Join Me in Wisconsin Rapids

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Libraries rock. I spent a lot of my childhood in my local library, and I’m a big believer in supporting the kind of work they do to educate, serve, and unite our communities. I support them whenever I can.

Case in point, I’m going to be speaking at the McMillan Library in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, from 7 PM to 8:15 PM. As their website says:

Matt Forbeck is an accomplished author, comic creator and game designer.  He’ll be talking about his latest work, The Avengers Encyclopedia as well as his upcoming book on Captain America.  If you are a fan of the Marvel universe or superhero comics, you won’t want to miss this event.

This promises to be a good time in a part of Wisconsin where I rarely make a public appearance, so if you’re anywhere nearby, come on out and join us!

Join Me at Gary Con

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For those who don’t know, Gary Con is a wonderful tabletop games convention held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, by the kids of Gary Gygax in honor of their father. Gary Con Zero was held at the wake after Gary’s funeral, and it wound up being such an excellent and fun remembrance of the man that Gary’s kids have continued the tradition every year. Hard to believe he’s now been gone for eight years.

This year, I’m once again back as a special guest at the show, along with a host of tabletop gaming luminaries like Allen Hammock, Peter Adkison, Jolly Blackburn, Jeff Butler, Mike Carr, Stephen Chenault, Chris Clark, Michael Curtis, Jeff Easley, Joe Goodman, Bruce Heard, Tim Kask, Dave Kenzer, Terry Kuntz, Dave “Diesel” LaForce, Chris, Lindsay, Greg Marks, Mike Mearls, Dave Megarry, Frank Mentzer, Mike Monard, Terry Pavlet, Jeff Perren, Stefan Pokorny, Merle Rasmussen, Mike Reese, Rob Schwalb, Lester Smith, Steve Sullivan, Tony Szczudlo, Jeffery P. Talanian, Jim Wampler, Jim Ward, David Wesely, Tom Wham, Skip Williams, and — of course — Ernie, Heidi, Elise, Cindi, Luke, and (maybe even?) Alex Gygax.

Due to some SNAFUs, I just today managed to get my events listed for this year, and pre-registration for the show ends on Saturday, February 13, at 11:45 AM Central Time. Sign up fast to guarantee yourself a seat. If you can make it to the show, though, we’ll cram as many people into the rooms as we can, so don’t worry too much. The events are:

Shotguns & Sorcery Seminar: This summer, Outland Entertainment is releasing a new Cypher-system RPG based on Matt Forbeck’s Shotguns & Sorcery fantasy noir novels. Come hear Matt and co-designer Rob Schwalb talk about the game and what you can expect from it. March 4, 12 PM – 1 PM. 

Games and Fiction Seminar: Come chat with bestselling, award-winning game designer and novelist Matt Forbeck about games, fiction, and the spaces in between. This one runs twice: March 4, 1 PM – 2 PM and March 5, 4 PM – 5 PM.

If you love old-school gaming, D&D, or just tabletop games in general, this is a show you should not miss. In addition to the special guests, I’m also looking forward to seeing Mike Witwer (author of Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons) interview the Gygax kids and talk about the development of D&D. On top of that Pat Kilbane (of Mad TV and Seinfeld fame), will be previewing a D&D documentary he has in the works.

Join us.

Captain America Book Cover Revealed

3dcapbookLast summer, I wrote Marvel’s Captain America: The Ultimate Guide to the First Avengeralong with fellow Marvel expert Dan Wallace. It covers all 75 years of the history of Cap, from his first appearance in Captain America Comics #1 to the present. Look for it to be released on April 5, a month before Captain America: Civil War hits theaters.

Earlier this week, DK posted the first images of the book’s amazing cover. I have yet to confirm it, but that sure looks like Steve Epting’s excellent work.

The cover also reveals that none other than Stan Lee wrote the foreword for the book. As someone who grew up reading Stan’s stories, that’s an amazing honor.

I cannot wait for you to read this. It’s a gorgeous book featuring stunning artwork and one of my favorite characters of all time. April can’t come fast enough!

The Munchkin Book

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A while back, my pal Jim Lowder asked me to write something about one of my favorite games, Munchkin, for The Munchkin Book, a collection of essays about the bestselling card game created by Steve Jackson and illustrated by another pal, John Kovalic. The book, published by BenBella, went through a long, twisty maze of revisions and approvals, but it’s finally been approved and is slated to be in stores on February 23.

For my part, I interviewed Phil Reed, the CEO of Steve Jackson Games, about Munchkin‘s present and future, and it was just as entertaining as chatting with Phil in real life. A lot of other people chipped in excellent pieces as well, including Andrew Hackard, Ed Greenwood, Jennifer Steen, Joseph Scrimshaw, Jaym Gates, Dave Banks, Christian Lindke, Bonnie Burton, Liam McIntyre, and Steve Jackson himself.

It’s a great, fun read, and it includes new Munchkin rules for each chapter of the book, as well as fresh illustrations by John Kovalic throughout. If you’re a Munckin fan — and if you’re a gamer, you damn well ought to be — you need this book. Get in line to kick down the door and loot the room on February 23.

Halo New Blood Deals Everywhere

New Blood FrontAs I mentioned last week, the ebook edition of my Halo novel New Blood is on sale in the US for the Kindle for only $1.99, through the end of January. It turns out that the sale’s been extended to just about every other ebook vendor. For example: 

If you enjoy audiobooks, you can also get the audiobook edition from Audible, bundled with the ebook, for only $5.98. Just add the audio narration to the Kindle version, and you’re all set.

