Showing posts from September, 2015

The Waldo Moment

Made my way through Black Mirror on Netflix again. If you haven’t watched it, you’re missing out. It’s intense, smart, and imaginative satire. I really cannot think of a better description than “The Twilight Zone for the digital age.” The entire thing is great but I think first season is better overall—though second season opens strong with Hayley Atwell in the gut-wrenching “Be Right Back.” Unfortunately, the second episode is more successful at producing arresting visuals than sustaining a really satisfying narrative with biting social commentary. However, "The Waldo Moment" deserves much more love. A strong critique of media politics becomes a sharp jab at our relentless apathy and our online herd mentality.


Thinking about control today. How we're controlled. Think it comes down to four weapons. Those weapons are: Alienation Ignorance Disinformation Fear It the modern age, these seems easily counteracted. So what then? What's the issue? Is it apathy, you think?

Brief Thoughts on "Political Correctness"

Mocking  political   correctness  is the sneaky way to voice your fear of change. It’s the modern rewrite of “back in my day...” Often, it’s also a way for someone to cowardly acknowledge their resentment of those who are marginalized being empowered without being the person who says the racist, homophobic, or just plain hurtful thing out loud. At its worst, mocking  political   correctness  is a ‘yes’ vote for the status quo. And voting ‘yes’ for the status quo gets us nowhere but right were we already are.  Point the finger at "political correctness" is a tactic to dismiss touch subjects and shut down the meaningful discussions we should be having.


We haven’t had broadcast TV for a while, so if a show isn’t available for streaming on one of the services we do subscribe to, then I probably haven’t seen it. Hulu recently added three seasons of Elementary , so I’m finally checking it out. I'm only a couple of episodes in but so far, I like it. Elementary offers a good take on Holmes and Watson with the whole sober companion shtick, really shows why the characters have lasted as long as they have. And the character stuff on the show is great. Dig Jonny Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Watson. However, as of right now, the mysteries are all pretty forgettable, doubly so since Holmes has provided the template for some many of televisions crime solves. All I’ve really seen is the same kill-of-the-week I’ve seen from every other network crime drama. Mostly, I found myself wishing this wasn’t a 22 episode network show choked full of filler and was instead a 6-12 episode cable or streaming service program with more charact

The Blacklist Season Two

  I watched The Blacklist based solely on a friend’s recommendation and loved it. I loved the idea of the show. I loved its energy and its gangbusters pacing. I loved the sheer ridiculous pulpiness of it and how the show wasn’t afraid to just be what it was, a whole lot of fun. I loved that it teased big things to come, big reveals, and even more excitement. And so much of the awesome of that first season was carried on the shoulders of the magnetic James Spader.   I devoured the first season as soon as the episodes were added to Hulu. Sure, there was a few stumbling blocks. The first nine episodes, bookended by two Joe Carnahan contributions, were the strongest. The supporting cast was pretty forgettable. And despite being a main character, Liz Keen spends most of that season clueless and manipulated by one man or the other. But it was so much fun and held so much promise, that it was one of the few shows I looked forward to every week. However…

Quis Est Iste Qui Venit

Today is the release day for Protectors 2: Heroe s. This massive anthology edited by ThomasPluck features work from big names like Joyce Carol Oates and Harlan Ellison, established writers, Indie favorites, and first timers. All proceeds from the book benefit Protect , the political lobby of the National Association to Protect Children whose victories include the Circle of Trust Act, which closed NY state’s incest loophole, and funding The HERO Corps, which hires wounded veterans to assist law enforcement in hunting online predators. I’ve written several times about “The Whistler in the Graveyard” already. You know, I started work on this story not long after my father died. Sorting through those feelings really shaped the two main characters: Coffin Boy and Lydia Poe. They’re both dealing with the deaths of their two very different fathers in two very different ways. For me, along with the freedom to engage in a sense of wonder, the chance to acknowledge freely

The Work The Shaped The Whistler in the Graveyard

The print version of Protectors 2: Heroes is now available for pre-order . Heroes is a massive book featuring work from legends, established writers, new comers, and even first-timers with all proceeds going to benefit Protect ( view the current donation record here ). I'm very proud of my story in this anthology. And I've talked a bit about how  "The Whistler In The Graveyard"  is a product of my younger years reading, watching, and writing horror and weird tales.  The thing I really wanted to talk about today, however, were some of writers and stories I had in mind when I sat down to write Coffin Boy's first adventure. While these aren't necessarily reflective of anything specific you'll find in my YA Occult Detective story, this work absolutely shaped the creative brain responsible for "Whistler". So I acknowledged those diverse hands when I named characters and places. Cover art by Edward Gorey John Bell

A Little About The Whistler

Looks like the print version of  Thomas Pluck 's anthology Protectors 2: Heroes will be available for pre-order very soon. Included in the stories to benefit Protect is a stunning illustration by  Dyer Wilk  for my tale, “The Whistler In The Graveyard.” Long before I ever read or wrote a crime story, horror and weird fiction were my first loves. "Whistler" is my YA occult detective story and the product of a childhood spent watching Kolchak while reading Christopher Pike, John Bellairs, Clark Ashton Smith, and Lord Dunsany, then filtered through a good bit of anime. There’s a private school, a terrible thunderstorm, a doppelgänger, monsters, and a graveyard showdown. But there’s also a boy trying to become the man he wanted his father to be, and a girl who refuses to be seen and not heard.