AMAZING NEWS: 6/14/15

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SPECIAL:  Amazing Stories introduces the Gernsback Science Fiction Short Story Writing Contest (details here, under the Magazine Tab in the top menu)

This week’s roundup includes stories from 6/1 to the present

PRESS RELEASES & NEWSLETTERS (Full text below)

Radio Archive News; Epic Worlds Story Contest Winners (free fiction); Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing; RPGNet Newsletter; Flamecon Thanks Supporters; Night Shade Books – Laird Barron; Harper Collins – Human Universe 50% off

SOCIAL

simpsons_cat_lady_fox_thumb_560x392UH OH!  Cat Herders – Take Note:  Link established between cat ownership & Schizophrenia!  (“But I heard him I tell ya!  He talked to me in Swahili!  They’re taking over!  We’ve got to warn everyone!  I’ll be safe, but I can’t vouch for the rest of you!  Gee, that’s a funny looking jacket…

Tom Doherty…gets it wrong Jessica Price...gets it right and so does Chuck Wendig

Hugo Award Musings

Genre & Democracy

Puppie’s Own Words (it ain’t yip, yip, yip squeal!) (Jim C. Hine’s roundup)

So Eric says to Brad, he says….

Apparently, Being a Nobel Laureate Doesn’t Excuse Your Misogynyafter “girl trouble”, he resignsfemale scientists have a few things to say

Something Terrible Points Out List of Works by Female Authors

ENTERTAINMENT

15283116342_2d298ba541_cMichael Bay to Adapt Chu’s Time Salvager

Scalzi Interviewed about The End of All Things

The Martian video Trailer

Bart Must Die!

Batman vs Superman Synopsis

Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer

Babylon 5 Feature Film Reboot Announced

Harlan Ellison is STILL Watching...and watching

 

INDUSTRY

Origins Award Winners

Secret Wars Delayed (How would we know?)

Ben Franklin’s thoughts inspire gaming

Muslim Fiction Writers Find a Home in Genre (via Mike Walsh)

Authors, Agents, Aspiring Writers FB Group

On Chinese SF (via SF Signal)

Cricket Magazine Wins Merit Award (via Erin Underwood)

sea-creatures2_1241389cSCIENCE

The Astronomer Who Inspired Jodi Foster in Contact

Does Living in a Pod House Make You a Pod Person?

Creationist Finds Fossil…confused by no humans being around

Robot Fail (see what happens when you let Robbie Drink!?)  Via Mike Walsh

Glass on Mars

Link Between Birth Month & Disease (Pinero would be pleased)

Newly Discovered Marine Animals

“Pash da ban…Pass the Bananas please” (Chimps seek out alcohol in the wild)

Space-X Passes Launch Abort Pad Test (think of champagne corks popping out of the bottle)

Saturn’s Ring Bigger Than We Thought 

Schoolboy Discovers Exo Planet (via David A Hardy)

Fly Around Ceres! (Fly me to the asteroid, Let me play among the stars, Let me see what spring is like, On Jupiter and Mars – adapted Sinatra)

Meet (one of) Your Robot Overlords

PRESS RELEASES & NEWSLETTERS

June 5, 2015

99 Cent The Lux Radio Theatre – Lighthearted Fare Bonus!
The brand new The Lux Radio Theatre – Lighthearted Fare radio set is only 99 cents through June 18th, when you place any order for $25 or more.

To take advantage of this special deal:
* Select $25.00 or more worth of merchandise and add it to your shopping cart
* Now add The Lux Radio Theatre – Lighthearted Fare to your shopping cart as well.

