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Author has written 18 stories for Inheritance Cycle, Misc. Books, Fallout, World War Z, Misc. Plays/Musicals, Warcraft, Twilight Zone, Misc. Tv Shows, Iliad, and Misc. Movies.
I'm Vlad Taltos. That is, my pen name is Vlad Taltos because he is a badass. I am not actually, nor have I ever claimed or believed myself to be, a cunning ex-assassin with a wisecracking lizard shoulder accessory (or two).
I'm not sure what sex I am. The doctors say I'm a boy but everyone else says I'm a girl.
Favorite Books: Vlad Taltos novels by Steven Brust (hence my pen name), Darkness series by Harry Turtledove, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein, Inheritance Cycle by some a-hole who ruined his own series with that last book, Harry Potter series, The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Twilight Saga (I'm a hopeless romantic, what can I say? I concede the series' faults while enjoying its charms.), and the wonderful stories of the FanFiction author SickleYield (should be second on the list but I wanted to separate published works from FF).
Odd tidbits: I say Merry Christmas all year round and I often poke people as they walk by.
My hobbies are: Reading, writing, snowboarding, playing piano and playing video games.
I would have made allusions to the Vlad Taltos Novels and the Darkness series but no one ever gets them (shut up Loiosh). Look them up or you will be stared at hungrily by the cute little bunnies that some call Deathclaws (substitute Dzur, The Necromancer or Jeonine if you have read up on Brust).
In place of the standard disclaimer about not making any money on these stories and whatnot (We hold these truths to be self-evident. BOOM LAWYER'd) I will instead say this; "I relinquish all claims to the ideas and extrapolations on this site that I have made based on copyrighted works. The original copyright holders may use them freely and without fear of lawsuit."
I have several fanfiction stories in progress. Only one looks like I will ever possibly finish it. That would be Land Of Confusion, set in Fallout 3, an amazing video game that the developers spared no expense on when it comes to lore, story world-building and attention to detail. The gameplay is a little lax compared to more recent games, but the fascinating little side stories, the numerous intricate characters and the realistic depiction of trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world more than make up for it.
Summary: Land Of Confusion is a realistic take on some of the events in Fallout 3. It is what I think the non-player characters would do if they were not scripted to do certain actions and what the Lone Wanderer would do if he was not controlled by the player and guided by quests, but instead if these digital creations were living, thinking human beings. For example, when leaving the Vault it is almost universal that people go to Megaton. In real life, no freshly-hatched sheltered Vaultie, already indoctrinated about how dangerous the outside world is, would look at the terrifying ramshackle exterior of Megaton and say, "Yep, that's where I'm gonna go!"
Mainly I'm attempting to bring life to the game. Not the plot of the game, however. Some aspects will be here, but nobody wants a copy/paste of the main quest to read through when they could play it themselves. No, the story will be original. It will intersect at odd and unexpected moments with the quests you know and love, bringing a smile of recognition to the experienced gamer's face, but it is primarily about the life of Zoiks in the Capital Wasteland. She will face terrifying challenges, and they will be from every direction in the hostile environment of post-apocalyptic D.C. If and when the story does coincide with parts of the main quest, I will either give quick summaries of what happens or I will focus on other things that are going on while the characters do the mundane work of repairing Three Dog's precious dick- I mean dish, or similar filler quests.
Bet you never thought you would see the Lone Wander cast as a secondary character, did you? Honestly tell me that doesn't perk your interest. Come on, I dare you.
On Canon Verses AU: The world Zoiks steps out of her shelter into is pretty much the world that Cornelu, the Lone Wanderer (You, if you have played the game), sees when he (you) first leaves the Vault. However, it makes sense that many of the quests are basically odd jobs and it is possible that they can be performed by others. A job with pay doesn't sit for long in a world full of hungry and desperate people. This leads to things that are not in the game, but they are logically the next thing that would happen as a continuation of what it is based off of in game. So, not really canon in the most literal sense, but also certainly not AU.
It is my belief (stolen from those of better standing in the fanfiction world than me) that if Bethesda didn't provide backstory, provided only vague backstory that leaves much to the imagination or made gameplay and lore conflicting I am free to fill in or correct story aspects while still being canon (I literally copied and pasted this, because it is so concise and explicit in its reasoning. Credit goes to SickelYield, my fav author on this site).
On Realism: Nothing is pretty in the wasteland, it won't be here. Characters will be injured, maimed, psychologically destroyed, addicted to chems, infected with diseases, irradiated, ghoulified and killed at a rate reasonable for a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland. This is not a mainstream, happily ever after story. The best way I can explain what I mean by that is Zoiks, Cornelu and those they meet are going to go through the harsh wasteland in a realistic way.
