Welcome to Biting-Edge, a blog shared by authors and vampire experts, Mario Acevedo and Jeanne Stein. We’ll cover urban fantasy, vampires, pop culture, and all things Joss Whedon. Unlike other fantasy blogs, we don’t insist on body cavity searches (unless you ask politely). Snarkiness is most welcome...though we won't promise not to bite back!

Sunday, March 29, 2009
  Tank Girl

Mario here:

First of all, HUGE congrats to our contest finalists. Make sure you claim your prizes before Jeanne puts them on eBay!

The big event this week was the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America going to a machine gun shoot up near Ft. Morgan. Here is sci-fi writer Warren Hammond teaching the snow a lesson with a Tommy gun.

Mystery writer Twist Phelan also gave the landscape a workout with a variety of weapons to include the main gun of a tank. Quien es mas macho?

If you're curious about Jailbait Zombie, check out what Marshal Zeringue posted on his blog, the Page 99 Test.

ParaNormal Romance posted a very nice review of JZ. Lots of gore, undead action, and totally romance free.

Bitten By Books has reviews of the Felix Gomez books. Check them out HERE.

Over at the League of Relunctant Adults, Caitlin Kittredge is running a survey of what monsters you want to see in print. For yet another proposal, as if Caitlin isn't busy enough.

I was deep in the internet doing "research" and discovered these interesting photos of high school science projects. Who knew nerd-dom could be so compelling?

The winner, by a toe!

Thursday, March 26, 2009
  If it's Thursday, it must be....
Jeanne, here.

Okay, sports fans, first things first.

The results of our latest contest. To refresh your memory, the assignment was:

If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be? Why? What would you do?

Turns out, we’re going to have TWO winners. Mario and I reviewed all the entries and here are our choices.

Winner #1. Jennifer Rinehart!

I hate vampires.

No, not just because they drink blood and defile the innocent, no, I
mean I really, really hate them.

I know what you're thinking: what a kook, she might as well say she hates leprechauns or dragons. But I mean it in the most personal way.

Vampires are ruining my life. So if I had a choice of who I would
want to spend the evening with it would be with Abraham Van Helsing.

Maybe he could help me rid Powell's Books of the blood sucking ghouls hanging out around the cookbook section (don't ask me why they're there, they just are). Sure, they look cute and non-threatening, but I'm not willing to risk eternal damnation to get a copy of Emeril's newest cookbook. They're at the laundromat too, I see their glowing faces hovering over the discarded dryer sheets. The same with the
parking lot at Macy's, Bed, Bath & Beyond and my absolute favorite store, World Market. As if they need to stock up on rattan placemats or tiny travel sized jars of lemon curd.

In closing, I think Van Helsing would be an invaluable source of information on slaying the undead. I have a notepad and pen ready to take notes and an unused giftcard for Olive Garden. I hope he likes Italian.

**This one got points for sheer audacity. Who would tell two vampire writers that they HATE vampires. But she makes some pretty good arguments. Besides, we’re assuming this was written with tongue firmly in cheek, right, Jennifer? Right? Jennifer?**

Winner #2. The Tot--

I would choose Anna Strong because I like her best because she’s pretty. We would have a play date. First, we’d do ballerina dances. Then we’d go to the dinosaur museum. Then we’d going to the mall and go buy lots of new shoes, maybe some earrings too. Then we’d get our ears pierced and get our nails done in bright red with sparkles. Then we’d go to the park and play—I think she’d be really good at tag. Then we’d go to ChuckECheese. Then it would be time for bed and she’d read me a bedtime story. Anna’s really good at telling stories.

**I can hear the groans out there—but Mario made this his first pick without ANY pressure from me. And think about it, how often does Anna get invited to play? (Not counting the time she spends with Lance and that’s a different thing altogether.) And except for the ChuckECheese thing, Anna thinks this sounds like a pretty good plan. Ballerina dances, new shoes, earrings and the dinosaur museum—what girl wouldn’t like to spend a day like that?**

So now, I just need the winners snail mail addresses and the prizes are on the way. They can be sent to: Jeanne@jeannestein.com

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all who entered. We had a lot of damned good entries, some very original, all fun to read. I think we have some writers in the audience.