* When you are ready to check-out, type the code 99CentCD into the Coupon Code box to get your special pricing on the Audio CD set or type 99CentDownload into the Coupon Code box for the download version.
This special offer is valid through June 18th! (Limit one 99 Cent Lux Radio Theatre set per customer.)
“Lux Presents Hollywood!”
Get ready to listen to some of the finest films Hollywood ever produced, because The Lux Radio Theatre is on the air. In this classic collection you’ll hear some of the best lighthearted comedies from the golden age of Hollywood. Hosted by Hollywood legend Cecil B. DeMille, these shows are interesting not only as great radio plays, but they stand as a kind of “what if” scenario for movie buffs. For instance, what if Robert Taylor starred in Frank Capra’s Broadway Bill instead of Warner Baxter? Well, this is your chance to find out as Taylor takes on the lead role with the help of leading lady, Frances Dee.
Also featured in this collection are: Wallace Beery, Clara Kimball Young, and Marjorie Rambeau in an adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s classic novel, The Plutocrat. Beery plays a simple American businessman trying to mix with sophisticated Europeans during an ocean voyage. As a bonus, in this episode Walt Disney and Clarence “Ducky” Nash make an appearance and have some fun with Beery’s real life daughter, Carol Ann. You’ll also hear Ginger Rogers, Warren William, and the very funny Alan Mowbray starring in The Curtain Rises. Frank Capra is not only represented in this collection with the radio version of Broadway Bill, but you’ll also hear his classic, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, starring the film’s original stars, Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur. Listen for co-star, Lionel Stander also repeating his performance from the film. Ginger Rogers is back, playing opposite George Brent (in the roles originated by Claudette Colbert and Melvyn Douglas) in She Married Her Boss, featuring young Edith Fellows recreating her role as a spoiled little brat. And finally, you’ll hear one of the great actors of all time, Charles Laughton, appearing with his real life wife, Elsa Lanchester in The Sidewalks of London, featuring the great British comedian, Claude Allister in fine support. This is an adaptation of the British film, St. Martin’s Lane, re-titled The Sidewalks of London for American consumption. This was broadcast on Lincoln’s birthday, by the way, and in honor of the occasion Mr. Laughton performs his classic reading of The Gettysburg Address.
This is a set you don’t want to miss, whether you’re a classic film fan, or a fan of classic radio. You’ll be proud to add these to your collection so you can settle back and listen to a great film, lovingly restored by Radio Archives.
Nick Santa Maria, a published film historian and author, is the Project Producer for this series.
6 hours – $8.99 Download / $17.98 Audio CDs

Tomorrow, June 6th is the 71st anniversary of D-Day. Our restoration team spent four months getting these 72 hours of NBC and CBS coverage restored. These two sets are the most important restorations that Radio Archives has ever done and we are proud to be able to offer them to you!
Special 50% discount Offer

It was the largest, most ambitious, and most successful military operation ever attempted — and radio was there to cover it.
D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. It was the turning point of the war in Europe, the beginning of the end for the Axis as the Allies started their drive towards Germany. It was a momentous event that would change not only the course of World War II, but the history of the world. Radio Archives is pleased and proud to offer the complete and continuous CBS network coverage of the events of June 6 and 7, 1944.
Hear President Roosevelt, the BBC feed of Communique #1, General Eisenhower from SHAEF headquarters, King George VI speaking from London via the BBC. Bill Henry in Washington interviews Congressmen Moss, McCormick, Rogers, Voorhees, Mundt, Herbert, and Gore.
Regular CBS shows were included in the broadcast, “The Passing Parade”, “Columbia Presents Corwin”, “Burns & Allen”, “1st show of “The Doctor Fights”, “Perry Mason”, “Valiant Lady,” “Light of the World,” “The Open Door,” “Bachelor’s Children”, “Kate Smith Speaks”, “Big Sister”, “The Romance of Helen Trent”, “Life Can Be Beautiful”, “Ma Perkins”, “The Goldbergs” among them.
Hear the events of the day as reported by Irwin Darlington, Robert Trout, Maj. George Fielding Elliott, Ned Calmer, Quentin Reynolds, Alan Jackson, Merrill Mueller, Douglas Edwards, Quincy Howe, William Shirer, John Daly, and Edwin C. Hill with “The Human Side of the News”. Reporting from London are Edward R. Murrow, Wright Bryan, John W. Vandercook, David Anderson, Arthur Mann, and Charles Shaw reports from the BBC in London.
Herbert Clark reports from the invasion fleet off the coast of England, an eyewitness account of the first parachute drop, James Willard from SHAEF headquarters in London describes the invasion fleet from the air. Richard C. Hottelet describes the invasion from a plane over the beaches, French Colonel Morrison who describes the area of the invasion landings, Stanley Richardson eyewitness account of the invasion fleet, Charles Collingwood aboard an LST in the invasion fleet, and George Hicks from the invasion fleet, describing the shore bombardment before the landing.
These are recordings that many historians believe to be among the most valuable audio documents ever preserved. The CBS broadcasts — containing 34 hours of continuous programming of news, music, drama, comedy, and entertainment — are history as it happened, in a special collection that is sure to occupy a special place in your radio collection.
Normally priced at $101.98 Audio CDs / $50.99 Download, Specially priced through the month of June. 34 hours – $25.49 Download / $50.99 Audio CDs
Special 50% discount Offer

