Full-Armor Alexa and more fiction excerpts!

More Alexa concept art, this time regarding the heavier armor that she brings along when she knows she will need it.

At first, I was really in love with the bottom row, the heavier stuff. But now that I have sometime to think about it, I really like the upper row too. I, frankly, love how "ugly" it is. I mean, this isn't supposed to be a pretty thing, really, and it seems like its more, I don't know, buggy? Like it would be easier to hide, or at least detach. 

Please my fans, let me know what you think about these concepts.

In return, I am offering you not just one, but TWO excepts of stories I'm working on. 

One is from a sci-fi romance, the other is from a weird fiction short story I'm editing one more time. 


More Alexa concept art, and happy news from Drive Thru Fiction!

To whip or not to whip it?
More Alexa art from Tobias! He suggested this lovely whip concept for Alexa, as opposed to just arm blades.

I love it! Its deadly, versatile, and likely prehensile as well.

But its not going on Alexa.

Did I just really say I hate it? Au contrare! Or however you spell that.

I thinks its the perfect weapon: for Phear. Our Cassandra, our well off woman with a disaffected girlfriend and a disdain for vaporized nicotine delivery systems, who helps Alexa immensely in this story and this series.

Lets just say the choice of the whip for her weapon will become quite obvious in the novels and short stories to come. One hint: Killian.

That being said, I love the colors and the wiredness of the weapons style, and I hope you do too. If you thinks its all too much, say so! I might ignore you, but you still have a right to complain!

Next round of art I'm aiming for is a full complement of parastic body armor, which she wears for the job that you can't finish at a quarter to 5. She'll need every inch of chitin to survive the breachers and other beasts to come.

Drive Thru Fiction is doing well! 

"Where Was I?" is getting out there to people! To those people, I must thank you and I STRONGLY encourage you to share the DRM-free copies of that story to everyone you can. Don't even ask, just email it to them, and tell them to upload it to Google Play books or download Bookviser or Freeda books or any Epub reader they can find. I mean, don't spam your grandma if she's not into young people getting booted out of the city because they don't have the freaking right letter tattooed to their foreheads, but you know what I mean.

If you have no clue what I'm talking about, go here and buy my beautiful story for whatever you want, even free, and upload that EPUB file directly to your Google Play Books account. You'll be able to read all about it. There will be a link to my Patreon in there as well, so you can get excerpts way ahead of time and other goodies.

Thanks for your support, my people!



Hello all my loyal blog readers!

I need some help. I just got this lovely concept art in by the artist +Tobias White, and I need your opinions. These images are depicting Alexa from the recent stories of the same name (the ones with Cantos in them). They were mostly drawn to figure out how I want the Armorcytes drawn, so don't worry about judging the figure. Which design for the Armorcytes do you like best?

Can't wait to here your opinion! A number would suffice if you don't have much time.


By reading Dragonlance, I know I am doomed.


It still hurts just as much as the first time. You know what I'm talking about. If you don't please read Dragons of Autumn Twilight and Dragons of Winter Night as soon as you can.

SPOILERS, by the by.

This isn't an advice post is it?

No, not terribly. This is an opinion, a thought even.

I know that I am totally doomed when I read Dragonlance. I may pick up the odd literary book. I may absorb the occasionally literary spec fic story. I may put down the odd, over done fantasy book.

But at the end of the day. When its all said and done, I have been forever affected by this book.

The Dragonlance Chronicles (by Margaret Wies and Tracy Hickman) were the first really series I read, all by my little self. It had been so long since I read them that they were practically new again when I read autumn and listened to winter, but some things I remembered well. Fizban's first "death", the undead in Drakenwood, the unicorn of prophesy, and the reveal of Silvara all come to mind.

These scenes have appeared, morphed and altered but still recognizable, in my games and my stories. The insecure leader, Tanis, the fatalistically loyal knight, the playfully flirtatious warrior, the taciturn wizard, the bloodthirsty mercenary and even the brat-growing-up have appears in many characters. Races, genders, and sexual orientations have been mixed up for fun and flavor, but those companions are there still. I suspect, when I get to finishing the Drizzt novels, that I shall find many elements in there as well.

But angsty-boy, what do you mean by doomed?

So,, I'm listening to a great story by Nelson DeMille, called "The Quest". Its a grail quest book, but has alot of history in it, particulalry the downfall of Haile Selassie I, the last Emperor of Ethiopia, the last of King Solomon's 2000 year dynasty, and the messiah of the Rastafarians. Great book, go get it, especially if your running a Mummy/Romancing the Stone/Indiana Jones type game.

But my point is this. Whenever, almost without fail, in this book at least, someone makes a comment, this is what the next line will be.

Frank didn't respond.

Vivian did not reply.

He made no comment.

