Friday, May 31, 2019

City of Shadows Playlist, Chapter 3: Sturm und Drang

Yeah, there's a lot of music for this book. This time it's all from the same piece: Within Temptation's Black Symphony.

First, the "Ouverture" -- yes, it's spelled that way.

And of course, the best part of the entire album -- The Howling.

It's something to read City of Shadows to.  Enjoy.

And if you haven't yet, please kick in a few suggestions to the Dragon Awards discussion.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Live, on LibertyCon and writing

LibertyCon 2019 schedule

LibertyCon will be hosted in Chattanooga Tennessee. This time, it will be in the local convention center. Which you'd think would happen more often. Just look at DragonCon.
Fri 02:00PM Tropes of Modern Urban Fantasy What are the most common and most unique tropes found in Urban Fantasy today. David B. Coe moderates this fascinating discussion.
(Panelists: David B. Coe / D. B. Jackson; Declan Finn; Amie Gibbons; James Hunter; David E. Pascoe; Lydia Sherrer)
After Love at First Bite and Saint Tommy NYPD, as well as having read Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, Larry Correia, and the first 8 books of Laurell K. Hamilton (ie: before she became a porn author), I should be able to cover this one in my sleep.
Fri 05:00PM Opening Ceremonies
I don't think I need to explain this one.

Fri 08:00PM What's New from Silver Empire Publishing Russell Newquist moderates this panel on what is new from Silver Empire Publishing. (with Declan Finn; Daniel Humphreys; Morgon Newquist; Russell Newquist)
Self explanatory.
Fri 10:00PM Reading: Declan Finn & Melisa Todd Sat 02:00PM Autograph Session (Finn, Gallagher)
Then there's this.
Sat 06:00PM 500 Vampires, No Waiting 500 Vampires, No Waiting: How many vampire types are out there? Do you prefer the supernatural? The aliens? The Wesley Snipes movies? Declan Finn moderates this panel on the many varieties of Nosferatu. (Panelists: Karen Bogen; David L. Burkhead; Declan Finn; Amie Gibbons; Louise Herring-Jones; Daniel Humphreys; Tom Tinney)
So, um, oops.

When I asked to be removed from a panel at LibertyCon, I was told, "No problem. Just let me know if you have any ideas." Or something like that.

My comment was, "Why not a panel on the 500 types of vampires?"

So that happened.
Sun 10:00AM Kaffeeklatsch
Sitting around with every guest imaginable over coffee.
Sun 01:00PM The New Voices of Horror Michael H. Hanson moderates this panel on what new in the evolving genre of horror. (Panelists: Declan Finn;Valerie Hampton; Michael H. Hanson;Louise Herring-Jones)
If you want, I recommend buying copies of either My Saint Tommy NYPD series. or my Love at First Bite novels


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

On the End of the MCU

So, I saw Endgame the other day. My review pretty much matches that of John C. Wright. The strength was the acting. There was one massive plothole that comes with time travel, but it's the plothole I have with Terminator 2, and who doesn't like that movie?

All in all, that was a very nice little wrap up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What's that you say? There are still Marvel movies to come? Including another Spider-Man film?

No. This wrapped things up nicely. We can all go home now. If they insist on making more films, I've got no problem getting them used, if I even feel the need to see them.

Take a look for a moment around "phase 4" of the MCU. See if you notice anything.

  • Spider Man: Far From Home
  • Black Widow
  • Black Panther 2
  • Doctor Strange 2
  • Eternals
  • Shang-Chi
  • Guardians 3

And before you ask, no, it's not about Captain Marvel. Even the directors of Endgame hated her so much, they had Thanos punch her right out of the movie. I'm told she was on screen for 15 minutes. I think most of that time she was not speaking, or she was so covered in CGI, she looked like Tinkerbell. There is no way you can jam her into more than two of these seven films, and that's assuming anyone allows her in.

Despite all of Kevin Feige's woke spinning, every time he spins politics, he never delivers it, which is a point in his favor. So I'm not going to guess which films he wants to jam in "body positive" or L.G.B.T.Q.Q.I.A.A.P.M.O.U.S.E. "role models" in.  (If you see a "hero" called "America" expect heads to roll after the movie bombs like Hiroshima.)

