Welcome to Quick and Easy Games!

logo1Clayton J. CallahanClayton Callahan is a science fiction writer, game designer and all around devotee of geek culture. This site is dedicated to promoting all things good in those fields. From gaming to galaxy spanning fiction, this site covers it all. Clayton is the sole proprietor of Quick & Easy Games and this site also serves as an outlet for those products.

Since 2007 Quick and Easy Games has created games that are low in cost but high in quality.  Q&E customers appreciate fast moving, simple to learn rules that make gaming fun. If your tired of paying too much for slick packaged games that take a PHD to learn, we’re the company for you.  If you have any comments or wish to place an order you can contact, Clayton Callahan, the General Manager.

Thank you, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Providing the best value in role playing and miniatures gaming since 2007

In Stores Now

Well, we’re growing. Spreading those notional wings, and flying onto the shelves.

As for fiction, the SF novel Tales of The Screaming Eagle is now available in hard-copy at Portland, Oregon’s largest book store: Powell’s 
Powells-1-1024x768 With two locations (one in Portland the other in Beaverton, Oregon) Powell’s is the kind of independent mega store dreams are made of. And now they have my book, right next to Orson Scott Card’s (by the way, I met him at an SF con in Indianapolis back in the 1980’s…weird guy).Powells' Tales of The Screaming Eagle

As to gaming, Quick and Easy Games are now available in a more cozy venue. Nexus Games in Gresham, Oregon now has a rack dedicated exclusively to Star Run, Battlefields, and other Quick and Easy Games products.

Nexus Games Store Exterior

As cool as it is to peruse through Powell’s mountain of books, I like Nexus Games as a place to meet and greet my fellow geeks. It’s a very friendly little game shop and they always have something going on. In fact, there will be a demo game of Battlefields: From Broadswords to Bullets there at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, May 27th.

I hope to see you there. Nexus Games Shelf

 

Gender Roles and Action Heros

A question for my readers

So, here’s the deal; I’m a feminist. By that I mean I’m one of those weird guys who looks at women as if they’re actual human beings. That being said, human beings come in all shapes and sizes, and I see no reason to be restricted by “traditional” gender rolls. Within the pages of my books are tough men and tough women. I also have the occasional week man and week woman, just to spice it up.

The most “manly” man in my first book, Tales of The Screaming Eagle, was Burt; the body building, starship engineering, gay guy from Texas. Now with my latest novel, The Adventures of Crazy Liddy, I get asked, “Is Liddy, manly or girly?” Well, she likes to cook and enjoys romance novels–she also has a gun fetish and loves to drive a spaceship fast and reckless. She loves men…as playthings, and is put off by lesbians (although she grows more tolerant by the end).

Is this new in fiction? In reality? I think not. I’ve served in the US Army and Navy with all kinds of men and women from all over the country. No two snowflakes are alike and nether are any two men or women. In fiction, as in reality, I think we should celebrate what makes people unique; and not worry so much about what “role” they fill.

Now Is The Time

Five Elements Cover

Now until the 11th of May, The Five Elements Anthology is available at Amazon…for free. Just click on the link below to enjoy some of the best science fiction short stories by some of Oregon’s most talented writers.

http://www.amazon.com/Five-Elements-Anthology-Ted-Blasche-ebook/dp/B00TG1DG4G/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431121019&sr=1-4&keywords=clayton+callahan

Want a sample? Sure thing Hear’s a bit of my humble contribution:

Badges of Authority

By

Clayton J. Callahan

Lord Rodger gazed out the window of his apartment on Alexandria Station wondering, as he often did, if humanity had any chance out there in the black. At least the view was awe inspiring. The planet Tlaloc rotated gracefully 450 kilometers below, its sun cresting the horizon, sending diffuse beams of red light refracting through the oxygen-neon atmosphere—spectacular. Just then, however, his attention focused on the 50,000 ton warship now docking near the station’s central hub. A bad way to start a week if ever there was one. It was Sunday, January 30th, 3025 AD, by coincidence the anniversary of his first marriage.

“Do we have visitors?” Sheela asked as she rolled over on the bed.

Rodger turned and looked over his shoulder; Lady Sheela was well into her fifties and still beautiful in every way. A good woman from a fine family. Naturally, she was from a fine family, her father a count, the marriage arranged to elevate Rodger’s family back on Capital. True, his mother advanced to dame soon after the wedding, but there were other reasons for the marriage as well. After the death of Rodger’s first spouse, his mother thought Sheela would help him get back on his feet. And indeed, she had. Lady Sheela was as good a partner as he could have hoped to find, smart, loyal and most important of all, a good friend.

“My dear,” he sighed. “I regret to inform you, it’s the Agamemnon.  Duke Flavious’s flag ship has come to pay us a visit.”

She sat up in the bed. “Duke Flavious? What would a duke be doing at a frontier outpost like this?”

He shrugged. “I’m sure I have no idea, my lovely. But I expect we’ll find out soon.”

She rose out of bed and advanced on the closet. “This is no time to wear your service uniform with those faded epaulets.” She reached for the purple coat, resplendent with medals and decorations. “I had your new braid sewn into the collar, but the pants still have the soldier’s red stripe, not the gold of a sector governor.”

Lord Rodger smiled. He’d been sector governor for over ten years now and had added only gray hair and a few wrinkles to his ensemble. But out here, few would recognize the proper marks of imperial rank even if he did wear the correct colored stripe. “I think that will do. He’s not likely here to pull a surprise uniform inspection.”

Lady Sheela gave a sardonic snort. “Inspections of any kind have been in short supply these past years. Coups on the other hand, they’ve been rather common.”

