New Projects

•May 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been a very busy writer lately. First, I’ve finally finished the illustrations for Larry Correia’s “Warbound” book 3 of the Grimnoir Chronicles.

Want to know what's going on? Read the book when it comes out.

Want to know what’s going on? Read the book when it comes out.

It was a very exciting project and I won’t spoil anything, but there’s a really secret reason for this illustrations that is in the story. Can’t tell ya!
Also, I’ve written a short story for the Crimson Pact, an anthology about demons and those that hunt them. My story is about a team of Russian snipers hunting down a demonic enemy sniper. It’s pretty cool.

Go check out the other volumes. They're consistently the best short stories I've read.  Check them out HERE.

Go check out the other volumes. They’re consistently the best short stories I’ve read. Check them out HERE.

Also, I’ve done some illustrations for the anthology “A Walk in the Abyss.”

I didn't do this cover, but I love the Frazzetta style artwork.  Genius.

I didn’t do this cover, but I love the Frazzetta style artwork. Genius.

Also, I’ve been working a lot on my history blog, “Minimum Wage Historian.” Go check it out.
Upcoming projects. I’ll be turning my story “Sins of Prometheus” into a book and I’ll be starting a Cyberpunk book that I think will be pretty cool. Cyberpunk isn’t dead, in fact, its even more relevant now than ever. Also, check out my ongoing serial fantasy story, “The Lost Promise.” It’s a fantasy epic about a prophecy that’s went bad and how a people deal with it.

Check it out HERE.

Check it out HERE.

Book Review: Emergence

•June 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Emergence by David Palmer is a post apocalyptic story (one of my favorite genres) about a super intelligent twelve year old girl. She’s a genius with an IQ off the charts and the whole book, with a few exceptions, is written from her point of view in a very simple, right to the point style.

The girl is in a bunker under her house when the world ends. It’s like a really tricked out fallout shelter. When she emerges she finds that everyone is dead. She’s completely alone in the world until she finds a message for her telling her that she’s special: a new form of humanity and that she has to find others like her. So she sets out, using her amazing intelligence to overcome problems along the way as she looks for others like her. There’s more to the story and they have to stop the world from being destroyed and wiping out what few survivors there are. I found this book at a USO tent randomly while in Iraq. It’s an older book from the 80’s so there’s a lot of cold war stuff in it, but it’s not a problem.
The ending climax is so well done I was literally reading as fast as I could to find out what happens. I won’t give anything away but it’s one of those climaxes where you can’t possibly see a happy ending and that even if the hero wins, they’re doomed with no way out. Nail biting I’ll call it. You can find it on Amazon and I’d highly recommend it.

Is it sci-fi or is it artsy? (rant)

•March 18, 2012 • 2 Comments

There is a definite negative reaction to the genre of sci-fi in the literary world. The literati hate science fiction and think its something for children and imbeciles. Not only is this a very ignorant and arrogant point of view, its also HIGHLY hypocritical because the artsy literary types use science fiction all the time.

Your science fiction book is sooo...science fictiony that I refuse to even look at it. It is beneath my notice mere mortal!


For one thing, let me just say that sci-fi has changed a lot over the past few decade. It has matured and is now pushing boundaries that few other genres push. Take mainstream, literary fiction. It’s stale, boring and no one reads it except other literary snobs. All those awards they give to each other are for books that no one reads and no one will ever remember. Look at Stephan King, someone the literati sneer at and look down their noses at. Guess what? People actually read his books and will be remembered long after he’s dead.

What today's literati think all science fiction is like today.


Take the “Warwick prize for writing.” Ever hear of it? No? Because it doesn’t matter. If no one reads it because its tedious and boring, then it doesn’t matter what it says. I’m not saying to dumb things down. Not at all. I’m saying that the self congratulating literati are so high up in their ivory towers that no one really cares what goes on up there.
Okay, now for their blatant hypocrisy. These, unread literati won’t even look at a work of science fiction…yet they read sci-fi all the time. Let’s take “The Road” for example.

Yup, that's a sci-fi cover right there. How many science fiction books have covers like that? Should be your first clue.


I had one fellow try to tell me that “The Road” wasn’t sci-fi because it had deeper meaning…WTF? When asked to clarify, he said “It’s not science fiction because its not about space ships and lasers. It’s about people.” This is a man who has no clue how stories work. I’ve never read a sci-fi book about a space ship or a laser. The books I’ve read have all been about people: characters and plot. Yes, the setting is indeed different and that’s what separates the genre, but it’s still about what any other book is about only they have more creative room to explore and talk about things in a different way. Could the themes and topics in “The Road” have been shown in a none sci-fi way? Sure, but it wouldn’t have had the impact. There’s few things that compare to the whole world dying. So many metaphors for society and the personal that can be taken from that, that simply couldn’t be done to the same degree in any other genre.
Next up we have “The Time Traveler’s Wife.”

A little different than "Back to the Future." The differences are 1. Marty can control the time travel and the other dude can't. 2. Thematic difference of changing fate vs. being powerless to stop it. Other than plot and characters, they both are science fiction.


You’ll never see it in the science fiction section. Why? He guy travels in time. But because it’s artsy, its put in with the rest of the self congratulating types. “It’s too good to be with THOSE!” They say. Time travel. That’s been a staple of sci-fi for decades. It’s a complex, intriguing story that is only possible with sci-fi or fantasy. There’s a reason those genres exist. Genre is a tool like any other. (It happens to be my favorite tool, but I’ve written in other genres as well.)
Now let’s look at “Melencholia.”

