True Detective Season 1

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I saw the first season of True Detective recently. I can see why everyone was raving about it. I think it’s undeniable that most of Rust Cohle’s best lines are cribbed from Thomas Ligotti, although at least one was taken from Alan Moore. It was interesting that the villain was into Chamber’s King in Yellow mythos, but I feel like there were a lot of missed opportunities. Rust Cohle has synethesia and sometimes gets acid flashbacks, which could have made this a pretty trippy series, but these aspects of his character don’t really get explored. I did like the scene in which an old man talks about the good old days and his son-in-law says, if the good old days were so perfect, they never would have changed. (I wonder who that line was cribbed from.)

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Mommy Blog Z: Picky Eaters

I just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know my story, “Mommy Blog Z: Picky Eaters”, has just been published on Every Day Fiction! It’s basically what the title suggests: an entry from a mommy blog on how to deal with a child who is a picky eater. Oh, and it takes place during the zombie apocalypse.

It currently has a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars, which I think it pretty good and there’s a couple comments on the story already. One comment reads: “Wonderful, I was laughing the whole way through!” and another commenter called it a “clever clear story.”

Be sure to check it out, and if you like it, be sure to leave a rating or comment of your own.

Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe by Thomas Ligotti

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“There are things which only madmen fear because only madmen may truly conceive of them.”
Thomas Ligotti’s writing is quite reminiscent of H. P. Lovecraft’s in many ways. They both like to use what I think of as “thesaurus words” like tenebrosity and Piranesian, making many stories feel like the author values style over substance. Their narrators are often academics steeped in occult lore who come to realize humans are insignificant on a cosmic scale. They both have a preoccupation with dreams and cults. Neither feature very many female characters.

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Thoughts on COVID-19

These are crazy times, right? We haven’t had a do a wide-scale quarantine like this since the 1918 Flu. It’s good this sort of thing doesn’t happen more than once every 100 years or so. At least we can learn from the past. Looking at the 1918 Flu, we know social distancing does slow the spread of the disease and saves lives. It might need to last months, but that’s better than ending it early. The most important take-away is we’ve been through this before, we can go through it again. Plus, we have much better medical technology now than we did then, so it likely won’t be as bad as 1918. Continue reading

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 2 by G. Willow Wilson

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In many ways, this is a typical superhero comic with people not guessing the secret identity of the hero even though it should be obvious, the main villain starting out as a friend, gratuitous cameos from other superheroes, and so forth. Also, as a middle-aged man, I don’t exactly fit into the target demographic since it’s about a high-school girl with high-school problems like falling in love for the first time and going through the awkward transition into adulthood. (In fact, her shape-changing superpower makes a great metaphor for the bodily changes teenagers go through.) Continue reading

Infidel by Pornsak Pichetshote

This is a basic haunted house story, but I really liked it. It starts, like many similar stories, with the main character seeing things other people don’t, so her sanity is questioned and so forth. However, the fact the main character is a Muslim makes the story stand out from other similar stories and it does a great job building tension by having racism and paranoia divide the neighbors of the apartment building from each other. Continue reading

Download Pioneer Day for Free

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Hello, just thought I’d drop a note to let you know my book Pioneer Day is available to download for free on Amazon right now. As you can probably guess from the cover, it involves zombies, although they’re zombies with a twist. If you like it, be sure to leave a review. However, it won’t be free forever, so be sure to check it out before the price goes back up.

When some of the workers at Pure Laboratories suddenly become violent and even start eating each other, everyone reacts differently. Some people freeze up, unable to process what’s happening. Some people run, trying to get as far away as possible. Others pull out their phones and start posting pictures online. Since anyone can go crazy at any point, no one can turn their backs on anyone else and paranoia is rampant. Is this violent behavior caused by a new drug? A virus? Are the people trampling each other in order to flee back to their homes spreading this infection throughout the city?

With the outbreak being natural rather than supernatural, Pioneer Day is not a typical zombie story. At alternate times humorous, disturbing, and even philosophical, Pioneer Day will stick with you long after you’ve read it.

Amazon Link

A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning by Beth Cato

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“A Fine Night for Tea and Bludgeoning” by Beth Cato originally appeared in the anthology Little Green Men Attack, but I first heard it on Escape Pod episode 661. Rosemary Hardy is a proper Victorian lady by day, but by night she takes part in a precursor to roller derby in which she battles other women while roller skating. Her life becomes strange after she meets a green-skinned alien named Elvis Wibbles.

There’s a lot of funny lines in this one. During a fight between toddlers, we’re told that “several baby teeth had made early exits.” At one point, Rosemary insults her rival’s pink dress: “Certainly, such a screaming shade of color violates laws of both civil and religious nature.” When her mother expresses shock that Rosemary has a gentleman caller, she replies, “If you’re unsure of the visitor’s gender, we could make the fellow drop trou.” I also liked when “Mama, in her excitement, had managed to baptize her lap in lukewarm tea.”

I highly recommend everyone check it out!