Worldbuilding #2: Lucifer’s Star universe

Article 1#: Supervillainy-Verse

Article 2#: Lucifer’s Star universe

Hey folks,

It’s been awhile since I did my initial write-up for the Supervillainy Saga. I had a lot of fun detailing my notes for the backstory of the world, its characters, and what I was thinking when I created it. Now I’m extra pleased to share the notes that went into creating Lucifer’s Star, my fantastic dark space opera setting that I cheerfully think of as my own personal “R-rated Star Wars.”

The inspiration for Lucifer’s Star wars seeing The Force Awakens and realizing that the stories I most wanted to see weren’t ones that weren’t on the screen. It was much more interesting to me to think of what the galaxy would be like after the Empire’s fall and what sort of fate would await the kind of people who used to serve the Empire. Amusingly, that seems to be the basis for The Mandalorian TV show and recent publications like Alphabet Squadron by Alexander Freed. I also drew heavily on Firefly, Blade Runner, and other favorite science fiction creations. If you feel like picking up a copy and reviewing it afterward, I’d be very grateful.

The Setting

Lucifer’s Star is set around the Spiral, which in actual astronomical terms is the Orion Arm and two-thirds of the way from the center of the galaxy. The Spiral is, in simple terms, kind of a shithole. Despite having thousands of settled worlds, it is considered a backward and war-torn place by the rest of galactic civilization. This is due to the Great Collapse (detailed below) that caused the once prosperous High Human Federation to end. It’s only now, centuries later, that it is beginning to recover and there’s an accent on the word beginning.

    The Spiral is officially designated human territory despite a half-dozen other sentient species living in its confines, all below space travel levels of travel. There are thirteen Sectors within that territory with roughly one thousand settled worlds each. These were worlds settled and terraformed during the apex of human civilization, some having degenerated into barbarism while others maintain lifestyles roughly equivalent to the decadent luxury of before.

Technology is incredibly advanced but unevenly distributed with the majority of humans still working laborious hours on a standard Albion week. Humans who live and work in space are called Spacers and humans who live on habitable planets are called Grounders. Spacers tend to be extremely cosmopolitan, sexually free, superstitious, and cynical. Pragmatism guides the majority of their decisions with few caring about politics beyond how it affects their bottom line. Grounders tend to be more conservative, traditional, and nationalistic. Obviously, this varies a great deal but is a definite trend. Starships vary from tiny starfighters to massive kilometers-long transport vessels that have crews that live and work there for generations.

The most important technology for the setting are the jumpdrive and bioroids. Jumpdrives are the means for which faster-than-light travel is possible, traveling through an alternate dimension called jumpspace. Jumpspace is an incredibly disorientating location that is said to drive humans mad when exposed to it but mostly just makes people violently ill (so no one is ever out in it voluntarily). Bioroids are a highly controversial slave caste made of androids and gynoids built around grown-brains. They are heavily conditioned to obey their human masters and most would never rebel but their very human-like characteristics mean that many find the trade in them vile. The fact that abuse and overwork (as well as treating them like people) can break their conditioning also compounds the issue. Bounty Hunters are given rewards for exterminating “malfunctioning” units. No advocates seriously campaign for less-humanized “Bots” with no organic components.

One technology that is expressly forbidden to engage in is Cognition A.I. Regular A.I. is allowed to only be as smart as humans and their organic brains guarantee it. Cognition A.I. are sentient programs capable of unlimited growth that once was a bedrock of the High Human Federation. Their role in the Great Collapse and superstition means that humans fear them with irrational hatred. Furthermore, the Galactic Community has ordered the total destruction of any world that constructs one. It has enforced this law on numerous occasions, leading to few exceptions. Still, they exist, and some believe silently guide human society.

Much of the Spiral remains lawless due to the still-recovering nature of human society post the Great Collapse. It is a wild and untamed world that is frequently subject to great wars. There are also terrible things that lie close to the Galactic Core.

History

Exhausted of resources and on the verge of environmental collapse in the late 22nd century, the Earth found a lifeline in the form of a Community starship visiting and exchanging large amounts of nonessential technology. This included the Jump Drive. These items were reverse engineered to result in a mass exodus and repeated terra-forming of worlds in the nearby star clusters.

    In defiance of Community laws, Earth made large numbers of Cognition A.I. to coordinate all of its star charting as well as create new technology that exceeded the bounds of what would later be possible like nano-replication, brain uploading, and instant evolution. The High Human Empire would grow and expand until well over ten thousand worlds were colonized.

The Great Collapse would occur after eight hundred years of prosperity with the corruption of the Earth’s Cognition A.I.s and the Jump Gate Network. The portals were simply shut off and mass infrastructure collapse ensued. Billions starved to death, died of easily curable diseases, and had their societies fall apart. This was accompanied by the insanity of many of the Cognition A.I. leading them to attacking worlds, conquering them, and even destroying them outright.

