Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Amazon Reinvents The Serial Magazine

Amazon announces a new aspect of its ebook publishing arm.

Quoting the video:

Kindle Direct Publishing is introducing a new storytelling option: Kindle Vella. With Kindle Vella, you can self-publish serialized stories, one short episode at a time. Episodes can range from 600 – 5,000 words. In the next few months, readers will be able to access all Kindle Vella stories in the Kindle iOS app and on Amazon.com.

This is Amazon attempting to replicate something aimed at mobile users that succeeded such as Webtoons and other serial publishing sites that are mobile-oriented, but with a different target audience of normie readers that are already invested in Amazon's walled garden. The PulpRev Discord is discussing this, as we've been looking for some way to put out a Pulp Magazine model, and this is geared for those who otherwise might hit up webnovel sites or something like them to publish serial fiction.

Right now, this is a US-only thing and confined to Apple's walled garden mobile infrastructure, but you can safely assume that there will be an Android app soon enough and some way to participate on your desktop.

For a longer video, by another working author with his own take on it, Derek Murphy's video is below; it's long, so you may want to bump playback speed to 1.5x so you can squeeze it out over a coffee break. The article version of Derek's take is here if you read faster than you watch.

This is a developing publishing situation, and there will be follow-ups as details emerge.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Untapped Potential of Cultivation Fiction

 Temple, Monk, Sea, Shaolin, Martial Arts, Religion

Wuxia. Xianxia. Cultivation fiction. Some of the hottest indie fiction genres in the market today, inspired by Chinese folklore, web novels, movies and television. Strip away the Eastern-esque aesthetics, and what you get is the quintessential power fantasy.

Take a protagonist. He is a commoner, a hero chosen by destiny, or someone cursed with the inability to cultivate. Through hard work, he develops fantastical power, overcomes legions of foes, and becomes an immortal, a god, a being that stands above human existence. He becomes stupendously wealthy, every corner of the world knows his name, and optionally, he attracts a harem of beautiful women. It speaks to every base desire in every man.

This is not cultivation.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Subversion in Detective Fiction



There’s a good deal of discussion these days about how much “wokeness” has permeated virtually every aspect of popular entertainment. Indeed, the political messaging in movies and television is often so crude and ham-fisted that even the most slow-witted and unaware consumer cannot fail but notice it. Fortunately, most of the people who write these stories are as inept as propagandists as they are as story tellers. But that’s not always the case.


When thinking about messaging in storytelling, it’s good to think about it in terms of layers: There is the direct, transparent messaging that lies on the surface of a story; it is there, in plain sight, for everyone to see. And then there is messaging that lies below the surface, messaging that is subtle and subliminal. Unless you’re specifically looking for it, you’re liable to miss the subliminal content altogether. Most people do.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Subversion of the Masculine



The Critical Drinker recently posted a Youtube video where he and Sargon of Akkad discuss the Disney animated film Moana. I never saw the film and only watched a few minutes of the Drinker’s discussion, but it did remind me of a video Jonathan Pageau made on the topic a few years ago.

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.