Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Dragon*Con 2017!


Remember when we used this blog for announcing things other than appearances at conventions?  I don’t!  And neither do you!  This is the way it’s always been!  Forever!

Anyway…it looks like your friend, Ol’ Sam Sykes, will be at Dragon*Con this year (you have to put the asterisk in or you go to jail).  And if you’re going to be there, too, he’d like to see you.  You can find him at one of the many fine panels or signings below:


What is High Fantasy: Ol’ Sam Sykes is gonna tell you all about elfs and dwarfs and wizards and such. Maybe spin a few lies, a few tales.  Possibly have a stein of mead.

1:00 PM, Room L401-403-Marriott

Buy My Book: Ol’ Sam Sykes couldn’t possibly tell you what they want him on this panel for.

5:30 PM, Room Embassy EF-Hyatt

Comedy in Fantasy: Ol’ Sam Sykes is gonna tell you a couple of jokes about elfs and dwarfs.  Definitely steins of mead involved probably.

7:00 PM, Room Embassy EF-Hyatt


Signing at Badali Jewelry: This will be my only signing, I think, so if you’ve got a book that needs signed, you can either leave it at the booth for me to get to (make sure to include your name) or swing by!

2:00 PM, Booth 2422 & 2424 on Second Floor of the Exhibit Hall


Fantasy Graphic Novels: We’ll be talking about the transition from fantasy novels to the comics page!  Let’s all see if we can’t get along!

10:00 AM, Room Embassy EF-Hyatt

Delphic Oracle: Fantasy authors are going to tell a story by using one word at a time!  There is no possible way that this can go wrong at all!

1:00 PM, Room Embassy EF-Hyatt

Sexy Fantasy: I’m actually really interested in this one.  I’ve written about sex in fantasy a lot, as you’d know if this blog weren’t only about announcing where I’d be, so I look forward to hearing what other authors have to say on the subject.

10:00 PM, Room Embassy EF-Hyatt


Folklore Roots of the Monsters of Fantasy: Fantasy monsters!  Trolls!  Ogres!  Old wives’ tales!  Except told by someone who is not an old wife!  Come on by!

10:00 AM, Room Chastain 1-2-Westin

And that’s it!

I hope to see you there!  And if I don’t, I hope you’re ready to see me haunting you in your nightmares because that’s where I’m coming next!


Ol’ Sam Sykes


San Diego Comicon 2017!


Will you be at San Diego Comicon this year?  ME, TOO.  Are you excited to be a part of a gigantic pop culture event?  ME, TOO.  Are you curious where I’ll be during said pop culture event?  ME, TOO.  Are you terrified of the increasingly close proximity to the unending void that encroaches upon us daily?  ME, TOO.

But only one of those things I can actually do something about!

Please find below my schedule for San Diego Comicon!


I won’t be doing any signings at the Hachette Booth this year, but we have a super secret announcement for super secret fans of Sam Sykes.  If you super secretly make your way to the Hachette Booth (that’s booth #1116) and super secretly whisper the password: “Buy my book” to the people working on the Orbit side, they will give you a free comic prelude to The City Stained Red, signed by me, for your collection!

Or, if you’re interested, you can get a physical copy of one of my books.  BUT YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE OR THE OTHER.  NOT BOTH, YOU GREEDY BABY.


11:00-11:50 AM: Signing

BOOM! Studios Booth #2229

Come on by the Boom! Studios booth and get yourself some signed copies of Brave Chef Brianna!  The story is complete so now you can get the WHOLE DANG THING!

1:30-2:30 PM: Panel: Sixty Seconds With SFF Authors

Horton Grand Theater (on Balboa Ave)

Join me, Paul Cornell and various other people who smell nice to play a little game called “Just a Minute,” where we must speak with decisive, unhesitant authority on various nerd subjects.  It’s probably a super serious panel for super serious people.  I should be a great fit, right?  Glad we agree.

7:30-8:30 PM: Panel: 10 Years of Adam Warren’s EMPOWERED

Room 4

I was actually super astonished when Adam Warren, creator of the amazing sexy superhero comic, EMPOWERED, reached out to me to sit on his panel.  I’ve always been a big fan, but I’ll also be a big contributor to this discussion about body image, finding one’s place in the world, comics and, hopefully, butts.

9:30 PM-1:30 AM: Drunk in An Alley

An Alley

Do not disturb.


