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KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
You know who you are.....

The mighty Charlie Jane Anders of io9 is looking for tie-in fiction that is better than the source material. Modesty prevents me from making suggestions, but I think there's some damn fine tie-in fiction out there. Hell, I still think Vonda McIntyre's novelization of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is a brilliant piece of work while the movie it novelized is mediocre at best.

So go tell Charlie Jane what tie-in books you admire.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
Current Music: "Life's a Long Song" by Jethro Tull

The debut of Vic Fontaine! The commencement of the Kira-Odo romance! Tons of music, including Nana Visitor singing "Fever" (which is worth the episode all by itself). The DS9 Rewatch does it "His Way."

An excerpt:
When they’re alone in Odo’s office, Quark reminds Odo that he’s had a year to make a move on Kira and has failed to do so. Mostly, as he puts it, because Odo’s not the most lovable person in the galaxy—or the sector—or the station—or that room.

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Evolution of a Man" by Q-Tip & Al Kapone

Had a blast last night at the dojo and afterward. The final day of black belt promotion at our dojo is an intense workout during the color-belt class Monday night. I was there to assist Shihan and Senpai Charles with the kids class at 6pm, and then I participated in the adult class at 8pm, which was an intense workout -- followed by food and beer and sake and ice cream at the local Japanese place. We were there until midnight festivizing.

Then I came home, somewhat inebriated on beer and sake, to learn that there were minor revisions on my X-Files story that needed to be done, plus I had to print out, sign, and scan the contract and send it and the revisions back. I could've waited, but I've got too much other stuff to do -- like novelize a movie in ten days -- so I made the revisions, dealt with the contract, and got it all back to Jonathan Maberry, the editor of the anthology in question.

Oh, BTW, Jonathan's comments on "Back in El Paso My Life Would Be Worthless" consisted of the following: "wow, that's a helluva story" and "This is a killer." Me am happy author.

Tonight I'm back at the dojo for the "class photo" that we take every fall. Today is also when I start the movie novelization. Wheeeee!

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Smokestack Lightnin'" by Eamonn Walker

So on the one hand, I have this insane deadline where I have to novelize a movie by 31 October. On the other hand, I had another project to do a 100-page graphic novel adaptation of a novel. I needed to get at least the first 25 pages of that done so the artist can get to work, so I got that done over the weekend.

Of course, this wasn't just any weekend, as I also had a friend's 50th birthday party Saturday night, which involved a great deal of drinking and festivizing. Also, this past week or so has been the black belt promotion at the dojo. I'm not going up, but we have eight people doing so -- four nidans (second degree) going for sandan (third), and four kids who are advanced brown belts going for their junior shodan (first degree). In particular, Sunday morning (that would be the Sunday morning after the Saturday night that had all the drinking and festivizing) the eight of them had to do 30 rounds of fighting against the various black belts who came to assist. I was one of those, but there were only 13 of us fighting -- 15 showed up, but one is pregnant, and the other has back issues. So the eight senior black belts made a line, and the other five served as floaters -- the eight candidates would fight two rounds and then rotate down the line, the first of those two rounds being against each of those senior eight black belts with the second being either against the same one or against one of the floaters.

I was the eighth of the eight seniors, so I was on the end of the line, and that meant I rarely had a floater behind me. So I wound up fighting 26 of the 30 rounds.

Amidst all this, I needed to finish scripting those 25 pages. Which I did. After a couple of naps. Yes, a couple. Don't judge me....

Now that that's done, I can focus on the novelization. Kind of. Today, I have to do tomorrow's DS9 Rewatch, and tonight is the final day of the promotion followed by a celebratory dinner at a local Japanese restaurant. But I also plan to do a second read-through of the script -- I've already done the initial "what is this thing I'm doing?" read-through, now I have to do one that's more toward constructing the novel.


The next few weeks are going to be insane............

