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 and 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!

[New Release] Firefly TV Show Encyclopedia + Bonus Interview with Tony Lee!

Firefly Encyclopedia | Based on the TV Show by Joss Whedon

Today is the official U.S. release date for the Firefly Encyclopedia which is available wherever books are sold–including Target! This book is also a strange milestone for me, because this release marks the fifth year I’ve worked with this property. Thus far, I’ve also developed a line of tabletop roleplaying games and wrote The Gorramn Shiniest Language Guide and Phrasebook in the ‘Verse, too, which features an analysis of the language as well as an interview and Mandarin Chinese translations with the incomparable Jenny Lynn.

The brand new Firefly Encyclopedia presents a narrative retelling of the story thus far, new interviews, an essay about the scientific plausibility of the ‘verse, an homage to Ron Glass, and much, much more.

To celebrate the Firefly Encyclopedia‘s release, I’ve sat down with Mandarin Chinese translator Tony Lee, who lent his talents to provide additional translations. Please enjoy this bonus interview with expert translator Tony Lee! If you’re interested in hiring Tony, I’m happy to forward your information to him so he can follow up. Just use my Contact Monica page and make sure it’s clear I need to pass your message along. Thanks for understanding! He’s not on social media and I don’t want to put his email address on blast.

Interview with Mandarin Chinese Translator Tony Lee

Tony Lee hailed from Taipei, Taiwan but lacked the common sense to go into any profitable fields (like computer or medical), and chose the tabletop gaming industry instead. Over the course of 15+ years, he’s freelanced for Wizards of the Coast/TSR, Pinnacle Entertainment, Margaret Weis Productions, Z-Man Games, and several companies for TTRPG lines ranging from Dungeons & Dragons to the Firefly RPG. Tony’s latest contribution is to the Firefly Encyclopedia. He now works as a Mandarin-to-English translator of mostly—what else?—MMO and cell phone games.

You’ve been a Mandarin Chinese translator working in games for years. What was your first (or favorite) project?

My first in tabletop gaming was the titles for Z-Man Games’ Shadowfist CCG expansions. In mobile/computer, it was an MMO that I had no idea what was called; it was a rush job and to be honest, I didn’t do well because I wasn’t familiar with the terminology at the time.

What was the strangest phrase you had to translate into Mandarin Chinese?

Not so much strange as… paradoxical. I have already translated a considerable block of dialogue when the main character suddenly busted out some English, whereupon the other person replied: “I don’t speak English!” Now, the problem is, of course, they have been conversing in English this whole time in my translation, so that wasn’t going to make sense if I translated the source exactly as it was! Took me a while to figure out a solution: I changed the English line into Japanese, spelling it out phonetically (thankfully that was something my very miniscule Japanese could handle, with some help from Google), then translated the reply as “I don’t speak Japanese!” (It worked extra well since the main character had Japanese heritage.)

You’ve translated English-to-Mandarin and back again. Which process is easier? Why?

I’d say Mandarin-to-English is easier for me now. Even though Mandarin is technically my first and native language, I’m much more accustomed to English now and actually have better command compared to Mandarin. I can read Mandarin, no problem, but I don’t always come up with the best and proper word or phrase going from English to Mandarin. Often enough that it’s on the tip of my tongue but just can’t grasp it quite enough to put down on paper.

What are some important things to consider when hiring a translator?

Anybody can transliterate; you can just use Google for that. You want someone who translate by meaning, not by individual words, otherwise you get a funny, nonsensical appliance instruction manual. What you look for is how well a translator “localizes”, using all conventions of the target language that you can’t tell it was a translation. This involves attention to details as well. For instance, in China they put the dollar sign behind the amount (“10$”) but it’s the other way around here in America (“$10”), so it’s simple to spot a “translator” vs. a “localizer” with little things like that.

What’s the one thing Browncoats may not know about the Chinese in Firefly?

It’s been mentioned that nobody speaks Chinese like that in real life (or something to that effect), but I think Firefly Chinese would be easier to learn since, ironically, it’s somewhat heavy on transliteration and very simple in sentence structure (which is why no one talks that way). I can see the language changing to fit the new Sino-American society of the universe.

I’d like to thank Tony Lee for his contributions to the Firefly Encyclopedia, and am happy his work has the ability to shine. Yay! For additional information about the language used in Firefly, you can also find a wonderful interview with Jenny Lynn in the The Gorramn Shiniest Language Guide and Phrasebook in the ‘Verse. Shiny!

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


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