Monday, October 17, 2011

Contest Reminder!

Okay, just a reminder about the contest. I'm giving away a free brand-new copy of Dale Brown's book Act of War on Halloween. All you have to do to win it is give me a few names. They don't need to be awesome names. Quantity over quality and that sort of thing. I'd prefer they be either 1800's American, Native American, or Russian.

So let's see what you've got. Send the lists to my email address at

Friday, October 14, 2011

Real Steel

It's Friday! (Don't worry, no Rebecca Black video will start playing that awful song. Seriously, how bad do you have to be to destroy Friday?) Today's movie review is of the new flic Real Steel starring Hugh Jackman and Evangeline Lilly and some seriously cool robot combat.

The movie is set in the near-future, where boxing just wasn't brutal enough for the public. They wanted more. And, because you can add robots to just about anything and make it better, yeah. They came up with robot boxing. (Rock 'em, Sock 'em, eat your heart out)

Hugh Jackman plays a down on his luck robot trainer, who thinks entirely too much of himself for his own good. He's shown ducking people who owe him money, placing bets with money he doesn't have, and then showboating for a pretty girl instead of paying attention while his robot gets owned in Spain's greatest sport, that of bullfighting.

As if that's not enough, we learn very soon that not only is he a deadbeat, but he is a deadbeat dad. For nine years now? Eleven. Oh. Well. Isn't that something. Doesn't even know how old his kid is.

His ex-girlfriend just died, leaving him in custody of his kid, at least until he can figure something out. But what starts as a bad relationship between father and son becomes a pretty good story about how a person can change and how long shots can sometimes pull through. And fighting robots. Did I mention fighting robots?

So, yeah, a good three and a half stars to this one. It's not amazing, and it runs a little long, but it's worth seeing, if for no other reason than that there are fighting robots! Seriously though, it's a good story, and one that you won't regret seeing.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The book of the week this week is Crusade, by Taylor Anderson. Mr. Anderson, welcome back. We've missed, anyway.
The first book in the Destroyermen series was Into the Storm. In it we followed Captain Matt Reddy and his destroyer USS Walker as they fled from the giant battlecruiser Amagi and tried to hide in a storm. Problem is, the storm was some sort of portal or vortex that transferred them to a parallel universe, one in which the land on earth is more or less the same, but the creatures that inhabit it are far different.

Taylor Anderson
Author of Destroyermen Series
Chief among these are the two races, the Lemurians(or as the Destroyermen call them, "the cat-monkey folk") and the Grik. The Lemurians are the good guys, the Grik, a race of savage lizards, are the bad. In the first book Matt Reddy demonstrated what his ship with its technology could mean for the Lemurians, who are fighting a war of survival against the Grik onslaught.

Now, in book 2, Matt Reddy is ready(haha, get it?) to take the fight to the enemy. The Grik have besieged a city on an island relatively close to Baalkpan, the destroyermen's new base of operations. Together with their Lemurian allies they embark on a rescue mission. Only what they find facing them is more than they could have imagined. And, what's worse, it's only the tip of the iceberg.

Great story, a little bit of all the best parts of the Time Machine, The Lost World, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. This book has some great scenes, and one of the things that I like most about it is that even though they left behind the world in which WWII is taking place, there are a lot of parallels between the tow conflicts. For students of history, there is a scene in Crusade that is very reminiscent of MacArthur when he left the Phillipeans under orders from the president to escape the Japanese Juggernaut. It's a very emotional scene, both in the book and the one that happened in real life. Perhaps that's the best praise I can give this book, that the author blends amazing action with well-rounded characters and a touching story.

This series is a must-read for fans of the fantasy genre. It's one of the more original ideas out there.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Contest Update

Ah, sleep deprivation, thou art a heartless wench....

So, it occurred to me that I neglected to mention that the contest will go until Halloween, Oct, 31st, at midnight. Any entry that reaches my inbox before then will be eligible to win the book. Oh, and should you make an entry and then think of more names, that's fine, just send me an e-mail and make sure I know that you've already submitted another e-mail.

Thanks, and good luck!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


So, here's the deal. I'm working on a book right now, and I need names. Lots of names. I want them to be in three categories. American-sounding, Native American-sounding, and Russian-sounding. For the American and Russian ones I'd like both first and last names. Also, for the Native American names, please give me actual names, not names like Dances with Wolves. Looking more for Cherokee type names.

Also, like I said, they just have to sound like these nationalities, but I'd prefer if they were a little different.

Anyway, here's how the contest works. Send me your names( and permission to use them however I see fit) to my e-mail at . Be sure to include your name and mailing address in the e-mail.

Here's what you win:
A brand new paperback edition of Dale Brown's book Act of War! In this fast-paced action story blends technology and fiction into a gripping story about the U.S. under attack from a radical group of eco-terrorists. Just how far are both sides willing to go?

So that's it. Send me your names. There's no limit here. Whoever sends me the most names, regardless of whether or not I use them, wins! It's that simple. Thanks for helping me out, I'll be looking forward to the names!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Back From the Dead

Sooooo. You may have noticed a sharp drop off in the number of posts I've put up in the last few months. That is, more or less, zero. But at least let me explain.

My computer was infected by the zombie virus. Yes, that's right. The zombie apocalypse is upon us.

I first noticed odd bite marks around the keyboard. I didn't think much of it, only that somehow my 3 year-old have developed a taste for plastic and technology.

But within a few hours, I knew I was in trouble.

I tried everything, Norton, McaFee, Windows. Nothing helped. In fact it only seemed to speed up the process. Within two short days my computer was reduced to a withered husk of what it had been, silently drooling out of one of the USB ports.

I thought maybe I could get used to it. After all. It was just a small thing. I should be able to work around it. But you know, there really is no way to get work done on a computer that has turned zombie. When it isn't trying to bite you by slamming the lid to the laptop closed on your fingers it just stares blankly at you.

I tried to get a new computer and soon realized my mistake. No sooner was it out of the box than my old zombified laptop flew across the room and sank its plastic keys into my brand new computer, all the while mumbling something about CPUs....

Anyway, long story short, there really is only one thing to do with a zombified laptop. You have to take a chainsaw and cut the screen off, then burn the remains. I accomplished this for both laptops and for the most part it was successful. Except one of the keys might have broke the skin. I'm sure it's nothing. I'll be fine tomorrow, it was just a late night. That's why I'm tired. Yeah, that's it.

Um.... Brains?