mouseferatu: (rodent)
This will be my last LJ entry. I'm joining the exodus of people leaving over the new ToS. I haven't really used LJ as anything more than a mirror of my news and blog entries from my web site, anyway.

You can find me on FB, Twitter, G+, and Tumblr, all under either "Ari Marmell" or "Mouseferatu." Or at mouseferatu.com.

Most of you already follow me at one or more of those places, and I hope the rest will do so as well.

Thanks, guys. It's been fun.
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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

I’ve only just realized that if you count up all the years that George and I were not romantically involved–both before I ever met her and for the year-and-change we were friends but not a couple…
Well, as of this anniversary, we’ve been married (not just together, but actually married) for for an equal amount of time.
I mean, maybe not exactly–it could be off by a couple of months–but for all practical purposes.
In that time, there have been a lot of ups and downs, some extreme (and I was at fault for more of the downs than I’d like to acknowledge). But we got through them all, in part because George has been inhumanly patient and supportive, and in part because I’ve fought harder for it than I have anything else in my life.
We wouldn’t have made it without a lot of work (and I don’t think I would have made it if we hadn’t), but it was worth every bit of effort. Because things are good, and I only see them getting better. I can barely remember life before her, and can’t even imagine life without her.
I love you, George. Happy anniversary.
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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Before Mick Oberon, before Widdershins, before The Goblin Corps, there was Corvis Rebaine.

The Conqueror’s Shadow, and its sequel, The Warlord’s Legacy, were my very first published original (that is, non-media tie-in) novels. I’ve written many and varied books since, but Corvis remains one of my favorite characters.

Now, some seven years later, with the help of the folks of at JABberwocky, I’m presenting new editions of both novels in e-book format. And for just a couple of weeks, they’re on sale, too.  :-D

If you’ve liked some of my other books and want to see how this all started for me, if you’ve been curious about my work but waiting for a particularly inexpensive entry point, or if you just want to offer me your support and encouragement, now is a wonderful opportunity. And thank you, as always; I wouldn’t be here without you.

(I will fill in the links below as the books go live on the various sites.)

TCS_coverThe Conqueror’s Shadow

 

TWL_coverThe Warlord’s Legacy

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

I’ve been pretty bad about updates this year, for which I apologize. I also haven’t had as much news as I’d have liked, but still. I’ll try to do better in 2017.

So, in summary:

Dead to Rites, the third Mick Oberon book, came out this year. I hope you guys have enjoyed it. If you haven’t met Mick yet, his series begins with Hot Lead, Cold Iron.

There will be a fourth book coming out, but–due to other contracts–it’ll be a little while. It’s coming eventually, though, I promise.

Speaking of other contracts, I have a pretty big tie-in project coming up. I can’t tell you what property it’s for, yet, but I think it’ll make a lot of you happy. And as always, I’ll do my best to make it accessible even to people who aren’t familiar with the source property. More on that in the new year.

Some of you have noticed that my two Corvis Rebaine novels are no longer available in e-book format. Fear not; this is temporary. I’ll be putting out new editions in the near future. As soon as they’re ready, I’ll let you all know.

Kickstarter backers have received their Tales of the Lost Citadel anthology. It should be available for public purchase some time in the new year. I’m really happy to be part of this project, and it’s turned out exceptionally well so far.

Speaking of Kickstarter, if you never received your backer rewards for Strange New Words, please contact me. There are a few people from whom I needed additional info, but was never able to contact.

What else? Oh, my story “Heavy Sulfur,” from the Operation: Arcana anthology, is now available in audio form here. Give it a listen here.

Finally–and embarrassingly–I haven’t been able to get into the e-mail address for that critique service I was offering.  :oops: Deepest apologies if you sent me an e-mail through that link to which I haven’t replied.

I think that’s more or less everything, but I’ll edit if I think of something more. I hope you all have a happy new year and a better 2017 than 2016 (not that that’s a high bar to reach).

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Wait, are there seriously rumors of a Luke Skywalker-based prequel?  8-O
The entire point of Luke’s story was that he was a nobody farmer to whom nothing of any real importance had ever happened. It’s a cliche, but it’s a cliche he was designed specifically to embody.
I’m not even enthused about the idea of the Han Solo prequel, and at least we know he had some stuff happen to him prior to the first movie.
Disney, you’ve been fairly on-point so far, but you’re at serious risk of dropping the ball. These standalone movies should be used to explore characters and facets of the universe we haven’t seen, not to retread characters whose biggest stories have already been told.  :-|
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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Yeah. It’s been an obscenely long time since I’ve updated.

