Tag Archive | "sci-fi"

Billzilla

Matt Forbeck tells us about Amortals

Posted on January 31, 2011 by

Matt Forbeck has been a staple in the RPG industry for many years. With stints working for Games Workshop, Pinnacle Entertainment and Human Head Studios, and with design credits from Deadlands and Brave New World to Mutant Chronicles and the Leverage tabletop role-playing game, Matt has enough experience that the title “veteran” hardly seems adequate.

Matt and I sat down to hash out a few questions regarding his most recent novel, Amortals, from Angry Robot Books.

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Billzilla

Amortals Novel Review

Posted on December 15, 2010 by

What would you do if you found out you had been killed? Further, what if the new you had to track down the old you’s killer?

This is the odd dilemma facing Ronan Dooley, Secret Service Agent and Amortal. The Amortals Project is a program that keeps people alive long past their normal lifespan, and is a sort of insurance policy against anything lethal happening to the rich and powerful. Ronan has been granted Amortal status because of his usefulness in protecting other Amortals – including the President of the United States. So when Dooley ends up murdered, his first assignment – once his new body is up and running – is to track down the ones responsible; they may pose a threat to other Amortals, and besides, killing Dooley in such a high profile manner – broadcasting his death scene – gives the Project a black eye and unwanted bad publicity.

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mforbeck

Preview of Amortals by Matt Forbeck

Posted on November 15, 2010 by

Today you die. Today you are reborn. Today you hunt the man who killed you.

It’s Lee Child vs. Altered Carbon in a high-tech blast of tough-as-nails future thrills. Matt Forbeck arrives as the new king of high-concept – with a blockbuster action movie in a book. In the near future, scientists solve the problem of mortality by learning how to backup and restore a persons memories into a vat-bred clone. When Secret Service agent Ronan “Methusaleh” Dooley is brutally murdered, he’s brought back from the dead yet again to hunt his killer, and in doing so uncover a terrible conspiracy.

Flames Rising is pleased to present a excerpt from this new novel by Matt Forbeck.

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Syndrome Graphic Novel Review

Posted on November 2, 2010 by

When a rogue neuropathologist makes a startling breakthrough—literally isolating the root of all evil in the recesses of the human brain—he’ll stop at nothing to advance his theory. With the help of a naïve Hollywood actress, a tormented motion picture production designer and a condemned serial killer, Dr. Wolfe Chitel launches a bold experiment in the Nevada desert, the outcome of which could transform humanity forever. “The Truman Show” meets “Se7en” in SYNDROME, an inventive, original graphic novel hardcover that serves as one of the first titles to be featured under Archaia’s new Black Label line. Published in association with Fantasy Prone.

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Flames

Enforcer (Warhammer) Novel Review

Posted on September 27, 2010 by

Enforcer is not a typical 40k book. There are no space marines, aliens, battlefields — the standard fare for the darkness of the 41st millennium. Enforcer is also not a stand-alone novel, but an omnibus edition capturing all three novels of the Shira Calpurnia trilogy into one volume. The three novels are Crossfire, Legacy, and Blind. I somehow missed these when they were initially printed. I had heard quite a bit of positive discussion concerning them, so when I picked up my copy I dug right in.

The focus of these books is on Shira Calpurnia a senior member of the Adeptus Arbites. The Arbites are responsible for enforcing the laws of the Imperium across the galaxy. The best comparison to the arbites outside of 40k would be Judge Dredd. Depending on the situation, an arbite could be judge, jury, and executioner. Intimidation and brute force are the means by which they get the job done.

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The Eternal Prison Fiction Review

Posted on September 21, 2010 by

So when we last everyone’s favorite and most famous gunner, Avery Cates, in the Digital Plague, he was on his knees and smiling. Hoping that this was the end, and that the universe would just put the bullet in his head and let him rest. I mean he had already survived an uprising from cybernetic monks, being patient number zero for a world killing nano robotic plague, and of course the seemingly endless stream of System Security Force cops trying to take down public enemy number one. You know what? I would be smiling too.

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Flames

Redemption Corps Review

Posted on September 17, 2010 by


The Redemption Corps is a regiment of ultra tough storm-troopers. Led by the legendary Captain Mortensen, the Redemption Corps and its Navy support divisions drift across the Kaligari Cradle from one warzone to another on brutal missions. When the revered major comes to the attention of the deadly sorority of the Battle Sisters, he not only has to contend with an ork invasion, but these fearsome warrioress-fanatics too. Now, the regiment must fight for its survival whilst being trapped between the xenos and the dark fury of the Imperium.

