Monday, November 28, 2011

"Invasion: 2012" by Dr. Ace T. Jericho, Rogue Journalist

I was sitting in a Starbucks on New Montgomery Street in San Francisco with a large white mocha when my old compatriot Cordwainer Duke walked in and looked around. He wore his customary dark gray tweed jacket with elbow patches, a pair of tinted aviator-style glasses, and carried a thick leather satchel slung over one shoulder.

"Duke!" I called out, waving him over to my table next to a long picture window that looked out onto Jessie Street.

Duke raised both arms high. "Jericho, you foul bastard! How the hell have you been?" The other patrons, mostly twentysomethings in designer clothing or wannabe-retro fashions, shot him vile glances but Duke ignored them and strode over. He unslung the satchel from his shoulder and dropped into the empty seat across from me.

"I'm doing fine," I said and handed him a cup of coffee.

He sipped it a moment, then took a longer pull and smacked his lips. "The drink of the gods, eh?"

"Yes, it is," I said. "So what did you want to talk to me about?"

Duke took another swig, set the cup down, then leaned forward, elbows on the table, fingers laced. He looked around for a moment, then at me. "Invasion," he said.

"What!"

Duke motioned me to keep my voice down.

"Jove's hairy nutsac!" I said through gritted teeth, pitching my voice low. "What invasion?"

"How long have we known each other, Jericho?"

"Five, six years," I said.

"And you know what I do, right?"

"You used to do work for Starlog until they folded," I said. "Now it's stuff for blastr.com, io9, Locus, Empire, those folks. But what's that got to do with invasion? And what's invading where?"

He leaned closer. "What I'm gonna tell you, you can't repeat to anybody."

I leaned in, too. "Fine by me. You know I keep secrets well."

"Exactly why I'm telling you and only you."

"What is it?"

He looked around around again without turning his head, his eyes flitting from side to side before settling on me. "I belong," he said, his voice kept low, "to a covert black-ops wing of the SFWA."

I gaped at him. "SFWA? The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America?"

He nodded. "We're known as Omega-13."

"Omega-13? Like in Galaxy Quest?"

"I disavow any knowledge of a relationship between our group and the item as described in that film." He reached inside his coat and pulled out a folded sheet of paper. "Before I go on, I need you to sign this NDA."

I took the sheet and unfolded. It was good linen letterhead paper. At the very top was a stylized logo that included the Greek letter Omega in uppercase and the Latin phrase "Caesum caudam, suscipit nomina." I read it over. Standard document. I pulled a pen from my jacket pocket, signed it, and handed it back to him.

"Fabulous," he said, folding it up and slipping it back inside his jacket.

"My lips are sealed," I said.

"Better be," said Duke. "Consequences are not pretty."

"So," I said. "Covert ops? Hush-hush, black bag sort of things?"

Duke gave a vague gesture and noncommittal grunt.

"Like what?" I said. "At least give me an idea."

Duke thought for a moment, then said: "Did you hear what happened to the World Fantasy Con Creeper?"

"He got booted from the con," I said. "I read about it on Jaym Gates's blog."

"Do you know what happened after he got booted from the con?"

"No."

He gave me a feral smile. "It's better that way."

I gaped again at him. "Egads, man!"

Duke made another vague gesture and took a drink from his coffee cup.

"Now what's this business about an invasion?" I said.

"Our latest intel confirms a suspicion we've had for some time," said Duke.

"This invasion."

"Yes."

"From where?"

"The Fae," said Duke.

I gasped. "Are you sure?"

Duke nodded. "All these UF novels being published? Preparation. Mass preparation. We've been working behind the scenes with publishers to get these novels out there so that the general populace is aware of the threat. Same goes with movies and television."

"Wait," I said. "Are you trying to tell me that Buffy the Vampire Slayer is--was--a training video?"

"Pretty much. As are the books of Jim Butcher. Also Kat Richardson, Kelly Meding, Stacia Kane, and K.A Stewart, to name a few. Training manuals."

"Supposing it's true--"

"It is true, Jericho."

"Okay. Fine. It's true. So why tell me? Why not go to CNN or MSNBC? Fox News. Hell, tell the big boys like John Scalzi or Neil Gaiman or Mark Henry. They've got reach."

"CNN and MSNBC wouldn't touch us with a ten meter cattle prod," said Duke. "Fox News would laugh at us. And people will just think Scalzi, Gaiman, and Henry are just yukking it up. We need a John Q. Public to get the word out. Especially a John Q. Public who's also a Professional Writer."

"Let me guess. That's where I come in."

