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KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
As I said in my previous post, I've worked in thirty different licensed universes. It occurs to me that it would be more fun to list them in chronological order that I've worked on them, rather than alphabetical as I did.....

Marvel Comics (five short stories in 1994-1995, 1997-1998, 2000, five novels in 1998, 2005, 2015-2016)
Magic: The Gathering (one short story in 1995)
Doctor Who (three short stories in 1996, 2001, 2007, one anthology in 2008)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (one reference in 1998, three novels in 1999, 2006-2007)
Xena/Hercules (two novels in 1999, one short story in 2001)
Star Trek (six comic books in 1999, 2009-2010, 13 novellas in 2000-2003, 2005-2006, 2008, 2010, 16 novels in 2001-2005, 2007-2009, seven short stories in 2003-2005, 2007, 2009, three anthologies in 2003-2005, one reference in 2014)
Farscape (one novel in 2001, three short stories in 2001-2002, tons of comic books in 2008-2011)
Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda (one novel in 2003)
Resident Evil (three novels in 2004, 2007)
Firefly/Serenity (one novel in 2005, one RPG adventure in 2014)
World of Warcraft (one novel in 2006)
StarCraft (one novel in 2006, one comic book in 2010)
Command & Conquer (one novel in 2007)
Supernatural (three novels in 2007-2008, 2010)
BattleTech (two short stories in 2008-2009)
CSI (one novel in 2008)
The Executioner (two novels in 2009-2010)
Cars (four comic books in 2010)
Zorro (one short story in 2011)
Dungeons & Dragons (one novel in 2011)
Kung Fu Panda (one comic book in 2013)
Leverage (one novel in 2013)
Sleepy Hollow (one novel in 2014)
Stargate (one short story in 2014, one novel in 2016)
The X-Files (one short story in 2015)
Heroes (one novella in 2015)
Aliens (one short story in 2017)
Joe Ledger (one short story in 2017)
Night of the Living Dead (one short story in 2017)

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: the Yankees-Orioles game on YES

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In the midst of all the moving mishegoss, I had two deadlines to deal with as well: the Super City Cops novella Secret Identities and a tie-in project that I can't talk about (though I can say it's a book in a licensed universe I've never worked in before). This was a rush project where the originally contracted writer had to pull out suddenly, and I was the pinch-hitter who would be able to get it done quickly. That done-quickly part was hampered by the moving mishegoss, but I finally got the fershlugginer thing done last night (well, technically at 4am this morning). It's off with the editors who will read it over this weekend and give me revision notes on Monday.

So now the number of licensed universes I've worked in is up to thirty:
1. Aliens (one short story)
2. BattleTech (two short stories)
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (three novels, one reference)
4. Cars (four comic books)
5. Command & Conquer (one novel)
6. CSI (one novel)
7. Doctor Who (three short stories, one anthology)
8. Dungeons & Dragons (one novel)
9. The Executioner (two novels)
10. Farscape (one novel, three short stories, tons of comic books)
11. Firefly/Serenity (one novel, one RPG adventure)
12. Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda (one novel)
13. Heroes (one novella)
14. Joe Ledger (one short story)
15. Kung Fu Panda (one comic book)
16. Leverage (one novel)
17. Magic: The Gathering (one short story)
18. Marvel Comics (five novels, five short stories)
19. Night of the Living Dead (one short story)
20. Resident Evil (three novels)
21. Sleepy Hollow (one novel)
22. Star Trek (16 novels, 13 novellas, six comic books, seven short stories, three anthologies, one reference)
23. StarCraft (one novel, one comic book)
24. Stargate (one novel, one short story)
25. Supernatural (three novels)
26. World of Warcraft (one novel)
27. The X-Files (one short story)
28. Xena/Hercules (two novels, one short story)
29. Zorro (one short story)

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: "If You Belonged to Me" by the Traveling Wilburys

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An amusing meme whereby you post seven paragraphs from the seventh chapter of a work in progress. (Actually, the original meme was seven sentences, but I stole it from Elizabeth, who did seven paragraphs, because she thought that would be cooler, and I tend to agree with her....)

The thing I'm in the middle of right now isn't really divided into chapters as such, plus I signed an NDA, so it can't be that. So I'll go with the third of the Super City Cops novellas, Secret Identities, since I'm still awaiting editorial feedback on that one (the other two novellas are done and approved and revised and stuff, so not really "in progress" anymore).

