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KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
Sitting in the waiting area of Amtrak waiting for my train to Rochester to board.....

Scooter's doing better by tiny increments. He's still lethargic and moving slowly and barely registering stuff around him, but all those things are less than they were last night, which were less than they were yesterday morning. He's starting to build up speed, starting to get up on his own more often, and generally just looking a tiny bit better.

This weekend will be the acid test. It sucks that I won't be there for him, but Wrenn and Dale will take good care of the old fart, and I know I'll be getting regular updates.

Meantime, those of you going to RocCon, please do come by my table in the dealer room and buy all my books! We've got vet bills to pay.......

Current Mood: bleary
Current Music: the PA in Penn Station

Me and my old pal Jeremy Bottroff in 1997 at the San Diego Comic-Con. I was there on behalf of Byron Preiss, promoting the Marvel novels (which was going very strong at that point three years into the program) and Virtual Comics (which had just launched that year). That was when we had Stan Lee and Kurt Busiek at our booth signing an Untold Tales of Spider-Man poster to promote our upcoming anthology, which was the busiest autograph session we had. Having said that, a ton of folks related to either the Marvel project or VC signed at the booth. That was a particularly good year.

Anyhow, Jeremy lived in the area (still does, in fact), and while we've been friends since the early 1990s, the only times we've been in each other's physical presence has been when I've gone to SDCC. This was one of them. At the time he was a student and I was married. Now he's got a wife and offspring....


Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic
Current Music: "Mother the Queen of My Heart" by Arlo Guthrie

Scooter is doing better this morning. This is not to say he's doing well, but there's visible improvement over yesterday. He's spending the day at the vet, getting IV fluids and meds. With luck, today's course of treatment will result in us being able to handle the rest of his treatment orally and at home.

With the X-Files story all but done (just awaiting girasole's editorial meat axe), I now turn my attention to the following:
---writing the introductions for Without a License, as each story will get its own intro
---editing a bunch of short stories
---editing two client manuscripts
---adapting a prose novel into a 100-page graphic novel
---writing the Kickstarter short story
---writing Mermaid Precinct

Plus I've got several tie-in projects that are awaiting licensor feedback, any one of which could jump the queue. And there's always the DS9 Rewatch......

In addition, I've got New York Comic-Con to prep for. I'll be sharing a booth with my dear friend Megan Rothrock, she of The LEGO Adventure Books, and also doing a panel on Buffy the Vampire Slayer alongside Amber Benson, Rachel Caine, John Scalzi, Carol Goodman, Michelle Knudsen, and Hillary Monahan (final panelist list not confirmed, so that list may change) on Friday at 5. I might be doing other things to promote the Sleepy Hollow novel.

This weekend is also RocCon, where I'll have a table and will be doing some panels. Best of all, I get to take a train up the Hudson River and then through some beautiful parts of upstate New York in order to get to Rochester. (Yes, I'm a train nerd. And a scenery nerd. Sue me.)

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Like a Tall Thin Girl" by Jethro Tull

This seems fitting given Scooter's travails: Jethro Tull's "Sleeping with the Dog," off their underrated and wonderful Catfish Rising album from the early 1990s.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Sleeping with the Dog" by Jethro Tull

Scooter has pancreatitis. He also has indications that could be cancer and could be pneumonia. To determine if it's cancer requires an expensive test we can't afford and which will tell us (if it's cancer) that there's jack-shit we can do because he's 15 and can't handle surgery or chemotherapy.

So we're treating it as if it's pneumonia and hoping for the best. He's been on IV fluids and meds all afternoon, and now he's home to be with his people (he wouldn't handle being alone at the vet's overnight, and would probably chew off the IV port in any case -- it's better for velcro dog to be with his people overnight). We'll bring him back first thing in the a.m. for another day of treatment and then see how he's doing.

Thank you all so very much for your kind thoughts here and on Facebook and on Twitter. I actually am much less anxious now than I was earlier (teaching the afterschool karate program today was nightmarish) because now we know stuff and have a solid plan of action.

