Tuesday, September 13, 2016

One of my compatriots at the Alliance of Self Published Authors, W.O. Cassity, is releasing a Lovecraftian horror story next month.

Here's a short excerpt for all who might be interested:
     Skulking over the ledger’s musty-scented pages, Dr. Livingston dipped the oversized quill into the emerald-green inkwell before penning the latest entry:

11 November 1877
Bethlem Royal Hospital Bedlam
London, England
Subject 41 expired at approximately 10:22 p.m., possibly due to cardiac arrest once again. I wait for my assistant Hensley to deliver and release the corpse to the hospital morgue. My only concern is that there may perhaps be further inquiry into the claw-like contusions upon the deceased's forearms and along his facial cheeks. I still cannot fathom how the subject, who was restrained, managed to damage himself in such a way. Both Hensley and I agree that the peculiar wounds appeared to spontaneously appear across the patient’s flesh of their own accord.
Having witnessed this entire incident, I must admit that further precautions are still a necessity as I continue to push on toward a resolution to this condition. The screams of the patient still reverberate within my ears at those haunting terrors, which only existed in his tormented mind. My first assertion is that the patient’s experience became so vivid, he was somehow able to enact the subjective manifestations of his consciousness into literal lacerations upon his extremities. Perhaps Hensley and I are the first to witness the true potential of the human mind to inflict its falsely perceived stimuli upon the body during a controlled experiment. Mind over the material world indeed! This may warrant further exploration in the future after I have completed my current work toward a cure for dementia praecox.
When Hensley returns, he will prepare Subject 42 for her time in the chair. I will administer the new cocktail of ingredients according to the schedule after readjusting the chloroform and nitrous oxide levels for proper sedation during the procedure. Even though she’s much smaller than Subject 41, we still need to gauge the appropriate levels of anesthesia so Subject 42 will remain conscious yet controllable and programmable during the procedure.
As I understand it, Subject 42 has a peculiarly heightened state of hysteria, so perhaps this will allow us to mark any substantial improvements in her mental realignment using the electric resonating device with profound measure. It was difficult to identify the response from Subject 41 due to his condition’s tepid state and mannerisms.
Regardless of tonight’s setbacks, I have the utmost certainty that I can mitigate the issues Subject 41 experienced tonight. It is too soon for me to surrender now and too dangerous for me to stop. Questions are being asked already and if I do not have an answer to Annabelle’s condition soon, I may not be able to cure her ailment before they forcibly return me to New York if they discover what I have been doing. Certainly, they would shower me with accolades upon my substantial progress, but the board will need to see results and I need to save Annabelle if I am to marry her. She would definitively accept my proposal of marriage with a clear mind, for who else could liberate her from Dr. Kraepelin’s diagnosis other than the youngest fellow to be accepted by Bethlem Royal Hospital? At the age of thirty-seven, I will become renowned for such an achievement and therefore, Annabelle would accept me unconditionally.

E. L., PhD

Edgar rested his quill in the inkwell and remained still as he pondered what outcomes awaited him in the final experiment of the evening. A rapping at the heavy oak study door rescued him from his reverie.

“Yes, what is it?” he asked.

“Dr. Livingston, Subject 42 is now prepped for the resonance procedure,” Hensley responded. “Should I start charging the apparatus?”

“Indeed, Hensley. I shall be there momentarily.”

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Something Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition Got Really, Really Right

One of my friends linked to this on Facebook today:


I got choked up about this too -- not just when I first got the book, but to be honest, every time I've looked at it since. The art directors for the 5E books did a terrific job being inclusive ... and in a way that's genuine and story-oriented, not forced. If you have any sense of adventure and a yearning for heroism, the picture of that woman on the "Human" entry makes you want to *be* her. It's the truest kind of representation, because it makes you feel human even if you look nothing like her.

Half-orcs and tieflings, on the other hand, kinda got the shaft. Apologies to the artists who did those sections, but ... yechh. Who wants to play a character that looks like that?