Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sending Them Out

I have averaged a short story submission a week so far this year-and that is all different stories so far (that can't go on much longer). Granted most of those were already written last year and what do I have to show for it yet? 2 rejections, no acceptances.

But it still feels good to be getting stuff out there because the acceptances will come...evantually.

I actually subbed 3 last night, one of those rejections, one reprint and one I had not bothered to send anywhere yet.

So, we'll see what we'll see.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: Act of Valor

Tom Clancy presents Act of Valor, screenplay by Kurt Johnstad, novelization by Dick Couch and George Galdorsi

I picked up the book a little over a month ago figuring it would have added insights into a variety of things that movies have to gloss over, unfortunately I was wrong. This falls into that dubious and incredibly microscopic pile of books in which, though I have yet to watch the movie, I have no doubt the movie will be better than book.

There is a nice foreword by Clancy. There are some great action sections and the tone overall doesn't any pull punches on sacrifice-SEALS die. But as far as an enjoyable read goes I hate the style employed-hence why I suspect I'll like the movie more. The book seems to drag in spots explaining the family situation etc and while I am sure this might help the book/movie with a wider audience (see Women) for me, it only made it drag.

Still, I don't want this review to end without my saying how much I respect the Navy SEALS.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Sympathy for the Devil Next Door

I don't typically like to spend time here discussing anything political, but am at a loss for anything else at the moment. So I'll rant...

Twice now this year the Marine Corp have gotten into trouble, first for a squad videotaping themselves urinating on dead Taliban and now for this photo.

The explanation for the latest is that they "Thought" the lightning bolt Seig-Seig runes Runic "ᛋᛋ" stood for Sniper Scouts.


I can't believe anyone has missed what the SS runes mean as depicted by popular culture. Military guys like action movies (I sure do) and what World War Two movie doesn't have the SS? They are always the worst of villains. This is a terribly weak excuse.

That said-these service men~and it is a service-are under an incredible amount of stress and mental fatigue, making them do stupid things and we should account for serious PTSD rather than simply giving them a verbal lynching and forgetting about it. The repercussions of these type of activities will haunt all parties for years to come. And until someone has taken fire while wearing those combat boots, I'd urge compassionate judgment regarding anything you have not had the great misfortune to have experienced.

I've read pundits say that these heinous acts (and they are heinous) are inflaming the terrorists
-Check please-Our servicemens mere presence is inflaming them.

You can't throw a log in the fire and wonder why it burns and the log didn't start the fire either.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Big Audio Madness

The  first ever audio version of one of my short stories is now available at the most excellent

 Lovecraft ezine a free online magazine featuring lovecraftian horror and cthulhu mythos-so check out my tale and others.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Books Read Lately

I've fallen way behind with books I'm supposed to read for friends and reviews etc, I have yet to catch up with technology.  I can't read ebooks at work like I can the typical paperback, so here is what I have caught up on for the moment...

Among Thieves, by Douglas Hulick

I think I first heard about this from Keith West at the Adventures Fantastic and it looked interesting. I liked the premise of fantasy gangsters (I've mentioned I'm doing something along those lines).

Told in the first person POV (very popular these days) we follow Drothe, a Nose=an information gatherer for the Kin = the fantasy mafia, as he uncovers a series of strange events, coincidences and murders relating to an ancient book. A book rumored to contain unspeakable magic that can threaten the very foundations of the empire, and everyone wants it.

We meet a great cast of characters and the action and intrigue never let up. Hulick pulls off a grand tale in a standalone novel, though we are supposed to get a trilogy. We never get bogged down in world building or a unintelligible magic system (man, I hate those). I'll be on the lookout for Hulick's next book.

Hellboy 11: The Bride of Hell and others, by Mike Mignola and others

This book like the Chained Coffin, Strange Places and the Crooked Man, is a collection of unrelated tales across of a variety of time and place-and while it IS good, especially the title tale, I can't help but feel a bit disappointed and anxious-because the regular linear? time line of Hellboy is reaching such a powerful conclusion and while I wait for that big confrontation, I get a handful of tales outside that ever growing whirlpool of destruction. So yes I'm angsty.
That said, most of these shorts are wonderful, the last being in my opinion the weakest-Buster Oakley gets his Wish. If only because it makes light of a serious situation-granted this a Hellboy comic, but still, just my opinion.
In conclusion, its good, but perhaps not as good as the previous Hellboy shorts.

Conan Chronicles vol 18. Isle of the Dead and others, by Bruce Jones, John Buscema and more

I took a long time to pick up another of these reprint collections of Marvel's heyday Conan's after #17 The Creation Quest proved to be such a disappointment. So giving another go, I find myself not caring about any of these particular Conan adventures-I started pondering that these were exactly the type of tales where the public at large gets it so wrong about Conan.
At one point not only is Conan getting drunk to "deal" with the horror of some monster, a bar fight breaks out and somebody knocks Conan's ale over and his response-you ready? "Sweet Mitra! My ale."

Give me a break, does Conan ever lament in his cup over some monster? Does he ever lament over spilt ale? This was so weak and I blame Jones for not giving us a valid reason to put Conan to work in these tales. The one high point for the book was Buscema's work was at the top of his game. I have the next Conan 19 cued but glancing at it it is also a Jones, so it moves way down my priority list of reading material.

Full Black, by Brad Thor

I heard about this last summer, when I listened to a radio interview with Brad Thor and the interviewer said the book scared him. It is a current events thriller that fictionally ties together a number of likely scenarios-fictional characters are obviously real people-the main bad guy James Standing is obviously George Soros. But did anyone involved go Full Black? not really.

This was my first time reading Thor and while it does what it is supposed to - be a military thriller, I kept expecting something bigger, something more sinister ~ YES, there are terrorist bombings on U.S. soil, multiple attacks and lots of people die in the book.
the ending was too simple, too easy.
The good guys for a private intelligence group partly contracted by the CIA and NSA (this is plausible enough) figures out who is behind everything and take care of him-WAY too easily. IF things were this simple we wouldn't be in the state of affairs we are in at all.
And make no mistake we are.
My problem is things wrapped up too well-this book despite what are scores of true (yet fictionalized) military intelligence ops just lets the good guys win and ride off into the sunset.

This was not Full Black this was Warm Afterglow.

And I say that after actually enjoying the book as a whole-but the interviewer saying this book scared him?

Come on, I had all kinds of terrifying visions of things to come...that never did-so many things I envisioned that would lay open the maddening immensities of night, guess I'll have to write that book.