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Forbidden Fruit" by The Band

Stargate novel editor Sally Malcolm -- also the editor of the Far Horizons anthology, and one of the contributors to same -- sat down with four of the other authors in the anthology to discuss their stories: Diana Dru Botsford, Jo Graham, Amy Griswold, and Melissa Scott.

Here's the interview:

The book will be out in eBook form on 23 October and in print form on 6 November. My own story will be a Carter-and-Teal'c tale called "Time Keeps on Slippin'," which fills the gap between the third and fourth seasons.

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Stuck in the August Rain" by Jethro Tull

And this is why:

Always nice when one of the stars of the show pimps your books. It's happened a few times -- the Farscape actors were all very supportive of the Farscape comic I did for BOOM! Studios from 2008-2011, J.G. Hertzler has said many good things about my Klingon fiction, and Nathan Fillion went to several conventions in 2005 singing the praises of my novelization of Serenity -- and it's always delightful.

Current Mood: thankful thankful
Current Music: "Beside Myself" by Jethro Tull

Sisko decides that he's going to get the Romulans to enter the war no matter what it takes. He's going to very much regret deciding that. Garak gets punched, Quark gets stabbed, and Vreenak declares that "It's a FAAAAAAKE!" The DS9 Rewatch dances with the devil "In the Pale Moonlight."

An excerpt:
Tolar has created a very convincing holoprogram of a meeting among Weyoun and several Cardassians, including Damar. It’s taken a few drafts to get it right—the final touch was petty bickering between Weyoun and Damar, which added greatly to its verisimilitude. Tolar intends to leave the station, but Sisko makes it clear that he’s not going anywhere until the rod passes muster. If Vreenak—who is en route to the station from Soukara—buys it, then Tolar will be free. If the senator doesn’t, then Sisko will give Tolar right back to the Klingons. A very frightened Tolar—who is facing both a pissed-off Sisko and a calm smiling Garak (and it’s impossible to say which is scarier)—slinks back to his quarters.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Inside Out" by the Traveling Wilburys

Normally the day after a big convention is when I spend it dead for tax purposes, but yesterday I had to take my New York Comic-Con boothmate Megan Rothrock (she of The LEGO Adventure Book series) to Bay Shore, Long Island for a bookstore appearance (which went supremely well). While she did LEGO builds with excited little kids, I sat in the café and worked on the DS9 Rewatch that went up today.

NYCC was fantastic. I sold out of all the copies I had of Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution, Farscape: The War for the Uncharted Territories, SCPD: The Case of the Claw, Guilt in Innocence, and Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q & A, and also moved lots of copies of Dragon Precinct (as well as several of the other "Precinct" books, but Dragon sold the most, as is typical for the first book in the series), World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred, Star Trek: The Klingon Art of War, Resident Evil: Genesis, and even a copy of Command and Conquer: Tiberium Wars.

Megan also did great business selling The LEGO Adventure Book Volumes 1 & 2 and showing off all the cool things you can build with those books (which were displayed on her half of the table). Of particular note is the fire dragon train, which can actually run on tracks (we didn't have the space for that, sadly). Volume 2 shows you how to make that. :)

We had additional assistance from both wrenn and woofiegrrl, who ably assisted with the flogging of books and LEGOs (well, we weren't actually selling the LEGOs, just showing them off, but you know what I mean). In addition, Lilly Hayes of Thoroughly Modern Lilly was a huge hit on Friday doing balloon twisting (among her more entertaining creations were Fezzik, a TARDIS, and a LEGO brick, as well as half the characters from Frozen).

