Stone of Remembrance

April 30, 2007

Mutual Admiration

Filed under: Commentary, Games — admin @ 22:23

I’ve recently been listening to various gaming podcasts, including Scott Nicholson’s videos (which helped sell a few games to my ladies). One of my current favorites is The Spiel, produced by two avid gamers in “a padded cell” in Indianapolis. Each episode includes news and notes, a few games from an ever-growing “List” of games they haven’t yet played but already own, and some other nice features.

The podcast is now a year old, and has improved in quality and content as Steven and Dave have gotten their feet under them and begun talking through the fourth wall to the audience (and not just to each other). In a number of these podcasts, I get the impression that things flow better when there’s more than one person talking – but the participants still have to keep in mind that there are people who will listen out of time context, perhaps years later (nothing’s ever lost on the net these days thanks to Google.)

My wife and I played games from the day we met – I brought games with me on my year abroad. (Talk about desert island gaming – this was before Settlers and just about everything else: I only took what I could carry, and was overseas for almost a year.) As a result, I’ve played a lot of games. No, really, a lot. Since I go to the Gathering and am part of the Unity Games steering committee – for what it’s worth – I’m pretty well up on what’s out and what’s coming.

I’m amused when folks who haven’t been gaming as long come across things that I’ve already seen, done and bought the t-shirt for. At first I found The Spiel a bit like that: two guys who were getting to things that I’d gone past. But as they got organized, worked at the process (which, to be fair, I’ve not even attempted) and focused on what they did best – talk about games and their gaming experience – it grew on me. Steven Conway and David Coulson genuinely like to play games. Eurogamers are afflicted with a sort of terrible Weltschmerz about the whole thing these days, complaining about themes and reused mechanics and so forth. It’s hard to get excited about new games, since they don’t seem to be all that new. But David loves the play of the game, and takes great pride in organization and collecting; and Steven is fascinated by the components (the “Goober”, which in case you weren’t aware comes in “Truckloads”). Neither one is blasé about the gaming experience. Nor should they be.

I sent them a link to my recent Gathering report, and wound up corresponding with Steven. I also sent them a couple of custom dice I’d had made for our baseball league, since David is such a dice-maniac (their commentary on Chessex’ custom dice at GenCon put me on to it). And they were good enough to mention me on the air, plug my main site and my books, and put me in the Episode 28 show notes. I’ve added them to the blogroll at right, and look forward to future episodes.

Check out their podcast. Whether or not you find their comments instructive or entertaining, you will enjoy their enthusiasm for games. I certainly do.

April 27, 2007

Walter Hunt Author Newsletter, Volume 4, Issue 2

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 09:09

April, 2007

Welcome to the second issue of my mailing list newsletter for 2007, intended to provide you with information about my work, my website www.walterhunt.com, and my activities and appearances.

This is a long one; there’s some big news down below.

Books Update

The Dark Wing is now in its fourth printing in paperback.

It has also appeared in Russian language and is available at Ozon and Books.ru. Thanks to vorchun for passing this information on to me.

The Dark Wing is now out in Taschenbuch-Format (paperback) in Germany under the title “Die Dunkle Schwinge”, and can be ordered from amazon.de.

The Dark Path is now in its second printing in paperback.

The Dark Path is now out in Taschenbuch-Format (paperback) in Germany under the title “Der Dunkle Pfad”, and can be preordered from amazon.de.

The Dark Ascent is now out in mass-market paperback.

The Dark Ascent will appear in Taschenbuch-Format (paperback) in Germany under the title “Der Dunkle Stern”, and can be preordered from amazon.de. It is scheduled to appear in June 2007.

According to amazon.de: “Walter H. Hunt zählt neben John Ringo und David Weber zu den bekanntesten Military-SF-Autoren in den USA.” (”Walter H. Hunt ranks beside John Ringo and David Weber as one of the best known military SF authors in the USA.” Well, that’s good to know!)

The Dark Crusade is now out in mass-market paperback.

Random House Germany will publish The Dark Crusade in Taschenbuch-Format (paperback) in Germany. It should appear toward the end of this year.