I read through this one rather quickly. It sucked me in and I couldn’t put it down. It also helped that I was trapped in the passenger seat on a family road trip as my wife drove us out to the middle of nowhere. Anyway, Storm Troopers are the focus of this book and bear some explanation. The Storm Troops of Warhammer 40k are nothing like those white armored buffoons from the original Star Wars Trilogy.

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Interview with Author Jeff Somers

Posted on August 5, 2010 by

OK folks, I have been a little busy, well, not really busy but more like really, really lazy. And the last few things that I have written were pretty standard, and lacking an essential “Ericness,” but with this interview with author Jeff Somers, I think that I have somewhat recaptured, with the help of the masterful author himself, the spirit that I started out my career at Flames Rising with.

So, if you don’t know who Jeff Somers is, or have never read the Avery Cates novels (The Electric Church, The Digital Plague or The Eternal Prison) then you, dear reader haven’t been reading the right Science Fiction. So without further delay I present to you the hilarious and informative interview with Jeff Somers, whose most recent novel “The Terminal State,” will hit bookstores in paperback this upcoming August.

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Megan

Dr Who: Adventures in Time and Space Review

Posted on August 5, 2010 by

Childhood revisited yet thoroughly contemporary: back in 1963 a very small Megan watched from behind the sofa (the Daleks terrified me!), and now I revel in the relaunch over the past five years… here in my hands is a box which like the Tardis itself contains far more than you’d think from the outside!

Just as the subject matter takes me back to childhood, presentation harks back to early role-playing games: a boxed set, ‘all you need to play’ even some dice. Purchasers of the PDF version get everything except box and dice, although you’ll have to print out cards & counters. The game itself – in both presentation and mechanics – is designed to be accessible to newcomers to role-playing as well as to those who have been playing a long time.

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Flames

Maschine Zeit RPG Preview

Posted on July 28, 2010 by

Last week David Hill shared some of his thoughts on the creative process that went into the new RPG, Maschine Zeit in an essay called: Ghost Stories on Space Stations here at Flames Rising.

Now we’re pleased to show you a sneak peek at the setting of this game with a little bit of fiction called The Scholar and The Sages.

Maschine Zeit is available now at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.

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The Digital Plague Review

Posted on July 27, 2010 by

So about a month ago, when I was looking for something to read that didn’t concern itself with hordes of zombies and or the living dead in the big box book retailer I happened to glance over at the Sci-Fi section and see this wonderfully packaged series of books by author Jeff Somers, they had a smart design and yeah as shallow as it sounds, I look for that sort of thing when I purchase a book. Because you can at times- judge a book by its cover. Presentation is over half the product, and yeah, OK, I have been burned before by the way something has so handily caught my eye on the shelf.

Seeing that it was put out by Orbit books, who also put out Feed by Mira Grant, one of my 2010 top picks for Zombie reading, I was intrigued enough to purchase The Electric Church.

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teampreston

Nemesis Fiction Review

Posted on July 20, 2010 by

After the horrors of Istvaan V, Horus declares outright war against the Imperium. In the shadows of the Emperor’s Palace, powerful figures convene. Their plan is to send a team of assassins to execute the arch-traitor Horus and end the war for the galaxy of mankind before it has even begun. But what they cannot know is that another assassin is abroad already, with his sights firmly set on killing the Emperor.

The Officio Assassinorum: we’ve been waiting on something like this for decades, and James Swallow delivers it. As expected it involves scheming at the top levels of the Imperium in order to end this civil war as quickly and painlessly as possible – anything to save The Emperor and his Imperium.

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David A Hill Jr “Ghost Stories on Space Stations”

Posted on July 19, 2010 by

Game Designer, David Hill jumps into our design essay series with some notes on the development of the Maschine Zeit RPG. David tells us about some of the cinematic inspirations for the setting of this new RPG as well as the goals that went into the initial development of the system.

When I advertise Maschine Zeit, I call it, “Ghost Stories on Space Stations.” I wanted to talk briefly on that. Over the years, there’s been this sub-genre of horror films that are fundamentally haunted house stories, set in science fiction environments. The sub-genre really got its chops with the release of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, Alien. Looking around at various RPGs, I didn’t feel that the genre had been properly emulated, so that’s what I’d set out to do. What this resulted in was an RPG that, in my opinion, shares a number of conventions with popular games, while eschewing many.

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teampreston

Path of the Warrior Review

Posted on July 9, 2010 by

The ancient eldar are a mysterious race, each devoting their life to a chosen path which will guide their actions and decide their fate. Korlandril abandons peace for the Path of the Warrior. He becomes a Striking Scorpion, a deadly fighter skilled in the art of close-quarter combat. But the further Korlandril travels down this path, the closer he gets to losing his identity and becoming an avatar of war.

