Archive | October, 2010

Monica Valentinelli

“Dress Up” Your Dice for Halloween. Make a Dice Coffin Costume!

Posted on October 18, 2010 by

Dice Coffin LidTo help you get into the spirit of Halloween, FlamesRising.com project manager talks about making a costume — for her dice. In this article, find out how Monica made her dice coffin and where she got the inspiration to add black tulle, a mask, and red roses to the coffin lid.

Here’s a sneak peek at what she has to say: Victorian-inspired Halloween decor is one of the hot themes this year; you can find black lace and dead roses almost everywhere you look. Birds like ravens and owls are pretty popular, too. Now, I went a little crazy nutso with the scenery because I wanted it to look three dimensional. I used black tulle, which you can find in any wedding aisle. The flat, red roses were from the scrapbooking section of our local craft store and the owl, mask and bat were die cut stickers from a Halloween display.

Find out more in this fun post about Monica’s quest to make a dice coffin costume.

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Monica Valentinelli

Creeped out by “The Blob”? Watch it Free at Crackle.com

Posted on October 16, 2010 by

Crackle.comLast week, I talked about why 13 GHOSTS is a classic horror film. For this week’s article, I decided to talk about a different kind of monster — THE BLOB.

“Released in 1988, The Blob remake is the kind of horror movie that makes you groan, laugh and scream. Creepy violins and cheerful images of a small town set the mood. The first people you meet? Teenagers!”

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Megan

Fiasco RPG Review

Posted on October 15, 2010 by

The underlying concept to this game seems simple: you set up a situation in which things will go wrong, disastrously so, and then play it out as a collaborative story-telling game, taking the part of the main protagonists. That’s straightforward enough, but bolted on is a complex resolution mechanic that jolts you out of storytelling mode to administer – while giving structure to what could otherwise dissolve into chaos around the game-table (as opposed to in the situation you’re playing, where you WANT chaos!) it detracts from the interactive no-holds-barred narrative flow of the game.

Designed for 3-5 players (no GM required) and to take about three hours to play out, even the design process is very structured. Called The Setup, you start by determining when and where the game will take place, and then insert relationships and details to engineer your situation. But it’s not done by purely throwing out ideas until your mix feels explosive enough to begin, but through a system called a Playset. As a scenario-design system, it’s quite a beautiful mix of creativity and randomization. Each Playset comes with lists, you see, and once you have chosen a published one or made up your own, you roll a whole bunch of dice and take turns to choose items from the lists, each time using a die that’s rolled the appropriate number.

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The Affinity Bridge Review

Posted on October 14, 2010 by

So, here we are readers, another late night at the old computer, another review, but this time it is a slightly different affair. Upon completion of George Mann’s “The Affinity Bridge” published by Tor, I happened upon a realization, OK, well not really a realization, more of a revelation, and not one in the biblical sense mind you, more of a traditional something that I hadn’t seen before until I opened my eyes sort of thing. Confused? Well, it seems as if you aren’t the only ones, because I am as well. So here we go with the admission stage of feeling guilty.

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JLaSala

The Foreshadows Equation, Part 1

Posted on October 13, 2010 by

Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zero is a 19-story anthology of dark science fiction intertwined with a 19-track album of songs and soundtrack music, created collaboratively by a veritable shadow gallery of speculative fiction authors and musicians, under the banner of the Very Us Artists, to be published by Blindsided Books.

In this essay Jeff and John LaSala tell us a bit about how the project got started and just what readers can look forward to as this project continues…

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Billzilla

The Best Of All Flesh Anthology Review

Posted on October 12, 2010 by

Let’s get this out of the way first thing; zombies scare me. The mindless violence and relentless, insatiable hunger and lack of pain response of the George Romero-style walking dead creep me the heck out. So when Jim Lowder handed me a copy of The Best of All Flesh at GenCon to review for Flames Rising, I admit I approached it with some trepidation.

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teampreston

Fear The Alien Anthology Review

Posted on October 11, 2010 by

The Imperium of Man has many enemies among the stars, but none are reviled so much as the alien. Dangerous races seek to destroy humanity wherever they turn –the brutish orks, the ravening hordes of the tyranid, the unrelenting necrons and the mysterious forces of the tau and the eldar. Across the universe, humanity and their defenders, the Space Marines, seek to eradicate these xenos threats. Yet all they can hope for is another day of survival – for to stand against the alien is to enter an unending war… Featuring stories by Dan Abnett, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Nick Kyme, Juliet McKenna, C.L. Werner and many more, Fear the Alien is an unmissable collection for fans of Warhammer 40,000 and military science fiction.

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Flames

Curious about Top Cow Digital Comics? 20% Off Coupon!

Posted on October 10, 2010 by

Artifacts Issue #0Have you been following our Top Cow comic reviews, interviews and previews here on FlamesRising.com? Our staff reviewers have been impressed with Top Cow Productions, Inc. and their ability to produce quality comics like WITCHBLADE and WANTED, because they are filled with great stories and impressive artwork. Their horror comics include THE DARKNESS and a new comic dubbed BERSERKER, which crosses Norse mythology with violent fighting and heroic action.

From now through the end of October, save twenty percent off your purchase of Top Cow digital comics!

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Flames

Preview of Aldwyns Academy by Nathan Meyer

Posted on October 8, 2010 by

Enter a school for magic where even the first day can be (un)deadly…

On the very first day of school at the world-famous Aldwyns Academy for Wizardry, fledgling wizard Dorian Ravensmith finds himself immersed in a mystery. White wolves have been attacking incoming students. Ghosts are haunting the Snapping Dragon Gardens. And the professors lurk in the halls, whispering about a shadowy wizard who seems to be behind it all.

That night, Dorian spies a figure creeping into the Snapping Dragon Gardens and and he follows, certain that with the help of a few magic items and simple potions, he can catch the culprit by daybreak and return a hero. But as hobgoblins, banshees, and a terrifying dragon try to stop him at every turn, Dorian discovers that he’s stepped into an (un)deadly trap that could not only destroy his future as a wizard but also the beloved wizardry school.

Flames Rising is pleased to present the first chapter of this new book by Nathan Meyer. Aldwyn’s Academy is a companion Novel to A Practical Guide to Wizardry from Mirrorstone.

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Megan

Exodus RPG: Survivors Guide Review

Posted on October 8, 2010 by

There are several ‘post-apocalypse’ games around, even ones using the D20 ruleset, so what sets this one apart? The Introduction sets out the underlying philosophy: Man is a destructive beast, and it’s not unlikely that sometime he’ll nearly pound himself out of existence, very likely by mistake. The rot set in during the Second World War, when research led to the first atomic bombs, and continued with other scientific ‘advances’ until the calamity that sets the scene for this game. Taking a date prophesied by the Mayans as marking the end of the current age, 21 December 2012, a rapidly-escalating nuclear exchange is postulated, leading to an ‘exodus’ of survivors seeking safety in underground shelters from which they have finally emerged some twenty years later.

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Monica Valentinelli

Why “13 Ghosts” is a Classic Horror Film. New at Crackle.com!

Posted on October 7, 2010 by

Crackle.com | Free Movies and TelevisionWhile every day is Halloween for me, this time of year brings out the best in a lot of free television and movie websites like Crackle.com.

During the month of October, I’m writing about horror movies for Crackle.com from a fan’s perspective. This week, I take a look at the classic horror film 13 Ghosts, which was produced by William Castle.

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Macabre Massachusetts No. 1 Comic Review

Posted on October 7, 2010 by

For the most part this is a nice looking black and white comic. I enjoyed how the dream sequences were not inked to set them apart it gave them a nice hazy feeling, a cool touch. The characters are very consistent from panel to panel and have a fun look to them. My only downside was that at times they seemed to be a little flat due to shading. However it doesn’t take away from the whole. A nice job overall and one creepy looking sea monster towards the end.

The tag line across the cover sums this one up “It’s a B movie in a comic book!” Cheesy dialogue on top of a descent storyline make this one interesting. What kind of got to me were the rushed scenes where I would have liked more explanation. I think the character for a first issue could have used a little more depth to them. What did work well here was a great idea overall that leads me to want to read more to find out what happens next.

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Billzilla

The Invictus (Vampire: the Requiem) Review

Posted on October 6, 2010 by

The vampires of White Wolf’s World of Darkness are consummate predators. Predators – generally speaking – don’t often suffer the company of other predators, particularly those that compete for the same food source, and rarely willingly when it does happen. One of the few things that encourages vampires to interact with each other is affiliation within a covenant. Such affiliations tend – by the very nature of their members – to be relatively loose ties, but they are not fleeting; vampires in the World of Darkness take a very dim view of those who willingly sever their connection to their covenant-mates. In The Invictus, White Wolf takes a look at the feudalistic covenant envied by many and hated by most – even by some of those within.