"Bingo, baby. This is big league stuff, Jericho. Big like Watergate. Iran-Contra. Twilight. And you're our guy on the street. Our man in the trenches. In like Flynn. You gotta be Lieutenant Hatcher to our Thorn and tell everybody. Be like Miles Bennell, running up and down a highway full of cars and trucks, screaming the truth. Think you can handle it?"

"Of course I can," I said. "I'm a Professional Writer."

Duke grinned. "We knew you'd come through for us."

"I'll need data to get started," I said. "Can you get me some of your intel?"

"Do you one better," said Duke. "I can get one of our intel guys to help you out. Name's Azerov. Ezekiel Azerov."

"I've heard about him," I said. "Writes science articles and books. Also some science fiction novels."

"That's Zeke."

"He's a supergenius. A polymath."

"Hell," said Duke. "I can't even get through New Math. But yeah--Azerov's the best of best. The creme de la menthe. The shiznit."

"The what?"

"The shiznit. He'll give you the down-low. The 4-1-1."

I squinted at him. "What's happening to you?"

"I'm hip to the 'leet speak'," said Duke.

"Don't do that," I said. "You might pull a muscle." I took a drink of my mocha. "When do you think the invasion's supposed to take place?"

"End of next year."

"2012."

"Exactly," said Duke.

I nodded. Of course. It now made perfect sense. Even the Mayans knew about the Fae Invasion.

Duke fished out a business card from his coat pocket and slapped it onto the table. "That's Azerov's number. He's waiting for your call."

I grabbed the card. "I'm on it like Nutella on toast," I said.

Come back next week for another entry of The Jericho Files!

Read previous Jericho Files entries here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Welcome Message" by Dr. Ace T. Jericho, Rogue Journalist

[originally ghostwritten for the first issue of the magazine The Oblivious Plethora; from The Jericho Files collection]

Welcome to the first issue of The International Journal of Integrated and Strategically Applied Porcine Spatio-Temporal Dynamics, an electronic journal dedicated to the review and conveyance of information related to the fields of porcine spatio-temporal dynamics.

We live in exciting times. The science is rapidly expanding and the last ten years has already shown what can be done with a plate of bacon and a miniature warp field.

Our goal is to develop and maintain our position as the eminent journal within the associated scientific literature and to crush the souls of those who dare defy us.

We promote the spirit of obsequial intention and vociferously abide by our motto and guiding principle: "Vescere bracis meis."

--Milton Seth Jones
Editor-in-Chief

Come back next week for another entry of The Jericho Files!

Read previous Jericho Files entries here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Damn You, NaNoWriMo! Damn You To Hell!

Hello, Blog Readers.

As you might have seen from these two posts, an entity has now joined us.

And I blame NaNoWriMo for letting him escape from the maximum security psychiatric ward of my subconscious.

You see, the esteemed Doctor Ace T. Jericho has been out before, wreaking havoc and holy anarchic hell in '93, '01, and '07.

But he was relatively controllable then.

In late 2007, using a strategically placed carton or ten of Swedish Fish and an Underwood manual typewriter, we were able to lure him and lock him back into his ten-by-ten room with a touch lamp, cot, TV, DVD player, and a stack of books and movies.

However, he's grown powerful now. Powerful enough to bypass the wards that were thrown up around him. Wards like six layers of concertina wire, a piranha-filled moat, and a minefield.

NaNo, by its very creative nature, gave Doctor Jericho the loophole through which he crawled.

And now he is among us. He has co-opted this blog. And he has placed an uncanny mental block upon me so that I cannot delete any of his posts.

The little turd.

As I said before, may the gods have mercy on our souls.

My apologies ahead of time.

And I shake my fist and curse you, NaNoWriMo.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Operation: Occupy Warner Brothers" by Dr. Ace T. Jericho, Professional Writer

"This," I said, gesturing to the monitor, "is a travesty against humankind."

"What's that?" said Anne, my Trusty Companion, rolling her chair towards my desk and peering over my shoulder. "Not LOLCats. LOLCats are a gift from the gods."

"Not that," I said. "This."

"Happy Feet Two? Yeah, I also fail to see why that needed a sequel."

"No, Woman," I said, jabbing a finger at the monitor. "This. Kristen Stewart gets cast in Akira."

Anne gave a strangled yelp.

"My thoughts exactly," I said. "What in the name of the wind are these people thinking? Actually, that's probably the problem. They aren't thinking. All hopped up on triple mocha lattes while their brains leak out of their ears."

"You're right, Jericho," said Anne. "That is a travesty against humankind. I don't want my anime to sparkle, goddammit. We've got to do something."

"I'm working on that right now, Old Girl," I said. "Here's my plan. Occupy Warner Brothers."

