Thursday, May 26, 2016

DC Is Desperately Trying to Ruin "Watchmen"

DC Universe: Rebirth #1 by Gary Frank, Source: DC Comics
[Major Spoiler for DC Universe: Rebirth follows.]

DC Universe: Rebirth is a relaunch by DC Comics in 2016 of its entire line of superhero comics. In case you're not familiar with New 52 (hoo-boy), New 52 in 2011 was an initiative intended to reboot all of DC, and start over. Characters like Superman were depicted as just starting out, instead of having been around for decades. Other characters like Batman were relatively unchanged. Not everyone was happy with the changes, especially Superman fans who were disappointed he wasn't romancing Lois Lane. DC Rebirth is intended to restore the DC Universe to its pre-New 52 self, while still incorporating some popular elements of The New 52. That's the part we all knew.

But at the end of DC Rebirth #1, readers were shocked by an unexpected twist. It was revealed that New 52 wasn't caused by the 2011 Flashpoint crossover changing history as previously depicted. Instead, it was caused by Dr. Manhattan. Yes, that Dr. Manhattan. From Watchmen.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About Doomsday

Source: Warner Bros/DC
He isn't Superman's oldest or most well-known enemy outside the comics (at least until he appeared in Batman v Superman), but he is one of Superman's greatest. He's one of the only villains who can match and even exceed Superman physically. He's also one of the few enemies who has actually killed Superman (at least temporarily). We're talking about Doomsday, the powerhouse alien warrior who has fought Superman on many occasions, and Superman physically cannot defeat. Here are some fun facts you may not have known about the Ultimate Enemy.

Friday, March 4, 2016

It's Surprisingly Easy to Make New Age Inspirational Quotes

Freedom is the driver of passion. Sharing is the nature of divinity, and of us. You may be ruled by greed without realizing it. Without awareness, one cannot exist.
Who do you think wrote that? Deepak Chopra? The Dalai Lama?

Nope.

It was written by a computer program. More specifically, the New Age B.S. Generator.

The creator wrote: "After sitting through hours of New Age rhetoric, I decided to have a crack at writing code to generate it automatically and speed things up a bit. I cobbled together a list of New Age buzzwords and cliché sentence patterns and this is the result." All you have to do is click "renergize electrons" and it will generate a page of text that seems really deep and profound, but means literally nothing. That's where the above text came from.

The odd thing is that, even knowing it's junk, it's still kind of easy to read the B.S. and see it as something deep and profound. You've probably seen quotes like it on Facebook or Twitter, where people like and share it without really understanding what it means. In fact, a study was done at the University of Waterloo to see who exactly is falling for this stuff.

They had 800 subjects rate real quotes from people like Deepak Chopra (who wrote "The true self is non-local"), random quotes (like "by blossoming, we dream") and even ordinary statements (like "newborn babies require constant attention"). The participants had a hard time distinguishing between real and fake quotes, and rated a large number of them profound, including the ordinary statements. According to the Huffington Post:
They found that people who are receptive to this kind of "pseudo-intellectual b------t" are less intelligent than those who aren't. The study also found that they tend to have strong religious beliefs, are not reflective and are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, alternative medicine and the paranormal.
In other words, about who you would expect.

A computer spouting garbage is equivalent to a highly trained New Age guru. That's actually kind of deep and profound for real.

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

New Release: "Little Green Men #1: Better Homes and Aliens"

Those who read Flying Saucers and the followup Call Center of Doom may have been left with unanswered questions. What happened to Jeffrey Foster after he saved the world and left Earth? What happened to Rygel Poxio after he rebelled against the Xenon Empire and fled his homeworld? And how did the Xenon Empire handle the news that Earth had rebelled their initial invasion?

All answers will be revealed. Gradually.

