Skin Game Trailer

The next Dresden Files book is due out near the end of this month and I’m excited!

I’ve been following a group on Youtube for a while now that’s been working on a fan film. While it’s hard to tell from the snippets I’ve seen, overall it looks really well done. Even cooler is they’ve made a trailer for Skin Game, check it out.


transmet1Transmetropolitan is a comic series written by Warren Ellis that ran sixty issues from 1997 to 2002. I own the complete run but had never finished reading it, I’d stopped at issue 45. No idea why really except that I’m easily distracted, and yes that means I have twelve year old comics in my reading backlog.

Anyway, given my habit of acquiring stuff, it’s ironic that I found I was missing issue 58 when I was putting my comic list together for my resolution project. I’ve no idea if I just never bought it and maybe I misplaced it. Nevertheless, I can’t have a one issue hole in the series, so I headed off to Ebay to see if I could find a copy. Surprisingly I found three copies, all of them for under $5 plus shipping. More irony that my resolution to consume more and buy less turned into an excuse to buy something.

It took me a few days of leaving the stack of comics on my deck before I finally picked the series back up, but once I did I was immediately hooked again and read through all fifteen issues in two nights. Even after all this time the conflict and characters came back to me quickly. If you haven’t read it I recommend picking up the trade paperbacks, its themes of government corruption and the duties of journalism are even more applicable now than they were twelve years ago.

Books and Board Games


I’m up to 10 books read for the year so far, which puts me 3 ahead of schedule for my GoodReads goal of 50 and leaves me with 152 (I moved a few books from the wishlist over and added a few shorts, so the math doesn’t match up with my last progress post). Looking at a big number like that, 10 books read doesn’t seem like a big deal except I’ve finished two series in those ten, Lindsay Buroker’s excellent Emperor’s Edge series and Glen Cook’s wonderful Garrett P.I. series, which actually makes it feel like a lot of progress.

Board Games

I bought Pathfinder ACG last October and wasn’t really impressed with my first two plays. My first game I made the mistake of playing solo using only one character, which really limits game play. I also made the mistake of using Ezren (a human wizard) and one of the first cards he encountered was a barrier requiring a strength check which was impossible for him. My second game was with a buddy where we each ran one character, and that was quite a bit more fun, but it wasn’t until I recently got the game out again and played with four characters that it was really fun.

The other game that’s been sitting on my shelf for a long time which I finally got out is Thunderstone Advance. This was fun but very difficult at least for the card draws I was getting. I need to play some more but right now Pathfinder is keeping my interest much more.

Before my recent resurgence of interest in Pathfinder, I’d been playing either Marvel Legendary for the Online League I’ve been participating in on BoardGameGeek or Sentinels of the Multiverse.

Other Stuff

I’ve unfortunately done very little with my comics or movies lists, I’m still working on training myself to switch back and forth between my different goals for the year. Multitasking like that is not something I’ve ever been good at. I’m much more of a serial obsessive, where I go on a month-long kick of just reading or just playing games.

I have been playing some MMOs a bit more regularly though. Star Trek Online has been a nearly daily thing. I’ve been making sure to at least hop in long enough to do the daily for the Anniversary ship. While I prefer the old way where you just have to finish a mission, I do understand that it makes more sense for Cryptic to entice people to logon more regularly. At least the Q daily missions are quick so it’s a pretty painless grind.

I’ve also picked Neverwinter back up, it was surprisingly easy to pick back up where I left off.  This is one of those games that I don’t think I stopped playing for any particular reason other than I got distracted by something else. I started back up both because of that and because the Multiplaying group is having a weekly Wednesday night game. In typical fashion though I’ve not actually joined in on a Wednesday night yet.

Despite getting back into two MMOs, I still don’t feel like I’m really back into the genre and I’m ambivalent at best about the new games that are supposed to release this year.

Tin Man Games is five too.

Not only is my blog five years old now, one of my favorite gamebook publishers is too.

Tin Man Games is celebrating their fifth anniversary by releasing the eighth book in the Orlandes setting, Curse of the Assassin. Their gamebooks are available on both Android and iOS. They have music, illustrations, and handle all of the combat and inventory mechanics, which makes them great for places where you don’t want to break out a pad of paper and a pair of dice. If fantasy isn’t your thing they have a scifi/humor series called Infinite Universe (currently only one book) that I really enjoyed, plus a great Judge Dredd book called Countdown Sector 106.

Firefly Comics from Dark Horse

You know how often you see something but you’re seeing what you want or expect to see and not what’s actually there? Catching up on my news in Feedly yesterday, I caught this story on The Mary Sue (who got it from CBR here) with the title “You’re Getting Post-Serenity Firefly Stories Thanks To Dark Horse.”

My initial reaction was, “More Firefly? Awesome!” Then as I read the article the wording of the title started to sink in.


