Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Kaput Except for the Tailspin

Well, I think this is it, folks. I'm calling it quits. I've maintained this site for nigh on eight years now. I thought getting it into Blogger would re-energize me, and it did for a short time, but the energy is gone. I'm putting my blogging efforts into www.EasilyDiscouragedMan.com, my other blog.

Now I never expected much to happen with this Colorado speculative fiction site, but I did think I'd get a couple hundred visitors a day. Never came close. I averaged probably between 4 to 10 hits a day. Total. Ten people stopping by on a good day. Many of them were the writers I just blogged about seeing what I'd written, rarely to return. Other hits were random searches for Colorado conventions and the like. I'm glad I was able to provide some information about that. I knew this was a very niche topic to cover, but I didn't think it was this niche, as in all but nonexistent. There's a pretty large group of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery fans in Colorado and I thought they'd start to show up. Didn't happen. I know that's my fault. I obviously didn't market the site appropriately. That's something I'm really bad about. I don't know how to market and I don't know where to market. So I did marketing attempts, but I certainly had no marketing plan. And I just didn't do a good job of it.

Part of my hope was that writers would feed me information. That the site would become a dynamic collection of writer news and events, getting a lot of locals involved. I thought it might be some kind of social "network." But as you can see from the huge number of comments (i.e., less that six, I think?), not many were interested in this type of interaction on this site. Perhaps the whole concept and design of this site is wrong. I don't know. But writers rarely fed me information and I've finally grown tired of the work involved in digging up that information on my own without anyone coming to view it. If I had started getting those couple-of-hundred visitors a day I think I'd still be interested in doing this as that's a nice-sized community. But this site never became a community. It never even became a coffee klatsch.

The irony (I think it's irony, that's one of those concepts that still eludes me) is that hardly anyone is going to read (or care) about this post or that the site is gone. I and maybe one or two other people are going to be sad to see this go. Now that's sad.

I'll probably keep all the information here. A static history. I don't see any point in deleting it and I still use this site for other things behind the scenes. But if you are one of the very few to read this post and be saddened by it, then thanks. Please stop by my other blog and say hello.

And with that I say goodbye.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90

Author and geosynchronous satellite thinker-upper, Arthur C. Clarke died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90 on Wednesday. I had, of course, read several of his books. But my first contact with him came through the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (he wrote the original novel, though he collaborated with Kubrick on the story, and co-wrote the script with Kubrick). I had been pretty young when my mom took me to the movie at the Continental (once upon a time our grand movie theatre here in Denver ... and still kinda is). The movie came out in 1968, which would have made me five years old. I don't think I was that young, so perhaps we saw it on a re-release tour in the early '70s. However, I remember enjoying the movie up until the end when the ginormous space baby shows up and then wondering what the hell?! My mom tells me the most memorable part of the film was when she bought popcorn and brought it back to our seats and spilled it everywhere (or maybe I spilled it everywhere?) - however, I don't remember the popcorn incident, so maybe I was only five. As an afterword, it wasn't until years later as a teenager when I read the novel that I finally understood the whole ginormous space baby thing. And did you know that the word 'ginormous' is in the dictionary (along with humongous)? I didn't.

Click here to see a write-up on Mr. Clarke in the L.A. Times.

Some favorite quotes from Mr. Clarke:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I don't believe in astrology; I'm a Sagittarius and we're skeptical.

The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.

It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God but to create him.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Tems' Launch Party - March 4, Tattered Cover LoDo

Here's some cool news from the Tems:
Local award-winning authors Melanie & Steve Tem will read from and sign copies of their new novel, The Man on the Ceiling, on Tuesday, March 4, from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. (note time change from 9:30) at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street, Denver. This novel is an expansion and re-imagining of their novella of the same name, winner of the Bram Stoker, IHG, and World Fantasy Awards (the only work ever to win all three). Please join them for reading, discussion, and refreshment, in celebration of the official launch of a work PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY praised for its "delicate, exquisitely detailed and almost hypnotic language."

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Denver Book Mall - March 2, 2008

Two events on Sunday March 2, 2008 at the Denver Book Mall, 32 Broadway (between 1st Avenue and Ellsworth), Denver, 303-733-3808:

  • 3:00 PM – talk & signing from Gaddy Bergmann, Trials of the Warmland (10% discount)


  • 6:00 PM - Colorado Homegrown Tales presents “A Singular Perspective”

    Actors Emily Paton Davies, Debbie Knapp, Martha Harmon Pardee, and Guy Williams will read stories by Colorado authors Lynn Hamilton, Kent Nelson, and Carrie Vaughn.

    $10 admission; reservations not required but recommended due to limited seating capacity. Authors’ books will be available for sale.

    Please call Debbie Knapp at 720-233-0811 for reservations or more information.

