Barak the Barbarian: Not Really A Review

This is not a review because the comics themselves are not out until July. However, the cover images say all that you really need to know! It is not likely that the stories themselves will be all that good, because it is difficult to drag a joke so far. (Proof: Mad Magazine, where the actual spoofs are often less amusing than the covers.) But we should enjoy the joke as it stands now.

View the publisher’s web site here.



The blurb for Barak the Barbarian alone is enough to bring a song to the heart: From a far away land rises a mighty hero. The son of peasants  from two different realms, the one known only as Barack protects the people of Hope Kingdom at all costs…


Casting Dreamsnake

Help me cast the fantasy movie of Dreamsnake.

Dreamsnake itself is science fiction, but the chance that a movie might be made is in the realm of fantasy.

Some years back I wrote a screenplay for Dreamsnake. It was too long (150 pages rather than the acceptable-unless-it’s-Lawrence-of-Arabia 120), but before I worked on it anymore I thought it would be interesting to hear it read aloud.

Did it make sense?

Was it too episodic? (It’s a quest novel; of course it’s episodic. It would make a better miniseries than movie.)

Was the dialogue I’d written speakable by a human being?

Spoilers below the jump, so stop here if you don’t like spoilers.

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Book View Cafe Holds Twitter-Fic contest is holding its very first Twitter-Fic contest!  The task:  To write a complete story incorporating the contest theme in one tweet (126 characters or fewer).  The prize:  An autographed copy of Pati Nagle’s brand new release THE BETRAYAL.  The judges:  A crack team of noted authors: Pati Nagle, Jennifer Stevenson and Sarah Zettel.  Stories will be judged on creative use of the theme and the medium.
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Injuries and fatigue

Benched.  I’m bummed.  Our team, the Haymarket Rioters, is doing some derby demo scrimmages before the bout on March 21 and I can’t skate for at least three more weeks.  At a recent practice I took a toss, and I think I kicked the skates out from under the skater in front of me, because she sat down suddenly on my knee.  One small sprain and bam, I’m benched.

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A Science Fictional Tinge to the News

Climate change refugees. How’s that for a frightening thought?

It’s not like the world doesn’t already have plenty of refugees fleeing from war. Or a not inconsiderable number of people who might be considered economic refugees — people immigrating legally and illegally in search of a decent standard of living.

But climate change refugees? People who have to find someplace else to live because their home is no longer habitable because the climate is changing? Sounds kind of like science fiction.

The PBS program Now had an update April 3 on the multi-island nation of Kiribati, which is literally sinking into the Pacific Ocean.

And the minute they introduced the show, I thought of Kim Stanley Robinson’s series of novels that begins with Forty Signs of Rain. Some of the main characters in those books are Tibetan monks who resettled on an island off India after being forced out of Tibet. Their island is sinking into the ocean. Continue reading


My Guilty Pleasure: Interview Magazine

Yup, that’s right, I have a subscription to the gossipy, Paparazzi-driven, ad-ridden Interview. My motives are pure, though. I bought it for my SO, a SoHo man from way back. Style and famous people are his milieu. Peter Frampton once gave him a Hamer guitar designed especially for Frampton. Later when Frampton was going through a divorce and needed the cash, he asked for it back. The SO, a Tele fanatic, didn’t mind. He said it was just a Hamer anyway.

 Besides the fact that the SO is into that sort of stuff, though, there’s another reason why I subscribed to Interview: the salesman was irresistible.

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Mango. Tree. Note Where Fallen.

My father, when I was a kid, used to bake onions in the fire, and upon serving them would quote Frank Lloyd Wright, who reportedly said, “What a boon to the creative imagination is the baked onion.”*  That’s sort of the way I feel about children.  When I had my kids I began to look at the world through their eyes, which gave me a knee-high perspective on all sorts of things I’d fallen into the habit of regarding from five feet up, and that perspective had a way of inching into my work.  To its betterment, I must add.

Having kids also gives you an appreciation for nature and nurture, both.  The other day my younger daughter sent me a text begging me to pick up the next book in an SF series she has started reading.  The text ended, “I am your daughter, after all.”  Well, she had me there–I started them early on books, and both of the girls got hooked which makes me very happy.  What startles me, sometimes, though, is that it’s not just the reading that got passed along, but the writing.  And this ventures into family history and Mommy Kvelling. Continue reading


Golden Lion Tamarins – Feminists?

GoldenliontamarinGolden lion tamarins are a beautiful species of monkey that live in the Brazilian rain forest. Their scientific name is leontopithecus rosalia. Golden lion tamarins are not just beautiful, they are unique in behavior and fascinating for those who study them.

While still highly-endangered, tamarins were at the brink of extinction in the 1960’s and 70’s, with only about 200 individuals surviving in the wild. The cause of their decline is one we know all too well today: destruction of habitat for human use. Their rainforest habitat is now completely scattered and they live in about 18 different groups separated from each other, in isolated patches of forest. Today, there are about 1,500 tamarins in the wild, thanks to captive breeding and re-introduction programs, and increased national pride and awareness in Brazil of the precious nature of these beautiful creatures that call Brazil home. Continue reading