It was the largest, most ambitious, and most successful military operation ever attempted — and radio was there to cover it.
D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. It was the turning point of the war in Europe, the beginning of the end for the Axis as the Allies started their drive towards Germany. It was a momentous event that would change not only the course of World War II, but the history of the world. Radio Archives is pleased and proud to offer the complete and continuous NBC network coverage of the events of June 6 and 7, 1944.
Noted inspirational author Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, King Haakon VII of Norway, Premier Gerbandy of the Netherlands, Premier Pierlot of Belgium, and US Senators Clark, Barkley, White, Hill and Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce speak, as does the President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. General Eisenhower speaks from SHAEF headquarters.
Regular NBC shows were included in the broadcast, “The Bob Hope Show”, “Fibber McGee & Molly”, “The Guiding Light”, “Vic & Sade”, “The Red Skelton Show”, “The Road of Life”, “Today’s Children”, “Ma Perkins”, “Pepper Young’s Family”, “Mary Noble, Backstage Wife”, “Stella Dallas”, “Lorenzo Jones”, “Young Widder Brown”, “When A Girl Marries” and “Front Page Farrell” among them.
Hear the events of the day as reported by Ben Grauer, Cesar Saerchinger, Charles F. McCarthy, David Anderson, Don Goddard, Don Hollenbeck, Ed Hocker, Edward R. Murrow, Elmer Peterson, George Wheeler, H. V. Kaltenborn, Herbert M. Clark, James Willard, John W. Vandercook, Louis P. Lockner, Lowell Thomas, Merrill Mueller, Morgan Beatty, Ralph Howard, Richard Harkness, Robert McCormick, Robert St. John, Tommy Traynor, W. W. Chaplin and Wright Bryan. Alex Dreier, in Chicago, recalled his experiences as the last western correspondent in Nazi Germany while Stanley Richardson offered an eyewitness account of the invasion from the Channel boats, and George Hicks reported from the beach-head itself!
These are recordings that many historians believe to be among the most valuable audio documents ever preserved. The NBC broadcasts — containing 38 hours of continuous programming of news, music, drama, comedy, and entertainment — are history as it happened, in a special collection that is sure to occupy a special place in your radio collection.
Normally priced at $113.98 Audio CDs / $56.99 Download, Specially priced through the month of June. 38 hours – $28.49 Download / $56.99 Audio CDs

16″ Transcription Discs
190.htm.pngRadio Archives has a large selection of transcription discs for sale. Browse through hundreds of unique and interesting 16″ transcription discs that are not part of the auctions. Add them to the shopping cart and they will be mailed today. Sold by Radio Archives.
The unsold discs from the May 2nd Broadway Records Auction have been added. These discs will be sold on a first come basis for the minimum bid. Browse through hundreds of UNSOLD transcription discs from recent Broadway Records disc auctions. Sold by Broadway Records.
by Milton Bagby
Read by Milton Bagby

Poor Sam Parker!
He wakes up from an alcoholic blackout to discover he’s being arrested for killing a man in a hit and run accident. He has no memory of the previous night—how he got so drunk, who was with him, how he got home from the bar. All a blank. His car—parked askew in the front yard—has a badly damaged front fender ominously covered with a drying smear of blood.
He remembers going to the bar the night before—but that’s it.
Then, at his trial, the prosecution drops a bomb. A last minute witness is discovered, a cheap hooker who says Sam picked her up and took her to his place for a date. He was crazy drunk, driving all over the road, she testifies, when he veered across the road and struck a man, killing him instantly.
That was the bad luck story Sam Parker had hanging over him as they hauled him off to prison.
Four years go by, four long years in a ratty Tennessee state prison they call “The Snake Pit.” Sam keeps his head down and behaves himself. Then one day, the warden calls him in and drops another bomb on him.
The Warden says to pack up—he’s a free man.
Turns out Sam Parker was framed by a crew of dirty cops who wanted the dead man out of the way for political reasons. The State Attorney General is investigating corruption in the crooked little town that sent Sam to prison. Indictments are coming. Arrests are imminent.
Not before I get some answers, Sam swears under his breath.
Beg For Mercy, set in 1950s, is the first novel in the Radnor Yard Press Mid-Century Series, all-new books aimed at the feel and style of crime novels from the 1950s, the heyday of the paperback novel and great authors like Mickey Spillane and John D. MacDonald.
Beg For Mercy was written by and narrated by Milton Bagby, a voice actor heard on numerous audiobooks including the Operator #5 and Secret Agent “X”series. Cover artwork by Douglas Klauba.
5 hours – $9.99 Download / $19.98 Audio CDs
by Frank Eisgruber, Jr. Preface by Robert Weinberg
Read by Roger Price. Liner notes by Robert Weinberg

