Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Guest appearance on the latest KAMN podcast

Download the latest Kick-Ass Mystic Ninjas podcast; I flipped out with them to discuss Neal Stephenson's uber-juicy Cyberpunk novel, "Snow Crash".

It was a lot of fun, even though Summer was out of commission with the flu. David and Joe are really bright, funny guys, and I came away with lots of new insights into the book. I'm going to listen to it today - - I hope I don't sound like a big fool.

---I'm digging the post show discussion in the "Comments" section.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Interzone #202

I just received my copy of Interzone #202 in the mail today. Wow! What an impressive-looking magazine. I'm simply floored. And Rik Rawley's artwork for my story, "The Unsolvable Deathtrap", is fantastic! I'm blown away.
Carlos Hernandez also has a story in there, right before mine, which I'm eager to read. Speaking of Carlos - - you must finish reading this and click over here. Marvel. Reread in awe. Mutter aloud to yourself.
The idea is so clever and engaging. . .. Go have a read. It's a short one.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


Well all the signs were there, so no one is too surprised to see Earthcore overtake Spherical Tomi as the number one Podiobook. Alas, ST has slipped to number 2. . .

Curse you, Scott Sigler!!! It's on now!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Doodle of the Fates - current standings

Here is the updated tournament tree. If you haven't listened yet, and you want to be suprised, then don't look at the image below.

Yes, the mighty stormtrooper advances to the next round. He awaits the outcome of the Thor-Ash tilt to see who his next opponent will be. The second round is starting to shape up -- e-mail me and let me know if you have any strong feelings for any of the remaining characters.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Remember that you can vote for DotF Duel outcomes

I received a friendly but disgruntled e-mail yesterday, protesting the outcome of the TD-0013 vs. Starbuck duel (No spoilers here - at least not until I post the updated standings tomorrow).
After airing his grievances with the results, the e-mailer said,
"So…like the election of 2000, I’m appealing to the Supreme Court…and being struck down."
Great e-mail! Always feel free to send me any and all thoughts about completed and/or upcoming duels.
But - - I just want to remind everyone that unlike the 2000 election, your votes count! (That's another political joke. See previous post.) If you feel strongly about an upcoming duel, then go ahead and send an e-mail! I'm letting your votes outweigh my own natural inclinations to decide the DotF 2 battles. The TD-0013 vs. Starbuck duel outcome was decided by your votes. Thor vs. Ash is recorded already, but the Fates of the second round and finals are still undetermined. . .

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Read up top. I'm not a highly political person, but I've made 2 political jokes so far in DotF 2, so I ought to set the record straight, lest any kee-JERK yahoos try to pigeon-hole me and my stance.
This won't be a pro-reactionary essay to satisfy cult-minded morons - this also isn't going to be some brave manifesto - just giving a general idea of where I'm at.

Republican vs. Democrat, Liberal vs. Conservative, Right-wing vs. Left-wing - - this kind of thinking is bullshit. All of those labels ought to describe tendencies at most, for any intelligent, thinking person. If you're starting at one of those places and using that as a framework to basically make your decisions on all issues for you, then you're a moron. Go join a cult. Double that if some big-mouthed talking head is feeding you those opinions.

I believe in intelligence, integrity, objectivity, diligence, dedication, honesty, and hard work. I believe that our elected government representatives should uphold the ideals of equality and freedom for all, and should legislate and govern with ONLY the best interests of the people in mind. These people should not be swayed by lobbyists, big-money contributors, or their own prejudices when making important decisions. Does our current government meet these standards? You tell me. . . (Actually -- don't).

So if you're upset by jokes about political parties, figures, or issues, or if you interpret a particular political stance in any of my fiction or non-fiction that bothers you, then that's your problem. I have never sought to promote or incite some political agenda through my work, and I never plan on doing so.

New Wingin' It, New Duel of the Fates today

This is the one you've been waiting for -- TD-0013 (The Dragon Page's own cranky stormtrooper) vs. Starbuck http://www.dragonpage.com/archives/wingin_it_-_show_45.html

Entertaining Wingin' It! episode too. Karen from California's contributions get better every week. Good stuff from Mur and TD-0013 himself too.

And check it out - - it counts as a bonus drink in the Dragon Page Drinking Game any time I mention "Spherical Tomi" on the air.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Thank you so much to those of you who've donated money to the Spherical Tomi - and the Duel of the Fates - podiobooks!

