Wednesday, January 31, 2018

What I'm working on 3: Hell Spawn

When Russell Newquist announced that his Silver Empire was going to rerelease my Love at First Bite series, he stated
In addition to this excellent series, we’ve also commissioned Mr. Finn to create an entirely new Urban Fantasy series. We’re not ready to share the details on this just yet, except that I can say a few things. The book is set in New York, the city that Mr. Finn knows so well. It does have some of the religious elements his fans love so much. And it will proudly feature the insane action that we’ve all come to expect from Mr. Finn.

Also, the one-paragraph pitch that Mr. Finn gave me is the best book pitch I’ve ever heard. And the outline for book one more than lives up to that pitch. And… book one is already half done.

Expect this new series to go live right after we finish republishing Love At First Bite.
I finished the project Russell is talking about in about six weeks. I did a little under ten thousand words a week.

Anyway, when Russell asked me for a new IP in UF, I didn't send him one pitch, I sent him four.
A) "Arresting Merlin"-- Taken from a short I did for Tales of Once and Future King.
Premise: A cop arrests a ten year old for trying to murder the mayor of New York City. The kid insists that the Mayor is one of the Fae, and he's the only one to stop him. because he's Merlin. When he sets two of the fae on fire with an explosive rune, the cop is inclined to agree with him.
 For the record, this is the short story that I pounded out about 36 hours to deadline, and sent it in at the last possible minute. It got accepted easily, and the editor didn't ask for any edits.
B) Magic Graduate school.
NYU's Emerys Graduate School for the Magically inclined is in a part of Manhattan that no one has ever seen... mostly because it exists behind a glamour wall that keeps the citizens from seeing it. They now have a new magical self defense professor... who doesn't have any magic. But he does have a certain set of skills. Skills that make him a nightmare to people like them. A magic wand is nice, but doesn't help if someone with a Glock blows the back of your head off.
I partially stole this concept from a friend of mine. I say partially because I went a completely different route with it in my head. It's become an RPG with friends of mine on the weekends, and becoming even further along from the original concept. So, yeah. 
C) Cop versus Demons.
Officer Thomas Nolan is a saint. He can smell evil. He's forgiving to the lesser criminals who are merely desperate, and even the criminals he put away tend to like him. But when a serial killer wages war on the city, he's going to face the darkness on more levels than he can imagine. Because this killer leaves a stench Nolan can follow a mile away: but proving it is going to be a problem: because how do you do forensics on a killer possessed by a demon?
(I figure the opening line is "My name is officer Thomas Nolan, and I am a saint.")
 This was actually a premise I first thought of during my undergraduate years in Christian spirituality and mysticism. Between levitation, flying, smelling evil, and bilocation, tell me these don't sound like superpowers for a comic book.
D) The Ri
A project I'm working on with Dawn. We're 23000 words in. A YA UF project with warring fae in the city. There is a male lead and a female lead, and there's already an outline. Book 1 is stopping a faction of the fae from becoming Mayor of New York City.
D I mentioned the other day.

At the end of the day, C won. Apparently, that was a really good pitch. Who knew? I literally just wrote the flap copy for the idea in my head at the time.

The next problem was, well, writing to spec. After dealing with my Tolkien-sized cast for The Pius Trilogy, I think that Russell really wanted me to cut down my character count, and had specific figures on how many characters he wanted. I thought the only proper answer would be to have Detective Nolan and the enemy .... then Nolan needed a partner. Then Nolan needed an ME.  Then a priest. Then his wife and son.  Then an ADA. Suddenly I had the Magnificent Seven.

That was easy.

And hardest of all: Russell wanted me to outline.

For those of you who are new here, I generally don't outline. I sit down, I start writing, and I don't stop until I need to eat or sleep. This tends to be a general strain on my ability to rest, but it keeps the words flowing. I work 9-5, if not 10-6. No outlines usually mean that I can throw in a gunfight whenever the I feel the plot slows down. 

But after a few days of dwelling on it, I had an outline. There were only two murders, but they utilized everything I knew of serial killers and everything I could put together on demonology.

Along the way, I may have made a mistake and ended up with a horror novel instead. Oops.

Once I started writing, the outline didn't quite survive first contact with the enemy. I felt the plot slow down at least once ... so I threw in a gunfight. In the outline, I had a random encounter at his precinct ... during the writing of the novel, I had a completely different random encounter (that I hadn't planned) that allowed me to tie everything together, and created a subplot that I hadn't known was there. And there's at least three chapters that went entirely the right direction by the wrong route. 

I finished this novel at just under 60,000 words in 6 weeks. I was slowed down by Christmas.

Right now, the most difficult part of the series has been a title -- either for the series or for the individual novel.

I'm told it should by out by September. Making it eligible for the Dragon Awards in best horror in the 2019 Dragon Awards. Heh.... Yeah. I really do want one of those awards. Not for the PR, or for the honor, necessarily, but damn those are shiny.

Anyway, expect it out in September. Ish. The second book is already outlined. I may have the second book out in October.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New Trailer: ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

For those of you who don't recall, there are three -- count 'em, three-- Marvel films coming out this year.

February is Black Panther.

May is Avengers: Infinity War

And then there's this.


I guess the first thing to note here is the Wasp, played by Evangeline Lily. I can only suppose someone saw her choreography from The Hobbit films and said, "Yeah. We can make her a superhero." And with all the little jabs at Scott Lang ... this is Scott Lang. I think his entire character is "eternal punching bag." It seems to be less a matter of being beaten up on by the female lead, and more of being beaten up on by the world in general. Not to mention the aspect of "Yes, I gave my daughter on-board offensive weaponry, not the ex-con" fits perfectly well with Michael Douglas' Hank Pym.

While it's nice to see Laurence Fishburne join the Marvel Universe ... he's going to play Goliath? From what I recall of the character, isn't he getting a little too old for action lead? He's in great shape, but they're very clearly letting him go gray here.

I notice this entire film takes place post-Civil War, but makes no mention of the Infinity War. If this means that Scott Lang won't be in Avengers 3, I'm good with that. Though I suspect that we'll be seeing both of them in Avengers 4, when we have been threatened with a new Avengers team.  (I'm expecting it to consist of Black Panther, Doctor Strange, these two, and maybe Carol Danvers. Just a guess.)

If Ant-Man is a heist film, this one looks like a fugitive film. It already looks better than Ant-Man, which was on the low end of the MCU films.

What I'm working on 2: The Ri

I'm so going to have to have a conversation with Dawn about the title. In the current environment, it almost sounds like REEEEEEE.

