Over the years, I’ve occasionally received questions or requests related to The ALGERNON Files, an M&M book I wrote a while back. The second edition of this book was published in 2005 and in the intervening time I’ve been fortunate enough to have fans who want to know more about the characters, more about the implied setting, and mostly when they were going to get to see another version (as M&M has moved from the 2nd ed of the last book to a colorful new 3rd ed) or even some sequel material in print. After leaving Blackwyrm back in 2007 or 2008 (I forget which), I was quite frank in my responses to these questions. I could write such a book, but by myself I didn’t have the skill set for the art or the layout, and I certainly didn’t have the financial resources to self-publish. Ergo, it wasn’t going to be happening. This generally resulted in some quite flattering disappointment.
A month or so ago, I received a forum PM once again asking me if there was ever going to be such a book, and citing my earlier responses, could I ask Blackwyrm (still a robust concern under Dave’s handling) if they’d be interested in publishing such a beast if I wrote it. Once again flattered, I told the fan that I would ask, but that Blackwyrm had moved on to greener pastures than their M&M Superlink days and the response I expected to get would undoubtedly support that. At Gen Con, as I promised, when I saw Dave I asked him to go ahead and give me the expected response so I could pass it on and quell any (in my opinion) misplaced hopes or expectations.
Dave smiled, raised an eyebrow, and then told me, “I hate to disappoint your predicting streak, Aaron, but we’d love to publish a new edition of The ALGERNON Files if you write it.”
I was a bit taken aback and I think I managed to stammer something incredibly articulate back at him along the lines of, “Well, umm, okay then.”
We’ve talked some more since then, Dave and I, and hammered out some details and I am glad to tell those diehard fans (however few but vocal they may be) they will see a 3rd ed version.
Format is still under discussion, as is the possibility of a kickstarter to cover the art costs (did I mention the new art?), but I’m hard at work fitting in the writing among my other time-consumers in my schedule. I’m also batting ideas back and forth with Jack Norris and Alex Williamson on background tweaks and visual redos across the board.
No sacred cows.
I do know the book will only be bad guys (because, really, do GMs or players really need a chunk of the book devoted to NPCs they’re not going to actually face in a game?) and that I’m taking the opportunity provided by one of the big bads of the setting to do a “soft reboot” (*Cough* Time Travel is NOT your friend *Cough*), eliminating some of the extraneous material and streamlining stuff for more efficient usage in people’s games. I’m using the space freed up by dumping good guy NPC coverage and using that to add in a number of new NPCs who will see the light of day for the first time (though I’ve mentioned many of them over the years when talking about existing material).
In support of this project, Alex has already done some inaugural art as “audition pieces” for Dave and the Blackwyrm Crew which I happily share now with everybody else. (Yeah, Alex rocks and I’m tremendously glad he was interested in contributing to the project.)
So, some art from the inestimable Alex — In order down the page Alpha Mech, Boneyard, Amos Brimstone, Clockwork King, and Kraken: