Archive | June, 2012

Monica Valentinelli

Writing On, Writing On for the Clarion Write-A-Thon

Posted on June 29, 2012 by

Last Sunday, I started writing for the Clarion Write-A-Thon to raise funds for their workshop. I have pledged to write 50,000 words by August 4th. So why am I doing this? Well, it’s like I said in this blog post: It’s a rough publishing world out there, I know, but part of what Clarion and […]

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Flames

Archaia Announces ‘Rust Vol. 2: Secrets of the Cell’

Posted on June 29, 2012 by

With a feature film in the works at 20th Century Fox, a free interactive app on the Apple iPad, and now news that it has won a 2011 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews, things continue to look good for Royden Lepp’s graphic novel, Rust Vol. 1: Visitor in the Field, an all-ages book published by Archaia Entertainment about a mysterious boy with a jet pack. So it is with much excitement that Archaia is happy to announce that the next installment, Rust Vol. 2: Secrets of the Cell, is zooming into book stores and comic shops this Fall!

Rust transports readers to a struggling farm in an alternate history where the fatherless Taylor family comes to terms with the aftermath of a destructive war. When Jet Jones, a mysterious boy wearing a jet pack, crashes into their barn with a hulking, antique robot soldier from “Dad’s War” at his heels, life at the Taylor farm is forever changed. Jet eventually proves to be a reliable farmhand, working like a well-oiled machine while giving up very few answers about his mysterious origin.

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Instant Antagonists: Creepy Cottontail Review

Posted on June 28, 2012 by

The “Instant Antagonist” line is a series of works designed to be used with any role-playing system. As a game-master do you need a nasty crawly thing to harass your party of wayward adventurers? Then this is an excellent source of material to torture them with. Each book offers a short description of history, appearance, manners, and possible origins of a single creature. Not every creature is pure evil, some might simply be around for the impish delight of the game-master.

Monica’s installment, “The Creepy Cottontail” is based around Nyarlathotep, a servant to the Elder Gods and their Messenger.

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Flames

Clockwork & Cthulhu Available Now!

Posted on June 27, 2012 by

“Then she did confesse that she gained her powers from a Devill which did come to her out of the baye on moonless nights. And upon examination, we did find the markes of evill upon her, for she bore scales like unto a fish about her bodie. And so was she hanged as a witche, and upon the scaffolde she did crie out “Ia! Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!” and those who did witnesse this were sore afraide, but her Devill answered her not, and she did die in that place.”

– Fear-the-Lord Grimshaw, Witch Finder, 1645

England has descended into civil war. The earth is tainted by alchemical magick. Giant clockwork war machines lumber across the land. In the remote countryside, witches terrorise entire villages, while in the hallowed halls of great universities, natural philosophers uncover the secrets of nature.

Clockwork & Cthulhu brings the horror of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos to the 17th century alternate historical fantasy world of Clockwork & Chivalry.

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House of Ghosts Movie Review

Posted on June 27, 2012 by

Saint Euphoria Pictures produces homages to the old style horror films of the 1950’s with “House of Ghosts” pays particular attention to William Castle. There was a decent bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, but it was done in fondness of the b-movie genre not as a form of ridicule. They shot in black and white with a classic style of special effects staying as true to the original format as possible. Over-acting, cheesy lines, and an abundance of swelling music sweeps the viewer along as the story unfolds.

I was not expecting to enjoy the movie as much as I did. I enjoy the old b-movies and have many chuckles as quips are thrown back at the screen, but I can’t really call myself a true fan.

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Flames

An excerpt from Pathfinder Tales: Nightglass

Posted on June 26, 2012 by

In Nightglass, a young boy in the shadowy nation of Nidal is taken from his home and trained by the sadistic magical academy known as the Dusk Hall, transformed into a living weapon in the service of the dark god Zon-Kuthon. Many years later, now grown to manhood, Isiem is sent to Cheliax to help put down a rebellion by the winged, inhuman strix. Yet as he conducts his grisly work, Isiem begins to question his life under the shadow of the Midnight Lord, and wonder who the real monsters are…

Flames Rising is pleased to present an excerpt from this new Pathfinder novel.

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Flames

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 Launches on iPad and Consoles

Posted on June 25, 2012 by

Wizards of the Coast unleashed Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 on iPad for the first time, along with Xbox LIVE® Arcade, PC/Steam® and PlayStation® Network.* Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 is the first major release from Magic: The Gathering this summer, kicking off the Magic 2013 campaign that entices players to “Face A Greater Challenge” against the ultimate evil mastermind of the Multiverse, dragon Planeswalker Nicol Bolas!