Anyway.

This one is about the fae of New York City. Not the fairies -- those live over in Greenwich Village. We're talking more Jim Butcher's fae, only the lines are a lot less blurry between the two sides.

This project is more Dawn Witzke's baby, and we're about 30 chapters in by the time of this writing. It's a YA project, and we're going back and forth, so between her schedule and mine, it's slow going.

Simple premise: boy meets girl from opposite fae courts. Both are adopted. He knows what he's doing. She doesn't.  He's a human, she's ... unknown. One side wants her back at any cost, and the other wants to protect her from the other, just to protect her.

Hilarity ensues.

This one has been an odd experience. Largely because I'm used to just sitting down, pounding out a novel until I stop for the day, then repeat. Waiting on someone else, working on other projects, then coming back to the original project is new for me.

It's even more interesting when I'm looking at the outline and thinking, "Hey, I can do the next three chapters without working very hard. I'll do three of these at a clip."

Because if I'm not working, what the hell am I doing?

Probably to no one's surprise, that's why when I have blogs come out, they come out in blocks. I write several of them at one time.

If I recall correctly, once we're done with the project, Dawn will be shopping it around. As she's the lead on this one, she gets to have that joy. I'm a little busy on a few other things. Here and there.

Non Illegitimi carborundum.

Monday, January 29, 2018

What I'm working on 1: Tales of White Ops

I recently ran a poll past my Facebook group, Finn's Firebrands, asking what they want to see more of.

The winner was more about what I'm writing.

I'm working on three things right now.

So, step one is actually the first thing I ever worked on.

It's a space opera centered around space Templars. It's born of a visit to the planet Earth, where aliens named the Renar met an interesting PMC, whose philosophy is simple: find those who prey on the weak, beat them up and take their lunch money. The Renar adapted the concept to their own culture.... Because that's never happened before (except for most of Japanese culture, which was taken from somewhere else. I think they may have invented "cultural appropriation"). The Renar only accepted the best, most qualified members of any race who could gain entry. They're basically Special Forces, only more picky.

Eventually, the Earth organization the Renar stole it from, (a family run business) moved off world, and ran alongside the Renar organization. The human end of it is respected and allowed a lot more latitude, as it is the founding concept.

The Renar called their organization and their members the totentanzers.  Literally it translates as "dancers with death." A more flexible translation is "sentinels against death."

The English translation is Rangers: Because there are only a hundred law and military organizations of the same name. It's fairly ubiquitous.

But the human end of the "company" of Rangers is incorporated with the others. And it starts with one man, who runs it as a family business. He grew up with the family money (which is about four hundred years of investments on a starting capital of a billion dollars), and started training from insanely young. He was heir to the family fortune, only the rest of the family didn't come with it. He grew up in a religious monastery, the Holy Order of Saint Patrick, in Ireland. They happened to run the Interstellar Renaissance Faire, which has taken to incorporating every alien military style ever. Add a physique about two meters tall and one wide, an eidetic memory, you have one interesting badass.

But when a minor threat to the Renar graduates from nuisance to genuine threat, making leaps and bounds in technology that seem impossible, said badass smells a rat. There's something out there using this "minor" threat into a litmus test to see who in the galaxy can stop them. If there are any victors, they are to be suborned or destroyed.

So the Rangers need a team from the existing Ranger corps, only the best. Within this group of the elite, this would contain only the top ten percent. It's a small group, meant to perform strikes against this new enemy, wherever and whatever it might be.

And this team is called White Ops.

This project is currently under review with Christopher Kennedy's publishing company -- the man you brings you Mark Wandrey's Cartwright's Cavaliers. I ran it past Baen, but they gave me a strange rejection of "Unfortunately, again we will not be able to find a place for it in our lineup." Which is an odd rejection. I'm happy with "It sucks, thanks."

And since I plan to be rejected by everyone, I'm going to use any free time I have (Ha. Free time.) to clean up books 2 and 3. That way, while I'm waiting for rejection from Kennedy, I can have three books to run past, and be rejected by, Vox Day. Then I can be rejected by Superversive.

You're wondering why I'm not running this first past my primary publisher, Silver Empire and Russell Newquist? Russell already has 9 books coming out from me this year, and he wants more of a focus on urban fantasy. I figure by the time I get rejected by all of the above, Russell's schedule might clear up enough to take a crack at it, and see if he wants to expand to another genre.

If everything gets rejected, I figure I could have five books ready to go by the start of 2019, and they can come out once a month. Or as fast as Dawn can pump out covers.

Non illegitimi carborundum.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Lou Antonelli and the Attack of the Schizophrenic Cat

So I'm pounding out blog posts for next week on the works in progress, and up comes this little gem.

Image may contain: text


For the love of God, are these people insane?

Sigh. In case you're unaware, recently, Lou Antonelli unveiled that Camestros what's his name is actually Foz Meadow's husband, Toby Meadows, a PhD in philosophy at the University of Queensland, Brisbane.


If you don't know Camestros Felapton, he's an odd duck who posts over at File 770, and his own blog. I've never really been able to pin him down as to if he's crazy or if he's just got a public persona. And his posts are so all over the place, some look schizophrenic, and some look perfectly lucid. Some are straight numbers crunching and reasonable, some are head-tiltingly "WTF did I just read?" In particular is his "talking cat" reviews, where he actually reviewed Honor at Stake ... still not sure if he liked it or not.

Lou, being a newsman, has sources with a good idea that Toby Meadows is Camestros. I'll be happy to take him at his word.

But it is just so FASCINATING to see the insanity that these people have gone to in rewriting the laws of reality, and history.

I think I first mentioned Lou on the blog in relation to his being banned from WorldCon, and the fuckery involved there. 
Author Lou Antonelli, who I follow on Facebook, is a nice guy. And I don't mean that in my usual, dismissive New Yorker sort of way. He's a good guy. He's a funny author. At one point, he'd been driven around the bend by Gerrold and his band of misfits, to such an extent that he sent a letter to the Spokane police informing them that Gerrold and the Puppy Kickers formed a credible threat to his life. Given fellow puppy kicker Arthur Chu and his bomb threatening minions? I don't think that's particularly out of line.

But no, it was used as evidence against him. A short story contract had been revoked. Gerrold won't shut up about it and has thrown every act of friendship and apology back in Lou's face.
Their version? As seen above, "Heh heh he. Lou tried to SWAT someone at WorldCon."