Anne blinked at me. "You mean like Occupy Wall Street?"

"Yes," I said. "Exactly that. We gather thirty, maybe forty thousand screaming, gibbering twentysomethings, offer them free WiFi and the MMO of their choice, and camp them out in front of the studio offices singing karaoke, doing interpretive dances, and chanting slogans against crap-tastic adaptations."

"Problem. You don't have many followers."

"I don't have any followers. Except maybe a few dust bunnies."

"So how do you plan to go from zero to forty thousand gibbering twentysomethings?"

"I can buy them off."

"You don't have money. Just two pieces of lint and a paper clip."

"Minor technicality," I said. "Then we'll have to focus our energies. Time's a-wasting."

Just then "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana exploded from nearby.

It was my cellphone wailing for attention.

I grabbed the bullhorn from the desk. "Quiet, you technobeast! I'm trying to concentrate!"

Anne reached past me, picked up the phone, and looked at the display. "It's an unlisted number."

"Put it on speaker."

She did and set the phone back on the desk.

"Is this Doctor Jericho?" said the tinny lisping voice on the other end.

"Who are you, Foul Miscreant," I said, "that I may smite thee with a large piece of farm equipment for interfering in creations of cosmic proportions?"

"Is this Doctor Jericho, the Professional Writer?"

"It is, sir. Who's this?"

"Call me Ishmael," said the voice.

"Are you serious?" Anne said, making a face.

"Yes. Ishmael Pequod Bell."

"All right, Ishmael Pequod Bell," I said. "Speak fast. This is an unsecured line and there are wily weasels out there who will stop at nothing to censor us Rogue Journalists with six feet of plastic tubing and a yak."

"I'm an assistant at Warner Brothers," said Ishmael. "I've been asked to talk to you. My superiors know that you probably heard the announcements for the casting of Akira. They just want you to know that they have the source material's best interests in mind."

"Best interests?" I said with a guffaw. "By whitewashing the cast? Surely you're joking. And if not joking, clinically insane."

"We're planning on getting Helena Bonham Carter and Gary Oldman to sign on. They've got the filmic cachet to lend the movie some authority."

"Cachet is not the point," I said. "You and your superiors are treading on dangerous ground. Bordering on taking the source material and subjecting it to an acid enema. If your cast members are not Japanese, why keep the Japanese names?"

"They spoke Chinese in that Joss Whedon space western."

"Are you talking about 'Firefly'?"

"Whatever it was called."

"Your ignorance is showing, you filthy excuse for a walking turd. Besides, 'Mal Reynolds' isn't a Chinese name. If you're going to Americanize an anime classic, might as well make all the names American. Or at least non-Japanese."

Anne snorted. "That might be too much, even for the brains at Warner Brothers," she said.

"Not at all," said Ishmael. "There's already some discussion about that."

I gaped at the phone. "Say it ain't so."

"Oh yes," he said. "So far they're considering 'Ken' for 'Kaneda,' 'Tony' for 'Tetsuo,' and 'Kate' for 'Kei.' "

Anne and I exchanged worried looks.

I was afraid to ask.

"What about 'Akira'?" I said.

"They're thinking 'Fred.' "

Come back next week for another entry of The Jericho Files!

Read previous Jericho Files entries here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

F*ck A Duck. He's Back.

Jericho.

May the gods have mercy on our souls.

In Which I Co-Opt The Signal

I am come (cue Charlton Heston voice) to bring you out of Darkness and lead you into the Light. I am here not just to instill Wisdom into the Unbelievers out there, but to ram it so far down their throats that their next bowel movement resembles a Zen garden.

And yes, I said "revered." The native tribe of a small South Pacific island called "Fred" considers me a god, a righteous, fiery deity with blazing eyes and steaming loins, and they have erected towering monuments in my honor, and named their children after me. Bless them.

And so it is time. Time once again to spread my Buttery Self upon the Slice of Toast that is The World.

Gentle Readers, I salute you from The Lair, sans pants and with coffee in hand. Join me as we examine Life through rose-colored 3D glasses...then bash it into submission with the Rubber Chicken of Truth.

You can trust me.

I'm Doctor Ace T. Jericho. Rogue Journalist.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"A Scattering of Rhinos" by Dr. Ace T. Jericho, Rogue Journalist

The doors of the Lair swung open and my Trusty Companion, Anne, stepped inside. "More dead weasels nailed to the door," she said.

"Nevermind that," I said from my desk. "There are more important things afoot in the world."

"Who did you piss off this time?" she asked, heading into the kitchen.

"I haven't pissed anyone off," I said. "It's a conspiracy."

