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Update on STRIKE FORCE

The Kickstarter for the updated release of Aaron Allston’s STRIKE FORCE was successful, and a couple of the stretch goals have been met. The RPG will be released with full-color art and in hardcover format. Congratulations to the creative team!

However.

The next stretch goal, which would have been the anthology of short fiction, was not met. So it appears that there will be no superhero storytelling–at least, not at this point.

Aaron Allston’s STRIKE FORCE

The first superhero RPG, Aaron Allston’s STRIKE FORCE, is being rebooted for the 21st century. Here’s the pitch for the Kickstarter, which launched today and is already about half funded.

Aaron Allston’s STRIKE FORCE

One of the stretch goals is an anthology of short fiction. I’m delighted by the prospect of participating in this tribute to Aaron and the contribution he made to the fantasy genre.

Here’s a link to the Kickstarter page. 

The Road Not Taken, revisited

Here’s an interesting article about Robert Frost’s famous poem “The Road Not Taken:”

The famous Robert Frost poem we’ve read wrong forever

I memorized this poem in 8th grade, and even back then I caught the wry, self-deprecating tone of the last two lines. My father was given to shoulda-coulda-woulda revisionism, so by an early age I’d absorbed the habit of reflecting upon mighta-beens and mentally editing my life. This was a familiar concept, and it seemed to me that Frost nailed it in a sly, sideways fashion. Also, Frost had a pitch-black sense of humor that appealed to me, and I read his poetry attuned to that vibe.

The story of the British poet, however, adds an interesting new dimension.

Free short fiction

Small press publishing companies are popping up all over these days. Once of my recent favorites is Evil Girlfriend Media, which has a beautifully designed website (suitably evil) and a great feature:  They publish free flash fiction several times a month. The entire archive is available on the EGM Shorts page.  If you like very short fiction and are in the mood for a quick story fix, you’ll find a rather wide variety of speculative fiction.

“Maintenance” will be online this Thursday, July 9.  It’s a story I wrote during my mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, and it addresses the complications that come with love, memory, and aging.  Long-time readers will recognize a familiar theme in the story twist.

I’ll post a link to the story when it’s online.  Hope you enjoy the story!

I’m headed for Aetaltis. Want to come with?

Cover, Heroes of ThornwallHappy Book Birthday to Marc Tassin and the Heroes of Thornwall!

This is his first adventure set in Aetaltis, a Pathfinder-compatible RPG setting. It’s classic sword and sorcery, done very well.

Here’s a press release with more info.

 

This is a beautiful book. The art is striking, and fantasy cartography doesn’t get much better than this:

Thornwall mapGreenbriarTavern Map

Champions of Aetaltis

And fiction is not far behind!

On May 11th, Marc is launching a Kickstarter to fund an anthology of tales set in Aetaltis.  If you’ve read shared-world fantasy, you’ve probably heard of some of the contributors:  Richard Lee Byers, Larry Correia, Erin Evans, David Farland, Ed Greenwood, Dave Gross, John Helfers, Steve Long, Mel Odom, Jean Rabe, Cat Rambo, Aaron Rosenberg, Lucy Snyder, Beth Vaughan, and Bill Willingham.

Madness!

COVER, Madness on the Orient ExpressLast week I receive two author copies, dead tree format,  of the anthology Madness on the Orient Express.  While I love ebooks for convenience, adjustable font size, and lightweight delivery system, a digital publication just can’t reproduce that moment of New Book Bliss.

 

Query letters, demystified

Writing is the art of seeing through another pair of eyes. This is true at every step of the process, from creating characters to describing a scene to understanding what agents, editors, and readers want.  For many writers, putting together a query letter is nearly as daunting as writing a novel. Literary agent Kristin Nelson offered these helpful tips on her most recent newsletter:

Fact #1: Shorter query letters get a better request response from agents and editors.

Fact # 2: Literary agents rarely read the entire query letter.

Fact #3: Clearly outlining in your query letter how your story fits in the market will encourage literary agents to read your entire email letter closely.

Fact #4: A really good title for a novel will catch an agent’s attention.

Fact #5: A really terrific concept in your query won’t save you if the letter itself is poorly written.

Fact #6: If you have to defend that your novel is over 200,000 words in your query letter, then you are not pitching your story from a place of strength. And agents are more likely to pass.