Because Preparation Is Half The Battle… #zombies

IMG_1352

This week on GeekMom, I reviewed Roger Ma’s new coloring and activity book, The Zombie Combat Field Guide: A Coloring and Activity Book for Fighting the Living Dead. Head on over to see what I thought (also, you can see my mad coloring skills!!).

To hear more from Roger Ma, head over to The Once and Future Podcast, where host Anton Strout had a nice chat with Mr. Ma about surviving the living dead!

Catching up!

cardpicHey guys! It’s been slow around here, and I do apologize for that. Those of you who follow me elsewhere know that I am now a contributor for GeekMom, and I have been very busy over there! You can check out some articles and interviews I’ve done there. Here are a few of my favorites:

Meet Jessica Chobot From Nerdist News!

GeekMom Mel Chats With Kyle Hill

Cory Doctorow Talks About His Graphic Novel, IRL

I’m currently working on a very fun science fiction novel that I like to think of as Guardians of the Galaxy meets Pacific Rim. I’ve also been going crazy with work stuff, being the publicity coordinator for Ragnarok Publications and doing freelance author publicity work.

Be prepared, because this blog is going to get a little facelift. I’ve done a bit of rebranding, starting with my business cards, so I’m going to spruce up the old website to reflect this. I may or may not also be changing platforms as well. I’ve been playing around a bit with Squarespace and like their interface. But regardless, I’m hoping to keep up with content a bit better than I have been.

Stay tuned!

BUILDING AN ELDER GOD

BEG

Over on the GeekMom blog, where I am a contributor, I did a review about Signal Fire Studio‘s  game BUILDING AN ELDER GOD” A Game of Lovecraftian Construction.

I thought, where’s the fun in reviewing something if you can’t have a giveaway? So I am offering one here. You could win a brand new copy of the game, PLUS the 5 bonus cards. Click on the link below to see how to enter! Contest ends October 9th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Geeks, Grab Your Towels! A Legendary Podcast Returns!

O&FPlogoThe Once and Future Podcast Announces Blockbuster Fall Guests

Monday, September 29, 2014—New York, NY—Host and curator of content Anton Strout is pleased to announce that The Once and Future Podcast, his science fiction and fantasy show, is back for its third season and promises to be more powerful than ever before.

How can that be, when in the past the show played host to the likes of Patrick Rothfuss, Amber Benson, Lev Grossman, and Charlaine Harris? Well, for starters, how about upcoming guests like Jim Butcher, Tad Williams, Robin Hobb, Chuck Wendig, and more? The show will also have weekly segments focusing on news and events from around the nerdiverse, as well as the laughs and lively discussion listeners have come to expect.

Strout, himself a successful urban fantasy author, started the podcast in 2011. “I listen to a lot of podcasts. Thing is, no one out there was doing exactly the kind of one I wanted to be hearing, so for the past three seasons I’ve taken it upon myself to fill that void,” says Strout. “I love books and I love my fellow authors. I am pretty keen on celebrating that. I wanted a place where I could talk about all things happening within my chosen genre.”

There are many podcasts out there these days. Why should one listen to this particular show? The Once and Future Podcast offers listeners a unique opportunity to hear authors chat in relaxed conversation. They’ll hear about informative things, like an author’s recent release or convention happenings, but they’ll also catch a glimpse of who these people really are behind the scenes. Because of the casual format, topics come up that aren’t usually covered in conventional interviews. Authors and other industry professionals become real people. Every episode has laughter and geek-talk in abundance.

For the first time, The Once and Future Podcast will be hosting sponsors as well—but not just any sponsors. Strout explains: “Listeners of The Once & Future Podcast love reading, but have a host of other nerdy little interests as well. We would rather speak passionately about the things we love in our sponsorships rather than run ads simply for the sake of running ads. Testimonial love holds a power other ads simply don’t.” These ads won’t be regurgitated copy. Whenever possible, Strout will discuss what these companies or products mean to him, and why his readers will want to know about them.

The first episode of the new season will air on September 29, when Strout will be welcoming legendary cartoonist/illustrator/writer/game designer/muskrat loving Dork Tower creator John Kovalic to the podcast. Why not head to iTunes and subscribe? With over 51k (and growing) listeners to back it up, this doesn’t seem to be the kind of show folks will want to miss.

Anton Strout is the author of the Simon Canderous paranormal detective series as well as the Spellmason Chronicles, both from Ace Books. His most recent book, Incarnate (book 3 of the Spellmason Chronicles), is coming out on September 30, 2014. You can find him wandering the halls at www.antonstrout.com or talking to your favorite genre authors at www.theonceandfuturepodcast.com.

For queries, questions, or advertising opportunities, please contact onceandfuturepodcast@gmail.com

REVIEW: Jeff VanderMeer’s ACCEPTANCE

ACCEPTANCE

Story Summary: 

The final installment of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy
It is winter in Area X. A new team embarks across the border on a mission to find a member of a previous expedition who may have been left behind. As they press deeper into the unknown—navigating new terrain and new challenges—the threat to the outside world becomes more daunting. In Acceptance, the last installment of Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, the mysteries of Area X may have been solved, but their consequences and implications are no less profound—or terrifying.

I am almost speechless concerning this book, and for those of you who know me, that is quite a feat.

This is one of those books–one of those SERIES–that just haunted me long after I finished it. I had dreams about it, working through it in my mind. I’ve heard this series classified as “New Weird,” and honestly, it’s the best classification I can come up with as well. It’s a psychological-nature thriller that packs an emotional punch and stays with you long after you close the book. Even at the end, you never quite know what is real, what is going on. In fact, I’m not going to get into plot points, because this series just has to be experienced for itself. It IS an experience.

VanderMeer has a gorgeous style of writing, and with this third book, Area X especially came alive for me. So many rich details, I really felt I was in the story. When I started ACCEPTANCE, I was worried with some of the POV changes between characters I would get lost or have a hard time, but this was not the case at all. Each character had his/her own way of telling their piece and it really added to the world of the story.

The nature geek in me really appreciated the amount of research VanderMeer did to write the Southern Reach series. Area X is a character in its own right in this story. There is so much detail in here, but it makes the story organic, it doesn’t bog it down at all. This is a tough thing for a writer to accomplish, and VanderMeer proves himself a master at it. Beautiful imagery fills the pages of this book, making the world come to life in the reader’s imagination–so much so that there were parts that really made my neck prickle. The book left me with a lot to ponder.

I highly, highly recommend this book and the rest of the Southern Reach trilogy (ANNIHILATION, AUTHORITY, ACCEPTANCE). There really is something for everyone here: mystery, emotional impact, thrills and wonder. Congratulations to Jeff VanderMeer–this series is a true accomplishment.

 

#IceBucketChallenge @Jamie1km @JamesWalley74 @TheScienceGuy

A few days ago, that charming and cuddly Tim Marquitz, author of dark fantasy and editor over at Ragnarok Publications, nominated me for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as he dumped a kiddy-sized sand bucket of ice water over his head.

So, here is my bucket of ice water:

ice

And here is me (slightly blurry…):

You are up, James Walley, Jamie Chambers, and Bill Nye

I will be making a donation to ALS to help in their efforts to fight this horrible disease, and I would love for all of you to do the same, ice bucket or not!