More as we learn it.....

Current Mood: worried (but not as much)
Current Music: "Old Blevins" by the Austin Lounge Lizards

Scooter has been doing well for a while, more or less, but last night he started throwing up, y'know, a lot. He was fine overnight, but as soon as he drank some water, he threw that up and has continued to puke on and off all day.

It could just be a tummy rumble, but it could also be something far worse. We're taking him to the vet this afternoon.

He's going to be 15 in December, so pretty much anything is cause for concern that we're going to lose him. Most Golden Retrievers his age have been dead for two years.

He really is the most wonderfulest sweetest puppy ever and I'm afraid we're going to lose him. :(

Happy thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Here's my favorite picture of him, taken on one of his walks:

Current Mood: worried worried
Current Music: "Once Upon a Time in the West" by Dire Straits

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Waltz"
Dukat puts a pair of underpants on his head, shoves a couple of pencils up his nose, and goes all cluck-cluck-gibber-gibber-my-old-man's-a-mushroom, etc. He does not, however, say, "Wibble." The DS9 Rewatch searches in vain for Matilda in this "Waltz."

An excerpt:
There are parts of this episode that are brilliant, but ultimately it’s an object lesson in why you shouldn’t let the opinions of fans on the Internet (which was nascent at the time, but quite vocal) influence your writing decisions. Ira Steven Behr and the rest have admitted that this episode’s making of Dukat into “pure evil” was motivated by people who were saying nice things about him online and justifying his behavior.

This is a natural reaction. There is always going to be a subset of a TV show fandom that goes apeshit over a character because he or she is good-looking and/or charming and are willing to forgive a character many transgressions because of that charisma. (I always used to joke that Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans wouldn’t have been interested in redeeming Spike if he was played by Wayne Knight instead of James Marsters.)

But that’s not a good enough reason to do this idiotic story. It breaks DeCandido’s First Rule: Don’t mistake a few fans bitching on the Internet for any kind of trend.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "The Last Worthless Evening" by Don Henley

For the second year in a row, I will be a guest at RocCon, being held this upcoming weekend at the Kodak Event Center on Ridge Road in Rochester, New York.

Other guests include actors Brent Spiner, Alaina Huffman, Billy West, Tim McCormack, Bonnie Piese, and Vic Mignogna; fellow authors Lois Gresh, Michael Joy, Megan J. Parker, and Nathan Squiers; artists Rick Stromoski, Alex Saviuk, Ray McCarthy, Matt Keenan, and Salvatore Otero; autism advocate Alec Frazier; wrestler Brimstone; musicians The Adarna; cosplayers The 501st Legion, Ace Fett Cosplay, and Alanaleilani R & Duplicitous Dichotomy; filmmaker Nate Sorrentino; the Geek Girl Project; and the Starship Horizons Bridge Simulator.

I will have a table in the dealer room where I will be selling and signing books, and I'm also doing a Q&A Friday at 7.30pm and a panel on Star Trek (with Lois Gresh and Tim McCormack) on Saturday at 11.30am.

Come on by!

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Complicated Shadow" by Elvis Costello & the Attractions

an in-depth review of Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution
A person who goes by the handle of "Sparky" has posted an in-depth, mostly favorable review of my Sleepy Hollow novel Children of the Revolution.

Money quote:
A TV show is, by definition, limited to how much of a character’s thoughts it can show, unlike a book. With these POV shifts we got to build on the characters we’d already seen – so we not only have the rather comic depiction of Ichabod struggling with the modern world but also the frustration of it (even things we don’t think of like the sheer size of the population). We have a lot more of Abbie and Frank’s rapid adaption to the existence of the supernatural and trying to deal with how it has changed their lives, their jobs even their ambitions and aspirations, hopes and dreams. We have Frank’s shock and sadness over his daughter’s injury and disability. We have Abbie and Jenny’s fraught yet loving relationship writ much larger when we’re in both of their heads – the love, the guilt, the resentment all mixed together painfully as well as Jenny’s respect, admiration and bond with the old Sherriff also made really clear.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC

Yesterday, karistan came into town and we had a wonderful time. First we went to Alice's Teacup for a lovely brunch. We got there at about 11.30, which was good timing as the location we went to (the one on E. 81st Street) is very small and very popular. We got seated within 15 minutes of arrival, but the folks who came after us weren't so lucky (especially since a little girl had her birthday party take up about 20% of the restaurant's space around noon).