Which brings me to a related article for you aspiring writers out there:

Simon & Schuster and Cheerios Cereal is sponsoring its third annual New Author Contest for previously unpublished authors of children's books.
Entries are being accepted through July 15, 2009 and the winner will be announced in
March 2010. There is no cost to enter. The Grand Prize is $5000, with two first
prizes of $1000 each. Here’s the link for more information.

Now, some disturbing news:

From writer Chris Cowan:

Today's (3/24/09) Washington Post's Health section has a lead article about the effect of the new law about lead in things for children. Any children's BOOK printed before 1985 has to be tested for lead (at $300-600 per book) or cannot be "distributed," (i.e., sold OR even circulated in a library, apparently).

There doesn't appear to be an exception of any sort. And it doesn't appear that "Children's Books" have been well-enough defined, either. Would this affect a 19th century Little Women? Or Alice in Wonderland? Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn? Black Beauty? Kipling's Just-So Stories and The Jungle Books? Or Tolkien's mid-20th century "The Hobbit?"

Or any children's books some of you have written that were printed before 1985.

Oh, and this also affects board games and dolls. So clasic Barbie and your grandparent's Scrabble set (to say nothing of the Candyland cherished from one's childhood) come under The Ban as well. Isn't chess a board game, too? And pre-1985 bikes are covered because the tire valves might have lead, even if the rest of the bike doesn't.

What's next -- a Berlin-style book burning? Oh wait -- that would cause airborne lead pollution.

I happen to think there's a quantum difference between enforcing no lead paint on new toys that one's toddler may mouth and this. But then, obviously my mental capacity has been affected by all those pre-1985 books I grew up reading. (But not eating.)

The article also mentions what the effect is on secondhand and used book stores as well. It’s devastating. What do you think?

Some interesting and not so disturbing news.

Dr John Casson claims to have unearthed Shakespeare's first published poem, the Phaeton sonnet, his first comedy, Mucedorus, and his first tragedies, Locrine and Arden of Faversham.

He also explores the plays Thomas of Woodstock and A Yorkshire Tragedy, and claims to prove that a 'lost play' called Cardenio is a genuine work by Shakespeare and fellow playwright John Fletcher.

He has published his findings in a book, titled Enter Pursued by a Bear.

And one of our faithful readers, Gina, sent us this:

New York, NY - March 16, 2009 - Building upon sixteen years of water cooler programming and soaring ratings growth following its most-watched year ever, SCI FI Channel is evolving into Syfy on air and on-line beginning July 7th, it was announced today by Dave Howe, President, SCI FI.

By changing the name to Syfy, which remains phonetically identical, the new brand broadens perceptions and embraces a wider and more diverse range of imagination-based entertainment including fantasy, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure, as well as science fiction. It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and non-linear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.

My comment- Huh?

Gina also adds: Syfy is a Polish equivalent for "crap", "junk" or "syphilis".

Supposedly another of the reasons for the change is that Syfy is easier to text than SciFi. Oh yeah. That makes sense.

Interested in the Hugo nominees for this year? Check it out here.

From Shelf Awareness & Variety:

Joel and Ethan Coen are working on an adaptation of the classic western True Grit by Charles Portis for their next project. An earlier version featured John Wayne's Oscar-winning performance.

According to Variety--and to the surprise of no one familiar with their work--the Coen's adaptation will not be "a traditional remake," but "will be more faithful to the Charles Portis book than the 1969 pic." True Grit "reteams the brothers with producer Scott Rudin, their partner on the Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men."

Portis' novel is about a 14-year-old girl who, along with an aging U.S. marshal and another lawman, tracks her father's killer in hostile Indian territory.

But while the original film was a showcase for Wayne, the Coens' version will tell the tale from the girl's p.o.v.

Okay, I can hear you saying out there—so who cares? I only mention it because the original True Grit has the distinction of being the movie that turned me off the Oscars FOREVER. When John Wayne was given the best actor award over Jon Voigt and Dustin Hoffman (both nominated for Midnight Cowboy) I vowed NEVER to watch the stupid program again. And I haven’t. I’m very proud of that actually.

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Clive Cussler’s suit over the bomb Sahara is turning out to be very expensive for him. He has been ordered to pay another $14 million in legal fees to Crusader Entertainment. That makes it a total of about $23 million if you include his legal fee. As the Reporter comments: Few would have ever guessed that a controversy over script approval could ever get to be so expensive. The movie itself is said to have lost $80 million.