Here we go:
"Good evening! From Super City, I'm John Wang."

"And I'm Victoria Solano, and you're watching the evening edition of News 6 at 6."

"Tonight we'll look at why the Quitely Museum may have to close for a while, who might be running for mayor next year, and how Nikki Minaj's free concert in Kirby Park will affect rush-hour transit. Plus we'll have Daniel McCall with sports, Natasha Whitaker with weather, and Frieda Beck with traffic."

"But first, our top story. Reports have been coming in all day that Komodo Dragon was badly injured in a battle against an unknown supervillain. Those reports have been sketchy, as reports from the Superlative Six have been difficult to come by since the recent destruction by Amethyst of their blimp headquarters. However, the Six did release a statement through their spokesperson, Sharon Parsons, who gave a press conference an hour ago."

"Good afternoon. Yesterday, Spectacular Man, Komodo Dragon, and Olorun of the Superlative Six followed a lead on a kaiju—a large, lizard-like monster—that was roaming the tunnels underneath Wilsonville. The three heroes encountered the kaiju, and unfortunately did not do well against it. Komodo Dragon has been hospitalized, currently convalescing at Kane Memorial Hospital. At the moment, Spectacular Man and Olorun are missing, as is the kaiju they were pursuing. The Superlative Six is cooperating fully with the Super City Police Department, and we hope that we will be able to locate our two missing team members quickly and safely."

"Ms. Parsons did not take questions from the press, though many were asked. SCPD spokesperson Regina Dent had no specific comment, saying she could not discuss an ongoing investigation, but she was willing to admit that SCPD's assessment of the situation is in line with that of the Six. While on his way to a meeting with the City Council, Mayor Sittler was asked for his take on the situation."

"Let me just say this: the Superlative Six are treasures of this city. It isn't an exaggeration to say that every resident of Super City owes their lives to the hard work and upstanding citizenship of the Superlative Six several times over. In particular, the two who are missing, Spectacular Man and Olorun, are pillars of the community. In addition to his heroic deeds, Olorun has been a stellar role model for African Americans. As for Spectacular Man, his record more than speaks for itself. He is a hero among heroes, and it's honestly because of him more than anyone that I am proud to be mayor of the city that he calls home. It is the fondest hope of City Hall that both these great men are returned to us safe and sound."

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Merchants' Lunch" by the Austin Lounge Lizards

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Back in 2009, an album called A Song for My Father was released, in which various people sang songs written by their fathers -- Jen Chapin singing "Cat's in the Cradle," Ky-Mani Marley singing "Soul Shake Down Party," and so on -- and the final song on the album is a magnificently haunting rendition of "Coming Into Los Angeles" by Sarah Lee Guthrie. Her father Arlo's is one of my favorite song, but her cover is superlative as well. Unlike most of the covers on the album, she truly reinterpreted it, and it's amazing.

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Coming Into Los Angeles" by Sarah Lee Guthrie

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So somehow I missed this: the first Icarus graphic novel has been released! This is an adaptation of Gregory Wilson's novel of the same name, which I adapted into a comics script. The art is by Matt Slay (Part I) and Matt Dos Santos (Part II), and it's a thrill to finally see it available. You can order it from Amazon in print or electronic form.

And while my name isn't on the cover, I do get credit for my work.............

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Bring on the Night"/"When the World is Running You Down" by Sting

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"I checked everyone, from Nurse Abel to Sergeant Zale."
"A to Z -- very methodical."
"Well, I try to use the alphabet whenever I can."

---Radar and Colonel Potter, "The Abduction of Margaret Houlihan," M*A*S*H

Like Radar, I like to use the alphabet whenever I can, so I'm doing this meme I ganked from my buddy Amanda on Facebook:

