Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a stunning triumph for motion caption afficionados as it seamlessly integrates new technology to bring the simian cast members to life in a non-distracting why. This leaves the way open to focus on character development and plot, creating a richly realized world.
Planet of the Apes fandom encompasses three different generations of movies, both a live action and an animated TV series, comic books, magazines, tie-in novels–yet there are still more stories to be told.
And in this case, told very well. See my full review at buzzymag.
The world has become a tiny place.
One that has a lot of Planet of the Apes movies in it.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sits firmly at the top of the heap.
Mirrored from Until Midnight and Occasionally Later.
A quick 8300 words on “The Winter Palace” rewrite brings Magic Meter to that most magical of places:
And that’s that. I think this little bird is ready to leave the nest.
I gotta be honest, folks: I like this one a lot. Like, a lot a lot. Of course, given that I’m the worst judge of my own work, you should take that with a rather large block of sodium chloride.
A final snippet:
At the secret door, rock in hand, she hesitated, torn in an agony of doubt and fear. She was only a little girl. How could she be expected to do this? It was so wrong . . . and at the same time, it had to be her, and no one else. She had climbed thornfruit trees, had braved the catacombs.
And for my next trick . . . um. I don’t know. Need to think of something. If anyone has any ideas, do let me know, will you? Thanks in advance.
Write Club update: A tier one bounce from an agent on a novel query. Response time, 26 days.
On to the Next Big Thing. Whatever that may be.
|Originally published at Matthew S. Rotundo's Pixeltown|
Business travel and a metric crapload of familial obligations last week = meager progress on the rewrite of “The Winter Palace.” But such progress as there was, I submit forthwith for your approval:
OK, I’m not really asking for approval. It’s just an expression, folks. Go with it.
Anyway, hoping for better progress this week. As always.
“The Nayeed—” Jessica stopped herself before she said anything more. She’d been on the verge of asking if it was true that the Nayeed had built the Winter Palace, but Father would demand to know who had told her that. She licked her dry lips. “Father . . . are the Nayeed all liars, like the snakes?”
Father exchanged a glance with Mother. “They . . . one must be careful with them. They do not love northerners. But not everything they say is a lie.”
“Not like snakes, then?”
“No, not like snakes. But you still stay away from them, all the same.”
No updates for Write Club.
And I’m gone.
|Originally published at Matthew S. Rotundo's Pixeltown|
I’m on a board for people whose write about murder and theft, poisons and fires. In addition to writers, there are a lot of professionals on the board - people who are or have been cops, paramedics, FBI agents, firefighters, PIs, and more.
A writer recently posted a question about what kind of gun her character should get. She said she knew nothing about guns, and she wanted to know what her equally ignorant character would experience if she went to a gun shop and asked for help.
At which point I (and several other writers) chimed in. Why not just go into a gun store and explain what she was working on and ask their advice? This was one real-life situation (unlike questions about, say, the best undetectable poison) where it would be easy to experience it.
And experience will give a writer so MUCH more than reading about it ever would. She’ll be able to describe the shop without trying to google images of “gun shop.” She’ll know the heft of a gun, and the feeling of the grip, learn it’s surprisingly heavy even though parts of it appear to be made out of plastic. There may be smells and even tastes she would not expect. Since her character and the writer herself are both coming from the same place (not knowing much about guns) she’ll be able to ask the questions her character would and hear the answers her character would as well.
I have found that almost everyone likes to talk about themselves and what they do to an interested person. I have interviewed teens, death investigators, DNA experts, and curators. In some cases, I have gone in cold (as I would in the gun situation above). In others, I have done the professional the courtesy of learning as much as I could before I went to them. With Dr. Dan Crane, the DNA expert, for example, it would be a waste of his precious time to sit down and say, “What’s DNA?” Instead I learned a lot on my own and asked about Y-STR and familial DNA testing.
When I was working on the end to The Body in the Woods, I knew it took place in Forest Park. And I knew my bad character would be armed, and my good characters wouldn’t be. They needed something they could use as a weapon. But what? I took the same walk they would have to get into the park, past nice homes, and I photographed everything I thought they might consider for use as a weapon. Real life thought of many more alternatives that I did.
Tomorrow I return to work. My summer vacation is over, as is my time as a full time writer.
I did manage to get a rough draft of my novel done, and I have started draft 2, which for me is usually where things get very detailed. Currently I have one novel, one novella, and five short stories making the rounds. We've done all right this summer.
You will hear more often from me now that I'm back at work.
So, before the end of the week, I'll get started on that RAINN auction regarding Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon. Hey, if you have a friend named Catherine who doesn't mind what MZB did to her kids, this will be a perfect opportunity for you or that friend to make a donation to RAINN and get a personalized autograph. Or maybe your friend will want to bury the book. Whatever.
