The cover for GHOST OF A MARRIAGE, that is. It is gorgeous and I will share it with all of you as soon as I can.
Yom Kippur is a day of reflection. You’re supposed to spend the day thinking about the wrongs you’ve done over the past year, and trying to find ways to be better.
This year, I didn’t go to synagogue, for reasons that are long and boring and ultimately unimportant. As my niece Paige puts it, you can talk to God as easily in a forest as in a synagogue. Well, maybe she doesn’t put it quite that way, but the sentiment was there.
Instead, I spent the day at home in contemplation. There was a lot to consider – moments when I was less than kind, when I was jealous of friends’ success, when I didn’t reach out to help when I could have. Hopefully I will do better in the coming year.
And one of the things I vowed to do was be a better writer. Whatever you think of my writing, I like to feel I have been given a gift, and I have spent too much time squandering it. This year, I hope to truly earn the title “writer”. I’ve already cranked out one story, but that’s just a start. Here’s to a year of better writing, and of being a better person for it.
Being a part of The Jewish Book of Horror is a tremendous honor for me. I’ve never shied away from expressing my Jewish identity in print – see also Charnel Houses of Europe: The Shoah for Wraith: The Oblivion – but it was an anthology called Wandering Stars that convinced me I could do it, back in the day.
Edited by Jack Dann, the book is a collection of science fiction stories by Jewish authors. I found it on the basement shelves when I was growing up, as my Dad’s science fiction collection lived down there along with most of Mom’s coffee table books. I was accustomed to just cruising Dad’s shelves and picking books at random – it’s how I ended up reading Babel-17 at far too young an age, and Heinlein at an age when I was still impressionable to give credence to some of his wackier ideas, but I digress. One day I grabbed Wandering Stars and sat down to read it, and it made a world of difference.
I’m not going to say that I loved every story, because I didn’t. But I loved a lot of them, and it was my first introduction Harlan Ellison, who contributed the frankly bonkers but also oddly reverent “I’m Looking For Kadak”. And I realized as I read it that I shared something with every writer in that book, and that they shared something with me.
I’ve never crossed paths with Jack Dann, though when I was frog-marched into the MITSFS by an ex-girlfriend I noticed his membership credentials were right next to mine in the log book. But wherever he is, I owe him a thank you.
I am very happy to announce that I have a story in The Jewish Book of Horror, coming this holiday season from the Denver Horror Collective. My story, “On Seas of Blood and Salt”, features the Rabbi Palache character from my story in The New Hero, so if you’re up for some magical pirate rabbi action, this is the story for you. You can find out more about the book here. Hope you enjoy it!
I had a great time talking with the guys over at the Necrocasticon. We talked horror, video games, World of Darkness…and Bigfoot.
For those of you who are unaware, I am cheerfully obsessed with Bigfoot, and the possibility thereof, to the point of having attended the North Georgia Bigfoot Conference in 2019. Needless to say, this did not go well – from a VIP party that was lacking any of the VIPs or any semblance of a party to an appearance by North Georgia’s only Bigfoot-themed teenaged band to the rantings of a self-proclaimed demon hunter who wanted the world to know that Mothman, in his words, was “pure evil.” Why he was ranting about Mothman at a Bigfoot conference is beyond me, but there you have it.
Anyway, the highlight – or lowlight – of the weekend was not the talk from the lady who claimed that Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) came from flying saucers, nor the guy who claimed the government was hunting Bigfoots from black helicopters, nor the woman who said she communicated psychically with Bigfoots and let her kids and grandkids play with the Sasquatches out on the back 40. No, it was the Bigfoot expedition Sunday.
And if you listen in, you can hear all about how Jeff Strand and I went Bigfoot hunting in North Georgia.
I am pleased and proud to announce that my new novel, GHOST OF A MARRIAGE, will be coming out from Crossroad Press.
It has a marriage. It has ghosts (plural). And beyond that, you’ll have to wait for details….
The kind folks at the WGGB have put the video of the panel I was part of, as well as the other four in their festival of game writing, up on line. If you’re interested in learning about various aspects of game writing from some of the sharpest minds in the business (and me), go here and get your knowledge on.
Had a great time today on the WGGB online panel on transmedia. Big thanks to my fellow panelists -Leah Muwanga-Magoye, Corey Brotherson, and Mikko Rautalahti, as well as superb moderator Antony Johnston. And finally, a thank you to Andrew Walsh for putting the whole thing together. It was a great conversation with some extremely practical takeaways for those of us who dabble in transmedia work (like me – or have you forgotten that Ghost Recon novel so soon?) There were excellent questions from the audience, which always helps one of these things move along. As for me, the takeaway I’ll carry with me is Leah’s insistence that you know your medium – sound practical advice that too many people forget when the rubber hits the road.
Thanks to anyone who came out and joined us, and if you didn’t but would like to catch up, hopefully this will be posted (minus the technical difficulties at the beginning) soon.
I’m very happy to announce that my story “Unhaunted House” is up and available for listening at PseudoPod. The fine folks there do a wonderful job of picking horror fiction for your listening pleasure, and I’m honored they’ve selected a story of mine for the third, yes, third time. So give if a listen – it’s a short one – and then look very carefully at your lawn before you mow it again.
So this is it, my redesigned web page. Welcome one and all, and I hope you find the content contained herewithin to be reasonably amusing.
As for myself, I’m Richard Dansky, scribbler of various things. For my day job, I write and videogames for Ubisoft. Some of them, you might have heard of – Tom Clancy’s The Division and The Division 2, for example. Anyway, I’ve been writing and designing video games – mostly writing these days – for 20+ years at the Red Storm Entertainment studio. I am humbled by some of the great folks and studios I’ve gotten to work with, and I’ve had a chance to write for franchises including Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Far Cry, HAWx, Might & Magic, and Driver.
I’m also a big proponent of supporting the video game writing community however I can. Among other things, that means serving on the Advisory Board for the Game Narrative Summit at GDC, and serving as the judge for the Student Narrative Competition at that show. I also curate the narrative programming track at East Coast Game Conference in Raleigh, NC every year, and I’ve contributed to several books on video game writing.
But that’s the day job. By night I write fiction, mainly horror. I’ve published seven novels and one short fiction collection, which has a cover by brilliant Sandman and Doom Patrol artist Richard Case. My most recent novel is Ghost Recon: Wildlands: Dark Waters, a tie-in to the video game Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands. But if like ghost stories about video games or haunted farmhouses, I’ve got something for you as well.
Before getting into video games, I worked in the tabletop RPG industry with White Wolf Game Studios. At this point I have over a hundred credits for projects I’ve written, designed, or otherwise contributed to in the Classic World of Darkness and Aeon universes. I mostly worked on Wraith: The Oblivion, but you can also find my work in Vampire: The Dark Ages, Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse and several other games. Most recently I wrote for and developed Wraith: The Oblivion 20th Anniversary Edition, of which I am inordinately proud.
And that’s me professionally. Personally, if you keep reading in this space, you’ll probably hear a lot about the following topics: single malt scotch whisky, sasquatches, baseball, and crazed attempts to make sorbet in the middle of the night. If that sounds like your kind of thing, stick around.