Friday was probably my favorite day of the show, partly because that was the day Lilly was there, partly because that was when woofiegrrl arrived, partly because that was the day of my one program item: the retrospective on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, joined by fellow authors Tom Sniegoski, Michelle Knudsen, Carol Goodman, and Hillary Monahan, and actor/author Amber Benson (who played Tara on the show). Amber brought a nice insider's perspective to the questions from moderator May Chen, and the rest of us provided a wide range of opinions on the various subjects ranging from Dawn to Spike to Buffy's relationship with the Scoobies to the concept of the beta male. Afterward, we had a group signing, which mostly consisted of those of us not named Amber Benson signing for all of ten minutes and then the four of us watching Amber sign books for half an hour. *chuckle* But it was cool, and I picked up a copy of Michelle's Evil Librarian.

Friday night, we all went out to dinner at the West Bank Café and then went downstairs to the theatre there to see Moxie Magnus perform. Moxie is a Star Trek drag queen, and she does a superb show. I met her (and saw her perform) at TrekTrax Atlanta in 2013, and I was thrilled when my buddy Helen told me she'd be in NYC during NYCC. She did not disappoint, doing a hilarious show that we all loved.

In general, the show went well. I got to see a bunch of old friends, got to make a few new ones, got to see some cool stuff ranging from costumes to books, and had a grand old time. I wasn't able to get to the Sleepy Hollow panel Sunday, but I am pleased to say that all the copies of my novel that were at the con (both at my table and at Random House's booth) sold out by Sunday.

In years past, I've been at The Chronic Rift's podcast table, but this year NYCC had to give in to demand and not set aside cheap tables for podcasters. Last year, they put the podcasts in Artist Alley (we weren't there due to a paperwork fuckup so we lucked into a booth in the 100 aisle that had cancelled), and this year they dropped them all together. In anticipation of that, I approached Megan about splitting a booth, and we took one in the small press area, which are the cheapest booths -- only 6' x 8' instead of the others, which are 10' x 10'. I'm really glad we did this, as the booths are not only cheaper, but also quieter -- nobody in the immediate area has AV equipment (we're small press! we can't afford it!), so you can actually have a conversation and not be blown out by the Adventure Time theme (two years ago) or some dude playing carnival barker for Intel (last year). We're definitely going to do it again next year.....

Sunday night after load-out was the now-traditional dinner at Lombardi's followed by rice pudding at Rice to Riches. Wrenn, Meredith, Megan, and I had a grand old time, and then came home to collapse.

While at the con, I got myself a crash writing gig. Can't say what yet, but I have to get it done by the end of October, so the next few weeks will be, er, insane.

Also this week is the black belt promotion at the dojo -- we've got four adults going for third degree and four kids going for their junior first degree. Ought to be fun.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Devil Baby" by Mark Knopfler

Bashir is accused of being a Dominion spy by William Sadler. Then things get really bizarre. The DS9 Rewatch holds an "Inquisition."

An excerpt:
I have a hard time figuring out how I feel about this episode, partly because I think the introduction of Section 31 was one of the great missteps of DS9. One of Ira Steven Behr’s oft-stated goals on DS9 was to challenge the Federation’s utopia, but this failed to work because it didn’t challenge the utopia, it just provided a too-handy scapegoat for non-utopian actions by the Federation. Indeed, S31 has far too often become a writer’s crutch, a way to work around the ideal society of the Federation for the ease of storytelling.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Yon Two Crows" by Mark Knopfler

The Once and Future Podcast has released their New York Comic-Con episode, which includes interviews with Amber Benson, Patrick Rothfuss, Myke Cole, Tom Sniegoski, Alex London, Sam Sykes, and me! Anton Strout spoke to me about Sleepy Hollow and other cool stuff.

My interview is at 29.34, but I recommend listening to the whole thing, as the other folks are awesome too.

Check it out!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Nightrider" by the Don't Quit Your Day Job Players

Sorry for the lack of substantial updates. The last many days have been a bit of a whirlwind. Part of it was also basically taking three days off to visit a friend in Virginia in which I did very little Internetting. Instead, I spent a day at King's Dominion, hung out with my friend (and said friend's new kitten, who's a sweetie), and generally relaxed and enjoyed myself and got no work done. It was actually kinda nice.

