All the Universe or Nothing
In a screenplay by H.G. Wells for the Science Fiction Film “Things to Come,” the movie ends with a dramatic monologue that goes in part:
“… And when he (man) has conquered all the deeps of space and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning. And if we’re no more than animals we must snatch each little scrap of happiness and live and suffer and pass, mattering no more than all the other animals do or have done. It is this-or that: all the universe or nothing… Which shall it be?”
With foresight, insight, and a sense of fun, we hope to examine that challenge in the pages of DreamForge Magazine and in the stories we offer up for your consideration.
I have always written Science Fiction and Fantasy Fiction.
Indeed, from the moment I learned to scribble in cursive, I began to split my time between playing with toys and writing tales of their plastic adventures. In time, I went on to earn a degree in English and to make my living via the keyboard.
My name is Scot Noel, and now that you are here my fame is complete. (Yes, I’ve always been a bit of a smartass too.) But the truth is, your attentions are all the celebrity we need, and for acclaim and critical review, it’s our visitors comments that will mean the most.
So thanks for stopping by and let’s take a moment to get better acquainted.
Writing for Dollars
News Releases, brochures, advertising copy, marketing materials, grants, technical manuals, design documents, and a thousand other bits of professional word play have been my bread and butter over the years
And while a career in fiction never seemed to be in the stars, I was fortunate to have one of my Science Fiction stories about nano-technology, “Riches Like Dust,” selected for the Writers of the Future anthology, Volume VI in 1990.
[Update: DreamForge publisher Scot Noel’s novel “Stellar Glory” is in a list of Brand New Science Fiction published by Writers of the Future in 2019. (https://www.writersofthefuture.com/brand-new-science-fiction/) Writers of the Future is a contest that helps launch new authors, and its success can be seen in the number of winners that are now professional writers. Stellar Glory is available on Amazon or as part of a digital or print subscription to DreamForge Magazine (www.dreamforgemagazine.com)]
Of even greater fortune, my Writers of the Future win became the springboard for a career in computer game development.
From 1994 through 2001, I worked as writer, voice director, associate producer, and project manager for a computer game company at first known as Event Horizon Software, and which later gained fame as DreamForge Intertainment.
It was an exciting time to work in computer gaming, when even the smallest company could create projects of exceptional design, and a premium was placed on good storytelling.
In fact, each of our games in those days came not only with a manual, but with a fully developed novella to help establish the background and bring the world of the game to life. And yes, the novellas were mine.
Our storytelling skills did not go unnoticed, and soon we were working in the worlds of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, including Ravenloft and Menzoberranzan, crafting a series of games for SSI that were both well received and showcased the burgeoning talents of our team.
Even our two real-time strategy war games, War Wind and War Wind II: Human Onslaught featured more interesting story lines than most, including tales of cultures in conflict and lost humans more in need of alliances than firepower.
During these years I was able to hone both my management and writing skills while working with a highly talented crew of programmers, artists, designers, writers, musicians, and voice actors.
In fact, it was at DreamForge that I met my future wife Jane, an artist and Art Director.
After only a dozen or so proposals, she agreed to marry me and we have made a great team ever since.
Our Own Business
The downside of developing computer games is that the work goes on 60, 70, and 80 hours per week, leaving little time for a personal life and precious few moments for writing fiction.
Naturally, we decided to make the situation even worse. My wife Jane had always harbored entrepreneurial dreams, and one day she announced that she was leaving to found her own company. I think my generous response went something like “just try not to lose too much money, OK?” That was in 1999.
A year later I too was an employee of Computers Made Easy, Inc. (now known as Chroma Marketing Essentials), a web development company known for, as you can imagine, its graphics, web copy, and search engine optimization techniques. If you’ve an interest, you can browse our Portfolio of Web Projects.
As we all know, when you own your own business, you only have to work half days. You can pick any 12 hours you want. Every single day. Weekends included.
Science and Fantasy Fiction
Although I am sometimes slow, in the winter of 2018 it occurred to me that my wife is skilled at magazine layout and that our own company makes websites, produces award winning software, and is experienced at Digital Marketing. Hmm…
Why a new website and a magazine? The simple answer is this: in fiction and the world in general, we’ve seen the novelty of dark and grim perspectives grow to a commonplace expectation. Everyone, it seems, assumes the world has already gone to hades in a handbasket and a good apocalypse might be what’s needed to freshen it up.
We disagree. DreamForge Press and DreamForge Magazine is our-long form response.
Thank you for coming, truly! Feel free to Contact Us with your comments or concerns, and return as our guest whenever it may please you. We are always open.
My Creative Career
Rites of War was my last completed game as Project Manager.
Development went smoothly, I had a great crew, and to this day I enjoy fond memories of the project.
Game of the Year award winners Sanitarium and Anvil of Dawn stand out as among our most original creations.
Stephen King even has a character in his novel “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” mention his love for the computer game Sanitarium. Our teams were at their creative best, and Sanitarium can still be found by those who look for it.
In developing Chronomaster, we had the privilege to work with Roger Zelazny just before his untimely death. It was also our good fortune on this project to form a lasting friendship with fantasy writer Jane Lindskold.
Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, I missed my chance to voice direct Brent Spiner, Ron Perlman, and Lolita Davidovich on Chronomaster.
As time challenged as I was during my computer gaming career, I did manage to have a few stories and articles appear in publications as diverse as Pandora, Strategy Plus, and Algis Budrys’ Tomorrow Magazine.
Among my favorite stories were the short-short pieces of robot fiction that found a home in the small press magazine Vision.
I am not known for being terse. In fact, during my career in computer gaming, I was often referred to as “tree killer” and that just for the volume and lengthiness of my memos. Now that I have the time, you’ll see more of my stories, novels, and articles than ever before (whether or not that is a good thing…)
Science Fiction and Fantasy are not the sole compass of my interests. A good fantastical tale is exactly that, and I love an eclectic variety of popular fiction and literature.
In 2001 and 2002, I wrote two zombie horror stories for these Eden Studios anthologies edited by James Lowder.
The Book of All Flesh and The Book of More Flesh are just plain fun, filled with imaginative and, dare we say, frightening tales.
Both Books are not only still available at Amazon.com.
You can download a PDF preview of The Book of More Flesh here, by clicking the following link:Preview the Book of More Flesh.
Editor in Chief
Somehow, in addition to our web design work at Computers Made Easy, I found time to become Executive Editor of Inspiring Times / InWestmoreland Magazine, a family publication that covered stories of general interest in our home county.
This gig lasted for a few years until both the publisher and myself became too busy to continue with the magazine, and the print magazine was retired. Even so, we’ll count that as a bit of editorial experience toward the role I now play at DreamForge Magazine.
Please do feel free to Contact Us, but more than than I encourage you to Sign Up for Our Newsletter. We’ll keep you advised of our progress here at DreamForge Magazine (but we will never sell, trade, or take undue advantage of your contact information.)