by Kevin Gubernatis

Swords I Have Loved

I love swords.  Really, I love most forms of weapons that might appear in a fantasy setting, but swords hold a particularly special place for me.  I’ve collected them since I was a teen, with my first Duncan MacLeod Katana, which was kindof a cheap piece of crap.  One day while I was practicing with it on the roof of my parent’s garage in my home city of Baltimore (Yes, that likely looked as cool as you are thinking), the blade of that sword flew completely out of its plastic handle, severing several bush limbs and landing in our back neighbor’s courtyard.  The profanity on that day was quite loud, indeed.  Retrieving the blade from my neighbor was an ordeal and required much explanation.  “Why do you have a sword?” was asked more than once.  My answer was always the same:  “Why DON’T you?”


This is the really nice one, a gift from my best friend.

I now own a variety of swords and many have come into my possession only to pass on to others, as it is my considered opinion that everyone should own at least one sword.  Some of my favorites are my MUCH better version of the Duncan MacLeod sword that was gifted to me by a very good friend, and one of my other katanas known only as Defender (and of which there are apparently only 75 like in the world).

Defender - a beautiful blade.

Defender – a beautiful blade.

Defender with its scabbard...

Defender with its scabbard…

And… of course, my wedding gift from my wife, my Irish Ring Sword which sits right next to her wedding sword on our wall, where our cat likes to cuddle up beneath certain doom. Don’t ask me why, because Cat.

Sword2 CatSword


Some other swords I love, but don’t own (though I wants them, precious!) are the Oslo Two-Handed Viking Sword from the Darksword Armory (as I’ve always wanted a Viking or Norse sword that I could use with two hands) and the Celtic Wolf Leaf Blade by Odin Blades (This is what inspired Asala’s Sword from White Wolf, incidentally) and, of course, just about anything from Fable Blades.  There are a ton more I’d like to have and I could write a whole series of blogs about all the different awesome weapons that should be mine – like I don’t own a saber and I really should get one and there are a lot of varieties just within that….man, I really ought to get one of those… ..

Swords are AWESOME, right?

Swords are awesome and people who make swords are even more awesome!  What’s your favorite sword or weapon?  Doesn’t even have to be a fantasy one, if you prefer plasma cannons or shot guns I want to know about it, so leave your answers in the comments!  Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

P.S.  Oh and I almost forgot, I WANTS Twinkle and Icingdeath, the Scimitars of Drizzt Do’Urden.  Had to mention that.


Game Review, Fusion: Genesis

Every once in a while, I will be doing a game review of a game I enjoy. I will likely only be reviewing indie or older games, as big money-making games have plenty of people to review them. I like the idea of reviewing older games, because it will make some of you nostalgic and others curious, and because there are some good older games out there damn it! This week I am reviewing an ace indie game I downloaded from the Xbox Live Arcade for only ten bucks. It’s called Fusion:Genesis by Starfire Studios and it’s one of the coolest space shooters I’ve ever played.


Let’s start with gameplay. This game could not be easier to wrap your head around as far as intuitively knowing what to do. The tutorial in the beginning is engaging and not annoying as tutorials tend to be. Your ship’s movement is controlled with the left thumbstick and your pulse energy weapon with the right. This allows you to fire in any direction without having to turn the whole damned ship around, which I love. The leveling system is pretty typical, involving defeating other ships in combat and completing missions to gain xp. One of the cooler aspects is the Sentients who are the linchpin of the main story, these small mechanical life forms that hover near your ship offering offensive and defensive assistance as well as other buffs. The game is delightfully simple and also pretty addictive.

As far as story goes, Fusion has a tale to tell, but what I think is most impressive is the world that has been made within this game. There is all this history that’s just in the background for flavor. There are five factions to choose from and each one has its one story missions, which in some cases link up with the main storyline in unexpected ways. I chose the Praetorian Fleet, peacekeepers of the galaxy and enforcers of the code of law known as the Articles of Convocation. One of their cooler abilities is scanning ships for contraband and blowing them out of the sky if they have any. This gets you faction points, which allow you to purchase higher tiers of ships.

Oh shit, the ships! There are a total of 25 of them and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Weather you want to fly a fast and maneuverable interceptor, or be the commander of a massive cruiser, there is a ship in this game for you. I personally like the Judicator: it only has two weapon slots, but it’s the most maneuverable ship in the game. There are a ton of unlockable abilities that I haven’t even touched on yet and likely won’t be able to get to until my second playthrough.


Last, but most certainly not least, is the graphics. Holy crap, I love this game’s backgrounds! There is so much going on in them, sometimes I just have to stop and watch the space dust fly by. The design is just beautiful and the settings are massive and awe-inspiring. From leading Syndicate hitmen on a merry chase through an asteroid field, to dog-fighting against a squadron of enemy fighters inside the skeleton of some massive long dead space creature, Fusion: Genesis takes the player on a journey through a galaxy of wonder and excitement. I cannot recommend this game more, it is easily worth the money I paid.

