Extra! Extra! Man Bites Cat! Dog Laughs!

man & dog both in critical condition

 

The Doclopedia #675

Two Characters In Search Of An Adventure: Posey Dogrider & Lifkin Maker

By the standards of the Tiny Folk of Mitchell, South Dakota, Posey Dogrider and Lifkin Maker are crazy. Instead of settling down to a nice life living off the discarded items of the Big Folk, these two young people are determined to live a life of adventure. Even worse, they want to do it over a thousand miles away in California!

It all started years ago, when a very young Posey and Lifkin heard the tales of Badiban Storyteller when he came to town. They were thrilled by his tales of adventure and exotic locales like Lolo, Montana and Bend, Oregon and especially Fresno, California. They talked about these stories for weeks after Badiban left and they eventually made a pact to someday visit such places and have their own adventures.

As the years passed, they grew into young adulthood, fell in love and got married. All of the other Tiny Folk hoped that would put an end to their crazy ideas about adventures, but had exactly the opposite effect. Posey started training an orphaned Pitbull puppy she named Hansi and Lifkin started making all sorts of gadgets that would help them on their long journey.

Tomorrow, the two will climb aboard Hansi, who is now 18 months old and weighs 75 pounds, and head southwest, towards Fresno and adventure!

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The Doclopedia #676

Two Characters In Search Of An Adventure: Captain Silver Eye & Ironfoot Filkins

Many decades ago, Captain Oliver Bartomeus and his First Mate Thomas Filkins were leaders of the most feared pirate crew on the Seven Seas. Their reputation grew to the point where merchant ships would just surrender and give up their booty without a shot being fired.

Which, as you might imagine, pretty much took the fun right out of pirating.

Rich and bored, the two men became landlubbers, buying adjoining estates in North Carolina and then marrying and raising families over the course of the next 50 years. It was a good life, but as old age took over, they began to have long talks about how maybe they left piracy too soon. After all, there were other areas of the world they had not terrorized, treasure they had not taken, rum they had not drunk and wenches they had not bedded. Both agreed that they would give everything they had to be young and on the high seas again.

Which is most likely why the Sea Witch came to visit them with an offer.

It was simple: Leave their old lives behind and start new ones as young men on a fine and fast ship with 48 guns and a crew of the most dangerous bastards ever to sail the seas. All it would cost was every penny they had and a couple of body parts.

Oliver and Tom didn’t have to think twice about it.

Now, sporting a fancy eyeball made from a sliver spoon and an iron foot cast from the remains of an old cannon, Captain Silver Eye & Ironfoot Filkins and their crew are ready to raise hell on the deep blue sea and God help anyone who tries to stop them!

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It’s My Party And I’ll Hulk Out If I Want To

…it does tend to stop the party

 

The Doclopedia #673

Two Characters In Search Of An Adventure: Agent Red & Agent Green

Simply put, Roger St. George AKA “Agent Red” and Leticia Partington AKA “Agent Green” are the two best secret agents the British Empire has. Both are well educated in several fields and have been trained to near physical perfection. They are equipped with the best cutting edge gadgets, all the better to defend the Empire and Europe against the evil machinations of the American Federation.

Although few know it, it was Agents Red & Green who stopped the crazed Doctor Muerte from attacking British West Africa with his army of Living Zombies. Likewise, they were involved in the mysterious destruction of submarine base in Boston Harbor and the resulting capture of the criminal mastermind, Joseph Kennedy.

Now, in 1934, the American Federation is preparing to put mighty armies on the move. Will they strike at Asia or Europe or perhaps both? Whatever they do, Agents Red & Green will be there, operating behind the lines, to help keep the Free World free!

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The Doclopedia #674

Two Characters In Search Of An Adventure: Ingirik & Zerd

Ingirik is an Orc. Zerd is a Goblin. Once, they were draftees into the Army of the Terror Lord, but they ran off and joined the side of the Five Peoples after the first big battle. They provided excellent intel and fought bravely. When the war was over, they were decorated and given full citizenship in the Five Nations. This didn’t come with any money, however, aside from a bit of mustering out pay.

