A New Mass Effect Fic: After Hours

Six years after abandoning an unfinished draft and six months after starting to work on it again, I’m finally ready to publish After Hours.

This is the story I was talking about in Writer’s Intuition. It’s another Saren/Nihlus thing, set between Signal to Noise and the events of Mass Effect 1. It deals with issues of trust in a passionate but troubled long-distance relationship. It’s the first overtly adult story I’m publishing on this site, and I believe the first I’ve ever written to come with a ‘dubious consent’ content warning. A dark story that was difficult to write. Even talking about it makes me edgy.

But it’s done now, and I’m satisfied with how it turned out. It’s a great relief to finish one more work that’s been on the back-burner for years. I hope my hypothetical readers will enjoy it.

You can read it here, or on AO3.

Image: “Unity”, by a dear friend who gifted me this unfinished work of art a long time ago.

The Elder Scrolls Online

I’ve been a fan of The Elder Scrolls (henceforth, TES) franchise for a very long time now. My first contact with it was in 2002, with Morrowind, which blew my mind, and I played every major TES game that came out since. I was very excited by the idea of The Elder Scrolls Online (henceforth, ESO) at the time it was announced, but the demo which I played in 2014 left me unimpressed. I only bought the game in 2016 after Bethesda had made the monthly subscriptions optional.

ESO is huge. In every conceivable way. This is why I’ve been reluctant to write about it. Every aspect of it would need of a post of its own if I was to do it justice. So this is by no means going to be comprehensive and exhaustive. It’s just a collection of random facts and impressions.

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Mass Effect Multiplayer Challenges and Halls of Fame

I have been a part of the Mass Effect fan community for a long time. But while my fanfiction writing is in evidence everywhere on this site, I’ve not written much about my involvement with Multiplayer Challenges and Halls of Fame, although I’ve been working on development and maintenance of that project regularly since the summer of 2016, when Bioware shut down their official forums. This is because what I have to say on the subject is largely technical and thus of dubious interest to the hypothetical readers of this blog; and writing about technical things requires more premeditation, structure and overall effort than my usual ramblings. I’m finally taking the plunge now because I plan to make all the data collected by the project publicly available some time in the next few months. The series of articles starting with this post will detail the project, the material and the process of wrangling it into shape, both as a manual for potential contributors and as homage to a long-lasting, fun and challenging hobby that taught me a great deal.

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The Garden of Proserpine

By A. C. Swinburne

Here, where the world is quiet;
         Here, where all trouble seems
Dead winds’ and spent waves’ riot
         In doubtful dreams of dreams;
I watch the green field growing
For reaping folk and sowing,
For harvest-time and mowing,
         A sleepy world of streams.

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An Exercise in Self-Critique 2

This is the second in what will hopefully be a longer series of posts where I critique the beginnings of my own stories, written long ago, and try to make them better. You can find the first post here. Today I’ll look at my oldest, dearest and most popular Mass Effect fanfic, Fruit from Palaven.

Continue reading An Exercise in Self-Critique 2