Bill Bodden has been writing professionally for more nearly a decade. A contributor to Madison Magazine, Geek Monthly, Scrye, Knucklebones and Games Unplugged magazines, Bill's writing was included in the Hobby Games: The 100 Best and the forthcoming Family Games: The 100 Best essay collections. Bill has also had gaming-related work published by Green Ronin Publishing, Fantasy Flight Games, Mongoose Publishing, and Games Workshop/Black Library. Bill works as the wholesale sales rep for Green Ronin, and in his spare time paints miniatures, reads, plays games and cleans up after four cats. Bill lives in Wisconsin with his wife, Tracy.
Posted on October 17, 2016 by Billzilla
Many of the works of Edgar Allen Poe, while considered classics of literature today, don’t often match up with modern literary sensibilities. It was somewhat surprising for me then, to come across Red Stylo Media’s The Twisted Poe Anthology, an excellent collection of seven original tales inspired by the works of Poe. Published in 2011, this collection does not consist of adaptations — retellings of Poe stories — but rather, a brand new batch of original tales in the same spirit as Poe’s work. All of the individual stories are available as digital downloads for 99 cents each; I have added links to the descriptions of those stories for convenience’s sake.
The first story, “Absolution”, is written by Jason Ciaramella and illustrated by Enrique “Zeke” Savory, Jr. Absolution is a tragic tale of loss and guilt inspired by Poe’s poem “The Raven.”
Posted on September 8, 2015 by Billzilla
Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures by Theresa Bane
There have been an awful lot of demons mentioned in the bible, the Koran, the Torah, in classical literature, and elsewhere. You practically need a scorecard to keep track of all of them. McFarland & Company Publishers has produced a massive volume cataloging the numerous evil entities from the void, The Encyclopedia of Demons in World Religions and Cultures.
Collected by Theresa Bane, this work includes a vast array of not only demons, but includes references to and entries for angelic entities, as well as a few with less clearly defined loyalties. These entities were written about in the religious texts of such diverse faiths as Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Ashurism, and from such ancient cultures as Sumeria, China, Scythians, Mayans, and many African cultures.
Posted on July 15, 2015 by Billzilla
The Hungry Dead
Selected & Edited by Lester Smith
In a tribute to the speed at which the publishing industry is changing these days, The Hungry Dead is the first collection – that I’m aware of, at least – that purports to have been solicited, edited, collected and at the printer within one month. The fact that the solicitation process took place at least partly online may account for some of that speed.
The Hungry Dead is a collection of poetry and short stories that mostly hovers around the title’s stated theme. The excellent and evocative cover image shows a slightly decayed – yet no less well turned-out – young woman, a plate of brains in front of her, gold-plated knife and fork in hand.
Posted on March 25, 2014 by Billzilla
Matt Forbeck has been a bit busy over the past year. He started a series of Kikcstarters to support and promote a crazy idea: that he could write and prepare for publication one novel a month for twelve months. I caught up with Matt recently to ask him about one of the most recent books in that series, Monster Academy 1: I Will Not Eat People.
Posted on August 12, 2013 by Billzilla
What is the fascination with Nazis and their pursuit of occult knowledge? The popularity of Raiders of the Lost Ark offers some evidence that we as a culture find the concepts intriguing to say the least. Perhaps, deep down, even the most cynical skeptic wants to believe that supernatural magic is real.
Posted on June 19, 2013 by Billzilla
I first got hooked into the World of Darkness about three years ago; I became intrigued by the Vampire: The Requiem setting thanks to a particularly good game I was in at the time, and my passion for the world hasn’t diminished since then. In support of Free RPG Day (June 15 this year) Onyx Path released a sharp-looking product called Reap the Whirlwind, a complete quick-start introducing new players to the vampire branch of the World of Darkness.
Posted on December 12, 2012 by Billzilla
Edison T. Crux is an author whose first novel, “Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf” debuts on December 15. The author will be attending an event at Pegasus Games
Posted on November 1, 2012 by Billzilla
C. Edward Sellner is the Chief Creative Officer for Visionary Comics, having launched the studio in 2006. Having embraced the digital publishing revolution several years ago, Visionary is currently one of the largest digital publishing houses in the comics industry.
We sat down with Mr. Sellner to talk about comics in general and the Deadlands license in particular.
Posted on September 18, 2012 by Billzilla
Matt Forbeck is an award-winning game designer and author whose most recent endeavor, “12-for-12”, is a personal challenge issued to himself to write a novel a month for an entire year. I caught up with Matt after his most recent Kickstarter campaign concluded to ask him how things were going.
You’ve run a number of highly successful Kickstarters in support of your 12-for-12 initiative; what’s the most important thing you’ve learned about running a Kickstarter project?
It’s a lot more work than you think. While I ran my Kickstarters, they seemed to suck up every bit of time I had as I kept thinking about ways to improve them. That’s especially true toward the end, when you’re either getting desperate to hit your goals or thrilled that you’ve shot past them.
