What Could Have Been: Alphas Season 3

alphasSince the end of Battlestar Galactica, Syfy has had a tough time finding a new flagship show. Continuing BSG in the form of Caprica failed, and Stargate Universe died around the same time. Defiance seemed a possible successor, but it bit the dust last year, and it’s only recently that the heir apparent came to be in the form of The Expanse. In between came Alphas, a show about people with superpowers that were pretty toned down compared to the heroes dominating the big screen at the time. And much like SGU, Alphas was canceled in its second season on a notorious cliffhanger. I’ll be honest; I never was much of a fan, getting bored with it after the first two episodes, but I’m not one to turn down a special request if I can fulfill it (especially since I’m not always able to). So here’s what I found, from the mouths of the writers and cast, on the lost future of Alphas.

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A Dismal Reflection: Apocalyptic Alternate Realities

turn-left-titanicWhen it comes to TV, things are always at risk of getting stale; if a series has a twenty episode season, for example, then a savvy viewer might realize that the lead actor’s character won’t die in episode 10. Characters rarely die at all, in fact, and permanent injuries mean permanent makeup (just ask Coulson how long he went one-handed). Even sets are rarely destroyed, since so much money goes into building them; with so little seemingly at stake (usually), it can be easy for the audience to stop seeing the enemies as threatening. How can you show the danger posed by our enemies without upsetting the status quo? Enter sci-fi’s favorite trick, the parallel universe/alternate timeline, where events and circumstances differ from the primary setting of the show in specific ways. By using these familiar-yet-strange settings, the writers can explore facets of the characters and the world in which they live that would usually be unavailable: how they might react to the destruction of their home, or the death of a critical character. Better still, since this alternate world is only around for an episode or two, massive changes to the status quo can be made, giving the writers a chance to explore apocalyptic themes that are usually out of reach.

What? No, it’s an utter coincidence I’m writing about apocalypses the same week as the election…

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The November Science Fiction and Fantasy Promo is now open!

Once again this month, I’ve tossed my hat into the ring to join forces with many of my fellow indie authors to promote our works together. This weekend only, you can grab Eidolon, the second book in my Lance Canela series, for just 99 cents! But there’s over one hundred other books available to choose from, including sci-fi, fantasy, and even horror genres. Click the image below and choose your preferred ebook vendor to get started:

20161029204559846_640_335_1_0And while The Arcology isn’t part of the promo this month, I’ve marked it down to $0.99 as well, so if you missed last month, here’s your chance. I probably won’t be doing another deal for a while, so get them both while you can.

4 Dangers of FTL Travel–Friday Four

millennium-falcon-hyperdriveSince the dawn of spaceflight, mankind has been stalled by the limiting factor that is the speed of light. But no longer–with the advent of Faster-Than-Light (FTL) travel, the entire galaxy is now our backyard. The idea of visiting other worlds, perhaps to seek out new life and new civilizations, going boldly where no one has gone before… it’s very appealing, isn’t it? And it’s finally a reality, so you might be tempted; Earth is boring and well explored, after all, and no new intelligent species are likely to be popping up any time soon. But before you sign up to join the space exploration agency of your choice, consider all the ways this FTL trip could go horribly, horribly wrong. Warp drives, Jump drives, or Hyperspace, they all have their problems, and here are 4 of the biggest dangers of FTL travel.

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4 Prototypes of Popular SF Shows–Friday Four

Captain Pike Star Trek TOS Pilot The CageOne of the unique things about TV is that is often has a long development process, but once something is committed to film, it’s almost certainly set in stone, so to speak. The first episode is almost always the pilot–that first proof-of-concept episode that’s made to sell the network on the idea. There are also spinoffs, which often get a strong upfront order based on the power of the parent show’s name alone (Like Star Trek Voyager, or Doctor Who‘s new spinoff, Class).

But some shows end up taking a rather roundabout approach to get to air; an online video, or a testbed short film is shown to the public without commitments. Viewers react positively, and boom! A show is born. Here are 4 shows that followed an unusual path through the development pipeline, and the 4 earliest SF prototypes that led to their creation.