Of all the characters introduced by the pulps, no one was more popular or more influential than The Shadow. No other character so captured the interest and imagination of the American public during the thirties and forties. From the radio to the pulps back to the radio The Shadow was the dominant fictional character of the time. But what exactly is the background of this mysterious fighter for law and justice?

 

At first, The Shadow is completely a man of mystery. We know nothing of him other than his complete enmity of crime. He is the master of disguise who appears mysteriously when the situation seems most hopeless. His guns speak a language that make the most hardened criminal cringe with fear. But, as time goes on, we learn more and more about The Shadow. We are introduced to a small but dedicated band of agents he recruits to help him in his war against crime. The Shadow was a genius capable of solving the most intricate puzzles and schemes.

 

Strangely enough, while one of the most popular characters ever in American literature, as well as one of the most famous radio characters ever, very little has been written about The Shadow. During the thirties and the forties, a few articles about The Shadow did appear, usually as a tie-in with some Street and Smith magazine campaign, or written by Gibson and appearing in a writers’ magazine.

 

Still, no work of any length has ever been done on The Shadow pulps, concentrating on the stories themselves. Frank Eisgruber Jr. is a devoted Shadow fan who owns a complete set of the magazine. Frank has written extensively for pulp fiction fanzines and is familiar with all that has been written on the mysterious crime fighter. He has read every Shadownovel a number of times and has extensive notes on the entire series. This audiobook is a result of his studies.

 

Read by Roger Price.

3 hours – $5.99 Download / $11.98 Audio CDs
The best of timeless Pulp now available as cutting edge eBooks! Will Murray’s Pulp Classics brings the greatest heroes, awesome action, and two fisted thrills to your eReader! Presenting Pulp Icons such as the Spider, G-8 and His Battle Aces, Operator #5 as well as wonderfully obscure characters like the Octopus and Captain Satan. Will Murray’s Pulp Classics brings you the best of yesterday’s Pulp today!
Dare-Devil Aces #086 May 1939 Satan’s White Wasp
A pair of Vickers pronounce the sentence of Death in the high avenues of the sky where one man lives and another man dies! Dare-Devil Aces was another of the many pulps that rode the wave of popularity of World War I aviation tales in the decade after the conflict. It made its debut in February 1932 and lasted for an astounding 135 issues. It finally closed after World War II ended, with the November 1946 issue. During its run, it presented a wide assortment of high-flying aerial series, including The Red Falcon, The Vanished Legion, The Three Mosquitoes, Molloy and McNamara, The Black Sheep of Belogue, The Mongol Ace, Chinese Brady, Captain Babyface, Smoke Wade and others. Strap on your flying helmet, toss that scarf about your neck and get ready for some soaring action in the skies over France and Germany during the Great War. Dare-Devil Aces return in vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
Horror Stories! The dark companion to Dime Mystery Magazine. Created to showcase stories too horrible for Terror Tales. The third of the triumvirate of fear pulps. This brand of fiction came to be called Weird Menace. The mystery-and-menace formula proved so successful that publisher Popular Publications produced Dime Mystery Magazine, Terror Tales and Horror Stories. These three dominated the Weird Menace genre all through the 1930s. Blurbed as “mystery-horror” stories instead of “mystery-terror,” Horror Stories was formulated differently that its companion titles. Damn the plot. Pour on the menace! This ebook contains a collection of stories from the pages of Horror Stories magazine, all written by Hugh B. Cave and Donald Graham, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
All eBooks produced by Radio Archives are available in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats for the ultimate in compatibility. When you upgrade to a new eReader, you can transfer your eBooks to your new device without the need to purchase anything new.

