Book Review: The Galactic Mage

Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Space. Space! Wanna go to space!

The cover art.

I know, me doing something silly and unrelated to the novel. Unbelievable, right?

Anyway, here we have it: A review for The Galactic Mage by John Daulton.

When I saw The Galactic Mage, I was really interested. I really like fantasy, and it’s a well-known fact that space is one of the few settings that instantly improves all works including it. Better yet, this book was about a Space Wizard, the most awesome thing this side of Teddy Roosevelt boxing with a Sharktopus. What more could I want?

For starters, I could want some closure. The mystery of the Empty Planet started off as the driving force of the plot, and I was looking forward to seeing what kind of Cosmic Horror could annihilate an entire species so thoroughly that there was no trace it had ever existed. In fact, I still am, as the writer seems to have forgotten about that plot thread around Chapter 43, page number 484, paragraph eight, line five, otherwise known as the exact point when the novel started being shit.

As the characters got closer and closer to meeting, and began to approach said point, I found myself getting sucked in more and more, wondering how they would interact. Instead of interesting interpersonal interactions and Dramatic Revelations, there was some love at first sight crap, and the tone went from ‘Pulp SiFi/Fantasy’ to ‘Shitty Chinese clone of a Disney Princess Movie.’ The change in tone was so drastic I would not be surprised if the author had the second half ghostwritten, possibly by a five year old girl.

I do realize that there will be a sequel, but by all rights it should have been part of this novel. Even though the novel was getting to five hundred pages, a thousand page doorstopper to rival Atlas Shrugged is still preferable to a normally sized novel that ends halfway through. If, (God forbid) rocks fell and everyone died in the final chapter, that would have been still preferable to the rushed and unfinished ending, as it would have at least been funny.

Still, despite all its flaws, The Galactic Mage is still a good story. It’s just a shame that the ending in my copy got switched with that of Barbie Princess Adventures.

Three stars.

Product link:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Galactic-Mage-Series-ebook/dp/B006VCZMVS/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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A video.

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

I made this for school a while ago and finally got around to putting it on the intertube.
Yes, I did show this to the entire class.

Wait, when was the last time I updated this thing.

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Hum de dum, looking at my blog, OH HOLY SHIT I FORGOT TO UPDATE IT.

Here, have a longer piece as an apology.

******

The guildhall turned out to be a sturdy building, made out of stone, unlike the wooden buildings around it. The outer walls were coated in fortifications and murder holes, making it obvious that no-one would take the building without a fight. Armed guards patrolled the rooftops and nearby alleyways at all times, supplemented by several people near the front trying so hard not to be seen that they were more suspicious than if they had just stood out in the middle of the road.

“There’s no way we’ll take that building without a fight,” said Ærin, nicely recapping the situation for readers who skipped the previous paragraph. “We’ll have to find another way in.”

“How about the sewers?” said Magus.  “We could head up through the—”

“No,” responded Ærin.

“But—”

“No.”

“Well then what should we do?” said Magus. “I suppose you could dress up as a whore and—“

“You know what,” said Ærin. “If you think that’s such a good idea, why don’t you do it?  You’re the one wearing the dress.”

“Robe!” shouted Magus. “It’s a robe!”

“Same difference,” said Ærin, right before flinging Magus through a window. “What’s it like in there?”

“There’s a lot of thugs,” responded Magus. “I hate youAGHHH!”

Inside, Magus was surrounded; outnumbered twelve to one, and the leader of the thugs had just punched him in the gut. Magus fell onto the floor.

“Staying down little wizard?” said the thug. “We were hoping to have some fun first.”

“No,” said Magus, pushing himself up by his staff. “I am a wizard of the eighth arcane circle.  I am a speaker at the council. I will still be alive while you are all moldering in your graves and you shall not talk to me that way! Inferno ardere!”

Eldritch balefire burst out of Magus’s staff, burning with an eerie purple light. It flew toward the thugs, slamming into the one in the lead. The resulting explosion not only killed every one of the villains, it also shattered a huge hole in the wall and set the floor on fire. Magus, standing alone unharmed in the middle of the flames simply turned toward his companions and said “Coming?”

