Monday, February 13, 2012

GJ 667Cc

GJ 667Cc...22 light-years away, right smack in the Goldilocks Zone, and a very enticing exosolar Super-Earth that could not only possess liquid water but life all its own. You can read about it at io9. How do I not write about this place, given the initials? Maybe it's a sign...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Terrible, But Funny

Chuck Wendig's Terribleminds blog is incredibly inspiring, as long as you aren't reading while drinking coffee. Then it's guaranteed reverse netti-pot time -- especially if you read his '25 Reasons Why Writers Are Bug-fuck Nuts.' Wow.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vandermeer's 'The Situation'

Thanks to Tallgeese for pointing us at Prof. J. Vandermeer's 'Finch,' as something that we'd enjoy reading in light of our work on Wermspittle. Yes, we're late coming to this party, but we've been reading a lot of really old stuff, not much new stuff. and we just  purchased both Scrivener and Write or Die, so we're going to see our reading time get cut down a bit as we ramp-up our productivity efforts and just plain play with the shiny new tools. We also just discovered The Situation over at TOR and love it, absolutely love it. Wonderful stuff--absolutely weird, creepy, and wonderful--go check it out!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gnosiomandus & The Gem of Muktra

Rain spattered the delicately sloping windows of the Panoptic-observatory dome, creating peculiar patterns in the accumulating black ash and dust that came with a coke-and-coal-driven society. Gnosiomandus relaxed into the heavy catoblepas leather recliner and sipped his jimbiri tea. It was good to take a break from things, if only for just a little bit. Things had become fairly hectic around the Mechispherium ever since that damnable simulacrum of the Corsican Emperor had taken the field only three months past. What was his name? Napolean. Yes; Napolean--one of the great emperors and generals from the history books. He'd massacred seven golem-legions in under seven days. It had come as a great shock to the High Council that their war wagons and armored treaders were far from invincible. No one had counted on their simulacrum of General Arnold being abducted in the middle of the night, right in the very heart of the capital city itself. It had been an audacious thing. Daring. Reckless. Brilliant. They were still looking for a replacement for the kidnapped simulacrum. He hoped that they'd get on with it and get someone suitable out into the thick of things before it was too late.

Too late.

For Gnosiomandus the whole affair was now some vague, peripheral reverie.

He had other things to focus his attentions on.

Like the Gem.

Green and smooth and cool; the Gem whispered to Gnosiomandus of strange, distant, terrible things.

He clutched the Gem tightly.

For the better part of a month he had slept only fitfully, restlessly, his dreams a constant torment of temptation and terror. He learned things in this feverish state of disquietude. Words slithered across his lips and leapt into a bizarre mist-like opacity that formed a sphere all around him. And everything grew quiet. Still. Not even his heartbeat could be heard.

The Gem told him that he would have use of this spell where he was going.

It taught him several more such spells. He learned how to defend his soul, protect his mind and barricade his dreams. Ectoplasm extruded and formed itself to his merest thought and gesture. Dreamstuff likewise responded to his will and his exertions, but it was difficult, demanding, not natural in this place and this time.

It would all work much easier in that other place.

That broken, dark and dangerous realm of which the Gem whispered endlessly.

The Gem had led him to discover the device. It was what the Gem termed a 'Transition Mechanism.'

The damned thing had tried to attack him. He had only just barely been able to enclose the infernal contraption behind a spherical shell of force and secure it atop one of the marble pedestals in the Panoptic observatory.

Gnosiomandus looked over at the niche on his left. The Transition Mechanism hung in the center of the force-shell like a leaf suspended in mid-fall.

His mind itched where the Mechanism tried to establish some sort of rapport.

The Gem instructed him in the use of the Mechanism. How to let it navigate the interstitial gaps in-between universes. How to let it take him to Zalchis. Possibly, just maybe, he might be able to re-direct the thing and go somewhere else, perhaps to Jalamere or some other Adjacent World, Parallel Realm or Anteplane. But such a thing would be difficult. Dangerous. It would cut into his studies and his routine. Certainly it would be romantic, but it would also prove expensive, and on his weak joke of a salary, such expeditions were highly impractical.

Tempting. Definitely tempting. But not the best use of his time nor his limited funds.

Still he dreamed of this broken universe where everything was collapsing down into the gargantuan singular aperture at the very center of a Great Ring surrounded by the cast-off bits and debris of millions of wrecked and ruined solar systems.


Three weeks now he'd known that name as his intended destination and not one scrap or rumor could he dredge up from any of the libraries, archives or scholariums within the capital city.

Zalchis. It might as well be a made-up place, some phantasm of the nickle-dreadfuls or those horrible yellow-tinted pulp-paper magazines that were becoming more commonplace now that the wars in the colonies were finally over and done.

