Thursday, June 30, 2005

iTunes Top 25 for 6/30

1. Vanity Fair ~ Mr. Bungle 33
2. Organ Donor ~ DJ Shadow 22
3. Wine ~ Jack Mangan 21
4. Dad and Dog ~ Fredo Viola 20
5. Is There Love In Space? ~ Joe Satriani 19
6. Saddam A Go-Go ~ GWAR 18
7. Tears of Liquid Mercury ~ Jack Mangan 17
8. Did My Time ~ KoRn 17
10. Slaughter of the Soul ~ At the Gates 16
11. Waltz #2 (XO) ~ Elliott Smith 16
12. Microphone Fiend ~ Eric B & Rakim 16
13. Hallowed Be Thy Name ~ Iron Maiden 16
14. Head Out To The Highway ~ Judas Priest 15
15. Spirit Man ~ Mango 15
16. Defender ~ Manowar 15
17. Asteroid Speed Highway ~ Matt Mango 15
18. Red Right Hand ~ Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 15
19. playing with spiders-skullkrusher ~ Overkill 15
20. Fight the Power ~ Public Enemy
21. First Time Ever I Saw Your Face ~ Roberta Flack 15
22. Institutionalized (original Version) ~ Suicidal Tendencies 15
23. U Can't Hold No Groove ~ Victor Wooten 15
24. Seemingly Endless Time ~ Death Angel 14
25. Solfeggietto CPE Bach ~ Leslie Bridges 14

There was a 6-way tie for 24th - with the following tunes left out for purely alphabetic order reasons.

The Crown and the Ring ~ Manowar
Watch The Children Pray ~ Metal Church
Time Is Running Out ~ Muse
Lay It On The Line ~ Triumph

There's a chance that I may be reformatting - - if that's the case, then the next Top 25 will be entirely different. Otherwise, you'll most likely see "Vanity Fair" at the top again.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Duel of the Fates: Spider-Man vs. Harry Potter

It's out! The latest DotF is available at:
I think it's the best one yet.

I haven't listened to the whole Wingin' It! show yet, but it's downloading (at 56%). Looks to be a funny one.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Originally uploaded by jackmangan.
So I recently recovered a slice of my childhood. I acquired "The Wookiee Storybook", published in 1979, based loosely on the infamous Star Wars Holiday special. In the book though, there's no singing and no lipstick for Mark Hamill. No Luke Skywalker at all.
It tells the story of Lumpawarump (Lumpy), Chewbacca's son on Kashyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyk. (OK, there are only 3 y's) There are a bunch of neat little bonuses. We get a glimpse of the swamps of Kashyyyk, beneath the Wookiee's treehouses. We learn that the Wookiees were once enslaved, but that Han Solo triggered their revolt and emancipation. This is how he met Chewie. We also learn that adult Wookiees have telepathy that can reac hacross great distances. Chewie also flies a little red-striped 2-seater explorer ship out of the Millenium Falcon, down into the swamps of Kashyyyk. Wouldn't that have been better for saving Luke on the Bespin weathervane?
Published by Random House, illustrated by Patricia J Wynne, no author is listed. It's out of print, but not impossible to track down. Get it and read it to your little ones.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Duel of the Fates Tournament - Updated

It's Friday, so this must be the updated DOTF tournament tree.
Note - the 2nd round opponents will be determined by first-round seeding. So although Tomi and Spider-Man are in neighboring brackets, it's impossible for her to face him in round 2 if he wins. Of course, if he loses to HP, then it would be REALLY impossible for the two to meet. If Harry Potter beats Spider-Man, however, then that would guarantee a Tomi vs. Harry duel in round 2, since Tomi would be the highest-seeded remaining player (1st), while Harry would be the lowest-seeded player left (7th). It's all so exciting! Tune in to Wingin' It! next week to see who wins in the duel of Parker vs. Potter.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

New Duel is out!

Click here. Download Dragon Page Wingin' It! As they say in the show notes on the Dragon Page website: "This week's Duel of the Fates by Jack Mangan, pits the Hal 9000 against his own character Tomi. (Yes, that takes balls, but this is why we love him.) Jack writes for Beyond Infinity Magazine."

