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KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
You can now get the Nook edition of my Stargate SG-1 novel Kali's Wrath at Barnes & Noble's site!

Click here for all the ordering links for the eBook. (The print book will be out next month.)

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

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Attention Balticon 50 attendees who are or wish to become professional writers! There's still time to sign up for my seminar on the business of writing on Sunday morning at 9am -- learn all the aspects of a writing career that don't involve actually writing. (There's quite a bit...)

Or you can sign up for any of the other cool writer seminars being offered by Catherine Asaro, Tom Doyle, Chuck Gannon, Sarah Pinsker, Alex Shvartsman, Hildy Silverman, Bud Sparhawk, Michael Swanwick, and Jo Walton.

So check it out! You'll be glad you did...

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley

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Balticon has put me on two more panels, which are on Friday afternoon/evening. Check out my updated schedule!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Going to a Go-Go" by the Rolling Stones

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Kirk steals a cloaking device while disguised as a Romulan and his first officer is a Spock-tease with a Romulan commander. The TOS Rewatch does "The Enterprise Incident."

An excerpt:
Also the entire plan hinges on factors completely out of the crew’s control. They had to fake Kirk’s death on the Romulan flagship—but what if the commander had never invited the two of them over? For that matter, what if this major interstellar empire with space ships and such actually had, I dunno, surveillance in their cells, and they heard Kirk telling McCoy what the real plan was? What if—and McCoy actually brought this up in the episode—the Romulans decided to do an autopsy on the only-mostly-dead-not-all-dead Kirk? Chapel is aware that there’s no such thing as the Vulcan death grip, so why isn’t the commander also aware, especially since she seems to know so much about her “distant brothers,” the Vulcans? What if they’d actually taken Spock’s communicator away from him while he was on board the flagship?

Current Mood: disappointed disappointed
Current Music: "(Baby Let Me) Follow You Down" by Bob Dylan & The Band

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I am currently editing a bunch of baseball articles, something I've done here and there for the Society of American Baseball Research, and in that vein, here's Dr. John's delightful rendition of the seminal song about Base Ball...............

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" by Dr. John

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Friday night, I was on Destinies: The Voice of Science Fiction, the radio show on WUSB. Hosted by Dr. Howard Margolin, this was my 26th appearance on the show, and my first in a several years. I talked with Howard about my two newest releases, Marvel's Thor: Dueling with Giants and Stargate SG-1: Kali's Wrath, and also read a bit from each. The interview has been archived at Captain Phil's site for your listening pleasure, in case you missed it Friday (or want to hear it again).

In addition, Captain Phil has put up a 20-year-old interview! Back in 1996, I made my third appearance -- and my first solo one -- on Destinies. (Previous appearances had been during I-Con conventions, when Howard would do what I jokingly called the "clowns-in-the-Volkswagen episode, where he snagged as many I-Con guests as he could and crammed them into WUSB's tiny studio for a group interview.) I talked about OtherWere: Stories of Transformation, the anthology Laura Anne Gilman and I co-edited, as well as LA Con III, the World Science Fiction Convention that year, and the Marvel novels I was editing. Check it out!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: the Yankees-A's game on YES

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Back in 2014, JournalStone published an anthology edited by the mighty Jonathan Maberry called Out of Tune, featuring stories inspired by old ballads. I wrote a story for it, a Cassie Zukav tale called "Fish Out of Water," inspired by the Child Ballad "The Mermaid."

When the publisher commissioned a second anthology, it was on the proviso that Jonathan approach a completely different set of writers. Three of them are dear friends of mine (two of them are going to be in our wedding party this fall) and are simply perfect for this anthology: David Mack, Laura Anne Gilman, and Deborah Grabien.

Out of Tune Book 2 is now available with stories by each of those three brilliant authors, as well as Allison Pang, Cherie M. Priest, Dan Abnett, Delilah S. Dawson, Eric J. Guignard, JC Koch, Josh Malerman, Nik Vincent-Abnett, Rachel Aukes, Rachael Caine, James A. Moore, and David J. Schow, plus commentary on the original songs that inspired the stories by Nancy Keim Comley.

So check it out!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult

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The Gatecast is a UK-based podcast that discusses all things Stargate. I sat down and chatted with hosts Mike and Alan to discuss my new novel, Stargate SG-1: Kali's Wrath, as well as my short story "Time Keeps on Slippin'," which appeared in Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: Far Horizons, and various and sundry other things.

Here's the podcast, which ends with Mike's very nice review of the book (which he also transcribed and posted to Amazon UK).

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Slippery People" by Talking Heads

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I will be at Balticon 50 in Baltimore over Memorial Day weekend (which is next weekend!). Here's my tentative schedule (EDITED TO ADD two panels on Friday!):

4-5pm: "Fight Scene Planning" (MD Salon B)
6.30-7.30pm: "Editing a Shared-World Universe," w/Sarah Avery, Walt Boyes, Elektra Hammond, and John G. Walker (Mt. Washington)

1-2pm: "Writing: It's My Job AND It's What I Do For Fun," w/Carl Cipra, Jody Lynn Nye, and Jean Marie Ward (Guilford)
6-7pm: reading, w/Christine Norris, Jean Marie Ward, and D.C. Wilson (St. George)

9am-12pm: The Business of Writing seminar -- sign up for it, and/or one of the other seminars, here (Parlor 11029)
5.30-6.30pm: Boogie Knights concert (MD Salons CD)
7-9pm: launch party for Gaslight and Grimm and other nifty books, sponsored by eSpec Books (MD Salon B)
7-7.30pm: autographing, w/fellow Boogie Knights (Autograph Table 1)

10-11.30am: Monday Gimungous Autograph Session, w/EVERYONE!!!!! (Kent)

Nothing currently for Friday, though that may change before long.....

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Nil S'en La" by Clannad

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The Joker provides the key to time travel. Or, uhm, something. The Bat-rewatch does "The Impractical Joker"/"The Joker's Provokers."

An excerpt:
We open with the Joker in the Keyborn Bookstore taking a book called The Keys to the Kingdom and tearing it up, then going to the Keynote Music Shop and smashing the record You’re the Key to My Heart. Then he sets fire to the Gotham City Key Club’s confidential membership list and messes with the sign on the Keystone Building.

At Wayne Manor, Bruce is helping Dick with a geography paper, about the Rock of Gibraltar and how it’s the key to the Mediterranean, and how that should be the keynote of his paper.

Gee, I wonder what the theme of this episode is going to be...

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Heroes" by David Bowie

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Me getting my first-degree black belt in October 2009. That was the year I turned 40, and also the year I won a Lifetime Achievement Award, got roasted, and met Wrenn Simms. Pretty good year, all told........

Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic
Current Music: "Ghost Train" by Marc Cohn

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Today is the official release day for the eBook edition of my Stargate SG-1 novel Kali's Wrath! It's available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Crossroad Press (which sells it in both Kindle and Nook formats). It hasn't yet gone up on Barnes & Noble or Kobo.

EDITED TO ADD: Also up on Smashwords and Barnes & Noble!

Here's the cover:

It's a late fifth-season adventure that features not only SG-1 but, as the cover indicates, a team up between the grumpy old men of the fight against the Goa'uld, Bra'tac and Jacob Carter. There's also a flashback to the time of Ra's dominion on Earth, which provides Kali's backstory and also showcases the Goa'uld when they were ruling humans more directly. Plus, of course, the usual of SG-1 having a big-ass adventure where they kick ass and take names and stuff, and the return of the Reetou!

So check it out!

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Nothing I Can Do About It" by Michael McCloud

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Kirk shouts "MIRAMANEE!" and "I AM KIROK!" a lot. Plus racist Native stereotyping, atrocious acting, doofy-ass voiceovers, and plot holes you could fly the Enterprise through. The TOS Rewatch suffers from "The Paradise Syndrome."

An excerpt:
The bad one is that lost in all the hugger-mugger of racist stereotyping and bad acting (not just Shatner’s doofy-ass voiceovers and screaming “I AM KIROK!!!!” but also the embarrassingly bad performance of Rudy Solari, who keeps looking at indeterminate spots over the shoulder of the person he’s talking to and who is a two-bag actor—he needs the second bag in case he accidentally acts his way out of the first) is the fact that the script is actually dumber than a box of hammers.

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Ears of Tin" by Jethro Tull

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Always happy to find more versions of "Gimme Shelter." Here's a superb version by Keith Richards at a tribute to Merry Clayton -- who did the harmony vocals on the original, and who also recorded her own version of the song -- at the Apollo Theatre from 2015.

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "Jump Start" by Jethro Tull

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If you've received an e-mail from my Gmail account asking you to review the attached document, do not open it, but delete it with all due dispatch. My Gmail got hacked. I've changed the password.

Sorry about that. :(

Current Mood: grumpy grumpy
Current Music: "Gimme Shelter" by Merry Clayton

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Congratulations to the Nebula Award winners, who were announced in Chicago tonight. They are:

Best Novel: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Best Novella: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
Best Novelette: "Our Lady of the Open Road" by Sarah Pinsker (Asimov's)
Best Short Story: "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers" by Alyssa Wong (Nightmare)
Ray Bradbury Award for Best Dramatic Presentation: Mad Max: Fury Road, written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nick Lathouris
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult SF & Fantasy: Updraft by Fran Wilde
Damon Knight Grand Master Award: C.J. Cherryh

With the exception of the Bradbury, all the awards tonight went to women. And the Bradbury went to a movie that had by far the best roles for women of any action and/or genre movie in the last twenty years.

I am so incredibly proud of my genre tonight. Every day I walk around New York City and I see multiple skin pigments, multiple genders, multiple sexual orientations, multiple spiritual beliefs. I see a lot more than heterosexual white guys, is what I'm saying. A genre that is at least in part about looking to the future should encompass all of that as well. Not just the heterosexual white guys. And I say that as a heterosexual white guy.

And that's why tonight's Nebulas fill me with joy. We've got a bunch of women walking home with trophies. And they're not all white, and they're not all hetero.

It's a huge step in the direction we should have been going in all along.

Bravo to the Science-fiction & Fantasy Writers of America tonight. And, again, congrats to Naomi, Nnedi, Sarah, Alyssa, Fran, Carolyn, and the troika who wrote Fury Road.

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

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Mr. Freeze is back and he's WILD! The Bat-rewatch does "Green Ice"/"Deep Freeze."

An excerpt:
They get Gordon’s door open via plastic explosive, which Robin keeps in his utility belt. (Yes, Batman leaves military grade explosives in the hands of a minor. What could possibly go wrong?) They use the Crime Analyzer (which Batman calls the Bat Analyzer, a rare case of the verbal description not matching the sign) to figure out what Mr. Freeze’s future crimes are likely to be, and also where his hideout is. The Dynamic Duo are slathered in anti-freeze before confronting Mr. Freeze.

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Ears of Tin" by Jethro Tull

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For all you stalkers out there.............

20 May 2016: Destinies: The Voice of Science Fiction. I'll be interviewed by Dr. Howard Margolin about my Thor novel Dueling with Giants. You can hear it Friday night at 11.30pm on WUSB, 90.1 FM (on the radio if you're on Long Island, on the web everywhere else). The shows are also archived at Captain Phil Online.

21 May 2016: Joseph T. Simpson Public Library ComiCon. I'll have a table in the Marketplace at this one-day convention in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Harrisburg.

27-30 May 2016: Balticon 50. As usual, I'll be attending Balticon, which this year is celebrating its 50th year, and also back in Baltimore proper, as the con will be at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel in the Inner Harbor. I'll be doing panels and stuff, I'll be signing and selling books at the eSpec Books table, I'll be at eSpec's big-ass launch party, there'll be a Boogie Knights concert, and I'll be teaching a Writers Seminar.

1-3 July: InConJunction XXXVI. I'm returning to this wonderful Indianapolis convention. Rockne S. O'Bannon is one of the Guests of Honor, and he and I will be talking Farscape at some point during the weekend, and I'll have a table to sell and sign books at.

15-17 July: Shore Leave 38. As always, I'll be both an author and musical guest at Shore Leave in Cockeysville, Maryland, doing panels and self-defense workshops and autographing and playing with the Boogie Knights, and possibly other things.....

22-24 July: Ro-Con 2. I'll be the Author Guest of Honor at this convention in Mystic, Connecticut.

12-14 August: MALcon. I will be returning to Denver for this delightful little convention, doing panels, selling and autographing books, and the usual nonsense.

2-5 September: Dragon Con. Like I'd miss this. *big cheeky grin* I'll be doing panels and readings and autographings, my usual self-defense workshop, and I might also be putting in time at the WordFire booth in the dealer room.

6-9 October: New York Comic Con. This is slightly tentative, as some other plans may supersede it, but at the moment I'm approved to be a professional at NYCC, and, as with Dragon, I might be putting in time at the WordFire booth. I will not be back in the small press area this year, sadly, but I might do a panel or two.

18-20 November: AtomaCon. I will be the Author Guest of Honor at this nifty little convention in North Charlotte, South Carolina. (This means I will not be able to attend Philcon this year.)

