Category Archives: Junk Thought

Rejection Selection

BAENHaving received an absolutely-expected rejection letter from Baen has brought mixed feelings.

Tossing a work into the slush pile of one of the major publishers is – given the number of submissions they receive and the amount of time they have to consider each work – an utter lottery. Art is subjective, even pulpy art, and good work can simply miss the right set of eyes.

That said, I got a nice little personal note (beyond the standard form letter copy/paste) indicating there was genuine interest. It may not have made the final cut, but someone over at Baen flagged my first attempt at a novel as a real possibility for publication, and, as we stagger out of 2016, that’s enough to feel like a minor victory.

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It’s that dream again. He’s wielding the sword in wide loops, and it feels comfortable in his grip, its hilt so familiar in his hands that he almost believes it his friend. The damned smiling man is also there. He does not seem impressed. He never is. In a single motion the smirker draws his pistol, fires.

His slumbering death is quick, and he awakens again in the bar. He’s got a job to do; not a pleasant one, perhaps, but he’s got mouths to feed and Jabba doesn’t like lost cargo. It’s him though – that damned smiling man – and again he draws and fires before the sleeper might enact his own murderous intentions.

The man awakens to a dark room. What will stop these dreams? He must wipe the smile from that damned face – and he thinks he knows how. Pulling at the rigging that holds his prosthetic arm in place, he reviews his plans for Kimble’s wife.

The Fugitive: The One-Armed Man

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Dream Log: Handsy

Skeleton Hand
Strange dream last night. I can remember only the seconds before I woke, but I seem to have had a series of stressful adventures leading to a small gathering of friends I don’t actually know in the real world.

“That was a close one,” I said.

“Yeah – but look at this!” answered the fellow on my left, and we all turned in his direction. He was holding his wrist with his right hand while everything above his grip – fingers, palm, everything – had been stripped to the bone. We were stunned.

“Sure,” replied the guy on my right, “but look at this!”

My second friend was also holding his wrist, but there was flesh only above his grip – the rest of him was bare skeleton.

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Acid Redux or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Reboot

Tremors Reboot?


I am having some serious and complicated feelings around the notion of a Tremors television reboot actually starring Mr. Kevin Bacon.

Let me use this as an excuse to launch sideways into a personal theory, however.

As we approach Max Reboot – that point at which we have effectively run out of popular or cult franchises to contemporize – we are marching ever closer to our own time period. No longer content to CGI up the 1960s with Planet of the Apes and Star Trek, this announcement and last year’s TMNT abomination leave me feeling like the needle is now firmly somewhere in the ’90s.

There were 5 years between Spider-Man 3 (2007) and The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) – it seems like there was once a time when a project that big took that long just to make.

Will they even pause in the yearly cycle of Hunger Games movies before starting over at the beginning?

That said, don’t panic: Our escape route is obvious.

Eventually the needle will creep so far forward that some Hollywood suit will stumble across the notion of “rebooting a film that isn’t even out yet – refining an open palette, capturing something that hasn’t quite been seen before, tweaking the concepts of the genre without the limitations of a preconceived structure,” and we’ll be back to producing original ideas.

Either that, or the Chrononaut Division will have to start pitching scripts.


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Dancing’s for Another Day

It's true


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Children of Spock

Listen: A man of our age has left us. A man with enough charisma and talent to boldly step onto a television stage with large prosthetic ears while still selling the notion that he was the most serious being on screen.

Nimoy did not stand alone in creating Spock, many folks had their hands on the scripts and concepts that went into the character, but it says something that the he didn’t simply hold aloft his meal ticket and spend the rest of his life napping once Star Trek had left the air and entered legend.

In Search OfIn Search Of often comes up, but many remember him for his writing, his comic creations, and his photography. Here was a man who was willing to look at what was considered strange and alien with respect, and welcome it with open arms. In an age when we flew star ships on strings and leveled nuclear weapons at members of our own species, he worked to make familiar that which was alien. In an age when body shaming was an accepted standard, he risked his reputation to take photos that demonstrated the beauty outside the supposed ideal.

He sung about Tolkien characters, and he created comics with concepts gleaned from Isaac Asimov: He was a man who would not rest on the easy thing, a man who would try something new.

Yet, here we are, nearly fifty years after he first donned the ears, still retreading the ideas of a previous century. Still building sequels to reboots of re-imaginings.

It’s sad that he’s gone, yes – but death is a cycle that allows us to move forward. We should remember the past, we should learn from it, and then we should work to surpass it.

We can not say exactly what Nimoy would have done if he’d had another ten years, but we can take his lesson and perhaps skip Star Trek the Next Next Generation Part 3 with the intention of creating something new.

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The Many Deaths of Mœbius

Mœbius - detail from C'est du LuxI’m witnessing the future happen before my eyes. When I was a youth the ground was thick with death rumours regarding the celebrities of the time. I seem to recall Marilyn Manson having died at least thrice of overdose, and Eddie Murphy was, I believe, in at least one fatal car crash. It was easy for this sort of thing to get started, as the internet’s connectivity and ease of verification was just beginning to filter down into high school libraries. It was, strangely, often up to radio hosts to dispel such folklore.

These days, however, I’ve begun to see a situation that’s almost the opposite: The permanency of online data has brought us a strange sort of immortality, and made our deaths evergreen content. This past week I’ve seen a resurgence of woe over the passing of Mœbius/Jean Giraud, an event that happened back in 2012. For reasons probably related to minimizing dates on headlines to maximize site visits, the io9 announcement of his death has begun to circulate as if it happened in recent days.

It’s likely something in his legendary status – not quite a household name, but certainly well known – that causes the issue. No singular media event let us know he departed – no radio jockey has dispelled his existence – so now he simply lives, and dies, in shared Facebook postings.

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We Are All The Same Inside

Burger King - Proud Burger - We Are All The Same Inside
In theory I’m behind the Proud Whopper, Burger King’s attempt to align themselves with the LGBTQ community. The more love the better – but, well, I find there’s something weird about the message (pictured above) inside the wrapper.

“We’re all the same inside:” it seems to say, “Meat. Fatty, flame licked meat to be consumed in the unending mastication of the plastic faced King who rules our land.”

Er, or maybe that’s just me.

Do Not Open Dead Inside

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