Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Book Review: Before They Are Hanged

Joe Aberrcombie’s Before They Are Hanged published recently, I finished reading it recently, and posted my review. I loved it and think Joe’s writing improved with the second book in his First Law Trilogy. How the full story will be told remains to be seen, but if the third volume manages to keep pace with The Blade Itself and Before They Are Hanged, then I (and other folks who’ve been following) will be in for a really doozy of a read. Hell, I wouldn’t put it past Joe to up the ante with third book, he just seems like that kind of guy.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Book Review-Starship: Mercenary & Writerly Quandary

Another Monday, another one of my book reviews goes up at SFFWorld. This time, it is the third book in Mike Resnick's Starship saga - Starship: Mercenary. On the whole I liked it, and thought it was an entertaining read, but have mild reservations.

I'm in a bit of a quandary with my writing right now - I'm torn between two projects. One is a novel I completed a couple of years ago and read and marked up after letting it sit for about a year. I know it needs work, but I really believe in the potential of the characters and the story. The book falls into the Urban Fantasy / Supernatural Fantasy subgenre.

The other writing project vying for my fictional writing attention is something I started a couple of months ago. I outlined the sucker, did some character biographiess, and set up some plot points I know I want to hit along the way. This one is much farther from completion, but I am hesitant to abandon it, even for just a week. I would best describe it as post-apocalyptic fantasy and I think (and hope) I'm doing some interesting things in the story.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The End of an Era

It's the end of an era, so to speak as my career as a Marketing / Business Development Editor / Specialist in the Engineering Consulting industry has come to a close. At least for now, the old adage of never say never is a truth in which I find myself believing. I spent just about five years in the industry through a strange set of circumstances and it is scary how quickly those five years flew in my life. I met some really interesting, strange, brilliant, eccentric , funny, kind, amazing, and wonderful people, some of whom, I hope to keep in touch with in the future. Some people who may be reading this know to whom I refer, whether an acquaintance or those reading it directly.

Now; however, I'm going back to the publishing industry. Essentially the rots of where I began my true professional career. There were many things I enjoyed about the publishing industry, and since I'm an admitted biblioholic, I'm thrilled to be going back to my roots. Granted, the last publishing job I had kind of chewed me up and spit me out, but the situation was completely different than what it is now. Since then, I've grown both emotionally and intellectually and am eager to face this next challenge in my life.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that the new job is the next town over from where I live, cutting my commute by 2/3. This is great because it will allow me (hopefully) more time to devote to my writing.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Things You Probably Didn't Need To Know About Me

Things You Probably Didn't Need To Know About Me
Source: the source of all of my memes, the Hornswoggler, the great Antimucker!

1. What is in the back seat of your car right now?
Nothing, aside from the seats themselves.

2. When was the last time you threw up?
Probably about two years ago when I got really drunk on B&B, Jack Daniels, Rum, Beer and Vodka. I was stressed and decided I could drink all of the straight from the bottle.

3. What's your favorite curse word?

4. Name 3 people who made you smile today?
My wife, a co-worker, and probably the guy at Dunkin Donuts because he finally got my order correct.

5. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?
Pulling into the parking lot at work, which is last time I will have done that for this job. Today is my last day here; I start a new job on Monday.

6. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Checking my work e-mail for the last time here.

7. What will you be doing 3 hours from now?
Probably saying goodbyes to people here who I like.

8. Have you ever been to a strip club?

9. What is the last thing you said aloud?
“This fucking cell phone sucks!”

10. What is the best ice cream flavor?
Edy’s French Silk

11. What was the last thing you had to drink?
Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla Coffee.

12. What are you wearing right now?
Jeans, Green Polo Shirt.

13. What was the last thing you ate?
Bagel and cream cheese.

14. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?
No, but I did get a free SoCo hat at the bar last night..

15. When was the last time you ran?
I can’t recall. If I need to get somewhere that fast, I’ll probably get in my car.

16. What's the last sporting event you watched?
NJ Devils game, as they beat the Maple Leafs. Damn Canadians and their improper plurals.

What happened to 17?
It doubled and became 34.

18. Who is the last person you emailed?
A colleague at SFFWorld asking him to look over a review I just finished writing.

19. Ever go camping?
No, I'm spoiled by the simple luxury of running water.

20. Do you have a tan?

Ok, now what happened to 21, 22 & 23????
New Brunswick, New Brunswick/Linden, & Linden

24. Do you drink your soda from a straw?
I don’t drink soda.

25. What did your last IM say?
I haven’t IM’d in over five years, I couldn’t possibly say.

26. Are you someone's best friend?

27. What are you doing tomorrow?
Writing, food shopping, and going to my Godson’s “Rock ‘n Roll” party.

28. Where is your mom right now?
At work dealing selling dental tools.

29. Look to your left, what do you see?
A shelf with engineering proposals.

30. What color is your watch?
Black Band white face with NJ Devils Log.

31. What do you think of when you think of Australia?

32. Would you consider plastic surgery?

33. What is your birthstone?
The most boring birthstone of them all; the Topaz.

34. Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?

35.How many kids do you want?
Not sure.

36. Do you have a dog?
Not yet.

37. Last person you talked to on the phone?
My wife when my cell phone crapped out back in question #9..

38. Have you met anyone famous?
I’ve met a couple baseball players; however, the most famous person I probably met was Sebastian Bach former lead singer of Skid Row.

39. Any plans today?
Finish of my last day here at the “old job,” pick up some Guinness on the way home, eat pizza with Mrs. Blog ‘o Stuff and probably watch the NJ Devils game.

40. How many states have you lived in?

41. Ever go to college?
Just about every day for five years. (Rutgers University 1997)

42. Where are you right now?
My workstation/office/cubicle at work.

43. Biggest annoyance in your life right now?

44. Last song listened to?
Clenching the Fists of Dissent by Machinehead.

46. Are you allergic to anything?
I was allergic to mosquito bites when I was a wee lad, but I think I got over that. Nothing else, well except maybe stupid people.

47. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
My Godzilla Feet slippers.

48. Are you jealous of anyone?
Who isn’t?

50. Is anyone jealous of you?
The poor soul.

51. What time is it?
About that time.

52. Do any of your friends have children?
Just about all of them.

53. Do you eat healthy?
If I could eat steak every day I could, so no I don’t

54. What do you usually do during the day?
Work, write, eat sleep.

55. Do you hate anyone right now?
Not that I personally know.

56. Do you use the word 'hello' daily?
Hello. There, I just did.

58. How old will you be turning on your next birthday?
See question number 17.

59. Have you ever been to Six Flags?
We here in Jersey call it Great Adventure, but yes. At least once a year it seems, plus I had a season pass with some friends right after we were graduted from high school.

60. How did you get one of your scars?
I fell down some stairs when I was a wee lad, which explains the scar on my forehead. I tried to use a whip when I was a teenager and scarred my chin. (J/K)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

RIP Gary Gygax

It has been many years since I've really played a good round of Dungeons & Dragons, aside from a recent attempt with my brother-in-law, but those rounds and adventures will always be a fond remembrance. Those rounds of dice rolling, character generation, and late night monster fighting helped to set me on my path to geekdom.

So it is with sadness that I mention the passing of Gary Gygax, the "father of the role-playing game."

Monday, March 03, 2008

Thundering Disappointment

What happens when you (by you I mean me) read a book that has a great advance buzz and you (I) have to write a review? Well, the review I posted today happens. The book in question is Felix Gilman’s Thunderer and it just did not work for me. I realize I’m probably the odd one out here, check out Robert’s (Fantasy Book Critic) glowing review, Jeff VanderMeer’s review or the discussion topics at SFFWorld and Westeros where most of the comments are praise.

I hemmed and hawed for a week or so before committing to writing the review. However, the publisher sent me the book, so I feel I had a responsibility to write and post the review.