I’m excited to be sharing this new book from friend of the site Claire Buss! The Gaia Solution is the final book in a trilogy that Claire has been working hard on for some time now. This is the culmination of an incredible journey and is an amazing achievement. You can pre-order the new book now!
Kira, Jed and their friends have fled New Corporation and joined the Resistance, but their relief is short-lived as they discover how decimated the human race has become and learn of an environmental crisis that threatens to destroy their existence. Kira and Jed must travel up the mountain to the New Corporation stronghold, City 50, to bargain for sanctuary while Martha and Dina risk everything to return to City 42 and save those who are left. With the last of her reserves Gaia, the fading spirit of the Earth uses her remaining influence to guide Kira and her friends but ultimately, it’s up to humanity to make the right choice.
More about The Gaia Collection
The Gaia Collection is Claire’s hopeful dystopian trilogy set 200 years in the future after much of the planet and the human race have been decimated during The Event, when the world went to war with high-energy radiation weapons.
In The Gaia Effect, Kira and Jed Jenkins – a young couple who were recently allocated a child – together with their closest friends, discover Corporation have been deliberately lying to them and forcing them to remain sterile. With help from Gaia, the spirit of the Earth, the group of friends begin to fight back against Corporation eventually winning and taking over the governance of City 42.
In The Gaia Project, Corporation fight back under a new, more terrifying organization called New Corp and Kira, Jed and their friends end up fleeing for their lives trying to find a safe place to live. They travel to City 36 and City 9 in vain and must go further afield.
In the final book, The Gaia Solution, the main characters have ended up with the Resistance and not only do they have to deal with surviving against New Corp but an extinction environmental event is looming on the horizon and they’re running out of time to save what’s left of the human race.
What readers are saying about The Gaia Collection
for The Gaia Effect, winner of the 2017 Raven Award for best
‘A story filled with emotion, angst & hope’ ‘Brilliant post-apocalyptic science fantasy’ ‘Wonderfully written, with a warm friendship at its heart’ ‘A fantastic debut novel’
for The Gaia Project
‘A fantastic read from start to end’ ‘Great book, thought-provoking read’ ‘Mums are the heroes of the story and it’s the relationships that make it all work’
About the Author
Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet based in the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting her writing career in motion. She continues to write passionately and is hopelessly addicted to cake.
With my very own post-apocalyptic novel about to release tomorrow (What Once Was Home), I was very excited to find that one of my favorite game publishers has a new post-apocalyptic game out now!
I’ve spent a lot of time in the book rebuilding communities through the eyes of my characters, and I feel ready to take a more direct hand in the challenge of rebuilding a society in the wake of an apocalypse. There’s a lot of potential obstacles we may face here. Limited resources, a lack of infrastructure, lawlessness, environmental hazards, etc. I’m sure that Paradox and Iceflake have thought of all these and more, so this game is sure to be quite the challenge!
Paradox Interactive is renowned for such titles as the Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, and Hearts of Iron series. Their forays into city building games include the acclaimed Cities: Skylines (considered by many to be a spiritual successor to the Sim City series) and Surviving Mars.
Now, they’ve partnered with indie developer Iceflake Studios to bring city building games into the post-apocalyptic future with Surviving the Aftermath!
Game Features, from the Paradox Interactive website.
No Place Like Home: Build and manage a colony of survivors after a world-ending event. Construct more than 50 unique buildings to handle everything from resource collection and farming to exploration and security. Don’t forget to construct the Gate to venture into the savage world beyond your colony. Surviving Earth: Explore a vast procedurally generated world featuring six different biomes filled with exploitable resources, bandits, and more. Each environment has different conditions that will affect your colony’s survival. Stay vigilant: Natural disasters will put your survivors to the test. Survival is my Specialty: Recruit over 46 unique Specialists, each with their own skills and motivations, to manage your colony’s resources and production. Send them beyond the Gate on scientific missions, scavenger runs, and to fight bandits. Expect the Unexpected: Life in the aftermath requires you to make moral choices. You may not be able to control everything in your colony, but how you respond to situations and emergent events will shape the character of your new civilization. Mods: Surviving the Aftermath players can bring their own visions to life using Paradox Mods.
I’m very eager to get my hands on this, and hope to be uploading some screenshots and videos from my own attempts to survive the aftermath soon. The game is now in early access, and you can get your copy from the Epic Games Store now.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in 5th grade in 1989. I had a “Homeroom” class that was essentially flex time. We could do whatever we wanted if it was one of three things: homework, reading in a textbook, or reading from a set of specific books provided by the teacher. I read the books. I went through several that year, more than I can remember. A few stand out. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls is one of them. A collection of Edgar Allen Poe’s work is another. I don’t remember the specific title, edition, or publisher; but the book I ended up really falling in love with was a collection of Greek mythology.
