Welcome

Nice of you to come! Welcome to my permanent home on the web. Feel free to read my posts, and I’ve got a game here if you’re interested. I’ve also got a novelette about a Japanese pop star and an English Puritan teaming up to fight a demon.

My social media followers are listed here, with their blogs. I also have a permanent open thread.

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A Civil Conversation on Twitter about Books

While looking through my Google+ feed, a tweet by Twitter user @quartzen was brought to my attention (archive here.)

I took one look at it and responded thusly:

Considering the tensions within speculative fiction fandom, this could have easily degenerated into mudslinging and blocking.

Instead, I got a civilized discussion on the state of SF/F publishing.

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Filler of Gor (Nomads of Gor — Review)

My reviews of Gorean Saga books 1-3 can be found here.

Recently, I finished Nomads of Gor, the fourth book in the controversial Gorean Saga, and I have to say that it’s a colossal letdown. There is far too much padding, much of it having little to do with the plot. To make matters worse, the slave girl scenes the series is infamous for receive much more prominence here, and it’s not good at all. And this is from someone who cares little for feminism!

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My Thoughts on Batman & Harley Quinn

With a friend, I ended up watching the recently released Batman & Harley Quinn. I had heard of the complaints about Harley Quinn’s character, but I ignored them and looked at it anyway, since they complain about sexy female characters all the time.

And it was just so much fun to watch.

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Don’t Pay for Free-to-Play, or What Fire Emblem Heroes Does Right

Rest in peace.

NOTE: I am not being paid to write this. I’m just a fan of both Avengers Alliance and Fire Emblem Heroes.

Once upon a time, there was a Facebook game called Avengers Alliance. It was a game of RPG-style battles where a player could take his favorite Marvel superheroes into combat against an array of dastardly foes. As a free-to-play game, players had the option of paying real money for special tokens which allowed them to acquire specific heroes — and the more popular a hero was, the more expensive they were. Millions of dollars were sunk into the game by players seeking an advantage, and player-vs-player competitions only heightened this tendency. All in all, the game captivated all who played it.

Until Disney shut it down on October of 2016 because it wasn’t profitable enough.

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Why There Are So Many Fighting Females

Action Girls combine sexual allure with violent action. Pictured here is Felicia, a fighting maid from the video game Fire Emblem Fates.

The Action Girl — a female hero or villain who physically fights — is a common and beloved trope throughout all of popular culture. However, it is also somewhat unrealistic, for the average man is stronger than the average woman. Yet it persists — but not for the reason you think.

Because this isn’t about ideology. This is about a love of attractive women and violent activity.

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The Kevyn Winkless Master Formula

NOTE: To see the formula image more clearly, open it in a new tab.

A social media buddy of mine named Kevyn Winkless had come up with a handy formula (pictured above) for writing flash fiction, a formula I’ve taken to calling the Kevyn Winkless Master Formula™. I decided to try the formula out and write a story with it — and the speed with which I wrote something satisfying and fast-paced stunned me.

I can think of a few reasons why the Winkless Formula worked so well.

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Reflecting on “Jitteh Dawn,” Ten Years Later

Click this title card to download the game (Windows).

I find it hard to believe it’s been ten years since I released this thing.

Jitteh Dawn (Windows, Mac, Linux), a visual novel I made on the Ren’Py engine, is a story about a history geek who seeks an answer to why a prominent family was disowned. Unlike my more recent creative output, it utterly lacks any sense of the supernatural or the science-fictional, situated in what is pretty much a mundane reality.

When I played through it again…it was like re-living ten years ago.

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Just Glue Some Things on It

Misha Burnett

Misha Burnett, an interesting member of the online book club I’m in, notes that readers of his story in Cirsova Vol. 5 quite enjoy it:

I’m rather surprised by how much good ink “In The Gloaming” is getting.  I wrote that story as a deliberate pastiche of the EC Horror comics that I grew up with (and the pre-code reprints that came out in the 80s). It’s probably the most derivative thing I’ve ever written, and certainly one of the easiest–I think it took me an afternoon, once I came up with basic idea.

But that’s not the only nugget of knowledge in that thread.

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I, the Incorporeal: The Soul in I, the One

WARNING: Spoilers for I, the One.

My social media buddy Dominika Lein’s short story I, the One has a very simple premise: a soul named Niman is commanded by an ethereal creature to train a younger soul named Meelik. Unlike most of the stories I’ve covered here so far, though, this one largely takes place in an incorporeal realm, divorced from physical existence.

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For Male and Female: A Gender Analysis of For Steam and Country

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Star Realms: Rescue Run and For Steam and Country; this post assumes you have read both books.

Recently, I finished reading my social media buddy Jon Del Arroz’s new book For Steam and Country. This story, featuring the daughter of a famed adventurer inheriting an airship and getting drawn into a massive war, was rather satisfying to read, and it is a welcome addition to any fantasy fan’s collection, and I hope Del Arroz continues the series. However, after I finished the book, I noticed something about the characterizations: the men are men and the women are women, quite unlike his previous novel, where he reversed the roles of male and female.

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