Archive | April, 2011

Flames

Preview of Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly by Dennis Detwiller

Posted on April 30, 2011 by

Born of the U.S. government’s 1928 raid on the degenerate coastal town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts, the covert agency known as Delta Green spent four decades opposing the forces of darkness with honor, but without glory. Stripped of sanction after a disastrous 1969 operation in Cambodia, Delta Green’s leaders made a secret pact: to continue their work without authority, without support, and without fear. Delta Green agents slip through the system, manipulating the federal bureaucracy while pushing the darkness back for another day—but often at a shattering personal cost.

Ten years ago, everything changed. It’s time you found out how.

Through a Glass, Darkly is a new novel written by Delta Green co-creator Dennis Detwiller. The book is finished. It’s been reviewed, revised and edited. Now Arc Dream Publishing is holding a Kickstarter project to raise the funds to publish it. Here’s a glimpse.

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Blokes Tomb Of Horror 666 Review

Posted on April 29, 2011 by

“Created and put together by writer Jason ‘Bloke’ Crawley this latest issue contains 7 devilishly delightful tales brought together to form the hellish Issue 666. This is but one of 6 different cover variants for this issue so be sure to check out the other covers that are available here on Indyplanet including the Cover F wraparound Werewolves Vs Vampires!”

6th issue means 6 different covers! Can you believe that! 6 Covers to choose from and they are all above, Grade A top choice visual meat! The interiors on this one are on the level with the past issues. Nothing is short of Gore-geous from page to page, but Borroni stood out the most to me. Every story has a different look, and they all look great.

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Gary Braunbeck in His Own Words

Posted on April 28, 2011 by

I first met Mr. Braunbeck when I was a grunt at the Borderlands Writers Boot Camp. To Each Their Darkness is his guide for writers and in some ways it expands upon many of the gems he gave to those of us at the workshop. As one of the newest writing manuals on the market it is undoubtedly one of the best, using the personal to impart the practical. Comparable to Stephen King’s On Writing, To Each Their Darkness takes writers on a journey to discovering how to use their own dark experiences in their work, without becoming a slave to that same darkness that can hold one hostage.

But it is more than just a writing guide. And it should be read by more than just those working professionally as writers or those aiming to. Anyone that is interested in the sweat that goes into creating their favorite horror novels, short stories, or movies; anyone that is interested in the process that the writer must often go through before getting the words from his or her head-space and onto the page; anyone in a personal relationship of any kind with a writer — especially a writer of darker works — should read this book.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Two Lovecraftian Kickstarter Projects

Posted on April 27, 2011 by

I’ve recently discovered two very cool looking Lovecraft inspired projects on Kickstarter. The first is the Unisystem RPG called –Eldritch Skies– from Battlefield Press. The future is here. Machine-made telepathy, augmentations, and unprecedented levels of automation have changed the face of Earth. But the science of sorcery, and our primitive understandings of what lies outside, […]

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Monica Valentinelli

Dragon Age 2 (PS3) Review

Posted on April 27, 2011 by

Before I get into my review of Dragon Age 2, I’d like to put my thoughts into context for you. I’m a fan of the games that BioWare puts out and I enjoy the mechanics. Primarily, I play RPG style video games to relax and to shut my brain off. It’s increasing harder for me to watch movies, for example, and do nothing else. Playing games like Dragon Age: Origins allows me to turn off the brain-neuron connection switch and have fun.

Mind you, I am a min/maxer… There. My secret is out. Phew!

Anyway, when I get into a video game, I’m looking at it as a casual experience with the ability to cheat modify my characters in a way that gives me better flexibility and playing style. Story is important to me, but for some games *coughs Final Fantasy XII* I get confused if there’s no recap or summary after the side quests portion.

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Megan

Advanced Feats: The Inquisitor’s Edge (Pathfinder) Review

Posted on April 26, 2011 by

This work starts with an overview of the inquisitor, quite a talented chap with plenty of options. Pity the first paragraph repeats itself, perhaps we should send an inquisitor after the proof-reader!

So who is this inquisitor anyway? A potent mix of religious devotee, spy, investigator and hunter (of people rather than dinner): a bit self-serving in the way his powers generally serve to enhance himself rather than the group he is in, but at least he can claim it’s all to the glory of whatever deity he reveres! The special ability of ‘Judgement’ is both powerful and versatile, depending on what judgement is pronounced, and this is coupled with a reasonable number of skills and the ability to cast divine spells.

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Bride of the Wolfman 1 Review

Posted on April 25, 2011 by

“It’s the not-so-typical story of girl meets wolf as told by David Gruba (writer) and Rene Castellano (artist). See what happens when the mother-in-law comes to visit and when the Wolfman goes out on his late night jaunts. This all ages book will appeal to kids, married couples and joke book enthusiasts.”

Artwork: 4.0 out of 5
You can call it cartoonish, you can call it manga inspired, or you can just call it plain good. This book looks great. I love the character designs, no wait do I love them… yeah I really love them! Look at the cover alone, do you not see the calf? That is just funny! The interiors look the same, except they are in glorious black and white and man… do they POP! Okay hands down, I LOVE the look of the mummy the most. Can we have a book on him please?