First off, the site’s been down for a little while. I apologize for that. Hopefully, the problem’s well and truly fixed.

Dead to Rites, book three in the Mick Oberon series, was released a couple of months ago. In addition, the first book, Hot Lead, Cold Iron, is now available in mass market paperback, and Hallow Point will also be available in that format shortly. If you’ve been waiting, now’s the time.

What else? Tales of the Lost Citadel, a fantasy-horror shared world anthology, should be heading out to Kickstarter backers soon, and will hopefully be available for general purchase not long after. I’m really excited for this one–both how it came out, and the potential for the future. More on that shortly.

Otherwise, more news coming soon on an upcoming major tie-in project that I think will make a lot of you very happy; and also on… books I published years ago?! Stay tuned.

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

 Dead to Rites cover Credits: Sole author.

Cover art by Julia Lloyd.

Notes: Book three in the Mick Oberon series! Uncover the occult mysteries and deepest secrets of gangland Chicago, from the underworld to the Otherworld.

Availability:

• Amazon.com

• Barnes & Noble.com

• Indiebound.org

• Powells.com

• Books-A-Million.com

Or talk about it on Goodreads.

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Do any of you ever find yourself realizing that you’re a fan of something conceptually, but not practically?

What I mean is, for instance, a conversation about horror movies at ArmadilloCon eventually turned to Pinhead and the Hellraiser movies. And I found myself putting into words something I’d thought about but hadn’t seriously considered, which is this:

I’m a big fan of the CONCEPT of Pinhead and the Cenobites (particularly in their original conception, before they just became run-of-the-mill demons in a Judeo-Christian hell). I think there’s an enormous amount of cool story and mood potential behind them, and I’d love to see it explored.

Yet I’m not actually a fan of any of their appearances. I didn’t much care for THE HELLBOUND HEART novella, and while I’ve enjoyed many aspects of the Hellraiser movies (especially scenes and segments and ideas from the first two), I’ve never actually enjoyed a single Hellraiser movie AS a complete movie.

The same is true of Lovecraft. I love Lovecraftian horror. I’ve used it in some of my work, and I sometimes go out looking for it. But I’m not really fond of Lovecraft’s own work. I find him a mediocre writer, and although I’ve read almost his entire library, I can only remember a handful of stories well enough to talk about them.

Or, for a different sort of example, exploration-based sandbox D&D campaigns. I find the potential stories and ideas enticing in the abstract, but I’ve never played in such a campaign that didn’t bore me, and I’ve had to quit every time I’ve tried to run one because I was very much not enjoying it.

Is this just me? Or do any of you guys–I’m especially, but not exclusively, curious about other creatives–find yourselves in the same sort of boat?

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Hey, folks. ArmadilloCon is this coming weekend, and as always I’m hoping to see a number of you there. I won’t be attending Friday evening, but I’ll be present almost all day Saturday, and part of Sunday. My formal panel schedule is:

3:00 PM, Saturday: Signing (Dealer’s Room)

5:00 PM, Saturday: How to Deal With Writer’s Block (Ballroom F)

9:00 PM, Saturday: Learning from Others’ Mistakes (Ballroom E)

10:00 PM, Saturday: Doing Research for Your Story (Ballroom E)

I’m not part of any Sunday panels, but I’m still planning to be around for a chunk of the day. That said, Saturday is my big day.

Also, please see my prior post about ArmadilloCon, too.

See you all soon!

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Hey, folks. ArmadilloCon is in a little less than two weeks, and as usual, I’ll be attending this year. I’ll be posting my actual panel and other attendance schedule in the near future.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about in this post.

As you may well know, there’s been an ongoing discussion over the past few years about sexual (and other) harassment at genre cons. Now, to my knowledge, ArmadilloCon has not had a problem with that, and they’ve got a pretty solid anti-harassment policy in place. But, of course, the fact that I haven’t heard about it doesn’t mean it never happens, and an incident can occur even at the best of cons.

So…

Below, you’ll see a photograph of me. (I’m the guy in the middle, with the beard.) If you are at ArmadilloCon, and you are being harassed or otherwise made uncomfortable by somebody, and you happen to see me? Come join me. Don’t worry about asking first, don’t worry about interrupting. If I’m having a conversation, come join it. If I’m sitting alone, come talk to me. If I’m in a panel, come find a place to sit–or even come sit up front next to the table, if you feel you need to.

Tell me what’s going on. I’ll give you a place to be part of a group, if that makes you feel safer. Or, if you’d prefer, I’ll escort you to go find a staff member, or out to the parking lot, or to your room, or wherever you need to go to feel safe. If you need me to call somebody, I will.

