April came and April went. What did I do in April? I’m not entirely sure!
That’s a lie, of course. I did some things!
Shadows Linger and The White Rose by Glen Cook
I kept reading Glen Cook’s The Black Company books, and I finished Chronicles of the Black Company. The second and especially third books lacked some of the military themes of the original, but Cook still spun an excellent tale that kept me engrossed. I’d like to read more about the Black Company, and I know more exists, but it was time to switch gears to something else.
The Malice by Peter Newman
That something was the sequel to Peter Newman’s excellent The Vagrant. The Malice had been sitting on my kindle for some time, and I decided it’s moment was now. The Malice was a different book than The Vagrant, dispensing with the title character except briefly. However, in many ways this his story told in reverse, and it retained a lot of the wonderful power of the original, even if it lacked some of the visceral newness from the setting that I enjoyed when I read the Vagrant. Nonetheless, The Malice was an excellent read and I can’t wait for the sequel.
Dreams of Neo-Tokyo by Scandroid
I discovered Scandroid a few months ago. I’m a huge fan of 80’s-eqsue synth music, and the cyberpunk theme makes this that much better. But then we got a remix album. So. Good. A+.
I don’t find myself with a lot of time for games right now, and when I do, I tend to go toward a few stalwarts because I’m really just looking to forget about things for a while. So it takes a pretty good new game to interest me. But maybe it’s no surprise that after reading so much Glen Cook I found some time to play Battle Brothers, a neat game about running a mercenary company. I found it quite reminiscent of X-COM, in a low-fantasy sort of way, so I’ve been merrily leading my mercenaries around, slaying bandits, escorting caravans, and recruiting the sort of bloodthirsty men I need for this kind of work. The game is as much management as it is combat, which I prefer, and it’s also exceptionally unforgiving, with a lot of brothers dying random deaths from lucky hits or bad positioning. What I like about the game is that losing your brothers this way doesn’t necessarily mean a restart or necessarily being set back.
You might have noticed my progress on Cloudbreakers getting increasingly slow, to the point where actually very little is happening. I’m in a situation where, in order to take my parental leave, I need to wrap up about a year’s worth of overtasking. Unfortunately, that means less time writing right now. I hate that more than anything, especially when I don’t think I’m going to get a lot of time to write while I’m on leave. But I don’t think there’s a lot I can do about it, except soldier through and try and recover later.