I think I'm going to go back on my statement made during the Podcast though - and wait to post the updated tournament tree here on Friday - not on Wednesday. This will give people a few days to download and listen at their leisure, without having the outcome given away too soon. (as if anyone cares that deeply)

Monday, June 20, 2005

Preorder AHOP 2

Yes, there is an "Amityville House of Pancakes, vol 2" coming out in September! I'm not in this one, but I've conversed via message board with Marlo Dianne and Carlos Hernandez. They're funny, smart, strange, twisted people. I've heard nothing but raves about Carlos' "The Last Generation to Die"; I trust editor Pete Allen's weird tastes implicitly - I'm totally there for AHOP 2, though this time as an impartial fan.

And oh lookie, you can preorder it by following this link:
Go at least check out the cover art for the new book....

There's also a nice bundling deal to combine vol 1 with vol 2 for only $19.95. The savings!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Duel of the Fates Tournament Tree

There's the official tournament tree (click the image to see a readable size)

Matches will proceed as noted; then the second round matchups will be determined based on the four remaining contestants' first-round seeding. It will be highest-ranked vs. lowest-ranked, in accordance with typical playoff structures.

Thanks to everyone who voted! A lot of good suggestions didn't make the cut. At the last minute, I replaced Number 6 from The Prisoner with Godzilla. I think Number 6 would be cantankerous and fun in DotF, but I just felt that the tourney needed a little more diversity. Nothing says diversity like a daikaiju.

Also, for those who were paying attention, you'll notice I made one other last-minute switch, replacing William the Black (from Spherical Tomi) with Tomi herself at the number 1 seed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


That's it! The voting is closed on the Duel of the Fates Tournament (unless you have a really good suggestion ;) ).

The final tournament bracket will be posted tomorrow.

Last day of voting for the Duel of the Fates Tournament!

Tonight (wed., Jun 15) at midnight-ish EST, 9:00pm-ish PST, the voting will close!
Here is how the tournament bracket looks right now:

1. William the Black (from "Spherical Tomi")
2. Spider-Man
3. Capt. Kirk
4. Ash (from the "Evil Dead" films)
5. Number 6 (from "The Prisoner" TV show)
6. Starbuck from BS:G (voter specified 'the Dirk Benedict Starbuck')
7. Harry Potter
8. HAL from 2001

There will a standard playoff matchup scheme for the first rounds, ie, 1st vs. 8th, 2nd vs. 7th, 3rd vs. 6th, 4th vs. 5th.

Only one non-human - and no females, so far! What is this, Fight Club? Get yer votes in today. Here are some of the other suggestions:

Scorpius from Farscape
Spock (Mr., not Dr.)
Number 6 from BS:G, the new series
Zaphod Beeblebrox
Boba Fett (but please, no Jedi)

- if you'd like to see any of them (or a great character not yet nominated) replace any of those in the top 8, then vote today at Hurry, there are only a few hours left!
The battle between 1st and 8th place will record this week, and be aired on next week's Wingin' It! broad/podcast. Time is running out!!
(OK, I'll admit it - - if you submit a really great vote next week, then I'll probably allow your choice to replace someone in the 2 through 7 seeds)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Duel of the Fates - episode 2 on Dragon Page Wingin' It!

Another Duel of the Fates segment is now available for your listening pleasure! This time it's Batman vs. Molly Millions of William Gibson's Neuromancer. And it's frigging funny - - even if you aren't familiar with Molly. Click here to download the Dragon Page Wingin' It! show. I strongly encourage you to listen to the whole thing, because they do a really fun show over there, with other hilarious segments aside from DotF.

Note: this is the last exhibition segment I'll run. The next one will be the first matchup of the first round of the Duel of the Fates 8-combatant elimination tournament! The first battle will be #1 seed, William the Black, of my forthcoming e-book, "Spherical Tomi", versus.... the 8th seed - still to be determined. Help to decide who will take part!! Send an e-mail to; vote for a Sci-Fi character who you'd really like to see in Duel of the Fates. I'm going to close voting Wednesday, June 15th at midnight(!), so time is running out! Hurry up and get your votes in for DotF contestants.