Twenty-six things about me...
A- Age: 47
B- Biggest fear: being helpless
C- Current time: 7.38pm
D- Drink you last had: coffee
E- Every day starts with: coffee (this is a theme)
F- Favorite song: "Budapest" by Jethro Tull (this changes regularly)
G- Ghosts, are they real: Doubtful
H- Hometown: da Bronx
I- In love with: Wrenn Simms
J- Jealous of: I'm not jealous of anyone; life's too short for that shit. I am envious of a few, though....
K- Killed someone?: Lots of fictional characters.
L- Last time you cried?: The day we found out our lease was being terminated.
M- Middle name: Robert Andreassi
N- Number of siblings: Biologically, none.
O- One wish: For the Super City Cops novellas and the Bram Gold urban fantasy novels (which will start coming out from December 2016 forward) to be hugely successful.
P- Person you last called: GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido a.k.a The Mom.
Q- Question you're always asked: "You ever gonna write Star Trek again?"
R- Reason to smile: I love and am loved by wonderful amazing spectacular people.
S- Song last sang: I sang along with Arlo Guthrie's "Coming Into Los Angeles" in the car today.
T- Time you woke up: 9.40am
U- Underwear color: light blue
V- Vacation destination: Key West
W- Worst habit: overcommitment
X- X-Rays you've had: right foot (when I was 13), teeth (regularly at dentist), left knee (earlier this year)
Y- Your favorite food: pasta with my homemade tomato sauce
Z- Zodiac sign: Aries

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: "Friends Will be Friends" by Queen

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After an enforced hiatus due to moving, the TOS Rewatch is back with "Wink of an Eye." Gives a whole new meaning to Kirk being fast-moving...

An excerpt:
Worse, McCoy comes up with a cure for the acceleration, and at no point does anyone think to mention this to Deela. Spock doesn’t even say he has it until after Deela and Rael beam down. Which makes you wonder what, exactly, Kirk intended to do with himself and Spock for the rest of their lives while functioning at high speeds. But more fundamental than that, why didn’t anyone mention this possible cure to the Scalosians, which might have solved at least some of their problems? The best way for this episode to end would be for our heroes to respond to the Scalosians’ attack on them with compassion and help. Instead, they just send them home with a finger-wagging.

Current Mood: geeky geeky
Current Music: "Hurry Make Love" by Alannah Myles

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Somehow I missed this -- a review by Ian Mond, a.k.a. "Mondyboy," of my Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Q & A from shortly after the novel came out in 2007.

Money quote:
This is the Q we know and love and he’s being his old impish self. At the same time there’s something BIG going on. What makes it all cleverer is that Keith somehow (and I’m still not sure how) ties in all of Q’s previous appearances (and I do mean all… I’m sure he also references other Q books and comics, and probably playing cards, fan fiction, musing from mates and something he heard someone say at a bus stop one day) in this book. And it’s bloody clever.

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Gotta Serve Somebody" by Bob Dylan

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Two NYC icons, Paul Simon and Dion, collaborating on a song that hits me particularly close to home, quite literally as I move from one spot in the Bronx to another spot in the Bronx: "New York is My Home."

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "New York is My Home" by Dion & Paul Simon

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Life continues to be batshit crazy. I've gotten all but one of my deadlines wrangled, at least, and I'm plugging away at the other one tonight. It's hard, though, because I'm TOTALLY FUCKING EXHAUSTED, and we haven't even finished moving yet. *sigh*

However, the past few days were very productive. When I was away at MALcon, Wrenn and Dale did some preliminary stuff, then we spent Tuesday and Wednesday packing stuff -- mostly books. Dale has his own room and his own stuff, so he's been going through stuff and packing stuff on his own at his own pace. Wrenn and I have been doing what we can when we can.

We rented a truck on Thursday and again on Saturday, and had the assistance of Wrenn's cousin Matt, Matt's friend John, Wrenn's old buddy Nokona, Nokona's writing partner David, Nokona's daughter Ohana, and Nokona's friend Bree. We have so far moved the following: nine bookcases, 95% of our books, all our stuffed animals, Wrenn's guitar, a bunch of kitchen stuff (including one of the sideboard cabinet thingies), four of our dining room table chairs, the recliner, and one of the two pieces of the sectional couch I bought from Laura Anne (the other piece is bigger and is sitting in our garage until such a time as our across-the-hall neighbor is back home from a trip, as we need to open her door in order to get the piece in) -- plus a mess of Dale's stuff.