The Knight of Darkness journeys from Chinatown to the Canadian North Woods and to Manhattan society haunts to combat criminal conspiracies in two pulp thrillers by Walter B. Gibson writing as “Maxwell Grant.” The Shadow follows a trail of counterfeit money in “The North Woods Mystery” from the back allies of Chinatown to the uncharted Canadian wilderness in pursuit of Mongol smugglers. Then, in “Death About Town” serial killings at a posh New York gentlemen’s club become even more baffling when the murderers themselves are slaughtered! BONUS: a classic adventure from the Golden Age of Radio! This instant collector’s item showcases both original color pulp covers by George Rozen and the original interior illustrations by Tom Lovell and Paul Orban, with original commentary by popular culture historians Will Murray and Anthony Tollin. Double Novel Reprint $14.95

The pulps’ legendary Man of Bronze returns in action-packed thrillers by William G. Bogart and Lester Dent writing as “Kenneth Robeson.” First, in “Tunnel Terror” a deadly fog envelopes men and transforms them into mummified corpses, threatening the construction of an important engineering project. Then, in “Once Over Lightly,” the owner of a California resort is murdered, but the victim’s own will could provide the clue to the mystery, in a rare adventure narrated in the first person! This deluxe pulp reprint showcases the classic color pulp covers by Emery Clarke and Walter Swenson, and also features the original interior illustrations by Paul Orban and historical commentary by Will Murray, author of fifteen Doc Savage novels. Double Novel Reprint $14.95
The pulp era’s longest-running supersleuth returns in two novels edited by longtime Superman and Batman editor Mort Weisinger! First, newspaper editor Frank Havens installs a rooftop signal device to summon The Phantom to combat “Dealers in Death” in the classic pulp novel that inspired the Bat Signal. Then, Muriel Havens is kidnapped by The Bat, a cowled and cloaked mystery man, while investigating “The Yacht Club Murders,” in a thrilling pulp novel by Batman scripter Charles Greenberg! Bonus: a classic Phantom Detective illustrated story from Thrilling Comics! This double-novel collector’s edition showcases both classic color pulp covers and the original interior illustrations, with historical commentary by Will Murray. Double Novel Reprint $14.95

by Will Murray and Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson, cover illustration by Joe DeVito
When William Harper Littlejohn unearths a shadowy figure transfixed in ice, the renowned archeologist understands that he has made the most momentous discovery of his brilliant career. For inscribed over the frozen form is this chilling warning:
“IF I STILL LIVED, MANKIND WOULD TREMBLE!”
Who is this monster? Why does his name strike terror into the hearts of brave men? Can even Doc Savage control him once he breaks free of his icy tomb?
From the Gobi Desert to war-torn Free China, the Man of Bronze and his fighting crew battle a threat so terrifying that it could change the course of human history…. Softcover $24.95
Doc Savage Double Novel ReprintsBooks by Will MurrayLost Radio Scripts bookDoc Savage Audiobooks
The Shadow
The Shadow Double Novel Reprints
The Spider
The Spider Double Novel ReprintsThe Spider Double Novel ReprintsThe Spider Double Novel ReprintsThe Spider AudiobooksThe Spider eBooks
Magazines
50 more OTR LPs have just been added and 210 OTR LPs have been lowered in price today.
The first listings are now less than half price. See the liner notes for more details.

Comments From Our Customers!
Leonard Maltin writes:
Hi guys… I just posted a piece about Strange Wills on my website www.leonardmaltin.com and hope it brings you a few new customers. Cheers.
http://blogs.indiewire.com/leonardmaltin/warren-williamon-the-air-20150601

3 ways to order.
1. Website RadioArchives.com
2. Phone 800-886-0551
3. Email Reply to this email with what you want to order. Payment information will be sent to you.
Whichever method you prefer, order by 7:30pm EDT and your order is mailed today!

The products you’ve read about in this newsletter are just a small fraction of what you’ll find waiting for you at RadioArchives.com. Whether it’s the sparkling audio fidelity of our classic radio collections, the excitement of our audiobooks and eBooks, or the timeless novels of the pulp heroes, you’ll find hundreds of intriguing items at RadioArchives.com.
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The winning stories of the Epic Worlds contest are revealed and are waiting to be read! Which one are you going to enjoy first?