I'm only concerned with those bullet points.

If you don't see it, don't worry, I have you covered.

Spider Man: Far From Home. If you remember, Homecoming was so full of woke secondary casting it was painful. Really painful. They were so unnecessary to the plot that we really only needed three actors -- Michael Keaton, Roberty Downey Jr, and Tom Holland. Almost everyone else could be replaced by a cardboard cutout. In the case of "Zendaya," I'm relatively certain she is a cardboard cutout.  I suspect Far From Home will only need Tom Holland, Sam Jackson, Jake what's-his-name, and CGI monsters. Which means that I can wait for it to be remaindered in Edward R. Hamilton, or used on Amazon.

Black Widow -- if you've seen Endgame, you know why this is a problem. If you haven't seen it yet (oh come on, even I've seen it by now) let's say that one of their selling points is WE HAVE A FEMALE DIRECTOR.  Um, that's nice. What's this FEMALE DIRECTOR done? Um ... well, that sucks. Pity that when they finally get around to making the Black Widow movie fans wanted since Avengers (if not Iron Man 2) is made by someone with fewer credentials than the creature who made the Wrinkle in Time movie.

Black Panther 2 -- I hold out no hope for this one. I suspect that one day people will realize that BP was a disjointed, tone-deaf mess that couldn't figure out what it wanted to be when it grew up. Did it want to be Game of Thrones in Africa (As in the first 30 minutes)? Did it want to be James Bond (as it was in that bit in Korea)? Did it want to focus on Wakanda versus black urban America? They should have stuck with one tone and ran with it. (And for a movie with the two "Tolkien White guys," did anyone else realize that while everyone was having a civil war, Martin Freeman was saving the world?)  And while everyone else squee-ed over battle rhinos ... yikes, that CGI was bad.

Doctor Strange 2 -- Cumberbatch might make this worth renting or buying used. The CGI might tempt me to watch it on a big screen, but they're going to have to have a trailer that blows my socks off and turns my hair white to tempt me that much. And I don't think they have the chops do to that.

Guardians 3 -- James Gunn, the director, thinks pedo jokes are funny. They're not. Check please.
  • Eternals
  • Shang-Chi
At which point, I get to break out a GIF.

Image result for gif who?

Don't worry, you're not the only one. I had to look them up, too.

Brian Niemeier is a fan of saying "Don't give money to people who hate you." I concur. I had no problem going to Endgame because the House of Mouse is going to burn itself down, courtesy of Dickhead in Chief, Bob Iger, who is so beset by scandals and criminal investigations, and downright mishandling of properties that I actually think that Endgame's success will only fuel their certitude of their own invulnerability, and thus fuel their own demise.

They killed Star Wars with The Last Jedi. And yet they're going to burn nearly... what? Half a billion dollars per movie over the next few years? (I'm guesstimating based on previous, conflicting numbers). While they got burned with Solo -- an okay film caught in the backlash from The Last Jedi -- Disney didn't learn their lesson. They're going to spend about three billion dollars on six Star Wars films over the next few years, hoping to make at least six billion dollars. However, the people behind these films (at last report) are Rian Johnson of Last Jedi and the people who dropped the ball on Game of Thrones. Say goodbye to three billion dollars, Disney.

They want to try an Avatar franchise, which will take forever to make and mountains of cash to finish. But they have so doubled down on it, they've put in an Avatar section to their theme park .... no, seriously, Disney, Avatar came out a decade ago. The prime audience for Disneyland wasn't even born at the time, and are currently spoiled with better graphics in casual video games, which are largely better written (unless they're Assassin's Creed).

Next up, the Aliens franchise!  (Guys, just stick with Aliens. The series is dead already)

The Disney model used to be reinvest profits into the company, expand, and make more money. They're still doing that, but they're doing it in such a way that is just going to screw them over. Investing in Star Wars land (yes, I know) after The Last Jedi? Investing in Avatar at the parks before there's really a market for it?