Eventually, the Community intervened on a “mission of sapience” and destroyed the remaining Cognition A.I.s before enforcing the Ranak Edict that would guarantee a planet’s destruction if they violated the strictures against using them. By this time, almost a century had passed with all remaining cultures either self-sufficient or having developed ship-based jump drives that used cyberized navigators or massive unintelligent computers.

The Sol System was eventually recontacted only to find out that the entire planet had been reduced to volcanic ash with its crust having been burned from orbit. While Mars remained a viable colony, they could not determine who was responsible. A fictional terrorist organization known as the Knights of Valusia was accredited with the action to distract from the possibility it might have been done by the Elder Races (and drive humans to suicidal attack against them).

In place of Earth, new powers arose with Albion being the most powerful, followed by the feudal Crius. Both planets began campaigns of conquest to build empires in the wake of the human homeworld’s destruction. Albion because of a belief that only a united humanity could rebuild after the disaster and Crius because they wished to line the pockets of their genetically engineered nobility. The war between those two powers would be the beginning of this story.

Locations

* The Archduchy of Crius: It is a feudalist military dictatorship that is ruled by a genetically-engineered elite that has conquered its own surrounding territory and with significantly more brutality. The archduchy isn’t afraid fo push lines of science and has casual use of both cybernetics as well as bio-enhancements. It believes itself capable of defeating the Commonwealth in a war but while their technology level is higher, the Commonwealth has a far greater industrial and population base. The primary religion of the Archduchy is Luciferianism, which is a religion based on a gnostic cult from the Union of Faith founded by the self-styled Prophet Stephen Allenway. Allenway’s descendants are the ancestors of the noble houses but his direct line was killed by their cousins.

* The Commonwealth: It is an aggressive conquering state that is, ironically, a parliamentary republic. It exists for the purpose of expanding its borders for the purposes of rebuilding the human race to its former glory. Planets are offered the carrot and if they refuse then they are given the stick. Eventually, after a ten year period, planets are allowed to vote and send representatives to Parliament on the world of Albion. The Commonwealth is notable for successfully integrating most of its conquered worlds but having stretched itself thin in rebuilding them.

* The Community: While a few primitive alien species live and work among humanity in the Spiral, most aliens you will encounter come from the Galactic Community that dominates the other Spirals. There are tens of thousands of alien races (when mathematics say there should be millions) that are far more advanced than humanity. The Community’s advantage over humanity has been shrinking in recent decades and some believe it is time for them to join while others think humanity should be pushed back down. Cognition A.I. is forbidden in the Community and beyond as part of their Articles of Rule.

* The Corporate Alliance: The transtellars are a collection of planetary-level corporations that have power larger than most nation-states. They rule over territory where all citizens are dubbed “employees” and owe their companies for the air they breathe as well as environment they grow up in. Disturbingly, they have better standards of living than most nation-states and a better social safety net due to corporations being forced to become socialist to keep the flow of money going. The Alliance is the only group to regularly do business with the Community and is working to gradually raise the human technology level to their standards. They are pariahs abroad, however, due to the legalization of Bio-Slavery within their ranks.

* The Elder Races: Far older than the Community (which is 48,000 years old) is the Elder Races that exist in the Galactic Core. All who enter their territory are destroyed. They also destroyed a previous galactic government that only now exists in ruins. They are inscrutable, all-powerful, and believed to be potentially A.I. themselves. It is believed they could be responsible for the destruction of all the other races that should exist in the galaxy and are the answer to “Fermi’s Paradox.”

* The Union of Faith: A theocracy of ecumenism, which should be a contradiction of terms. It is an alliance of hundreds of worlds that are a mixture of hardcore fundamentalists, cults, officially one state, and religiously free liberal democracies that prefer to take their chances with the Union rather than the Commonwealth. Generally, it is a hands-off government that only maintains itself due to its members willingness to contribute to a fleet to defend them all. Its largest faith among spacers, Wheelerism, is a science-based faith that is based on a combination of pantheism and human-centrism. Aratana, Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and combination faiths on are the next most common.

Random Factoids

* Lucifer’s Star has the same setting as Agent G (taking place in the 21st century) and Wraith Knight (taking place 10,000 years in the future). Obviously, there’s very little potential for crossover in the setting.

* In the Garyverse, the Lucifer’s Star Universe is called Universe-L. It is part of the cluster of universes that exist directly adjacent to Universe-A. The existence of a multiverse is known in the Spiral but they do not have the technology to cross over (yet).

* Barriers are a common form of personal technology that more or less function as personal energy shields. This allowed the return of melee weapons since they’re actually better at repelling firearms and energy blasts than slow-moving personal weapons. Even then, most melee weapons are ceremonial or “sporting” in nature.

* The most common cybernetic implant is a computer chip in one’s brain for quick calculations and hand implant for accessing data. The second and third most common are bio-implants hardening the bones and for recycling the body’s interior fluids for enduring space-travel.

