My 2016 — a summary

When a year approaches its end, it is tempting to summarize it in a few bullet points. So here are my significant SF/fantasy/RPG experiences in 2016, listed in chronological order.

  • Collaboration of the year: Gustaf Gadd and I wrote Skymningshavets gåtor, a seafaring fantasy campaign book for Drakar och Demoner, during the spring.
  • Boost of the year: I received the Swedish RPG Dragon Award at Gothcon in April.
  • Book of the year: I read and re-read Agent of the Imperium, an complex and enjoyable science fiction novel in the Traveller universe by Marc Miller.
  • RPG campaign of the year: We were Pinkerton agents investigating a murder in New Orleans in early 1870.
  • Boardgame of the year: Terraforming Mars by Fryx Games — wow!
  • Tragedy of the year: Evert Johansson, one of my old Traveller buddies, suddenly passed away in November at age 58.
  • Movie of the year: Rogue One.
  • TV-series of the year: Agent Carter S1 — yes, I know it is not new, but I did not have a chance to watch it until a few weeks ago.

Skymningshavets gåtors förord

Summary in English: A brief errata to my recently published Swedish RPG campaign setting.

Av någon för mig okänd anledning föll förordet bort i Skymningshavets gåtor, min nyss lanserade kampanjbok till Drakar och Demoner Retro. Därför lägger jag upp det här.


Förord
Spelvärldar föds på märkliga sätt. För några år i ett sammanhang utan spelanknytning läste jag ett par rader av poeten lord Tennyson:

Come, my friends,
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

Det är Odysseus som talar. På sin ålders höst sitter han i kungsgården på Ithaka och drömmer om en sista havsfärd innan han dör. Jag letade genast upp hela poemet på Wikicommons.

Efter läsningen började tankarna dansa: »Det där bör jag kunna göra något spelmässigt av. Tänk på Björn Landströms vackra bilder av skepp till havs*. Forna människor såg nog på havet som vi nuförtiden ser på världsrymden. Hmm, sjöfararfantasy möter Star Trek – let’s go!«

Här möter du resultatet av inspirationsblixten.

Anders Blixt
Stockholm, maj 2016

*Se till exempel hans sjöhistoriska verk Skeppet och Vägen till Indien.

The Best Plans Laid by Mice and Men

In the spring, after delivering a sea-faring campaign book for the latest version of the Swedish fantasy RPG Drakar och Demoner, I made a nice schedule for fiction-writing in my spare time till the end of 2016: publishing Dusk and Dawn, starting the sequel to The Ice War, and making a few RPG articles for the Fenix magazine.

However, mundane life intervened and disrupted all planning: this autumn I have had to spend all available energy on my children’s schooling and on earning my paychecks while suspending the fiction projects. But there is at least one piece of silver lining on the involuntary writing hiatus: my buddy Carolina Gomez-Lagerlöf got time to read the completed MS of the Dusk and Dawn novella and she found a serious flaw in a major turn of events. Her verdict is justified, so I now will have to rewrite several chapters to improve the story’s pacing. However, being somewhat wiser than nine months ago, I won’t make a prediction about when it will be completed.

Venus-safe Technology Is Hard to Get

NASA is currently investigating what materials and devices could be used for future Venus landers. The planet’s hellish environment degrades even stainless steel quickly, so research probes have so far ceased to function within two hours after touchdown. The Glenn Extreme Environments Rig is a 14-ton testing chamber that recreates Venus’s toxic, corrosive, and hot surface conditions.

Read more here — link >>>