Now for fun stuff:

First pictures of Alpha in his lair – suitably creepy, isn’t it? And who is that piece of man candy on the chair in the background?

A great picture of the Dollhouse set.

Love the direction Dollhouse is going. We did kind of guess that the FBI agent’s neighbor across the hall was a doll, didn’t we?

I guess Life on Mars has been canceled. Too bad. I liked that program. The sound track rocked.

Castle was so-so. The too good kid is grating. The plot was not very original. It’s a good thing I like Nathan. And Sue Grafton and Stephen King may appear in future episodes as poker playing buds. Can't wait for that!

Last night’s Lost was also TOO good, too, but in the right way. SPOILER: Sayid kills young Ben—but wait, isn’t old Ben there on the island? Will he disappear? Great cliff hangar.

One of these days, I may learn to embed these videos, but until then, I have to send you to a link. This one is worth the trip. It’s a Snickers vampire commercial. Cool

Now I’m off to meet Mario. We’re signing at the Greenwood Village Barnes & Noble. Wish us luck. The weather forecast is for 6 – 12 inches of snow.


Just great.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
  I'm back
Mario here:

I would thank Jeanne for covering for me while I was gone but she overdid the snarkiness...as if I deserved it. Jeanne is the queen of below-the-belt low blows (my mouth was otherwise occupied)...and I'll leave it at that.

Last week she posted my pics of the world-famous Paranormal Bender Tour. Four writers. One Kia. 3200 miles in five days. Whew. Thank goodness we were all nuts about hygiene.

For a lot of great tour pics, check out Cherie Priest's post (but make no comments about public breast feeding). For the record, the motel in San Diego wasn't that bad. Whiners!

And for wicked and perverse commentary on our trip (with absolutely no encouragement from me) see what Mark Henry says.

I wasn't home for more than a day when off I went to Charlottesville for the Virginia Festival of the Book. I was scheduled to appear with Kim Harrison who sadly had to cancel because of a tragic health issue in her family. We all send our condolences.

At the festival I did meet Alan Cheuse, the NPR book critic. Here he is with the unflappable Nancy Damon, the maven of all things literary this last weekend. Virginians love to read as you can tell by all the bookstores downtown and the several alternative weeklies (I counted three to our one Westword).

I also met Denise Hamilton, author of gritty LA noir stories and one of my favorite mystery writers.

Downtown Charlottesville was full of trendy and funky shops like the Mudhouse cafe
where I got with Justin Humphries (he of the big hands) where we discussed monster and sci-fi movies (and traded a lot of dirty jokes).

Humphries wrote an interview with me in their local weekly The Hook which you can read HERE.

After such a great weekend, I have to ask: where is the Colorado Festival of the Book?
Thursday, March 19, 2009
  Mario and The Magical Mystery Tour
Jeanne here.

Right away I have to admit that I made a BIG mistake. Before Mario left, I told him if he'd send pics I'd post them today, Thursday, MY DAY....

And since dealing with a whiny Mario is worse than the any dire doomsday scenario you can imagine, I'm going to fulfill my part of the bargain. The good news is that Mario isn't in any of the pics. When you see who he was traveling with, you'll understand why I say that. There's nothing more disgusting than a drooling man. Unless it's that pimp line phone...

Mario: Cherie Priest and Caitlin Kittridge with their casino balloon drinks in Las Vegas.
Me: I didn't think Caitlin was old enough to drink.

Mario: Cherie Priest, Caitlin Kittridge, and Vicki Pettersson in the Clark County Public Library before our talk and signing.
Me: Hence the remark about the drooling.

Mario: Mark Henry using the awesome Pimp Line phone in a Vegas collectibles (junk) shop.
Me: Only a man would call the "pimp line" phone awesome. Only Mark Henry could manage to look like he's used it before.

Mario: us in San Diego at Mysterious Galaxy.
Me: I wish I'd been there. MG is one of my favorite stores...no snarkiness, just jealousy.

Mario: in line to get the world famous and celebrity endorsed Pink's hotdogs.
Me: So what does a world famous and celebrity endorsed Pink's hotdog taste like? Trust Mario to leave out the most important part.

