Archive for the ‘Accross the Web’ Category


Creative Sunday – The Mongolian Wizard series by Michael Swanwick

22 November, 2015

Some fiction this time around, The Mongolian Wizard series by Michael Swanwick.

The series is set in an alternate fin de siècle, where magic is used alongside technology and the Mongolian Wizard is slowly conquering his way across the continent.  Having started, naturally, with Russia.  Let me just say that the Mongolian Wizard

Our protagonist is Franz-Karl Ritter and he serves as our viewpoint onto this most interesting but unhappy world.  The magic is interesting and the rules are slowly elaborated over the stories.  They are good read.



Creative Sunday – Magellan

15 November, 2015

Magellan is a superhero webcomic drawn by Grace Crowley which I have been following for years.  It mostly follows one of the young cadets, Kaycee Jones, whose overriding goal in life is to be a superhero even though she has no superpower beyond determination and focus.

The world is fully realized and plays with superheroic tropes in a variety of interesting ways.  I highly recommend it to anyone who like superheroes or academy/school based stories or both!

Go Team Magellan

Grace also has her own Patreon for those wishing to support Magellan.

Notes: Sorry about missing last Sunday but I was en route to a trade show for work and my entire week has been disrupted.

Banner from the Magellan site and used without permission.


Dark Future Ahead 13 – News from the ‘Net of a Cyberpunk bent

12 November, 2015

Time again for the latest interesting and cyberpunk inspiring stories that I have found:

Converting oil tankers into housing and communities.  Seems like an interesting place to live or at least visit.

While an Italian group (called WASP, World’s Advanced Saving Project) is building a machine that uses 3D printing technique to build a house from local materials.  The building are basic but look tough, useful for emergency shelters, barracks, inexpensive housing, and other uses.  How would you react to a village full of these?

Inside one of the main internet hub in NY, if this does not inspire adventure ideas I do not know what will.

Boeing, working to keep airports safe, by developing lasers to burn drones out of the sky.  You think it is bad when a bird get sucked into a jet engine, a pizza deliver drone is every worse.

What about agrivoltaics, the mixed use of solar energy generating photovoltaic arrays and agriculture?  An interesting way forward for a changing world.

Or perhaps floating farms, mixing fish farming and hydroponics, might be another option.  Anchor them offshore and harvest year round.

What signs of the coming dark future have you seen recently?


Creative Sunday – Ookla the Mok (the band)

1 November, 2015

Not himThese guysYeah, not < that fellow, but these fellows >

Ookla the Mok, Fandom’s Own Rock Band.

I encountered Ookla the Mok back when Napster was still a subversive threat to the integrity of the music identry, and once I listened to some of their music, I promptly contacts the band and purchased all of their CDs, and I have kept current ever since.

They write about all sorts of nerdy things but mostly about comic books.  While I have never seen them live, they remain one of my favorite geek bands and I hope to see them preform live someday.

You can listen to much of their music at the official Ookla the Mok website, and even purchase some of it if you want to help out the band.  There are a few more of their songs available on Soundcloud too.

Go, listen, enjoy your nerdy self.

Notes: Ookla the Mok (the character) art by pixie-the-gator from DA and borrowed without permission, photo of Ookla the Mok (the band) by Michael Pereckas and used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.


Creative Sunday – M C A Hogarth, Artist and Writer

25 October, 2015

Third in this (hopefully) weekly series of posts, where I highlight some of the awesome creative things being done out in the world.  Today, we have:

M C A Hogarth

Tea Break by MCA HogarthI first encountered MCAH’s art some time ago, long enough ago that I do not recall the exact details.  But I started follower her work on LiveJournal (remember LJ?  It still exists but is not nearly the hub of activity it once was.) and we would occasionally exchange comments and idea.  I purchased some of her artwork back then too, well, quite a bit of it actually including one commissioned piece (“Tea Break” pictured right).

She has since gone on to bigger and better things, getting a lot of writing down and published.  You may have heard about her when there was the big blowup when Games Workshop tried to get her book Spots the Space Marine pulled down off Amazon because GW claimed the term Space Marine was theirs and theirs alone.  Thankfully that was squashed though GW ended up with quite a bit of -well deserved- bad press for being such bullies.

Mantid portrait by MCA HogarthHer writing is fascinating, often exploring alien cultures from the inside, and she has quite a bit published bow.  I am obviously a huge fan of her art (she used to livestream her process on occasion where I picked up a second Mantid piece, on the left there).

Go visit her site for some inspiration.



Notes: For last week’s Creative Sunday we had the music of Al Stewart and before that the lovely art of Nwain, the Knight who Wandered Dream.  More to come!


Creative Sunday – Al Stewart, Singer-Songwriter

18 October, 2015
Modern Day Bard

Modern Day Bard

Al Stewart is a musician that I always associate with gaming, not that he is a gamer to my knowledge, but many of my earlier gaming friends were fans of his and his album Past, Present and Future was often a background soundtrack to our games.  He is best known for the song Time Passages, which is far from my favor piece of his, but it or Year of the Cat are the songs of his that get the most play.

Mr Stewart often chooses historical themes for his songs, many of which should be inspiration for a wide range of games.  The album Between the Wars is all tied to interwar Europe and should have useful hooks for anyone playing Call of Cthulu or a pulp adventure game, Night Train to Munich especially should be inspirational.

In any case I recommend you check out his official webpage and try out some of his music.  I will not be offended if it is not to your taste but I hope that people can find something they like among his many songs and styles.  You can also learn more about Mr Stewart from his profile on wikipedia.

Mr Stewart is currently on tour and will be performing in Atlanta on 6 December and I will be there.  Any chance that I will see you there?

Photo by Elaborating and found on Wikimedia Commons and has been placed in the Public Domain.

Notes: Second in my weekly series of looking at creative people and endeavors, last week was looking at Nwain, the Knight who Wandered Dream and her creator.


Creative Sunday – Nwain, the Knight who Wandered Dream

11 October, 2015

New (hopefully) weekly series of posts, I thought I should highlight some of the awesome creative things being done out in the world.  Today, we have:

Nwain, the Knight who Wandered Dream

Nwain ridingThis is an animated webcomic by Terrana Cliff detailing the adventures of Nwain in a very unique fantasy world.  Lots of problems solving and investigation so far with some greater mysteries hinted at.  Very good inspiration for a wide variety of games and campaign style.  Due to the fact is is an animated webcomic, the production of it is fairly slow so we only get a few new pages a month, though because they are animated, they pack in a little more information and action than a normal comic would in that space.

An example of the art is posted (borrowed from the artist’s DeviantArt page, and now used with permission).

If you enjoy the art and story, you can support Terrana Cliff’s creation of Nwain on Patreon.


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