Today begins the launch of what will ultimately be the Flying Saucers Trilogy. There will be two three-part series released, the first of which is Little Green Men. Part one is live today, subtitled "Better Homes and Aliens." Here's the description:
Saving the world was just the beginning... 
Jeffrey Foster thought saving the world from an alien invasion would be the high point of his life. Now he just wants to find a nice place in the Galaxy to settle down. But he's unaware that the Xenon Empire plans to send its deadliest warlord back to destroy the Earth. Will Jeffrey turn his back on his home world? Or will he interrupt his favorite HoloVision show to save the day? And can he find some alien food that won't make him gag? 
You can download it on Amazon today. It will also be available at major retailers like Apple and Nook in a few days. Stay tuned.

You can also read an excerpt from the novella previously released here.

Update: Now available on iTunes | Nook | Kobo | Inktera | Scribd

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

"Call Center of Doom" is Now Free...Except on Amazon

The good news is that my comedy/scifi novella Call Center of Doom is now available for free on six major ebook retailers. The bad news is it's still 99-cents on Amazon.

You may be wondering why. The answer is Amazon. Unlike all the other ebook retailers, Amazon doesn't allow you to permanently set a book's price to free. There are only two ways to get a free book on Amazon. One is to make the book exclusive to Amazon for ninety days and offer it for free for five days out of the ninety. The other way is to make the book free on other retailers and try to get Amazon to match it. I tried the latter with my short story "Man Overboard." After three months of nagging everyone I could to contact Amazon and get them to price match, I finally got the price dropped to free. And then six months later, Amazon put it back to 99-cents. So I'm done trying to get Amazon to price match.

Description
Rygel Poxio is an alien who works in the deadliest call center in the universe. His job is to call Earthlings to ask (hypothetically) if they would surrender to his Empire in exchange for a free car or iPod. And then they get added to a list of future slaves for a coming invasion. When he has a crisis of conscience, Rygel must find a way to save the world. Set in the same universe as my novel, Flying Saucers.

If you want Call Center of Doom on Amazon, it will be 99-cents. Everywhere else, it's free.

Go to the following:
Barnes and Noble/Nook | iTunes | Kobo | Scribd | Inktera | Oyster

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I Wish There Was an "Uber For Writers"

Apple iPad Event03.jpg

I needed some extra cash, so I recently tried to get part-time work by joining Uber, the infamous app that allows anyone to become a taxi driver. You sign up, and other people who need a ride just send out where they are and where they need to go, and if you're available, you show up and give them a ride. "Someone wants a ride from Chandler AZ to Scottsdale AZ in 30 minutes!" I couldn't join because my car is over ten years old (those sticklers). Meanwhile, my wife (who's a massage therapist) joined Soothe, which is like Uber for massage therapists. Anyone who wants a massage sends out the order, and she can show up to fill it. "Someone wants a 90-minute Swedish massage in Scottsdale, AZ at 12:30 PM!" The freedom and convenience of being able to get work when you want it, where you want, is something I envy. On-demand work has a lot of benefits.

It made me wish there was an Uber for writers. I wish there was an app where people wanted short stories, and would send out requests. I'd be sitting at home and get a message on the app. "Someone wants a 5,000-word science fiction short story in Tempe, AZ by 2 AM!" I'd pound it out on my PC, and upload the story. But I don't think people want writing that badly. Or do they? Someone get to work on that.

Image Source: "Apple iPad Event03" by matt buchanan - originally posted to Flickr as Apple iPad Event. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.

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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cover Reveal: "Justice for All (The Outcast Book #1)"

I'm proud to be part of the cover reveal for P.T. Dilloway's new novel, Justice For All. Here it is!

Justice for All (The Outcast Book #1)
by P.T. Dilloway

Description: Robin Howe was a normal teenager until her police captain father is killed by henchmen of the evil Madame Crimson. When the justice system won't take any action to avenge her father, Robin takes it upon herself. Except her first attempt leaves her nearly dead and with Madame Crimson's people on her tail.

To protect Robin, her father’s former partner gives her a new identity that sends her to St. Martha’s Academy for Young Ladies in rural New Hampshire. There she tries to keep a low profile, which isn’t easy when Madame Crimson’s spoiled daughter Tonya takes a special interest in making Robin’s life there a living hell. Yet when a rival gangster tries to kidnap Tonya, Robin has to embrace her heroic destiny.

