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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Enchant all the ladies and steal all the scenes

All that talk of aeronauts last time reminded me of another more-or-less abandoned project from back when I was revamping my Tirikelu RPG.

The Time of No Kings was to be set in the Dark Ages of Tekumel, a period of Rhialto-like wizards and Cugel-like rogues.The snag was, under the rules of the Tekumel Foundation I couldn't publish it in print form or make any money from it. I thought of moving it across to a different science fantasy setting. The world of Abraxas, perhaps. And in that form it might yet happen.

Really it would just be a love letter to the genre of science fantasy, which I discovered at an early age with Mike Moorcock's Kane of Mars novels. "Airships and swordplay meet blasters and psionic aliens," as I said in this post. What's not to like?


That's where that painting comes from, by the way. It was James Cawthorn's cover for Moorcock's Barbarians of Mars. Picture the ten-year-old Morris standing in a secondhand bookshop in Woking clutching that battered tome and thinking, "Mars... swords... and airships...!" Possibly the lithe undraped maidens too were starting to dimly register as objects of unsettling emotion on my reason-bright mind; or maybe that was still a few years off. Anyway, with or without a girl on my arm, I wanted my own airship.

You're thinking the balloon envelope looks a little small? That was the attraction, of course. Moorcock set his stories on a long-ago Mars that hadn't yet lost its atmosphere, so the low gravity meant you could get away with using a lot less helium. Tiddly up up!

6 comments:

  1. Nothing to do with the above cool post but I got this message from Amazon:

    Hello johntfs,

    "The Serpent King's Domain..." has shipped.

    It should be here in less than 24 hours and I can't wait!

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    1. Now if only Amazon delivered by airship...

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    2. You know that if you really, really wanted to (and had the time/money/etc), you could write a Fabled Lands Quest book/adventure that heavily involved airships? While I don't think it's been specifically mentioned, the world of Fabled Lands has a moon, right? So set something on that moon that's in the tradition of Moorcock's "Barbarians of Mars" and of course Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoon novels.

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    3. I'd probably set it in Abraxas, seeing as that already has airships and even a moon -- in fact, the Moon. But Paul Gresty tells me the player will be able to acquire an airship in Fabled Lands book 8 (due out in 2040, maybe sooner) and presumably you'll then be able to fly that anywhere you want. I don't know if he'd thought of lunar trips, but it's possible.

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  2. Do you have any available content for Abraxes? I've heard it mentioned before but never really looked into it. Meanwhile, FL7 came in softcover and looks beautiful. I might very well get a copy of the larger edition just for the map.

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    1. There's an Abraxas book in the Kindle Store, and it has a page to itself on this blog -- see the link in the sidebar. The FL7 map is really nice; maybe Russ's best ever.

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