Um... no. SWATting someone at a hotel or a convention is A) a cute trick and B) never done, to my knowledge. Don't you just love how the story went from "He wrote a letter to Spokane PD," and became "EVIL LOU WAS GOING TO SWAT SOMEONE!!!!"

Sigh. Such lying sacks of crap I have never seen before. And the lies are just so obvious it's really painful. The stupid, it burns.

It gets better, because when you look at the link cited above -- which is right here, click on it -- you will notice no one used the word "dox," even in the comments. Go ahead. Check. I'll wait.

The entire post is about how Lou uncovered Mr Meadows' online identity. He's busy practicing good investigative journalism, as these pimps are practicing ... I wouldn't even call it tabloid journalism, since some tabloids have had to put in an honest day's work from time to time.

But no, going after Lou for outing someone as a glorified annoyance is bizarre, stupid, and their accusations are delusional.

Even in Lou's own post, he dismisses Felapton as a snob and a jerk. That's it. The reasonable response should either be to confirm or deny. If Felapton and Meadows deny -- truthfully or not -- they should laugh it off and move along. If he confirms, he should confirm and move on. Since there is no call to dox them by anybody I've seen, what's the problem here? Hell, no one doxxed me, no one seems to have doxxed 770.... so why would anyone dox this relatively minor figure? The biggest insult I've seen about him is that he's a troll. So... what? Seriously, what's more embarrassing here? Felapton as a philosophy professor, or Meadows as an internet troll?

I've asked several of my Australian friends. There are apparently no real world consequences for a professor to go off the reservation online. So his job isn't even threatened.

I'd tell these jokers to grow up, but that would require they stop playing in the mud.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

On Writing "Deceptive Appearances" for Mercury

Planetary: Mercury by [C. Wright, John, Lamplighter, L. Jagi, Wheeler, Benjamin, McCleery, Corey, M. Young, Joshua, Beckwith, J.D., Brumley, Bokerah, Antonelli, Lou, Finn, Declan, Burnett, Misha]
Mercury is known for many things. Superversive wanted to focus on a theme of journeys and messages. As the Greek deity Hermes, he is known as a healer.

I wanted to focus on something a little different: Mercury as a trickster.

Enter my hero, Sean Patrick Ryan.  No, not Sean AP Ryan, Sean Patrick Ryan, who you saw in Astounding Frontiers #1, the first Ryan I ever wrote. The original. I wrote this SPR, space ranger, years before SAPR came on the scene. He's two meters tall, one wide, and he never suffers fools.

Sean Patrick Ryan, in this case, has a name as a mercenary, a fixer, and has the unfortunate sobriquet as "the most dangerous man in the galaxy." Why unfortunate? Because that means that every idiot and lowlife wants to test him, and bring him down, just to earn the "honor" of the name.

So with Sean and his friend Peter Sierra walk into a bar, and everyone else is being charged admission fees.... but not them... they know that they're about to become the floor show.

When the first alien comes in and Sean lays him out, the threat seems to be over....

And then the Touri, a seven-foot bipedal velociraptor, named Fe'eshar Straczyn strolls into the bar.

Then the fun really starts.

Purchase Mercury right here.

The Story of Moira Greyland continues

In case you haven't heard, Moira Greyland Peat, the daughter and prey of author Marion Zimmer Bradley, wrote a book about her life with the monsters who spawned her in The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon.
Marion Zimmer Bradley was a bestselling science fiction author, a feminist icon, and was awarded the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement. She was best known for the Arthurian fiction novel THE MISTS OF AVALON and for her very popular Darkover series.

She was also a monster.

THE LAST CLOSET: The Dark Side of Avalon is a brutal tale of a harrowing childhood. It is the true story of predatory adults preying on the innocence of children without shame, guilt, or remorse. It is an eyewitness account of how high-minded utopian intellectuals, unchecked by law, tradition, religion, or morality, can create a literal Hell on Earth.

THE LAST CLOSET is also an inspiring story of survival. It is a powerful testimony to courage, to hope, and to faith. It is the story of Moira Greyland, the only daughter of Marion Zimmer Bradley and convicted child molester Walter Breen, told in her own words.
The Last Closet: The Dark Side of Avalon by [Greyland, Moira]This is not usually the bright cheery and sunshiny thing that I have the tendency to recommend.


Now, the nice thing about Moira is that she's sane. She will occasionally mention on Facebook that she occasionally suffers panic attacks. I suspect that is the basic minimum of reactions to being used as a sex toy by both parents from the age of preschool onward.

When I interviewed her on this topic the first time, before the book came out, she was very matter of fact about all of this. She was straightforward, and delivered an R rated topic in PG terms.

So, of course, as she's taken several sacred cow and turned them into hamburger, those people who used to worship said cow are upset.

It's interesting, and darkly amusing to see the same people who cry #MeToo on Twitter turn to Moira and go #NoNotYou.

Moira
In unveiling the child molestation of Marion Zimmer Bradly, Moira has unnerved a lot of "feminists" who used The Mists of Avalon as a template for their ideology. Also leftists in SF.


Moira also pissed off the LGBTQ movement by noting that both of her parents, both of whom were gay advocates, were child molesters. And, as her parents would screw anything with human anatomy (I have not read the book, so I presume that bestiality was one of the few vices they did NOT cultivate) they were at least bisexual, if not pansexual, supersexual, and whatever sexual is left that means "total slut." Funny enough, as a result, Moira is not a fan of most of the gay social agenda we've been seeing ... perhaps because her entire exposure to the gay agenda can be summed up in court transcripts.

For this, she's been labeled a "homophobe." Because, you know, being raped repeatedly by two Bs from LGBTQRS for over a decade is just such a positive experience.

Hell, I'm surprised she doesn't have an actual allergic reaction.

Is the stupid starting to burn yet?

Add to this the latest issue: pagans are upset with her because Moira highlights that she was used as a party favor, given to a friend of the family called Isaac Bonewits (Pronounced bon-a-witz). Who the Hell is Bonewits? A Pagan Pope, if you will, founder of a Druid "fellowship." So, yeah, now there are pagans are apparently losing their minds over it. I don't think any of my pagans have issues with her, since the pagans I know tend to be Norse.

But the more I look at all of this the more I wonder at the fragility of these people who go AWOL as Moira unveils the rot behind the curtain. Splash some BBQ slash on the sacred cow, watch them all lose their minds.

You know, when I studied and dissected the life and times of Eugenio Pacelli before and after he became Pope Pius XII, I was quite ready to string him up and burn him in effigy if I proved to myself that he was just as bad as certain "historians" said he was. Why didn't that disturb me to deep dive? Because if it turned out he was a schmuck, that just proves that he was a schmuck. It didn't disprove anything about Catholic dogma, philosophy, theology, or my own personal faith. This meant I could do my research without worry, and do the graduate paper that would become A Pius Man: A Holy Thriller.

