With summer waning, I wanted to take a moment to provide thumbnail reviews of things many of you should find of interest.
Rome – Pretty much a must-see for any fan of sword-and-sorcery or historical fiction. As far as I’m concerned, the two genres are closely related, and I’m sure a fan of either will be a fan of this.Not for the faint-of-heart due to sex and violence… but extremely well written and acted. The story arcs get more and more compelling the deeper into the series you watch. I haven’t been this caught up in a TV series since a friend loaned me the Firefly boxed set.
Blood of Ambrose – It should come as no small wonder that I enjoyed James Enge’s first Morlock novel. I’ve been a fan of his work since his first appearance in Black Gate. Good stuff, brimming with brilliant world building, witty characters, and swordplay and foul sorcery.
Bill Ward and I are planning an in-depth look at some of the fine work coming out from the Warhammer game publisher, and I wanted to provide a sneak peek of the goodness we found within.
Blackhearts Ominbus – I’m halfway through Nathan Long’s collection and have loved every minute of it. A dirty dozen type series in a fantasy land, with flawed but likable characters, fabulous pacing, and great action sequences. I have the suspicion that the rest of it will hold up just as well.
Eisenhorn Omnibus– Dan Abnett wasn’t satisfied with creating a fabulous lead character in an action-packed space opera; he sent him to fantastic places and provides a series of detective/investigative stories full of logical turns, surprises, and plenty of action.
Witch Hunter Omnibus – I finally got to read C. L. Werner’s first two Mathias Thulman books, full of Gothic menace and brooding castles. I would never have guessed that I would be rooting for a witch hunter, but Werner pulls it off, and delivers plenty of surprises along the way.
Mongoose Games has a license for Traveller, and the core book and first supplements (High Guard and Traders and Gunboats) have been well-handled. I look forward to seeing what more they have planned.
Cortex System Role Playing Game, from Margaret Weis games, is the engine behind their Firefly game. It’s a slim, elegant-looking system, and will be reviewed in-depth in the next issue of Black Gate.
Goodman Games has a new magazine, Level Up, that seems at least partly inspired by the original Dragon. Adventures and articles on game play and character interaction are included within. We’ll be reviewing in-depth next issue, but my initial impression is one of delight.
Howard Andrew Jones