T had a jasmine monkey king tea, I had Boston Tea Party tea (fitting what with the imminent release of my Sleepy Hollow novel....), and we both had yummy food to go with it.


We then headed over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While some of what we wanted to see hasn't opened yet (they've got some killer stuff coming up, most notably an exhibit of mourning attire throughout the centuries), but we did check out "The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy," which had several pieces illustrating the "second generation" of Pre-Raphaelites and how their work influenced popular and decorative arts of the late 19th century; "The Art of the Chinese Album," some truly superb drawings, many of which are sequenced in albums, from China that are just captivating and beautiful; and the current roof garden design, which has astroturf, walls, plants, and a nifty curved glass installment along with the usual spectacular view of Manhattan from the roof of the museum.



We also spent time in the Astor Court, because I don't go to the Met without spending at least a little bit of time in the Astor Court. It's peaceful and beautiful and wonderful and one of the best things in the world. And we went to the American Wing so I could show T the art that inspired the Sleepy Hollow novel.

After a trip to the gift shop, where T bought a few nifty things, we took a cab to the east side where we were going to see the new Woody Allen film Magic in the Moonlight. (First we had a lovely dinner at BRGR, which has superb burgers.) The movie was fun. It's about a subject that's always been of interest to me, to wit, the rise of spiritualism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, alongside the rise of science as technology started taking quantum leaps forward following the rise of industrialism.


In the movie, Colin Firth plays a British magician who pretends to be a Chinese magician and who also -- much like Harry Houdini in real life -- debunks spiritualists. Like Houdini, he has a 100% track record in disproving the frauds and fakers, until his oldest friend brings him to meet a woman named Sophie -- played with bright-eyed magnificence by Emma Stone, who has yet to give a non-radiant performance -- who seems to know everything about Firth without having been told anything.

I was worried the movie would take the mawkish magical route, and prove that Sophie was a real psychic, but the hints were there that she wasn't (in particular the séance where the old woman is assured that her late husband Never cheated on her, which is obvious horseshit). Instead, it takes the position that, yes, Sophie's a fake and a con artist just like all spiritualists and mediums, but she also can be a force of good, bringing comfort to people who can't handle living in a world that sucks. Even Firth's character admits that the bullshit world of spiritualism is a lot more enjoyable than the rational world that is unfair and awful.

The ending really does try to have it both ways, refusing to actually make Sophie out to be the bad guy she truly is, and Firth even forgives his friend who set him up. I think it would've been truer to the character for Firth to end up miserable and alone instead of being rewarded with his very own (very young) woman, and I don't even want to think about the implications of an older male hero winding up with a woman in her twenties in a film written and directed by Woody Allen.

But prior to that off ending, it's a delightful period piece, one that makes for an interesting examination of rationalism versus spiritualism, and I must admit to liking Firth's aunt's agnosticism. As always in Allen's films, the performances are stellar, from Firth and Stone to Hamish Linklater as the young doofus who is courting (and serenading! with a ukelele!) Sophie.

After the movie, T and I came home. This morning, I had a karate class to teach then, after some breakfast, we took her to the train station to get her home, and then we went shopping. I've spent the time since cleaning my desk (way overdue) and working on the X-Files story, which currently stands at 4348 words. I'm hoping to get more done on the story -- which is entitled "Back in El Paso My Life Would be Worthless" -- tonight.

