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Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:58 pm

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Yeah, The Publisher Guy

Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2004 5:18 pm
Posts: 1120
Hey Everybody – Sorry I haven’t been around this past week, but I’ve been busy, busy, busy.

I have to rant a little about Rifts World Book 28: Arzno - Vampire Incursion. In a nutshell: It’s at the printer’s and it is freakin’ great!

Author, Jason Richards, came out with both guns blazing on this bad boy, and for a first time manuscript, wow. Ton’s of great ideas, twists, turns, surprises and a blood curdling adventure setting.

I know some of you have expressed some disappointment in the cover, but I think that’s only because of the small size and varying levels of resolution when viewed on different computers. Johnny Z planned on doing a gut-busting Merc vs Vampire action scene, but I opted for something “different” and atmospheric. You’ll see in the published, larger depiction that there are two holes in the merc’s neck with blood trickling down. That the lovely, innocent looking girl has fangs, and that the merc is dropping a silver cross from his right hand. He is her victim. A mind slave condemned to do her bidding as the vampires spread their influence over Arizona like a pestilence sweeping the countryside.

Arzno is more than just “mercs killing vampires” – it’s got weird and interesting places to visit, a glimpse at pre-Rifts Earth in a most unusual way, plus Techno-Wizard weapons and items, TW power armor and vehicles, strange critters, heroic mercs, fallen Cyber-Knights, Arzno mapped and described and, of course, mercenaries and vampires.

Ah, but we made sure this isn’t just a simple, “Look, vampires! Shoot ‘em! Er . . . stake ‘em!” kinda book, but a setting and an adventure full of intrigue, ideas and atmosphere. Jason and I both tried to make this a memorable experience with depth and character that will make you tingle with excitement. A vampire war where innocent people are under the thrall of the undead and the fate of the continent might really depend on little ol’ Arzno. (And they don’t even know it yet.) Based on the reaction from the guys who’ve seen the book here at Palladium, Arzno delivers big time.

And this hot on the heels of Adventures in Dinosaur Swamp – another book that I think is powerful, tantalizing, surprising and helps to drive home the idea that Rifts Earth is as alien and strange as any fifty planets in the Megaverse rolled into one.

The freelance writers and artists and I are all on a roll. We have one weird, exciting or chilling World Book, or adventure sourcebook or RPG planned for you one after another! We’re experimenting, trying new things, feeding off each other’s excitement, and having a blast. I wish I could put into words the level of creative excitement here at Palladium Books, but I can’t. Words like “electric, dynamic, frenetic, epic, awesome . . .” all seem to fall sort or sound cliche, but . . . wow, we are cooking like never before.

I don’t mean to gush or sound hyper, but I can’t stop, and I fear this won’t be the last time either. We just have so many exciting products in development and ideas we’re considering, that I can’t help but to be excited and gush. It’s not just me either, the Palladium staff, the freelance writers and artists, we’re all, like . . . giddy with ideas and excitement.

A great many of the projects in development have only been hinted at and others are total secrets, but fear not, we will “tell all” at the Palladium Open House where not only will we talk about upcoming projects and ideas, but those attending can actually ask the writers, artists, and people working on them all about them! We may even have some covers, art and designs available for people to peruse way in advance! Likewise, I know some of the writers (Carl Gleba and Brandon Aten, for two) plan to run games based on their upcoming releases, and NMI has begged me into sending him Carmen Bellaire’s Powers Unlimited 3 manuscript so he can incorporate a bunch of the new powers and ideas into the Heroes Unlimited game he’ll be running at the Open House. And boy, oh boy, do we plan on making the Palladium Open House a weekend to remember! I mean it’s a once in a lifetime celebration!

See what I mean about the excitement and how everybody wants to get in on the action?! It’s like this living thing that has taken control of our minds. We can’t stop! We want to go crazy and have fun! And drive you guys and gals crazy with excitement and fun too!

For me, part of the excitement is knowing exactly what’s in the pipeline. Brandon Aten and Taylor White’s first book, Rifts® Madhaven is just going into final production for publication. It’s another dynamic World Book full of adventure ideas and source material, but what’s even more exciting are the next two books coming from these two gents, and the two books that Todd Yoho is working on, and the awesome projects that Wayne Breaux Jr. is working on, and the FIVE book epic that Carl Gleba is halfway done writing and will start to see print this Summer! It’s the Minion War crossover series starting with a pair of Dimension Books that describe the hellish dimensions of Dyval and Hades, and spills into the Three Galaxies, Heroes Unlimited and Rifts Earth! Btw, they'll all be at the Palladium Open House and they are all eager to tell you what they have in mind.

The Zeleznik Rifts Coloring Book – at the printers – is nothing short of fantastic. An inspiration to artists from fans who enjoy doodling, to gamers who enjoy coloring to those who dream of becoming a professional to the pros themselves. Not only do you get to see and color John’s actual pencil drawings for covers, but you get to see many of his concept drawings, sketches, variant cover designs and the process that led to the final cover. As an artist myself, I was floored when I saw it. Nice. Plus it’s an exciting new product that no other gaming company (that I know of) has ever done. I like that.

I don’t know if people will love or hate the coloring book, but I love that we’re trying something new and different. I love that it celebrates years of Palladium/Zeleznik art. I even love that there’s a bunch of art that ain’t Rifts, even though the darn book is called the “Rifts Collectible Coloring Book.” That’s one of those dumb things where in the heat of creative spontaneity I told Johnny Z, “Hey John, don’t feel limited to using only Rifts artwork, you’ve done a lot of great stuff. Use anything you like.” So when John sent in the preliminary version of the coloring book with (mostly Rifts art, but also with) some Nightbane, BTS-2, Heroes Unlimited and Palladium Fantasy selections, I was delighted. They look great, and none of us thought to, maybe, change the name of the coloring book. Stupid, but true. And I don’t care, because it looks gorgeous. John did a great job, we love it and I think you will too.

Lastly, the Palladium crew and I are excited by YOU . . . our fans and fellow gamers. We’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback from you, and that gets us pumped up to do more. It makes us want to do our best ever. It’s YOU we try to please and wow with every publication. YOU the greatest RPG fans on the planet. You, who have been with us through thick and thin, and who give us the courage to try new ideas, create bold new worlds and twist existing ones. Thank you, we appreciate your support, letters, emails, discussions on the message boards and comments at conventions. Thanks for making us push the envelope and, especially, for making us feel like it’s all worthwhile.

Geez, this murmur really was something of a rant. I better get back to work. Thank you for listening and for being part of our creative adventures.

– Kevin Siembieda
President, Publisher, Writer and (Most Definitely) Crazy Guy

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