Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
There are loads of wonderful things in store for science fiction fans. For instance, on January 2nd, the original science fiction magazine, that was in uninterrupted existence for fifty years is back. If you remember Amazing Stories, you're excited already. If you don't, you will be after you read the press release below. This has been in the works for years and promises to be everything the old rag was and so much more as it embraces the possibilities that modern technology presents.
DON'T MISS THE 2013 MOVIE TRAILERS after this press release...
Thursday, December 13, 2012
by S. A. Bolich
Sky Warrior Books (2012)
Windrider is the second volume in the Masters of the Elements series by S. A. Bolich, an entertaining and refreshing brand of fantasy. The novel takes the reader back to the land of Metrenna, where the powers of fire, wind, water and earth both threaten and sustain the land through their separate aspects. In the first book, Firedancer, we were introduced to Jetta ak'Kal and her struggle to keep the Ancient, the malevolent face of Old Man Fire, from destroying her newfound home in the mountainous territory of Annam Vale. In the second book, our narrator changes to Sheshan ak'Kal, windrider of the third rank, and pledged lifemate of Jetta.
All is peaceful in Annam Vale until a Messenger arrives. Driven by urgency, he fails to yield and causes an accident on the road. The Ancient takes this opportunity to strike, and Jetta, her Firedancer partner Settak and the other inhabitants of Annam Vale work to squelch the flames. The Messenger lays grievously wounded but will only speak his message to Wyth, head of the windrider clan. Wyth refuses to hear the message, and the Messenger dies unheard.
Soon enough, Wyth reveals that he has already received one message from the Storm Council and that the Messenger had likely been sent to demand his answer. The Ancient and the Hag, Metrenna's dangerous personified Fire and Wind have become unpredictable and unresponsive to the usual containment methods. Word has spread of how the firedancers and windriders of Annam Vale worked together to thwart the fires of the Ancient. Wyth decides that Clan Heshth cannot remain isolated in Annam Vale, and his clan, as well as Jetta and Settak, set out to speak with the Storm Council in distant Oppanum.
Sheshan is reluctant to face the outside world. The tempest that destroyed most of his clan and his first lifemate left him scarred in many ways. In the events of the first book, he learned to find purpose again in the defense of Annam Vale's gentle inhabitants, and love again with Jetta. But he is still unable to interact with the Wind through song, wrestling it with his will alone. Before leaving Annam Vale with the rest of his clan, he challenges the Hag, shrieking at the cruel sister to Wind. Anger drives this rash act, and the voice of the Hag stays with him, taunting him as he travels through the lowlands with Clan Heshth.
As the windriders and their companions travel, they discover that much of the world has suffered from the depredations of the untamed elements. Sheshan must fight against his own doubts, the Hag, and the prejudices of others, as well as strife in his relationship with Jetta. All these conflicts come together in an outstanding climax that makes an excellent conclusion to a middle volume while leaving enough questions remaining that readers will be eagerly awaiting the last book in the trilogy.
Those readers familiar with the first book will be swept into this second volume, and even newcomers should be able to quickly get their bearings with the series. The strongest aspects are the brilliant characters and the fascinating cultures of Metrenna. It was nice to see the characters travel out of Annam Vale so that we had a view of the rest of the land and its people. The only criticism that I will raise is that I felt like the focus of the plot drifted in the middle of the book. This was not enough of a problem to bother me much, as the characters and their problems kept my interest.
The third book, Seaborn, has no release date at this time.
This review is very timely because I wanted to write to tell you about my friend Sue (S. A. Bolich) and why you should read her work. I've known her for probably five years now and have read a lot of her short stories when I was in the online critique group, Other Worlds Writers Workshop, that she co-founded in 1998. Her rough drafts look like my finals. And her descriptions are more vivid than any I've read. She doesn't waste words and chooses them with care.
Now she needs care. The cancer she had been told was defeated ten years ago has returned, going into her lungs and bones now. Nobody writes because they think they will get rich or even live comfortably doing so. We write because we must. It's our passion. Unless we hit the bestseller lists time and time again, we will struggle financially. Sue has health insurance, but it's a high-deductible plan that are the only ones, as self-employed writers, most of us can afford. Some don't even have that.
I encourage you to buy this series of books. You'll be doing yourself a favor, while also helping a struggling writer -- at least with the bills. Cancer isn't the automatic death sentence it once was, but the treatments don't come cheap and are mostly unpleasant. And often far away - made worse by the price of gas and the taxing trip home.
Please read the Clare's review of Firedancer and my interview with Sue herein.
This holiday season, consider purchasing a gift that will keep on giving. And make one struggling writer's life a little easier. Buy S. A. Bolich's books here. There's even a facebook page dedicated to the cause.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
|graphic by Radio Static/Lee Sullivan|
Episode 4 of the series starts recording this week, financed entirely by its fanbase, and a crowd-funding campaign for Episode 5 is currently underway. Fans can grab a variety of exclusive perks ranging from cast-signed art to limited-edition mugs, caps and tees..
|Photo by Ian Nolan|
at recording of Episode 3
L. Neil Smith’s The Venus Belt. December’s code is 9991305 and will be good through December 31.
The Host released a new trailer. Looks very exciting, but I kept thinking "V". I guess there really are no new plots.
