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How to Make Your Characters Sound Puerile

I subscribe to a service that, for a monthly fee, provides playwrights with an extensive list of playwriting opportunities throughout the country (and sometimes the world).  In addition to the monthly listing, the service also sends email messages that are supposed to help playwrights improve their craft.  These helpful hints may be beneficial for fledgling playwrights, but for more experienced writers they are a little too basic.  As a result, I rarely read the tips and tricks.  This month I did.  And this is why I must write this entry.

 

Book Review: “Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Series 1”

A family friendly Star Trek parody that’s funny and pays tribute to the original – and it isn’t “The Orville”. It is “Space Traipse: Hold My Beer” by Karina Fabian.

I’ve long been  a fan of Karina Fabian’s work. We were both involved in the “Infinite Space, Infinite God II” anthology. I’ve reviewed several of her works such as her novel “Discovery” based on her Space Nuns stories. (These definitely ace the Bechtel test.) And I’ve followed her “Space Traipse” stories since the very beginning. That’s why I was honored to be one of her beta readers, though the first set of stories are now out in print and on Kindle.

The Hidden Horror Stories of Battlestar Galactica

The original “Battlestar Galactica” show shared several traits with original “Star Trek”. Every few episodes, there’s a new planet and a new people who are suspiciously human. In “Battlestar Galactica”, these constantly discovered human worlds were described as stragglers from the original group that went to Earth.

This raises a number of questions. One would be why these colonists were left behind instead of the ship bound for Earth staying there. We could argue that the Western world wasn’t considered good enough for a full colony and founded by exiles. Yet “Terra” became an advanced technological civilization complete with massive cities. Who colonized that world?

Which Is More Terrifying: The Haunting Vs. The Devil’s Advocate?

Evil from Within or Evil from Without?

When I was in 3rd or 4th grade I considered myself a horror film aficionado – mostly watching old horror classics on Friday nights like the original Dracula, or more recent B-rated schlock, like Jack Nicholson in The Terror.  Then one evening I began watching 1963’s The Haunting, and had to shut it off after the first few scenes. I didn’t finish the movie until years later.  The fright was from pure atmospherics; there’s no monsters jumping out at you, no blood, flesh and gore flying about – but it’s was like walking into someone else’s black & white nightmare. Martin Scorsese ranked it the best horror film of all time.

Halloween Movie Picks: Pumpkinhead

Nature manifests its horror script through biology: old age, disease, and death. Camille Paglia is right to name biology the real fascist ruler of mankind. Added to nature’s brew are the conscious decisions made within the human heart—jealousy, revenge and murder.

TV Review: The Rookie – Does Burying Yourself in a Stressful Job Assuage the Pain of Alienation?

Fans of Nathan Fillion, late of Castle fame, should be pleased with his latest venture – a police procedural “dramedy” called The Rookie.  The action is herky-jerky like a good amusement park ride (and therefore riveting) and the humor is sprinkled in judiciously so as not to detract from the drama.  Fillion stars as John Nolan, as a forty-something new recruit to the L.A.P.D.

New Sci-Fi Book Review: The Far Shore By Glenn Damato

“The Martian” meets “1984”. Modern young adult literature meets realistic science fiction. But what is “The Far Shore” by Glenn Damato really about?

TV Review: The Meaning of the NCIS Franchise’s Recurring “Off The Books” Plots

Return to a “State of Nature?”

“…the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.  For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.” – John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government, Chap.VI, Sec. 57

For years now, whenever our daughter comes home from her adventures (which included West Point, Afghanistan, Iraq, law school, law clerk and now Supreme Court Fellow, thus explaining her interest)  we binge watch the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) franchises: NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles and NCIS New Orleans.  These shows have been highly rated for decades, though you don’t read or hear much about them.  I suspect that is because there is entirely too much patriotism, classical heroism, and American exceptionalism for the cynics in the media to swallow.

TV Review: “Mixed-ish” and Tribalism in American Culture

He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation.  He who chooses his plan for himself employs all his faculties. He must use observation to see, reasoning and judgment to foresee, activity to gather materials for his decision, discrimination to decide, and when he has decided, firmness and self-control to hold his deliberate decision. — John Stuart Mill – On Liberty

When I need to forget about life’s responsibilities for a time, I will watch with my wife some of the sitcoms she enjoys. Blackish, a widely acclaimed show focused upon the foibles and mishaps of trying to stay in tune with American black culture, has spawned the prequel Mixed-ish. Here we are taken back to the childhood of mixed-race Rainbow (or just “Bow,” the wife on Blackish) who started life in an idyllic commune, where supposedly race (among many other distinctions) was completely ignored. This wondrous paradise (with no flushing toilets?) was abruptly ended by an FBI raid, for undisclosed violations.

Book Review: ‘Spoiler Alert’ by Richard Greene

Spoiler Alert by Richard Greene is, no spoiler here, about spoilers. This philosophy book by Open Court Press is unusual for discussing the ethics, the ethos, the philosophy and many other details about spoilers.

As a science fiction fan and author, I found the concept intriguing. And as a periodic book reviewer, I wanted to know where others thought the line between blurbs and spoilers, trailers and big reveals were.

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