Author: mharoldpage

Rule One: Thoughts on the Anniversary of the Death of Robert E Howard

“What’s Rule One for being a successful author?” It’s a couple of years ago and I’m visiting a young offender’s institute – a prison for young people – and I’m doing one of my occasional workshops for some special category

Posted in Pulp, Robert E Howard Tagged with: ,

Swiper No Swiping Viking Style

A sunny day in Kurtzhau’s endless preschool years. We’re kneeling on his bedroom floor playing with his Playmobil Vikings. The Vikings have tied up their horses and camped — that’s the set over there on the left (source) — and I’m

Posted in Geek Parenting

The Problem With Authority Parenting (But Go Ahead Anyway; My Kids Will Need Staff When They Are Adults)

Rarely, the Internet makes me cross enough to blog. This is one of those times.  Somebody posted a link to an article offering “parenting” advice. I won’t link here, because I don’t want to feed it. The advice in a

Posted in Geek Parenting Tagged with:

Tip-offs: Draft small consignment trade system for Traveller…

I love the idea of trading between the stars, but mostly because of the drama it produces. Thus, for the kind of gaming I like, all the official versions of the Traveller trade system are too fiddly. True, it could be

Posted in Blog Post, Roleplaying Tagged with:

How to do a 3D Star Map that’s Not Overwhelming

(For my alternative to 3D mapping, scroll down.) I’ve been revisiting Traveller RPG. One thing that’s not changed over the years is that the star charts are flat. Here’s an example (right). As a kid I hated this. I’d have

Posted in Blog Post, Roleplaying, Space Opera Tagged with: , ,

Morgenstern and the March of the Women

11 pm Sunday night, and I find Morgenstern (9) sitting up in bed, tangled blond hair making her look like a sleepy wood elf.  She grins at me. “I couldn’t sleep, so I used my Story Cubes.” Wonderful things those

Posted in Geek Parenting, Modern Culture


Just in case you were confused by artistic conventions, the covers of my SWORDS VERSUS TANKS series depict the Actual Story Content! They are NOT montages. Here’s the first book: Armoured heroes clash across the centuries! Sir Ranulph Dacre (left), armed with

Posted in Steampunk, Swords Versus Tanks Tagged with:

How to Fix Your Novel (If It’s Too Short, Slow-Paced, or Tells Not Shows)

So you’ve completed your novel. It’s a story with a beginning, middle and satisfying end. You’ve polished the prose until it shines. However, it’s too short, or too slow-paced, or it tells rather than shows. Argh. Actually, don’t worry. This is

Posted in Blog Post, Writing Fiction Faster, Writing Tips Tagged with: , ,

Creatives! Grieve. Give support. Then get back to work. This shoe will be a long time falling.

We’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. For those of us who remotely identify with the left, tracking its trajectory is agony. Some of us need to take time out to process and grieve, and to support to our vulnerable

Posted in Blog Post, Writing Life

Howard and Tolkien’s “Strider the Ranger Series”

One of the stranger quirks of literary history is the collaboration between the big morose Texan pulpster and the genteel Oxford don. To blame is a mysterious Englishman who interrupted Howard’s planned suicide by suggesting he instead seek death by

Posted in Alternative History Tagged with: ,