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KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
ramblings from a mad fedora'd writer
kradical
At 12,210 words on Heroes Reborn: Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World. Just finished Chapter 9. Chapter 10's gonna be fun..............

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: "The Witch's Promise" by Jethro Tull

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kradical
It got a preview release at San Diego Comic-Con, and as of yesterday, the new X-Files anthology Trust No One -- edited by the mighty Jonathan Maberry and published by the fine folks at IDW Publishing -- is officially on sale in both paperback and audio form, with the eBook coming very soon.



Some ordering links:
Amazon (paperback)
Amazon (audio)
Barnes & Noble (paperback)
Indie Bound (paperback)
Blackstone (audio)


The anthology has a story by me called "Back in El Paso My Life Will be Worthless," as well as tales by Kevin J. Anderson, Peter Clines, Max Allan Collins, Paul Crilley, Timothy Deal, W.D. Gagliani & David Benton, Ray Garton, Heather Graham, Brian Keene, Gini Koch, Tim Lebbon, Gayle Lynds & John C. Sheldon, Stefan Petrucha, and Aaron Rosenberg.

Check it out!

Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Way Out There" by Pete Seeger

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kradical
It's Lazarus and his incredible changing beard -- and as an added bonus, the other Lazarus and his incredible changing beard! The TOS Rewatch suffers through "The Alternative Factor."

An excerpt:
There is absolutely nothing in this episode that makes sense. The characters all stumble around like idiots, nobody in the main cast actually does anything until Kirk has his obligatory fistfight with matter-Lazarus. The conversations all contain leaps in logic that aren’t backed by evidence, and there’s an appalling lack of urgency given what’s actually at stake. The time travel element is dropped in out of nowhere and then completely forgotten.

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "Drive on the Young Side of Life" by Jethro Tull

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kradical
The Kickstarter for The Side of Good/The Side of Evil is still going strong, and we still need more pledges to make this thing happen. One of the incentives is to be a character in one of the stories. For a $60 pledge you get to be a character in the book -- either a background character or a person who's killed by the machinations of a super-villain. (In addition, you also get a copy of the book in electronic, DRM-free form, a thank-you note, and an acknowledgment.) And that's just one of many nifty rewards. Another is an autographed copy of SCPD: The Case of the Claw, which you get in addition to the anthology for $37. Or you can just pledge $5 and get the eBook -- for $25 you get the print book.

Do go check it out!

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Reasons for Waiting" by Jethro Tull

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kradical
At 8617 words on Heroes Reborn: Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World, bringing me to the end of Chapter 5. Next up is Chapter 6. Well, actually, next up is bed...............

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: "Sins of my Father" by Tom Waits

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kradical
Age: 46
Birthday: 18 April 1969
Relationship status: engaged to wrenn
Biggest fear: being physically restrained
Dream Job: writer -- oh, wait!
Dream Car: *shrug* one that works
Dream House: a 4BR house in NYC with a small yard and a driveway/garage

FAVORITE?
Artist(s): Georgia O'Keeffe
Movie: Rashomon
Song: "Telegraph Road" by Dire Straits
TV series: The Wire
Animal: tigers
Book: Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
Color: red

THIS OR THAT?
Twitter or Facebook: Facebook, but I use both
Snapchat or Instagram: Instagram
Pandora or Youtube: YouTube
Coke or Pepsi: whichever
Tea or Coffee: coffee, though I like tea, too
Tacos or Pizza: PIZZA! (but it has to be New York pizza)
Winter or summer: spring

WOULD YOU EVER?
Get married: already have done, and plan to do it again
Have Kids: nope
Swim with sharks: I can't imagine that circumstance presenting itself....
Daredevil Stunts: probably not
Jump out of a Helicopter: only if it was on fire

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

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kradical
It's been pretty quiet on the personal appearance front of late, but that will change, y'know, a lot in the months of August, September, and October. I'll be appearing all over the country! Well, not quite, but in a lot of places, including a couple of cities I've never done a personal appearance in before.