If you’re not comfortable with me doing it, either my wife will go with you (if she’s present), or we’ll go find one of the female guests of the convention.

Seriously, I mean this. Interrupt what I’m doing. I’ll help, or find someone who can.

Again, I want to be clear. ArmadilloCon is a good con, run by good people. I’m not doing this because I feel they’ve in any way fallen down on the job; they haven’t. I just want to do what little I can to make our community as safe and as welcoming as possible.

I hope nobody needs to take me up on this, but please, please don’t hesitate to do so if you feel the need. And I hope to see you all there, having a great time.

That’s me in the middle.

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Heya, folks. Been a while, but I’ve got some news.

Hot Lead, Cold Iron is now available in mass market paperback format! (For those not familiar with the different formats, that’s the “standard” paperback size.) If you’ve been waiting, if you haven’t wanted it in the larger trade paperback or e-book formats, now’s your chance. :-)

The third book in the series, Dead to Rites, will be out in about a month and a half, so now’s a good time to catch up on the series, too.

More soon.

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of people online champion the idea of Marvel somehow regaining the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties from Fox, so they can incorporate them into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I’m fine with that, where the FF are concerned, but as for the X-Men… Well…

I don’t want Marvel to get them back.

No, that’s not accurate. I’d be fine with Marvel getting them back if they kept them separate. What I do not want is mutants in the MCU.

Yes, it’d be cool to see Logan and Cap meet in WWII, Beast banter with Spider-man, all of that. But the concept of the mutants, as a hated minority, as a metaphor for PoC or gays or other marginalized groups? That just works better if they’re the only super-beings out there; and on the flip side, in the MCU, where everyone’s power has thus far has a source, the alien-blooded Inhumans are a more thematic fit.

(Yes, I’ve heard the arguments to the contrary. Some are even solid. I nevertheless feel that mixing mutants with other superhumans dilutes the “mutant as other” narrative.)

Plus, frankly, the MCU is already getting crowded. It can’t handle as many characters as the comics can.

I now step back so that you may yell and scream and throw tomatoes in polite disagreement. ;-)

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Well. You guys could easily have been forgiven for assuming that I’d abandoned this site; I’m afraid it’s been way too long since I updated. A combination of real-life issues and a lack of any substantial news combined to where I’d lost track of how long it’d been. I hope you all had a great holiday season and new year.

I still don’t have any major news to share, but here’s what I’ve got.

1) Dead to Rites, book 3 of the Mick Oberon series, has been completed and sent to editing. I believe it’s due out this summer, but don’t hold me to that. More details when I have them. I’m really happy with how this one came out; it’s got a different feel to it than the first two books, while still very much being part of the same series.

2) Some of you may recall my involvement in a Kickstarter last year, for a project called “The Lost Citadel.” If not, you can get the gist by clicking here. It’s a fantasy-horror shared world project, and my contribution to the first anthology–a short story entitled “Requiem, in Bells”–has been completed and delivered. I should have details on when that anthology will be available (both for Kickstarter backers and for purchase) in the near future.

3) Due to technical difficulties, I have been unable to get into the e-mail address associated with the editing/critique service I offered. If you’ve sent me something to that address and are waiting for a response, please resend using my standard contact page and put “critique” in the subject line. Sorry for the inconvenience.  :oops:

4) And finally, here’s the cover for Dead to Rites. :-D

Dead to Rites cover

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Okay, folks. The Dungeon Master’s Guild market/license for D&D stuff is a great opportunity and a lot of fun. I get why so many of you are eager to get material up there ASAP. But I hope you’ll accept a bit of free advice from someone who’s both a fan and a professional.

EDITING MATTERS.

You need to know how to put a sentence together, and you need to have your work read over by other people who know how to put a sentence together. I promise you–promise–that if you have obvious typos or overtly poor grammar in your product description, a lot of people are never going to even look at the product itself, let alone spend any money on it. There are many people who have already lost me as a potential customer based on a single sentence of their product entry, because it was so poorly written that I don’t trust them to be able to deliver a usable product.

Take your time and do it right.

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

For the first time in a couple of years, we decided to put some effort into Halloween. So, I present Rasputin, from Hellboy.

Okay, so I’m no Karel Roden, but I think it’s not too shabby, all things considered.  :-D

R1

R2

R3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Okay, this isn’t news per se. But I really feel the need to put this on the front page, rather than under the blog tab, because it’s important.

