Saturday, August 2, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy is a lot of things. It's funny and action packed. It's even heartwarming. It's strikingly beautiful and even awe inspiring. I loved it.

Talking with my friends as we walked out of the theater, it occurred to me that this movie is everything that The Fifth Element aspired to be but wasn't: fun, gonzo, epic but mostly, coherent

I remember how hopeful I was back in the day. Standing in line with my then girlfriend (a dumb ass) and her little brothers, I kept thinking that here comes the sci fi movie I've been waiting for: the next Star Wars. Oh, how my hopes and dreams were dashed by that atrocity of a movie. It was certainly a beautiful movie and visually striking. But that was it. It was empty and hollow. There was action but no passion. But mostly, it just devolved into an incoherent mess of a narrative. Maybe it made more sense on repeated viewings. I wouldn't know. I never watched it again.

I'm not saying that Guardians of the Galaxy is the next Star Wars. But if it had been made by Luc Besson, rather than a former Troma director, I would consider it one hell of an apology. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014


So, I have been on a Richard Laymon kick the past few weeks. He passed away in 2001 and I try not to read too many of his books so as to not run out of them. I reread Night in the Lonesome October and One Rainy Night. If gore and stomach twisting horror aren't for you, then run away!. But if you want horror, real scary horror, give a Laymon a try. 

I just finished Funhouse by Laymon, which I hadn't read before. It was pretty good. His usual stuff, which means compellingly readable and dread inducing. But the ending, well... it was crap. Not just over the top. Way, way over the top. It still wasn't as bad as most of Stephen King's endings (at least the ones that  I have actually made it to), which are horrible.

I headed back to Amazon, in search of the next book to read and noticed something in the reviews of various books that has bothered me in the past: There are people who absolutely hate "Happy Endings" no matter the genre or story.

Shouldn't the end of a story be appropriate to the story itself? I have always thought so but I get the feeling I am outnumbered.

I like Happy Endings. I like Unhappy Endings less, but if they seem appropriate, it won't ruin the story for me. The only endings I actively dislike, in movies or books, are the Sudden Fade to Black/Faux Daringly Ambiguous Endings (I'm looking at you Inception). But that's neither here nor there.

But the hatred of Happy Endings, for the sake of hating  happy Endings, reminds me of an ex-girlfriend of mine who liked to wallow in the misery of her horrible upbringing and consequently, avoided Happy things (Endings, Christmas, rainbows and smiling children) like the plague (There's a reason she is an ex-girlfriend).

However, Amazon tells me she wasn't alone. Far from it. I have always known this but have never been able to puzzle out the lure of dark, depressing things, like Unhappy Endings. I don't think  I will ever undertand it.

Been away a while...

Life, while being great and all, happens and laughs at our plans.  Life happened for me these past few months. While I was able to write a bit more in my Atoms & Arcana epic, I wasn't able to get much else done, outside of my real world obligations. But I hope that has changed and we have turned a corner.

I have discovered a few new daily reads:

Vox Day's (in)famous site, Vox Popoli.

John C. Wright's website. I discovered his books through the Vox Day site and I am glad that I did.

I have now finished Count to a Trillion and Awake in the Night Land. Where has this guy been all of my life? Wright has a way with the English language that is nothing short of masterful.

As for Vox, I have found him to be sometimes borderline offensive but always thought provoking. If political correctness is the neurotoxin slowly bringing Western Civilization to its knees, then the conversations that happen at Vox Day, and those like it, are the antidote.

I am reminded of a Carl Sagan quote regarding James Randi and feel you could apply the same to Vox:

    • "We may disagree with Randi on certain points, but we ignore him at our peril."

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Pandemonia: The Art of Audacity

    "Complacency, not failure, is the opposite of success."

    While many military leaders in the Stormsea Republic like to point to the Lord Zachias' magnum opus, The Manual of Maneuvers, as the most influential treatise on strategy in the Republic (if not most of the civilized world) some consider him a bit too irreverent, and more than a little cynical. Those that would say such things would hold up their own champion of strategy, the ancient mercenary, and least cynical of men, Ignezio, author of "The Art of Audacity".

