Summertime Blues

Well, it sure has been awhile. I have finally settled into the new place, and all of the comic books are waiting to be displayed out of reach of a 1 year old. Much like these toys on a bookshelf.

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Yes. I am a nerd. But you knew this already or you wouldn’t be reading this blog…

Anyway, what is everyone working on? I’m in the middle of writing a story, and I’m trying to locate an artist for a few graphic novel ideas. Let me know what you’re working on, and if you want a beta reader shoot me an email. Hopefully later this week or early next week we will start a new series of blog posts on a very, very, hot topic…

The role of females in consumable media. Specifically in science fiction. Don’t miss it!

Adventure Time

There’s something about Adventure that I can’t shake. Whether it’s in a book, or in real life, I crave it. It’s why I read Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’, Anne McCaffrey’s Dragon series, and Arthur C. Clarke’s ‘Rendezvous With Rama’. It’s why I love Star Wars. It’s why I hunt and fish. I’m sort of a junkie.

What makes an adventure so great?

I think in the beginning, what’s so great about an adventure is the goal. There’s something you have to get, something to accomplish. This goal ends up driving the first part of your adventure and causes a sense of purpose. If you happen to be going on this adventure with others, an instant bond is formed within your party because of the common goal. Ah, the excitement of a fresh departure.

But then something goes wrong…

Perhaps you lose a friend (heavens NO!)

Or maybe you find another group of adventurers who happen to be a little less morally conservative than you are. Perhaps your mode of transportation becomes broken, requiring a pit stop. Maybe you meet someone who really needs your help RIGHT NOW and the other thing can wait. Maybe it’s taking longer to reach your goal than you previously thought. Whatever the case is, this adventure is starting to turn into a job.

But then you realize

You are becoming or have become something much more than you were before. Gained some courage. Perhaps some Jedi powers or some sweet swordsmanship skilz. Perhaps a magic staff or a talking bird. The one guy you couldn’t connect with when you started out is now your bestest friend in the whole wide world. You would totally take an arrow for that guy. Or a bullet. Or a laser beam. You know, whatever projectiles are being flung your way. Maybe you don’t reach your goal. Or you have to spend another book/movie finding it. Or another week out in the bush. Who cares. You’ve finally realized that the greatest thing about your adventure was the adventure itself. So why not stay out a little longer?

Top 5 Sci Fi inspired songs

courtesy litreactor.com

Today is a rare treat. Two of my passions will cross and if you continue reading this post, you will also have to listen to it. Below are my top 5 songs inspired by science fiction. A nerdy mixtape if you will. Just listen to these sweet tones.

5. Surfing With the Alien – Joe Satriani

 

Joe Satriani is one of the absolute best guitar players on the planet. He is also a huge fan of Marvel Comics and the Silver Surfer in particular. Check out what he thinks it sounds like to surf on a cosmic powered interstellar board.

4. Robot Rock – Daft Punk

 

Of course techno is made by robots. But what if these robots also…rocked..?

3. Princes of the Universe – Queen

 

Everyone loves ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. This one is just as good and is about immortal warriors who fight for the Quickening. That rocks.

2. The Crowing – Coheed and Cambria

 

So this was a really hard choice for me. Coheed and Cambria’s entire purpose as a band is to tell a Science Fiction story they made up. They even have a comic series now. This is one of my favorite songs of theirs because it has weird lyrics about the story and some awesome guitar work and time signature changes. Enjoy.

1. Knights of Cydonia – Muse

 

Laser gun weilding kung fu cowboys. That’s all I’m gonna say.

 

Honorable Mentions:

2112 – Rush

This is quite possibly the most spacey/sci fi thing out there, but it’s really long. I’ve listened to the whole thing maybe twice. Just because it tires me.

 Intergalactic – Beastie Boyz

 

A dope beat and a giant robot doing the robot. Always fun.

Gifts and Curses – Yellowcard

 

Written exclusively for ‘Spiderman 2’ this song falls into the sci fi category. It is, however, still just a love song. Yellowcard could have released this song on an album and no one would have known the difference. Which is why it only gets an honorable mention.

Opening Day, Home Runs, and Lazer GunZ

It’s that time again.

Baseball is starting and I’m stoked! To quote the film ‘Moneyball’:

How can you not get romantic about baseball?

I’m sure many of you hate baseball. You are excused from any opinions.

With the start of baseball comes the Spring, and with the spring comes an urge to create. I don’t know if it stems from the newness all around us (wild flowers, wildlife, no more ice everywhere…) or simply from some sort of ingrained genetics that make it that way. Whatever the case, Spring brings forth all kinds creativity. Channeling this can make or break a writer at the screen, and in the market.

 

Write Write Write

I’ve always found this to be some of the best advice any writer can receive. Even if a project is put off or lost, continuous writing keeps the juices flowing. I have found no less than 20 stories whose existence I had forgotten, but are examples of continuous writing. Maybe the stories are silly. Who cares?! They can be about unicorns who fart cheeseburgers, the point is to keep writing through a slump, and (since we’re going with a Spring newness motif here) eventually create something that’s awesome.

Watch Baseball

Or go for a walk. Whatever. Between writing stints you have to take a break. Or every story is going to have a unicorn that farts cheeseburgers. I don’t know why I’m on that today, but hey what can I do? It’s one thing to have a silly story lurking that has to get put down before something good comes out, but it’s a whole new level of scary when all of your stories have the same silly things in them. After the fifth unicorn story, it’s time to take a break. I know that I will be frequenting Whataburger field in Corpus Christi, TX and, sigh.., Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX. I sigh because they sold the naming rights and now it just sounds lame. Go Rangers. And Hooks.