The sale is slated to end on January 31, so go grab the ebook in your favorite format fast. If you prefer a hard copy, don’t forget that the paperback edition is slated to arrive on March 15.

Mabinogi Duel Hits the US

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A couple years ago, the folks at Nexon asked me to help them out with the localization of their upcoming trading-card game app, Mabinogi Duel. This is free-to-play TCG app built for Android and iOS is based on Mabinogi, Nexon’s popular fantasy MMORPG, which launched in Korea back in 2004 and is still rolling along to this day. Mabinogi Duel had a soft launch in other English-speaking nations last year, but it just recently made it through all that and was launched in the USA.

Localization’s a funny kind of gig. You take the text translated roughly from the original language — some of which can be hard to decipher — and brush it up so that it should make sense to a native speaker of the language. All the while, you want to retain the flavor of the original, as it was intended. This is, after all, someone else’s baby, not mine.

Sometimes it’s simple, and other times you’re better off just scrapping what’s there and starting from scratch. Either way, you’re often working with a game that you haven’t actually seen or played, which makes it all the more challenging.

For most of Mabinogi Duel, I just cleaned up what was there and moved on. However, the game features a prominent goblin character I was told spoke entirely in “crappy rap.” Since rhymes don’t translate well from one language to another, I had to concoct scores of awful rhymes for this little gobbo from scratch. I’d inflict a few on you, but you can download the app and do that yourself.

As with many of my past video game gigs, my name’s not mentioned in the credits. This is sadly common when it comes to freelancers, who are rarely in the office when the credits list is being drawn up. Still, the game came out well, and the checks cleared, so I don’t complain.

It’s a fun, fast game with amazing artwork and some interesting wrinkles on the standard TCG design. Go give it a go!

Halo: New Blood News

New Blood FrontNew Blood BackMy Halo novel New Blood came out last March as an ebook original, the first such one in the new line from Simon and Schuster. It features the story of Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck, star of Halo 3: ODST and also one of the new team of Spartans in Halo 5. 

It did well enough as an ebook that Simon and Schuster decided to release a print edition, which should hit shelves on March 15. To celebrate that, the US Kindle version of the ebook is on sale this month for only $1.99.

Simon & Schuster fiddled with the front cover a bit, and because this is a print book they had to come up with a back cover as well, both of which you can see here.

It’s a hell of a thrill to see “New York Times Bestselling Author” next to my name on a cover, due to the success of The Marvel Encyclopedia. Hopefully this book will make it to the list as well. Preorder it now, and look for it on March 15!

A New Exalted Anthology Is Here

145501A while back, as part of the Kickstarter for a new edition of the tabletop roleplaying game, Exalted, the folks at the Onyx Path promised their backers a new fiction anthology based on the latest version of the game. That book launched last week, and it features stories by an amazing lineup of writers, including:

  • Tracy Barnett
  • Natania Barron
  • Dylan Birtolo
  • Richard Dansky
  • Thoraiya Dyer
  • Erin Hoffman
  • Haralambi Markov
  • Tim Pratt
  • Steven S. Long
  • Lucien Soulban
  • Wendy Wagner
  • Damien Angelica Walters
  • and me

It’s available through DriveThruFiction.com right now. The ebook is only $2.99, while the paperback will set you back $8.99. Or you can get both bundled together for just $9.99.

Special thanks to Jaym Gates (for editing the book), Matt McElroy (for herding us all into it), and Rich Thomas (for making it all happen).

My story, “The Circle Will Be Broken,” is a prelude to my upcoming Exalted novel, which was funded through that same Kickstarter. If you like your fantasy laced through with anime flavoring, go out and grab this right now.

Playing Secret Hitler on Twitch.tv Tonight

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This evening, I’m heading down to the Cards Against Humanity offices in Chicago to play their new game, Secret Hitler. They’re currently running a Kickstarter for the game, which has already brought in over $700,000, and to show people how the game works, they’ve been live-streaming sessions of the game on Twitch.tv.

Tonight, I’ll sit down to play with Will Hindmarch and a few other very cool friends. Who will be there all depends on how many of us manage to get our regular work done today beforehand!

Either way, though we should have a lot of fun and will probably make goofy fools of ourselves in the process, so be sure to tune in. The game should start sometime around 5:30 or 6 PM Central Time and run until we’re done. I plan on losing badly and enjoying every minute of it.

There’s still a week left in the Kickstarter, by the way, so you still have plenty of time to back it. Don’t miss out on the fascist-finding fun!

 

Join Me Saturday at the Beloit Public Library

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This Saturday, December 5, come join me at the Beloit Public Library here in Beloit, Wisconsin for the Stateline Author Meet & Greet. This is the fourth year in a row my hometown library has run this event, and it’s grown steadily year after year. The fun starts at 11 AM and wraps up around 3 PM. 

Come out and meet something like twenty local authors, many of whom are sure to have their books on hand for sale. Not coincidentally, they make excellent holiday gifts.

The other authors include such local luminaries as:

  • Aaron Wilson
  • Chris Fink
  • Jerry Peterson
  • John Porcellino
  • Kimberly Vogel
  • Sherry Blakeley
  • And many more.

I normally don’t sell books at such events, since most of my books are released through publishers, who like to move the books through booksellers on my behalf — as they should! But there won’t be a general bookseller at the library, so you’ll have to content yourself with picking up books from the other authors and just jawing with me instead.

Yeah, I could sell my self-published stuff and probably should, but I’m more concerned with catching up on deadlines at the moment than taking the time to order stock and haul it around with me. On the other hand, if you buy — or already own — my books ahead of time, be sure to bring them along, I’d be honored to sign them for you.

Either way, don’t be shy. Come on out and say hi!