• ThumbnailIf it weren’t for the Internet, it’s likely self published authors wouldn’t be common. And because of the Internet, Indie authors and small presses gain an edge in the marketing pandemonium. One of the online […]

  • ThumbnailI had the great privilege of interviewing Travis Heermann, who is, in his own words a “writer, novelist, award-winning screenwriter, editor, poker player, poet, biker, and roustabout.”.
    From reading his press […]

  • ThumbnailIndependent publishers, i.e. small presses, have become amazingly popular these last few years. Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors that don’t fit into the boxes built by the major publishing houses have found a […]

  • ThumbnailSpeaking of Hugo Awards, and I do want to bring your attention to Steve Davidson’s post about nominee eligibility, I have to admit I was thrilled to discover that the awards will be presented in my home state. Yes […]

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    “There’s something intangibly off about it that unsettles the soul” -Cinema on the Rocks
    “A slow-burning, creepy tale” -London Film Review (UK)
    “STILL is an absorbing, tense, sci-fi thriller guaranteed to […]

  • ThumbnailWarning: This article may contain spoilers.

    This is more than a review of a motion picture. This is, in fact, three reviews.

    Why three,you ask as your fiddle with something very secret in the pocket of your […]

  • ThumbnailJust an FYI for SF and Fantasy Book Readers!

    There is currently a benefit auction happening which is showcasing some extraordinary signed editions of well known and popular authors of science fiction and […]

  • ThumbnailWhen I read Mindfield: Parlay at Ologo by Cindy Koepp I was amazed at Koepp’s ability to walk the tightrope of science fiction and fantasy.

    Not only does Mindstorm: Parlay at Ologo  have an array of interesting […]

  • ThumbnailWinter likes to stop things in its track especially when you live in cold country and you’re trying to put together exterior filming shoots. Winter also likes to play holiday and send people off to relatives far […]

  • ThumbnailBeing the mother of a son who has a PHD in Planetary science (see prior post) you can only guess that I was one of the first people to find out that we have landed a space apparatus on a comet. That’s pretty big […]

  • ThumbnailSometimes I stumble across the most amazing things while doing research for my novels. Most often I  prepare well in advance and use all sorts of references including interviews and personal experiences such as […]

  • Thumbnail I asked Virginia Lori Jennings, author of middle grade science fiction  if she would give us a look into the mind of a SF author. How does one create a story, or a world based on science as opposed to any other […]

  • ThumbnailThe world has been saturated with the Zombie fad. Images of bloody mouths, drooping eyes and hanging arms are affecting the world both mentally and emotionally. The freaky walking dead are on televisions, feature […]

  • Thank you S.M. Stirling. I have since seen it as well. They did make Vlad more repentant than I thought he would be, but still Luke Evans did a passionate job with his character. I agree with your thoughts on the […]

  • ThumbnailParched by Georgia Clark, published by Holiday House this year. This is the author’s second novel.

    I like a book that makes you think. Parched took me on a journey of reflection for a while and that is good. As […]

  • In 1897 Bram Stoker wrote Dracula.
    A classic horror novel mixed with romance, betrayal, and murder the Victorian public found the story entertaining and equivalent to some of Edgar Allen Poe’s work, though Stoker […]

  • My granddaughters wanted to see The Maze Runner (2014) and frankly after watching the trailer, I did too. So I very spontaneously chose Sunday afternoon to make the trip to our local theater. Part of the joy […]

  • Page from the first draft of 1984 by Orson Wells.

    Page from the first draft of 1984 by George Orwell.

    I must admit, I did not read all the SF that I should have when I was young. I’m talking years ago like in the 1950s. I hadn’t really gotten interested in science fiction until I read 1984, which was written the year I was born. It left an impression on me and I waited in tense anticipation for that fateful year. When 1984 did come, people laughed. The world (in America) was not the oppressive police state that was predicted. Some say Orwell just got the year wrong.

    Having written a dystopian novel myself I wonder what gears were rotating in George Orwell’s mind when he wrote that story. I’m sure many people see SF writers as political prophets, predicting the state of the world in the not so far away future. It’s been said he was the character in his own book, fearful of the big brother that kept watch over him from around every corner. Did he know something about the future that the general populace didn’t? Or was he merely evaluating what might happen as mankind continues as it is? What is sad is that Orwell died shortly after his book was published.