Next up: the "MCU" will get the same treatment. But the MCU is over, fellas. They got a decent sendoff. It was a miracle that it got this far anyway -- normally, conflicting personalities would destroy a franchise like this in three movies, if not sooner. It was probably a minor miracle. Robert Downey Jr. is a good guy who stood up for Mel Gibson. Most of the main actors had never been big names before they were cast. Sure, there were some attempts. Before the MCU started, I think the biggest names they had were Scarlett Johanssen and Sam Jackson.

Endgame wrapped up the MCU.
  • Everyone got a happily ever after. 
  • All of the main characters without a sequel series are done with the franchise. 
  • All of the good secondary characters are going to yet ANOTHER streaming service... and we saw how well that worked with NetFlix (Three good seasons of television out of eleven). 

So, the movies are done. But Marvel will pour in the money. Disney bought Marvel Comics, and allowed the comics to go to woke crap while the movies made money. Now that Disney is going to streaming, expect the films to go to woke crap while they focus on streaming -- and like with Star Trek Discovery, Disney won't care if it's all crap, since the membership fees will be money up front.

There is a Graham Greene story called A Hint of an Explanation, where a man tells the story of how his atheist next door neighbor wanted to run tests on a consecrated host. The narrator, who had been an altar boy, palmed the host, and nearly handed over the host for desecration, when the neighbor pushed just a little too hard, was a little too eager, and let slip his darker nature. The point of the story is that evil overreaches and screws itself over.

Now that Disney is secure in the sensation that it can do no wrong, and they have money to burn, get ready to spend the next ten years watching the money go up in flames.

Disney is overreaching.

If you want a superhero that will never go woke, I suggest


Sunday, May 26, 2019

On Ending Game of Thrones

I get this joke.
I've heard the rumor that some people are less than thrilled with the ending of Game of Thrones.

Never being a fan in the first place (of books or movies), I am hardly surprised. My chief surprise is that anyone was taken aback by the terrible ending in the first place. Every time I looked in on the series, someone else is getting raped, murdered, banging a sibling, or murdering people in large groups. In the novels, the plot ran on character death so much that a friend of mine once made a mathematical formula that calculated the next death to within five pages.

Honestly? I always felt that Game of Thrones was a Lord of the Rings snuff porn parody.

Though what makes it interesting to me is that, once again, we have a series where the writers fell short, and are disdainful of the viewer backlash.

And, unlike The Last Jedi, which sucks harder and harder the more I look at it (were I to review it today, I'd give it negative numbers), I don't think this was a matter of politics. This wasn't a matter of "we had to wrap it up or be canceled." George RR Martin wanted three more seasons to get to the ending. HBO is planning FIVE GAME OF THRONES SPINOFFS, and making money hand over fist from this.

The Game of Thrones show runners just wanted off. They had been offered a job making a Star Wars trilogy, and they figured more money could be had elsewhere.

I get this joke.
I'm told that there are over fifty million Game of Thrones fans. That's 50,000,000.

That's approximately 50,000,000 people who aren't going to see those Star Wars movies. Not counting the friends and family of those fans who will spend between now and then bitching about how badly they dropped the ball with Game of Thrones.

So, doubling down on the "screw your fans, we're outta here" aspect is ... interesting to me. I didn't think that HBO had the sort of influence that Disney does. But this is starting to reach Last Jedi level push back on both ends.

Please think back to a decade ago, when Lost wrapped up. The obsessed fans were pissed at the lackluster, disappointing ending that wrapped up exactly nothing. No plot threads were resolved. The ending needed to be explained. It was a mess.

The creators didn't really answer. They passed it off as "Oh, the fans had so many ideas in the fan forums, we didn't want to disappoint any of them with a definitive ending. So we let them make their own." It lent the appearance of being deferential while at the same time covering the fact that they had no idea where they were going, despite all the claims to the contrary. (Sorry Damon Lindelof, you never know where you're going. We know that now)

Now? The fans are pissed, and the response is no better than "If you don't like the ending, go write your own fanfiction and jerk off to it." Normally, I expect that sort of reaction from people who are motivated by politics.

Now, again, I am no fan of George RR Martin (who has personally insulted friends of mine). I am no fan of Game of Thrones.

I am actively disdainful of writers who backhand their readers / viewership.

