Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Cool And Yet Not

I'm having very mixed feelings about Heroes nowadays. I still like SuperHiro best of all, but I don't like the directions they've taken his storyline. First, they made him way too naive. Then they crippled his power just as he was really learning to rock with it. Then they pulled that dinosaur bait-and-switch. Then they introduced Hiro's dad, and as cool as it was to see a cameo by George Takei, I really hate that they basically changed Hiro from an average sarariman schlub with an awesome secret into a super-rich geek who's just been slumming.

And now, as kick-ass as last night's episode was, they've tied in SuperHiro's dad with the Invulnerable Cheerleader's adoptive father (her biological father being, of course, the Flying Pol) and it's all just getting too damned incestuous for words. Less with the twisty backstory connections, more with the super-powered ass-kicking please.

Speaking of super-powered ass-kicking, I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but the new commercials for the Fantastic Four sequel look awesome. I was underwhelmed with the first one. Too sitcom-y, lightweight cast, slim plot, really stupid reiterpretation of Doctor Doom. But I've got to say, the scenes of the Silver Surfer from the first trailer really got me going, and the glimpses of the FantastiCar in the new commercials (plus the hints that Galactus himself might be featured) have me totally sold. Only things that worries me: the movie doesn't come out till June, and they're already blitzing the commercials in February. How loud does the hype machine have to get for this movie to get out from under the shadow of Spiderman 3 (which also looks pretty damn good).

Sunday, February 25, 2007


I meant to post something last week, but Blogger decided to switch me to the new system, and I had to create a new account and everything. So to save a little work, I'm going to cross-post some stuff I posted to an on-line writer's group I belong to.

Last Monday, I posted this:

So I've been fighting this idea for a while, but I think its time has come. I started a novel featuring Digger, the main character from my first published story, in Nov. 2005. I finished the first draft in May of last year, and I'm currently stalled, stumbling blindly through the last half of the second act. Although I thought I put some good stuff in it, I've been very uncomfortable with the book on several levels.

I think the book's problems are fixable, but I'm not sure at this point that it's worth fixing, at least not right now. Basically, the book just does not feel like the Digger short stories. It's darker, not as much fun. It's not as if there's a big pre-sold audience of Digger fans from the two short stories sold so far, but obviously I did something right with those stories. Any novel I write should try to emulate the qualities of the stories that got them sold in the first place, and I just don't think that this is the one.

In the last couple of days, I've started playing with an idea that feels big enough to be a better fit for a Digger first novel, with the current book maybe being the second in the series, assuming the first one sells. I don't want to abandon what I've done so far, but I'm tired of floundering around with this revision, and I want this to be fun again.

So for now, the current draft of Hero Go Home goes on the shelf, and I start outlining (tentatively) The Hero's Junket.

And then on Friday, I posted this:

Brains are stupid, stupid, stupid things. I've been horribly blocked on Hero Go Home for months, feeling a deep dissatisfaction not only with certain plot details, but with the heart of the book's storyline as well. It just seemed like a misfire from start to finish.

Hence my statement on Monday that I was shelving Hero Go Home in favor of a book that promised to be more fun to write. So what has happened since then?

I've rewritten two scenes of Hero Go Home that I was stuck on. Because once I no longer cared whether I finished it, my mind suddenly let itself start addressing the problems it was afraid to face before.

To quote one of the great philosophers of our time: "You see? Your stupid minds! Stupid! STUPID!"

I'm still outlining the other one, though. Writing is starting to get fun again.
So you can see that I'm stuck in a sort of "six of one, half-dozen of the other," situation right now. City of Heroes isn't helping. I'm having a blast with it, but it consumes far too much of my free time.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


So one of the more depressing things I went through last year was the long wait on several stories I had submitted. In the last three weeks, I've started getting some responses back.

Realms of Fantasy passed on "King of the Kars." Intergalactic Medicine Show said 'no' to "Shell" (after holding onto it for almost a full year). And after 14 months, Baen's Universe is buying "Double-Secret Weapon," the Digger sequel I sent them a month after they accepted "Astromonkeys!" Now I really need to get back to work on Hero Go Home.

Still no word on "Frame by Frame." They had extended the open submission period several times; last I heard, they're closing submissions in mid-March.

In TV, Heroes pulled a Lucas on us. Several episodes ago, they set up what looked like a possible romantic relationship between Peter and Claire (yes, I know she's still in high school, but she'll be of age soon). Last week, they dropped the bomb - Peter is Claire's uncle. Oops.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super Bowl

The game last night was pretty good, although the continuous rain made it look like a thoroughly miserable experience for everyone there. The rain made for a sloppy game with lots of turnovers, and Chicago fell apart in the second half, so it wasn't so much a nail-biter. But the half-time show with Prince wasn't nearly as embarrassing as it had the potential to be. The half-time show has always been something to be endured more than enjoyed, but since the infamous 2004 show, it's become something to be actively dreaded, and how sad is that? Maybe after another year or two, now that we've had Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones and Prince to wash the taste out of our mouths, the half-time show will begin to lose its taint.

My favorite commercial of the show? The Blockbuster mouse torture spot.

I'm finally beginning to cool down on City of Heroes fever, and this week's return of Lost and Survivor should bring things back to normal, which means I may be posting more.