January 2020 Update

This month I’ve  been busy working on the first draft of Poison River. In preparation for the project, I spent most of December getting to grips with the background for Legend of the Five Rings. A new IP always provides its own challenges, and Lot5R was no different. I’ve also been working on pitches for several short stories, as well as a new novel. 


  • Poison River. Legend of the Five Rings novel. 
  • “The Pale Lady”. Andre du Nord short story.
  • SMITE! Lore Chapter.


  • Monmouth’s Giants. A Royal Occultist short story collection. Available for Kindle and in print. 
  • Darkly Dreaming. Warhammer Horror audio drama. Available as CD and MP3 download. 
  • SNAFU: Last Stand. Includes my short story, “Midnight in the House of Bats”. 
  • “Devil’s Bridge”. A new Baron Vordenburg short story. Available only on Patreon. 


  • Their Coats All Red. Includes my short story, “The Disagreeable Bridegroom”.
  • Sherlock Holmes & the Occult Detectives. Includes my short story, “The Ironwood Wardrobe”.
  • Occult Detective Magazine, issue 0. Includes my short story, “The Mere”.
  • Wrath of N’Kai. Arkham Horror novel. 
  • Poison River. Legend of the Five Rings novel.
  • Manflayer. Warhammer 40,000 novel. 
  • Steel Soul. Age of Sigmar novel.


  • Doomtree, No Kings
  • Magic Sword, Awakening
  • Voluminous: The Letters of HP Lovecraft Podcast
  • The Confessions of Dorian Gray Series 05


  • Andrew Hussey, Paris: The Secret History
  • John Sandford,Bloody Genius
  • John Connolly, A Game of Ghosts
  • Various, The Averoigne Legacy
  • George Mann, Hallowdene
  • Dan Weatherer, The Tainted Isle
  • Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential


  • Bob’s Burgers, Season 4
  • Inspector Montalbano, Series 1
  • New Girl, Season 5

Looking Ahead

There’s going to be some changes coming next year. I know I say that every year, but this year I mean it. For starters, it’s time to admit I’m bad at this whole updating a blog thing. Finding the time, not to mention the energy, to write posts for this site is beyond me at the moment for reasons I won’t go into.

So, come January and for the foreseeable future I’m going to replace this blog with a static page. Posts such as my film write-ups will be archived or slowly transferred to my Patreon page. These posts – and any future ones that I make – will remain free, but I think having all of my writing in one spot for the time being is a good idea. As ever, I reserve my right to change everything on a future whim.

You’ll still be able to stay abreast of my comings and goings by following me on Twitter and Facebook, or by signing up to my new TinyLetter.

The TinyLetter will go out at once a month, at the end of every month, starting in January. It’ll bring you up to speed on what I’ve been working on that month, what’s available and various others bits and pieces – it’ll be fairly bare bones, with little in the way of commentary. The basics, and nothing more. It will also be available to read without signing up for it, if you’d rather not receive it in your inbox.

Now you might ask why I’m bothering to close the blog down when I could just make similar updates as posts. The answer is simple – if the blog is active, I feel as if I have to provide content above and beyond the self-promotional. And when I don’t – or can’t – it adds to my already ridiculously high stress levels. A bit silly, I admit, but it is what it is.

In the coming year, I’m going to be attempting to moderate the aforementioned stress levels, to pare away anything that isn’t absolutely necessary for me to function as a professional – and that includes various forms of social media. While I won’t be getting rid of Twitter, Facebook, etc. I may be changing how I interact with them. Might be less, might be more, I can’t say at the moment.

But I do know that shuttering the blog for the time being is a necessary first step. My intent is to shrink my overall social media obligations to the minimum necessary, and to exploit things like Twitter and Tumblr more fully. Anything I’m not finding useful will get kicked to the curb. I’ll probably also be doing fewer interviews and appearances, because those things also stress me out, albeit in different ways.

I’m not becoming a hermit, though it likely sounds that way. I’m just…scaling back in certain ways. As I said, it might last, it might not. And all of this will be a work in progress. Things won’t flip over all at once at midnight on December 31st. But my online presence will gradually transition into something less accessible and yet possibly more informative. I hope you stick around for it.

Regardless, happy holidays folks. I know this year has been a right ball-ache for many of you so I’ll leave you with some cheer.

Reader Mailbag #9

Anonymous asks:

So stormcast have the human keyword. But what does this mean? Does this mean human as in their biology or or does it mean human as in their Humanity and Soul. Can they truly be called humans at all anymore?

That depends entirely on your definition of humanity.

Did you come up with the idea for the great. oubliette?

Nope. I believe Phil Kelly came up with that one.

How well did gravewild fare against the nighthaunt legions that attacked during the necroquake?

Not well, but better than most.

Do the freeguild have skyships and a Navy?

Some do, some don’t. The freeguilds vary in size and composition.

What does grave-silk look like? Does it have any special properties? And what is damask? Also what does stargleam taste like?

I’ve never given it much thought, but I imagine it looks like the hair of a corpse after its been in the ground for a few months. It’s as strong as steel, when treated with unguents composed of corpse-fat and shadeglass. Damask is a real thing. Look it up. And it tastes like moonlight.

In the free cities of Sigmar what is the development level of economics. Like does investing exist? joint ventures? Do Early stock market exist?

Different cities have different economies. Investment does exist, as do joint ventures.

With many of the Great cities of order being based off of Azyrhaim, which is a meritocracy. Is there a lot of social mobility in the free cities?

Depends on the city, and the people in charge.

How aware are the Gods of their aspects? We’ve seen Nagash is at the very least dimly aware of his other aspects sort of like you’re aware of your hands. But how do you think other gods like Sigmar or Alariele view them or the interpretations that Mortals come to when trying to understand them?

Some are more aware than others.

Why didn’t Archaon destroy the Black Pyramid after he seized Nagashizzar? And in the core book it says Arkham continued to oversee the building of BP, how could that happen if Nagashizzar was under the control of Chaos?

That I don’t know. A good question to pose to one of the loremasters, like Phil Kelly or Nick Horth.

Are you of the belief that once a man of woman falls to Chaos he is doomed forever, barring getting a haircut from Ghal Maraz? How far is too far gone if it exists? Is corruption complete or a series of events to damnation?

All of the above.

Reader Mailbag #8

Dustyn, on Twitter, asks:

Hey, Josh, what do you like to do to get you in the mood for writing 40k? Any stories, movies, music, or shows just pump you up for writing in the setting and set you in the right headspace?

Good question!

And the answer is – not a blessed thing.

Or, rather, nothing specific. I tend to find inspiration in music, but never anything in particular. I don’t have a set 40K playlist, for instance. Generally it’ll be whatever music I’m listening to at the time, which varies depending on my mood at the moment. I wrote one book listening almost exclusively to Earth, Wind and Fire’s greatest hits, for instance.

Now, once inspiration hits, I often assemble a rough and ready playlist from the songs that I find myself listening to on repeat at that particular moment. Such playlists might only have three or four songs, or it might have fifteen or twenty. Again, it depends on my mood.

I’ve made some of these playlists available for folks to peruse, if they’re interested.

Time and Again

There’s a new story available for patrons at my Patreon – “Ouroboros” is a bit of dystopian science-horror by way of Lovecraft. It takes place during the final hours of humanity’s final redoubt, as it crumbles before the onslaughts of the Crawling Chaos.

It’s also a sequel of sorts to “Eliza”, which is available to read over at the Lovecraft eZine. Why not go read that one for free, and then check out “Ouroboros” for a buck. And afterwards, why not take a look at some of the other stories available at the Patreon?