Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Cast of Set To Kill

As my regular readers know I'm writing this new book called Set to Kill: a murder mystery that takes place at "WyvernCon" in Atlanta.

Yes, WyvernCon. Because I'm subtle.

I have two groups at WyvernCon, the Tearful Puppies (the Hydrophobic Puppies didn't show up), and their Puppy Punters ("Dog Catchers" didn't convey my meaning).

It's been a while since I talked about Set to Kill, but I thought that now might be a good time to go into who's who in the world of Set to Kill.

You might remember the description is along the lines of
After the events of "A Pius Stand," Sean A.P. Ryan has spent the last year in Italy, keeping his head down and his mouth shut. But now, he has been brought out of his exile for one big job: security at the world's largest science fiction convention, WyvernCon. His mission? To keep the peace between two factions warring over the "coveted" Hubble Awards -- the Tearful Puppies and the Puppy Punters. Even though Sean has a bad feeling about it, he takes the job, expecting a relatively quiet weekend.

Unfortunately, Sean soon learns that he has a bounty on his head. Every bounty hunter and mercenary within shouting distance of the internet is descending on the convention, each of them set on killing him. And his enemies list is long enough to cover half the free world, and most of the world still in chains.
If that wasn't bad enough, the first casualties of the War of the Puppies happen at the convention. Could it have been one of the Puppies, who are all armed and dangerous? Or could it have been one of the Punters, who claim pacifist tendencies, and fanatical devotion to their cause?

With the bodies piling up, and the attacks becoming more frequent, Sean has to discover who wants him dead, and who the true Puppy killer is, before all of WyvernCon goes down in flames.
For the record, The Pius Trilogy is NOT essential to following Set to Kill, though you might want to have it, just in case. Just saying. Please remember that the entire Pius Trilogy will no longer be there after this Friday, November 18, 2016, due to my deal with the publisher.

Now, just so you have a better sense of the setup with Set to Kill, I want to discuss some of the cast ... or, more precisely, the suspects.

I should note now that there are NO SIMILARITIES between the following characters and real life people. None. At all. Ever. Honest. Would I lie?

Tearful Puppies include ....

Gary Castelo, intergalactic lord of rage / dark lord of the fisk.
Described as being around seven feet tall, he's really only 6'5". He uses a tetsubo like a walking stick.

Don't know what a tetsubo looks like?

Well, here's a photo of a random person on Google Image search holding a tetsubo.

What's that you say? That's Larry Correia holding a tetsubo? Why, yes, I do believe you're right. Isn't that funny.

Needless to say, Gary Castelo, intergalactic lord of rage / dark lord of the fisk, has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with Larry Correia ... International Lord of Hate...Nothing at all. It's a complete and utter coincidence.

Rachel Hartley, Vile yet Glamorous Fairy Princess
Sturdily built, with more of an oval face. She even had dimples. She was a few pounds on the heavy side, but overall, quite cute. Looks early 30s, but is probably more in her early 40s. Still cute. Occasionally talks with what sounds like a Pottsylvanian accent, despite being from the opposite end of Europe. Fans of hers continually try to get her to talk about "Moose and Squirrel."

Obviously, there's no one on the planet Earth who looks like her, so do I even need a disclaimer on her?


Jesse James, and his daughters Faith and Sophia. Do not mention the old west outlaw to him. He is commonly known for destroying whole planetary populations in his novels. He doesn't like the daylight, and during conventions, seems to run on Red Bull. He dresses almost entirely in golf shirts or kilts.

The Great and Powerful Barbara, Queen of all things Goth
She is wife to Jesse James. Described as almost living black leather, which emphasizes her nice figure … and her blue hair. Or, as Sean AP Ryan sums it up, "the hot, blue-haired goth chick.”

Let's just say that someone comes close to touching her kids, and words like "terrifying Valkyrie" are used.

Omar Gunderson
His first introduction:
"The guy with the flamethrower started, then smiled at him with a broad, almost skeletal-like grin. He was of average height, with a balding head that looked almost as perfectly symmetrical as a basketball."

Colonel George Bradley
Army Colonel. Not much is known about him, aside from the fact that he gives off a public appearance of George Patton, and thinks Sun Tzu is a sissy.

Described as

The older man smiled, which, on him, always looked more like baring teeth. His bright blue eyes twinkled with amusement. The man's head looked like it had been carved from granite, and Sean was a little worried about the possibility that he would ever have to headbutt him—Sean might suffer a skull fracture.

Then he takes a phone call from his wife, and speaks "in a voice so sweet, he sounded like someone else."

Tom Knighton
.... Yeah, no contest. It's Tom. I asked if he wanted to be in this one, he said yes.

Cryomancer, an Australian artist... she's friends with a Papa Warhog.

