Archive | September, 2011

Flames

Eliot Pattison’s Ashes of the Earth

Posted on September 12, 2011 by

In Ashes of the Earth Eliot Pattison pieces together a new society after global annihilation. While most novels set in the future offer heavy doses of imagined science and technology, in his new novel Pattison constructs a more realistic society out of the ashes of apocalypse—with characters who sometimes became a little too realistic for the author.

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The Dead Cell Graphic Novel Review

Posted on September 12, 2011 by

“How would the world be changed if the mentally ill were allowed to determine reality? The Dead Cell explores the experiments of the recently graduated Monica McCoy, and her employment with the secret “Dream Research Program” at Breckenridge State Hospital. While being briefed on the basics, nothing can prepare her for the horrors she encounters upon reporting for duty. What ensues is a tale of madness, reality, and the supernatural chronicling one woman’s journey as she comes face to face with the horror of The Dead Cell.”

I have been treated to Simmons’ work before, but it was not in a horror title (lookup Wannabe‘s). I think overall that the book worked on a high level. However there were a few panels that personally I thought some angles were a little off. Did it distract me from enjoying the book though? No not at all. I think the way that really odd/psychological stuff was depicted came off great.

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Flames

Gaslight Arcanum: Uncanny Tales of Sherlock Holmes Review

Posted on September 9, 2011 by

I have been a Sherlock Holmes fan for as long as I have been able to read. I have over a dozen books devoted to the Great Detective, and I have spent more than a year working on a series of essays examining the original stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. So it’s no surprise that Flames Rising asked me if I wanted to review a (nearly) all-new anthology of “uncanny tales” featuring Sherlock Holmes. It’s even less of a surprise that I accepted.

In my collection of books, I own a couple of anthologies that take different directions for Sherlock Holmes – one of science-fiction stories, and one combining Sherlock Holmes and the Cthulhu Mythos – so in reading this, I tried to put aside my “slavish fanboy” hat and read them with an eye towards different takes on the Great Detective. In such anthologies, I personally look for two elements: fidelity to the core of the characters and elements of the Holmes canon, and novelty to present a new take or slant on familiar faces. How does this new anthology hold up?

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Monica Valentinelli

25 Blog Post Ideas for Speak Out with your Geek Out

Posted on September 8, 2011 by

Today’s post is to give you some ideas to blog about. If you want to help, please share your ideas for blog post ideas in the comments below or contact me to do a guest post. Before I do, I want to share with you one of the debut posts encouraging people to sign on. […]

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Drop Dead Dangerous Comic Review

Posted on September 8, 2011 by

“They thought it was over. They were wrong. Back on the hunt for the maniacal figure known as The Raven, private detective Jack Smith must face a nightmare from his past— but not all is as it seems. A new evil comes to town as he and his dumbstruck partner Alice, a young woman with secrets of her own, get tangled in a web of deception without realizing that the most dangerous truths are the ones they keep from each other. Meanwhile, The Raven paints the town red as the clock starts ticking for a final showdown in this debut issue of DROP DEAD DEAD DANGEROUS, a murder mystery manga by Chad Cabrera and Mike Banting set in the weird, weird west. Who will be left standing… and who will be left in pieces?”

Fans of the artwork found in Hellsing and Priest gather around because this book is right up your alley. This book had its moments where I didn’t quite see what was going on in the action scenes, but there might have been only 2 max. This book is drop dead GORE-Geous plain and simple.

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Flames

Infiltrating Black Seven by Stew Wilson

Posted on September 7, 2011 by

Stew Wilson from Zero Point Information is here to tell us about his new game Black Seven. A modern espionage RPG, Black Seven isinspired by stealth-action games like Deus Ex, Alpha Protocol, and Splinter Cell.

Infiltrating BLACK SEVEN

BLACK SEVEN started life in my throw-away ideas file, a couple of notes for a system that, at the time, I wasn’t able to make work. That time was 2004, and I was re-playing Deus Ex for the fourth time. Under the effects of too much strong coffee, I hacked White Wolf’s Trinity so that I could run Deus Ex-like games. I never had a chance to try it, and I was left with niggling little ideas that wouldn’t go away that wouldn’t work in my proposed hack.

