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Showing posts from 2018

Greatest Moments In Sci fi and Fantasy of 2018

Credit: Well, we’re coming to the end of 2018. As with any year, we get both the good moments and not-so-good moments. Still, the not-so-good moments often have a valuable impact on our lives. So I decided to list the greatest moments of this year. “Greatest” is defined here not so much as good or joyful as it is significantly impacting. Sometimes the events we don’t wish to see help us see the good ones better. We love it when we make accomplishments, publish a story we wrote, read a story we really enjoyed, or see a movie that we really liked. We don’t love it so much when we lose something or someone important to us. Sadly, 2018 saw the passing away of my maternal grandfather, God rest his soul. But that sad moment also made me and my family remember some of the best times we had with him. In the community of science fiction and fantasy, 2018 saw the passing away of some of the best creators in the genre. Even though those are moments we don’t like

The Holiday Fright Elephant Gift Guide for Sci Fi and Fantasy Fans

Credit: I got most of my Christmas shopping done. All I have to shop for is a white elephant gift for a cousin’s Christmas Eve party that I’m going to attend. So I’ve been looking for ideas for a “dumb” or weird (as I prefer to say) gift. And it’s just about as hard shopping for that kind of gift as it is a “decent” one. But as I was looking for ideas at Amazon, I came across some things that might be suitable for a white elephant gift exchange. In fact, these items probably make more-than-suitable gifts. They are so weird, so crazy and/or so hilarious that they’re almost frightening! Because of that, I call them f right elephant gift ideas. In case you still need to do that last minute shopping for that white elephant gift you were asked to bring to a holiday party, I put together for this post a Holiday Fright Elephant Gift Guide. Since this is a sci fi and fantasy blog, this guide emphasises gifts in the speculative genres. So even if the party you’re a

Holiday Season Post-Apocalyptic Sci fi On the Big Screen

Credit: Most of us have our childhood memories of sitting in a warm, dark movie theater on a cold weekend afternoon during the holiday season, watching a movie that really impressed us. One of the memories that stand out most for me was when I saw Star Trek the Motion Picture when it released during the Christmas season of 1979. I hated it. But still, it impressed me with it’s cinematography and special effects likened to those of Star Wars, the movie that Motion Picture ’ s producers were competing with during that space opera craze. I would come to actually like this film several years later, especially when I got into my Star Trek fan phase in high school. In fact, and I don’t care if anyone attempts to stone me for it, it’s my favourite of the Star Trek movies for reasons that I’m not going to go into here. But perhaps, one very tiny reason is nostalgia. And for the past three holiday seasons we’ve had Star Wars films releasing which will probably b

TV Review: George R.R. Martin’s ‘Nightflyers’

Credit: Last post I talked about Nightflyers , the new science fiction-horror TV miniseries based on George R.R. Martin’s novella of the same name. As much as I said I was looking forward to its premiere episode, I didn’t watch it. That is, I didn’t watch it on its premiere night which was last Sunday. It was on in my area at 10 and I normally try going to bed before that time on Sunday nights. So I taped it on my old TV-VCR-in-one and finally watched the debut episode last night. (No, I don’t have a DVR.) The debut episode came across well as the science fiction-horror that the novella was made to be. It would be a 100 percent slasher-in-space if violent gore was at the centre of this series in which so far it isn’t. What is at the centre is a power that kills people and is hiding on the spaceship. Like all great science fiction-horror, the setting is fitting. The series takes place on a colony ship called the Nightflyer which is dark and gigantic yet cl

George R.R. Martin and Mixing Sci fi with Horror

Credit: I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to the holidays. Me? I had a great, but very busy Thanksgiving with the family and so had to skip a weekend of posting. As far as the holidays go--I’m getting there. What I’m looking forward to right now, though, is the new science fiction-horror series that premieres this Sunday night on the SyFy channel, Nightflyers ! George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers Nightflyers is based on a novella by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin. According to the LA Times , he novella actually had two versions , the shorter version which was published in 1980 and an expanded version published three years later.   Then in 1987 a movie based on it came out but, because it got so scant of an audience ,   it fell into oblivion. It fell into oblivion to everybody e xcept those who are into B-rated and cult films such as myself although I haven’t seen this one. Neither have I read either vers

Far Out Fantastic Finds: The Unpublished Novel of ‘The Thing’