    Not much is known about the man. It is held that he most likely made the Crossing, from the Old World to Pandemonia, with the original men and women and was most likely a Centurion in their Legion. Historians believe he was integral in the training and organization of the Proto-Republic's first armies as well one of the more influential forebearers of what would later be called Stormsea. Ignezio's book is devoid of personal details and focuses solely on the man's philosophy, one that he believed applied as much to life as to war.

    As the title would suggest, Ignezio held that of all virtues (namely the seven Cardinal Virtues of the Proto-Republic: Volition, Reason, Integrity, Love, Duty, Kindness and Audacity) in high regard but Audacity, being boldness, was the most important.

    Ignezio said:

           "Audacity, that which some call Courage and others Boldness, is the greatest of all of the virtues. For without Audacity, where would the others be? How would a man maintain his Integrity in the face of temptation and pressure without Audacity. Is not every man a man of integrity until pressure or temptation are applied against the fulcrums of our fear or greed?

            And what of Love? Would love be both liberating and daunting without Audacity? No, it would simply be daunting, rendering the would-be lover a prisoner to his or her desires, trapped, with all of the drawbacks of love and none of the beauty, living in fear of a life consumed by loneliness.

           What of Reason? How is a man to maintain his intellectual poise, his equanimity in the face of superstitious fearmongering, weathering the emotional blows and tantrums of the terminally anti-intellectual. The anti-intellectuals being those mediocre men who wear their emotions on the sleeve, indeed, who claim with appalling pride that they are correct because they feel that they are, and that those feelings are as valid as any man's reason. Such mediocre men, with vaste mindless numbers being their only advantage, will always be the enemy. They are the tools and legionaries of Tyrants and Demogogues. Their boldness, a false and hollow boldness, comes from their like minded fellows, swept up in emotion with their mobs and hordes, not from within their own minds.

             Where mediocrity, fear and temptation are fought, Audacity leads the charge, outnumbered as always. Because Audacity wouldn't be Audacity if it weren't outnumbered."

    Sunday, March 30, 2014

    Creative Writing Playlists

    I'm sure I am not the only person who listens to music when writing my stories or working on my Fictional Milieu. I have two basic playlists that I listen to when writing or mapping. 

    The first is entirely Orchestral Scores/Symphony type stuff. I use it primarily when writing action or battles. As one can imagine, given my last post, John Williams figures big on this list. But so does John Powell. I love his work. He is the natural successor to Lord Williams in my humble opinion.

    The Lone Wolves Playlist #1:

    Our Last Hope- Two Steps From Hell*
    El Dorado- Two Steps From Hell
    All is Hell that Ends Well- Two Steps From Hell
    Lacrimosa Dominae- Trailerhead*
    The Slave Children's Crusade (from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)- John Williams
    Coming Back Around (from How to Train Your Dragon)- John Powell
    Goa (from The Bourne Supremacy)- John Powell
    Raider's March (from Raiders of the Lost Arc)- John Williams
    The Asteroid Field (from The Empire Strikes Back)- John Williams
    Willow (from Willow)- James Horner
    Battle in the Mutara Nebula (from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)- James Horner
    Imagine the Fire (from The Dark Knight Rises)- Hans Zimmer

    Playlist número dos is a completely different animal. It's kind of a little bit over everything. I mean, it's really all over the damn place. As much as I love the first playlist, well, sometimes you just need to take a break.