Beginning last week, Duels 2013 players will get the first look at approximately 100 cards that will be featured in the Magic 2013 Core Set launching July 13, 2012. In addition, with the purchase of Duels 2013, players receive a code to redeem an exclusive six-card booster pack – including a platform-specific promo card – at participating Wizards Play Network hobby stores.

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RMS Titanic: The Millionaires Special RPG Review

Posted on June 25, 2012 by

Here’s a fun idea: Take a tried and true Cthluhu story of brave investigators stopping a mad cultist achieve his evil designs. Players have to contend with Sanity checks, grave danger, and, most likely, the rise of something that must be promptly put back down. Then, set the whole thing on the Titanic.

That’s the real beauty of this adventure, a little fiction laced throughout some tragic fact. I’ve always been a fan of that, which makes the recent emergence of the, for lack of better word, genre a hit with me.

The artwork of the adventure (25 pages, no ads) is sparse and mostly photographs from the era. I usually like art spicing up my text, but it’s really not an issue here. There is more than enough material to keep the reader interested.

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Flames

An excerpt from Elizabeth Hand’s Glimmering

Posted on June 22, 2012 by

It’s 1999 and the world is falling apart at the seams. The sky is afire, the oceans are rising—and mankind is to blame. While the spoils of the 20th Century dwindle, Jack Finnegan lives on the fringes in his decaying mansion, struggling to keep his life afloat and his loved ones safe while battling that most modern of diseases—AIDS.

As the New Millennium approaches, Jack’s former lover, a famous photographer reveling in the world’s decay, gifts him with a mysterious elixir called Fusax, a medicine rumored to cure the incurable AIDS. But soon, the “side effects” of Fusax become more apparent, and Jack gets mixed up with a bizarre entourage of rock stars, Japanese scientists, corporate executives, AIDS victims, and religious terrorists. While these larger players compete to control mankind’s fate in the 21st Century, Jack is forced to choose his own role in the World’s End, and how to live with it.

Originally published in 1997, Glimmering is a visionary mix of fantasy and science fiction about a world in which humanity struggles to cope with the ever-approaching “End of the End.” Flames Rising is pleased to present an excerpt from this new edition of Glimmering.

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DC Adventures: Heroes and Villains Volume 1 Review

Posted on June 22, 2012 by

The first thing you have to ask yourself is where this game fits on a horror-themed website. It’s a fair question, no doubt. There are two specific ways that come to my mind. First, the game uses the Mutants and Masterminds D20 variant. This means that, with a little work, you could have a group of dungeon-crawling adventurers stumble upon a cult as they summoned forth their deity-infused messiah (with Black Adam stats) or a vicious demon (with Etrigan stats). I’ll be the first to admit that those two options are a bit on the overkill side, but horror sometimes works out that way. Secondly, this volume includes tons of entries for a horror-based supers game.

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Flames

Spreading the Heebie Jeebies

Posted on June 21, 2012 by

Heebie Jeebies Sample CardOur game design essay series continues here at Flames Rising with Dave Cook telling us about his new game Heebie Jeebies, which is in the middle of a Kickstarter run now.

I’ve been making games for Zipwhaa since 2000. People have asked me how I come up with ideas for games. Usually my reply confounds them because it hardly makes much sense to them, let alone me. The short answer is that they just sort of come to me and fall into place like putting the last piece of a puzzle down. The mental picture of the overall game clarifies in how it will play, what the rules should be and how the flow of the game should go. This is exactly what happened when I created Heebie Jeebies.

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Monica Valentinelli

Celebrating International Short Story Day with New Hero Launch

Posted on June 20, 2012 by

The New HeroYay! Today is the official pre-release of New Hero from Stone Skin Press. This day also marks International Short Story Day. What a great day to launch an anthology of iconic heroes!

You’ve heard me talk about “Fangs and Formaldehyde” before when I said why I couldn’t wait for New Hero. This story features a vampire named Atlas who helps other vampires. To celebrate this character’s debut, I would like to answer a Reader question.

