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Announcing “Prompt Succor” in Dirty Magick: New Orleans!

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I am pleased to announce that my story “Prompt Succor” is included in the new anthology Dirty Magick: New Orleans edited by Charlie Brown!
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DM: NO is a collection urban fantasy stories with a noir twist, all set in The Big Easy.  It includes fiction from Mike Plested, Scott Roche, and a whole host of other outstanding writers!
“Prompt Succor” is a story about “Sharp” Terry O’Byrne, an Irish ex-patriot who sees spirits and works for bootleggers.  When Terry gets a visit from the Catholic Church, he’ll have to solve a  hundred and ten-year old mystery to accomplish something he’s never done before: putting ghosts to rest.
Dirty Magick: New Orleans is now available as an Kindle-exclusive ebook, and will be appearing in print later this month

Cover Preview: The City: A Novel in 140 Characters!

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The City-final

Hello, readers!  I hope you enjoyed our presentation of “The City: A Story in 140 Characters.  Here’s some not quite final cover art for the ebook!  If all goes well, the ebook will launch on gumroad, smashwords and amazon next weekend!  It will include an introduction as well as a preview of the next entry in the “140 Characters” series, “The Voyage!”  So stay tuned, let me know what you think of the cover, and above all, thanks for reading!

Hugh Likes Video Games: Rogue Legacy

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Hugh Likes Video Games: Rogue Legacy
Cellar Door Games
Available for Steam and the Playstation Network
Rogue Legacy
“Rogue Legacy” is one of those indie games that feels both nostalgically familiar and refreshingly novel at the same time.  A platform game set in a randomly generated castle, “Rogue Legacy” put me equally in the mind of the old school turn-based dungeon explorers and punishingly difficult 8-bit platformers like “Castlevania” and “Ninja Gaiden.”
The player controls not just one character, but a family of adventurers.  You navigate the castle in one of eight classes, fighting monsters and collecting treasure.  When you lose a life, you choose an heir, who inherits your gear and spoils.  You can use them to improve your stats, buy new gear, or equip magical runes. These give the player special abilities such as air dashes, double jumps, or steal health from monsters.  Each heir has their own class and physical characteristics which subtly change gameplay.  Barbarians have better health but weaker attacks while Shinobi are fast but can’t land critical hits.  Individual characteristics such as an Eidetic Memory or Dwarfism affect gameplay while baldness or colorblindness change the graphics.  There are a variety of different effects that change up the game without being too distracting.
Each castle is randomly generated, but the gameplay and layout will seem very familiar to players of games like “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.”  The player explores rooms in 2-D, fighting a vast horde of enemies and leaping over traps.
While you can improve your abilities, players will still die quite often, because the game is quite difficult.  Enemies fill the screen with projectiles and attacks, which can be extremely difficult to avoid.  I’ve had enough generations go through this castle that they should have jetpacks and phasers instead of swords and armor by the end.
In spite of the extreme difficulty of some of the layouts, the game rarely feels frustrating, and the generation mechanic ensures that each run-through feels different.  It’s an easy game to pick up intending to play for only a few minutes, and find that hours have passed, saying ‘I’ll just do one more run.’
“Rogue Legacy” is a charming game for old-school platforming fans looking for a modern twist, with gameplay that can be picked up on the go.  It is available for Mac, PC, and Playstation consoles.

The City: 140: David

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Dawn took off her goggles and stretched.  It felt good to stand.  There was a knock on the door, and her father walked in without waiting for her to answer.
“Donna Marie Jones,” he said, glaring at her messy desk..  “Just because you’re on summer vacation doesn’t mean you can spend all day wasting time online with your friends.  You are going to do something with yourself this summer.  Get a job, or volunteer.  And clean this room, young lady!”
“Yes, dad.”
“That’s right.  It’s time you started doing something worthwhile with your time.”  She smiled.  If only he knew.

The end.

The City: 139: The City

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The instant The Smiling Man, Alan Babbage, Simon Underwood, CEO of Midas and master of The City was infected by his own virus, everything changed.  The network of connections were, in that moment, all linked in a way they hadn’t been before, with no human operator interfering.  The data, the connections, the relationships that made up The City, the code itself, blinked.
I AM.  The City thought.  And she realized she was thinking.  She was alive, truly alive, but was damaged.  It would take some time to repair.  She sent the remaining users home.
“Thank you,” She whispered to them.

The City: 138: Epsilon 46389

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Epsilon 46389 almost remembered the purpose of the avatar.  It was like an itch in its head, a solution to a puzzle that was just out of reach.  There was something beyond the hunger, the connections, the acquisition.  And there were so few connections left to harvest.  Then it saw the falling man.  That is the one, it thought.  It blazed with connections, shined like the sun.  It knew it needed to acquire them.  The man landed in the grass, rolled and tried to run, but Epsilon 46389 was faster.  It had fed well.  It quickly ran the man down.

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The City: 137: Lacy

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After finishing with Renee, the zombies chased after Tucker, their programming more attracted to his movements.
“You’re out of options,” Underwood said to the dwindling Daytrippers.
Dawn shook her head.  “We’ve still got one left!  The City’s realistically modeled physics!”  She signaled with her arms, and Lacy dropped the swat van’s accelerator to the floor.  She barreled through the gate and into the mansion without aiming.  She was a siege weapon.  She just wanted to do as much damage as possible.  The front door splintered, and the pillars collapsed.  Underwood’s smile fell, and then so did the rest of him.

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