* Relationships in space tend to be poly-amorous, open, and with lots of flexibility. It has been speculated by many journals as to why that is but it turns out it’s mostly just because the typical years-long space tour is really-really boring.

* The Star Wars saga and David Bowie’s catalog have both survived to the 32nd Century. Both have been remade, covered, and retold the same way other ancient stories and songs have.

* Artificial gravity doesn’t exist in human territories. Gravity has to be generated by ship thrust, rotation, or other tricks of space travel. The Community, by contrast, does have artificial gravity.

* Human-like aliens do exist but they’re usually either human variants in evolution or genetically engineered races based on a human genome. Most aliens are animal-like at best and more often completely bizarre to human sensibilities.

Available here

Audiobook here

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The Future of Supervillainy is now available in audiobook!

Hey folks,

I have some excellent news! THE FUTURE OF SUPERVILLAINY is now available on audiobook, ebook, and in paperback format.

Gary Karkofsky, a.k.a Merciless: The Supervillainy without Mercy, has decided to retire from supervillainy. He’s lost too many friends and killed too many people (though they all had it coming). Unfortunately, this proves to be easier said than done when the Department of Supernatural Services (DOSS) shows up to arrest him for all of his crimes. Quickly landing himself in more trouble, he decides to get out of town and help a struggling underground kingdom in the center of the Earth. What he finds is an army of Nazis, gods, lost temples, and dinosaurs. He also is forced to fight once more against the world’s first supervillain: Tom Terror, archenemy of heroes everywhere.

He just can’t catch a break, can he?

It may be my best work yet!

Audiobook

Ebook

Paperback

Book Review: Cthulhu Armageddon, by CT Phipps

An awesome review of CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON.

FELIX THE FOX MYSTERIES

I like genre mash-ups, have loved Lovecraft’s work (and have role-played the old Call of Cthulhu RPG), and although I don’t read much dystopian works these days I was in the mood for something darker. Cthulhu Armageddon was it.

What to expect

The author notes in the preface that he set out to mix Mad Max with the Cthulhu mythos, coming from a background of gaming. He has done exactly that. The tone of the novels has that lone-gunman, cobbled-up technology relics feeling of the Mad Max movies and similar dystopia, while the creatures that inspired H.R. Giger and generations of horror lovers pop up to provide a suitable bloodbath and target practice.

The pace is quick, the action is constant, and in between the protagonist travels and adventures reminiscent of The Walking Dead there is that sense of deeper, mystical conspiracies and the doom of mankind.

What I liked

View original post 278 more words

The Future of Supervillainy is now available on Kindle and in paperback

THE FUTURE OF SUPERVILLAINY is the sixth novel in the Supervillainy Saga and probably the best one yet. Gary Karkofsky returns for another adventure as the U.S. Government forces him out of retirement. Having accidentally caused them to hate him, he’s anxious to get away for awhile and ends up being recruited by CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON’s John and Mercury to go rescue a bunch of refugees in the Hollow Earth. The subterranean kingdom is under attack by P.H.A.N.T.O.M soldiers led by none other than RULES OF SUPERVILLAINY villain Tom Terror. Never turning down a chance to punch a Nazi, Gary heads off with his family. Except he’s not the only person that’s familiar down there.

Available for purchase here

I was a Teenage Weredeer wins Independent Audiobook Award

Hey folks,

I’m astounded to share the news that I won the 2019 HEARNOW FESTIVAL’s Independent Audiobook Award for BEST PARANORMAL novel! Yes, I won with I WAS A TEENAGE WEREDEER and that is just an amazing feather in my kept.

It is an honor to have the judges choose it as the best example of its class for 2018.

https://www.audible.com/pd/I-Was-a-Teenage-Weredeer-Audiobook/B079Q644JN

Jane Doe is a weredeer, the least-threatening shapechanger species in the world. Blessed with the ability to turn furry at will and psychically read objects, Jane has done her best to live a normal life working as a waitress at the Deerlightful Diner. She has big dreams of escaping life in the supernatural-filled town of Bright Falls, Michigan, and her 18th birthday promises the beginning of her teenage dreams coming true.

Unfortunately, her birthday is ruined by the sudden murder of her best friend’s sister in an apparent occult killing. Oh, and her brother is the primary suspect. Allying with an eccentric FBI agent, the local crime lord, and a snarky werecrow, Jane has her work cut out for her in turning her big day around.

Thankfully, she’s game.

Set in the same world as Straight Outta Fangton.

Here’s what the award looks like!

If you don’t have a copy yet, I recommend picking one up!

If you want to see the actual award ceremony, it’s available for streaming here (I’m at 42:00).

New Releases for 2019

Hey folks,

I thought I would share some interesting new works from the Phipps Factory. I hope you guys will check them out and enjoy the results. I’ve almost got all of my series on audiobook and will proceed to finish up the majority of the series from there.

