Mass Effect, as a series, is probably known and loved more for the cast of characters Shepard pals around with while saving the galaxy multiple times than any other aspect. Other games do combat better (although I’ve never enjoyed any shooter more than Mass Effect 3, especially the multiplayer), or have better plots or storylines, but no game really comes close to having characters who grow and evolve during the series, in many cases shaped by their interactions the player has with them. Fan favorites like Garrus, Wrex, Tali (I even named my dog after her), Jack, Mordin – all of them are incredibly well fleshed-out, have real growth arcs through the series, and have real resonance. They are beloved.
There is one character, though, who is not beloved. She is rarely even be-liked. She is usually be-fucking-hated. She is Ashley Williams.
It’s official. The most popular zombie fantasy novel series in Bear, Delaware has the next installment available for mass purchase. The Storm of Northreach, Book Two of the Northreach Saga (see, I always wanted to write a saga. Trilogies are for the organized. A saga, man, that just sounds epic. Had to write a saga.), is now available for purchase in paperback form. With a limited edition cover, no less, commemorating my friends and loyal supporters at The Days of Knights in Newark Delaware. In fact, DoK’s has signed copies you can buy, right off the shelf, like it’s a book or something. If you can’t get to DoK’s, though, you can get Storm through Amazon. It won’t be signed, but that’s your problem. The Kindle and other ebook versions will be available soon, so have patience, you loyal rabid followers, you.
In the meantime, the fantastic Candice Bundy has interviewed me over at her blog where I expound on literature, wine, and chocolate ice cream. Check it out, then make fun of me in the comments or behind my back or wherever, it’s all good.
Not only that, but the Coolest Man in the World – Steven Montano – has a preview blurb up for Storm today that is eight thousand times more professional and awesome than anything I’ve done for my own book. That’s because he’s the Coolest Man in the World.
Finally, here’s a link to an excerpt from the novel that gives nothing away of the main story but gives you an idea of what the books are like. Note the hilarious estimate of Storm being a 2011 release. Hahahahahaha! Still, it’s a saga.
In case you’re curious, here’s the description of The Storm of Northreach, Book Two of the Northreach Saga (you can’t tell me that when you say Saga in your head that it’s not done in a James Earl Jones-esque voice, all weighty and full of gravitas and shit. Saga. Saga.):
The storm is breaking, and the undead are loosed.
The legacy of the insane necromancer Troius lives on. Now freed from his control, the scattered remnants of his undead horde stalk the isolated hamlets of Northreach. The survivors of the destruction of Daneswall seek shelter from the oncoming storm, while soldiers of Baron Northreach are sent to investigate the strange message sent by the Baron’s son. Meanwhile, the city of Anticus, proud and insular, ignores the troubles of the backwater region of Northreach, unaware of the torrent bearing down from the north.
It’s a fuckin’ saga, man. That’s some cool shit right there.
This one is going to be brief. I’ll wait while you recover from your bout of fainting at that news and as you wrestle desperately with your skepticism. Swear to god, I’ll be brief. Briefish. Somewhat succinct.
Man, it’s hard to do. It’s like asking Hemingway to write a Shakespearean play.
OK, first off, some programming notes. I just got back from vacation on Tuesday (I was at GenCon, more on that in a bit) so I’m a little behind.
Coming later today will be a first here at Me and My Shovel: a podcast. You read that right. Very soon, you’ll hear my gratingly irritating voice for the first time broadcast over the Internets. Because you know my love for keeping things short, this podcast lasts only an hour and 37 minutes. You’re welcome.
Last year, I gave out awards in random categories for the following reason:
…Coming up with a top ten list has to be the easiest writing job in the world. Jot down ten things, come up with superficial reasons for their inclusion, and then explain how blatantly wrong you are as just “a way to get people talking about it.” It’s the ultimate mail-it-in, who-gives-a-shit approach to writing.
So I am TOTALLY in!
This year will be no different! As with last year, the Aravan Awards are a group of awards in arbitrary categories for arbitrary reasons. Oh, and since I am both lazy and have a horrible memory for time, I won’t restrict myself to things that came out this year, just things that I think I remember seeing this year. Or am at least pretty sure I remember experiencing in 2011. Seriously, time is a big-ass blur to me quite often. Maybe it’s the drinking. Anyway, it’s time to haul out the cheap plastic statuettes and give credit where credit is due.
WordPress has a handy little feature that shows what search terms people used to get to your blog. I’ve posted on this before, but the searches are getting better and better and I need a distraction from my day, so I will once again highlight some of my favorite bizarre and random things that people type into Google and inexplicably choose my blog as their intended destination.
“unbuttoned to her navel”
I love this one, because the person put it in quotes to make sure they got the full, unadulterated phrase. Somehow, I don’t think they found what they were looking for on my site. I don’t even know which post they ended up on…actually, nevermind, it just came to me. Probably the GenCon photo post.