10:00 AM-9:00 PM: Following You Around Like An Animal


Beginning promptly at 10:00 AM, I will begin following you at a respectful distance in a jeep.  Wearing a button-down shirt and cargo shorts, I will quietly whisper my awe as I pause and snap photos of you standing in line, eating a taco and generally living life well.  With the help of a safari guide, I will not engage or disturb, as per the rules, but I will treasure these memories forever.


12:00-1:00 PM: Signing

Badali Jewelry Booth #532

Come on by the Badali Jewelry booth, purveyors of fine metalworks, and get yourself a signed book!  Stop by!  Chat!  Buy a book!  Buy jewelry!  Never leave!

6:00-6:50 PM: Signing

BOOM! Studios Booth #2229

I’ll be signing more copies of Brave Chef Brianna and complaining, loudly, that no one respects me.  Please stop by and bring me a taco!


10:00 AM-9:00 PM: Hiding In Your Luggage

Your Suitcase

I need a place to stay, man.  Help me out.  Just check me in customs and let me come live with you.  They won’t say anything, it’s cool.


Remember to go to the HACHETTE BOOTH #1116 and tell them to BUY MY BOOK to get yourself a FREE-ASS BOOK OR COMIC MY GOD.  DO IT.  DO IT, YOU PIECES OF STANK.

Phoenix Comicon and Beyond!


I bet you’re expecting some fun stuff, eh?  Maybe some huge announcements or deep musings on the nature of life?  Or maybe just a lovely piece of artwork?

Well, too bad, dummy.  It’s even better than that!


Once again, yours truly has been invited to cause a little mayhem and talk a little about books.  I hope you’ll come and visit me!  And, if you do, here’s my schedule to help you better stalk hunt find me.


As is tradition, the Poisoned Pen is once again hosting dozens of authors who come into town for Phoenix Comicon.  This year, it’s being held at the Scottsdale Hilton to accommodate the sheer numbers of awesome that have come into town!  Come visit me, Jim Butcher, VE Schwab, Aprilynne Pike, Brian McClellan, Myke Cole and more!

Do it or I’ll hunt you in the night!


WOULD YOU RATHER: 1:30 PM, North 126AB

Once again, for some reason Phoenix Comicon is allowing us to play a very childish game and embarrass each other and you can be there to see it.  Come see me host the dumbest game ever with Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, Katie Salidas, Brian McClellan and Aprilynne Pike!

BETWEEN THE CACTI: Sam Sykes, Scott Lynch, Myke Cole and Wesley Chu: 3:00 PM, North 125 AB

A completely unscripted, unmoderated discussion between four excellent authors and one ghost.  We’ll cover everything from fun fantasy to whether Myke Cole can drink out of a toilet.  Come visit!

SIGNING: 6:00 PM Exhibitor Hall (Changing Hands Bookstore)


Get Me Out of Here!: 12:00 PM, North 126C

Me and a number of other authors will be answering cross-genre questions and the audience will be deciding how well our answers hold up!  The first one to lose gets hit in the face with a brick (maybe).  Come see who it’ll be!

Apocalypse Now?: 1:30 PM, North 126C

For absolutely no reason at all in the year 2017, people tend to be thinking about the end of the world a lot.  Crazy, right?  Me, Myke Cole, Jason Hough, Dan Wells, Alexandra Oliva and Sherrilyn Kenyon will be discussing our favorite apocalypse scenarios and whether or not there’s a story afterward.

SIGNING: 3:00 PM Exhibitor Hall (Changing Hands Bookstore)


Writing Rogues II: 10:30 AM, North 126AB

This was one of my very favorite panels we ever did and this year, I have the honor of moderating it.  Together with Jim Butcher, Bradley Beaulieu, Victoria Schwab, Brian McClellan, Wesley Chu and more, we’ll be discussing what effectively makes a character that operates outside the law or even the confines of the story.

Fantasy Draft II: 12:00 PM, North 126AB

I’ll be hosting this year’s fantasy draft league.  Bradley Beaulieu, Brent Weeks, Scott Lynch and Brian McClellan will each be charged with putting together a team of cleric, thief, fighter and wizard from literature and pop culture.  Victoria Schwab and Terry Brooks, our honorable judges, will decide which one has the best.  I’ve got $10 large on McClellan.

SIGNING: 3:00 PM, Exhibitor Hall (Changing Hands Bookstore)

Author Batsu with Sam Sykes: 4:30 PM, North 125AB.

It’s that time again.  Time for glory.  Time for pain.  Time for authors to line up and perform a task and be severely punished with hot salsa, should they fail to do so.  This year, we welcome returning competitors Myke Cole, Aprilynne Pike, Pierce Brown and Scott Sigler, as well as newcomers Wesley Chu and Brent Weeks.  Let’s see who survives this year!


