Review: Skin

Skin by Liam Brown

Allergies. They’re more and more commonplace, whether nuts, pollen, cats, dogs, horses, dust-mites… But what if they went one step further? What if we became allergic to something much more common, something we couldn’t avoid and something that would complicate even the creating of an anti-allergy drug (antihistamines won’t work)?

What if we became allergic to each other?

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Review: Poster Boy

Poster Boy by N.J. Crosskey

Persevere.

As many know, I like good dystopian fiction. Inevitably, it has a science fiction element so one of the problems is establishing the reality and, in places, a viewpoint. Poster Boy starts off with a suspense-filled scene that we know is an ending: we just don’t know when. But it has to establish a baseline in the past and has to do so from the perspective of a privileged, spoilt teenager with all the proverbial angst and self-focus.

It’s a difficult task. Very difficult. But NJ Crosskey manages it, and establishes a viewpoint and voice(s) that you cannot help but grate against: I loathed the main protagonists… but had to keep to reading.

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Pacing and Pain

I’ve been busy, again, hence no posts. Insanely busy, in fact, and I let something get away from me: Pain Management. I know, I’ve said plenty of times here and on my other blog that PM is a lifestyle, a way of living to allow you to live. But I had a whole host of mini-handbooks to write, some mini-supplements to write and edit, a players pack to finish, and some playtesting, an inquest and its rather stressy fallout…

You get the picture.  Basically I forgot two of the major tenets of PM: pacing and distraction. And probably exercise, too, if I’m honest, but that’s not been too bad.  As a result, extreme pain, opioids, sleepless nights, breakthrough pain, the bust scenario  – if you’re into PM, you’ll know it.

So I bought a book to remind me of it, to place on my desk in front of my eyes: The Pocket Book of Pacing by Hannah Ensor.

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Isolation of the Grieving

I’ve heard about it before, that those suffering the loss of close family members are often isolated in their grief, ostracised by those closest to them, those who could offer the support and comfort they need. The courses and study on pastoral care for those that grieve point out the issue and stress the need for those offering such care to reach out to those who are suffering such a loss. For many, perhaps embarrassed, it is all to easy to just offer a perfunctionary ‘if you need me’ and disappear, not contacting the bereaved for weeks.

This completely ignores the fact that it is extraordinarily difficult to reach out when you are in so much pain. I know – we know – for we have just lost our child and we are experiencing the problem, to an extreme.  And we have become isolated from all but a few friends, and ostracized by most (though not all) of our family. Continue reading

Dronescourge Pre-Order

Yes, it’s absolutely a relief to see a supplement finally out on pre-order. I mentioned The Taking of TOR 563Cover - The Dronescourge Returns recently, but that was just a fiction lead-up to my latest book, a supplement for the ‘Beyond the Gates of Antares’ game by Warlord Games – The Dronescourge Returns.

To say ‘my’ is a bit of misnomer. Whilst the design, writing, testing was by or organised by me, the production of a full-colour book like this needs loads of graphic artists, painters, and quite technical proof readers. It is agroup effort, and the design studio did a great job on the interiors as well as coming up for the look of the dangerous drone race at the core of the narrative: the Virai Dronescourge. Some of the work they did can be seen in the snapshot below.

If you’re interested in the models, then the first starter force (a swarm) is already up on the Warlord’s site: the Starter Swarm. There is a huge amount of background information about them already on the Antares Nexus knowledge base, with more to come (I know, I wrote it).

Another book release. It’s a huge releif to be back on the writing road, again.

The Taking of TOR 563 Serial

I’ve been quiet on here, but it’s simply because I’ve been busy. There’s a number of serialised novellettes coming out to support the release of the supplement I wrote, The Dronescourge Returns.

The first of these episodic tales is ‘The Taking of TOR563’ and is published on the Warlord Games Antares Nexus, right here: https://www.gatesofantares.com/taking-tor-563-part-i/.

There’s a lot more to do – hope you enjoy!