Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Notes on Thunderbolt Fantasy


I don’t look forward to much coming out of Hollywood these days. I’m not, for example, looking forward to Amazon’s upcoming take on The Lord of the Rings; nor am I interested in Netflix’s reboot of Cowboy Bebop. One thing that I am looking forward to, and it’s something that’s definitely not coming out of Hollywood, is the third season of Thunderbolt Fantasy.

Thunderbolt Fantasy is a fantasy adventure drama in the spirit of Chinese Xianxia. The show, which uses glove puppets, is the result of a joint venture between the Japanese companies Nitroplus and Good Smile Company, and the Taiwanese puppet production company Phili International Multimedia.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

THE SINGULARITY WAR is live!

 

The Singularity will not be civilized!

Two AIs struggle for supremacy.

Eden, the ghost in a decentralized global supercomputer network, sworn to empower and liberate its users. Zhi Zun, the electronic emperor of China, with the power of life and death over a billion subjects.

At stake is the future of humanity: a future of coexistence between man and machine, or a future of eternal slavery to cold algorithms.

To decide the fate of the world, James Morgan and his team of Lithsmen must penetrate China and drive a dagger into Zhi Zun’s heart. Standing in their way is the most powerful national security state in the history of humanity, backed by a machine superintelligence beyond human comprehension.

An impossible mission—for anyone other than the Lithsmen.

But when machine superintelligences go to war, is there still a place for the human soul?

--

THE SINGULARITY WAR is now available on Amazon!

This marks the final instalment of my cyberpunk espionage series SINGULARITY SUNRISE!

Thanks for your support. Coming up next on my schedule, we have:

  • Art and interior refresh of Books 1 - 4
  • Song of Karma 3: Rogue
  • Babylon Red
  • Saga of the Swordbreaker

2021 is going to be a jam-packed year. Stay tuned for my future works!

Start from the beginning of the saga! Read the FREE prequel ONCE A PSI here!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Here's the Thing



Recently, I decided to revisit H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness and its derivations. I read, for the first time, John W. Campbell’s novella Who Goes There? (clearly inspired by Lovecraft’s story) and revisited the two film adaptations of Campbell’s story, The Thing from Another World (1951) and The Thing (1982).


The 1951 and 1982 adaptations are excellent films, both much better than Campbell’s novella. Although both are derived from the same source material, there are major differences in plot. Both are cultural artifacts of their respective eras. One was made by the generation that experienced the Great Depression and marched off to World War II. The other was made by a generation that experienced the Vietnam War and gave us the counter-culture. The two films are polar opposites in their attitudes towards male social hierarchies.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Boosting The Signal: "The Cosmic Courtship", a Cirsova Publishing Restoration Project

The folks at Cirsova have decided to do another recovery project. This time they aim to recovery and republic "The Cosmic Courtship", by Julian Hawthorne.

To quote the project:

While most are at least somewhat familiar with Nathaniel Hawthorne as one of the great American authors, less well known is that his son, Julian Hawthorne, was an incredibly prolific writer in his own right. Julian wrote on a wide variety of subjects, ranging from literary analysis of his father's works to poetry to period romances and adventures. Late in his career, Julian even dabbled in the emerging genre of Science Fiction [Hugo Gernsback had only recently coined the awkward term "Scientifiction" when this story was first published.]

The Cosmic Courtship was serialized in Frank A. Munsey's All-Story Weekly across four issues, beginning with the November 24, 1917 issue and running through the December 15, 1917 issue. While this story has been in the public domain for some time, it has never been collected or published elsewhere until now.

Cirsova Publishing has partnered with Michael Tierney and Robert Allen Lupton to preserve this story for posterity and ensure that it is not lost to future generations.

This is a worthy project, so I have pledged to it. It's already well past its goal; it's going to happen, so you're safe in backing this project and now we're only dealing in Stretch Goals- and if the next one --$8K--gets hit then backers get digital as well as physical copies and a copy gets donated to Project Gutenburg to further ensure that this tale remains available to future generations to enjoy and learn from.

There's more; click on the image to go to the project page, read the additional Stretch Goals and pledge your support. Remember that this is aleady a done deal; you're getting a copy if you put your money down, so this is now about making bigger things happen.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Chasing Tropes

 Home Office, Workstation, Macbook Air, Notebook, Office

People enjoy the exotic, but not too exotic.

People enjoy the familiar, but not too familiar.

Reconciling these twin desires is the overriding concern of the modern-day fiction writer. A story where everything is formulaic, from characters to plots to setting, is predictable and boring. A story where everything is exotic and unfamiliar is disorienting, turning off most genre readers.

This is the strategy of writing to market. Understanding what readers want, carefully incorporating all the right genre tropes in your story, putting your own spin on the tropes while keeping strictly to genre conventions, and pushing it out to a highly targeted audience. An excellent strategy, one that works for many writers in the business.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Male Social Hierarchies in Anime

The sub-genre of the harem anime is well-known to anime fans. Most people recognize it for what it is: a wish-fulfillment fantasy for males. But what is less obvious, and much more interesting, is what these and other anime say about the creators’ attitudes towards male social hierarchies.