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Monica Valentinelli

Free RPG Day Haul: Did You Get Yours?

Posted on June 21, 2011 by

Wow. This year’s free RPG day freebies were outstanding. We decided to shop at NobleKnight.com because we were looking for a copy of the Hellboy: Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game — and found it! At Noble Knight, we snatched a first edition, first printing from this fully-illustrated edition published by Steve Jackson Games. Also included in the “paid” portion of our haul, was the Pathfinder campaign setting Undead Revisited. I can’t help but think the name implies a double dose of necromancy — as if one wasn’t bad enough!

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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

Come Visit Robin Laws and other Industry Pros at OddCon

Posted on April 4, 2011 by

This weekend, I’ll be attending OddCon in Madison, Wisconsin as a panelist and moderator. Guests include J.V. Jones, Robin Laws and Sarah Monette. You may recall we conducted an interview with Robin Laws here at FlamesRising.com just recently. Well, Robin is the gaming industry guest of honor at OddCon, which takes place from Friday, April 8th through Sunday, April 10th in Madison, Wisconsin.

In this post I talk about other guests, my panels and offer more information.

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Monica Valentinelli

My Magic: the Gathering Demo at C2E2

Posted on March 29, 2011 by

One of the things I did at C2E2 was sit down and play a demo of Magic: the Gathering. I had the chance to talk to a very knowledge and experienced judge. We have some decks here at home and even though I’ve played a few rounds, with a game like Magic: the Gathering I feel there’s always something new to learn.

For my demo, I chose the Chandra Nalaar or red deck from the Planeswalker set. Immediately, the game designer in me wondered how gameplay might vary between the different colors. The red deck was totally appropriate to my personality and had lots of fiery cards and mountains in it.

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Billzilla

Bill’s Month in Horror, March 2011

Posted on March 28, 2011 by

It may come as no surprise that I’ve been thinking about horror lately. It occurred to me recently that there has, at no point in modern US history, been such a vast array of horror material – across all media – available for consumption. Not only do we have a regular horror television series currently airing (Walking Dead) plus many more series no longer in production available in DVD collections, but also a ton of fiction, both in novel and in comic/graphic novel formats. It’s a great time to be a horror fan!

I was glued to AMC’s series The Walking Dead ever since I stumbled across a preview trailer online last summer. My wife complained about the amount of space it took up on our already full DVR, so I conceded and deleted the recordings. The DVD of the first season is available now; I’m waiting for the time to be right to buy a copy. As the highest-rated series to date on AMC, and one of the top five shows from 2010 in terms of ratings on basic cable, the Walking Dead has broken new ground as a continuing horror series.

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Monica Valentinelli

[Photos] Costumes and Artists from C2E2

Posted on March 24, 2011 by

Thought you might want to see a collection of the photos I took at C2E2. There’s more C2E2 goodness coming when I talk about Skullkickers, what’s new with Tim Seeley, my Magic the Gathering demo and a smattering of new comic titles. Hope you enjoy these!

Zombie Survivors | C2E2 2011

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Monica Valentinelli

C2E2: Show Wrap-Up and What’s Changed in 2011

Posted on March 23, 2011 by

C2E2 2011 in Chicago We recently made the trek down to Chicago for the second year of C2E2. The attendance was up by ten-to-fifteen thousand people year-over-year to reach in upwards of 40 to 45 thousand; you can see by the picture at the top that the show was hopping. I was really impressed by the attention to detail to make this show fun. Last year, the show’s organizers walked the floor on Sunday, which had died down considerably, and asked the vendors and booth managers what could be done. Huge, huge, difference between this year and last year. Huge.

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Monica Valentinelli

News from my Front: New Stories and Games

Posted on March 10, 2011 by

Since releasing one of the first enhanced e-books entitled The Queen of Crows, I’ve been pursuing publication of short stories and other works over the past year. I’d like to share some exciting news with you here. In honor of Read an e-book Week, links will primarily point to the digital version.

Hope you take the time to read the post and check out my new short stories and games.

