USS Fitzgerald DDG-62

 

Fitz

RIP

  • Gunner’s Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Virginia

  • Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, California
  • Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Connecticut
  • Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, from Weslaco, Texas
  • Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlosvictor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California
  • Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Maryland
  • Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio

Fitzsailors

 

Barbarian Book Club: 11 May 2017

April was a slow month for reading. I turned 34 in the middle of another beautiful Japanese Spring. When your whole world explodes with beautiful cherry blossoms, light rains, amazing greenery, the last thing you do is sit around and read all day.

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. I discovered Mark Lawrence throughRedSister one of his short stories in Grimdark #1. It was a raw, brutal tale about a farmer who avenges himself on a band of thugs that murdered his family. On the strength of that story, I bought his entire Broken Empire trilogy and continued to read all the way through the Red Queen’s War series. So when Red Sister, a brand new standalone was announced, I was excited and preordered. Sadly it was a total let down; stupid, silly, filled with cliche, and downright boring. Lawrence stuffed everything I hate about modern fantasy into one book. It was such a boring chore to get through that I would make excuses to myself and ended up taking over two weeks to read a novel that I would usually finish in a day or two.

The Green Pearl by Jack Vance. To get the bad taste out of my mouth and break my reading slump that started to overtake me I went back to a master. The Green Pearl is the second book in the Lyonesse Trilogy. Wow… I loved Suldrun’s Garden but this one solidifies Lyonesse as one of my favorite fantasy TheGreenPearlseries ever. This novel is pure fantasy,  beauty, and magic mixed with sorrow and darkness. The story continues where the last one left off and it is full of battles, truly magical magicians, multiple worlds, sinister creatures, and everything that is missing from modern fantasy. Vance is a master and this trilogy has to be one of the most underappreciated pieces of fantasy written in the last thirty years.  Do yourself a favor and pick this up.

Soto recap, a disappointing attempt at reading modern Fantasy left me dejected so I turned to a classic master to rejuvenate me. I enjoyed The Green Pearl so much that I jumped right into the final book in the series, Maudoc and looking forward to finishing it as soon as I publish this post.

 

Spotlight: Cirsova: Heroic Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine

I’m glad others are digging into Cirsova, one of the best, if not the BEST SFF magazines out there. If you are just starting you can’t go wrong with issue #5.

Mighty Thor JRS - Fantasy Book News & Reviews

Every once in a while I like to do a spotlight post to shine a light on an author, or book, or series that I think is awesome and more people should know about.

Today that light is shinning bright on Cirsova Magazine!

I have been in a bit of a reading and blogging slump for a while now. I took a step back, trying to figure out what I was missing, what I needed to turn this slump around. So I decided to go back to my fantasy roots. What got me into fantasy in the first place?

The answer to that was Sword and Sorcery and other pulpy spec. fic. goodness. I love REH, ERB, Lieber, Lovecraft, Moorcock, Wagner, and Clark Ashton Smith. So sure I can get out all my old copies of these authors, and I did. But I began to wonder, is anyone still…

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Pick this guy up for 50%

oneeyedjacks

To kick off the summer reading season, starting in the month of May, I’m putting a 50% coupon code on my novel One-Eyed Jacks. “A great pulp noir piece involving casinos, gunfights, exotic women, and a dash of magic reminiscent of Big Trouble in Little China. Fun, exciting fiction that reads like my favorite movies […]

via 50% off Urban Fantasy Noir Adventure — Brink’s Chaos Theory

 

I read this guy on my flight from Tokyo to San Diego after discovering J.D. Brink in Cirsova, and thought it was great. Really fun noir-ish, action movie vibe, well worth the price. Pick it up.

Short Fiction

I am convinced that there is a direct correlation between short fiction and innovation in fiction, both in the styles of individual authors and in fiction styles as a whole. In Speculative Fiction, there can be said to be four primary movements within the 20th Century–Pulp, Hard SF, New Wave, and Cyberpunk. Each of them […]

via Short Fiction, or “What Needs To Happen Next” — mishaburnett

Misha’s posts are always thought provoking. I’m really into the peer-published anthology concept and currently working on a story to submit to his 21st Century Action Fiction. It’s about time we look at different publishing models and improve on the old format.

 

Foray Into Indie/Pro Publishing

Great stuff here. I think Eric does a great job of writing short stories and I wish him the best.