As Brad Torgersen put it.
And never, ever blame the fans for being less than thrilled with your ending. Show patience and good humor with the scolds, and be thankful for the constructive critics among your readers who can explain why something didn't feel right, did not work for them, etc. There's learning in that exchange of ideas.
Image may contain: 2 people, text
I .... wait, really? What the Hell...?
There will be no learning here.

Though I am starting to wonder just how much of this is success going to their heads. "We have fifty million fans! We could alienate half of them and still rake in the dough."  Or "I'm a best-selling author with a book deal! I can do no wrong." These people later become shocked that yes, they can do wrong... but hey, they've made their money, they can afford to screw up, as long as they don't spend like a drunken sailor. And the show-runners of Game of Thrones can afford to mess around on Star Wars, they're playing with house money.

Or should I say... mouse money.

So the next time you see how fans are being dismissed as "entitled," maybe you should take a gander at the material they're complaining about, and consider that the writers are the ones who feel entitled. While yes, endings may be difficult, there is no excuse for doing a rush job because "I have to get onto another project."  Sheesh. This is HBO. These are the people who put TV shows on pause for several years so actors could run off and do other projects. Even if "Game of Thrones must go on," isn't that the point where you take all of the notes and outlines and hand them off to someone else?

This assumes, of course, that there was a plan. This assumes that there were notes and outlines to be handed off.

That is an assumption I'm not willing to make.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Live Cast on Villains

Yes, I know I did a blog on this yesterday, but it was on my mind.

You can find the link for City of Shadows here.

And if you haven't chimed into the discussion, my latest discussion on the Dragon Awards is here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Making a Villain (update)

Bad guys don't need to wear black.
But then again, black can be awesome.
So, what do Moriarty, Modred, and Sauron have in common?

Easy, they're all bad guys.

What else to they have in common? While all villains in their respective stories, very little connects the three.  Moriarty is a math professor gone bad, seemingly to start a criminal empire for the sake of it; an intellectual exercise for fun and profit. Sauron, of Lord of the Rings, is a being of pure evil who wants to conquer the word., with him as the only free person in it.  Modred ... well, depending on what edition you're looking at, he's either a a pure tool of his mother, a weapon of evil, a manipulative little wretch, or, just guy who's gotten caught up in events that lead to a train wreck (honestly, just read Mary Stewart's novels...)

Creating a villain can be no different from creating every other character in a universe. A character is a character, and if you're trying to create a fully 3-Dimensional person on the page, it shouldn't matter if it's a protagonist or an antagonist. With Sauron, there is literally an entire backstory on him stretching back thousands of years (Tolkien, The Silmarillion); Modred was given a great deal of emotional and personal depth by Mary Stewart in her novels of King Arthur; and Moriarty ... well, he was a tool by Arthur Conan Doyle because he was tired of writing Sherlock Holmes, other people have stepped up to give Moriarty more of a back story, including Isaac Asimov.

But note, Moriarty actually has no lines in the single short story he appears in. The only dialogue he has is whatever Holmes relates to Watson. He technically doesn't even need a backstory, but he's inspired countless variations for villain. As far as iconic personal adversaries, he might be the beginning of the archetype for the mirror opposite for the hero.

In the case of my bad guys, I've done both extremes. For my Pius novels, I have the personal history going back to the antagonist's grandparents. They have hobbies and motivations and a history. They have back stories, and I could probably make books out of the bad guys I make ... but then again, the last bad guy as protagonist was probably The Talented Mr. Ripley. Unless that's your read on the entirety of Game of Thrones.

However, there are schools of thought behind making villains.  One is that "the villains really see themselves as the good guys; the heroes of their own stories."

That's crap. Total and complete crap.

Why is that crap? Because it makes a lot of presumptions. Starting with the presumption that the villain even believes about "right" and "wrong."  Good, bad, they're the ones with the weapon. Going back to Greek mythology, the only constant "moral" was that right and wrong were whatever the fickle gods decided it was. Hubris was the only constant sin they appeared to acknowledge. If we want real life villains, does anyone think a Saddam Hussein believed in anything but power? How about the abortion lobby? Does anyone think they care about "women's health"? They only murder a few million children a year in the name of "mercy."

