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Month: February 2011

[Book Review] The Dead Men: Face of Evil by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin


Full disclosure: Lee Goldberg posted about the book and asking for reviews and here we are...
The Dead Men: Face of Evil by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin follows a map that horror fans know all too well since Stephen King, Dean Koontz and others have already blazed. An ordinary person experiences something horrifying/extraordinary that changes his life. In the case of our protagnist Matthew Cahill’s life goes from being great to frozen dead, to alive to worse and for lack of a better word, shenanigans ensue.
The plot bounces back and forth a bit in time between the past and present until for the climax is sticks firmly in the present. The adventures of the widowed Cahill begin with his firing from the local saw mill, follow his blossoming relationship with fellow saw mill employee Rachel Owens while his continuing misadventures with Andy Goodis who used to be the high school screw up and continues even after they both get fired from their jobs as a result of downsizing by machine integration and Andy’s antics.
The plot begins to set up the sleepy town in Washington State where Cahill and his friends live in just long enough giving the reader a quick overview of minor characters and how their futures will end up. Unfortunately, as the screws twist, we find out many of their futures will not end so bright and cheery.
There start to be two villains in this story, the first being the big bad supernatural styled villain that King, Koontz and other horror writers have written so well in the past called Mr. Dark. The other being a medical school which I throughly enjoyed until the medical school is quickly dropped in favor of Mr. Dark.
Mr. Dark while is great to read, the check and balances of the real world get left behind quite quickly, possibly too quickly. I was half expecting the university to trying to get Matt back or someone in the Police Department to investigate Matt’s situation, after leaving two crime scenes and being best friends with Andy. Overall, these facts are throughly ignored so the runaway plot can roll down the hill towards the unsuspecting school children.
Overall, it’s a good read and never gets too descriptive for it’s own good. A brisk read at best and when the next book comes out I’ll be reading it to see how Goldberg & Rabkin takes the characters.

[Plotting About] Am I the only one who liked her as a sociopath?

Back in December at the NaNoWrimo TGIO Party I threw out the idea of creating a writing group in the area and the general consensus was yes.
Unfortunately, January was: OMFGBBQ Snow! Month and we had to cancel our first meeting.
So, flash forward to Saturday and the first meet up of the group went off without a hitch. Most of us were Wrimos and there were new faces as well.
Overall, it was a good three hours for a first meeting. We managed to get works from January and Feb reviewed before time ran out and people came prepared with print outs.
The Library Room worked out well the only downside was the Library Cafe was closed.
And, the brownies I made were well received so I’ll make them next time.
On the writing front: The critiques on the work in progress pointed out some plot stuff and am integrating them now.
An updated few chapters should be ready by Providence Writing Workshop.

[Plotting About] Beat sheets and Borders…

So with Borders filling Chapter 11, someone put together an interactive map of which Borders stores are closing. Looks like the two in Rhode Island are clear of the chopping block. On the other end of the brick and mortar street, the B+N on RTE 2 seemed to be doing a good business the last few weeks and has been touting like clockwork their color Nook with in store demonstrations.
On the writing front, I moved from synopsis to beat sheet and narrowed down a name for the novel. The beat sheet is helping since I’m shuffling things around in the beginning, I think my pace was too much too soon so most of the stuff I’ve written is being shuffled.
In other news the Providence Writer’s Workshop is coming up Feb 26+27 and the Del Rey/Spectra/Suvudu’s Editorial Contest ends on March 18.
I don’t foresee myself finishing it in time for Del Rey Contest but you never know…

[Book Review] Newton's Wake


Newton’s Wake by Ken MacLeod has some good ideas and interesting characters within it’s pages but in the end it can’t find an ending or a villain to cheer for when the good guys possibly win the day.
Taking place in the future where singularities, faster than light travel and backing yourself up before going out on a dangerous mission the story is quite simple: A group of combat archeologists find a world named Eurydice that was cut off from Earth after a devastating war and bit by bit everyone from Knights of Enlightenment to AOL Off Line to the Korean Republic to intelligent machines show up.
The beginning of it turns out rather well, one of the archeologists, Lucinda Carlyle is captured and separated from the group and is introduced to a culture around her. Turns out her family owns a expanse called the Skien that allows for wormhole travel. Along the way two musicians are raised from the dead at the request for a promoter so he can produce one of his off the wall musicals that from the sound of it could have been a book all by their own. With the news of Earth still existing he sees the flavor of the month.
Somewhere along the way the evil war machines someone should be worried about finally show up and then and….I suddenly I realized by the time I got three quarters of the way through this book and I did not care.

[SDCC] Oh, the Nerd Prom carnage…oh the humanity!

I’ve been in the depths of Scrivener tweaking character bio sheets and adding faces to names.  I’m happy to say the application is fun to use.  Picked up lunch, came back and found #sdcc is trending on Twitter.
Decided to swing by the website site and lo and behold:

Last years post about the Nerd Prom Carnage just for Hotel Rooms can be found here.
Guessing from the twitter feed from SDCC, the website is still up and tickets are being sold properly.
It’s unfortunate this process has gotten this bad. Hopefully those who didn’t get tickets but had their hotels booked did not have airline tickets purchased.
In the end, it just means that the 2012 ticket section is going on the list of things to do first once they set it up…

A review of Daybreakers…


Who are we? We’re the ones with the crossbows.”
Daybreakers does not try to be Blade, Nosferatu or Dracula.
Instead, it tries to be a small film about what happens when the entire planet is inhabited by vampires.  Humans being hunted for their blood. Everyone works at night. Blood in your coffee and Chrysler daytime running black out windows. Everything is going along honky dory until, whoops, there’s only enough blood supply to last a month.
Edward played by Ethan Hawke is in charge of creating a substitute while the world around him slowly crumbles. Turns out Vampires when not getting enough blood de-evolve into sub-vampires not as gory as those portrayed in Blade II but harken back to the type of vampires we’re all used to with wings and such.  These sub-vampires could have been a great villain but instead their one appearance is kept to a small scale and instead hammers home the world Edward now lives in.
Unfortunately, Edward’s cure is not found in his lab, much to his dismay but once he meets a few remaining humans, he comes in contact with Lionel ‘Elvis’ Cormac played by William Dafoe. Dafoe is one of the brighter parts of the film since everyone is either a vampire or the character arcs are miniscule. Edward’s boss, Charles played Sam Neill arc of getting his human daughter to turn ends with bloody results and the non-romantic arc with Audrey played Claudia Karvan, there’s really not much to talk about. The plot of Edward’s brother, Frankie turning Edward was an interesting idea but we hear it we don’t see it and I think that’s what of the underlying problems, after a lovely start, Daybreakers doesn’t know how to end.
Once Dafoe’s character and his backstory is introduced the film either gets better or worse depending on how much you nitpick this film. I won’t ruin it for you but after reading the script first months ago and now seeing the movie I still have a hard time believing the Spierig Brothers idea of turning someone back. Thankfully it does not include killing the vampire who turned you since that’s been done, pardon the pun, to death.
Overall, the movie is still fun to watch once you realize the movie had turned into Star Wars with Vampires.