Monday, October 25, 2004


Odds and Ends

What happened on October 20th? There was a post on Choose Death - I saw it, but now it's gone. There was a post on Elf Notes - I saw it, but now it's gone.

At the writing desk
Ten weeks since I sent stories to EQMM and AHMM. So far, nothing interesting in the mail, but no rejection letters, either. Could the slush piles at these publications really be so much more overrun with submissions than the slush pile at F&SF?

I started a new story last week. I think it's a nifty little idea. The more I work with it, the more the idea keeps evolving, so I feel like that's a pretty good sign. I will have a draft finished by Thursday.

At the movies
Two thumbs up to the latest zombies-take-over-the-world flick Shaun of the Dead. Imagine that a group of friends who are both more eccentric and funnier than the gang on Friends fight for their lives against an ever-growing population of zombies. There are any number of scenes well worth the price of the movie. I'm afraid that telling you mine would give away too much of the plot!

Team America: World Police.... I find it difficult to say that I liked the movie. Yes, I laughed at some of the gags, but the songs were the best part of the movie - so much so that I found myself watching the action onscreen in anticipation of getting to the next song and phooey with this other stuff, like plot points. My favorite -- a love song which uses a simile that involves director Michael Bay and the movie Pearl Harbor.

On the bookshelf
I've been reading Robert J. Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy - Hominids (2002), Humans (2003), and Hybrids (2003). The trilogy looks at the question, "What if evolution had happened differently, so that the Neanderthals thrived and the homo sapiens died out?" Sawyer uses the quantum computer as the plot device that allows the reality in which that did happen to connect with the contemporary period that is essentially our own. I think the exploration of 'the other' works pretty well, largely because Sawyer presents both the Neanderthal culture and the 'human' culture and admits to the quirky features of each instead of simply making one seem more (or less) appealing in comparison to the other. Sometimes there's a little too much happy coincidence going on - as in the way Neanderthals and 'humans' learn to communicate rather easily - and sometimes relationships between characters seem to develop too quickly, particularly given that he had three books to allow those relationships to develop. Many of the ideas that Sawyer presents reminded me of Daniel Quinn's Ishmael ( The trilogy read in conjunction with this book might make for some interesting discussions. The final book won't be released as a paperback until next month, and I'm soooo looking forward to it.

The only other book that I'm looking forward to with as much - ok, to be honest, even more - anticipation is George R. R. Martin's fourth novel in the Songs of Fire and Ice series, A Feast for Crows ( The end of the third novel left me reeling. I'm tempted to break my rule and buy the hardback when it comes out simply because I must know the rest of the story. The GRRM RRetrospective ( released by Subterranean Press also looks really, really interesting. Good luck finding a copy, however!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004



OK, at the six-week mark for submissions to EQMM and AHMM, and so far no word received on those pieces. At the ten-day mark, a rejection letter from The Slush God received. Somehow hearing "thanks, but no thanks" sooner rather than later makes the message a little less disappointing.

In the odd bits of "down" time that have popped up over the last couple days, I've been playing with Hero Machine ( First, my RPG characters - the wizard Liliana, the rogue Fizzy, the Marine Col. Judith St. George. Then just futzing around. The main character from one of my stories. A pirate. A pink and purple figure with spots, wings, and a tail. The bruiser. A superhero figure called Electric Ice. Oh, it's very, very, very bad.

The deadline for Harley's antho is fast approaching. Has everyone but me already submitted something?

Friday, October 08, 2004


Welcome to the slush pile...

Well, the Slush God ( keeps posting about having time on his hands at work, so off goes another little story in the mail to him....

Just doing my part to keep him from growing too bored at work.

It's looking to be a writing-intensive weekend, and I'm looking forward to it!


We watched Walking Tall (the 2004 remake with The Rock) and Spartan (starring Val Kilmer and written and directed by David Mamet). WT was eh-eh - really, it's a wysiwyg kind of movie, so if wys is what you're in the mood for, it's OK, although the pace seemed slow, especially at the beginning, for a 78-minute movie.

Spartan was interesting and gives you more to talk about. I've long had an interest in special forces / black ops action-adventure stories, so this was a good fit for me. Val Kilmer plays a guy who typically operates quite deep undercover, and he finds himself in a bit of a pickle in this movie. There are all sorts of plot twists and turns that you have to try and follow as the character is also figuring them out. In some ways, I was reminded of The Recruit. I think you could make an interesting movie if you took the best parts of Spartan and mixed them with the best parts of The Recruit.

Monday, October 04, 2004


WotF news

The story I submitted for the third quarter (ending June 30th) of the L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future contest was a quarter-finalist.

That's kind of cool, no?

So here's the score so far:

I've also got one story in each slush pile at EQMM and AHMM; a proposal submitted to the editor of a collection of fairy tales; and something in the works for Grims. Another story is about ready to head out into the world, once I've decided where I want to send it. It's all progress.

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