Friday, April 28, 2017

Music blog: Pokémon - Tina Guo

So, take one part the Piano Guys (who seem to mostly be the Cello Guys), take Lindsey Stirling's Cosplay and play list, and put into the body of a not unattractive Asian chick.

Enter, Tina Guo.

Anyway, I'm still at RavenCon. If I haven't been hit by a car yet,




The Dragon Awards are open and ready for nominations, and I have a list of suggestions you might want to take a look at. If you already  have a good idea of what you want, just click here to go and vote for them immediately. The instructions are right there.


The Love at First Bite series. 

    

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Music to Write to: Game of Thrones - Tina Guo

So, while I'm away at RavenCon, music.

Again, more Tina Guo.

Seriously, she wants to be Lindsey Stirling when she grows up.



And, while you're at it, The Dragon Awards are open and ready for nominations, and I have a list of suggestions you might want to take a look at. If you already  have a good idea of what you want, just click here to go and vote for them immediately. The instructions are right there.


The Love at First Bite series. 

    

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Signing at RavenCon




EDIT: DISREGARD ALL OF THE BELOW!!! DUE TO A CANCELLATION, I WILL BE SIGNING AT RAVENCON AT 5PM, ON SATURDAY.



So, in my infinite wisdom (read: I am a total moron) I booked myself for six panels and a reading at RavenCon. Cool, right?

I didn't pen myself in for any signings.

Now, RavenCon has given me the option of dropping one of these panels in place of a signing. However, they have requested that I don't drop a panel I'm moderating.

On the one end, I can either drop "Where do you get your ideas".....but that's on Friday, start of the Con, and most people will probably not even know who I am.

I can do one at 6 PM on Friday ... and miss the meet and greet. So, same problem.

I can skip the "Paranormal Romance" panel .... which should be a panel I really, really attend, given my books, don't you think?

At the end of the day, I think I should probably just skip the official signing entirely.

So if you see a big fat moron wandering around RavenCon in a bright yellow jacket, lugging a big black suitcase on wheels, that would be me. You can wave me down, and we can meet in a dark, shady corner of the con, and, like drug dealers, make a deal, cash for books, $10 a pop. The first one isn't free.

I've been offered a spot in and /or around the Baen Barfly Con suite to hang out, so I can be found there, if you're interested in hunting me down. No, it isn't a signing or anything, it's just where I can be found.

And it's Wednesday, so I can't imagine anyone wants to order a book today, and hope it arrives before they leave for RavenCon. But if you want to give it a shot, check yesterday's blog.

Be well.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fantasy In the (Modern) City Questions, at RavenCon, 2017




According to my RavenCon Schedule, I'm moderating two panels.

Yesterday, I posted how I intend to do one panel as a moderator. Today, the other.

Fantasy In the (Modern) City

Description: With the rise in popularity of urban-based fantasies, so increases the complexity of storytelling. Sure, you know what's happening in a modern world. But does including a fantastical element have its own challenges? Discuss the challenges of writing fantasy in a modern setting, and how the different choices made by authors influenced their stories.


This one should be a collection of basically easy questions.

  • Introduce yourself, and tell us of your Urban Fantasy Cred.
  • One of the reasons that this panel is named the fantasy of MODERN urban fantasy is that urban fantasy goes back at least as far as 500 years, back to Thomas More's utopia. You don't get much more fantastic than a society with toilets made of gold. Urban fantasy as we understand it today could be defined as Bram Stoker's novel Dracula -- as he was a mythological monster in an urban sprawl like London. How would you describe the difference between urban fantasy and horror? Or should we just say that in horror, it takes more than an air strike to destroy the threat?
  • Every city has their own quirks, nuances and attitudes. San Francisco isn't New York, and isn't Chicago. When working with urban fantasy, how much do you tend to focus on the city and their interactions with fantastical elements? Do you figure the inhabitants of each city would react differently to the supernatural, or is the city just a backdrop where events happen?
  • How do each of you handle the interaction between fantasy and urban elements in each of your novels? Are they open and out of the casket? Are they secretive? Or are only certain elements of society, like the police, aware that something else is out there?
  • Now that we've beaten the urban element to death a little, let's focus a bit on the modern. How do you have modern technology interact with beasties? Are vampires visible on digital cameras? Do the fae use cell phones? [Note to self: discuss fighting the supernatural. If only to impress the reader with how badass the bad guy is by dropping a MOAB on him]
  • The Description of this panel asks "does including a fantastical element have its own challenges?" So, does it?


