Friday, December 17, 2010

Gamma World and D&D

They raced up the dungeon stairs, torches in hand, wondering what else could go wrong. When the metallic "mummy" named Munafik appeared above, with the "golem" X-1 at his shoulder, the players reacted like any party of adventurers--they attacked!

They'd been scrounging around the "tomb" for a few days. They'd already accidentally awakened an avatar of an ancient war god with the awkward name of "Orbital Planetbuster Laser."

So that was a concern.

They'd also picked up a few souvenirs--trinkets, rings, and talking bits of metal with flashing lights. So when Munafik ordered X-1 to, "KILL THEM ALL," the players augmented their axe strikes and fireballs with a couple plasma grenades and one partly-charged Gravity Hammer!

Yes. At Epic Game Day last weekend, I discovered that scattering Gamma World Omega cards into play can be quite fun, in the right setting. And since the setting was "high tech world that's fallen, with a fantasy world springing up in its ruins," it worked perfectly. And, when I discovered I'd accidentally shuffled an Alpha Mutation card into the mix, all the players had great fun screaming, "Mutant! Get him!" at their compatriot.

My recommendation? Throw some Gamma World cards into your next D&D game, if you're looking to add an interesting twist to your campaign's backstory, that is.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Your Story

Time-Life "Voyage Through The Universe"
Last night I was packing up some books—a bunch of 80s era books on stars, planets, and cosmology—that I haven’t looked at since I was a kid. I pondered giving them all to Good Will, but something nagged me. It took a moment to pin the thought down, but it was essentially: “You’re the kind of person that would own these books, so you better keep them.”

Really? What an odd thought. Who was I trying to impress with my (probably out-of-date) books on stars and planets, if not myself? If I was the kind of person who would own such books, you’d have thought I would have pulled one down to peruse during the last decade. Sure, in a pre-web era, I would have, but knowledge isn’t confined to dead trees any more, and . . . Well, the books ended up in the Good Will box.

That incident and a few other recent events made me realize how much a victim to our sense of “what other people think” many of us are. Have you ever wondered explicitly (or vaguely), “What will people think?” as you pondered doing, saying, trying, or arranging something different? Did the answer to that question influence your action in some way? If you’re a human being, then of course the answer is yes.

But just who are these people we’re so concerned with?

From an early age we’re taught what’s right and wrong. But for every one of society’s codified rules, there are a dozen unspoken guidelines that insinuate themselves into our gray matter. Society teaches us that it’s “right” to comb our hair, to buy a house, to get a 9-5 job, to get married, to have kids, and so on and on . . .

And at some point, we internalize “what people think” into ourselves, so that “society” becomes one more tiny voice in the chorus of personality fragments that make up each of us.

This can be slightly insidious if we don't recognize it, because our sense of ourselves, our very consciousness and self-awareness, is a story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Or so some people who study language’s effect on the brain believe. If true, then it follows that we not only want to create a story that's pleasing to ourselves, but one that's pleasing to others too. But others do not . . . How can I say this?

Let me put it baldly. For the most part, unless you’re breaking a law or a heart, other people don’t care.

Oh sure, they care, but not to the degree you might think they do. Other people are not you. And unless your particular decision directly affects someone, people in general don’t have to live with (or without) the decisions you make. And trust me, after their initial reaction, they won't give your particular decision hardly another thought until the next time they see you. They’re living their own lives, wrapped up in their own stories they’re telling themselves. As they should be!

Not all the decisions we make are as ultimately unimportant as whether we keep some dusty old books. But the point remains: Make decisions for yourself, not for the sake of what you believe “society” or some constructed version of yourself would have you do.

Also, if you’re looking for some Time-Life books on stars and planets, I know where you can get some cheap.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Changes 2: The Next Thing

As you may have guessed by my previous Changes-related entry, I've got several balls in the air right now. Since I only tossed a couple of them skyward myself, only a few are actually destined to continue to remain part of my eye-defying juggling repertoire. What, you didn't know I could juggle? Well, I can, but let's not get distracted with topics suggested by poor metaphors.

Anyway, I began writing another Forgotten Realms novel outline a few days ago. It'll be my ninth novel, assuming the latest deal memo leads to a contract. I've got some great ideas for it, and it picks up threads from the novel that proceeds it (Sword of the Gods, April 2011).