When his world is torn apart, one man must learn to survive in What Once Was Home.
Cox’s life is changed when an overwhelming alien force invades the
Earth with no warning or provocation. In the years that follow, he must
not only fight to survive; but also learn what it means to be a man and
a leader. As the situation grows more dire, he realizes that his
greatest challenge isn’t the alien invaders or even his fellow man; it
is holding onto his own humanity despite living in a world gone mad.
Every step of the way, I was enthralled by Jace’s story. Every word drew me so deep into this world, that it became real to me. It’s what I want when I read a book, a movie in my head. An incredibly engaging and heart-wrenching journey. With an ending that made me sit back and repeat the word “Damn” to myself several times. Because, damn.
What Once Was Home stunningly combined the incredible speculative elements that I love about science fiction with the engaging personal stories and moving internal struggle that continues to draw me back to contemporary fiction.
Compelling characters, fast-moving plot, and a world you can sink into—you really cannot ask for more from any story. Even if science fiction and alien invasions aren’t your things, this is a book you do NOT want to miss out on. Jace’s journey is one that I think will touch many readers and bring them back again and again.
— Crystal Kirkham on Goodreads. 5 stars.
Bass’s story is engaging and delves into human emotions, joy, pain, and loss. The story grabbed me from the beginning to the very heartwarming end. Bass is an excellent story spinner and his descriptive writing drew me into this bleak world. What can I say? It is terrific and I highly recommend this book. I look forward to reading more of B.K.’s books in the future. A five-star treat.
In our modern age of relative enlightenment, many treat Friday the 13th the same way as they would International Talk Like a Pirate Day; by posting some amusing memes on social media and injecting it into their small-talk around the water cooler or coffee maker.
The history of the day is shrouded in the past like so many lurking monsters waiting to pounce from the shadows. There have been put forth several theories on the origins, but most fall apart under deeper scrutiny.
Ray Bradbury (AUG 22, 1920 – JUN 5, 2012) was a prolific author who is credited with writing 27 novels and over 600 short stories, in addition to writing several film and television screenplays. His work helped shape the burgeoning genre of science fiction. He was awarded a Pulitzer Citation in 2007 for his “distinguished, prolific, and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy.”
American socialite Richard Jericho is a world-renowned treasure hunter. British professor of archaeology Wilkins Chapman is his stoic compatriot. Together, the two have uncovered antiquities from South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. On their most recent trip to the jungles of Peru they discover something more than they expected. As the fabric of reality comes apart, the two must journey across the globe chasing clues. As one answer leads to more questions, they begin to piece together a puzzle older than primal memory itself.
And the more they part the veil, the more of what lies beyond the veil spills into our reality.
Praise for Parting the Veil
“Finished this gem in 5 hours…I just couldn’t put it down. The rich history and landscapes bring the imagery right to you and the descriptive horror had me reeling. Can’t wait for more of this story!” 5 Stars from Michael Nadeau on Goodreads
A quick trip down the gothic rabbit hole. This story includes aspects of Lovecraft, Verne and the Indiana Jones series, yet the author has a voice that is distinctly his own. Bass is excellent at combining craft elements we usually expect in literary fiction (strong character development,interiority, and carful attention to setting) while not taking away from the action (or fun!) Full disclosure: I was lent a digital ARC to review, but have an order in for my print copy – it’s that good. 5 Stars from Professor Cognome on Goodreads
There are very few writers today who can craft a world the way B.K. Bass can. It’s rich, it’s layered, and it’s enticing. The characters are real, the story is gripping, and you are a bit sad when you reach the last page. As much as I want to gush about my favorite this or that, even the slightest detail would lead to spoilers. Slow hand clap for Parting the Veil. 5 Stars from J.D. Sanderson on Goodreads
An Enthralling and Epic Adventure of Twists, Turns & Mystery! I was given an Advanced Reader Copy of “Parting the Veil” in exchange for an honest review. “Parting the Veil” is hands down one the best books I have read in a long time! I am so looking forward to the continuation of this epic adventure in Book II of this “Beyond the Veil” series and see what else this author will bring us in the future! Bass’s writing is sublime, rich, seamless, and not a word is wasted! This story is a snappy, yet rich, action-packed journey in the midst of the turmoil of the late 1930’s & is full of mystery and adventure. I found myself effortlessly enthralled by Bass’s “Parting the Veil” from the first sentence to the last, eagerly turning each page. This is not a book to miss if you enjoy fiction, adventure, history, mystery in any combination. BK Bass is most definitely an author to watch! He is a rising star! 5 Stars from Jill Squire on Goodreads
As part of this week’s celebration of the launch of Parting the Veil, I wanted to expand on my genre studies series and share my own research into the genre of cosmic horror. In this article I explore not only the definition of the genre, but take a deep dive into its origins with the life and work of H.P. Lovecraft. We also get a glimpse of what the genre stands for today, and the lasting social and literary impact of Lovecraft’s creations.