I may have forgotten a convention or two in there, but I will definitely be at these places.

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: the Yankees-Royals game on YES

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It's the taming of the space shrew! The TOS Rewatch meets "Elaan of Troyius."

An excerpt:
It’s especially frustrating, because there’s the potential for an interesting story here, and it’s one that I think France Nuyen would have been able to pull off. We’ve got a woman who, on the one hand, is the ruler of her world and accustomed to being obeyed by everyone to whom she speaks—yet she is being forced into a marriage against her will. She sees in Kirk a way out, and so she uses her Magic Tears Of Doom to bend him to her will the same way she’s been bending men to her will all her life—but then it doesn’t work, because his sense of duty is greater than her chemically induced infatuation. She could have been a magnificently tragic figure; she could’ve been a complex character.

Instead, she’s a caricature, a “mass of conflicting impulses” like all women, just a spoiled brat who should be spanked, whose sole purpose is to annoy the men around her. At least, that is, until she finds the love of a good man—and there’s no better man than Jim Kirk, ain’t that right, ladies? (Cue wink at the camera.)

Current Mood: geeky geeky
Current Music: "Herne the Hunter" by Pandoa Celtica

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With the announcement of the Aliens: Bug Hunt anthology, I can finally update my bibliography.............................

short stories

"Three Sides to Every Story," BattleTech: 25 Years of Art and Fiction, Catalyst Games Lab, 2009
"Meiyo," Battlecorps.com, 2008


Blizzard Games

StarCraft: Ghost: Nova, Pocket, 2006
World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred, Pocket, 2006

comic books
StarCraft: Ghost Academy #1, TokyoPop, 2010


Bram Gold

A Furnace Sealed, WordFire Press, 2016

short stories
"Under the King's Bridge," Liar, Liar, Mendacity Press, 2011 (reprinted in Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015)


Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Deathless, Simon Spotlight, 2007
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Blackout, Simon Spotlight, 2006

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Xander Years Volume 1, Pocket, 1999

(w/Christopher Golden & Nancy Holder) Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Watchers Guide Volume 1, Pocket, 1998


Cassie Zukav
short stories

"William Did It," Story of the Month Club, 2015 (reprinted in A Baker's Dozen of Magic, Story of the Month Club, 2016)
"Seven-Mile Race," Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015
"Down to the Waterline," Buzzy Mag, 2015
"Fish Out of Water," Out of Tune, JournalStone, 2014
"God of Blunder," Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Plus One Press, 2013
"Love Over and Over," Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Plus One Press, 2013
"Undine the Boardwalk," Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Plus One Press, 2013 (reprinted in Bad-Ass Faeries: It's Elemental, Dark Quest Books, 2014)
Cayo Hueso, a Tale of Cassie Zukav Part 3: Twisting Fate, Plus One Press, 2013 (reprinted in Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Plus One Press, 2013; Cayo Hueso: A Tale of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Story Bundle, 2015)
Cayo Hueso, a Tale of Cassie Zukav Part 2: The Buck Stops Here, Plus One Press, 2013 (reprinted in Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Plus One Press, 2013; Cayo Hueso: A Tale of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Story Bundle, 2015)
Cayo Hueso, a Tale of Cassie Zukav Part 1: A Farewell to Cats, Plus One Press, 2013 (reprinted in Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Plus One Press, 2013; Cayo Hueso: A Tale of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Story Bundle, 2015)
"I Believe I'm Sinkin' Down," Tales from the House Band Volume 2, Plus One Press, 2012 (reprinted in Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Plus One Press, 2013)
"Ragnarok and Roll," Tales from the House Band Volume 1, Plus One Press, 2011 (reprinted in Apocalypse 13, Padwolf Press, 2012; Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Plus One Press, 2013)
"How You Can Prevent Forest Fires...," Urban Nightmares, Baen, 1997 (reprinted in Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Plus One Press, 2013)

short story collections
Cayo Hueso: A Tale of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Story Bundle, 2015
Ragnarok and Roll: Tales of Cassie Zukav, Weirdness Magnet, Plus One Press, 2013


Doctor Who
short stories

"Life from Lifelessness," Doctor Who: Short Trips: Destination Prague, Big Finish, 2007
"Raymond's Room," Doctor Who: Missing Pieces, Outpost Gallifrey, 2001
"UNITed We Fall," Doctor Who: Decalog 3: Consequences, Virgin, 1996

"A Moment of Heroism: Thinky Thoughts on Doctor Who's 'The Day of the Doctor'," Tor.com, 2013

anthology editing
Doctor Who: Short Trips: The Quality of Leadership, Big Finish, 2008


Dragon Precinct

Mermaid Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2016
Gryphon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013
Goblin Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2012
Unicorn Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2011
Dragon Precinct, Pocket, 2004 (reprinted by Dark Quest Books, 2011)

short stories
"Baker's Dozen," Kickstarter-supported, 2016
"Partners in Crime," Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015
"Gan Brightblade vs. Mitos the Mighty," Kickstarter-supported, 2014
"Heroes Welcome," Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013
"Blood on the Water," Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013
"Brotherly Love," Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013
"Catch and Release," Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013
"When the Magick Goes Away," Kickstarter-supported, 2012 (reprinted in Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013)
"Fire in the Hole," Dragon's Lure, Dark Quest Books, 2010 (reprinted in Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013)
"A Clean Getaway," Pandora's Closet, DAW, 2007 (reprinted in Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013)
"House Arrest," Bad-Ass Faeries, Marietta Publishing, 2007 (book reprinted by Mundania Press, 2009; story reprinted in Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013)
"Crime of Passion," Hear Them Roar, Wilder Publications, 2006 (book reprinted by Marietta Publishing, 2008; story reprinted in Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013)
"Getting the Chair," Murder by Magic, Warner Aspect, 2004 (reprinted in Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013)

short story collections
Tales from Dragon Precinct, Dark Quest Books, 2013


The Executioner

(uncredited) Don Pendleton's the Executioner #379: Deep Recon, Gold Eagle, 2010
(uncredited) Don Pendleton's the Executioner #373: Code of Honor, Gold Eagle, 2009



