DEMONWORLD: DEADLINE

This is it my beautiful babes! Last time I checked, the Kickstarter for the Demonworld covers was down to 70 hours. That means we have three days to take the legendary icepick of wealth and use it to chip the ice away from my tender, gently-vibrating heart.

ZOZOBRA 'Savage Masters'

Pretend you’re in a SAW trap, and the only way out is to put a knife to your wallet’s throat and bleed it on the altar. What happens if you don’t have the will to sacrifice your wallet? I’ll tell you what happens… look out your window. Do you see the awful, gray, nightmarishly mediocre landscape out there? That’s no magical vision of hell, my friends – that’s a world in which Demonworld never got professional-looking covers and thus I never made any freakin’ money, which means the series will be relegated to obscurity, then oblivion. Horrifying? Yes! Possible?! Most definitely!!!

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Demonworld on Kickstarter!

Nobody gets excited about psychedelic records because they come in brown paper bags. I want nice covers for Demonworld just as much as the next guy. Enter: Kickstarter.

If you want to take part in the battle to give Demonworld a face-lift, or just stop by to see Kyle B. Stiff awkwardly flail about and beg for money, then go here.

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Begging for money 21st century style. If you thought starving artists were sexy before, wait til you see Poverty 2.0!

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Demonworld: PERMAFREE

Holy hell, it looks like Demonworld finally went PERMAFREE on Amazon.

Believe me, this book will make your balls drop, it’ll put your eggs in the microwave, and from now on it won’t cost a DIME to light your Kindle on fire with this thing. If you like reading about monsters getting shotgunned to death or guys with ritually mutilated bodies or she-demons having sex with big lizard creatures but you don’t want to pay one single cent for any of it, or if you just want to hang out with a brutal mystic on a spiritual journey through what can only be described as Hell (a.k.a. Earth), NOW’S YOUR CHANCE. Just click HERE or HERE or even, God willing, HERE.

demonworld cover

Or you can get your hands on almost any of my writings HERE. Who loves you but me?

The Iron Writer TOURNAMENT Begins!

By Kyle B. Stiff

One of Kyle B. Stiff’s personal aides rushed into his meditation sanctuary. His nerves were frazzled due to a fubar state of mind and sleepless nights tossing and turning and worrying like a little punk over the upcoming Iron Writer Tournament, and only his master, the awe-inspiring gladiator Kyle B. Stiff, could put his silly-ass mind at ease.

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The aide found Kyle B. Stiff deep in meditation in a very chill room decorated with a few tasteful pieces dedicated to violent destruction – the sort of thing that a master gladiator would contemplate before a battle. One piece was a framed photograph of a nuclear explosion, the mushrooming result of a few physicist-warriors pooling their intellectual resources in order to ruin thousands of civilian lives. Another piece showed the amazing Battle at Kruger, when a few buffalo got their shit together and fought against a gang of lions with a powerful hunger for baby buffalo. Still another piece was a historical representation of Conan slaying Thulsa Doom with the shards of his father’s sword. None of these pieces did anything to set the poor aide at ease.

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“Master!” said the aide. “Don’t you know that the Iron Writer Tournament, a brutal, bone-crushing event that pits past Iron Writer winners against one another, begins this Thursday?!”

Kyle B. Stiff slowly turned to his aide. He looked serene as balls. “I know it,” he said.

“Then how can you just sit there?! Th-th-this is suh-suh-serious!!!”

“My dear little fug-nuggler.” Kyle B. Stiff stood and radiated an aura that could be considered overpowering to anyone who hadn’t roamed the stars for endless millennia seeking competitors to ruthlessly grind to a pulp. “I can’t have you tweaking out as you sharpen my weapons, prepare my armor, and keep my industrial-strength toilet in working order. You’re only nervous about this amazing competition because you’re afraid that we’ll lose. You have to remember that setting foot in the arena means death. If you go into battle praying to survive, then death will smell your fear and come to claim you. Chasing after victory means chasing after a ghost.”

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Kyle B. Stiff laid a hand on the aide’s shoulder, and the poor little wretch felt the weight of the mitten that had crushed countless worlds in its grip.

“Anyone who competes has already won something,” said Kyle B. Stiff. “We’ve put our dick and balls on the line, and that’s more than many will ever do. Maybe that is enough.”

The aide hummed and hawed for a bit, then said, “Well… to be honest… I wouldn’t mind seeing a whirlwind of destruction. All the competitors are winners from past events, you know… I mean, there’s going to be quite a bit of blood-letting, don’t you think?”

“Like a dance in an abattoir, old friend,” said Kyle B. Stiff. “Now go and duct-tape a battle-axe to a .50 cal sniper rifle for me, will you? Because this one’s going to be a real doozie.

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Curious about the Iron Writer competition? Check it out HERE.

Want to see the last installment of Kyle B. Stiff’s epic battle in the Iron Writer arena? HERE it is!

(UPDATE! The newest installment in Kyle B. Stiff’s battle is now available. Check it out HERE.)

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If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.

The True Tale of Kyle B. Stiff’s Engagement to the Camel Lady

Finally, a true tale from the life of Kyle B. Stiff! Watch as joy plows over despair and tag-teams with love in a no-holds-barred battle against sanity itself… told for the first time right HERE!

The Lantern Parade by Thomas Cooper Gotch, 1910

The Lantern Parade by Thomas Cooper Gotch, 1910

The Xbox One, the PS4, and One Idiot’s Opinion Concerning What Other Idiots Should Do

By Kyle B. Stiff

 The small part of the internet that isn’t devoted to masturbation is on fire with nerd outrage over the new Xbox One! Of course we know that this outrage can only result in people waiting in lines overnight, freezing their asses off in an attempt to throw their money at the new gaming system as soon as possible (while complaining the whole time). But don’t worry: A guy who’s self-deluded enough to consider himself the actual “voice of reason” on the internet has come up with a plan on what to do with that outrage, and yes, it involves saving money and playing a ton of awesome video games, so you better take your socks off for this one because they’re going to get knocked off otherwise.

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First off, the Xbox One is out of touch with its era. The PlayStation 4, or the 4Play as Sony is calling it, might make the same mistake as well. The mistake goes kind of like this: A lot of us grew up in an era when technology in general, and gaming in particular, sucked balls. My first gaming system, the Intellivision, had over one million games, but each of those games was a variation on the theme that you were a poor person trapped in a maze built by wealthy psychopaths who were hunting you for sport. Both you and the hunters were displayed as dots on the screen. There was no way to win any of these games; you could only try to survive by running for your life for as long as possible. Me, and plenty of other old people, played these games for hours on end, and we hated every minute of it.

So we always dreamed of a better future. The NES was a lot better, but let’s face it – Mario sucked balls, too. The first Mario game was a new experience and had lots of great features, but it was in no way superior to reading a book while taking a good shit. As each new, upgraded system came out, we got more and more excited because games got so much cooler. We even dreamed of a day when we would someday walk into our room and say, “Computer, load program: Mass Effect,” and then a hologram of Garrus Vakarian would appear and say, “Hey there USER: YOUR REAL NAME, are you ready to hunt some bad guys?!” He would then toss us a futuristic assault rifle and we would proceed to kill monsters that looked eerily similar to the bully who was serial-raping us at school.

Good luck masturbating with this thing looking at you.

Good luck masturbating with this thing looking at you.

But the future isn’t really like that, is it? The shocking thing is that we’re living in the future right now. And I’m not trying to be cynical about it, either. Games have reached an amazing peak! They look good, they’re fun, and the controls aren’t endlessly frustrating. There’s a (somewhat) decent balance between big studios with access to mountains of money making blockbuster titles and games made by loners or small groups with the tools to make something decent on the cheap. Tech-wise, shit isn’t going to get any better than it is now. This might sound ridiculous, but unless tons of money and energy are pumped into the development of a new type of technology on the scale of another Manhattan Project, you’re not going to see anything that will shatter your paradigms. Sorry graphics-whores! Holo-games need money, and it’s a sad fact that the real world is falling apart. We’re running out of resources and nations are going bankrupt and corporations are seeing profits only because they use sweat shops and tax-avoidance loopholes. We’re dreaming of colonizing Mars when we couldn’t even return to the Moon if we had to do it to save our species. We may be forced to be satisfied with games staying much the same as they are now… and that’s fine with me.

And that’s why it seems strange to me that the Xbox One is trying to get us all so excited. First off, I’ve been around long enough to know that the fancier systems never work as expected in the first year. All you guys standing in line to buy this shit on the day it comes out are going to end up writing a lot of angry letters (or “tweets” as we say in the future) because there’s going to be problems. Increased complexity equals increased horseshit hassles; that’s the truth about technology.

"Oh hey man. Oh nothin' much, I was just playing a game until you skyped me and interrupted the fun I was having, no big deal man."

“Oh hey man. Oh nothin’ much, I was just playing a game until you skyped me and interrupted the fun I was having, no big deal man.”

I’ve heard a lot about the Xbox One responding to voice commands, and let me tell you right now – there is no better way to get your console to come on than an “on” button which responds to your finger. Pushing a button with your God-given appendage is some next-level bleeding-edge tech that cannot be topped. In fact, this may be a lie, but I’m going to go out on a limb and state, for the record, that saying to your Xbox One, “Xbox, turn on,” will not result in your game system booting up with any greater efficiency than saying any other random phrase. The question, “Have you cleaned the litterbox?” followed by the response, “Not this week, no,” will just as often result in your Xbox One booting up, finding a problem with its internet connection, and playing the last anal fisting video you stored on its massive hard drive. Really, creating any machine that responds to voice commands is a sad attempt at creating a fantastic future-world that simply cannot exist. As long as you have a finger and are capable of using it, then a simple on/off button interface is a technological peak that is seemingly unimpressive only because it is so quietly and so confidently devoid of pretension.

There’s also this: Those new game systems are going to be cheaper, work better, and have less annoying functions (like always-on internet connections) in a year or two after they launch. It’s a cold, hard fact that every Xbox 360 sold during the initial launch ended up showing the “red ring of RROD of death” moments before their smoking innards spilled out the ass-end in a convulsing, slimy heap. Fast forward ten years or so, and you can now drop kick an Xbox 360 after slamming it against the wall and it will still play Call of Madden multiplayer without even being online. Surely you live in poverty deep enough that you can wait a year or two before helping these technophiliac cocksuckers make their next yacht payment? It’s not like your current system sucks; you have a huge backlist of games you could be playing while waiting for the new systems to get their kinks worked out AND develop a decent library of games.

I don't know what this is but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it won't work as well as a traditional controller with buttons on it.

I don’t know what this is but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it won’t work as well as a traditional controller with buttons on it.

Don’t believe me? Christ, are you serious!? A lot of you fans of J-RPGs have over one hundred Shin Megami Tensei and Persona games that are vastly superior to Final Fantasy which you haven’t even tried out yet. Own a DS? Play Infinite Space. It’ll blow your mind and haunt your soul for years. Play Mass Effect or Assassin’s Creed if you’ve been living in a cave and have somehow missed them. If you’re the proud owner of a PS3, you’re one lucky bastard who has access to a heap of amazing exclusives that the rest of us fucking idiots will never be able to play: Journey, the HD version of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, the Uncharted games, Infamous, and the annoying yet ridiculously fun Valkyria Chronicles. There’s also a shit-ton of Monster Hunter games that are soul-destroying time sinks that are so fun they can ruin healthy relationships and have the added benefit of being filled with annoying Japanese “quirks” you can point and laugh at.

Now, I know you’ve got your own backlog list of games that you’re working on, so let me give you a tip: Cross off every “open-world” game on there. You’ve already played enough of them. Whenever someone throws around the term “gamer’s fatigue”, it always has to do with some shitty over-hyped sandbox game that had an amazing trailer but which is never all that fun. The beginning is usually pretty boring (anyone remember the beginning of Red Dead Redemption?), the middle is packed with fetch quests, and the end is never all that good because the studios always forget to hire real writers to write them.

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So that’s what this idiot thinks. What do the rest of you idiots think? Is saving the money you don’t really have just a strange sub-culture that has absolutely no relevance in this amazing future-world of voice-activated horseshit? Note that you can leave a comment by saying aloud, “Kyle’s blog, activate program: LEAVE A COMMENT.” When your computer responds, “HELLO FRIEND, WHAT USERNAME PLEASE DO YOU USING?” then simply state your full name and this blog will automatically give you a funny and culturally relevant username with a 69 on the end for added comedic value. Please contact your network administrator if you experience any difficulties.

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Hey readers! If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.

Your Reward for My Victory

The ninth challenge in the Iron Writer contest ended in victory. I returned from the arena, carefully cleaned my weapons and returned them to their shelf, then strode off to the showers in dead silence. My servants congratulated one another as they took my armor, but when they looked at my face to see if it was flushed with victory, they saw only the blank serenity of one accustomed to crushing his opponents and who is already focused on the next battle.

If you want to check out the stories, they’re right HERE.

My official entry was the second story I wrote for the contest; I’ll post the first in this very blog post that you now hold in your hands. It has the same necessary set pieces: A loom, a sunken ship, a rollercoaster, and a pregnant camel. My first attempt was too long and shortening it would have been like wrestling a buttered goblin, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a look.

Note that this superhero-themed story contains a bomb in a backpack, which was included unconsciously and may be so painfully pertinent in terms of current events that many readers might have considered it to be in poor taste. Oh well!

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KISS OF THE MAN-SPIDER: FANTASTIC FIRST ISSUE! FEATURING… THE DEADLY CAMEL!

By Kyle B. Stiff 

After Art proved to Rachel beyond a shadow of a doubt that Commander America could beat the Man-Spider in a one-on-one battle, she finally relented and agreed to introduce him to the old man that she was convinced was the real-life Padre Porter, the web-slinging crime-fighter also known as the Man-Spider. Despite his father’s insistence that the Man-Spider had saved his life years ago, Art was sure that an elaborate joke was being played on him.

“Alright,” Art said, “let’s go see this old fart you’re crushing on. But I have to be back by seven, or dad’ll be pissed.”

“I’m not ‘crushing’ on him,” Rachel said, still sulking. “In fact, he’s pretty gross.”

A hike through the neighborhood brought them to a dilapidated house tucked between overgrown foliage. Rachel entered without knocking. Art entered and was assaulted by the stench of post-game locker room and cigarette butts. He could hear wood knocking against wood and the sound of multiple conspiracy theory radio shows playing one on top of another.

Creepy Old House by havokforlife, found on deviantart dot com.

Creepy Old House by havokforlife, found on deviantart dot com.

Once his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw an old man with thin limbs working an old-fashioned loom. He had wisps of long white hair, a shirt that doubled as a napkin, and his eyes were covered in shadow. It was difficult to see, but it looked as if the old man was pulling string from his pocket. Art wanted to turn and leave, but he was enchanted by the pale, shining tapestry strung across the loom.

“Padre Porter?” Art said, feeling a little foolish. “Did you, uh, retire from fighting crime to pick up weaving?”

“I never retired,” the old man said immediately. “My old costume no longer fits, but I still weave the fates of men. I still spin justice, boy.”

Art realized that the old man spoke around a thick wad of saliva that collected at the corners of his mouth and around his tongue. He was further repulsed to see that the string stuck to his fingers as if his hands were coated in jelly or syrup.

“I guess I thought you were just a comic book character.”

“The greater part of reality you see only as a shadow. Did you know that Aleister Crowley, grand magister of the new age, was the inspiration for Professor Javier, leader of the Ex-Men, in your comic books? He taught us how to become more than human. He gave us our true names and turned us into supermen. But I can see that you, Camel, have brought me a gift in your backpack.”

Art was about to argue that not only was he not wearing a backpack, he also had nothing to do with the b-list super-villain whose lame power was the ability to go without water for weeks at a time. But when he reached behind himself he realized that he was, in fact, wearing a heavy backpack.

“Surprised?” said Padre Porter. “It’s a bomb, no doubt. You’re a victim of mind control sent by the Revengers to kill me. But mind control is such a fickle thing, isn’t it? Anyone can say the correct keywords to activate programming. For example: Rollercoaster.”

Art was struck by intense nausea. He felt as if he was teetering over the edge of a precipice and would fall at any moment. He crashed to his knees.

“Why have you come?” said Padre.

Art heard himself speaking. “Pregnant Camel comes across the wasteland to give birth to an explosion. We’ll kill you… just like we killed your syphilitic master.”

Art felt hands pull his backpack away. He could not resist. He saw men and women standing over him. Their faces were dead, their eyes were black and empty, and they carried automatic rifles and handguns.

Padre paused and leaned over his loom. His eyes were also black and dead. “I can’t do the work on my own anymore. My children are my hands and eyes now. Their thoughts are my thoughts.”

“Freedom fighters?” Art forced out the words. “They look like terrorists!”

“They’re the good guys. And you will be, too, once you reveal the location of your handler’s headquarters.”

Art clamped his mouth shut, but then heard himself say, “The museum, the sunken ship display. It’s the entrance to Titan IC. We call it Titan-99.”

“Rachel… Arachne, go and lead the others. Go and kill this man’s father, Commander America, just as I should have done so long ago.”

The superheroes filed out of the door silently. Still frozen in place, Art listened as Padre, the Man-Spider, explained that his fate would be rewoven as a bringer of justice. The old man returned to his loom and the shining tapestry and Art was horrified to see that he was pulling fresh string not from his pocket but from a grotesque opening on his lower belly.

THE END.

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If you’re interested in Kyle B. Stiff’s battles in the Iron Writer competition, you can view the previous chapter HERE.

Or check out the next chapter HERE.

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 Hey readers! If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.

How to Use Facebook Like a Badass

By Kyle B. Stiff

It’s come to my attention that you guys are logging in and out of Facebook twenty times a day and checking your notifications rather than being hardcore winners at life. This is not going to work out for me; I don’t want to live on a planet populated by people who got played like a game of FarmVille. I want to live in a world filled with badasses. To that end, I’m going to show you how I use Facebook.

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What’s the big deal with my Facebook technique? Why do I think it’s superior to everyone else’s Facebook technique? And why should anyone be using Facebook at all? Or at the other extreme, why not let Facebook win?

The thing is, you can use Facebook and still achieve victory in life. It is possible. In fact, it’s been my experience that once the Book of Faces has been opened, it cannot be shut. The best we can do is limit its power over us. I’m going to show you how to enjoy using it without letting it use you.

Ultraman!

First, we’ve got to talk about your friends. Let’s face it: Most of them aren’t that interesting. Don’t you know that you’re only truly friends with a few people on your list? The rest are family, coworkers, acquaintances, and people you’re stalking. Just seeing their status updates makes you feel anxious. To make things worse, a surprising number of people that come up in your newsfeed say things that piss you off, or make you resentful, or you look down on them, or sometimes they even give you a non-specific and generalized sense of feeling like shit.

True friends!

True friends!

So what do you do, unfriend them? No, that’s not necessary, and it could lead to a backed-up toilet full of drama. Here’s what you do: When you browse through your news feed, hide a couple of people. Only a couple. The next day, hide a couple more. Don’t think about it too hard, just hide the biggest loudmouths that post the dumbest shit. It’ll be easier than you think, because your feed is most likely an un-weeded garden filled with schmucks with nothing to say. I know it sounds harsh, but the truth is that once those dimwits are gone from your feed, you will never, ever miss them!

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Question: What if someone finds out I hid them? Won’t they be mad at me?

Answer: No one will ever, ever find out that you hid them from your newsfeed. For one thing, they post so much stupid shit that they have no way of tracking who sees what. For another thing, everyone’s newsfeed is so jam-packed with stupid shit that if some moron says, “Did you see the awesome thing I posted?” then the only honest and air-tight answer truly is, “No, I have too much dumb shit in my newsfeed, I missed the awesome thing you posted.” (Note: Try not to roll your eyes when you say “awesome”. In a real-life encounter, you must lie through your teeth in order to avoid drama from needy simpletons.)

In a few days, this seemingly difficult first step will become intoxicating. You’ll start hiding people from your feed left and right, and it’ll get easier and easier as you go. In time, only a few people that you truly like, or who actually have something to say, will be left.

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Once you’ve finally cleaned up your feed, it’s time to make your feed impressive; after you weed a garden, you gotta put some roses in there. The second step toward using Facebook like one of life’s winners is to start friending or subscribing to groups or people (rather than friends) that represent your interests. This step is necessary… but it’s also dangerous.

For one thing, don’t interact with these people. In fact, it’s necessary that you not think of them as people. They are not your friends and they will never be your friends, and that’s exactly how you want it. Why? Because you’re too busy achieving victory in real life to make friends online.

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Another danger lies in the fact that you might subscribe to interests that don’t add to your joy of living. You’ll want to subscribe to groups or people who post stuff ONLY if it relaxes you or engages your brain or your soul. This is easier said than done. For example: Are you into politics? Then you should subscribe to a feed that’ll keep you up to date on the latest political news, right? WRONG. Better yet: DEAD WRONG. If you’re into politics, then by all means go to a protest, debate with someone, vote and pray that the voting machines haven’t been tweaked. But DO NOT clog your feed with a bunch of nonsense that’s only going to get your pulse racing and heighten your anxiety.

wow ascension city

You might be shaking your head, but trust me. When it comes to your Facebook feed, you’re going to have to skirt around a lot of nerve-wracking horseshit. Politics is the worst offender when it comes to ruining Facebook feeds. It’s been said that the revolution won’t be televised; I know you want to be informed, but believe me, the revolution isn’t going to be on Facebook either. Conservatives, try not to subscribe to groups that post pictures of dead babies and feature misspelled warnings about Obama making abortion mandatory for all heterosexual couples (note that If those babies were born, you would just end up friending them on Facebook and their status updates would clog up your newsfeed). Liberals, try not to subscribe to groups that whine about how teachers need to make over a hundred grand a year (note that those teachers would end up buying the same cars that rappers drive and they would still complain about their jobs).

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So what should you subscribe to? Anything that won’t make you feel anxious, but shows you something you might not have found on your own, is fair game. When I began cleaning up my feed, I subscribed to a lot of people who do nothing but post pictures of art all day long. I stick to old paintings done with a level of skill we don’t have these days, with a few comic book artists thrown in for fun. Once you manage to find a few feed-enhancers, you’ll find better ones later by accident. Trust me, logging into Facebook and seeing a work of art done by Michelangelo or Moebius is a thousand times better than reading a status update about someone’s car taking a shit and making them late for a job they hate or perhaps don’t deserve to have.

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(Note: Try to stay away from abstract postmodern shit. Nobody’s going to take the time to look through your profile and judge your interests, so you won’t get any brownie points from anyone by clogging up your feed with pictures of colored blocks that cleverly use empty space to get across a message about man’s inhumanity to man. You won’t be taking more than five seconds to look at this stuff anyway, so find stuff that looks nice and doesn’t jack-hammer your anxiety levels.)

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But that’s just a starting point. What about cute animals? It’s never a bad idea to have random pictures of kittens and baby ducks and lobsters show up in your feed. The only thing to watch out for is that you don’t want cute animal pictures to have any stupid meme text pasted on them – you want to smile involuntarily because you got surprised by somethin’ heartwarming, not smirk like a dipshit because you “got” some other dipshit’s lowbrow joke.

What about handmade goods? Futuristic crap? Books in general? Pictures of mountains with lava spewing out of them? Famous corpses? Clouds that look like nothing other than clouds? Guns made to shoot bullets rather than act as political argument pieces? That’s fine – all of that stuff is perfectly acceptable to have in a feed, and can enlighten the hell out of you when you’re in the mood to waste time in style.

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That’s it: Two steps toward tailoring Facebook to suit your needs. Few of us are strong enough to simply walk away from the Book of Faces, but that doesn’t mean we have to be notification-whores click-click-clickin’ away until we find ourselves on our death beds with no victory to show the gods. When Death Itself clicks on the notification that says our tomorrows have ended, none of us wants to go through a life-review filled with moments where we habitually checked something that only brought us down and made us feel like something less than the badasses we truly are. When we go out in a blaze of glory and stand before the gods in judgment, and they look at how Facebook affected us, let’s be ready to tell them, “I didn’t get bent out of shape over status updates written by needy simpletons. I remade Facebook in my own image; and there I saw volcanoes raging, and the cuteness of kittens, and art made by masters long since passed away, and many other badass things full of wonder.”

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Hey readers! If you liked this post, you should check out some of my books. I’ve got an epic series called Demonworld, which is equal parts Mad Max and Lord of the Rings (think “science fantasy”), and a much-loved gamebook series called Heavy Metal Thunder which is currently a hyperlinked Kindle book but will be a fancy phone app any day now.

Kyle B. Stiff Has Accepted the Iron Writer Challenge!

gladiator

Four writers, four random set pieces, three days, five hundred words, one winner, and no mercy. This is the Iron Writer Challenge, a no-holds-barred online event that smashes the bodies of writers and grinds them up for the entertainment of the crowd, and the only thing the winner walks away with is the right to live for one more day…

And now Kyle B. Stiff’s name has been drawn from the black box. His fate is sealed. He will take part in the Iron Writer Challenge near the end of April.

Sunset in FranceThis is the first time he has been granted the honor of fighting and shedding blood for the pleasure of the crowd – on this world. But he has seen arenas in other eras, other lifetimes, even other worlds far from Earth. Many, many times he has put on armor dented by the kiss of blade and hammer. Many times he has lowered his helm and strapped it tight and heard the shouting muted by layers of gauze and steel. Many times he has walked along a row of weapons – sabers, nets, spears, shields emblazoned with corporate logos, shining crystalline axes, even chainsaws that drink gasoline as well as blood. Many times he has passed signs and gestures to his comrades before the gate is raised and he enters the killing grounds. Clowns and wild beasts caper in between shows, but when the light hits his armor he lifts his weapon and the roar of the crowd grows and grows, rippling and ululating like a single giant monster crying out in anguish. The crowd is dressed in the finest manner, each a respectable representative of his era and his nation; the faces, usually composed and respectfully stifling emotion, are now drawn out and shaking with pure insanity. He clangs weapon against shield but the sound is impossible to hear over the roar. He knows that untold wealth rests on his name, entire fortunes depend on him either killing his foe or dying in a pool of gore-caked wet sand.

The opponent steps forth and cuts a strange jig before the gladiators turn and face one another. They are similar in manner and temperament, but each opposes the existence of the other. All conscious thought withdraws; they cease to be human and become pure Entertainers. The crowd draws and holds its breath, then a bell or gong or electronic tone is sounded – and then the Game begins.

What I mean to say is: I can’t wait.

http://theironwriter.com/2013/02/16/the-challenge/

Post-script: What to know find out how Kyle B. Stiff fared in the competition? You can find out HERE.

Kyle B. Stiff’s Epiphany About Open-World Games

Kyle B. Stiff sometimes has ideas that can improve video games. This is one of them.

Kyle B. Stiff is going to take you away on a wondrous journey full of unasked-for opinions continually vomited out by an overblown ego!

Kyle B. Stiff is going to take you away on a wondrous journey full of unasked-for opinions continually vomited out by an overblown ego!