Writing tools is a term often applied to the intangibles of our craft; our knowledge, skills, and techniques which are applied in the process of developing outlines, hammering out plots, and spinning prose to amaze our readers. I want to talk today about the more tangible writing tools at our disposal: Pens, notebooks, laptops, and software. Most notably, I want to discuss one particular piece of online software that has revolutionized how I approach an important part of writing science fiction and fantasy: Worldbuilding. Today, I want to talk about World Anvil.
A quick disclaimer: Although my publishing company (Kyanite Publishing, LLC) interacts with World Anvil on occasion, I am in no way being reimbursed by World Anvil, its owners, or its associates in return for writing this article. I am doing so of my own accord in hopes of sharing useful information with the writing community.
What is World Anvil?
World Anvil is a website (www.worldanvil.com) founded in October of 2017 by Janet Forbes and Dimitris Havlidis. It is a place where authors, table-top RPG (role playing game) dungeonmasters, and hobbyists can develop, maintain, and display fictional worlds in a wiki-style system. Work produced on the website remains the sole property and copyright of the author, and it may be publicly displayed or kept private depending upon that author’s preferences. The end-results can vary greatly depending upon how many of the myriad of features each individual chooses to employ, ranging from simple text documents to fully customized and formatted articles with images, links, and interactive maps.
The Kingdom of Brisland, from my own World Anvil project: Istaria.
From the Notebook to the Forge
I started my own journey down the rabbit hole of worldbuilding some time in the early 1990s, in what some may consider through the lens of nostalgia the heyday of Dungeons & Dragons. The second edition AD&D rule set had just been released in 1989, and new settings such as Dragonlance and Dark Sun were inspiring many of us young would-be authors to craft our own unique settings to explore within the game.
Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. The resulting world may be called a constructed world. … Constructed worlds can be created for personal amusement and mental exercise, or for specific creative endeavors such as novels, video games, or role-playing games. — Definitions.net
And thus did the spiral notebooks, three-ring binders, and hand-scrawled maps on graph paper begin to pile up. What began as a hobby became an obsession, and soon there were boxes of notes detailing everything from geopolitical turmoil to the mating habits of certain local waterfowl. As time passed and I adapted to our new digital age, I was certain that there would soon be a better way to accomplish these tasks. Thirty years passed, and despite options such as meticulously organized directories of documents, programs like OneNote, and even Scriviner (and anybody who knows me knows that I swear by Scriviner for writing my manuscripts!); I had yet to find a system that surpassed the utility of the good old spiral notebook and three-ring binder. Then I discovered this website called World Anvil, created by worldbuilders for worldbuilders with one thing in mind: Worldbuilding.
Stoking the Fires of Creativity
I was intrigued, to say the least. I had recently taken the deep dive into serious professional writing of fiction and I had several settings that I was maintaining simultaneously. Moreso than these, I had an epic fantasy project outlined that I knew would require a massive amount of worldbuilding, and I was prepared to fill another cardboard box with notebooks to achieve this goal. That was right about when I discovered World Anvil in October of 2018.
The site was a year old, and it was growing. I found it through a YouTube channel called Tale Foundry that had partnered with them for a writing competition.
The competition was to develop a world and set up the basics behind a story, and then Tale Foundry would write the story and read it on their channel. I was hooked!
“Badges, we don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” Yes…yes, we do.
No, I didn’t win. I did get a shiny participation badge though; the first of many. I realized at this point that this site was much more than a tool for worldbuilding: It was a home for it. There was interaction, scheduled events, rewards, and a growing community of like-minded individuals all rallying around the World Anvil website and team. And as I explored other authors’ works on the site, I discovered that they were producing some amazing content! I was inspired to do the same, and I was pushed to do so with more quality than I had ever considered putting into my worldbuilding before.
“That’s all great,” you say, “but what about the website itself? Is it a useful tool?”
It is indeed! In addition to everything mentioned above, the actual layout and system of the World Anvil website is not only a useful way to produce, organize, and display information; but the templates built into it offer built-in prompts that made me think of things about my worlds that I had never considered before!