******

Meanwhile, in the council room of the guildhall, all was not going well for Bromad. The guild had grown large, and all around him were people who were vying for his position. He was getting old and was starting to get tired of guild politics. Things just hadn’t been the same, ever since that raid on the nineteenth. The Empire had been cracking down, and the Emperor himself had made a statement saying that he disapproved of the smuggling, assassination, and other services that the Guild provided.

Suddenly the door to the counsel room burst open, interrupting Bromad’s train of thought. Standing in the center of the doorway, there was a leather-clad kobold dual wielding punching daggers, a dwarf who carried a battleax and wore purple robes emblazoned with spikes and hanging rings, and a Nordic looking woman with red and orange armor, a red shield, and a sword with a green hilt. Oh yes, and some brown haired freak wearing a blue dress. Probably a transvestite.

“Who are you?” shouted Bromad.

The freak with a dress stepped forward, pointed at Bromad and said “We are your death. Exterminarent!” A fell green ray shot out of the freak’s upraised finger, and Bromad realized what he was far too late. A wizard.

******

All had been going to plan. They had burst into the council room and Magus stepped forward and cast disintegrate on the man in the center of the room, a man with a military haircut and shifty blue eyes.

That was when things started going wrong. The green ray glanced off of Bromad, who jumped up shouting “I knew the magic armor was worth it!” and then threw off his cloak to reveal scale mail with runes inscribed on it with gold.

Bromad pulled out a sword before jumping at them, and Ærin had to jump back to stop him from skewering her. Petrov rushed forward with his axe, but before he could reach them the rest of the people in the room recovered from their shock and drew their weapons as well. Magus was in the middle of the fray, deflecting blows with his staff and trying to find an opening to use his dagger. His opponent, an ugly, wart faced man, kept on the offensive, slashing in an X pattern that provided no openings. Magus walked backward from him, but disaster struck when he tripped over a corpse. The thug raised his sword, but suddenly, he fell down. Magus looked up to see Petrov wrapping his arms around the guy, the spikes on his clothing penetrating wart-face’s back.

“Get up manling! Ve’ve got work to do.”

Magus did so, but he stuck with Petrov, stabbing the dwarf’s foes in the back when they were distracted. Eventually, the fight settled down until the only living enemy was Bromad, still fighting with Ærin. He attacked again, knocking Ærin’s shield out of her hands. He pulled back for the killing blow, but found he could not. Ærin had pulled a hand-axe out of somewhere and used the hook at the bottom of the blade to grab his sword. As Ærin approached, raising her sword, Bromad’s last thoughts were “Mommy.”

********

Chapter 2!

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Chapter 2
When You’re Tired of Civilization, You’re Tired of Living in Ankle Deep Shit.

“All right,” said the shopkeep. “So that’s one breastplate of temperature resistance, one shield, one sword of kitten transmutation, two punching daggers,  and one knife with squiggly runes engraved on it. Will that be all?”

“There’s also a battleaxe!” interjected Petrov. “Don’t forget the battleaxe!”

“Ah yes. And one battleaxe. That will be one hundred lords please.”

“Lords?” asked Magus.

“The steel coins.”

“Oh, sure. Here you go.”

Magus handed over the money, but when they walked out of the shop a group of people carrying instrument cases and pretending to be bards walked over. Since all of them were over six feet tall and wearing cheap suits, it wasn’t very convincing. The largest of them, a hulking giant with one eye, picked up Magus by the hem of his robe and said “I dot Midder Bromad made it clear dat nobody was to buy nuffen ‘ere.”

“Sorry!” Magus squeaked.

“Youz gonna die mage.”

Magus turned to the party and squeaked, “Help!”

“I might as well,” said Ærin. “I was looking forward to seeing what this sword could do.”

Ærin poked the thug with her new sword and a droplet of blood dripped down it.

“Was that supposed to ‘urt!” said the thug. Or at least that was probably what he had been meaning to say. It descended into agonized screams halfway through, quickly dropping Magus in order to writhe in agony properly. After a while, his thrashing stilled, and there was a scratching sound. Then, a claw punctured his abdomen from the inside. The small hole was widened and soon, out came a litter of tabby kittens, coated in blood and gore, along with a black cat that tunneled its way out of the thug’s skull via an eye socket.