But so far, it's proved to be more difficult than previous outlines. Which is due to a few things, but here's a big reason: Susan J Morris, the editor of my last six novels, with whom I've developed great trust and a great friendship, is stretching her wings and leaving Wizards publishing for a sorceress position at Amazon! Not to mention several other exciting possibilities she's got in mind.

An author-editor relationship is a partnership. And I've had a great partner in my worlds-of-make-believe these last several years. I'm grateful I got to experience it. I wish Susan all the luck in the world with her new ventures, and I'm sure she'll succeed brilliantly in whatever she sets her hand to. I could say more on the subject, but I'd run the risk of becoming maudlin.

Anyway, the fact remains: This novel outline will eventually find the desk of an editor I've never worked with before. And I'm a little trepidatious about that. I mean, what if my new editor is the sort of person who would frown on me using the word 'trepidatious?' Because, I'm not even sure it's a word, and you know, some people are picky that way when it comes to published content.

Alright, big breath. What did I just say in my previous Changes entry? Oh yes. Suck it up and rely on another talent I like to believe I possess: The ability to roll with change while looking for new opportunities in the upheaval.

And besides, when it comes down to it, I'm excited to write this next scene. I set it up in the last novel, just so I could introduce a character that'll be the perfect foil for my main character Demascus. Oh yeah, plus . . . Well, I probably shouldn't spill all the beans on that one. What I should do is get back to that outline.

Stay tuned for a 3rd chapter in the Changes series of blog entries, which will hopefully prove to be the last (Changes-themed) one for a while. Too many changes too quickly, and the juggling act runs the risk of ending when someone gets a ball in the eye.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I watched a lot of bands this last weekend at Bumbershoot, but missed the one I most wanted to see: Visqueen. Darn it!

My consolation prize is that I just got to watch fellow Wizard employee Mark Price's video that he directed for Visqueen.

Take a look at the video!

Visqueen 'Ward' from Heath Ward on Vimeo.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Unlike Harry Dresden in his latest escapade (Changes), I still can't cast even the simplest magic spell, no matter how long I stare at the piece of lint on the floor and command it to, "Dance, you stupid piece of lint!"

But like Harry, I've seen changes come my way lately. Such as the death of my dog Hektor. That was a devastating change, one I'm still adjusting to. But as I recently noted somewhere else, when you you tip over the apple cart (or it falls over unexpectedly), sometimes the fruit rolls a lot farther than you were expecting.

And sometimes, people around you decide to tip over their apple carts too. Pretty soon, before you quite realize what's going on, you've got an apple-lanche on your hands!

Which is how I'm trying to look at things; with a bit of humor, and an eye on new opportunities even as things that I'd gotten used to shift and slide about. I've said before that people have a hard time with change, and by people I probably meant myself. Conservatism is in our genes because nature taught our ancestors that if you find something that works, it's probably a good idea to stick with it. But we haven't lived on the savannah for a considerable period of time. If we can get past our innate resistance to change (or weather what's thrown at us in the short term), we can try on a whole raft of new opportunities.

So, yeah. I'm not actually going to bore you by listing out all the changes I'm going to suck up and make the best of, at least right now . . . not until I've gone ahead and followed through by actually making the best of them.

Writing this blog entry is actually a step in that direction, see? Oh, yeah, plus it's a way to test out the RSS feed on my new web page/landing site on the web:; do you like the new design?

Ok, back to work. Where'd you go, you cheeky little fluff of lint?

Saturday, August 28, 2010


We lost our dog Hektor this morning. I miss him more than words can express. He loved us without reservation. 

Probably the one creature on this earth that wholly loved me with so little expectation in return.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gen Con Author Wisdom

I attended Gen Con this year as a civilian, in the sense that I wasn't required to show up for any official Wizards function. Despite that, I was super excited to sit on the panels of a few seminars, such as the Forgotten Realms seminar, the Gamma World seminar, and several others.

But since I attended Gen Con on my own and since I'm also an FR author, I am able to treat the trip as a business expense. For instance, I joined fellow FR authors on a couple different occasions for various author-related events, and was able to hobnob with the likes of R. A. Salvatore, Ed Greenwood, Richard Lee Byers, Jaleigh Johnson, and Erik Scott di Bie, as well as the FR Novel Line editor Susan J. Morris.

