Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DIY Time Machine, Nostalgia and Comedy Relief

I surfed YouTube, so you don't have to. :)

Have you always wanted your own DeLorean Time Machine? Why not build one? Personally, I think some people have too much time on their hands. I'm waiting for the working version. I can think of a lot of cool things I could do with a time machine. History beware!

And here's a bit of nostalgia for those who remember, and a funny look into the past for those who don't.

Finally, a little comedy relief from the original Star Trek.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Trailer Cache

I have been invited to a number of press screenings in LA. Unfortunately, I live in Northern California and my reviewer's schedule has prevented her from attending premieres and press screenings. So, I guess I could use an additional reviewer there. If you live in LA and want to try your hand at reviewing, drop me a line. I can't pay you, but you'll certainly have bragging rights with your friends that you saw that great sci-fi, fantasy or horror movie already while they're waiting for it to hit the theaters. Meantime, here are some trailers with you.

Here's a flick you can view now on Netflix. Gotta love those Indie filmmakers!

Acclaimed Indie Horror Parody PELT Hacks Its Way To Netflix
LOS ANGELES (September 10, 2012) – Osiris Entertainment’s award-winning horror feature PELT is now available on Netflix. Since it hit the festival circuit, PELT gained a fast following for its quick-witted parody on the “girl meets psycho” formula by bringing together an unmatched cast with an unwavering screenplay orchestrated by Prison Diaries director, Richard Swindell.

PELT introduces viewers to beautiful Jennifer and her friends as they embark on a backpacking excursion deep into the woods of Caveland Kentucky despite dire warnings from local residents. Sudden, gory death hides behind every bush when they come “chest to chest” with an evil as old as the trees.

The film stars Ashley Watkins (1000 Ways to Die) as Jennifer, while the titillating triumvirate is completed by Marie Bollinger (Hell-O-Ween) and Sara Zurell (90210, No Ordinary Family).

Winner – Outstanding Film, Audience Choice Award – Big Bear Horror Film Festival

“PELT was a wonderful film to work on and I can’t wait to share it with viewers through Netflix,” said Swindell. “I am proud of our incredibly talented cast and crew who turned this project into a one of a kind film that holds its own next to any ‘big budget’ offering.”

Listen...above the crackling of the that the sound of a twig snapping or your best girlfriend's neck? Check out PELT on Netflix today!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

by Jim C. Hines
DAW (2012)

Review by Clare Deming

Have you ever been so caught up in a book that you felt like the story, characters, and the items within were just as real as this world? Have you ever wished that you could pull a particular fictional item out of the pages? Well, in Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines, Isaac Vainio can do just that. He's a libriomancer and a member of Die Zwelf Portenære, the world-wide organization that oversees this magic, known more simply as the Porters. However, Isaac and his fire spider, Smudge, are stuck cataloguing books at a library in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He is forbidden from practicing libriomancy after an incident with zombies and is banned from field work for the Porters.

Many books are open to the use of this magic, but only small items can fit through the pages. Johannes Gutenberg, creator of moveable type printing, has locked more dangerous volumes to prevent items such as The One Ring or an untreatable virus from being realized. In this story, Gutenberg also discovered libriomancy, established the rules of its practice, and is one of the most powerful men in the world, artificially prolonging his life with magic.

During a quiet day at the library, Isaac is alarmed when Smudge starts to smolder, a sign of imminent danger. Isaac clears the library of patrons and pulls a disruptor pistol out of a science fiction novel just before three sparkling vampires walk through the door. The Sanguinarius Meyerii vampires make demands upon Isaac and when he refuses to cooperate, violence ensues. Before the vampires can finish him off, Lena Greenwood arrives to assist in the fight, using her wooden bokken and her powers as a nymph to overcome the enemy.

Isaac has known Lena for several years. Once the two of them are able to regroup, she informs Isaac that several Porters have been murdered, and their mutual associate, Doctor Nidhi Shah, has been abducted. In addition to this, Johannes Gutenberg is missing. Thrown back into the field, Isaac must work with Lena to discover who is behind the slayings, recover Doctor Shah, and uncover Gutenberg's fate.

