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Unto the Next Generation

It’s really, really weird to be old enough that my work has gone on to inspire younger authors. I am officially a greybeard, or at least a salt-and-pepperbeard. But happily, these two are particularly good authors.

Flex by Ferrett Steinmetz is a novel about a bureaucromancer who wields his magical powers of paper-shuffling to manufacture a supernatural drug called Flex to save the life of his daughter. The magic in the book is inspired by Unknown Armies, the roleplaying game by myself and Greg Stolze, and Ferrett contacted me prior to publication to ask for a blurb which I gladly supplied. It’s a terrific book, and Ferrett has grafted our magic system onto his own setting and characters, then up-leveled the whole thing ingeniously. I’m thrilled to see some comprar kamagra en españa of the ideas from our game reforged anew by a talented writer like Ferrett. And I’m doubly pleased that his book is published by my old friend Marc Gascoigne at Angry Robot Books. (I will always be in Marc’s debt for a GenCon long ago when he passed me a samizdat audiotape of the soundtracks from Andrey Tarkovsky’s films.)

“Combustion Hour” is a short story by Yoon Ha Lee, published by Tor.com. Yoon is a brilliant writer — seriously, this story is lovely and intricate and thoughtful, and it’s inspired by my storytelling game Puppetland. Of all the outcomes I might have imagined for that game, inspiring a genuinely beautiful and heartbreaking space opera in miniature about interplanetary shadow puppets was definitely at least four or five items down the probability list. Okay, maybe four or five million down. I read Yoon’s story in incredulous awe that something so fine and so lean and so otherworldly could have been spun from my old dross.

The thing about creating worlds is that things live in them. Some of them are yours and some are their own inbred mutant offspring. And some are implants, invasive species brought by intrepid explorers, who plant a flag and leave a footprint. The only proper response is pleasure and gratitude. And a request: read these works and pass them on to the next next generation, too.