    The Lone Wolves Playlist #2:

    Making Love Out of Nothing At All- Air Supply
    The Heat of the Moment- Asia
    Dr. Feelgood- Motley Crüe
    Just Like Paradise- David Lee Roth
    Love Will Turn You Around- Kenny Rogers
    Islands in the Stream- Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton
    Bawitaba- Kid Rock
    Sing- My Chemical Romance
    Careless Whisper- George Michael
    Blaze of Glory- Bon Jovi
    I Don't Care- Fallout Boy
    The Heat is On- Glenn Frey
    Right Round- Flo Rida
    Country Girl (Shake it for me)- Luke Bryan
    Glory of Love- Peter Cetera
    Sweater Weather- The Neighborhood
    I'd Really Love to See You Tonight- England Dan & John Ford Coley
    Hysteria- Muse
    Sleeping With a Friend- Neon Trees
    Witch Hunt- MDMFK
    Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)- Big & Rich
    After the Rain- Nelson
    Emotion- Samantha Sang
    Lay All Your Love On Me- ABBA
    Ready to Take a Chance Again- Barry Manilow
    Living After Midnight- Judas Priest
    Burning Love- Elvis Presley
    The Humpty Dance- Digital Underground
    Girlfriend- Matthew Sweet

    I usually set Playlist #1 on Repeat for a few hours while only taking one turn around #2 every time I listen.

    *Two Steps From Hell & Trailerhead are two groups that produce music for Hollywood to use in movie trailers and have began to get followings for their stuff amongst some pretty loyal fans. You may not recognize their names but if you watch movie trailers or commercials, it's almost certain you've heard them.

    Monday, March 17, 2014


    So, at one time, roughly two years ago, I was listening to Pandora Radio quite a bit. I stopped after a while because, for some reason, Pandora can't get it through its stupid algorithm the fact that I can't stand The Lord of the Rings soundtrack. Can't stand it. I hate the damn movies and I hate the damn score.

    I typically listened to my John Williams station and would up vote anything by him, Hans Zimmer (especially The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises),Basil Polidouris, James Horner (Khan!!!!) Of course this means I would get a lot of Star Wars, Indiana Jones and The Wrath of Khan (which is great writing music, by the way). And I am more than OK with all of that. They're like the symphonic score to my childhood. 

    But I would down vote Howard Shore's music at every turn. 

    It got to the point where I would put Pandora on so that I could listen to music while doing the dishes every night and I was continuously taking a break to dry my hands and then scramble for the little 'Thumbs Down' icon whenever it tried to float the score form that turd of a movie trilogy past me. So, I took a break from Pandora and eventually just made a couple of great playlists of my own on iTunes.

    Fast forward to about three weeks ago, I finally joined the 21st century and got a Smart Phone that had Pandora already installed. I thought, "What the heck? I'll give it another try."

     And you know what?

     Effing Pandora still insists on trying to make me like this craptastic music by pushing it on my every other effing song!!!!

    Ugh. Back to iTunes. Which is too bad, because Pandora has introduced me to a few gems, most notably Lindsey Stirling's Legend of Zelda Medley. It's awesome. But I spent too much on this phone to chuck it through a window when it really isn't the phones fault at all. 

    Sunday, March 2, 2014

    Pandemonia: The Filthsea

    Far below the city of Darkstar, below even the labrynthine sewers of the known world's largest city is the Filthsea.

    The Filthsea fills the bottom of a cavern so wide you can't see the far side from the shore near the falls that pour into the water from the sewers above it. The Filthsea was once crystal clear, pure and filled with subterranean marine life; collossal jelly fish glowing blue and purple, blind albino cave whales, and other more alien creatures. 

    And then the sewers above eroded a hole through the ceiling of the Filthsea's cavern. The waterfall of sewage that cascades into the Filthsea dwarfs even the Drammenstorm Falls of the Redwood Reach. All manner of garbage and waste falls into the Filthsea and it has long since been a nauseous green and brown water of mutated marine giants and other more terrifying entities.

    The Sewer Infantry rarely goes there as the Salmoraxii have made the shores of the Filthsea into one of their bigger settlements and footholds on this side of the Gate from their home world. One day, the more forward thinking, competent commanders of the Sewer Infantry hope to mount an offensive and take the fight straight to the Salmoraxii. 

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

    Harold Allen Ramis
    November 21, 1944- February 24, 2014

    I'm not usually affected by the deaths of celebrities. I just don't get it when people identify with someone so geographically distant, someone they have probably never met, someone most likely nothing like their on-screen persona.

    That being said, I was not only shocked to hear that Harold Ramis passed but I was shocked at how sad it made me.