But these people? Their very way of life relies on their idols being perfect. Finding a dent in the gold calf du jour means that their entire life is meaningless. Therefore, denting the calf means that the worshipers freak out, foam billowing from their mouths as they grind their teeth and come howling for your blood.

That's one of the nice things about Catholicism. We start with the premise that, no, we're not perfect, but thankfully, God is, and we don't have to worry all that much about not being worthy to perform services. But Leftists don't have that comfort. They rarely, if ever, hold to a deity that is a Deity. They would sooner worship the golden calf instead of the Lamb of God. The Left's usual golden calf is, of course, socialism -- a Godless and godless system. The only problem with these systems is that they really only work is everyone is a good, pure, just human being.

Obviously, this doesn't work very well.

But this is what happens when the philosophies of the Left are really just cult of personalities. When the cult leader is found to be not just imperfect, but a monster ... well then, just what sort of monster are you for following along? (Answer: You may not be) Instead of asking that question, they hide from the answer, and form a lynching party for a blonde harpist who decided that she'd rather not be a victim.

Who knew that self-reflection would be that difficult?

Monday, January 15, 2018

NEW ANTHOLOGY, Planetary: Mercury

As promised, Superversive Press has come out with the FIRST of its new Planetary Anthology series: Mercury.

As the flap says

MERCURY! 
Innermost of worlds, blasted by the sun by day and frozen by night, Mercury remains an enigma. Mythical Mercury was also the messenger and trickster, and known for blazing speed and wit. Here are thirteen tales of science-fiction and the fantastic featuring Mercury.

Throughout history, the planets of our solar system have meant many things to many people; Planetary Fiction explores the themes associated with these heavenly bodies as well as their astronomical, mythological, and in some cases even alchemical significance.

Included in this volume are

In the Palace of Promised Immortality by John C. Wright
Schubert to Rachmaninoff by Benjamin Wheeler
The Element of Transformation by L. Jagi Lamplighter
In Tower of the Luminious Sages by Corey McCleery
The Haunted Mines of Mercury by Joshua M. Young
Quicksilver by J.D. Beckwith
Ancestors Answer by Bokerah Brumley
Last Call by Lou Antonelli
Deceptive Appearances by Declan Finn
mDNA by Misha Burnett
The Star of Mercury by A.M. Freeman
Cucurbita Mercurias by Dawn Witzke
The Wanderer by David Hallquist

And my constant readers know most of these people. Dawn has done most of my covers. There is the Dragon Award winner John C. Wright, and his wife, the the Dragon Award nominated L. Jagi Lamplighter. As well as Dragon Award nominees Finn and Antonelli. And there are the usual suspects from Superversive: Young, Freeman, Wheeler, McCleery.  Brumley has been on my radio show. Burnett is well known on the interwebs from various and sundry places, both pulp and Superversive circles.

So, it's not a bad collection of people.

What did I do for my short? Well, that's another blog post entirely.

And, of course, because we have this one already teed up for us, we have a trailer, using Gustav Holst's Mercury, the Winged Messenger.



Awards season is here (again)

Awards season is here.... again.

Again? Really? I feel like we just finished with awards. But yeah, it's kicking around.

Anyway, a quick look at what's coming.



The Happy Frogs

This one is by Jon del Arroz and a panel of decision makers creating a collection of nominations... He's got the details here. I'm not perfectly clear on the final vote-- I think it's public voting, so check it out.

I mention this because it's by Jon. I don't have a horse in this race, so don't worry about me asking for votes on this one.


A book blogger's award. They have two categories: short and long. Click on the above link for the instructions.

But if you have a blog and write about books, knock yourselves out.

I have only two books from last year that qualify, I think: Live and Let Bite and Good to the Last Drop, books three and four of Love at First Bite.

Yes, I only released two last year. I suck. Everything else was in a short story collection.

Also recall that Richard Paolinelli's Escaping Infinity came out last year. As did Another Girl, Another Planet. And Starship Grifters book 2, Aye, Robot, Jon's For Steam and Country, and Jagi's latest.

Though JD Cowan has already put Drop up for this award. Who knew?





Technically, this has been open since October, 2017. In part because nominations are first published between 7/1/2017 and 6/30/2018. You can click above.

Technically, I've got a book that is eligible: Good to the Last Drop, book 4 of Love at First Bite....

This, of course, will be a problem with having Silver Empire rerelease Love at First Bite: Good to the Last Drop will not be available for purchase for the majority of the voting process. So, sure, I'll throw my hat in the ring, but I'd put this as less likely to even get the nomination this year than in previous years ... and I was 50/50 on whether or not that would happen.

If you want my thoughts on the Dragons, they're not many. My reading speed this year has been severely compromised by nonstop work.

Best Science Fiction Novel

Karl Gallagher: Torchship Captain.  Yes, really. I haven't enjoyed a book series so much since David Weber's earliest Honor Harrington. I'll hopefully get a review up before Hell freezes over.

Nope... that's it. That's all I have. Most of the others that I mentioned for the Planetary award aren't available for the Dragons -- they were too early in the year.

Best Fantasy Novel (Including Paranormal)

Since Larry doesn't want it for Monster Hunter International, I don't have anything offhand. Good to the Last Drop if you want it for fantasy instead of horror?

Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel
 
The Awful Truth About Forgetting .... seriously, can we get Jagi an award for this series already?

Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel

I want to say David Weber. But I suspect that this might sooner go to Timothy Zahn for the Honorverse prequel novels. Just a guess.

Best Alternate History Novel
 
.... Someone tell Lou Antonelli to hurry up and finish his sequel to Another Girl Another Planet already. Other than that...

Okay, I may have a good one for this soon, as soon as I hurry up and read Hans Schantz' Hidden Truth series-- more specifically, book 2, A Rambling Wreck.

Best Media Tie-In Novel

Thrawn: Alliances (Star Wars) by [Zahn, Timothy]
Well, this is new. The category probably opened up as a good way to avoid having a flood of Star Wars or Star Trek books flood a category. I know that Timothy Zahn will be coming out with a new Thrawn book next year, so let's hope that it comes out a little earlier, so Zahn can get nominated here.

.... And after a quick check on Amazon, the answer is no. Thrawn: Alliances is coming out on June 26th, which is hardly enough time for people to get it, read it, and vote. Hell, a lot of people are going to have already voted by then.