The biggest news, however, is that my next book will be completely new. An offer is being made for a novel to be published in the Fall of 2008; see the header “New Writing Projects” below.

Stone of Remembrance

My weblog at is going strong. You don’t need to register to offer comment, but due to recent spamming I’ve enabled moderation on the blog, so all comments must be approved before they appear. I cordially invite all of you to join, comment, and participate.

I have been posting excerpts from “Sword and Sun”, the Dark Wing Universe prequel, on the blog. The first eight chapters are available. This book is not on submission for publication, though I hope to see it in print some day. This is the story of how the Solar Empire came to be. Now you can read it. For the moment, the eight chapters on the blog is all I’m going to post, though I’m looking for a way to make it available in some way to people interested in reading it on a subscription basis. Please post to the blog and let me know if you’re interested in this idea. All of it is copyrighted and subject to change.

Recent other posts include:

  • Review of 2006 (complete)
  • Report on Unity Games XII
  • A link to the Slowskys (talking turtles)
  • Crossing Paths: Deadly sins taken in pairs
  • Visiting the Shirley-Eustis House
  • Governor Deval Patrick
  • xkcd, three posts (its artist is moving up here soon!)
  • Chicago 2008’s thank you and plans for the 2012 Worldcon
  • Writing Travels
  • Kasvi’s policy platform in Klingon
  • The most hilarious comic book panels ever
  • Links from minions (part one)
  • The death of Kurt Vonnegut
  • New games at the Gathering
  • Our first attempt to winnow the game collection

My blog also shows the current top ten games in my Boardgamegeek collection; I’ve gone through the process of entering it into the Geek – and with over 500 games entered we’re still way short.

Projects in the Dark Wing Universe

Not much to report. The RPG possibility has been set aside, but thanks to my buddy Tee Morris, I’ve begun to consider podcasting Sword & Sun. Until I can clear off time for it, I don’t have definite plans, but I’ll keep you all informed.

New Writing Projects

“NTT” is going to be published in Fall 2008

For the last six months this book, which was inspired by a moment of insight while visiting Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland in 2005, has been with a publisher. I met the editor at Los Angeles Worldcon, who solicited the manuscript; a few weeks ago he confirmed that they will definitely be making an offer. The title is “A Song In Stone”, and it is completely unrelated to the Dark Wing Universe.

“A Song In Stone” begins with a premise that was suggested by the guide who showed me Rosslyn Chapel. This structure, a confection of sculpture and artistry, is an unfinished part of a larger church originally built in the fifteenth century. It has fascinated historians and mystics for centuries; it is even the final location in “The DaVinci Code”. When my guide showed it to me, he pointed to a part of the interior and told me that the sculpture there was a complex, undecoded piece of music. The light went on . . . and now it’s a novel. The majority of the book is set in Middle Ages France and Spain, and (among other things)reveals the linkage between Gothic architecture and polyphonic music. The blurb hasn’t been written and the editing for publication hasn’t begun, but I believe that it is a significant piece of writing for me, worthy of my readers.

I hope you’ll enjoy reading this book as much as I did writing it, and that it will find a place on your shelf with my other work. More details in the next newsletter.

The Colonial Project

I’ve written about 15,000 words of the 18th century novel, set in British America in 1754. I’ve done an enormous amount of research, and continue to be amazed how much there is to read. I’ve read a few chapters to book groups, and have met with excellent response. Until “A Song In Stone” is out the door, this has to be set aside, but I’ll keep you informed of its progress.

Other Creative Stuff

A few months ago I had a chance to participate in a small way in a podcast novel. J.C. Hutchins, whose website you can find here, asked me to help out by reading a short excerpt. We did it over Skype, and of course there was an opportunity for self-promotion. (I have Mike and Evo to thank for this as well.) Glad to help, and good luck with the book!

A complete list of participants can be found here.

Upcoming Appearances

I will be in attendance at Balticon on Memorial Day weekend, May 25-28, 2007. Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle will be the author guests of honor, and Michael R. Mennenga and Evo Terra will be on hand (as well as J.C. Hutchins, whom I’m looking forward to meeting for the first time.)

