Numerous Movies, a Couple of Books, one Board Game, Kickstarters, and More

Chris Van Deelen

I’ve spent a good part of the week just attempting to recover from my weekend in Houston. It’s been a good week none the less, although I’ve been quite tired and dragged out.

Instead of whining like a crybaby, I’ll get straight to the point.

I’ve been working nearly two weeks straight on updating the mutation book. Originally I wanted to have it a single volume, which would have been okay since the completed book was only about a hundred and fifty pages. Then Michael Varhola wanted to cut it up into three books, one for Physical, Mental and of course Plant.

Due to many different factors, the project was shoved to the far back burner and I barely touched it since 2011. I eluded to the book many, MANY times over the years during my blogs, constantly saying how I planned on getting back to it.

This never happened up until three weeks ago. Wait… you’re thinking I said I had been working on it for about two weeks. It’s true – I did not do any work on it from the Wednesday before Comicpalooza until the Tuesday AFTER. So yeah, include the past week and its been only three weeks.

I’ve mentioned the book on Facebook several times, and there are those of you who don’t use Facebook at all, so I’ll tell you what I posted there.

First and foremost I found a great resource that has every single mutation ever published for Gamma World in its various editions. This link shows the name, what edition it appeared in, as well as a brief description of the mutation.

This is a wonderful resource, as it ensures that I am not stepping on any ones toes when it comes to copyrights, and also makes damn sure all the text in my descriptions are mine and mine alone, not merely copied from various sources. It also ensures that I include the mutations which have already been published, but likewise ensuring I do not break any copyrights!

There is also the added bonus I’ve written up over twenty new mutations based on the ideas the names alone have given me.

So fans of Gamma World should be very happy with what I have created.

The other thing is I am cutting out a ton of material I had worked on and attempted to make playable. Some of the ideas I will be keeping, others I am dumping as they simply don’t work, especially for players. I know as a player I would not want to roll up some of the mutations as I’d be scratching my head and thinking… what the hell?

Some people on Facebook suggested I keep the strange stuff and just publish a forth book with all the weird material. I don’t know – it’s not a bad idea but when push comes to shove, it’s not my style. I have never hidden the fact I don’t really care for the Wild and Wahoo aspect of Gamma World, and anyone who has read my ‘Buck Who?’ epic can attest, that is the style I like for a post-apocalyptic world.

Time will tell.

I’d be far more interested in writing up a version book for Pathfinder or Starfinder when it comes out next year.

So now I’m putting all my effort and energy into getting this nearly five year overdue series of books completed, what does that mean for my other projects?

New Mutant Monday will continue as planned. I won’t be changing that. In fact I’ve made an arrangement with Clint Staples to convert a number of his Runequest monsters to Mutant Future, throwing my own twist on them as he has with several of my creatures.

Expect to see a minimum of five of his critters over the next six months.

Due to the massive size of the conversion book, after speaking at length with Clint, Michael and Brendan, I will be splitting it up into at least three separate books. It’s just too massive a monster to publish as a single entity!

This means I might, just might write more conversions. It all depends on time.

Due to me pushing to get all these projects complete and into Mikes hands, I will be putting all other writing projects to the backburner, with the exception of my zombie novel. I will try to get the first one finished and begin to look for an agent.

Don’t expect any new short stories in the foreseeable future however.

Oh and yes I will be finishing the oft-mentioned weapons book. That needs about a week’s time and effort for me to finish.

So there you have it.

I know I’ve changed my mind so many times over the years it’s pathetic. I really hope this time I won’t change my mind and I’ll just get the damned books finished and off to Mike for publication.

After all I want to make money.

I have already stated I did not neglect my New Mutant Monday series two entries, although it was late last week. I have two more ready to post tomorrow.

This week saw me catching up on movies I’ve shunted to the side. I caught Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 on Wednesday. This was pretty much an apology movie, as it had everything I watched back in the 80’s when the cartoon originally aired. It had Beebop, Rockstead, Krang, the Turtle truck, everything.

