Not Like That


Theophrastus Prospero and his staff.

These guys were originally from the Corruption Campaign


So, my copy of Ghost Story finally came, and I read the whole thing in three days. Pretty good. Rather unexpected. Just have to say: I didn’t see that coming!
But, this post is not about Ghost Story. This is yet another post about trying to figure out how to describe the Corruption Campaign novel.
So often, when I am reading, I think “boy this is good! But, my book is…not like that.”  Now, you might say, Jagi–Wait, how do you pronounce your name? (To which, I would answer: J-short a, like cat-j-long E. In Slavic myths, there are stories of vampires whom, if you throw peonie seeds in front of them, must stop and count them. If I ever turn into a vampire, ask me how to pronounce my name. I am sure even evil me will stop to explain, thus sparing your life.)
As, I was saying, you might say:
“Jagi, what in the wogglebug does ‘not like that’ mean?”
 To which, I would answer: Orville? Is that you? You are the only person I know who uses words like wogglebug as exclamations.”
 And you would say, “No, dear, it’s me. Your imaginary reader. You were pretending to talk to me, remember?”
And I would say, sheepishly and with just a tiny touch of sadness…”Oh, right. Sorry.”
But I digress. Not like that. Mystery book? It’s ‘not like that.” Dark story? ‘not like that’ Frivolous Chick Lit? Not like that.
It wasn’t this way with the Prospero book. I knew what it was like right from near the begining. My very first reader described it as: Neil Gaiman meets C.S.Lewis or, for an American equivolent, Roger Zelazny meets Lloyd Alexander. And that is exactly what it was like.
But this novel? It’s not like that.
So…what is it like? Well…it’s like The Corruption Campaign, the best roleplaying game in the world. People don’t keep playing the same character in the same game for 25 years if it isn’t one cool game! And this book, this version (try number 13)…well, it feels a lot like the game its based on.
So…what is the game like?
 Ah, that’s the rub, isn’t it? I’ve never been able to describe it.
Bright. Filled with wonder and awe. A game where gods can come onstage and still feel like gods…twenty five years later. Colorful. Really colorful. Like four color comics.
Imagine the Justice League if the main character was Nausicaa of the Valley of the Winds.
In fact, that may be the best description I’ve ever given. I originally fell in love with Nausicaa, back in the 80s, because she reminded me of the character who is now the heroine of my book.
Imagine Star Wars Stormtroopers in Oz. Imagine Heinlein characters meeting guys from Tolkien and Narnia…and everybody being able to hold their own.  Imagine Amber if the Jedi lived in Arden.
It’s like that.