As former warriors are wont to do, they decided to take up dungeon delving as a profession. At first, they just hit a few easy, low profit dungeons in order to get a small bankroll. Once they had enough money, they both enrolled in Mage School. There, they learned several useful spells, including Healing, Create Water, Create Food and the always useful Lightning Blast. Once they left school, they did a few more delves to get some sweet armor and weapons.

Now ready for something a bit more challenging, they are off to the ravaged lands that the Terror Lord came from. They know that there is still a good deal of undiscovered loot to be found there. Joined by a few other seasoned delvers, they figure they’ll soon be kicking monster ass and taking their stuff.

Adventure Module Z-1: Secret Of The Pirate’s Tomb

…ooh, spooky!

 

A reminder to you, Gentle Readers, that the 2012 DogCon 5 trip/con report will start up on August 2 (this coming Thursday) right here on this blog. We’ll have 11 folks plus 5 pets (3 of them imaginary and all 5 doing commentary) on the bus this year and we’ll be taking the very very long way to Critter City, Texas and the con. Many roadside attractions, nearly all of them World Famous will be visited, plus there will be a super special musical number performed in Seattle. There may or may not also be…

Slight trip diversions into other times/places
Naughty pets
Elves…real no shit Elves
Squirrels!
Iron Chef: Magic Bus
The Return Of Giant Roadside Jesus
Pie
LARPs for animals
Duplication of a live human being
Lots of Chocolate
Aliens

So tune in here starting Thursday.

NOTE: Some days will have more than one daily report, so check back often.

And now, Doclopedia posts!

 

The Doclopedia #671

Two Characters In Search Of An Adventure: Super Armored Man & Gadget Hero

Horoshi and Gen are childhood friends who have always been obsessed with superheroes. As children and young teens, they would hang out for hours reading comic books. Fortunately, they both had parents who chased them out of the house to go get some exercise, which they mostly did by tramping around the mountains near their rural community. As the grew older, they stayed nerdy, but were also active in sports, with Horoshi doing very well in wrestling and baseball and Gen being captain of the track team.

One day, when the boys were very near to leaving home for university, their final hike through the woods took them near the home of eccentric old Professor Okano, a mad scientist according to local rumor. He had recently died and the house was awaiting his estranged son, an important businessman in Tokyo, to come and take care of selling everything off. Being very curious, Horoshi and Gen decided to go into the place just for a quick look around.

Once inside, they could find no evidence of a laboratory until Gen accidentally pressed a button on what he thought was a television remote control. The next thing they knew, a piece of the floor slid away revealing a stairway that went down 24 steps into a very large high tech laboratory. Naturally, they just had to go check it out.

The wonders that laboratory contained were amazing and the more the boys found, the more they realized that this stuff could not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands. Besides, there was stuff here that a couple of superheroes could use. Armed with this knowledge, they decided to make the lab their secret base. This was made a whole lot easier when they found the rear entrance that lead to a secret door in an ancient and abandoned shrine in the forest.

It’s now four years later and Horoshi & Gen are out of university and working for a big corporation as IT guys. It has also taken them four years to learn about and learn how to use the hundreds of gadgets that the lab contained. This was made much easier once they figured out how to activate Yoki, the super computer AI that runs the lab, including the little Fabricator Bots who build things.

The time has come for Horoshi to don his armored battlesuit and for Gen to put on his costume and select some gadgets. There is crime that needs fighting and Super Armored Man & Gadget Hero are just the heroes to fight it!

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The Doclopedia #672

Two Characters In Search Of An Adventure: Tammi & Val

Tamara Mendez and Valentina Roberts were just two cousins from East L.A. who were off on a road trip to visit their grandparents in Texas after a short detour to Las Vegas to party a bit. They didn’t know that they’d end up meeting and later beating the crap out of a couple of guys that, besides being a bit too damned sexually aggressive, turned out to be aliens. They also weren’t prepared to know that those two aliens were just two of many who want to conquer Earth. They sure as hell weren’t expecting an ultra-secret government agency to offer them training and jobs hunting the Alien Menace.

