Showing posts from May, 2018

An Interview With LitRPG Writer Apollos Thorne

Apollos Thorne is the bestselling author of several LitRPG novels, including Codename: Freedom - Survive Week One , Codename: Freedom - The Goblin Siege , and Underwold: Level Up or Die . I had the privilege of interviewing Apollos at the time his first  Codename: Freedom title was released. This interview, conducted back in July 2017, is being republished on this blog for your reading pleasure. July 2017 Interview with Apollos Thorne, author of Codename: Freedom series Brian Tubbs (BT): “Your book Codename: Freedom – Survive Week One releases TODAY. I’m looking forward to reading it. It’s in the LitRPG genre. For the benefit of some of my blog readers, can you explain what LitRPG is all about?” Apollos Thorne (AT): Sure. That is probably the hardest question to answer that I get asked all the time. Tron is a good example. The main character is sucked into a digital world. Although a lot of authors use virtual reality because it’s becoming more and more of a reality. The on

An Interview With Fantasy LitRPG Writer Adam Horne, Author of Unwritten Rules

Adam Horne’s Unwritten Rules is a fantasy LitRPG novel available on Amazon Kindle (free if you have Kindle Unlimited). Last year, I read the book and wrote a review (published originally on a different blog - recently republished here ). And I reached out to the author with a few questions, and he was kind to get right back to me. With his permission, I’m posting the interview below. BT: I really enjoyed  Unwritten Rules . How did you discover the LitRPG genre and what made you decide to write in it? AH: I read Ready Player One . And by read, I mean I put it on my Amazon wishlist, ignored it for 3 years, then rediscovered it and wished I’d picked it up when I first saw it. From there it wasn’t hard to find links to similar books, and I tried several different series, including The Land , Awaken Online , Caverns and Creatures , and some translations of the Russian books. I’d played RPGs, both tabletop and video games, for over 20 years, and I’d also just finished writing my seco

A Janitor Becomes King: My Review of Adam Drake's LitRPG Series Kingdom

Robert Barron is a widower and night-shift janitor. Still grieving the loss of his wife, the 52-year old cares only about his grown daughter, Anika, and wants to keep the rest of his life as free of stress as possible. And that’s why he traded in the corporate life in favor of cleaning office buildings. With little to no professional ambition left, Rob just wants to live in peace and enjoy as much time with his daughter as he can. Unfortunately for Rob, unseen forces have other plans for him. And the night-shift janitor finds himself running (and defending) a kingdom! Simple and straightforward, Adam Drake’s Kingdom series is yet another contribution to the increasingly popular LitRPG genre (aka GameLit genre). A subset of fantasy and science fiction, LitRPG is all about following a character or set of characters as they progress through a virtual reality game setting. Drake’s Kingdom series isn’t as heavy into the game mechanics as some other LitRPG novels, and his stories are

An Alchemist Takes on a Bully and Wannabe King: My Review of the LitRPG novel Unwritten Rules

A physically disabled young man experiences newfound purpose and excitement in a virtual reality game world when he confronts an arrogant bully posing as a king. That’s the premise behind Adam Horne’s enjoyable LitRPG novel Unwritten Rules . While in college, Kevin’s life took a tragic turn when a car struck him and left his body paralyzed. Two years later and still deeply depressed, Kevin is given the opportunity to play a revolutionary computer game – an immersive MMORPG (massive multi-player online role-playing game) called Genesis Online . It’s a game backed by a ground-breaking, state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI). He soon finds himself reborn (or at least reimagined) as Kelath, a rogue adventurer in an exciting medieval fantasy world. Kelath’s excitement turns to anger and frustration when he runs smack into a corrupt guild ruled by a wannabe king named Itrix. The guild, Noblesse Oblige , seeks to dominate all of the Genesis world through extortion, violence, and

Are Magicians Demonic? Magic and Christianity

The other day I watched a video where Justin Flom, a well-known magician and believer in Jesus Christ, was responding to critics alleging that he was using demonic power to perform his magic tricks and illusions. (The video is titled “I am not a demon!” You can watch it here ). At first, I thought this must be the case of a few off-the-wall critics. I was mistaken. Digging a little further, I found numerous websites, blog posts, and a bunch of YouTube videos – many with a staggering number of views – arguing quite strongly that magicians (including Christian magicians like Flom) were either intentionally or inadvertently consorting with demons to pull off their feats of trickery and illusion. It should (sadly) come as no surprise that, just as many Christians brand all fantasy literature and entertainment as demonic, they do the same with performers who entertain with magic tricks. Yes, many Christians believe that when a magician performs at a children’s birthday party, he or she

An Interview With Christian Fantasy and Sci-Fi Author James Somers

James Somers is an ordained Baptist pastor, surgical technologist, and Christian fantasy novelist. Quite the combination. And some might say there is at least one contradiction in that biographical statement. How can a Bible-believing Christian (and a pastor, no less) read and write fantasy fiction? Well, who better to help us deal with that question than the man who is, in fact, blending biblical truth with fantasy fiction? I’m honored to interview Christian author James Somers for this blog. Side Note: The original interview was conducted a few years ago for a different blog (now defunct), and has been updated and provided here. Brian Tubbs (BT): Thank you for taking the time to “sit down with me” (digitally at least ?? ) for this interview. Most Christians take their faith seriously and want to serve the Lord. And yet they also want to enjoy life and that means they want to enjoy some of what we would call “worldly entertainment.” And that means making choices, and that’s where

A Devoted Husband Struggles to Save His Wife via a Dark Virtual Reality Game: My Review of Stan Faryna's Dystopian Novella Francesco Augustine Bernadone

Stan Faryna’s Francesco Augustine Bernadone: A Brief History of Our Tomorrows centers on an 80-year old Italian named Francesco as he desperately seeks to finance his wife’s cancer treatments, battles multiple sclerosis himself, and struggles to hold onto any work he can. All in a bleak world devoid of much happiness and hope. Francesco’s selfless devotion to his ailing wife, Clare, is about the only bright spot in the dark dystopian story world painted by the author. Francesco Augustine Bernadone is the first of a planned series of novellas set several years into an imagined future where the Dollar and Euro have collapsed, and western society has plunged into a gritty existence of unemployment, poverty, struggle, and despondency. To escape this grim reality, people are buying their way into a virtual reality game called Jacob’s Ladder . The massively multiplayer role-playing game (MMORPG) is, in many ways, even darker than the real world itself. Yet, for those few who can survive

Become a Knight in Medieval Times and Fight With King Arthur: My Review of Galen Wolf's Camelot Overthrown

If you’ve ever pictured yourself as a knight in King Arthur’s Camelot, Galen Wolf’s latest LitRPG novel may be just for you. LitRPG novels are of course all about following a character or set of characters as they progress through a virtual reality game setting. In Camelot Overthrown , Wolf turns his attention to knights and chivalry and churns out a virtual reality manifestation of medieval England. The prolific LitRPG author invites his readers to follow a young Level 1 up-and-comer named Gorrow on his quest for wealth and glory. All is not well, however. Gorrow must climb from poverty to wealth and from obscurity to fame in the midst of a war-torn world. The forces of evil (and they are thoroughly evil – more on this in a moment) are sweeping across the land and closing in on Camelot, the kingdom’s main bastion of freedom and hope. Wolf’s game world allows players to join King Arthur and fight against evil — or align with evil and seek to overthrow Arthur’s fabled Camelot. Gorro