Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's been a while and lots of things have changed but I've got some mojo back

Well thankyou to any readers who actually read this piece as it's been a good 6-7 weeks since I updated anything on the site here. I apologise to everyone and I'm getting back on the horse as far as enjoying my hobbies go.

To sum up for those who haven't followed:

- I separated from my wife just over 2 months ago
- I've had to find a new friend network and try dating for the first time in quite a while(you think tournaments are scary lol)
- I've been spending a lot of time at my new martial arts gym
- I can't really get enthused for Warmachine as I was getting into it when the whole split happened (plus I've grown to dislike metal models)
- Old Shatter Hands has been a great friend and also gotten me having good fun with 40k again so I'm happy about that.
- I've gotten my mojo back for writing and have finally got the last chapter of my current novel on the way to completion after several months of lagging.
- I'm feeling good about life in general and excited to face the opportunities and challenges ahead of me.

Ahem, so with that quick summary out of the way, what's to talk about?

I've been having a great time playing some 40k recently on a smaller scale. Two of my new friends got totally suckered into the game through me and are splitting black reach (husband and wife) so I've played some demo games with them and recently I played a great 750 pt game with OSH.

To be honest I think I could get used to small games quite happily. While I find AOBR games to swing drastically one way or the other they are still quite fun and playing at 750 is a great way to get a good game without too much power on either side. The time investment is a lot lower too, which is important for a busy person like me and a father to a newborn (OSH). I like that we set up and played two full games on a small table in a short time on saturday, where our bigger games suck up a lot more hours than you have free sometimes.

In other news I'm writing at a slow but steady pace on my steampunk/fantasy novel. I'm about 30% through the final chapter and just need to make sure it rounds off appropriately dramatically. I'm excited to finish this one as I have so many more ideas running around in my head, especially now that I've picked up some good novels to get my juices flowing. For steampunk I have Boneshaker and Dreadnought by Cherie Priest along with The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder. For my future dystopian work I picked up the Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood for the princely sum of 81c from my local second hand bookstore.

To sum up my upcoming ideas (all working titles):

- Ghost Stars.
A lone ship sent on a desperate mission to end a war in humanity's favour runs into to trouble when the captain and special military weapon's officer die suspiciously. Alone in the lonely darkness of the Eagle Nebula, the newly promoted 2nd in command must lead his crew through the risky path ahead, all the while wondering if there is a traitor in their midst.

- Voice of God, Voice of the Universe
In the near future, civilisation has collasped in the wake of a global conflict whose exact origins have been kept secret. The Vocare Dei religious group has created the only known semblance of order left. Their domain is central east coast region of the former United States (centred around Washington DC) and they rule it with an iron fist. When Dana Swyler, a lowly cleaner, stumbles across a hidden relic of the war she is chased by the government and an underground resistance force, both looking to further their own ends.

- Most Ancient Deceit
Detectives in (LARGE CITY) are on the trail of a murderous vigilante. Somebody is killing off drug dealers, gang members, mafia and other criminals with gruesome and efficient methods. As the detectives work their case methodically and uncover more evidence, things point towards a killer who is more than human.
***Might do this one as a 2 parter, first half with the police, second half with the killer explaining the other side of things. If you like the C'Tan you might like this idea...... ;-)

Then when talking on a blog the other day about Dystopian steampunk I came up with a new idea. The post was discussing the apparent clash of dystopia and steampunk as the author considered the former to be futuristic and the latter to be historic in setting. To me, the dystopia describes the nature of the setting (decaying, oppressive, negative etc.) rather than anything specific about it's timeframe. I can see future dystopia (40k), fantasy (WFB) and steampunk (Malifaux) setting examples quite easily. In responding to the post I scribbled out an example story idea before realising that I really like it and might use it myself. Just came up with this this morning so it's the least fleshed out in my mind but I like it nonetheless.

