Archive for the Occult Detectives Category

Games & Portents: The Paranormal Worlds of Bob Freeman

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on November 12, 2016 by Occult Detective

Today we harness strange forces – occult studies, fiction, art and even role-playing – to bring you an exclusive and extended feature on paranormal adventurer Bob Freeman. From folklore and fiction to Tarot and character generation, we dance the Weird Fantastic. And we also get to ask ‘Who is the real Bob Freeman?’

Continue reading Games & Portents: The Paranormal Worlds of Bob Freeman

Source: Games & Portents: The Paranormal Worlds of Bob Freeman

Happy ‘Birthday’, Landon Connors

Posted in Occult Detectives with tags on November 1, 2016 by Occult Detective

Yes, fictional characters have birthdays too. Dr. Landon Connors, my psychonautic occult detective, was born November 1, 1976 according to my imaginary biography for him. Which I guess means today is his 40th birthday.


I tend to write the stories without any linear forethought. I bounce from this year to that, something akin to him sharing his adventures with me conversationally. Maybe someday I’ll arrange them into a proper timeline, but for now, I’ll raise a metaphorical horn in the good doctor’s honour.

Happy Birthday, Landon. Thanks for continuing to be an inspiration.

My 13 Favorite Horror Comics?

Posted in Horror, Media Macabre, Occult Detectives on October 30, 2016 by Occult Detective

This may have been the toughest challenge I’ve given myself. Listing my thirteen favorite horror comics, in no particular order beyond my number 1, and already I’m second guessing… Swamp Thing, Son of Satan, Kirby’s original The Demon run, Unexpected, Hellboy and BPRD, Sandman, Secrets of Haunted House, Fatale, Nocturnals, Night Force… I could make a legitimate “Best Horror Comics Ever” list out of the the stuff I’ve left off.

horror comics.jpg

The 12 comics above are all solid contenders. Most have forty years of nostalgia on their side, but others, like Afterlife with Archie, Locke & Key, The Damned, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are there because they’ve revitalized my love for horror comics in recent years. And word is, a new The Damned comic is coming, so, yeah, it’s not a bad time to dig horror comics, let me tell you.


Of course, the one comic for which there is no question is John Constantine: Hellblazer.

It survived for 300 issues before inferior dopplegangers started showing up. 300 is a good run. I didn’t love every creator that worked on it over the entire series, but when Hellblazer sang, it really sang.

Hellblazer was more than just a horror comic, more than just an examination or chaos magic. Hellblazer at its best was infused with political and social commentary. And the book was decidedly British.

John Constantine is a bastard, don’t get me wrong, and you’d never want him to get too close. His friends, if you can call them that, generally end up in harm’s way, but when things go bump in the night, you need John Constantine. Just don’t turn your back on him.

Here to wishing you a magical and mischievous Devil’s Night tonight… There’ll be a New Moon overhead, so be ready. You never know what kind of haint might crawl up out of the Nevermore…

Sacrificial Writes #OccultDetectiveRPG

Posted in Dice Upon A Time, Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 16, 2016 by Occult Detective

A side note, before I get into today’s Bobtober blog post: sometime in the near future, I will be archiving my sister site Dice Upon A Time. Do I view it as a failed experiment? Not at all. It did everything I wanted it to. The views fell short of what I’d hoped for, overall, but certain posts got respectable hits.

The reason for mothballing Dice Upon A Time comes down to two things: One is time management. It’s too hard to keep up with one blog, let alone two, and with folks finding blogs and message boards less appealing these days, it makes more sense to give them a one-stop-shop.

Which brings me to my second reason. With more and more of my gaming focus being on the development and promotion of OCCULT DETECTIVE: The Roleplaying Game, having that work showcased here at is really a no-brainer.


I guess that’s a decent lead-in to what is on my mind today.

I am not a ‘game designer’ by trade. I am a writer, particularly of occult detective fact and fiction. It’s what I do. But I’m also a ‘dungeon master’ and have been since 1978. I’ve played a lot of games, predominately Dungeons & Dragons, but I’ve wrestled with more than a few others.

I’d like to think I have a pretty good handle on what works and what doesn’t and I’ve been putting my years of experience as a gamer into OD:TRPG.

My dilemma is in the presentation. Not visually but the words themselves, and by that I mean, the game’s focus. It makes the most sense to me that this game should reflect my fiction.

An argument can be made to make the game as generic as possible so that it appeals to the widest possible audience, but that seems disingenuous to me.

I have worked hard to ensure my stories compliment one another, that they occur in a common universe. I cannot see how I can treat OCCULT DETECTIVE: The Roleplaying Game any differently.


That doesn’t mean you’ll have to read my novels and short stories to understand the game. Far from it. But you will be introduced to the characters and factions and beasties that populate my fiction within the game itself. My stories and my game will be in complete harmony with each other.

So, my dilemma isn’t really a dilemma at all, but it does present a challenge.