I'm not certain how much authorial wisdom was distributed, but it was certainly very nice to swap stories of both Faerûn and the real world face to face.

Wait, I did garner one piece of wisdom: if Bob Salvatore is playing a thief in your game of D&D, watch your backpack.*

*As Larry Elmore learned in the celebrity game of D&D that Chris Perkins DMed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Planning and the Primate Brain

It's forgivable we're not long term planners; it's the primate brain default. But now that we know that, let's figure out how to plan around it!

Alright, perhaps that does sound paradoxical on it's face :-). But no, we really can plan around our short-sighted urges. Like, if you know that you can't help but eat the Dorritos in the closet, don't buy Dorritos so they're not in the closet in the first place. Maybe you already do things like this; what you're doing is not succumbing to your base "you" but instead making room for the you-you'd-like-to-be.

And, on a grander scale, if evidence shows us that complicated systems always eventually fail (which evidence does indeed indicate), don't get caught up in the "but everything's been going fine for years" groupthink. This is complacency, and being complacent means you're institution or company probably doesn't have contingency plans in place to deal with a problem that WILL eventually come to pass in time.

In the micro and in the macro, humans have brain systems designed for immediate action and reward. So let's take steps both in our personal lives and in our society to avoid bad situations and foresee potential for disaster. Who's with me?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Follow Raidon Kane

Wouldn't it be cool if we could interact with our favorite novel characters in real life? Well, short of a schizoid break or some sort or reality rip that seems rather unlikely, all things considered, I bring you the next best thing:

Follow and interact with Raidon Kane on Twitter. Raidon is the character appearing in four of my D&D novels. Experience events inside his head as events draw toward the finale in Key of Stars!

You can find the Twitter feed here; just hit the FOLLOW button:

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bacon Sandwich in hand vs. Logic

The web article Science, Reason, Critical Thinking, and Bacon Butties is an entertaining read. More importantly, it highlights how even those of us who try to lead lives according to values we've established through reason and critical thinking can fall short, especially when the smell of bacon hovers in the air like the promise of ambrosia.

I too "ate the bacon sandwich" for severals years after knowing the rational arguments why I shouldn't. But over time, eventually, I finally made the switch to a veggie lifestyle, with only a few falls from the wagon since.

On the other hand, I only did so because the argument took on an emotional component, one that appealed to my heart instead of my brain, or at least both in equal measure. So I'm afraid I still don't know that if in the face of a bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo sandwich, purely rational arguments alone would have finally swayed me.

Anyhow, upon reading the article, it looks like the author is going to come down like a hammer on people who refuse to accept overwhelming evidence (in the initial case, on evolution). But keep reading . . .

A snippet:
[...] I came across an anecdote about an educated, seemingly rational person who simply refused to accept Jerry’s overwhelming evidence for why evolution is true.

Living in a country where evolution is only a controversy amongst the hard lined religious fundamentalists, who do their best to stir up a controversy, it’s hard to understand why so many people can reject such solid science.

And so on.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Red Lines

So, check out the two red lines.

The one at the end of the hall is longer than the one in the foreground, right?

Wrong! Get a ruler and measure each one. On the computer screen, they are exactly the same length.

Yes, your brain is lying to you. Isn't that amazing?

For an explanation, check this out. The explanation by Phil Plait also describes the illusion of why the moon looks so huge on the horizon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Space 2099

Here's what I'd do if I was given the job of coming up with a new treatment for Space 1999, a show that lives on in glorious nostalgia in my memory. No, I haven't seen an episode since I was eight. I don't see that as a problem, do you?

First off, the title. That's easy: "Space 2099." Note the clever timeline advance, given that we're well past 1999 and the Moon remains safely in orbit.

In my update to the 70's classic, the moon base still goes a-wandering. However, instead of being torn out of earth's orbit by a massive nuclear detonation (a nuclear blast that strong would obliterate any artificial structure on the Moon), and instead of being propelled by this blast to a series of other solar systems in a period months (a nuclear blast that strong . . . well, you get the idea), the moon base slips between parallel dimensions.

