January 21, 2019

The King's Mirror

I have a new story out today! "The King's Mirror" is live over at Strange Horizons. You can also listen to it as a podcast.

I'm very often inspired by history and archaeology when I'm writing, but I don't usually write straight-up historical stories with real people in them. It's more than a little intimidating. I know I'll probably still end up getting something wrong despite obsessively researching.

I'm thrilled I got to highlight this time period. I've loved Piedras Negras Stela 3 for more than a decade now. You can see drawing of it here.

That's Ix K'atuun Ajaw, sitting with her three-year-old daughter, Ix Huntan Ahk. There's something incredibly human about that small girl's face, turned toward her mother. And it was all carved in stone over thirteen hundred years ago.

If you want to know more about the reign of K'inich Yo'nal Ahk, this Mesoweb article is great. If you want to delve into more history, Chronicles of the Maya Kings and Queens by Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube is a highly accessible volume filled with fantastic photography and drawings.

January 14, 2019

New Castle Panic Board

My son loves the game Castle Panic. And what's not to love? It's a co-op where all the players work together to defend their castle from waves of invading monsters. Good times are had by all.

Slightly less good times are had when you play so much, the board rips in two along its fold-line.

We could have fixed this with some tape, or some simpler solution, but given how much the kiddo loves this game, I wanted to make him something epic and battle-scarred. Also, I'd been dying to make something out of those pallets sitting around in the garage.

This woodburned game board is the result. I actually took pictures during the process, so if you want to see how it's made, check out my Instructable.