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Flames

Bestselling Author Richelle Mead Inks Graphic Novel Deal

Posted on October 5, 2010 by

Sea Lion Books is proud to announce New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author Richelle Mead as its newest addition to its growing list of distinguished authors. Sea Lion Books will develop in comic book and graphic novel form the entire Dark Swan series starting with Storm Born.

“The world of the Dark Swan series is an amazing place,” says Richelle’s agent Jim McCarthy. “I’m tremendously excited for new readers and returning fans to have the opportunity to explore Richelle’s incredible creation in this new medium.”

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Johannes Cabal The Necromancer Review

Posted on October 5, 2010 by

I love books, which should be fairly obvious, as I take a great deal of time explaining to you on here, as to why I like or what I like about books. Normally I stick to Zombies/Survival Horror, not because that is solely what I read, as my house is quite literally overstuffed with books; but because I know that genre. I don’t live it; you won’t see me preparing for an all out zombie apocalypse on television or anything. I don’t live and breathe by Max Brook’s “The Zombie Survival Guide” though to be completely honest, after I read it; I did have the sudden urge to purchase my fair share of survival gear. But for the most part, on all conventional levels, I know that specific trope/genre/sub-genre extraordinarily well. It is often predictable; in its very nature is a formula, which is nearly standard issue for all true zombie/survival horror stories. It doesn’t mean that it is not enjoyable, that there aren’t a lot of really great character driven stories out there- because I think, if you have read any of the reviews I’ve done here and elsewhere, you know, that I believe that I have helped pick out some of the better pieces in the annuls of the living dead. But, every once in a while, just every so often- I choose to read something that is completely unassociated with the “living” dead or zombies or having to defend yourself against homicidal post apocalyptic cannibalistic mutated savages.

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Flames

Kell’s Legend Review

Posted on October 4, 2010 by

Hang on to your hats boys and girls; Kell’s Legend is the sort of book that grabs hold of you and does not let go. If it weren’t for the two infant children in my home, I would have read it in one sitting. If dark fantasy and balls-out action is your thing, this is the novel you have been waiting to find.

I will only describe the book in the briefest of terms to avoid any spoilers. The kingdom of Falanor is invaded by a race of clockwork vampires. Kell, an old veteran with a legendary past, is forced back into action to protect his granddaughter. The story also follows a second protagonist from the vampire side of things. I do not want to say anything that will spoil her for you, but she is an excellent character.

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Flames

Halloween 2010 at Flames Rising!

Posted on October 1, 2010 by

Last year, we released a horror plot generator that you continue to enjoy. White Wolf Publishing, who recently announced that the World of Darkness MMO will be based on Vampire: the Masquerade, offered you a scene to be used in your World of Darkness game. Dubbed The Devil’s Night SAS, you’ll need to figure out how to stop the fires from burning in your own city. In addition to those two big surprises, we also featured Crackle.com‘s Zombiefest and other timely events that were related to Halloween.

For Halloween 2009 at FlamesRising.com, thirty-one different creatures reared their monstrous heads each day. Those horrifying creatures are still lingering around, so if you want to have some fun, be sure to drop by our 2009 wrap-up and check them out. For that year, one of your favorite guest posts was written by Jess Hartled. 13 Halloween Etiquette Tips From One Geek to Another continues to be a fan favorite so be sure to check it out.

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alanajoli

Angelus #3 Comic Review

Posted on October 1, 2010 by

When I last saw Danielle Baptiste, she’d just been chosen as the host of the Angelus — and rumor was that she was moving out west with friend (and potential lover), Finch. We’re now three issues in to her new story, told by Witchblade writer Marz and accompanied by Sejic’s usual amazing artwork, and a lot seems to have happened. Sabine, formerly determined to serve as host to the Angelus herself, is now Dani’s willing lieutenant. There’s a villain known so far only as the Conductor. And head of the Darkness, Jackie Estacato, has come to pay Dani his respects — however, that manages to work out.

As the issue opens, three of the Angelus warriors are in hell, stealing an artifact for Sabine (who must have her own agenda — no surprise here, as I didn’t trust her in Witchblade). They encounter another regular in the world — Tom Judge — who warns them about having two artifacts too close together and hints that a big event (probably a crossover event with all the splinter series that have started in 2010, but that may be my comics cynic talking) is coming. In one splash page, the Angelus warriors find out that their activities have not gone unnoticed — in a big (demonic) way. The posture of the Angelus warrior facing the legions of darkness is perfect — Sejic nails the image beautifully.

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