Part Two of Reviewing “Lovecraft Country”

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Letitia (Jurnee Smollett), Atticus (Jonathan Majors), and George (Courtney B Vance) in a scene from the show “Lovecraft Country”

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After my review of the first episode of Lovecraft Country Sundown, I thought I’d just keep watching and maybe review the entire first season as a whole. But after viewing three more episodes, because each show is so densely packed, I was afraid of losing a lot of the details.

So now that I’ve watched Whitey’s on the Moon, Holy Ghost, and A History of Violence, I thought I should recap them now.

In “Whitey’s on the Moon,” the creepy white guy at the door of the huge mansion in the middle of nowhere is William (Jordan Patrick Smith) and he seems to treat Tic, Leti, and George very well. They all wake up in their rooms with objects of their most cherished desires. George is hip deep in books while Leti has a closet full of wonderful clothes all exactly her size, and they couldn’t be happier.

Tic, on the other hand, remains deeply disturbed by their encounter with monsters the previous night, and finally comparing notes with the other two, realizes that they didn’t remember a thing. Even their car Woody has been restored to them. All of this is due to magic spells, but I’ll get to that.

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Review of Lovecraft Country episode “Sundown”

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Scene from the Lovecraft Country episode “Sundown”

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When I decided to review the first season of the television series Lovecraft Country, I didn’t know if it would be a single review of the series, episode by episode, or something in between.

Then I watched the first episode Sundown and was truly horrified, but not as you might imagine.

If you haven’t seen it and you care about that sort of thing, there are tons of spoilers ahead.

The show tells the tale of a young black man named Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), a veteran of the Korean War who is traveling by bus to his home in Chicago because his father has gone missing.

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Lovecraft Country First Season

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© James Pyles

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This afternoon, I was at my local branch of the public library and I found the first season of Lovecraft Country on DVD. As some of you may know, I was critical of the timing of the premiere of this series during certain (ahem) events.

However, when I mentioned this in social media, I was told the series was being developed well before all of that happened, so I stand corrected. I also can’t miss the fact that since writer H.P. Lovecraft has been identified as a white supremacist, the title for the series has a double meaning.

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“Spring Into SciFi 2021” Arrived Today!

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Promotional image for the anthology “Spring into SciFi 2021”

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It came by UPS today. It’s one thing to sell a story and another thing to hold it in your hands.

My short story “Wayback” is featured in the Cloaked Press anthology Spring Into SciFi 2021. I’m extraordinarily fortunate to be published in three of the four volumes in this series, and am thankful to the fine folks at “Cloaked” for their graciousness.

“Wayback” is the very first tale in my personal series with stories set in the same universe found in The Mechanical Dragon in the Zombie Pirate Press anthology ClockWork Dragons, The Deseret War found in the Immortal Works anthology A Mighty Fortress, and mentioned in my soon to be published novella Time’s Abyss

But before all of them, came “Wayback”. Here’s how it all began:

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“The Unreal Man” to be published at Dastaan World

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St Paul’s Cathedral in London during the Blitz 1940

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I know I’ve talked about this one in the past. “The Unreal Man” was accepted for publication ages ago…and then everything stopped. Sometimes publishing houses change staff, change ideas, change goals and authors can be stuck in the middle.

However, I signed the contract with Dastaan World last night and so in about 90 days, this story will see the light of day.

This story is important to me because it’s my oldest concept. In one version or another, I’ve lived with this tale for over 40 years. I can’t wait to see it become real (or unreal).

Here’s a small sample:

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“Time’s Abyss” Now Available for Pre-Order

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Promotional image for “Time’s Abyss.”

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No, it’s not a short story in an anthology. Time’s Abyss is a completely self-contained novella, book 10 of 12 in the Underground series published by Black Hare Press.

It’s available for pre-order from Amazon for delivery to your kindle device on October 15, 2021.

That’s right. There’ll be six month wait until you can dig into this nearly 30,000 word saga.

In the meantime, here’s the official “blurb.”

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“No Place Like Home” featured in “Magicks & Enchantments”

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Promotional image for Magicks & Enchantments

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This is a little later than I’d hoped, but my short story “No Place Like Home” is finally available in the Blackbird Publishing anthology Magicks & Enchantments (also available HERE and HERE).

What would have happened if Dorothy hadn’t made it back to Kansas from Oz? What would have happened if she didn’t want to go? What would have it been like if the “good witch” Glinda had craved the ruby slippers for her own, and after a few minutes, hours, or days, what would the transformed Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman, and Cowardly Lion really have been like with their new attributes?

To find out, buy a copy of this anthology and read “No Place Like Home.” I promise, you’ll never think of Dorothy the same way again.

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Big Announcement for Saturday the 17th

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Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz”

This one has been in the works for months, and the story involved has been edited again and again. I think you’ll like the final result. It will become available Saturday. I still can’t talk about it and have no promotional materials to offer, but I can share an excerpt to whet your appetite.

Toto barked at the witch like a maniac, but mercifully, didn’t try to escape Dorothy’s grasp. The broomstick competed with Dorothy’s legs as to which could shake faster and harder. If the monkeys didn’t arrive soon, Glinda would grab Dorothy and send her back home. Dorothy could try to ride the broomstick back to Wicked’s castle, where she knew the monkeys were sure to take her if they’d ever show up. But she’d never ridden a broomstick before. What if she fell – or worse, dropped Toto?

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WordPress Did It Again (Darn Them)

Screenshot from my blog dashboard.

Months back, the free version of WordPress took away what they now call the Classic Editor used to write and edit blog posts and replaced it with something that for me is almost unusable; Gutenberg. I tried to work with it at first, but it was (and is) terrifically awkward.

Then I discovered that if you create a post, publish it, and then edit it again, there was an option for the Classic Editor. I figured I was saved.

Then today or yesterday, I saw that my blog’s menu had changed again. Instead of “Dashboard,” there’s now something called “My Home” which doesn’t behave quite the same way. Actually, it’s a dumbed down version of the old Dashboard. What’s worse is when you put a blog into edit mode, the Classic Editor is just plain gone.

I’ve tried various settings but there’s no way I can trick it back.

The first time the Classic Editor disappeared, I Googled hoping to find a way to have it return, but the only option I could find was installing a plugin. You can’t install plugins with the free version of WordPress.

I Googled again and still no go. I can’t even find help pages for the current changes and what I can find about the plugin doesn’t mention the account type you need to follow the instructions.

So I decided what the heck. This is obviously WordPress trying to get people to pay for their product (I can’t blame them, but it still feels like they’re playing dirty). I looked at my upgrade options (but not very closely as you’ll see) and selected Premium. It’s only eight bucks a month or just under $100.00 a year, so it wasn’t going to break the bank.

After my purchase, nothing seemed different.

I looked closer and you can only install plugins with the Business version or higher, which is something like $300.00 a year. No, I’m not paying that much just because I want one plugin.

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