"Is it the gun control weirdos again?"

"Possible," I said. "I did call them childish that one time."

"No, you didn't. You called them, and I quote, colicky infants who cry and shit themselves at every loud noise."

"Toughen up, Old Girl. It's a dog eat dog world out there and I'm low on tranq darts. Those wily bastards creep around like flashers in oily raincoats."

Anne poured herself a cup of coffee and took a swig. "What're you gonna do about the weasels?"

"Nothing for now. They can be our battle standard for the moment."

"Battle standard?" she asked. "Are we going to war?"

"According to your voicemail earlier, we are."

"What?"

"Something about rhinos. Then a lot of gibberish. Like confused baboons trying to assemble a VCR from an instruction manual written in Urdu."

"Rhinos? What are you talking about? Have you been sniffing Liquid Paper again?"

"The classic containers are getting hard to find now, you know. But yes. Rhinos. I'd stay away from them. Politically dangerous. Highly unstable. Been known to explode at any given moment." I mimed an explosion. "Boom! Just like that. All over the walls. There've been studies. I've seen the PDFs. But if you're eager to tangle with them, we'll need assistance. And weapons. Especially against those techno ones you were going on about."

"Techno rhinos?"

"No," I said. "Nano rhinos."

Anne sputtered. "No no. NaNoWriMo."

"That's what I said. Nano rhionos. I bet they're tiny fuckers. Nano and all that." I stood and pulled the whaling harpoon from the wall. "This might be overkill but it's a start."

"No no, Jericho," said Anne. "It's NaNoWriMo. Short for National Novel Writing Month."

I lowered the harpoon. "Novels?"

"Yes. Novels. The idea is to write a fifty-thousand word novel in thirty days."

Novels. This was something new. This was something not standard. But I, as a Professional Writer, was agile in that respect. I could bend like the proverbial reed in the proverbial wind.

"Then what the hell do rhinos have to do with that?" I said.

"Nothing at all. I think you misheard 'NaNoWriMo' as 'nano rhino.' "

"Impossible," I said. "I never mishear anything. I'll bet that's precisely what they want you to think. And hear." I set the harpoon down and drew the cutlass I always wore. "We'll need to be ready when the time comes." I pointed to the bookshelf next to the desk. "Get that shotgun."

She gestured at the cutlass with her cup of coffee. "You're gonna hurt yourself with that."

"I'm a Professional Writer," I reminded her. "We're trained in a variety of weapons. Our primary weapon being words. The gun with which we blow the kneecaps off the Establishment."

"You stole that line."

"Not stole. Ingrained it. Deep into my frontal lobe." I took a swig of coffee from the mug at my desk. "Fifty thousand words in thirty days, eh?"

"That's the idea," said Anne.

"It's the middle of November now. How much have you written?"

"I'm not participating."

"That's a relief," I said, sitting back down in my chair. "Because if you haven't started by now, you're probably screwed. Unless you take some meth."

Come back next week for another entry of The Jericho Files!

Read previous Jericho Files entries here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NaNo Halfway Mark!!

We're half done with November and the crazy days of Thanksgiving are soon to be upon us.

How are you coming along with NaNo?

Are you also halfway to your 50K? Are you behind? Are you finished?

Share your progress!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Confession Time: Leading a Double Life

I have a confession to make. One that was prompted by NaNo.

I had decided to unofficially use NaNo Time to work on Episode #207 of Kat and Mouse.

But while writing the episode, I also found myself doing another kind of writing. One that I hadn't done in some time.

And one that's currently exploding from my fingers.

See, back in April of 2007, I started a little blog called The Madman Raves. It was a blog focused on gun rights and on exposing the misinformation campaign of gun control groups.

If you haven't guessed, I am pro-gun. And a gun owner.

Now before you all go screaming and bolting for the hills, I feel it necessary to say I'm also a firm believer of our personal freedoms and civil liberties. Privacy. Pro-choice. Religious tolerance. Gender equality. Sexual preference. Free speech. Free press.

So yes, I'm probably an odd duck.

Now--what's this writing that's exploding from my fingers?

That other blog I mentioned. Previously called The Madman Raves, it's now morphed into Confessions of an Armed Californian.

Why am I bringing it up?

In case you were curious what else I'm using my writing powers for.

If you are, pop on over to Confessions of an Armed Californian.

If you're not, no need to go.

That's fine, too.

Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Here We Come A-NaNo-ing...

It's that time of year again.

NaNo time.

So tell us: Are you NaNo-ing?

Are you official? Unofficial?

Or maybe you're not NaNo-ing? Feel it's just a waste of time? Or you don't have time?