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Dear Landlord" by Bob Dylan

I'm always entertained when two artists have songs with the same name but aren't the same song. In this case, it's "Solid Rock," the one a gospel-tinged hard-rockin' song by Bob Dylan, the other a more traditional rocker by Dire Straits. Both are rousing live versions.......

EDITED TO ADD: Had to throw this in: Dire Straits in 1985 in Wembley Stadium, joined by Nils Lofgren (of Crazy Horse and the E Street Band fame):

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Solid Rock" by Dire Straits

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "The Magnificent Ferengi"
Ishka's been kidnapped by the Dominion, and it's up to Quark, Rom, and Nog, plus a disgraced liquidator, a psychopath, and Quark's traitorous cousin to free her! Yeah, she's toast.... The DS9 Rewatch does "The Magnificent Ferengi."

An excerpt:
As expected, Jeffrey Combs is magnificently oily as Brunt and Aron Eisenberg is hilariously earnest as Nog. Christopher Shea doesn’t quite engender the same levels of contempt that he did in “Rocks and Shoals,” but he’s still a spectacular douchecanoe, to the point where you don’t feel even a little sorry for him being shot and having his corpse desecrated (and points to him for giving us the awesome physical comedy of lurching down the corridor and constantly crashing into the bulkhead). Josh Pais as usual does an excellent turn as Gaila, still the same person generally, but completely broken by the aftermath of “Business as Usual” (his girly scream during the holosuite simulation was epic).

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Broken Arrow" by Robbie Robertson

I don't have much interest in talking about today's anniversary. I've already said plenty over the past dozen years or so, and here's a bunch of it, if anyone's interested......................

My thoughts on the day, and the days after, as they happened.
The one-year anniversary in 2002.
The four-year anniversary in 2005.
The six-year anniversary in 2007.
The whole nonsense in 2010 about "the mosque at Ground Zero," which was neither of those things.
Musings on the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a rewatch to do and a short story to work on.....

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Nothing is Easy" by Jethro Tull

Hey, remember the music three times a week thing? *sigh* Yeah, been bad about that, and time I got back into it.

Here's a favorite Tom Waits song: "Big in Japan." Which, of course, makes me think of the line, "No one likes us here, but we're big in Japan" from "Boy Band" by the Arrogant Worms. So here's that, too. :)

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Living in the Past" by Jethro Tull

So today is primary day in New York State, and in the city that often means it's Election Day because for the most part this is a Democrat town. The exceptions are Staten Island and the mayoral elections between 1993 (when Rudy Giuliani fooled people into thinking he was a liberal) and 2009 (when Mike Bloomberg became an Independent, having no more need of Giuliani's coattails in his third election).

But often NYC elections are decided on Primary Day. This year is a light one, as we've got a hotly contested state senate race. Jeff Klein is facing a challenge from the previously retired Oliver Koppell. Koppell came out of retirement to fight Klein and his "Independent Democratic Caucus," a bunch of Republicans who, like Giuliani before them, claimed to be Democrats in order to win votes in this very liberal town and then proceeded to side with the Republicans in the state senate in order to break their majority and stall things in Albany even more than they're stalled normally (which is going some). The campaign has been pretty ugly, but I'm going for Koppell because I've always liked him, and he's impressing me with his desire to come out of a well-deserved retirement.

I also voted for the delightfully named Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University professor, for governor, since the alternative is voting for Andrew Cuomo, which I just can't do. The last four years of him as governor has done nothing to make me want him in the office for another four years. Hell, four years ago, he pretty much ran on the "my father was awesome!" platform, and while his father was, the son? Not so much.

Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: "Glamour Boys" by Living Colour

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Statistical Probabilities"
It's the triumphant debut of the Jack Pack! The DS9 Rewatch investigates some "Statistical Probabilities."