Then it dawned on him.

It was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Gnosiomandus laughed.


He would use the Gem and that hungry Mechanism, but not in the manner that they presumed to be used.

He would let the Gem continue to whisper to him and give him weird dreams--that was exactly what he needed from it if he was going to make his newfound scheme work.

Gnosiomandus was going to write his own series of adventures for the nickle-dreadfuls or even one of those smelly pulp magazines. Whichever one would pay him the most...

Gnosiomandus sometimes appears in Bujilli and is featured in an ongoing micro-serial at Burrst.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Blogwalk: Going Into a Cold Winter's Night

The air grows chilly as you climb down the mighty oak. The branches are increasingly laden with snow. Icicles hang in the darkness like glassy teeth. Then as you come to the last of the large branches and prepare yourself for the final descent, the Moon rises and everything takes on a luminous quality. You catch your breath. If ever there was magic in the world, in any world at all; this was it.

The rest of the climb down goes smoothly. There is only a light covering of snow across the roots of the old Oak tree. Everything is quiet. Even the wind has gone to sleep or is waiting for whatever comes next.

Do you...

Head off into the Winter-Woods?   Blog One   Blog Two
Walk around the base of the tree?   Blog One   Blog Two
Climb back up into the branches?   Blog One   Blog Two
Sit down and watch the moon through the trees?   Blog One   Blog Two

This is a continuation of Porky's Fantasy Blogwalk, a collaborative cross-blog Choose Your Own Adventure narrative that begins at The Oak and expands outwards across the blog-o-sphere as explained by the prime instigator and friendly coordinator of this online collaborative narrative, Porky himself in his 'Blogging Our Adventures' post.

If you have an idea for a scene that might come before, during or after this one, write it, post it on your blog, and link to this post as one of the choices/options available from your scene's post. It's okay to present more options even if those scenes haven't been written just yet. There's plenty of room for everyone and alternative paths are much appreciated and encouraged. If you do write a scene that links to any of the ones at this blog, please leave a link in the comments here so that we can add your scene into the link options here. Everyone is welcome. Make sure you check out some of the other paths that are already available—you might get some ideas for thing to add that none of us have gotten to yet!

To begin your own Blogwalk as a reader-explorer, we suggest going back to the BEGINNING.

If you'd be interested in participating by contributing your own scenes as a Blogwalk writer-blogger then read the Summary and Guidelines at Porky's blog.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Not So Cold...

A picture from one of our walks along one of our favorite rivers. It's just about time for another road-trip out there again. Maybe there'll be more ice on the river this time...

Friday, February 3, 2012


“As far as I know, there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to Moby Dick.”

As noted in this NY Times article that details the recent decision by DC to produce a series of 'prequels' to Moore & Gibbon's classic Watchmen series. It is a crap move, pure and simple. Originally the rights were to lapse back to Moore & Gibbons as the creators, after the series had been out of print for a year. Well, that never happened--Watchmen has been so popular and successful that it has remained in-print to this day and now DC is intent on mining the ideas Alan Moore presented 25 years ago. But then DC is also the publisher that has rebooted their continuity to the point no one knows which iteration of what character is 'authentic,' and of course there's the little matter of the situation via-a-vis the whole sad, sorry legal battle over Superman...that has left DC in possession of "...Superman's ability to fly, the term kryptonite, the Lex Luthor and Jimmy Olsen characters, Superman's powers and expanded origins..." and turned over all the other classic elements of the character such as his origin, Lois Lane, etc. to the heirs of Siegel & Shuster, the original creators of the Superman character. Oh and it looks like Gaiman & MacFarlane have finally settled their on-going legal skirmishing as well. Neil won only a dozen or so times before it finally sunk-in and things can get sorted out once and for all. Wow. Looks like Graeme McMillan over at News-a-Rama was right--Gaiman's lawsuit may well have been a road map for DC to retain their rights to the 'new and improved' Superman character after all. It's all about derivative works. Hmmmm. What other industry has a lot of derivative works based on old dead guy's writings? It isn't Poker, at least that's not what I'm thinking about...hmmm...oh yeah; what about RPGs? Oh, but that'll 'never' happen because there's 'no money in RPGs.' Right. Sure. Okay...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bujilli Episode 11 Now Live

Episode 11 of Bujilli's Sojourn is now up and the adventure is already in full-swing as Bujilli find himself watching in horror as a party of adventurers have blundered right into the very monster that he himself only narrowly avoided just a few moments before. Should he go and help these newcomers? Should he just sit tight and watch them die horribly before his very eyes? Or should he turn his back on these unfortunate souls and get on with his own adventure?
You Decide!

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