Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cover Art WTF-ery

Shannon Knight is a fellow AWer. I clicked on her blog link the other day and was cruising the posts when I came across her review of Kelly Gay's The Hour of Dust and Ashes.

And immediately thought: WTF NO NO NO

Wait. Lemme 'splain...

Nothing wrong with the book, the author, or the genre. I happen to be a fan of urban fantasy. And nothing wrong with the blog, the review itself, or the blog owner.


My gripe was with the cover art.

Let me show you it:

Now let me just say that Chris McGrath is a spectacular artist who does phenomenal covers. He's on my Favorite Cover Artists list, right up there with Michael Whelan and Winona Nelson.

Having said that, here's my gripe with the art:

Closer look:


This is NOT proper gun handling, Folks.

It's Hollywood-style gun handling.

Bad Chris. Please don't do this. Ever.

Goes for other cover artists, too.

Please please please do not depict your characters using a firearm in this manner.

Thank you.

Here ends this Public Service Announcement.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reviews and Balticon

Here's the latest review of the Ladies from Science Fiction and Fantasy Review.

And another from Nelo's Bookshelf Reviews.

And one I recently ran across from New Robbins Valley.

Many thanks to the reviewers for their time.

Now here was something I also ran across recently--the Ladies got a mention in a panel for Balticon 46.

Check it out:
NM-48 Serialized Science Fiction: the New Pulps?
Monday, 11:00 AM, Derby (50 minutes)
Panelists: Andrew Eckhart, Brand Gamblin, P. G. Holyfield, Paul D. Lagasse, Gary L. Lester, D. C. Wilson
Moderator: Phil Kahn
The recent announcement by HiLobrow ( that they would be serializing classic “radium age” novels on their website is perhaps the most high-profile example of an emerging trend in online publishing — serialized science fiction. Is the serial the ideal form for sub-novel length science fiction in the age of smartphones? The range of serial ventures is impressive. For example, Ray Gun Revival ( publishes original stories by published science fiction authors; Kat and Mouse: Guns for Hire ( is a standalone serial novel; Temporal Tales ( publishes serialized stories on Twitter; and Channel 37 ( publishes novella-length stories, ongoing series, and anthology-style stories. It’s not just written science fiction that uses the serial format, either: webcomics like Spacetrawler, Valkyrie Squadron, and DRIVE, as well as audio serials such as Tales to Terrify and The Secret World Chronicle all serialize their stories too.
That would've been a fun panel to have attended.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Progress Notes

Tales of Episode #207
Revision Pass #2 is done. I'll do a quick check before handing it off once again to LadyAce and her Red Pen of Editing Doom.

Tales of Episode #208
Opening scene is written. There's some additional plotting work to be done but I think after that, I'll be ready to tackle the actual writing.

Tales of Episode #206-B
The original Episode #207 stalled several months ago so I ended up shelving it and moving the episodes down a slot. What would've been #208 now became #207, and #209 now became #208.

But now it looks like the original #207--which I'm now christening #206-B--has unshelved itself. With a vengeance (thanks to fellow AW cohort Hillary Jacques for that lovely description).

And I say "unshelved itself" because the other night, the next few scenes of that stalled story barfed itself all over my keyboard.

Yes. Such is the thrilling life we writers lead.

Our stories barf on us.

So it looks like this one will go back into the storyline.

Which means a minor ret-con.

Nothing big. Only instead of continuing from "Entr'acte," we'll rewind a week prior and pick up one day after the last installment of "Into The Woods."

(photo: abcdz2000/stock.xchng)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Looking Forward To...

Couple of upcoming movies I'm really looking forward to seeing.

Dredd (in theatres on the 21st)

I saw the Stallone version long ago and while enjoyable, Dredd spent a good chunk of the movie sans helmet.

That's not the Dredd I'm familiar with.

This one looks like Karl Urban is keeping the helmet on.

The. Whole. Time.

Much better.

Les Miserables (Christmas 2012)

This. Looks. Awesome.

The trailer gave me chills.

Here's hoping Hollywood doesn't f*ck it up.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Robbed Blind" by Dr. Ace T. Jericho, Rogue Journalist

[from a column written while serving as a freelance women's soccer correspondent between 2001 and 2002; from The Jericho Files collection]

"Highway robbery," I said, looking up from the carton of Swedish Fish in my hand. "Mia winning the FIFA Player of the Year was unequivocally, without a doubt, highway robbery."

Anne turned from the computer monitor displaying the WUSA home page. "Is that your final answer?"

"That's not until January. Let Regis deal with Mia then. Right now, there's more important matters to discuss. Like Millie getting robbed blind by FIFA."

"I wouldn't exactly say 'robbed blind'—"

"What would you call it?" I asked.

"'Covering their collective asses?'"

"Fine time to do it. Millie was League MVP, for Pete's sake! Sixteen goals for the season. Mia only had six.

