Thoughts on Alien: Covenant

It was . . . not awful. Quite good in fact.

If I had to rank it, it would be below Alien/Aliens, but slightly above Alien 3 (though the reasons to downgrade it are similar) but I’ll address that in the spoilery portion.

General thoughts:

The crew was far more relatable and well-characterized than the crew of the Prometheus. There were some redshirts among the bunch, but there were more than a few standouts you were rooting for. I particularly liked Danny McBride’s Tennessee and Carmine Ejogo’s doctor character, Karine. Fassbender was flat-out amazing in both roles.

The pacing was solid. We open up into a normal day aboard the colony ship, which suddenly descends into catastrophe. This gives us a chance to get a look at the crew in a crisis situation, as well as to see how they deal with the aftereffects. The answer is some better than others, but the specifics of who and why will be important later.

The tension builds slowly to the climax, backs off a bit to let you catch you breath, then amps up again for a close that never really felt like much of a threat (more on that later). This is redeemed by a pretty solid, though quirky, ending twist.

4/5. A must-watch if you’re a fan of the series.

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Huge, ginormous spiders – err, spoilers – past this point.

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Ridley Scott is on thin ice

Not literally, of course.

I cut my teeth on genre fare at a young age. To put it into perspective, the first movies I remember seeing in the theater were Clash of the Titans (1981) and Swamp Thing (1982). I was born in ’78, so . . . yeah.

But one series in particular holds a place of priority in my mental shelf o’ geek.
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Z-Day Book 2 Snippet

First draft is just shy of the 33% mark. I’m feeling the flow, but I’m not doing the bull dance yet – classical reference. No plot spoilers ahead.

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Audiobook of “Fade” coming soon

If you’re into that sort of thing, I just received the first audio draft of the performance. I will be going over it the next few days to make sure there aren’t any glitches or issues. To be honest, I don’t anticipate any whatsoever. I was extraordinarily lucky to nab narrator J. Scott Bennett, who has a done a ton of prior work. He has a great tone that works, in my opinion, perfectly for Paxton.

It’s definitely going to be surreal listening to someone else read something I’ve written, though.

Everyone have a great weekend!

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2017 Dragon Awards Nominations

DragonCon, held annually in Atlanta, has long been one of the largest conventions of its type – encompassing multiple buildings and creating a literal city-within-a-city for a few days every September. So the creation of their own award last year was probably long overdue.

This year, nominations close in a few months, but I’d like to ask those of you who’ve read “A Place Outside the Wild” to consider nominating it in the post-apocalyptic category. If you go here, you can nominate your other favorite works that fall within the release date window of July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. There’s no cost to join, and voting is open to all.

For those of you who haven’t read “A Place Outside The Wild”, you’re probably asking yourself – who’s this guy, and why does he think he deserves it?

Well . . . don’t just take it from me, I guess.

Author Richard Paolinelli has tabbed it for his pick, as has author and marketing whiz-kid Jon Del Arroz. And, to make it a trifecta, Alfred Genesson of Injustice Gamer raved about “Wild”, giving it an amazing review that I had to double-check just to make sure I was reading it right.

So if you read and enjoyed “Wild”, please do me a favor and consider nominating it for the 2017 Dragon award, in the post-apocalyptic category. And if you haven’t read it, check it out here. It’s free every day on Kindle Unlimited.

As for my own nominations – working on it, post date TBD. It’s been tough as I’ve been so consumed with writing “Fade” and “A Place Called Hope” this year there hasn’t been much time for reading.

 

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On influences, tie-ins, and the best book you’ve (probably) never read.

Author Jon Del Arroz and I were debating the relative merits of the Star Wars expanded universe (or what’s left of it) recently. We both agreed that Timothy Zahn and Michael Stackpole produced top-quality stuff, in comparison to some of the other, so-so tie-in novels that Bantam shoveled out over the years. Most all of that material was disregarded as non-canon after Disney acquired the Star Wars franchise in 2012.

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Z-Day Book 2 – Another Snippet

One of the fun things I’m doing with “A Place Called Hope” is bouncing around a bit in the timeline. Most of the action occurs less than a week after the end of “A Place Outside The Wild”, but a smaller chunk is set just a few months after the outbreak and focuses on a new character, Alexandros Scopulis. His arc is critical to the story going forward. When, and how, he and any survivors he teams up with encounter the rest of crew – would be telling far, far too much.

But for a sample, read on.

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