Write Sci Fi

No brainer here. The best genre ever invented. Everything from genetically engineered sharks to sentient space computers. Science Fiction is so fascinating because it brings out the best and worst qualities of man all in one sitting. This genre will forever sit atop others, even if the NYT best seller list won’t accept true genius. Sci Fi is about questioning everything, and coming out with heinous answers and even more threatening questions.

Be Weird

Not necessarily cheeseburger farting unicorn weird. But don’t be afraid to push the limit. There’s always somewhere new to go, and it doesn’t have to be weird in a bad way. Make it weird in an interesting way. We need to push the envelope and take sci fi where it has never been before.

 

If you haven’t yet, be sure to download my book of six word science fiction for 99¢ on Kindle, and leave a nice review

Why Firefly is stuck in our hearts

courtesy blackgate.com

DDo a google search of the word ‘firefly’ and you don’t get an insect that lights up it’s abdomen. You get this awesome show that Joss Whedon created and Fox destroyed. But just why is it awesome?

1. The characters

They are memorable and they all add to the ensemble rather than detract from it. No matter the situation, each one of them has something to contribute and we love them for it. From hard nosed Mal to delicate Kaylee, all of them are loved.

2. The Western flair

Everybody digs cowboys. And shootouts. And all that stuff. Throw it on a spaceship or strange planet and it’s practically irresistible. The set designers and costume directors are forever enshrined as geniuses in my book.

3. The one liners

“I aim to misbehave.”

“She’s starting to damage my calm.”

“Were I unwed, i would take you in a manly fashion.”

“Sir? I like you to take the helm, please. I need this man to tear all my clothes off.”

These are the best. Whedon has shown time and time again to be a master of dialogue, and the actors portray it to the intended scale. I can not count how many times I pull these out and use them in conversation. They really are close to my heart.

There you have it. Now let’s strive for this level in our own writing!

Great Sci Fi vacation spots: New Mexico

VLA

If you’ve never been to the Land of Enchantment, you’re missing out. There are tons of things to do, and the scenery is breathtaking. Here are three of my top Sci Fi vacation attractions in New Mexico:

1. Roswell

From alien lamp posts to museums full of alien surgeries, this place has it all. There are several stops on the main drag, and several off to the side if you’re adventurous. And not only will you be able to hear the original radio transmission concerning a UFO; you will also be able to see great art, lots of great souvenirs, and tons of little and big green men to take pictures with. It’s a really fun place to visit, and the chain hotel rates are on the cheap side. And when you get bored, just travel an hour west towards…

2. Space Museum and White Sands, Alamogordo, NM

This place is great. Several floors of American space memorabilia and interactive exhibits. They have everything from space crafts to missiles to space suits and everything in between. And once you’re done perusing the exhibits, make your way down the hill to the IMAX theater. it’s projected onto the dome roof, giving the illusion of the night sky. A great experience on any level. But still not quite as magnificent as

3. The Very Large Array, near Socorro, NM

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There are 27 of those big dishes. 27!!!!!!!!

And they’re huge. This collection of dishes is actually a giant radio telescope used to look at celestial bodies. And not only is it cool in and of itself, it was in the movie Contact. And Matthew McConaughey just won the oscar for best actor. So there. Your argument is invalid.

But seriously it’s just a wonderful experience. And the drive is beautiful, and night time is SPECTACULAR. Go see it.

There you have it. If you want a really Sci Fi vacation, New Mexico is the place to be.

Top 5 Valentine’s Day Marathons

Before delving in to this Valentine’s Day extravaganza, have you picked up a copy of my new book in the kindle store? It’s only 99 cents, and it will at least make you laugh!

Sensational Six Word Science Fiction Stories

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

 

So we’re all nerds here.

Hopefully you aren’t alone on Valentine’s day. The made up holiday. To quote Sheldon Cooper:

“Given that St. Valentine was a 3rd century Roman priest who was stoned and beheaded, wouldn’t a more appropriate celebration of the evening be taking one’s steady gal to witness a brutal murder?”

Since your significant other probably doesn’t think that is romantic, try these instead:

5. Inuyasha

courtesy giantbomb.com

ISo Inuyasha is a half-demon who’s in love with a priestess who died a long time ago but is reincarnated as a young girl. This girl found Inuyasha when she fell through the well that’s also a time portal in her backyard. Magical weapons, fantasy creatures, and a sappy love story. Something for everyone!

4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

courtesy fontmeme.com

Of course there’s vampire slaying. And Buffy falls in love with all the wrong boys. And there’s one episode where they blow up a demon with a rocket launcher. Just let that soak in.

3. Gundam Wing

courtesy thistlerose.dreamwidth.org

Ah yes the complicated relationship between Relena Peacecraft and Heero Yuy. And Giant Robots. Lots and lots of giant robots.

2. Firefly

courtesy notsorandommusings.com

Mal and Inara. Simon and Kaylee. People everywhere and this series. Love stories that were never quite played out to their full potential. Do yourself and/or your significant other a favor and watch the whole series again. And it will only take one day… 😦

1. Star Wars

courtesy fontmeme.com

If you’re surprised by number 1, then you must be new here. Even as terrible as Hayden Christensen’s acting is, one can not deny the profound impact this series has had on the world. The love affair of a young Jedi and Queen turned Senator gave us 3 great movies, 3 terrible movies, and hopefully another outstanding one in the near future.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Watch something. It’ll make you feel better.