Some people love reading their friend’s books, others loath it. I can understand some people’s reticence in reading a friend’s work; what if the book sucks? I’ve found that the best way to have friends who are writers is to choose them on the strength of their writing. That way you can’t be disappointed by their subsequent books. Plus, free books!
Rex is much like me: a nerd. As a result it isn’t particularly surprising that Rex has come up with a very interesting melding of speculative fiction, fantasy and sci-fi (the sci-fi element could actually be described as part of the fantasy element, from a certain point of view). This novel reminded me at times of some of Heinlein’s work. Earlier in the book I was especially reminded of Heinlein’s Job: A Comedy of Justice.
Now I have an annoying habit. My friends and family will attest to the fact that I inadvertently spoil movies, TV shows and books by giving away key aspects of what is about to happen. My brother recently complained about me spoiling The Wire for him when I mentioned Stringer Bell dies. So I’m not going to go into too many details about the Odyssey of the title, whether there is more to the initial story of betrayal and conspiracy, whether Jehovah was the messiah or just a naughty boy who is b……. Almost. The plot builds upon itself as the book continues and keeps you involved with the layers of the Odyssey. Suffice to say you will be rooting for Lucifer as he pulls his swords to go Conan on……. Almost did it again.
I’m hoping to have a bit of chat with Rex in the near future, so stay tuned for a future guest blog post.
The winners of the Red Adept Reviews Infamous Last Line competition have been announced. I won.
Okay, so I didn’t actually win, but I did place equal third in the Horror category and equal second in the Romance category. You only have to read some of the hilarious Infamous Last Lines to see that the competition was full of great entries.
I loved the idea of the competition: think of the worst possible final line for a novel. Creativity abounded, I myself entered in three categories – I didn’t place in the Mystery section, most likely my entry was too much like a real mystery ending.
Congratulations to the winners of each category and the overall winner Nicholas Chase. Also a big thankyou to the Red Adept team for the competition.
Third Place (Ties):
Heroic Manly’s eyes buldged in horror as he, at last, found the courage to look into the mirror where, staring back at him, was a personage who was, at best, merely a two-dimensional character.
— Scott Nagele
Dick and Jane had finally defeated the amorphous, pus-oozing monster, Gilgamesh, thanks to their valiant licking, but would Gilgamesh stay dead, and for how long?
— Tyson Adams
As they slithered across the landscape, their massive tails obliterating everything in their path, they thought little of the destruction of mankind; they hadn’t tasted that good anyway.
— Sandy from Indy
To be continued….
And then realisation finally dawned upon them, like the brilliant magenta sun striking crimson red into the sky, that the case of the lost armadillo had finally been solved and that they could return home as the heroes of their childhood.
— Annmarie, the awesome one
Holy shit, zombies really DO like to eat brains, and I now deeply regret asking my grandmother to go back inside that church to fetch my high school letterman’s jacket.
— Mister Teacher
As the fierce light of the nearby nuclear blast that destroyed the covert Chechen missile base faded, Lance ‘Danger’ Steele grinned, deftly applied 138 stitches to his bulging right bicep, and held up his victory cigar so that the fiery atomic glow from outside the corpse-strewn bunker lit the end.
Second Place (Ties):
“This has all been fun, Steph,” he said, letting go of her hand, “But… well… I already have a girlfriend.”
— Gregory J. Downs… google it.
Henry grabbed Rose by her shapely and firm buttocks and pulled her close, whispering in her ear, “This was a great weekend baby, hope you don’t get clingy about it.”
— Tyson Adams
He stood panting in the doorway as he looked back at her, tears rushing down her cheeks like frantic spawning salmon because she’d finally awakened from her vampire-obsessed fantasies to realize that those canine teeth meant something terrifying—he wasn’t a hunky werewolf; he was an insipid spaniel.
—Mary Pat, author of THE TERMINAL DINER
If you aren’t a James Rollins or Steve Berry fan, or you were wanting something other than a talk about writing, then I have this news article about the decline in print journalism.
How Will The End Of Print Journalism Affect Old Loons Who Hoard Newspapers?
1) Crime writers.
Think of a gruesome way to die, a crime writer has not only thought about it, they have researched it, meticulously planned it, and could get away with it.
2) Thriller writers.
Think of a gruesome way to die, a thriller writer came up with it first and probably wants to try it out.
3) Big guys with nothing to lose.
They are big guys with nothing to lose, do the math.
4) A woman scorned.
Just ask any divorced man. Just ask John Wayne Bobbit.
Especially if you order the creme of chicken soup.
They were sick of your shit before you started mouthing off.
7) People with large collections of knives and/or guns.
Do you really want to take your chances?
I received a letter today – I know, people are actually still sending those things, I almost expect to see a carrier pigeon doing air mail next – that notified entrants about the Alan Marshall Short Story Award winners.
Now according to the blog stats my short story, Pleased To Meet You, ranks in the top 10 of my posts. According to the feedback I’ve received it didn’t suck, most readers even enjoyed it, one person even went as far as to say I had talent. So how did my story compare to the other 70+ short stories?
Well, as I expected, Pleased To Meet You didn’t win. That honour went to Laura Jean McKay for Massage 8000, a story about a group of women in a Cambodian brothel.
So congratulations to Laura, thanks to the judge Fiona Capp, and thanks to the Alan Marshall Award committee.