This was a fun and engaging story, and anyone with a love of books will instantly sympathize with how libriomancy uses that love to allow access to the book's contents. Most of the rules for libriomancy were logical, but a few felt like they were a tad too arbitrary, made up solely to let the plot happen in the way that it needed to. While magic is not limited to only libriomancy in this urban fantasy tale, it is Isaac's focus, and he slings healing potions, charms, and famous swords out of books from Alice in Wonderland to Starship Troopers. The author incorporates a great variety of science fiction and fantasy books, most familiar to me, some that were not, and others that were made up for this novel.

The book is sprinkled with humor as well, and the plot threads came together nicely at the conclusion, while still leaving enough mystery for further development. I loved the interplay between the characters - Isaac, Lena, Doctor Shah, and Smudge were all portrayed with enough detail and emotion that I could almost pull them out of the pages myself.

Libriomancer is the first book in the Magic Ex Libris series. The second book will be Codex Born, but I have no information on a release date.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Opps and Apps - sci-fi style

How about a little Dr. Dread to chase away those humpday blues?

And a little Harry Turtledove for 99 cents perhaps?

Phoenix Picks releases Harry and Rachel Turtledove’s On The Train: ebook $7.99/paperback $12.99.

LAUNCH SPECIAL: ebook is only 99 cents on Amazon through October 4th.

Here's the Publishers Weekly review of the book:

“Turtledoves père and fille offer two stories set on a railroad-girt
world. Harry Turtledove (Supervolcano) introduces Javan, a young man from
the city of Pingaspor whose third-class ticket allows him to expand his
worldview, and whose ambition allows him to make a life for himself in the
narrow confines of the Train. Rachel Turtledove’s story describes the
first-class travels of nanny Eli, hired by the Baroness Vasri, who becomes
entangled in the world of the Directors of the Railroad and the slinkers
who stow away. The world of the Train is insular even as it circles the
planet, offering only fleeting glimpses into the wonders beyond, whether
the ravages of war or the effects more magical regions have on the Train’s
mechanism. The original setting and likable characters have a surprising
number of possibilities that could easily be explored in future books.

And their usual free ebook special is as follows:
Charles Sheffield's collection Georgia on My Mind and Other Places, which includes a Nebula and Hugo awarded novelette can be had for free with coupon code 9991264 (through October) at

We interrupt this commercial with a whine break. I not only do NOT have an iPad - or even an iPhone - I don't even have a smart phone. I keep getting asked to try this and that app on my iPhone or iPad so I can review it for you all. It's like salt in the wound really. Especially after the theft of my nifty MacBookPro not long ago. >sigh<

By the way, I had an opportunity to review a book for a woman who stole my story. Really. She published my story without my knowledge or permission, then several years later, wants me to review her book. I had quite a few suggestions as to what I should do over on my Facebook personal profile. They ranged from "Good for you for taking the high ground," to "Name and shame! Don't miss an opportunity!" to "Sue her a*(!" It happened a long time ago. I reported her everywhere at the time. Why should I mention it again now? But, wow! How can she actually forget my name or, if she hasn't, expect me to give her a review of her book? Too bad I don't give negative reviews here. Then I could just happily oblige. But it would not be an unbiased, honest review. And I'll walk over hot coals before I read her book. And it was a Christian magazine she published it in. Not very Christian of her. Then she expected me to understand her "mistake" and bear with her, presumably because we're both Christians. Ugh! She's givin' us a bad name!

So, these are for those of you who DO have an iPad and love geeky new things.

Press releases below:


NARR8 to Bring Exclusive, Original, and Free Content to iPad Users Worldwide

San Francisco, CA. September 17th, 2012 – NARR8, a new digital entertainment start-up, today announced the launch of its corporate operations, handling development and publishing of a bold and diverse lineup of episodic multimedia series for digital devices. NARR8 will launch as a free downloadable application in Q4 2012 on the new iPad©, and iPad©2 with plans to expand the service to Android devices in the near future.

NARR8 is a digital content channel that delivers an eclectic array of interactive stories, articles, and motion comics encompassing a variety of genres in both fiction and non-fiction. The vision behind NARR8 is creating an innovative and highly interactive experience for users to read and experience content, with on-page animations, touch-screen controls, and integrated audio. Transcending traditional reading media, this application uses HTML5 technology coupled with a proprietary editing platform to produce high-quality entertainment with shorter production times and faster turnaround than traditional publishing.

