[Pre-Order] Proving Grounds Solo Card Game and Novella from Renegade Games

Proving Grounds | Renegade Games

Maia Strongheart stands alone against the world. A cabal of conspirators has framed her for the death of her own mother, the Sun Queen, and they intend to usurp the throne from her family. To prove her own innocence and reclaim her birthright, Maia must step into the Proving Grounds to complete a trial that will stretch her combat skills to the limit. Will the Wizened’s chosen daughter vanquish her foes in the arena? Or will she be overwhelmed by the conspirators and their evil aspirations?

If you’ve never played a solo game before, this is a great place to start. There is a training game and six different gameplay modules. Once you’ve learned the basics, add a single module or mix and match to your tastes. If you’re feeling truly adventurous, put them all together for a true test of your gladiatorial combat skills!

Proving Grounds is a unique title that’ll be released this Spring from Renegade Game Studios. The release is a solo card game plus novella! I designed the fantasy world and wrote the novella titled: “Only the Strongest Has the Heart of a Wizened Queen”.

You can pre-order Proving Grounds now from the Renegade Games store. Exciting!

My CONfusion 2019 Schedule

Hey friends,

I’ll be attending CONfusion 2019 next week in Michigan, and will be attending and speaking on panels. There’s some fun things in programming I’ll be checking out, and I’m looking forward to a great time.

Autograph Session
Saturday, TBD, Eerie Ballroom
Join the attending authors at CONfusion and get your books signed! I’ll be bringing bookplates if you don’t want to drag any of my books to the reading.

How Fears Shape Superstitions
Sunday, 11:00 AM, Allen Park
From black cats-as-familiars to the number 13 being bad, all modern beliefs are rooted in folklore and ancient traditions that have been affected by political and social mores. Panelists will share examples and then discuss whether or not these powerful beliefs are harmful or helpful.
Panelists: Steve Buchheit (M), Lucy A. Snyder, Sarah E. Gibbons, Nino Cipri, Monica Valentinelli

Author Reading
Sunday, 1:00 PM, Rotunda Reading
Authors: Nino Cipri, Stacey Filak, Monica Valentinelli

Expanding The Definition of Witchcraft
Sunday, 2:00 PM, Southfield
Witchcraft in fiction often taps into real world tragedies, myths and folklore, spiritual practices, sexuality and gender treatment through the lens of Western occultism. Witchcraft, however, is more than riding brooms or dancing naked. Panelists will explore the definition of witch and then provide examples of witches through underrepresented lenses.
Panelists: Monica Valentinelli (M), Josef Matulich, Paul Kemner, A. Carina Spears

Read “My Name Is Cybernetic Model XR389F, and I Am Beautiful” for Free!

Uncanny Magazine Issue 25 | Cover art by John Picacio

Hey readers! Today I’m pleased to inform you that Uncanny Magazine Issue 25 in all its beautiful glory, is now available for you to read online. My short story, “My Name Is Cybernetic Model XR389F, and I Am Beautiful”, went live today along with “The Thing about Ghost Stories” by Naomi Kritzer.

There are a LOT of great stories, poems, and essays in this issue which also includes “How to Swallow the Moon” by Isabel Yap, “An Account in the Land of Witches” by Sofia Samatar, “Smile” by Beth Cato, “Monologue by an unnamed mage, recorded at the brink of the end” by Cassandra Khaw, and a primer for Jewish Science Fiction and Fantasy by Steven Silver.

For the full Table of Contents, ways to support Uncanny Magazine, and free-to-read stories, poetry, and essays, you can visit Uncanny Magazine Issue 25. Huzzah!

My 2018 Summary and Publications in Games, Fiction, and Non-Fiction

Hey everyone, with the end of the year rapidly approaching I thought I’d share what releases I had this year. Most of these books and games are available to purchase online. I have to say–I really appreciate your support this year! Because of you, I was able to hop firmly on the proverbial writing and developing horse to put out some great stuff! This year marked a few milestones, too. As always, if you’re interested in supporting my efforts, you can buy me a coffee or sign up for my newsletter–with the caveat the updates will be changed. Right now they’re sporadic because my emphasis isn’t on marketing or promotion, but I will be wrangling this to more manageable and predictable levels next year. 2019 is going to be very interesting for me, because I’m launching a Patreon and will be focused on releases.