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2010 – The Year of the (Un)Dead

Posted on January 8, 2011 by

2010 was the Year of the Zombie (again). In fact, the first 10 years of the new millennium can safely be called the Decade of Apocalyptic Fiction. Movies, books, comics — you name it. There was a surge in interest in the sub genre that has never been seen before. And the interest shows no signs of slowing down.

Movies and television shows have managed to incorporate some form of zombie feature. Whether an alien virus taking over the world (in Smallville) or a demon unleashing a plague of the apocalypse (in Supernatural), writers and directors found something to draw in the zombie crowds.

There have also been numerous articles trying to explain the appeal of the zombie culture. Deep sociological analysis, fun fluff pieces, and even courses on respected college campuses.

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Jason Thorson

Year in Horror Movies 2010

Posted on January 4, 2011 by

Another year’s in the books, one spent on the permanent and exhausting search through the horror movie scrap heap looking for the elusive hidden treasures. Unfortunately, this past year was a weak one. There wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about. Despite all the bad flicks, a few managed to rise above the fray, giving me hope for 2011.

As is usually the case, there were several remakes to take with a grain of salt. Some of them furthered the atrophying of the horror genre as it relates to studio backed filmmaking, others were much more horrible than horrifying, and all of them were unnecessary.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Matt looks back at 2010

Posted on December 31, 2010 by

2010 is just about over, where did the time go?

This was a pretty big year for me all around, with my expanded role at OneBookShelf (the company behind DriveThruRPG, DriveThruComics and related sites). If you don’t already know, I’m the Publisher Relations and Marketing Manager for OneBookShelf. I had the chance to work some awesome publishers and travel to quite a few conventions across the country. Recently, we got a print program up and running where folks can order print editions of titles like Descended From Darkness from Apex Book Company, Laws of the Night from White Wolf and King Arthur Pendragon from Nocturnal just to name a few. This has been a busy and detailed process working with some great publishers to get this program up and running and I’m looking forward to seeing it further develop in the new year.

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My Year in Review or How I Learned to Brain a Corpse.

Posted on December 29, 2010 by

This and that and everything …

I hate the New Year.

Ok, I get it, you’re probably thinking “get on with it old man, you hate a lot of things,” but if you’ll indulge me here for a brief moment, then you’ll see that I have something to really say about the New Year.

I really (emphasis is clearly my own) hate the New Year because it forces me to think about the fact that another twelve months of my life has flown by, in what seems to be an ever increasing and perilous amount of speed. It forces me to acknowledge that I am one more year closer to death, one more year removed from the awesomeness/horribleness (not really a word, I’ve slammed two industrial sized Red Bull’s, three pots of coffee and possibly enough over the counter truck stop speed to kill a small battalion of polar bears, so go easy on me) that was my twenties and the foulness that is the onset of my thirties.

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Jason Thorson

Zombie Week: The Indie Filmmaker and Zombies

Posted on December 11, 2010 by

We have a new essay for Zombie Week here at Flames Rising. Reviewer Jason Thorson tells us a little bit about indie films and the zombie/survival horror genre.

Horror and low budget filmmaking have always had a symbiotic relationship. But when it comes to really low budget filmmaking, the type that employs guerrilla tactics, stars your friends and acquaintances, and is shot in your mom’s backyard, well that’s zombie territory. Micro budgeted indie horror and the walking dead go together like guitar lessons and Smoke on the Water – the ends require modest means.

The reasons for this cozy relationship of convenience are pretty obvious, mostly involving the “bang for your buck” ratio. With no resources, including money, equipment, and experience, what would the scope of your story be if you decided to shoot a western, for example? What would your costumes look like? Locations? Guns? Horses?

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Flames

Scott Browne tells us about Fated

Posted on November 29, 2010 by

Our design essay series continues with Scott Browne telling us about the process of writing the novel, Fated.

Fated is a dark, irreverent comedy about fate, destiny, and the consequences of getting involved with humans.

The inspiration for Fated was more of a series of connected ideas than an inspiration: a journal entry in 2003 about a character who can see the future because he’s Fate; a scene written in a shopping mall in 2004 from the point-of-view of the same conceptual character; and the splitting of the often married concepts of fate and destiny into two separate characters.

