Monday, February 29, 2016

Flashback blog: Strong Female Character Syndrome

Yes, today is the last day of voting for Sad Puppies 4 nominations. Yes, I know that this is a thing that can lead to all sorts of interesting possibilities. And yes, I'm recycling a blog. Why? Because time. And radio shows. And because I fisked this latest one in October. And I'm having heart palpitations just thinking about SP4, okay? Just vote or read, please.

I believe it was Stuart West who told me in private correspondence that he appreciated how many strong female characters I have. I was a little thrown there because it took me a moment to figure out what he was talking about.

In my novels, I have Manana Shushurin, who's a spy that's more James Bond than George Smiley.  She reads, likes music, has a degree from Wittenberg university .... has no social life, and technically, lives with her mother (technically, I say, because she really lives in her office). She also has a secret that's eating a hole in her life.

I also have Maureen McGrail.  She's an Interpol detective, local Dublin cop, relentless, tenacious, and she knows about three martial arts.  She's also pining for a guy who came into her life, swept her off of her feet (just by being himself, really) and disappeared, without showing even a hint of romantic interest in her.

Then there's Wilhelmina Goldberg, who is 4'11", computer nerd, daughter of two esoteric languages nerds. She likes science fiction and fantasy, programs her computer to talk like characters out of Lord of the Rings, and has a subscription to Security magazine.

In context, I should point out that Stuart was using the strong female character comment as a segue into a completely different point, an issue he found in my writing. (Apparently, I shouldn't be putting in bust size as far as describing a female character.  I neglected to tell Stuart that if I knew anything about clothing, I would probably include men's jacket sizes to paint a clearer, more accurate picture of them, too. But I don't know any men who are the sizes I need. Me? OCD?  Nah....)

In any case, the SFC term struck me, and stuck with me.

And then there was this article, entitled I hate Strong Female Characters.  If you read through it, you might find a few points to agree with, and a few problems.

Now, I agree with the author on the initial point.  I also have problems with the SFC label. I really do, because it tends to detract from, oh, the point. In the example they used of Buffy-- she was smart, witty, with outside the box solutions to non-vampire problems (shall we start with the fertilizer bomb in the high school, or the rocket launcher?).  But "Strong" is the only descriptor one can come up with?

In my own work, I spent so much time on developing characters like Manana and Wilhelmina, their quirks and habits and hobbies, that I feel a little awkward if the best description anyone can come up with about them is just "strong."

Though you want my problem with this author?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Catholic Geek: Animal Farm with Cats 02/28 by We Built That Network

The Catholic Geek: Animal Farm with Cats 02/28 by We Built That Network | Books Podcasts:

Author Kia Heavey (co-founder, Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance, author of Night Machines) comes on the show to discuss her latest book, Domino, with host Declan Finn.

Kia Heavey was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City. She graduated from Barnard College with a degree in German Literature and went to work as a creative professional in advertising. Her hobbies include fishing, music, reading, hiking, and most of all, being with her family. Her husband is Chief of Police in their hometown. They have two children and a cat.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Signs you might be a Declan Finn Character

Over at the Mad Genius Club, Sarah Hoyt put together a list of signs that you might be a fictional character.

I looked at that and thought -- hey, great idea! How can I steal -- I mean, adapt it?

Because her list doesn't exactly apply to my characters. Heh heh heh.  Let me show you a few things.

1. Your life is, for the most part, boring. Weeks can go by, and you're not doing anything that would interest anybody but yourself. Then, something strange and / or explody happens in the middle of one of your boring, mundane tasks.

-- I like giving my characters hobbies. And the majority of their time is boring. Heck, how much of the first part of the Pius Trilogy was just "Here's the Vatican, here's Vatican security, this is how our day-to-day is."

2.... is similar to Hoyt's, but I think I'll combine that with #10, because there are differences.

3. You have family. In fact, you might have a more complete family tree than some real people. In some cases, Mormon geneologists are blinking going "Um, no" at how far back you can trace your family tree.

--This might have to do with the fact that I had a Sean Patrick Ryan in the far future BEFORE I wrote It Was Only On Stun! or A Pius Anything, and there will be a lot of the family business going around. And because when I develop a character, I write their biography (see #10)

4. There is Something Very Wrong with you.

--Come now, surely you must have noticed that everybody I've written is a little off. The Ryan family likes being shot at. Marco might be a serial killer. Matthew Kovach has barely started yet. And the less said about Middle Earth's Most Wanted Elven Assassin, the better.  Why is this? you ask. Probably because most of the people I know in real life are a little off.