Mario:Richelle Mead and boyfriend in (Seattle) Palomino's the last night of the tour.
Me: I love Richelle. Not in the biblical sense. I love her writing, I mean.

I'm sure this will not be the last we hear about this trip. In fact, I'd bet on it. Between our blog and The League of Reluctant Adults, which Mario, Mark, Caitlin and Cherie are all apart of, there'll be pictures galore and accounts of Mario being thrown out of bars and getting laughed at by call girls. I told him before he left, leave the coin jar at home. It'll work on the slots, but the working girls like the folding green. I'm sure he didn't believe me.

He never does.

One last note: You have until tomorrow at midnight to enter our contest.
Answer this question in 250 words or less:

If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be? Why? What would you do?

Prizes: Legacy, Many Bloody Returns, magnets and pens from me—Jailbait Zombie, buttons and a devil duck from Mario. Deadline: Midnight Sat. March 21—Mario and I constitute the panel of judges and our decision is final (that sounds SO official, doesn’t it?) The winner will be announced on the Biting Edge March 26—

Now, I’ve gotten a few entries with just names and addresses. I think what we have here is a lack of communication. For such a fabulous cache of prizes, you have to work.

Send your entries to: Jeanne@jeannestein.com
In the subject line, please put “contest”

Next week, back to our regularly scheduled program!
Monday, March 16, 2009
  Mario Sighting--
Jeanne here--

The good news is Mario has finally been spotted.

The bad news is Mario was spotted crawling back into town in the wee hours of the morning.

I suspect we won't hear from his sorry ass today. That's either good news or bad news.

I'll let you decide.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
  Hide Your Sons & Daughters
Why that title?

Mario is on the road. I’m posting his schedule again so you are forewarned.

But if you find yourself in any of these areas, after making sure your family is safe, you might want to stop in. Here’s your chance to see Mark Henry, Cherie Priest, Caitlin Kittredge and Mario all in one convenient location. That’s either very good news or very bad news. I hope the towns in question have prepared. Course Las Vegas is used to crazies so the people there hardly noticed, I’m sure. Mario is supposed to be sending pics so let’s hope he takes them before he starts drinking. Didn’t get any yesterday, though, so it’s not likely.

Mario’s road trip schedule:

Clark County Library, Jewel Box Theater
Las Vegas, NV
March 11, 2009. 7 PM
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
March 13, 2009. 7 PM
Dark Delicacies
Burbank, CA
March 14, 2009. 2 PM
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
March 15, 2009. 7 PM
Powell's Books
Beaverton, OR
March 16, 2009. 7 PM
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
March 17, 2009. 7PM

HOWEVER, I do have pictures from Mario’s signing at the Tattered Cover right before he hit the road. Sorry my camera technique isn’t the best.

Mario doing his thing.

Friends of Mario (AKA FOM's) AKA His hard working critique group

Ron & Nina Else of Who Else Books in Denver, another great Indie.

Now, let’s get to the important stuff—

TV Squad named its top ten hottest female non-humans. Guess who’s Numero Uno?

And from Variety (courtesy of my friend Carol Malcolm): (Joss) Whedon will be providing "a special musical performance" for an already-special episode of Ira Glass' This American Life on April 23rd. The episode - based around the theme of "Return to the Scene of the Crime" - will also feature contributions from TAL regulars Dan Savage, David Rakoff and Acme Novelty Library's Chris Ware, and be simultaneously broadcast to over 400 movie theaters and art centers around the US. No news, yet, as to exactly what Whedon's performance will entail, but we're hopeful for an appearance by Dr. Horrible co-writers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, we have to admit.

Unfortunately for me, This American Life is on Showtime, which I don’t get. If any of you catch it, let us know.

A couple of things from Shelf Awareness.

3/10/09 A paperback edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which includes an illustrated card signed by J.K. Rowling, was sold for $19,120 by a Dallas auction house. The Associated Press (via USA Today) reported that the book was "one of only 200 copies from the first printing issued with illustrated wrappers by London publisher Bloomsbury." The winning bid came from a vintage comic book collector in Dubai.

3/11/09 Love the aroma of old books? New Yorker's Book Bench blog showcased CB I Hate Perfume in Brooklyn, N.Y., which sells In the Library, "a perfume inspired by the proprietor Christopher Brosius's love of books and his inability to pass a secondhand bookshop without stopping in."