It feels like we've moved a ton of stuff, although that's partly because books are very heavy. *wry grin* We still have to move over the two televisions, the computers, Dale's and Wrenn's desks (I'm getting a new one that will be delivered to the new place), our dining-room table, the two beds, the Yogibo, the remaining 5% of the books, the DVDs, the DVD cabinet, the TV stand, our clothes, our bureau, the rest of the kitchen stuff, the bathroom stuff, the living room air conditioners, and all the stuff in our closets that we aren't throwing out. Oh yeah, and whatever's in the garage that we aren't throwing out/getting rid of. And the cats and their stuff. Wheeeee!

Today was a day of some rest -- Wrenn had to sit around the new place waiting for cable and internet to be installed, which was done smoothly if slowly. Meanwhile, I took Nokona, David, Ohana, and Bree to the Bronx Zoo, where none of them had been before. They loved it, and I enjoyed playing tour guide for them. And I saw a tiger, which automatically makes today a win.

We'll be spending this week going through the remainder of the stuff left in the apartment (many things will be gotten rid of/thrown out). Some things are being replaced with items that we've already placed in the apartment or will have delivered there, like the shelving we'll be putting in the living room, the wall-mount for the living room TV, the bedroom air conditioners, my new desk, and some other stuff. Some things are just being gotten rid of because we don't really need them.

It is our fond hope that we'll be sleeping there Saturday night. A truck is being rented for the weekend, and we should be able to get most of the big stuff over there. Whatever's left -- and I'm sure a few things will be -- will be dealt with on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the following week. They kinda have to be, since the 31st is the day we've been told we have to vacate by.

Meanwhile, I plan to get the rewatches back on track -- they've fallen by the wayside in the moving mishegoss, but I plan to get "Wink of an Eye" up for the TOS Rewatch on Tuesday and "That Darn Catwoman"/"Scat, Darn Catwoman!" up for the Bat-rewatch on Friday.

Okay, back to the grind............

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: "If She Knew What She Wants" by the Bangles

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Joe Books has had to revise the release dates for the second two books in my "Tales of Asgard" trilogy due to some issues that came up that are all settled now. :)

Marvel's Sif: Even Dragons Have Their Endings (Tales of Asgard Book 2) is now scheduled to be released on 15 November 2016.
Marvel's Warriors Three: Godhood's End (Tales of Asgard Book 3) is now scheduled to be released on 6 December 2016.

So yay! And meantime, Marvel's Thor: Dueling with Giants (Tales of Asgard Book 1) is readily available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, and Kobo, as well as your local bookstore.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Drown in My Own Tears" by Jim Byrnes

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Congrats to the Hugo winners! This year's slate (ahem) of winners is, just like last year, a magnificent repudiation of the attempt to hijack the awards by the canine contingent. The four major writing awards, the two editing awards, and Best Artist are all women, among them two African-American women and an Asian woman. The Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) went to a female superhero (the "AKA Smile" episode of Jessica Jones, which was the final episode of its first season, and the one in which Jessica finally got her agency back from Killgrave), The categories that had the most puppy chow (Best Related Work and Best Fancast) went to No Award.

Once again, quality won out over an attempt at an appallingly regressive agenda. And it's getting recognition to authors and artists who truly deserve it. (All four of the people who won the writing awards are superb writers........)

(Also pleased to see "The Roads Must Roll," one of my favorite Heinlein stories, win the Retro Hugo for Best Novelette.)

Tor.com has the full list of winners.

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "From the Station" by Marc Cohn

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The alternate Sherlock Holmes anthology Baker Street Irregulars, edited by Michael A. Ventrella & Jonathan Maberry, and which has my Shirley Holmes & Jack Watson story "Identity," is now available for preorder! (Thanks to the anthology's agent, Marisa Corvisiero, for the heads up on the Book of Face....)

The other authors, besides me, Michael, and Jonathan, include Heidi McLaughlin, Martin Rose, Mike Strauss, Jody Lynn Nye, Ryk E. Spoor, Hildy Silverman, David Gerrold, Jim Avelli, Austin Farmer, Gail Z. Martin, and Beth Patterson.

Check it out!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "The Letter" by Joe Cocker

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I am pleased to say that editors Jonathan Maberry and Bryan Thomas Schmidt both loved my story for the Joe Ledger anthology Unstoppable, in which Jonathan has let a bunch of other folks play in his sandbox. My story is called "Ganbatte," and it focuses on Lydia "Warbride" Ruiz, providing some more of her background as she goes home to the Florida Keys to relax between missions, only to find herself forced to help out an old friend.

Always good when your editor says things like, "knocked it out of the park." *happy dance*

Anyhow, Jonathan also posted the full table of contents on Facebook, and here they are:
    Foreword by Tony Eldrige (producer of The Equalizer)
    Introduction by Jonathan Maberry
    "The Honey Pot" by Steve Alten
    "Confusion" by Nicholas Steven
    "Target Acquired" by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon
    "Vacation" by Scott Sigler
    "Banshee" by James A. Moore
    "Red Dirt" by Mira Grant (a.k.a. Seanan McGuire)
    "Black Water" by Weston Oches
    "Instinct" by Bryan Thomas Schmidt and G.P. Charles
    "No Guns at the Bar" by Aaron Rosenberg
    "Strange Harvest" by Jon McGoran
    "No Business at All" by Javier Grillo-Marxuach
    "Ganbatte" by Keith R.A. DeCandido
    "White Flame on Sunday" by James Ray Tuck
    "Wet Tuesday" by David Farland
    "Prince of Peace" by Jeremy Robinson
    title TBD by Joe McKinney
    "Three Times" by Jennifer Campbell-Hicks
    "Psych Eval" by Larry Correia
    "Crash Course" by Dana Fredsti
    "Atoll" by Jonathan Maberry

That's a damn fine lineup. Can't wait to read the rest of the book, which will be published by Griffin in 2017.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Corned Beef City" by Mark Knopfler

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Hey look, a meme!

Snurched from Sebastian Andrew Benjamin​ on Facebook.............

Let's have some fun & learn about each other!

1. ARE YOU NAMED AFTER SOMEONE? Not really. My mother just really liked the name Keith.

2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Probably the day we found out our lease was being terminated. I went through a lot of emotion that day......

3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No, and neither does anyone else. *shudder*




7. DO YOU USE SARCASM? Gee, I don't know, do I? (I'm a New Yorker, it's practically a second language....)


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE? Probably not. But you never know.



12. DO YOU THINK YOU'RE STRONG? I think so, yeah.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby.

14. WHAT'S THE 1ST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT SOMEONE? I try to notice lots of things about people, as they are complex.

15. RED OR PINK? Red.


17. WHAT COLOR PANTS & SHOES ARE YOU WEARING RIGHT NOW? Dark blue and none, respectively.

18. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A salad last night.

19. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Arlo Guthrie singing "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)."


21. FAVORITE SMELL? My home-made tomato sauce simmering.

22. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Meredith Peruzzi​ a.k.a. woofiegrrl.



25. EYE COLOR? Blue.

26. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Never have.

27. FAVORITE FOOD? Pasta with my aforementioned homemade tomato sauce.

28. SCARY MOVIE OR HAPPY ENDING? A scary movie with a happy ending!

29. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Ultimate Cut.



32. HUGS OR KISSES? Yes, please.

33. FAVORITE DESSERT? Ice cream.

34. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? I actually can't say because of an NDA.

35. WHAT IS YOUR PROFILE PIC? A caricature I created online years ago.

36. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST? Monday's episode of Major Crimes on the DVR.






Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)" by Arlo Guthrie

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The one and only good thing about being forced to postpone the wedding (thanks to the enforced move) is that now we're free to attend Intervention 7! I will be a guest at this nifty-keeno convention, which will be held in Rockville, Maryland from 16-18 September.

Other guests include actors Arthur Darvill, Rene Auberjonois, Juliet Landau, Gigi Edgley​, and Dwight Schultz; musicians Thomas Dolby and Ego Likeness; voice actors Todd Haberkorn, Robert Axelrod, and Jon St. John; fellow authors David Gerrold​, John Peel, and James Suriano; cartoonists Pete Abrams, Joe Wos, Shaenon Garrity, Michael Terracciano, Garth Graham, Chris Flick, Liz Staley, and Rob Balder; filmmakers Mary Ratliff and Shannon Strucci; podcaster Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg; webmaster Matt Blum; bellydancers Antipode; and tons more!

Hope to see folks there!

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Acres Wild" by Jethro Tull

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I'm working hard on several things at once, one of which is the third of three Super City Cops novellas that will be released later this year. These will be in the same universe as my 2011 novel The Case of the Claw and my stories in the anthologies With Great Power and The Side of Good/The Side of Evil.