5. You're a little paranoid, and cynical that the world is out to get you ... because the world seems to be out to get you. If Murphy's Law is religion, you must be a saint.

-- This is what I call the Die Hard 2 effect.  Remember how, at the end of the second film, John McClane's wife asks, "Why does this keep happening to us?" Almost all of my characters will, at one point or other, stop reflect on their experiences, and go "Seriously, Murphy, stop."

6. Your love life is slow, and gradual, with sudden sharp peaks along the way.

--For those people who have read Honor at Stake, I don't like to rush my romance subplots ... or main plots ... or anything like that.  My characters don't ever, EVER, leap into bed with another person. Because, I'm sorry, people who screw on the first date make be seriously worry about them. Honestly, who does that?

7. You feel pain, and you get hurt, but only by certain people, and usually by the end of the adventure.

-- Because if I had all of my characters be easily injured by every bad guy, they probably wouldn't survive to the end of the novel. And I grew up playing video games, so .... BOSS FIGHT.

8. You don't let pain or injury bother you until later.

--Based mostly on the fact that there are a lot of guys out there in SpecOps who essentially run on adrenaline until after.  And then they feel it.  Oh boy do they feel it.

9. Expect to be locked in a room with someone with whom you will generate some sort of spark -- romantic or antagonistic, or something interesting.

--Because I grew up on The Prisoner and Babylon 5 (when J. Michael Straczysnki locks two people in an elevator, he really locks them in an elevator.)

#10.  You remember being shot at. A lot. And frequently.  And you remember all of them in insane detail.

--This is because some deranged nutcase can't start a backstory without writing a short story.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pius Covers

So, remember when Dawn Witzke was so put off by my covers for Pius Holidays and Pius Origins that she went out of her way to make me new ones?

She then went and took a whack at the Pius Trilogy.

New covers, coming soon in some cases, include....

Book 1

And, of course...

I think they look rather nice, don't you think?

Yes, I'm not giving up on the Pius Trilogy.  Ever, really.

Don't worry, it's going to get stranger, I'm sure.

Dawn makes her book covers for sale -- right here. Go, enjoy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Set to Kill, Chapter 8: Leveling Tokyo

Here we go again.

FYI: Sorry about disappearing for a few days, But I've been seriously freaking tired lately, and there are more than a few people who want my time, so it's good to take a few days every so often.

Coming soon: Stupid Puppy Kicking tricks, and Tor.

And sometimes, they're the same thing.

Be well.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016


So, in the last few days, I've lost some of the more interesting people on Twitter.

In fact, I've lost the most interesting people on Twitter (as much as I love some of my friends on Twitter, they aren't that active).

Larry Correia? Gone

Daddy Warpig (long story)? Gone.

Actor Adam Baldwin (Firefly, The Last Ship, Independence Day)? Gone. And he went out with a bang.

So, what's gone wrong with Twitter?

To start with, Twitter has created its own Committee for Public Safety.  Yes, that's right, they've decided to go the way of the French Revolution.  But instead of Public Safety, it's the Trust and Safety Council. Instead of Robespierre, we've got ... wait for it ...

Anita Sarkeesian.

"Wait, Declan," I hear you ask, "who the bleep is that?"

Remember Gamergate? I had like two posts on it. Sarkeesian is the one who doesn't know writing tropes, who I fisked into next Tuesday.

Yes, she's the one in charge of censoring and purging Twitter.  There is "shadowbanning" (where you don't know that your followers can't see you anymore), and the outright deletion of conservative JOURNALISTS from Twitter. Yes, you read that correctly -- if you're of the wrong political party, you are made an unperson.

Welcome to freaking Orwell, everyone.

And of course, the insanity? It doesn't stop there. Personally, I've come across some stupid lately.

Look at this thread on Twitter from Liz Bourke.  You remember her, of course -- I fisked her more than once on this blog. She's officially my favorite punching bag at Tor.

If you'll look at the thread above (archived, in case the tweet disappears), you'll see this tweet.


Awww, aren't you a special widdle snowflake! No, seriously, I honestly, honestly hope that she's joking with that one.  I can't imagine someone being stupid enough to be serious about that.