“What?” he said. “Only thirteen coups in twenty years. How bad could that be?”

“Bad enough when four of them have been in the past eighteen months,” she replied. “Earth vendors must be selling ‘season tickets’ to Imperial coronations by this point.”

“Capital, dear.” He admonished. “It’s called ‘Capital’ now. First Edict of Empress Mi Lin the XI.”

“Capital then. You always did know how to use your words carefully, Rodg.” She looked him in the eye. “Use them carefully now. I commanded a warship or two in my day. That dreadnought could knock Alexandria from the sky with only half its arsenal.”

“I will, my dearest. Stay here; I’ll deal with his Grace, the Oaf of Terra, and see what reason he’s selected for this visit to our humble corner of the galaxy.”

She smiled. “Capital, Rodg. He’s the Oaf of Capital.”

Chuckling, he replied, “Too right, darling.”

***

 

Thanks Aloha High School, for Making A Guy Feel Welcome

Me teaching Science Fiction

I had a great time today at Aloha High, teaching science fiction to Ms, Jones’ SF Lit class. The kids were all great and I’ve got to respect the deep knowledge about science fiction they all had. There were students tossing around Dr. Who quotes, flashing SF gang signs (live long and prosper), and holding up D&D books like badges of honor. I now have hope for the geeks of the future.

Great way to spend a day off!

Happy Star Wars Day and May the Fourth Be With You

Science Fiction, what point does it serve?

Say what you want about Lucas going dark side, Han shooting first or the abomination that was Jar-Jar Binks, Star Wars rocked the world and it’s influence continues to go stronger every year. I was at the tender age of ten in 1977, and I well remember the thrill of seeing it in the theater for the first time (the dog fight scene gave me motion sickness, but I didn’t care).

For me, Star Wars was the door through which I discovered old Flash Gordon serials, Star Trek re-runs, the books of Asimov, and Heinlein. I’m now forty-seven and I’m still a fan of that original masterwork. Furthermore, I’ve added my own small contribution to science fiction through games like Star Run and books like The Adventures of Crazy Liddy.

Isn’t it amazing how powerful a story, about something that everyone knows never happened, can be? Fiction, be it science fiction or whatever, has power. Famously, Kennedy was inspired by the musical Camelot to strive for a more noble purpose than mere politics for it’s own sake.

Has Star Wars influenced your life? Are you a person who strives to live by a Jedi like code? Do you look at Han Solo and find hope as an example of how bad men can turn good? Fiction inspires life and as such it is a necessary, and powerful component for life.

Never apologize for enjoying the fiction you do; instead, wear it proudly, and let others share the joy. Be inspired to do in the real world, what fictional characters can only do in a galaxy far far away. And to be sure, I wish you a happy Star Wars day.

 

Free Science Fiction Awesomeness

What’s the best price to pay for anything? Free, of course.

And from May 07 to May 11. 2015, you can have all five elements for just that. This is a science fiction anthology featuring some of the Northwest’s hottest writers; Ted Blasche, D. Wallace Peach, Sheron Wood McCartha, and even award winning fan-fic author Chelsea Nolen. Stories range from funny to tragic, exciting all tastes for good SF. Ghosts, alien warriors, space captains, and terrible bosses all inhabit the pages of this collection of speculative short stories. It’s a great collection at any price; but hey, why not get it for nothing?

Just go to http://www.amazon.com/Five-Elements-Anthology-Ted-Blasche-ebook/dp/B00TG1DG4G/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1430577831&sr=8-3&keywords=clayton+callahan anytime between the seventh and the eleventh of this month and it’s yours. However, if you give it to your science fiction loving mother on May 10th I don’t recommend you mention the price to her. :)

Other works by these great authors include:

 

 

Role Playing a Novel

Ever heard of Mary Sue?

mary sue

If not, you’re lucky. According to legend, Mary Sue was a character in a  fan-fiction story that took place on the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701). As Kirk was the youngest captain in Starfleet, Mary Sue was the youngest ensign. Never the less, despite her lowly rank on the most prestigious ship in the Federation, Mary Sue saved the day.

If you just leave it as described above, a natural response is, “so what?” What’s wrong with a minor crew-member getting the chance to shine every once in a while? Well…it’s more a matter of how she did it. You see, Mary Sue was so smart and so capable that every little thing she did was magic. She was a master of all skills with and uncanny ability to immediately see the answer to every problem, rendering all other characters (Spock, McCoy, Kirk) totally unnecessary. In short, a smart-assed little know it all.

In role playing games such annoying characters can not exist. Why? Because in an RPG characters are defined by their character sheets and restricted by the rules. A typical RPG character has a set score to tell the player how strong, how smart and how charismatic he or she is. Furthermore, the characters skills and abilities are recorded, giving exact information about what that character can and can not do.Character Sheet 006

Writers of fiction can learn a lot from role players in general. But specifically, I’m talking about characters right now. As a writer, it’s easy to paint yourself into a dramatic corner. Your hero is up against insurmountable odds and you need him or her to resolve the plot somehow. But when “Mary Sue” strikes, and your gunfighter performer brain surgery to save the day; you can expect your reader to toss your story across the room and never pick it up again. For characters to be believable they must be limited; only so smart, only so strong, only so capable. Treating fictional characters like role playing characters forces you to tamp down your worst “Mary Sueish” impulses and tell a compelling, realistic story.

Readers crave characters that win despite their limitations because that make it easier to put themselves in the hero’s shoes. So do yourself a favor, future writer, play a role playing game.

…I recommend Star Run (see catalog).