It also put me three days behind on work, but fuck it, sometimes you just gotta relax and not think about stuff. The upshot of that is that I've been thinking about stuff a lot since I got back.

The last month or so has generally has been insane. In the dojo, I've got my usual Wednesday afterschool classes (which are going well, though the little kids class is trying my patience a lot) and my Friday night kids sparring class, plus occasionally filling in for the black belts who teach the Wednesday night and Sunday morning adult classes. On top of that, we've got a black belt promotion coming up, and I've been doing reviews with some of the candidates (four kids going for their junior shodan and four adults going for their sandan).

And it's only going to get crazier, as the next four days are being swallowed whole by New York Comic-Con (come see me at Booth 1157!), and then I've got four short stories to finish editing (I was hoping to get them done before NYCC, but that was a forlorn hope), a novel to adapt into a graphic novel, a short story to write for my Kickstarter supporters, and (I just found out today) possibly a movie to novelize. We'll see.....

Oh, and I got the galley proofs for Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: Far Horizons today. The book looks spiffy.

Meanwhile, Wrenn's ever-frustrating job hunt continues apace. A possibility for freelance editorial work fell through unexpectedly, but she's got two other job possibilities in the finance industry, one of which I'd probably have a good feeling about if I wasn't utterly disgusted with the entire industry and its inability to hire someone with as wide-ranging and expansive experience as Wrenn has in it. A year and a half of bullshit has cured me of actually being optimistic about any of her job possibilities, and it really pisses me off, as it takes a lot to fuck with my optimism....

Anyhow. Yeah. Busy busy....

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon & Garfunkel

The second supplement to the Firefly: Echoes of War RPG, entitled Things Don't Go Smooth, is now available as a PDF! This supplement has my first-ever RPG adventure, the episode "Merciless." The print edition is forthcoming....

Current Mood: shiny
Current Music: still the Dodgers-Cardinals game

Kira finds out some horrible things about her mother and goes back in time to verify it. Yes, really. The DS9 Rewatch suffers "Wrongs Darker than Death or Night."

An excerpt:
That’s the one thing Kira can’t forgive. She’s seen firsthand, both as a citizen of Bajor during the occupation and as the first officer of Deep Space 9, just what a shitheel Dukat is. So the notion of her mother not only being his mistress, but actually enjoying it is far more than she can bear. It actually leads to her contemplating murdering her own mother, because Meru is the worst thing Kira can imagine: a collaborator. In this very episode we get the skeeviest of collaborators in Basso, who’s a scum-sucking weasel of the highest order, but we’ve been down this road with Kira before. In “The Collaborator” we saw the opprobrium levelled at Kubus Oak for being part of the puppet government, and we saw the lengths Bareil would go to in order to prevent anyone from viewing Opaka as a collaborator. In “Rocks and Shoals” we saw Kira’s horror to learn that she had become a collaborator, so for her mother to be one also? That’s something she will not put up with.

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: the Dodgers-Cardinals game on the radio

I will be at New York Comic Con this weekend at Booth #1157. I'll be sharing with my buddy Megan Rothrock, and we'll be selling books and stuff. Here's what we'll have for sale. I've got limited supply of some of my books; if there's no indication of how many there are, it means we've got plenty. :)

The LEGO Adventure Book Volume 1
The LEGO Adventure Book Volume 2

Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution (20 copies)

Star Trek: The Klingon Art of War (20 copies)
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q & A (1 copy)

Dragon Precinct
Unicorn Precinct
Goblin Precinct
Gryphon Precinct
Tales from Dragon Precinct

Farscape Volume 7: The War for the Uncharted Territories (6 copies)

SCPD: The Case of the Claw (5 copies)
Guilt in Innocence: A Tale of the Scattered Earth (1 copy)

Command and Conquer: Tiberium Wars
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Sun: Under the Crimson Sun
Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda: Destruction of Illusions
Resident Evil: Genesis
World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred
Young Hercules: Cheiron's Warriors
Young Hercules: The Ares Alliance