    I'm not going to do the math, but just spitballing it, I'd guess that Harold Ramis accounted for about 80% of my adolescent laughter.

    Rest in peace, Dr. Spengler.
    Don't cross the streams.

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

    I stand corrected...

    So, for the past few months, I have been telling my friends that Marvel bringing The Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen sounded like a lame idea.

    But then I saw the trailer...

    I hate to say it, but I am intrigued. Though, I still think its a bad idea to continue making separate Avengers movies (Thor 2, Iron Man 3, etc.) rather than focusing on more team movies.

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

    GFWG Meeting

    This past Thursday was yet another meeting of the Glens Falls Writer's Group. Last meeting, I turned in Chapter 2 of my Atoms & Arcana epic. The first chapter was well received, all things considered. The second not so much. Well, I should say that the group picked up on many of the issues that I had worried about myself. And I also received two great ideas that might help me solve it. (Thanks Sandy and Chris)

    One problem though, is that many of the others in the group just don't read Sci-Fi/Fantasy. With the genre comes a couple of conceits; made-up names and places (a lot of names). My story has a definite military fantasy feel to it, like say The Black Company. Not that I would dare to compare myself to a Giant. But by nestling comfortably into that genre, or sub-genre, a list of names comes with it.

    This was the biggest criticism I received and the bulk of the notes I took away from the meeting.

    If there happen to be any pros out there that were to read this, I would appreciate some advice on how to handle this issue, aside from giving them unique personality traits in broad strokes, which I am reluctant to do. (I don't want The Squad Joker, The Squad Cynic, etc.) I want them to grow and have multi-faceted personalities. And unfortunately, my fellow writers only get to read a chapter every two weeks, which I can understand makes it difficult to keep them straight.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Sewer Infantry Slang: Brown Breaches

    Brown Breaches (n),(adj.): A horrifying, often soul crushing spectacle or encounter or used to describe said encounter. Can happen anywhere but usually involves a Greater Rift Aberration, a denizen of The Weirdwood or close call with one the Bleak Powers, like Xerqix or his depraved followers. Related: Slantways

    (1)"That time we cleared out that Xerqix temple, we were surrounded by the Clown God's favored assassins and lost a quarter of our men. Even the Sarge agreed it was a Brown Breaches encounter."

    (2) "Shit, Sarge! The cryptopi are droppin' from the ceiling! Brown breaches, Sarge! It's brown breaches!

    Sunday, February 16, 2014

    Pandemonia: The Black Hand

    Not long after the founding of the Stormsea Republic, when some of the ancient Leviathans still stalked the world, refusing to give up the fight, one of the greatest soldiers of the age and holder of one of the last vorpal swords, Centurion Arblaster was attached to the Third Provincial Legion. The Third took part in the defense of Sunturi after a failed experiment opened a rift to some infernal plane of existence. To this day, the exact plane is unknown. But the entities that crossed over were well observed.

    An army of small fiends wrought a path of destruction through the city of Sunturi, doing damage out of proportion to their small physical size. They were led by a giant, hellish Lord, protected by armor sculpted from black volcanic rock and holding a sickening black sword. His cloven feet burned the ground where he walked and the prints can still be seen in Sunturi to this day.

    No soldier could stand against him. Where he touched soldiers, he burned them. When he held them in his fist, they ignited.

    Arblaster called out a challenge to the fiend and stood in his way, though the Fiend Lord was twice as tall as a man. The Fiend Lord laughed and a whole city heard his mirth and quivered in fear. All except Arblaster. The Fiend Lord and the Centurion fought. Arblaster's vorpal sword cut the Fiend Lord's sword in two. The Fiend Lord slapped Arblaster with his palm and sent the man flying into a building.

    The Fiend thought his victory was complete but Arblaster stood up. There was a giant, burning black hand print on his chest. Arblaster stumbled, hurt and nearly broken, toward the Fiend Lord. The Centurion still held the vorpal sword and cut the Fiend Lord in half, through its stone armor, and it died laughing.