Stories for All Seasons - March 8, 2008

Second Saturday of Every Month at 7:00 PM. Stories for All Seasons at West Side Books, 3434 W. 32nd Ave., Denver (between Federal and Lowell, the purple building with the red pole). Admission is free. Refreshments as always. Call 303.480.0220 or e-mail westsidebooks@qwest.net. Ed Bryant usually hosts and you'll almost always find other local writers in attendance as well.

March 8, 2008:

Carleen Brice - reading from and signing her first novel Orange Mint and Honey

Mario Acevedo's The Undead Kama Sutra

Mario Acevedo's third book in the Felix Gomez adventures The Undead Kama Sutra is out soon from EOS. As Mario's website says: The aliens are back and Felix the vampire must save the Earth women.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Tom Piccirilli Interview at The Plumbers' Union

Tom Piccirilli has another interview up, this time at Allan Guthrie's site (click here to read the interview).

Here's how Tom describes Allan and his site:

Here's a new interview with me, done by the very hip Scotsman Allan Guthrie, author of such brilliant crime novels as Hard Man, Kiss Her Goodbye, and the forthcoming Savage Night for his uber-cool website Noir Originals.

While you're at his site, check it out at length. He's got tons of interviews, reviews, and info for all your crime fiction needs.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Tems at the Denver Book Mall - March 16, 2008

Melanie and Steve Tem continue their whirlwind tour for The Man on the Ceiling (10% discount) on Sunday, March 16, 2008, 3:00 PM at the Denver Book Mall, 32 Broadway (between 1st Avenue and Ellsworth), Denver, 303-733-3808. They will be talking and signing about their novel-length expansion of their 2000 novella of the same name, which won the Bram Stoker Award, International Horror Guild Award, and World Fantasy Award, which is the only work ever to win all three.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Crossword Puzzle - Stephen's Library

Let's peruse Stephen's Library today. Get nice and comfy with a steaming hot mug of hot chocolate - I'm pretty sure it wards off vampires.

CLICK HERE TO PLAY

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Shimmer

Shimmer is a magazine of speculative fiction whose connection to Colorado is via its editor E. Catherine Tobler (the editor-in-chief is Beth Wodzinski from, I believe, Utah for those keeping score at home). The magazine comes out quarterly as both an ezine via a PDF file (at a discounted rate) and a hardcopy magazine. You can purchase it in either format from its website (just click here). The remarkable cover "Penny’s Grave" is by multi-award-winning artist John Picacio. All of the art in this issue is stunning, and as it just so happens, this is their art issue. And so they went about selecting stories in a different manner than usual. As their website says:
For this issue, the art comes first. We selected art, and then invited some Shimmery favorites to write stories inspired by the images.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Ben Turns 21

Today is my son's 21st birthday. Wow, can you believe it? Okay, you probably can but it's pretty weird to me as I'm quite sure I got out of college only a few years ago. I can't be more than, like, 28 myself. What? I'm 44? Holy crap.





Happy birthday, Ben!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

E. Catherine Tobler Honors Poe

E. Catherine Tobler sold her short story "Beyond Porch and Portal" to Ellen Datlow for an anthology tentatively called Poe: New Tales inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, that will be published by Solaris in 2009 to honor Poe's Bicentennial. As E. Catherine says:
I love working with Ellen; she's a gem.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Crossword Puzzle - Creature Feature

This crossword puzzle ventures into the dark realm of the things that go bump in the night and is called Creature Feature.

CLICK HERE TO PLAY

Friday, February 15, 2008

Christopher M. Salas's Debut Novel Gets 2nd Edition

Christopher M. Salas's debut novel Dark Eclipse: Rise of an Era will be re-released as a second edition pretty soon from One Level Higher publishing. Look for his follow-up World Abomination later in 2008.

Here's a blurb about Book I:
Centuries after the first Era of Darkness, the Demonixa reemerge from the ashes of the charred throne of Morgmodeus, their fallen King. Seeking to restore his father's grip of tyranny on the Bytiluna star system, Carnmassiere the second son of Morgmodeus, develops a replica of the doomsday weapon that ended his father's reign; the Eclipse. Now with the Eclipse at his grasp, the light which was restored to the universe is once again threatened.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Left Coast Crime, March 6 - 9, 2008

Left Coast Crime is in Colorado this year at the Adam's Mark hotel from March 6 - 9, 2008. The guests include Stephen White, Michael Masliah, Elaine Viets, Joanne Pence, and Parnell Hall. Rather than come up with something witty and off-the-wall, I'll just reiterate what's on the Con page, which I stole from their website:

Left Coast Crime is an annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans, for mystery fans. It is held during the first quarter of the calendar year in Western North America, as defined by the Mountain Time Zone and all time zones westward to Hawaii.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Win Scott Eckert Gets his Podcast Pulp On

February 11, 2008. Join Win Scott Eckert for the following podcast at 7 pm Pacific / 10 pm Eastern time at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Geekerati.

