Beyond the usual bounds of reverie

The post title is from Mary Shelley’s intro to Frankenstein, which this year (2018) makes it 200 years old (1818)! That’s two centuries of lasting cultural influence. More importantly, it was on this day, June 16, 1816, that the ghost story challenge began, birthing the idea for the novel. Perfect date for an update.

I’ve been given notice that at least one of my poems will appear in Spectral Realms No. 9 from Hippocampus Press, edited by S. T. Joshi due out in July.

Secondly, I’ve also been given notice that my essay on Lovecraftian influences in 2001: A Space Odyssey will be published in Lovecraft Annual 2018, due out in August/ September (also by Hippocampus Press and edited by S. T. Joshi). The timing couldn’t be more perfect as we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Kubrick’s film.

Between now and then I will be finalizing a chapter for a Beowulf teaching guide dealing with the nature of heroism and finishing up the final installment of the Realms of Fantasy RPG with Supplement III: Prowess & Peril. All art in that issue is the work of Brook Anderson (also represented by Mythopoeia Games Publications). I’ve include a sample image in this post.


I have a Los Angeles trip in the works for July and there should be more news on “Bullets For Breakfast” after that visit.

That’s about it. Oh, Hereditary looks great, don’t you think?


End to April Cruelness

Yes it was if you live in the Midwest — snow on the ground to April 15.  36 degrees on April 29.  It is over and the semester with it.

Writing projects continue. Of the many on my list this month is finishing my work for Mythopoeia Games Publications (@mythopoeiap) writing the third installment (and final in this edition) of sourcebooks for the Realms of Fantasy RPG.  The publisher is struggling (as most are) and at this point it is pro bono work but I hate to see projects unfinished so it will be done.

Along with that task podcasts with We Hate Bards have continued this month.  One using my award-winning adventure from the 2012 Gary Gygax Dungeon Design Contest by The Secret DM – “The House of Dark Shadows” and the second a guest spot in a game of Jeffrey Thomas‘ “Punktown.”

The International Congress on Medieval Studies is fast approaching (May 10-13) and I will be attending (but not presenting) to support two presentations of my fellow NEH scholars as they present our experiences from Beowulf Camp 2016.

Lasty I want to mention how excellent the Weird Fiction Review by Centipede Press (edited by S. T. Joshi) is.  There are few other publications in this field that can collect a vast and exceptional array of fiction, articles, art, interviews, columns, and poetry collected in these pages.  Issues are up to 8 (2017) but I’ve just recently acquired this from the back catalogue with a great piece on artist Mike Ploog.


Here’s to May!

March End (ness)

Starting off with a photograph I worked out this month.  I have no name for it yet, but it is likely be included as an image for something soon.  Taken on a March night with plenty of moon madness and the branches of the dark young reaching out to hold it up.


Many random events since the Ides of March…  The highest honor among them being a personal letter of mine to my early mentor and teacher of twenty plus years, the courageous and insightful Donald Freed has been added the Donald and Patty Rae Freed Foundation page.  There are few other working artists with such a Debt of Honor.

One of my Weird poems has been selected for publication in Spectral Realms No. 9 edited by the great S. T. Joshi and published by Hippocampus Press.  An official announcement on this is forthcoming as this is the summer issue due out in June.  I have also pitched a recent essay of Lovecraft Scholarship, 2001: A Lovecraft Odyssey to S. T. Joshi for consideration in the Lovecraft Annual 2018 (also published through Hippocampus Press).

While I type away on my last source book for Mythopoeia Games Publications (SIII: Caverns & Campaigns), the Return to Rappan Athuk (by Frog God Games) podcasts have resumed for We Hate Bards… Horrifying and fun.

April is looking good for more developments.  To everyone at Marmalade Dog this year — have fun.

Happy Easter.


PS – Ash Vs. The Evil Dead Season III has been a riot.



2018 Update and Podcast Overload

Two months into 2018 though it’s been near six months without a post.  Work.  Work.  Work.

In September of 2017 I participated in “Grand Con” (as in to “con”) with Mythopoeia Games Publications and a host of other wonderful people from We Hate Bards, Thunderhead Gaming, and Imagining Games.  We shared what was proposed to be a premiere table at the entrance to Grand Con but in reality became a series of lies and overstatements by the management of Grand Con (who I won’t name here).  We ended up buried in the wasteland of the exhibit hall, among other things.  Not the greatest experience from your home town con and I certainly have no intention to return.  Just as the great comic conventions have been overrun by “cos-play”, the same faux fandom has beset conventions for role-playing games.

Also participated in U-Con in Ann Arbor once again, where RPG’s are still celebrated over Marvel Comics movies and Star Wars zombies.  My nod to Clark Ashton Smith via the Call of Cthulhu Classic Trail of Tsathoggua was sold out to the maximum — far better than my own Great Mutant Escape — but I am no Keith Herber.

2017 also saw the release of my Realms of Adventure (available at The Gamers Wharf) with artwork by Brook Anderson, David Castro, Naomi Lili Nirmala, Tim A. Odland, and Stephane Sabourin; edited by Jonathon D. Hallberg.

Full CoverRoAOrange-1_TEST

The remainder of 2017 was spent facilitating an avalanche of We Hate Bards podcasts for my Realms of Fantasy RPG written for Mythopoeia, signing the extended option of Bullets For Breakfast (co-written with Matthew L. Schaffer), and researching a slew of projects (devouring many volumes from Hippocampus Press) that will reveal themselves this year, among which sorting and editing the archives of past writing and making them available here. One of my personal highlights was a brief but rewarding correspondence with S. T. Joshi.  Academically, the finish of my 10th year in the Ivory tower is approaching.

Plenty of announcements in the making.  Regretfully, I will not be able to attend Marmlade Dog Con this year due to professional commitments.  For now, here are the many podcasts (5 – 11) mixing the Realms of Fantasy RPG with Frog God GamesRappan Athuk.

Enjoy (or cringe).

Episode 11:

Episode 10:

Episode 9:

Episode 8:

Episode 7:

Episode 6:

Episode 5:

For episode 1 -4 see: