Category Archives: Tales From Aquis

Civilization Battle Royale hits 60th Chapter with a Bang

The title says it all. Sixty chapters now- covering the first 4700 years of the great game. In that time, countless nations have risen and fallen, technologies developed and made obsolete, and religions have spread and faded. The world now broils in the atomic age, and boy are some things going to be changing. As always, the page for the project has the entire book up for grabs, totally free.

My next main book, Tales from Aquis just went through its third major proofreading. I’m currently working on structuring the second act of the book, which is shaping up quite nicely.

Re-running Aquis, CBR 31-35

For those who have been following this blog for a few years, you may be aware that Tales from Aquis started out its life as a tabletop role-playing scenario I wrote and ran back in 2013. I still have the materials for the original scenario, and over this week at the college I’ve been running it again for my students. It’s been quite entertaining to see how differently they react to my friends from University who played the original- and how some of them have made the same mistakes. I have modified it from the 2013 version, it incorporates a lot of the stuff that was added for the novelisation in later years, and it’s really been an excellent way to test my knowledge of the world and push at the boundaries of what I have built. The core of the book is down on paper at this point; its a case of editing what I have and further embellishing on certain aspects of it for the most part.

This last month has also seen the release of five more chapters of the Civilization Battle Royale Novel, as always, go check the page for the project. The new chapters are entitled Eyes to the South, One Night in Jerusalem, Another Returns, New Toys and Breath Before the Storm.

Translating the Logical Tongue

Ah, I love the Lojban community. For those who are unaware, my next major title Tales from Aquis will involve an element of Lojban, an open source logical language. The community has been very helpful in translating text for me. Last night I came to them with a book title that needed translating, and sparked an hour-long debate with seven translators coming in to offer their suggestions and support.

Tales from Aquis has become a labour of love for me. I first put pen to paper on this creature almost five years ago, and in that time it has dramatically expanded in scope and depth beyond anything I had originally envisaged. It may take it’s time, but damn is it going to be good when it’s done.

Civilization Battle Royale Guiness World Record, and Chapters 11 and 12

Hi there folks. I actually launched two chapters in the last week- Across the Rio Grande and The Westminster Conference. The unusual schedule is because Tpangolin is gearing up for another AI game shortly- MK III of the Civilization Battle Royale. In other news, it seems that the MK II- the game that the novel adapts- has recently achieved a Guiness World Record! The series now holds the record for most-followed strategy game, and is present in the gamer’s edition of the 2017 Guiness Book of World Records. That’s awesome!

I’m working away on Aquis here, having just finished several pages of edit notes that I assembled recently. I quite often read my work on train journies and so forth and make little annotations that get dealt with later, on everything from grammar errors to translation curiosities. Tales from Aquis will of course be making use of the constructed language Lojban here and there- and orchestrating that is rather fun.

Till next time!

An Update on Tales from Aquis

Hey there folks, a quick update on my progress with Tales from Aquis.

Writing work on the project has accelerated over the past few months.  Seeing as this book will be a little longer than the others I have mentally split it into three ‘Acts’, of which the first one is already complete. The last few weeks have seen me build up my plans for the next two acts, writing detailed chapter breakdowns ahead of the main writing pass. With Aquis I’m going to be juggling a lot more in the way of characters and intrigue, so it should be a wonderful read when complete. I first started this project in 2012 when Children of the Crater was still only halfway written, and so it has about four years of world-building thought going into it.

Aquis Progress and Odin Statue

Odin StatueA new render of Odin’s statue. I’ve been brushing up my portfolio a bit, and shiny new renders were in order. He looks unwaveringly badass in this one.

My time seems to all go into writing and 3D artwork these days; and what a lot of it I have been working on. Tales from Aquis might well end up being my longest novel yet. I’m aiming for about 100,000 words, if I have my way.

Writing progress on that has accelerated recently; I’ve been carving through the sixth chapter with my eyes already on the seventh.

New announcements are inbound, as always- keep your ears peeled and your eyes bloody.

How would you grow food in an underwater city?

Researching my books often leads me to strange places, but none quite this strange so far. As you may already know, Tales from Aquis will be set in a city at the bottom of the ocean, and the question of how the city can grow food came to mind.


Turns out there already is an Italian venture on that very front, growing food in pressurised capsules under the sea. Nemo’s Garden is a project to create a means of sustainable farming, which could potentially be of use in areas that lack fresh water sources. By managing an elevated level of carbon dioxide, they are actually able to accelerate plant growth. I love reasearching this sort of thing, as the harsh underwater environment of Aquis will surely have an impact on the city’s food source, energy, and just about every aspect of daily life

What kind of fish could you catch that deep in the ocean? What crops would be best for growing under those conditions? I’ve already had to work out how one would make alcohol down there, having settled on a drink called coyol that could be produced from the sap of palm trees. I always find that it is these sorts of details that help bring a fantasy world to life.

Merry Christmas!

It’s that time of year once again. A merry christmas to all the denizens, lurkers, demons and trogoldytes out there. I am at my parent’s place, back in the realm of Dorset for the occasion. The thing I always look forward to most about Christmas is being around family, and watching Doctor Who of course. What would Christmas be without a Doctor Who special after all?

Still editing away at Aquis, of course. Some surprisingly large changes came about recently as I decided to rejig a certain character slightly to keep the pacing up. Finding that it flows a lot better with the adjustments.

Have a lovely Christmas anyway, unless you live in those pacific island nations that are already experiencing boxing day by now. If you do live in Kiribati, have a merry boxing day.

Back in Britain

Europe 2015 RouteHome at last! I’ve had a few days to recover now, and finally had time to make a map of our 3,145 mile adventure. We traveled anticlockwise on the above image, to Bristol, Paris,  Geneva, Annecy, Lyon, Nice, Monaco, Pisa, Florence, Rome, Bologna, Trieste, Venice, Amsterdam, London and finally home again. I always make one of these when I travel long distances, just because I find maps fascinating.

We had one hell of a ride, but it’s good to be back home in Exeter once again. Its been so invigorating creatively; almost an entire chapter of Aquis has been written on the various train journeys, and a great deal of planning and world building has been going on. Hopefully you won’t have to wait too long after Escalion to visit that new adventure.

World-building while Travelling Europe

As the wonderful Leah and I continue our journey across Europe, I find my brain buzzing with ideas for the world of Aquis. While most if not the entire novel will take place in the eponymous city, A larger world is forcing its way into existance. I’ve seen some wonderful places on these travels, particularly Monaco, and Aquis is demanding attention from my subconcious. I literally had to tack in a temporary notes section on the bottom of the draft I was working on on the train to deal with all the geopolitics that are blossoming in this brave new world of mine.