“The goal of NARR8 as a company is to change the way people interact with their content of choice. The core idea for NARR8 stemmed from my passion for comics and graphic novels, but we quickly saw the potential applications to other genres and content,” explained CTO and founder Alexandr Vaschenko. “We’ve used our technical expertise in the mobile space to bring a more tactile and interactive experience to readers. NARR8 provides those who have a passion for any and all types of reading an opportunity to delve into expansive, unique worlds that come alive with a single touch.”

NARR8 plans to deliver fresh, varied, exclusive, and regularly updated interactive content to its users with deep stories, gorgeous artwork, dynamic animations, and special effects that leap off the page and breathe life into each story. Initial offerings from NARR8 include genre-specific content including fantasy, horror, and sci-fi, as well as nonfiction articles treating on popular science and world history...and more! NARR8 seeks to become a leader in written entertainment with its generous, rapidly growing, and constantly updated content catalogue.

NARR8 was founded in October of 2011 by Alexander Vaschenko, formerly of and Astrum Online, with initial funding of $4 Million (U.S.) through IMI.VC Venture Company, a Moscow-based investment firm led by Internet entrepreneur, Game Insight board member, and former and Astrum Online visionary Igor Matsanyuk. NARR8 is scheduled to launch in Q4 of 2012 with the goal of becoming a world leader in creating and distributing interactive stories for digital devices, and with a heavy focus on shaping the culture of consuming entertainment and informational content.


NARR8 Explores the Unknown With New Horror and Science Fiction Serials, Fear Hunters and MultiVerse, For Digital Entertainment Channel on iPad

Today NARR8, the new digital entertainment start-up releases interactive novel series details as well as corresponding videos and images for the upcoming application launch on the new iPad© and iPad© 2 this Fall 2012. Leading the charge in episodic multimedia series for digital devices, NARR8 will launch with a diverse array of serials in genre, presentation and style. With a total of nine series at launch, NARR8 touts expansive worlds and illuminating series starting with two interactive novel series – Fear Hunters and MultiVerse.

Mental diseases stem from nightmare monsters that jail the human soul. However, there are those that believe these monsters can be slain by penetrating a patient’s subconscious. These people, known as Fear Hunters, are a part of Doctor Powell’s crew of elite psychiatrists. Ready to take on this dangerous paranormal battle, they aim to eradicate these creatures of madness.

On the origin of Fear Hunters, Head of Midian Studio, Vasily Melnik imparts, “I’ve always wanted to write a fantastic book about psychiatrists who are able to penetrate their patients’ subconscious and fight their painful nightmares. But this project was too big for me; it required too much effort and specific knowledge, so I kept postponing it. However, after becoming the head of one of NARR8's studios and reflecting on the concept as a potential series, I decided to go back to Dr. Powell and his team of fear hunters, especially because the idea of the project seemed quite interesting visually. Outstanding artists and writers at our studio have deepened the original idea and developed it considerably.”

Parallel universes, paranormal detective work and suspense are all terms that embody Multiverse. Ordinary programmer Mark Stone could never have imagined his fate would transport him on an unreal journey to discover and capture aliens. On each new assignment, he will be challenged to uncover new mysteries while working for a network of special agents trained to fend off unforeseen threats and maintain the balance of the Multiverse. How will he learn to cope with this illusory reality, and the even greater responsibility of being the chosen one?

Head of BookCase Studio, Jenny Spasskaya, provides a glimpse into the Multiverse series creation, “I've found working with the team to craft an original sci-fi concept, plot, ongoing storyline, and social and physical laws for our new fictional universe to be every bit as colorful and unique an experience as the visual design for our series. I can tell you that MultiVerse represents a synergy of universes, and spheres that combine and connect them. Despite its complexity, this infinite sci-fi world our team has created is surprisingly fragile, and our story tells the tale of how humanity has come to test that strength.”

At NARR8, each series is handled carefully from the initial concept to realization in the artwork, writing, programming and sound. While flipping through the deep chapters of these novels, readers are able to interact with the scenes laid out before them. Coupling the power of imagination with interactivity, ambient sound design compliments each scene for a new entertaining and immersive experience.

**NARR8 will be at New York Comic Con, October 11th -14th! Stop by booth #803 to immerse yourself in the NARR8 application on iPad and check out our LIVE art demonstration! **

For more news on NARR8 please visit the promo page. Don’t forget to like NARR8 on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Subscribe to NARR8 on YouTube.