November 8th, 2013

mace windu, star wars

The Sex with Robots Festival

Last night, Wrenn and I traversed to Long Island City's The Secret Theatre to see Caps Lock Theatre's presentation of The Sex with Robots Festival, a series of eight one-act plays about, well, sex with robots. I first heard of it due to one of the eight plays being written by my good buddy Natalie Zutter, former fellow contributor to and current editor/writer at Bookish.

The show is running three more nights, so if you're in NYC this weekend and wanna see some cool one-act plays, tickets are available at this site. Personally, I think it's more than worth your time and money, as we had a great time.

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Overall, this was a delightful evening of themed entertainment, and I especially appreciate that we got a variety of robots for our humans to have sex with -- male, female, neither -- and a variety of relationships, as well. The best science fiction uses SF tropes to examine the human condition, and all these plays did that quite well.
  • Current Music
    "Backstreets" by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

reviews of my two Spider-Man short stories

So I've just discovered "Not Blog X," a blog dedicated to reviewing comic books of the 1990s. It's actually kind of awesome.

G. Kendall not only reviews stuff from what he calls the "Chromium Age of Comics," he also has been reviewing some of the Marvel novels and anthologies that I edited during that time frame. Thus far, he's covered three anthologies (The Ultimate Spider-Man, Untold Tales of Spider-Man, and The Ultimate Super-Villains) and one novel (Diane Duane's Spider-Man: The Venom Factor).

Here's what he had to say about my very first short story, "An Evening in the Bronx with Venom," written with John Gregory Betancourt, for The Ultimate Spider-Man:
The story’s helped a lot by the writers’ ability to flesh out some of the police characters, such as Frank Esteban, a captain who doesn’t carry the NYPD’s standard bias against Spider-Man, and Vance Hawkins, a sergeant who apparently has a genius IQ and enough integrity to avoid card games with his fellow officers because he knows he can’t resist card counting. I’m not so sure about the bleak ending, or the wild coincidence that allows Spider-Man to run into Josias just as he enters New York, but this is an enjoyable read and one of the better Venom stories from the anti-hero days.

And then there's this about my Untold Tales of Spider-Man story "Arms and the Man":
Told from the point-of-view of Dr. Octopus’ unwise biographer, this is an extensive character piece on the villain that attempts to reveal who exactly Dr. Octopus was before his accident. There is actually some controversy amongst fans on this subject, mainly because different writers have different interpretations on who Otto Octavius was before radiation infected his brain. DeCandido makes those contradictions a story point, as Randall interviews any living person he can find with a connection to Octavius and finds that no two people have the same opinion of him. Was he merely arrogant, or truly megalomaniacal? Did Octavius have compassion for other humans, or did he always view them as annoyances? Most importantly, is he crazy or genuinely evil? There’s a lot of great character work in this piece, and it’s heartening to know that DeCandido looked into one of the few previous attempts to flesh out Dr. Octopus, Spider-Man Unlimited #3, and used that story to his advantage.
  • Current Music
    "St. James Infirmary Blues" by Trombone Shorty
ds9 rewatch

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Civil Defense"

O'Brien and Jake accidentally set off an old Cardassian counterinsurgency program. Their attempts to stop it make things worse. Then they get even worse. Then they get even worse. Then Dukat shows up. The DS9 Rewatch mounts a "Civil Defense."

An excerpt:
The best moment, though, comes after Dukat spends the better part of an act lording his superiority over everyone, only to try to beam off and getting a nasty comeuppance from his former CO, who traps him on the station with an embedded program of his own. It’s an excellent reversal, made even more entertaining by Garak going “Neener neener” at him afterward.
  • Current Music
    "Suzie Q" by Creedence Clearwater Revival