Hopefully, that'll be enough


And, while you're at it, The Dragon Awards are open and ready for nominations, and I have a list of suggestions you might want to take a look at. If you already  have a good idea of what you want, just click here to go and vote for them immediately. The instructions are right there.


The Love at First Bite series. 

    

Monday, April 24, 2017

Science Fiction as Epic Panel Questions, for RavenCon, 2017

As I mentioned last week, I will be a guest at RavenCon. And, importantly for this particular post, I will be a moderator.

Round one? A panel titled: "Science Fiction as Epic"

Description?

Often science fiction that is epic in nature is dismissed as "space opera," but science fiction can be epic without resorting to the world destroying of Edmond Hamilton or the dogfighting X-Wings of Star Wars. What constitutes epic science fiction and what does it do that more personal stories can't?


Just to give you a great example of "The best laid plans," I give you .... my questions.

This isn't really cheating. I try to do this on occasion with guests I have on the radio show. I go into the audience, people I know will listen, and I ask for questions that they would want to have answered. 

In this case, I'm also posting my notes online so I have some idea of where to find them later on. 

Also, this is is going be followed by a video post. That way, you can see the before and after. 

AKA: the best laid plans of mice and men.....

Easy questions, to start with.
  • Introduce yourselves, with an emphasis on your Epic SciFi Cred?
  • What would you say are the qualities that separate something out as epic?
  • What do you see as some of the better epic SF out there? In any media or from any time period. 
  • How many of your books would you describe as epic science fiction, and how?
So, four people, at one minute each, per question, should easily get us through sixteen minutes. Probably closer to twenty. 

After this, yeah, time to play some hardball. 
  • There are some who use the term "space opera" as a derogatory term -- like soap opera-- implying that it is crass, or the characters are shallow. One of the examples given about space opera has been EE "Doc" Smith, or the Lensmen novels, as John W. Campbell. Yet, I have also heard the term used to describe Babylon 5 and David Weber novels -- both of which have characters with deep motivations and back stories, some boarding on biographies. What is your opinion on the term space opera?  Is it accurate? Is it derogatory.
  • Epic has been used to describe a lot of things in literature. No one derides War and Peace, even though, as one professor put it,  it has so many characters you're happy when someone dies so you won't have to remember their name anymore. How much of the "problem" of Epic SFF is the "epic" and how much is it that SFF itself has been historicallynched looked down upon as a genre?
  • If there are sci-fi, epics, is there sci-fi romance? (From Dragon Award winner, Brian Niemeier)
That should get us to the 30 minute mark.

After that, I can play it by ear. I'm good at that. Heck, half my radio shows are like that. 

If anyone has any questions, leave them in the comments below.

For those of you who will be at RavenCon this weekend, and need books, I'll provide, but I won't have that many copies. Better hurry and order some.

And, while you're at it, The Dragon Awards are open and ready for nominations, and I have a list of suggestions you might want to take a look at. If you already  have a good idea of what you want, just click here to go and vote for them immediately. The instructions are right there.


The Love at First Bite series. 

    

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Legend of Zelda - Tina Guo

Remember when I said that I wasn't going to call Tina Guo Lindsey Stirling of the cello?

It would be easier if she wasn't shooting for the job.

She did Skyrim (like Stirling), Zelda (like Stirling) and as I looked down her playlist, one of her videos is a Lindsey Stirling original piece -- complete with dancers.

But does anyone care? Her music if god, her sound and arrangements are just different enough that makes it listenable.  And wow, I can just watch her play for a while. She has a great smile. Also, she's one of the few young people these days who doesn't look 12 to my eyes.

Damn, I'm getting old.



And, while you're at it, The Dragon Awards are open and ready for nominations, and I have a list of suggestions you might want to take a look at. If you already  have a good idea of what you want, just click here to go and vote for them immediately. The instructions are right there.


Buy, or review, some books, so I have enough money to drag myself into a retirement home in a few years. 

The Love at First Bite series. 

    

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Marvel's Nick Spencer Works for Hydra



You know, I was relatively certain that Marvel comics couldn't get any worse. When they made Captain America himself an Agent of Hydra, they first said,
This is not a clone, not an imposter, not mind control, not someone else acting through Steve. This really is Steve Rogers, Captain America himself.
It's really, truly honestly not a gimmick. Honest. 

The current author, Nick Spencer, revealed himself to be a troll, and hated conservatives -- to no one's surprise -- and is probably antisemitic, as he makes the creation of two Jews into a Nazi.