SIGNING: 1:00 PM, Exhibitor Hall (Badali Jewelry Booth #1696)

Not Another F’ing Worldbuilding Panel: 3:00 PM, North 126C

HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING!?  We’ll talk about building worlds.  Maybe one of us will be drunk?  One of us should be drunk.  Come by and see who!

And that’s it!

If you’re by, come visit us!  If you’re not, you’ll regret it!  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not when I’m banging down your door to get into your house, but soon!  And for the rest of your life!

Happy Comiconing, everyone!

Salt Lake City Comicon!

What are you doing Labor Day weekend?  Probably spending time with your family, reflecting on the virtues of honest work and considering your place in the world.  Like a nerd.

As for me?  I’ll be at Salt Lake City Comicon!  September 1-3!

And if you’re smart, you’ll be there, too!  And if you’re smart, but also seeking an element of danger, you’ll find me around the con!

Here’s my schedule:


Magic: Writing and Roleplaying Authentic Magic-Users and Shamans

Room 253A, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

What is an authentic magic-user?  Are you often accused of being a magic-poser?  This panel is for you as we delve into ways to make your magic pixie business seem like real magic pixie business and not just a shallow mockery of one.

Everything I Need to Know About Life, I Learned from Supervillains

Room 255B, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

This one resonates with me.  Not least because I, too, often dress up like a clown and terrorize men and women who dress up like bats.


Magical Beasts and How to Create Them

Room 150G, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

I’m actually super keen to do this one.  Monsters are my forte and I’ve been hungry to discuss them for awhile now.

Signing at Shadow Mountain Booth 1807

Booth 1807, 1:00 PM

I’ll be signing copies of The City Stained Red, The Mortal Tally, An Affinity for Steel and whatever else your little heart might desire!


Signing: Badali Jewelry Booth 731

Booth 731, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Badali Jewelry has been amazing to me and I am thrilled that they asked me to do a signing at their booth.  If you’re interested in their City Stained Red collection, we’ll also be selling a few limited copies of my books there.

Build-a-Story: Professional Authors Create a Story from Scratch

Room 253A, 1:00 PM – 2:oo PM

I promise I won’t swear more than 30% of the panel.

Signing at Shadow Mountain Booth 1807

Come by and get a book signed!  Or, if you’ve already got a book signed, come by and let me sign your face!  Sign your children!  SIGN YOUR FUTURE!

And that’ll be it!

I hope to see you guys there!  And if I don’t, I hope to see you in your dreams when I haunt you for not buying my book!

San Diego Comicon Schedule!


In a mere two weeks, I will be participating in San Diego Comicon 2016!

My schedule is as follows!


Drunk in A Gutter (All Day, In a Gutter Somewhere): Join me and whoever else happens to join me as I pass out in a pile of my own human misery, passersby looking upon me weeping softly into a half-empty bottle of Asahi, too full of pity to call the police.  Signings to follow.




Signing (11:00 AM, Hachette Booth, Booth #1116): Come join me in a book signing!  We’ll be giving away copies of An Affinity For Steel!  Huge books that will look GOOD on your shelf and maybe make it collapse!  It’ll be so great, you’ll actually start crying!


Signing (11:00 AM, Badali Jewelry Booth, Booth #532): MORE book signings with the good people at Badali Jewelry!  Not only that, but we’ll be unveiling a NEW piece of jewelry based on The City Stained Red!  Come and join us!  Get a book signed!  Be merry!


Following You Home (Whenever You Leave, Your House): You thought it was over, didn’t you?  Well, you shouldn’t have sworn that blood oath back on Wednesday!  You’ll be joining me as I appear in the rear view mirror of your car, chasing after you with speed that you wouldn’t think a man of my size could achieve!  Or maybe I’ll be appear on the wing of your plane home, inching ever closer to the window.  Or perhaps I’ll just come out from under your bed at night.

Of course, if you come to one of my signings, we can forget this whole thing ever happened.

Be there or be square!

Phoenix Comicon and Elevengeddon!

Storm clouds gather.  The land grows dark and dry as the bones from a freshly-picked corpse.  In the night, a child cries out and no one is sure why.

But I know…


That’s right, once again, my favorite con of the year, my home con, is right around the corner.  The weekend of June 2-5 is reserved for all manner of literary debauchery, panelist hijinx and more habanero salsa that can safely be consumed by man.

And if you’re reading this site, you doubtlessly want to know where you can find me.  WELL, YOU’RE IN LUCK, BUDDY, BECAUSE I’LL TELL YOU.