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Kevin and the Devil House

Posted on November 22, 2010 by

Kevin Lucia is the author of Hiram Grange and the Chosen One, book four of the popular series. He is also an editor and reviewer for Shroud Publishing. In this guest post he talks about what sparked his interest in the horror genre.

I remember when I first became interested in horror. The summer of 1996, I spent lots of time with my friends bumming around Otsego Lake, NY. My best friend’s grandmother owned a cabin there, so we spent all our weekends riding the boat, eating and napping on the dock.

One weekend we got bored. Which country boys tend to do. This usually means trouble. We were lying around on the dock when my friend Joel remarked, “We should take Kevin to the Devil House.”

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Nancy’s New York ComicCon Adventure

Posted on November 22, 2010 by

The 2010 New York Comic Con and New York Anime Festival (NYCC/NYAF) took place at the Javits Center over three days. I had a blast at my first NYCC/NYAF! There was a lot to do and a lot of other fans and professionals to meet. I didn’t get to see everything I wanted to, but there was more than enough to keep everyone (myself included) entertained.

One of the biggest treats at a convention like NYCC/NYAF is getting to talk to the people behind the scenes about what’s going on, what’s coming up, and what fans can look forward to. Here’s a few brief highlights and interviews:

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Nancy’s Brief Overview of Halloween

Posted on October 31, 2010 by

Flames Rising Reviewer Nancy Greene offers up a brief overview of Halloween. She shares a bit about Samhain and a few links to fiction and zines that are definitely worth checking out!

Halloween is a time for mythological creatures, figures of fantasies and nightmares. They walk the streets; they invade every corner of ordinary life. And over the past few years the popularity of the holiday has risen like a zombie out of a poorly-dug grave.

Here are some popular creatures of the holiday, as well as some brief (probably already well-known) info on the origins:

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Jason Thorson

I “Heart” Haunted Houses: Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Hauntophile

Posted on October 28, 2010 by

Creepy House | Abandoned House by Night_Fight at sxc.huI’m a fan of most Halloween activities, but there’s one that I hold a little nearer and dearer than the rest.  I love visiting haunted attractions!  When done well they’re fully immersive, interactive, and live action horror stories – the ultimate sensory stimulation and overall inspiration for horror fans and horror artists alike.  My enthusiasm for the haunt manifested at an early age.  I grew up in Beloit, Wisconsin – the quintessential post-industrial Midwestern city.  Not a lot to do, but when October shambled around every year my fellow citizens got outright giddy about celebrating the time of year when everything dies, and frankly, resembled more closely our lovely little city.

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Top 10 Halloween Songs and Soundtracks

Posted on October 26, 2010 by

FlamesRising.com contributor Eric Pollarine blogs about horror music and horror artists in this colorful post about his top ten Halloween songs, albums and soundtracks.

It’s time for Halloween again, that most special of holidays for nerds, RPG folks, fan boys, Goth kids, and freak shows such as us, where we are able to come out come out from wherever we normally hide and celebrate openly, without fear of persecution, our collective weirdness. From the food court in the mall to the back room of the comic shop, from our mother’s basement to the diner down the street, no-not that one, the other one down the street.

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alanajoli

What Book to Wear for Halloween

Posted on October 25, 2010 by

I remember thinking when the Harry Potter series was drawing to a conclusion that Halloween was changed forever. After all, who in their right mind would just be a generic witch anymore? With the wizarding world so well known via J. K. Rowling, being a regular ol’ witch would be so passé — get out those graduation robes and a scarf, and you’re officially a wizard or witch associated with his or her house from the old alma mater, Hogwarts. While working in a bookstore cafe, I wore my Gryffindor colors proudly — not because I would test out as a Gryffindor (nearly every Sorting Hat application on the Internet puts me in Hufflepuff), mind you, but because the colors were easier to find in my own wardrobe. I went with a necktie instead of a scarf, which I wore with a v-neck jumper and black pants. Close enough to a school uniform to pass, I’d say!

But to be perfectly honest, I’ve been dressing up as characters from books and movies for a long time.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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