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Horrors: Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators Review

Posted on June 20, 2012 by

Horror is a particular genre which lures the masses into its embrace and then pushes us to the very edge. A well written story can invoke pure terror. A well filmed movie can make us scream even though we know we are safe from the horrors on the screen. A carefully crafted ghost story can bring us to the absolute limits of fright and leave us lingering there, sleepless for days on end. Although many dream of crafting the kinds of masterpieces which tear at our very psyches few ever reach that lofty goal. Those who do become nothing less than legends.

In the graphic novel Horrors: Great Stories of Fear and Their Creators writer Rocky Wood and illustrator Glenn Chadbourne have given dark life to their own dark tale.

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Billzilla

Carpathia Review

Posted on June 19, 2012 by

Carpathia, the newest novel by Matt Forbeck and Angry Robot Books, takes place during the momentous disaster that was the maiden voyage of the S.S. Titanic in 1912. Historically, the first ship to arrive to render aid was the Carpathia. Matt’s premise stems from this, and from the idea that there might be a reason why the Titanic survivors would NOT want to be rescued by that particular vessel. In a word: vampires.

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Designers and Dragons Review

Posted on June 18, 2012 by

Let’s say you’re going to teach a course on the history of role-playing games. You have the diploma and teaching certification. You have the tweed jacket. You have everything, but a textbook. With Designers and Dragons, you have a hulking 442 page textbook that examines this specific gaming culture since its creation in 1974. You’re ready to teach.

I’ve been playing RPGs since 1987 put TSR’s Marvel Super Heroes: Advanced Set into my local Waldenbooks, which means, according to this book, that I missed a massive amount of gaming history. I’ve played lots of games, read lots more that were not worth playing, and read about tons more through reviews or blurbs. I know a bit about what is going on in the industry.

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Flames

Anne Rice to Make Her First Appearance at New York Comic Con

Posted on June 18, 2012 by

Anne Rice, the legendary author who has defined vampires for a generation of readers and writers, will be a Spotlight Guest at New York Comic Con (NYCC) in 2012. Show officials note that the announcement of Ms. Rice’s participation at NYCC is just the first of several announcements about author appearances, author programs and book publisher participation at the show that organizers will be making in the coming months. Providing literary distinction at a pop culture event replete with major guests and artists from every part of the pop culture universe, Ms. Rice, who became an international phenomenon in 1976 with the publication of Interview with the Vampire, is certain to attract widespread attention at New York Comic Con among her many fans. Show officials note that other leading celebrity guests from the worlds of comics, entertainment and film will also be announced in the very near future.

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Monica Valentinelli

Choose How I Destroy The World

Posted on June 16, 2012 by

Greetings and salutations fans of explosions, plagues, floods, fires, and alien invasions!

Yes, that’s right. I am talking to you, oh fans of Michael Bay, who love disaster stories of every shape imaginable. Lean in for a super special announcement!

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Flames

Archaia Announces ‘Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition’

Posted on June 16, 2012 by

New printing of the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel will contain new extras, stories, and never-before-seen artwork

On the heels of the news that the second printing has sold out at the distributor level, Archaia Entertainment announced today its plans to publish the Return of the Dapper Men: Special Edition, a brand-new printing of the Eisner Award-winning graphic novel that will contain new extras, stories, and never-before-seen artwork.

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Monica Valentinelli

Prometheus Movie Review

Posted on June 15, 2012 by

Last night, we meandered into the gorgeous Sundance theatre to watch Prometheus on the big screen. For those of you who haven’t heard of this film before, here’s a link to the Prometheus trailer.

I went into this movie as someone who was familiar with the Alien franchise (which began in 1979!) but who hasn’t read the comics or seen the films in some time. I had also heard a lot about this film from the wildly mixed reactions as seen in my social media feeds.

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Flames

Conspiracy X The Conspiracies Sourcebook Kickstarter

Posted on June 15, 2012 by

Trust no one. The very nature of Aegis’ work means that the organization has to work in secret, away from public scrutiny and hidden from the keen surveillance of their enemies. The National Defense Directorate manipulates and schemes in secret bases around the country, plotting and moving pawns in a deadly chess game of deception. A conspiracy against another conspiracy.

Aegis’ secret agenda is the core of a conspiracy, but that conspiracy is built upon an altered and secret history – a conspiracy within a conspiracy. Lies within lies. A conspiracy against their own operatives. When faced with many conspirators, who can you trust?

The Conspiracies Sourcebook is a supplement for the Conspiracy X Roleplaying Game Second Edition.

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