Sunday, December 13, 2015

Review: New Cthluhu 2

I recently finished New Cthulhu 2: More Recent Weird, edited by Paula Guran.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: The Cult of Alien Gods

I recently finished The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture, by Jason Colavito, which I highly recommend.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Review: The Annihilation Score

Finished The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross, the latest of the Laundry Files.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

CH3: Breakout, Part 9

The surface roads are already almost deserted. The crawler has to actually slow down to avoid reaching their turn before the storm. They hit the waypoint just as the wall of sand descends, the flying grit choking off all light and sound, nothing past the windshield but a solid red-brown mass.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

CH3: Breakout, Part 8

The Campaign of the Vanguardists

The Vanguardists were a break-away faction of Zealots, who felt the Zealot leadership were insufficiently vigorous in their approach. The Vanguardist faction believed that, while the lower classes must necessarily furnish the mass and troops of the revolution, they could not move by themselves, but must be moved by a “vanguard” of professional revolutionaries. In order for that vanguard to secure the leadership of the lower classes, it must demonstrate its fitness for that leadership, by beginning the revolution before obtaining the leadership. To that end, they planned, prepared, and carried out a campaign of assassination and terrorism targeting the municipal aristocracy.

CH3: Breakout, Part 7

The man with the binoculars is still standing in the hangar entryway, waiting. He won't have to wait much longer. The dust storm is growing bigger every second, a vast, billowing, choking auburn cloud of sand and grit swept up from the northern wastes. But right now he's focused on the Palace, waiting for the signal, tension riding his spine. And then – a flicker, another, and the lights go out, and he grins ferociously.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

CH3: Breakout, Part 6

Geopolitics Immediately Prior to the Fool's War

After the first decade of Autarch Miraxus II's rule, tensions between Elysium and the Amazonis Bloc began to flare up again. The initial cause was the defection of the city of Lucky Strike, a former Elysium vassal. Miraxus I had persuaded Autarix Heliora III of Lucky Strike to break with the Amazonis Bloc and sign a mutual defense and trade pact, a deal sealed by the marriage of one of his sons to Heliora III. However, when Heliora IV succeeded her mother, she decided to break the treaty, realigning with Amazonis, and no amount of Elysian persuasion was able to change her mind.

CH3: Breakout, Part 5

Four kilometers south of the Urban Palace, a man is standing in the open door of a garage, looking to the north through a pair of binoculars. He's watching a blob of brown-red that is just barely visible on the horizon – but is growing fast. Right on time.

Friday, June 12, 2015

CH3: Breakout, Part 4

Politics in Elysium Before the Fool's War

Political activity within Autarchic Elysium can be separated into three broad, overlapping categories: the politics of the unemployed and unbonded laboring classes; the politics of the Guilds, merchants, minor aristocracy, and other educated elites; and the politics of the Autarchic court.

CH3: Breakout, Part 3

It's time. Mara nudges Fir. The light of a tablet screen splits the darkness, almost painful after so long. Fir goes to work.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

CH3: Breakout, Part 2

The Collapse of Hellas Trading 

Hellas Trading was a major state-backed venture to open the rich mineral deposits of the Hellas crater to exploitation. The company was chartered by Elysian Autarch Miraxus II in 5,010 AD; although officially state-owned, it was primarily funded by public bond sales, with total subscriptions reaching three billion Elysium Therms by 5,020 AD. The initial aim of the company was to build a rail line through the forbidding terrain between Elysium and Hellas, which would allow the exploitation of the rich uranium and tungsten deposits of the crater.

CH3: Breakout, Part 1

If you want to know who your friends are, get yourself a jail sentence.” -Charles Bukowski 

Mara sits cross-legged in the dark, a carbine in her lap, knees brushing up against steel walls. Fir sits across from her, the fur of his legs brushing up against her. The air in the box is stiflingly hot, but she endures. She has endured worse then this, she keeps reminding herself, and will endure worse yet.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Server Responses #11

Response from HIEROPHANT Data Server to Query: whitelisted/approved entities safe for human worship

Be Aware: This response has been sanitized to remove information you are not authorized to access.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Interlude 13: A Fair Trade