Whata? Here's the new backstory: The cosmologists have gone through a couple of generations of particle accelerators since the LHC. The newest version requires a mass in excess of 7.30 × 1022 kilograms in order to function. Turns out the Moon is slightly larger than that. You see where this is going? Yep, a moon base is built to oversee the operation of this newest generation atom-smasher. And everything goes swimmingly, until the fatal accident that destabilizes the moon, and sends it on a tour of wacky parallel earths.

This also helps explain why most of the "aliens" the scientists meet in any given episode are essentially humanoid in nature, if not completely human. This compatibility allows for a broad range of interesting stories. Not to worry, this doesn't mean that any given alternate earth can't be ruled by sentient, flesh-dissolving slime molds or something else very alien (even actual Earth-conquering aliens), but this way there's even a chance for romance to brew.

Which brings up the Maya character; in the original series she was a shape-shifter, and the breakout character as far as my eight-year-old self was concerned. In my 2099 treatment, Maya is not an alien per se, but a resident of an alternate earth. She joins the staff much like the character in the original series.

Indeed, if this were to be a mere one-shot movie instead of a series, I'd make Maya the central character, with the main plot of the story revolving around her and what her ability to shift shape really means.

It goes without saying the effects will be updated for the modern sensibility. If we can't afford Avatar in quality, I'm sure we can achieve at least Battlestar Galactica standards (the latest version).

And ... well, that's where we'll leave off for now.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Check out the sweet new wallet I got as a pre-birthday gift today: The Elysius Might Wallet. Made of recyclable paper, and is recycle-able in turn.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Professor Darkcoat Foiled

I dreamed I had hot sauce so hot it gave me acid burns on my lips. Oh yeah, and that my dog Hektor could drive a car. I think the dreams were of a piece--I had to allay Professor Darkcoat's suspicions about me. To do so, of course, I had to convince him I was the kind of person who would burn his lips with hot sauce that measured "psychotic" on the Scoville scale, while at the same time, being the kind of person smart enough to train his dog to drive a car, apparently.

Alright, enough messing around on the internet; time to hit the coal face of my next 1000 words. But, hey, I finished proofing Key of Stars! So on that point, I'm made of win.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Holy crap I'm Excited

The Deck of Many Things; past, present, and now in a luxurious new easy-to-be-imprisoned case!

Has this or any form of this deck every appeared in a novel, FR, D&D, Eberron, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, or other?

Because, I think I’d really like to see it. I wonder if there is time to change up the plot in what I’m currently working on. You, know, just to send things careening wildly off the tracks. Hmm… Better think on this further before I do anything hasty.

But, before I go, could I have two draws from the Deck please?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Media Blitz

I am snowed under by media to be read, listened to, watched, played, or written. I'm currently reading 2 books on my kindle app (on phone and mac), listening to an audio book on my phone, in the middle of watching a couple different HBO shows via netflix streaming, and have a couple hard-copy books and DVDs lent to me by friends that I look forward to watching/reading.

Not to mention the huge backlog of podcasts I listen to fairly regularly. Which I'm behind on because of the aforementioned audiobook. As it happens, I signed up for the 1 audiobook a month plan at, so I've got a lot more audiobooks in my future.

I'm also writing a novel in my free time (and if I could say more about that, I would), and proofing Key of Stars (due back to editor May 3rd).

And as it turns out, I'm also trying to teach myself Objective C, which is great fun. When I can find the time to sit down with my manual!

Time was I used to play Xbox 360, and I was up to date on all the games. No more. Not enough time. Though I suppose when the next must-have title emerges, that'll change. Starcraft II I think. If it ever comes out . . .

So like I said, I've got a lot of media to consume (and produce). Some days, such as right now when I've got a cold to drag me down, I feel burdened. Like it's just too much of a first world problem. So maybe I should give another $25 to Kiva, chuck the rest, and re-read my old copy of The Hobbit for the 20th time.  Sounding pretty good...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gamma World

I'm very excited to see the art for Gamma World has dropped.

That's right, mutant. It's go time. You can handle a little radiation, can't you? How about if I promise to give you a plasma rifle? Yeah, I thought so.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Blog Template

I've been sort of jealous of all the folks using wordpress to trick out their blogs with new templates as the mood suits them. I'm on Blogger, I thought, and my only chance for individuality was to design my own theme, which with the help of a friend, I'd sort of done.

