Sunday, March 26, 2017

Late March 2017 Kickstarter look

Yes, I'm taking another look at KS projects, because there's been some interesting books and games launched. Just so everyone knows, I've not backed any of these yet, though I am looking at some pretty seriously, and will likely back the books(unless offered them for review). You may know about these, you may not, but here they are:

So, books first, some authors I'm friends with have mentioned Powers of the Earth, by Travis J I Corcoran. Now, I've not read any of this man's work, but reading the page, he seems to evoke the best of Heinlien and Niven adventure, hopefully without the degenerate parts. (Heinlein juveniles, not the Lazarus Long books). In the about the author section, there are some great negative quotes from Daily Kos and Warren Ellis(who has written some great comics, but is a leftist loon).

Now, sff humor luminary Robert Kroese has a trilogy up called The Saga of the Iron Dragon. This, however, is more of a straight alternate history sf book, and not a comedy. Kroese is a great humorist, and skillful writer. I have no doubt he'll deliver, and I have great hopes for this. However, Rex Nihilo in Out of the Soylent Planet comes first.

On to boardgames! I do encourage watching videos of gameplay and reading the rules before backing.

Brother, I'm not big into party games, but I gotta tell ya, Smack Talk Showdown looks to be the real thing for getting people hamming it up and laughing. This is yes, a party game of wrestling promos with random names and odd settings. You don't want a physical copy? You'll get print files for $5.

Carl Chudyk is the king of shared action games, starting back with Glory to Rome, Innovation and now, there's a 2nd edition of Impulse(and expansions) coming. This is not the Asmadi artwork, but instead is more stylized art from the company that printed the Polish edition. It's a bit of a fast 4x style game, but more on the Euro side, so it may or may not be for you.

Do you like 3D boards with some functionality? Are you nostalgic for some old Mattel game with marbles? Yeti Mountain is looking to recreate Fireball Island, a game with a large following on BoardgameGeek.

Academy Games is at it again with 878 Vikings. This is a 2-4 player game about the Viking invasion of England. They knocked it out of the park with the new edition of Mare Nostrum, and the fact that there's a  mini of Alfred the Great kinda clinches it for me. My experience with Mare Nostrum says the board is likely plenty large unless you want to run it at conventions, in which case you MAY want the giant map.

A few years back, AEG had a cooky little game that's coming back: The Island of Doctor Necreaux. I can't attest to the game's quality, but I will say the flavor is plenty pulpy, with CyberSharks, Psychic Amplifiers, Diabolical Research Labs, Escape Shuttles, and lots more.

Lastly, a couple of roleplaying projects.

There's a new pair of supplements for the Adventurer Conqueror King System(ACKS), which has been pushed by both Jeffro and Vox. They've even agreed to a Dark Lord class, and Vox hinted at another cool thing if there's enough support. I think I need to start looking into the books for this game.

Noir World is a game of hardboiled crime fiction powered by the Apocalypse Engine. I have some friend that love the simplicity of the system, though this one is designed to be GM-less, which makes me a little wary and intrigued at the same time.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

So, yeah, here's a little branding for folks

To reward my faithful audience, and make myself a little money, I've setup a store on TeeSpring. Cover artist and author Dawn Witzke graciously made the first design, and I'm hoping to get at least two more in the near future. 

Here's the shirt:

and a hoodie:

And yes, I have one of the tees already. It's cozy and does look that good in real life. Go ahead, give some SJWs panic at cons.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Yep, I gotta try to monetize

You might notice a couple of buttons on the left side that are new. I need to start at least trying to get something out of the blog, especially the book reviews. This is not a complaint, but a simple statement of my fiscal reality.

I do low paying grunt work for a living. HR people in IL consider me unskilled labor, because the market is so oversaturated that they don't have to worry about a person's ability to acquire skills, just the experience they already have. Wages are also depressed to the point that most factories and warehouses barely pay over minimum wage, unless they have a reputation for treating people badly.

 I've been called a professional reviewer a few times, and I really should try to get something out of any book sales I help induce. So, if you are so inclined, please, use either the donate button or the poor looking injustice books button on the left. I'll see if I can pretty it up, but it'll do for now. I'm hoping to get an affiliate account for tfaw and possibly miniature market  as well.

Authors, if you're reading this, I'll gladly have my book purchasing reduced, though being given a copy is no guarantee of a review, nor do I have mercy on what I perceive to be bad writing. New to the blog? Check out a couple of book reviews first, that's what the tabs are for.

I hope I can give a good return on any monies granted. I'm not up for a regular payment setup, as life happens, and I will occasionally have slow times. That said, the more comes in, the more I can give to the blog. And possible other writing, but no guarantees there.

Many thanks to all,

Alfred Genesson

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Music blog: Riders in the Sky


Because it's the COWBOY WAY.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Fun Comics still exist: Future Quest

Fierce readers, I know that Marvel and DC in their main lines have little to offer us but insults, hand wringing, and preachy message fiction. I stopped reading most superhero books because of that.

However, DC does have one book that so far has avoided such things. Maybe it's because it's a nostalgia book, maybe it has fewer editors, maybe the writer is a classier guy than most at the big 2 these days. This book is Hanna Barbera's Future Quest.

Yep, if you haven't looked, all the major Hanna Barbera heroes are there. The Quests, Birdman, Space Ghost, The Impossibles, The Herculoids, and more, sharing one adventure. 