And in the age of Indie Films and Kickstarter crowd-funding, there's always some new flick or the beginnings of one to share. Check it out and let him know what you think.
PROSPECT: Concept Reel from Shep Films on Vimeo.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
David S. Goyer & Michael Cassutt
Camilla seemed equally surprised (at seeing the lipstick duplicated). Hesitantly, she reached out for the "new" lipstick.
"It's warm," she said. She handed it to Valya."Shouldn't you keep the new one?""My mother told me I couldn't wear lipstick until I was twelve."Valya wanted to laugh. This girl had died and been reborn on another planet! She had just taken part in some type of alien techno-magic! Yet she remembered some argument with her mother! For an instant, Valya wished she could become mother to a daughter — just to know that one of her parental strictures would sustain itself across time and space, and through death!
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I surfed YouTube, so you don't have to. :)
Have you always wanted your own DeLorean Time Machine? Why not build one? Personally, I think some people have too much time on their hands. I'm waiting for the working version. I can think of a lot of cool things I could do with a time machine. History beware!
And here's a bit of nostalgia for those who remember, and a funny look into the past for those who don't.
Finally, a little comedy relief from the original Star Trek.
Friday, October 19, 2012
PELT introduces viewers to beautiful Jennifer and her friends as they embark on a backpacking excursion deep into the woods of Caveland Kentucky despite dire warnings from local residents. Sudden, gory death hides behind every bush when they come “chest to chest” with an evil as old as the trees.
The film stars Ashley Watkins (1000 Ways to Die) as Jennifer, while the titillating triumvirate is completed by Marie Bollinger (Hell-O-Ween) and Sara Zurell (90210, No Ordinary Family).
Winner – Outstanding Film, Audience Choice Award – Big Bear Horror Film Festival
“PELT was a wonderful film to work on and I can’t wait to share it with viewers through Netflix,” said Swindell. “I am proud of our incredibly talented cast and crew who turned this project into a one of a kind film that holds its own next to any ‘big budget’ offering.”
Listen...above the crackling of the campfire...is that the sound of a twig snapping or your best girlfriend's neck? Check out PELT on Netflix today!
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
And a little Harry Turtledove for 99 cents perhaps?
Phoenix Picks releases Harry and Rachel Turtledove’s On The Train: ebook $7.99/paperback $12.99.
LAUNCH SPECIAL: ebook is only 99 cents on Amazon through October 4th.
Here's the Publishers Weekly review of the book:
“Turtledoves père and fille offer two stories set on a railroad-girt
world. Harry Turtledove (Supervolcano) introduces Javan, a young man from
the city of Pingaspor whose third-class ticket allows him to expand his
worldview, and whose ambition allows him to make a life for himself in the
narrow confines of the Train. Rachel Turtledove’s story describes the
first-class travels of nanny Eli, hired by the Baroness Vasri, who becomes
entangled in the world of the Directors of the Railroad and the slinkers
who stow away. The world of the Train is insular even as it circles the
planet, offering only fleeting glimpses into the wonders beyond, whether
the ravages of war or the effects more magical regions have on the Train’s
mechanism. The original setting and likable characters have a surprising
number of possibilities that could easily be explored in future books.
And their usual free ebook special is as follows:
Charles Sheffield's collection Georgia on My Mind and Other Places, which includes a Nebula and Hugo awarded novelette can be had for free with coupon code 9991264 (through October) at www.PPickings.com.
We interrupt this commercial with a whine break. I not only do NOT have an iPad - or even an iPhone - I don't even have a smart phone. I keep getting asked to try this and that app on my iPhone or iPad so I can review it for you all. It's like salt in the wound really. Especially after the theft of my nifty MacBookPro not long ago. >sigh<
By the way, I had an opportunity to review a book for a woman who stole my story. Really. She published my story without my knowledge or permission, then several years later, wants me to review her book. I had quite a few suggestions as to what I should do over on my Facebook personal profile. They ranged from "Good for you for taking the high ground," to "Name and shame! Don't miss an opportunity!" to "Sue her a*(!" It happened a long time ago. I reported her everywhere at the time. Why should I mention it again now? But, wow! How can she actually forget my name or, if she hasn't, expect me to give her a review of her book? Too bad I don't give negative reviews here. Then I could just happily oblige. But it would not be an unbiased, honest review. And I'll walk over hot coals before I read her book. And it was a Christian magazine she published it in. Not very Christian of her. Then she expected me to understand her "mistake" and bear with her, presumably because we're both Christians. Ugh! She's givin' us a bad name!
So, these are for those of you who DO have an iPad and love geeky new things.
Press releases below:
NEW DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT CHANNEL COMING TO IPAD THIS YEAR
NARR8 to Bring Exclusive, Original, and Free Content to iPad Users Worldwide
San Francisco, CA. September 17th, 2012 – NARR8, a new digital entertainment start-up, today announced the launch of its corporate operations, handling development and publishing of a bold and diverse lineup of episodic multimedia series for digital devices. NARR8 will launch as a free downloadable application in Q4 2012 on the new iPad©, and iPad©2 with plans to expand the service to Android devices in the near future.
