Novel Spaces – “When Dreams Meet Reality”

writerSo, hey! It’s the 16th again, and that means it’s my turn in the spotlight over at the Novel Spaces blog!

Despite the fact that I’m still dashing like a maniac to meet a manuscript deadline (and fumbling and stumbling my away along toward said goal), I managed to switch gears for a few minutes and talk a bit about an interaction I had with a hopeful would-be published author. They had a dream of getting their Star Trek novel published, and they had approached me about how to go about doing that.

Don’t be fooled: despite my editor’s continued tolerance of my dumb ass, getting such a book published is harder than it looks, and getting to that point if you’re just starting out in the business of writing is harder still.

I don’t particularly enjoy having to tell someone that the dream they’re chasing will be harder to catch than they already believe to be true, but sometimes the truth is the best answer. In this case, the discussion was a positive one, and the writer came away motivated to channel their time and energy into writing original fiction and perhaps trying to pursue their Star Trek novel goal after they’ve gotten some experience.

Anyway, all of that seemed to make for good blog fodder, so boom!

Novel Spaces – “When Dreams Meet Reality”

So, if you’ve got a similar idea/dream of writing that Star Trek, Star Wars, or _____ tie-in novel, this seems to be a good place to drop your questions. :)

My Novel Spaces archive.

 

Posted in guest blogging, novel spaces, writing, writing advice | Leave a comment

Help Get the British Star Trek Comic Strips Reprinted!

Last year, current Star Trek comics publisher IDW unleashed a treasure trove of Trekkie comics goodness on a grateful fandom when it published the two-volume Star Trek: The Newspaper Comics, collecting the run of story strips  which ran in a modest number of newspapers belonging to the L.A. Times Syndicate between 1979 and 1983. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that IDW pulled out all the stops for these books, restoring each of the strips (both the black-and-white dailies as well as the full-color Sunday editions) to pristine beauty.


(Click each pic to Biggie Size)

Having read the strip only sporadically as a kid, I didn’t think twice about dropping coin for both books, as the strips represented a long-lost artifact of Star Trek comics history. I certainly wasn’t alone, as pretty much everyone I know who’s at all into this stuff was going after their own copies, too, in the hopes of filling that gap in their collection.

As it turns out, there’s still another hole waiting to be filled, and we have our friends across the pond to thank for it.

TrekStrips1Beginning in 1969, before the original Star Trek series had even aired on British television, Star Trek strips began appearing in the classic comics magazines Joe 90: Top Secret, Tv-21, Valiant, and Mighty TV, and would continue to do so for the next four years. For the most part, most of these strips have never been available in the U.S. Following the effort to collect, restore and publish the L.A. Time Syndicate strips, there were tentative plans to release the British strips in similar fashion, but that no longer appears to be the case.

Rich Handley, founder and editor of Hasslein Books and the man most responsible for shepherding the U.S. strips project from dream to reality, has launched a grassroots campaign to see if this idea might be reconsidered:

Hasslein Books: Help Get the British Star Trek Comic Strips Reprinted

The story has since been picked up in a few different of different places, notably TrekMovie.com and DownTheTube.net, a blog hosted by John Freeman, who is a frequent Star Trek comics and novel reviewer for Star Trek Magazine:

TrekMovie.com: TrekInk – The British Aren’t Coming! The British Aren’t Coming! 

DownTheTubes.net: Fans urged to back campaign to collect British Star Trek comics

Of course, Rich is hoping to get the word spread far and wide, so if you’re a Star Trek fan or a comics fan (or, you know…both), then he’s hoping you might help lend support to his campaign. What do you do? Easy: Contact IDW, and tell them you’re interested in seeing this project come to fruition:

Contact IDW via e-Mail
Post on their Facebook page
Talk to them on Twitter

Hey, you never know, right? Ten years ago, I’d have bet you all the money in my pockets that we’d never see the L.A. Times Syndicate strips. Shows what I know.

Good luck to Rich with his campaign!

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Bucs Blog! 2014 Season, Week 2.

Ten-second runoffs are bullshit.

bucs-logo2014

Rams 19 – Bucs 17

It appears that injuries are already taking their toll on Tampa’s roster and effectiveness on the field. Running back Doug Martin was out, as were two key defensive players and their absence definitely was keenly felt, early and often.

Despite these challenges, the Bucs looked pretty decent in the early going, scoring on the game’s opening possession with a 6-minute, 10-play drive capped by quarterback Josh McCown rushing for the first of his two touchdowns. St. Louis used their first possession to answer with a TD of their own, guided by rookie quarterback Austin Davis making his first-ever NFL start. Davis had a solid first day, going 22 for 29 passes and notching 235 yards in the air, spread across eight different receivers. The Bucs defense managed to get to him twice, but Davis hung tough all afternoon to guide the Rams to their first win of the year.

Despite some critical blunders (an interception, a blocked field goal and punt, a few costly penalties, etc.) the Bucs were in it all the way, really. The final drive was a heartbreaker, with Tampa wide receiver getting injured just as the Bucs moved into Rams territory. Though the play actually ended with 12 seconds left, the officials didn’t realize Evans was injured for four more seconds. With the yards gained on the play, in most circumstances they would be in position to try for a (48 yards, in this case) field goal attempt, but that wasn’t happening. With the injury, the officials had to stop the game clock so Evans could be helped off the field. By rule, that scenario triggers a 10-second runoff, and in this case that wiped out any chance the Bucs might’ve had.

So, while it’s not like the Bucs didn’t have their chances to put the game away before this critical moment, still…you know…ugh.

