Michael Coorlim is a teller of strange stories for stranger people. He collects them, the oddballs. The mystics and fire-spinners, the sages and tricksters. He curates their tales, combines their elements and lets them rattle around inside his rock-tumbler skull until they gleam, then spills them loose onto the page for like-minded readers to enjoy.
Self-Publishing saved my life. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
In 2010 I was broke and homeless, couch surfing and living off the fumes of a never terribly vibrant bank account. I hadn’t been able to find any freelance gigs in months, and it’d been far loger since I’d been anything other than self-employed. I was registered with several creative temp agencies, and would occasionally score an interview or two.
As a creative professional with a lot of different projects up in the air at any given time, I’m always looking for ways to improve my productivity and better organize my workflow. I’ve tried a number of different methods, and the latest iteration involves what is known as a bullet journal.
I’ve been nominated for the Chicago Reader’s “Best of Chicago” Best Novelist award. I have no idea what twist of fate has led to my name alongside Mary Robinette Kowal, Kathleen Rooney, and Stacey Ballis, but I full intend to take advantage of this glitch in the matrix before it corrects itself.
My latest novel, Network Protocol, has also been nominated for “Best New Novel.” What?
So g’wan. If you’re a fan of what I write, vote for me. It’d be a huge help, even if I don’t win.
Etatia is an elective empire in the west of the Old World, north of the kingdom of Vaquero and south of the Staten. It is a vast feudal nation that imagines itself the heir to a much older empire of the same name.
We have our broad-strokes campaign setting, some history, fuzzy notions about incorporating the quirks of FRPG systems as setting conceits, but nothing we can actually use to play with. It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of implementation. How exactly we do this has a lot to do with the kind of game we’re planning to run, so at this point we need to step away from the theoretical and make some solid choices about the game we’re going to be playing.
Two-thousand years ago, our Heroic Explorations setting wasn’t too different from Earth’s own Iron Age, with the addition of nonhuman races, powerful magic, and active gods. There are a number of powerful empires, but nothing on the scale of the earlier Atlantean or Elven civilizations. There are powerful Dwarven kingdoms as well, but the Elves are still sequestered away, and the other races don’t organize above the community level.
The gangs of Chicago were uniquely situated to survive after the collapse of mainstream authority in the city. While their populations were no more spared the initial die-off than anyone else, they were more accustomed to the violence that followed, had organizational hierarchies to follow, had caches of weapon, and were psychologically prepared to take harsh steps when required. They acted swiftly to appropriate foodstuffs and supplies, which they used themselves and sold to what civilians could afford their prices.
When we were talking about the setting’s magic and cosmology, we decided that the Gods had once been more active and communicative, but were no longer, and that’s one of the reasons why there are so many monsters running around tearing up the countryside. Let’s expound upon that a little.
Before the apocalypseChicago was organized into 77 community areas, each of which contained multiple neighborhoods. This division is useful to us in designing our version of it, because it allows us to parcel our information out in manageable chunks. As our PCs move through the city, we can use these areas and neighborhoods to tell them where they are, without having to track them block by block, street by street, building by building.
Network Protocol, the 2nd book in the cyberpunk thriller series Shadow Decade, has just been released.
The family you choose can get you killed
Spring has come to Chicago, and Erica has adapted well enough to the future to settle into a peaceful routine. She fills out applications, goes on job interviews, avoids people, and tries to adjust by watching the decade of television that she’s missed. The less she leaves her apartment, the less confusing 2026 seems, and Kate — the ruthlessly competent inner voice that’s kept her safe — has been silent since the mastermind behind the attempts on her life was arrested.
Still, social isolation isn’t all its chalked up to be. Erica’s lack of a support network becomes increasingly problematic as the gang that runs her Block gets swept up into a citywide gang-war, and narrowed eyes increasingly see her as an outsider in their midst. Can she open up enough to find acceptance?
For the first week of release, until the end of April 2017, both Network Protocol and the first book in the series, Cold Reboot, are available in ebook format for $0.99 cents. That’s a $2 investment, cool, right?
Both books are also available as paperbacks for around $15 through Amazon. I’ll be shipping it out to all of my $10+ patrons around the first of May, so if you want to get it a little cheaper consider signing up for my Patreon. I only ship out the paperbacks and hardcovers the one time, so if you want a copy that way, now’s the time to sign up to avoid missing out.
Speaking of hardcovers, those will be available in late May, early June. If you want one, I’d suggest maybe picking up the ebook now while it’s a dollar, and then signing up for to my mailing list to get notification when that’s available. Or, if you support my Patreon at the $25 level, you get the hardcover when it goes out. As an added bonus, if you subscribe to the Patreon at any level, you get a free download link for my ebooks. All of them. All of the released books. And bonus episodes of the Working Class Creatives podcast. And a bunch of other stuff.
If you do pick up a copy, I’d love to hear what you think of it. Write a review. Post it to your blog or Amazon, put a link in the comments below. It really helps out.
Questions? You are invited to either leave a comment below, or ask directly through the comment form.