Farscape: House of Cards, Tor, 2001

comic books
(w/Rockne S. O'Bannon) Farscape (ongoing) #1-24, BOOM! Studios, 2009-2011 (reprinted in Farscape Volume 4: Tangled Roots, Volume 5: Red Sky at Morning, Volume 6: Compulsions, Volume 7: The War for the Uncharted Territories, BOOM! Studios, 2011-2012, 2014)
Farscape: D'Argo's Quest #1-4, BOOM! Studios, 2009-2010 (reprinted in Farscape: Uncharted Tales Volume 3: D'Argo's Quest, BOOM! Studios, 2011)
Farscape: D'Argo's Trial #1-4, BOOM! Studios, 2009 (reprinted in Farscape: Uncharted Tales Volume 2: D'Argo's Trial, BOOM! Studios, 2010)
(w/Rockne S. O'Bannon) Farscape: Gone and Back #1-4, BOOM! Studios, 2009 (reprinted in Farscape Volume 3: Gone and Back, BOOM! Studios, 2011)
Farscape: D'Argo's Lament #1-4, BOOM! Studios, 2009 (reprinted in Farscape: Uncharted Tales Volume 1: D'Argo's Lament, BOOM! Studios, 2009)
(w/Rockne S. O'Bannon) Farscape: Strange Detractors #1-4, BOOM! Studios, 2009 (reprinted in Farscape Volume 2: Strange Detractors, BOOM! Studios, 2009)
(w/Rockne S. O'Bannon) Farscape #1-4, BOOM! Studios, 2008-2009 (reprinted in Farscape Volume 1: The Beginning of the End of the Beginning, BOOM! Studios, 2009)

short stories
"Ten Little Aliens," Farscape role-playing game, Alderac Entertainment Group, 2002
"Brotherly Love," Farscape: The Official Magazine Vol. 1 #2, 2001
"Many a Mile to Freedom," Farscape: The Official Magazine Vol. 1 #1, 2001 (reprinted in Farscape: Uncharted Tales Volume 1: D'Argo's Lament, BOOM! Studios, 2009)



Serenity, Pocket, 2005

"'The Train Job' Didn't Do the Job," Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds, and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly, BenBella Books, 2005

role-playing games
"Merciless," Firefly: Echoes of War Supplement #2: Things Don't Go Smooth, Margaret Weis Productions, 2014


Marvel Comics

Marvel's Warriors Three: Godhood's End (Tales of Asgard Book 3), Joe Books, 2016
Marvel's Sif: Even Dragons Have Their Endings (Tales of Asgard Book 2), Joe Books, 2016
Marvel's Thor: Dueling with Giants (Tales of Asgard Book 1), Joe Books, 2015
Spider-Man: Down These Mean Streets, Pocket, 2005
(w/José R. Nieto) Spider-Man: Venom's Wrath, Boulevard, 1998

short stories
"Diary of a False Man," X-Men Legends, Boulevard, 2000
"Playing it SAFE," The Ultimate Hulk, Boulevard, 1998
"Arms and the Man," Untold Tales of Spider-Man, Boulevard, 1997
"Improper Procedure," The Ultimate Silver Surfer, Boulevard, 1995
(w/John Gregory Betancourt) "An Evening in the Bronx with Venom," The Ultimate Spider-Man, Boulevard, 1994

"Avengers Assemble--in the Bookstore!" Assembled! 2: The Unauthorized Guide to Earth's Mightiest Heroes and Villains, White Rocket Books, 2009
"Introduction," Assembled!: Five Decades of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, White Rocket Books, 2007
"Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man," Webslinger: Unauthorized Essays on Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, BenBella Books, 2007
"Pryde and Joy," The Unauthorized X-Men, BenBella Books, 2006


Resident Evil

Resident Evil: Extinction, Pocket, 2007
Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Pocket, 2004
Resident Evil: Genesis, Pocket, 2004


Star Trek

Star Trek: A Singular Destiny, Pocket, 2009
A Gutted World, in Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Echoes and Refractions, Pocket, 2008
Star Trek: Klingon Empire: A Burning House, Pocket, 2008
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q & A, Pocket, 2007
The Mirror-Scaled Serpent, in Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Obsidian Alliances, Pocket, 2007
Star Trek: Articles of the Federation, Pocket, 2005
Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon Book 3: Enemy Territory, Pocket, 2005
Ferenginar: Satisfaction is Not Guaranteed, in Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Volume 3, Pocket, 2005
Star Trek: A Time for War, a Time for Peace, Pocket, 2004
Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon Book 2: Honor Bound, Pocket, 2003
Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon Book 1: A Good Day to Die, Pocket, 2003
Star Trek: The Lost Era: The Art of the Impossible, Pocket, 2003
Star Trek: The Brave and the Bold Book 2, Pocket, 2002
Star Trek: The Brave and the Bold Book 1, Pocket, 2002
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Gateways Book 4: Demons of Air and Darkness, Pocket, 2001 (reprinted in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Twist of Faith, Pocket, 2007)
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Diplomatic Implausibility, Pocket, 2001

The Unhappy Ones, Star Trek: Seven Deadly Sins, Gallery, 2010
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Slings and Arrows Book 6: Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment, Pocket, 2008
Star Trek: S.C.E. #66: Many Splendors, Pocket, 2006 (reprinted in Star Trek: Corps of Engineers: What's Past, Gallery, 2010)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #54: Security, Pocket, 2005 (reprinted in Star Trek: Corps of Engineers: Wounds, Pocket, 2008)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #28: Breakdowns, Pocket, 2003 (reprinted in Star Trek: S.C.E. Book 7: Breakdowns, Pocket, 2005)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #22: War Stories Book 2, Pocket, 2002 (reprinted in Star Trek: S.C.E. Book 6: Wildfire, Pocket, 2004)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #21: War Stories Book 1, Pocket, 2002 (reprinted in Star Trek: S.C.E. Book 6: Wildfire, Pocket, 2004)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #10: Gateways Epilogue: Here There Be Monsters, Pocket, 2001 (reprinted in Star Trek: S.C.E. Book 3: Some Assembly Required, Pocket, 2003)
Horn and Ivory, Star Trek: Gateways Book 7: What Lay Beyond, Pocket, 2001 (reprinted in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Twist of Faith, Pocket, 2007)
(w/David Mack) Star Trek: S.C.E. #8: Invincible Book 2, Pocket, 2001 (reprinted in Star Trek: S.C.E. Book 2: Miracle Workers, Pocket, 2002)
(w/David Mack) Star Trek: S.C.E. #7: Invincible Book 1, Pocket, 2001 (reprinted in Star Trek: S.C.E. Book 2: Miracle Workers, Pocket, 2002)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #6: Cold Fusion, Pocket, 2001 (reprinted in Star Trek: S.C.E. Book 2: Miracle Workers, Pocket, 2002)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #2: Fatal Error, Pocket, 2000 (reprinted in Star Trek: S.C.E. Book 1: Have Tech, Will Travel, Pocket, 2002)

comic books
Star Trek: Captain's Log: Jellico, IDW, 2010 (reprinted in Star Trek: Captain's Log, IDW, 2011)
Star Trek: Alien Spotlight: Klingons, IDW, 2009 (reprinted in Star Trek: Alien Spotlight Volume 2, IDW, 2010; Star Trek 100 Page Special 2012, IDW, 2012)
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Perchance to Dream #1-4, WildStorm, 1999-2000 (reprinted in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Enemy Unseen, WildStorm, 2001; IDW, 2012)

short stories
"Family Matters," Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Shards and Shadows, Pocket, 2009
"Four Lights," Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Sky's the Limit, Pocket, 2007
"Letting Go," Star Trek: Voyager: Distant Shores, Pocket, 2005
"loDnI'pu' vavpu' je," Star Trek: Tales from the Captain's Table, Pocket, 2005
"The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned," Star Trek: Tales of the Dominion War, Pocket, 2004
"Revelations," Star Trek: New Frontier: No Limits, Pocket, 2003
"Broken Oaths," Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Prophecy and Change, Pocket, 2003

"Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch," Tor.com, 2015-present
"Embracing the Entire Universe: The WildStorm Era," New Worlds and New Civilizations: Exploring Star Trek Comics, Sequart, 2014
"Shall We Begin?: Star Trek Into Darkness Spoiler Review," Tor.com, 2013
"Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch," Tor.com, 2013-2015
"'The Line Must Be Drawn Here': Star Trek: First Contact," Tor.com, 2013
"Star Trek Nemesis," Star Trek Magazine #166, 2012
"Star Trek: The Next Generation Rewatch," Tor.com, 2011-2013
"'I Feel Fine': Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," Tor.com, 2011
"The Ultimate Guide to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Movies," Star Trek Magazine #164, 2011
"The 45s: 'Accession'," Star Trek Magazine #162, 2011
"Picard & Crusher," Star Trek Magazine #160, 2011
"Dr. Selar," Star Trek Magazine #156, 2010
"The Proud Forehead: Klingons in Books and Comics," Star Trek Magazine #151, 2010
"Kang," Star Trek Magazine #149, 2009
"Mirror Universe Timeline," Star Trek Magazine #142, 2009
"Just Following Orders," Star Trek Magazine #141, 2008
"Third Time Has Occasional Charm," Star Trek Magazine #140, 2008
"When 42 Isn't the Answer," Star Trek Magazine #138, 2008
"Embracing the Star Trek Universe," Star Trek Magazine #137, 2008
"Anti-Star Trek?" Star Trek Magazine #134, 2007
"Klingon Empire," Star Trek Magazine, #133, 2007
"Corps of Engineers," Star Trek Magazine #133, 2007
"Voyager," Star Trek Magazine #133, 2007
"The Ideas Factory," Star Trek Magazine #80, 2005

anthology editing
Star Trek: Tales from the Captain's Table, Pocket, 2005
Star Trek: Tales of the Dominion War, Pocket, 2004
(w/Peter David) Star Trek: New Frontier: No Limits, Pocket, 2003

Star Trek: The Klingon Art of War, Simon & Schuster, 2014


Star Wars

"Top Ten Positives About the Prequel Trilogy," A Long Time Ago: Exploring the Star Wars Cinematic Universe, Sequart, 2015
"The Madness of King George," Star Wars on Trial, BenBella Books, 2006



Stargate SG-1: Kali's Wrath, Fandemonium, 2016

short stories
"Time Keeps on Slippin'," Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: Far Horizons, Fandemonium, 2014

"The Stargate Rewatch," Tor.com, 2015


Super City Police Department

The Case of the Claw, Crossroad Press, 2011

Secret Identities, Bastei, 2016
Undercover Blues, Bastei, 2016
Avenging Amethyst, Bastei, 2016

short stories
"Send in the Clones," The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, eSpec, 2015
"Stone Cold Whodunit," With Great Power, Dark Quest Books, 2014



Supernatural: Heart of the Dragon, Titan, 2010
Supernatural: Bone Key, HarperEntertainment, 2008
Supernatural: Nevermore, HarperEntertainment, 2007

"Not Just a Pretty Face (or Two)," In the Hunt: Unauthorized Essays on Supernatural, BenBella Books, 2009


short stories

"Streets of Fire," V-Wars: Night Terrors, IDW, 2016
"The Ballad of Big Charlie," V-Wars, IDW, 2012 (reprinted in Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015)



Young Hercules: The Ares Alliance, Pocket, 1999
Young Hercules: Cheiron's Warriors, Pocket, 1999

short stories
"Recurring Character," The Further Adventures of Xena Warrior Princess, Ace, 2001



Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution, Broadway Books, 2014
Leverage: The Zoo Job, Boulevard, 2013
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Sun: Under the Crimson Sun, Wizards of the Coast, 2011
Guilt in Innocence: A Tale of the Scattered Earth, Crossroad Press, 2011
CSI: NY: Four Walls, Pocket, 2008
Command and Conquer: Tiberium Wars, Del Rey, 2007
Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda: Destruction of Illusions, Tor, 2003

Darkness Falls, Pocket, 2002
(as "K. Robert Andreassi") Gargantua, Tor, 1998

short story collections
Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015

Heroes Reborn: Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World, Bastei, 2015 (reprinted in Heroes Reborn Event Series Collection Two, Titan, 2016)
(w/Steven Savile) Viral: -30-, FoxRain AB, 2012 (reprinted in Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015)

short stories
"Live and On the Scene," Nights of the Living Dead, Griffin, 2017
"Ganbatte," Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, Griffin, 2017
"Identity," Alternate Sherlocks, Diversion, 2017
"Deep Background," Aliens: Bug Hunt, Titan, 2017
"Right on, Sister," Limbus, Inc. Book 3, JournalStone, 2016
"Back in El Paso My Life Will be Worthless," The X-Files Volume 1: Trust No One, IDW, 2015
"Behold a White Tricycle," Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015
"Wild Bill Got Shot," Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015
"The Stone of the First High Pontiff," Defending the Future 5: Best-Laid Plans, Dark Quest Books, 2012 (reprinted in Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015)
"Letter from Guadalajara," More Tales of Zorro, Moonstone Books, 2011
"Sunday in the Park with Spot," Furry Fantastic, DAW, 2006 (reprinted in Dance Like a Monkey, Silence in the Library, 2014; Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015)
"A Vampire and a Vampire Hunter Walk Into a Bar," Amazing Stories #608, February 2005 (reprinted in The Town Drunk, 2006; Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015)
(w/Marina Frants) "A Bone to Pick," Did You Say Chicks!?, Baen, 1998
"Editorial Interference," The Fedoras Literary Review Volume 1, #2, 1996 (reprinted in Circles in the Hair, BookLocker, 2006; Without a License: The Fantastic Worlds of Keith R.A. DeCandido, Dark Quest Books, 2015)
"God Sins," Magic: The Gathering: Distant Planes, HarperPrism, 1995

