The Black Hack Review

Among the several anniversaries I somehow neglected to celebrate on the blog this year was the fortieth of my first encounter with Dungeons and Dragons, back when it came in three tiny booklets in a white box. I bring it up now because reading The Black Hack takes me right back to my student days of late night dungeoneering sessions and permadeath treks across hexcrawl wildernesses. And I mean that in a good way. The Black Hack describes itself as an OSR First Edition Hack. It’s named after its author, David Black. The game reads like the distilled essence of Read more…

Google Docs for Novel Writing

For the past ten years or so, I have mostly used Scrivener to write my books. It’s a powerful piece of software that gives you a great deal of control over the structure of any work in progress. It makes backups a breeze and it tracks your daily word count as you write. It can also do an enormous amount of other stuff. You can take snapshots of individual scenes and chapters in a work, and then roll back changes if you are unhappy with them. It can show views of your work as an outline or as a set Read more…

Armageddon Protocol Preview

As I promised last week, here’s a preview of the first chapter of my upcoming cyberpunk military SF novel, Armageddon Protocol. It should be available before the Christmas holidays.     “Stormtrooper 13? Stormtrooper 13? What is your status?” The words burst through the static as Orbital made contact from geostationary. It could just have been one of the radiation storms over Faith. It could also be the locals jamming our communications. When in doubt always assume enemy action, as my old drill sergeant used to say. A chaingun ricochet overloaded the kinetic exchanger of my armor. I pulled out the splinter Read more…