Currently I’m working on a short story for the new publication, Noir Nation. Hopefully I’ll meet the deadline, give it a hug and wish it well, as I scoot past on the tide of my day job.
I love books. I’m not one of those e-book fans that has denied his love of old fashioned books – I recently sat down to read a good scroll. But lets face it, we live in an electronic age.
Just because we have great new toys technologies doesn’t mean we should be burning books like its 1933. There has to be a point, an advantage, in changing from paper to electronic books. Quite simply, this picture explains why.
|NB: Picture explains nothing.|
This is the photo of my latest book acquisition and my cute little dog-pie, Fox. I have pre-ordered 3 books in the last month, in order to receive them as they are released here in Australia. Matt’s Dead Men’s Harvest arrived in the post recently, several weeks after release, Fox was very possessive and wants to read it first. The approximate delivery dates for Matthew Reilly’s Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves and Lee Child’s The Affair are at least a week after their release.
Simply, I have to wait for my paper. I have to sit out in the pouring rain, waiting for the mail-non-gender-specific-person to bring my books. My imitation vampire skin (non-sparkly) will be burnt by our harsh Aussie sun waiting. I don’t want to wait, I want my books now.
I live on the corner of Middle and Nowhere, so my online book stores are actually closer than my physical stores. But still I wait. Given how popular book stores are at the moment with receivership’s I’m sure many of you will also be losing your physical stores too. You too will wait.
E-books just won.
Better than paperback contrast! Imagine the future of these displays.
In a previous post I raised the fact that Tom Cruise would be bringing Jack Reacher to the big screen. Now fans of the Lee Child books will be familiar with the 6’5″ Jack Reacher and the general differences he has from Tom Cruise, the most noticeable being that Reacher isn’t crazy. Of course Lee Child isn’t particularly worried because “the movie isn’t for the fans of the book, it is for movie goers.”
This all got me to thinking, I could really do with a nap. When I woke up I was thinking, “which actors would I hate to see playing the lead role in a book adaptation?” I present my list, do you have any others?
Cage wasn’t always a horrible actor, he has an Oscar to prove it. But after he started buying castles and octopuses, his work got weirder and weirder, just watch The Wicker Man. He seems determined do his unique combination of drug-fueled mania and totally inappropriate character choices in most every movie.
Update: Conan O’Brian has got in on the joke.
David Caruso will be forever remembered as Lt. Horatio Caine on CSI: Miami. It isn’t because of his superb acting, no, rather it is his stunning array of bizarre tics and horrible one-liners he crams into 42 minutes of television every week. Caine is just pure corniness, and Caruso’s just getting worse. Whether he’s doing it on purpose or he’s just given up, this is some spectacularly horrible acting.
I have seen Van Damme act just the once, playing himself, in JCVD. The rest of the time he is in films because he can kick high and do the splits. In fairness most of his movie roles have only required him to kick high and do the splits, but bringing a book to life takes a bit more than that. In JCVD’s favour is the fact that he doesn’t take himself too seriously, having had guest star roles taking the piss out of himself on various TV shows.
We have a TV channel in Australia called SBS. They show movies from around the world, rather than just Hollywood. They have a great advert that sums up Hugh Grant. They show the same bumbling, um er, insipid, um er, acting he does in every, um er, that is to say, role. I am simply baffled by his popularity. He is a weak, dull, uninteresting man.
He’s played one role – the wise, astute, noble, ass kicker, who only resorts to violence when necessary – for his entire career (except in Machete). He also founded the Steven Segal School of Acting, which prides itself on producing one facial expression for every occasion. As Sean Connery will attest, you shouldn’t try to piss Steven off by suggesting he learn to act.
Orlando “one look” Bloom has managed to make a career out of the same facial expression. “Orcs are killing everyone” is the same as his “I’m in love with you Elizabeth Swan” look. He and Kirsten Stewart clearly went to the Steven Segal School of Acting. The only reason he brings characters to life is that he has a heartbeat and can walk, as proven by his work on the LOTR book adaptations.
Update: Orlando Bloom has apparently had the same look since he was a child.
I actually like Paul Walker, he comes across as a friendly, cool guy. Pity that is all he brings to a role. He does have the ability to do many things that Orlando Bloom can’t, but it is still hard to take him seriously in anything dramatic. Maybe it would be cool to hire him for the book adaptation just to hang out with him, but that’s the stalker in me talking.
I’ve mentioned before that Tom Cruise has a habit of shouting instead of acting. I’ve also mentioned before that Tom has appeared in a number of good films, but he wasn’t the reason they were good. I’ve also mentioned that Tom will be doing his best to ruin Jack Reacher for Lee Child fans. Short nut-case closed.
Is this really a surprise? Did anyone watch The Day The Earth Stood Still and not think a block of wood could have contributed a better acting performance? Actually, aside from Bill & Ted, do you think there is any role he has ever had that couldn’t be improved upon by replacing Keanu with a block of wood? It was a tough decision picking the right photo for this one – on the one hand I had a photo of paint drying, and on the other hand I had a photo of Keanu. While the paint photo was a lot more interesting, I thought I ought to go with this one.
Tickyboxiness is the ability of an objective to meet key criterion to impress managers, irrespective of, and often in opposition to, the benefit of stakeholders.
This new word is for all people trying to achieve their KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) or, like me, are stuck in a management meeting.