AGENT G: ASSASSIN (Kindle)

Agent G a.k.a Case Gordon has managed to wiggle himself free from the United States military but the entire world has suffered in its place. After the eruption of a volcano and the release of Black Technology to the world, the world has become a cyberpunk dystopia with massive arcologies replacing the cities of yesterday. Now a ruthless corporate executive, well past obsolescence, he is brought back to deal with the world’s most dangerous terrorist: his ex-lover Marissa.

Available here

WRAITH LORD (Kindle, audiobook, paperback)

Wraith Lord is the sequel to Wraith Knight and a work I am particularly proud of. The premise of the series is that a Ring wraith-esque individual named Jacob Riverson has regained his free will after the death of the King Below. The sequel picks up after the events of the first book with Jacob now the ruler of the Shadowkind races with his brides Regina and Serah. A messenger from the South reveals that an attack against the North is imminent and Jacob is forced to face an impossible test: how does he get the world to side with the ruler of all monsters?

Available here

PREDESTINY (Kindle) w/ Frank Martin

Robbie is an ordinary high school student in a time when the US government is on the brink of collapse. The economy is now under the control of an alliance of megacorporations that seeks to make it a puppet state under their control. During a protest, he is almost killed by a group of assassins. Rescued by a beautiful white haired girl his own age, he’s told something he can’t wrap his head around: that he will become history’s worst dictator and the dying future is out to stop him from rising to power.

Available here

TALES OF THE AL-AZIF (Kindle, Paperback) w/ David Hambling, David J. West, Matthew Davenport, and David Niall Wilson

H.P. Lovecraft’s famous Necronomicon is not the only fictional book he created. Predating the Book of the Voices of the Dead was the Book of the Insect. Tales of the Al-Azif is a collection of novelettes based around Pulp heroes John Henry Booth, Harry Stubbs, Andrew Doran, and Porter Rockwell by various Cthulhu Mythos authors describing their encounters with the cursed book. I’m very proud of this one.

Available here

ESOTERRORISM (Kindle, audiobook)

Esoterrorism is a prequel to my United States of Monsters novels or they’re a sequel to it depending on how you choose to interpret it. Derek Hawthorne is a agent for the Red Room, the conspiracy that keeps the world from knowing about the supernatural. Its resources are stretched thin with a terrorist organization that is determined to reveal the truth to the world–they’re just going to use massive numbers of hungry dead to do it. Derek is framed as a traitor before he can discover who is responsible and it’s up to him and his partner to not only prove his innocence but stop the world from suffering a zombie apocalypse.

Available here

Word-Building 1#: The Supervillainy-verse

Hey folks,

I’ve decided to do something cool and that’s do articles on my various universes. World-building is the key to making my novels work and sharing background information about what goes into the settins is something I thought my fans would enjoy. Each article will go into discussion about one of the worlds and its history as well as how they are currently set up. My long history of being a tabletop roleplaying gamer was a big infuence on my writing style and a lot of that depended on the awesome supplements people did.

I’m going to start with, unsurprisingly, The Supervillainy-verse that is my most popular work.

The Setting

The Supervillainy-verse is my homage to comic books everywhere and meant to be the kind of place that combines dozens of different genres together. It is a place where there is fantasy, science fiction, crime, horror, and more going on at any given time. Much like the comic book universes of Marvel and DC comics, it is a place where literally anything can happen and frequently does.

The funny thing is that, despite being a comedy series, I try to keep the world consistent and serious. It’s a parody of superhero settings but the best kind of parodies are also good examples of the work in question. I may poke fun at some of the weirdness that goes onto your typical comic book universe but I also try to keep it at least vaguely plausible. A world can have any rules you like but once you establish those rules, you have to follow them.

The Supervillainy-verse is set in what I term to be “The Twilight of the Superheroes.” Superheroes have existed for almost a century in the setting and have fought off countless evils threatening the people of Earth-A (Gary’s planet in the multiverse). However, Gary has the misfortune of becoming Merciless as the system is sort of breaking down.

Weirdly, it’s a bit similar to Red Dead Redemption with the idea of John Marsden coming back to the Old West right as the age of cowboys and gunslingers is ending. In Gary’s case, he’s a supervillain when the public has become sick of both heroes as well as villains. The never-ending conflict between good and evil has worn thin. There is a reckoning coming and how its going to settle down is anyone’s guess. Gary as the Wild Card between supervillains, humans, and superheroes makes him uniquely able to slip things one way or the other.

Or so he thinks.

The ‘Double Anarchy’ seal of Merciless.

History

The Supervillainy-verse was created by beings called the Primals in the early distant epoches of the Multiverse. Fragments of a greater creator being, the eight beings of Creation, Destruction, Chaos, Order, Death, Life, Conflict, and Balance. They are beyond omnipotent and have created the multiverse as it’s known to both amuse themselves as well as explore their concepts. Opposing them are the Great Beasts, seven (or more) beings made of concepts banned from reality in order to give physical laws substance. Zul-Barbas is the most famous of these things, inspiring many culture’s concept of the Devil and H.P. Lovecraft’s idea of the Great Old Ones.

