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Thousand Suns: Transmissions from Piper — Art Preview

December 1, 2008

hillman3Work on Thousand Suns: Transmissions from Piper is moving along. Manuscripts are either in, or waiting to be turned in. Stories have been reread multiple times. Art is coming in as well. In all, this is shaping up to be a very cool project, and it is a book I am finding a lot of enjoyment in working on. I think the reason is that for the first time, this is not a book I am writing.

For a change, I am editing and project managing, and because of this, I am able to read things and enjoy them. Sounds strange, but when you are writing a game or gaming supplement, you are so focused on that project, you sometimes do not enjoy the work on the whole. For this book, that is not the case. Since I am not focused on the writing, I am seeing the large picture more clearly.

This is going to be a very nice book. There are four very strong short stories, and the game mechanics and additions based on these stories, really add to the game. There is going to be a lot of options for game masters and players, and this, for me is awesome. When James created Thousand Suns, his first goal, was the most important one, he wanted a tool kit. Thousand Suns: Transmissions from Piper is going to be a nice tool kit.

As for the art, we have some very good artists lined up working their magic. The sketches and finished art is looking nice, and, for me, shows the possibilities of Thousand Suns in a good way. Dani Kaulakis has done a fantastic job of setting the artistic vision of Thousand Suns. The artists working on Thousand Suns: Transmissions from Piper are doing some very cool things with the stories they were assigned.

The image to the right was done by Jeff Preston of Team-Preston. It is of the Hillmen from Thor, and as H. Beam Piper writers in “Ministry … of Disturbance.” Piper writes:

When it opened, Captain-General Dorflay of the Household Guard was
waiting for him, with a captain and ten privates. General Dorflay was
human. The captain and his ten soldiers weren’t. They wore helmets,
emblazoned with the golden sun and superimposed black cogwheel of the
Empire, and red kilts and black ankle boots and weapons belts, and the
captain had a narrow gold-laced cape over his shoulders, but for the
rest, their bodies were covered with a stiff mat of black hair, and
their faces were slightly like terriers’. (For all his humanity,
Captain-General Dorflay’s face was more like a bulldog’s.) They were
hillmen from the southern hemisphere of Thor, and as a people they made
excellent mercenaries. They were crack shots, brave and crafty fighters,
totally uninterested in politics off their own planet, and, because they
had grown up in a patriarchial-clan society, they were fanatically loyal
to anybody whom they accepted as their chieftain.

Jeff does a great job with this sketch, in addition to the rest of the art he is doing for this short story. Thousand Suns: Transmissions from Piper is turning into something that is going to be far better than I thought it would be. By that, I thought this was going to be a series of PDF releases that would eventually be collected in a book. Once I saw the quality of art and the writing, I knew this book deserved to be published. I am glad I made that decided to do this differently.

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