“...has promised a full investigation into the collapse of Hellas Trading.” The students at the bar respond with a chorus of catcalls. “Director Trev Gersettus could not be reached for comment, but the Autarch's appointed administrator has denied rumors that he has left the city.” The students quiet as the newsfeed moves on to the next story – some of them lost inheritances in Hellas, she's willing to bet.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Interlude 12: Fundraising

Spirit, how long has it been? Six years? It hasn't changed at all.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Interlude 11: Making Friends

“Earth is our home, our birthright! Any man or woman that stands between us and the reconquest is a traitor to our species – and we all know the payment for treason!” The crowd roared approval. There weren't more then a few dozen of them, but they made up for their lack of numbers in enthusiasm. “How long will our so-called masters stand in our way? How long will they deny the will of the people? Only you-” and now Dee's voice dropped from her haranguing shout to a soft, gentle tone - “only you can decide. Thank you.”

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Server Responses #10

Response from HIEROPHANT Data Server to Query: Zeta Reticulans

Be Aware: This response has been sanitized to remove information you are not authorized to access.

Technological alien species currently occupying third planet of Zeta Reticuli system.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Interlude 10: Special Delivery

Warning: The contents of this file past the dotted line are classified as Maximally Controlled Information, security phrase CRYSTAL TOWER. If you are not cleared for MaxConInfo with security phrase CRYSTAL TOWER, close this file immediately and contact your infocon officer for debriefing using the security phrase PANIC YELLOW.

Warning: Unauthorized access to this file is punishable by death followed by post-mortem interrogation, extinction of all Citizen Honors (if applicable), and listing as a Dishonorable (Second Class) on the Wall of Shame.

Warning: The contents of this file past the dotted line are encrypted using infectious basilisk cipher patterns. Attempted decryption without the proper key will result in permanent consciousness seizure and destruction of all memory patterns in all nervous systems connected to the decrypter.

Reminder: Control of dangerous information is vital to the future of the human race. Maintain proper information hygiene at all times. What you do know can hurt you.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: World War Cthulhu

Finished World War Cthulhu.

As the name implies, this is an anthology of (to quote the subtitle) "Lovecraftian war stories".   While it does mostly stick to this theme, there are a few arguable cases, but eh, not a big deal.   I'm reading this for the Lovecraftian part of that phrase, not for the war.   Most of the stories here are just okay.   Not bad, just not great, either.   There are a few standouts, though.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Server Responses #9

Response from HIEROPHANT Data Server to Query: Pakistan 

No information is available in response to this query. This query has been forwarded to the public data server.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

CH2: Homecoming, Part 14

Mission to Elysium

In 5,024 AD, Mara and Dee were dispatched to Elysium, with the mission of making contact with the Elysium Zealots. Their objective was to set up a network within the city to distribute propaganda and conduct other operations, and to gather information on the situation of Lee Ludei, who had been imprisoned by order of the Autarch.

CH2: Homecoming, Part 13

Left, right, left... Mara staggered up the spiraling catwalk, struggling to run with the leaden weight of Dee on her back. Somewhere behind and below she could hear shouting, the cultists hot on their trail.

Friday, February 20, 2015

CH2: Homecoming, Part 12

It seemed to take forever. Dee spelled her, then she took over again, then they traded places one more time. The wider the hole got, the harder the task became, as the edge of the knife wore down. It must have been an hour before they'd finally sawed a flap of metal just wide enough to fit through.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

CH2: Homecoming, Part 11

Unfortunately, meeting proved to be a trap by worshippers of Primary Enemy, and we were forced to fight our way out.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: Steampunk Cthulhu

Steampunk Cthulhu is the latest anthology from Chaosium, mashing up, well, steampunk and Cthulhu.   It's not complicated.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Interlude 9: Let's Go Dark

Katya-R0910 is huddled in the fetal position, her legs tucked up in front of her chest, arms wrapped around them. She's holding a pistol in her two hands, the end pointed towards the ceiling of the cabinet. She is not moving, not breathing, not even thinking; she is frozen and still, running on internal battery reserves and terror.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Review: Tarra Khash: Hrossak!

Finished Tarra Khash: Hrossak! by Brian Lumley.   I'll be frank: this was actually pretty good.