The other thugs looked at this for a bit, recovered, and then opened up their instrument cases. Surprise, surprise! They weren’t keeping instruments in them. While Magus crawled off, Ærin and Petrov leapt into the fray. The nameless thugs attacked, but they were obviously outclassed. Ærin feinted left and right, stabbing them every time. Arms, legs and kittens were scattered everywhere. When Magus finally got up and reduced one of the remaining thugs to a pair of boots with smoke coming out of them, the rest lost what little morale they had left and ran off.

Ærin looked down at her sword and proclaimed, “I shall call you Kettlingr.” Then she turned to Magus and said “Now what? I can’t follow them in heavy armor, and we both know you’ll get your ass kicked if you head on alone.”

“Don’t worry,” said Petrov, “I can find them.” He then walked over to the nearest hobo, picked said hobo up, slammed him into the wall, and shouted in his face “Vhere’s Bromad! Vhat you know about him!”

“I don’t know nuffen!” responded the hobo.

“A double negative!” roared Petrov, taking out his axe and shoving it in the hobo’s face. “Vhere is he hiding!”

“He runs the adventurers’ guild!” said the hobo. “The guildhall is up on Short Street!”

“Much better!” said Petrov. “Ve won’t kill you. Yet.” Then he turned to the rest of the party and said “Bromad leads ze adventurers’ guild, vhich is placed up on Short Street. Come on, let’s go.”

Ærin looked at him and said “I’m all for fighting, but shouldn’t we check the place out first? I mean, what if everyone in there is as powerful as us?”

“Oh fine. You humans and your caution,” said Petrov. “Why, back in ze old country-”

“Nobody cares,” said Magus. “Anyway, come on, let’s check this building out.”

*****

So, yeah. Tell me what you think!

Yet more of chapter 1

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Here you go!

***

“One thousand ninety eight, one thousand ninety nine… eleven hundred,” said Magus as he went through the coin purse of the recently deceased. “I think we have enough money to rearm ourselves. According to the map, there’s a discount magic item shop nearby.”

After a bit of travel, our heroes got to a shop which, for inexplicable reasons, had a picture of a cat on its sign. The store looked unfrequented, unlike the other shops to either side. Inside, there was dust everywhere. The weapons were cluttered together in umbrella stands, with labels on them saying things like “fifty percent off!!” or “GREAT BUY!!!!” which had not been changed for some time. Suits of armor were hanging from the walls, ranging from a chain hauberk to a full set of plate mail. There was no light other than that which came in from the windows, and although the merchandise had been taken care of, it looked like no-one had been in the store for a very long time.

Ærin took a broadsword out of a bin, swung it around a bit and said “This one. This one’s mine.”

“Why can’t we just steal weapons too?” asked Abda.

“Because,” said Magus, “any wizard capable of making magic items would be able to fireball anyone who tries to steal them.”

“Let’s go find the counter then.”

Suddenly, out of nowhere came a bald, stunted and gray bearded apparition with blue robes and a black cape. The specter walked up to the party before looking at Petrov and saying “Allo, Privet!

Allo!” responded Petrov.

“Wait,” said Magus. He then looked at Petrov and said “Your last name is Privet?”

The two dwarfs looked at Magus and burst into laughter.

“No, no,” said Petrov after recovering. “Privet is what you say when you meet someone.”

“And the allo thing?” responded Magus.

“Zat means Hello,” replied the dwarf.

Magus looked at Petrov for a bit and decided to drop it.

“Anyway,” he said to the dwarven shopkeep. “We’d like to buy this and a couple daggers.”

“And a battleaxe!” said Petrov.

“Really!” said the shopkeep, a rising hope in his eyes. “Bless you!”

“Why are there no other customers?” asked Ærin. “Your weapons are very well made.”

“Because,” said the shopkeep, “the adventurers’ guild is boycotting me. Said my goods veren’t up to snuff. What’s worse, it’s not because of their quality, it’s because of their effect. That sword you hold turns its victim’s internal organs into kittens! Sure, it doesn’t look as cool as a flaming sword but it has a far more useful effect!  I haven’t had any customers in months!  Hell, buy a shield too and I’ll throw in a breastplate for free!”

“All right then,” said Ærin. “Do you have them in red?”

***

What do you think? Comments would be appreciated.

Table of contents: Guess what each chapter is about.