Within the month, it was spun back the other way. Nope, a sapient Cosmic Cube with a will of its own has rewritten history.  In short, Marvel and Spencer lied to our faces, and called us stupid if we said that he was full of crap.

But now, wait, IT GETS BETTER.

Because now, they've started yet another SUPER DUPER MEGA COMIC BOOK EVENT, wherein they have decided that, once more, Captain America was always a Nazi. 

Again.


In fact, not only was Steve Rogers always a Nazis, Rogers had actually FORGOTTEN he was a Hydra Agent. The Sapient Cosmic Cube? The super powered doohickey that can rewrite reality? It only reverted Steve Rogers BACK to being an Agent of Hydra...

Uh huh.

Let's get this right: Captain America was always a Nazi agent, but reality had been rewritten so that Captain America wouldn't know that he was working for Hydra. But now, reality has just been rewritten BACK so that Captain America was now, and always has been, a Hydra Agent.

Well ... that was stupid.

We are also back to insisting that this will always and forever be the Truth of Captain America.

Uh huh. 

No.

Seriously, no. Marvel Comics, as a publisher of comic books, is done. Finished. Doomed. Obviously, they think their audience is too stupid to live. But I don't even think 12 year olds are going to put up with this bull -- or believe it. Because of course Steve Rogers will become the good guy again. Why? Because he's one of their lead IPs. You don't burn that bridge.

Okay, they can burn that bridge, but only until Disney comes back, smacks them around, and explains that the comics must continue in order for Disney to keep the film rights.

But it's too late. Marvel comics is done. Burn the whole building down. They're cooked. Enough is enough. There is no coming back from this. Fire everybody, scrap their storylines, and set the building on fire with them in it, and readers aren't going to put up with this crap. There's insulting the intelligence of the readers, and then there's treating them like crap, lying to them endlessly, and then smiling in their faces and telling them to like it or else. 

Screw you, Nick Spencer. You're trying to have it both ways, and it's not working, and it will not work. We'll find out that this was all a very elaborate scheme by Hydra to trick Captain America into pickng the wrong reality. I'm sure we'll even discover that Red Skull is behind it, even though he's dead.

Oh, wait, didn't I mention? Red Skull is supposed to have been killed ... again ... by Steve Rogers. Yes, you heard it here folks, Captain America assassinated he Red Skull in order to take over Hydra. 

Yes. In case you thought it couldn't get any more stupid. The hits just keep on coming.

I guess Nick Spencer wants to just keep pushing the "America is racist" narrative. 

This major super-duper world shaking event du jour is called Secret Empire. It's supposed to be the last ditch effort of Marvel to make political comic book story lines. 

I guess no one told him that we don't care, nor do we believe him. It's comic books. There are no permanent changes. Don't believe me, just ask the Grim Reaper of comic books about his revolving door policy of dead superheroes,

And, somehow, rewriting Captain America's memories, and all of reality, is supposed to explain this.


Yes, that's right. The magical / mystical object can't see through the "false goodness" of Steve Rogers, and the Cosmic Cube made him capable of wielding it on the field of battle.


[head desk] [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]  [head desk]   

.... I feel better down. I think I just rid myself of the dead and dying brain cells that Nick Spencer BROKE with this endless stupidity. 

To Nick Spencer, you fatuous, fascist f**ktard: just out yourself as an Antifa a-hole, grab your ISIS costume with the rest of your Antifa mates, and then go ahead and attack some defenders of the first amendment. I'm sick of your crap, and so is everyone else. Sam Wilson had become a racist, dickless wonder, and Steve Rogers has become a Nazi?

Screw you, and the house of mouse. Marvel is dead to me. And my friends. And my family. Captain America stopped during Ed Brubaker's run, he came back from the dead, retired, and lived happily ever after with Sharon Carter. Or perhaps found a time machine, went back in time, and went into hiding with Peggy Carter after they got married. Or a hundred different, better scenarios that I can come up with in my sleep that are better than this bullcrap. 

Guess what, Spencer, if you don't like heroes to be, you know, heroic, how about you get into a different line of work, like writing screenplays for Zach Snyder, or write for Top Cow's Millarworld, with all the other amoral, immoral, vile douche bags. The only reason you're currently employed is that Marvel doesn't care about sales anymore. 

