Fantasy fiction thrills and the best in life (and death) with the Working Barbarian…

What is best in life? It’s a question that needs to be asked over and over again for in asking it you truly realise what is best in life. Some believe that the answer to the question is To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you and to hear the lamentation of their women. That is good but I do not always believe that is best in life. Though it varies depending on time, mood and circumstance, I’d offer up the alternative answer of: “To write fantasy fiction and tell tales of violence, magic and high adventure!”

It’s definitely the best thing in life when I’m doing it and I’ve been doing it again. This week’s fresh instalment of The Working Barbarian – Part 18 of the saga – was written by me and it contains bloody violence, magical nudity, softcore bestiality and root vegetable cosplay. I had a lot of fun spawning it and hopefully it makes for an intriguing read and a worthy addition to the ongoing online pseudo-epic we’re fabricating.

To recap if you’re a little lost or very forgetful, The Working Barbarian is a collaborative fantasy fiction saga developed by a coven of quite kickarse scribes (and Art-Wizard, Eoin ‘Ultimate Hurl’ Hurrell). It’s forged in unison, born of a love of things like The Lord of the Rings and Discworld novels and from memories of playing through Choose-Your-Own-Adventure and Fighting Fantasy books. The latter part is especially significant as this adventure relies on reader input. At the end of each chapter, users of the internet who just happen to be passing are given a choice and the choice they make affects which direction the story goes in. It’s an appealing proposition – you get to read a ripping yarn and then go on a powertrip by wielding your voting privileges to decide the fate of our unfortunate characters. Oh, and it’s all for free as well so that’s a bonus.

Even though we’ve collectively managed to amass over 38,000 words (By Crom!), you can quickly get up to speed or, possibly, just jump right in. Focusing on this week’s episode, in Part 17 Warlord Andrew of Blair anticipated “something drastic” to come. Readers also voted to show that they didn’t want Jala to offer help to a vulnerable dancing girl in a bathhouse-turned-into-a-bloodbath.

I acted accordingly in confluence with all of these things and the established narrative arcs and mythos features. I duly wrote up the next part of the tale and your vote will affect what Sagameister Magus John the Steele has to write for the Christmas cliffhanger. Go forth and read and cast your vote then we’ll all revel in our omnipotent mastery over fictional universes and go on to share more epic tales of high adventure.

These things are all what is best in life…

Here's the Working Barbarian's calling card...

Here’s the Working Barbarian’s calling card…

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