Even Tom Kratman, when he commented on the last time I fisked Bourke, said she wasn't worth the time or trouble.

And frankly, Madam Bourke, the people who comment on my blog are not the people of File 770. Mine are relatively sane. Okay, I have Clamps show up every once in a while, but that's usually if I mention Vox Day or Shadowdancer ... yes, I know I might have just summoned the little s**t to my blog, but he can bite me.

In case you were wondering, Set To Kill refers to psychos like this as SMURFs or CHUDs -- because CHORF will jump at any name. ANY name. Period. I'm surprised they haven't bitched more about being called Puppy-Kickers. Perhaps they just like the name.

But seriously, though, madam Bourke, I fisked you. That's it. "You'll monitor the blog in case of death threats"?

Welcome to Twitter

Criticism? Making death threats

Teasing name calling? They evoke Godwin's law, for reasons.

Parody them? It's "revenge porn."

You have to wonder if they spend days searching Wendell tweets for secret codes to be angry over?

One day, they'll figure out we're laughing at them...

But today? Today is not that day.

So, please Twitter, go ahead, let the Social Justice Weenies take over. See if we care.

Your stock is already dropping, faster and faster. Going after Milo, now everyone else.

When it drops even more like a rock, I look forward to the day when oh, Breitbart, or Larry Correia, or, well, any sane person buys it, then starts firing the top brass, and all the censors.

Have fun, Twitter. I'll be interested to have this conversation again in another two months -- perhaps your stock will fall another 10%.

Until then, I think i'm going to post ads for my books, then down some popcorn.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Set to Kill, Chapter 7: Minions of the Puppy-Kickers

I'm 25,000 words into Set to Kill.  I have copied and pasted a large chunk of Chapter 7 here.


For the record, yes, everyone who read It Was Only On Stun!, there is holdover from that book -- you might recognize the character of author Matthew Kovach.

In this scene, Sean Ryan has just finished reading a section of a parody written by Kovach on his blog.

The parody title is Tearful Puppies Bite Back.

Yes, I'm subtle.

Anyway, Sean has just finished something called "Minions of the Puppy Kickers," which starred Fred Moshevsky, and his bossses, Terry and Patty Smith-Smythe-Smits, editors of Rot books.

Other characters include...

Jesse James, nicknamed "Shiva, destroyer of worlds."
Gary Castelo, the Intergalactic Lord of Hate.
Rachel Hartley, Vile and Glamorous Space Princess
Orion Matthews, professional editor
Kendall Adler, creative director for Rot Books
And Rot authors Johnny Prada and Jerry David

Because subtle.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#SadPuppies news from Camestros Felapton

The author of the blog Camestros Felapton was presented to me as a Puppy-Kicker, and I was sent the link to a a blog post called "What's the saddest level of Sad Puppy Campaigning there is?" and used me as the prime example.

To which I say ... yeah, pretty much. No argument.

Then again, let's face it, I didn't really expect Honor At Stake to have a hope in Hell .... until there WAS a hope in Hell.

I'm still surprised that there is a hope in Hell.

However, as the same person noted, Somewhither, by the awesome John C. Wright, has had another spurt to the top. Going by that graph, I'm currently tied with Jim Butcher.

But, just to let you into my mind a little, focus on that a second. My book, Honor At Stake, is currently tied with a bestselling novelist. Not bad for a nobody from the back end of New York City.

Now, as I said, Camestros Felapton was presented to me as a Puppy-Kicker, and I don't know if he is or not, but he has some nice bits of numbers crunching, as well as some interesting observations here and there, like "Where did Kevin J. Anderson go?" Which is a good question -- I haven't even seen his work in my local bookstores, though I know he must have published something in the last 12 months.

Then again, I'm so far behind in my reading, I've only read The Aeronaut's Windless among the Hugo award nominees. Hell, I'm still on reading LAST year's nominees.

One thing I'm going to point out that's curious, however, is this. This is the graph.

Stolen from here

The recent spike of JCW votes has been, in part, due to posting and counting actual vote counts online. Jagi Lamplighter-Wright posted the most recent count (below) on her Facebook, and there was a sudden spike of voting in general. Do not be shocked. Voting is a combination of quality of book, as well as fan motivation. You can have the best book ever written, but if your fans aren't motivated, you aren't getting any awards.