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more recommendations!

Happy reading!

Winners of the Epic Worlds Contest

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Canada’s largest dedicated genre publisher of thought provoking novels,
anthologies and collections of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.
Quality literary entertainment in print and pixel formats.
For Immediate Release

(please share this information)

EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
Announces Author Line Up for

nEvermore!
Tales of Murder, Mystery and the Macabre
(Neo-Gothic fiction inspired by the imagination of Edgar Allan Poe)
For Immediate Release.
Margaret Atwood, Tanith Lee, Kelley Armstrong, Richard Christian Matheson and other New York Times bestselling and prize-winning authors to headline Poe-inspired anthology.
(Calgary, Alberta) EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing is pleased to announce the contributing authors tonEvermore! Tales of Murder, Mystery and the Macabre.
Margaret Atwood
Richard Christian Matheson
Kelley Armstrong
William F. Nolan (with Jason V. Brock and Sunni K. Brock)
Tanith Lee
Christopher Rice
Nancy Holder
Michael Jecks
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
J. Madison Davis
Lisa Morton
Thomas Roche
Barbara Fradkin
Robert Lopresti
Carol Weekes and Michael Kelly
Loren Rhoads
Robert Bose
Colleen Anderson
David McDonald
Jane Petersen Burfield
Rick Chiantaretto
Hand-picked by esteemed editors Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles, this homage to Edgar Allan Poe features 21 original tales that blend supernatural and mystery elements in unique re-imaginings of Edgar Allan Poe’s exquisite stories.
BONUS
(Included in the anthology)
“Edgar Allan Poe, Genre Crosser”
an essay by Uwe Sommerlad
This essay adds an historical dimension to nEvermore! as it enlightens readers to the fact that Poe’s oeuvre went far beyond his fame as a writer of dark fantasy and supernatural tales. This well-researched essay traces the powerful influence of Poe in the literature of other countries as well as in the English speaking world. Poe is the father of the modern mystery story, but Sommerlad shows that Poe’s reach extends to realms as diverse as science fiction and romance.nEvermore! is a blend of what Poe imagined, a genreless world of unique stories and re-envisionings.
ABOUT THE EDITORS:
 
NANCY KILPATRICK is a writer and editor with 18 novels and over 225 short stories in print. In her editorial capacity,nEvermore! is her 15th anthology. She enjoys wearing two hats and exploring both hemispheres of her brain. She won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Mystery Story, and several awards for her dark fantasy writing and editing, including the Paris Book Festival’s Best Anthology of the Year for Danse Macabre.CARO SOLES is the founder of Bloody Words, Canada’s biggest annual mystery convention. Her work includes mysteries, erotica, gay lit and science fiction. She received the Derrick Murdoch Award from the Crime Writers of Canada for her work in the mystery field and was short listed for the Lambda Literary Award.

In Praise of nEvermore!

“Poe accomplished what only the greatest writers are capable of achieving: the creation of a world. His was a world of twisty tales and dark comeuppances, his people haunted by the past and love denied. And this is what you’ll also find innEvermore!: Tales of Murder, Mystery and the Macabre, a world of its own authored by a talented crew who have fallen under Poe’s spell and brought chilling and distinctive documents back with them. Pleasures abound.”
— Andrew Pyper, author of The Damned and The Demonologist

ABOUT EDGE:

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, EDGE publishes thought-provoking full length novels and anthologies of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. Featuring works by established authors and emerging new voices, EDGE is pleased to provide quality literary entertainment in both print and pixels.