The first race to evolve would be the god-like Ultranians (or “Firstborn”) who would exist for billions of years, bestowing superpowers on various races and creating the celestial networks of magic. The Ultranians themselves strongly resembled human beings despite being made of energy and would influence many cultures’ ideas of gods and goddesses. They also revered the Ultra-Force, that was the physical manifestation of the greater universe.

Much of Earth’s history remains the same with sorcerers, monsters, gods, and heroes being background noise for the greater conflicts of the world. New nations were born, hidden cultures, and things were slightly different in places (like the occasional cowboy vs. ninjas plot) but things didn’t really change forever until the arrival of Ultragod.

Moses Anders, an African American astronomer, was chosen by the Primals to merge with the Ultra-Force and became Ultragod. It bestowed upon him immense reality-bending powers that he chose to present to the world as similar to recently published comics of the time. Meanwhile, ex-cop Lancel Warren studied magic after the death of his wife and child and became the Nightwalker. Other heroes during this time were Aquarius, the Americommando (later the Prismatic Commando), Gold Medalist, Tank Man (later Android John), and Guinevere.

WW2 would go dramatically differently as Ultragod would attempt to stop it in its tracks by capturing Stalin and Hitler both. The Third Reich was instead taken over by the Supreme Phantom and a cabal of supervillains who were even more dangerous. The Soviet Union would be ruled by a council that proved more effective than Stalin, eventually headed by the Red Star for decades to come.

Before the defeat of the Nazis, Tom Terror and other high-ranking Axis superhumans would create P.H.A.N.T.O.M as a way to preserve their power as well as research into both the occult as well as super-science. The organization had also attempted to sell the Earth to the Thran Empire, explaining how they held out against the Allies for so long.

After the defeat of the Nazis, the United Governments (or U.G.) would rise to power and create the Foundation for World Harmony to hunt down superhuman terrorists and P.H.A.N.T.O.M. Countless brushfire conflicts would be fought between superhuman dictators, superpowered terrorist organizations, and even the occasional unexpected alien invasion.

The Society of Superheroes (S.O.S) would be fully formed in the 1960s in response to the first incursion by the Thran reptile men and Tsavong shapeshifters. The Vietnam War would be fought in three parts with the third one resulting in an international treaty banning the use of superhumans in wartime. It was during this time that Aquarius became King of Atlantis and ended that underwater kingdom’s belligerence against the surface.

The 1980s saw a massive spike in the number of the world’s superhumans with magical and superhuman abilities appearing naturally among the populace. This resulted in the creation of the Texas Guardians who masterminded the first “boot camp” and “prestige academy” for superhumans. It also resulted in the appearance of Ultragoddess, the daughter of Ultragod, who was the icon for the next generation of heroes even as a child. It also resulted in the label Supers as a distinct ethnic group that many regular humans (“Mundanes”) saw as threatening.

The 1990s proved a disaster for superheroes as sinister luchadore Diabloman killed multiple members of the Texas Guardians, forced the universe to be rebooted, and exposed heroes as vulnerable. Insane SWAT officer Theodore Whitman a.k.a. Shoot-Em-Up went on a multiple state killing spree against retired or paroled supervillains, inspiring numerous copycats until he was killed by an unknown assailent (actually 14-year-old Gary Karkofsky in order to avenge his brother).

Ruthless murder-happy antiheroes emerged like the Extreme! and Bloodscream the Retributive that the public initially embraced then rejected when it turned out some were white supremecists or outright supervillains themselves. The end of the Dark Age of Superheroes was official with the election of Android John as President, the country’s first superhuman president. Android John was the world’s first artificial being and his election sparked their acceptance as people as a matter of course.

The 21st century has proven a decline for superheroes as the War on Terror proved the governments of the world no longer wanted superhumans involved in global conflicts. The exception would be the Ultragoddess founded the Shadow Seven. The Shadow Seven incorporated semi-reformed supervillains and minor superheroes in covert ops against the worst of humanity against international law. Its illegality and the potential for blowback helped convince Ultragoddess to end her engagement to her fiance Gary Karkofsky.

The only supervillain to ever destroy reality. It got better.

The construction of powered armor, cybernetic enhancements, and artificial Supers became a major concern. Omega Corporation rose to power in this time, reverse engineering superhuman power and technology for the public. Running on a campaign of anti-Super vitriol and promises of a new America, Charles Omega became President of the United States. Rumors of mind-control, voter fraud, and threats dogged his campaign. The Society of Superheroes worked delicately around him even as he privately prepared to build a country without superheroes.

But it all came to a head when the Nightwalker, over a hundred years old, finally died.

