Stone of Remembrance

November 30, 2007

Walter Hunt Author Newsletter, Volume 4, Issue 5

Filed under: Commentary, Writing — admin @ 14:41

November, 2007

Welcome to the fifth 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.

It’s been a very busy autumn, and it’s starting to look like winter up here in the northeastern United States. I’ve held off sending out a newsletter because of things in transition, but the last few weeks have brought some exciting news.

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 is now out in Taschenbuch-Format (paperback) in Germany under the title “Der Dunkle Stern”, and can be ordered from amazon.de.

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.

The Dark Crusade is now out in Taschenbuch-Format (paperback) in Germany under the title “Der Dunkle Kreuzzug”. It can be ordered from amazon.de.

The biggest news, however, is that my next two books will be completely new. 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’m looking into the possibility of releasing a podcast version of Sword and Sun, but that project is in a preliminary stage. I’ll keep you informed of progress through the newsletter and on the blog.

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 – process of entering it into the Geek – and with over 500 games entered we’re still way short.

Since the last newsletter I’ve posted some support material for the new book; see “New Writing Projects” below.

Projects in the Dark Wing Universe

We’re still on hiatus, and my creative energies have been focused elsewhere. Still, I appreciate the mail I receive – especially when folks say, “where’s the next book?” I have to answer that it’s in the hands of Tor Books to decide, but that I’ve not abandoned it. Thank you for all of your support and input.

New Writing Projects

I’m pleased to announce that my novel “A Song In Stone” will be published as a part of the Wizards of the Coast Discoveries imprint in November of 2008. It came about during a moment of insight while visiting Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland in 2005. It is completely unrelated to the Dark Wing Universe; while in Scotland I expected to be doing some on-site observation and research for my 18th century novel, but fate intervened.

“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 this book as much as I did, and that it will find a place on your shelf with my other work. I’ve been putting support material on the blog under the title “A Song In Stone”.

Also . . .

I will also be writing a shared-world work for hire for WotC to be published in 2009. This book is a Gothic horror novel set in Paris in 1885 and will be lots of fun to write. I changed the setting to 1885 because I’m using Jean-Martin Charcot, and in 1885 his asylum, the Salpêtrière, had accepted a scholarship student from Vienna – the 29-year-old Sigmund Freud.

I’ve written about 10,000 words on this project and it’s getting much more interesting as I write it. Here are a few interesting keywords: “The Harmony”, zoism, praxiniscope, Mohenjo Daro. Intrigued? Hope so.

The Colonial Project

Currently on hiatus. More when I know it.

Upcoming Appearances

The last few weeks have brought some exciting news. I’m going to be busy during 2008 (and 2009); this is my tentative schedule:

2007

In connection with a Masonic trip to the Toronto area, I’ll be at Chapters in Ajax, Ontario on Saturday, December 8, 2007. I hope to sell some of my fine paperbacks to holiday shoppers.

2008

I will be at Arisia in Cambridge, MA, January 18-21, 2008. Laura Anne Gilman will be the author guest of honor. Arisia has elected to go to four days over the MLK weekend for the first time.

I will be at Boskone in Boston, MA, February 15-17, 2008. David Weber will be the author guest of honor.

I will be in Minnesota to participate in a week-long seminar at a local high school, concentrating on alternate history (and learning to write well!) and will thus be in attendance at Marscon in Bloomington, MN, February 29 – March 2, 2008. This is my fifth visit to this very fun con. Naomi Kritzer will be the author guest of honor.

I have been invited to the following conventions:

I have not confirmed attendance at any of them – it depends in part on my writing commitments.

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.

2009

Now the excitement. I will be the Author Guest of Honor at Arisia in January 2009. This is my home town convention, and I’ve had this information in hand for a few months with orders to keep it quiet; but it’s been announced now, so I can mention it myself. This will be right after the release of Song In Stone, so it should be a fun convention.

I will be the International Guest of Honor at Dortcon in Dortmund, Germany in March 2009. This invitation was something of a surprise, but since my books are out in German (and I speak the language), it should be a good con for me. Hope some of my German fans (which I do seem to have!) will come.

Montréal has won the 2009 bid during the Worldcon in Yokahama. We will be in attendance, as we presupported the bid.

Worldcon Bids

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.

