Archive for the ‘Tropes and Writing’ Category

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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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 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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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!

4 Risks of Cryogenic Freezing–Friday Four

Star Trek Cryogenic FreezingSo your time machine has turned out to be a bust. Never fear, though; there are other ways to reach that far-off future year that you wouldn’t have lived to see otherwise. I see that you’re eyeing the cryotubes, but in the interest of full disclosure, there are a few things about cryogenic freezing that we need to talk about before you hop in. After all, this isn’t really time travel. There’s no going backwards if you’re unhappy with what you find when you get there.

Still unswayed? Allow me to lay out for you 4 of the biggest risks of cryogenic freezing, and we’ll see how determined you are to become a “human popsicle” after that.

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A Cyberpunk History: The Background of The Arcology

As part of the build towards the release of The Arcology‘s sequel, Eidolon, I’ve decided to share a glimpse into the background of the world from my notes. The timeline of events in the world of Lance Canela, in spoiler-free form, is now available here. See how dystopia takes hold in this cyberpunk history and pick up a few clues towards the future releases.

4 Cyborg Enhancements to Handle With Caution–Friday Four

Doctor who CyThere’s a lot to be said for cybernetics–they allow the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the handicapped to walk once more (sometimes even as superheroes!). Such enhancements can be extremely impressive, sometimes offering vast improvements over your average human’s capabilities. But let’s not be chopping off limbs as an excuse to go full cyborg just yet; just as often, there’s a high cost associated with obtaining cybernetically enhanced strength or senses. We have to consider exactly what it is you’re giving up: your ability to touch, perhaps… or even your very personality. Here are four dangers commonly faced by those who’ve chased after the perfect blend of man and machine, to offer you a chance to avoid them.

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On Reboots, Changes, and Fandom Reaction

Ghostbusters rebootWith the release of the all-female Ghostbusters reboot and the recent news about Sulu’s character in Star Trek Beyond (and comments from both Takei and Simon Pegg regarding it), I feel like this is a good time to discuss something that’s kind of been itching at me for a while now. That is, as I often talk about, the subject of reboots, and what kind of changes the existing fandom should expect or be willing to tolerate when a movie’s being remade. We live in a world where the overwhelming majority of media that’s released is in the form of reboots, remakes, and revivals, with original content few and far between (at least for cinema, anyway). This is a problem that’s got roots in other issues, however, regarding representation of minorities in media and all kinds of social justice problems that are highly controversial, but I’m looking at this through the same lens of franchises, reboots, and fandom that I always discuss here.

Here’s hoping I don’t regret this, eh?

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4 Excerpts from the Mecha Piloting Guide–Friday Four

G Gundam AMERICACongratulations on being selected for the Giant Robot Piloting Program! I assume this means you’re a 15-year-old Japanese boy, but I guess you don’t have to be. One thing they might not teach you in the program, though, is that nothing takes as much work to keep running as a giant mech. The humanoid form doesn’t leave a lot of room for complex machinery, and scaling that up to 50 feet tall doesn’t help quite as much as you’d expect. And that’s without considering all the missiles, guns, laser swords, jetpacks and other add-ons these Mecha have to be able to swap out at a moment’s notice. All this is left up to the unsung heroes, the Giant Mecha mechanics (not to be confused with giant Mecha-Mechanics, which are a totally different and much more confusing issue), who have to get these things up and running after every city-destroying slugfest they take part in. So what I’ve got here are a few pro tips to help ease the burden on our intrepid robo-engineers and keep your giant robots in fighting shape.

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Lance Canela’s Dossier Files #075-A: The Arin Group

The Arin Group

click to enlarge.

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