Archive | September, 2010

Flames

Michael Moorcock’s Blood: A Southern Fantasy in audio from Macabre Ink Digital

Posted on September 29, 2010 by

The South…but not as we know it…

On the threshold of infinity, a world awaits the inevitable moment of annihilation – fearing the terrible wild colors that bleed through the shredded fabric of reality.

The river flows across the dimensions – lawless, unstable waterways that seep into chaos and violent uncertainty. Here, on riverboats and in doomed cafes teetering on oblivion’s edge, jugador gamblers work their mystical trade – while others, less adept, seek purpose in a space opera mythology that determines all things. And the river flows, carrying the best of the best, jugador supreme Jack Karaquazian, ever closer to the beautiful Colinda Dovero – the walking vision to whom he once promised his eternal heart…then lost through pride and blind folly.

And the river flows, uniting Sam Oakenhurst, disciple of machinoix pain, with his mysterious beloved, the Rose. For somewhere different upriver, they each have a role to play in a continuing cosmic drama-and must risk the future on the famous luck of Jack Karaquazian in the apocalyptic Game of Time.

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Megan

Rêve: the Dream Ouroboros RPG Review

Posted on September 29, 2010 by


The book opens with a rambling foreword by the author, touching on how this is a complete rewrite – as the translation of the original I’m reading is of the 2nd edition of Rêve de Dragon – of the rules, suggesting the order and way in which it should be read and the like, before getting to the underlying philosophy of the game: that a dream exists only whilst the dreamer is dreaming… and that in similar vein, the alternate reality of a role-playing game only comes to life when someone is playing that game. The aim in creating the game is to provide a ruleset that facilitates the shared dream of the in-game reality.

The whole is divided into three books, the first of which is called Journeyers. For this game is about journeys: be they quests, searches for enlightenment or indeed actual travels. It begins with the rules for creating a character, or Journeyer. Each is described by a comprehensive list of 18 characteristics, assigned in the main by point-buy, as well as skills and other attributes. Interestingly, the details of actually acquiring skills and the like are left until later despite a fairly comprehensive outline of how a character is described mechanically, the discussion then moves on to the crux of this ruleset, the resolution table, which is brought into use whenever it is not clear whither an action will succeed or not.

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The Best of All Flesh Review

Posted on September 28, 2010 by

Anthologies are a sordid sort of crapshoot. Admittedly, I am not normally a fan of crapshoots, or really gambling of any sort. It doesn’t come as some sort of moral high ground or religious stance against lady luck; it just isn’t my cup of tea. So when I got the chance here to do a review of Elder Signs Press’s, “The Best of All Flesh” which was edited by James Lowder, whose earlier works are some of THE seminal Ravenloft and Forgotten Realms works. Needless to say I was both excited-as all things zombie leave me feeling somewhat elated, and yet very, very skeptical. I have read the Permuted Press outings, and I have also read some of the newer compilations which have been released in the last five years, as all things “Zombie” seemed to be just the right thing for the failing publishing industry.

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Flames

Enforcer (Warhammer) Novel Review

Posted on September 27, 2010 by

Enforcer is not a typical 40k book. There are no space marines, aliens, battlefields — the standard fare for the darkness of the 41st millennium. Enforcer is also not a stand-alone novel, but an omnibus edition capturing all three novels of the Shira Calpurnia trilogy into one volume. The three novels are Crossfire, Legacy, and Blind. I somehow missed these when they were initially printed. I had heard quite a bit of positive discussion concerning them, so when I picked up my copy I dug right in.

The focus of these books is on Shira Calpurnia a senior member of the Adeptus Arbites. The Arbites are responsible for enforcing the laws of the Imperium across the galaxy. The best comparison to the arbites outside of 40k would be Judge Dredd. Depending on the situation, an arbite could be judge, jury, and executioner. Intimidation and brute force are the means by which they get the job done.

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Monica Valentinelli

Creating a Video Trailer to Promote Your Game or Book

Posted on September 25, 2010 by

After seeing some of the trailers that I’ve created, a lot of people ask me how easy it is to create a book trailer and whether or not it’s worthwhile. A lot of people are claiming that one easy way to promote your books is to offer a video book trailer through YouTube! or your website. While the jury is still out as to whether or not sales can be attributed to someone watching a video book trailer, they can help spread the word and, for horror, can allude to the theme of the work.

