Fire Mini-Reviews (Scary Short Stories)

Posted on March 14, 2008 by

Last week we talked about the most well-known vampire in the world, Dracula. The Dark Prince will probably return for another round of Mini-Reviews at a later date, since we only had the chance to check out a few of the products featuring Dracula and there are certainly many more available.

This week we are going to take a look at some great collections of scary stories. There are fiction anthologies on every subject imaginable. Fans of Horror & Dark Fantasy have many authors and publishers to choose from. Some of the authors featured in this week’s mini-reviews include Jim Butcher, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, David Wellington, C.J. Henderson, Tanith Lee and Patricia A. McKillip…just to name a few.

Here are a few anthologies that I’ve had the chance to check out recently…

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Flames

New Horror Titles at Delirium Books

Posted on March 14, 2008 by

Books #5 & #6 in the Delirium Hardcover Chapbook Series have just been announced. Each signed and numbered hardcover chapbook is side-sewn and has a full graphic wraparound cover and measures 4 1/2 inches x 6 1/4 inches and is exactly 100 pages. DIVAGATIONS by John Maclay The six brand-new stories that constitute John Maclay’s […]

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Matt-M-McElroy

Monica Valentinelli: New Website!

Posted on March 13, 2008 by

Freelance author, reviewer and game designer, Monica Valentinelli, has launched a new website called Words on the Water. Monica’s published work includes Aletheia from Abstract Nova, Worlds of the Dead from Eden Studios, Colonial Gothic from Rogue Games, Prey at Pseudopod.org and more. She also has Obsidian: the Age of Judgement and Conspiracy of Shadows […]

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Matt-M-McElroy

Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations Review

Posted on March 13, 2008 by

The Road Guide is well written and it shows that some research went into each of the locations featured throughout each chapter. A typical entry will feature a photo of the location, brief driving directions, a bit of ghost lore (i.e. what sort of ghostly activity is rumored to haunt the place), some local history and lastly, details about the investigation into the haunting. Not every entry follows this exact format; some of them have section switched around a bit or include extra notes on the topic. Generally, however, the book is easy to read and the information is offered in a useful format.

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Flames

MTV News: Corey Feldman on ‘Lost Boys 2’

Posted on March 12, 2008 by

Corey Feldman chats with MTV News about the return of his cult hit, 21 years after the original. Plus, get a sneak peek of the sexy, gory sequel. It’s ‘Lost Boys’ on steroids,’ actor says of the sequel, which comes 21 years after the original. It’s one of the greatest last lines in recent film […]

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Flames

Lies of Locke Lamora & Red Seas Under Red Skies Fiction Review

Posted on March 12, 2008 by

These two novels of what will likely be a septology (or more, I believe there’s a prequel coming) of novels by Scott Lynch are a sort of Renaissance fantasy world with more than a passing nod to the Venetian merchant princes of history and the ensemble cast crime movies of the modern age. I would call it ‘Oceans 11, with Wizards’ but that wouldn’t be entirely fair since, while there is magic, it’s rather low key magic for the most part, subtle and sinister rather than ‘Kablooie!’. These first two novels cover the rise, fall, recovery and then fall again of master thief Locke Lamora and his companions, most particularly the educated brute (and Locke’s best friend) Jean Tannen.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

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Monica Valentinelli

Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Ravens of Avalon Review

Posted on March 11, 2008 by

Ravens of Avalon is the type of fantasy novel that also falls into the realm of historical fiction. The tale is a sequence of events about the Roman invasion of Britannia, threaded together with a cast of characters focused on Boudica, an Iceni Queen who united Britannia and led a bloody, short rebellion against their Roman invaders.

Having read some of the other “Avalon” novels, I expected certain conventions to remain true to this story. For one, this is a story told from the point-of-view of a priestess from Avalon, the Druid tradition. This alone makes the story different, more colorful to read as you travel back to the time of early civilization, and are able to understand not only what the goals of the characters are about, but what life might have been like during those ancient times.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Edge of Propinquity features “The Valley” by Alana Joli Abbott

Posted on March 11, 2008 by

The Edge of Propinquity is a series of short stories exploring the world around us that lurks just beneath the surface. It is the world of the unexplained, supernatural, magic, horror, duty, responsibility, black humor, conspiracy, unknown heritage and power.

Check out Volume 26 of The Edge of Propinquity for a tale by Alana Joli Abbott called The Valley.

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Flames

Brainwashed RPG Review

Posted on March 10, 2008 by

Brainwashed is a d20 Modern, horror adventure by 12 to Midnight, written by the impressively named Preston P. DuBose and illustrated by Nicole Cardiff (cover) and Steve Bentley (interior). It follows the misadventures of a group of investigators as they probe the mysterious and sudden popularity of the Harmony Farm commune/cult and get to the bottom of a strange and otherworldly secret. The blurb professes an ambition for a Lovecraftian feel to the game, good to aim high, and it references 12 to Midnight’s horror supplemental rules effort Fear Effects, which – unfortunately – I haven’t read, so I can’t comment on the adventure in that respect. I also now, ahead of time and with full understanding of my own hypocrisy here, having written published adventures before, admit that I just generally don’t like pre-written adventures as they don’t suit my free-wheeling style of GMing.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

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Monica Valentinelli

Dragon Champion Fiction Review

Posted on March 10, 2008 by

When I say that I’ve read a lot of fantasy novels over the years, I mean that there was a time in my life where I was reading about the equivalent of a book a day. As a lightning fast reader, I’ve read everything from C.S. Friedman, Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman to Terry Brooks, R.A. Salvatore, Melanie Rawn and Tad Williams. Included in that bucket of work, were novels I picked based on their size and whether or not there were several books that followed in a series. After a while, I got burnt out on traditional fantasy (with the exception of a few authors) simply because I got tired of the formula. A waif-like character (male or female) ends up saving the world time and time again, but not before becoming ungodly powerful in the way that only fantasy characters can.

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Flames

DriveThruFiction (Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy)

Posted on March 9, 2008 by

DriveThruFiction is one of the Web’s premiere places to acquire digital copies of your favorite best-selling fiction titles. There’s so much, it can’t all be contained in just one place! Please follow the links below to browse your preferred genre. DriveThruHorror.com – If you enjoy a sense of creeping terror and shaking on the edge […]

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alanajoli

Magic Lost, Trouble Found Fiction Review

Posted on March 9, 2008 by

A sorceress with attitude manages to get her hands on a powerful artifact, which suddenly makes her the most popular (read: most hunted) girl in town. It sound like a great set up, right? That’s how Raine Benares begins her adventures in Magic Lost, Trouble Found, narrating the entire adventure with wry commentary and snarky remarks. For fans of contemporary fantasy, the narration style is a familiar one. Throw it into a high fantasy setting where the narrator is an elven seeker–a sorceress who finds things–and it makes for an odd combination.

Review by Alana Abbott

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