What cool games have you played lately?

Got any recommendations for me? Leave a comment so I can get my gamin’ on! Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

Not-So-Rainy Day Movie

I’ve been asked recently what my favorite “Rainy Day” movie is. The funny thing is that I don’t really have “Rainy Day” movies, or any other specific activities associated with it being cold and wet outdoors. I’m a rare, strange breed that not only isn’t affected by what a lot of people refer to as Bad Weather, I am bolstered and strengthened by it. For me, there is nothing better than walking in the rain in October, wearing shorts. I admit I’m abnormal, but so are most good things in life.

For me, Bad Weather is when it’s any temperature over 75 degrees and there is not a cloud in the sky. I hate the sun and the heat of summer and always have since I was little. So I don’t have a “Rainy Day” movie. I have an “It’s too fucking hot outside and I am not going out in it, except to get a Diet Dr. Pepper, damn it – Day” movie. Or, as I like to call it, June through mid-September movie. So it is during these summer months that I watch movies that make me feel cold, or at least cool.

My favorite “ It’s too fucking hot outside and I am not going out in it, except to get a Diet Dr. Pepper, damn it – Day” movie is Blade Runner. The dark, moody atmosphere of the Ridley Scott classic never fails to chill and temper my burning heart. I love the wide shots that just show the rainy city and the people getting along in it. I lived in Baltimore for most of my life and I used to love strolling through the city when it rained at night, my trench coat resting lightly on my shoulders. It was at these times that I felt most alive and in touch with the city.

(SUN PHOTO: Light Street looking north during Connie-related flooding. Albert Cochran, Aug. 13, 1955)

(SUN PHOTO: Light Street looking north during Connie-related flooding. Albert Cochran, Aug. 13, 1955)

There is something very calming about light in the rain. Some of the shots where the sun is just barely peaking through the clouds just makes me feel….calm, at peace, for lack of a better expression. There are so many beautiful shots in that movie. The entire scene where Deckard is interviewing Rachael has some of the coolest atmospheric lighting ever.

I also have a sordid love affair with the gun from Blade Runner. One of the most exciting moments for me in the game Fallout: New Vegas is when you find “That Gun” randomly in a store. I used almost no other weapons for the rest of the game.

Deckard's Gun and "That Gun" from Fallout: New Vegas... true love.

Deckard’s Gun and “That Gun” from Fallout: New Vegas… true love.

The movie has one of the most relaxing and mood setting soundtracks ever. It is both calming and engaging and makes me want to live in that world of light stick umbrellas and strange hats.

Sometimes, when it rains, I’ll go outside and stand in it and let myself get drenched. It’s an immediate antidepressant for me and I almost always come away from the experience feeling better. In fact, the only problem I tend to have in the rain is coming in out of it. Sometimes I think about Roy Batty as the water courses over me, lowering my body temperature and clearing my thoughts and I wonder if my own moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.

How about your movie loves?

What’s your favorite “It’s too fucking hot outside”/”Rainy Day” movie? Leave comment about it below and share your awesomeness with all of us! Thanks for the memories and have a wonderful day!

Black Holes

One of the fascinating aspects of the story of The White Wolf and The Darkness is that the Dark Star space station is orbiting a black hole. The Dark Star is there to observe and research all data coming out of and going into the singularity.


This is an image of a monstrous black hole 100 million times the size of our sun. it is located at the center of galaxy NGC 1097, 50 million light years away. Contrary to popular belief, and their own names, most black holes (or at least the effects of them) are quite visible and are often quite beautiful to look at.

This is an artist’s rendition of a primordial black hole. You might ask what exactly that is. Well, a primordial black hole is a hypothetical type of black hole that is formed not by the gravitational collapse of a large star but by the extreme density of matter present during the universe’s early expansion. This would make a primordial black hole one of the oldest things in the universe, which is why I chose it as the setting for this story.

Photo from NASA via Flickr Stream

Photo from NASA via Flickr Stream

This photo features another super-massive black hole. The X-Ray jet spewing into the upper left-hand side of the image extends over 13,000 light years from the singularity itself and is traveling at about half the speed of light. Oh! That reminds me, in case you were wondering: none of the ships in the Soul Star Galaxy actually travel faster than the speed of light. They use a magical method of transit known as apportation, which instantaneously moves an object through a localized portal from one point in space to another.

Dr. John A. Zoidberg of Futurama falling into a black hole. Image Source

Dr. John A. Zoidberg of Futurama falling into a black hole. Image Source

And finally, here is an image of a giant Zoidberg falling into a black hole for you to laugh at. Hmmm…. maybe it’s a regular Zoidberg falling into a miniscule black hole. Either way it is one of the last images I expected to find while looking for pictures of black holes. Hurray internets!

Do you have opinions on black holes?


Do you have strong feelings for other heavenly bodies? Am I, in fact wrong above and if so would you like to inform me of this horrendous error in full internet fashion? Do you just want to make a Zoidberg go down the hole joke? If so, then please leave a comment below! Thanks for reading and as always, have a wonderful day!