As always, you can find any of the schedules of any of the presenting authors herebut there are some events you might not know about!  My appearances are as follows…

Wednesday, June 1

ELEVENGEDDONPoisoned Pen Bookstore, 7 PM

With the endless generosity and patience of Kevin Hearne as our guide, we authors have coalesced into a shitshow of monumental proportions.  Almost two dozen authors will be gathering at the Poisoned Pen bookstore at 7 PM to sign everything you could ever want.  Copies of my books will be there, as well as others’.  If you can’t make it to the con, it’s a great time to stop by!

Thursday, June 2

Would You Rather: North 128B, 4:30 PM

Because we are children and Phoenix Comicon is too forgiving, we are allowed to play this dumb game.  Come watch us.

Friday, June 3

Adventuring Parties: Still Cool?  North 129A, 12:00 PM

Man, if they aren’t, I am fucked.

-Is This a Kissing Book?  North 129A, 1:30 PM

Relationships!  Romance!  Smooching!  Are they necessary in epic fantasies?  Are they even desirable?  Again, if they aren’t, I am fucked.

-Would You Lie to Me?  North 128B, 6:00 PM

Jason M. Hough brings his own brand of game show to Phoenix Comicon!  We authors try to separate fact from fiction as we lie gratuitously toward each other in the hopes of humiliating each other on stage!

Saturday, June 4

-Motherflippin’ Wizards: North 129A, 10:30 AM

Not content to merely discuss magic systems, we’re here to figure out what happens when magic impacts the character!

-Glowy Swords: Magical McGuffins: North 129A, 1:30 PM

Magic swords, talking swords, glowy swords, perhaps even a ring or two.  We’re gonna talk about the magic bullshit that makes fantasy stories go ’round!

-Author Batsu with Sam Sykes: North 129A, 4:30 PM

Once again, welcoming a Phoenix Comicon tradition, me and a few idiots are going to try to make each other laugh and force BRUTAL PUNISHMENT on one another!

Sunday, June 5

-Worst Panel In the World: North 128A, 1:30 PM

Come shoot the shiz with us as we welcome a hangover panel to talk about the terrible things we have learned during this convention.

-Embarrassing Author Con Stories: North 128B, 4:30 PM

The grim survivors of the con gather to discuss their weirdest, awkward and most embarrassing stories they were either a part of or caused.



If you’ve read this far, your reward for doing so will be the realization that there will be an EXTREMELY LIMITED number of copies of An Affinity for Steel, The Aeons’ Gate omnibus, available for purchase at Phoenix Comicon!

Simply locate the Worldbuilders’ booth and shell out $20 and those copies are YOURS.  These aren’t on sale for a few days, but you’ll get your chance to get them early and signed if you swing by!  Holy smokes!

And that’s it!

I better see you there!  OR ELSE!

Emerald City Comicon!


That’s right, from April 7th through April 10th, I’ll be hanging around, doing thangs and generally being a total jerk!  YOU SHOULD COME SAY HELLO!

Here’s where I’ll be:

ORBIT BOOKS PANEL: Friday, April 8th.  2:45-3:45 PM.  

Room W603

Come hang out with me, Seanan McGuire, Brent Weeks and Gail Carriger as we talk about all things Orbit books!  Do you like books?  Do you like my books?  Do you like someone else’s books who is at Orbit?  Come.  YOU BETTER COME.  YOU BETTER SAY HELLO.

Signing: Friday, April 8th.  4:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

Signing Area

I will sign your books right after this panel!  HOLY CRAP, HOW LUCKY CAN YOU GET?

BADALI JEWELRY SIGNING: Friday, April 8th.  4:30 PM to 5:30 PM.

Booth #111

So, the time on this is a little janky, because it turns out I accidentally can’t schedule things worth a DAMN.  But please follow my twitter and I’ll be posting frequent updates as to my location and time!

WORLDBUILDERS CHARITY EVENT: Saturday, April 9th.  7:00 PM.

Room 2AB.  Convention Center.

Come play games and raise money for charity with me and a bunch of other awful authors!  Sponsored by Heifer International, you can do a good deed and come fucking LOSE YOUR GODDAMN SHIT WHILE PLAYING BOARD GAMES, HOLY CRAP.  BUY TICKETS HERE.  GO NOW.  GO.

And if you can’t find me at one of these places, I’ll be posting my location frequently on twitter, because I am easy to stalk and make bad decisions!


WonderCon & Mysterious Galaxy Signings!