Marvel will lie, BS, bluster and bloviate about why their sales suck, but they would rather cut their own throats with political message screeds and bleed out all over the fan base than believe in truth, justice, the American way, values, morals, ethics, or anything that is commonly acknowledged as an objective good

Right now, as far as I'm concerned, Marvel has been living in an elseworld's nightmare created by Mephisto, and until the last ten years of writing, and writers, have been stricken from the history of the company, I can't even imagine looking at a Marvel comic, unless I need something to burn in the fireplace to keep me warm at nice. And I'm afraid that the toxic fumes from all the stupid in the pages might not even make that worth it.

Dear Marvel and Disney, if you ever want to write good stories again, give me a call. I have a list of authors who would happily rip out all garbage clogging the pipeline, and get your comic books back into the top twenty list of comic sales. 


And Marvel, you sacks of crap very careful where you tread. You wouldn't want to step on James Gunn's toes while he's doing the Guardians of the Galaxy films, or the Russo brothers when they next bring Captain America to the screen. They may just have to step on you.


A whole bunch of books better than marvel comics right now.

The Love at First Bite series. 

    

Music to Write to: Skyrim Main Theme, with Tina Guo

I won't say that Tina Guo is the Lindsey Stirling of Cello. She's a little too metal for that, and her cosplaying is ... well ... a little less innocent, and showing slightly more midriff than Stirling ever has.

But, yeah, the video is well put together. The images are .... eye catching. And Tina Guo is very passionate about her work.

Very passionate.

Enjoy.


And, while you're at it, The Dragon Awards are open and ready for nominations, and I have a list of suggestions you might want to take a look at. If you already  have a good idea of what you want, just click here to go and vote for them immediately. The instructions are right there.


The Love at First Bite series. 

    

CLFA Booknado, April 2017


Yup. It's that time of the month again.

It's the CLFA Booknado. A book bomb with an attitude problem.

And possibly inspired by Snarknado. I honestly didn't ask.

Anyway, Let's look at what's on the menu.


NEW RELEASES




by C.J. Carella

The war for humanity’s survival continues.





The sequel to Tears of Paradox, which I've reviewed once already.

After a totalitarian government takes control of America, the angel-warrior Cadáin watches over the Wallace Family and aids them in their resistance to tyranny.


Catching the serial killer was the easy part; figuring out how he did it and what he has planned next is much more difficult, even for a psychic












When his National Guard unit is overrun by the victims of the plague sweeping America, Sergeant First Class Nick Agostine struggles to keep his vow to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and keep those he loves safe.



A Small Medium at Large (Division One series, Book 2) by Stephanie Osborne

What if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was right all along, and Harry Houdini really DID do his illusions? What if he could do this because…he wasn’t human?














Six months after a catastrophic solar flare cracks the sky and bathes Earth in high radiation, the starving crew of the USS Colorado is forced to surface and send a party ashore to forage for food. A Christian post-apocalyptic military thriller.

$1.99 OR LESS*
*for the dates of April 19 and 20, 2017
*To the best of our knowledge, books listed will be at special promotional prices on the days of April 19 and 20, 2017.



Bad Date: A Love at First Bite story by Declan Finn (short story).

A serial killer is on the loose, and there’s one more victim. 

....Perhaps she’s bitten off more than she can chew.



99¢ (Regular price $3.99)
The Russian Renaissance by Ian Kharitonov

Terrorists, spies, assassins, and a conspiracy to make Russia great again.




FREE (Regular price $1.99)
Black Rifle Security & Investigations: The Case of the Gangster’s Daughter by J.F. Holmes


Sometimes, a twenty first century crime scene needs the rough and tumble skills of an old school Private Investigator.



 99¢ (Regular price $3.99)
Absinthe and Chocolate (Boone’s File Book 1) by Dale Amidei


An ODNI Level One Case Officer, Dr. Rebecca Boone Hildebrandt, is tasked with covertly shepherding an international private intelligence director.


99¢ (Regular price $2.99)
The Product by Marina Fontaine (novella)







In a gray, joyless world, what would you do to come awake? Whom can you trust? 

Can you afford to love?



Eight years after Z-Day, the surviving remnants of mankind face the unknown. The fences and walls kept the ravenous undead at bay until they waste away. A once overwhelming foe has turned feeble and weak, and a world gone wild seems ripe for reclamation.


Honor at Stake 
Paperback Price Drop ($10.95, from 14.95)

One is a bloodthirsty, homicidal monster. The other's a vampire.







The Dragon Awards are open and ready for nominations, and I have a list of suggestions you might want to take a look at -- some of which are on our list above. If you already  have a good idea of what you want, just click here to go and vote for them immediately. The instructions are right there.


The Love at First Bite series.