New! Wandering Fortunes Chapter 20: To the Ends of Zhop

Here we are, chapter 20 of Wandering Fortunes, the longest chapter in the novel so far and the end of part 1! Alden and his friends have to flee Zhop from the Zhopian Guard. They get what family they can and make a great escape–or at least an adequate escape–well, I certainly hope it’s adequate. With the way things look, they might need a leg up–but the Zhopian Guard might even shoot that leg off! The jerks. I don’t even know if they’ll make it…

Of course, you can find out more about what will happen sooner, you can give to my Patreon or make a one-time Ko-fi donation. You’ll get to read chapters early and pretty much find out more about what I’ll be posting for the next rest of the year.

Now available, Wandering Fortunes Chapter 16: Conspiracy of Kindness

Got a brand-new chapter up today, and it’s the beginning of the end for our protagonists. Can’t say heroes, what have they done that’s heroic, anyway? Alden has a job with fellow Zhopian Guard members to take out a group of conspirators, but it’s not what he expects at all…

This is basically the chapter I refer to as “the one where things start to go to hex”. “and it’s a bad hex”. “like, a hellish hex even”.

In terms of editing this book, last week I finished editing chapter 20 which ends the first act of the book (as you can see by the Table of Contents… well, I think you can figure it out.) I’m on my way with this thing! Maybe someday I’ll be so far ahead in editing that I won’t be always uploading chapters that already have stuff I need to edit because of things I’ve done later. But that’s the nature of the free in-progress serial story!

New Wandering Fortunes chapter is up! Chapter 12: Unbalancing Act

The next chapter of Wandering Fortunes is available to read! In Chapter 12: Unbalancing Act, Alden and his friends apply to join the Zhopian Guard, a police force for the city of New Zhopolis. Before they join, however, they have to pass an interview–a head examination–basically Top is doomed from the start. If Alden and Ropak can pass their interview, they’ll have to figure out some way to get Top to–provided the beach ball doesn’t eat the interviewer first.

With this, an entire year’s worth of Wandering Fortunes is now up. That still puts us under a third through, though!

I’d like to make note as well right now that this coming month will be a little different. Instead of the beginning of the next month, the next piece of writing will be released December 20th–less than three weeks away. Ooh, I wonder whyyy? To accommodate the early schedule, those giving $3 or more on my Patreon–who ordinarily receive new pieces on the 15th of each month–will receive it five days early on December 10th, just over a week away. Join up to see what the fuss for this month is all about! Or if you just want to give one dollar, you’ll still get weekly updates on why I’m so slow what I’m up to. Check it out!

Species Profile for Schalindra… How is this a species??

There’s a new species profile up, and it’s a doozy! The Schalindra, formally introduced in the last chapter, are a set of monstrous villains who are treated as such. They’re gross and horrible, yay! They also all look so widely different that it’s like, how are these all the same species?? You know how all dogs are dogs? Imagine that, except alligators are also a dog species. No one’s ever looked into how this is though because the Schalidnra probably killed and ate anyone who did.

They’re not nice. But who in New Zhopolis is?

An update on Darmenzi: the book isn’t coming out this year. Sad, I know. Still too much to do, including more things I’m adding to the plate that I want to happen around the time the book releases. It should be coming out in January though so it’s not like it’s too far away. Other projects will be coming, as well!

I have a job interview tomorrow though so if I get a dayjob (or nightjob as the case may be) things may slow down a bit. But I’ll never stop working!

Finally, Patreon continues to be a thing with a new chapter releasing soon! Check it out if you’re cool!

Chapter 9 of Wandering Fortunes is up!

Chapter 9: No Hobo features the first kind clerpson our friends encounter in New Zhopolis. At least, let’s hope he turns out to be friendly–it’s hard to trust anyone in a big city like this. At the bottom of the city, though, depressed and alone, it seems he may be their way to make it in the city. Or at least live in it. Also features the sudden appearance of another character, a strange-looking one whose appearance raises even more questions than Top’s look does. Well, those questions will keep coming next chapter, so whatever.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet, but I got some information from my editor and soon it will finally be time to charge full steam ahead on finishing Darmenzi! Yes, that’s still a thing that’s going to happen! Kind of crazy to think it’s been nine months since its last chapter was posted on here, but it’s been edited to be way better and I hope I can get this out before the year’s end! (If not, I may very well shoot for two years to the day after the second edition of Slubes released.) I’ve never been strong on the advertising front, but I hope to change that. oh no

And remember, I have a Patreon where you can read these new chapters half a month early. Chapter 10 will come in mid-September. Plus, you can get a free ebook copy of Darmenzi a month before the final release!

oh and you can make a word mandatory to appear on my website, more on that later

Political Fantasy

This article might be the most bizarre piece of fantasy this year yet: What If Trump Had Won As a Democrat?