Thank you, summer. You were very, very good to me. Especially Convergence, the Ren Fest, and Detcon. Very good. I'll miss you.
Mirrored from Writer Tamago.
(Crossposted from Jennifer Brozek)
I have to admit, I have a soft spot for the Haxan world by Kenneth Mark Hoover. I love a good weird west tale and Haxan is it. Someday, the worlds of Mowry, AZ and Haxan, AZ will collide and it will be epic.
HOW I CREATED HAXAN
I fell into writing westerns, and dark fantasy westerns, entirely by accident.
About five years ago I started listening to the Old Time Radio Gunsmoke series. These were created and written by John Meston, a writer who wanted to bring adult sensibilities to the western. He hated what Hollywood had done to the Old West, relying on crude mythology and cliches. He wanted to write adult stories about the men and women of that time in a responsible way, leaving behind more cartoonish aspects which had taken root in the collective mind.
The OTR portrayal of Matt Dillon is very different from the television version. John Meston created Matt Dillon as a man as violent as the men he has goes up against. In fact, in the radio series, Matt Dillon is almost a psychopath who beats men within an inch of their life. Kitty, in the radio series, is a worn-out prostitute, and Doc Adams is a gibbering ghoul intent on collecting autopsy fees.
While listening to these episodes it wasn’t long before I knew I wanted to do something along the same lines. I had no intention before then of writing westerns or using a western setting as a backdrop in my fiction. John Meston, and his work, set the hook in my mind. I feel I owe him a lot.
Around the same time I finished reading the entire comic book run of Jonah Hex. I liked the hard-bitten edge of the character as written by John Albano, and the art of Tony DeZuniga has never been matched, in my opinion.
One afternoon I went outside to sit in the sun and I started making notes. I first had the town as Hex, New Mexico, probably a result of the comic influence. But I quickly changed that to Haxan, which is a Swedish word for “witches” and is the name of an excellent silent horror film from 1922. Just like that I had the entire plot of “Haxan” in my mind.
I started doing research, and to make things a little different leavened dark fantasy in the story. Not a lot. I didn’t want the fantasy to overwhelm the historical aspect at all. I had seen this in other “weird westerns” and frankly, never thought much of it. I didn’t want the West to be another generic (and replaceable) backdrop to my story. I wanted “Haxan” to be about the West, and any dark fantasy present would be included to illuminate that singular aspect.
I must say I have never thought I wrote “weird westerns” although the Haxan stories, and the novel published by CZP, are categorized that way. Being pigeonholed is a crux every writer must bear, and I don’t let it bother me too much. But, to me, your typical weird western is just another cliched story with vampires, werewolves, and the occasional Cthulhu-type monster in a walk-on role. I am a big reader of history and philosophy. I know the most frightening monsters have always been human. So that’s what I set out to write.
I’ve said many times Haxan is my own little dark corner of the universe where I get to play with matches. The setting and the characters lend themselves to many different story styles and genres. But I am always careful to make the West, and its culture, and the men and women of all races who struggled everyday to survive, my central focus. This came home to me in a big way when Jennifer Brozek remarked I should start writing stories about the other people in Haxan rather than concentrate on Marwood. I immediately saw what she was getting at. The whole mythos of Haxan needed to be told, rather than one slice from an individual viewpoint.
I haven’t looked back since. I’ve published about 20 Haxan short stories and more are coming. The novel Haxan was published by CZP earlier this year, and they’ve scheduled the next one, Quaternity, for May 2015. I will begin work on the third Haxan novel, Seven Devils, this fall.
So far I’ve enjoyed writing in the world of Haxan very much. People tell me they like the stories and the characters a lot. But I haven’t done it entirely by myself. I have some very good writers and friends I bounce ideas off to gauge their reaction whether a story idea is worth pursuing.
No writer writes a story entirely by himself. But as of today I am a citizen of Haxan, New Mexico, circa 1874, and I think I am going to stay there for a while.
Kenneth Mark Hoover has sold over fifty short stories and articles. His first novel, Fevreblau, was published by Five Star Press in 2005. His work has appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons and the anthology Destination: Future. He is a member of SFWA and HWA and currently lives near Dallas, TX. Mr. Hoover can be reached through his website kennethmarkhoover.com where extra content, including character biographies and photographs, can be found regarding the world of Haxan.
Some changes have been made to LiveJournal, and we hope you enjoy them! As we continue to improve the site on a daily basis to make your experience here better and faster, we would greatly appreciate your feedback about these changes. Please let us know what we can do for you!
See a bug? Let us know! Here you can also share your thoughts and ideas about updates to LiveJournal
Your request has been filed. You can track the progress of your request at:
If you have any other questions or comments, you can add them to that request at any time.