    Arblaster sank into unconsciousness and slept for a week. When he woke, his hair had turned white and the same black hand was burned through his armor to his skin. He died many years later, a farmer and a very old man. A statue of him stands in Sunturi at the site of the battle and another statue stands in his home city of Centralia.

    The armies of the Republic honor bravery against impossible odds by allowing the painting of a large black hand on the armored chest of any soldier judged worthy after the witnessing of a Black Hand victory.

    Saturday, February 15, 2014

    The Snow Mangler 5000

    I didn't think it was possible to love a machine this much but after the past few days of relentless snow, I can safely say that I love my snowblower.

    The other night, I went to bed at 1am. It had been snowing earlier in the day and we received 5 inches or so. I got home from work to the pleasant surprise that my neighbor had already done most of the work for both of our houses with his little snowblower. So, at 1am, everything was cleared of snow( cars, driveway, sidewalks, etc).  I went to bed thinking, maybe the worst of it has passed. WRONG!!!

    By 5:30 that morning when I woke up, there was 10 more inches on the ground. It was as if God tired of sprinkling his little flakes and grabbed a cosmic ice cream scoop and dumped it all at once.

    When, we finally dug out, and after fixing the loose belts on my Toro Snow Mangler 5000, I realized that I was never more in love with that thing than I was right then.

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

    Sewer Infantry Slang: Monkeychuck

    Monkeychuck (n):catastrophe, fiasco or misadventure of potentially epic and tragic scope that is foreseeable by nearly everyone involved except the Cobnocker(s) who dreamt it up, usually The Powers That Be.

    Etymology: Believed to derive from the Stormsea Republic's Second Expedition to The Monsoon Kingdoms, specifically Lord General Arcturus' foray into the interior of the Big Island near the mouth of the Con Dao river.  Arcturus took an entire Expedtionary Legion, woefully under equipped and unprepared, into the rainforest to "see what's back there". After losing forty percent of his force to disease, malnutrition and constant raids by the baboon worshipping natives, Arcturus was forced to turn back. But not until after he had named a small mountain range after himself. On his return to Darkstar, then the capital, he was of course decorated with medals and other honors and later, elected to the Senate.

    Survivors of the ill fated campaign told stories of the various species of monkeys and apes that infested the rainforest and continuously deficated in tents and bit soldiers while they ate. At some point, the soldiers invented a game that consisted of chucking two male monkeys into a pit and betting on the outcome of their combat.

    The Second Wave

    Not getting much writing done the past few days. The Ball and Chain, as well as one of my beloved spawn, are in the throes of yet another wave of the Stomach Bug From Hades. Three weeks ago, a (most likely different virus altogether) ripped through our humble homestead with an average duration of 4 days and leaving a net weight loss for our family in a double digit number that raises the old eyebrows. We did have a brief respite, filled with the warmth of sinusitis and high fevers, but we are hunkering down for the second wave of effluvia, Gatorade and Clorox Wipes.

    I am beginning to loathe Stomach Bugs as much as I do those of the Socialist/Communist persuasion.

    Best Commercial EVAH!

    Best Commercial Ever!

    "Stop LOLing everything!"

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

    Sewer Infantry Slang: Cobnocker

    Cobnocker (n): the crossbreed of an idiot and an asshole who somehow manages to avoid being saddled with both parents' good qualities.

    GFWG Meeting

    Had a writer's group meeting tonight. I turned in the first chapter of my Atoms & Arcana Epic at the last session. The group isn't as oriented toward the fantasy genre as I am, and so I was hesitant to submit my story.

    But, it was surprisingly well received and the criticism was not only constructive but helped me solve an issue with the story that I had been having. I turned in Chapter 2 at the end of the session.

     So, that went pretty darn well.

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

    Progress! The good kind too, not the political kind!

    Managed to write three whole chapters today in my Atoms & Arcana Epic. Sweetness! Overall a good day, writing wise.

    I hear some people are watching a game or something today? Maybe I should turn on the tube and see what all the brouhaha is about. After all, mia madre just texted me to tell me she put some money in a  football pool at her place of work in my name. And somehow, I have already won 50 simoleans.