The first two, Avenging Amethyst and Undercover Blues, are done. I'm jamming to finish Secret Identities, and I just finished a chapter that includes a lengthy discussion on the subject of secret identities between one of the cops -- Lieutenant Therese Zimmerman -- and Spectacular Man, a.k.a. Marc McLean. Zimmerman and McLean dated for a while, but she only just found out that he's really Spectacular Man. This bit comes toward the end of their rather contentious talk on the subject.....
"It means that everyone Marc McLean knows, loves, is friends with, cares about—you lie to them every single day. And except for—what, Mercury and the Bengal?—that's true of everyone Spectacular Man knows, loves, is friends with, and cares about, too. You call yourself a hero, yet your entire life—really, two entire lives—involve you repeatedly and constantly lying to those closest to you. Every day, you have to deceive the people you love most. What's so damn heroic about that?"

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: "In the Blood" by Robbie Robertson

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For the record, I have never liked Rudy Giuliani. He was a good prosecutor, but that's the last job at which I thought he showed skill. I never liked him as a mayor -- nor did I ever vote for him -- nor have I thought much of how he's comported himself since leaving office. (For the record, I also have no use for current NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, whom I view as an empty shirt, and who has impressed me not at all since taking office.)

His current position as shill for Donald Trump is perhaps his nadir as a human being, and what's really hilarious is this comment made when introducing the Republican nominee at a rally in Ohio:
Under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have a successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office.

Inexplicably, the former mayor of New York has somehow totally forgotten about the incredibly successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States in the city for which he was mayor in the fall of 2001 (which was, in fact, seven years and four months "before Obama came along," and so in Giuliani's arbitrary eight-year window). Given that his stewardship of NYC on 9/11 and afterward was pretty much his entire platform when he unsuccessfully ran for president in 2008 (Jon Stewart referred to him as having "9/11 Tourette's" at the time), this is even more mind-boggling than usual.

(H/t to etoile for the heads-up about the ex-mayor's latest doofery.)

Current Mood: grumpy grumpy
Current Music: the Yankees-Blue Jays game on YES

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I'm pleased to see that "The Book Girl" has favorably reviewed my Thor novel Dueling with Giants on her book blog.

Money quote:
Thor: Dueling with Giants turned out better than I could have hoped. Besides the interesting story, this book's greatest strength lies in the author exploring the rich history of the Thor comics and its characters. Not to be overlooked are the action scenes filled with drama and suspense.

For those interested in reading this but only know about Thor from the movies, don't be afraid to give this a chance. The story is easy to follow and the writing will not make you feel as if you need to have had prior comic book knowledge to understand what's going on. But for fans of the Thor comics you will feel as if the author truly did a good job with writing this and actually put in the time to include research. Although this was written for young adults, I think older reads will enjoy it as well.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "It Never Rains" by Dire Straits

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These screen grabs are from "The Ballad of Big Charlie," which appeared in V-Wars in 2012 (and which was reprinted in Without a License in 2015). The first one is the end of a sermon about the title character (who, in the midst of a re-election campaign, stated in a press conference that he has the virus that is turning people into various types of vampire), the other three are from a followup talk show.

See if you can figure out why I'm posting this today.........................

Current Mood: distressed distressed
Current Music: "Industrial Disease" by Dire Straits

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For the second year in a row, I will be attending the Myths And Legends Convention (a.k.a. MALcon) in Denver this coming weekend. I wasn't 100% sure I'd be able to do it, but since we got our apartment hunt settled last weekend, and since we won't even get the keys to the new place until next week, I'm going ahead with it. I will have a table where I'll be selling and signing books, plus I'll be on programming.

Here's my schedule:

9-10pm: "Writing Combat in SF & Fantasy," w/Eneasz Brodski, Richard Friesesn, and Kal Spriggs (Lawrence, KS)

11am-noon: "Self-Defense Against the Dark Arts," w/Galen Pereira (McAnally's Pub)
2-3pm: "Great Women Authors of the Past," w/Van Aaron Hughes (The Shire)
3-4pm: "Whedonverse," w/Lou J. Berger, Kathryn Renta, and Aaron Michael Ritchey (Serenity)
6-7pm: "Book and Media Tie-ins," w/Quincy J. Allen, Sam Knight, Jacob Mayfield, and Catherine Winters (Lawrence, KS)
11pm-midnight: "How Not to Get Published," w/Jim Butcher, J.A. Campbell, and Sam Knight (Helms Deep)

3-4pm: "Pitching to the Editor," w/Aaron Michael Ritchey (The Shire)

Hope to see Colorado folks there!

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "City of New Orleans" by Arlo Guthrie

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Finally got around to seeing Batman v. Superman, and all I can say is that the people responsible for creating this movie have absolutely no understanding of, affection for, or interest in the character of Superman. Which is mostly what I thought after seeing Man of Steel, too.

It's a decent Batman movie (though I'm not fond of a Batman who blithely kills people), it's a good Wonder Woman movie (or, at the very least, a good WW tease), but it's a completely misguided and wrongheaded Superman movie. Superman is completely passive and reactive in this movie, spending far too much time standing around looking pained and not nearly enough time doing anything. Since Kevin Costner's awful Jonathan Kent is dead (though he makes a dream sequence cameo), it's left to Diane Lane's Martha to be the shitty Kent parent this time, telling Superman that he doesn't owe the world anything, which is 100% counter to what Superman and his parents are supposed to be about. The whole point of Superman is that he was raised by honest farm folk who see the best in the world, not demi-Objectivists who think that it's important for Clark to hide who he is for fear of how people will respond. A Superman who operates because of fear isn't Superman -- maybe it's Dr. Manhattan or Batman, but not a guy who flies in primary colors through the air.

Perhaps the biggest problem is encapsulated by when the bomb goes off in the Capitol: Superman is just standing there in the flames, not doing anything for several seconds. Then, belatedly, he decides to try to rescue people -- for a little bit, then buggers off. That's not Superman.

But this film isn't interested in heroes, it's interested in damaged people with abilities. Ben Affleck plays an excellent Bruce Wayne, and Jeremy Irons is brilliant as his long-suffering Alfred, but his Batman is far too bloodthirsty.

And ultimately the movie is just an incoherent mess, not aided by a simply dreadful performance by Jesse Eisenberg, who's doing Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor turned up to 11, which is a problem, as Spacey was doing Gene Hackman turned up to 11, and it just results in him coming across as a psychotic Carrot Top.

The only thing I really liked besides Irons and the previews for what we'll get in Justice League was Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She was fantastic, her music was fantastic, and I'm even more eager to see her movie next year.....

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: "Dharma for One" by Jethro Tull

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So, as those of you who've been following me on Facebook know, a couple weeks ago, we were notified by our landlords that our lease was being terminated as of 31 August 2016.

Now, we don't have a formal lease in place, which under New York State law means we're on what's called a "month to month" lease. The advantages of this are that we don't have to do a new lease every year, and it also means our rent hasn't gone up in all the time I've been here. It also means that we can break the lease and are only obligated to give 30 days' notice. The disadvantage is that the landlord has that same privilege -- and our landlord actually gave us 40 days. Now, our apartment hasn't been remodeled in, um, a while, and it rather desperately needs it. Our landlord can do those renovations (which would of necessity include an overhaul of the kitchen) and charge about $800/month more than we're paying right now. I can't really blame them for wanting to make more money off the place, especially since the apartments around us (we're in a row of identical townhouses, so there are about a dozen apartments exactly like ours on either side) are charging that much.

As a result, the last couple of weeks have been one big stress-ball of apartment hunting. We've been looking both in our neighborhood and in my parents' neighborhood, and we have looked at a lot of places.

Our first choice was in our neighborhood, through a broker. It was a bit small, but it had a huge kitchen (seriously, I've never seen a kitchen this big in an NYC apartment), on a ground floor, laundry in the building, a parking space, and back yard access. We thought everything was good, we gave our financials over to the broker, and we just had to meet with the owner, which we were told would just be a formality. And then the owner kept putting off the meeting, and nothing was happening, and then the broker admitted that the owner hadn't even looked at our financials yet, and then we were told -- a week later! -- that the owner decided to give the apartment to a friend of his, thus screwing not only us, but the broker.

Our second choice was in our parents' neighborhood, and it was truly magnificent. If it had been in our neighborhood, had a parking spot, and was on the ground floor, it would've been perfect, honestly. But the owner looked at our financials and was not impressed -- we're both freelance, and our nontraditional and inconsistent income stream made him nervous, so he turned us down.

