Writer. Editor. Leximaven. Game Designer. Vorpal Blonde. Bisexual Brainlicker. Midas's Touch. Schrödinger's Brat.

Twas Brillig

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

posted on: June 24, 2013
in: Rejoice

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 4.05.04 PM

My novel, Leather Bound, showed up in a cool place on Amazon UK! 

Last week’s six impossible things:

  1. The Numenera corebook went off to press. Holler. And breathe. And maybe celebrate. 
  2. We showed off the Numenera cover!
  3. I got some time off. I saw Man of Steel, read some books, played some RPGs and got killed in Don’t Starve.
  4. This essay in the Rumpus by Liz Prato made my lungs expand into breathlessness.
  5. This fucking dead-on beautiful piece by Amanda Palmer described my life and love in a way that no one ever has.
  6. I love you all. Thank you for everything you give to me, every day.

What impossible things did you believe in this week?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

Tales from the Ninth World

posted on: June 20, 2013
in: Numenera


Tales from the Ninth World is now available! The collection features three new stories set in the Ninth World, as well as a sample from the Numenera corebook (which just went off to the printer two days ago).

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • The Smell of Lightning (by Monte Cook) explores one of the weird and wonderful places of the Ninth World. 
  • The Taste of Memory (by me) is a tale of addiction, love and loss, set in Kaparin, a city by the sea.
  • The Sound of a Beast (Monte and I wrote this together) is perhaps my favorite of the three, and is so full of weirdness that I wouldn’t know where to begin explaining it. As Ray Vallese says, it will show you why you should “always carry an umbrella while traveling in the far-flung future.”
  • A sample of the final Numenera corebook (Note: you’ll get three formats upon purchase; in order to preserve the beautiful formatting of the corebook, it’s only in the PDF version, so be sure to check it out).

To give you a glimpse, here are the openings of each story!

(The Smell of Lightning):

Faber awoke to the sounds of the castle growing again. He lay in his bed, listening to the creaking and moaning of metal and glass and materials he didn’t have a name for. The air grew colder, and he detected that strange odor again—like the smell of lightning, if there was such a thing. Pulling the blankets closer around himself, he closed his eyes tightly and tried to force himself back to sleep.

At breakfast the next morning, Faber sat at the grand table of polished culat, which glistened like gold. Moretta always kept it looking like the day it had arrived from the craftsmen in Westwood. His mother, Ladra, and his father, Naranial, had already finished their meal. His father glared at him from over the stack of books in front of him, but only for a moment. The scowl, the shaggy sideburns, and the wide, bald pate made his father look almost like an abhuman. An abhuman with a jeweled eyepatch. His father turned his attention back to the book he’d been reading. Still, a moment of his father’s one good eye studying him and finding nothing of approval was enough to make the young man’s heart sink.

(The Color of Memory):

Marseyl waited in an old byway, desperately trying to keep the stink of sea sweat and dying fish from assaulting her nose. It was hotter here than it should be this time of year, the sun’s slant making her sweat through her last wearable shirt. She side-stepped into the shade of the building, letting the temporary cool wash over her until she shivered.

A man dressed in the faded crimson of the Redfleets strode by her without giving any indication that he’d seen her, carrying a dripping sack that reeked of the deeps. Water splattered against the stones near her feet. Sighing, she shadowslipped sideways, but too late, the liquid marking the toes of her worn boots.

(The Sound of a Beast):

Since this morning, when I woke up with a damn caffa grub hanging off my neck, I’d been daydreaming about killing Palmer in his sleep. The only thing stopping me was I couldn’t figure out the best way to do it. Sometimes I favored the quick blade across his snoring throat. Other moments, I imagined drugging him and rolling him into the fire. Once in a while, I thought I might just throw him to the next creature that attacked us in the dark. Mostly, though, I dreamed of transforming in the shadow of night and dragging him off to the wilds with my claws in the tender bits of his belly.


Hope you enjoy your visit to the Ninth World. Bring an umbrella and your knowledge of the weird, and you should be just fine.

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.



Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

posted on: June 3, 2013
in: Blog, Rejoice

photo (22)

These stockings make my bike rides better. Hell yes. 