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Teacher" by Jethro Tull

I will be at New York Comic-Con at the Javits Center this weekend. The vast majority of my time will be spent in Booth 1157 in the small press area, which I'll be sharing with my buddy Megan Rothrock, author of The LEGO Adventure Book series. Megan will be doing LEGO builds and selling Volumes 1 & 2 of the LAB series, while I'll be selling and autographing books ranging from the "Precinct" series to The Klingon Art of War, Farscape: The War for the Uncharted Territories, and Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution. In addition, Thoroughly Modern Lilly will be at the booth on Friday and Sunday doing balloon twisting.

In addition to being at the booth, you can also find me at the Buffy the Vampire Slayer panel Friday at 5pm in 1A18, alongside Amber Benson, Thomas Sniegoski, Carol Goodman, Michelle Knudsen, Hillary Monahan, and May Chen; the panelists will be doing an autographing following the panel at Table 19 from 6-7pm.

Hope to see folks there!

Current Mood: bouncy bouncy
Current Music: "The Night Pat Murphy Died" by Great Big Sea

The fine folks at Buzzy Mag have accepted my Cassie Zukav story "Down to the Waterline" for publication some time in 2015. I am, to say the least, thrilled.

For those of you who've read the Cassie stories -- urban fantasies set in Key West, Florida involving rock and roll music, Norse gods, scuba diving, folklore, and beer drinking, not necessarily in that order -- you may have recalled mentions of an adventure Cassie had with a nixie, which involved 1812's previous drummer and one character being naked. That story will, at last, be told, as "DTTW" takes place immediately prior to "Ragnarok and Roll." (All the Cassie stories that have been published to date are in the Plus One Press collection Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, and there will be new Cassie stories in Out of Tune from JournalStone later this month and Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido from Dark Quest later this year.)

The hilarious part? I've been writing fiction professionally for two decades, and this is only the second time I've sent an unsolicited manuscript to a publisher and it's been accepted for publication. The other was "A Vampire and a Vampire Hunter Walk Into a Bar," which appeared in Amazing Stories #608 in 2005.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Seal Driver" by Jethro Tull

Worf and Dax banter the hell out of this episode, which doesn't change the fact that, sadly, it's a dumb episode. The DS9 Rewatch has a "Change of Heart."

An excerpt:
Because of the abject stupidity of the episode’s entire premise, I’d never actually watched the episode since its initial airing, because it actively pissed me off so much. As a result, I’d forgotten how absolutely magnificent Michael Dorn and Terry Farrell are here. Their banter is relaxed and funny and believable and fun. Dorn in particular does an excellent job of showing us a Worf who still has many of the aspects of the “Klingon glacier” (as one of his previous par’Mach’kai called him), but is actually mellowing and compromising, and trying to be a better husband to Dax.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Back Street Beachhouse Back in Business Blues" by Cats Laughing

Amy Ratcliffe, who already interviewed me for the Nerdist about Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution, has now reviewed the book as well! And favorably, I might add...

Money quote:
With franchise tie-in books like this one, matching the tone and voice of the characters is key. DeCandido has definitely captured the spirit and serious but lighthearted charm, and even better, we get to spend some time inside the characters’ heads. If you think Ichabod’s reactions to the modern day are amusing, you’ll get a kick out of hearing his inner dialogue. The language of that dialogue matches the formal way Ichabod speaks, and it’s easy to hear it in Tom Mison’s voice. While it’s amusing, you get a greater understanding of the difficulty inherent to adapting to life over two hundred years after you died. It’s amazing Ichabod can even function in our world.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Griminelli's Lament" by Ian Anderson

Fandemonium Press has released the cover to Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: Far Horizons, an anthology of ten new stories about Stargate Command and the Atlantis expedition. My Carter-and-Teal'c story "Time Keeps on Slippin'" will be in it, as well as stories by Sabine C. Bauer, Diana Dru Botsford, Geonn Cannon, Peter Evans, Jo Graham, Amy Griswold, Sally Malcolm, Melissa Scott, and Suzanne Wood. The book will be released in eBook form on 23 October, with the print release coming out on 6 November.


Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Bourée" by Ian Anderson w/orchestra

My dear friend Jessica Brawner has written a nifty book called Charisma +1: The Guide to Convention Etiquette for Gamers, Geeks & the Socially Awkward, published by WordFire Press. I picked the book up at Dragon Con and thought it a very useful guide for fans and pros alike on how to successfully navigate the convention experience.

Jessica's been interviewed about the book by the G*M*S Magazine Podcast. Do check it out!

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "Ordinary Day" by Great Big Sea

Eric Dorsett tagged me with this on Facebook, but since the Book of Face frowns on multiple links within a post, I'm doing it here for reasons that will become clear shortly.

The challenge is to post an excerpt from one of my books less than 2000 words, and also a song that reminds me of that scene.

However, the scene I have in mind has multiple songs that remind me of it, because the songs are all part of the scene. This is from "God of Blunder," one of the stories in Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet (Amazon (trade) | Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Noble (trade) | Barnes & Noble (Nook) | Indie Bound | direct from the publisher), with YouTube links in the appropriate spots.

There was a hush over Mayor Fred's Saloon as Ihor and Jana Naha helped Bobbi Milewski onto the stage. Bobbi wore her trademark plain white T-shirt and blue shorts. Her left leg was covered from the knee downward with a plaster cast.

As she sat on the provided stool, Jana hopped up onto the stage. She handed Bobbi her left-handed Les Paul electric guitar.

Ihor turned to head back to tending bar, but Bobbi called out after him. "Hey, can I get a beer?"

"Like hell, girl. You're on, what, Percocet? Darvocet?"

"Percs. What's the big—"

"No chance. You're cut off. And I already told Adina and Mara that if they get you any booze, I'm gonna fire their asses." Ihor then continued back to the bar while Bobbi gave him a pissed-off look before turning her attention to tuning up.

I was sitting at my usual table by the ficus tree that Mayor Fred's was built around, and as Ihor passed by me, I got his attention. "Aren't you being a little hard on her? I broke my arm once back in San Diego, and I still had a beer or two to wash down the painkillers."

"Yeah, and you've got about eight inches of height and fuck knows how much body weight on her. Shit, her BMI's in negative numbers, for fuck's sake."

Body mass index was one of those bullshit weight measurements that always pissed me off because doctors kept telling me that mine was too high, even though I'm a 5'11" woman with boobs and hips. There's only so low my weight's gonna get, y'know?

But Ihor had a point about Bobbi. She was only 5'3", and had the minimum amount of body fat you could have and still be at all identifiable as female.

I considered and rejected telling Ihor that she'd spent most of the previous day drinking quite a bit of beer amidst the painkillers at her family's Thanksgiving shindig and didn't seem worse for the wear. He was the guy responsible for the bar; I couldn't blame him for being cautious. Yesterday, Bobbi was at her home if something went screwy. Tonight, she was in Ihor's house, and he wasn't gonna take any chances.

While Bobbi was tuning, Jana was arranging the pedals in such a way that Bobbi could still step on them with her good foot. I thought she was out of her mind for playing so soon after breaking her leg. Part of that was guilt. She broke it while helping me, my twin brother, and three Norse gods stop a psychotic, mass-murdering ghost. Mostly, though, it was worry that someone as active onstage as Bobbi would go nuts having to play sitting down.