But, is this an actual problem? No, not really. The story is great. What I'm seeing here is an author's quirk. For me, it seems to be structuring sentences backward and alot of very purple prose. Anyone who has read me can probably say that and more.

But I imagine Nelson is the type of man that like the strong, silent types, or at least doesn't cotton to those who have witty or "witty" things to say. His prose is not flowery either, but it is powerful.

Me, though, I grew up on the drama, and some would call melodrama, of Dragonlance. Ray Bradbury fucked me up too: half of his sentences make no sense at first, but they are artful. Behold..

"And then he shut up, for he remembered last week and the two white stones staring up at the ceiling and the pump-snake with the probing eye and the two soap faced men with the cigarettes moving in their mouths when they talked ." Fahrenheit 451

He's a fricking mad man! But I love him. RIP Bradbury.

These quirks are the frameworks of an authors voice, and while having voice means you are going to turn alot of people away, it also means your going to have fans for life, because they can't get that voice anywhere else. That's why authors can do rehashes of Pride and Predjudice, because they all do Elizabeth Bennet just a bit differently.

Dragonlance, Sabriel, LoTR, Red, Harry Potter, Something Wicked This Way comes and many other books have carved my voice into something that may change, but will take a while to do so. And I don't need to compromise either.

Still, this means that there will be moments in the future when the general trends will crave certain stories from me and then other times will call for different tales. A book I publish next year may be damned one lambasted one epoch and lauded the next. My attachment to alteration may by an ailment to my advancement, or it might be really clever.


So, really, I just needed to say it. Afterall, that's why we write fiction. To make an observation on the world, maybe even a judgement. 

All I can really say is that sometimes I wonder if what I write is the right thing to do, but I know that it is. I have to write the story in my mind.

Will I have to change that, challenge that, to grow though? I wonder...


Oops.I made a Flash Fiction.

Have you ever accidentally wrote something else when you were supposed to write another thing?

I just did that. I was trying to work on my project for a Golden Fleece anthology themed on the works of Jules Verne, and it wasn't happening automatically so I did some free-writing. And I laid me an egg.

Its with the proofreader right now, and after that, my $1+ patrons will get to see it. Go check it out at patreon.com/murky_master 

I really actually like the story! Its so... so... short! That's rather unusual for me, but it actually ties itself up quite well. Really and fun story: I'm sure you'll love it!


The Case for the Knight in Shining Armor

Another of my favorite cliches...

Disgusting! Grieving Lich responds to "genocidal" white knight! "They just wanted a hug!"

I know that the knight in shining armor is deeply out of fashion, but I like to dust that old armor off. I'll tell you why.

Why do I think the knight is dead? Because we all know that nobody is like that. Nobody, in this world, ever does the right thing, or at least not wholly. There is always at least an unconscious selfishness to the few good works we see done. Ulterior motives poison every good heart, compromises, fear, and greed hide under psychological coverups, biological determinism, cynical schools of common sense and theological indulgences, No movement, no war, no police encounter, no charity and no peace offering by a dotting relative is complete without speculation about what lies beneath.

Sometime, perhaps while I was young but I strongly think it happened before my time, the collective gorge of the tastemasters of literature and media in general began to rise at the idea of the "pure heart". As it should. It was overused, I have been told or intimated to. It became a sturdy crutch for the author to lean on, and those always need to be removed at some point, if perhaps for a time. You didn't have to think deep about the background of the character, once their goodness was established. They were just, well, a hero, ready made and boring as waiting for another brilliant Murky Masters blog post. 

But, now, I want to bring that idea back, because the leg has shifted to the other crutch for me: you can always trust a hero to be predictably two-faced, or vulnerable in a certain area, or certain in their cynicism. Just like romance is a fantasy, a jaded view of the world can hide details and realities. So, every once in a while, when I or my players get too comfortable in their distrust of mankind, I whip out a real knight.


WIP #3 - Prick - 1st Draft

First page of rough draft of a new WIP. I got two of 'em now! "Where Was I" is still in edits, but it will see the light of day soon. Just finished editting "The Whole Bottle" to my satisfaction last week, and I'll be getting that darling the pro treatment soon. I have learned to never deny your work a professional look-see: makes it much better! 

By the by, this is typewritten on my Olypmia. Beautiful machines they are. 

Makes me want to write about a story pitting mechanical robots verses more electronic ones. Maybe later...


Low Tempo Baselines

Another 777 challenge from my current WIP (same WIP as last time)


Low tempo baseline let Alexa drift, but not too far. She wanted to play some Nirvana, some Pretty Reckless, maybe even Cat Power or fucking Jonny Lang, but Alexa knew better than to get too sad with her music. Never helped. Didn't wake her up. Didn't help her stay alive. Only kidnapping, only blood for the god Cantos helped.

Her mother was the picture of health, save for being a slave to parasites. God, the non pathovorous one, has some fucked up plan, Alexa knew. But what.