Posted on August 3, 2012 by Billzilla
I’m a fan of Carnacki. The somewhat stuffy British paranormal investigator, whose adventures were first cataloged more than a hundred years ago in Carnacki The Ghost Finder by his creator, author William Hope Hodgson, have fascinated me since I was urged to read them by a good friend. I was curious, therefore, when I discovered that another author, Scotsman William Meikle, had taken up the mantle of telling some new Carnacki tales in Carnacki: Heaven and Hell by Dark Regions Press. I tried to be objective going in, but my fondness for the character had me pretty excited to read some new adventures.
Posted on July 18, 2012 by Billzilla
Visionary Comics brings the weird west world of Deadlands to full-color life with a series of comics by a variety of artists and writers. Five different issues featuring five different main stories combine to give readers the full-bore Deadlands experience. Combining elements of the classic Western with Steampunk – a fairly natural fit, as it happens – and horror, Deadlands offers a unique experience to gamers. It was only natural that such a two-fisted, four-color setting would make the jump to a more visual medium – comics.
Posted on June 19, 2012 by Billzilla
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.
Posted on May 30, 2012 by Billzilla
The thing about being a Storyteller is you always need more stories for your players. How often you need new material depends on how efficient your players are at having their characters conclude business from night to night. There are plenty of adventures out there, but few are so nicely tailored to dropping into any campaign like those from The Resurrectionists Collection.
The first adventure, “The Resurrectionists”, involves the PCs in plot to resurrect a torpid elder – a scenario that will likely result in more questions than answers by the end.
Posted on April 20, 2012 by Billzilla
Masks of Nyarlathotep is a masterful campaign by Larry De Tillo with Lynn Willis created for the Call of Cthulhu tabletop role-playing game. In it, the investigators are drawn into a plot to throw open the gates keeping the Great Old Ones at bay, causing the earth to become a nightmare landscape of death, destruction, and mind-shattering horror. Spanning five continents, Masks is an epic adventure of mayhem and supernatural evil that will consume many game-nights of play, and is suitable even for a larger group of investigators. Available again in a revised 4th Edition, it once more rears it’s terrifying, blood-red tentacle to drive us all over the brink.
Posted on April 3, 2012 by Billzilla
Chuck Wendig has been a mainstay of White Wolf Publishing for years, and one of their most popular authors. Having successfully branched out into non-World of Darkness fiction, Chuck continues to develop a strong following for his longer-form prose. Recently, Chuck and Evil Hat Productions announced a series of novels based on Evil Hat’s Spirit of the Century RPG. Chuck will be authoring a trilogy of short novels, the first of which, Dinocalypse Now!, is being released soon. Chuck and I recently spent some time chatting about this new series.
Posted on March 20, 2012 by Billzilla
So you have this gorilla who wants to rule the world with his army of sentient ape-men, right? Plus, there’s a portal open to another time, and dinosaurs are coming through it – nobody’s sure who’s controlling them, but they aren’t acting purely on instinct. Then there’s the fact that many of the members of the Century Club – a group of two-fisted do-gooders who fight for truth and justice – with Chapter Houses all over the world – have disappeared, and you have the makings of a fantastic romp through pulp action in the classic tradition.
Posted on January 3, 2012 by Billzilla
Predators are competitors. They compete with other types of predators for food; they compete with others for territory. And they compete with others of their own kind for both food and territory as well. Sometimes, predators will form alliances with like-minded individuals to protect a larger area, making survival – even prosperity – more likely for all within the group. So it is with apex predators like vampires; they don’t care much to be around each other, but when faced with threats too big for one to handle, they band together to form protective groups. Those groups of like-minded vampires are called Covenants, and one of the most interesting of those is the Carthians. Based on the premise of greater equality and of emulating the institutions of their prey, Carthians hope to both blend in better – be less obviously a predator among the flock – and keep the stifling, unchanging nature of near immortality at bay.
Carthians begins with a fine piece of fiction by Greg Stolze to set the mood, then launches into a dissection of the Carthian Movement – its history, goals, and styles of governance.
Posted on December 27, 2011 by Billzilla
The amount of source material produced for the World of Darkness role playing universe is truly impressive. Not all of it is useful to players – much of it being useful primarily to the game master for the purposes of fueling any individual group’s adventures – and some is of benefit to all players. Night Horrors: Immortal Sinners is a book that is fascinating to read for any aficionado of the setting, but is likely best left to the GMs (or “Storytellers” in White Wolf’s World of Darkness parlance) as it spends most of its 160 pages detailing powerful vampires that the players’ characters could bump into in-game.
Posted on December 17, 2011 by Billzilla
Being a fledgling author, I had often pondered what it would be like to participate in a public reading of one’s own work. I recently had the chance to find out. I agreed to assist in the promotion of Haunted: 11 Tales Of Ghostly Horror (Flames Rising Press, 2011), particularly since, as a contributor to the anthology, I have a personal stake in how well the book sells. Knowing that readings could help us immensely by generating interest and word-of-mouth advertising, I cast about town looking for likely venues.
It turns out that bookstores are good choices for readings, as one might expect. Also good, and perhaps not as obvious a choice in our Internet-driven culture, are public library branches.