comic books
(w/Gregory A. Wilson) Icarus, Silence in the Library, 2016
"Contest of Chompions," Kung Fu Panda: Tales of the Dragon Warrior #1, Ape Entertainment, 2013
Cars: Adventures of Tow Mater #1-4, BOOM Kids!, 2010 (reprinted in Cars: Rust Bucket Derby, BOOM Kids!, 2011)

essays, reviews, etc.
"Holy Rewatch, Batman!," Tor.com, 2015-present
"Gaming the Novel," Kobold Guide to Combat, Kobold Press, 2014
"The Pinstriped Bible" (weekly blog entry), SB Nation, 2013
"12 and 12 in '12," In the Dugout: Yankees 2013, Lindy's Sports, 2013
"Redshirts: Of All the Metafiction in the World, This is the Metafictioniest," Tor.com, 2012
"Play It at 11," Yankees Yearly 2012, Changeup Publications, 2012
"Warehouse 13 reviews," Sci-Fi Bulletin, 2011
"Do Blades Dream of Electric Runners?," Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #19, BOOM! Studios, 2010 (reprinted in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Volume 5, BOOM! Studios, 2011)
"The Team(s) of the Decade," Yankees Annual, Maple Street Press, 2010
"Actor and Superactor," The Man from Krypton, BenBella Books, 2006
"'Twas Stupidity Killed the Beast," King Kong is Back!, BenBella Books, 2005
"The Red Sox Fan's Guide to Surviving Yankee Stadium," The Red Sox Fan Handbook, 2005
"You Set Loose What?: Australia, 1859," You Did What?: Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters, Perennial Currents, 2004
"Adam-Troy Castro: The Best Writer in the Entire World," A Desperate Decaying Darkness, Wildside Press, 2000
"How to Write a Media Tie-In Novel in Six Easy Steps," iUniverse.com, 2000
(w/Marina Frants) "Down by the Bayou: The 20th Annual World Fantasy Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana," Wilson Library Bulletin, 1994
"Word Balloons: Trade Comics," Wilson Library Bulletin, 1993
(uncredited) "Elayne Boosler," Current Biography Yearbook, 1993
"Get the Picture?: A Serious Look at Comics in Libraries," Library Journal, 1991
(w/GraceAnne A. DeCandido) "Orson Scott Card," Publishers Weekly, 1990
"Picture This: Graphic Novels in Libraries," Library Journal, 1990
ALSO: reviews for The Chronic Rift, SFRevu, Peter Parker's Pad, the official Spider-Man listserv page, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Horror, and The Comics Journal; questions for The Sci-Fi Channel Trivia Game book and CD-ROM; a short-lived comic book column for Creem; and entries for the Women of Marvel Comics and Villains of Marvel Comics web sites

anthology/collection editing
Liar Liar, Mendacity Press, 2011
Imaginings: An Anthology of Long Short Fiction, Pocket, 2003
(w/Robert Silverberg & Byron Preiss) Virtual Unrealities: The Short Fiction of Alfred Bester, Vintage, 1997
(w/Josepha Sherman) Urban Nightmares, Baen, 1997
(w/Laura Anne Gilman) OtherWere: Stories of Transformation, Ace, 1996
(w/Byron Preiss & John Betancourt) The Ultimate Alien, Dell, 1995
(w/Byron Preiss & John Betancourt) The Ultimate Dragon, Dell, 1995

music discography
Boogie Knights, Wasted Days and Wasted Knights, 2013 (percussion, vocals, recorder, kazoo)
Boogie Knights, Many a Sleepless Knight, 2006 (percussion)
Steven Rosenhaus, A Man Like Me, 2002 (percussion)
David Honigsberg, Ten the Hard Way, 2001 (percussion, vocals)
The Don't Quit Your Day Job Players, Blues Spoken Here, 1999 (percussion, vocals, songwriting)
The Don't Quit Your Day Job Players, TKB, 1996 (percussion, vocals)

voice work
A Vampire and a Vampire Hunter Walk Into a Bar, Gypsy Cove Productions, 2012
Gypsy Cove, Gypsy Cove Productions, 2011-2012
HG World, 3015 North Productions, 2009-2015
The Dome: Avatar, Lucky Shot Productions, 2006, 2011-present

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Desert Rose" by Sting

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Jonathan Maberry has been an anthology-editing crazy person lately, and for some inexplicable reason, he keeps hiring me to write stories for them. In 2017, Titan will be publishing an Aliens anthology called Bug Hunt, and I'll have a story in it! Called "Deep Background," the story is about a reporter who is embedded with a group of Colonial Marines, and things do not go as planned.

Here's the full list of contributors, listed alphabetically:
    Dan Abnett
    Rachel Caine
    Larry Correia
    Keith R.A. DeCandido
    David Farland
    Matt Forbeck
    Ray Garton
    Christopher Golden
    Heather Graham
    Brian Keene
    Paul Kupperberg
    Tim Lebbon
    Jonathan Maberry
    James A. Moore
    Yvonne Navarro
    Weston Ochse
    Mike Resnick
    Scott Sigler

"Game over, man, game over!"

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Everybody Pays" by Mark Knopfler

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There are SPOILERS here for Captain America: Civil War. You have been warned.

The other day, I ranked the first dozen MCU films, and now that I've seen the thirteenth, I'd put it in the second or third slot easily. Not sure whether it would go before or after Winter Soldier, but both movies are fantastic.

One of the things I love about the MCU is that it is treating the movie series much more like a TV series, with Kevin Feige as the show-runner. While each movie has its own plot, there are threads running through them all, and character development as well. In fact, the movies are being treated very much like the comic books they're based on. Which is where these characters have thrived for decades, so it's a good model to use.

This makes it increasingly harder for the movies to stand on their own, of course, though I think it's still possible to watch Civil War without having seen the previous films. Having said that, it builds on, well, a lot of them. This feels like the third Avengers movie at least as much as it does the third Captain America movie, as the character beats for Hawkeye, the Scarlet Witch, and the Vision all pick up from Age of Ultron, as does a big part of the plot, since the incident in Sokovia is the impetus for both the UN accord that prompts the conflict and Zemo's manipulations that exacerbate it.

In addition, though, it picks up on a lot of what was established in the Iron Man and Captain America films. In particular, we've got a through-line for Tony Stark's development that is very compelling viewing, especially given the depth that Robert Downey Jr. gives to it. There's a lot of pain underneath all the snark...

