Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Unboxing the Bones

This afternoon while in the midst of editing stories for Libram Mysterium, which are coming in at a steady pace, my long-awaited Reaper Bones Kickstarter shipment arrived.  A disciplined man would have finished the story he was currently editing.  I am not such a man.

I did restrain myself enough to take pictures before ripping into the package and strewing the contents about the house, so I thought I'd share what a Vampire level box of miniatures looks like:

1. The 11-pound carton that UPS delivered to my door:

2. The box of Bones miniatures and the three miniature storage cases that were add-ons to the Kickstarter:

3. The insides of one of the storage cases (150 figure capacity):

4. And finally, the miniatures themselves (click to embiggen):

It took me nearly an hour to open each individually-wrapped miniature and set them up.  There are still some unopened packages in the background consisting of a small horde of goblins and rats that I still haven't opened.

This should be enough miniatures to keep me painting for the near future.  Of course there is still the odious task of washing and prepping each one and removing mold-lines.  To quote Homer Simpson: "Can't somebody else do it?"

Well, back to editing.  Keep those submissions coming, I'm starting to catch up!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Pulp Mill Press Now Open for Submissions

You know what I miss?  Pulp adventure stories.  The sort of dark, gritty tales with morally ambiguous characters that were made popular in the 1920's and '30's.  They've sort of fallen out of fashion these days - at least in short fiction markets.  The most recently published good short story anthology I read was the Thieves World series.

This is bad news if these are the sorts of stories you like to read.  It's even worse news if these are the sorts of stories you like to write.  There are few venues for speculative short fiction these days, and even fewer of them are receptive to heroic fantasy and weird fiction.  That's why Tim Shorts (Gothridge Manor), Ken Harrison (The Rusty Battleaxe), Boric G (The Dwarven Stronghold), and I decided to form Pulp Mill Press.  We want to publish the sorts of stories that we love to read and we're putting the call out for stories to be included in our first anthology, Libram Mysterium.  We know that many of the members of the OSR community share our love of weird fiction and we're hoping that at least some of you are writers as well as gamers and will contribute a story.

The pay isn't great.  Heck, it's non-existent; all we're offering in compensation is a complimentary electronic copy of the finished book.  The reason for this is that we don't have funding to buy stories, and we aren't in the position to make that kind of personal investment, so our plan is to hopefully raise enough money through the sale of Libram Mysterium to offer page-rates for our next anthology.  Eventually, we hope to be able to pay professional rates.  We are eager to work with new and emerging authors, to grow along with you, and to fill a much-need gap in the publishing industry.

We like our warriors mighty-thewed, our rogues cunning, our sorcerers sinister and our horrors cosmic. If you can tell a story with well-developed characters and fill us with wonder and dread we want to see it!

Please visit the Pulp Mill Press home page and submission guidelines for more information.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at pulpmillpress4@gmail.com.