Sunday, 11 March 2012

Cthulhu and How I Found Livingstone

My "annotation" project is complete.  What was it you ask? You've probably been asking every time I mentioned it.  I didn't want to speak plainly about until it was done, in case someone else stole the idea and got theirs out first. Now it is complete and the first version released for public consumption...oh... what is it?

It's called "Cthulhu and How I found Livingstone". What I've done here, is take the public domain text of Henry  Stanley's book "How I found Livingstone", and have annotated it for readers who role-play.

The original book tells how Stanley carried out an expedition to relieve an explorer called Livingstone, and you must have heard the famous words "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?", well this text is that story told in the words of the man who did it.

The expedition was a genuine darkest-Africa adventure, and I've added a series of graphics and over seventy footnotes to the book. Each footnote looks at the people, the locations or the events and explains how the role-player could take that incident and turn it into an exciting plot element for a horror role playing session as part of an entire gaming campaign.

If the term "role play" or the phrase "campaign" mean nothing to you then this book is not for you!  Anyone who runs a game of "Call of Cthulhu" or a similar role playing game might well find it interesting.

The job of annotating was a long one. The book was four hundred odd pages which I had to carefully read and then consider, determining if any incident/person/place was worthy of a footnote, and indeed what that footnote would say.

This is actually the second book I've done this to.  The first was called "Cthulhu and the River of Doubt", which followed Teddy Roosevelt along an uncharted river in Brazil. That too was a long project. In both cases it's not the writing that takes so long, its the reading, re-reading and time spent pondering. Unlike straight fiction writing, where I follow an outline, I had no outline to follow, and had to spend more time thinking than actually writing. The exact reverse of my usual writing process!

I've added details to the Books page and it's available to buy as a P.O.D. paperback. ePUB, Kindle, Nook etc will follow over the coming weeks.

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