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Flames

How to Ruin a Perfectly Good Genre: the Mad Designs behind Open Your Eyes

Posted on April 23, 2011 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present an essay from author Paul Jessup, who wrote a novella entitled Open Your Eyes, published by Apex Book Company. In this surrealist space opera tale that takes place on a ship with a mind of its own, Jessup explores the unusual, the weird and the bizarre. Today he’ll discuss what space opera means to him and his motivation behind Open Your Eyes.

Open Your Eyes

I’m a huge fan of Space Opera, wait, no, scratch that– I’m a huge fan of what I was told was Space Opera when I was a kid. Which was primarily one thing- Star Wars. Which was more like the monomyth in Space, with Samurais, but I digress for a bit. If you’re a kid from the 80’s, you know the score. This kind of Space Opera was everywhere, not just in Star Wars, but in cartoons, on the back of cereal boxes, in toys (and knock off toys), in books, all that fun stuff.

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Steven Dawes

Hell House Novel Review

Posted on April 22, 2011 by

Good evening… and welcome to another episode of “Horror Masterpiece Theatre”. I am your host Steven Dawes. As some of you may know, I’ve always found ghost stories to be entertaining and interesting. I find them so interesting in fact that was a co-founder and the general manager of local ghost hunting group for a few years. While I’ve since retired my ghost hunting days, I still enjoy a ghostly tale or three. And it was here where my unexpected visit to “Hell House” began.

Over the last few semesters at my school, a fellow student (who by night is known as “Craig”) has been in several of the same classes I’ve attended. As fate would have it, we were partnered up for a project together last semester, and as we worked on our project we got to know each other and discovered our mutual appreciation for the paranormal.

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Billzilla

Harlan County Horrors Review

Posted on April 21, 2011 by

Harlan County Horrors, edited by Mari Adkins, is billed as an anthology of regionally-inspired tales. With Harlan County being in the heart of coal country, one might expect a number of the tales to touch on aspects of mining, and that assumption is correct. However, there’s more to Harlan than the mines; for one thing there’s the people themselves, and where there are people, scary stories are sure to follow. These twelve stories are a showcase for tales of Kentucky coal country by a fine crop of writers, many of them with close ties to the state.

The lead story, “The Power of Moonlight” by Debbie Kuhn is a bitter lesson about a woman scorned and the folly of rash acts. It was a very good selection to kick off the anthology. Maurice Broaddus’ “Trouble Among the Yearlings” is a subtle tale that captures well the claustrophobia of being trapped in a mine. In “Spirit Fire”, Robbie Sparks weaves a tale that warns about making a deal that seems too good to be true.

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Eclipse Phase RPG Review

Posted on April 20, 2011 by

Why does Eclipse Phase draw me in so? Is it the dystopian setting that keeps bringing the misery? Is it due to there being enough future tech to choke a blue whale? Is it the metaworld so rich it makes you want to live there right now, despite it being such a deadly, alien environment that none of us would survive for very long?

Yes. Yes to all of the above. And then some . . ..

It goes without saying that Eclipse Phase is a hell of a game. The moment you turn the first page (if you can actually turn a page in a pdf, that is), it sucks you in like a hunk of flotsam circling an event horizon. It makes you feel the unlimited scope of adventure within while, at the same time, makes you realize this isn’t only a game, it’s a way of life . . . and that life ain’t gonna be pretty.

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Flames

Northlands Sourcebook Now Available for Pathfinder RPG

Posted on April 19, 2011 by

Northlands is a Pathfinder-compatible sourcebook for adventuring in the frozen north. Learn Rune magic, explore the Reaver’s Coast and Hyperborea, and wield the sword of Loki himself.

Designer Dan Voyce has opened up new and dazzling vistas for role-playing in the frozen north. The book begins with a concise but detailed overview of northern life, society, morality, religion, traditions and law. The major gods and their demands on mortals are described, as well as dueling, hospitality, outlawry, slavery, and relations between the various humanoid races.

More than description, Northlands is about ACTION! Characters can raid the coasts; explore the magic-rich realm of the giants; enter savage kingdoms ruled by bears and wolves; or journey to the top of the world itself to retrieve the shoggoth-guarded flotsam and jetsam of alien shores.

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Flames

Wanted Graphic Novel Review

Posted on April 19, 2011 by

I first picked up “Wanted” in a Borders bookstore right before the film adaptation came out. There, I flipped through the first five pages and then, remembering the trailer for the film, promptly put it down, wondering which of these were better summaries of what the comic would have to offer. What I had read seemed amazing, what I had seen on the television… less so. And so I went the next few years without reading the comic or seeing the film adaptation, occasionally catching glimpses of the book’s cover and flipping through those first few pages again, wondering if I should take the plunge.

When I first sat down to read it –to really, finally read it– the first thing I noticed was an introduction by Brian K. Vaughan. The praise of Vaughan, author of comic masterpieces like Y: The Last Man and Pride of Baghdad, would be invaluable to me as a reader.