    As my grandfather would have said, "That's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!"

    Fun Facts

    There seem to be an almost infinite number of lists on teh intarwebz. I wandered past this one this morning and one of the coolest fun facts ever:

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

    Pandemonia: The Charter and The Covenant

    The Stormsea Republic has weathered war, famine and plague over the course of its 1100 year history. Not long after the end of the Leviathan War, a conflict that raged across every continent of Pandemonia and killed millions of humans and Lemurians, the age of the leviathans ended. And the ascent of the humanoid races began. One of the places heavily populated by humanity is a region known as the North Shore, situated between the Redwood Reach and the Mantameer, a sea famed for enormous its luminescent manta rays. The Republic started there.

    Before the Stormsea Republic, the geographical area surrounding the Mantameer, was a fractious, Balkanized region recovering from the destruction of the Leviathan War. The city and surrounding area of Darkstar would later become the Republic's first province and first capital. Then, Darkstar was not only the largest city in the known world but the center of a debased and decadent culture. A powerful and corrupt nobility used and abused a large serf caste. This would change.

    In its beginning, a tyrant rose to rule Darkstar but his name is forgotten.  A popular rebellion put him to death, formally erased his name from history and forged two governing documents from his skin, written in his blood.

    The Charter

    The Charter sets out the articles and laws of the Republic. It delineates the method of filling the two senatorial houses: the House of Lords and the House of Citizens. It also details the length and duration
    of the terms of the two Proconsuls, one of war and one of peace, which is two years. The Charter also outlines the basic freedoms of the citizens.

    The Covenant

    The Covenant was signed by the patriarchs of every noble family at the beginning of the Republic. They signed to keep their heads. The nobility signed many powers and rights away. For example under The Covenant, nobles are forbidden from choosing who they marry. All potential marriages must be approved by the Ministry of Husbandry. Further, infidelity, like murder, theft and rape, is considered a capital crime for the nobility. A provision was written into The Covenant allowing for the condemned to choose a form of lifetime servitude over the death sentence, except in cases of murder. An additional provision tells that any noble who takes The Covenant's servitutude will condemn the family to the wearing of a crimson sash, announcing the dishonor to all and barring that family from service in the House of Lords.

    Monday, January 27, 2014

    Atoms & Arcana

    So, over at the Paizo messageboards, where I only recently screwed the pooch in the Paizo RPG Superstar contest, with my wondrous item submission, the Chillforge Stein, I asked the same question regarding a possible sub genre name and I came away with a winner:

    Atoms & Arcana!

    I'm pretty excited about this because it gives me a catchy way to sell it in the future.

    Sunday, January 26, 2014

    Catching Fire: Movie Review

    Finally went to see the new Hunger Games movie lastnight.

    I enjoyed the book series, for the most part. That is to say, I enjoyed the first two books, while thinking that the third was too long, overblown...meh. The Hunger Games books always reminded me of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy: Two fantastic books followed by...something. Something boring and pointless. It never pays to write the climax of a trilogy into the second book. Or leave it out of the third.

    With that being said, Catching Fire was my favorite of the Hunger Games trilogy. And the movie, most likely, will end up being the best of the four movies. Why the jackasses of Hollywood keep on drawing out and expanding books is the subject of another post entirely. Greed has a great deal to do with it but I am sure hubris has its place too. Peter Jackson, I am talking to you...

    Back to the movie review.

    It was really a very good movie. I walked in prepared to be disappointed because, well, I am pretty hard on movies and I am usually disappointed. I mean, with all of the money thrown at these productions, you'd think they would pay more attention to plots and character development and continuity. But, sadly, they pay less and less attention to these things. Catching Fire, for the most part, got those things right, in so much as they occur in this type of story.