Monday, June 13, 2005


So there's a "Didja like Duel of the Fates?" posting up at the Dragon Page website. In the Comments section, a poster named Cloysterpete said the following:
"New podiobook Spherical Tomi?. Where can I learn more?. Pray tell, sir :)"

Now, I'm somewhat new to the DP system, so I didn't know that Cloysterpete is a regular, legitimate poster to the DP boards. I assumed it was Pete Allen, Editor-in-Chief at Creative Guy Publishing, playing it up, since CGP's next e-book publication project will be: --- you guessed it, "Spherical Tomi". (When? Soon.) So I 'played along' and gave the "coming soon from CGP, currently recording it for a podiobook release, deep space samurai, etc., etc." shpiel, but played it slightly humble.

But then, Pete Allen tells me it wasn't him. I thought he was being coy, but a quick perusal of the DP board reveals that Cloysterpete is indeed a separate person from Pete Allen (unless Pete Allen has fooled me yet again to pull some clever identity subterfuge!!).
So if Cloysterpete - or anyone else - reads those boards and this blog -- details of the "Spherical Tomi" podiobook will be coming very soon! I am indeed recording the text right now. Been hampered by a voice-altering cold and a few other excuses - but the main problem so far has been my competency level. It's bad enough that I'm recording extremely low-tech (using Audacity on Windows and a $40 Logitech USB mic to do the recordings -- yes, it's the same setup I use for the Duel of the Fates segments), but my first forays were uncertain and - well, amateurish. I can't achieve slick studio production with my setup, but I really want the Spherical Tomi listening experience to knock you out. I can make that happen.
AND I promise it will -- and I promise it will be on time. As soon as I know when that is - and I'm authorized to say - I'll post the dates here. Stay tuned.

These are exciting times.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

cast your votes!

The bad news:
Only a small number of votes in for Duel of the Fates 8-character tourney so far...

The good news:
Small turnout means that your vote could really count! Send a vote to for the character you'd like to see put through the 5 D of the F categories against another randomly selected SF character. Pick anyone at all! Your candidate could turn out to be the DotF tournament winner!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Duel of the Fates - the weeks ahead

I plan on doing one more exhibition Duel of the Fates segment for The Dragon Page Wingin' It show (not saying yet who the combatants will be), and then getting into the 8-character elimination tournament. The number one seed in that tournament will be President William Sterling the Black, from my forthcoming e-book and podiobook podcast, "Spherical Tomi". The remaining seven seeds? They will be determined by you, the listeners. Cast your votes for your favorite (or least favorite) SF character by sending a quick e-mail to Feedback is ok at that e-mail too. The voting results will be tallied, and the top 7 vote-getters will get to compete alongside William the Black for the Duel of the Fates Crown.
Here's a long list of suggestions, but feel free to deviate and be creative with your votes! And please remember that the whole thing is meaningless. . .

Duel of the Fates potential contestants:
Eddie (Iron Maiden’s mascot)
Gort (from "The Day The Earth Stood Still")
General Zod (from the first 2 "Superman" films)
The Shrike (from Dan Simmons’ "Hyperion")
Dirk Moonfire (from Jack Mangan’s brilliant novella "Dirk Moonfire & the Nefarious Space Women")
The Iron Giant
Prospero (from Shakespeare’s "The Tempest")
Gonzo the Great (from "The Muppet Show")
Slash (from Guns n’ Roses)
Agent Smith (from "The Matrix")
Neo (from "The Matrix")
Darth Vader
Kokopelli (from Southwestern US myth)
Cthulhu (H.P. Lovecraft wrote some books based on those 2 Metallica songs)
Molly Millions (from William Gibson’s short stories and Sprawl Trilogy)
Hiro Protagonist (from Neal Stephenson’s "Snow Crash")
Pinky (from "Pink Floyd The Wall")
Smaug (from Tolkien’s "The Hobbit")
Paul Muad’Dib (from Frank Herbert’s "Dune")
Dave Mustaine
T-800 Terminator (Arnold)
Darth Maul
Mario Lemieux
William Gibson
Captain Mal (from "Firefly")
7-of-9 (from "Star Trek: Voyager")
Tin Man (from the "Wizard of Oz")
Prince o->
Wesley, aka the Dread Pirate Roberts (from "The Princess Bride")
Hercules (from myth)
Loki (from Norse myth)
Silver Surfer (Marvel Comics)
Dr. Zoidberg (from "Futurama")
The Tick
Captain Nemo (from Jules Verne’s "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea")
Weird Al Yankovic
Oberon (from mythology)
Link (from the Legend of Zelda video games)
The big bad ship from "The Doomsday Machine" episode of Star Trek:TOS
Dr. Doom (Marvel Comics)
Boba Fett
Miyamoto Musashi
Wayne Newton
Ken or Ryu (from "Street Fighter 2" - the video game. I've never seen the Van Damme film, though I'm sure it's great.)
Mr. Incredible (from "The Incredibles")
The Jersey Devil (from colonial NJ mythology)
K-9 from Dr. Who
Elektra: Assassin (Marvel Comics)
Storm (Marvel Comics)
Haku (the dragon/boy/river spirit in Spirited Away)
Lt. Uhura
David Dunn (Bruce Willis from "Unbreakable")
Indiana Jones
Flash Gordon
Tetsuo (from Akira)
Ged (from Ursula K. LeGuin’s "Earthsea" books- not the TV miniseries)
Zhang Ziyi
Galadriel (from "Lord of the Rings")
Shaquille O’Neal
Tori Amos
Austin Powers
Marilyn Monroe
Peppermint Patty (from Charles Schulz’ Peanuts comics)
Iron Man (from the Black Sabbath Song)
Iron Man (Tony Stark from Marvel Comics)
Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson in "Pulp Fiction") as Mace Windu