Here's a quickie guide to my convention schedule for the next three months..........

7-9 August: Shore Leave 37, Cockeysville, Maryland. I will be both an author guest and a music guest, as usual, at this wonderful media convention just north of Baltimore. I'll be doing panels, game shows, and autographings, and the Boogie Knights will be performing two concerts on Saturday (one at 11am, one at masquerade half-time).

14-16 August: Myths and Legends Convention, Denver, Colorado. I will be a Special Guest at this literary convention, my first time appearing in Denver (unless you count when I went with my family when I was four, which you probably shouldn't).

4-7 September: Dragon Con 2015, Atlanta, Georgia. I am returning to Dragon Con as an author guest. Expect to see me on many many different tracks, among them Star Trek, writers, American Sci-Fi Classics, Whedonverse, horror, Stargate, and more.

11-13 September: RocCon, Rochester, New York. I'll once again have a table in the dealer room and likely be doing a panel/workshop or three.

8-11 October: New York Comic-Con, New York City. Megan Rothrock of The LEGO Adventure Book series and I will once again share a booth in the small press area at NYCC, and I may or may not be doing a panel or two.

23-25 October: EnigmaCon, Daytona Beach, Florida. I'm one of the two literary guests at this convention, which will be my first con in Florida in years....

Hope to see folks at these various shows!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Stranded in a Limousine" by Paul Simon

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kradical
An oldie but a goodie from Paul Simon. This 1975 song is here being performed in 2000, but both this live version and the original have superlative drum work from the great Steve Gadd, who has backed Simon up on the skins for much of his solo career.

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" by Paul Simon

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kradical
I've written 6791 words of Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World, having completed four of the 26 chapters. (Yes, it's a novella that's supposed to be about 30,000 words. The chapters will be short.....)

I can't post an excerpt, as spoilers must be avoided, but suffice it to say I'm having a grand ol' time writing this.

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "Unomathemba" by Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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kradical
Over 4th of July weekend, wrenn, woofiegrrl, and I saw my old buddy and bandmate Steven L. Rosenhause (rosenhaus) conduct a local orchestra in doing a bunch of patriotic songs, including a couple of pieces by John Philip Sousa.

In a like vein, here's Canadian Brass, joined by several members of both the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, doing a tribute to Sousa, arranged and conducted by Rayburn Wright.

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: tribute to John Philip Sousa by Canadian Brass w/orchestra

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kradical
I've probably done this before, but I don't care, because it's my absolute favorite piece of music. Actually it's two of my absolute favorite pieces of music mashed together which is why it's so awesome. For thirty years, the signature song of the Canadian brass quintet -- called, prosaically, Canadian Brass -- has been "The Saints Hallelujiah," a seamless and brilliant blending of "When the Saints Go Marching In" and "The Hallelujiah Chorus."

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "Christmas Song" by Jethro Tull

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kradical
Live from Vasquez Rocks! It's Kirk vs. the Gorn! The TOS Rewatch shows up to watch in the "Arena."

An excerpt:
This sort of story with that kind of twist is commonplace now, but Star Trek was one of the first to do it—and unlike other genre shows that pulled this kind of switch like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, the twist wasn’t there for the sake of pulling a fast one on the viewer or to reveal a more devastating unexpected truth. No, the twist here comes from a place of compassion, of enlightenment, of making a mistake and realizing it.

Current Mood: geeky geeky
Current Music: "Insane Insane Again" by the J. Geils Band

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kradical
This past weekend, I took a trip down to D.C. and got to go to Nationals Park for the first time. woofiegrrl and I had a great time despite being seriously baked alive by the awful heat and humidity. I even got a Nats hat to keep the sun away (which has prompted a hilarious exchange on Facebook questioning my Yankees fanhood and wondering why I was wearing a Walgreens hat....).



(By the way, here's an article discussing the similarities and differences between the Nats and Walgreen's logos.....)

In the end, behind the latest superb performance by Zack Greinke, the Dodgers whupped the Nationals 5-0. Actually "whupped" isn't fair -- the Dodgers actually played horribly on offense, blowing multiple opportunities, including loading the bases twice without scoring, in the first eight innings, managing only to score once on a wild pitch. It wasn't until the top of the ninth that they broke it open against Blake Treinen, who pitched a third of an inning and gave up four runs. And he only got that one out because the Dodgers gave it to him thanks to Don Mattingly inexplicable bunting fetish.



The weekend also included a fantastic burlesque show at the Black Cat, which we attended with our buddy forexample, and also seeing Spy on Friday, which is the finest spy movie ever made. Just as Independence Day is the best alien-invasion movie ever made because the black guy and the Jew are the ones who save the day instead of being the first two killed like they are in every other movie, Spy is great because the overweight smart woman is the action hero. And the whole movie's worth it just for Jason Statham sending up the character that he usually plays in every action movie, and doing so magnificently.

Got a couple of pitches out and now I'm focused on finishing Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World, the Heroes Reborn novella I'm writing......

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Pierre" by Carole King

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kradical
As I've mentioned, eSpec Books is Kickstarting a superhero/super-villian flipbook anthology called The Side of Good/The Side of Evil, featuring stories by me, Peter David, Bryan J.L. Glass, Robert Greenberger, Aaron Rosenberg, Jennifer K. Spendlove, Gail Z. Martin, James Chambers, Neal Levin, and Kathleen O. David, among others.

On their blog, eSpec is running interviews with several of the contributors, and here's the one with me, where I talk about my superheroic influences, my story, and other nifty keeno things.

An excerpt:
eSB: What is your favorite superhero movie and why?

KRAD: Mystery Men. It was ahead of its time, as it would have been much better received after superhero movies took off, not in 1999 the year before X-Men was released. But it’s a great sendup of the genre, and still also a great movie about heroes. “We’ve got a date with destiny, and she just ordered the lobster.”

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "Strange Face of Love" by Tito & Tarantula

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kradical
Howard Jones did a nice little song called "No One is to Blame," which was all fine and dandy, but for a best-of album, he conscripted Phil Collins to aid him in a remastering of it, with additional vocals and drums, and it turned a nice little song into a much more luscious and nifty song. And here it is.

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "I Want it All" by Queen

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kradical
The grand finale of the battle against the Ori, plus bonus replicators! Featuring Adria's best impersonation of the Human Torch, Mitchell getting the shit kicked out of him, Teal'c's crowning moment of awesome, and Landry wearing the leather jacket of badassitude. The Stargate Rewatch opens up The Ark of Truth.

An excerpt:
Teal’c’s speech to Tomin about how he will never forget the innocents he killed and how he will never ever forgive himself, and that the only thing he can do is try to save as many lives as he can going forward, is quite possibly the character’s finest moment—a magnificent summary of Teal’c’s own life and brutally necessary advice to a repentant Tomin. I’ve said that Teal’c was utterly useless in the ninth and tenth seasons, and I stand by that, but honestly? That speech completely makes up for his fifth-wheel status on the last two seasons of the show. Just brilliant.

Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: "She Moves On" by Paul Simon

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kradical
In the 1950s, Howlin' Wolf released a kickass song called "Smokestack Lightning." Here's the original:




Here's a 1964 live performance that's much bluesier:




In 2008, the movie Cadillac Records was released, which had some fantastic performances by the likes of Jeffrey Wright (as Muddy Waters), Mos Def (as Chuck Berry), Beyoncé (as Etta James), Columbus Short (as Little Walter), Cedric the Entertainer (as Willie Dixon), and the superlative Eamonn Walker playin' the Wolf. The actors all did their own singing, and Walker's junkyard growl is a perfect fit for "Smokestack Lightning."

Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: "Rosa on the Factory Floor" by Jethro Tull

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kradical
Today was a wonderful day. Wrenn and I decided to spend the day wandering Manhattan. I already had a haircut appointment, and I wanted to check my PO box, and we decided to also do something Wrenn's wanted to do since before she moved up here: visit the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum Complex, built on the now-retired aircraft carrier. It was absolutely wonderful. Just the right break needed between writing projects.

Here's a bunch of pictures from our frabjous day (calloo callay!):






























Current Mood: happy happy
Current Music: "Torquay" by Tito & Tarantula

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kradical
"Are you challenging me to a duel?" "Yes, if you have the courage." The TOS Rewatch encounters the all-powerful Trelane, a.k.a. "The Squire of Gothos."

An excerpt:
The eye-rolling engaged in by Sulu, Jaeger, DeSalle, and Uhura as Trelane throws ethnic stereotypes at them is a delightful deconstruction and repudiation of those same stereotypes. And William Campbell is generally having so much fun in the role that it’s very easy to just go along for the ride. The revelation that Trelane is just a child puts the entire episode into focus, as it explains how mercurial he is, not to mention how easy he is to manipulate. When Kirk talks Trelane out of hanging him by the noose, the first thought is that it’s the sort of thing only a child would fall for—but Trelane is a child.

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Romeo & Juliet" by Dire Straits

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kradical
One of my favorite songs, you can just picture the argument that this song grew out of, as one person just insisted that Marilyn Monroe was married to Henry Miller rather than Arthur Miller. Anyhow, here's Dan Bern's alternate-reality speculation, "Marilyn."

Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: "St. James Infirmary" by Dave Van Ronk

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kradical
Amazingly, it's been ten years since Star Trek: Articles of the Federation was released....

I'd actually intended to write about Articles last month -- the actual anniversary month of the book's June 2005 release -- but deadlines and life got in the way. It's amazing that it's been so long, and curious to look back at the influence the book has had.

It's a bit of an odd duck. The book isn't about a ship and crew, but rather politicians. None of the main characters are established from the screen iterations of Trek, and the only "canon" characters who do appear -- Spock, Alexander Rozhenko, Admiral Ross, Janeway, the EMH, Bruce Maddox -- have tiny roles. Plus, the novel consists entirely of people sitting in rooms talking to each other. Because that's what politics is.

It's at once one of my worst selling books (it was the first 2005 novel to go out of print, it never got multiple printings, and it's got the crappiest numbers of all my Trek fiction on my royalty statements), but it's also probably my best-reviewed book -- certainly my best-reviewed Trek book.

The novel grew out of a desire to show more of Federation politics. We saw tons of Klingon, Bajoran, Cardassian, Ferengi, and Romulan politics in the various shows and movies, but a vanishingly small amount of Federation politics. David Mack and I started that process of rectifying that in the last three books of the A Time to... series, and then I devoted an entire novel to it.

That novel may not have sold, but it has been influential. Every portrayal of Federation politics that we've seen in the fiction over the past ten years has used Articles as its guide. I've joked that it's the Music from Big Pink of Trek fiction. Big Pink is a 1968 album by The Band, which most rock'n'roll fans probably haven't heard of, or if they have, they may not know well, but pretty much every single person who made music between 1968 and 1980 cited Big Pink as a major influence. President Nan Bacco, the main character of Articles, who is based in large part on my late great-grandmother, has gone on to appear in more than a dozen novels since then, starting with her major supporting role in Mr. Mack's epic Destiny trilogy, and going on from there.

On the occasion of the novel's tenth anniversary, I sat down with the fine folks at Visionary Trek for an edition of their "Captains' Table" podcast to talk about Articles and various other bits and pieces of my Trek work. Do check it out!

Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic
Current Music: "Locomotive Breath" by Jethro Tull

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kradical
One of my secret projects is no longer secret, as it was announced at San Diego Comic-Con.....