They almost turned the job down until they were told what they would be payed. That changed everything. Best of all, they could work out of their home neighborhood because Los Angeles was a hotbed of alien activity. Not really surprising, when you think about it.

Now Tammi & Val are trained, geared up and ready to put the Latina Smackdown on any aliens they can find.

 

A Jar Full Of Madness

…now in the new one gallon size

 

The Doclopedia #669

Two Characters In Search Of An Adventure: Sir Vincent & Rabbit

Sir Vincent of Mobardy is a knight without a king to serve or even a homeland to live in. All of that was lost when the Beast Wizards came out of the west and conquered every civilized land between the Twisting River and the Great Ocean.

Not that Sir Vincent didn’t try to stop them, because he did. He lead many warriors into battle and killed great numbers of the enemy, but in the end, a well thrown bolo took him off his horse and into the hands of those he fought. Rather than kill him, they threw him into a foul prison to await the great Feast of Victory, at which he and the other prisoners would be on the menu.

Rabbit, named Rabinna Vaccisse at birth, was a poor and moderately honest mage and burglar whose only crime was not getting out of the city of Jordoon before the Beast Wizards conquered it. She was tossed into the prison with the assurance that one so young and tender would only be eaten by nobility. Oddly, this did nothing to comfort her.

Life in the prison was brutal, so Rabbit chose to partner up with the only man there who seemed too tough for anyone to mess with: Sir Vincent. He protected her and she used her stealth and skills to search for an escape route. Mere hours before the Feast of Victory, she found it.

The escape from the prison was terrifying, filthy and disgusting. It was followed by days of running and hiding until the two companions reached a seaside village, abandoned for months, and found a boat. After loading it with provisions and water, they set to sea, which lead to many more weeks of danger and hardship until they were picked up by a merchant ship.

Now, half a world away, the noble and muscular knight and the somewhat less noble and rather petite mage-thief seek employment, adventure and, just perhaps, a means to free their homeland.

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The Doclopedia #670

Two Characters In Search Of An Adventure: RITO-9943 & GOXI-3110

RITO & GOXI are two of the uncommon, but not unheard of, Independent Robotic Lifeforms of Hutrad 4, a planet which was once home to many billions of IRLs, but is now the swampy prison/haven of the Py’Klyk Swarm.

With no homeworld to go to, RITO & GOXI, are more or less space bums, traveling from planet to planet by working on everything from luxury liners to transport ships to small smuggler craft. Unlike many IRLs, RITO & GOXI are not overly encumbered by issues of morality. More to the point, they are thieves, con men and general ne’er do wells. So far, they aren’t wanted for anything but small local crimes, but really, it’s only a matter of time.

Lately, the two buddies have been dreaming of some big score pulled off on one of the Inner Systems. Something lucrative that would be remembered for years by criminals everywhere, yet pulled off so as to not get them jailed and allow a nice retirement on some pleasure planet. They are slowly putting together a crew of skilled grifters and thieves to put their plan into play. Once they have everyone they need, the game is on, baby.

The Rare And Beautiful Whistling Purple Mud Ants Of Potawango Island

…they whistle while they work

The Doclopedia #667

 Assorted Quick Book Reviews: The Great War: 1896-1898

This is the first of Winston Churchill’s three volume set covering the “Great War”, or as we know it now, the “Steam War”. It covers the two years before the actual shooting started, which Mr. Churchill was pretty familiar with, having been a spy for Britain in Prussia, France, Russia and even the United States.

From his first look at a “steam powered walking gun platform” to a ride on a submarine to seeing the Americans testing “giant steam robots”, this book is full of information about the weapons of that war. It is also equally full of stories about the political wranglings of a dozen or more countries. Opinions on politicians wise, stupid, daring and cowardly are given in Sir Winston’s usual blunt style.