Yes, I know there's been some atrocious things done to Archie, the Flintstones, and Scooby-Doo lately. That hasn't happened here. The author has a plan, and he has to: the series is only going 12 issues, so if you go for the trades, it'll be 2 volumes. Unless there's demand for a deluxe edition or the like.

Anyway, back to my point. The characters all feel right. There's two very minor points that could be construed as appealing to minorities, but they're both well written, and feel like throwaway bits as far as I'm concerned. The Quests feel like a family, Race Bannon is most definitely an action hero badass for a non-powered guy.

There's real heroism in the first collection. Sacrifice, so that others can live and fight on against a truly existential threat to everything. The art is dead on, so don't worry about your favorite character getting completely redesigned. Unless Frankenstein Jr. or Mightor was your favorite character, and they had story driven changes.

Why am I taking so much time to point out this comic? Because my friend Jon Del Arroz has recently lamented a lack of fun comics from Marvel, things he can enjoy and share with his children. I honestly can't guarantee kids will get the characters unless you purposely get them watching the old cartoons, but this is good stuff, it's fun, it's clean, and honestly, it's noble.

I'm really hoping DC takes note of how good this is, and steps up with similar material. I don't want copies, but I do like some all ages fun on occasion in my comics.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

On not quite fitting into the movements

Now, I have admitted to being part of the Rabid Puppies crowd. That said, that's not a movement, or a tight circle of friends. I'm not Vile and Faceless, and I'm not sure if I would qualify as Ilk or Dread Ilk. I also don't care, to borrow the motto.

Now, there are several movements against establishment sff right now, and I find a lot to like out there. The SciPhi group, which I have slacked off on, has a lot of ideas, and love hard thinking. The Pulp Revolution group loves proper action and stuff. The Superversive movement likes uplifting stories, and apparently is wanting to define itself well from all reports. I missed the podcast, and don't have that much time to listen; as it is, they come after GeekGab, jimfear138, and Catholic Geeks(this is no insult).

I only caught this because jimfear138 did a written post(I wish he'd do that a bit more) on a conflict that he thinks Anthony M. was referring to him on. And, being inclined to drunken, spergy rants(a paraphrase of his words), he wrote somethng close to 3k words responding to less than 500. It's a great rant, and jim makes it clear he likes the Superversive folks and sees them having different focus and goals than the pulp revolution.

Now, part of this is because Jeffro and Daddy Warpig like writing great inflammatory posts full of hyperbole. They're making a point, and part of that is blowing some things out of proportion. This is the same school of rhetoric as POTUS, so study that a bit first if you have trouble with it in sff.

I also know that parts of the pulp revolution group want to focus on old pulps only, and some want to split between that and some new pulp style works. The Superversive movement has an ideal I like, but favoring defining your group over talking books? That's not for me. I also like a broader range of fiction than what I review here, and the fact is, I don't like boxes.

Not quite fitting in is normal for me. I'm a musician. I'm a Christian. I'm a comic book geek. I'm a gamer(mostly boardgames). I'm a bibliovore. My interests are diverse, and I try to gain some measure of depth in many of these. This makes fitting in sometimes easier, sometimes harder. It depends a bit on the circle.

Why did I write all this? After reading jim's post, I mentioned I didn't know where I fit. That was not quite right, as I do have a clue, I just sometimes forget: I'm an Independent Contractor in the Evil Legion of Evil.

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.

Injustice Book RANT: Aye, Robot by Robert Kroese

Cower not, fierce reader! Ok, I'm not going to give this my normal review. I'm going to rant about this book.

This book is FUN. Yes, people are comparing it to Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. You know what? I like this much better. Oh, don't get me wrong, the former was a lot of fun to read, but I don't find it worth revisiting. Why? most comedy doesn't hold up as well on repeat visits, especially written word.

That's not the case here. First, I've gone backwards a few times to reread segments. Second, it sets up what has now been committed to, Out of the Soylent Planet. Third, (this is definitely just opinion), this has far more plot than Douglas Adam's renowned work.

Without spoiling the implementation, there's a take on the "Who's on First?" routine. Not actually that uncommon, but to actually write one that in just text will make me laugh?(delivery matters a lot) I'm impressed by the man's ability to tell jokes while advancing plot and characters. Even the set pieces like the aforementioned keep everything moving.

I've read books that amuse. Steve Martin isn't nearly as funny in text, and suffers greatly on subsequent readings. Piers Anthony devolved into making labored efforts to add more puns, and they actually took away from the story being told. Glen Cook's Garret, PI novels are solid, but don't hold up to being reread. Adams, at spots, just seemed to depart from telling a story, and some of the absurdist humour doesn't hold up; it's funny ONCE.

Robert Kroese? Made me laugh, made me guffaw, and while I could see the joke being setup, it happened seamlessly. I knew a joke was coming, maybe more than one, but the way the story flowed, I didn't care. He blindsided me with puns on multiple occasions, and it fit the plot.

I've only read one non-Grifters book by Kroese so far, and I know I need to make that up sometime. I liked this one better than Starship Grifters, and probably that was due to having more its own identity instead of being tied tightly to Star Wars.

Look, get this book. You need a laugh. 9 of 10 fell deeds

When you play Social Justice, the world loses.