According to the company, the perfume is "supposed to evoke a first-edition English novel via 'Russian and Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth, and a hint of wood polish.' "

Not to mention “the faintest trace of Scotch.” I can think of a few writers who will be checking that one out for sure.

I know Mario mentioned this on Monday. Mystery writer Barbara Parker, 62, of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, died Saturday morning surrounded by her family at the Hospice By The Sea in Boca Raton after a long illness. Here’s a nice obit done by the Sun Sentinel if you’re interested.

Who watched Castle this week? Here are my rough first impressions:

Negatives: Daughter smarter than both dad and grandma, and more mature than either. Old and timeworn. Beckett - the detective - handled evidence bare handed. Big clinker.

Postitives: Nathan, of course. Loved the little eyebrow action at the end… The poker game with Steve Cannell and Jim Patterson batting around “Castle’s” idea. Reminded me of the Tom Clancy line—the difference between reality and fiction is that fiction has to make sense…The detective. She wasn’t TOO glamorous…Overall, I liked it. I’ll watch again. How about you?

And don’t forget the contest! Here’s the deal: Answer this question in 250 words or less:

If you could spend one unbridled night with any fictional character in the world, who would it be? Why? What would you do?

Prizes: Legacy, Many Bloody Returns, magnets and pens from me—Jailbait Zombie, buttons and a devil duck from Mario. Deadline: Midnight Sat. March 21—Mario and I constitute the panel of judges and our decision is final (that sounds SO official, doesn’t it?) The winner will be announced on the Biting Edge March 26—

Send your entries to: Jeanne@jeannestein.com
In the subject line, please put “contest”

Now, I’ve gotten a few entries with just names and addresses. I think what we have here is a lack of communication. For such a fabulous cache of prizes, you have to work.

One more thing: In today’s Denver Post there is an article about some guy from Canada who is having a camera concealed inside his prosthetic eye in order to “secretly record people for a project commenting on the global spread of surveillance cameras.” He uses phrases like people are “sleepwalking into an Orwellian society.” Anybody but me see the irony in what this guy is doing? Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the article on line but his name is Rob Spence if you want to conduct your own search.

See you back here next week or over at the League of Reluctant Adults on Saturday.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
  What about Count Chocula?
Mario here:

My publisher sent this ginormous banner. They made it for the New York Comic Con and then sent it to me. After my book tour, I can use the banner as a tent in case I ever get evicted.


In case you haven't seen my newest book trailer, here it is in all its awesome Lego stop-action glory (thanks to my son).

Canadian Sci-Fi Guy posted a nice review of Jailbait Zombie. Click here.

I hear you!

Write about sex, violence, and gore and my critique group crawls all over me. Then I get an email from a fan, Fahmi Imteaz, who wrote: your latest book, Jailbait Zombie could have been much better, but it was still great.
I was a little confused by her comment so I asked her to be specific.
Fahmi replied: I think the book could have been better if there was a bit more action, maybe a little more gun action. There was a lot more gun action in the other three books, and a lot more gore. There could also have been more sex parts like your first book. I also thought that you could have made the book much longer, I was upset when I finished the book.

The people have spoken. Okay, one people. More gore! More guns! Hoo-rah! But she also accused me of being too short and not supplying enough action. Where have I heard that before? But I digress.

Eric who?

On March 21, I'll be in Charlottesville for the Virginia Festival of the Book, speaking with Kim Harrison and Eric Nuzum. Eric who? He's a self-proclaimed lover, writer, and nonsense provocateur living in Washington, DC. Gotta the admire the guy. And he wrote a book The Dead Travel Fast about vampire lore from Nosferatu to Count Chocula.

Life is too short

Recently, I had the pleasure of knowing Barbara Parker, best-selling novelist, and an officer of the Mystery Writers of America. I met her during the national board meeting in NYC. That was only last January and she passed away this week from a prolonged illness. Barbara was a remarkable woman and each of us can only hope to be half as productive and inspirational as you can read HERE.

Thursday, March 05, 2009
  Contest! Contest! Contest!

Take a look at this FABulous cache of prizes. Not one, not two, but THREE books, a set of book cover magnets, pens, pins, and if that isn’t enough—a DEVIL DUCK!!!!