But now that we have a Media Tie-in category, can we have a best comic book movie now? That way it's not a Marvel Vs DC knock down drag out every year?

 Best Horror Novel

As usual, I have nothing. The only horror I go near is what I write. So, there's Good to the Last Drop. Again. Yes, sorry about that.

Best Comic Book  & Best Graphic Novel
 
I am so far behind on both of these categories, don't even ask.


Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series, TV or Internet
 
 The Orville. No, nothing else, just The Orville. Lucifer has gotten better, but it wasn't as good as Orville at its best... At its worst? It's just mediocre.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie

Justice League?  No

Ragnarok ... maybe

Spider-Man: Homecoming ... not out of the line of possibility.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game

This is a problem when you have so many games doing loot boxes.

Middle Earth: Shadow of War? Depends on who you ask.
X-Com 2: War of the Chosen -- ditto
Cuphead
Super Mario Oddessy.

There are, of course, Persona and Yakuza games that came out this year.... just don't ask me when.

So, if you liked any of these, look up on the release date and make certain I didn't just suggest something that came out too early.

Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game

Middle Earth: Shadow of War: Yes, I liked the mobile. Move along.

Best Board Game & Best Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A New Pius Deal and the Return of A Pius Legacy

A Pius Legacy: A Political Thriller (The Pius Trilogy Book 2) by [Finn, Declan]
Right now, A Pius Man, book one of The Pius Trilogy is out for $.99 on Kindle (free on Kindle Unlimited).

Most importantly, A Pius Legacy is now out for preorder.

For those who are new here, The Pius Trilogy is the Catholic answer to Dan Brown-- only I have facts instead of fantasy, footnotes instead of vague assertions of historical accuracy, and stories that are not only ripped from the headlines, but ahead of the headlines.

In A Pius Man, seven strangers came together to kick ass and take names in a battle against those who would destroy the Catholic church, and any who supported them.

In A Pius Legacy, we deal with blowback. There are messes to clean up, airplane hangars to reconstruct, legal affairs to sort, a case to be made to the UN, men to bury, and bullet holes to patch.

When the case in "international law" is turned around, and old lies come back to haunt our heroes, they must once again hold the line against the forces of darkness that threaten to overwhelm all they fought for in APM.

Then the Pope is kidnapped, and the fun really begins.

So, get A Pius Man now, and finish it by the time your preorder of A Pius Legacy comes out.

Monday, January 8, 2018

WorldCon Run By Fascists And Leftists, but I repeat myself

WorldCon, the home of the Hugos, has been filled with a collection of lefty snobs for, easily, the last 50 years or so. Kevin J Anderson joked at one DragonCon that after the rise of Star Trek made SF really popular again, WorldCon decided to lock out everyone who followed "media" SF. WorldCon was only for the "elite" who only appreciated literary SF.

And thus the slow spiral began. And I mean slow. I'd say it caught up to WorldCon about twenty years ago, maybe a little less, when it gets more and more difficult to find anyone on the Hugo nominations for best novel that I could even pick out of a lineup.

Of course, there were Puppies, and the fun that was had there for a year or two. After that, even Vox Day has given up on trolling WorldCon. And when even Vox Day thinks you're not even worth poking with a stick, check your pulse, you're probably dead.

Enter Jon Del Arroz, the man who was banned from BayCon, and losing every friend he'd made at a con he worked for 10 years, all because he voted for Trump.

Jon is, at worse, a good acquaintance. I don't think it would be too much to call him a friend. I like him, even if he is far too friendly, sociable and optimistic for my taste. I prefer sitting in my office and pumping out books to--ugh-- dealing with people. I have a history of that never ending well.

Jon, of course, has three stages of interacting with Leftists online.

Step one, he is aggressively friendly. Everything I have seen from Jon shows that he is sincere in being friendly.

SFWA President Cat Rambo (yes, that's her name) cites Jon's crimes against her as
  1. He invited her out to lunch and offered to pay
  2. He offered to do volunteer work
  3. He asked for a blurb for one of his works.
Yes, I know. That fiend. A true monster. And yes, I believe that Jon would follow through if people took him up on his offers.

And for the record, yes, I did read a report that she posted those exact complaints against Jon. She was apparently serious.

Now, my usual tactic dealing with people who annoy me is to ignore them. The worst I've done to someone has been to block them.

With Jon however, these people decide to continue engaging with him. Not because they like Jon, but because they hate him, and have already branded him an -ist or a -phobe-- racist, sexist, blah blah blah. Cat Rambo and John Scalzi have both gone after Jon on their blogs...

Seriously, do you people have nothing better to do?

That's when step 2 kicks in: trolling. He pokes, prods, and generally teases and makes fun of these people who have publicly scorned, ridiculed, and have gone after him. It's occasionally entertaining, though I personally think it's a joke that stopped being funny. Though, again, if these people are in such hysterics over Jon teasing them... block him. Move on.

But no, apparently they can't do that. They can't move on. Considering they started a "Move on .com" website after 9/11, that's kinda funny.

Then he wanted to go to WorldCon. Why does he want to go to WorldCon? Because he wants to be friendly and sociable with people, and try to talk with them in person. Because, surely, when you talk to them in person, they're going to act differently than they do in real life, of course. Aren't they?

I think Probably not, but I'm not Jon.

So, WorldCon took his money for his ticket, then downgraded him from attending member to "You can vote in the Hugos, but come near us and we won't let you in."  Well, that's a bit of a dick move. And why, you ask? They SAY it's because he intends to violate community standards. In their official announcement, they don't mention anything, aside from implying that he's a racist and a bully. Then they say in further comments on Facebook that he's going to be wearing a body camera due to threats-- his children have been doxxed, he's had packages sent to his house, all things that he's told WorldCon already.

Wait, I'm sorry, he's bringing a camera for self defense, and that's a problem? Maybe if he brought mace, I could see that.

Then of course, you have people like Scalzi talking about how "We don't want any annoying people at our convention!"  Dude, if they didn't want annoying people, how come they'll still let you in? Also, if it's because he's annoying, why not say so? If it's because of the camera, why not ask Jon if he'll refrain from using it, THEN block him if he refuses?

See? It's a bit of a problem.

In order to cover their asses against charges of racism, World Con has decided to point out that the guest of honor is Hispanic! How nice that they promoted a pet token to GoH status. I wonder if the guy knows that he's being used as a shield. Poor guy.

