Author Pages Update

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Screenshot of my Amazon author’s page

As you can see, I’ve had my Amazon and goodreads author’s pages updated to reflect my current publications in the World War Four and Magical Reality anthologies. The one for goodreads is a little deceptive since goodreads doesn’t let me sort my books by most recently published, so in reality, they are way at the bottom of the list. Not only that, but getting my name listed as a contributor on goodreads is a tad more difficult than doing the same thing on Amazon, since I’m not the editor or lead author. Still, it’s a nice little piece of marketing. Now I can’t wait for people to start reviewing these books in both venues (hint, hint).

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Screenshot (edited) of my goodreads author’s page

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Book Review: “Red Mars”

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Cover image for Kim Stanley Robinson’s novel “Red Mars.”

When reading author Kim Stanley Robinson’s 1992 Nebula award-winning novel Red Mars, I made a decision I rarely consider. I stopped reading before I finished. Yes, it was that dull.

The book is actually the first in the Mars Trilogy describing the colonization, terraforming, and the final result of turning the fourth planet into an Earth-like environment over several centuries.

So what was so dull about the novel? I mean, the first part deals with passion, jealousy, and murder, so you’d think it would be exciting.

It has to be Robinson’s writing style. Even during “the action,” the presentation and characters were about as thrilling as watching grass grow (especially in early March in Idaho). The story is told through the points of view of several of the 100 initial colonists of the red planet, but their lives, even aboard a spacecraft and on the surface of Mars, is so ordinary. I didn’t particularly like or relate to any of them.

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Film Review: “Serenity” (2005)

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Poster for the 2005 film “Serenity”

I’d heard of the television show Firefly for some time, so when I got the chance to rent the entire series from my local public library a number of years ago, I jumped at the chance. Needless to say, it was magnificent, a sort of science fiction meets western theme, with sinister, bloated government conspiracy thrown in. Joss Whedon not only created a (rather short-lived) legend, but unwittingly presented the world with an anthem for the libertarian party (which is very much what Whedon isn’t).

Firefly, we hardly knew ye.

Yesterday, again at the public library, I happened to chance upon the “epilogue” of the too soon canceled classic, Serenity (2005), and no, not the 2019 film currently in theaters by the same name which I have no intention of seeing.

[Yes, I know this violates the credo of the pundits at the much vaunted File 770, at least as applied to award-winning science fiction writer Robert Silverberg, that you shouldn’t sample SF/F that’s older than ten years, but so be it.]

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World War Four is Available Now!

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Notice for Zombie Pirate Publishing’s upcoming anthology announcing contributor Neal Asher

This anthology containing my short story “Joey” is available for purchase now on Amazon in paperback format as well as digital in the US and the UK.

This science fiction anthology from Zombie Pirate Publishing features twenty post-apocalyptic tales set in a world that has survived World War Three but that now faces the unimaginable; a fourth world war, has accepted my short story “Joey.”

Synopsis of “Joey:” Ten years after the end of the third world war, on an Earth recovering from nuclear winter, an alien species invades and wipes out all but a handful of the human race. A man and his young grandson make a hazardous journey though the Northwest wilderness, running from hunter machines and hoping to join the remaining resistance fighters, but sixty-year-old Andy Hanson has a terrible secret.

“World War Four,” edited by Adam Bennett and Sam M. Phillips, and features the exclusive novelette “Monitor Logan” written by internationally bestselling SciFi writer Neal Asher.

Book Review of “Escaping Infinity”

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Cover art for Richard Paolinelli’s novel “Escaping Infinity”

I’ve wanted to read and review one of Richard Paolinelli’s novels for quite some time now, since I previously reviewed his short story The Last Hunt which was featured in last year’s Superversive Press anthology To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity. I finally got my opportunity with Escaping Infinity, a 2017 Dragon Award Finalist.

As I got into Paolinelli’s book, I found it had some similarities to Australian SciFi writer Matt Reilly’s 2000 novel Contest. In both books, an innocent couple is thrown into a highly unlikely environment where they must solve a series of challenges in order to survive. In Reilly’s case, it was the location was the main branch of the New York City Public Library, and in Paolinelli’s novel, it’s a seemingly five-star hotel located in the middle of the Arizona desert, miles away from where any such structure has a right to be.