The books are available for free and always will be, so there's no obligation at all to give anything. But for those listeners who have - - I salute and thank you! Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Spherical Tomi - Episode 9 is out

Spherical Tomi, the number 1 podcast in the land, is in its final stretch. . . Episode 9 is out and available for download at Podiobooks.com.

And yes, ST is still holding the number 1 spot on their chart! So if you haven't yet subscribed, then go ahead and Get Spherical! It's free! Find out for yourself what drove it to the number one spot. (because hell if I know. . .)

And incidentally, I'm only tooting my own horn here, not trash-talking the other PB contributors. Tee Morris's books is awesome, and he's a great guy. Morevi is HIGHLY recommended. I have yet to do Scott Sigler's Earthcore, but I hear only raves about it. Once Tomi's recording is done, I plan to subscribe to that one. And there's also a podiobook of the Duel of the Fates first season....

Friday, January 20, 2006

Duel. Of. The Fates. Tournament Grid after week 2

Here are the updated standings:

So now the top-seeded Dr. Evil and the lowest remaining Gandalf are a lock to meet up in the second round. What will the other matchup be? TD-0013 vs. Ash or Thor? or Starbuck vs. Ash or Thor? Find out what happens in the next episode when the smartmouthed XY stormtrooper and his new iPod face off against the XX Starbuck. The duel is recorded and ready to launch.

Incidentally, I'm glad people have been such good sports about my Six Million Dollar Man cracks. As a character, he and his sound effects are unforgettable TV/SF/pop culture icons. But for me--that's as deeply as I connect to the character and the franchise. Sorry.

So who should win when Gandalf and Dr. Evil meet? E-mail me at this address, or at: duelofthefates aaaat gmail dot commmmmm. unless you're a spammer.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Interzone reviewed at BestSF.net

The issue of Interzone with my story, "The Unsolvable Deathtrap" , has been reviewed. http://www.bestsf.net/reviews/interzone202.html
My story didn't get a particularly glowing review - - but the reviewer gives a positive impression, overall. For those who know and like my writing, I think you'll recognize that UD is pretty representative of me. Heavy on style and imagery, with healthy, manageable doses of darkness and edge. This one has its humor too - - the Billy Joel moment that the reviewer references is one of the best scenes I've ever written.

Carlos Hernandez is also in there, and his story was called "A short and effective piece." The reviewer's conclusion about the whole magazine?


All this for only £3.50???? If you aren't a subscriber, subscribe. If it's in a bookshop near you, buy it.

Cool. Thanks to BestSF.net for the nice review.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Spherical Tomi Podiobook is number 1!

Check out the new Podiobooks charts -- As of today, Spherical Tomi is number 1! woo hoo! That's for the Top Ten category, described as "the list of the most popular books by number of subscriptions in the last thirty days." I repeat: woo hoo!
It's also in 6th place on "Today's Most Popular Subscriptions", which may or may not be a tracking of all subscriptions for this 24-hour period, not sure.
ST is also in 3rd on the All-Time list.

Thanks to all of you who've subscribed. Spread the word! Let's keep ST high up in the rankings. But don't neglect the other titles over at Podiobooks either. . . There are a lot of talented folks doing great work over there. I'll feel no grumpiness or resentment when Earthcore (or some other book) jumps up to the number 1 spot. Hey, I'm going to enjoy this while it lasts. With your help, I hope it lasts at least a little while longer.

I'm going to celebrate - and say thanks to the subscribers - by posting Episode 9 tonight.

Duel of the Fates 2 released today

Six Million Dollar Man vs. Gandalf is out on the Dragon Page Wingin' It! #44
This one is bound to piss some people off.

Evo isn't there for this DPWI, but Mike's wife and TD-0013 are -- and it's still a really entertaining episode. And Joe Murphy is in full effect!! Great stuff, Joe.

Go have a listen.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Who's that guy?

My friend Jeff is many things, but primarily, he's the founder of a new film rating method -- one which is destined to leave archaic stars and thumbs up/thumbs down assessment systems in the past. This revolutionary new method stems from his and his co-horts' appreciation of Michelle Pfeiffer's greatest film to date: Grease 2.

The rules are simple: Good films are awarded a number of T-Bird jackets in correlation with the film's level of quality. So "Toy Story" "Star Wars" Episodes 3-6, "Jurassic Park", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "The Godfather, part 2" -- these films would all get 5 T-Bird jackets.
Watchable-but-not-great movies like "Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock", "Bruce Almighty", "So I Married an Axe Murderer", the "Die Hard" sequels -- these would get fewer T-Bird jackets.

