Wow … They Handled that Surprisingly Well

Ran across this on Reddit and wanted to share. Every author faces potential backlash when they discuss controversial subjects and rarely do you find an authentic story that does not have some sort of controversy. I’m not planning to play Mafia III, but I do plan on using this as a template to handle any potentially wounded sensibilities. I’m passing it along because you, as a writer, might find it useful, too.

Wow ... They Handled that Surprisingly Well

P.S. – It turns out Warner Brothers did something similar with Tom & Jerry.


Admit It, You Love a Good Trope

I don’t have HBO, but I’m reading all the reviews about Westworld and they prove an important point. Sci-fi has a love/hate relationship with story tropes. You know what they are, even if you don’t know the word:

Above all, a trope is a convention. It can be a plot trick, a setup, a narrative structure, a character type, a linguistic idiom… you know it when you see it. Tropes are not inherently disruptive to a story; however, when the trope itself becomes intrusive, distracting the viewer rather than serving as shorthand, it has become a cliché.

The mechanics of storytelling require, nay demand, that we use tropes in sci-fi … if for nothing else, it gives our readers a mental baseline for the universe that we’re building. Good storytellers know how to play with tropes in a way that won’t distract the reader (i.e. “The Princess Bride,” or any Pixar film).  Bad storytellers leave us angry enough to steal hubcaps. Continue reading

State of the Art – 9/30/2016

It makes me laugh to see ‘Portlandia’ go full meta, with one of their filming locations turning into the kind of people they regularly lampoon. Oregon is famous for that kind of bohemian doublethink. Anyway, here’s the State of the Art for this week:

I’m digging through thousands of public-domain NASA photos for material to put together a book cover for ‘Search and Rescue’ if I end up self-publishing it. I like pictures like this, but would have to do a lot of Photoshop work to get it into the kind of shape I want. Thoughts?

Stranger Things Reveals the Beauty of Sci-Fi


Okay, I don’t want to gush but I do love Stranger Things. There, I said it.

At first, I didn’t want to talk about the show. I felt it would push me into the ‘buying instead of being’ aspect of geek that I want to avoid with Geekquinox. That said, I saw Gaten Matarazzo talk about living with cleidocranial dysplasia and I had to speak up. Gaten’s revelation and the show itself revealed a core aspect of science fiction to me. Here it is:

In science fiction, there are no weaknesses … there are only strengths you haven’t discovered.

Continue reading

Short Story Update – Completed First Draft of ‘Body Issues’

photo-1447584402565-2a5b35a7ea8aPleased to say that I finished the short story I was talking about earlier this week. ‘Body Issues’ explores life for girls in a world where genetic engineering and consumer bioengineering have gone mainstream. It’s out for comments with my writing group and I’ll submit it after Body Issues is greenlit.

I’ll post another update in a few hours but wanted you to know in the meantime that my projects are moving forward. If you’d like to reward me with something from the Phil Tippett Auction, I’ll reward you by naming a protagonist after you in an upcoming story.

Just kidding … sort of.

Scifi – Where the Future Just *Is*

I’m scared to talk about this. But I need to talk about this. Here goes.

boondocks_wp7_800One of the things I want to do with my science fiction is avoid doing what everyone else is doing. That makes sense, right? I can’t call myself creative unless I’m pushing into new territory. The question is, what territory? Where does creativity stop and thoughtfulness begin? These are all the questions I’m thinking about as I work on a new short story.

‘Body Issues’ is a short about a teenage girl and the new social issues coming our way. I don’t want to give away the plot, but the main character is a girl and she’ll be non-white, too. For those of you saying, “So what?” let me say this: Thank you. I think this should be a no-brainer, myself. Given the current landscape of humanity, I’m afraid of negative repercussions. I don’t think it’s right to let that stop me.

Continue reading

State of the Art – 9/23/2016

Can’t believe how fast the week has flown by. I’ve been banging away at a few things and I can’t wait to share them with you. On a personal note, I’m working through some stuff. Not fun, but that’s life. I don’t want to focus on my mess. I’d rather tell you about the State of the Art. Here’s what happened on InkICan this week:

Your weekly dose of awesome

This comes from Youtube – one of my favorite bands when I was a teenager was Information Society. They introduced me to cyberpunk and modern rock long before anyone else. The band was rather innovative – they had a track at the end of one album which, when played, gave you a little ASCII story that would appear on your modem screen. Back in the 90s, I loved how music embraced technology and it’s always occupied a warm spot in my heart.

That Time I Got a Shoutout from @CancelledAgain

That Time I Got a Shoutout from @CancelledAgain

I’m friends with Tim on Facebook. You might know him but you know his work (Firefly, Buffy … X-Files). He’s a supremely cool cat – Sent him a meme based on one of his pictures from the Emmys and he re-posted it. That happened on Monday and it made my week.

Sharing it because awesome stuff can happen to anybody – need to celebrate it if you want more awesome in your life. It’s only a meme, but it’s a start.