Cities

Like DC comics, there are many fictional cities in the setting that have the unique advantage of being places you can blow up and turn to zombie-filled hellholes without affecting the real deals.

Atlas City: Atlas City is a metropolis located in central Florida that is considered to be the City of Tomorrow Today. It was originally a relatively minor city in the 1930s, being little more than a small town, when Ultragod’s influence attracted millions of citizens to come live there. It is now an epicenter of technological development, interstellar trade, and space exploration. The city has a dark side despite being the source of the United States’ pan-stellar wealth. It is home to massive slums of refugees, aliens unwanted in the rest of the country, and Supers. Crime has been on the rise due to its protectors being unable to regulate it and there is a conflict with P.H.A.N.T.O.M based hate groups. The most recognizable landmark of the city is the Observatory, which is Ultragod’s alien-built fortress where he and his daughter take time to rest their minds.

Falconcrest City: A city along the Canadian border and Lake Falconcrest, Falconcrest City is literally cursed. It is a city founded in the 17th century by French fur trappers who slaughtered a cult of Satan-worshiping Englishmen with the help of Native American tribesmen. Unfortunately, the trappers built a city over their twisted labyrinth base that would affect the metropolis for centuries to come. The city has art deco skyscrapers, gargoyles on every building, huge towering cathedrals, and slums where insanity seems infectious. The city’s colorful criminals are empowerd by eldrtich energies and terrible ceremonies are performed by the Brotherhood of Infamy every month. The Nightwalker kept the worst of these villains in check but his death due to old age threatens to change everything.

The second Nightwalker.

New Angeles: Gary’s old stomping grounds, New Angeles was constructed on the ruins of Los Angeles after Atlanteans attacked the city during World War 2. New Angeles is every bit as rich, glamorous, and gritty as its predecessor city would have been. Much of the city has been rebuilt with Atlantean reparations, though, and there is a decided marine feel to many parts of it. It is also one of the few cities with a good chunk of it underwater (and thriving). The city has a unique relationship with its supervillains as they tend to be considered local folk heroes as often as enemies of the public.

As such, there’s the “Villains Code” where they attempt to minimize collateral damage and keep out the worst of their kind. The city is protected by the Silver Medalist and Bronze Medalist, a pair of superheroes that were among the first queer superheroes to come out. While some criticized their former mentor-sidekick relationship, they are generally beloved by the public.

New Avalon: One of humanity’s greatest achievements, New Avalon is a city built on the surface of the moon and serves as a city of twenty thousand people living in artificial gravity as well as an artificial environment under the Society of Superheroes’ protection. It is also, unfortunately, home to the world’s most terrible prisoners that the Earth has effectively exiled to the prison here. Lunarians are disproportionately Supers and it is expected that many immigrate there in hopes of escaping the persecution on Earth.

Random Factoids

* Superhero comics are mostly historical in the setting. DC and Marvel comics have long since taken to publishing romance, pirate, fantasy, and Western comics instead. Yes, I stole this from Watchmen.

* Pop culture is largely unchanged despite the fact superheroes are almost completely absent. This doesn’t make any sense due to the influence of sequential art on other mediums but happened anyway.

* Soda still uses real sugar. Artificial sweeteners are a product of other realities.

* Earth is considered the equivalent of Afghanistan in the rest of the galaxy. Empires invade this small blue dot and get their asses kicked.

* Magic is known to exist but only a handful of people can learn more than to light matches with their mind. Frauds are every bit as common.

* Despite having a space port or two on the planet, very few aliens other than refugees and criminals come to Earth. It is too remote and disliked.

* The Tsavong have a colony on Venus despite its horrific atmosphere. They are on semi-good terms with Earth.

* Supervillain rap is a popular style of music.

* The Supervillainy-verse is part of a multiverse than includes my other universes.

* Technology is slightly more advanced in this world with the general public but getting its biggest advances approved is an ongoing legal slog.

* Dinosaurs are no longer extinct due to the discovery of the Hollow Earth and many zoos now feature them.

* Time travel has made reality somewhat flexible and sometimes the ages of people change as well as events. It hasn’t broken the universe yet. Yet.

Straight Outta Fangton on sale via Bookbub for 99c

Hey folks,

Great news! Bookbub is doing a sale for STRAIGHT OUTTA FANGTON. The story described as “Clerks meet Blade” is available on Kindle in the United States as well as Europe for 99c.

FROM THE BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF THE SUPERVILLAINY SAGA:

Peter Stone is a poor black vampire who is wondering where his nightclub, mansion, and sports car are. Instead, he is working a minimum wage job during the night shift as being a vampire isn’t all that impressive in a world where they’ve come out to mortals. Exiled from the rich and powerful undead in New Detroit, he is forced to go back when someone dumps a newly-transformed vampire in the bathroom of his gas station’s store. This gets him fangs-deep in a plot of vampire hunters, supernatural revolutionaries, and a millennium-old French knight determined to wipe out the supernatural.