Expect the votes to go back and forth as both Wright fans and others come to the fore.

Now the only problem I have with the counting? Well, here's the Brian Niemeier count of votes from last week.

Monday, February 15, 2016

TV Review: Lucifer

The premise behind Lucifer is simple enough: it's Origen.

Oh, wait, sorry, you have no idea what I'm talking about? Okay, let's back up.

Once upon a time, Lucifer got bored with Hell and took a vacation running a nightclub in Los Angeles.

Then, one of his pet humans was gunned down right in front of him, Lucifer, following his instincts, wants to hunt down and hurt people in response.

Surprisingly enough, this is a fun little series....

And that's about it. All of the screaming mimis who want to talk about how it's glorifying evil ... it's not. Sure, the actor playing Lucifer is charming -- to a point -- the series doesn't exactly make him look remotely "good," because most of the time, we see him through the eyes of a homicide cop who sees him as a schmuck.

Though, sadly, Lucifer is less evil than Dr. Gregory house ever was.

All in all, it's a fun little show, mostly a murder mystery with some supernatural elements in it, but that's about it. Don't think too hard on the Angelology, or if Lucifer can be redeemed (which, last time I checked, has been bandied about, but is still considered a heresy).

Yes, I was going to do a full review, but I'm too damn tired to care right this moment. The humor is sly, the soundtrack is hilarious, and I'm surprised they've held off on using Sympathy for the Devil. But they'll get there, I'm sure.

Superversive Fiction

So, last week, we discussed evil books, and I even had a lot of feedback.

Now riddle me this, Batman, what makes good fiction? Or at least not-evil books?

Let's use a negative example in this case. The most recent David Baldacci book, Guilty, started almost as a John Grisham novel. Our hero, government assassin Will Robie, goes home to rural Mississippi after hearing that his father is arrested for murder. The conclusion of the book is, SPOILER, it turns out that Will Robie's high school sweetheart had been repeatedly raped and molested by her own father, had a kid as a result, and spent decades for revenge on Robie for not personally rescuing her (though he himself had no knowledge of the abuse at the time).

Fun, huh?

No, not really.

I think this is a good example of something that is not edifying.

Seriously, it's right up there with how rape is not entertainment.

You want even halfway decent fiction? You need something that at least adds to you as a person, as opposed to crap in evil books, which at least makes you want to take a shower, if not just bash your head against a wall.  Good fiction should at least be uplifting in some degree.

That's the nice thing about the Sad Puppies list, as opposed to the usual crap that's been nominated over the years for the Hugo. It's edifying. Seriously, look at this list: Neal Stephenson, John C Wright, John Ringo, good solid fiction.

Technically, edifying, or superversive, fiction, isn't new. It's very old fashioned, beginning /middle /end, good guys bad guys fiction. Let's take a look at a classic film where the good guys and bad guys aren't exactly traditional: for example, The Sting. The protagonists there aren't necessarily "good" in the usual sense; after all, they're all con artists. But there's the difference between the more standard rogue versus the film's antagonist, Doyle Lonagan (played by the impeccable Robert Shaw, who could do whatever the bloody heck he liked, really). Our antagonists are murderous pricks, and our protagonists are simple thieves. In the hierarchy of sins, most people will go for the thief over the killer.

I won't say that The Sting is perfect or anything, but as far as con movies go, it was one of the first. Though I think White Collar and Leverage have done better since then. (Best car chase of all time: The Rock ... or The Dead Pool.  Bullitt was just okay in comparison, though I will acknowledge).

But at the end of the day, The Sting is just plane fun. It's about pulling one over on a truly bad guy.

That's one of my problems with Twilight -- is anything uplifting? The best interpretation I've seen was by John C. Wright, wherein he suggested that Twilight was about a man being uplifted and improved by a woman. Sadly, I look at it and see a self-involved, petulant little girl who manipulates everyone around her in her quest to become a super-powered monster, as opposed to the plain old blood-thirsty creature she already was. Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Wright are more perceptive than I am, though I have trouble seeing beyond, well, The Nostalgia Critic version.

Let's look at The Prisoner -- as bizarre and as trippy as it was -- which it was one man versus society, or the system, and resisting all trips and traps and snares designed to make him roll over and play dead, to be just like everybody else. It's something that adds to your life.

