August 18, 2012

In Which My Humility is Variously Assaulted

Anglo/Canadian diffidence took a thundering body blow last night as Pelgrane saw four of its eleven ENnie nominations turn into silver and gold. I’d like to again thank ENnie judges and voters for their silver nods to Lorefinder for best rules and Ashen Stars for best setting. The first constitutes greatly satisfying recognition to a book that seemed to fly under the radar when first released. In raiding GUMSHOE’s stuff and turning it into Pathfinder treasure, Gareth Hanrahan performed feats of mighty battle, and it was lovely to see him hit the awards podium at his first Gen Con in years. The setting nod for Ashen Stars was an unexpected jolt of approbation and gave me the chance to thank the art team (Jerome Huguenin and Chris Huth) as well as cupcake magnate Beth Lewis and gentleman adventurer Simon Rogers for their indispensable contributions.

For pure delight it was impossible to beat Paula Dempsey’s reaction to her gold award for Best Writing the Occult Investigator’s Guide to London, which is her first book. Contributor Steve Dempsey once again uncorked his freestyle chops to deliver his portion of the acceptance speech in rap form. I was proud to be namechecked in this profound expression of the hip-hop arts. In accepting the gold award for best electronic product for Cthulhu Apocalypse, Simon praised the fecund womb of author Graham Walmsley, veering towards and then away from an invocation of the dread buzzword.

Earlier in the day I was happy to appear alongside Paizo fiction majordomo James Sutter and fellow scribes Richard Lee Byers and Dave Gross for a panel on the Pathfinder Tales novels. Ed Greenwood popped in for a cameo appearance to announce his upcoming book for the line. To what must surely be his eternal chagrin, he missed the later discussion of the supposed chasteness of the series, which turned into a list of all the naughty passages in past or forthcoming books. I think James might have been blushing. Along the way we mulled the inextricable relationship between plot and character and maybe even found a few fresh ways to talk about the balance between respecting and obscuring game rules when writing RPG-inspired fiction.

I also had a fine time doing the guest thing on the Tome Show podcast. You can listen to it when it drops, so I needn’t recap. The D&D focus of the ‘cast provided me with a welcome topic shift. Thanks to Tracy and Jeff for inviting me and for their incisive questions and smooth direction of the Q&A segment.

Today I’m at the IPR booth at noon for a Don’t Read This Book group signing, and doing a GUMSHOE seminar with Ken and Simon at 3. Other than that I’ll be chatting and signing at Pelgrane temporary global HQ, booth 1427.