On Saturday, June 16, I will be presenting a 90-minute workshop as a part of the Stamford Annual Writer’s Fair in Stamford, Connecticut. My presentation will discuss writing historical fiction, my current area of interest and expertise. This will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Society in Stamford, and I am presently scheduled to begin speaking at 1:00.

I will be at Readercon 18 – check out their website, it’s undergone quite a revision!) on the weekend of July 5-8, 2007, in Burlington, Massachusetts.

I have been invited to Libertycon in Chattanooga, Tennessee on the weekend preceding NASFiC (July 27-29, 2007). I was invited last year by the kind folks when I met them at MarCon in Columbus, Ohio, but could not fit it into the schedule. This may be on our route to St. Louis.

I have already accepted an invitation to NASFiC in St. Louis in 2007; more details to follow as we get closer. Unless someone wishes to offer me a large bagful of money, I regret that I will not be traveling to Yokohama to attend WorldCon 2007.

I have been invited as a Special Guest at ConText in Columbus, Ohio, September 28-30, 2007. Tim Powers is the Guest of Honor – I’ll be looking forward to seeing him again; he’s one of my favorite writers.

Worldcon Bids

Denver has won the right to host the 2008 Worldcon. It will take place August 6-10, 2008 at the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Denver. We’ve bought our memberships already and look forward to our first visit to Colorado.

We have presupported both Montréal and Kansas City for the 2009 Worldcon. The 2009 bid will be decided at, and by mail-in votes to, Yokahama.

I need to sell a lot of books to be able to attend the proposed Australia Worldcon in 2010, but would really like to go. After the 2007 Worldcon this bid will step it up, and there’ll be some competition on planet. We’ll see.

According to Chaz Baden’s page there’s only one announced bid for 2011 – Seattle – and only one for 2012, Chicago (as I reported on my blog a couple of months ago.) At LA Con I recall seeing a table for a Worldcon in Washington, DC for 2010 or later, but can’t find any information on it.

Website Updates

We have recently given the site a facelift, including new links to our Amazon-listed books. The guestbook is back online, and there’s been some reorganization of the various departments.

Once “A Song In Stone” is under contract and a date for publication is announced (probably Fall 2008), I’ll put an excerpt up.

Yahoo Mailing List

Some local fans have set up a Yahoo mailing list for my writing. As I say at public appearances – you can ask any question you like (just be prepared for me to answer as I please.) I hope you’ll join the list and be a part of an interactive discussion.

What I’m Reading

I read the Economist, a weekly news magazine. You should too.

I just finished an extraordinarily well-written book, “The Belles of New England”, which focuses primarily on the women who worked in New England’s textile mills in the 19th and 20th centuries. I am the son of an immigrant mother, and I grew up (and went to college) in sight of those mills – on the Merrimack and the Androscoggin Rivers, respectively – though I have no family association with them.

Here’s a bit of William Moran’s closing prose:

“The rivers of New England long ago ceased to generate power for the mill machines that clothed the world. Now, on warm, sun-filled days, the rivers carry people in canoes and kayaks as they explore the old industrial waterways . . . In the distance they see the deserted mills, with weeds reaching up to shattered windows and gloomy interiors. They wonder about the past, about ghosts, about broken dreams. They turn away and drift downstream, searching for scenery more pleasing to the eye.” (© 2002, William Moran; published by St. Martin’s Press.)

Final Thoughts

I’m still hoping to have some news soon about the availability of e-books of my published work. I’ll keep you informed as I am able.

Thanks to everyone for their continued encouragement and support. Having a chance to write professionally means I get to do what I truly love, and I hope you will always feel that your confidence in me is well-placed. Keep reading, and keep in touch.

Feel free to forward this to anyone who might be interested.

Content © 2007, Walter H. Hunt.

April 18, 2007

Gathering of Friends 2007: New Games

Filed under: Games — admin @ 22:48

Spammed. I’ll try to replace this.

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