Hmmm...what other movie opens with a shot of two celestial bodies in the sky? Star Wars maybe?


This is a very beautiful film about depression and the end of the world. (Oh! There’s that theme again!) Guess what? You guessed it, it’s sci-fi. It’s highly artsy, unique and drama filled, but behind all that is a planet hurtling towards Earth on a collision course. Sci-fi has been doing that for a rather long time. (When worlds collide, anyone? “Gorath” from Toho Studios?)

Being doing the worlds colliding thing since the '50s.


Yes, Melancholia shows this in a very different way and that’s why I liked the film but it’s still science fiction no matter how much makeup you put on it.

Yeah, when you get weird things like that happening, its either supernatural, fantasy or science fiction. Lo siento fellas.


Science fiction allows the author to explore new themes and ideas that simple literary fiction just can’t do. They think they can, but every time they try they either miss the mark or they write science fiction. What have been the top sellers in books lately? Twilight, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Game of Thrones and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. With the exception of the last one…all science fiction or fantasy, baby. Dan Brown sells a lot of books, but I can’t stand his stuff so he doesn’t count.

Book Review: Mardock Scramble

•January 18, 2012 • 1 Comment


Mardock Scramble: by Tow Ubukata. This was a very unique book. For one, it’s cyberpunk which seems to be a dying genre. (evidently kept alive in Japan for which I thank them.) Also, its a Japanese novel translated into English. Also, and I just learned this after reading the book, its now becoming an anime.

First, let me warn you that this book isn’t exactly rated PG. It’s very harsh in its themes, use of violence and sex. The main character is a 15 year old girl named Balot and she is a child prostitute who, at the opening of the book is essentially a slave to a man named Shell. (Japanese always give their characters strange names, but in this book the names actually have a lot of significance.) Shell aside from being a pedophile, is also a serial killer and Balot doesn’t know that she’s his next victim. He traps her in a car and blows the car up, the book is pretty graphic in the injuries Balot sustains in the explosion, but she manages to barely survive. Burnt to a crisp, she is rescued by a doctor and his pet transforming mouse. The mouse is a military experiment and it’s an AI that can transform into almost anything.

See, I wasn't kidding about the mouse.


The doctor transplants a metalic skin to the badly burned Balot. This new cyber skin can read and control all electronic activity around her. She can control radios, computers and use sense everything around her. This also speeds up her thought process and bodily reactions. When the mouse transforms into a bullet proof body suite she basically becomes unstoppable. And this is where the book shines. The action scenes are intense with a capital “I’m gonna crap my pants.” She’s shooting an oversized gun full auto with every bullet going exactly where she wants it. She takes out a whole squad of killer assassins with ease, like its a game. (the assassins, the Bandersnatch Gang are actually really disgusting and the author may have gone a little overboard with making us loath them.) But she kills them very smoothly. However, Shell has a henchman named “Boiled” and if Balot is the unstoppable force, he’s the unmovable object. He can control gravity (like Sullivan from Grimnoir, by Larry Correia) and when her hail of lethally aimed bullets flies toward Boiled, they his his gravity field and miss. He’s only vulnerable when he’s shooting, but he has a giant hand cannon (literally) and she’s doing her best to shoot his bullets out of the air while looking for an opening. There’s an awesome part where she controls a car to run into him but he leaps to the ceiling of the parking garage while everything blows up around him. He’s standing on the ceiling with fire all around and his coat blowing in the blasts. Hes one bad A. He’s also unstoppable and he keeps coming and coming and the heroes, despite all their power, can do nothing but try to run away. I say “try.” There’s also a large part of the book that’s like the movie “Casino Royale” where to get data chips with information about Shell, they have to use their powers and win against the house. Admittedly this part kinda drags but it all comes together and at the end you’ll be fist pumping and shouting “Halleluiah!” You really do want Balot to win because you feel nothing but sympathy for her. She’s been abused all her life and treated like a thing, but now she’s starting to find out who she is and what her real worth is…all the while killing really bad men and shooting thousands of bullets in a 100+ page bloodbath.

Okay, now I have to go watch the anime


This book isn’t for everyone. The harshness will turn away some and the pages and pages of philosophical debate will turn away others. Everyone Balot meets seems to want to discuss the meaning of life or why they kill. Sometimes they do it while they’re blasting away at each other. It’s a really long book but I didn’t want it to end. And that right there is probably the best compliment I could give it. I was highly entertained and made me see the art of story telling in a different way.

Uprising Italia

•January 18, 2012 • 8 Comments

Yup, finally finished my entry into the Uprisng library. My companion novel to Uprising USA and UK by George Hill, has me in Utah with the Mad Ogre himself, but then I go over to Italy to steal…er…I mean, rescue art, eat some good food and kill a lot of zombies.
So, go check if out if you’re into the Uprising world or if you just want to read a good zombie book.
Buy it here on Amazon!

Uprising UK is now out!

•December 4, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I love the cover of this one. I have a few illustrations in this and I’ll post those separately. This one’s even better than Uprising: USA. Its up on Amazon for kindle, paperback or if you got some other E-reading device like a Nook or smart phone or whatever, go to Smashwords.com and get it there!

New Blog!

•October 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Yo, I gotz a new blog. This one tackles one of my other great loves: History. It’s pretty cool if I say so myself. It’s called “the Minimum Wage Historian.” It takes a decidedly entertainment perspective on history. History doesn’t always have to be stuffy and academic, it can and should be fun as well.

http://minimumwagehistorian.wordpress.com/

 
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