For many young readers, the discovery of the adventures of Doc
Savage, John Carter, the Spider, the Shadow, or Richard Benson can
lead to a life time love affair with literature of all kinds. Our
guest Win Eckert, and host Bill Cunningham, are two individuals who
are continuing in the noble tradition of action storytelling. They
will be discussing the 'Chronicles' series by Moonstone Books in
addition to the Shadowmen project of Black Coat Press.


The podcast will be available as an mp3 download after the show, both from the Geekerati website and from iTunes.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Crossword Puzzle - That's Funny

This is freakin' hilarious ... or rather the topic of the theme is, hence the title That's Funny.

CLICK HERE TO PLAY

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sink Your Teeth (yes, I really just wrote that) Into a Carrie Vaughn Interview

Yo, dawg (my wife makes me watch Idol. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it like peanut butter and jelly) check it out. Carrie Vaughn has an interview up on Love Vampires, a site about, you know, vampires.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Crossword Puzzle - Double Feature

Can you smell the popcorn? Here comes your Saturday matinee Double Feature. Of course, if you're in Denver, that means one of the Landmark theatres because they use real butter on their popcorn. Good, good stuff.

I'm sorry, where was I? Oh, please enjoy this crossword puzzle. Please!

CLICK HERE TO PLAY

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008

James Van Pelt Floats Before Recess

James Van Pelt sold two short stories recently. The first, "Floaters," went to Talebones while the second, "Just Before Recess," was a short-short sold to Flash Fiction Online.

NO Stories for All Seasons IN FEBRUARY

Due to a late concellation, there will be no Stories for All Seasons in February. March, however, is right on target.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Anderson Gentry's Barrett's Privateers is Out and About Now

Anderson Gentry's latest work Barrett's Privateers is out now from Double Dragon Publishing. The work contains two stories and is the first volume of a series.

You can also read an interview with Anderson at CoolSciFi.com.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hell Yeah! I mean ... Hellboy: Emerald Hell from Tom Piccirilli

Tom Piccirilli's Hellboy novel (despite what Amazon might say, this is a prose novel, not a graphic novel) Emerald Hell is coming out February 6th from Dark Horse Books (with cover art by Hellboy himself, Mike Mignola).








Here's a quick description from Amazon:

Hellboy comes to the crossroads in Enigma, Georgia, a small town beset by strange occurrences. Sent to keep an eye on Sarah Nail, a young girl hiding from the curse of her family, Hellboy becomes entangled in the blood debt of evil mystical preacher, Brother Jester. Stuck between human malice and the mysteries of the occult, Hellboy comes up against an intrigue of ghosts, demon trees, talking bullfrogs, and a race of lost mutant children.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Garcia and Ramos Appear in Anthology and Blog

Rudy Ch. Garcia y Manuel Ramos have short stories coming up in Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature from Bilingual Press. Look for it on February 15, 2008. Rudy is a bilingual teacher in Denver and wrote "LAX Confidential" while Manuel Ramos, author of several crime-fiction novels and the Director of Advocacy for Colorado Legal Services, wrote "The 405 is Locked Down." The anthology can be pre-ordered from Tattered Cover, et al., in hardcover or trade paperback.

In addition, Garcia and Ramos are founders of and contributors to La Bloga, a Chicano lit blog. Garcia also had a fantasy titled "Memorabilia" accepted by Drollerie Press.

About the "Lotusland" anthology, from editor Daniel Olivas's introduction:

The stories and novel excerpts sandwiched in between "Kid Zopilote" and the excerpt from Chicano bring us to modern day Latino denizens of Los Angeles and the city's surrounding communities. And what a complex and diverse group of people we observe: young and old, gay and straight, rich and poor, the newly-arrived and the well-established. There's a Cuban-American screenwriter trying to pitch the "real" story behind the Bay of Pigs fiasco. We see the Mexican woman struggling with barrio life who believes she's seen a miracle.

There are youths trying to avoid gang life, and others embracing it. And we're introduced to aggressive journalists, cement pourers, disaffected lovers, drunken folklórico dancers, successful curanderos, teenage slackers, aging artists, wrestling saints, aimless druggies, people made of paper, college students, and even a private detective hot on the heels of a presumed-dead gonzo writer. These actors perform on a stage set with palm trees, freeways, mountains and sand in communities from East L.A. to Malibu, Hollywood to the San Fernando Valley, Venice Beach to El Sereno. The storytelling comes in all packages: social realism, lyrical fantasy, tough-talking noir.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Carol Berg's New Fantasy Novel and Blog

No, Carol Berg's new fantasy novel isn't a blog (I don't think). But she and her publisher have agreed on a three-book traditional fantasy series tentatively titled "The Sabrian Veil." From Carol's website:

Here's the (extremely) skinny:

A beleaguered king hires a trio of unlikely confidential agents - a foppish nobleman, a disillusioned student of magic, and a brooding practitioner of the dark arts – to investigate murder and hauntings in a world where natural science has supplanted failing magic.


As for the blog part, well, she's started one. Just click on Text Crumbs for a pleasant read.