The Grimdark Review

The time for solely reading and reviewing books has passed for me. For most of my life, I’ve had a mind to write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories in my own worlds. This, for a long time, was just a dream and I did little to pursue it. Over the last several months, however, I’ve been pumping out short fiction and submitting to various pro magazines around the speculative community.

While I pursue this, I have also planned a short story series which I will publish independently on Amazon. The series is called The Exiled Crown. The first store, Forsaken, can be read now. The second, Storm Witch, will be available on March 17th.

Most of you share my love for grimdark fantasy fiction, and I hope you’ll give my grimdark themed stories a try. If you’d like to keep up with me as I pursue my goals, you…

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Suldrun’s Garden by Jack Vance

Suldrun's Garden.jpgAfter much deliberation, I finally settled on Suldrun’s Garden as my next read. I haven’t read a full fantasy novel in over a year, so it will be nice to go back. The cover and the art that goes along with this is beautiful and I think I will enjoy the more magical fae type of magic over the manufactured “systems” preferred by so many fantasy writers today.

Home from Taiwan

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Last night we got back from Taiwan. Reunited with our beast Quinn and passed out. The trip was fantastic. Taipei is an excellent city, filled with so much stuff to see and do. I wish we had more time.

Taipei has to be one of the coolest places I have ever visited. It has this great feel of Japan and China combined, with a dash of Los Angeles. Great public transportation, clean streets, and very friendly people.

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We tried to explore as much as possible in the three full days we had. On our first day, we walked over 20 miles, just wandering through the city, taking in sights, stopping for beers. At night we hit one of the famous night markets where Judy ate the famous stinky tofu.

On day two, we went up to the hills above the city and hiked through tea farms. We ended being escorted around by a stray dog that followed us the whole time, showing us where the trail was.

On day three we went East to the old town of Jiufen. It’s this old village built on the side of the hills overlooking the Ocean. Tea houses, street markets, and food stands, all lining narrow streets. Supposedly it was the inspiration for Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, but he denies it. I see the resemblance. The highlight of this area was drinking tea at a famous teahouse that used to be a hub for artists and writers.

It was a fantastic trip. I ate a bunch, drank booze, smoked cigarettes, listened to some great music, and got to experience a taste of a great country. 20170214_104138

Today I unpacked, ate some Japanese Denny’s, and tidied up the house a bit. Now I’m sitting here catching up on blogs. Tonight I might go out for a few drinks, being that I am still on vacation. 20170214_101757.jpg

Judy used her nice camera and she took a bunch of excellent pictures. Much cooler than my cell phone pics. I’ll share those when she gets them edited.

 

Near Mt. Fuji

My work week was a bit atypical. I got the opportunity to fill in at one of our branch clinics, so I took it. The benefit, of course, was that the branch clinic was at the base of Mt. Fuji. So, my week was cold and mostly boring but I had a majestic view of the old man.

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The weekend was mostly mellow. We went walked around and visited nearby Godzilla Park. Godzilla is a giant slide btw. Drank a few whiskey highballs, ate some ramen, and relaxed around the house.

The majority of today was spent re-editing a pulp fantasy story I wrote a long time ago and decided to finally prepare for submission. I keep struggling with deciding the best course of action for my short stories. Should I attempt to constantly submit them in the hope of publication in a semi-pro or pro market or should I bundle them and attempt the self-publish route.

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The idea of professionalism through established publications appeals to me. Yet, reading all the SFF magazines I can’t ignore the fact that none of them publish the kind of stuff I read or write.

 

What is “legitimate” in the 21st century publishing environment?

A great motivational post on writing success.

madgeniusclub

Not very long ago, the intarwebz — or at least that part of the intarwebz which is fascinated with all things authorly — became infuriated over this toss-off commentary from the Huffington Post. Now, toss-off commentary is not surprising at HuffPo. In fact, one might say that toss-off commentary is HuffPo’s raison d’être. Articles like this are supposed to inflame. HuffPo wants clicks, and caterwauling. That’s how HuffPo functions. And while men far better than me have taken the commentary to task, I think it’s worth pointing out that the article does bring up a very valid question, which lurks in the shadows at every author workshop, convention, kaffeeklatsch, and bar conversation: when will each of us know we are legitimate?

Way back in 1992, when I first got it into my head that I wanted to be a “for real” Science Fiction & Fantasy author, there was…

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