Today, WFC came out with an absolutely toothless, insulting harassment policy. On the same day, SXSW canceled various panels on harassment and safety in fandom spaces, over threats of violence. I’m not often a fan of the whole “If you’re not on one side, you’re on the other” dichotomy. But sometimes, it’s accurate.

Convention-runners? If you aren’t overtly anti-harassment? YOU ARE PRO-HARASSMENT. Maybe you don’t mean to be, but that’s the message you’re sending to the people who do the harassing and those who are victims of it, and guess what? Those are the only messages that count.

Step the hell up already.

Obviously, I’m not the one threatened by a lack of such policies, but that’s exactly why I–and other people in my position–need to support this effort. Sadly, the people who are affected aren’t likely to be heard. A while back, author John Scalzi created a pledge, which many authors signed, saying that he (and they) would not attend any conventions that didn’t have a functional anti-harassment policy in place. Consider this public notice that I’m on board.

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Tomorrow, August 18th, is release day for Hallow Point! The second book in the Mick Oberon series will be available online and on bookstore shelves in all the usual places.

In celebration/promotion, I’ll be doing an AMA over on the fantasy sub-forum on Reddit.com.

What’s an AMA? It stands for “Ask Me Anything,” and it’s basically an open Q&A session. Starting at around noon CST (give or take), I’ll be posting a link to the discussion. It’ll be open all day for people to swing by and post whatever questions they want–and I do mean whatever. Ask me about Hallow Point and Mick Oberon, sure. But you can also ask me about any of my other series or characters. Ask me about my game work. Ask me about my writing process. Ask me about my personal history. Ask me about my taste in movies, or books, or cuisine. My background. My cat. Anything at all.

I might swing by throughout the day to answer a question or two early. Whether I do that or not, I’ll be back around 7:00 pm CST to do a couple of hours of real-time answering. I’ll post answers to existing questions, and I’ll watch for additional questions or follow-up questions. It basically becomes a live Q&A at that point. I’d very much love for to see a bunch of you there at the time, so we can turn it into an ongoing conversation. I’ll wrap it up somewhere between 8:30 and 9:30 (again, give or take), and pop back in the next day to see if there are any lingering/straggler questions that came in after I was done.

Very much looking forward to seeing you guys there. :-)

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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

For those who’ll be attending Geekfest at Central Texas College in Killeen, here’s my schedule.

Friday, 8:00 PM: Q&A with Gabrielle Faust and me, followed by meet & greet, room 141.
Saturday, 12:00 PM: The Role of Role-Playing Games in Writing Fiction, room 101.
Saturday, 2:00 PM: The Importance of Research in Developing Role-Playing Games and Novels, room 101.
Sunday, 3:00 PM: Methods of World-Building for Fiction and Role-Playing Games, room 101.
All “panels” but the first one are with just me, so I will be involving the audience rather heavily, making these more conversations or Q&A than panels/lectures. (That’s more fun anyway.) Be prepared to participate; I hope to see some of you there. :-)
Also, Hallow Point is out next week!  8-O I’ll be doing an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) session on the fantasy sub-forum on Reddit that evening. This is your chance to ask me all those burning questions I like to pretend you have about me and my work, so don’t miss it!
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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

Hey, folks! My ArmadilloCon panel schedule, if you’ll be there:
Saturday, 4:00 PM, Ballroom D: Speculative Fiction as a Mirror to Religion
Saturday, 8:00 PM, Southpark A: Writing for the Gaming Industry
Sunday, 11:00 AM, Dealer’s Room: Signing
Sunday, 12:00 PM, Ballroom F: Performing Major Surgery on Your Novel
Sunday, 2:00 PM, Southpark B: The Magic of Collaboration
I’ll be around a lot more than that, and I’ll be attending other panels as a guest, but that’s the formal schedule as it exists. Really hope to see some of you there.
Here’s the full (current) schedule for the con: http://2015.armadillocon.org/grid
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Originally published at Mouseferatu: Rodent of the Dark. You can comment here or there.

So, I’m not traveling much this year and it’s mostly smaller venues, but… CONVENTION SCHEDULE:

ArmadilloCon: July 24-26, Austin, TX.

http://2015.armadillocon.org/

Geekfest: August 14-16, Killeen, TX.

http://www.starsatnight.org/geekfest/

GaMExpo: October 9-11, San Antonio, TX.

http://thegamexpo.com/

Be really cool to see some of you there. :-)

Also, important reminder: My art/prose Mick Oberon contest is still open and ongoing. Could win free books, and possibly also get me pointing people to your art or your writing; don’t just sit this one out. :-)

Rules and details here.

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