Credit: One of the things for us science fiction writers and fans to be thankful for this Thanksgiving is the greats of the genre’s golden age which was roughly from the 1930s to ‘50s. One of those greats is John W. Campbell. He had a big influence on science fiction and helped popularise the genre especially as editor of his Astounding magazine, now known as Analog Science Fiction and Science Fact . You can also say his novella, “Who Goes There?”, eventually influenced the mixed genre of science fiction horror when it was adapted into the 1950s film, The Thing from Another World , which in turn lead to two remakes: John Carpenter’s The Thing in 1982 and director Matthijs van Heijningen’s 2011 version (that some refer to as a “prequel”). So when Alec Nevala-Lee uncovered the manuscript of an earlier, unpublished, full-length novel version of Campbell’s story, it must had been as thrilling as it i s for the A ntarctic expedition in “Who Goes There?”/”The Thing

Procrastinating Writing the Story by Writing the Character Profile

Credit: Last year for National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo, I wrote my first full novella. However, I didn’t finish the first draft until sometime around the new year. I’m not sure if it will be much different with the novella I’m writing this year. I haven’t been meeting the minimum goal I originally set for myself which was 1,250 words a day. It shows that I don’t have the attention span to write long works. However, I compromised with myself saying that if I don’t feel I can make it to 1,250 words a day, considering that my day job takes up most of my time, then I’ll shoot for one page a day give or take a little. I say “give or take a little” because the numbers of words vary between pages in almost any kind of writing. I’m also behind because of procrastination. Or what I at first thought was procrastination. I’m the kind of person who likes to plan things when it comes to projects rather than just div e in. Although I’m not a fan of o

Day of the Dead/ After-Halloween Book Giveaway

Credit: Wikimedia Commons I hope you all had a groovy Halloween and are having an awesome Day of the Dead weekend. Some of you may be asking, “What is Day of the Dead?” To get the answer to that question, check out the short documentary below. It’s an oldie but goodie since the narrator seems to be well informed for the time it was made in (the 1950s). It gives at least the basics of this holiday which is, contrary to many of the people’s belief in my own Latino culture, similar to Halloween although it has it’s own unique flavour. Speaking about flavour, like on Halloween people who celebrate Day of the Dead hand out candy, particularly candy skulls. Are they candy-covered, real human skulls? Well, watch the video and find out! Speaking about skulls, that’s one unique difference between Mexico’s holiday and the U.S.’s (not to mention Northern Europe’s) holiday—whereas Halloween uses a Jack-o-lantern as its holiday icon a skull serves that purpose for Day of the Dead. Like H

Book Cover Reveal: 'The Boo Brothers'

Credit: Well, my newest book, “The Boo Brothers: Two Tales of Terror” is somewhere floating around in book limbo. However, my book cover illustration is here in completion. So I decided to do a cover reveal for you today. I just submitted “The Boo Brothers . . .” this afternoon after going through all the technical procedures and setting it up using the Kindle Creator. Kindle Creator is a new free tool provided by Kindle Direct Publishing that makes it much easier to format your e-book for publication. Much easier, that is, if you know how to use it. Because this was my first time working with it, I was familiarising myself with it for the past two days. But even learning how to use it isn’t that tough compared to other types of software. So, my book is at Amazon only not live. According to Amazon, it can take up to 72 hours for an e-book to appear in the Amazon store although most of the time that I’ve self-published a book it’s taken less. Either

Book-To-Movie: Review of ‘The House With a Clock In Its Walls’

Credit: Before director Eli Roth adapted it to film, th e closest that John Bellair’s YA novel, The House With a Clock In Its Walls , came to a movie was as a short film featured in a made-for-TV Halloween special. T hat was back in the ‘70s, not too long after the book had released. E ntitled Once Upon a Midnight Scary, i t was an hour-long anthology featuring three short films, the last being “ The House With a Clock In Its Walls”, narrated by Vincent Price who encouraged young viewers to read the books these films were based on. That encouragement definitely worked with me. I saw it when I was around 9 and read House With a Clock when I was about 25. Okay, so that encouragement didn’t work the first time but did work the second time, when I saw the Vincent Price special on VHS. I’ve read the book at least twice and loved it. So when September’s release of the big screen adaptation was announced back in the summer I was like “Yeah! Finally!” Well, I saw The Hou

Free Bookmarks Promoting New Halloween Horror Book

I know I said that I would have a review of A House With a Clock In Its Walls here this week but, unfortunately, I have to postpone it until next. I apologise for that. It took me longer than I thought it would to work on a bookmark promoting my new book of horror fiction that's coming out this month. And I've come up with a name for the book: "The Boo Brothers". As I said last week , this Halloween horror book will consists of two YA short stories and be available in ebook format. I was focusing on making the bookmark yesterday and today because I needed to have it done by at least the last day of October's two-day Sinister Creature Con which is tomorrow. If you're in the Sacramento area you should check out this convention that offers a variety of horror art and entertainment. I've been to it several times before and it's far out! So, I'll have my bookmarks at tomorrow's con. But if you can't make it, you don't have to miss out