I got my start as a writer by writing for shared worlds—and I don’t mean writing fan fiction (for my opinions on copyright theft, see my short story “Hell to Pay”). No, I started as a role-playing gamer. You know, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Top Secret, Boot Hill, Chill, Timemaster, Paranoia, James Bond, Cthulhu, etc.), playing in the many convention tournaments put on by The Role-Playing Game Association Network (RPGA).
In my career, I played more than 600 different chara
I'm not much of a fan of umbrellas. It's not that I don't own one. In fact, I have one which is more than thirty years old at this point. I used it on a regular basis when I walked more than a mile to the train station everyday, rain or shine. It has a cane-like handle which makes it a good walking aid and is of sturdy construction (though I had to repair one rib with coat-hanger wire after I walked into a post and bent the rib). These days, though, it pretty much just sits i
Just watched A Good Day to Die Hard (Die Hard 5) a few days ago. This isn't a movie review column, so I won't go into why, despite the fact that the original Die Hard is one of the best action movies ever, the latest installment is a murky, boring, and unlikeable movie ranking as one of the worst action movies of all time (unless you have a car crash fetish). But it highlighted some of the thoughts that I had been mulling recently about the isssue of collateral damage in movi