The Origins Of A Story

It all started with the phrase "Shep­herd­stown is overrun with were­wolves." This fact was reported to me semi-humorously, prob­ably about 10 years ago now, by my father in law as being some­thing that he had been told in deadly earnest. It's a rather unique idea and it stuck with me. I didn't really have any idea what to do with it, I just loved the notion that a small town in the middle of West Virginia was inhab­ited by were­wolves. Urban Fantasy In A Rural Setting? It was a couple of years later that things started to come together. I had read a few Urban Fantasy series by then, enjoying some more than others. Certainly I was easily familiar with their tropes.

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ZombieMart — Part 3) Zombies! (1st Draft)

If you are looking for good life advice, one thing I can offer you is that you should never let your­self become trapped on top of storage racks in a ware­house while surrounded by green zombie producing mist. It's a bit specific I suppose, but I think it holds true for everyone. While working night shift at Super­mart 13 isn't exactly what you'd call fun, I can honestly say it had never been this unpleasant before.  Admit­tedly up here on top of the shelves I was prob­ably fairly safe. I don't imagine zombie training involves much climbing. It's more about biting things and moaning prob­ably. But I had two imme­diate worries. The first was that the shelving I was standing on  was now completely surrounded by the increas­ingly foul smelling green mist.

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Comic Book Review: Star Wars #1 by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday

Ever since Disney bought Lucas­film comic book fans have been waiting for Star Wars to return to home.  The very first licensed Star Wars comics were produced by Marvel so there is a nice symmetry to this, though we shouldn't dismiss the fine work done by Dark Horse with the fran­chise over the years. So how does the new Star Wars #1 stack up against previous comics? Is this a must buy, or just another cheap cash in? A-List Creators Say This Book Matters Just based on the talent that Marvel is throwing at the book, I'd say they aren't just cashing in. Jason Aaron may not be a house­hold name outside of comics circles but his work for Marvel on Thor and Wolverine is very highly regarded as is his Vertigo series Scalped. John Cassaday mean­while is an Eisner award winning penciller. In short Marvel has put A-list talent on a licensed title which is very unusual.

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The History of Science Fiction Part 12: 1960 –1969 — Books

We finally reach the 1960s in my explo­ration of science fiction and again due to the amount of activity I will be split­ting this decade up to cover different media, starting here with books. Beyond Pulp By the 1960s the pulp maga­zines that had supported the genre and surfaced so many authors were largely gone. Science Fiction maga­zines had tran­si­tioned to a digest format but there were far fewer of them, around 6 in the US during the decade. They continued to publish signif­i­cant stories (including the first publi­ca­tion of Dune as Dune World in Analog) but paper­back novels were now the primary format for science fiction and fantasy stories. Though at this point the output was predom­i­nantly science fiction. Fantasy had not yet had it's big boom and while there were a number of notable novels, the quan­tity is extremely small when compared to those on the science fiction side of the fence. A New Wave Arrives During the early 1960s and contin­uing into the 1970s there was a radical shift in science fiction. While previ­ously the emphasis for sci-fi stories had been action, adven­ture and science (some of it accu­rate, some not) this New Wave of science fiction de-emphasized the hard science and took a much greater interest in poli­tics, soci­ology and all sorts of soft science.

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Book Review: Archer: Book One of The Long Game by Richard Rohlin

The second story I'm reviewing for the #GreatIndieRe­view­Pro­ject is Archer: Book One of The Long game by Richard Rohlin (and edited by Benjamin Feehan). It's a pulp styled super­hero novella full of costumed heroes out for justice. It's also the first part of a larger series and as such there are a fair number of unre­solved elements, but the story as told here does feel reason­ably complete. Basi­cally what we get is the origin story of Roger Fitzooth and how he changes from a spoilt playboy into a costumed hero driven to bring his father and his company down. Cliches vs. Tropes [amazon template=image&asin=B00DE1A4MQ]Archer leans very heavily on familiar super­hero and pulp tropes.  The idea of the super­hero whose public iden­tity is that of a playboy is a trope for example, as is the type of hero that Roger becomes, an Archer.

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Zombiemart — Part 2) Assault On Supermart 13 (1st Draft)

I watched it for a moment as Bethany continued to tell me just how unpleasant she found the smell to be. The fog spread out slowly, hugging the ground as it did so. So it was heavier than air then. As the cloud grew, the stench grew stronger confirming the obvious connec­tion between the two. Several other blue clad employees appeared, no doubt also looking for the source of the smell. They hung around looking confused and useless, prob­ably much like I was, until Maggie arrived to take charge. By this point the fog had grown notice­ably, if still very slowly. “When I find out which of you jokers did this, there will be hell to pay.

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Book Review: The Evolutionary Void by Peter F. Hamilton

I really love Peter F. Hamilton's stories. I've read most of his books and even his short story collec­tion A Second Chance at Eden. So it's prob­ably fair to say that I am a biased reviewer of his books. It's also not a surprise that I enjoyed The Evolu­tionary Void. But the book (and the trilogy) had some prob­lems. The Evolu­tionary Void is the final part of a trilogy of books that Hamilton has written about what's referred to as the Common­wealth Universe. This following on from a duology where he intro­duced the setting.

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Fiction, Reviews and Geekery