Recent Travels

I had a great time at ConText in Columbus, Ohio, September 28-30, 2007. Tim Powers was the Author Guest of Honor and I was invited as a special guest. Tim is one of my favorite writers, and his Anubis Gates is one of my all-time favorite books.

In November I attended Philcon in Philadelphia and enjoyed participating in a very literate programming track. My last panel was a two-person with the artist guest of honor, Sue Dawe, who provided a very amusing sniglet to describe the artistic style that is associated with Victorian-era steampunk. “Look,” she said, “it’s Art Nemo!” Got to remember that.

The Stamford Writer’s Fair in Stamford, Connecticut has been pushed back indefinitely; it didn’t happen in November.

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” passes into copyedit, I’ll put up an excerpt.

Yahoo Mailing List

Some local fans have set up a <a href="http://
groups.yahoo.com/group/WalterHunt/” target=”_blank”>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 recently read a very entertaining book: Sin in the Second City, about the Everleigh Club – the most famous upscale house of delights in Chicago, its rise and eventual disappearance. A wonderful, quick read.

In fiction, I enjoyed James Lee Burke’s Last Car to Elysian Fields, a Dave Robicheaux novel. While the average book in this series consists of: the seamy underside of New Orleans; random acts of violence; soliloquies on the principal character’s dead wife, his lost youth, and his alcoholism . . . Burke’s ability to evoke the setting and scene reveals his brilliance as a writer. I can’t put his books down.

I also (finally) read Pullman’s The Golden Compass (the trilogy is available at Amazon). I’ve been told that the two sequels are disappointing and haven’t gotten to them yet; the first one was interesting. It beats Harry Potter.

Final Thoughts

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.

November 29, 2007

Dice Roller

Filed under: Games — admin @ 10:50

In 2005 at Glasgow Worldcon, there was a company from Poland in the dealers’ room displaying amazingly cool dice. We bought some Q-Workshop dice and were really impressed with the detail and workmanship.

If you haven’t seen their dice, you can now have a chance to take them for a spin before buying with this Dice Roller. You can use Elvish, Runic, Dragon, Celtic or Nuke dice in a variety of polyhedral shapes.

Have big fun!

November 28, 2007

Winnowing the Game Collection: Round 4

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 18:20

The game collection contraction effort has reached the fourth round. In the first go, second go and third go, we kept seven full-sized games and two small card games, and gave the thumbs-down to thirteen games.

Here are the games in Round 4. Again, please keep my objective in mind: to send games away that don’t get played, not to pass judgement on games that might be favorites (but not our favorites.)

Die Weinhändler

This game is a small card game published in 2000 with an interesting trade mechanism – I played it at a game session and enjoyed it, then bought it at discount from Adam Spielt. Unfortunately, our copy has never made it to the table. I’d like to see it get played, and I think L. would like it (and maybe A. as well).

UPDATE 28 November: This has made it to the table a couple of times, plus a couple of times at our game club. It’s clever, and different enough that it merits being kept. A. played it a bit under protest, but did pretty well nonetheless.
VERDICT: It stays.

Edel, Stein & Reich

This is a small-box Alea game from 2003 that re-implements Basari, a Reinhard Staupe game that we really like (but which had gone out of print when this game was published.) Basari involves two interesting game mechanics: first, in order to get anywhere, you have to try and take an action that no more than one other player takes; second, when exactly two players choose an action, one must “buy off” the other with gems.

What ES&R does is replace the game board with a card game, and also introduces action cards that enhance scoring, allow special actions on the spot, and generally introduce chaos into the rather straightforward Basari mechanics. It also removes at least some of the “groupthink” frustration that goes along with Basari.

Goldbräu

I received this game as a gift. It’s a strange combination of stock market, area control, and beer theme; I’ve played it twice, and can’t say that I’ve had the greatest enjoyment. That being said, it deserves a better try. After all, any game with a drunken bum and a pretty waitress, as well as German beer, must have some merit.


The caption on BGG says that the pawns weren’t drunk, they were just laid down after scoring. Sure. We believe that.

Carolus Magnus

A Colovini game from 2000, it’s an interesting variation on an area control game. Also, interestingly enough, it’s a game that works with three much better than four – the four-player game can become a terribly boring deadlock.

The variation comes from the board, which consists of a series of small provinces representing the constituent parts of the Holy Roman Empire. At various times during the game, adjacent provinces can be joined together, making the board actually change shape as the game progresses.

