Monday, June 28, 2010

Charts are still my nemesis....

My least favorite part of laying out a PDF is doing the charts. Especially since my Adobe Pagemaker from my old harddrive no longer works quite right with my new operating system. The charts are only printing every third letter now, right in the middle of the text no matter what I do.

So I just downloaded Cute PDF and some other free PDF production software and I'm going to see what works. I've been having good luck with freeware lately. I downloaded GIMP 2.6 last week, and I really like it. It does everything my old Corel Photo-Paint did, and the interface is pretty intuitive.

Today and tomorrow I'm going to spend learning Cute PDF and seeing if I can pull a few short releases together. If it works, expect a new adventurers essential release and a short Psi-Watch supplement: think a D20 version of Marvel Zombies. I'm almost done with the Eleusinian Covenant sourcebook. As it stands right now, it's about 30 pages, and is pretty much complete. However, I sorta have an instinct about when a sourcebook is 'done' and this one isn't quite there yet. It's missing one or two pages of text, one or two additional concepts.... hopefully I'll add those in and release it in the next couple of days.

After that, I've got another Otherverse America release on deck, focusing on the post-human porn industry. Should be a fun one. I expect it to run about 40-50 pages, and at about the same time I want to release another 10-12 page PDF on minor Lifer street criminals and that subculture.

Beyond that, expect some fantasy.
Anyway, talk to you all later.

Blessed Be,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Your Mission, If You Choose to Accept it....

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned I popped up on in as an example of the trope "Even Evil Has Standards." So now I find myself wanting more appearances under my belt, and while I know I could just post whatever I wanted myself, that seems in some vaguely defined internet code of conduct as non-kosher.

So I leave it to you, all three and a half of my fans.

Add Otherverse America anywhere you think it's appropriate. My first targets: I really, really want to see the setting's Neo-Witch Midwives mentioned on the Swiss Army Appendage page, and the setting as a whole definitely deserves to be on the Divided States of America page.

Anyway, talk to you later, I'm off to catch myself some dinner.

Monday, June 14, 2010

I've got a backlog and a new idea....

Yesterday night I took inventory and I've got 7 or 8 projects of various length in the drawer, and awaiting art or layout. Mark is handling most of those, because when my computer crashed, I lost my image editing capabilities. I just got a new program, Manga Studio to replace the old Corel Painter I was using to edit art, and lay out covers, page borders, ect.... unfortunately it's a beast of a program, and it's going to take me a little bit of time to get spun up on it.

My completed projects include the print edition of Fantasy Firearms, of which I've seen an awesome, spot-on screen copy, and Black Tokyo II. We're still collecting art for that one, but in terms of writing, it's done. I've finished my Dragonrider 20 level core class, and I'm just awaiting layout on that sucker. Like a new Adventurer Essential release dealing with alchemical items and mad science, Dragonbound will be illustrated mostly with stock art, so it should come together pretty quickly.

Finally, I've got another couple of Fantastic Races of the Otherverse releases on deck.

So with a nice catalog of smaller and easily sold PDFs, not to mention a pair of more ambitious works, I've got nice a nice cushion as I start up a new Otherverse America sourcebook.

Yesterday I started seriously writing up a faction-splat focusing on the Choicer's Eleusinian faction, who worship Demeter and Kore as a dual goddess. It's a lot of fun for me, building a fictional culture from nothing deciding what they believe, what elements of real world paganism to include, what to modify and what to ignore. It's unbelievably satisfying to sit back with a completed script and know that I've answered all the big questions about what is (intentionally) a very weird, post-human culture.

What's interesting for me as a pagan author is that when I wrote Coven of Bast, I had no real emotional connection to the Goddess Bast (though that changed, when I got my cat). By contrast, Demeter and Kore's story was one of the first myths I ever read, and it's always resonated with me. In a way, that story is emblematic of paganism to me, so making a sourcebook about a futuristic country that worships the same is both a challenge and a treat.

As a pagan, I want to build this bad ass fictional society, this fantastic vision of a country without Christianity as a teaching tool almost, like I'm saying "Look, this is what COULD be." As a sci-fi author though, I realize that making a shiny happy utopia where everything is perfect all the time is BORING AS FUCK.

