Update! Books and Stuff!

So…  here’s what I’ve been doing lately.

LEXX Unauthorized, Season Two – From Here to the End of the Universe, edited and finalized, released March 31, about 90,000 words. I’ve started on LEXX Unauthorized, Season Three. But I think I’ll give that some time before releasing.

Then I wrote, rewrote, revised, adapted, extended, edited, revised some more, edited some more, designed covers, formatted no less than three collections of stories.  The Fall of Atlantis, What Devours Always Hungers and There Are No Doors in Dark Places.  Full disclosure, a lot of these stories were already written. But there were partial stories that I completed, there were revisions, there were a lot of stuff that amounted to compiling and writing from scratch.  So, a lot of legitimate work. Each was about 45,000 to 50,000 words.

Over in ‘Free Stuff’ I did a 15,000 word feature on STARLOST, The Rise and Fall of a Canadian Star Trek, I think it’s actually pretty good. I’m working on Starlost Reviews, and Starlost Universe.  Why?  I dunno. It’s definitely not commercial – it’s going to end in free stuff. But I think it’s interesting and worthwhile.  I’m not going to get rich, so why not do things that I enjoy and find valid.

So in writing related activities – two projects, look for Agents, and learn more about promotion and marketing. This blog is part of both those efforts.  Much more overtly the second.

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Axis of Andes, Sneak Peak

So, how’s the Coronaclypse been treating you?  For me, it’s been social distancing, seclusion, preclusion, and as the day job goes quiet, reading, watching television, and writing up a storm. Look, I’ve got a history of lung infections going back decades. So while I’m not worried, I am aware that this thing could kill me.  So, I’ve been trying to keep busy writing.

I thought I’d offer up a sneak peak at an upcoming project…  Axis of Andes

Essentially, it’s going to be a novel length alternate history, chronicling the third theatre of World War II, the great Andean Conflict which ended up touching almost every state in South America. In our history, South America largely sat out the war as neutrals. But that doesn’t tell the entire story.

Brazil was a pro-allied neutral sending thousands of volunteers to fight the Nazis in Europe. Argentina and Chile were pro-belligerent neutrals, spying for the Nazis and Japanese.  Argentina and Brazil maintained a cold war. Argentina and Paraguay ended up providing a home for Nazi war criminals. Through the 1930’s and into the 1940’s, the region seethed. There was the Colombia-Peru War (1932-33), the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay (1935-38), the Peru-Ecuador war (1941), a near conflict between Peru and Chile over Tacna and Arica. There were major Fascist parties and Fascist movements in almost every single South American country. There were social tensions, ethnic tensions, class conflicts.

South America was caught up in the economic and political transformations of the 20th century, it was a powderkeg that never quite blew. There were all sorts of events that could have kicked off an epic conflict, but never quite.

It’s a fascinating landscape to tell a story.

So, here’s a teaser….

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Dawn of Cthulhu and other stories….

Are you a Lovecraft fan? Can you pronounce Cthulhu? Do you recognize the guy with the tentacles? Azathoth? Yog Sothoth? Leng? Mountains of Madness? Shoggoths? Innsmouth?

If any of that meant anything to you, the answer is ‘yes.’

If it didn’t, stick around, you might find this interesting anyway.

Or you could go back and read my blog post, H.P.Lovecraft and Me. Seriously, it’s worth reading.

Anyway, I’m a writer, and something of a Lovecraft fan. I’m not blind to his shortcomings either as a human being or as a writer, I certainly don’t endorse them. Lovecraft’s strengths and weaknesses as a person and as a writer both deserve attention and consideration. There are things that can and should be condemned, but at the same time, I think that nuance is appropriate. In the end, all our ancestors were monsters, and all their works are tainted. Yet we live in the world they made, and we build our houses upon their rocks.  There’s a blog post I’ll get to.

But Lovecraft did do some things well, Lovecraft was influential, and deservedly so. I certainly have, in some ways, been influenced.

I’ve actually written two major Lovecraft stories.

I will caveat that – not major in the sense of setting the genre on its ear, winning awards or even getting much notice. But major in the sense of being very large works, the two stories together probably run better than 25,000 words, and which, I think have unique but effective and interesting twists on the mythos. Maybe someday they will get some notice.

One of these is called Life, Love and the Necronomicon, its psychological horror exploring the mad Arab, Abdul Alhazred and his world. You can find it in Giant Monsters Sing Sad Songs.

The other is The Secret History of the Cthulhu Cult, one of three long stories found in Dawn of Cthulhu. I don’t think I need to explain what it’s about. The three stories are about Cthulhu, Lost Continents, and Muppets.

Yeah, you heard me. Muppets.

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Prisoners of Trump’s Ego

I think it’s worth discussing Donald Trump’s peculiar, even bizarre history with the Coronavirus.
Trump supporters of course agree that the President did everything perfectly, everyone else is to blame, the Chinese lied, governors undermined the country, the WHO is corrupt, and no matter how many die, the President has done and is doing a terrific job, better than anyone else. Nonsense of course.
But it’s worth going back and taking a deeper look. What exactly happened? Why did the United States do essentially nothing through January? Why did the President spend most of February and early March minimizing the issue? Why does the United States continue to flounder today?
Admittedly, not everything can be blamed on the President. Most of the nations of the developed world have been slow off the mark, criminally so. In the United States, there’s an outbreak of what can only be called idiocy as Governors, states, state populations, communities and people just refuse to appreciate the risk – how else to explain mega-church services, or public beaches open in Florida, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Spring break parties, and what appears to be a right wing cause in rejection of social distancing. There’s a lot of blame to go around, especially in the United States.
But I would argue that in this pandemic, there is a central figure who has single handedly moved the needle from crisis to disaster.
Donald Trump: Essentially, he’s a poorly informed, disinterested narcissist.
If it doesn’t actually involve him directly, he’s not interested.  This isn’t my opinion. This is actually the recurring observation of a number of sources, including the ghost-writer of Art of the Deal. It’s a recurring observation from a number of sources former white house staff persons and insiders. He hates to read, he likes pictures, he’s uninterested in briefings, he is extremely incurious.
He’s literally only interested in his own initiatives and ideas, whether it be buying Greenland, threatening and then meeting with North Korea, confrontations with Iran, or tearing up trade deals and treaties. Basically, if its not coming from him, he’s just not interested.
This has put most of his senior cabinet on the wrong foot steadily, except for Kushner. Because anything they advocate, or initiate or any progress they make, is a threat to him, so he undermines them, or demands ingratiation, flattery and obedience. Any policy formulation or legislative development from the White House is invariably sabotaged by Trump himself.

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