We’re a little over a week out from the release of The Mortal Tally!  If you liked The City Stained Red (and presumably you did, if you’re at this blog), then you’re probably as excited as I am for the release of this book!  Maybe even more excited since you don’t know who dies!


…er, forget I said that.

Anyway, as zero hour approaches, let’s talk about some cool stuff that’s happening!

If you’re going to be in Los Angeles for WonderConThursday 24th through Sunday 27th, you’ve got a deal of a god damn lifetime going on!

My appearances are, as follows:

Panel: Getting to the Point

Getting to the Point—SF/F authors Carrie Vaughn (The Kitty Norville series), Peter Clines (The Fold and the Ex-Heroes series), Arwen Elys Dayton (The Seeker Series), Sam Sykes (Aeon’s Gate Trilogy & Bring Down Heaven’s Gate series), and Brian Staveley (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series) discuss the pointy strategic bits of weapons and battle tactics as their characters battle for causes from the mundane to the sublime. Moderated by Maryelizabeth Yturralde of Mysterious Galaxy. 

Los Angeles Convention Center.  Room 151.  Friday, March 25th.  12:00 PM to 1:oo PM.  Signing to follow!

Signing: Badali Jewelry Booth #1103

More details here!

I’ll be signing copies of my book, any book, you show up with!  You need a ticket, but the ticket is FREE!

In addition, I will have a very limited number of copies of The Mortal Tally to giveaway.  It’ll be a first come, first serve situation, so HUSTLE THERE!

Booth #1103.  Saturday, March 26th.  3:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

And then…the big one…the super important date…


That’s right!  I’ll be at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego next Tuesday to sign copies of The Mortal Tally!  (Preorder link included so that you can take advantage of this coolness!)

Mysterious Galaxy have been steadfast supporters of mine for a long time and I’m super pleased to be able to see my newest book released into the wild under the loving care of their fancy-ass bookstore.

There will be books!  There will be sass!  There might even be some fancy authors you weren’t expecting to see there!  Holy crap!  I hope you’ll come by and see us!

March Appearances!


February is almost over!  Your opportunities to buy discount chocolate hearts before they’re melted down and reformed into discount chocolate bunnies is quickly closing!  But do not fear.  There is no cause for alarm.

Because you’ve got Sam Sykes.

That’s right.  It turns out March is going to be a busy-ass month for your favorite author who can also beat up one of every bear*, and I’d like to let you know what’s going down in the coming days!

MARCH 3rd, 7:00 PM: Signing at The Poisoned Pen!

I’ll be interviewing Rae Carson and V.E. Schwab at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore in Scottsdale!  In addition, I will also be signing books.  I will be putting my signature in the book and then you will be forcing the book into your eyeballs.  This is how the digestive process works, as far as words go.

Both of these very talented authors are a joy to interview and I dearly hope you guys will come by to see them and maybe me.

MARCH 12th – 13th: Tucson Festival of Books!

The Tucson Festival of Books is a literary festival that’s near and dear to me.  Seeing such a wonderful festival in my home state promoting literacy, authors and a love of books and seeing it so well-attended…it fills me with determination!

Here’s my schedule!

Saturday 12th, 4:00 PM : Tough Guys of SF/F

Sunday 13th, 11:30 AM: Generations of Sword and Sorcery

Sunday 13th, 4:00 PM: My Hero Can Beat Up Your Hero


This will be my first time at WonderCon, but it will not be the first time I have roamed the streets of Los Angeles, shirtless and drunk and screaming at police!  You don’t have to come for that latter bit, but you should come see me there:

Friday, 12:oo PM – 1:00PM: Getting to the Point – Discussing the Strategic Bits of Weapons and Where to Stick the Pointy End

Saturday, 3:00 PM: Book Signing at Badali Jewelry Booth!  I’ll be signing copies of The City Stained Red, and whatever else you might have for me to sign that doesn’t bite, burn or sting, at the Badali Jewelry Company booth!  Badali Jewelry is a company I am very proud to say has launched a line of The City Stained Red-inspired jewelry!  Pick one up while you’re there, why don’t you!

MARCH 29th, 7:30 PM: THE MORTAL TALLY Launch and Book Signing at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, San Diego!

This is it!  Culminating in all of this, The Mortal Tally will finally launch!  Please don’t forget to preorder it, if you’d like to take advantage of our fabulous giveaway!

And at 7:30 PM, I will be doing a book signing event at The Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego!  If you are there, please consider stopping by!  I will doubtlessly not yet be drunk and we will have such a great time, I literally won’t be able to stand it!

