Saturday, 30 April 2011

High Tech Architecture

I knocked this together last night from a plastic box and a couple of resin pieces I had spare. The coloured detail is from a .jpg that I made up using Paint Shop Pro and printed on HP 10cm by 15cm photopaper .

I have included the file below. Feel free to download it. Print out on a decent photprinter and chop it up as you like for some interesting effects.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Navigational Tracking System

I was much taken with the Badab Forge World scenario Shaun and I played involving combat within a spaceship.

I realised I needed some high tech terrain. This is my first attempt. It also is highly appropriate for 60s Spy scenarios - Dr No, Thunderball etc.

"I expect you to die, Mr Bond."

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Bluebells and Adders - Easter on the Downs

The English Bluebell is a very special plant found only in woodland in
Britain and Western France.

It has bloomed early this year and in profusion. They lie like smoke across the woodlands of Kent.

This is Kingswood, a new hunting forest created by King John where the North Downs run down to the valley of the River Stour. It is now a 1,500 acre site managed for wood production and as a public park with a craft centre.

This is the first time in a lifetime of living in Southern England that I have seen an adder in the wild. We only have two snakes on the island of Great Britain. The grass snake, which lives in wet areas and is non-poisonous, and the adder. The unusual Easter heat wave brought them out. A young girl was bitten walking in sandels through woodland and had to be treated for a bad reaction but they are mostly harmless.

Kent is full of this at the moment, rape-seed oil crops. The damn stuff is pollinating.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

JTS RatFight – Core Rules

The first version of the RatFight Rules are up on the sidebar on the topright of the blog.

These are just the first written version of the core rules engine, and does not include army lists. These will come stating with World War II.

I would be grateful for feedback so please feel free to download and make copies of RatFight. Print it out for your own use and that of your friends.

Have fun


Saturday, 23 April 2011

The Wild Side: Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge

The eArc of the Baen anthology: The Wild Side: Urban Fantasy with an Erotic Edge is published today by Baen Books on their website.

It includes a ten thousand word novellete: Beauty is a Witch by John Lambshead - that's me folks.

“Beauty is a witch, against whose charms faith melteth into blood.”

—William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

The paperback is on advance order at Amazon and will be out in August.

I thought I would put up a couple of short snippets from the first scene:


Snippet 1.

“Buy you a drink, love?” George asked.

“Thanks, Mr. Cornell, but I prefer to get my own,” Rosalynne replied.

He laughed, “Your loss, love.”

George Cornell was a powerful, heavy-set man, who would never have been considered handsome. He might have been sexy, in a thuggish sort of way, but for the ragged bullet hole in his forehead. He flickered slightly, outline blurring.

“Another, Rosalynne?” asked Henry.

She indicated assent and he poured a generous measure of gin into a glass.

“Not too much tonic, Henry,” Rosalynne said. “My dentist claims the sugar content is bad for my teeth.”

Henry nodded as if he had never heard the hoary old joke before. He moved methodically but surely, despite the sepia-stained bandage that completely covered his eyes.

“What’s he doing in here?” she asked, indicating the other drinker with a swivel of her eyes. “I thought he had wound down.”

Henry shrugged. “He appeared again just before you came in. There must be magic in the air tonight.”

Henry gave Rosalynne a pointed look.

“Has that fat poufter been in tonight?” Cornell asked.

“Not yet, George,” said Henry.

Rosalynne ignored the exchange. Eidolons tended to go around short loops. It was dangerous to interact too closely with one. You could get inserted into their pocket of reality.

Ronnie Kray, the fat poufter in question, had unsurprisingly taken great exception to being described as such and had expressed his displeasure with a Mauser nine millimetre parabellum. This all happened in the Blind Beggar, one rainy night way back in the sixties.


Snippet 2.

The bar abruptly went very quiet. That was not a good sign. She peeked through a gap in the alcove partition so she could see the length of the room without being visible. Two people, a man and a woman, stood in the pub doorway. The man was dressed in a perfectly fitting, classic pin-striped suit that murmured Savile Row. It was the sort of suit that implied Armani was nouveau riche. The clothes, the haircut, the bearing, not to mention his level of fitness made her think of an army officer. He should have been completely discordant in the Beggar but he radiated such self assurance that it was everyone else who looked out of place.

In contrast, his companion fitted in just fine. She was tall, slim and genuinely beautiful, with a perfect complexion and bright green eyes. Rosalynne disliked her on sight. The woman’s dark, straight hair framed a pale-skinned face that contrasted sharply against her black-leather “biker” outfit.

The man took a flat silver case from a breast pocket, nonchalantly pulled out a cigarette, and tapped the end on the case. His eyes swept the occupants of the bar. Rosalynne shrank back into her alcove, her apprehension turning to outright fear. He lit the cigarette in direct contravention of the United Kingdom’s health and safety laws. No one protested.

The man and woman walked methodically down the alcoves, examining the occupants carefully before moving on. He was cool and businesslike, almost casual, but his companion moved like a lioness stalking zebra in the long grass.

A coil of fear slithered in Rosalynne’s stomach like a chilled roundworm. She knew of these people by reputation. Every magical freelancer in London knew of Major Jameson and Karla, The Commission’s London enforcers.


Snippet 3.

Rosalynne threw herself over the bar. Something went past her ear with a crack. That was no warning shot. Jameson was trying to kill her. The mirror behind the bar shattered in a blizzard of glass shards. She landed heavily on her back behind the bar. A jagged piece stuck in the wooden floor. It was funny what the mind seized on when paralysed with fear. “ink Gord” was inscribed on the glass. Breaking a mirror was bad luck.

Henry looked down at her sightlessly and slowly shook his head.

Something stuck its head out of the broken mirror, something that looked like a gargoyle with stubby wings and a single horn on the end of its nose. Its skin cracked as it moved, releasing puffs of purple vapour that ignited into flickering green flames. It partly hopped and partly flew with a single downward wing beat, down onto the top of the bar.

Rosalynne rolled over.

The gargoyle waved a stubby arm. “Hello, Henry,” it said in a voice that sounded like moving tectonic plates.

There was another thump and the bar panel beside Rosalynne splintered. A missile like a crossbow bolt with inlaid iron strips burst through and stuck in the wall behind. So much for putting solid wood between her and Jameson, the bolt would have gutted her if she had not moved.

Rosalynne screamed. Stupid, stupid, she berated herself. It signaled to Jameson that she was still alive. The gargoyle noticed her, cocking its head on one side like a bird of prey. Its beak split in a broad grin, which was a disturbing anatomical feat in itself, and it wolf-whistled like a white-van driver.

“What a beauty,” it said, admiringly.


Karla in action, from As Black As Hell.

And thats all folks