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Here’s the table of contents for the novel. First person to figure out what each chapter revolves around gets a free copy of the rough draft.

 

Table of Contents

Prologue. 2

Chapter 1: They All Met in a Cliché. 5

Chapter 2: When You’re Tired of Civilization, You’re Tired of Living in Ankle Deep Shit. 14

Chapter 3: Elf Qaeda. 28

Chapter 4: Khazad-Dumb. 39

Chapter 5: Orpheus can suck my Gonarch. 49

Chapter 6: The Greater Purge. 55

Chapter 7: Odin for the Ӕsir, and Pain for the Elves. 63

Chapter 8: And Yet It Moves. 70

Chapter 9: The Tax Romana. 81

Chapter 10: For Doom the Bell Tolls. 86

Chapter 11: The Dork Lord. 90

Chapter 12: ONE MORE FINAL: I Need You (Not). 96

Put guesses in the comments section.

More of chapter 1

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

This is continued from last time.

********

“Dammit!” swore Magus. “Who in their right mind puts bars on the exit of a sewer? Are they afraid of the smell escaping! Don’t want it in their nice disgusting river?”

“You vizzard,” said Petrov. “Can’t you just melt zem?”

“Yeah, but that’s not the point. Anyway, stand back. I’m going to hit it with a blob of acid.” Magus began to wave his hands, arcane energy trailing behind them. Then, after looking suitably impressive, he began to chant in a mysterious language. “Ero accommo hospes mihi crede Sturm,” he said. “Non lectus paro igne orum, et si venenum bene.”

A green haze appeared over the bars.

Amor sum mulier pulchra et nesciebam. Modo nostram fortunam.

The bars began to sizzle.

“Peccavi satis cum mundo. Docentes a magica erit kender damnationem.”

Little droplets of molten metal began to ooze off the bars.

“Neque enim fabula Fairy timet?”

And with that last eldritch phrase, the bars dissolved until there was a hole in them big enough to walk through. Magus stepped through, and the rest followed.

“Now what?” said Ærin.

“Well we go get new weapons, obviously.” responded Magus.

“Yes, but they took all of my money.”

“And? Why else do we have Abda with us?”

“I take offence at that!” replied Abda.  “I’m not a thief, I’m a rogue!”

“You pick peoples’ pockets,” said Magus.

“That’s not stealing, that’s a public service. I’m cleaning them! Think of how cluttered they would get if I wasn’t here to help.”

“Well go help someone then!”

They watched as Abda tried to take peoples wallets, but somehow everyone knew when he was coming.

“I’m sorry guys, but somehow they know when I’m coming!” said Abda, nicely recapping. “Maybe everyone in the city is psychic.”

“Or it might be because they can smell you coming from a mile away,” said Ærin.  “Let’s face it. After that trip in the sewers, we stink.”

“Ha! You humans soft,” interjected Petrov. “This is nothing compared to life in old country! Back in Boĭneudalos’, floors were coated with noxious secretions. Just touch them and your legs rot off. When goblins invaded, we didn’t wear armor because nothing was more dangerous than taking clothes off to put armor on!”

“Good for you,” said Magus. “Now if you’ll excuse us, we soft humans are off to go see if we can find some water.”

Suddenly, upon hearing Magus proclaim their search, Ærin burst into laughter. “Water! Clean water! In a city! What are you, some kind of an idiot? You may not be a plot important orphan but you were definitely raised by hillbillies.”

“I was raised by a wizard!” said Magus “He had a tower and everything. It was like… three stories tall!”

“Look around you!” shouted Ærin. “All the houses here are around three stories tall!”

“How does zis even relate to what we were talking about!” interjected Petrov.

“What?” said Ærin. “Oh yes, the water. This is a city. There’s so much dumped in the river you can walk across it. It takes so much time to boil water you’re lucky there’s any for drinking!”

“Look,” said Magus as he walked over to an elderly lady wearing expensive clothes with her face contorted into a permanent grimace. “Everyone here’s clean. There’s got to be bathhouses or something in here. I’ll ask her for directions.”

“Hello,” said Magus. “Me and my companions have found ourselves in dire straits, and would be very appreciative if you help. Can you direct us to the bathhouses?”

“Yes,” said the old lady. “I can.”

Time passed.