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A Subjectively Obscure Sci-Fi Primer: Space Rangers

space rangers title cardThe Obscure Sci-Fi Primer is back once again, this time looking at the shortest show we’ve ever seen, clocking in at only 6 episodes. Space Rangers was a 1993 military/action series, following a team of part-police, part-military Rangers on their adventures out of the growing colony of Fort Hope on the planet Avalon. Space Rangers was created by Pen Densham (the 90’s Outer Limits) and originally aired on CBS, right at the time where numerous other amazing scifi series got their start on other networks (or in Star Trek‘s case, no network at all!). Did Space Rangers get the short end of the stick, or was it just as bland and generic as its name implies? Let’s find out.

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4 Clues the New Futuristic Drug is Deadly–Friday Four

TekWar Futuristic DrugLife’s hard in a dystopian world, and sometimes you really just need any escape you can get. That’s why there’s no shortage of new and exciting drugs being created in these kinds of places–or at least, they always sound exciting. A lot of the time, these futuristic drug offerings aren’t quite what you’re promised, and come with some major downsides. The next time someone offers you a first hit for free, pause and think over the points below before you wind up the latest victim of a half-baked narcotics fad.

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The Science Fiction and Fantasy Promo is now open!

My readers, to celebrate the release of Eidolon, I’ve decided to make The Arcology free for a limited period of time. If you haven’t read it yet, this is your chance! You can pick it up for FREE this weekend from a number of retailers.

But if you’ve already bought The Arcology, never fear; I’m not the only one participating in this promo. Dozens of other ebooks from my fellow independent authors are also available, in all kinds of sci-fi and fantasy subgenres. They’re all free, almost everywhere in the world, and who knows? You might find a new favorite author who you’d never have heard of otherwise. Just click the image below, select your preferred retailer and look over the list to see what strikes your fancy. I hope The Arcology is one of them!

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Eidolon is Now Available Everywhere!

eidomaskAfter months of writing and revision, Eidolon, the second book in my Lance Canela series, is now available across the web! Eidolon is where the overarching plot of the series begins—a heavier focus on the dystopian world and how it came to be that way. Check out the blurb below:

After Lance’s contact, Wyatt, is driven underground by the followers of a crusading hacker known only as Eidolon, Lance gets saddled with the unenviable task of digging up dirt on them—one made all the more intolerable as he finds himself working alongside a clickbait blogger named Becky, whose only concern is the next big controversy.
But as Lance gets to know Eidolon, his followers, and what he stands for, he becomes less and less sure that he’s on the right side. Is Wyatt taking advantage of him, or could there really be a dark secret at the heart of Eidolon’s attempts to right the world?

If you haven’t checked out The Arcology yet, no worries! I’ve got a special promotion going on that I’ll be posting about tomorrow. In the mean time, check out the links below to find a list of retailers that have Eidolon available. Both the paperback and ebook editions include a special bonus short story, Thoughts as Gray as Ash, following Lance through a more personal case as he searches for a client gone missing.

Amazon (ebook or Paperback): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LXPQHCV

SmashWords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/668494

Barnes & Noble (ebook or Paperback): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eidolon-carlyle-edmundson/1124750035?ean=2940153761695

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/eidolon/id1161482752

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/eidolon-10

And remember, if you enjoy my books, please leave a rating/review at the retailer of your choice!

A Subjectively Obscure Sci-Fi Primer: Star Trek: The Animated Series

star-trek-tas-titleIn keeping with the theme of celebrating Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary recently, I’ll be looking at the most obscure show within that universe: Star Trek: The Animated Series. You might say it’s not that obscure, to which I would point at the “subjective” part of the title. With its odd art style, kid-friendly nature, and dubious canonicity, it’s undoubtedly the least watched and least appreciated of the various Star Trek shows. But does it deserve a second look, and is it worth watching for an adult viewer today? Or should it be tossed in the discontinuity bin alongside such “gems” as Stargate Infinity? Let’s find out as I watch it for the first time.

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