Buy the ebook for $3.99 here at Amazon or the paperback for $12.99 from Createspace.

Author bio: Patrick "P.T." Dilloway has been a writer for most of his life. He completed his first story in third grade and received an 'A' for the assignment. Around that time, he was also placed in a local writing contest for a television station, receiving an action figure in lieu of a trophy, thus securing his love with the written word. Since then, he's continued to spend most of his free time writing and editing. In the last twenty years, he's completed nearly forty novels of various genres. When not writing, P.T. enjoys reading and photographing Michigan's many lighthouses. In order to pay the bills, he earned an accounting degree from Saginaw Valley State University in 2000 and for twelve years worked as a payroll accountant in Detroit.

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Pre-Order "Time Junkie" For Only 99-Cents

My next novel is coming out on October 16, 2015, entitled Time Junkie. Here's the description.
"My name is Timothy McGill, and I'm a time travel addict." In a near future, a teenage boy stumbles across krono, a new drug which sends you back in time while you trip out. From the moment he first tries it, Timothy begins a downward spiral into crime and corruption, all while living through the moments that led to his addiction.
While it deals with a teenager, I'm not sure yet if it would qualify as a young adult novel. There's no profanity or sexual situations, but it gets pretty intense with scenes of addiction, domestic abuse, and criminal activities. Then again, The Hunger Games is young adult and has scenes of children being slaughtered in gruesome ways, so maybe the genre is broad enough for it. I dunno.

To get personal for a moment, I have to say this was a real departure for me. I usually write comedy and thrillers, but this is more dramatic and character-driven than I usually do. It forced me to stretch as an author. I found it a really challenging novel to write, and I hope I succeeded.

On October 16, Time Junkie will be $2.99, but you can pre-order it now for only 99-cents. You can also read the first six chapters free on Wattpad.

To hear about my new releases first and get a free book of fifty 100-word short stories, sign up here. Your email will never be shared, and you'll only receive messages about new releases.

Friday, September 11, 2015

I'm About to Read Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One"

I finally got a copy of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. I've been wanting to read this ever since I read the first two chapters of it on io9. It's been on my to-read list for ages, but I never got around to buying a copy. Then I got an award at work for my stats (yeah, that's call center stuff) and they let me go to the prize room (aka. modified broom closet). I was looking around at boxes of candy bars and stress balls, thinking I'd get something for my kids when I saw a bin of actual books. And right there was a copy of Ready Player One.

If you haven't heard of it, it's been described as Willy Wonka meets The Matrix. It's about a future where everyone lives in this virtual world, and the creator of the virtual world offers his entire fortune to anyone who can solve a scavenger hunt in the game. And one kid finds the key to solving it. But the real fun of the novel is that the scavenger hunt is tied in with eighties references, so you have a kid in the year 2144 2044* watching episodes of Family Ties and playing Robotron for clues. Yeah, nostalgia is a thing.

I'm so excited to read this novel that I almost don't want to read it, because then there will be a point when I've already read it.

* Got the date wrong

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Cover Reveal: "Hot Pink in the City" by Medeia Sharif

I'm proud to be part of the cover reveal for Medeia Sharif's new novel, Hot Pink in the City. Here it is!

Cover Reveal

HOT PINK IN THE CITY, Prizm Books
Author: Medeia Sharif
Release date: August 19, 2015

Asma Bashir wants two things: a summer fling and her favorite '80s songs. During a trip to New York City to stay with relatives, she messes up in her pursuit of both. She loses track of the hunk she met on her airplane ride, and she does the most terrible thing she could possibly do to her strict uncle…ruin his most prized possession, a rare cassette tape. A wild goose chase around Manhattan and Brooklyn to find a replacement tape yields many adventures—blackmail, theft, a chance to be a TV star, and so much more. Amid all this turmoil, Asma just might be able to find her crush in the busiest, most exciting city in the world.

Find Medeia – YA and MG Author

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Goodreads   |   Instagram   |   Amazon

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