The Arthurian link in MatVC


It is now one week to Christmas, and a bit under two weeks to the end of The List. On the 30th, we shall see how our pre-order volume measures up against everyone else’s–I’m expecting a bit of jump in everybody else’s pre-order volume over the Christmas holidays as they meet up with distant relatives they haven’t spoken to all year, so nothing is for certain just yet. Anything can happen.

Competing in The List … well, that puts one in mind of a certain sport, doesn’t it?


Except the jousting in this List is done with pages. (And did you know that the official state sport of Maryland is jousting?)

Eric Peterkin, the hero of “Murder at the Veterans’ Club”, doesn’t joust, but he does have dreams of Arthurian chivalry. The novel compares him to Sir Pellinore, one of King Arthur’s knights of the round table: according to legend, Sir Pellinore’s primary hobby was the pursuit of the mythical Questing Beast, a creature with the head of a snake, the body of a leopard, the feet of a deer, and a constant sound in its belly described as like “thirty brace of hounds a’questing”–hence its name. (Apparently the verb “to quest” once meant “to bark”. Think of that the next time you read of heroes gone a’questing.)

The comparison is rooted in Eric’s Quixotic need to go chasing after something–anything!–and, in the novel, his “Questing Beast” is the identity of the murderer. Just as Sir Pellinore isn’t happy unless he’s out chasing his Beast, Eric won’t be happy unless he’s doing the same. Not that he’d ever admit it, of course….

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“Murder at the Veterans’ Club” has been selected for The List. This is a contest for book projects on Inkshares that have caught the eye of the Powers That Be–unlike other contests, participation is by invitation only. On 31 December, the three book projects with the most unique readers will win the Full Publication deal … you know, that thing that normally only happens when you get 750 orders.


It means that on 31 December, if “Murder at the Veterans’ Club” is still in the top three–it’s currently in second position–it can go into production with the Full Publication deal right then and there. It means people could get their books a month earlier than expected. It means the current focus is no longer on the great 750, but on maintaining a position at the top of the heap.

It means that people think “Murder at the Veterans’ Club” is a book worthy of note, in case anyone had any doubts before.

But wait! Starting out in second place is nice and all, but does that mean I can sit back and relax and just wait for this to fall into my lap? NO! A handful of the competition is starting from zero, which means they are blank slates with unknown potential; the first few weeks of any campaign always see a spike of orders, and these young turks are fresh and full of beans. Any one of them could pole-vault into first position and force me back, and back again, out of the top three. The competition is not to be sneezed at!

I feel a sense of invigoration–I hope it’s more than merely momentary. I need to get out there and get more people in. Get friends to get their friends involved. MAKE IT HAPPEN.

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IFcomp 2016: Eight characters, a number, and a happy ending

Last on my IFcomp playlist is “Eight characters, a number, and a happy ending”. And that’s it! I might have to go back and change a couple of breakfast orders (just did it for “500 Apocalypses” and “Inside the Facility”) after having digested them some more, but that’s all 58 IFcomp games done this year. And what’s this last one?

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IFcomp 2016: The Skull Embroidery

“The Skull Embroidery” is a homebrewed text RPG, and the next thing on my list. One more game to go after this, and that will be the whole comp this year!

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IFcomp 2016: Tentaculon

“Tentaculon”. We are a squid.

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IFcomp 2016: Cinnamon Tea

“Cinnamon Tea” is a short Twine game about a dream we have after drinking cinnamon tea, and this is a short review.

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Ifcomp 2016: Steam and Sacrilege

“Steam and Sacrilege” is next. Steampunk seems to be the order of the day, if the title is any indication. I wonder what the “sacrilege” part refers to.

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