Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The first review of GTiS is in:

Planck’s lively characters and solid worldbuilding keep the story moving.

Publishers' Weekly

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The perfect Alpha male

In honor of Sirius (the SF book I am working on):
“If ever there was a perfect wolf, it was Twenty-One,” says Rick, using the wolf’s research-collar number as his name. “He was like a fictional character.

“Twice, I saw Twenty-One take on six attacking wolves from a rival pack — and rout them all,” Rick recalls. “I’d think, ‘A wolf can’t do what I am watching this wolf do.’ Watching him felt like seeing Bruce Lee fighting.”

Wolf territorial fights resemble human tribal warfare. Wolves often target the rival pack’s alphas, seemingly understanding that if they can rout or kill the experienced leaders, victory will be theirs.

Twenty-One distinguished himself in two ways: He never lost a fight, and he never killed a vanquished rival.

In wolf Twenty-One’s life there was a particular male, a sort of roving Casanova, a continual annoyance. He was strikingly good-looking, had a big personality, always doing something interesting. “The best single word is ‘charisma,’” says Rick. “Female wolves were happy to mate with him. People absolutely loved him. Women would take one look at him — they didn’t want you to say anything bad about him. His irresponsibility and infidelity; it didn’t matter.”

One day, Twenty-One discovered Casanova among his daughters. Twenty-One caught him and was biting him. Various pack members piled in, beating him up. “Casanova was big,” Rick says, “but he was a bad fighter.” Now he was totally overwhelmed and the pack was finally killing him.

“Suddenly Twenty-One steps back. Everything stops. The others are looking at Twenty-One as if saying, ‘Why has Dad stopped?’” Casanova jumps up and — runs away.

Casanova kept causing problems for Twenty-One. So, why doesn’t Batman just kill the Joker so he simply doesn’t have to keep dealing with him? It doesn’t make sense — until years later.

After Twenty-One’s death from age, Casanova became the model of a responsible alpha male. Though he’d been averse to fighting, Casanova died in a fight with a rival pack. But everyone in his own pack escaped — including grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Twenty-One.

The Perfect Wolf
So now you know where all our attitudes and expectations of heroes comes from: our wolfy past.



Saturday, June 27, 2015

SCOTUS lets its shamrock flag fly

Very happy to see the twin SCOTUS decisions. On healthcare, not because I wanted to see Obamacare survive (it would have been a glorious disaster for the Republicans if it had been struck down, and it wouldn't have hurt me personally) but because it was such the obvious logical result that any other outcome would have damaged the rule of law. As it is those three should be impeached for failing to respect precedent and basic legal theory.

On the other hand it's nice to know that the Catholic half of the court is apparently Irish, since they've followed Ireland's lead and made love and devotion legal for everyone.

Cheers and celebrations. Yay. Now let's end the war on drugs. Then raise taxes, raise the minimum wage, make voting mandatory, restore abortion rights, demilitarize and camera the police, get background checks for guns, and reduce carbon pollution. There ya go - the Progressive Agenda in a nutshell (do note that restricting freedom, creating dependency, or stealing all our golfs is not on the list. Sorry - maybe next election cycle). And, except for the last one, pretty much the Australian Agenda too. Though credit where credit is due; I've been telling everyone that the USA would get gay marriage before we did. Two more years for us.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

In Memoriam: Nathan Ginn

My good friend Nathan Ginn passed away this week. He had struggled with heart problems for many years, which can only be described as ironic because he was one of the most open, welcoming, and charitable people I've ever known.

He was a steadfast and true friend to me for over thirty years. Let me give you example of what I mean by friendship: as an atheist, I obviously could not get married in a church. Nathan got himself ordained over the internet (in the Church of the Whole Life, I believe) so that he could perform the marriage. But that's only the half of it; when that one didn't take, Nathan did it again. How many men will you marry you twice? If that's not friendship, I don't know what is. Sara and I got married in the Rose Garden in the park, by the power vested in Nathan Ginn by the State of Arizona, and the shattered pieces of my life were made whole again. By the power vested in Nathan Ginn.


Nathan Ginn, playing his greatest role as "Priestly Officiant", in "The Wedding"

We met in karate class at the UofA and trained together for the next 20 years. We ran up and down the three flights of stairs of the UofA parking garage for what felt like 10 of them. He made movies, both as a producer and an actor. He made people happy. I still remember dinner at this mother's house as the only time I've ever actually enjoyed Chinese food.

Goodbye, Nathan. See on you on the other side of the veil.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gold Throne in Shadow cover

Gene Mollica has produced the next World of Prime cover, and it's on fire... literally.


Apparently, Lalania was not satisfied with the innkeeper's accommodations

I am thrilled to get the "yellow" effect for this book, just like we had the "white" for the last one. Look for the book in October, when the leaves are turning red and gold. Well, in half of the world, at least.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Kudos to Ireland

A historic first: gay marriage approved by the direct will of the people. And from the most Catholic country in the world (even more Catholic than Italy, oddly enough).

A red-letter day for history. Expect to see rainbow-colored shamrocks on your Google banner this time next year.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My first Australian publishing credit (uncredited)

My work-mate Russell and I wrote a headline and sent it to The Shovel, which is Australia's version of The Daily Show if TDS were a web magazine.

Tony Abbott “Sick And Tired” Of Being Held To First World Standards

The Shovel 

To really get the joke you have to have seen the news article where Abott complained about being lectured to by the UN on human rights treatment of refugees.

This writing gig was unpaid and uncredited (which seems fair for 12 words) but who knows? It could lead to bigger things. Why if I play my cards right I could impress a big-shot literary agent and get the attention of a few publishers!