    H.G. Wells’ famous book The Time Machine was as well received and controversial as George’s literary achievements. And I can’t help wonder if all that the Time Traveler saw was a dream of some sort, for the descriptions, though different in content, bears a close resemblance to some of the fantastic illusions that one finds in Revelations. The image of great moving crabs that encompass a completely red earth, for instance.

    There’s a sadness to the story that kept me from reading the entire book in one or two sittings. I had to put it down and walk away. Did H.G. Wells indeed travel into the future and see the degeneration of human kind? Just as George Orwell saw a political digression in a matter of fifty years, give the human race another few hundred, or a thousand years, will we indeed destroy our planet?

    I have deep respect for writers of Science Fiction in this regard. They have an uncanny ability to see the world from the eagTimemachinebookle’s nest. Not only in three dimensional vision, but through time as well. I have a tendency to  trust what they say because a certain type of logic accompanies the ability to write dystopia.

    Some SF is made purely for entertainment. Some as encouragement for young people and some for warning.

    A society would do itself a favor in considering such literature. Recognizing the warning signs. Why do these literary geniuses detect such atrocities? Why do they predict that mankind is headed in a negative direction? Are these books purely fictional? Or is there an underlying current of  destruction that is sweeping away the human species?

    The Time Machine leaves us wondering. After the Traveler comes home, is heckled by this peers and is almost made to doubt his experiences…Where does he go when he leaves again?

    Does he go back in time to escape the tragedy of the future?

    Or does he go to the future to attempt to change things, finding just the right moment in time when he can make a difference?

    What do you think?


  • old3dI just came across an interesting article while browsing through the latest edition of Publisher’s Marketplace. A new production company El Jefe Productions [us]  is specifically designed to help novelists get their ideas into TV projects.Judging from the fact that so many movies are being adapted from novels these days it appears that producers are beginning to appreciate the intricacies of knowing how to write a real story!

    The evolution of this trend is interesting. I wonder if the thrill of special effects is dying? Theaters with 3D and D- box seats are pulling in just as much income from standard films as they are from the spectacular experiences. The last time I went to a theater, the red chairs, the ones that rotate and vibrate during the course of the movie, were empty. And I’ve heard many complain about 3D glasses causing headache. Where the phenomenon was once eagerly sought after, I can’t help feeling that when the Hobbit made it’s debut, the question ‘do we 3D or don’t we’ became a hashtag to movie goers.

    The argument was the story. Whereas the sensation of falling through space on rope bridges or riding rapids in barrels was analogous to a ride at an amusement park, how much of the story was lost with these effects? Most true Tolkien scholars chose to see the film (at least the first time) in 2D. I made that same choice myself because I felt the special effects took away from the elements of the story that I was looking forward to. Dizzy from the 3D effects, I would not be able to observe that special glance of Gandalf’s, or hear the subtle clearing of the throat from Bilbo. No. Everything went too fast, with flashes of light and spinning movement and interesting objects dashing out into the audience.

    primary_CreatureFromTheBlackLagoon3D-2Perhaps movie goers are beginning to understand the worth of a well developed story. It seems that way. Movies such as Divergence, The Giver, The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box, 300: Rise of an Empire, the Hunger Games, and many more (for a list visit New Movies Based on Books) offer the viewer plot and character growth and sense to what their watching. Seriously I have seen movies that weren’t adaptions that basically were just about a chase with no fundamental structure whatsoever. I’m glad there is a new trend. I have confidence in writers. A novelist works hard at understanding and implementing the structure of their creations. Plot is only one part of the story. There’s relationships between characters, goals that need to be met, or prevented from being met. There’s conflict more important than shooting each other and destroying the environment. Inner conflict comes into play as well as external. And there’s a world to build.

    I’m sure Hollywood has more of a marketing agenda rather than any kind of literary agenda. Best selling books ought to make best selling movies. Their audience has already been captured. But the Indie market is picking up on the worth of a good author, be they a NYT Bestseller or not, and as this recent sprout of a production company suggests, authors should be awarded for their years it took them to develop their concepts and to write their books. I hope we see more production companies working with authors directly. I think the products will be rich and rewarding.

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