Create a Magic Item Contest!


Two days ago, a box reached my doorstep. It con­tained a mile­stone in my career: fin­ished copies of my 2nd pub­lished novel.


I am so, so proud of FORTRESS FRONTIER. The book rep­re­sents a big evo­lu­tion in my writing, and I feel it does what I most wanted it to do: give the reader a wholly dif­ferent expe­ri­ence from CONTROL POINT.

It’s always a ner­vous time when a new book comes out. panic tightens your throat as you wait for reviewers to weigh in on your baby, and your career. It’s early yet, but to my great relief, the reac­tion thus far has been uni­formly positive.

So, anyway, I’ve got this box of books, and you know what that means: time for a give­away contest.

You all appear to really enjoy cre­ating things in the SHADOW OPS uni­verse, if the amazing entries I got for my Create-a-Coven and Create-a-School con­tests are any­thing to go by. So, let’s con­tinue in that vein with a Create-a-Magic-Item Contest.

Without giving any spoilers, I’ll say that FORTRESS FRONTIER intro­duces the idea/possibility of magic items in the SHADOW OPS uni­verse. I chal­lenge you to come up with one. Tell me what it is, what it does, and how the SOC would use it to accom­plish its mis­sion. Give it a name and/or a des­ig­nator code (we have the M16 assault rifle, what would the magic equiv­a­lent be called?) REMEMBER: the SOC is a mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tion, so the magic item must be an adapted piece of mil­i­tary hard­ware, but it can be *any* piece of mil­i­tary hard­ware (a tank or plane, a gun or mis­sile, a ruck­sack or tent, a radio, a latrine, a pocket knife, a fork­lift, any­thing mil­i­tary). I will give extra credit for those entries that use magic powers already existing/described in CONTROL POINT.

As always, I will give a lot more weight to entries with some kind of visual. Pho­to­shop a humvee to cover it in runes. Draw me a glowing M9. Any­thing to give me an idea of what your magic item looks like.

I’ll pick three win­ners to receive signed copies of either (your choice) the US or UK edi­tions of FORTRESS FRONTIER.

Enter as many times as you like. Entries can either be emailed to me at myke(at)mykecole(dot)com, or put in the com­ments sec­tion on this blog post.

Really looking for­ward to seeing what folks come up with. I know I’ve said it before, but I love writing this stuff, and you all have made it pos­sible for me to keep doing that.

I never, ever thought I would pub­lish a single novel. Now I’m about to have 2 on the shelf, about to turn in a 3rd, and have just inked a deal for 3 more. That would never have hap­pened without your help and sup­port. That’s not blowing sun­shine. If you’re reading this, you played a part in that and I am deeply, truly grateful.

Looking for­ward to seeing what you come up with!

  • http://twitter.com/chazzers1705 Charles H. LeBlanc

    I was Thinking simple like a pocket watch that when wound up it stops time but only for 30 sec­onds. i figure it could be used at the opening of an Op so to get the jump on the oppo­si­tion. But the watch can only be used once every 24 hrs because it would need to be recharged.

  • http://twitter.com/chazzers1705 Charles H. LeBlanc

    How about sun­glasses that shade one from reality to where there are just a shadow in the real world. Problem is that for every hour spent in this Shadow form takes a toll on your health and strength. Could Be used to see around cor­ners so to speak.

  • http://twitter.com/chazzers1705 Charles H. LeBlanc

    ooh how about a charmed valen­tines day card which makes the people in a room to focus on romance and lose all interest in every­thing else. It Could be use to dis­tract Guards so to slip in unnoticed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=537111411 Johann Pol­lard

    The most useful one would be a G30. It looks like a mil­i­tary GPS, but it func­tions as a one time use Por­ta­mancer, making extrac­tion safer.

  • http://twitter.com/chazzers1705 Charles H. LeBlanc

    Here is a funny thought, how about a pop­sicle stick that when touched to objects it freezes the item and the length of time held against the object con­tinues to drop its tem­per­a­ture. It could be used to break locks or just to keep the freezer working in case of a power outage(no one likes to lose their Ice cream).
    I think I may be having too much fun with this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lrwr14 Liam Rus­sell

    Mine would be a sort of gel that you put over a wound which would close it up, so it could be used to stop the bleeding of gun­shot wounds or even close up a sev­ered arm wound (not reat­tach it). Uses a weaker ver­sion of Phys­iomancer, good for quick healing on the go.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.brichta.9 Daniel Brichta

    When do the audible ver­sion come??
    BTW Your book(s) rock!