That sorta leads into something I've noticed about Otherverse America. The Lifer nation- the ostensible villains- are the real protagonists. They're the ones dissatisfied with the status quo, the ones who have the agenda. Left to their own devices, the Choicers would get up in the morning, go to work, occasionally do a ritual, improve their bionics, watch the 22nd century version of TV and have lots and lots of sex. Utopias are boring... unless some outside force starts poking the utopia with a stick.

Anyway, there's two things that have been sticking in my head as I've been gathering stock art, arranging for commissioned artwork and doing research into the new book, two series I've been re-reading as I prepare to write. One is Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy, because the Edenists are very similar to how I envision the Choicers: very, very well educated, high-tech post-Christian utopians who none the less have one of the most kick ass militaries in space.

On the other hand, you've got Brian Azzarello's 100 Bullets comic series, which features the Skull & Bones esque "Trust" as central villans. As I started writing I realized that this sourcebook would also deal alot with the elite families of the Choicer nation, especially the Nicellos bloodline.

Looking back on what I've written so far I realized something, I mean I knew it when I wrote it, but just now do I realize how WEIRD it is.... the Choicer nation is ludacriously well funded. They've got a full scale first rate military, allied superheroes that are pretty much equivalent to having the X-Men on permanent retainer, a couple of orbital elevators and a fuckin' space program! Compare that to now when the real world pagans in my neck of the woods meet for Sabbat get-togethers at a local coffee shop and do rituals in somebody's back yard. The conceptual gulf is pretty wide, you gotta admit.

So I realized that this sourcebook, is a good place to finally explain how the Choicers are able to afford all their cool toys.

Anyway, I'll be done with my Eleusinian sourcebook pretty soon.
Blessed Be,


Friday, June 11, 2010

Some good news for once....

Wow, Florida governor Charlie Crist (i)just vetoed a law that would have forced pregnant women seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound in an attempt to dissuade the abortion by A) forcing them to pay for an additional, unnecessary and expensive medical procedure B) force abortion providers into bankruptcy by forcing them to absorb the costs of this additional procedure or C) flat out guilt-ing them into not going through with the abortion.

And Gov. Crist said no.

Awesome. This guy, who is himself a pro-lifer, realized the evil and intentional secondary aspects of this law, and he vetoed it for exactly the same reasons I would have, had I been in power.

Do you have any idea how much courage that took?

I've lived in Florida for almost a year and a half while I was in the Navy. It's.... it's probably the worst state in the union in terms of reproductive and religious freedom. Conservative and religious to a degree where bigotry and violence are sacraments. Florida gave us lovely little "Choose Life" license plates while also giving us Paul Hill and his rampage. Pensacola itself holds the record for most church-ridden city on the planet. Per capita, Pensacola has more repressive churches than Saudi Arabia or Taliban controlled Afghanistan.

I have no idea what else Charlie Crist stands for and I don't care, because he got this one thing- the most important thing- right. Gov. Crist said some things that needed to be said, and if any of you live in Florida, please reward him for his courage come the next election. There's going to be alot of dull-eyed, Bible thumping fools voting against him because of his stand, so I'm sure Gov. Crist can use all the help he can get.

Blessed be,

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'm Internet Famous

Check this out. For the last couple of days, I've been spending way, way too much time on TvTropes.ORG, this utterly geeky trivia website. It's purpose is to highlight the standard cliches and predictable plots in movies, TV, comics, novels, even RPGs. I found this entry under the table top games header on the "Even Evil Has Standards" page.

In the D20 Modern campaign setting Otherverse America, a Divided America shattered by an abortion issue centered civil war, the Pro-Life faction is portrayed as the villains. Despite this, one of the sidebars makes it clear that any links that they might have had with neo-nazi factions (a modern accusation with varying levels of truth), the 22nd century version has effectively purged them out.

Holy shit! I now find myself opening the table top games header first on all future pages, wondering if I'll pop up again.

Anyway, the whole page is here, if you're interested. Be warned, this website is a time sink to end all time sinks.

Blessed Be,