Steve’s Update 2/16/2017

(This column is posted at,, and Steve’s Tumblr)

Well this has been awhile.  It’s been  crazy time with illness, changing to a new contract, roommate starting a new job, social events, more illness, and general chaos.  Honestly, I feel like I need to take some time off.

So I just sent out a newsletter update, but let’s cover where I am right now

  • The Way With Worlds Book 2 is in final edits.  If all goes well I format and run a first print next weekend.  If not . . . uh well it doesn’t happen.  I think it’ll be out end of March or early April with no other interruptions.
  • Those Way With Worlds Minibooks are coming out great!  I’m working on the fourth (yes, they’re small and I’ve been doing them for awhile).  I think you’ll enjoy them.
  • There’s a new generator in the works, inspired by my gamecrush Failbetter games. Oh and go back their now project, Sunless Skies!
  • I’m trying to write more than just updates and books, and hoping the lack of illness will make that easier.
  • I and my roommate have become addicted to RWBY.

That’s it for me.  Just letting you know I’m still working away here to make your life geekier, professional, creative, and interesting.  As long as I stop catching colds from other people.

– Steve

RWBY And The Question

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr)

“Whats your favorite Fairy Tale?”

That’s a loaded question in RWBY, the CGI-anime that captured many hearts and deservedly so.  It’s about a world where fairy tales may inspire, but also conceal and reveal other truths. There’s ancient powers and horrible things hiding in the shadows of the world of RWBY, and not everyone has a happy ending coming.

For us though, we’re pretty sure our fairy tales are just that – tales.  There’s no hidden magic or secret orders to save us.  There’s no grand plan.

This can make us lose hope.  We want it to mean something.  We want a pattern.  We want to know we can fix it.  We want the heroes and heroines to come save us.

There’s no well-crafted tale.  We’re on our own here, in the dark, with the monsters closing in.

So what good are fairy tales?  What good are stories?  What good are our books and comics and legends when the light goes dim in the world?

There’s an answer, and that answer is really about questions because you have the answers.

Why did they appeal to you?

How did they inspire you?

What did they teach you?

If there’s no heroes and heroines then it’s time for us to look to their stories and make them real.  If there’s no Happy Ending guaranteed, then we make the best ending we can.

So there, in the dark, let me reach out to you with one more question.

“Whats your favorite Fairy Tale?”

– Steve

The Personal Is Always Important

So Rob showed me RWBY, a CGI animated series that fuses video game and anime styles. It’s by Monty Oum, and thus has quite a pedigree. I found it enjoyable if needing fleshing out, and did enjoy the use of game stylings a great deal – there’s a very definite Suda 51 vibe that appeals to me.

But what was weird in watching this fan production by a fan favorite is that I found my reactions were odd. How was I to judge it considering its pedigree? Considering it’s audience-friendly involvements and previews? Considering it wasn’t from a big company?

It reminded me when I saw Pacific Rim, which is a giant love letter to mecha films (both military and super). I mean I knew I liked the idea of it, I like what I saw, but my reactions felt strange. On one level it was totally targeted at . . . well me. On the other I wanted to judge it as I would any film.

Then I thought about Rogue Legacy, which I noted “spoke” my language. It was also a personal experience, and one that made judging the game different because that was the very goal.

I was not judging these things based on artistic merits entirely. I was evaluating them in a series of contexts like who did them, focus on the audience. It was very personal. Oh sure there were merits I could note, but in many cases they came down to merits that existed in a personal/social context.

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