Now, if they had just honestly said, "You're an evil Trump supporter and you have cooties," I'm sure everyone would have just rolled with it. It would at least be honest. After all, Jon believes in freedom of association. But they don't. Now they have to bake Jon a cake, and like it.

My first thought is "lawsuit." Seriously, they gave him no warning, is banning him on reasons they will neither confirm nor clarify, and they seem very interested in jerking him around. Their decision is "final," but having my own experience with lawyers, they better get used to the term "arbitrary and capricious."

I don't agree with Jon on this matter. I see no reason for any sane human being to go to WorldCon.

Though I do hear that Jon has pondered getting a Hugo nomination. Heh heh heh.

But yeah. WorldCon wants a war. I suspect they're going to get one.

And in the end, they just may have to make a cake.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Review: The Last Jedi

The reviews on The Last Jedi range from "IT'S THE BEST THING EVA!!!" To "IT"S WORSE THAN THE PREQUELS!!"
Yeah... no.

My first real problem with The Last Jedi was when I heard that The Force Awakens had to have its ending redone and cut short (Didn't you wonder why Mark Hamill had no lines?) because it conflicted with the opening of The Last Jedi.

Yes, you read that right, the endings conflicted. Because one follows hot on the heels of The Force Awakens. No time passes. At all. Did anyone even read the script for the first movie before making the next?

I think the answer is... no. Major threads that came up in the midst of The Force Awakens are cut abruptly, characters that have been built up with backstory (and even a whole novel in one case) are obliterated.

I blame writer and director Rian Johnson, the director of Looper, which is a different piece of crap movie.

Another interview with Daisy Ridley had her express surprise that JJ Abrams was coming back to direct Episode 9, even though he only wanted to restart the franchise. So, as of a few months ago, Abrams saw that this one had large sections of being fucked up.

Now, for the record, I went into the movie with everything spoiled. And I mean everything. I don't think I really missed all that much.

So, about five minutes after Rey finds Luke, the First Order is apparently taking over the entire galaxy. I don't see how that happens, since the galaxy is a big freaking place, and the First Order leadership is hot on the heels of the Resistance. We get a nice looking space battle (as dumb as most of the Star Wars battles, but looks good) as well as an interesting comedy routine that is very standard fighter pilot. The fleet is tracked through hyperspace, and a slow motion, sublight space chase happens... this would work in almost any other military SF, but not in Star Wars, sorry. This is not the time to apply logistics and physics.

Luckily for everyone Finn wakes up. Yes, remember the former storm trooper left in a coma at the end of the last film? He woke up a few minutes into this one. There was no real reason to have him in a coma in the first place. Seriously, did Johnson look at the last movie? Script notes? Story arc notes? Or did he just film his own movie and flip everyone else the bird?

Anyway, after an attack on the bridge that wipes out the entire Resistance leadership and puts Leia into a coma (yes, a coma. This would have been a great time to kill Leia and be done with it, but NOOOO, someone couldn't have done some editing and a month of reshoots to work around it), the fleet is handed off to Admiral Holdo, played by Laura Dern.

Now, one of the big things about the marketing around this movie is that Laura Dern was going to play.. gasp!... a Lesbian!!!  If that's seriously and honestly how Dern played Holdover, then she must be homophobic, because Admiral Holdover was one of the creepier characters in films that I've seen outside of Silence of the Lambs. She reminds me more of Harry Potter's Dolores Umbrage than any Star Wars character.

Every time star fighter Poe asks Admiral Holdover what her plan is... she's passive-aggressive dismissive, like a deranged Mary Poppins. This forces Poe to come up with a plan of his own--originally suggested by Finn!--to get on board the lead First Order ship, disable the lightspeed tracking device, and enable the fleet to escape before it runs out of fuel (Funny, I don't recall fuel ever being a problem in all of Star Wars before). This leads to a space casino, pseudo-social commentary (it makes no sense by even SJW standards), and a Benicio del Toro cameo.

This entire subplot/s (could be one or two subplots, depending on how you slice them) is idiot, stupid, a waste of time, and could have been cut from the film without any problem. More on this later.

This subplot also includes a new character named Rose. The actress' career is toast. She is unlikable, annoying, and adds nothing to the story.

This is where I will disagree with Brian Niemeier in that this is a feminist telling of Star Wars, designed to make men look stupid. Why? Because Laura Dern looks like a total moron, got people killed, and needed to be throttled. If Brian was right, they should look super-competent. They don't. Sorry, Brian, this isn't about a feminist agenda. You know why? Because if they were doing that, perhaps more than ONE WOMAN IN THIS ENTIRE FILM WOULD BE COMPETENT.  Leia? Out cold. Phasma? Idiot. General Purple hair? Idiot. Rose? Annoying. They don't even disguise it other than anything but ineptitude. Holdover is such a creepy little s**t that if they had a scene of her molesting Finn or Leia while in a coma, I wouldn't have been surprised.

Then again, Brian is basing his conclusions off of someone else's review.

Meanwhile, in another end of the galaxy...

This is where the story actually gets good. Yes, really. Luke Skywalker has become a crankier Obi-Wan. He is every idealistic young man who encountered reality, reality kicked his ass, and decided to hide. He's looked at the history of the Jedi and noticed that the Jedi aren't very effective in large groups. That part I have no problem with. It happens. Hell, it happens to me, frequently.

However, Luke also states that he had decided to slink off into isolation and die... Blink. I'm sorry, then what was the point of leaving people a map to find your sorry ass, Luke? (Thank you, Mr. Johnson, for not paying attention to The Force Awakens)

Anyway, the story goes on with a Rey-Luke-Kylo Ren story where we see massive improvements in both acting and storytelling. The film is almost entirely carried by their acting. I'm fairly shocked. We see what happened to Luke, and to the Jedi Academy he tried to establish. Rey actually gets some training-- and they point out that yes, she trains with melee combat. I wish they spelled that out some more, but oy.

The usual complaint here is "OMG! They're burning down my mythology"... Ahem. Guys, most of the mythology was rewritten and delivered by a British Catholic because Alec Guiness couldn't choke down the crap dialogue Lucas had given him. It's a lot of Eastern spiritualism thrown into a blender. All of the actual nihilism is espoused by ... the bad guys. So is most of the moral equivalency (after all, everything Obi-Wan said was true, from a certain point of view). Kylo Ren wants to burn everything down. Del Toro's con artist monologues on how everyone sucks... a speech I usually find given to bad guys.

The Rey arc ends with an epic battle that doesn't go exactly how you think it will. You'll find some elements copy and pasted from Return of the Jedi, though not not many.