If you haven’t read this trilogy of books yet, do so. It’s a good read and will get you hooked for the next two volumes.

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The Doclopedia #668

Assorted Quick Book Reviews: It Came From The Word Processor!

Subtitled “Science Fiction & Horror Movies of the 1950s Re-imagined”, this book contains not so short stories by some of the great science fiction and horror writers of our day.

According to the introduction, they were all at UltraCon in 1990 when somebody started the topic of old 50s science fiction movies up. One thing lead to another and then somebody issued a throwdown: choose a movie from submissions put into a hat and write a story retelling it. Eight writers took the challenge. Later on, they were compiled into this book.

Since this is a short review, I’ll just list the writers and the movies they chose in no particular order, because they all rocked.

Isaac Asimov “It Came From Beneath The Sea”

Harlan Ellison “The Amazing Colossal Man”

Stephen King “Them”

Anne McCaffrey “I Was A Teenage Werewolf”

David Brin “Godzilla”

Connie Willis “This Island Earth”

Roger Zelazny “Forbidden Planet”

George R.R. Martin “The Fly”

These stories range from damned scary to very funny to tragic. The authors notes are almost as good.

The Blue Turkey Tango

…nothing like the Whiskey Foxtrot Tango

 

The Doclopedia #666

 Assorted Quick Book Reviews: I’ll Be Damned: My Life As The Real Prince Of Darkness

You’d think that when Satan himself finally writes his autobiography, it would be pretty interesting. You’d be wrong. Oh sure, there are some juicy tidbits here and there (Not So Spoiler: many politicians were/are on a first name basis with Old Scratch) and some interesting background stuff (he loves pro sports and hates roleplaying games), but most of this book is either whining & bitching or ranting against God and mortals. Really, in places, it’s a real Daddy Issues fest. Also: Satan, we get it, you hate us mortals and are SO much better than all the archangels. BORING! Don’t buy this book until it hits the “free ebook” level, which ought to be in about a month.

We Still Like Monkeys, Even When They Act Stupid

…or eat all our fruit.

 

The Doclopedia #664

Assorted Quick Book Reviews: Indiana Jones And The Man Of Bronze

If you are a fan of Indy, Doc or pulp era stories in general, you’ve already read this. If you are just somebody who likes a cracking good adventure, you’ll want to read it.

Set in 1933, the story starts out with Indy at an archaeological conference in Paris where he meets old friend and mentor William Harper “Johnny” Littlejohn. In short order, they are on the track of thieves who have stolen several very unusual artifacts found in South Africa. When people around them start encountering “the man who walks in darkness” and then dying horribly, they call in Doc and the rest of the crew. From there, it’s pretty much nonstop action, with a couple of brief romantic interludes between Indy and Pat Savage. The identity of the evil villain behind everything will surprise you.

So, go read this book and then wait for the eventual sequel and movie.

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The Doclopedia #665

Assorted Quick Book Reviews: Batman: Gotham Animated

There are Batman graphic novels and then there are Batman graphic novels, but in the long and often strange history of them, this is one of the strangest…and funniest.

It all starts out very dark and violent with the Joker & Batman battling it out in a high tech physics area of Wayne Enterprises. Since he’s about to get his clock cleaned, the Joker activates a quantum physics doodad and opens a portal to another dimension, out of which pour animated cartoon characters that we all know and love because in some stroke of genius, DC Comics got the ok from Warner Bros., Disney, Amblin Entertainment and many other cartoon makers to use said characters.

Then we get to page 5. Yeah, that’s right, all of the above takes place in the first four pages. Then we fast forward a couple of days later and for the next 51 pages, it’s all about those toons becoming heroes, villains or just messing around in Gotham City with Batman and darned near his entire Rogues Gallery trying pretty much unsuccessfully to deal with them. There are some huge laughs in that, especially a conversation near the end between Batman and the Joker where they long for the good old just plain deadly days.

Highly recommended.