At least now I don’t feel bad if something in my novels is somewhat unrealistic.

Wandering Fortunes Chapter 4, Off the Walls

Chapter 4 of Wandering Fortunes is here, a little late. Now that Top lives with Alden and his family, it’s time for them to adjust. Or maybe not. Aside from more Top silliness we get to see the inside of Orville’s shack and get to know Alden’s family a bit more. Plus this features the first of a few scenes featuring a huge amount of food!

As always there is Patreon, funds from which would help me not kill myself trying to get everything done ASAP so I’ll complete everything before I have to go back to a dayjob I want to kill. Also I need to update that a bit, I wanted to make some changes. Thanks for reminding me, me. Let me add that to the to-do list. SPEAKING OF WHICH:

EVERYTHING AFTER THIS IS UPDATE ON ME

Wandering Fortunes is here! Chapter 1: Guardian of Goofiness

Wandering Fortunes Intro
Chapter 1: Guardian of Goofiness

The first chapter of the Wandering Fortunes is finally here, in the year of 2017! After a brief introduction by Duth and Wally, we get in the head of someone in the process of being created. This someone is Top. Top is crazy. Top for best character 2017. Unfortunately, those what created Top don’t think so.

I first started writing Slubes at the beginning of 2010. Seven years later the first new setting and group of characters of the Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos since the beginning starts. I hope you enjoy Wandering Fortunes enough to make the next 3 1/2 years feel like just 2. (Which could totally be done if I reached the Patreon goal where I began to post 2 chapters a month.)

The cover for Wandering Fortunes is, well, not done yet. But it’s close! The artist is working on it, and it should be completed before the second chapter in February.

As for 2016, it was a weird year. A lot of people thought it was terrible. I’m not sure it was any worse than previous years aside from the election, which was kind of worse than past elections. But I actually had a surprisingly good year, with Slubes finally refinished and lots of work on Darmenzi done, along with the prog version being fully posted online. I also started a weird Pokemon comic because I have no time for real work.

Now we have 2017. I hope to finish Darmenzi and release the final version, and I hope to get more work done on Wandering Fortunes. I’m sure you’ll all love it. Have fun with Top’s oddball antics!

Wandering Fortunes: details on the new Cloudy Cuckoo Cosmos setting

On January 1st I will post the prog first chapter of Wandering Fortunes, my third book. While the fist two books, Slubes and Darmenzi, focused on some slubes from the planet Mintop, Wandering Fortunes focuses on the two neighboring planets of Zhop and Derantu. This means an entirely new setting, cast of characters, and species, but still in the same universe and right next door to Mintop anyway.

Right now Zhop and Derantu are only briefly mentioned by name in the about page for the CCC. As new chapters of Wandering Fortunes are released, new character, species, and location profiles will be added. It’s finally happening. The information sections on this website have only had about a third of the CCC. Now the full picture will begin to form.

Ha ha ha, just kidding, it’s not even close to a full picture. But for the main setting, Mintop, Zhop, and Derantu is a large portion of that.

Mintop is actually the least advanced of the three planets, and the focus was on a small village on a small island where technology is generally clay. We did see Interpolis, a big city of tall buildings and cleeple, but it’s nothing compared to Zhop and Derantu. Robots are actually a pretty common sight in the major population centers, the weapons they have makes the Mallet Blaster that Zeth gave Numer look like a toy, and vehicles that makes Zeth’s Transpide look like a starter vehicle in a video game are everywhere.

In the major cities and countries, anyway. Wandering Fortunes starts out at pretty much the Zhop equivalent to Nottle. It is basically like the sticks here on Earth. And just around the riverbend over that hill there is a tribe of mages with robes and masks and they do dark magic and, oh geeze, listen, these guys are figgin dangerous, do not go messing with them.

Well, actually, that’s the very first thing we do in this book. Science and technology is everywhere, and magic lies underneath. Science fiction-fantasy.