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Brass & Steel RPG Review

Posted on September 7, 2011 by

As the Wiki sez, Steampunk “is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternative history, and speculative fiction that involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually Victorian era Britain—that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy, and often features anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them.”

Steampunk is wild and funky; it is innovative and adventurous; it offers us with a glimpse of a world that never was but could have been. These days there is no shortage of steampunk novels and stories; Anti-Ice by Stephen Baxter was my first real exposure to it, but one can go all the way back to 1967 and Queen Victoria’s Bomb by Ronald W. Clark to get your fix. And, yes, I know Agatha Heterodyne is part of a “gaslight fantasy”, but she’s too cute to omit.

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Flames

Delta Green: Through a Glass, Darkly eBook Available Now!

Posted on September 6, 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 […]

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Megan

Ready Player One Review

Posted on September 6, 2011 by

This is a wild ride that seems to sneak into every corner of your brain. OK – I am a geek, and one who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, roughly contemporary with the character of James Halliday, who in the book created the most amazing and pervasive system that combines MMORPG with VR and social network and even e-learning… So I ‘get’ (or should that be ‘grok’ – or perhaps not, the one bit of pop culture that’s neglected is the written word) just about every reference, even most of the videogame ones, despite my only ever becoming competent at a single one… which, of course, turns up at the heart of the final challenge!

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Wicked Heroes: Children of the Mirror RPG Review

Posted on September 5, 2011 by

Wicked Heroes is the latest in John Wick’s Little Games line. In this RPG, players take on the roles of damned super heroes rather than the typical spandex fare. While the game may claim to be “little” this setting could be fleshed out so much more. It could easily be as meaty as Houses of the Blooded.

I’m not going to focus on the artwork of a 16 page RPG, because, well, the art isn’t there. There is no reason it should be. I will take a second to talk about the covers though. I hate them. Solid. Black. Covers. Really? Yes, A printed copy of a book (little or not) needs a cover and these covers could be much friendlier. When the final project comes out, does it means each chapter will start with these blackened pages?

The story itself is interesting. The gist of it can be found on the items blurb at RPGNow.com, so I won’t expand it.

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Monica Valentinelli

Speak Out with your Geek Out FAQ, Tumblr and Logo!

Posted on September 5, 2011 by

We surpassed 500 committed bloggers for Speak Out with your Geek Out this weekend. If this keeps up? We’ll hit 1,000 by Thursday. For today’s post, the logo is revealed, a few questions are answered, and the Tumblr is unveiled. You are encouraged to share the logo and spread the word!

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Flames

Trail of Cthulhu: The Repairer of Reputations

Posted on September 3, 2011 by

The Repairer of Reputations is a Trail of Cthulhu scenario by Robin D Laws, based on the story of the same name by Robert W. Chambers. It is one of four short horror stories incorporating Chambers’ mythology of The King In Yellow, a decadent play whose publication brings madness and supernatural presences into the world. His mythology was later subsumed into the Cthulhu canon when H. P. Lovecraft, and his circle and later followers, made reference to it in their tales of the mythos.

Trail of Cthulhu: The Repairer of Reputations is available now at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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Flames

C2E2 Announces 2012 Dates!

Posted on September 2, 2011 by

CHICAGO COMIC & ENTERTAINMENT EXPO ANNOUNCES DATES FOR 2012 Organizers of Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) have announced that the 2012 edition of the annual pop culture convention will take place April 13 – 15 in the North Hall of McCormick Place Convention Center. While this represents a small move from the West Building […]

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Billzilla

City of the Damned: New Orleans Review

Posted on September 1, 2011 by

Setting books are a tough sell in most role playing games. For one thing, if the game master opts to set the adventures of the characters in a different city then those offered – or the players’ characters find themselves drawn in another direction entirely – setting books become less than completely useful. Also, since they will only sell – for the most part – to game masters, more than three-quarters of the potential audience is already uninterested in purchasing it.

Such is the problem with city guides for the World of Darkness; despite aiming for fascinating cities with a great many points of interest besides vampires, werewolves and the like, they just haven’t sold well enough to justify others in the line. However, they are well worth a GM’s time and cash outlay to obtain; besides a wealth of interesting NPCs that might show up in one’s own game, the city books are filled with fantastic plot hooks and useful information that is easily adapted to any chronicler’s setting.

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