I was very surprised and happy to find out today when I did a search for "blogger themes." I discovered a whole world of templates created by designers. For instance, this very cool theme called Starry Night (I think). Isn't it sweet?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Once my wardrobe consisted mainly of free t-shirts I got through TSR and Wizards. They were uniformly black. These days, the only black game shirt I have is a retro Advanced D&D one I paid for.

But I got a cool new free t-shirt today that says We Make The Rules, with some cool framing art. On the back it reads Wizards of the Coast R&D. And unlike all my old shirts that were 1 size too large for me, it fits!

Looking forward to adding it to the shirt "rotation." Yes, little things like this make me happy :-).

(Speaking of cool t-shirts, today I'm wearing a shirt that show 5 "test your psychic ability cards" Zener cards, under which reads Teach The Controversy.)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Norwescon 33

I'll be on several panels at Norwescon 33 this weekend. I'll be sitting in on several panels, plus doing a couple writer's critiques. In my spare time, I hope to attend a few talks by Vernor Vinge, Cory Doctorow, and John Cramer.

Norwescon is "the Northwest’s Premiere Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention; Norwescon is one of the largest regional Science Fiction and Fantasy conventions in the United States. While maintaining a primarily literary focus, Norwescon is large enough to provide a venue for many of the other aspects of Science Fiction and Fantasy and the interests of its fans such as anime, costuming, art, gaming, and much, much more."

My schedule will be thus:

Friday, Noon, Evergreen 2
Build a Better Adventure
What makes a good adventure? One that players can't wait to continue; that they spend their off-time thinking about and planning for until they play again? Join our gaming panelists in a discussion of how to design better adventures Erik Mona (M), Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell, James Jacobs
1 PM writing critique
3 PM Friday, Evergreen 2
What is D&D?
D&D has been through a number of editions, each of which has changed the rules and the core setting around it. In the past few years, games like Pathfinder, Castles and Crusades, and Swords & Wizardry have emerged from the OGL to offer their take on traditional, D&D fantasy gaming. What is the core of D&D; and what allows it to remain so popular despite the rise of digital games? Wolfgang Baur (M), Jason Bulmahn, Bruce R. Cordell, Chris Pramas
Saturday 11 AM, Cascade 8
Forgotten Realms: Past, Present, Future
Since 1987, this campaign setting has grown and developed, generating over two hundred novels, dozens of computer RPGs, and a host of adventures and gaming supplements. Join our distinguished group of gaming professionals as they discuss the Forgotten Realms and their parts in developing it. Jeff Grubb (M), Richard Baker, Bruce R. Cordell
1 PM Saturday, Evergreen 3 & 4 Autograph Session #2
2 PM writer's critique
3 PM Interview with Vernor Vinge Saturday, 3 p.m. Evergreen 2
4 PM Saturday, John Cramer talks on, "Quantum Entanglement, Nonlocality, and Back-In-Time Messages" in Evergreen 2
5 PM Saturday, Cascade 3 Reading: Bruce Cordell Key of Stars, Book 3 of the Abolethic Sovereignty, FR, D&D, Rated: PG Bruce R. Cordell
7 PM Saturday, Cascade 9
What Is It With Lovecraft?
The Cthulhu Mythos has its filthy fingerprints all over Pathfinder, 4E D&D, and yes, even Call of Cthulhu RPGs, not to mention dozens of board and video games. What's the appeal? Is it just designers and GMs who love Cthulhu? And just how ruthless do you need to be to run a lone-survivor adventure, anyway? Lessons from the fringes of sanity.. Wolfgang Baur (M), Bruce R. Cordell, James Jacobs, Mike Mearls

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Reading

When an author gets a chance to read his or her book aloud to the public, it’s a wonderful yet frightening feeling.

It's wonderful because an author is always excited for opportunities to create greater awareness for his or her fabulous creations.

It's frightening because the author immediately begins to wonder if he or she is up to the task of "acting out" the parts of different characters in the selection. They wonder if they should just go for neutral voice, or if they should try to impart accent, attitude, and pitch changes between characters. If done correctly, doing the later really adds a lot of depth to the reading. If done poorly . . . well, who really wants to sit through a poorly executed southern accent the author thought might be just the thing for the villain? Maybe you do, but I don’t want to be the reader realizing I’ve entered fail-land.

