Picture by Raph on DeviantArt. Click on it for a larger version.
Monthly Archives: July 2016
Tiger and Hope
These sisters — I know who they are and hopefully I will put their tale to paper one day.
Picture by Simon Gocal at DeviantArt. Click on the picture for a larger version.
Independence Day: 1917
Patchwork World: “The Forest”
My third diesel-retro Patchwork World tale Dusk and Dawn is almost completed and I have started the preparations for the fourth story, called The Forest. Its first chapter takes place on the vast sea between the Oceanic Archipelago and the Rim continent: a protagonist, a pilot who is a member of the persecuted Forsaken, has just been forced to ditch his aircraft.
The picture is by Wild Weasel at DeviantArt. Click on the picture for a larger version.
Encounter in Jotunheim
In the Norse pagan legends, cosmos is layered in many adjacent worlds. Men live in Midgard (Middangeard/Middle-earth), whereas the gods live in Asgard above mankind.
The giants live in Jotunheim (Giant-home), a dangerous untamed world beyond the wild river Ifing. Most are settled in farmsteads under the leadership of a chieftain. Some giants are great warlocks that excel in illusions. Many stories tell about interactions between gods and giants, and occasionally a shrewd giant outsmarts a god. Therefore mannish adventurers must tread carefully in Jotunheim.
In the 1990s I was commissioned to write several Swedish Norse-themed role-playing products: Ansgar (an educational RPG about the first German missionaries to pagan Sweden around AD 830) and two sourcebooks and one adventure for the Viking RPG. Both publishers initially wanted only material based on real-world Scandinavian history.
After a while Viking’s publisher also asked me, Magnus Seter, and Mats Blomqvist to write a fantasy sourcebook based on Norse legends: Saga. Among others things it included spell-chanting, rune-carving, undead, elves, dwarves, divine favor, and visits to legendary worlds. However, when we had completed our texts, the publisher went bankrupt and aborted the project. (You can read more about the Viking RPG in Swedish here — link >>>)
The picture above by Eytan Zana at DeviantArt perfectly captures the mood of the Jotunheim section of Saga: crows at the carcass of a fallen giant. (Click on the picture for a larger version.)
For those of you who know Swedish, here is Magnus Seter’s Jotunheim text on page 18 in a PDF file of issue 24 of the Sverox gaming magazine — link >>>
A Scene Looking for a Story
This scene painted by Wild Weasel on DeviantArt kickstarted my creativity. Here is a tale worth telling. Cyborgs have not appeared yet in any of my books but I will store this piece in my mind for future use. (Click on the picture for a larger version.)
Imaginary Splendor in the Night Sky
Space 1889 in Milwaukee
A scene that could be straight out of the Victorian science fiction role-playing game Space 1889. It appears that someone brought a marine reptile from Venus to Milwaukee and lost it in the local waterways. (Click on the picture for a larger version.)
“Dusk and Dawn” — end in sight
During spring I was busy writing an ocean-faring campaign book, Skymningshavets gåtor (“Mysteries of the Sunset Ocean”), for a new edition of the Swedish fantasy RPG Drakar och Demoner.
After completing it, I returned to Dusk and Dawn, a Patchwork World novella that is a stand-alone sequel to the short-stories “Dust” and “The Road” (link >>> ). I had not touched the story for a year because I have been wrestling with the final chapter, but now some troublesome plot pieces have fallen into place and only three or four concluding scenes remain unwritten. Let’s hope that I soon will get time and energy to do that.
I have drawn a lot of inspiration from Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel, a book that attempts to explain why certain pre-industrial societies “did better” than others; the author argues that a culture’s ability to progress is mainly determined by its basic productive resources, such as available crops and domesticable animals.
These ideas were hardly present when I started writing Dusk and Dawn in 2014, but the protagonist Fennec kept on making “Diamondian” observations during a journey through her desolate homeworld. I hope that Dr Diamond, would he ever read my story, will nod approvingly at Fennec’s deductions and outside-the-box conclusions.
Diesel-style Star Wars
The Star Wars cosmos is easily re-staged in alternate settings and styles. Here is diesel-retro rendition of an aircraft clash by Alexey Mordovets. Click on the picture to see a larger version.