I had always hoped that if/when the Firefly Verse returned that it would pick up where the TV show ended and just treat the movie like a Marvel What If comic. I didn’t hate the movie, but and I’ll try to say this without spoilers just in case, there were some pretty significant events in the movie that felt contrived to me. They just didn’t feel like they were necessary for the story, it felt to me more like Joss was trying to just go out with a bang.

Regardless, I’m sure I’ll pick up at least the first book when it comes out, because I can’t not at least give it a shot. Still, I would’ve really loved to have seen them pickup from the last episode of the television show and give us the graphic novel version of the series that Fox screwed up.

Windhammer Gamebook Competition

Arborell is sponsoring their annual Windhammer Prize for Short Gamebook Fiction. There are fourteen entries this year and the voting is open from now until October 30th. These are short works and generally take half an hour or so to get through. I’ve gotten through about half of the entries so far and there are a couple of really interesting entries this year. I have to say though that Marty’s entry this year, The Independence Job,  is by far my favorite of the ones I’ve read even putting aside any bias. It’s a heist book and has some really interesting mechanics that fit well with the genre.

If you’re a fan of gamebooks or interactive fiction, I highly recommend checking out all of this year’s entries.

MMO free weekend.

I did something over the weekend I haven’t done in a while. I played no MMOs. I did played several hours of the Torchlight 2 beta, but I spent a lot of my gaming time reading gamebooks. I played through Tin Man Games’ Gamebook Adventures 1: An Assassin in Orlandes and started on Michael J. Ward’s Destiny Quest: The Legion of Shadow.

Torchlight 2

Torchlight 2 was lots of fun. I think they’ve improved quite a bit over the sequel, but it’s been years since I played it so my memory if the first game is fuzzy. There seems to be more customization for your character and there’s definitely more for your character’s pet. Combat still feels great, and advancement is open enough that each of the four classes can be played very differently.

I played about five hours as an Embermage and another four as an Outsider and had a blast with both. Luckily the beta “weekend” runs through Tuesday, so I’ll get some more time to play tonight. I plan try out the Engineer so I can see what a melee focus is like.


My gamebook kick started with an email about my hard backed copy of the Destiny Quest Book 1 re-release by Gollancz. That got me to pick up the original self-published edition that I have, and that got me wanting to read (or should I say play?) some during lunch breaks last week. DQ1 is a bit massive to haul around with me, plus it’s signed by the author, so I’d rather not get it too worn out or drip ketchup on it. Instead, I checked on the Android market and found that Tin Man Games has started porting their game books from iOS to Android, so I bought their first book, An Assassin in Orlandes (store link).

Assassin is more of a classic style gamebook. Its a linear story but still interesting and fun, and it is also much easier to come to a bad end or die. Dieing while reading a gamebook in an app has been a new experience. With paper gamebooks, I usually go back a section when I come to a bad end. It is cheating, but it saves me time and hassle from starting over and making all of the sale choices again until I get back to the spot I wanted to be in. Fortunately, Tin Man Games accommodates this a little bit by allowing multiple modes and offering bookmarks.

In the Classic mode, you’re allowed three bookmarks which you can return to at any point. You can’t move a bookmark though, so once one is placed that’s it. Bookworm mode is identical to Classic as far as character creation, but you’re allowed ten bookmarks. The only difference is finishing the book on Classic unlocks the ability to cheat on dice rolls (which is nice for exploring all of the plot branches). There’s also a Beginner mode forward readers new to the genre. It allows ten bookmarks and also changes the character creation process to allow for more powerful characters.

Assassin was well worth the $4.99 for their app. Of course that might seem expensive for an app, but that’s what a paper version would cost, and the app adds the convenience of tracking combat and inventory for you, which I think is well worth it. Tin Man Games has app added in some extras. There’s a nice map, some additional background info on the setting, and even achievements.

I’ve already picked up Gamebook Adventures Volume 2, The Siege of the Necromancer (store link). Tin Man has eight gamebooks so far for iOS, hopefully there rest come to Android as well.

Happy Birthday Professor

Happy birthday, Professor Tolkien!

I’ve been a Tolkien fan since I read the Hobbit at 8 years old. He’s shaped my reading life more than any other author I’ve read. This year should be especially good with the first Hobbit movie coming out on December.



If you’re a fan of epic fantasy, humor, and well proportioned women, then you owe it to yourself to read Nate Piekos’ Realm of Atland. The current story arc starts at number 269 and is the best place to start for a new reader who wants to catch up quickly, but I’d say start at number 1. Nate updates every other week right now, so it won’t take someone too long to catch up, and you’ll avoid spoiling the plot when you get hooked and want to read from the begining.

This is one of a handful of webcomics that I’ve actually purchased the books for, and that’s as high a recommendation as I can give it.