Ring of Spiragos | Scarred Lands | D&D5EProduction-wise, I’ve been working on wrapping up Hunter: The Vigil 2nd Edition for Onyx Path Publishing. I also did quite a bit of volunteer work for SFWA, and I’m so pleased that next year we’ll celebrate the very first Game Nebula Award. More to come on that! This was the first year I played a game for ExtraLife, too, and I had a ton of fun with A. Happy Gnome.

KARMIC TIES AND FIFTH WHEELS, Unknown Armies Third Edition, 2018, Atlas Games

TREACHERY IS THE DEEPEST CUT, Prince Valiant RPG Episode, 2018, Nocturnal Media

BECKETT’S JYHAD DIARY, Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, 2018, Onyx Path Publishing/White Wolf Entertainment AB

RING OF SPIRAGOS, a SCARRED LANDS adventure for D&D 5E and Pathfinder, 2018, Nocturnal Media/Onyx Path Publishing AB (Developer)


Uncanny Magazine | Issue 25For fiction, I had two short stories come out this year. The first is a short story about a cyborg who faces termination; the story has a contemporary theme and explores the topic of consent.

The second was written as a prequel to Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror”, and focuses on one of the author’s rare female characters. I have a few short stories already scheduled for next year, and I hit submissions hard so watch this space.

“My Name is Cybernetic Model XR389F, and I am Beautiful”, 2018, Uncanny Magazine

“From an Honest Sister, to a Neglected Daughter”, Sisterhood: Dark Tales and Secret Mysteries, 2018, Chaosium Publishing


Firefly Encyclopedia | Joss Whedon | Titan PublishingIn non-fiction, my releases were concentrated in books. I wrote about creating an alien language for Wonderbook Revised, an essay about representation for Hath No Fury, and an entire encyclopedia about Firefly!

The Firefly Encyclopedia is available everywhere worldwide, too–even Walmart and Target! My publisher, Titan Books, has been working with sites like Tor.com and SyFy.com for give-a-ways and previews, too.

WONDERBOOK (Revised and Expanded): The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction by Jeff VanderMeer, 2018, Harry N. Abrams (Contributor)

FIREFLY ENCYCLOPEDIA, 2018, Titan Publishing

“This Is Not Another Why Representation Is Important Essay”, Hath no Fury, 2018, Ragnarok Publishing

That’s it for me this year! I already have announcements for next year and will be pleased to share them with you in the coming months. I hope your 2018 was fabulous, and wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors.

[New Release] “My Name is Cybernetic Model XR389F, and I Am Beautiful” in Uncanny Magazine Issue 25

Hello readers! I am pleased to announce my short story titled “My Name is Cybernetic Model XR389F, and I Am Beautiful” is now available in the latest issue of Uncanny Magazine! The Table of Contents have been previously announced for Uncanny Magazine Issue 25, and I’m excited to cheer on my fellow contributors that include Steven H. Silver, Isabel Yap, Naomi Kritzer, Beth Cato, Cassandra Khaw and many more.

Today is new release day! So GREAT NEWS: You can pick up your copy of Uncanny Magazine Issue 25 today!

When you visit the Uncanny Magazine website, be sure to also check out previous issues. Uncanny Magazine Issue 24, for example, is a special edition called “Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction” and includes dozens of thoughtful, compelling, gut-wrenching essays and stories by authors ranging from Nisi Shawl to Fran Wilde.

Thanks for supporting my work and for checking out a nifty magazine. I hope you enjoy “My Name is Cybernetic Model XR389F, and I Am Beautiful”! Huzzah!

Previous Posts Next Posts

Monica Valentinelli > Announcements

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

Subscribe to Monica’s Newsletter

* indicates required


Back to Top