-30-
nEvermore!
Tales of Murder, Mayhem and the Macabre
edited by
Nancy Kilpatrick & Caro Soles

E-Book:

ISBN: 978-1-77053-086-7
$5.99 US/CDN – is now available for KINDLE pre-order.
Print Book:
ISBN: 978-1-77053-085-0
Trade Paperback – 5.5″ X 8.5″
Available September 1st, 2015 (Canada) / October 1st, 2015 (USA)
$15.95 US/CDN
For further information, e-review copies, or to book interviews with the editors, or authors please contact:
Janice Shoults
Marketing and Events
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
P.O. Box 1714, Calgary, AB
Canada T2P 2L7
(403) 254-0160 (Calgary office)
(780) 569-1756 (Edmonton office)
Thanks for your continued support of our press. EDGE titles can be purchased through local book resellers and from our online partners.
Distributed in Canada and the United States by Fitzhenry and Whiteside
(US wholesale via Ingram)
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
Box 1714, Calgary, AB, Canada
Phone: (403) 254-0160

www.edgewebsite.com

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RPGnet Newsletter #7
June 9, 2015

News and Announcements

This week, we’re privileged to have our second edition of Tectrix’s monthly AP Spotlight column. The focus this go around is on The Climbers, Derendel’s Apocalypse World actual play. If you have any idea for another spotlight column for the Newsletter – or, even better, would like to write one of your own – please PM Shannon or me (Iustum).

Also, you’ve probably noticed that RPGnet has had a few technical hiccups in the past ten days or so. Please remember to check the Announcements tab at the top of each subforum for updated information on RPGnet technical status.

New Columns

Lots of activity on the Column front last week:

New Reviews

Here are the reviews from last week:

Threads You Might Have Missed

We had some great (if sometimes a little contentious) discussions of RPG theory in TRO and Dungeons & Dragons / Fantasy D20 Spotlight last week.

First, Matthew noted what might be an issue with D&D 5E’s magic item system in: “Ok, so another 5E thing I’ve noticed; Magic Items are hard to award”. While some of the thread focuses on 5E-specific rules issues, there’s a lot of useful discussion of magic item economies, the role of magic items as a reward for player success, how a GM can control magic item accumulation by the players, and similar topics.

Back in TRO, Particle_Man asked “Do you fudge as GM? Are you cool with GM fudging as a player?” This has been a contentious topic in RPG discussions for approximately as long as there have been such a thing as RPG discussions. Nevertheless, this thread has some fresh and interesting perspectives on what exactly “fudging” is, why it happens, and why it might be more acceptable/appropriate in some rule systems than in others.

Finally for this week, Ka_ge2020 started a thread on another issue that has long been a bugaboo among RPG players: “Explain to me Math aversion”. As a person who tends to be whatever the opposite of Math Averse is, yr. humble editor found the thread very enlightening. There’s also some fantastic discussion of the role of math and calculation in RPG design, which will be of general use to both game designers and GMs.

AP Spotlight

The Climbers

Welcome to the second AP Spotlight column! At Shannon’s invitation I’ll be using this space to profile exceptional AP games. While quality is subjective, I’ll be focusing on works that succeed both as games and as APs specifically – that is, they’re presented in a readable and sometimes even multimedia format that elevates them from a simple recap to a unique form of media.

For this month’s AP Spotlight, we’ll be taking a look at Derendel’s The Climbers, an Apocalypse World campaign set in the swamps of what used to be Miami, back in those golden days before the titular plague came, and the dead started walking.

I want to note here that I chose The Climbers for review several weeks before seeing the new Mad Max: Fury Road in theaters, so the gonzo post-apocalyptic shenanigans they share is entirely coincidental. That said, if you’ve been to Mad Max, you have a pretty good idea of what Apocalypse World is capable of generating; if, like some of my friends, you’ve been to three screenings and you’re setting a date for your fourth, you might want to give the game a spin. Try not to borrow too heavily, though, because building your own apocalypse is half the fun.

The Climbers is played over Skype, with four PCs and Derendel as the GM. Following DaveB’s methods for his Mage: The Awakening games, Derendel records the session’s audio using a second computer for sound quality reasons, then spends two to three times the session length transcribing the audio, which can take over twelve hours. For the final touches, he embellishes dialogue and inserts OOC commentary in blue. The final product is a readable narrative that also brings in qualities that make the AP format distinct from novelizations proper; in fact, if I had to compare it to another type of media, I’d go with a sports broadcast, where the viewer is watching the action unfold on screen while commentators make witty quips and analyze the game’s strategy in the background.

When I asked why Derendel puts in the energy for such an intensive AP process, he had this to say: “I like APs because it lets me do several things at once. First, I can turn what would be a chaotic discussion into a clean(er) story by distinguishing between OOC banter and in character dialog (via coloration of text). Two, I can demonstrate the rules and my game master decisions in way that might not be as clear via an audio or video recording. Third, as a bonus, I can extract out a log for my players to refer to later.” The downsides, he explained, are that he sometimes falls behind, and that sneaky players who whisper can be hard to understand in the audio.

