Book Launch (Last one, I promise)

On 27 July 5 PM (Irish Time), Trilby Black, Daniel Bensen and I will be celebrating the birth of our book triplets! Join us for chat, readings and raffles! Entry is a mere $5 which will go towards your next purchase from Magers and Quinn! Link HERE.

About Interchange: A year ago, Anne Houlihan uncovered a wormhole to Junction, a patchwork planet of competing alien biomes. Now, she and Daisuke are going back to investigate “The Howling Mountain,” the possible location of a wormhole into space. Her mission headed by an eccentric millionaire, Anne believes she will have a chance to learn more about the origin of Junction and its varied ecosystems. The mission has purposes beyond what she knows, however, and so does the planet. As the expedition tears its way across the alien landscape, Anne must fight to protect its lifeforms, herself, and the Earth.

Daniel M. Bensen writes science fiction, alternate history, and fantasy. He is the author of Junction, its sequel Interchange, the comic book First Knife, and the Sidewise award-winning short story “Treasure Fleet.” He resides in Sofia, Bulgaria with his daughters, wife, and in-laws in the Balkan Tower of Matriarchy.

About Finnegan’s Awake: Since birth, Rain Wooten has been trained by her secret-agent parents to hate and destroy the enemies of America. But when a pizza delivery turns into an armed kidnapping gone wrong, she is thrust into the world of normal people, where right and wrong are no longer so clear, and reality is even harder to determine.

Trilby Black is an academic science editor who previously worked in astronautics, blue-sky research, and academia, with stints between running a wooden passenger ferry, teaching math in the local youth prison, and raising two children. She has lived in Colorado, France, Texas, and the UK. Currently, she works and lives with her family in Suffolk, England. Finnegan’s Awake is her first novel.

About When the Sparrow Falls:

“JESUS CHRIST WE KNOW!”

Hercules and Xena: The Animated Movie-The Battle for Mount Olympus (1998)

Firstly, I have to thank regular commenter Lupin the 8th for sending me the media file that allowed me to finally (finally) cross this review off the old list.

Hercules: The Legendary Journeys starring Kevin Sorbo was a TV series that ran from 1995 to 1999 that dared to ask the question: what if Greek mythology was Baywatch?

It was an occasionally entertaining, perenially stupid mid-nineties hunk of cheese now best remembered it’s much more influential spin-off show. Lucy Lawless appeared as a villain in Hercules before audiences said “More hot lady in the leather who kicks ass please” and Xena the Warrior Princess was born. Basically think “Distaff Hercules with more nineties ‘tude and the blatant homoeroticism delivered with a saucy wink instead of a slack-jawed stare”.

It was, simultaneously, a hugely important and influential chapter in the history of women in television and a queer cultural touchstone and dumb as all hell. This was the show that depicted Abraham and Julius Caesar as contemporaries despite the fact that Abraham was more ancient to Julius Caesar than Julius Caesar is to us.

Together, these two shows formed a kind of mini-television universe…

“Three shows.”
“Whazzat?”
“There was also a prequel series called Young Hercules.”
“What?”
“What?!”
“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaa…”
“Uh, Mouse, the review?”
“What? I’m just supposed to CARRY ON?!”

Okay, focus. Focus.

The final, second-least weird part of this mini multimedia franchise is today’s movie is the animated feature Hercules and Xena: The Animated Movie-The Battle for Mount Olympus or HXTAMTBMO for short. This movie came out in 1998, which I find significant because the previous year saw the release of a certain other, beloved, animated depiction of Hercules. Oh yeah, you know the one I’m talking about.

Oh Golden Entertainment, you utter whores.

Seriously though, while you might be tempted to view HXTAMTBMO as a cheap cash in on Disney’s Hercules there was actually some talent behind this one. It was directed by Lynne Naylor who was one of the co-founders of Spümcø animation (the Ren and Stimpy lads) and who worked on Batman: The Animated Series. It was produced by Sam Raimi, had the main cast of the show on hand to voice their roles and scripting duties were handled by John Loy who wrote for Pinky and the Brain. Okay! Not a bad bench of talent. This could be good? Right? Right?

Sigh.

Guys, let me level with you. I’ve spent four years trying to track this movie down. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about animated movies it’s this; cartoons are like a politician’s tax returns. If someone’s trying to hide them, it’s not because they’re just so damned good.

(more…)

CrimeReads Article, Chicago Review of Books Review and Cory Doctorow

Hi all! Here’s some more links (I swear I will be posting an actual movie review soon).

Here‘s an article I wrote for CrimeReads.com about George Smiley, a huge influence on my own character Nikolai South.

Here is a really nice, in-depth review from the Chicago Review of Books for When the Sparrow Falls.

And as a reminder, I’ll be having an in-depth conversation with author and journalist Cory Doctorow about the themes and world of the book on July 10th 2PM, Pacific Time. He’s a fascinating guy, it should be a fascinating talk and you can reserve your tickets HERE.

John Scalzi event and Audiobook sample!

When the Sparrow Falls is finally on sale in the states and we had the book launch last night, very kindly hosted by Kelly of Fountain Bookstore in Virginia with an assist from legendary sci-fi author John Scalzi. The event was recorded and you can watch it HERE.

Also! The audiobook will soon be available and you can listen to an excerpt HERE. Jake Fairbrother did an absolutely phenomenal job of bringing Nikolai South to life and it sounds so, so good.

Upcoming events!

Hey did you know I have a book coming out at the end of the month? (I know, I know, I need to be less shy and retiring about these things). Anyway, I have some really exciting virtual events lined up to launch this sucker.

29th June

Oh yes, THAT John Scalzi. We’ll be in discussion in an event hosted by Fountain Bookstore in Virginia. I wanted to call it “Gettin’ Palsy with Scalzi” but they said no and that’s fine.

Join us at 6pm Eastern Time, Thursday June 29th. Admission is free and you can book your tickets HERE.

10th July

Oh yes, THAT Cory Doctorow. Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego will be hosting this one at 2pm Pacific Time, Saturday 10th of July and you can reserve a place HERE.

27th July

And lastly but by no means leastly, my friends Trilby Black, Daniel M. Bensen and I all have books coming out at the same time so we’re having a joint launch hosted by Magers and Quinn bookstore in Minneapolis on Tuesday, Jul 27th at 5:00 PM IST and you can book tickets HERE. Tickets for this event will be $5 and attendees will receive virtual event access and a $5 off code for use at magersandquinn.com. Attendees also have a chance to win prizes during the event! Follow @magersandquinn or the authors on social media and share our posts about the event, and you’ll be entered to win fabulous prizes!

Tor Article, Nerd Daily Review and Read the Room

Quick reminder:

I’ll be taking part in a virtual panel for Tom Doherty Associates at 6pm TONIGHT

Moderated by Ada Palmer (Perhaps the Stars), Django Wexler (Hard Reboot), Bethany C. Morrow (A Chorus Rises) Aggie Blum Thompson (I Don’t Forgive You) and myself will be discussing Surfing’ the Web: Techno-Summer Reads.

It should be a fun time and you can join in HERE.

I also wrote an article about detectives in science fiction/fantasy for Tor.com and you can read that HERE.

And lastly, here’s a beautiful review from The Nerd Daily (hell, I learned stuff about the book I WROTE IT).

I’m real tired, guys.