An excerpt:
But then there’s the discussion in Sisko’s quarters, which is the world’s biggest blown opportunity. Sure, Bashir is enhanced to make himself better, faster, stronger, but what about Vulcans and Klingons, who are stronger than humans in general? Or telepathic species or other species that do certain things better than humans? Why is it fair for Worf or Spock or Data to be in Starfleet, or at least be permitted to serve among humans? This is something Worf can speak to more specifically anyhow because of what happened when he was a kid, when his greater strength—and his lack of control over it—led to the death of another boy on Gault. That would’ve been the perfect thing for him to bring up in the conversation with Bashir.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "If I Didn't Have You" by Tim Minchin

As some of you may know, I participated in GISHWHES, the Greatest Internet Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, an annual week of silliness and absurdity supervised by Supernatural's Misha Collins (he plays Castiel). Our team -- Team Inevitable Innuendo -- had a grand old time doing absurd things in the name of having fun, and today, Collins sent out our diplomas via e-mail:


Pretty danged awesome, if you ask me.................

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Mannish Boy" by Muddy Waters & The Band

Trek Lit Reviews does The Klingon Art of War
On his Trek Lit Reviews site, Dan Gunther has reviewed The Klingon Art of War, and he really likes it! Yay!

Money quote:
I very much enjoyed the "voice" of K'Ratak as he relays the original stories behind the precepts, as well as his own "author commentary" on each precept and the morals it conveys. I especially enjoyed the stories he told of his own life and times in which the lessons of the qeS'a' informed his behaviour. This was the perfect project for Klingon expert DeCandido. I have not yet read his I.K.S. Gorkon/Klingon Empire novels, but after reading this book, I realize that they have to be made a priority in the near future.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Back in Black" by Living Colour

buy my books and comics! (including The Klingon Art of War, Farscape, & Sleepy Hollow)
Hey folks. So Dragon Con was very successful, but that mostly just means that it paid for itself and we've been able to cover a bill or two. But a big writing project that I thought would have kicked in by now is still in, for lack of a better way to put it, development hell. I've got several projects awaiting approval, but I'm still waiting. Wrenn has a part-time job, but it doesn't pay very well (and hasn't had as many hours as we'd been hoping), and on top of that the car has a repair that we can put off for a bit, but not forever. Sigh.

So I've got some cool stuff for sale, and you should buy it. And I'll autograph it and everything! To pay, please PayPal the amount of the book(s) plus $5 for shipping to krad at whysper dot net or send a check/money order made out to Keith R.A. DeCandido to PO Box 4976, New York, NY 10185-4976. If you're outside the U.S., just PayPal me the amount of the books, and I'll bill you for the exact amount of the international postage after I ship the package.

Make sure to include a shipping address and how you want me to inscribe the autograph, if at all.

BONUS -- for any order of $30 or more, you'll get a free e-copy of "Gan Brightblade vs. Mitos the Mighty," in mobi, epub, or PDF format. (Just provide me with an e-mail address.)

Included below are my three newest books, Star Trek: The Klingon Art of War, Farscape: The War for the Uncharted Territories, and Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution.

Cassie Zukav
Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet -- $15

Command and Conquer
Tiberium Wars -- $8

Dragon Precinct
Dragon Precinct -- $15
Unicorn Precinct -- $15
Goblin Precinct -- $15
Gryphon Precinct -- $15
Tales from Dragon Precinct -- $15
any 3 Precinct books -- $40
any 4 Precinct books -- $55
all 5 Precinct books -- $65

Dungeons & Dragons
Dark Sun: Under the Crimson Sun -- $8

comic books

I have various single issues of the Farscape comics for $4 each:
Gone and Back #1-3
D'Argo's Lament #4
D'Argo's Trial #1-2, 4
D'Argo's Quest #2-4
Farscape (ongoing) #3-8, 12, 14-16, 21-23
graphic novels
NEW! The War for the Uncharted Territories -- $30

Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda
Destruction of Illusions (hardcover) -- $10

movie novelizations
Darkness Falls -- $7
Resident Evil: Genesis -- $7

Sleepy Hollow
NEW! Children of the Revolution -- $8

Star Trek
A Time for War, a Time for Peace -- $8
Corps of Engineers: Out of the Cocoon -- $15
The Klingon Art of War -- $26
Klingon Empire: A Burning House -- $8
Next Generation: Q & A -- $8

