I’ve just had another story published in ‘Drainpipes for Strike Posts’ by Mantic Games, featuring such literary greats as David Guymer, Guy Francis Haley, and that Rob Knipe guy that keeps following me around.
The story is called ‘The Price of Success’, and it’s a suitably grimdark tale about what happens if you get too big for your own boots.
A DreadBall Xtreme Anthology
We’ve all watched pro-wrestling at some point.
Even if we don’t openly admit it, at some point or another we have sat and watched those big, oiled-up men in their costumes and carrying their gimmicks and their ‘steel chairs’, putting each other through the ‘Spanish Announcer’s table’ (why always the poor Spanish?) and whether it’s been a guilty pleasure or just something we’ve happened upon, we’ve all had some flavour of the same thought: ‘It’s all very fake.’
Dig a little deeper, and you will find that in order to get on that oh-so-shiny stage, there is an awful lot of hard work, blood, sweat and tears that goes into getting noticed enough by the big boys. Those TV cameras don’t turn on just anyone. Those wrestlers have to spend years – sometimes decades – working their way up through small, no-name leagues, playing in front of small, excitable crowds of people baying for blood. Yeah, they have a great life when they get to the top, but they have a hell of a slog to get there.
DreadBall is the big leagues – the glamour, the bright lights and the big bucks. The gimmicks and stylised weapons and violence, al seamlessly choreographed to make the best possible show. Sure, people get hurt, but generally between all the safety measures, the best armour that money can buy, and an understanding of the realities of corporate sponsorship, everyone gets to go home with the minimal amount of lasting injuries, as a rule.
Xtreme is what happens in the shadows. A handful of these guys might make it to the big time, but they have to survive first. There are no rules, the sponsors have more important priorities than the personal safety, comfort or breathing status of their players, and armour is either stolen, home-made or passed down – often all three. There’s no cameras, no million cred player deals and definitely no glamour. What there is, is good old-fashioned violence, the way that DreadBall started all those many years ago.
Here we have eight tales from that shadowy underbelly. From enigmatic alien sponsors to good old-fashioned human gangsters. From fresh-faced newbies hungry for their first taste to worn out old-timers just looking for the money, we have it all here for you.
So settle in, and experience the Galaxy’s Greatest Sport the way that it was meant to be played. But remember, this isn’t fake. When these guys, gals and aliens bleed, it’s all for real.
Greg D Smith
You can get the whole anthology for £3.99 on their website. Great as a Christmas present, or you can buy it to wish me a Happy Birthday for tomorrow!