The loss drops Tampa to 0-2, heading into a short week before taking on division rival Atlanta on Thursday night. Those same Falcons notched their first loss today, so they’ll be looking to tip the scales back toward the winning side. Elsewhere in the NFC South, the Saints lost, dropping them to o-2, and the Carolina Panthers are sitting on top at 2-0. Hopefully the Bucs can turn things around quickly, or else it’s going to be getting really ugly in that division really fast.

:: sigh :::

Posted in bucs, football | 2 Comments

Happy Breakaway Day!

Celebrating the 15th anniversary!

September 13th, 1999: And you thought your day at the office sucked.

You’d think there’d be a market for nerdy celebration days like this.

Try to get out and enjoy it!

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The Batcave Podcast, Episode 23!

Holy recorded media, Batman! It’s an all new episode of The Batcave Podcast!

Host John S. Drew continues his review of the classic 1960s Batman television series starring Adam West and Burt Ward, and for the second season’s fifth story (and ninth and tenth episodes), he’s joined by writer/podcaster/audio drama extraordinaire Jay Smith, he of such awesomeness as HG World and Hidden Harbor Mysteries, as they revisit the episodes that introduce Bat-fans to one of the Caped Crusader’s lesser-known nemeses in  “The Greatest Mother of Them All” and “Ma Parker”

From John’s write-up:

“Ma Parker has made a name for herself throughout the United States as one of the most difficult to capture criminals. When she sets her sights on Gotham City, it doesn’t take the Dynamic Duo long to round her and her “boys” up, depositing them in Gotham State Penitentiary. In fact, it seems a little too easy. What is her grand scheme and will Batman figure it out?”

Tune in to see what John and Jay thought of these episodes: “The Greatest Mother of Them All/Ma Parker

Posted in batcave podcast, feelin' nostalgic, friends, nerdity, podcasts, tv | Leave a comment

Star Trek: Seekers contest – We have winners!

I know at least a handful of you have been sitting on pins and needles, waiting to discover the outcome of this legen…….wait for it…….dary contest celebrating the launch of the all-new Star Trek: Seekers novel series, which included the publication of Point of Divergencewhich of course followed the release of Second Nature by our partner in mischief, Mr. David Mack.

seekers-covers-1and2

So, what was the deal? Well, we thought it was pretty easy: Kevin and I put together a short trivia test with questions drawn from the first two Seekers books. Readers and fans were encouraged to send their answers to said questions to me, and those who correctly answered all of the questions were eligible to receive one these super awesome posters autographed by David, Kevin, and myself, along with our cover artist and creator of said poster, Rob Caswell:

seekers-promo-image

First, here are the questions and their answers:

Seekers #1: Second Nature -
1. Which member of the U.S.S. Sagittarius crew member sleeps in a sac of regenerative goo?
Answer: Ensign Nizsk

2. What is the name of the Sagittarius‘ land rover used by the landing party on the surface of Nereus II?
Answer: Vixen

3. What is a nickname for the Sagittarius‘ galley? (more than one possible answer)
Answer: “The Unholy Mess” or “Pre-Sickbay”

Seekers #2: Point of Divergence -
4. What Earth food is the young Tomol, Seta, shown enjoying in the U.S.S. Endeavour’s sickbay?
Answer: French fries with ketchup

5. With Starbase 47 no longer in the Taurus Reach, what planet-bound installation serves as an interim port of call for the Sagittarius and the Endeavour, while a new space station is being constructed?
Answer: Starbase 71

6. Per a particular Starfleet admiral, what is the “First Rule of Vanguard?”
Answer: “You do not talk about Vanguard.” (Admiral Nogura)

So, now that we have that out of the way, we need to announce us some winners! A random drawing gives us this list of five lucky folks:

Eli Chapman

Will Combs

Mike Hess

“Johnny Blues”

Alexander Preis

So, hey! Winners! Please email your snail mail address info to me: daytonward AT att DOT net.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks very much to all of you who participated!

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Happy Birthday, Star Trek!

“Space…the final frontier….”

These are the voyages where the legend began, 48 years ago tonight!

As I’ve mentioned on at least four or five million prior occasions, my earliest memories include Star Trek to some degree. I wasn’t old enough to watch the show during its original broadcast run, but I watched the reruns every day after school. I did catch the original run of the cartoon on Saturday mornings, which also is celebrating its own anniversary, having premiered 41 years ago on this same date. Beyond that, I had the Mego figures and that crazy bridge set. I built the AMT models, and I read the occasional Gold Key comic book or poster book or collection of James Blish episode adaptations.

And, of course, there were the reruns. Always, the reruns.

Back then, before VCRs, DVD, iTunes or NetFlix, you had to wait for your favorite episodes to cycle back around in the rotation. I watched the series on a little black and white television and its crappy little antenna as the show was broadcast on a low-power local UHF station in Tampa. Depending on the time of day and prevailing weather conditions, I might not always get a decent picture. If I was out in the boonies somewhere–like my aunt’s house–I might have to fiddle with the antenna throughout the episode, and as often as not I might be forced to choose between having a picture or having sound.

Today, of course, I have Star Trek literally at my fingertips: Blu-rays on the shelf (the series has never looked better) or streaming over the internet, and I even have my favorite episodes stored on the video/mp3 player I can carry in my pocket. Then there are the books (I’ve even written a couple of those, in case you were wondering), comics, role-playing games, computer games, toys, models, websites, and pretty much anything you’d care to name. Today, Star Trek is everywhere. Hold up a picture of the original Enterprise or Kirk and Spock, and most people will know what you’re talking about.

Happy Birthday, Star Trek. Have some cake.

Posted in nerdity, trek, tributes | 2 Comments