Came across these steampunk paintings of mecha and werewolves attacking European peasants. The artist is Jakub Rozalski, who goes by the sobriquet “Mr. Werewolf”, and his paintings are from a set titled World of 1920+, an alternate history that inspired the board game Scythe and a video game. The paintings are wonderful, and I’d definitely read the book that had any of these paintings as the cover art.
I know the movie was released a week ago, and most everyone who cares about the movie has already commented on it. I’ve seen it twice, both time with the mini-nerds aka my sons. I’m not going to go into an in depth review, but it wasn’t the shiny, nothing ever gets dirty, sanitized, and lobotomized versions of Star Wars from of Episodes 1-3. It was grimier, with some of the grayness of BSG-but thankfully with characters that are more likable. In that, it’s feel is more like that of Firefly, but it didn’t have Firefly’s humor-few shows or movies do. And in the end, it’s own important story, one that in the Star Wars universe is just as important as the samurai-battle-for-the-future-of-the universe as we see in the main Episodes.
So overall, I loved Rogue. I definitely liked it better than Episodes I, 2, 3 (not a high bar to overcome), 6, and 7. After the first viewing, I was torn as to whether I liked it better than Episode 4. After the second viewing, I’m no longer torn. I like Rogue One better.
I’ve been struggling mightily with my next book. It’s done but I’ve been editing it. And editing it. And editing it some more because it just wasn’t reading well in terms of characterization or dialogue. I’m now in my fourth edit and huzzah! (that word snuck into my lexicon thanks to the local RenFaire), the book is taking shape. It’s becoming something of what I hoped. Maybe another edit after this one and I can send it on for my beta readers to take a look at it and then on to my editor. Progress!
In addition, today’s my birthday, and because it is, I decided to put A Warrior’s Path on sale at $0.99. I don’t know if this means much to anyone who already likes my author page, but you never know about friends and family. Hint. Hint. .
I’ve not posted much for awhile, so here’s an update on what’s been going on. I’ve still been writing, and work on the next novel continues to progress. I’m hoping to have it completed in December, but that doesn’t mean I’m publishing it then. I’ll send it out to a few literary agents who asked to take a look at my next non-Arisa series. I’ll wait to hear what they have to say.
Also, I was asked to submit a short story for an upcoming anthology. At first, I wasn’t too nervous about it, but then I saw who else would be submitting for the collection, and suddenly GULP! There are some really good writers in that list, many of whom are bestsellers Double GULP! Anyway, I’ve spent the past few weeks making sure that my story won’t be the weakest link in that collection. Oh yeah, about the story. It features Hume, the legendary warrior from Hammer. More info. when it becomes available.
Other things I’ve done. Oh, yes. My oldest son and I built a cajon. I had some 3/4 inch plywood sitting around, so it was a fun little project. For the drum head, we had to buy 1/16 plywood, which was really nice to work with.
This whole summer, I never went to the movies because there was nothing released that I really cared to see. But over the past few weeks, I finally got to go out to the movies again. First, there was Dr. Strange, which was visually wonderful and pretty true to the basic story. I enjoyed it. Then there was Fantastic Beasts by J.K. Rowling. I went into that movie not really caring to see it, but only did so because some friends invited my whole family. This was every bit as visually impressive as Dr. Strange, but the movie itself started out slow-very slow-and I was ready to nod off at around the 20 minute mark. But then it slowly picked up steam. The characters gained depth, and I found myself intrigued by the story and world Rowling was revealing. I won’t reveal much more, except to say that I loved the movie, and am glad my wife insisted I go.
And I’ve also been following some news. Not the Presidential election stuff, though. That was a painful few months for the entire country to endure. No, I’ve been following something called the EM Drive. Here’s a short version of where the potential propulsion/energy production system stands right now. I’m not ready to book passage to Mars yet-I’m not even ready to accept that proof of the EM Drive has been documented. So far, it’s an interesting series of anomalous measurements, and that’s it, but it’s stuff like this that made me fall in love with sci-fi when I was a kid.
Well, well, well. Look at that. The audiobook for my short story collection, Stories from Arisa, is out, and once again it’s narrated by Nick Podehl. There are four stories, and they run the gamut of politics, murder, humor, and mystery. We learn how Li-Dirge became the SarpanKum; how Hal’El became a murderer, how Keemo, Rukh, Farn, and Jaresh came up with the Prank, and how Rector solved a robbery.
A Warrior’s Path is on sale at Audible for $1.99. The sale runs from today through next week, Sept. 26th. Just thought I’d let y’all know in case you have friends or enemies who might be interested in the book.
It’s been awhile since I posted an update, so I thought I’d do so. Work on the next book is coming along in fits and starts. It’s a challenge because of one particular character and the setting. She’s a hard one to write, and I’ve had to go back and rethink her multiple times. I think I’m finally getting an understanding of who she is. There’s also been a surprising amount of research I’ve had to put into the setting. The series–working title is The Magi of Arylyn–is set in the U.S. in 1986. I would have thought that would be easy to write about since I lived through that time, but nope. No chance. I keep having to go back and look up what was going on history wise. I had to buy a road atlas from 1986 just to get towns and highways right. Even the weather is a pain. I’ve had to look it up to see what was going on on particular dates in particular places.
At any rate, I’m about 3 weeks from finishing the first book in the series–William Wilde and the Magi’s Blade–but after that comes a round of edits. BTW the book is a lot shorter than the novels of The Castes and the OutCastes. It’s about 80,000-90,000 words vs. 155,000 words for A Warrior’s Path, but the series itself will be 5 books, so plenty will still happen. Also, there will be one character from The Castes and the OutCastes who, right now, makes an appearance in the new series. I don’t know if I’ll keep the character in The Magi of Arylyn or not, but that’s what editing is for.
And after I’m done, I’m going to shop the book around to traditional publishers and work on book 2 while that’s happening. If it isn’t picked up by a trad. publisher, then I hope to release the book on my own in the spring of 2017, and if I’m lucky, I might have book 2 on the road to completion by then as well.
I was honored to be interviewed by the guys of Keystroke Medium, Josh Hayes and Scott Moon, for their weekly podcast.
A recent interview of me by AJ Chaudhury. Here it is.
I read Phil Tucker’s Path of Flames after seeing a fantastic review of it on Pornokitsch. The book is has strong characters–I love character driven stories–but is still very much action driven. It’s a novel that’s a natural fit for the Gemmell Award, and I loved it. The sequel, The Black Shriving, is also available, and the third book in the series comes out in September.
Anyway, I was fortunate enough to interview Phil about his work. It’s posted at SFFWorld.com. Here’s the link.