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Serial Saturday #2.7: "You're A Terrible Pirate"

 Acho Harcourt was about to take a sip of his coffee when the "ping" echoed across the length of the ship. A second later, the ship's comm activated. " Onyeisi , we've got a new contact." With a sigh, he picked up his coffee and stepped over to the comm box. "Acknowledged. I'll be right there." Getting from the galley to the bridge took a while. The Enugu was technically a trading vessel, so it wasn't built for looks like pleasure cruisers. If it looked like anything, it was probably an elongated Terran submarine with various engines attached to it. He emerged onto the cramped bridge a minute or so later, having traversed his way past cargo bays, the crew quarters, and the ladder that lead down to engineering. "What do we have?" "Mayday," his first officer, Ema Okoro said. "Looks like a lifeboat." "Pirate attack?" Ema shrugged. "Who knows. Nothing we're picking up anyway." "Can we g

COVER REVEAL: The Last President

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  The last thing Zebulon Stanton ever wanted to be was the President of the United States. America's best days are centuries behind it. Nineteen states hide behind the Frontier Wall- an energy barrier of ancient technology controlled by The Order. Few people care for such an economic and political backwater. Yet enemies are on the march. A powerful General sweeps aside the fractured nations of North America. A dissident member of The Order stops at nothing to bring them down. Now, Stanton must find allies and convince an isolationist Congress of the increasing peril or he'll be: The Last President ~~~ I am so excited and pleased to reveal the cover of my third book, The Last President . This one has been a long time in coming and I am very, very happy to get this one over the finish line and out into the world. Right now, I'm planning on releasing e-book versions through multiple vendors on Draft2Digital and then doing a paperback edition through Amazon. With a little bit o

Bookshot #142: Creativity, Inc.

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I have no idea why I downloaded this book. I think I had some free credits on Audible and after picking up Extreme Ownership , I saw this and I think thought it may be about the business of creativity and how better to market your creativity? Maybe? But I couldn't have been more wrong. What this book was about is Pixar. Written by Pixar co-founder Ed Catmul and Amy Wallace (narrated by Peter Altschuller), Creativity Inc , is the story of the development of computer animation and the eventual founding of Pixar and how it grew and developed the creative culture that has brought it so much sustained success today. The early chapters of the book focus on Catmul's childhood love of early Disney animation and his desire to become a feature film animator-- by the time he made it to college, however, he ended up with a degree in physics and computer science from the University of Utah and encountered Ivan Sutherland who changed his interst to digital imaging and then set his sights on

Netflix & Chill #96: Zack Snyder's Justice League

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The theatrical cut of Justice League was okay... I thought it and Batman vs Superman Dawn of Justice both suffered from the same odd problem: the characters were incredibly interesting. The plot of the movie wasn't really all that interesting at all. So, I was curious when The Snyder Cut was announced. Could this movie be made... better?  It turns out that the answer is, strangely, yes, it was better. It was also four hours long which a viewer could be forgiven for being a little scared of- but unlike say, The Irishman (another long movie) the Snyder Cut is long, but it doesn't feel long and ultimately, I think what results is a more complete movie that makes me care about more characters and the story itself. So in that sense: mission accomplished. I don't want to re-hash the plot of the movie again. (If you want that, here's my review of the Theatrical Cut ) but let's instead take a dive into the aspects that worked really well: First, Cyborg. Biggest differen

Serial Saturday #2.6: The Lifeboat

The alarm klaxon woke Sarah out of a dead sleep. "This is the Captain speaking," the overhead speaker blared. "Please form an orderly cue and make your way to the lifeboats. Unidentified ships are closing on our position." An electric jolt of fear ran through Sarah as the babble of alarm filled the cabin, but she stood, as did everyone else. The crew herded them down the staircase to the lower deck. Sarah darted through the crowd to grab her duffel bag off the luggage racks and then, the ship lurched to the left and they all felt the explosion. Panic erupted. People surged into the lifeboats. Sarah found herself shoved to the back of one. Red lights flashed. Another explosion. The doors slammed shut. A deep concussive thunk . Then they were falling.  Sarah sat down, took a few deep breaths to calm herself. She took stock of the other occupants of the lifeboat. One of the officers, Lt. Aboah, sat with a grizzled old man with one eye who didn't seem to have a name

100 Days In, How's Everyone Feeling?

You know what I like best so far: that I don't have to give a single solitary shit about what the President of the United States is doing at any given moment of the day. I don't have to wake up to huge, frothy spoonfuls of rage and screaming, ready to be forced upon me from every conceivable corner like a goose being fattened up to be foie gras. I noticed this weird energy almost immediately and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I assumed it was COVID: Biden took office in the depths of the pandemic and people (understandably) had other things on their mind. There might still be something to that, I suppose, but I really think that it's the fact that people aren't being screamed at 24/7/365. Cable news viewership has tanked. People might be remembering that there are other, more important things in life to deal with than "what dumb shit the President said today" and "what (usually turns out to be complete bullshit) scandal the media is raging abou

Serial Saturday #2.5: The Docks

Sarah followed Mendrika out of her apartment building. "I left so much behind." "Better to leave some stuff behind than your life," Mendrika said. He held up an arm and she stopped and waited as he whistled, sounding like a nightjar. From across the street, two figures emerged from the shadows. Sarah stiffened. "Relax," Mendrika told her. "They're friends." The two men were dressed in dark clothing. "This is Piet and Barau. They're going to watch our backs while we get you to the docks." "Which way are you we going?" Sarah asked. "The fastest way? Up to Toliara Avenue." Sarah shook her head. "That's too visible. Let me take you the back way." "We're kind of on a schedule here," Mendrika said. "That's why we don't have time to argue," Sarah replied. She started off in the opposite direction and after she heard some muttered curse words behind her, footsteps soon fo