Submitted For Approval
Posted 4 Weeks Ago
Well, I've submitted another application for a rejection letter. By which I mean, submitted another short story to a magazine.
I can understand how some people are frustrated by the seemingly endless list of rejection letters, but... honestly? It's kinda fun to see how they've changed over time. Graduating from the form rejection letter, to the form rejection that has a hand-written note saying "Sorry" or something, to the polite "Sorry, not what we're looking for" to (my current favorite) "I'm sorry, but we've already got a story this month with a bell as the villain. Well... part of the villain, anyway." To think that I thought that last one was too outlandish. It wasn't original enough!
Anyway, now begins the waiting. Though I'm close enough to the end of another story that I'll likely get it sent out before I get this next rejection letter. I think it was Asimov who gave the "Don't sit on your stories" advice.
Latest reply: 4 Weeks Ago
Posted Aug 10, 2011
I've recently returned from Gen-Con (or GenCon, I can never remember.) This event was more fun than I expected it to be, and I'm glad that I was invited to go. As a lifelong fan of games in all shapes and sizes, and a somewhat recentish (3 or so years) player of D&D, I enjoyed myself.
I went to a number of writing seminars held by the Writer's Symposium group, and they had many helpful tips for the style of writing that I want to do and the different markets I can attempt to do it in. Generally it was common-sense stuff, but it always feels better to hear it said by someone in the market, you know?
I also attempted to play the Munchkin World Cup Championship by playing in a qualifier tournament. I didn't win, but I was glad that I beat the fellow who had all these little bonuses (a T-shirt that gave him an extra level at the start, signatures on the shirt that gave him extra treasure, etc.) I don't mind the bonuses that he got, but he took a certain glee in waving the bonuses at us that I didn't care for. Is that petty of me? Eh, probably. Petty is part of the game when you play Munchkin.
I also had a chance to play 1st edition (aka Advanced) D&D with someone who helped to develop the game with Gary Gygax at a charity event called "The Tower of Gygax." I can officially say that 1st Edition D&D is more like the 3.5 version that I prefer than 4th edition is. But then again, I'm not surprised.
The issue of plunder must be discussed. I had limited funding, but my shopping list consisted of three items.
First: I found an amazing RP game called Cosmic Patrol. Developed by Catalyst Games, it's very rules light and doesn't have a GM (though you still have a Lead Narrator position that rotates between the players.) Ultimately, the goal is to tell a good story, not win or lose. Thematically, it's everything that was wonderful about the sci-fi serial movies and pulp magazine stories of yesteryear, throwing psychic moon men or venusian automen at you constantly.
Next: Zombie Dice. Steve Jackson Games created Zombie Dice to be easy to learn, easy to play, and requiring almost no set up. If you've got ten spare minutes, you can play this game, and you'll likely have lots of fun doing so.
Finally: The Adventurers: The Pyramid of Horus. I regret to say that I just barely ran out of money before purchasing this, but I fully intend to buy it in a few months when Fantasy Flight Games begins selling it officially. It's the most fun I've had playing a board game in years. Apparently it's a sequel to a game called The Adventurers. In this one, you're dashing into a pyramid and searching the sarcophogi, piles of debris and alligator pit to see if you can find the lost treasures. You need to avoid the wandering (and surprisingly fast) mummies, and you also need to get out before enough blocks fall from the ceiling to seal you in forever. When I played with four other people, we pushed our luck just long enough, because as we started moving out a block fell behind us, perfectly sealing the main chamber of the pyramid.
Lots of fun, and I'm considering going back next year.
Latest reply: Aug 10, 2011
Posted Mar 12, 2011
Those who know much about my frequent online activities know that I'm a big fan of the MMO known as City of Heroes. The main draw for me is the "Lore" of the game. As a writer and as a long-time fan of serialized adventure stories and classic pulp fiction, I really appreciate how the information trickles gradually to the player, starting as early as level 1. You don't realize the true significance of some of the things that the people in the city around you mumble until levels thirty or forty.
I think what keeps me playing, though, are the smaller systems. Heaven help me, I'm even a fan of the Gladiator matches in the Arena (the only system that Matt "Positron" Miller lists as a "failure." Come on, Matt, it's a great idea. It's like if the X-Men's danger room was used to play out a single battle of a Risk game.) One of the more noticeable "smaller" systems is Architect Entertainment, a kind of "Virtual Reality Arcade" where your players can go in game and design missions and story lines for other people to play.
Anyway, this last week I had a surprising number of comments coming in about one story line in particular. First it was surprising because it's rare to ever get comment messages about Architect Entertainment (AE) games. It was also surprising in that the story they picked, "A Very Merry Saturnalia", is about two months out of season. (Incidentally, I think that since The Warriors are a street gang that emulate the weapons and philosophies of ancient Greek and Roman warriors in modern days, and since the game lets you travel back in time to a place that is basically an amalgamation of ancient Greece/Rome/Cimeria, it's a travesty that there's no officially sanctioned story line bringing those two together.)
It was fun receiving player comments. Especially the one that said that "it was too short" but gave me a high ranking anyway. That's not *quite* Neil Gaiman's favorite three words ("What happens next?") but it's approaching that ballpark.
Man, I love writing.
Latest reply: Mar 12, 2011
I have a reason to live in Scotland
Posted Mar 1, 2011
As a life long fan of Infocom games...as a lover of interactive fiction in all its forms...and as someone who appreciates how the rules of a contest, when adhered to, can so perfectly simulate an advanced parser...this show...would you call it a game show?...is why I want to live in Scotland.
Don't get me wrong. For years I've wanted to go to Scotland. To see the sights, experience the culture both ancient and modern, all that kind of thing...but as a nerd, I really, really want to be somewhere where I can experience this regularly.
...it's been cancelled, hasn't it? The only things this awesome that I learn about get cancelled quickly.
Latest reply: Mar 1, 2011
You will need a Raygun in the end, but Not to shoot a Vorticon
Posted Feb 7, 2011
Well, my sister and I were at odds about who should win. I wanted the team with the closest ties to Commander Keen to win, and she wanted the team most likely to be featured in a future M. Night Shyamalan film to win.
Fortunately, Commander Keen won in the end. High score, all four ship parts collected, you're back from Mars before your parents get home.
I also don't have to watch a Shyamalanathon.
I will, though. As one of, I think, a dozen people in the world who still really, really likes his movies, I still will.
I've not seen Devil yet. I should get around to that.
Latest reply: Feb 7, 2011