“Well?” said Magus, obviously becoming impatient.

“What do you mean ‘well’?” asked the lady. “You said can I, not will I. I know what you meant, but I don’t see any reason to do so.”

“How about in the name of common decency?” said Magus, quickly becoming enraged.

“Of course not,” said the lady. “Decency is common, and thus found in commoners. I’m an objectivist, and we’re rare. Scum like you sit around in the street and wait for someone to help you, whereas we build industries with our bare hands.”

“Really?” said Magus in a sarcastic tone of voice.

“Yes,” said the old woman. “Technically we employ people to build them, but they don’t have a six figure salary, so they don’t count as human. Now, why don’t you get out of my way, and learn not to be cheeky to your betters.”

Magus’s eyes narrowed. “No.” he said, as a ball of eldritch balefire materialized in the palm of his curled hand. “Perhaps you are different from normal people, but you know what: I’m willing to bet you burn the same.”

********

I was worried that I might offend fans of EYEEEEEN Rand’s magnum opus, but than I realized there aren’t any.

FOOLY COOLY! FOOLY COOLY!

Monday, June 25th, 2012

FOOLY COOLY! FOOLY COOLY!

L4D2 FTW!

Ice cream koan of the day

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Lives are like boxes of chocolates.

Only rich people can afford a good one.

More of chapter 1

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Yep. This continues from where the last one left off.

Magus sat down on his cot to sleep, then jumped back up shouting “Guys, I know how we can escape!”

Everyone else just glared at him and She Who Can Not Be Pronounced said “Look, the joke wasn’t funny when Abda did it, and it isn’t funny now.”

“No, seriously this time! Quick, everyone check under the beds!”

“What, are you afraid of there being monsters under them?”

“Yes, but that’s not important right now! Something I remember reading in the imperial building regulations! There has to be at least one emergency exit in any given room!”

“You read those?”

“I was bored, okay! Anyway, what’s under the beds?”

“Nothing here,” said Petrov.

“There’s a portal to R’lyh under mine but I think it would be best if we leave it shut,” said Abda.

“And there’s an entrance to the sewers under mine!” said… Look, do you have anything more pronounceable I can call you?

“My friends call me Ærin.”

…said Ærin.

“You are not my friend.”

Look, I’m running out of options here. It’s either Ærin or Patsy.

“Ærin it is.”

Magus turned to Ærin and said “Look, can we get going here. There’s not much time until the guards realize what’s going on.”

“What do you mean by that?” responded Ærin. “This is a fantasy setting. The cops are called insecurity guards for a reason. There’s one question during the interview and it’s ‘what is your name’. If you get it wrong, you’re hired.”

“Still best not take risks,” said Petrov.

Magus walked over to the cot, plugged his nose, and jumped into a liquid that if called mud would offend thousands of perfectly innocent swamps. A series of splashes behind him showed that the rest were jumping down as well. However, all was not well. He had three companions, but he had only heard two splashes. Someone was missing. He turned around through the ooze, took stock of his companions and said “Where’s Petrov?”

“Up here manling!”

Magus looked up, fearing whatever celling crawling monster had Petrov in his grip. Instead he saw Petrov clinging to the celling by his beard.

“What… how…,” said Magus, too shocked for words.

“Well what did you zink beard was for! Decoration?”

“Yes…”

“I can’t believe you get shocked over such a little thing,” said Ærin. “If you weren’t a wizard I’d think you were some kind of plot important orphan raised by a bunch of hillbillies out in the sticks.”

“Why can’t I be?” said Magus. “My parents are dead; my foster family is dead; and my foster father died right before giving off a prophetic revelation. It fits the cliché perfectly!”

“Because you’re a wizard! Wizards make prophesies, not fulfill them.”

“Well then maybe it’s time for a change!” Magus walked onward toward the light at the end of the tunnel, filled with hope, and left the sewer for a better or at least less smelly future. Or at least he would if it weren’t for all the bars and things. Again. For some unknown reason there were bars over the place where the pipe drained out in one of the tributaries of the river Ankh.

“Dammit!” swore Magus. “Who in their right mind puts bars on the exit of a sewer? Are they afraid of the smell escaping! Don’t want it in their nice disgusting river?”

********

So, yeah. What do you think?