I was also worried about the show, generally. Jana was mostly behind the keyboards, and when she played guitar she didn't move around that much, and Ginny Blake (a.k.a. Sigyn, one of the aforementioned Norse gods) was behind the drumkit. As for Chet Smith—well, you know the stereotype that bassists are automatons who just stand on stage and never move? They use Chet to illustrate that stereotype. Bobbi was the one who had the most stage presence, despite being the smallest person up there. She was constantly moving about the stage, playing her guitar with passion, always. I kinda figured it was her way of compensating for her size, but it worked. Even though three of 1812's four members took turns singing lead, Bobbi was in many ways the front person.

However, Jana had texted me to make sure that I was there for the beginning of the set because, as she put it, "we're opening with Bobbi's fuck you I don't care about my leg set." My curiosity was, to say the least, piqued.

Once Bobbi's guitar was in tune, she looked around. Ginny was ready at the drumkit, Chet had tuned up his Ibanez bass, and Jana had tuned her own Gibson electric guitar, which meant they were opening with a two-guitar song that had no keyboards. Bobbi gave Ihor a nod, and he said over the PA, "All right, ladies and gentlemen, hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, and now it's back to the routine—put your hands together for 1812!"

Mayor Fred's was pretty full, with lots of tourists who were spending their Thanksgiving weekend in Key West. Some of them were looking funny at the guitarist with the busted leg, wondering exactly what kind of show they'd get.

Then Bobbi and Jana nodded at each other and slammed into the opening chords of AC/DC's "Back in Black." Bobbi also sang that, her sharp soprano fitting nicely into Brian Johnson's lead vocal from the original, and man did she kill it on the guitar solo.

The place burst with an explosion of applause, but the band didn't even wait for it to die down. Jana went to the keyboards, Ginny started the rat-tat-tat of the opening to Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll," which Bobbi also sang, and she slammed through guitar on. When she sang the final "lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely" a cappella, then took a great dramatic pause before "time," I got goosebumps.

Bobbi took a break from melody singing as she started up the guitar riff that opened the Rolling Stones's "Gimme Shelter." Chet's deep bass provided the lead for that one, but Bobbi sliced through the harmonies and yet another killer guitar solo. She was always good, but she just basically took over three great riffs by Angus Young, Jimmy Page, and Keith Richards and made them her own.

After "Gimme Shelter," Bobbi leaned her left wrist on the strings, and I grinned. It was Waddy Wachtel's turn to be supplanted by a short, skinny blonde chick in a Key West bar. Bobbi sang this one, too: "Edge of Seventeen" by Stevie Nicks.

Half the bar was on their feet, several people were dancing in the area directly in front of the stage, everyone was cheering and screaming and yelling, and I looked down to realize that I hadn't touched my beer since the first chord of "Back in Black."

You gotta understand, 1812 has been the house band at Mayor Fred's for a bunch of years now. Except for two breaks—in April when they were between drummers, and in the summer when they were in Mississippi recording tracks as the backup band for John Robertson's last CD—they'd been there every Thursday through Sunday night, and I'd seen most of their performances since I first arrived in Key West sixteen months ago. I hadn't thought there was a helluva lot they could do to surprise me at this point.

Holy shit, was I wrong. To say they were on fire tonight was to give fire way too much credit.

I gulped down about half my beer as Ginny started another drumroll, one slower than "Rock and Roll," but only a bit. This time it was Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz," which Chet and Jana split the lead vocals on—Chet did the quieter first half of the verses with Jana taking over the louder second half. All three sang the chorus in magnificent harmony.

By now, I was exhausted, and I was just sitting. Luckily, they slowed it down a bit, with Jana starting the piano bit that began Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London," followed by Jana and Bobbi both donning matching black Takamine acoustic guitars for a stellar rendition of Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue." For that, Chet, Jana, and Bobbi each sang three verses, with the three of them singing every two lines of the final verse. The two guitars rang out through the saloon.

So much for my worry about Bobbi retaining her front-person status.

They closed the first set with "Till the Walls Come Tumblin' Down," a J. Geils Band number that gave Jana a chance to remind everyone how awesome she is: she snarled out the lyrics while playing a mean-ass piano. But it ended with another killer guitar solo, while Chet and Bobbi belted the "Ooooh, yeah!" that alternated with each line of the chorus.