People seem to have varying opinions on the game, either dismissing it as broken or complaining on the thinness of the theme (the detractors) or complaining that it’s underrated or underappreciated (the fans). I’d definitely like to try this with L., and A. might like it as well. I’ve never seen another game with the board-joining mechanism, so I’m rooting for it to stay – if it’s not broken, it should be worth playing.

UPDATE 15 October: Got a two-player game against A. and L., and each appreciated its cleverness. But it appears to hurt everyone’s head.

VERDICT: It goes. Too bad, but it won’t get played.

Vinci

Vinci, a 1999 game by Phillip Keyaerts (who also did Evo, a game that underwhelmed me), was among the earliest “Civilization Lite” games. Featuring one of the ugliest maps ever made, it also featured some (at that time) unique ideas for such a game, such as the gradual reduction in cost of civilization tiles, and the concept of “letting go” of a particular civilization and starting another instead.

The game went through a complete rules rewrite, and we have the revised edition. I don’t know if it has become dated enough (or unwieldy enough) to send it to the trade pile, but we did enjoy it a few years ago.


One of the ugliest maps ever made.

November 19, 2007

Strange Maps

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 00:09

I’m not quite back from Philcon, but wanted to put up a link to this cool blog: Strange Maps. Thanks to my Naval War College buddy C. for pointing this one out to me.

And it’s not just funny ones – here’s a serious one – or, rather, an intended-to-be-serious one: a map of the impending apocalypse, from that fun-loving evangelist Jack Van Impe, showing the upcoming “Big A” Apocalypse:

November 15, 2007

Book Signing – Ajax, Ontario

Filed under: Freemasonry, Travel, Walter\'s Schedule, Writing — admin @ 23:52

I’ll be traveling to Ontario with the Colonial Craftsmen’s Club, a Masonic organization, in December, and I will be making a stop at Chapters in Ajax, Ontario on December 8.

Don’t know if anyone reading this blog is from the area, but if you are, I hope you’ll stop by. I look forward to meeting readers and patrons of this fine establishment.

Supporting the Troops. Or Not.

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 11:48

Michael Graham reports a moonbat story from the People’s Republic of Cambridge, Mass., where the Boy Scouts of America wanted to support the troops by collecting donations during the city elections.

Quoting Mr. Graham’s blog:

Scout Troop 45 got permission from the city of Cambridge TWICE to set up collection boxes and “Please Support Our Troops” signs at the 22 polling sites around the city. All was well, until a “Prius Patriot” showed his support for the troops by demanding the boxes be removed. The City of Cambridge promptly agreed and the Boy Scouts were ordered to cease and desist.

But wait–I thought the mantra of the Cambridge Kook was “I support the troops but oppose the war.” So how is collecting mouthwash for our soldiers “too pro-war?” Unless, of course, supporting the troops at all is “pro-war.” Which means it is, in the opinion of the loony Left, impossible to support the troops without supporting the war.

Prius Patriot. That’s a new one.

To support the Boy Scouts, you can send donations to: Boy Scouts Of America Troop 45, PO Box 38-1241, Cambridge MA 02238.

November 11, 2007

Usn’s Run, Bellingham, MA

Filed under: Commentary, Walter\'s Schedule — admin @ 00:04

November 9, 2007

Game On: Carcassonne

Filed under: Commentary, Games — admin @ 19:21

Though true Eurogeeks have gotten tired of the continuing rampant expansions to the game, the SdJ winner Carcassonne has quite a following – and it appears to have its own website as well.

There’s no news there on the newest expansion, Abbey and Mayor, but there’s info on it over at the Geek. It won’t be the last, I assume.

November 8, 2007

Casting Out the Devil

Filed under: Baseball, Commentary — admin @ 22:46


Stylin’ Carl Crawford

After ten years of futile flailing about, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have decided it’s time for a change. In addition to stylish new duds (featured above), the Tampa Bay club has decided to contract . . . its team name. Henceforth they’ll just be known as the Rays. As in . . . sun rays, cosmic rays, blu-rays, whatever.

Here’s the new logo:

Very handsome.

NOW GO GET SOME PITCHING.

November 7, 2007

Boskone – Boston Convention

Filed under: Commentary, Walter\'s Schedule, Writing — admin @ 21:50

Boskone 45, science fiction convention, February 15-17, 2008. I’ll be on program.

Official Website

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