Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Incoming Shipments, Conventions, Now Reading!

Aeron Alfrey is doing the cover for The Monolith From Beyond Time and Space (or is that Space and Time?), if I haven't already mentioned it.

Just got another refinement of the Carcosa layout today. Currently looks to be weighing in at just under 300 pages. Art previews (and there will be over 30 pages of art, all told) soonish.

The Frog God shipment (100 new books, including their newest!) will be in my hands on Friday. Anomalous Subsurface Environment should arrive quite soon as well. The big pallet from the US has arrived in Helsinki, but I'm not the one handling picking it up so who the hell knows what's going on with customs there. Not sure if I'm going to wait until after Ropecon or not to put this all up in the store...

I hope I'm not jinxing it by mentioning it, but I'm after greater distribution and a licensing deal, and hopefully I'll have something to announce on both fronts sooner than later.

Ropecon at the end of the month. This Friday is the anniversary of LotFP becoming a business. GenCon soon as well, and I have high hopes for how my stuff will do there. (of course I have high hopes, why bother otherwise?)

Interesting times.

Amazon's been killing my budget lately...:

The Chicago Manual of Style and Book Typography: A Designer's Manual are two very boring and mssive and expensive books that were pretty much necessary purchases. I will conquer the mysteries of the em dash.

I've been reading history books extensively lately. A number of breezier (Osprey!) reads about pre-1700s Hungary and the Ottoman Empire have gone by quickly enough.

Antoni Maczak's Travel in Early Modern Europe rocks, being 350 pages with a table of contents that reads like a role-playing supplement. Also, after buying this book ($100 on Amazon...), I don't want to hear any more whining about how expensive RPG books are. :P

A couple more books about economics, money, and books in the Renaissance/early Modern period are piled up around here.

I can report that books from academic presses are not exactly thrilling page turners. "Laborious" might be a good word to describe them.

Toby Green's Inquisition was an annoying read, as he seemed a little too interested in pointing out how horrible the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions were instead of letting their actions speak for themselves. It's almost as if he was scared that people would assume his interest and work on the subject would be mistaken for admiration or endorsement or something.

Peter Wilson's Europe's Tragedy: A New History of the Thirty Years War is an amazingly difficult read. Small, dense text, massively thick book, and it seems it would take less time to have lived it than read about it. The fact that I really don't know who the hell any of these people are and have no prior knowledge about German geography (it's that big thing between Italy and Denmark!) is making this a real horror to get through. The war doesn't even start until page 269 (I peeked ahead)... an amazing amount of information packed in here though.

Some English Civil War books on the pile as well. I was smart and got shorter, less dense works first so that when I dive in to the superpackedwithdetails books, I'm not utterly lost.

Christopher Mackay's translation of the Malleus Maleficarum arrived this morning (as did Owen Davies' Grimoires: A History of Magic Books). Unfortunately I couldn't justify buying the hyperexpensive two volume edition of Mackay's work, but £150 is a lot of money when half the purchase would be in Latin. At around 650 pages, the softcover will do.

All of these are research materials for upcoming projects. Some are just general knowledge works (I'm not going to write an adventure that deals with 1600s banking... at least not unless I have an idea that makes it cool), but all that Inquisition and witch stuff? I have horrible things in mind.

It's funny how fiction (especially fantasy fiction) and gaming material isn't inspiring me much lately...


  1. I'm half Hungarian and I have quite a few Hungarian history books at home. Feel free to contact me if you need information about pre-1700s Hungary!

  2. James, can you infer any political leaning in Peter Wilson's book?

  3. I'm sure someone with more prior knowledge of the period could answer that far better than I could, but he seems pretty even-handed in discussing the religious/political machinations leading up to the war, and he has a "this war was not inevitable" view which he positions as going against conventional wisdom.

  4. @JimLOTFP: Interesting! You might also want to read "Simplicius Simplissimus" (1668) which is the first adventure novel in written in German. It is set during the Thirty Years' War. The author is Hans Jakob Cristoffel von Grimmelshausen (a great PC name, no doubt).