Peter and his friend and co-worker Charlie are driving to Phoenix for a business trip and become lost. Running out of gas and miles from nowhere, they come across an incredibly futuristic and opulent hotel called “Infinity.” Once inside, they realize the hotel and casino can provide a virtually unlimited supply of pleasures and experiences, enough to keep them there for a lifetime, which seems to be the idea.

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Film review of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018)

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Promotional poster for the 2018 film “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

I’ve seen the original Jurassic World (2015) once, as well as all of the other “Jurassic” movies on various occasions, and when I saw the DVD for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) at my local public library, I couldn’t resist. I enjoyed Chris Pratt’s and Bryce Dallas Howard’s work in the first film, and was hoping they could “do magic” again. They didn’t disappoint.

In some ways, this movie pulled from the very first Jurassic Park (1993), particularly with Jeff Goldblum reprising his role as Ian Malcolm, and mentioning how Hammond (Richard Attenborough) started the whole project (twenty-five years ago, my how time flies), although the eccentric genius in this movie is a wheelchair bound Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell).

At the end of the previous film, people had to leave the island of Isla Nublar because all of the dinosaurs had escaped and were killing everyone. Now, amid a secret plot to use the surviving dinosaurs and their DNA for nefarious purposes, Claire Dearing (Howard) must convince Owen Grady (Pratt) to join a small team of experts in their attempt to evacuate the island of the animals, since its long dormant volcano has decided to inconveniently come back to life.

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Film Review: “The Predator” (2018)

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Promotional poster for the 2018 film “The Predator”

I have a confession to make. I’m a fan of the original 1987 film Predator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, and a ton of other fun tough guys. No, it’s not even close to the best movie ever made, or even the best Schwarzenegger film, but like I said, it’s a lot of fun, relative to 1980s action, blood and guts movies. I’ve seen it dozens of times.

I’ve seen all of the other Predator sequels including the various “Aliens vs. Predators” movies exactly once. They aren’t as much fun, but still a way to kill a couple of hours.

So when I saw the 2018 The Predator at my local public library, I figured “why not?”

Like the original, it starts out in a jungle environment (that is, after the whole “chase through space” sequence), but that’s not where the main action takes place. Also, this movie is really a sequel to all of the others (not sure why they didn’t mention Aliens) and naturally, after a spaceship crash, a secret U.S. government project called “Stargazer” captures the pilot and calls in evolutionary biologist Casey Bracket (Olivia Munn) as a consultant. Of course, all hell breaks loose and the Predator escapes.

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James Pyles’ “Joey” Featured in “World War Four”

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Promotional image for my short story “Joey” featured in the Zombie Pirate Publishing anthology “World War Four.”

I just found this promotional image on the Zombie Pirate Publishing Facebook page. Yes, the “blurb” is mine. All of the authors were required to provide a bio and “blurb” about their stories. Less than a week-and-a-half away until it is available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook format. Pre-order today.

Neal Asher’s “Monitor Logan” Featured in “World War Four”

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Promotional image for Neal Asher’s novelette “Monitor Logan” featured in the anthology “World War Four.”

I’ve mentioned more than once how the Zombie Pirate Publishing SciFi anthology World War Four is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released as both a paperback and ebook on March 1st. It includes my short story “Joey” as well as bestselling author Neal Asher‘s novelette “Monitor Logan.”

I finally have a promotional image and description of “Monitor Logan” which takes place in the same universe as Dark Intelligence, which I’ve recently read and reviewed. If you’re an Asher fan, you won’t want to miss “Monitor Logan.”

World War Four Anthology Cover Reveal

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World War Four anthology full cover reveal

This image was just released by Zombie Pirate Publishing for the upcoming “World War Four” anthology. Remember, the ebook is available on Amazon for pre-order now. Both the ebook and paperback can be purchased on March 1st, and includes both my short SciFi story “Joey” and an exclusive novelette by international best-selling SciFi author Neal Asher.