NBC is releasing a thirteen-episode miniseries Heroes Reborn, a sequel to the series Heroes from a decade ago. As with last time, there will be bunches of tie-ins, including six novellas that will directly tie into various aspects of the miniseries, one of which will be written by me. The plan is to release them as eBooks (and also audio books) this fall, and later to collect them into a single print edition.

Here's all of them:
    "Brave New World" by David Bishop
    "A Matter of Trust" by Timothy Zahn
    "Nobody" by Kevin J. Anderson & Peter J. Wacks
    TBA by Duane Swierczynski
    TBA by Stephen Blackmoore
    "Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World" by Keith R.A. DeCandido

As you might imagine from the title, mine focuses on the character of Claire Bennet....

Really looking forward to this!

Current Mood: pleased pleased
Current Music: "The Curse" by Jethro Tull

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kradical
The first book in my trilogy is due Wednesday. I'm hammering away at it (hammer hammer hammer). I still can't say what it is, but rest assured that the announcement, when it happens, will make folks happy.

After I finish Book 1, I have to write the novella that I can't talk about. I really really can't talk about that one, as I signed, not one, but two non-disclosure agreements. This is the first project I've had to sign two NDAs for, so I'm really really not talking about that one. But will also, I think, make folks happy.

I wish I could go ahead and announce these things, as I've been avoiding updating my bibliography because these four items aren't on it.

Ah well. I also have to do some revisions on Kali's Wrath, and I'm doing two other pseudonymous projects I never will be able to talk about (that's why they're pseudonymous). And I have to finish "Baker's Dozen." And edit a novel. Wheeeee!

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Private Investigations" by Dire Straits

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kradical
The Scribe Awards have been granted by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers at San Diego tonight, and I'm not entirely surprised to see that my losing streak remains intact, as Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution did not win Best Speculative Original Novel.

Here are the winners:

Best General Original Novel
Homeland: Saul's Game by Andrew Kaplan

Best Speculative Original Novel
(tie) Pathfinder: The Redemption Engine by James Sutter and Fringe: Sins of the Father by Christa Faust

Best Adapted Novel
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by Alex Irvine

Best Young Adult Novel
BattleTech: The Nellus Academy Incident by Jennifer Brozek

Best Short Story
Mike Hammer: "It's in the Book" by Max Allan Collins and Mickey Spillane

Best Audio
Doctor Who: Iterations of I by John Dorney

Congrats to all the winners! I was on the jury for short story, and I have to say that it was a very tough field and a very close vote this year.

Current Mood: disappointed disappointed
Current Music: "Kissing Willie" by Jethro Tull

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kradical
Weir on the hot seat, more of Michael and Kolya, introducing Todd and the Asurans (which should totally be a band), and tragedy strikes on "Sunday." The Stargate Rewatch does Atlantis season three!

An excerpt:
Plus most of the actors and characters all get a chance to stretch themselves and show off a bit. Torri Higginson shows verve and strength in her IOA dealings in “No Man’s Land” and “Misbegotten,” her attempts to see through the delusion in “The Real World,” her hesitant flirting in “Sunday,” and her fights with Ellis in “First Strike.” Joe Flanigan settles in nicely as the action hero, most notably in “Common Ground,” “Phantoms,” “The Return,” and “The Ark.” David Hewlett gets lots of chances to shine, especially working opposite his sister (and another version of himself) in “McKay and Mrs. Miller” and when becoming brilliant in “Tao of Rodney,” plus he and David Nykl’s Zelenka continue their glorious double act of science throughout the season. And even though Ronon and Teyla have become increasingly marginalized, both Jason Momoa (“Sateda”) and Rachel Luttrell (“Phantoms,” “The Ark,” “Submersion”) make the best of the few opportunities they’ve been given. Even the recurring characters get their moments, from Zelenka’s chess mastery and Lorne’s painting in “Sunday” to the brilliantly realized, politically loaded conversation between Woolsey and Caldwell in “Misbegotten.”

Current Mood: busy busy
Current Music: "Jack and Neil/California Here I Come" by Tom Waits

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