Sometimes, it just doesn’t pay to get out of the coffin.

Set in the same world as The Bright Falls Mysteries.

Bookbub Sale

C.T. Phipps FAQ – Ask me Anything

I recently did a request for questions on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/charles.phipps.946

Lots of wonderful questions and I tried to answer them as best I could.

1.  You’ve created several series, how do you manage to keep them so distinct and memorable? [Luke Hindmarsh]

I basically just feel like writing things I’d want to read and I have diverse interests. Gary is born from my life-long love of superheroes and the Dresden Files. Cassius from my desire for a darker Star Wars than the ones we got. Cthulhu Armageddon from a mixture of Fallout with the Walking Dead. Peter and Jane are more or less just products of wanting to send up urban fantasy the same way I did superheroes. But to answer your question, I make the characters first and the plots second.


2. Can I borrow your time stopping machine? I just don’t know how you manage to fit everything in each day. [Paul Lavender]

Yes, but only if you don’t meet your past self. That’s how Firefly got cancelled. As for how I do it? Well, my wife is supportive and I write full time.

3. I love the i was a teenage weredeer series. Where did your inspiration for the series come from? [Brent Williams]

It very much was written with a sensibility to being the “urban fantasy Gary.” However, it was inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twin Peaks, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and my own frustrating small town life. Jane is a character inspired by my wife Kat and a few other wonderful people I’ve known who have been ever larger than their circumstances allowed. As for the idea of a weredeer itself. I felt I needed to do something different. So I decided, “What would be funnier than someone who was aggressive and tough who had a really nonthreateming but plausible shapeshifter type.” I’m tempted to have Jane meet a Lagothrope someday who points out wild rabbits are pretty tough. Jane refuses to believe she’s real.

4. How does the Cthulhu Armageddon and Lucifer’s Star series fit into the same word as Fangton and Weredeer? [ML Spencer]

Like Brandon Sanderson, there’s a multiverse where all my books take place. Cthulhu Armageddon. Lucifer’s Star, Agent G, and the United States of Monsters all exist in the same multiverse as my Supervillainy Saga. Furthermore, though this will probably never come up, Agent G, Lucifer’s Star, and Wraith Knight are all set in the same universe. Lucifer’s Star takes place 1000 years after the Agent G series and Wraith Knight something like 10,000 years with the original humanity having hit the Singularity to become “gods.”


5. Is there another genre that you’d really like to have a go at and how do you think you’d handle it? [David Hambling]

I really needed to reign myself in after all of my expansive writing in multiple genres. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean it might not happen anyway. I’ve got a half-finished fantasy steampunk novel that is a sequel to the Wraith Knight trilogy. I’m waiting for that to get done before I do it, though.

6.  How did you find the experience of collaborating on Tales of the Al-Azif? [David Hambling]

Very enjoyable but it was a bit hard to match up all our styles into a single coherent narrative. I am glad that it worked out as well as it did. It helped, I believe, that we all seem to be more of the “Pulp Cthulhu” sense than cosmic horror.

7. Is Cassius Mass an expression of your inner sexuality or do you truly perceive yourself as a sex god? [Allan Batchelder]

Cassius, G, and Gary are undoubtedly much better lovers than me. I’m assuming Gary is the best of the three as it’s the only way to explain his inexplicable attractiveness to women way out of his leave.Codpiece or loin cloth?

8. Codpiece or loin cloth? [Allan Batchelder]

Fur speedo like Conan.

9. How do higher level vampires maintain their awesome fashion sense if they can’t see themselves in mirrors? [Allan Batchelder]

Vampires like Thoth, Ashurra, and Lucinda make use of slaves (err, Blood Servants) to serve as their fashion choices. Mind you, many of them outright possess supernatural beauty so they could wear potato sacks or nothing then make it fashionable. One thing I haven’t mentioned is Thoth’s fashion sense is actually rather dated and if left alone will look like he escaped the 70s.

10. Is there going to be a Fangtown sequel? [Brian Parker]

Already is one. https://www.amazon.com/Miles-Vampin-Straight-Outta-Fangton-ebook/dp/B07KMYKBC9/?fbclid=IwAR178lH4YOX5USQwDZvKrIZlck1gf6fy_QNiP1rJSve_ooCbaQ-pxQXBL7Y

11. In Tournament of Supervillainy, you included a lot of your characters from other series, but not all of them. Why did you choose who you did and who you didn’t? [Matthew Davenport]

It was an interesting situation as originally I wasn’t going to include any of my characters. It was going to be multiversal characters that were wholly original. Then I realized Jane and Gary would play off each other very well. I added G to replace Mr. Inventor as I realized he’d add another interesting layer to the story. Sadly, I had to cut John Henry Booth and Mercury from the story as just didn’t fit in the space I had. Cassius? Well, Cassius was there because I liked the idea one character would just straight up not like Gary.