My Favorite Villain

I have been asked on occasion who my favorite villain is, and with such a vast menagerie of evil to choose from in both reality and fiction, this makes for a difficult question to answer. I tend to enjoy really evil villains who have few to no redeeming qualities — individuals who you feel no commonality or sameness with. Villains who, in point of fact, express only what we dislike or even outright hate about ourselves and each other. A villain that the audience hates is a villain who is doing his or her job.

This is a difficult task for the villain, though, especially when I am in the audience. I tend to believe that no one is beyond redemption and that anyone can atone for wrongs they’ve done, even if it takes the rest of their lives… or longer. I also tend to think that most people have their reasons for turning to a life of ill-repute. That’s why I like truly evil villains. To get them right you don’t just create a bad guy, you create a monster within and without. Make no mistake these people exist — they are not simply conjurings of the imagination. Most well-conceived villains are based on actual people. Buffalo Bill, Leatherface and Norman Bates are all based upon the same actual person, a serial killer named Ed Gein.

The Joker by Jossi Lara

The Joker by Jossi Lara

Speaking of serial killers, let’s talk about the joker. A sadistic sociopath with little to no regard for the suffering he causes his victims, except, perhaps, if it happens to be funny. He delights in hurting people, in damaging people mentally, physically and if he can, spiritually. He can’t be intimidated, bought, bribed or coerced. He would kill a kid in front of its mother if he thought he’d get a laugh out of it. Compared to this, Galactus, Devourer of Worlds seems like just some hungry dude, looking for a snack and makes Lucifer, the original villain for some, look positively cuddly.

The Clown Price of Crime is just the first selection, though, there are a ton of villains that emulate those evil qualities but are lacking in the dramatic (or rather comedic) department. Let’s deviate from comics for a minute and look at a villain from a very popular show right now. Joffrey Barathean from Game of Thrones. Now I’ve read all the books twice and let me tell you, he is one evil son of a bitch….literally. He is singularly the most hated figure in fiction currently. Everyone just wants to watch him die. This is because he is hated, but not feared, or at least hated SO much, that it out ways whatever fear one might have. There is a calming manatee that hates this person.


So who is my favorite villain, though? Digging deep, I have to go to one of my favorite series, Star Trek The Next Generation. Of all of the interstellar malefactors to plague the star ship Enterprise, none is more memorable than the omnipotent and arrogant god like being known simply as Q. I love Q, not for his mastery of time and space, or his witty repartee with Jean-Luc Picard. I love Q as a villain, because he is, in fact, not a villain. An obstacle? Of course. An adversary? To be sure. But for all of his schemes, for all of his antics, he leaves the crew of the Enterprise, and in particular its captain, in no worse shape when he leaves than when he arrived. In fact, he leaves Picard far wiser than before the encounter, every single time.

He exposes humanity to the Borg….so that we will be able to confront them and not be wiped out. He kidnaps Picard’s lady friend and takes her to a different dimension….to show Picard that she is not what he thinks. For every malady he throws at humanity, he reveals the truth to us that he IS “merely trying to assist a pitiful species.” Q is Loki (The real one). He is Anansi. The trickster who shows us how foolish we are really being, so that we can help ourselves. He is a teacher, albeit an unwanted one…..though as I type that I realize that those teachers are the ones that teach us the most, even if we don’t want to learn the lesson they are teaching.

Who’s your favorite villain?

I really want to know! Leave a comment below telling me who and why, and as always, have a wonderful day!


My name is Kevin Gubernatis and welcome to the Soul Star Galaxy! I’m thrilled to introduce you to my upcoming novel, The White Wolf and the Darkness, which will be released December 1, 2013. I want to first thank you for your interest —  I hope you are as excited to read The White Wolf and the Darkness as I am to bring it to you. Let me tell you a little about the story itself and the universe in which it takes place, to give you some background.

The White Wolf and The Darkness takes place roughly a thousand years in the future. In this future, humanity has spread out into the stars and magic was the fuel for that expansion. Magic runs everything from the large starships that ferry people through the void of space, to the smallest of hand-held lights.

The Covenant Of Earth Nations, Earth’s governing body, has lost contact with a deep space research station known as the Dark Star and sent a team of specialist commandos to the station to discover the reason for this communications black out. As its name suggests, Dark Star Station orbits a black hole.

Along with these specialists they sent a magician — Asala —  a practitioner of ritualism fresh out of her studies at the School of Magic and Spiritual Comprehension. She and her commandos are prepared for any situation involving entities both supernatural and mundane. At least they think they are. Little do the COEN Corps commandos and their magician know that what awaits them aboard the Dark Star is far beyond anything humanity has ever experienced.

A presence waits in the shadows, hungry and curious. Can Asala confront this terror and keep her team alive, or will she and all those in her charge fall victim to….The Darkness?