Ghost: Nova -- $8

Super City Police Department
The Case of the Claw -- $15

Tales of the Scattered Earth
Guilt in Innocence -- $15

World of Warcraft
Cycle of Hatred -- $8

Young Hercules
Cheiron's Warriors -- $3
The Ares Alliance -- $3
both YH books -- $5

Current Mood: worried worried
Current Music: "Emotionally Yours" by the O'Jays

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "You Are Cordially Invited" and "Resurrection"
I forgot to do last week's blog post on this because of Dragon Con, sooooooo.....

Last week: Worf and Dax get hitched! We meet Martok's wife! Nog does the weirdest dance in history! Bashir and O'Brien swear to kill Worf! The DS9 Rewatch informs you that "You Are Cordially Invited."

An excerpt:
Everything in this episode happens because the plot says it’s supposed to happen. It’s right out of the cliché handbook of how to do a wedding episode (several of which were in TNG’s “Data’s Day” for the O’Brien wedding, and in fact I kinda wish O’Brien had made mention of the fact that his wedding was cancelled and uncancelled, too), with only a few touches to separate it. One of those—which I really appreciated—was that in these stories it’s almost always the woman who fusses over every detail and the man who couldn’t care less as long as he’s married at the end of it, and it’s nice to see those roles reversed. Plus the bachelor party is a lot more interesting than guys at a strip club. (Then again, I share Bill Cosby’s attitude toward strip joints: if you’re hungry, you don’t watch someone cook a steak.)

This week: Because nobody demanded it -- Bareil's back! Kind of... The DS9 Rewatch has a "Resurrection."

An excerpt:
This episode is a triumph of acting over script, and I honestly never thought I’d say that about a DS9 episode that guest stars Philip Anglim. But as stiff and lifeless as he was playing Vedek Bareil, he’s actually subtle and interesting here as Thief And Con Artist Bareil. His transformation is very nicely handled, with perhaps the finest moment being his, “Oh the hell with it” sigh right before he shoots the Intendant.

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "God's Away on Business" by Tom Waits

Hey, look, it's my hot-offa-da-presses copy of Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution, just delivered by the fine folks at UPS:


Don't forget there are pre-order links for the book at both DeCandido.net and at SleepyReads.com.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Ruby's Eyes" by Tom Waits

Full report some other time, but after a drive split into two days with a stop over in southern Virginia, we are home from Dragon Con. It was a fantastic con in virtually every possible sense, with great panels, readings, and workshops, okay autographings, wonderful socializing (though not nearly enough), and just overall wonderfulness.

In particular, the energy level at all my program items was superb. Everyone at everything I was part of was not just there, but overwhelmingly happy and excited to be there.

More later. Right now there are three animals who REALLY REALLY missed us, plus we're exhausted after the con and the two-day drive home. Faw down go boom and snuggle furry things now..................................

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: "I Wish I Were Blind" by Bruce Springsteen

Well, actually, I'm off to bed, and then getting up at 2am and we're driving to Atlanta. We'll take turns driving and sleeping on the 13-15-hour trip, and we should get in around early evening tomorrow.

If you're going to Dragon Con, this is my schedule. Please come find me. If you're not going to Dragon Con, have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Given the insanity of my schedule, I suspect there won't be much by way of online updating aside from the occasional Facebook post and/or Tweet. For one thing, I want to try to make sure that I get a picture of my audience for each of my program items......


Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: still the Yankee game

I met Raymond Seavey at the Collingswood Book Festival last year. He was a fan of my Trek work, and we talked for a bit, and then he decided to buy the "Precinct" books.

Apparently, based on this very effusive blog post, he really really liked them. *happy smile*

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: the Yankees-Tigers game on YES

who is this guy?
Keith R.A. DeCandido
User: kradical
Name: Keith R.A. DeCandido
Website: DeCandido.net
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