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Flames

Gary Braunbeck’s Introduction from To Each Their Darkness

Posted on April 18, 2011 by

Explore the world of writing horror from a Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild award-winning author’s point of view. Gary Braunbeck uses film, fiction and life experience to elucidate the finer points of storytelling, both in and out of genre. This part-autobiographical, always analytical book looks at how stories develop and what makes them work-or not work-when they’re told.

Be warned: reality is as brutal as fiction. Rob Zombie, police shootings, William Goldman and human misery are all teachers to the horror neophyte, and Braunbeck uses their lessons to make To Each Their Darkness a whirlwind of horror and hope for the aspiring writer.

Flames Rising is pleased to present the introduction to this book by Gary Braunbeck.

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Careful… No 1 Comic Review

Posted on April 18, 2011 by

“What if you could wish revenge on everyone who makes your life hell, and someone (or something) would do the dirty work for you? When bullied Deacon learns the dark past of his small town Texas high school, he discovers a vengeful ritual used to wreak havoc on his enemies – like the school’s all-star quarterback. But when Deacon wakes up covered in someone else’s blood, he realizes that the ritual was no childish game. And with every passing day the lines blur between the payback he envisioned and the revenge he’s commiting.”

Why what do we have here? Another great looking comic by Paper Street Comics is what. I will just say that I deducted half a point only because of the neck on the final page. Other than that this book is a treat to the eyes. It has a kind of tv cartoon feel to it.

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Flames

Darkness II: Confession on Free Comic Book Day

Posted on April 15, 2011 by

2K Games, Top Cow Productions, Inc., and the Free Comic Book Day Committee announced today that they have teamed up to produce The Darkness II: Confession, an exclusive comic tie-in for The Darkness II video game, for Free Comic Book Day. The 32-page, full-color comic will be a prequel to 2K Games’ upcoming video game, The Darkness II. Produced by Top Cow’s lead artists and writers in partnership with 2K Games, The Darkness II: Confession will be distributed by Diamond Comic Distributors to thousands of independent comic book stores worldwide on May 7, 2011.

“Top Cow has always supported Free Comic Book Day and this year we’ve created our best offering yet with The Darkness II: Confession, a prequel to the upcoming video game The Darkness II by 2K Games,” said self-proclaimed hardcore gamer and president of Top Cow, Matt Hawkins. “In working closely with 2K Games on the comic, we’ve ensured that everything fits into The Darkness’ canon for long-time and new fans of Jackie Estacado. This free comic is a perfect primer for the game.”

Since its inception in 2002, the Free Comic Book Day event has celebrated the original American comic book art form by supplying thousands of participating independent comic book specialty shops around the world with free comic books for fans.

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Monica Valentinelli

Review of Shadowheart by Tad Williams

Posted on April 15, 2011 by

There are books, and then there are books. Shadowheart, the fourth and final volume of the Shadowmarch series by Tad Williams, is one such tome. You may recall my review of Shadowplay, my review of Shadowrise and our publication of the Shadowrise preview. It seems like only yesterday when I started reading this series about feuding families, ancient legends, bizarre cultures, extraordinary creatures and colorful characters. Shadowheart brings it all to a close in an unusual way.

Why unusual? Well, first and foremost, the series was originally supposed to be three books — not four. After reading Shadowheart, I can see why Williams needed a whole ‘nother 722 pages to explore this story. Or should I say…stories?

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Megan

Antipaladins (Pathfinder) Review

Posted on April 14, 2011 by

Archtypical bad guys, the evil counterpart to that goody-two-shoes the Paladin… but don’t feel sorry for the seven to be found in these pages, as plenty of love has been lavished on developing them into well-rounded villains all ready to give any good-aligned party a run for their money.

Just as a paladin is a shining example of devotion to his deity, so is the antipaladin. The difference is the nature of the deity that the antipaladin venerates and serves… and often, the precise way in which he serves and what he does in the course of such service. Even they probably see the ‘evil’ in what they do, in what they are working towards – it’s certainly clear to the rest of us – and yet they press on, often motivated by selfish ends like personal power and other rewards, rather than pure love for their deity.

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Flames

Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Dead White World Preview

Posted on April 12, 2011 by

The first part of the highly anticipated Cthulhu Apocalypse series.

The Investigators are rendered unconscious by a train crash. When they wake they discover the world has died. White flowers cover the ground and they see, beneath the delicate petals, the faces of the dead. No other human is in sight, everyone is gone.

The struggle to survive the apocalypse takes the Investigators through Britain, across the sea to America and beyond the veils of reality.

The Dead White World contains the first three scenarios for Cthulhu Apocalypse by Graham Walmsley, author of The Purist Adventures.

Flames Rising is pleased to present an exclusive preview of this new Trail of Cthulhu product from Pelgrane Press.

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Flames

Sign Up for FlamesRising.com’s Monthly Newsletter

Posted on April 11, 2011 by

At the end of April, FlamesRising.com will launch a brand new feature for our site. In addition to our news, reviews, interviews and other horror-related goodness, we are providing subscribers with additional content through our monthly newsletter.

You can sign up for this new feature by filling out the form in this post. Or, you can visit our FlamesRising.com sign-up form at our mailing list partner.

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