Luke's arc ends in an epic little showdown that's Luke versus an army. Then Luke dueling Kylo Ren. It was awesome.

If I were to rate The Last Jedi, it's a problem. The Luke-Rey-Kylo stuff was fun. Even Snoke (whose CGI and makeup have improved massively) addresses some complaints of the last film, like referring to General Hux as a rabid dog, but he has his uses.

My major problem with The Force Awakens was that both Finn and Rey were not really mature. Considering that Rey grew up on her own, responsible for herself since the beginning, you'd think she'd be a little less school girl -- see the scene after they got away from Tatootine lite. when Finn and Rose are gushing.  I'm sorry, Luke was supposed to be 16 or 18, and he was more mature. And it's not the actress, because I saw her in Murder on the Orient ExpressThe Last Jedi actually has Finn and Rey act like adults. How nice.

But when this movie is stupid, this movie is stupid. The slow motion space chase was unnecessary, so was Admiral Holdover, "Rose," or any of the stupidity with Leia.

The Last Jedi is two and a half hours long. Two hours of it is actually not too bad. When it's bad, it's terrible. When it's good, it's terrific.

It is not worse than the prequels-- there was no Jar Jar, the graphics were solid, and the acting from the main characters was actually good. Laura Dern and the actress playing Rose can't act, but if they were cut from the film, it might rate a 7/10.

It is not the best Star Wars film, since there are more plot holes than usual for a Star Wars film.

If a 5/10 was an average film, give this a high 6/10, bordering on 7, but doesn't quite make it.  Better than anything in the prequel trilogy, better than The Force Awakens. Probably better than Ant-Man.

Spoiler Section

The following are mostly reasons why this film sucked, and you'll note that they are overwhelmingly a matter of problems with the annoying subplot mentioned above.
  • Remember when I talked about threads that were taken and dropped by Rian Johnson? These include 
    • Rey's parents are ... no one interesting. Sorry. Yeah, that great big build up in the first one? Total let down. Was anyone paying attention to that dangling thread? At all?
    • Phasma .... you know, Phasma was so overhyped, it was painful. "Oh, a female storm trooper commander!!!!!!!" Because someone had to, I guess. ' She had a very nice chrome storm trooper armor. She had a book dedicated to her back story and origins. They sold her helmet. There is such buildup.... for nothing. She wasn't interesting or stand out in the first film, and she was killed off after a few minutes of screen time in this film. She didn't even take her helmet off in either. It boils down to a great big: what's the point? Apparently, they even had a good actress for her. But no, she's dead. That's why I know that this wasn't written by a committee-- a committee would have been driven by the profit margins of having more Phasma material.
    • The Force Awakens ended with Snoke wanting to train Ben Solo further. What happened to Kylo's further training? Doesn't happen.
  • When the bridge crew is attacked, and the Resistance leadership is blown out into space... Leia goes flying in space. Even Rey can't lift rocks without training, but Leia pulls herself back in with the force? Are you stupid, Rian Johnson? Brain damaged?
  • What was the point of Finn being in a coma if he's just going to wake up again?
  • If I understand this correctly, Rey won the lightsaber fight because .... Kylo Ren was conflicted. Really? That's how they want to play that? How about "Kylo had a hole in his guts and was bleeding to death"? Isn't that a good reason?
  • Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo told no one her plan to ensure everyone's survival, so everyone came up with a plan without her. When Holdover blows off Poe's plan to get them through, she blows him off. He then mutinies. And you know what? No one gives a flying F*** about a FULL-SCALE MUTINY. Literally, no one cared that Poe had Holdover held at gunpoint. Apparently, she alienated everyone else. This is why you tell people what the hell goes on. God this subplot was stupid.
  • As I said above, the entire Rose-Finn-Poe subplot was a waste of time. You know what was accomplished? Nothing. Rian Johnson clearly thought that there would have been a great big lull in the middle of the movie if they had just stuck with the drama and tension of Rey-Luke-Kylo, so he decided to have movement happen with Finn's visit to the casino planet. But it is a hamster going full speed on his wheel. Finn and Rose fail to disable the light speed tracking, they get captured, and what was the point again? This enables Finn to have a hand in killing Phasma, but that's it. It was a 30 minute subplot for 2 minutes of something interesting happening.
  • Finn could have stayed in a coma without the plot being effected
  • Rose and Holdo could have never existed, and they plot wouldn't have been effected.
  • Oh, yeah, and they killed Admiral Akbar. For no reason.
  • One of the main conflict's of Luke's arc is that he has the sacred Jedi texts from "a thousand generations ago."  The main complaint is that he wants to destroy them because too much of the Jedi were stuck in the past ... Um, Guys? The Catholic church has a council every few hundred years or so, and the Jedi are running on texts from TWENTY-FIVE THOUSAND YEARS AGO? And they're still in existence, despite being the Shakers, who bred themselves out of existence by... not breeding? Yeah. No. Heck, people, the Expanded Universe moved the Jedi forward by having Luke marry Mara Jade. So, what's the complaint?

As for my list of things they needed to do (in a seriously low threshold to make me happy)
  • The First Order and the Resistance is still not explained within this film. We didn't need any for the Empire, but we were shown in the films that the Empire was done, defeated, kaput. WTF? And no, I'm not reading 10 Star Wars books to fill in the new cannon. I'm only reading Timothy Zahn. Period.
  • Will someone explain who Snoke is or where he came from? Anyone? 
  • They at least TRIED to explain why Rey is a competent fighter.
  • Why didn't anyone at least try to highlight how Rey became force aware? They did it in the lousy novelization.
If you prefer a satire review, try the one below... but please realize that there is foul language.

For the record, the following scenes with Luke tossing his lighsaber and Leia flying? Perfectly accurate. Yes, really.

However, they insist that Holdover was trying to teach Finn a lesson -- something several reviews have said. That would have made sense, but no, that didn't happen. Try again.

This review is a little more forgiving than I am.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 #YearInReview

2017 was strange. 

Forget that it was the year everyone went insane and stayed that way -- 2018 has gotten off to an equally bizarre start.

Professionally, this year was awesome. I did three conventions. I've published two novels, a third was rereleased, and I've been in four anthologies and a magazine. 

2018 will be even better-- 6 more anthologies, I'm going to be an editor (more on that in the future) and the majority of the novels I've written will be rereleased through a publisher. 

Personally, things were strange. Got a girlfriend. Yay. 

Then a crowd of people I hung out with all went mad. People who I defended, supported, and personally vouched for stabbed me in the back. And decided to spread some pretty hilarious rumors about me. 