See you there! 08-B

Answer the Companions: Lust & Rust






“Ugh.  My back is killing me.  My head feels like it was stomped on.  What the hell happened last night?”






“You realized what we had to do today and tried to drink yourself to death.  Normally, I applaud that sort of behavior, but when I started criticizing your technique, you just threw a bunch of bottles at me.”






“Well, clearly, if your technique was worth anything, you’d be dead by now, wouldn’t you?  And since you aren’t, neither am I, which means we’ve got to do this shit again.”






“Oh, come now.  Let’s have a bit of a positive attitude, eh?  One should savor these rare opportunities for sentimentality and romance.  After all, it won’t be too long before we all find ourselves too busy for simple whispers in the dark and roses left on bed and we’re forced to pay people to slap us in the face and call us filthy names just to see if we can remember what it feels like to be in love again.”






“…what the fuck happened last night?!”






“Our first letter comes from Carl, who asks…”


Catch 22. Rock and a hard place. Chocolate … It’s always the damn chocolate!!! So, my lady is perfect in my eyes. But not in hers. She seems to believe that she is getting a little too round. Pfff whatever, right? She wants to lose weight for HER. Excellent I say. She’s become much more picky about what she eats. Chocolate is on the nope-not-eating list. Chocolate is what I have given her every year for some time. If I don’t do it this year I might somehow send the message that her fears about her self body image are correct. If I don’t, all of a sudden I don’t listen. I don’t really KNOW her. Either scenario could start a fight. What do I do?






“There’s your first problem: chocolate is full of sugar.  Makes you slow, weak.  A good relationship is a partnership.  And if she’s going to provide, you need her lean and angry.  Try giving her meat.  Chicken or other fowl is best, for efficiency.  Cow’s too domestic.  If you want something hoofed, turn to venison.  That’s the good stuff.”






“However insane it might sound–and I beg you, gentle reader, don’t turn away at my next words–I agree with my…company, I guess you’d call her.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of benefit to lying to just about everyone: the authorities, the merchants, the girl at the tavern down the street who’s always wanted to ride in a carriage so you stole one and said it was yours…but rarely to someone you’re hoping to court.  Trust is paramount is any relationship.  And if she says that she’d rather not have chocolate, then you should listen to her.

“That said, you’ll definitely want to escalate things elsewhere.  Consider taking her out for a nice meal or, perhaps, even cooking something for her yourself.  Even if you’re terrible at it, she’ll appreciate the effort because you’ll have listened to her and, trust me, she meant what she said.  Women love that kind of crap.”






“And if she doesn’t like the meat, well, she won’t complain if she gets chocolate next year, will she?  Anyway, our next question comes from Cam, who asks…”

Dear Compainions,
I would like to know which is the best way to propose to a women and with what.






“What do you mean with what?  You use a ring, obviously.”






“What?  Why a ring?”






“To show your dedication and affection, of course.  It’s a timeless piece of artistry that symbolizes–”






“Do you eat it?  Is it made out of something?”






“No.  It’s usually gold or silver and set with a gem that–”






“Oh, I get it.  The gem’s sharpened to a fine point and when you get in a fight–POW!  Suddenly you’re throwing fists and people are losing eyes.”






“That’s not it at all, you backwater barbarian.  The ring is a symbol of perpetual and undying love, the suggestion that, even though our mortal frames will one day give out and turn to dust, the loves we forge never shall.”






“So, you can’t eat it, can’t hunt with it, can’t use it to defend yourself.  But you keep it around to remind yourself of how quickly you’re dying and how your love was summarized by a shitty piece of metal that’ll probably be melted down and turned into coin for some shithead to buy something useful with.”






“Look, you’re giving him the wrong impression, it’s more–”








I have an absolutely awful question about love. How do I court my mailman who looks like a fucking angelic model from heaven? Thanks






“This isn’t too hard.  Humans always think their fancy mail protects them, but I haven’t seen a human problem yet that the right arrow couldn’t solve.  First of all, get a little closer than you normally would.  The arrow will have more impact and you can see if the man is wearing anything under the mail.  If he is, your best bet is to aim for the unprotected parts, like the eyes or–”






“That’s not what a mailman is.”












“A mailman is a guy who delivers letters.”






“Like the one who brought these to us.  So, yeah, shooting still seems like a good idea.”






“…anyway, dear reader, you’re not giving us a lot to go off of here.  Has this mailman introduced any feelings towards you?  Does the conversation come freely?  Stiffly?  Approaching people in a professional capacity is always risky–if you go looking for romance on the job, you usually end up with a knife in the gut.  Metaphorically or literally, depending on your line of work.  If you’re intent, though, and have reason to believe that your feelings might be reciprocated, just be straightforward.  Go take him somewhere and nurture whatever feeling he’s put out there.”

Dear Kataria,

I’m running into a peculiar issue while adventuring that perhaps you can help with. It doesn’t really matter if I’m killing horrific beasts, helping the common man (for a price – look, a girl’s gotta eat), saving the innocent, you know, *doing important things* – everyone keeps assuming I simply don’t exist. And by that I mean they pretend I’m not there at all.

Except “him.”

And whenever *he* talks to me, do you think I get a thank-you for saving his ass? Nah, we’re talking about the peculiar and beautiful luminescence of the moon or some shit. Do I get any credit for lopping off that bedazzled eight-foot land shark’s back left fin so it didn’t, you know, consume half the party and that random group of lumberjacks that just wanted to “hang out”? Nah, we’re talking about my eyes, or how we “feel,” or more specifically how *he* feels about *me*. Do I get to discuss how maybe I deserve just a little more pay for almost losing my finger garroting the latest assassin? Nah, let’s talk about “us” instead.

Weirdly, this seems to apply to everyone else in the party, too, by which I mean every time they talk to me, they’re talking about him. And how it’s so nice he’s found someone, by which they mean me for some reason, although I’m not quite certain how he’s “found” me as I’ve been standing here the entire damn time (except for that one time where I was standing behind them and jamming a mechanism for an avalanche that would have buried them all alive – long story).

It seems as though this malaise has stricken everyone we encounter as well. They spend an inordinate amount of time pointing out that it’s “so sweet to see him with someone” and “I’m really good for him” and “you two look so good together” as well as something about ships that I’m reasonably certain has nothing at all to do with the business of sailing. Merchants don’t ask me what I want, they just throw out a collection of dresses, paint for my face, jewelry and noxious perfume, and look at me oddly when I tell them to show me their selection of daggers, swords, explosives and other assorted weaponry.

I’m not sure where they have gotten this impression, because I’ve certainly never said anything of the kind. It’s beginning to feel like I’m in some sort of bizarre alternate universe in which I am destined to be bound to this idiot forever, which is certainly not my intention at all. I can’t get a sentence out of another person without them mentioning it. I can’t have a reasonable conversation with anyone without them saying something about it. But “it” doesn’t exist. And apparently *I* don’t exist without *him*, according to everyone else.

So my question is: Do I just kill him and take back my own destiny, or should I be looking at the entire party instead? And is it considered poor etiquette if I just, you know, take their stuff? I mean, they aren’t going to be using it.

Destiny can go hang itself





“The moon?  Feelings?  What the hell does he think you’re doing out there?

“Here’s the problem with humans–and I assume you’re surrounded by them, since your friends sound like idiots–they don’t want to work for anything.  They built their big stupid cities and sprawled out their big stupid farms so they could grow their big stupid vegetables and now they don’t appreciate what goes into hunting and hurting anymore.

“Destiny is just a word they made up to justify that laziness.  Funny thing is, people only seem to recognize destiny in hindsight.  No one ever thinks it’s their destiny to be eaten by wolves, but it happens, anyway.  Remind your dumb friends about that.

“Sure, let them fawn over you, give you stuff, whatever.  But then just let them handle themselves for a bit.  Hang back, see how they deal with stuff on their own.  With him, though, you might need to take a more active role: shove him into a pit or drop a rock on him or some shit.  Make him appreciate that it’s not destiny that keeps his ass out of trouble, it’s you.  He’ll either toughen up or die.  Either way, your problem’s solved.”





“There’s something inherently romantic about struggle, isn’t there?  Back in the day, you’d need to work hard to woo someone: bring them tributes of gold, kill a monster, find a rare flower on top of a mountain.  Nowadays, everyone just sort of gets drunk and slaps ass in an alley.  While charming, it doesn’t really make things endure.

“I’ll agree with our shictish friend.  But I’ll add that you should always keep an eye on their shit, in case the going gets good.  After all, if they didn’t appreciate their loot enough to protect it from you, it couldn’t be that important, could it?”

Dear, Kataria

What is the best way to earn a women’s respect, kindness, kill her enemies, defeat a beast or craft her a fine weapon.






“What?  Why does everyone assume I know this stuff?”






“I mean, whatever the rumors say, you are a woman.”






“So?  I’m not the only woman.  There’s Asper, Kwar, Blacksbarrow, Xhai…I mean, a lot of those guys want to kill me, but you get my point.

