ORACLE

6/01/2012

The Shadow Out of Providence Kickstarter (Featuring Artwork by Erol Otus)

I was browsing Kickstarter this afternoon, and I ran across a pretty cool Lovecraft related project trying to get funding called, The Shadow out of Providence: A Lovecraftical Metatext. Here is the blurb:
“LOVECRAFTICAL?”

The Shadow out of Providence comprises a play and two short stories. Unlike most texts that draw inspiration from the work of the Providence fantasist Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937), these do not strive to horrify the reader by revealing the bleakness of an unsympathetic universe, or monstrosities lurking beneath everyday life. The book is thus not Lovecraftian, in the usual sense. 

Instead, it is “Lovecraftical” (to coin a term). It treats Lovecraft the writer, the thinker, and the cultural phenomenon, rather than the sliver of his work on which most writers fixate (one that he sometimes dismissed as “Yog-Sothothery”).
Sounds pretty interesting, but the thing that really got my attention was a certain artist's name attached to the project: Erol Otus! Very cool!


This is interesting news (for me at least), mainly because Erol Otus was the very first artist that I ever ran into who had illustrated a few of the creatures found in the Cthulhu Mythos. He is also, in my opinion, one of the only illustrators out there to have successfully captured the strange and unusual quality of H.P. Lovecraft's work. These illustrations being those found in the original printing of Deities & Demigods, published by TSR in 1980. I can't say that I remember seeing anything like these illustrations before, and it would be many years later before I would encounter any other Lovecraft inspired artwork. The only other artist that comes close to evoking the right atmosphere when illustrating "that which cannot be illustrated" --especially in a black and white medium-- is Dave Carson. But, I digress... to see Otus' name attached to another Loveraftian... whoops, make that "Lovecraftical" project makes me smile.

5/31/2012

One Page Dungeon Contest 2012 Winners Announced

Today Alex Schroeder posted the list of winners for this year's One Page Dungeon Contest, which I will share with you now:
  • Aaron Frost & Mundi King – Meckwick’s Pair O’Dice (Best Dungeon Generator)
  • Aaron Kavli – The Return of the Hecate Rose (Best Science Fiction)
  • Alan Brodie – Splashdown in Fiend’s Fen (Best Science Fantasy)
  • Dale Horstman – The Monastery at Dor Amon (Best Library)
  • David Gay – Water Genie vs. Undead Mermaid Gladiator (Best Gonzo)
  • Eran Aviram and Aviv Or – One Last Tribute (Best Tomb)
  • Fco. Javier Barrera – The River of Stars (Best Ruin)
  • Gene Sollows – Holy Sword (Most Fun)
  • Greengoat – Devil Gut Rock (Best Theme)
  • Jason “Flynn” Kemp – Sell-Swords of Mars (Best Wilderness)
  • Jason Shaffer – The First Casualty (Best 1st Level Dungeon)
  • Jeff Shepherd – Four Brothers (Best Riddles)
  • Jerry LeNeave – A King With No Crown  (Best Temple)
  • Kelvin Green – A Rough Night at the Dog & Bastard (Best Relationship Map)
  • L. S. F. – Fungal Infection  (Best Fungoid)
  • Leslie Furlong – The Faerie Market (Best Situation)
  • Lester Ward – Seven Spindles and a McGuffin (Best Modifiable Map)
  • Luka Rejec – Deep in the Purple Worm (Best Integration of Art and Story)
  • PJ Cunningham – Operation Eagle Eye (Best Espionage)
  • Ramsey Hong – The Cave of Kull Cove (Best Cave)
  • Roger Carbol – The Tomb of Oddli Stone-Squarer (Best Multiple Factions)
  • Roger SG Sorolla – Old Bastard’s Barrens (Best New Presentation)
  • The Seven-Sided Die – The Tomb of Nesta the Mischievous (Most Bountiful)
  • Will Doyle – Tomb of Snowbite Pass (Best Eye Beams)
Congrats to everyone one on the list. The prizes this year are very sweet, and I am jealous! All of the winning entries have been compiled in a convenient PDF, so feel free to grab it to see what all the fuss is about. 

Finally, I just wanted to thank all the participants, as well as all my fellow judges, for making this year's 1PDC another very enjoyable experience. I am already looking forward to next year's contest!

5/27/2012

One Page Dungeon Contest 2012 First Round of Judge's Picks are In

This weekend, the judges, myself included, for the One Page Dungeon Contest 2012 turned in their first round picks. This year we had 107 entries, and I have to say, it was not an easy task going through that many submissions and narrowing our choices down to just twenty. The sheer number of entries made this a difficult task. Choosing a limited number of favorites made it daunting. This is because there were so many great entries that I had a tough time compiling a favorites list, but pick my favorites I did, and here they are:
Each of the other judges have also submitted their own lists, which I am sure vary wildly from my own. Now, the next round will begin, which means we will need to take all of the "top picks" and decide upon an even shorter list. I have a handful of entries I have already chosen that I believe should be on the final winner's list, and I am sure all of the other judges have done the same. I am not sure if this will end up being the final round of discussion, or if we will need a further round beyond this one. Either way, we are down to the nitty-gritty, and the winners will be announced on June 1st. In the mean time, make sure you download the compilation of all the 1PDC2012 entries, and judge for yourself.