"That was WUSA," Anne said. "We're talking global."

"Global, my ass." I waved a Swedish Fish at her. "Year. Player of the Year. Millie more than deserved that award. But do they give it to her? No. The Fools weaseled out and played the Bootlicker's Song."

"Millie's only had 81 career goals and 54 assists," Anne pointed out. "How do you justify Player of the Year for her? Mia's had 127 career goals and 107 assists. That alone should count for something."

"Career points. Mia's 361 over Millie's 216. But where did that get the Freedom? Seventh place."

"Okay. Look here." Anne tapped the monitor. "Mia's most marketable. 22% of those who voted wanted Mia to represent their company's campaigns. Five percent more than Anna Kournikova and 11% over Venus Williams."

"So give her an award for Most Marketable Athlete."

"But think of what she's done for the sport over the years, how she's helped put women's soccer on the map."

"Fine. She's the Global Ambassador to the Beautiful Game, blah-blah-blabitty-blah. Give her a Lifetime Achievement Award."

"She was voted as Player of the Year by 72 women's national team coaches."

"Who probably only knew her by name. We're talking Player of the Year, not Most Recognizable Name. What is that going to say to other players? 'You did a fanstastic job, but nobody knows who you are so we're giving it to someone high profile.'"

"What's wrong with high profile? All the better, I say."

"High profile is fine for a while. But how do you expect to increase the greater public's awareness of the other players out there? Do you expect one person to carry the sport?"

"There's no 'I' in 'team.' "

"There's one in 'Mia.' "

Anne winced. "Ouch!"

I shook my head. "Forget all that talk about parity in the League. Especially if they pull stunts like this." I popped some Swedish Fish. A thought struck. "Then again, who made the front of the 2002 Women's Soccer Calender? Millie. 'Nuff said."

Anne frowned, then said: "Well...Mia was becoming the WUSA's poster child..."

"Exactly my point," I said.

"But she did get her own calendar."

My jaw dropped. "Madness! The greedy little Jezebel!"

"I saw it the other day."

"Today, FIFA Player of the Year. Tomorrow, the Calendar World. We've got to do something! It's our duty as Fans to ensure this doesn't happen again. To ensure the proper recipients are acknowledged. For Player of the Year and for their own calendars!"

Anne leaned back in her chair, arms crossed. "What do you suggest?"

"We take the judges out back and pummel some Sense into them."

"That's not going to work."

"Why not? Violence is the only sure way to get a message across."

Anne shook her head. "Poor Dolt. We're Civilized Creatures. We just can't resort to pure Violence."

"Civilization be damned!" I leapt up, spilling Swedish Fish all over the floor, and snatched the whaling harpoon from the wall. "We must make ourselves heard! Raise the alarum! Sound the clarion call!"

Anne raised the elephant gun to her shoulder. "We need a better channel for our grievance."

I stared at the twin barrels leveled at my chest and put the harpoon back on the wall. "You're right." An idea struck. I snapped my fingers, grinning impishly. "How about a scathing letter to FIFA for their gross incompetence?"

"Brilliant. You're a Professional Writer. That's right up your alley."

I turned to my laptop and started to compose.

Anne read over my shoulder. " 'Dear FIFA...' " She shook her head. "Stronger."

I thought a moment, then typed: " 'Ignorant Swine, you should be drawn and quartered..."

Anne applauded. "Fantastic! Keep going."

I love the smell of vitriol in the morning.

Come back soon for another entry of The Jericho Files!
Read previous Jericho Files entries here.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Progress Notes

Tales of Episode #207
As I mentioned the other day, I handed off Revision Pass #1 to LadyAce.

She was fast and got it back to me today with various notes.

Ergo, Revision Pass #2, to be worked on over the next day or three.

(photo: abcdz2000/stock.xchng)

Nuking the Platform

After countless attempts at trying to create an "author's platform" and "provide value to blog readers," I've decided to say "F*ck it."

Dispense writing advice? Provide tips on self-publishing? Comment on the industry or on things SF/F?


There are others who do a far better job at it. Don't believe me? Just look at the mass of links Charles Tan provides over at Bibliophile Stalker.

Read them.

As for me?

From now on, I'm just gonna do my own thing.

Looking for rhyme or reason?

You'll find them in The Phantom Tollbooth.*

But not here.

Here Be Random Musings.

(photo: By Federal government of the United States [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

*Ha! Ha! Book joke!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Finished the first revision pass for Episode #207 and have handed it off to LadyAce and her Red Pen of Editing Doom. Hopefully she can get it back to me in a week so I can continue the next revision pass.

I also just looked at the calendar and, if I get in the right amount of writing and editing time, the Ladies should be starting up again by early November.

Sound good?


And, since I'm thinking about it...

KAT AND MOUSE "Season Two Boxed Set." Do I hear "yes"?