And you can't merely dismiss villains as sociopaths. Why not? There are plenty of amoral little bastards out there whose only goal is whatever their whim is at the moment. They don't think over morals, ethics, Nietzsche, the will to power ... though you'd be surprised how many think they are beyond good and evil, because what's good and evil.

And you don't need to be a sociopath to have a mindset geared towards "this is what I want," and "this is what's good for me," and screw the rest of the universe. We call it social media. What are the thugs of Anti-Fa but weaponized social media mobs? If you have that type of a person, add together a total disregard for the consequences, and for anyone who gets in your way, you have a good, solid villain.

This is my school of villainy.  My bad guys don't care about what's right and wrong.  They don't care about anything but what they want. They don't even see themselves as the hero of their story ... because that presumes they believe in heroes and villains. If there's no right and wrong, then what's a villain? What's a hero?

Can characters have a code of honor and be a villain? Sure, why not?  Honor is generally considered a system based solely on pride. There's a reason pride is a deadly sin. And pride is all about "me."

And, no, a villain doesn't have to be pure evil -- torturing, sadistic rapist qualities are not a prerequisite. For some, not everything is about sex. And, hell, I live in New York, BDSM is considered a "subculture."

Hey, just because the character slashes someone's throat and watches their lifeblood coming out of them in spurts, chuckling manically, doesn't necessarily make them a bad guy. Though it could make them a fairly scary good guy? (If you ever get the chance, look up the first Mr. Moto film with Peter Lorrie. He plays a Japanese man in the 1930s, just as everything goes to Hell in the Pacific.  You seem him kill people in what looks like cold blood.  He always wears black gloves, black coats, and he always looks sinister. You have no idea what side he's on until the very end.)

On the other end of the equation, there are people who try to tell me that MacBeth was a tragic hero ... Really? That's like saying that all of the murderers caught by Columbo were heroes, as opposed to a murder mystery told from the killer's point of view. Here's a lesson to being a writer: if you're trying to make your hero tragic, don't give him a body count in the triple-digits that includes innocent women and children.

My point: you don't need a bad guy to be crazy for him to be evil. Nor do you need a sadist, a rapist, a pervert, sex-fiend, or Jack the Ripper.

Hell, I don't think any of my villains are that sort of psycho.

The enemy in A Pius Man, for example, is none of these. Will he kill everyone in his way? Sure. Will he go out of his way to utterly and completely destroy thousands if he can? Absolutely. Will he rape, torture, and maim for fun and profit? No.  Why? Because it's not efficient, a waste of time, and won't help him achieve his goals in the slightest.

The Love at First Bite series have demons and vampires as the bad guys, and they want to take over the world in the service of Hell. These bastards all know whose side they're on. They know they're working for the forces of Hell. You can't tell me they think they're the hero. (And no, you can't tell me that Lucifer is the hero of Paradise Lost -- he's the protagonist, but he's still the villain.)

Heck, the Saint Tommy NYPD series is ... oy. Again, possessed serial killer. A death cult and a warlock motivated by political power. I've got Jihadists who want to destroy Christendom so their culture can take over the world. There are anti-theists who have... a similar motivation. We won't even get into the eldritch horrors from beyond.

For the record, to write an antagonist, you just need one person to have competing goals with your main character. If you have a person with goals that run counter to the protagonist, then you have a good antagonist.

What that antagonist does makes them a villain. For a villain, you need someone who must be stopped, one way or another. And reasoning with them isn't even an option.

For a ton of good villains, and antagonists, I suggest you take a look at my Dragon Awards discussion post for some great novels that do this.

Monday, May 20, 2019

2019 Book of the Year Announced: the winners will shock you

Click bait title aside, the conclusion is somewhat surprising.

Because book #1, the Book of the Year for the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance is ....

Hell Spawn.

Yes, by me.

Click here if you don't believe me.

Meanwhile, in other news, Catholic Reads has reviewed Hell Spawn.

I think they liked it.

And while we're at it, It's still up for the Dragon Award in best horror.

So if you haven't read Hell Spawn, now's the time to take a look at it.

If you haven't cast a vote for the Dragon Awards, now's the time to consider your options.