As I said, superversive fiction is basic, almost simple storytelling in comparison to some of the crap I've seen out there that tries to be "art." It's the difference between Jackson Pollack and Alex Ross -- Pollack is splashes on a canvas that we're told is art, and Alex Ross is "merely" a comic book artist ... who happens to be hung in the Smithsonian.

At the end of the day, The Sting is better fiction than MacTeague. It's rogues versus a villain. It's Die Hard versus an art house film. One uplifts and edifies and builds you up, and most of the "art" seems to be dedicated to tearing us down, punishing optimism and believing that you're anymore than the glorified meat machines of secular humanism.

At the end of the day, there is more artistry in Die Hard than in an Dan Brown or an Ann Leckie novel -- trust me, I did a two-part blog on it.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Evil Books

I have read few books in my life that I would categorize as evil.  But I'm sure there are some people out there that are. And no, I don't mean a necronomicon. Those are easy -- those books you burn, and don't even ask questions.

No, I mean the type of books you need to take a shower over.

However, there are plenty of books I don't finish. Many I don't even start. Why? Because of some topics of subject matter that I didn't know about in the first place.

I will never read books about child rape. Never. Period. Done. We're finished. If it's mentioned, a footnote in the crimes of the perp, that's one thing, but I will not sit through reading that.

I will never read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- yes, I'm told that the CHAPTER LONG RAPE SCENE is "soooo well written," and I don't care. Period. If it's so important to the story that the readers need that much detail, screw that. I don't need that in my head, I'm screwed up enough. Thanks.

In case you haven't noticed, rape and particularly child rape, will earn you a spot on my personal capitol punishment list. Meaning that I had better not be aware of you within my general vicinity.

We won't even get into 50 Shades of Stupid. After all, who needs porn? Also, why did it have to be so badly written. Yes, take your pick over what offends me more, the porn or the bad writing. Though I have heard enough excerpts being read in funny little voices that I do think it's hilarious bad.

There is, of course, crap writing. George RR Martin seems to spend so much time on snow and ice and dead people that I can't bring myself to care about his work. And I tried. And I failed. Far as I'm concerned, save the world from Martin and run from it.  I expect the series to end with everybody dead.  That's not evil, that's just a one-trick pony. The only reason a lot of people seem to be reading the books is to see who the last one standing is.

And then there are books like Dan Brown. Message fiction. If you don't believe me, (SPOILERS) the last Dan Brown, Inferno, ended with a third of the world being sterilized. And instead of our heroes doing something reasonable, like trying to stop it, our heroes shrug and go "Oh well, the bad guy was right, overpopulation is a threat to everybody. Screw these people."

No, that's not exactly how they put it, but that's pretty much what I walked away with.

One book I finished in my youth was called MacTeague, something that film buffs would know of via the train wreck that was the 9-hour Eric von Strohiem film Greed. The premise was that a big dumb dentist fell in love with the girl his best friend has his eyes one. The best friend "magnanimously" allows the title doofus to marry the girl.  The girl then wins lotto (yes, really) and clings to every penny like Scrooge. It ends with the title character killing his wife for the cash, riding of into the desert, pursued by his former best friend (who's interested only in the money).

The finale is the two of them, in the desert, with no water, still arguing about the money. All the while I could hear Indiana Jones from Temple of Doom, screaming "You, are going, to DIE."

I think that was the second time in my life I wanted to fling a book across the room. Because evil and stupid people, all of whom you'd rather see die .... all die. And you wonder "Why did I just burn brain cells on all of this?" Answer: Because it was assigned reading in high school.

Sadly, most of the crap books I had to finished were due to "education." Lord of the Flies and Catcher in the Rye are two books that I'm relatively certain that have added nothing to my life. Honestly, the first one was just literary Thomas Hobbes (who I generally disagree with on a philosophical level anyway) and the other was the narration from a teenager who had a nervous breakdown because he couldn't handle becoming a grownup.

As CS Lewis once put into the mouth of a demon, Screwtape, "Of course you can't tempt your primary soul today, that field that protects him comes from reading a good book. You must stop him from doing that. You want him to read "important" books. Books that he'll hate."

So, do yourself a favor everyone. Go out, and read fun books. Books you're going to enjoy. Because life is too short because someone tells you "this book is important."

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

In #SadPuppies we trust

So, news flash ...