“I don’t know what you do to earn a woman’s respect.  Probably you start by realizing she’s not just a woman, she’s…you know, her.  Does she want you to kill a beast?  Did she say she wants a nice weapon?  If you’re just doing stuff in hopes of winning her affections, then you’re probably just going to annoy her.

“…wait, what kind of rumors are there?”






“Moving on.”


Dear Kataria,

My boyfriend ate the last of the curry. Where should I dump his body?


Hungry Girl





“All right, this one I understand.”






“Yeah, who would have thought you’d be able to answer a question about inappropriately retaliating for someone taking food like a gods damned animal would?”






“You’re just mad no one wrote you anything.

“Anyway, dear whatever, if you gut him, you don’t have your curry back and the guy who took it isn’t getting you any.  Presumably, since he’s your boyfriend, you can count on him to do stuff for you.  So, the law’s pretty simple: he took your curry, he either gives it back or you get to take something of his.”






“That’s not the law.”







“You want my advice, though, I’d take something of his just on principle.  Something dear to him that’ll make him think twice about taking your stuff next time.  You can always make more curry, after all–it’s a human recipe, so it can’t be that complicated.  And if you do that, he won’t take your stuff anymore and you’ll have more curry and his stuff.

“Also he’ll learn empathy or some shit.”

Dear Kataria,

What do you do when sex in your relationship becomes soul-crushingly dull and utterly predictable? When 9:17 is go time, and 9:23 your partner is snoring in satisfied contentment?

Thank you!






“Have you tried hitting him?”






“Why you got so many letters, I’ll never understand.

“Not that anyone asked my opinion, but if I had to weigh in, I’d probably say that you should only be forthcoming with information at three times in your life: on your deathbed, when you’re writing your will and when you’re about to go to bed with someone.

“Communication is what’s key.  People are always so proud of the idea that they’re fantastic lovers or so terrified of the idea that they aren’t that no one ever tells anyone anything.  It’s a conspiracy of silence between both people when it should be one of the most honest times in their lives.  If the sex has become mind-numbing, then the first step should be to bring it up to your partner and ask for their help in progressing forward.

“All the toys, tricks and techniques in the world won’t save you if you can’t be honest with your partner.  Let them know and work from there.  It’s not like it could make things worse.”






“And if it does, just hit him.”


Dear Kataria (and Denaos I suppose, but mostly Kataria),

I’ve been a lone Shict for years now, but every now and then, I tend to yearn for someone to have a good tumble with; However, there are a couple problems that arise from this yearning.

First and foremost is that I have been burned too many times and have learned to not trust others. In fact, I don’t really like other beings at all. I just sometimes want someone there as another sexual being to connect with from time to time. I know it doesn’t make sense. Of course, as you well know, Kataria, the anger can definitely increase the fun and pleasure, but it still tends to leave someone with unreal expectations, thinking that they can continue to talk to me and be in my presence. Annoying.

Second, I love myself a lot. Like A LOT. To the extent that I wonder if loving someone else, even temporarily, would put me in the middle of a love triangle with myself. Let’s be honest, no one knows how to make love to me better than myself, so sometimes I wonder why I even bother looking for someone else, but I guess it comes down to the fact that touching yourself will always feel slightly different than being touched by another.

So, I guess my question is, how do I stand someone long enough to make love to them, and how do I do it without making myself jealous of myself?

Lone(ly) Shict






“Makes perfect sense to me.  You want someone sometimes, but not all the time.  You hunt alone, but eat in a group.  Don’t beat yourself up too much over wanting to sleep with someone from time to time.

“As for making yourself jealous?  Well, that’s just overthinking it, isn’t it?  Same concept applies here.  You hunt by yourself because no one else can keep up with you.  You eat in a group because it’s lonely eating by yourself.  Different needs, different people.  Loving yourself is something you’ll always do, no matter who you get together with.  No need to worry about that.  You’ll always be there for you.  Letting someone else in just lets you have a break now and again.  You kill the meat, they strip and prepare it.”






“That’s actually rather insightful.  Why all the references to meat, though?”






“I am hungry.  All I had last night was a bunch of grilled leeks.  That’s not even real food!  I think they just made it up!”






“Well, fortunately for you, that was the last letter.  So I’m sure we can go root around in an alley and find a rat for you to eat or something.  But before we do, I’d like to extend our thanks to our gentle readers for thinking us worthy of answering your queries.  As ever, you make this time of year precious.”






“Wasn’t there supposed to be a book given out or something?”






“Oh, for fuck’s sake, there’ll be a message sent out about that to the winner.  Do you want to eat or not?”


Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Last ›