In this post, I’ll talk about how you can create a promotional trailer for your book or game on a tight budget.

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Cthulhu Tales Issue 11 Review

Posted on September 24, 2010 by

Boom Studios started publishing Cthulhu Tales as a series in 2008. The first time I came across these comics, a little over a year ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that each story within an issue (of the ones I’ve read so far, at least) is contained and delightfully bizarre.

Issue #11, which came out in February of 2009, features four tales that range from the insanely funny to the apocalyptic. The first story — written by Christopher Sequeira, artwork by W. Chewie Chan — tackles the corporate world. In “Incorporation,” money-hungry and power-hungry Glenda can’t wait to start pushing people off of the ladder as she climbs her way up the ranks at her new employer, Wilcox-Gammell. She soon finds that the job is tougher than she thought and the perks aren’t exactly as advertised. The artwork is good. Nothing that really stands out, but it delivers the story well. There’s some creative use of the panels, especially toward the end. It’s a good read and not exactly the cautionary tale that it appears to be at first glance.

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Flames

EVE Online: Incursion expansion coming in Winter 2010

Posted on September 23, 2010 by

CCP, one of the world’s leading independent game developers, has announced a new expansion for all subscribers and trial users of EVE Online that will be released in November, 2010. EVE Online: Incursion will feature the escalating attacks of the deadly Sansha’s Nation which is bent on instituting its own utopia and exacting vengeance against the pilots who stand in its way. Pilots can join public fleets and co-operate to destroy the Sansha incursions and return the universe to normal, receiving wealthy bounties, earning loyalty rewards and high commendation.

EVE Online: Incursion will also include many improvements as suggested by the Council of Stellar Management, as well as hardware upgrades, software improvements and new cluster components aimed at increasing game and fleet battle performance to even higher levels.

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Monica Valentinelli

The Law of Nines Review

Posted on September 23, 2010 by

Terry Goodkind is one fantasy author that I’m all-too-familiar with. I’ve watched THE LEGEND OF THE SEEKER series and have read most of his books about Richard Rahl and the rest of the characters. So, when given the opportunity to read THE LAW OF NINES, I was curious to see what Goodkind would do with a modern tale.

THE LAW OF NINES is fascinating to me in a lot of ways, because this wasn’t a story that I had expected to read. For starters, this is a lot grittier and darker than some of his other books because it is set in our world – a world with no magic. Although strange things do happen, Goodkind’s emphasis is on the “cost” of how characters might react to these reality-bending occurrences. The results, while not pretty, are wholly believable and help maintain great tension throughout most of the book.

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Megan

Dungeon of Terror Virtual Boxed Set Review

Posted on September 22, 2010 by

It’s a delightful conceit – a ‘virtual boxed set’ – harking back to the cardboard boxes that used to contain much of one’s gaming treasures… and this too is full of treasure, namely all eight parts of 0one’s Dungeon of Terror mapset with a few bonus goodies as well: a big DM’s map, random encounter tables and template pages on which you can record your notes about the various rooms. If you want to use the dungeon entire, this is well worth acquiring.

The eight parts of the mapset, which are also available separately if you have already decided that you only require a part of this vast complex, are presented as separate PDF files in your download, as are the three bonus items… and a JPEG image which is the one that appears in product advertising (I’d have liked a larger one of just the ‘box lid’ art to use as cover to a folder or even in on a hand-made box to make it a REAL boxed set!).

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Flames

Coyote Falls SAS for Werewolf: The Forsaken

Posted on September 21, 2010 by

It’s really only a matter of time, he thinks, twirling his gun around his index finger. The girl’s moves are obvious, rote. She’s a teenager; she doesn’t know any better. She’ll reach out for the only type of protection she’s ever really known.

Which means they’ll be coming.

But that’s just fine, the man thinks as his badge glistening in the moonlight. Police car lights flashing just long enough for him to take an illegal U-turn. It’s fine because they don’t know the game, which means he’ll be able to set one enemy against another and buy himself some time.