Would I have thought of this if I was detailing it in a notebook? Probably not, but World Anvil reminded me to do it!
Breathing Life Into Your Setting
“But, B.K.,” you say. “I don’t do a lot of worldbuilding for my books. My stories are all character-driven, so I don’t have to keep extensive notes or detail minutiae that I will later need to reference and use in my writing. This sounds great, but it’s not something every writer can use. Why should I be interested in what World Anvil has to offer if I’m not a worldbuilder?”
What was the name of that gas station Jodie stopped by on the way to the lakeside cabin, where he had that conversation with whatshisname about that party down at whosiswhat’s house?
So, every writer has had that moment where they’ve had to scroll back three chapters in a manuscript to remember the name of some minor character or detail of a location. At the very least, World Anvil can be a place to keep notes like this. Admittedly, there are other options, but it’s worth a look.
If you’re not a worldbuilder or considering writing epic fantasy or hard science fiction, and you’re still reading this: Thank you for hanging in there! Don’t worry, this next part is for you!
Okay, so you don’t write science fiction or fantasy. Or, maybe you do, but you don’t develop sweeping and expansive settings for your books. Honestly, I’ve written several pieces that have bare-bones worldbuilding and focus more on character and plot, so I totally admit there’s some projects that simply do not need something like this. But, just because you don’t create entire civilizations down to what color is socially acceptable to wear after the annual harvest festival doesn’t mean that you won’t potentially get some use out of this.
And this is where I’m going to veer off the superhighway of worldbuilding and get down to what any fiction writer can relate to regardless of genre: Characters.
It has been said time and time again that there are three main facets of any story: setting, plot, and character. And, it is well known that character is the most important part of this equation. One need only do a cursory search online for writing tools (the tangible sort), and they will find a plethora of character sketch worksheets, questionnaires, and guides for developing rich and believable characters.
I argue that World Anvil has built into its framework everything you need.
The character template on the website has spaces for the usual questions, from physical characteristics to personal history. But it delves deeper and has fields that beg to be filled in; asking about personal taboos, mental quirks, physical mannerisms, life goals, and pretty much everything else you will find on the best character sketch worksheet, and then some.
In addition to this, World Anvil just launched a new aspect of the website called “Heroes“. I’ve played around with the new features briefly, but I’ve found so far that this is the most involved character creation utility I’ve ever seen. Moreso than this, it’s also a social network for characters! While you need not interact with others, or even make what you develop visible to the public, the potential of being put on the spot by other author’s characters talking to your own might make you dive deeper into the mind of that oh so important aspect of your story.
Brego, protagonist of Blood of the Desert, now has his own social media profile? And he’s emo?
The number of fields to fill in on the advanced profile in Heroes outweighs even those in the character template in the main World Anvil structure. It’s definitely geared more towards short-form profiles rather than long biographies, but for many that’s as far as we ever get anyway. In addition, you can post thoughts from your character’s point of view, out of character posts such as the quote from Blood of the Desert shown above, and even journal entries. Want to have your character keep a journal of everything that happens while writing the book — either for later release, promotional purposes, or just to keep track? Here you go…thank me later.
World Anvil membership is free, and one can access the majority of the features offered without any monetary commitment. There are also several levels of “Guild Membership” that unlock different tiers of features, such as removing ads from the site or enabling a larger number of worlds that you can develop. I have been a guild member since November of 2018, and I plan to continue to be a member indefinitely. I am nothing but overjoyed by the services offered, the community, and the staff of World Anvil. Speaking of community, I should not neglect to mention that there is a very active Discord server with thousands of active users, weekly Twitch streams, a YouTube channel, monthly contests, and two large annual events all hosted by World Anvil. I digress to my point above: More than being a writing tool, World Anvil is a community.
I hope you have found this interesting, enlightening, and perhaps even a bit entertaining. I invite you to check out World Anvil and Light Up the Forge!
I’m very excited to reveal the cover for my first full-length novel: What Once Was Home!
When his world is torn apart, one man must learn to survive in What Once Was Home.
Jace Cox’s life is changed when an overwhelming alien force invades the Earth with no warning or provocation. In the years that follow, he must not only fight to survive; but also learn what it means to be a man and a leader. As the situation grows more dire, he realizes that his greatest challenge isn’t the alien invaders or even his fellow man; it is holding onto his own humanity despite living in a world gone mad.
What Once Was Home will be launching on October 25, 2019, and pre-orders are available now from Kyanite Publishing! Click HERE for more!
Genres: Science Fiction, Post Apocalyptic, Alien Encounters, Military Science Fiction Length: Novel – Approx 300 pages Release Date: October 25, 2019