For the moment, my novel Honor at Stake is now the #1 puppy contender for Best Novel under the recommended reading list.
Compiled by Brian Niemeier, taken from his FB page

To begin with, I would like to thank everyone for their support. I'm still bowled over. I'm still wondering where the wave of Butcher fans are (though they might have looked at last year's Hugos and decided "Why bother?"), but right now, I'll take it.

To start with, I would like to thank Brian Niemeier, mostly for putting together this list in the first place -- if he hadn't pointed out how close all of this was, my fans wouldn't know to make this push. And I would like to thank all the fans who voted for me in the first place.

Now, what does this mean? Does it mean that I have a lock on a Hugo nomination? No.

1) To start with, this isn't a Sad Puppy lock right now.  With a solid surge of voters, I could be knocked off the #1 spot, so keep that in mind. This is not set in stone. If I have any more fans left out there, now would be a good time to dial in, just in case.

2) Now, is this a lock for a Hugo Nomination?  No, people still need to show up and vote for that one, too.

3) There will be ten nominees for Sad Puppies 4, and five for the final Hugo nominations. So, when this list is parsed down, there can only be 5.

This top ten list has 18 people on it.  Let's break it  down a bit.

I cannot see NK Jemisin or Ann Leckie taking a Sad Puppy nomination. I just can't see it happening.

John Ringo has made it quite clear that he will not accept a Hugo, because they never gave his editor Jim Baen a Hugo, so "screw 'em."

We're now down to 15 people for 10 spots, two of which have completely opened up.

However, assuming that everything I just predicted will happen -- and that's a lot of presuming -- that means the list will look more like it stops below JM Stirling.

Take this list from above.  Compare and contrast, eliminating Ringo, Leckie, and Jemisin, and counting the folks from the top down.  And it looks more like this list.
1. Honor at Stake, Declan Finn
2 -3. Seveneves / Somewhither
4- 6. The AeroNaut's Windlass / Uprooted / A Long Time Until Now
7 - 8.  Raising Caine  / The Just City
9. The Desert and the Blade
10 Golden Son 
If you're wondering why I'm counting Golden Son by itself, it's because Vox Day picked him, so I'm expecting his name to be crashing through this list in short order. Vox has himself a lot of minions

4) So, now what? Well, we've got a top ten list that is not necessarily written in stone. The List will be closed out either in February or early March, and then spread around the universe. So the next 20-30 days will probably be important.

Wow, this has been fun. And bizarre as heck. But let's see where this yellow brick road takes us, and hope the paving doesn't include landmines.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

For the love of #SadPuppies

So, remember how I mentioned not too long ago that I was #5 in the nominations list for the Sad Puppies recommendation list?

Guess what.

List compiled by Brian Niemeier
From Data at SP4

I'm still there.

Now, obviously, the list is a little more sane. Butcher really should be on top.  Brian Niemeier's Nethereal I expect to get a bigger bump.  Why? Because Larry Correia himself tweeted about Nethereal, so I was expecting to be blown right off the list.

As I look at how close I am, I have to ponder just how strange this is. It really is odd. Last year I had barely heard of Larry Correia, and had to get caught up on Sad Puppies in a hurry just to wrap my brain around what had happened to the Hugos since the last time I page attention to them (PS: the last Hugo I cared about before SP3 was the one given to Babylon 5, so nearly 20 years ago).

And honestly? I hadn't expected to get a "Sad Puppies 4: The Embiggening" nomination in the first place for best novel.  Sad Puppies Bite Back? Sure. Absolutely. It was bizarre and brought THOUSANDS of people to the blog. But who heard of Honor at Stake? Heck, I'm not even sure who the hell nominated it in the first place.

But now that I have a shot, I think I'd like to go for it.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Catholic Geek: Superbowl Edition

The Catholic Geek: Superbowl Edition

Host Declan Finn once against tackles a broadcast all by himself by completely ignoring the Superbowl, but does stop to make fun of Liz Bourke of Tor, Marvel's tv shows, and deliver some news about Deadpool, the Hugos, and maybe even do a reading from his work. Again.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Set To Kill, Chapter 5

Welcome to more pieces and parts of my upcoming novel Set To Kill.  I'm already on page 56, but the is was a slow week.  Sorry about that.

If you don't remember what Set To Kill is, it's the sequel to my novel It Was Only On Stun.