Last week’s six impossible things:

  1. The article on crowdfunding that was in Poets & Writers is now available online. A bunch of successful crowdfunders (including me) offer some fantastic advice on funding your project or book through crowdfunding projects.
  2. Leather Bound got another wonderful review. I can’t say enough about how happy this makes me!
  3. Salon did a piece on how ravenous the female libido is, while The New York Times did a piece on how unexcited women are about sex and how there’s now a pill to fix that.
  4. Some workers played with power lines.
  5. The gender controversy at SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) exploded all over here and here and here too. It’s complicated, but important to remember that assholes do asshole things and good people spend a shit-ton of time trying to recover from the things that assholes do (read: don’t give assholes the power to fuck up a good thing).
  6. This issue of the Pedestal magazine is kind of amazing. Chosen and introduced by the talented Arlene Ang, it’s full of beautiful, startling poems.

What impossible things did you believe in this week?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

Welcome to the Ninth World

posted on: May 29, 2013
in: Blog, Games, Numenera

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 5.14.03 PM

The Numenera Corebook (unproofed, so don’t freak out if you see a typo or two).


Here it is: a hint of what the Numenera corebook is going to look like. Of course, this is not final, so things are likely to shift and change, but it gives you an overall feel for what we’re creating. Here’s a bit of a guide to what’s on the page:

  • Art: While this spread isn’t art-heavy compared to some others, it gives you an overall feel for how things look as a general rule. There is lots of beautiful color and black-and-white art in every chapter.
  • Symbols: Some of the symbols in the book have meanings in the Ninth World. For example, the icon above the chapter header is the symbol for the numenera (all of the cool and ancient technology in the game), thus it’s been adopted by the Aeon Priests as their symbol as well. Other symbols have meanings specifically for the players, usually to guide them to various charts and helpful illustrations.
  • Callouts: Most of the sections have a third column callout space. This is where we include cool things of all kinds. Sometimes they’re as simple as page references. Other times, they’re definitions, pronunciations or world-building information. Occasionally, they’re suggestions for the GM. And once in a while, you’ll find the voices of Ninth World characters, sharing their knowledge and experiences. 
  • Other Elements: There are lots of other elements to the book, depending on the Part and the Chapter. Charts, dungeons, maps and specially designed character creation sheets make it easy to learn and play the game and to run adventures, while detailed science tidbits and world notes allow for total immersion into the Ninth World.

The Numenera corebook is on pre-order just for a few more days. You can also pre-order a copy of the Player’s Guide. Soon, you’ll also be able to pick up a digital copy of the first anthology of Numenera fiction, Tales from the Ninth World. 

To say we’ve put our heart and soul into this game is kind of an understatement. Now we just can’t wait to put it into the hands of players who will love it as much as we do!

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.


Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast


Dice rings have arrived. Best Kickstarter rewards yet.

Last week’s six impossible things:

  1. Leather Bound got an AWESOME review. This makes me very happy — I love it when my work connects to readers that way. To which I would ask: Did you buy Leather Bound? Did you read it? If so, please consider starring or reviewing it at Amazon. Those notes from readers can really help push a book toward more sales. And more sales means I get to write more books. It’s a wonderful cycle.
  2. The Numenera corebook has been laid out and is off to the proofer. We’re now writing stories and adventures and a couple of card decks for our next products.
  3. I started working on my next erotic novella. You can check out the Pinterest board here.
  4. We spent a lot of time at the Seattle International Film Festival this week. Loved The Way Way Back, Yellow, and many of the shorts. Perhaps my favorite so far is the original and wonderful Malaria, which you can watch online.
  5. I am in love with Bioshock Infinity and the Defiance MMO.
  6. It’s raining. I’m about to get on my bike to ride home. Hello wet ass and fierce thighs.

What impossible things did you believe in this week?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

All Numenera, All the Time

posted on: May 23, 2013
in: Games, Numenera



If you follow me here or on any of my social media places, you’ve probably heard about this Numenera thing I’ve been working on for the past eight months or so. I know a lot of you are gamers, but some of you aren’t, so I thought I’d give you gamers a glimpse into the Numenera creation while also introducing my non-gamer followers, friends and fans to this whole thing.

THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE: Numenera, if you don’t yet know, is a tabletop roleplaying game (think Dungeons & Dragons, where a bunch of friends sit around a table and create characters for themselves and then go on awesome adventures. They roll dice to see how well they do at various tasks, kill creatures, and gather cool treasures, weapons and things to wear. It’s great fun, and I highly recommend it if you’ve never tried it). The game itself isn’t like what you imagine — there isn’t a board per se, and it doesn’t usually come in a box. Instead, it comes as a book (or a series of books) that explain the rules and develop the world. Roleplaying games don’t just come in the traditional fantasy flavor, either. There are roleplaying games set in the modern world, in the past, in other worlds, in post-apocalyptic worlds. There are zombies, vampires, tentacled monsters, and a million other flavors. Some roleplaying games are funny, while others are scary, dark and serious. The game Monster Hearts describes itself as a game of sex and sexy monsters, teenage angst, personal horror, and secret love triangles, while Call of Cthulhu is a game that tries to strip your characters of their sanity bit-by-bit (or sometimes all at once).

So, that’s what we’re building. Numenera is a game set one billion years in the future. Yeah, that’s a damn long time in the future. Yeah, we’ve thought (A LOT) about the science of that. What will the world be like? Will it support life? Will the planet even exist? While our current scientific knowledge has answers to those questions, they are answered based on the science of the now. Not the science of 100 years from now (think about science 100 years ago to see what a difference a hundred years makes), not the science of 1000 years from now, and certainly not the science of a billion years from now.

In our version of the future, the planet does exist, and it’s full of wild, weird, and unexplainable things. Which is part of what makes it fun.

THE ADVANCED GUIDE: For those who are already gamers and who’ve been following the Numenera creation, here’s some new stuff that you might be interested in:

First, the corebook (this is the main game book) is mostly complete and is currently being proofed. It looks a little something like this:

photo (20)

It’s turning out to be a beautiful, rich, and complex book, and I’m very much in love with it. The Player’s Guide is nearly finished as well. If you want a copy of either of these books, it’s not to late to pre-order. They’ll be available until the end of May, and pre-orders will be shipped out at the same time (or just shortly after) Kickstarter backers. The only way to get your book earlier is to purchase a copy from us at GenCon during the official Numenera launch.

Second, we have so many things in the works that I’m not sure I have room to talk about them all, but here’s what I can talk about so far:

–Monte is currently working on The Devil’s Spine, the collection of separate-but-connected adventures.

–We’ve seen the mock-up of the Numenera dice (yum!), and the XP card deck (ditto). We’re currently working on the cypher deck and some of the other products from the Kickstarter. Keep an eye out over the next few months at numenera.com, as we’ll be offering more information on these.

–We’re putting together a collection of short fiction to help tide you over until the game comes out! Our goal with Numenera fiction is to create amazing stories, the kind of fiction that draws you in whether you’re a gamer or not. Of course, if you ARE a gamer and specifically a Numenera gamer, you’ll get even more from the stories.

Here’s the opening of the draft of my story from the collection (subject to change during the editing process, of course :)):

Marseyl waited in an old byway, desperately trying to keep the stink of sea sweat and dying fish from assaulting her nose. It was hotter here than it should be this time of year, the sun’s slant making her sweat through her last wearable shirt. She slipped into the shade of the building, letting the temporary cool wash over her until she shivered.

A man dressed in the faded crimson of the Redfleets strode by her without giving any indication that he’d seen her, carrying a dripping sac that reeked of the deeps. Water splattered against the stones near her feet. Sighing, she step-sided, but too late, the liquid marking the toes of her worn boots.

She hated Kaparin, with its psuedo-grandeur and its unrequieted love of everything sea-faring, with its huge expanse of docks and its false history and its way of getting under every bit of her skin, sinking in like a bad tap. She hated it, but she needed it too.

Which was why she’d come back, why she was now skulking in a half alley getting codspray in her hair and fishwater on her feet. She had jobs to do elsewhere, in parts of the world where they didn’t know about her, where she was just another tattooed thief who got her hands dirty so that theirs were always clean. But always Kaparin drew her back. Her need drew her back.