Path of the Warrior is the first of a new trilogy focusing on the race of Eldar. This is interesting in one respect as the Black Library for ages chose to avoid such novels, wanting to keep the alien races…alien. We’re all human, and the xenos races of the 40k universe should remain so.

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Flames

EVE Online: Tyrannis Expansion Released

Posted on May 26, 2010 by

CCP, one of the world’s leading independent game developers, today launched EVE Online: Tyrannis, the 13th free expansion for PC Gamer’s 2010 MMO of the year, EVE Online. Tyrannis will usher in new levels of player control as the pilots of EVE have turned their attention to the celestial bodies around them, casting surface inhabitants into the shadows of their powerful ships and exploiting the planets for the materials and profits they need to fuel countless ambitions. EVE Gate, the new web frontend and social networking platform for EVE Online, is a leap forward in extending the universe outside of the client, allowing access to in-game mail and features and bringing the community closer than ever before.

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Flames

EVE: The Burning Life a new novel from Tor Books

Posted on March 31, 2010 by

Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC—the largest publisher of science fiction in the world—and CCP Games are pleased to launch Hjalti Daníelsson’s grand new space opera set in the universe of EVE Online, PC Gamer’s 2009 MMO of the Year and the one of the largest MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) gaming universes with over 330,000 active subscribers. EVE: THE BURNING LIFE is on-sale nationwide as of Tuesday, March 30th.

A grand hybrid of space opera and military science fiction, EVE: THE BURNING LIFE stands on its own for readers looking for a rich and vast new universe full of danger and adventure.

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Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Review

Posted on February 1, 2010 by

I have to make a confession. It’s not an easy confession to make since I’ve been a card carrying sci-fi geek all my life, but it’s best you all know the truth. The truth is this: I know next to nothing about the Doctor Who Series. Cubicle 7 games have decided to introduce me (and many others) to the good Doctor in a big way. Although I’m reviewing a full-color PDF of the game (thanks to Cubicle 7 for my reviewer’s copy), they have created a RPG rarity in this day and age–the RPG box set. Yep, for $59.99 game lovers will get three books–players, game masters, and adventures, a handful of blank and filled-out character sheets, and other bits of goodness. All of these are also in full color and look quite smart.

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Flames

Mr. Phelps Space Detective 1 Comic Review

Posted on November 3, 2009 by

Considering I’m a huge fan of Fear Agent (Dark Horse), it stands to reason I’d be on the look-out for other pulpy sci-fi adventure “with stones”. Now I should mention right away that Mr. Phelps Space Detective is not as awesome as Fear Agent. I’m not saying it’s bad, though; oh, no, far from it. In fact, if you are looking for an action SF ka-boom fix, this should do rather nicely.

Mr. Phelps is, as the title suggests, a space detective. He also has a ship called the DeForrest (great name) and a side-kick / love-interest named Kat… who’s a cat. Well, a cat-person. Yes, a bipedal cat… person. Anyway, it all seems to make sense in the comic, which is full of space-faring adventure, explosions and people screaming in vacuum, greedy dudes named Jorge, an attack by clones, an odd device called a “hitchhiker” and lots of made up words like “skunc”, “frik’n scumlick” and “quarb”. In other words: Very, very fun.

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Flames

Complete Alan Moore Future Shocks Comic Review

Posted on October 27, 2009 by

There can be no doubt that, love him or hate him, Alan Moore is one of the greatest creative minds to ever grace the comics medium. His story-telling is so earnest, weird, kooky, slick and downright awesome all at once that it’s no wonder he’s one of the Greats. Now, I’m a Moore admirer myself, and I’m especially influenced by his earlier works; specifically Swamp Thing, Captain Britain and his many 2000 AD accomplishments. Sure, I suppose little things V for Vendetta, Watchmen and From Hell are what people mostly know him for, but I like to think his best work was with Mighty Tharg and his humble weekly newsagent-bomb 2000 AD. And with the galaxy’s greatest comic Marvelous Moore laid upon us mind-blowing wonderment-inducing things in the form of titles such as The Ballad of Halo Jones, D.R. and Quinch, his Time Twister tales, Abelard Snazz, and, of course, Future Shocks.

Review by Steven Saunders

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Monica Valentinelli

“V” Remake Coming to ABC

Posted on September 29, 2009 by

In the mid-1980s, a dark science fiction television show entitled “V” aired first as two, separate mini-series, then as a weekly show.

Imagine living in a well populated city, only to stare in amazement when a spaceship hovers right above you. Instead of blasting humans into oblivion, these aliens (which were dubbed “Visitors”) extend a hand in friendship. They’re having a hard time surviving without certain resources, but if you help them…they’ll help you.

Wearing sunglasses, the Visitors seem to fool pretty much everyone with their pleasantries and reassurances. That is, until people wind up missing.

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