The Last Mortal Bond: Out in paperback today!


Brian Staveley’s last novel, The Last Mortal Bond, is now out in paperback today. If you’ve been waiting to pick it up, now’s the time; it’s a great read.

The ancient csestriim are back to finish their purge of humanity; armies march against the capital; leaches, solitary beings who draw power from the natural world to fuel their extraordinary abilities, maneuver on all sides to affect the outcome of the war; and capricious gods walk the earth in human guise with agendas of their own.

But the three imperial siblings at the heart of it all–Valyn, Adare, and Kaden–come to understand that even if they survive the holocaust unleashed on their world, there may be no reconciling their conflicting visions of the future.

His next book, Skullsworn, is due out next month.

How the Star Trek Anthology teleported into a new universe

Photo: Ken Picard

Over on Seven Days, Ken Picard has an interesting story about Jim Bray and a short internet film that he’s been working on, The Outer Rim. The project was originally a Star Trek fan film project, until a major legal hiccup occurred last year: Paramount sued another fanfilm production, and instituted strict new rules about future fanfilm projects. Bray had to drastically shift gears.

As Bray explains, their new universe is akin to those found in the films Aliens and Starship Troopers. Corporations own and operate the government, and space travel is driven more by resource acquisition than Roddenberry’s nobler themes of scientific exploration and peaceful interspecies coexistence.

The pilot episode of “The Outer Rim,” titled “Rift,” tells the story of a ragtag crew of five planetary surveyors on the last leg of a yearlong mission. Bray describes them as contractors “like Blackwater, only without the evil.”

Read the whole article here.

Kickstart This: Greetings from The Solar System

We’ve been impressed with the Kickstarter projects that designer Mark Gonyea has put together in the past, and now, he’s got a new one that we’ve been drooling over: Greetings from the Solar System.

The project is a series of nine postcards of the planets (and sun) of our solar system:

There are 9 postcards in the set. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and a Sun/Solar System card. (Apologies to Pluto but science doesn’t consider you a real planet anymore. Maybe next time!).

Each postcard will be printed on 16pt matte card stock, 5 by 7 inches in size. Artwork is not final until it goes to press and might change slightly but only very slightly.

$5 will get you a PDF coloring book, and $25 will get you a set of postcards and stickers. Pledge here.

Spring Cleaning Games Sale

Looking for a new board game? Someone on Craigslist is cleaning off their shelves and are looking to sell off a ton of new games. Here’s what they’ve got:

  • Conan (2016) – Kickstarter King Pledge. Includes extra dice set, Yogah of Sog, Crossbowmen, Kushite Witch Hunters and Kickstarter Exclusive Vanir Valkyrie expansions. Has been opened and sorted. Played three times. – $250
  • Summoner Wars: Contains Master Set, Phoenix Elves vs Tundra Orcs, and Guild Dwarves vs. Cave Goblins. Sorted in to card boxes, never played. – $40 for everything.
  • Exodus: Proxima Centauri: Sorted, never played. – $30
  • Panic Station: Played once. – $15
  • Fire & Axe 2nd Edition: Sorted, never played. – $30
  • Conquest of Nerath: A Dungeons & Dragons board game: Sorted, never played. – $30
  • Apocalypse Chaos: Sorted, played a handful of times. – $15
  • Dungeon Saga: Dwarf King’s Quest. Contains Base game, Adventurer’s Companion & Return of Valandor. All are the retail versions. Sorted, played a handful of times. – $100 for everything.
  • City of Iron 2nd Edition: Sorted, never played. – $30
  • Rush N’ Crush: AWESOME game! Sorted, played a bunch of times. – $20
  • Xia: Legend of a Drift System. Sorted, played a handful of times. There’s a few ship flight pegs (the bases that hold the ship minis) that have broken because the acrylic’s quite fragile. I was going to just glue the ships to the bases, but never got around to it. – $60
  • Star Trek RISK: Brand new, sorted, never played. A pretty neat version of RISK, though – $35
  • Tail Feathers: Sorted, played once. Especially great if you happen to own Mice & Mystics. – $35
  • Galaxy Defenders – Includes Operation Strikeback expansion. Sorted, never played. -$50
  • Warrior Knights – Includes Crown and Glory expansion. The expansion is in the same box as the main game as the originally box is missing. – $100
  • Article 27: The UN Security Council Game. Sorted, played a handful of times. – $15
  • Last Friday – Sorted, never played. – $30
  • Claustrophobia – Contains De Profundis expansion. Acquired used. Sorted and it looks like it was played a few times. – $40
  • Geek Out – TableTop Limited edition: Sorted, played once. – $20
  • Star Trek Ascendancy: Sorted, never played. – $50
  • Magic: the Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers. Contains base game, Shadows over Innistrad and Battle for Zendikar expansions. Sorted, never played. – $30
  • Doomtown Expandable Card Game – Contains 2 copies of the Core Set; Faith and Fear; Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force, The Great Debate; High Stakes, Penny Ante, Double Dealin’ expansions – $50
  • Rattle, Battle, Grab the Loot! – Sorted, played a handful of times. $25

Check out the post here.