I was initially wary of the fact that the movies were going to adapt one of the weaker storylines Marvel did in the comics. The comic book version of Civil War never really worked, mostly because it mangled the character of Tony Stark in order to make the plot work. But it also never rang true in a Marvel Universe that had existed with superheroes and super-villains for so long.

In the MCU, though, it works, because costumed heroes are less well established. Plus in the comics, the Avengers had a charter and clearances and regulations right from jump. This version of the Avengers really don't, especially once S.H.I.E.L.D. collapsed. Furthermore, the Cap/Iron Man friendship in the comics is long established and deep; the Cap/Iron Man friendship in the MCU barely exists. Every onscreen interaction between them has been that of bitter, semi-reluctant allies and teammates, not friends. Cap's relationship with Bucky is even deeper than it is in the comics, as the comics' Bucky Barnes was the camp mascot, whom Cap took on as a sidekick, but the MCU Bucky folds together Bucky with Arnold Roth, Steve's childhood friend who protected him from bullies. While I would expect Marvel Comics Steve to be more loyal to Tony than Bucky, I would expect MCU Steve to be way more loyal to Bucky than Tony. Steve has only been in modern times for four years, and he's been able to trust very few people (keep in mind that a lot of his colleagues in S.H.I.E.L.D. turned out to be Hydra, including the one who blew himself up in Lagos). In addition, the MCU Tony Stark is a much bigger asshole than the comics' version. Plus, in the comics, it was really hard to sympathize with Stark, but in this movie, both sides have merit. The Vision's point about the need for oversight is an excellent one. But so is Cap's about how it's too much of a yoke to have them be a strike force for the UN, given the agendas involved. (He already went down this road with S.H.I.E.L.D., and it ended with three helicarriers crashing into the Potomac.)

And then we have the actual conflict writ large when there's a terrorist attack on the UN conference in Vienna. This is the point where Cap's fears come to fruition, because there's immediately a shoot-to-kill hunt for the Winter Soldier based on one shitty piece of surveillance footage. This is a world in which holographic masks (used by the Black Widow in Winter Soldier to pose as a member of the World Council, and also by Agent 33 to look like Agent May in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) are pretty readily available -- certainly available to someone who has the resources to bomb a UN conference. The leap from one shitty picture to shoot on sight is way too long, hard, and far, and done without any investigation, which is horrible. I pretty much settled on the #TeamCap side of things the minute Everett Ross laughed in Cap's face when the latter asked if Bucky would be getting a lawyer. They're talking about how the Avengers need oversight, but here we have an international coalition of cops being told to blow away someone based on a bad photograph. (Mind you, it's totally realistic in the circumstances, as the post-9/11 paranoia we got in the real world would be amped up even more so in a world that also has super beings trashing whole cities and countries.)

Further solidifying my personal preference for #TeamCap is Tony's response to learning that the Winter Soldier killed his parents. Certainly his initial angry attack you can forgive, but he keeps at it, knowing that Bucky was brainwashed, and out and out stating that he doesn't care. My biggest issue with Iron Man 3 was that Stark was casually discussing how he was going to kill various people, and I had a real problem with Iron Man as murderer. He was also truly the villain of Age of Ultron -- or, at least, his hubris was -- and his attack on Cap and Bucky at the climax was despicable. In character, mind you, but still despicable.

And yet that also proved that Stark may have been right to sign the Accords -- when you've got something as powerful as the Iron Man armor in the hands of a dick, it might be a good idea to make sure that dick has regulatory agencies crawling up his ass. (For all the good it did here.....)

It would have been nice if at some point someone reminded Secretary Ross (or the folks on Stark's side of the argument) that a) New York wasn't actually the Avengers' fault and b) while Wanda's actions did result in a loss of life, that loss of life would have been considerably greater if Crossbones's bomb had gone off at street level. That was mentioned in Cap's pep talk to the Witch, but it should've also come up when talking to Ross. The Avengers really need a good PR person, something Howard Stark (as we've seen him particularly in Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter) understood a helluva lot better than Tony does.

(Speaking of Agent Carter, Peggy Carter's funeral was a fantastic scene, and you could just hear Hayley Atwell saying what Sharon quoted her as telling her niece about how you should force the world to move you. That motif was returned to several times -- with people commenting that neither Steve nor Tony was going to give up, not to mention when Panther's bodyguard threatened Widow -- to good effect, and again shows what a valuable part of the MCU Peggy Carter has become.)

I haven't even discussed all the other characters who get to be amazing in this movie. Both the Black Panther and Spider-Man get established very nicely, beautifully setting up their upcoming films, Ant-Man's appearance is a very well done followup to his film (his dig at Stark from his prison cell was a nice callback to Pym's issues with Stark in that movie), Hawkeye and the Black Widow remain the only adults in the entire franchise, it seems, and we get the beginnings of the Vision/Scarlet Witch pairing that was a centerpiece of the Avengers for so long in the comics.

Chadwick Boseman's superlative performance as the Black Panther has gotten a great deal of praise, and it's 100% earned, aided by a script that manages to give him a compelling arc despite very little actual screen time. What I especially like is that he winds up being the moral center of the film, because he's also suffered a great loss -- in fact, it's the same loss that Stark suffered, only more immediate -- but his response is more measured and unlike either of the two main characters, he falls in the end on the side of justice and forgiveness rather than vengeance.

By the way, it's also worth mentioning that this movie has three black main characters, none of whom are killed, none of whom are marginalized, all three of whom are actually quite competent. War Machine provides the best argument for Stark's side (and I like that he continues to have the strength of his convictions even at the end), and Falcon is simply brilliant throughout. It's a very refreshing thing in an action movie, in which characters with dark skin rarely get to be anything other than comic relief or cannon fodder.

Scarlett Johansson is -- again -- brilliant as the Black Widow, as she remains a ruthless pragmatist. She agrees to sign the Accords because it's the path of least resistance and the one that's most practical in the situation, since they won't be able to continue to operate otherwise. But she also aids Cap and Bucky in their escape because she knows that Cap will be relentless. (For fuck's sake, GIVE THIS WOMAN A MOVIE ALREADY!!!!!)

But what gave me the biggest geeky glee of the whole movie was Tom Holland's Spider-Man. The previous five Spidey films have given us two actors who did a fine job with the character of Peter Parker. Tobey Maguire was pretty much playing the Steve Ditko Peter while Andrew Garfield was more the John Romita Sr. Peter, but the thing that was missing from both their performances was the wisecracking Spider-Man. One of the fun things about Spidey is the witty banter that accompanies his fighting, the way he taunts the bad guys at the same time that he's webbing or punching them. Neither the Maguire nor the Garfield films did that, but Holland's Spidey, who's providing a running commentary throughout every fight scene? That's the Spidey I know and love.