Be well all.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

City of Shadows Playlist, Chapter 2

Only two different ones this time as I went through Chapter 2. I don't know if it was a matter of I played these on a loop, or if these were the only two songs that I remembered.

Both of these are covers by Minniva. I don't know her last name offhand. In a lot of cases, I like her versions better than the original ... if only because they move, and because I can understand them.

Anyway, this is one.

And then Hammerfall's Last Man Standing

In either case, if you haven't gotten a copy of City of Shadows yet, here's the link.

Oh, and if you haven't seen, I have May's Dragon Award discussion up already.

Enjoy one or the other. :)

Monday, May 6, 2019

Dragon Awards, May 2019

The Dragons are open for voting ... and we're getting close to the cut off date for the nominees.

Yeah, it's been a fast month. Hell, I feel like I just did this blog.

Though trust me, you have no idea how much I wanted to title this post "Sad Puppies 6, Zombie Puppies Bite Back," but my click bait instinct has a filter.

Anyway, let the discussion begin. And yes, I've got additional suggestions kicking around from you folks who came to play

And yes, I said discussion. I'd like people to come on, and tell me what you want to see nominated. Hell, I've already made adjustments to the list below. I haven't changed who I'm voting for yet, since something would need to blow my socks off to change my mind. But I want to make certain that this become a DISCUSSION.

Now, again, please remember the eligibility is from the start of July 2018 to the end of June 2019.

So, let's continue.
* * * * * *  * *

Best Science Fiction Novel

I have already reviewed Heroes Fall by Morgon Newquist. You might think .... whatever you like. But this was one Hell of a solid novel, and some of the best SF I've read in years.

What is it? Superheroes. If you liked Astro City, or JMS's Rising Stars, or, hell, the MCU, you're going to want to read this one, and I think you're going to agree with me that it's pretty kickass.

Now, as was suggested last time, Richard Paolinelli has a new book out, called When the Gods Fell.

A friend of mine, MA Rothman, has an SF book out that might be of interest.

Also, Christopher Ruocchio would like people to recall that his novel, Empire of Silence has also come out.

Nathan, from the Pulp Archivist has Pop Kult Warlord, by Cole.

A Mr John Boyd suggested in my comments on the April post for Causes of Separation by Travis Corcoran. It was seconded by Karl Gallagher. So there may be some competition this year.

Best Fantasy Novel 
(Including Paranormal)

I have not yet reviewed Bokerah Brumley's "Keepers of New Haven: Woe for a Faerie" on my blog. However, I can tell you that it has some interesting ideas and concepts

I had considered putting one of Daniel Humphreys Paxton Locke novels up for this one (again, I got the ARC. Heh heh heh), but he was more interested in emphasizing another topic.

Also, to be honest, while I know the book is done, I don't know when it's going to be released, so there's that too.

Nathan has thrown in a suggestions for this one:  Sword of Kaigen, by M. L. Wang. I honestly cannot speak to this one, since I haven't read it yet. Though the price is $.99 today apparently, so that might be cool.

Karl Gallagher has sent me a copy of his book The Lost War, so I have to make time for that.

Best YA / Middle Grade Novel

Mutter mutter mutter. The Kings Regret by Ligon is not yet out, so you'll have to take my word on it for this moment. I can't say too much. It's Steampunk YA.

Lucky for him, Jagi hasn't come out with another Rachel Griffin novel.

Nathan, however, does have another option: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon, vol. 12, by Omori... da heck? I have looked it up and concluded that yes, this is a novel, despite the cover. Honest. I was confused there for a moment.

Best Military SFF Novel

Daniel Humphrey's A Place For War... Yes, this is what Daniel wanted to be nominated in instead of his Night's Black Agents, so I concurred.

For the record, no, I have not yet read David Weber's Uncompromising Honor. I suspect he will not need additional support.

Nathan (and apparently Anspach and Cole) has another thought: Galaxy's Edge: Order of the Centurion.

Best Alternate History Novel

This was a tough one.

Because in addition to Hans Schantz's Brave and the Bold (reviewed here), you also have yet again another Robert Kroese Iron Dragon novel .... which I will admit, I have not read, but let's face it, Robert isn't going to start to suck at this late date, now is he?  The Iron Dragon has been seconded by a John Boyd in my comments from April's post.

