Just did a really fascinating interview with a project manager. (Surprisingly enough, on commission for a feature in Project Manager magazine). It was fascinating because although this guy came out of the Navy and into mining and marine engineering, almost everything he said was directly applicable to managing a writing career, especially juggling a couple of different projects such as books, columns etc. For once, I'm actually looking forward to transcribing the interview.
I've been following two new shows on Netflix the last couple of weeks. Travelers and Van Helsing. Travelers is the smarter of the two, with a stronger cast and deeper script. It also seems to have more money, given it's clear advantage in production values. But I still enjoy both.
Spoilers follow. (Although mostly conceptual rather than narrative).
Travelers is a simple premise, a reworked cliche of people coming back from the future to prevent bad shit happening. That could be tedious in unskilled hands but it pays off with interest here if you're willing to ignore a couple of difficulties.
The tweak in Travelers is the way they move backwards. Unlike Smith and Cady they don't just conveniently jump into an era. Instead only the conscious mind can travel, and it can only insert itself into the mind/body of another human being, completely overwriting the personality, memories, and life of the previous occupant. For this reason the travelers take over the bodies of people about to die.
The pilot provides a series of WTF mystery moments as this process repeats itself again and again until you figure out what's happening. Things have gone horribly wrong in the far future and it seems all of the dwindling resources of mankind have been devoted to the Traveler program, to sending not just individuals back in time, but whole teams to carry out missions which will change the future and presumably Grandfather Paradox away all the bad mojo.
It could just devolve into a mission of the week series, but it doesn't. One of things that's hooked me is the prosaic difficulties the travelers have taking over the lives of people from hundreds of years in their past. Much of the drama comes not from the purely kinetic adventures, but from the lies they're forced to live and the compromises demanded of them.
It's great. Give it a look.
Van Helsing is different again. Based on a graphic novel it's more gloriously B-Movie inspired, although not as batshit B-grade as, say, Z Nation. A volcanic eruption which blots out the sun allows vampires to come out of the shadows and establish themselves at the top of the food chain. This could set up a standard Walking Dead rip off, except for the eponymous female lead: Vanessa Helsing, a woman bitten and killed in the early moments of the vampire uprising, but one who doesn't turn because of a pre-existing blood disease. Instead she becomes a sort of Buffy/Typhoid Mary imbued with vampire-killing physical skills and, more importantly, blood which is toxic to the biters. It turns them back into humans.
The first couple of eps are a bit wobbly, the acting a little wooden and even splintery, but by about six episodes in, the writers and actors have settled into their roles and it all accelerates nicely. It helps to remember that the source material is a graphic novel and that you should suspend your disbelief just that little bit harder.
But again, it's great escapist fun and well worth bingeing a couple of eps to get into.
11 Responses to ‘Travelers and Van Helsing. (Spoilers)’
I didn't want to build a website. When I decided to test the waters with a subscriber-only column I wanted to keep it as simple as possible.
That idea crashed and burned on the laser turret defences of a couple of corporate firewalls and Gmail's aggresive spam filtering. Apparently too many clusterfuckturduckens in one email means I'm selling time shares in Nigeria.
So, I built an archive. Or rather, Dan did.
Any ASB subscribers can check out all the back issues at aliensideboob.com
Including today's transcript of how that phone call would have gone if Paul Keating had been PM.
17 Responses to ‘Alien Side Boob archive now open to subscribers’
Been a while since we've done one of these check-ins. I've been following Murph's swimming routine, and Jennicki's general awesomeness over on the Book of Face, and every now and then I run into a lean and hungry looking MonsterYuppy on the streets of New Farm. So some of you are fighting the good fight.
Myself, I'm about four kgs overweight and looking to cut that down this year. I had a very heavy publishing schedule last year, getting the ebook business up and running, which meant that I didn't get myself up and running, or lifting weights or doing much of anything that I should have been.
The saving grace? I wasn't drinking last year either, and now that I'm back on the booze, I'm keeping it moderate. I did wonder if that'd be impossible but it turns out that not drinking for a year teaches you how to keep a rein on your thirst.
I've also been grading for my brown belt which has recently meant a lot of ground work and hours and hours of throws. I wish I could wear a fitness tracker onto the mat, but that's verboten so I just have to guestimate the calorie burn. Heaps seems about right. We hit it so hard last Saturday that I couldn't really sleep that night. My body was shaking and aching too much. I felt every one of my 103 years.
Now the kids are back at school I'll revert to my usual routine of going to the gym at lunchtime 2-3 days a week in addition to the jujitsu training. Hopefully, with some chicken salads that'll get me back to my fighting weight by winter.
66 Responses to ‘Burger Lite’
The audiobook of the Stalin's Hammer sequence is out! As a big consumer of audiobooks this makes me very happy, and not just for the royalties coming my way. I had a quick listen to the sample, and it seems pretty fucking schmick.
I've also released the complete series in one volume which I've made free for a couple of days so anyone who bought the individual titles can grab a copy without feeling they've been double-charged.
I've also just pulled the lever for a print on demand copy, so that should be available in a couple of weeks. A Girl in Time has done better than I expected in print, especially given the price, so that's an experiment that seems to be working.
If you're not an Audible customer, you can sneakily get the book for free by trying the service via this link.
I'm mostly working on AlienSideBoob and The Cruel Stars at the moment, but a good result for the Stalin's Hammer collection will set up WW 3.1 nicley.
And you know what garauntees a good result?
You know what you must do.
24 Responses to ‘Stalin's Hammer Complete. Audio and eBook’
Jason Lambright has started a blog. Go bookmark it and read regularly.