12. Are you going to write a Fangton prequel about Thoth? [David J. West]

If and when I have time, I have plans of writing novellas about Thoth, Gabrielle Anders (Ultragoddess), Cindy Wackowski (Red Riding Hood), and Lucien.

13. Your protagonists tend to be alienated outsiders (with superhuman powers) with uncertain ethics and more loyalty to their immediate group than any greater cause — how much of this is deliberate? [David Hambling]

I think that it’s a function of writing what you know and like. While I certainly consume plenty of hero media, I feel like giving my protagonists flaws is an important part of my style. John is probably the most straightforward hero and he lives in a post-apocalypse wasteland where that’s rare. Another element is making the protagonists a bit more selfish and ruthless means you don’t always know what they’re going to do. The entire 3rd act of Lucifer’s Star changed because Cassius and the others didn’t care about solving the central conflict, which I thought was awesome.


14. Any new series in the pipeline? [Michael Baker]

I’ll be trying to finish up my existing series first but may be doing some novellas soon. I do have some ideas for spin-offs and wonderful work with other authors too like PREDESTINY and Frank Martin plus SATAN’S SALESMAN 2 with Matthew Davenport. We’re getting a new compilation called TALES OF THE AL-AZIF too.

15. You have a number of series, as you mentioned above. How far ahead have you planned these? [Andrew McVittie]

The Supervillainy Saga: Until I get bored. 12 is my current number of predicted novels.

Agent G: 4 novels

Straight Outta Fangton: 4

Bright Falls Mysteries: 4

Lucifer’s Star: 3

Cthulhu Armageddon: 4

Red Room: 3

Wraith Knight: 3


16. Planning on catching up with some games like Kingdom Hearts 3, the Resident Evil 2 remake, and Soul Calibur 6? [Connor Clay]

Absolutely. Resident Evil is my jam. I even named a character after Claire Redfield in Agent G: Assassin.


17.  Question about Gary from the rules of supervillain I was watching MegaMind sounded a bit familiar. [Jim Varey Paige]

Gary was actually inspired by an evil Spiderman combined with Harry Dresden. The idea of, “With great power comes great irresponsibility.” 🙂 Another good inspiration was SOON I WILL BE INVINCIBLE.

18.  I recently finished the Audible of Wraith Knight. Are you planning anymore? It was left pretty open. And what do you have planned as your next book? Ooh! And what is the current (such as it is) status of Thoth?! And have you ever considered putting the Supervillainy books into an omnibus? It’s probably less profitable (especially the Audible bit), but it does attract new fans. That’s how I got into the Tome of Bill, anyway. [Anders Haywood]

Wraith Lord is being made into an Audible book right now. Really, we can release it at any time but I hope you’ll throw your review both on Audible and Amazon. 🙂 It’s lacking in those, sadly.

Thoth is not dead as we’ll find out in Vampirez4Life but he is a prisoner of the Council of Ancients. He is aware of many secrets, true names, and bank accounts they want to get from him. Unfortunately, he’s far from Peter and his power base has been given to some of the worst most incompetant human hating vampires in the setting.

There are plans to do a collection of 1-4 books as a Omnibus with Crossroad Press. I need to get a cover, though, and some short stories or even novellas to throw into it, though. David Wilson is very excited about it.

I also got Tome of Bill like that. FYI, BILL OF THE DEAD comes out on the 16th. It is the sequel.

19. Peter Stone from Fangton and Jane from Brightfalls Mysteries: will they have a joint story, some mystery to solve or some big butt to kick, in the near future? [Susan Voss]

It is my hope that we’ll see Jane and Peter collaborate in Vampirez4Life. Lucien already showed up at the climax of 100 Miles and Vampin’ being part of Thoth’s organization (albeit a very independent part of it).

Cthulhu Armageddon on sale for 99c.

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“Under an alien sky where gods of eldritch matter rule, the only truth is revenge.”

CTHULHU ARMAGEDDON is the story of a world 100 years past the rise of the Old Ones which has been reduced to a giant monster-filled desert and pockets of human survivors (along with Deep Ones, ghouls, and other “talking” monsters). John Henry Booth is a ranger of one of the largest remaining city-states when he’s exiled for his group’s massacre and suspicion he’s “tainted.” Escaping with a doctor who killed her husband, John travels across the Earth’s blasted alien ruins to seek the life of the man who killed his friends.

It’s the one thing he has left.

Hey folks,

I’m pleased to say that Crossroad Press (Titus Crow, The Call of Distant Shores, The Trials of Obed Marsh, The Harry Stubbs series) has been doing a promotion for Cthulhu Armageddon. My publishers love my post-apocalypse world and for those who like the world where the Great Old Ones have stomped society, you can pick up the revised and re-issued book on Kindle for 99c. Its also available in paperback and audiobook form (narrated by Jeffrey Kafer of Bioshock: Rapture fame).

It has a sequel called The Tower of Zhaal.

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Available at Amazon.com