Space Force season 1 review

May 30, 2020

Space Force on Netflix is well worth watching. Spoiler-free review below.

This sci-fi comedy manages to avoid many of the low-hanging fruit inherent in the setup and should be fun for viewers of all political stripes. Which isn’t to say it’s devoid of potshots at the current administration, but it savages the Democratic leadership pretty good as well.

Instead of a goofy and shallow political satire I expected, the show manages to serve up engaging story lines and surprisingly deep and likable characters.

Although I’ve never been a huge Steve Carell fan, he delivers a solid enough performance, but is far outshined by John Malkovich who steals every scene he’s in. Lisa Kudrow is… also in the show. The supporting cast is very solid, especially Jimmy Yang (of Silicon Valley fame), Tawny Newsome (Superstore) and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Rec).

My one quibble is that the Chinese are consistently presented as stock Cold War villains without much redeeming humor and warmth, which the show managed to present so well in the one Russian spy character. They somewhat balance this by having a major Chinese American character on the show (played by Yang), but not quite enough.

There are moments of dry humor that made me laugh out loud mixed with some slapstick and loads of potshots at government bureaucracy and inefficiency. But it’s the character arc that kept me binging the show.

Season 1 is ten 30-minute episodes on Netflix. Warning: ends on a huge cliffhanger.

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Flights of Foundry 2020

May 16, 2020

Reminder: Flights of Foundry is this weekend! There’s lots of great programming throughout, but here are the sessions I will be participating on (in Eastern time):

Saturday

10am Editing as and with a Self-Published Author – panel

11am Secrets of the Short Form – panel

5pm Creatives Crowdfund – panel

Sunday

1pm Considerations for Translation – panel

5pm Traitor for a Living: The Craft of Literary Translation – presentation

7pm Reading

Each session is one hour long. For more details and to join visit here.


Translation News

April 27, 2020

1) My translation of “The Green Hills of Dimitry Totzkiy” by Eldar Safin is now live (and free to read) at Samovar!

2) I’ll be one of the Guests of Honor at the upcoming Flights of Foundry virtual convention, alongside Liz Gorinsky, Ken Liu, Rachel Cordasco, and many other awesome guests. This convention will take place on May 16-17 and is free to attend (though an optional donation is appreciated by the organizers.)

Virtual conventions are a new thing and we’re all figuring things out so far. Earlier this month I participated on a virtual panel for Heliosphere and that went really well, which makes me very optimistic about this event.

I will also be a guest at AmazingCon, another virtual convention organized by the Amazing Stories team. This one will take place on June 12-14 and I should have more details later on.
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Live Panel and IGMS Free Fiction!

April 4, 2020

Live Panel Today!

Since we’re all locked in and living in a poorly-written disaster novel, science fiction conventions are going virtual! This weekend I was supposed to be hanging out with all the cool people at Heliosphere in Tarrytown, NY, but — alas. So, Heliosphere has gone virtual and are doing some of their programming via Zoom.

The entire program is available here:
http://www.heliosphereny.org/beyond-the-corona-2/

Whereas my panel will be at 3pm. It’s called “I Wrote a Thing! Now what… ?” and I’ll be joined by authors and editors Mike Ventrella, Ian Randall Strock, and Amy Grech. You need no special equipment, just click on this link at or around 3pm Eastern time:
https://zoom.us/j/265441882

Free Fiction!

Over the years, Intergalactic Medicine Show published some of my best short stories. Only problem was, their content was usually hidden behind the paywall. Although IGMS is no longer publishing new issues, they recently made the move to make their entire 14-year run of stories free for everyone to read! Which is awesome, because there was is a LOT of great stuff in there.

Here’s the link to the entire run, followed by my individual story links, in chronological order. This includes my most successful story by far, “Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma.” If you haven’t read any of my fiction yet – start there!

Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma
http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i33&article=_004

High-Tech Fairies and the Pandora Perplexity
http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i37&article=_003

The Golem of Deneb Seven
http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i40&article=_001

The Fiddle Game (includes audio)
http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i41&article=_006

Customer Service Support Ticket at All-American Wizardry Supply and Custom Floor Mat Emporium (includes audio)
http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i62&article=_006

The Gilga-Mess (a Coffee Corps story)
http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i67&article=_001

UFO8 Update

We’re in the final week of the UFO8 kickstarter campaign and, as I write these words, still need to raise over $2000 in order to get funded. When I launched the campaign I had no idea the world would change so drastically. My business has been shuttered by the state of New York as non-essential, which puts even more pressure on me to fund a project like this out of pocket. So, if you are able to support this book (and snag some really cool rewards in the process), please do!

#SFWAPro


UFO8 Kickstarter is Now Live, plus cover reveal!

March 10, 2020

 

Check out the gorgeous cover for UFO8 by Tomasz Maronski!

The Kickstarter campaign to fund this volume is now live. There are loads of great rewards, including some very limited ones such as signed books and tuckerizations, so select yours soon! Submissions for UFO8 will open on April 1 and the number of stories I can buy from the open call will definitely depend on the success of the crowdfunding campaign.
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Sweet & Reading Series at Ample Hills – March 24

March 5, 2020

Tuesday, March 24 I will be reading in downtown Brooklyn alongside Sam J. Miller and Nibedita Sen. This will be the inaugural event of a brand-new reading series, hosted by Randee Dawn. Please see the event Facebook page for details!
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Gods Playing Poker – in Galaxy’s Edge 43

March 2, 2020

I have a new story out, and it’s bittersweet.

It was the last story of mine acquired by Mike Resnick before he passed. Mike has been a friend and a mentor. I’ve edited and published his work, and he bought and published a number of my stories in his magazine. I had the honor of appearing in the very first issue, and a number of times since. This is now issue #43 of a bi-monthly magazine going into its eighth year — a huge rarity in the SF/F zine field. And it’s still there. It’s still going strong.

Publisher Shahid Mahmud and the new editor-in-chief Lezli Robyn will keep things going. Lezli is not so new — she’s been there, behind the scenes, from the beginning, tirelessly working on loads of magazine-related stuff and other Arc Manor projects. And Shahid is as professional and committed as any publisher I’ve ever worked with. But this magazine has always been Mike’s baby. His spirit permeates it. His name will remain on the cover as the creator, which is very cool. Every issue going forward will be a small tribute to Mike, from those of us writing for it, editing it, or reading it.

This issue also has dozens of appreciations written about Mike by people whose lives he’s touched. I wrote one of those as well. Check them out.

And when the mood strikes you, check out my story. It’s about trickster gods from different cultures getting together to play Texas Hold ‘Em. It will be available online for free for the next two months, until the next issue replaces it, and thereafter available wherever the magazine is sold.

#SFWAPro