Zhop is a cold planet, the furthest inhabited one from the solar system’s sun. (In contrast, Mintop is the closest inhabited planet to the sun.) Most of the forests on the planet are sparse, and outside the forest is even sparser. It’s mostly drab, gray tundra when there are any plants at all, and it’s all one supercontinent surrounded by ocean. Most of Zhop is occupied by tiny, oft-squabbling kingdoms, but everything is under the thumb of the Zhopian Guard, a planet-wide police force and military that exists to keep the peace. It’s headquartered at the planet’s capital, New Zhopolis, near the northern pole, where tall, dark buildings and advanced technology rules. Civilization here is highly developed and technological. Self-powered vehicles are the expensive norm. Robots are commonplace assistants. However, few realize the magic that hovers everywhere and in everyone, and monsters lurk everywhere, some greatly disguised.

Derantu is between Zhop and Mintop, and is the most highly advanced of the three. Lots of technology on Zhop was taken and adapted from Derantu. Simple robotic assistants are commonplace and are becoming more advanced all the time. They’re totally stealing your jobs. Unlike Zhop, Derantu has individual countries without an overarching controlling organization, though there has been a loose coalition of countries for centuries. Two countries in particular have been enemies since nearly their founding, and what strikes everyone as odd is that the main species of these kingdoms were also found on Zhop. Derantu is a vibrantly-colored planet with bright colors everywhere you look, but the planet is less peaceful than it first looks and old grudges are hidden under the cheery colors everywhere.

Between these two and Mintop lies the Planet Peacemaking Power, an organization designed to balance the three planets’ powers and to solve crises. This was mentioned briefly in Darmenzi.

And through all these highly-advanced, technology-filled worlds of science and machines, one beach ball comes to life. Magic is real here. Don’t believe me? That’s okay. It doesn’t care. If you can think it, it is already here.

January will bring both the first chapter and a new character profile, and then nothing will make sense ever again. But in a good way! More to come.

Author Highlight: Graham Milne

Oh shoot I went out for a walk around the lake today and almost forgot about this, okay, okay, who’s next? This guy! Graham Milne, a guy who took his given name and made it into a pun for his weblogsite. Good for him! He is opinions and apparently Canadian. I don’t think I noticed that before, or more likely just glossed over it.

What has he done? According to his about me page, he’s written a novel, is working on a sequel, and has ideas for more, and is currently working on getting the first one published. But what actually puts him in a situation where I’m talking about and highlighting and throwing cabbages at him is that there is a full serial story that he wrote: Vintage: A Fantasy Serial. It’s also a pretty fancy serial. It is free to read, which means I read it, liked it, finished reading it, and am now going to talk about it a bit. Because it turns out free stuff captures my attention. It’s what I’m doing, after all. Although I think “free stuff captures my attention” can be applied to 90% of the human race.

Aside from his website, it’s also available on Wattpad. Though Graham I came across simply by wondering around the internet. There happens to be one chapter only on Wattpad though because it is rated euphemism! Taking place in the same world as the novels he’s working n, it follows a French-inspired country trying to cut off magic, and particularly the power of witches, which a government organization sees as a threat to their power. A high-ranked officer whose job is to root out these witches gets to know one and questions his choices, though, and, hey, wait, I didn’t summarize or describe the story in the last highlight.

It’s actually been like half a year since I read Vintage, so let me try to recall my thoughts on it. The story felt like it evolved naturally and nothing felt out of place. This is the case even when some characters returned without that originally planned. (Later on Graham had some reflections and mentioned how the story originally was meant to be only 4 or 5 parts long, and thus he hadn’t made an outline–instead he developed each part as he wrote and, because he posted them as he wrote, he couldn’t go back to tweak things and had to move forward.)

The characters work well together, even–or perhaps especially–the fellow with never more than two words to say. Perhaps the setting could be expanded some more, but with this being in a world that other stories are being written in, I can see that being easy enough.

There’s also French words. Last time I talked about a book with fabricated words and a glossary, now I’m discussing one with real words that nevertheless are French and therefore I have even less of a clue about them. So, um… snails? Yeah, I didn’t really research this part.

I’m looking forward to when he gets his books published, whenever that is, but for now he has Vintage up for free, and, in the end, that might actually be the most important criteria for me having a highlight post about someone! No, wait, awesome story is most important. Free helps, though. It means I have something immediate to point readers to. Anyway, next time I run out of people. Wait, maybe not quite yet…