Crowdfund this: Vermont Gaming Lounge

VR is on the rise with new devices like the Playstation VR or Oculus Rift, and a couple of enterprising gamers are looking to open a VR lounge in Burlington.

VGL will be Vermont’s premier place for virtual reality.  Hosting two treadmill apparatus’ equipped with the HTC Vive Virtual Reality Headset, We will be able to offer the most immersive experience available to date.  The company consists of two brothers, Jamie Danaher and Adam Fletcher, equal partners, who have gamed since they could hold a controller.  We have a combined experience of 20 years in PC repair, 10 years of Web Design and Marketing, and 50 years of gaming experience.

Vermont Gaming Lounge will be more  than a place to try out VR.  We specifically put “lounge” in the name because we want people to come and hang out.  As much as we are a store, we desire to be so much more.  Developing talent in gamers, helping them get sponsored,  and hosting local tournaments, will be key tenets of our store.

 The crew is launching their project on Indigogo, with a $6,000. $10 gets you some rental time. Back it here!

Kickstart this: Airship for Victorian Science Fiction and Pulp Gaming

This is pretty cool: Rusti, of Crossover Miniatures in Franklin has launched a Kickstarter for some Victorian-era airships for miniatures gaming:

HMAS (Her Majesty’s Airship) Furious is a great vessel to patrol the skies of Mars or an alternate version of Victorian Europe.  It was created to be used for gaming but would do just as well on display in your home. I have tried to achieve something that is both useful and beautiful with this ship.  I have scaled it to work with 28-30mm miniatures.

$95 will get you in the door with one of them, and you have 50 hours to pledge! The project has already surpassed its goal, and delivery is scheduled for May 2017.

Pledge here.

Chaos in the Valley – Canceled

The last couple of years, a Micro-Con has been held in Danby called Chaos in the Valley. The two-day event was a gathering of games and was to be held between April 28-30, 2107. The con has now been cancelled, according to its organizer, Cathy Preble.

Preble noted that the change comes after she was let go from the event’s venue, the Hartness House, but that she’s currently looking for another space to hold the event. In the meantime, all attendees have had their registrations refunded.

She did note that the event will continue in some form. “We are fully planning on holding Chaos in the Valley in 2018 in Springfield. This week, besides looking for work, I will be exploring other locations in the area. The Springfield area has lots of gamers, and a tabletop and boardgame convention is just what the area needs.”

New release: Marko Kloos’s Fields of Fire

Local author Marko Kloos has a new book out today: Fields of Fire, the latest installment of his Frontlines military science fiction series.

Here’s what it’s about:

The time has come to take the fight to the Lankies.

Mars has been under Lanky control for more than a year. Since then, the depleted forces of Earth’s alliances have rebuilt their fleets, staffing old warships with freshly trained troops. Torn between the need to beat the Lankies to the punch and taking enough time to put together an effective fighting force, command has decided to strike now.

Once again, seasoned veterans Andrew and Halley find themselves in charge of green troops and at the sharp tip of the spear as the combined military might of Earth goes up against the Lankies. But if there’s one constant in war, it’s that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy…and the Lankies want to hold on to Mars as badly as humanity wants to reclaim it.

I’ve really enjoyed the first four novels, and this next one looks to be a really exciting one.

Woodstock’s Yankee Bookshop under new management

Phoenix Books has acquired another Vermont bookstore: Woodstock’s Yankee Bookshop, the fifth such store that the growing chain has acquired.Michael DeSanto and Renee Reiner of Phoenix Books announced that they, along with Phoenix Books assistant manager Kari Meutsch and her fiancé, Kristian Preylowski would be partners in the business, and would eventually assume ownership of the store.

Phoenix Books has been rapidly expanding in the state of Vermont, now operating stores in Essex, Burlington, Rutland and Chester. Yankee Bookshop will keep its name and its present downtown location. It acquired Chester’s Misty Valley Bookstore last year, when its owners announced that they were retiring.

Woodstock’s Yankee Bookshop is the oldest continuously-run bookstore in Vermont, having been founded in 1935. Meutsch is a long-time member of Phoenix Books, and will be a partial owner of the store.

“We’ve both spent our lives working in the service industry, and understand what it means to serve our community,” said Meutsch. “Woodstock has a beauty and vibe that we find inspiring. We are excited to continue the work of an existing business that has so much history within the community and the state; both of us have a deep respect for independent businesses that have survived and thrived over time, and we cannot wait to do our part to keep the tradition of the Yankee Bookshop alive for years to come.”

We can’t wait to visit.

Kickstart This: 3D Settlers of Catan Resource Hexes

This is a really cool Kickstarter Project for those of you who like Settlers of Catan. Justin Gonyea has created a series of laser-cut pieces for Settlers of Catan that allow players to add some additional terrain to their game.

Three dimensional resource hexes for your Catan game! Designed for maximum fun and playability, these laser cut wooden pieces will take your game experience to the next dimension, literally!

The pieces are made out of birch, and allow players to add on forests, deserts, fields, and other features that enhance the game. Gonyea has taken to Kickstarter to fund his project, and he’s already surpassed his goal of $1,000. Backers can get a set for $40, which gets them a set of 100 pieces.

Back it here.