Her first appearance looks like..
"Sean turned. At his shoulder, there was a tiny slip of a woman. She was Asian, with a broad, smiling face. Her deep brown hair was combed back on her right side, and covered her left, going diagonally past her eye. Her glasses were wire-framed, and she had cute, dangly earrings. She wore an outfit too long to be considered a little black dress. Sean was grateful he didn't turn around too fast. She looked like if he had collided with her, he would have broken her. She wasn't even five-feet tall, and a size two, at best."

There is, of course, no similarities to the Australian artist Shadowdancer.

Or anyone else.


Calvin Y, "Crazy Cal" Jefferson.
Gun smith. Sword smith. Described as looking a little like Freddy Mercury.

Agnes O'Day, leader of the Hydrophobic Puppies.  Actually, come to think of it, I don't even think she makes an appearance in the entire novel.  The nicest thing said about Madam O'Day is, well....
“Agnes O'Day. She's mostly an American ex-pat who lives in Europe. Most of her comments are race-based, with a lot of sociology on top of that.”
Sean blinked, nodded, pretending as though he had some idea of what Knighton was talking about, and said, “Uh huh … such as?”
“Well, simple concept: That every culture goes through stages of development. And that every culture develops at a different rate. Sounds okay, right?”
“Sure,” Sean agreed. “Heck, when the Conquistadors met the Aztecs, they didn't even have the wheel or understand sailing vessels, but they had multistory buildings. What's so controversial about that?”
“Yes, now if I say that every culture has been, as she puts it, 'savage,' is that a problem?” Knighton asked.
Sean chuckled. “Last year, I went toe-to-toe with half of NATO because they wanted to break up everything in the Vatican and distribute the parts. I don't need a slide-rule for that.”
“Now, what happens if she declares all of Africa as still in the savage stage of development?”
Sean raised a brow. “It comes off as a little racist. Not even I would say the entire continent. I've got a friend who was shot to pieces saving my ass, and he was an Egyptian cop.”
“Exactly,” Knighton concurred. “And now you see why there are problems with Agnes O'Day and, well, most of the association of SF&F writers....And that's when O'Day is being nuanced. There are days she just lets fly.”

Puppy Punters include

Patty and Terry Smith-Smythe-Smits, publishers at Rot books (Name of Publisher to change ... I hear "Midden" is a good idea).
They are both asexual. They dress in brown leather and combat boots. It's hard to tell which one is the loud boisterous one, and which is the quiet one who always nods and says "Yes dear."

They have a minion named Fred Moshevsky, a drooling hunchback with slick, greasy hair.

Kendall Adler, who draws on company walls with crayon

Author S Typhoon Teacup
Fat, squat, and toadlike racist, who had declared a Fatwa on any authors who don't look like her.

Johnny Noah Prada
Really, he's just a stuck up snot who dresses in nothing but tweeds.

Nicole K.Victoria Daalman.
With initials like that, do I even need to describe her?

And Charles RR Martinez. ... who is so white it's pronounced Martin-es.
Described as "taller than Sean thought, though not by much. The short Santa Claus beard didn't help much, though. And the fisherman's cap on his head looked strange, but then again, some people needed a brand."

Obviously, looks like no one we know.

Yama "Crabs"Marshman, out of the back end of Massachusetts. From what we can tell, he hasn't done anything that anyone can really get him on—not lately. Agnes O'Day sicced a horde of PIs on Marshman, and got him banned from the Internet. Since then, Marshman has rotated targets, and he feels brave enough to cyber-stalk Cryomancer via rotating IP-anonymizers, but everyone knows it's him under a half-dozen different Internet aliases. He has a distinctive style of crazy.

Do I even need a disclaimer? Of COURSE a snot like this would never exist.

And, of course, Jerry Friedman, an aging author still claiming cred for a popular creation over 50 years ago, the Hairballs. He tends to dress like Oscar Wilde after ingesting LSD.

There are, of course, a few friends of mine tucked in here, at the corners, at least so they could make cameos. I couldn't stuff in everybody I wanted to, because otherwise, the book would have been double the length.

For example, there's one guy described in the lines as

There was also a guy who was dressed like an angry dwarf, even though he was too tall to be a dwarf, wearing a booze keg on his back, and using a war hammer as a walking stick, wearing a name tag that read “Brodder.” There was an impromptu party happening in the lines around him.

Sean eats at least once from the Aloha Snack Bar

The investigative detective is a Jim Bellmore....

One of Sean's security guys on this case is a member of the 501st named Moses Lambert....

There's at least one fellow who seems to have a "Professor X wheelchair, only made out of Legos."

You get the idea.

Overall, to be honest? This might be one of my better books. It's a better one shot than It Was Only on Stun!, though some people might fight me on that one.

And yes, Set to Kill is set after The Pius Trilogy.  If you care what happens in The Pius Trilogy, everything Pius will only last UNTIL THIS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 18TH. This book takes place after the actual trilogy, so if you want to only buy A Pius Stand, that should catch you up. Though I recommend the entire trilogy. However, I should stress that YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY ANYTHING PIUS TO READ SET TO KILL. Seriously.

Anyway, Set to Kill is available for preorder right now.

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