I look forward to your votes! Help to determine the first (and possibly only) Duel of the Fates champion.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Duel of the Fates

My first Duel of the Fates segment has aired during the Dragon Page Wingin' It! show!!
Of course, I think my segment was upstaged by the "nipples" bit, but - that's the story of my life.

Comment, questions, and disputes are welcome; send me an e-mail.

More coming soon about Duel of the Fates

If you haven't yet listened, and you don't want to know who wins, then go listen first, then read the next post here...

Duel of the Fates Supplemental

Gandalf had made the mistake of trusting the Bespin cloud city attendees with Shadowfax; as a result, he found himself roaming and squinting through the bright hallways, searching for his steed. Suddenly he heard a voice: “You should not have come back.”

The room went dark and a great battle of lightning, telekinetic strikes, and wind ensued.

“Your powers are weak, old man.”

They dueled from room to room, a ferocious conflict of wizard versus Sith Lord, fighting in the carbon-freezing chamber, in the halls, until they stumbled into the main convention hall, where Bespin happened to be holding LandoCon, the Cloud City’s annual Sci-Fi Convention. Vader suddenly found himself confused, unable to locate his opponent, surrounded by a number of old men with long, unkempt beards. Gandalf took the opportunity to smudge his thumbprints across Vader’s mask’s lenses. Those of you who wear glasses know exactly why he did that. He tried to run out past Gandalf and find a moist towelette, but the wizard stormed “You shall not pass!”

Vader stumbled back until he toppled a card table, dropping his lightsaber and completely disrupting the Magic card game being conducted there. He scooped up his weapon again, but was dismayed to find that he’d accidentally picked up someone’s plastic, battery-powered lightsaber. Gandalf charged forward and began pressing buttons on Vader’s chestplate, hoping to find the ‘Off’ switch. His staff crackled lightning as he clicked frantically.

The Sith Lord was unarmed and still somewhat blinded, but he knew he had one last option. He picked Gandalf up over his head and carried him over toward the endless shaft conveniently located near George Takei’s autograph table.

“Oh not again,” Gandalf sighed, and Vader hurled him down into the depths of the mines. He turned and strode out of the room, the victor in this week’s Duel of the Fates.


This guy's James Hetfield impression is uncanny.
Their blend of Metallica and the Beatles is brilliant. Oh, just go download a few tracks.

Monday, June 06, 2005

DJ Vader

Dizzle Vadizzle.
Vader Vad.
Straight Outta Coruscant.
Straight Outta Mos Eisley.
What would you call this? -- Sith Hop?
Does he broadcast from the Def Star?
Where's MC3P0? and R2DJ?
How about O.G. Wan Kenobi?
It's all about the Midichlorians, Baby.
Run DV and Jam Master A.
Rebel Base! How low can you go? Death Star, what a brotha know.
Won't the real Darth Shady please stand up? Please stand up? Please stand up.
Jedis Act Like They Don't Know.