Now for such a GRAND prize, you are going to have to work. Here’s the deal. Answer this question in 250 words or less:

If you could spend one unbridled night with ANY fictional character, who would it be? Why? What would you do?

Prizes: Legacy, Many Bloody Returns, magnets and pens from me—Jailbait Zombie, buttons and a devil duck from Mario. Deadline: Midnight Sat. March 21—Mario and I constitute the panel of judges and our decision is final (that sounds SO official, doesn’t it?) The winner will be announced on the Biting Edge March 26—

Send your entries to: Jeanne@jeannestein.com
In the subject line, please put “contest”

Have fun!!!!

Speaking of Jailbait, click here to see Mario’s clever Lego book trailer! It’s a good thing he has such talented sons. I want to know who the cigar-smoking chump was in the beginning. I chump because he let Mario go. What was he thinking? Besides, as my friend Terry Wright said, I would have PAID Mario to let me pull that tape off his mouth. Come to think of it, several others that I know would have, too. Right Jeff?

Okay, onto the rest of the story.

Personal stuff: Norway bought the first four books in the Anna Strong Chronicles, and Germany, the next three (4,5,6.) Droemer, the German publisher, will release the third Anna Strong book, called Dark Kiss next month.

A great interview with Eliza Dushku re Dollhouse from the AVClub. Here’s a clip:

AVC: It isn’t like Joss is some new kid on the block, though. He has a lot of shows under his belt, and he’s got this large cult following. Is it frustrating when you get that kind of feedback?

ED: Honestly, yes. I understand it from a business perspective, and from Fox’s view, but at the same time, we’ve now done 13 episodes, and people have said that the show took off once they finally realized that Joss is best off left alone to do his thing. That happens around episode six—six through 13 are just extraordinary. I love one, two, three, four, and five, but Joss’ first script that he did after the pilot is number six, which is called “Man On The Street,” and it is just unbelievable. From that point on, the world unfolds in Joss’ way, with Joss’ speed, and it’s really remarkable.

And here’s a trailer for tomorrow night’s episode, Gray Hour. Looks like we have a couple of episodes before we get to the REAL Whedon show.

Another of my favorite Whedon Alums, Christian Kane, gave an interview to iFMagazine. Here’s a bit to titillate and intrigue:
iF: You’ve mentioned that you’d like to see your ANGEL co-star and friend David Boreanaz direct an episode of LEVERAGE next season.

KANE: I talked to David, he’s my best friend, and he said, “dude, I should come and direct.” And David directed me a couple of times, and he’s directed on BONES, so hopefully, god willing, we can get him over to direct an episode of LEVERAGE next season.

iF: Do you think if he directed, he’d make an appearance?

KANE: I don’t know if he would make an appearance. It would be very cool if he walked by. He could possibly come in to a play a nemesis. That would be fun. Sam [Anderson] was just on a couple of episodes ago. He played my boss on ANGEL and so it was really cool to work with him, so you never know.

To see MORE of David, scroll to the bottom. :-)

Is this not cool, or what? James Marsters : The Marstersclass

Sign up for a day with James including an exclusive acting "Marstersclass" on Saturday, May 2, at The Drill Hall in London.

James will be taking to the stage to offer people a rare opportunity to see how he tackles acting roles and gets under the skin of a character as part of a day and evening that also includes a concert, Q&A sessions, personalised autographs, photos and much more.

The masterclass will see him join forces with Torchwood co-star Gareth David Lloyd to offer a behind-the-scenes peek into the world of acting followed by a question and answer session about stage, TV and film work. Find out what happened on the set of new movie Dragonball Evolution or what really went on in the Torchwood Hub. How did James become Spike? How did Piccolo evolve?

Tickets went on sale Feb 27—for about $186.00 limited to 150 people.

Sad Passings:

Philip José Farmer, Daring Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 91

Science fiction author Philip José Farmer has died. He was 91. The New York Times observed that he was a writer who "shocked readers in the 1950s by depicting sex with aliens and who went on to challenge conventional pieties of the genre in caustic fables set on bizarre worlds of his own devising . . . Farmer's distinctive blend of intellectual daring and pulp-fiction prose found a worldwide audience. His more than 75 books have been translated into 22 languages and published in more than 40 countries."

"Imagination," he once said, "is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got."