Alexa looked at the time. Wasted opportunity: she never said a word to her.


Coming soon...


A present for my readers

Present for you, can't open it yet though...

Y'all have been good loyal readers, yes indeed. Thus I'm gonna give y'all a shiny present.



Close your eyes. Stick out your hands. Unless your driving and reading this on your phone. Why are you doing that. LOOK OUT FOR THE TRAIN!

Think of your favorite book. Dragonlance, Lord of the Rings, Count of Monte Cristo, Burning Chrome, doesn't matter. Think of how it looks. Each letter follows one after another. Nice and orderly.

And when its time for a paragraph, gasp!, we put in a little space.

We do that because it looks good. Its makes the story easier to read. So you like it better. So you dont judge it poorly.

Now imagine that each and every letter in your favorite book is a person, and each word is a little house they live in, and every paragraph is like a little neighborhood, with little people who laugh and love and work and cry when their dogs die and everything.

And imagine that the is a beneficent author, who arranges all their Letter-People in these neat little rows, making sure the story flows nice and no one gets hurt. It takes its job very, very, gravely seriously.


Because you are the critic. You hold the book, their whole world, in your hands.

And when you put that book down with a contemptuous huff.

They burn.


Murky Master is proud to announce the publication of his first story: "Where was I?" Coming soon to DriveThruFiction.com.

If you want a free copy, comment to this post before July 12 2016 or PM your email on G+, Twitter, or FB.

Thanks for being my reader, and for really liking me. At least I assume you do.

I haven't been proofed yet.


Roleplayer Library Review: The Count de Monte Cristo

A GIMP-collage by MurkyMaster. Image credits:
What a statement! What a book! Put on your parka's ladies and gentlemen, because I am about to gush all over you about one of my favorite books of all time!

Revenge and Justice....

In this world in which we live, we must live with people. To make things ridiculously simple, people can only treat eachother in three different ways: with indifference, with benignity, or with malice.

Most will treat us with indifference, and their indifference will have little effect on us. At times though, will will be visited on others with ill will: someone will try their best to hurt us, perhaps for an ulterior motive, perhaps just to see us bleed. And, at other times, another human's indifference to our situation will give us a hardship.

When we are hurt by a disease, all we can do is treat it. When we are hurt by the weather, all we can do is move on.

But human's inherent frailty, combined with their paradoxical strength, mean that when a human hurts another human, there are more options available to the victim than merely continuing on with life.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas shows us how one man reacts to the humans that have caused him pain,  and which of those "options" he chooses change his situation. It's not Punisher: Late 1700's Edition (which would be awesome). It's not without "natural justice", either. You will only know when you read it.

And when you do, your intrigues will never be the same....

This book applies to:
Any game in which revenge or justice is a theme.
The King is Dead RPG by Sean Bircher
All for One (Either Ubiquity System or Savage Worlds)
Regime Diabolique
Vampire: The Masquerade
Superhero games

A humble sailor goes to hell...

We begin The Count with pathetic Edmond Dantes, a meek but hard-working sailor trying to make some papers stack for his Catalan fiance. It all immediately goes to crap when a jealous fellow sailor and a low ranking private join forces to ruin Dantes by framing him as a Napoleonic spy. The judge who sentenced him to Chateau d'ff had his own dark motives as well, and thus we establish the three major antagonists (or rather, targets) of a multi decade campaign of revenge.

Several themese appear over and over again in Count. One is hope, actually. Dante looses hope in the beginning, and regains it through a slick, somewhat slimy but kindly priest that he shares a cell with. Not only is Dante's faith constantly threatened throughout the entire story (as every good thriller should do), but other characters who come into importance also find their faith tested.

The other major theme is, of course, Revenge. Revenge is not treated as "good" thing per say, but its certainly not made out to be the worst idea. Dante's revenge does get out of hand, and he is remorseful, but also considers the entire chain of events to be "The will of God". For it not being a Gothic Novel officially, it still has a darkly romantic tilt to it.

Thus, this book is just, frankly perfect for V:tM. I mean, darkly romantic revenge, Dante feels trapped in the deliciously sadistic personna he was forced into (vampires feel trapped in the deliciously sadistic phenotype and culture that they are forced into). Come on. Not rocket science.

Revenge is actually such a common trope in the wider story of mankind, that this book probably is good inspiration for any game.

You know... this book is so damn good I don't have anything else to say about it. Just read the fucker. (so much for gushing...)

But wait, there's more!

*catches mic*

I have got to recommend to you NOT to read it. Unless audiobooks aren't your thing, in that case read it.

Download the FREE audiobook version narrated by David Clarke. He does every single MF'ing voice perfect AF. After you are done being brain-bombed by David Clarke's stellar performance, tell him how much you wish you could pay him $50k to narrate your favorite European Historical Novel at this link.

*Drops mic. On toe. Screams.*

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