He can use them all for pawns.

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The Eternal Prison Fiction Review

Posted on September 21, 2010 by

So when we last everyone’s favorite and most famous gunner, Avery Cates, in the Digital Plague, he was on his knees and smiling. Hoping that this was the end, and that the universe would just put the bullet in his head and let him rest. I mean he had already survived an uprising from cybernetic monks, being patient number zero for a world killing nano robotic plague, and of course the seemingly endless stream of System Security Force cops trying to take down public enemy number one. You know what? I would be smiling too.

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Flames

Tim Gunn to Write Foreword for ‘RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN’

Posted on September 20, 2010 by

‘PROJECT RUNWAY’ STAR WRITES INTRO FOR UPCOMING ARCHAIA GRAPHIC NOVEL

The highly anticipated Archaia graphic novel hardcover, RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN, just got a lot more dapper with the addition of Tim Gunn to the book’s list of contributors. The co-host of television’s “Project Runway” and best-selling author of Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making It Work has written the introduction to the original fairy tale, which he compares to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz, calling it “a transformational experience, a morality tale that is certain to become an instant contemporary classic.”

“I was thrilled and honored to be asked to contribute to RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN!” said Gunn. “After reading the script and seeing the art, I truly believe that this is a work of literature that will be enjoyed by all generations. I would say it’s especially an important work to put before children, many children—elementary school libraries everywhere should purchase several copies each!”

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Skullkickers #1 Comic Review

Posted on September 20, 2010 by

“No one knows where these two warriors came from. The only thing that’s clear is that they’re two of most ornery, trouble-making $%@# that have ever lived. SKULLKICKERS is a fantasy action-comedy: Two mercenaries are entangled in a high-class assassination plot and nothing—werewolves, skeletons or black magic—will stop them from getting paid. If you love tabletop fantasy RPGs or movies like Army of Darkness, SKULLKICKERS is waiting for you!“

Nice looking book! I love the color work, it makes every panel pop off the page with style. I gotta say that the fat werewolf rocks! Can I get a shirt of that! I love the character designs, very cartoon/anime but that is what I tend to like. Like I said the colors rock and it really works well with the tone of the story.

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Flames

Talk Like a Pirate and Free Loot to Boot through the 22nd!

Posted on September 19, 2010 by

Drunken Goblin for DriveThruRPG.comShiver me timbers, is that time o’ year again? Today, the world honors the worst sort o’ scoundrel known to sail on the high seas. Why, I’m talkin’ ’bout pirates o’ course! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

If yer not talkin’ like a pirate today, ye should be countin’ yer gold. There’s a dark rumor afoot that the biggest digital game retailer has set anchor. DriveThruRPG asks ye to row yer boats over to their site to shop their pirate sale and plunder DriveThruRPG.com for treasure. Arr, their beggin’ ye to hunt for free e-books by opening treasure chests throughout their site. Thar be twenty titles in all and ye don’t need to spend any gold to loot their booty. Not only that, but this fine merchant is offerin’ this deal until the 22nd of September.

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Flames

Redemption Corps Review

Posted on September 17, 2010 by


The Redemption Corps is a regiment of ultra tough storm-troopers. Led by the legendary Captain Mortensen, the Redemption Corps and its Navy support divisions drift across the Kaligari Cradle from one warzone to another on brutal missions. When the revered major comes to the attention of the deadly sorority of the Battle Sisters, he not only has to contend with an ork invasion, but these fearsome warrioress-fanatics too. Now, the regiment must fight for its survival whilst being trapped between the xenos and the dark fury of the Imperium.

I read through this one rather quickly. It sucked me in and I couldn’t put it down. It also helped that I was trapped in the passenger seat on a family road trip as my wife drove us out to the middle of nowhere. Anyway, Storm Troopers are the focus of this book and bear some explanation. The Storm Troops of Warhammer 40k are nothing like those white armored buffoons from the original Star Wars Trilogy.