Thursday, the day before WyvernCon
Sean Ryan finished the SWATting of Colonel Bradley, then looked at Matthew Kovach like the man had grown three heads. “What the hell is this?” he demanded, handing the author back his iPad.
More or less what happened,” Kovach said.
Come on, this is so unbelievable, no one has land mines—”
Bradley cleared his throat. “I do.”
Sean's head whipped around so fast, whiplash was not out of the question. “Really? How much of this was real?”
I don't have any bloodstained crosses,” he said casually. “And I didn't force the SWAT team to undergo training. And I certainly don't act like that around my wife.”
Bradley's phone rang and he immediately answered it. He hopped up and marched off to the side, the last words he heard from him were “Hey, honey. How are you, pumpkin?” in a voice so sweet, he sounded like someone else.
Sean blinked as though he'd been slapped. “Huh. Well, I guess there can be a lot more truth in fiction than I thought.”
Just wait until you see my books,” Kovach said.
Sean frowned, “I'm almost afraid to ask.” He looked back to the authors. “Now, all of you people have been SWATted?”
Everybody nodded, even the two on laptops.
Now, did anyone actually die during any of these? Obviously, none of you did, but were there casualties?”
The author on the laptop, in the kilt, laughed. “I only had a few of them bruised. My kids play rough.”
Sean blinked, opened his mouth, and he saw Declan Finn already scrolling through his iPad to find that writeup. “I don't think I want to know just now. Though I must ask, your name, sir?”
Jessie James.”
Of course you are. “Your parents sure they wanted Jessie? Not William or Henry?”
Like I haven't heard that one –” James stopped and looked up from his computer for a moment, still typing without looking at the screen. “Okay, I haven't actually heard that one before. They usually ask where my brother Frank is.”
Glad I can oblige.” He looked over the others. “Anyone other casualties?”
One of the others, who looked like Freddy Mercury (only straight), with mustache and slicked-back black hair, chuckled. “Only scrapes and bruises.”
Even I survived mine,” Kovach joked. His smile faded. “But, seriously, Sean, the SMURFs have pulled out all of the stops trying to sabotage the livelihoods of everyone here. Check out Amazon sometime, and see how many one-star reviews out and out state that it's because the author is a Puppy backer, and you'll see that this has been a concerted effort. It's a little annoying at this point.” The author smiled. “Let's just say I'm happy that I've kept my temper in check.”
Sean nodded. He'd seen a few of the bodies Kovach had left behind. “Gotcha.” He looked back to the others. “I have to ask, then – why didn't a single one of you ask WyvernCon for more security? Let's say this is all true, that none of you, and none of your fans, made even the slightest threat against the smuts –”
SMURFs,” a chorus corrected him.
“—then why did only one side ask for help?”
Gary Castelo laughed, once more seeming like the ghost of Christmas Present. “I own a gun range. Figure it out.” He nodded to Kovach. “You read his write up of Bradley's SWATting experience. Do the math.”
The one Sean labeled as “Freddie Mercury” said, “I'm Werner Y. Jefferson. In addition to being an author, I'm a gunsmith, and I make my own swords. As Gary says, do the math.”
Jessie James didn't even look up from the laptop. “Yeah, don't even start with me. Someone else can go.”
Rachel Hartley reached under her chair and brought out a tactical umbrella, with a solid iron core. “I'm good with this.”
But in all honesty,” Omar Gunderson said, “We don't need it. These guys are, at best, keyboard commados. Sure, sic a SWAT team on us via 9-1-1? Not a problem. But you've met the leaderships of some of our … antagonists?”
Gary chuckled. “Mild annoyances?”
Omar shrugged. “Sure. Like it or not, we're not in a place where they can come and get us. Even if they call a SWAT team on us again here, in Atlanta, there's no way that they would get past the front desk. It's hard to SWT someone in a hotel, you know?”
And let's face it, there's no way in Hell they'd take us on one-on-one,” Kovach said. “Unless they have some psycho foot soldiers around, of course. Heh. But let's face it, what are the odds of that?”

That's when someone coming up the Hyatt's back stairs and wheeled on the patio with a gun.

Monday, February 1, 2016

LIstening to Puppy Kickers

So, last week, Liz bourke saw my article....

Okay, I found her Twitter account and I deliberately tagged her in EVERY fisk and dissection I've done of her articles. (a whole three, brought up last time).

Her response?