On Rating: I've lowered the rating to 'T' because I realize that just throwing in a lemon for the hell of it would compromise the story. I'm not willing to do that. Things can get a little mature in some parts, but I am not explicit and the more naughty scenes are subtle enough that kids won't get them. Think of Disney movies nowadays. Most of it is wholesome family fun, but then they will throw in a joke that only mom and dad burst out laughing to. The implied material at the beginning of the first chapter is a perfect example. Not graphic, and kids probably won't get it.
Oh and language. I try to use it sparingly but forcefully. I may only have partial success in this endeavor. There are crazed, anarchistic raiders in Fallout, people. I can't make this realistic if they don't swear, and colorfully when the occasion warrants. Violence? It's based on a game about nuclear holocaust, what do you expect me to do with that? Considering VATS is designed specifically so you can zoom in on someone's head and watch it explode as your bullet forces their skull apart, I'm assuming that you do not mind graphic violence. But hey, maybe some of you play fallout without ever blowing the shit out of someone. For those people, this story is not for you.
On Chapter Titles: I will try to title each chapter with a song that fits it. A song that fits the whole story, and the Fallout universe in general, is "Land of Confusion" by Disturbed. The original was actually by Genesis, by that was a really horrible version. Don't listen to that.
9/12/11: Reconstructed large portions of LOC, mainly parts 1 and 2, and changed the order so Zoiks's story leads off instead of Cornelu's. Which should go first, interesting original main character or a replay of what everyone has already played through? Not sure why I didn't do that already.
9/20/11: Posted several (very) short stories and poems that were sitting around on a flashdrive. Hope you like them.
12/3/11: Had some ideas. Might put them to paper.
12/26/11: Wrapped up part 3 for LOC. Kinda lost with the story now, sadly. I know where I want to go, but not how to get there or how long it will take.
I've been thinking about my first story, Téqua, a lot lately. Remember the good old days when your primary (read: only) project was not fanfiction, so you could indulge yourself in delusions of getting published one day?
1/22/12: I am revisiting my original novel, Téqua, which has expanded to a series heavily influenced by the structure of the Vlad Taltos novels. So far I have twenty seven pages of outlines, plot and character sketches and general notes. One way you could look at it is that I have graduated to bigger and better things. Another is that I have delusions of self-grandeur. Either way, not much fanfiction on my list for the foreseeable future. Sorry.
3/27/12: Got thirty-five pages of notes on the plot/characters/world of the Téqua Novels done and another thirty pages of the first book, titled (for now) Heroes and Martyrs. Liking it immensely, but I keep going back and thinking "this is not clear enough" or "why would I start with three pages of history on the world, that is not a good hook to start out with." Also, having some trouble with my writing voice.
5/19/12: Decided that my writing skill is not yet developed enough to try and realize the Téqua Novels. So I'm back to LOC for now to practice. Part 4 started. Also, I added a summary of it to my profile. (HA, you just read that! Mindfu*ked)
5/23/12: I'm trying to update LOC every Friday. I know I will keep to that for at least two more Fridays (nine days from now) because I have those chapters done. After that I hope I can keep ahead a little and stay on schedule. If not, eh.
Also, purged parts 1 and 2 of LOC, where Zoiks, Sam and Cornelu are introduced. The story really starts in part 3 when everything comes together, so I'm trying to make things shorter so new readers can get to there quickly.
7/12/12: The first Friday that I missed my deadline was six days ago. The next will be tomorrow. Sorry. I finished part 4 in that time, though, so be happy. College is time-consuming, people!
8/29/12: Posted first chapter of part 5 for LOC. I love you too, interwebz :D
9/21/12: Made a blog a while ago. I talk about things I find deep and profound. It's at: ryansrambles(dot)webs(dot)com
1/23/13: This is something I found cool (pun intended)
"The Cool Stuff Theory of Literature is as follows: All literature consists of whatever the writer thinks is cool. The reader will like the book to the degree that he agrees with the writer about what’s cool. And that works all the way from the external trappings to the level of metaphor, subtext, and the way one uses words. In other words, I happen not to think that full-plate armor and great big honking greatswords are cool. I don’t like ‘em. I like cloaks and rapiers. So I write stories with a lot of cloaks and rapiers in ‘em, ’cause that’s cool. Guys who like military hardware, who think advanced military hardware is cool, are not gonna jump all over my books, because they have other ideas about what’s cool.
"The novel should be understood as a structure built to accommodate the greatest possible amount of cool stuff." - Steven Brust
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