NARR8 is a digital content channel that delivers an eclectic array of interactive stories, articles, and motion comics encompassing a variety of genres in both fiction and non-fiction. The vision behind NARR8 is creating an innovative and highly interactive experience for users to read and experience content, with on-page animations, touch-screen controls, and integrated audio. Transcending traditional reading media, this application uses HTML5 technology coupled with a proprietary editing platform to produce high-quality entertainment with shorter production times and faster turnaround than traditional publishing.
“The goal of NARR8 as a company is to change the way people interact with their content of choice. The core idea for NARR8 stemmed from my passion for comics and graphic novels, but we quickly saw the potential applications to other genres and content,” explained CTO and founder Alexandr Vaschenko. “We’ve used our technical expertise in the mobile space to bring a more tactile and interactive experience to readers. NARR8 provides those who have a passion for any and all types of reading an opportunity to delve into expansive, unique worlds that come alive with a single touch.”
NARR8 plans to deliver fresh, varied, exclusive, and regularly updated interactive content to its users with deep stories, gorgeous artwork, dynamic animations, and special effects that leap off the page and breathe life into each story. Initial offerings from NARR8 include genre-specific content including fantasy, horror, and sci-fi, as well as nonfiction articles treating on popular science and world history...and more! NARR8 seeks to become a leader in written entertainment with its generous, rapidly growing, and constantly updated content catalogue.
NARR8 was founded in October of 2011 by Alexander Vaschenko, formerly of Mail.ru and Astrum Online, with initial funding of $4 Million (U.S.) through IMI.VC Venture Company, a Moscow-based investment firm led by Internet entrepreneur, Game Insight board member, and former Mail.ru and Astrum Online visionary Igor Matsanyuk. NARR8 is scheduled to launch in Q4 of 2012 with the goal of becoming a world leader in creating and distributing interactive stories for digital devices, and with a heavy focus on shaping the culture of consuming entertainment and informational content.
NARR8 RELEASES INTERACTIVE NOVEL SERIES VIDEO AND SCREENS
NARR8 Explores the Unknown With New Horror and Science Fiction Serials, Fear Hunters and MultiVerse, For Digital Entertainment Channel on iPad
Today NARR8, the new digital entertainment start-up releases interactive novel series details as well as corresponding videos and images for the upcoming application launch on the new iPad© and iPad© 2 this Fall 2012. Leading the charge in episodic multimedia series for digital devices, NARR8 will launch with a diverse array of serials in genre, presentation and style. With a total of nine series at launch, NARR8 touts expansive worlds and illuminating series starting with two interactive novel series – Fear Hunters and MultiVerse.
Mental diseases stem from nightmare monsters that jail the human soul. However, there are those that believe these monsters can be slain by penetrating a patient’s subconscious. These people, known as Fear Hunters, are a part of Doctor Powell’s crew of elite psychiatrists. Ready to take on this dangerous paranormal battle, they aim to eradicate these creatures of madness.
On the origin of Fear Hunters, Head of Midian Studio, Vasily Melnik imparts, “I’ve always wanted to write a fantastic book about psychiatrists who are able to penetrate their patients’ subconscious and fight their painful nightmares. But this project was too big for me; it required too much effort and specific knowledge, so I kept postponing it. However, after becoming the head of one of NARR8's studios and reflecting on the concept as a potential series, I decided to go back to Dr. Powell and his team of fear hunters, especially because the idea of the project seemed quite interesting visually. Outstanding artists and writers at our studio have deepened the original idea and developed it considerably.”
Parallel universes, paranormal detective work and suspense are all terms that embody Multiverse. Ordinary programmer Mark Stone could never have imagined his fate would transport him on an unreal journey to discover and capture aliens. On each new assignment, he will be challenged to uncover new mysteries while working for a network of special agents trained to fend off unforeseen threats and maintain the balance of the Multiverse. How will he learn to cope with this illusory reality, and the even greater responsibility of being the chosen one?
Head of BookCase Studio, Jenny Spasskaya, provides a glimpse into the Multiverse series creation, “I've found working with the team to craft an original sci-fi concept, plot, ongoing storyline, and social and physical laws for our new fictional universe to be every bit as colorful and unique an experience as the visual design for our series. I can tell you that MultiVerse represents a synergy of universes, and spheres that combine and connect them. Despite its complexity, this infinite sci-fi world our team has created is surprisingly fragile, and our story tells the tale of how humanity has come to test that strength.”
At NARR8, each series is handled carefully from the initial concept to realization in the artwork, writing, programming and sound. While flipping through the deep chapters of these novels, readers are able to interact with the scenes laid out before them. Coupling the power of imagination with interactivity, ambient sound design compliments each scene for a new entertaining and immersive experience.
**NARR8 will be at New York Comic Con, October 11th -14th! Stop by booth #803 to immerse yourself in the NARR8 application on iPad and check out our LIVE art demonstration! **
For more news on NARR8 please visit the promo page. Don’t forget to like NARR8 on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Subscribe to NARR8 on YouTube.