- Fillis and his pretties.
The brilliant, but sociopathic, Doctor Fillis breeds a revolutionary strain of bacteria that will allow fusion of the human body with steam-powered machinery, allowing criminals and other undesireables to be remade to serve as a society's labour force. The bacteria spreads too widely though and much of the population is killed or crippled. Those with genetic immunity who survive rebuild society to ensure that they are never threatened by the mechanical-human hybrids the, now-escaped, Fillis created. Breeding is only allowed with other immune people and tight controls are placed on the hybrids. Protagonist comes in and messes with the way things are.

Well that's about all from me now. I'm planning to get some more 40k games in soon, will get my painting back up to speed. I've also got to finish up the Harbinger of Menoth painting and assembly guide I started work on so lots left to do.

Sadly the camera I used for other model pictures was my ex's and now I have to get a new one. To make up for the lack of eye candy in this post, please enjoy the following cosplay sororitas pic ;-)

Picture from Grimdark on DeviantArt.


  1. Good to see you back mate!

    Boneshaker is a great book, haven't got hold of Dreadnought yet. We picked up The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack from Forbidden Planet the weekend just gone - it has a recommendation from Michael Moorcock on the front cover so it must be good! :)

  2. It's good to be back Andy :-)

    I'm enjoying boneshaker a lot so far and the subtle touch of making the text sepia toned is really nice too. If I ever get published I might ask for that. Dreadnought seems interesting too and spring heeled jack getting the nod from Michael Moorcock is definitely a great sign.

    How are things in your painting world? Haven't seen you on your blog for a while.

  3. The Lair of the Breviks has just been updated!

    I can also recommend Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding:

    A little more Sci-Fi than steampunk, but still a damn good read!

  4. Oooh sounds like a most tasty book. I will definitely put it on my list of things to buy.

    Loving the Fire Dragons. I'm off to make a post there now :-)

  5. Glad to see your getting back into it man :). Hopefully you keep your mojo! Writing/hobbying is a great start, but having that positive attitude really makes a difference :)

  6. Hey Asmo,

    All is going pretty well really. Fixing up my life attitude has made it all better and I've really been doing well on painting the Harbinger of Menoth recently. It feels great to pick up the brush again.

    Have to thank my existing (OSH) and new friends for most of this though. Having good people around you makes everythign easier.


  7. Sorry to hear about the crap in your life recently, but good friends can help you pull through anything.

    As for the whole dystopian Steampunk thing, I would say they are two separate concepts. One (steampunk) is a setting, but not a theme. The other (dystopia) is almost always a theme, not a setting.

    So, sure, you can have a dystopian-themed Steampunk (Themepunk?) story, but I think you'd want to consider what the dystopian theme involves before jumping in. Future dystopias are a warning to us: continue doing things the way you are, and this is what'll happen (usually accompanied by an implicit or explicit comment that if you all just did THIS instead, you would have a utopia). Dystopias set in the past are completely different, since they cannot be a warning. Warning: that thing we said would happen has already happened, but to other people and a long time ago, and their circumstances were very different to your own. Heed our non-warning! ;)

    So a past dystopian theme is much less clear-cut. What is the point of telling people how crappy the world used to be, if it tells them nothing about the world they are in, or the way that world is going? I guess a dystopia set in the past becomes a different sort of theme. It might eg. mirror the plight of the characters, and echo their struggles to drag themselves out the mire. We are no longer interested in how they got into that situation, except in the very dry historical sense, but how they get out of it might hold some value.

  8. Hey Sholto, thanks for the commet. I'm definitely doing well with good friends and have started dating a lovely girl, so all good there.

    You make some very good points on the difference between theme and setting. I will have to keep those in mind. I think you are absolutely right when it comes to setting (wink) a steampunk story in a real-world historical context that the warning aspects of it can become moot. My ideas run more into the fantasy steampunk setting where it is a comparable world to ours but not based in any one region/culture/history per se.