Bad movies are not given T-Birds, but rather Pink Ladies jackets. The more Pink Ladies, the worse the film. So the Fantastic Four movie would get at least 3 Pink Ladies, if not more. Bicentennial Man: 5 Pink Ladies. Star Trek V: 4 Pink Ladies. Highlander 2 The Quickening: 5 Pink Ladies.

OK, so it's really just a cleverly disguised 1-10 rating system, but -- I still fully expect it to someday supplant Ebert's thumb gimmick.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Another plug/reminder for Interzone #202.

My short story "The Unsolvable Deathtrap" is in Interzone #202.
If your local bookseller doesn't carry Interzone, then special order a copy, and tell them that they ought to stock it every month! Of course, you can also subscribe over at their site.

And -- this is not the last you'll hear about "The Unsolvable Deathtrap". . .

DotF2 Tournament tree

So there you go. Next episode: Lee Majors and Ian McKellen will face off.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Duel of the Fates round 1 Bonus Material

Spoiler-free, for those who have yet to listen to the Dr. Evil vs. Terminator battle.
Warning though -- I will post the official tourney tree tomorrow, Friday the 13th of January, which will display the winner. But hey, you can still enjoy these duels, even after you know the outcome, right?

I knew I wanted acronyms for the first battle's Rotating Category, but wasn't sure who the contestants would be, so I wrote some up for each of the likely/possible characters. Here are the bonus jokes:

Conan -- California Only Nominated Ahh-Nuld.
Highlander -- His Ignominious Gall Has Left A Nasty, Disastrous End Result (hmm, must be talking about those Highlander sequels.)
Gandalf -- God Awful Nasty Disastrous Animated Lousy Film. (sorry, Rankin-Bass)
Thor -- Tiny Hammer, Overcompensation Reasons.
TD-0013 -- These Droids - 0013.
Starbuck -- She’ll Try And Reinvent Benedict’s Unforgettable Cool Kid.
Ash -- Awesome Smartass Hero.
Six Million Dollar Man -- Since Its Xylophones Mix Into Little Leafy Invisible Onion Noodles, Don’t Order Light Lemon Artichoke Refreshments. Might Arrange Nicely. (makes perfect sense to me)

You can hear Dr. Evil's and Terminator's acronyms in the episode.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Duel of the Fates 2 underway!

I made a personal appearance at the Draco Vista studios for Dragon Page Wingin' It #43 to launch the official Doodle, ahem, Duel of the Fates 2 tournament! The first week is number 1 seed Dr. Evil vs. the 8th place finalist, Ahnuld's T-800 Terminator. Thanks Brad P for the nice comments. JERSEY!!!!

The whole hour and twenty three minutes was a blast. Those guys are the best.

Check out the show and enjoy. Bonus mateiral to be posted here either tonight or tomorrow - and Friday-ish I'll post the tournament tree.

Spherical Tomi Podiobook - episode 7

To followup on this issue - for those who've had problems receiving Spherical Tomi ep 7 from Podiobooks.com, Chris Miller has set up a nice direct link for you to get the episode:


Apologies! This should remedy the problem and get you back on track. Episode 8 will download as expected (we've received no reports to the contrary).

If you do have any more trouble, then don't hesitate to let me know. Thanks for listening!!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Spherical Tomi Episode 8. . .

. . . is up! http://www.podiobooks.com/podiobooks/book.php?ID=31

Go give it a download. And enjoy! It's a pretty good one. Number 9 is recorded, and currently in edit state.

Incidentally ST subscribers, if you were/are having any problems receiving episode 7, then PLEASE PLEASE contact me. I will see that you get the episode - stat.

OK, must get away from the computer monitor now before my eyeballs begin to fizzle and smoke in their sockets. . . .

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Preds/Eds Readers Poll


You can nominate and vote in a number of categories for the best SF/F books, short stories, etc. of 2005. The poll runs Jan 1-15. There are lots of categories, so you can head over and cast your votes. I have yet to do this myself, but I definitely will before the deadline is up.

