SF & Fantasy

Cubicle at the End of the Universe: The Sequel

That’s right, we’re bringing back The Cubicle at the End of the Universe! Wow, did that sound like it was said by the narrator of an old adventure time radio show? Yeah, it did.

To refresh your memory, The Cubicle at the End of the Universe posts are inside looks at life here at Del Rey Spectra. A lot has changed since the last time we’ve done one of these posts, and there’ve been a few new additions to our family. The new folks wanted to get acquainted with you—not in the “turn down the lights” way, but in the “awkward first date that just turns into a really good friendship instead” way—so let’s get right to it!


Name: Sarah Peed
Class: Editorial Assistant
Level: 9 (I’m relatively new to the game, but I’ve been power-leveling in the smaller dungeons.)
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Spawn Location: Florida
Weapons: +10 sarcasm. Also, +3 nunchucks.
Armor: +10 sarcasm. Also, +5 Avengers sweatshirt.
Special Ability: Can throw down cheesy dance moves anytime, anywhere, without embarrassment, with a 97.5% chance of inducing discomfort in others.
Brief Bio: I got this job by answering one simple question: “Have you beaten Uncharted on Crushing mode?” My answer was, of course, yes; I’m a trophy completionist, I’m obsessed with the Uncharted series, and I’m not-so-secretly in love with Nathan Fillion. They accepted me and my (mostly) non sequitur about Captain Tightpants with open arms, and I’ve been playing for Team Del Rey ever since. (In case you were wondering, I’d like to think I’m the Flyhalf of Team Del Rey, but I’m really more like the Fullback. Yes, I like rugby and made a reference that most people won’t understand. What of it?!)


Name: Christopher Krovatin
Class: IP Writer        
Allegiances: Del Rey/Spectra, Slayer, the Devil.
Strength: 5           Stamina: 6           Speed: 4           Intelligence: Milkshake
Spawn Location: Hoboken, NJ.
Security Level: Extremely high. Full Oxford shirt containment required on all professional levels.
Tool/weapons: Morbid tattoos, brooding scowl, disarming smile, blaring iPod, overactive imagination.
Abilities: At any given time, I can accurately sing most heavy metal riffs, babble incessantly about George Romero, and explain why Joe Kelly should never have left Deadpool.
Catchphrases: “Word.” “Hell yes!” “Let me know if you have anything lying around that I can do.”
Brief bio:  My first assignment at Del Rey involved creating a race of radioactive telepathic giant squid. Since then, I’ve written histories for super power-enducing drugs, creatively slandered business tycoon J.P. Morgan, and learned more about the Darksiders universe than any man should know. My eventual goal is to construct a tiny arena where editor Mike Braff and my tattoos can fight while the whole Del Rey/Spectra team scream and bet their rent money. I have a soft spot for zombies; it’s just below my right ear. Give me two paragraphs and three hours, and I’ll give you a world.


Name: Tom Hoeler
Class: Del Rey Editorial Intern
Level:  1 (Duking it out with kobolds in the mine for now, but hoping I get that life altering “bring this letter to the captain of the guard” quest really soon)
Alignment: Neutral Good or whichever one Batman is.
Movie quotes, home cooked meals and baked goods, a D20, and plastic Cap Shield. Also pretty good with a lightsaber (Form II).
Armor: + 10 Batman and Star Wars t-shirts, immunity to caffeine.
Special Ability: Can operate on less sleep than a Cylon (note: Tom is not a Cylon). Uses that to see all the movies, read all the books, and play all the video games. (Yes, even that one and that one too.)
Brief Bio: I don’t really remember how I got this internship. Whenever I think about my interview I get this warm fuzzy feeling and everything gets a little blurry. I’m pretty sure I didn’t form a coherent sentence the entire time and whether or not I actually drew a breath is up for debate. Whatever the reason – maybe because I actually offered to sit under someone’s desk –  here I am, dodging, ducking, dipping, diving and dodging around whatever projects they throw at me, trying to prove that accountants actually knows how words work. (That last run-on sentence probably isn’t helping my case.) Yes, I used to be an accountant, but I decided to respec. Numbers got totally nerf’d in the last patch.


Name: Logan Balestrino
Class: Publishing Assistant
Level: 8 (Got sidetracked in the Fortress of Business Narratives for a bit. I won’t say it counts as negative experience, but it definitely takes longer to level-up there.)
Alignment: Lawful Neutral, but my alter ego is Lawful Evil so watch out.
Spawn Location: Michigan
Weapons: Encyclopedic Lord of the Rings knowledge (+10 to nerd cred), Master Sword (+5 to gaming), References to anime/manga (+5 to element of surprise, -3 for social awkwardness)
Armor: TARDIS t-shirt (+5 to wibbly wobbly timey wimey), Five-inch heels (+5 to intimidation, -2 to comfort)
Special Abilities: Can convince anyone at anytime that the villain/antagonist of a movie/book/show is better than the protagonist(s); 96.7% increased chance of success if character in question is any of the following: Jaime Lannister, Loki, WolfStar, Darcia the Third (+5 Bad Boy Fangirl). Can identify movies after hearing brief snippets of their soundtracks (+3 Useless Trivia).
Weaknesses: Cheekbones, pasta, humidity.
Brief Bio: Spent 2 years as an editorial assistant working on business books and nonfiction, but no one there appreciated my Doctor Who and Legend of Zelda references. When this position opened up at Del Rey/Spectra I jumped on it like the job was a piece of delicious, delicious pie and my resume was a fork. Currently making up for time lost in the Fortress of Business Narratives with Farscape marathons and Fridays devoted entirely to anime (seriously, how great was Durarara!!?).


Now, you probably already know this Del Rey veteran, but we wanted to reintroduce you anyway! …Ok, to be honest, he already had a character sheet made up. It went down something like this.

Name: Mike Braff
Class: Del Rey Associate Editor
Level: 14
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Spawn Location: NYC
Strength/Stamina/Speed: 15/11/5
Weapons: Goofiness (+5 to charm), awful puns (+5 to eye-rolling), Red Editing Pen of Margathoth (+10 to literature, -5 to author happiness)
Armor: The Jorts of Relaxation (+5 to comfort), magical tattoos (+10 to intimidation, -5 to being taken seriously), Beard of Righteousness (+4 to fantasy cred)
Special Ability: Nerd Rage – Goes into a berserker-like state of indignation giving bonuses to flail (+3), fanboyism (+5), and unnecessary debate (+3).  Two-turn cooldown needed (or one-turn if you play an “Episode of Firefly” token).
Brief Bio: Mike stumbled into his editorial role after presumably climbing out of a New York City sewer (Ninja Turtles-style) or being banished from another dimension for his ridiculousness; details of his origin are hazy.  What is known is that Mike loves to edit and acquire books for Del Rey and is known to carry high the banner of literature, tv, film, and games that he loves.  Alternately, he is known as Dreamsquisher for much of the unpublished author community who are unlucky enough to offend his sensibilities with their sub-par submissions.


We hope you enjoyed meeting each of us, and that you’ll introduce yourselves in the comments! This is going to be a monthly post, so keep your eyes peeled for us in September.


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