Our third choice was actually the first place we looked at, and the one we actually got. It has several disadvantages: no parking spot, no laundry in the building, and the kitchen is not great (then again, so's our current kitchen). It's a duplex, taking up part of a house that's been subdivided into three units. We have half the second floor, which has the kitchen and living room, then you go upstairs to the three bedrooms and the bathroom.

There's a lot to like about the place, including a landlord we like very much (and who likes us -- he pretty much held the place for us while we got dicked around by our first choice), and enough space for our stuff. And the cats will love it. In particular, the largest bedroom will make a great home office/guest room. Wrenn and I will set up our desktops there and we'll put a sofa bed and the bean bag in there for guests.

Our lease starts on the 15th, which gives us a two-week overlap between the two apartments, which will make moving much less stressful.

This mishegoss forced us to postpone the wedding and for me to cancel Dragon Con, which is horrible, but at least we'll be settled in a new place by the end of Labor Day weekend. Wheeeeeee!

Meanwhile, the deadlines don't care about moving stress. I'm jamming to finish one project today and tomorrow, then it's the next Super City Cops novella, then back to the thriller.....

Current Mood: crazy crazy
Current Music: "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" by Tom Lehrer

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It's the worst Star Trek episode ever. Yes, worse than "Spock's Brain" or "Profit and Lace" or "Threshold" or "Shades of Gray." Seriously, this is just awful. SOMEONE RIDES KIRK LIKE A HORSE! WHILE HE WHINNIES! The TOS Rewatch wants nothing to do with "Plato's Stepchildren."

An excerpt:
And then there’s the entire middle part of the episode during which William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy abandon all pretense of dignity and act like total fools in a manner that is supposed to be humiliating to the characters, but is far more humiliating to the actors, from Kirk slapping himself over and over and over and over as we fade to commercial to the mind-bogglingly awful “Maiden Wine” to Kirk’s fun with bullwhips to Spock’s flamenco dancing. The moment when Alexander rides Kirk like a horse while the latter whinnies every four seconds is quite possibly the absolute nadir of Star Trek as a franchise, and yes, that includes “Profit and Lace.”

Current Mood: geeky geeky
Current Music: "Dad's Gonna Kill Me" by Richard Thompson

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Sooper-seekrit project. This is a rush project that I'm basically going to be doing this week. It's a very cool thing, but I signed an NDA, so all I can say is COOL THING! It's a 30,000-word project, and it's -- well, modular, so it should be easy to work on around packing and apartment hunting and stuff.

Thriller. Still working on this. Need to do some research before diving into the next chapter.

Super City Cops. We've rebranded SCPD as Super City Cops, and the three serialized novellas I'm doing in the series are in progress. Avenging Amethyst is all done, Undercover Blues is awaiting editorial feedback, and I'll be working on Secret Identities once I'm sure the second one is kosher.

The Bram Gold Chronicles. The first Bram novel, A Furnace Sealed, is about five chapters in. I'll dive back into it once the thriller is finished. I'm under contract for two novels following that, which I have thumbnail plots for, but no detailed plots or titles. I'll do that once Furnace is finished.

Dragon Precinct. Mermaid Precinct is on the docket for after A Furnace Sealed is done. I also still have to write "Baker's Dozen."

Shirley & Jack. I've written a story called "Identity" for Baker Street Irregulars, a story featuring a young white woman in modern NYC named Shirley Holmes, who solves crimes with the help of an African-American med student at Columbia named Jack Watson. There will be a second BSI anthology, and I should have a Shirley & Jack story in that one as well. And I have an idea for a third story as well....

Cassie Zukav, weirdness magnet. I'll be doing a Cassie story for TV Gods: Summer Programming, which is due in October or so. I also have a few other ideas for Cassie stories, including two untold tales that have been mentioned (Cassie and Rance finding a UFO in Dry Tortugas, Cassie dealing with a dragon in the Bottroff House garden), as well as a story called "Ragnarok and a Hard Place." And I want to do a spring break story.....

Various tie-in short stories. "Ganbatte" for Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, "Deep Background" for Aliens: Bug Hunt, and "Live and on the Scene" for Nights of the Living Dead have all been turned in, and are awaiting approval.

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Good Morning Blues" by Leadbelly

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