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Flames

Confessions of a Boy Fraidy Cat

Posted on September 15, 2010 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with an essay written by Bob Fingerman, an author and artist with roots in the comic book industry. Fingerman has worked on a number of horror-themed works, including BOTTOMFEEDER, ZOMBIEWORLD: WINTER’S DREGS and the zombie graphic novel entitled RECESS PIECES. Just recently, his new zombie novel PARIAH was released from Tor Books.

In this essay, Fingerman offers us an insightful look into his personal experiences with the horror genre as a kid. Be sure to stay tuned for an exclusive preview of PARIAH and our review of his second novel.

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Jason Thorson

Eyes Beyond Movie Review

Posted on September 15, 2010 by

Eyes Beyond is an independent short film starring, written and directed by Canadian filmmaker, Daniel Reininghaus. Many movies that share its level of independence have glaring problems; however, Eyes Beyond emerges as a surprisingly superior romp through depravity.

The film’s premise, without giving too much away, is as follows: Brothers, Adam (Evan Eisnstadt) and Gabriel Morales (Daniel Reininghaus) invite their neighbors over for dinner. As members of the Rogers family, Henry (Robert Nolan), Abigaile (Danielle Barker), and Vivian (Kelly-Marie Murtha), make themselves comfortable and conversation ensues, things quickly spin out of control – way out of control. But things are rarely as they seem.

Eyes Beyond does a lot of things very well. First and foremost, it looks and sounds fantastic. The film’s technical attributes are very polished. Cinematographer, Michael Jari Davidson capably captures dynamic shots – warm and primary colors against white backgrounds, lush green-lined yards with depth, dim natural light, bright artificial light, etc – with the same consistency and quality one expects in projects boasting much higher budgets.

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Robert A. Howard

Dark Sun Campaign Setting (D&D 4e) Review

Posted on September 14, 2010 by

I’ve been waiting eagerly for the re-release of the Dark Sun Campaign Setting for a long time – since the early days of 3rd Edition, actually. Why? It’s an amazingly different world in comparison to the somewhat same old and tired fantasy settings out there. But, D&D 3e came and went and Dark Sun languished in some dark corner of the WotC offices – probably collecting dust next to Planescape – forgotten and dejected. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever see this world in print again, but after a decade and half, Wizards of the Coast finally came through with a completely revitalized 4th Edition Athas.

If you haven’t been playing D&D forever and half or just never tried Dark Sun back in its heyday, let me tell you a little bit about what this setting has it store for you. Dark Sun has a very different feel than other settings you may have ever tried.

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Descent of the Dead Comic Review

Posted on September 13, 2010 by

If I were to just flip through this issue and not take in the story and how the art relates to it I can honestly say I might have passed on it. What a mistake that would have been. I will admit that the art style is jagged and can seem choppy at times, but when taken into how it relates to the storyline I couldn’t be more satisfied with it. A Heavy Metal style of artwork lends itself to the overall enjoyability of this book through the designs of the dead, and of a world that has never been seen by human eyes.

So I mentioned that the art really played off the story. What I meant by that was we are presented with a future that is not our own. In the reality here there are many things to be left explored. In this issue alone were treated to a new futuristic approach to skydiving which was really cool. Of course were talking the future so anything could be possible, but the way that it was taken into context here works.

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Megan

Waking The Witch Fiction Review

Posted on September 10, 2010 by

This book sweeps you into the world of Savannah Levine, a young private investigator with a motorbike, a bit of an attitude… and spellcasting ability, the latter being a mix of her heritage of a half-demon witch mother and a sorcerer papa. For this is the 11th novel in author Kelley Armstrong’s ‘Otherworld’ urban fantasy series, where supernatural beings inhabit a modern America that’s otherwise just like the real contemporary one.

The story appeals on many levels: fans of detective fiction, female empowerment or the supernatural/modern world interface will all find this enjoyable. You could call it Kinsey Millhone (heroine of the ‘Alphabet’ series of private detective stories by Sue Grafton) meets The Dresden Files, but this is a living, breathing alternate reality in its own right where most people potter along in contemporary lives much as you and I do while supernatural beings mingle amongst us mostly keeping their abilities to themselves (with good reason, at times!).

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