Thursday, November 5, 2015

Review of GTiS

A great review from I particularly appreciate that they recognized the world is gritty, even while it's not dark. There are nice people in my world, even if they do suck your brains out after you die.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

My house is haunted?

Parnormal Investigation at a house in Ohio that has been rumored to be haunted for years, but is it?

No, you dolts. No, it is not haunted; that bad smell is probably just a sandwich I left behind while I was playing in the attic. I lived there in the 70's; I still remember mowing that vast and unending front lawn. I would cut designs into the grass and then go to the balcony window to admire them.

It's a very old house; it had a coal chute in the basement and the kitchen was tacked on years after the original construction. Inside it had cherry wood baseboards and door jambs that had, over the years, been covered in cheap paint.

My mom threw the greatest Halloween party ever there. Guests came in through the basement - there's a door cut into the hill that leads to the street - and walked through the entire dark, dingy Victorian era basement that we had decorated. I was playing a corpse in the coal chute; when a group came through I would suddenly leap up and wave a bloody knife. My sister's friend Carla screamed so loud I thought the windows would break.

We had peeled grapes and gloves with sticky fingers in the tight passageways, and everything else you could imagine. Mom was an artist, after all, and she went all out on this project. It was the best Halloween ever.

Thanks, mom. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Well it's finally the 13th in the USA, so my book is out now. Yay! Of course we Australians got it yesterday. But we're cool - we won't spoil the ending for you.

Gold Throne in Shadow

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

SF Crow's Nest gave me a promising review. Sounds like they might read the next one!
"...leaving the reader eager for the next chapter in this story." SF Crow's Nest

Saturday, October 10, 2015

An interview at Civilian Reader, worth reading if you didn't know I could bake a cake.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pyr is giving away copies of GTiS on Goodreads. And even Aussies can enter!

Goodreads Giveaway

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!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Is this chutzpa, karma, or irony?

Noted anti-Obamacare activist Sheriff Mack now has a GoFundMe page to raise money to cover... his medical bills.

The best part are the comments and the donations, which are utterly dominated by liberals and progressives telling Mr. Mack just how foolish he has been... and then donating money anyway.

I love those people. They are leading by example, showing Mack in the most unambiguous way how to be a better person. Unfortunately, I can't join them, as my own private code of ethics prevents me from giving money to scammers, and past history tells me that anything any RWNJ does is always, always, always a scam for money.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Something else Obama and I have in common

I loved Spock.

When I was a kid I barely tolerated that loud-mouthed, pushy. manic-depressive buffoon of a captain. Spock was quite literally the only adult on the show. At one point he explains to Dr. McCoy, "It's not that I don't have emotions, Dr. Its that I don't let them control my actions." (OK I can't find this quote, but I certainly remember it, so it is an accurate impression of what I thought Spock was all about).

Spock was a role model for all nerds. We knew that our intellect would always be subordinate to some hairy ape's power lust, but at least Spock showed us we could be cool while we did it.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wow. The mask has been slipping a lot more these days, but rarely does it fall onto the floor and shatter:
Only [raise the minimum wage] if you want to rip the first rung in the ladder of opportunity for teenagers, for minorities, for people who are trying to get into the job market for their first job.

California Republican Rep. Tom McClintock  on Rawstory

I cannot figure what he is saying here. Is he simply equating minorities with teenagers and first-time job seekers - i.e. untrained, unskilled, and unworthy of real careers until they prove themselves? Is he just admitting the existence of white male privilege, since they get to skip the first rung on the ladder? Are these three separate categories, or merely different ways of describing the same category - since teenagers are obviously first-time job seekers, did he mean that category to reflect the first or is it meant to refer to housewives seeking employment after raising their children?

Can anyone think of a interpretation that doesn't make McClintock look like a monster?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

More sightings!

I really like these photos, because I have never actually seen my book on a store shelf, what with living Down Under and all:

Spotted at Changing hands in downtown Phoenix, with the covers already facing out. :)

Thanks, A.B.! (You should also check out her blog; she's a more prolific writer than I am, both in books produced and blog posts about books.)