I’m all in favor of games like last month’s Malibu Dream House that focus on uninterrupted narrative, but if you want to learn the crunchy bits of how a game is played and run, Derendel’s approach is a great one. He takes the time to explain the mechanical aspects as they come up, and spends nearly as much time explaining the group’s OOC thought processes as he does telling the actual story.

For those unfamiliar with Apocalypse World (and I counted myself among your numbers before I picked up The Climbers), it’s an award-winning game run with the Powered by the Apocalypse engine, a bare-bones, highly collaborative system that’s also used for Monsterhearts and Dungeon World, among others. PCs are created on a class basis (called ‘playbooks’) to fit the niches you’d encounter in a post-apocalyptic setting, such as the Skinner (artist or stripper) and Gunlugger (self-explanatory); each playbook comes with its own set of ‘moves’ that a character can roll 2d6 to enact. It’s not the character stats that make the Powered by the Apocalypse engine so much fun, however: it’s the group world building.

As in all other Apocalypse World campaigns, the GM (‘MC’ in PbtA terminology) is strictly forbidden to plan for the campaign prior to the first session. Derendel’s pre-gaming routine (also seen in Corrupted Transmission, his Hunter: The Vigil campaign) already relied on player input for world building and theme choice; making it official with Apocalypse World was a natural step.

For the first session, the group built their setting and conflicts from scratch, deciding on a Florida depopulated by a fungal disease that kills and revives anyone it infects, rebuilt on the backs of slave laborers, and teetering on the verge of starvation due to unreliable food supplies. The group’s home base (later illustrated with homemade maps), dubbed Stumpland, comes together as a cozy mire, occupied by an eccentric cast drawn together with a complex – and wholly improvised – web of social history. New residents are added by the group as the game goes on based on what makes narrative sense.

When I asked Derendel about the challenges of running an Apocalypse World campaign, he told me that the group input aspect was in line with how he liked to run things, but that the degree the game called for pushed him past his comfort zone: “The hard part for me is to resist the temptation to plan ahead, and especially build a cast of characters to work with. Since the whole point of AW is to play to see what happens and make stuff up as you go along, I feel to do otherwise would be to work against the spirit of the game. But it removes some of the crutches I use to prop up my gamemastering confidence.”

Due to OOC real life disruptions the PC list changes after a few sessions, so I’m outlining all five past and future cast members for completeness’ sake.

  • Gator: A sharp-edged mercenary with a face shredded by an encounter with one of his namesakes, this Gunlugger doesn’t mess around. Make a deal with him and he’ll stick it through, even after your death.
  • November Orleans: After the end times, proper crocodile jerky’s a treat, and this Skinner knows all the recipes. She moonlights as a dancer and animal trainer, too!
  • Violet Jefferson: When there’s nothing left to believe in, it’s up to this Touchstone to found a new religion based on the holy text of nothing less than the Constitution of the United States of America (with the Bill of Rights thrown in for good measure).
  • Billie Ray Tallahassee: Where there are scraps, there are scavengers, and this bastard of a Ruin Runner’s got the savvy to pick through the old world’s carcasses. Unfortunately, due to OOC conflicts he didn’t stick around long.
  • Jarhead: A newcomer starting in post #12, this Savvyhead makes his living doing repairs, but he’s equally capable with more esoteric devices.

As an Apocalypse World novice I had to take a chance on The Climbers. Going into an AP without a prior grounding in the system’s mechanics can be confusing for readers to the point where the story becomes difficult to enjoy. The reason I stuck with it is that The Climbers did a fantastic job of not only providing an engaging story, but actively teaching me how to play the game. If you’re looking for a fun way to learn the fine points of GMing a collaborative system, give The Climbers a read through. Even better, for those of us who are easily addicted: it’s only been going since September 2014, so the length is manageable, and it’s not currently on hiatus so you won’t be stuck waiting for updates that never come.

Sign Off

Have a good week, everyone.

RPGnet Newsletter Staff:

  • Tectrix
    Actual Play Spotlight Columnist
  • Iustum
    Newsletter Editor

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