There’s lots more happening behind the scenes right now, but nothing that I can talk about — yet! Of course, as soon as I know details, you will know details. Thanks for all of your support. It means more than I can say to know that you’re excited about this game and that when it’s done, it’s going to go into the hands of people who truly love to game. 

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.



Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

posted on: May 6, 2013
in: Blog, Rejoice


This Numenera meme happened.

Last week’s six impossible things:

  1. “That’s not cheating. That’s awesome.” — Join the meme fray and enter to win your choice of one of these books from DriveThruFictionKicking It: Successful Crowdfunding; Geek Love: An Anthology of Full-Frontal Nerdity; or Small Matters.
  2. The Harder She Comes won the Independent Publisher’s Book Award Gold Medal for Erotica. It includes my story, “Pound.” Congrats to all of the authors, to Cleis Press, and to Dl King for putting together such an amazing collection!
  3. We made it to the H. P. Lovecraft Film Fest where I got to spend some time with the likes of some wonderful people.
  4. I am writing fiction this morning! This probably doesn’t seem like an impossible thing, but if you look at my schedule lately, you will see that it’s actually way beyond impossible. I have no idea how I’m doing it.
  5. Read of the Week: Heaven Is, by the talented Myke Cole.
  6. Read of the Week 2: You probably already know about this, but if you don’t: Girls With Slingshots has long been one of my favorite online comics. And it just keeps getting funnier.

What impossible things did you believe in this week?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

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Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

posted on: April 29, 2013
in: Rejoice


I made this. You can have it.

Last week’s six impossible things:

  1. inXile, the company that is making the video game based on Numenera, presented a video of me talking a little bit about the setting of the Ninth World.
  2. We are giving away a print copy of Geek Love today! I hope we sell another 25 — 22 now — ebooks so that we can give away another one!
  3. I signed contracts for my story, “Enchanted,” which will appear in Charming, a fairy tale anthology from Circlet Press. “Enchanted” is a story of drugs, roses, stories, sex, cross-dressing, lust, pain and love. So, pretty much my usual fare.
  4. I fell in love with Don’t Starve. Good thing I only allow myself to play this game on the treadmill, or I’d never get any work done.
  5. Ann Friedman came up with the brilliant Disapproval Matrix.
  6. Read of the Week: Stoya’s blog. If you don’t know Stoya, she’s a smart, sexy, sassy, beautiful and brilliant porn star.

What impossible things did you believe in this week?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

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Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

posted on: April 22, 2013
in: Rejoice
Contributor copies!

Contributor copies!

Last week’s six impossible things:

  1. I got a whole lot of contributor copies! Namely: Penthouse, Twice the Pleasure, How Geek Girls Will Rule the World, On the Dark Path: An Anthology of Fairy Tale Poetry, The Big Book of Bondage, and Fantastic Erotica: The Best of Circlet Press. Holy wow.    
  2. We just need to sell eight more ebook copies of Geek Love in order to give away a print book! Spread the word! 
  3. We’re listening to the Geek Love audio book this week. It’s work, I swear…
  4. I loved this story: The Bacchae, by Elizabeth Hand
  5. It was kind of a bad week all around, wasn’t it? The impossible bad things that happened are too numerous and too much on everyone’s mind. May we all have what we need around us to heal.
  6. Today is a beautiful sunny day and I rode my bike here.
What impossibilities do you have for me?

Kiss kiss bang bang, s.

PS — Oops! I forgot to say that my geeky-bookish-sexy novel, Leather Bound went on sale this week too!

Win a Print Copy of Geek Love!

posted on: April 15, 2013
in: Blog, Erotica, Geek Love


“A book?”

“That’s right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I’m gonna read it to you.”

“Has it got any sports in it?”

“Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…”

~The Princess Bride

I love that we’ve made a book with all of the above, plus a little bit of kissing thrown in for good measure! Okay, probably a lot of kissing… but who doesn’t like kissing?

Geek Love, as you may know, is out. The print book is beautiful. The ebook version is gorgeous. And we have some good news about both of those:

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