2018 should be interesting. I'm hoping to hear back from another publisher about a project I've been working on my entire life. The worst that can happen is that I bounce it off of three other companies. But I'm hopeful.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Films in 2018 I Might Actually want to see in the theater

I don't do films in the theater. I don't. Generally, it's not worth the time or the energy.

For once, Hollywood has provided an entire slate of films that I may give a damn about.


Black Panther 
February 16, 2018

From the trailer. Tell me this doesn't remind you of Simba
talking to the ghost of Mufasa
I've talked about this before, and you can see the trailer here. The only thing that really puts me off of this is the hip-hop in the trailer music. This is Africa, not America, they have their own music. Perhaps someone should use it. Hell, I don't care if you got Hans Zimmer and told him to do what he did for The Lion King, only for a Marvel film. He could get away with it -- he did some interesting African tones for Lion King, and they're both Disney properties. Seriously, someone, get on it.


Death Wish
March 2, 2018




So, this is ... odd. I have no idea what to do with this one. 

Though I might wind up just getting this in DVD. It looks interesting. 



Red Sparrow
March 2, 2018

This is problematic, because I read the novel by Jason Matthews. The really, really awesome novel, that makes John Le Carre look like a pansy. It starts with a Russian woman who has been drafted to be a professional honey trap artist, and it turns into a spiraling maze of traitors and defectors and spies that make this particular game at least a six sided one, with a few more adjacent sides, just for fun. The original novel was written around 2012, so it wasn't set in the current narrative around Russia-- in fact, Matthews novel flew in the face of the prevailing wisdom of the politirati that stated that Russia wasn't a threat. So I was looking forward to it....

Then Jennifer Lawrence opened her mouth about her last film, mother!, and I became worried that she'd try to turn her next project, Red Sparrow, into a political diatribe.

Then I got this trailer.... which needs work, people. Lots of work. 

As a fan of the novel, I have to say, pretty please, DON'T. SCREW. THIS. UP.


Though I wonder if Jennifer Lawrence got this job because of her hacked cell phone selfies.

Tomb Raider
March 16, 2018

I've been looking forward to this ever since I played the video game release. The new game was awesome, with a solid character arc from simpering wuss to extreme badass.


The trailer looks like the film took a concrete badguy from the second game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, to the setting from the first Tomb Raider game from the rebooted game franchise. And this is a good thing. I like the look of both the setting and the actress (play the game, you'll see what I mean). Heck, I like the actress' attitude towards stunt work.

Though I'm a little curious about why this is being released in March. Are they trying to keep this away from the big releases? Or are summer blockbusters now being released all over the calendar.

Pacific Rim: Uprising
March 23, 2018

The first movie was poorly advertised and its reception was so blah that a sequel was in doubt. But I seriously recommend it. I only saw the first Pacific Rim because it was remaindered on DVD, and I could spare the five bucks.

This? This one I'm thinking of seeing in the theater. Because giant robots.


Avengers: Infinity War
May 4, 2018

I think I covered my reaction to this one here.

Though, please, if someone could make it look like the Thanos of Avengers ONE, I'll be happy.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - June 22, 2018

I had been interested in this one, since the first one was just fun.

Then I saw the trailer.


No. No no no. The Lost World film was "let's defend the poor helpless DINOSAURS from the big evil corporation." They've made this film "let's defend the poor helpless DINOSAURS from the big evil VOLCANO."

... You know guys, Yellowstone national park is settled on a great big seismic catastrophe waiting to happen because, well, if it's gonna go, we'll have plenty of warning, and, well, everyone within a few hundred miles will be nuked anyway, so why not?

Choosing to place your dinosaur theme park on an unstable island? Who does that?

Not to mention .... um, guys, you had a sequel all set up with BD Wong as the villain after he was packed off in the first film. What the hell is your problem? Did you not read your own notes?

Ant-Man and the Wasp
July 6, 2018

While I'm not a fan of the first Ant-Man, Paul Rudd had some nice moments in Civil War. Whether or not I see this one in theaters is solely contingent of what they have of a plot this time.

Mission: Impossible 6
July 27, 2018

I quite enjoyed Rogue Nation and Ghost Protocol. This one threatens to be a follow up to those. Who knows, we might have a complete trilogy by the time we're done.


The Meg
August 10, 2018

I read the original Steve Alten novel Meg about twenty years ago. The premise was simple: deep in the Marianas trench, it's possible that prehistoric aquatic life might still exist.

Enter the Meg, short for "Megalodon," an eighty-foot shark that eats anything that comes in its path, including a submarine, and a boat filled with green peace idiots trying to keep the shark from being killed. The first book was short, but awesome. Don't read the others, but the first book was awesome.

... On the other hand... It's being adapted by Jon Turteltaub, of the National Treasure films and The SOrcerer's Apprentice, not the tone I expected from Meg. We needed Jaws, not the director of lighthearted comedies and feel-good inspirational films.

Also, the hero of the novel was a scientist who studies aquatic life. What they got was ... Jason Statham as a rescue diver, trying to save a stranded submarine from the shark.

Really, people? Meg was optioned as a film 20 years ago, before the book was even on the shelves. The reviewers called it Jurassic Shark. The best that you idiots could do was make it into a SYFY CHANNEL MOVIE? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU IDIOTS....

Yes, I know I stated I might see this in the theater, but the more I look at this stuff, the more I wonder why I was so hyped in the first place.


Possible, but perhaps on DVD

There are also some films coming out next year that I might end up seeing, but not in theaters. The following are some of them. These are interesting, but not the big block busters where I need to see everything on the big screen to appreciate it.

Also, in at least one case, it might suck.

12 Strong
January 19, 2018


I don't think I need to see this in theaters. But I'm going to definitely shoot for it on DVD.

Please Stand By
January 26, 2018

I generally don't do inspirational films. But this seems inoffensive. Though nothing in the trailer justifies the cost of movie tickets.


15:17 to Paris
February 9, 2018

This is a movie about the Paris train attack of a few years ago. Normally, I would expect Hollywood to screw this up so royally, I wouldn't be able to put it into words.

But this is directed by Clint Eastwood. The stars of the film are playing themselves. I don't think it gets much more accurate than that.





How The Grinch Stole Christmas
November 9, 2018

Universal Pictures is rebooting the animated Grinch. Why is this even being considered, considering the travesty they've made of the story already?

Benedict Cumberbatch is replacing Boris Karloff. This might help.

On the other hand ... it's a full movie? The original was only 30 minutes wrong for a really good reason. At best, I might give it a DVD release.