    On the whole, the movie had an Empire Strikes Back feel to it: A very strong second piece. Hard to top. Genuine suspense, action that furthered the plot (rather than added in just because they had the means to shoot it) and terrific performances. Jennifer Lawrence gets a lot of attention but I think Woody Harrelson's Haymitch is the real core of the movie. Katness Everdeen is that survivor, good at staying alive, while being (mostly) a decent person. But Haymitch, and to a lesser extent Peeta (played by Josh Hutcherson) are the ones actually doing something about the problems.  On that note, a nod goes out to Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, one of the first characters to actually stand up, knowing that yes, he's going to be knocked down for it. A small role. But an important role. And a great performance too.

    Catching Fire was excellent. And, in some pretty obvious ways, likely to be seen as very relevant to our times, if not now, then sometime in the future. The themes of oppression, surveillance, voyeuristic sadism and the price of revolution are all there.

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

    Pandemonia: Alchemy

    So, the Alchemists of Pandemonia have themselves a method of organizing The Elements:

    Their 'Periodic' Table is organized into their 5 Cardinal Elements: Air, Earth, Fire, Water and Metal

    An Air Element is any element that naturally occurs as a Gas. Hydrogen in Pandemonia is classified as Air 2 (Pandemonians classify what we know as Oxygen as Air 1), Helium is Air 3. And so on.

    Water, therefore, is any element that naturally occurs as a liquid. The Alchemists of Pandemonia, while knowing of Hydrogen, don't yet know that Water is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen. Water is Water 1. Mercury is also a Water Element.

    Earth, being somewhat obvious, is any non-metallic solid. That makes Metal even more obvious. 

    Fire, where I think it gets particularly interesting, is any radioactive element. On Pandemonia, some radioactive elements are found naturally. Even some that are not naturally occurring in The Real World. Plutonium, known as Hesperium, is found and known as Fire 2. Uranium is Fire 1. Cobalt 60, though not naturally occurring in The Real World, is considered Fire 3 and is found in the Hesperium Range along with Hesperium and renders many geographic areas uninhabitable and/or the home of horrible mutations. Because it's fiction, that's why.

    Pandemonian alchemists and philosophers have known of the Fire elements for generations but are only recently beginning to integrate them into their disciplines.

    The Survey No One Will Take

    So, there are all kind of variations on the "Sword and Sorcery" and "Steampunk" themes.

    I've been trying to decide how to classify Pandemonia. It's fantasy, first and foremost. But there are Sci-fi elements as well. Notably, the cultures of Pandemonia have bypassed the invention of gunpowder, and due to certain philosophical predilections, have made developments in A) Electromagnetism and B) the discovery of Radioactive elements.

    The study of Electromagnetism falls under the study of Lightning, which is part of the "Unified Field/Theory of Everything" Trinity: Lightning (Electromagnetism, Light, etc.), Waves (The Way Everything Gets From Here to There), and Tides (Gravity, Strong Interaction and Weak Interaction). I haven't included elementary particles, simply because they haven't made that leap yet. I guess that goes for Strong and Weak Interactions, too.

    I should also mention that alongside the absence of gunpowder is an absence of steam power. Because it annoys me. Or I should say, the glut of Steam powers as a proxy way to power everything from trains and airships to what amounts to Her Majesty's BattleMechs. I even enjoy that stuff myself, from time to time. The Iron Kingdoms from Privateer Press being an excellent example.

    But, it's way overdone. And it's my world and I make the rules.

    So, to get back on track, I have been tossing around a few terms.

    Radiation/Punk: Radpunk?

    Or Nukepunk? (But that sounds kind of Post-apocalyptic)

    Particlepunk? Atompunk?

    Or how about Swords and Atoms?

    Swords and REMs?

    Swords and Fallout? (Once again, too Post-Apocolyptic, probably)

    Atoms and Sorcery?

    I just don't know. So, if there are any ideas, I'm open for them.

    So, after a prolonged blogging Hiatus, I shall return. Hopefully.

    After what can only be called a chaotic couple of years, I am back on the writing track. And cruising along too, I might add. My work on The Novel is going swimmingly and hopefully, if The Powers That Be will it, I will get to introduce people to the little world in my head. I should be adding a bit every other day or so for now, and maybe a bit of Pandemonia content(my slapdash, makeshift world of Gates, Giant Insects, and Radioactive magic)