Two of my players just completed a Call of Cthulhu scenario I’ve written called Love to Hate set in 1929 Chicago. This is a sequel to the fantastic Love You to Death featured in Does Love Forgive? written and edited by Lynne Hardy, Airis Kamińska and Anna Maria Mazur. Love You to Death was a single player scenario which, in our campaign, left a loose end, brought to a conclusion in this sequel with a second investigator tagging along for the ride.
During the scenario the investigators needed to trace the whereabouts of a missing Chinese laundryman. They ended up at the fictional Xi’an Palace restaurant in the heart of Chicago’s Chinatown. This was an establishment owned by Madam Long, leader of the infamous (again fictional) Dragon Tong who controlled most of Chicago’s Chinatown.
Continue reading “Madam Long: Call of Cthulhu NPC” →
I’ve spent a sizeable chunk of my time during the last couple of years re-engaging with a much-loved hobby from my younger years, roleplaying games. I’m currently obsessed with Call of Cthulhu, especially Pulp Cthulhu which gives my players the character survivability they enjoy in campaign play.
I particularly love the Pulp Talent system, but I noticed a gap in the talents with social skills. Whereas Charm and Intimidate are covered with the Smooth Talker and Scary talents (p.24 & 26 Pulp Cthulhu rulebook), Fast Talk and Persuade are not.
This got me thinking about adding a couple of house rule talents, which then became ten. And I’m working on another set of ten at the moment to appear in a later post. Bonus points if you spot the various references! Scroll down for a PDF copy of this talent table to print out.
Continue reading “Pulp Cthulhu Talents” →
Revolutions is an anthology of speculative fiction set in Manchester: seventeen stories of science-fiction, horror, dystopian and weird fiction.
I’m very happy to be wearing two hats for this project as both writer and editor.
As writer, Revolutions includes my short story Traveller. This is an unusual departure for me: time-travel. I am probably the world’s worst sceptic when it comes to this particular subject so I’d like to think that my story explores a new approach to how it might all work in a believable, if slightly cynical, fashion. No bootstrap paradoxes here. In fact, no paradoxes at all.
Continue reading “Revolutions Anthology” →
Scarecrow is a new anthology of speculative fiction about to be published by World Weaver Press and it includes my short story Truth About Crows. That cover art is fantastic!
Truth About Crows is a standalone story with a very subtle link into the same universe as my Canton Station series of novels. If you like low-fi sci-fi and an independent young female protagonist with a knack for fixing tech then you might enjoy Truth About Crows.
Scarecrow is due for publication on the 4th of August, edited by the wonderful Rhonda Parrish.
Competition time! And not just one competition . . . but two!
Continue reading “Scarecrow Cover Reveal” →
So we did MCM Manchester Comic Con. This was a first for me and only the third time time I’ve ever cosplayed if you count Secret Cinema. I was wearing my Jedi outfit — I really need a blue lightsaber to qualify as Obi Wan — and I was accompanied by my younger son dressed as Anakin and my eldest son going for a Boba Fett / SWAT look.
It was great to meet up with fellow Manchester Spec-Fic writer Eliza dressed as Blake Belladonna from RWBY. Behind the lens we have Eliza’s other half Ken rocking a RWBY Sun Wukong outfit complete with tail. Cheers again for the photo Ken!
Continue reading “MCM Manchester Comic Con” →
So we did Secret Cinema. We dressed up as Star Wars characters. We wandered around London. That’s my eldest son in the photo next to me. I do not have the words to describe how much of an amazing time we had that night and even if I did I wouldn’t tell you because that’s the whole point.
Tell no one!
With you RebelX!
Continue reading “Secret Cinema: Tell No One” →
In a few week’s time my short story Truth About Crows will be published with the Scarecrow anthology from World Weaver Press. Scarecrow is one of two related anthologies; the other is called Corvidae and it’s due out in just a couple of weeks.
The covert art for Corvidae — as you can see on the left — is absolutely gorgeous! I can’t wait to see Scarecrow!
You can pre-order copies of Corvidae right now direct from the World Weaver Press website or it will be appearing on the 7th July in all the usual places: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and so on.
Continue reading “A Flock of Shiny Stories” →
I’ve been threatening to go to a Secret Cinema event for a while now, ever since I realised I’d missed out on Blade Runner and Alien. Last year’s Back to the Future gig looked fantastic, even with the media parade surrounding the late opening dates.
So, when I found out that this year’s event was going to be Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, well . . . I was ready at my keyboard with my finger hovering over the F5 key as the ticket lines opened.
I’ve managed to buy tickets for Saturday July 18th before they sold out. I have a shiny new lightsaber and my Jedi costume should arrive in the next few days. See you there!
I spent my teenage years painting Citadel miniatures and playing a bucket-load of role-playing games: Traveller, Warhammer, MERP, Shadowrun, to name but a few. I was an avid reader of course, SF mostly, some fantasy: from Lord of the Rings to the Pern series to Neuromancer. For some reason I’ve always struggled with fantasy that wasn’t set in Middle Earth. There is one other notable exception.
Back in October 1986 I had a subscription to White Dwarf magazine and when issue #82 appeared through the letterbox I had no idea I was about to read something that would influence me as a reader — and perhaps as a writer — for the rest of my life. That little something was an extract from the novel The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett. Continue reading “The Light Fantastic” →
It is time, once again, for me to don my editor’s hat! Over the next few months I’ll be teaming up with fellow writers Graeme Shimmin and Eric Steele to produce the Revolutions anthology, a collection of Manchester-themed speculative fiction short stories due for publication later this year. Submissions are open right now through to the 1st May (that’s this year, 2015, for you time travellers).
We are a paying market and we are looking for speculative short fiction — that’s science fiction, fantasy, horror, dystopian fiction, slipstream and so on — with a link to the Greater Manchester area. That’s a pretty wide remit. Feel free to mix it up. I’m really looking forward to seeing some of the more interesting interpretations.
Continue reading “REVOLUTIONS! Anthology” →