The crowd whooped and cheered louder than the guitar solo, and half a dozen people moved to assist Jana in helping Bobbi off the stage. I was sitting alone, so I stayed put. Bobbi had plenty of help and I didn't want to lose the table.

Ginny handed Bobbi down her crutches and the two of them slowly worked her way over to me. Chet had already gone into the men's room, and Jana was outside smoking.

Adina came over with two beers and a bourbon. She put one of the beers in front of Bobbi and smiled. "This one's on the house."

Bobbi, Ginny, and I all looked over at the bar, and Ihor gave Bobbi a thumbs-up, mouthing the words, You earned it.

Current Mood: silly silly
Current Music: the A's-Royals game on TBS

O'Brien goes undercover to infiltrate the Orion Syndicate for no good reason that the script ever bothers to explain. The DS9 Rewatch reminds us that there's no "Honor Among Thieves."

An excerpt:
The biggest problem I have with this episode is that we are never given a single reason why Starfleet Intelligence chose Miles O’Brien in particular for this mission. Why it’s not an SI operative, I get—there’s a mole, five agents have been killed, gobby gobby gobby, fine. But why O’Brien?

The only reason, really, is because he’s an opening-credits regular on DS9—but that’s not really a good enough reason. He has no experience in security or in undercover operations. So why did SI think it was a good idea to take this married guy with two kids off his post as chief of operations of one of the most important strategic posts in the quadrant in the middle of a war to have him go undercover for several weeks?

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Confessions" by Tim Minchin

Leah Schnelbach of Tor.com writes an absolutely delightful review of my Sleepy Hollow novel Children of the Revolution.

Money quote:
DeCandido’s narrative also spends time with the museum workers and cops who get unknowingly swept up into the mystery, which adds a wonderful element to the book that the show unfortunately glosses over. People who would just be background dressing—seen from the perspective of Mills and Crane as (possibly headless) victims—are now given backstory to set against the cosmic war they don’t even know exists. While I love the show, it doesn’t really slow down long enough for us to understand just how high the stakes are. Seeing more of the people infected by Pestilence in “John Doe,” or seeing the families of the murdered Masons in “The Midnight Ride” would give us a better sense of the war’s vast scale. In the novel, we get the sense that even the tertiary characters are dealing with the consequences of this fight, not just Crane and the Mills sisters.

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Ready for This?" by Tim Minchin

Today is the official on-sale date for Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution. You can order it from finer online merchants everywhere or get it from your local bookstore.

Here are some links:

Order the book
Amazon (paperback) | Amazon (Kindle) | Barnes & Noble (paperback or Nook) | Indie Bound | Kobo | Sleepy Reads

I'm interviewed by the Nerdist
a fan panel on the show at Dragon Con where I talk about the book some
I'm interviewed by the IntelleXual

I'm hoping for more stuff online this week, including at io9 and Tor.com.....

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Budapest" by Jethro Tull

Amy Ratcliffe of the Nerdist sat down with me to talk about Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution.

An excerpt:
N: You’ve written several characters in different universes. How do you get into their heads and match their dialogue and delivery? Do you have to binge a series before you begin writing?

KD: I usually do. I mean even if it’s something I’m already familiar with, I tend to immerse myself in it. Because Sleepy Hollow had such a short season, the whole first season had aired when I got the assignment so I was able to blow through it, basically, in one shot. But I’ve done that with all my projects for the most part. I did a Leverage novel last year, and even though I’ve religiously watched Leverage for its entire run, I still sat down and binged it anyway because you notice things when you watch it straight through that you may have missed the first time. And it gives you a chance to really pay attention because then you’re watching it for character insights and nuances and stuff that you don’t necessarily look for when you’re just watching it for fun.

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "The Stranger" by Billy Joel

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