I usually try for some sort of compromise in-between.

Tomorrow you'll have the opportunity to hear Richard Baker and Erin Evans read from their respective novels (Avenger and God Catcher) at the University Bookstore at 7 pm in Seattle (4326 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105). If you show up, as I plan to, you can find out where along the spectrum of acting and reading Rich and Erin decided to come down. I'm hoping acting!
As it turns out, I’ll also be giving a reading tomorrow from Key of Stars (Abolethic Sovereignty Book 3) at Wizards, but this one won’t be public until the recording is turned into a free audible file that will eventually be available for download on the Wizards web site. Once it’s up, you’ll learn how I decided to play the voices of a scribe, a wintry eladrin, and an archfey called the Lord of Bats.

If you’re very lucky (or unlucky), perhaps you’ll get to hear me trot out my southern accent when I read all the Lord of Bats’ parts.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Be Part of Something Positive

People would rather be part of something they perceive to be succeeding as opposed to something they think is failing. True on many levels.

However, as was pointed out on my Facebook status when I posted the above sentiment, people enjoy rooting for the underdog. As TC says, "There's a strong attraction to the underdog in the American psyche."

But I'd argue that in the long run, people still want to stand with the winners. If an underdog consistently fails to overcome its underdog status and become a winner, it loses credibility. Eventually, people move on. Or, they stick with their one-time underdog that has made the transformation.

In addition, strong enough trust in a principle or cause can trump the perceived negativity in being associated with a minority opinion, business, or what have you. Which is probably why I support several causes and opinions that have only minority following in the USA.

Except . . . these causes/principles I support, while unpopular to a majority of americans, happen to be held by people I respect far more than a mass of people I don't know. Which means that I'm still part of something I perceive as successful; I'm not an outlier in my own self-selected peer group of belief.

Anyway, this is all a very longwinded way of saying: don't be negative. If you're negative all the time, people will eventually begin keeping their distance. If you own a small business, talk about your successes, not your anxieties and challenges in keeping revenue coming through the door. If you tweet or update your Facebook status a lot, keep the content generally positive or humorous.

This way, when you actually do have some sad news or melancholy thoughts to relate, your friends, followers, or customers will sit up and take note. When you have actual constructive criticism to offer, people will take you seriously. When your small business needs that tiny one-time pop, you'll get results. And so on.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ebook wars

I love to read, and as I was recently surprised to find out, I love to read ebooks on my phone; the fit is just right. Which means, I love ebooks. As an author of a few novels, with hopefully many more on the horizon, I'm interested in seeing my novels come out in this format. However, all is not rosy in the world of ebook publishing.

It seems that Amazon, in its bid to sew up the industry, may be doing things that harm the author's ability to get paid a reasonable sum for writing (and an author's publisher, too). My being an author aside, this also means that in the medium- and long-term, these activities could impact the number and quality of books I get to read.

An excerpt from Charles Stross's recent blog on the topic:
Last Friday, unilaterally pulled most or all of Macmillan's books from their online store. (You can still find them via afilliates or second-hand stores, but Amazon themselves won't sell them to you. Note that this only affects me via my Merchant Princes books — published by Tor, a Macmillan subsidiary — in the US Amazon store. My Ace titles are safe ... for now.)

Read the entire blog here. Looks like I have another reason to hope Apple's bookstore gets off the ground!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Realms of the Dead

I've got a story in the latest FR anthology, Realms of the Dead, called "Wandering Stones."

Product Description
Get spooked by Faerûn’s most chilling ghost stories!

The millennia-old history of Faerûn is haunted with ghosts, vampires, zombies, and all other manner of gruesome undead. This anthology of all new stories is filled with the twelve most terrifying and lethal of these tales. From ancient lich kings to freshly turned ghouls; from disembodied hands to unholy, decaying angels, the dead in the Forgotten Realms® rarely rest in peace.

Realms of the Dead is an anthology of all new stories about the undead from The New York Times best-selling authors R.A. Salvatore, Richard Baker, Philip Athans, and Lisa Smedman; Forgotten Realms creator Ed Greenwood; fan favorites Richard Lee Byers, Bruce R. Cordell, Rosemary Jones, Erik Scott de Bie, and Jaleigh Johnson; and talented newcomers Erin M. Evans and Christopher Rowe.