I could go on all day. . .

Friday, June 03, 2005

Oooo - my new movie reviews has posted 2 of my reviews! One of AVP and one of Donnie Darko.

Some Kind of Monster

Some Kind of Monster is the documentary about Metallica's grueling ordeal in writing and recording their latest.... um.... album: "St. Anger".

Whenever I tell people how great this movie is, they say, "But I hate Metallica."

That's not the point. I haven't liked much of their post Black-album era either. I love this movie. The documentary looks into their little Metallica world and exposes everything - all the ugliness, all the bickering and drama and stunted maturity that comes with rock-stardom and drug/alcohol abuse.
I know films are edited - so to some extent, we're seeing these guys in the way the filmmaker portrayed them. James and Kirk somehow come across as sympathetic figures. Bob Rock comes across as a poseur jerk (which doesn't help his case; old school Metallica fans already notice how the big change and the decline in the band's music began as soon as they switched from Fleming Rasmussen to Bob Rock). Lars also comes across as an a-hole - but he has a few sympathetic moments too. He's genuinely hurt when he plays a new track for his dad, and his dad says "I'd delete that." He's genuinely wounded when he tries to do an innovative drum track behind an uninteresting, "stock" riff, and gets almost attacked for his efforts. He tries to politely explain his actions, but soon loses patience with the criticism and lashes back. There's a scene where he's complaining about James while working on his drumkit - it made me feel like I was back in my denim jacket, hanging out in some burnout kid's basement.
The only thing these guys ever eventually agree on is their frustration with their band therapist.

The highlight of the whole thing is the controversial confrontation between Dave Mustaine and Lars. It's almost the equivalent for our generation of George Harrison confronting John Lennon sometime in the late 70s.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

AHOP write-up in the B&N e-newsletter!!

The Barnes & Noble Explorations e-newsletter has a really flattering paragraph on Amityville House of Pancakes, vol 1. Check out this link, then scroll all the way to the bottom.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Top 25 Most Played in iTunes for June 1

1. Vanity Fair ~ Mr. Bungle 32
2. Organ Donor ~ DJ Shadow 22
3. Dad and Dog ~ Fredo Viola 20
4. Wine ~ Jack Mangan 19
5. Saddam A Go-Go ~ GWAR 17
6. Tears of Liquid Mercury ~ Jack Mangan 17
7. Is There Love In Space? ~ Joe Satriani 17
8. Did My Time ~ KoRn 16
10. Slaughter of the Soul ~ At the Gates 15
11. Waltz #2 (XO) ~ Elliott Smith 15
12. Microphone Fiend ~ Eric B & Rakim 15
13. Asteroid Speed Highway ~ Matt Mango 15
14. Head Out To The Highway ~ Judas Priest 14
15. Spirit Man ~ Mango 14
16. Defender ~ Manowar 14
17. The Crown and the Ring ~ Manowar 14
18. Red Right Hand ~ Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 14
19. First Time Ever I Saw Your Face ~ Roberta Flack 14
20. U Can't Hold No Groove ~ Victor Wooten 14
21. Just Like Heaven ~ The Cure 13
22. Nuthin But a G Thang ~ Dr. Dre 13
23. Rumble ~ Link Wray & His Ray Men 13
24. Hallowed Be Thy Name ~ Iron Maiden 13
25. kidicarlevel1 ~ kid icarus 13

There was a 10-way tie for 21st place. Here are the 5 songs with 13 plays that got cut because they come alphabetically after "kid icarus" (I just can't shake that NES game music from the Top 25!):

Solfeggietto CPE Bach ~ Leslie Bridges
playing with spiders-skullkrusher ~ Overkill
Horrorscope ~ Overkill
Asturias ~ Segovia
Lay It On The Line ~ Triumph

So the top 5 remain the same from last time. Weird that there are so few changes overall from the last Top 25 to this one. There are 50 songs in the library with play counts of 10, 11, 12, and 13 -- surely a few of those should be breaking in and changing the Top 25 list? Two upwardly mobile, classic Overkill tunes in the outer fringes there. hmm.... Well, I guess we'll see what happens next month.