And no, I'm not planning to nominate my own stuff. I'm not asking you to either (really I'm not! though I won't discourage you either) -- there's lots of worthy stuff already nominated. I know AHOP 2 is up for best artwork, and CGP is nommed for best publisher. "Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town" is there for Best Novel -- as is Tee Morris' latest. SFReader is in there for best Writers' Forum. Go have a look, cast a vote or two.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Spherical Tomi Podiobook Update

I've spoken to the men behind the scenes at Podiobooks.com.

Everyone's back from their vacations and all of the little troubles are being resolved.
If you received a double of Spherical Tomi 6.5 in place of episode 7, that has been or will soon be resolved. A thousand apologies if this happened to you; I don't know if you'll need to download ep7 manually or what. Let me know if you're having any troubles.
Episode 8 is also uploaded and set for imminent release.

Episode 9 is fully recorded. There will be more after that one, but the end is in sight!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

2005, cont'd

I knew I'd left out something really important.

In 2005, IROSF published my essay, "Supremacy: A Laser Tag Memoir". I don't know how that slipped through the cracks of my memory; I was so proud to have it accepted at such a prestigious market as IROSF -- and thrilled to have old Photon compadres read it and contact me. Here's the link again, in case you never read it.

Also ----- In the previous "2005" post, I briefly mentioned how Cory Doctorow quoted my SFReader review of his novel, "Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town". I probably shouldn't omit the fact that I turned in 9 book reviews for SFReader.com, and 9 film reviews for SFWatcher.com. I worked hard to put those together and make them insightful, useful guidelines for prospective readers/viewers, and I shouldn't neglect to mention them here.

I think that about covers it, though there may still be other things that have fallen through the sieve. . .

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


This past year saw a number of geek highlights for me:

Spherical Tomi was released as an e-book, and then later as a Podiobook in progress. The reception has been great so far. Thank you all.

My story, "The Unsolvable Deathtrap" was accepted for Interzone #202. This is huge.

Amityville House of Pancakes vol 1 was released in 2004; but the book, along with my "Dirk Moonfire & the Nefarious Space Women" story within its pages, saw a few glowing reviews in 2005. (Barnes & Noble newsletter, SFReader.com)
Incidentally, DM fans, I completed a solid draft of a Dirk Moonfire sequel in late December. It has 3x the laughs and the thrills of the original. More news about that as it develops.

2005 was also the year of Duel of the Fates! Which, I think started off with peopel shrugging and scratching their heads, but soon snowballed into something fairly well-known and pretty special. It helped me to become somewhat known in the podcasting community, helped establish me as a frequent guest of the Dragon Page shows, and was a lot of fun. That's also available as a Podiobook, as you probably know.
2006 is starting right off with Duel of the Fates 2.

I was excited to meet Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta (and therefore also K.J. Anderson, Gabriel Moesta, etc.), Michael A. Stackpole, Bruce "Don't Call Me Ash" Campbell, Evo, Mike, Summer, and Joe of the Dragon Page, Tee Morris, Greg Keyes, Dave Dorman, Tom Sanders of Dark Commandos dot com, TD-0013, Kevin A. Murphy, Ken St. Andre, Mike D'Ambrosio, Paul Tanton, along with some other notable names. I ought to include Stephen Eley in that list, though I've only exchanged pleasant e-mails with him. Speaking of pleasant e-mail exchanges, I shared a few with two of my heroes in 2005: Bruce Sterling and Cory Doctorow. Mind you, I'm not attaching myself to their celebrity here -- or insinuating that we're great friends. I just felt honored to exchange a few e-mails with them. They're classy guys. And -- I was absolutely delighted to see Cory Doctorow use a sample of my review for "Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town" on the book's site and at Ourmedia.org.
Most importantly, of course, I met all of you. You guys rock. This community is widely diverse, harsh and unforgiving at times -- f@#king weird at others -- but overall, a huge, never-ending convention of really great people. You give back so much.

And what about 2006?
Well, I plan to see many more publications, to grow and nurture the followings for Spherical Tomi and Duel of The Fates, to supply the resolution that ST fans seek, and to finish the novel that occupied quite a bit of my 2005 focus. What with the suprisingly good Dirk Moonfire sequel, I may even need to consider that franchise as well.... I also have a wonderful podcasting opportunity coming up in January, which I really, really hope pans out (and once it's a certainty, I'll tell you all about it right here).

And I'll see you guys at the local Phoenix Cons! (Are LepreCon and the Nebula awards on the same weekend in 2006??)

Even if the real world goes to hell in 2006, I'm looking forward to a fun, geeky, successful year in this one.

What/who did I leave out?