As I said at the start of this, I am not a ‘game designer’ by trade. I hope that by approaching the game mechanics and the rulebook itself from the perspective of a storyteller that it translates not only into a unique game experience, but that the reader will find an entertaining narrative within.


Have you backed Occult Detective Quarterly?

Posted in Media Macabre, Occult Detectives on October 11, 2016 by Occult Detective


Now on Kickstarter — Occult Detective Quarterly.

Occult Detective Quarterly is being billed as “a journal of supernatural sleuths and psychic investigators, with great fiction, articles and reviews from new and established names.”

From editors Sam Gafford and John Linwood Grant, along with Travis A. Neisler, ODQ looks to be exactly what the doctor ordered.

The kickstarter campaign is well on its way, already well-past the halfway mark with more than twenty days to go. There are some great incentives including ebook and print copies from the likes of William Meikle, Joshua Reynolds, Tim Prasil, and many more.

I’m just a bit chaffed they didn’t ask me to contribute something. But no worries. I’ll be throwing my money at them and I encourage you to do the same.

A magazine devoted to occult detective fiction is a no-brainer. I want it. You want it. The Old Ones want it. So let’s get it it. Back Occult Detective Quarterly today.



I seen me no hobbitses

Posted in Liber et Audax, Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Sword & Sorcery, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 8, 2016 by Occult Detective

Happy Erik the Red Day!

Kim, Connor, and I spent an absolutely marvelous morning on the banks of the Mississinewa, in a spot of woods we locals call Hobbitland, for the largest War of 1812 living history event in the United States —Mississinewa 1812.


We didn’t pick up much, but we really enjoyed ‘window shopping’ at all the vendor tents. Conn snagged a fox totem stone, Kim picked up some scissors, dried apples, and bought me a can of haggis, and I snatched up a little 15mm scale tin axeman.

The atmosphere was amazing but, even though the temperature barely cracked 50°, I was way too warm. I managed, however, and my spirits were doubly lifted by kilted drummers and pipers kicking up some dust through the crowd.

Few things stir the heart like the mournful wail of bagpipes.

Alba Gu Brath!

On the way out, we ran into Kim’s youngest sister with her new boyfriend and his children in tow. It was great to finally meet Tony and the boys. They looked happy together and that means a lot to me. Cassie lived with us for a number of years after her and Kim’s mom passed 13 years back. She’ll always feel like a daughter to me, so I’m thrilled to see a ray of sunshine in her life.

We hit a few rummages on the way home and snagged an antique wooden folding chair for a buck. Crafted in Ft. Wayne no less.

20161008_103544As we settle in for the afternoon, I have a lot on my mind. Conn and I have some work to put in on Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game and I was invited to write up a book proposal for something really special that, for now, I’ll have to keep in the vault.

I’d also really like to put something together for Tor’s Open Submission Call for a non-European influenced sword & sorcery novella.

Lot to do. Not a lot of room for error on any of it.

It’s also Connor’s last day as a pre-teen.

Tomorrow, October 9, Leif Eriksson Day here in the US, will be Conn’s 13th Birthday. Time has flown and my spirit has joined it.

He’s always been a special kid. Tomorrow, he’ll be a special young man.

Flash Fiction: Judgement

Posted in Magick by Trial & Error, Occult Detectives, Writing in Theory & Practice on October 7, 2016 by Occult Detective

judgement“Are you going to all this trouble because there’s a new moon on Devil’s Night this year?” the cat whispered in the detective’s ear. He glanced at the spread of Tarot cards beside his charge’s body, the twentieth trump the only card face up.

Landon Connors was lying as still as a corpse, naked as the day he was born, within a chalk circle, binding sigils woven in traditional fashion. It was Solomonic by design, but Jungian in practice.

“Entangled,” the occult detective replied. “Entwined within a skein of ragged fate.”

He coughed, his body gently rocked by the intrusion.

“Eviscerated, emasculated by the touch of icy death,” he moaned. “Molted, unfolded before my eyes, the silent form entranced. Romanced by the hearth of the raven’s nest. Shriven, unforgiven for the sin of gallows talk.”

“Landon, my old friend,” the familiar called, “you’re scaring me. Back, lad. Come back to me now. The astral is no place for you, not like this.”

“Engaged,” Connors spat, his eyes snapped wide. The cat took note of the detective’s pupils, like black holes drawing in all the light of the room. “Enraged by the fire 0f unrequited lust!”

Connors rose then, to a sitting position, head on a swivel.

“Boo,” the occult detective asked, “am I dreaming?”

“Of course you are, my boy,” the familiar replied. “But the sleeper must awaken. The temenos has been desecrated. It’s time to come home.”

“In odorem suavitatis,” Connors said. “Tu autem effugare, diabole; appropinquabit enim judicium Dei.”

“Hell is empty,” the old cat sighed. “Let’s see to filling it back up.”

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