Missives from the Brain Cylinder of the Silent Ombudsman

A Mi-Go Brain cylinder (from Propnomicon)

Sorry for the delays in posting; events, as ever, have kept me busy.  Now on with the news round-up…

The Gaming Grunts have begun a play-through of Realm of Shadows, the Pagan campaign.  It’s an enjoyable listen to a lesser-known campaign; additionally, I loaned their Keeper Jeff Okamoto my copy, so it is nice that some of my books are getting used.’

Also in the auditory realms, the busy CoC beavers at the Miskatonic University Podcast posted a new episode (the theme this time is Cthulhu Invictus, but they cover a lot of ground), and I get name-checked.  Apparently Keeper Murph… or was the John?… think that I’m just a brain in the jar; (see around the 22 minute mark).  [Buzz Buzz {{statement of disbelief}} buZZZ]  They also say some nice things about my graveyards page; I should do something with that… Thanks guys.

Dean Englehart, of the Cthulhu Reborn website has begun a series of interviews with CoC authors; so far he’s talked to Brian Sammons and Stuart Boon. It’s a good series and worth checking out.

The team working on the revamped Horror on the Orient Express have started a blog- http://orientexpresswriters.wordpress.com/.  Definitely worth a look.

In book news, Chaosium have announced a publication date for Atomic Age Cthulhu and the suspicious Mr. Dan Harms has been asking around the YSDC forums about what readers might like out of a Boston Sourcebook.  We should keep an eye on that one.

That’s enough for now.  TTFN.


Lynn Willis, RIP

Oddly this seems to be the only photo anyone has of him.

I learned today that Lynn Willis, long-time editor at Chaosium, has died.  Lynn and I have never met, but we exchanged emails from 2004 until just before he retired from Chaosium in 2008.  Others certainly knew him better than I and I have always wondered at the value of the eulogy but I feel an obligation to Lynn, for his advice and kindness, to say a few words in remembrance.

Before we talked via email, I knew Lynn through his work, first from the Ghostbusters RPG, the later from Call of Cthulhu.  There was something different in the writing… I particularly remember there being a footnote in Ghostbusters defining Nota Bene… Later, when I made my first submission to Chaosium, that voice was there again.  What I was surprised by was that Lynn took the time to not just handle the basic details of getting my monograph published, but to answer my questions, offer suggestions and advice, and generally being a good guy.  We talked about projects, most of which never saw the light of day – he was hoping to see the London Guidebook revamped, I wanted to do something with Lovecraft Country… there were more ideas of course, some of which might still see the light of day, the most important of which is the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion.  After Lynn was forced to retire due to the effects of Parkinson’s Disease, Chaosium lost something I do not think they have, or will ever, replace.

I don’t really have a point I suppose, beyond adding my voice to the chorus mourning his loss and singing his praises, as a writer, editor, and simply as a person.

Here are some links to other reminiscences-



Kennith Hite

Shannon Appelcline

Mark Morrison

Scott Aniolowski

Goodbye Lynn.

Six years of the Masks Companion and other news

The Companion

It is a little hard for me to comprehend, but I’ve been working on the Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion for over six years now.  Damn.  In that interval I’ve lost two cats, created a homunculus, and eaten a great deal of pudding.  I hope to have news to announce soon… good news.

In other news Arc Dream has announced its production schedule for 2013, including (ideally) four (!!) new issues of the Unspeakable Oath, release The Sense of the Sleight of Hand Man, and a bunch of other stuff.  Hopefully I’ll wrap up my latest submission to the Oath and it will see print soon.  I think it is one of the creepier things I’ve written.

The Dan Harms media empire also had similar news about his Ghouls sourcebook, Tales of the Sleepless City, some secret project (oooooh!), and a bunch of non-fiction about magic (an oxymoron I suspect, save from an academic perspective).

The DGML Shotgun scenario contest has wrapped with a total of six entries.  Members should vote now.

2012: The year in Lovecraftian RPGs

It’s that time again… time for my year-in-review recap of 2012’s Lovecraftian RPG releases.  I suppose the first thing I should mention is that caring for the homunculus is rather time intensive and my free time for reading has greatly diminished. I find that books sit on my nightstand longer and longer and my desire to sacrifice sleep to finish another scenario shrinking. C’est la vie. Without further ado (and with apologies for the delay), let’s get started — Continue reading