    • Myke Cole

      Thanks! The audible ver­sions are already out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.brichta.9 Daniel Brichta

    The most useful item I could think of would be a back­pack, it should be inter­woven with air. Say make the bearer capable of bearing 30 kilo­grams for one day or 15 kilos for two days etc. That would in my book(and anyother old grunt) be one of the most sought after thing for a sol­dier, who have to march 40 kilo­me­ters a day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.brichta.9 Daniel Brichta

    Another most appre­ci­ated thing IMHO, would be a shovel that bites in to the soil as knife in butter(able to digg a fox­hole in frozen ground) prob­ably uses fire along the edge

  • http://twitter.com/ABurgerADay Avri Burger


    Based on the M2 and M16 Bounding “Jumping Jack” Mine, the M16-MB (Magic Blast) is an anti-personnel mine. When trig­gered, a mortar shell is launched into the air to an approx­i­mate height of 1.5 meters where it det­o­nates and releases a stored charge of mag­ical energy. With a blast radius of 30 meters, it is par­tic­u­larly effec­tive against ground troops. Pyro­mancy is the typ­ical school of magic used to charge the device, resulting in napalm-like blasts. When charged with Aero­mancy, the device delivers an extremely pow­erful shock wave. It is most dev­as­tating, how­ever, when charged with the for­bidden schools of Por­ta­mancy and Negramancy—both of which yield max­imum car­nage and death.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jan.cabanig Jan Michael Cabanig

    Some­thing like a (My all time favorite item, but just always out of my price range so my DM never lets my char­ac­ters get one)


    Or an MDAB (Multi-Dimensional Assault Bag)

    MDABs weren’t cre­ated with the SOC oper­ator in mind. These were designed with the SOC sup­port units in mind. Each bag would be directly linked to the sup­porting units supply room. With one little dif­fer­ence. Instead of a Supply Sgt/Officer you have a fully auto­mated system.

    Each TL/SL would be issued both bag and an arm mounted com­puter with a satel­lite up link to the Supply Room. With a few keys strokes the team leader or squad leader can easily re-supply his men.

    The great thing about this is that a Civilian model can be made. Off­set­ting any cost issues that might occur.

    With the portal, and the com­puter the system becomes more like a Handy Haversack.

  • sam baskin

    This may be semi uno­rig­inal (con­sid­ering Oscar’s power) but what about a col­lec­tion of one shot disks that a sol­dier could carry that could trans­port him to a spe­cific loca­tion. Each one would be used up once they were used, but it would help with sup­port, sup­plies, and orga­nized sur­prise attacks. Sol­diers could carry a few of them on their person in a pouch of sorts.

  • sam baskin

    Another idea could be based on ter­ra­mancer ability, a sol­dier could have a lump of clay, pos­sibly a little bit bigger than a fist, then by pinching off a small pieces of the clay and burying it in ground at the edges of the area intended to ter­ra­mance, the sol­dier could then mold the clay into a struc­ture that is needed within the area of the buried terra-clay. This could be used to create fast fox­holes, hidden pits, or quick infrastructure.

  • sam baskin

    There could also be dif­ferent types of ammo, such as “render bul­lets”, which when hit eat away at the body, essen­tially making even grazes deadly. “Ice bul­lets” bul­lets that freeze an oncoming com­batant, or even just the part of them that was hit, or “hydro bul­lets” which when an enemy is hit will decrease their water supply until they are unable to move through dehydration.

  • sam baskin

    Of course another idea would be to have a number of pel­lets that could be car­ried on a soldier’s person that when dropped into the ground would sprout fresh food (based on ter­ra­mancing), helping replace MREs.

  • sam baskin

    Or to have radios set to a fre­quency broad­casting wis­pering. To help scare away wildlife, or bring it in for food.

  • sam baskin

    The Shadow Mine, like a land­mine it is deployed before hand on the ground, when someone sets it off it uses por­tomancy to trans­port them to a mil­i­tary grade holding facility. Or the Terra-Mine, which like a land­mine when set off cre­ates a big hole (15 feet x 15 feet x 15 feet) for the enemy to be trapped in.