Forrest J. Ackerman—from SF&F Publishing News

Forrest J Ackerman (Also Known As: 4E, 4SJ, Uncle Forry, Mr. Science Fiction) (born November 24, 1916). Agent, editor, writer, life long fabulous friend. Normally the phrase he is best known for & comes into a piece like this on a person's life and loves. But, Forry is internationally loved and famous and best known for so many things that it would be hard to come up with just one.

He created the phrase "Sci-Fi" and coined several other terms. He did for the genre of SF and Horror what no one else could have done. He made it respectable. He inspired today's film makers to recreate some of the best "B" movies and make them "A" list blockbusters.

He was given a nice send off in the newest Comic-Con Magazine which notes: the world of fandom won’t quite be the same without Forry.

A DVD movie has just been released for Dead Like Me: Life After Death. I came to the TV show late and only caught it in syndication. I loved Ellen Muth. She has one of the most expressive faces in the business. I was enthralled by the series and hope the movie is as good. Anyone out there seen it yet? Here’s the trailer.

Reaper is back! Yippee!

Lost last night – The best episode yet.

Castle – don’t forget to tune in on Monday!

Who is going to see Watchmen this weekend? How about a report if you do?

From the I-don’t-know-where-this-came-from-and-I-don’t-care dept:

I probably should end with naked David, but I love this time of year. I’m certainly no photographer, but these little flowers are popping up in my yard and I just had to share. Ah, spring….

For some reason, most of my links aren't working on this friggin' blogger-- they work everywhere else. Sorry.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
  Red Alert
Mario here:

Book 4 of the Felix Gomez adventures, Jailbait Zombie, is on the streets and we're in maximum promotional mode.

But first:

What's the connection between the who-done-it, paranormal, and easy listening jazz? I explain it all in my essay on Michelle Gagnon's Kill Zone blog. Bonus, you get to share what paranormal creature you'd like to be.


The A.V. section of this week's Onion will run an interview of me by the fabulous (and dangerous) Cat Rambo. Besides her work on the Onion, she's a co-editor of the acclaimed Fantasy Magazine:

Over at The Big Thrill, newsletter of the International Thriller Writers, I interviewed Colorado author Jim Hansen where we discussed his most recent novel, Voodoo Laws.

WAIT! There's more:

If Felix's fourth book is out, that means Book 5 is almost done. So far, Felix has gone against nymphos, alien gangsters, government assassins, and zombies. Now what? Get this: werewolves. In the wicked city a.k.a Charleston, SC. For research I visited the Lowcountry and had the good fortune of having Mark Jones show me Charleston's diamonds and dirt.

Mark vents about what's overrated in our popular culture. You're invited to vent as well.

Your Cheating Heart.

Infidelity can be bad news...but also good business. Real life private investigator, Colleen Collins, tells how taking on a case involving a cheating spouse can mean more than gathering the dirty goods. You could wind up as a marriage counselor. Check out her post on the blog of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America.

SRO for Zombie and Werewolves!

Carrie Vaughn, everybody's favorite werewolf author, joined me for a joint signing of our newest books at the Denver Book Mall. A bunch of local authors showed up in support of us, to include Terry Wright, (Hugo and Nebula award winning) Connie Willis, Laura Reeve, Warren Hammond, our own Jeanne, and Thea Hutchinson (see below).

Here's Carrie explaining why, to her, vampires are so last century. Notice the skeptical audience (and rightly so).

I raffle a notorious Devil Duck at every signing. Here is the latest victim, the unsuspecting Thea.

New Contest!

Your chance to win lots of shwag. All you have to do is explain which fictional character you'd like to spend the night with. Remember, the seamier the story, the better. Check back on Thursday when Jeanne explains the dirty details and how to enter.

Felix on the road.

I'll be on the Paranormal Bender Tour promoting Jailbait Zombie. Here are the venues. See you there!

Clark County Library, Jewel Box Theater
Las Vegas, NV
March 11, 2009. 7 PM
Mysterious Galaxy
San Diego, CA
March 13, 2009. 7 PM
Dark Delicacies
Burbank, CA
March 14, 2009. 2 PM
Borderlands Books
San Francisco, CA
March 15, 2009. 7 PM
Powell's Books
Beaverton, OR
March 16, 2009. 7 PM
University Bookstore
Seattle, WA
March 17, 2009. 7PM

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