In the end, we have two teams of Avengers -- Cap, Falcon, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Ant-Man on one team, Iron Man, War Machine (once he's recovered), and the Vision on the other, with Spider-Man, Black Panther, and Black Widow's allegiance up in the air. (Ditto for Thor and the Hulk, whose non-appearance is mentioned twice; since Mark Ruffalo is supposed to be in Thor: Ragnarok next year, I'm guessing that the thunder god's third film is going to take place at roughly the same time as this one, with Goldilocks and the Jade Giant busy in Asgard while their teammates are kicking each others' asses.) I'm willing to bet that they all come back together in the next two movies, especially since they're supposed to relate to the Infinity Gems that have already played a part in several MCU films. Both Vision and Wanda owe their powers to the gems, and they're on separate teams right now......

Current Mood: nerdy nerdy
Current Music: "Critique Oblique" by Jethro Tull

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Been kind of in a no-brain mode the past few days. I think my brain finally got to take the vacation that my body did when we went to Key West -- my brain wasn't allowed to, because I still had deadlines that needed to be met.

We also had a house guest -- Wrenn's old friend Nokona, whom she hadn't actually seen in years, came up for a couple of days to take a two-day certification course, and she stayed an extra day so we could take her to the Cloisters, which she loved. We also fed her lots of good food and generally gave her a day away from the grind of regular life to have fun.

Today we sent Nokona off, then we went to my parents' place for Mothers Day dinner. My father and I collaborated on fried chicken, and Wrenn put the salad together, and a yummy time was had by all. It's been a fraught few years health-wise for my three mothers -- The Mom (a.k.a. girasole), Mom-Like Product (a.k.a. helgabee), and the Godmommy, as there have been various scares and ick, but they're all happy and generally healthy. My mother has had the worst of it, crawling through the wreckage of cancer treatment, but she's looking better every day, and while 100% health will probably never happen again, she's a shit-ton better than she was the last two years.

I've been very fortunate to have the best parents in the world. They helped make me who I am, and they have continued to influence me and fill me with joy. More to the point, though, I still like them. Having a meal at my parents' is a joy and a delight, and something we don't do nearly often enough.

Tonight, we're going to see Captain America: Civil War. Tomorrow is the TOS Rewatch and teaching, but I also dive full-tilt into the thriller....................

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

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Penguin vs. Batman -- in the race for Gotham City Mayor! The Bat-rewatch does "Hizzoner the Penguin"/"Dizzoner the Penguin."

An excerpt:
Batman has toyed with political satire twice before, once at the end of “Batman Sets the Pace” when they poked fun at the 1966 California gubernatorial election, and again in the movie with the digs at world politics and military bureaucracy. But this is the first time they’ve embraced it so wholeheartedly, and it’s an absolute delight, quite possibly the show’s finest hour, though I freely admit that I’m slightly biased toward it because (a) I’m an election junkie, and (b) I’m rewatching it the same week that Donald Trump (who is pretty close to a real-life super-villain) became the last man standing in the Republican primary race.

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Angels Don't Fall in Love" by the Bangles

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Inspired by a Facebook post by Jim Beard​, here's my ranking of the twelve Marvel Cinematic Universe films to date, in preparation for the release of the thirteenth tonight:

1. Avengers. Still the platonic ideal of the superhero team movie, as it manages to not only be the perfect first Avengers movie, but also works perfectly as the next Iron Man movie, the next Cap movie, the next Hulk movie, the next Thor movie, and also as a showcase for the various S.H.I.E.L.D. folk. Does absolutely everything right.

2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A taut, impressive thriller. I have literally nothing negative to say about it.

3. Iron Man. Got the ball rolling, and showcased the perfect balance between fannishness and good moviemaking that has been the MCU's hallmark.

4. Thor. I wish Jack Kirby had lived to see Kenneth Branagh and his team perfectly re-create his Asgard. In a milieu that has rarely screwed up any of its casting choices, this movie stands out even more, as no one in the MCU has owned their roles as overwhelmingly as Chris Hemsworth, Jaimie Alexander, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Idris Elba, and especially Tom Hiddleston. The only flaw in the film is that it was made too late for Brian Blessed to be convincingly cast as Volstagg (though Ray Stevenson does pretty well....).

5. Captain America: The First Avenger. A rollicking good World War II adventure that gives us several great characters, some superb acting, and would be worth it just for the introduction of Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter, one of the best aspects of the MCU. Plus Stanley Tucci and Tommy Lee Jones hitting it out of the park, and I still want a Howling Commandos movie starring Neal McDonough.

6. Guardians of the Galaxy. Had no business even being a good film, but it had heart and soul and managed to make an ambulatory barely sentient tree and a talking raccoon the heart and soul of a story of redemption.

7. Avengers: Age of Ultron. A much better movie than it gets credit for being, though it does try to do a few too many things. But I love how the Avengers' primary goal throughout is to save as many people as possible (particularly in the wake of Man of Steel's despicable destruction porn), and I can't overemphasize how amazing James Spader's voice was as Ultron. Also like the fact that the true villain of this film isn't Ultron, it's Stark's ego.

8. Thor: The Dark World. A waste of Christopher Eccleston, but the Thor-Loki interaction continues to be the best thing about these films (and Avengers).

9. Iron Man 2. Whiplash is a poor choice of villain, and this is generally a triumph of set pieces (Stark and Fury, Stark and Coulson, Stark and Pepper, any time Sam Rockwell or Scarlett Johansson is on screen) over plot.

10. Ant-Man. A cute little film, but this movie only happened because of Edgar Wright's inexplicable hard-on for the least interesting founding Avenger. The Wasp has been a significantly more important Avenger over the decades than any of Hank Pym's various alter egos, and certainly more so than the Scott Lang Ant-Man. Paul Rudd was fun and all, but I sat through it wondering why we were being kept from the Wasp movie that would have been far more interesting than the tonally schizophrenic movie we got.

11. Iron Man 3. I love the double fake of the Mandarin, I love Stark's PTSD after Avengers, and I love how Pepper is used, but I dislike how bloodthirsty Stark is, and the use of multiple armors just got real tiresome real fast.

12. Hulk. If only Mark Ruffalo had been hired a few years earlier, this movie might have worked better. Also the one bit of recasting from the Ang Lee film that failed utterly was William Hurt, who can't hold a candle to Sam Elliott's perfection in the role in the earlier flick. Oh well.

Current Mood: geeky geeky
Current Music: "St. James Infirmary" by Trombone Shorty

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