So this should end well.

Best Media Tie-In Novel

Thrawn: Alliance
Timothy Zahn is doing a Thrawn novel. Your argument is so invalid, it's not even funny.

Nathan at Pul Archivist wants to throw Realmslayer, by Guymer. It is apparently a Warhammer novel.

Best Horror Novel

This is funny, since by the time the Dragons comes out, I will have SIX horror novels eligible.

Hell Spawn
Death Cult
Infernal Affairs
City of Shadows
Crusader (Coming soon)
Deus Vult (Coming soon....ish)

..... But as I argued, it's best to nominate Hell Spawn and move on. And if you disagree and would like to nominate one of the other books in another category ... okay, but I'd like you not to split the vote too too much.

Please refer here for my thoughts on the matter.

Best Comic Book

Dark Maiden #2, by Jonathan Baird.

Joan of Arc fantasy comic book.

I dare you to find me something better.

Best Graphic Novel

Good question. Any ideas?

Nathan had one: Conan le Cimmérien - Le Colosse noir  .... I don't know why Nathan wanted it in French, but okay.

Though I'm tempted to say the comic adaptations of PD Wodehouse by Chuck Dixon, just because Jeeves and Wooser are just so much fun.

Best SFF TV Series

I actually have a tossup on this one.

Okay, I had one. While I greatly enjoyed Reverie, which had some great ideas, solid executions, and generally well-done ... the series is cancelled. I shouldn't be surprised. It was a series over the summer.

So, I'm going to have to say God Friended Me ... It might actually be one of the better shows out there, with a solid character arc for everyone, even the bit players. And everything fit together brilliantly in the end.

I await the next season to screw it up, because television.

Best SFF Movie

The Meg...

No. No question. Just The Meg.

Yes, I'm biased. Damn straight. I've only waited 20 flipping years for this movie.

Though wouldn't it be funny if it's The Meg vs Aquaman?

Water on water violence.

Though I await people to just tell me "Endgame."

Best SFF PC / Console Game

Spiderman, PS4, Insomniac games.

Yup. No hesitation. This was .... amazing.

As for ... Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game ....
Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Board Game....

No idea.


Best SFF Miniatures / Collectible Card 
/ Role-Playing Game....

Nathan to the rescue on this one: Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team

Other nominees.

You might remember that last year, I had at least half a dozen nominees for each category....

Nope. Not anymore.

Again, the upcoming Daniel Humphreys' Come Seeling Night is something I'd suggest in paranormal, but he wanted military.

And unknown person commented that he wanted "Supersync by Kevin Inkenberry for Best Science Fiction novel"... but I can't find any such person.  Unknown aslo seconded "A Pale Dawn for best Military Science Fiction novel."

....So, yeah, right now, I'm out of alternate suggestions at the moment. Maybe I'm just out of authors. Heck, I would love to nominated Simon R Green for Night Fall... but it is one of his lesser works, and really dropped the ball for the finale of his magnum opus, largely by having it as a crossover with a series I truly and deeply hate.

However, author and publisher Christ Kennedy has a set of choices. I put them all in one place since he's the one who gave me the most suggestions.

  • Best Science Fiction Novel – Salvage Title, Kevin Steverson
  • Best Fantasy Novel – A Tangled Fate, Jon R. Osborne
  • Best Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel – Black and White, Mark Wandrey (Which I cannot find to link to, so, sorry)
  • Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel – A Pale Dawn, Kennedy and Wandrey
  • Best Alternate History Novel – The World Asunder, Kacey Ezell (Again, not out, so I can't link to it)
  • Best Media Tie-In Novel – The Replicant War, Chris Kennedy
  • Best Horror Novel – Darker Nights, Eric S. Brown
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy PC / Console Game – Turbolance, Ryan Kennedy and Noah Bowden
  • Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Miniatures / Collectible Card / Role-Playing Game – The Four Horsemen: Omega War, Clarion Games

If you want to give me alternate suggestions, please be sure to leave one in the comment -- author, title, and genre category.

As of now, let the discussions begin.

And if you want to vote RIGHT THIS MINUTE, that would be here.