Did I enjoy it? Well… it was more of a resounding Meh. I had fun watching it and it was nostalgic, but you know, it did not do a damn thing for me otherwise. Would I suggest waiting for it to hit Netflix or DVD? No, especially if you liked the original cartoon as much as I did.

Which means you’re as old as me.

Then I saw Warcraft on Thursday. Another movie which was a resounding Meh. I never really played World of Warcraft, other than a couple of weeks to see if I liked it or not. I did not care for the MMO at all, so I never bothered to continue playing and did not pay for an account.

The movie… it was a good popcorn movie, I’ll give it that. Beautiful visually, but the story really didn’t grab me.

If you have nothing better to do or watch, see it. Otherwise… wait a few months. Just leave your brain at the door and don’t expect much.

Finally I saw the movie I had been waiting for all year. Independence Day: Resurgence. It’s been twenty years since the original came out and I really was looking forward to it. I enjoyed it, but nowhere near as much as the original ID4.

They could have easily made the movie without a 3000 mile long ultramegasuper alien mother ship. I did NOT like that aspect of the movie at all. There were other things that annoyed me, but they were all minor.

I know others could pick the shit out of the movie, but I will refrain.

I did like the fact how the torch was passed from the original cast to their kids and a younger generation, although seeing a couple of the original characters return – well to be frank, they kind of stole the wind from the new generation.

And holy hell, did they EVER leave it wide open for ID4 part three. I think the movie made enough money over the weekend and will continue to do so over the next few weeks to warrant a sequel in a few years.

Before I get into my book reviews, I want to mention three Kickstarters which I’m more than likely going to back. The first is Help Wanted issue 2, with the art done by my friend Isaiah Broussard. I’ve backed all the Kickstarters he has been part of, and I do believe it is a very worthwhile cause!

The second is the Mutant Crawl Classics by Goodman games. It’s not due until August of next year, but I’m a sucker for anything post-apocalyptic. Will my work be compatible with that system? Probably with a little bit of effort converting it…

And finally Joe Dever’s Freeway Warrior. I read the original books way the hell back in the day, back when I was in high school and I really would like to see the new editions.

All are doing very well in their campaigns, so all three should easily be finished.

I just don’t like the length of time I’m going to have to wait!

Okay now onto the two books I finished. First is Dust World by B.V. Larson, the second in his undying mercenary series. Things are looking bad for Earth, as the mercenary contracts have dried up and if they can’t either find new sources to hire them, or find another new trade good, the Galactics will probably wipe the system clean.

As a result, they’re sent to find the fate of a colony ship that was launched only a decade before the Galactics made their presence known.

Fun ensues.

The second is Working Stiff by Kevin J. Anderson, a collection of short stories involving Dan Shambo, the zombie PI. The stories are fun! The character and the situations he finds himself in from the Big Uneasy are highly entertaining, and well worth your time to read. After speaking to him briefly in Houston, we can expect to see a sixth book in the near future.

And finally I am going to mention the game Orphans and Ashes. It came in second place in Skirmishers Independent Game Awards this year, and I finally got around to playing it.

In a nutshell, the game is all about a burning orphanage, and the players take the role of Richard or Cale – from the Looking for Group series of web-comics. Richard is trying to kill the orphans to gain power, as long as no one can see what he’s doing that is, while Cale is trying to gather up as many of the orphans as he can and get them to safety. There is a third player, although it’s not really a player – the fire. It’s just trying to burn up the orphans.

Okay, okay, the premise is rather twisted and cruel, but get the hell off your high horse and play the game for what it is… a simple, easy to learn little board game that is quick to play and lots of fun.

My friend and I played it three times on Sunday. First time Cale won, managing to rescue more orphans than Richard could ‘fwoosh’. The second and third rounds were won by the fire, as there was far too much time spent trying to backstab one another to ensure no one would win!

As I said, it was a lot of fun, and considering it’s only $30, an inexpensive investment in twisted fun.

And I’m done. Have a great week folks, and I’ll be back again next Sunday.