Update on my writing.

They Say the Sirens Left the Seas

Obviously They Say the Sirens Left the Seas is now out, and I’ve been trying to get book bloggers to promote it.

Telelee

Last year I finished a long poem called ‘Telelee’, about visitors from Earth to the fantasy city (or a version of it anyway). I hoped that Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, which has published a couple of my shorter poems, might be interested in publishing it. However HFQ has had it since November last year and, as they haven’t responded to my follow-up email, I think they might have ceased to exist.

Since most poetry magazines pay ‘by the poem’ rather than by the word, there are very few potential markets for it.

So I’m planning to contact another potential market next month. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go straight to self-publishing.

I’m planning to publish the poem along with the short stories I’ve written set in Telelee, most of which were in The New Death and others.

I’m also considering including ‘The Encyclopedia of Telelee': that is, the things I’ve posted on my blog about the city, edited, cross-referenced and put into alphabetical order. I’m interested to know whether people would find this interesting, or see this as self-indulgent ‘let me tell you about my setting’. Please let me know in the comments.

Confession of a Bounty Hunter and My Name Is John Carter.

I have another finished and unpublished long poem, this time set in the old West. This has even fewer potential magazines than ‘Telelee’, because it isn’t fantasy.

I’m planning to put this one out, along with a couple of other poems set in the old West that are in They Say the Sirens…, and one other, as soon as I write the one other.

I have an abandoned, unfinished verse version of A Princess of Mars, which emphasizes John Carter’s life before Mars. I’m considering rewriting what I’ve done to make it the fourth poem for this publication. However this is ‘in the queue’. I’m currently working on…

Once Upon a Time In Araby

A non-fantasy long poem set in a not-very-historical version of ancient Arabia. Given that, as I’ve already discussed, long poems are very hard to get into magazines, this one will probably end up going straight to self-publishing as well (I seem to have a tendency to be good at things the less commercial they are).

The Case of the Syphilitic Sister and The Adventure of the Resurrected Nobleman

These are unfinished works of prose.

The first is a combination of detective novel and superhero story (via Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Top 10). I’ve written about 10,000 words of this.

The second is a short story in which Sherlock Holmes meets Dracula. However the tone is more serious than that makes it sound. It’s mainly inspired by Neil Gaiman’s A Study In Emerald, which combines Sherlock Holmes with the Cthulhu Mythos.

I’m planning to look at these again in November, when it’s NaNoWriMo.

Unnamed game

A while ago I made Under the Moons of Mars, which was…OK. As I was making it, I found myself less and less happy with using d6 Shooters as a base, and more and more interested in ‘choose your own adventure’-like paragraphs.

I’d like to make a game which would be similar to Barbarian Prince, although with a more original setting, clearer rules, and more variety of characters and encounters. This would use the things I liked from Under the Moons of Mars, along with various other ideas that I’ve either come up with or found in my reading.

I was hoping to pitch this game to Heroic Fantasy Quarterly but, as I said, I think it’s ceased publication (or at least taken a long break). I could pitch it to other fantasy magazines, but I think HFQ was more likely to take it.

It could be put out on computer, and/or in print. The latter would, of course, require some crowd-funding.

Anyway this is probably something I’ll look at after all the other things mentioned above have been dealt with.

Anyway, as always, please let me know your thoughts.

You know what I hate? The word ‘supers’.

A lot of superhero role-playing products call superheroes ‘supers’.

This seems to be because DC and Marvel jointly claim a trademark on the phrase ‘Super Hero’.

That claim seems to this non-lawyer to be pretty far-fetched (a bit like McDonalds and Burger King claiming to own the word ‘burgers’). But that’s not the point. The point is this:

No one calls them ‘supers’.

No one. Not ever. Not even the role-playing designers who use the term in their products. The term doesn’t even appear in the Wikipedia article on superheroes.

EDIT: I was wrong. Apparently The Incredibles did. Still, that movie doesn’t seem to have brought the term ‘supers’ into common use outside of RPGs. It seems more likely to me that RPG creators’ main motivation in using ‘supers’ is fear of being sued, rather than wanting to use the term that The Incredibles used or that they usually say ‘supers’ rather than ‘super heroes’.

It makes me think of spam that I used to get trying to sell me ‘meds’.

Game designers, if you’re terrified of Marvel and DC, make up something like ‘science hero‘, which has its own retro charm.

PS Superheroes superheroes superheroes superheroes.