Friday, July 23, 2021

New Album "1981" Out Now


Out today via Bandcamp (only, for the moment), a new collection of tunes. This one has a theme - Ten tracks inspired by the 1980s sci-fi movie soundtracks created by John Carpenter, Brad Fiedel, Alan Howarth, Vangelis, Wendy Carlos, and others. The font used for the album cover is AlbertusMT, which is the font used for the title and credits for a number of his classic films. Check it out!

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Building Beyond: Participating in Sarah Gailey's Worldbuilding Newsletter


I had the pleasure and honor of participating in Sarah Gailey's Worldbuilding writing exercise "Building Beyond" for their Stone Soup newsletter. If you are unfamiliar with Gailey's writing, get yourself acquainted - The Echo Wife, River of Teeth, Magic for Liars - any would be a good start.

The series is based on a simple concept - give someone a premise and then they write about it. Every Wednesday the newsletter goes out, and it's been fascinating to see what happens with each new prompt from the pair of contributors chosen to contribute. Space Mouth? Orca P.R.? Hell is real and on earth?

The premise I was tasked with was this: Lizards are currency.

My mind went to a number of places immediately. Is it an underground currency? Unregulated? Odd connections started happening and my first thought was this: the Sopranos is rebooted, and Christopher is trying to explain the hot new post-bitcoin/NFT rage in criminal currency transactions to Tony and Paulie Walnuts. It was a lot of Tony being nonplussed, Paulie cracking jokes, and an exasperated Christopher.

I slept on that idea, but when woke up with a different take - lean in on my decades of working in corporate America, watching mind-numbing training videos, and combine that with a peppy sales spiel. I think I wrote it in a furious coffee-fueled haze on Sunday morning over about two hours.

You'll have to read the whole thing for yourself but at one point I typed the word "off-world," which has meaning if you grew up watching early 80s science fiction movies. When I got to the end, I knew I had to pay off that nugget, even if just for my own edification.

I've never written based on a prompt before, and my only fiction writing has been The Black Sky. I have some ideas for short stories but haven't gotten to them, so this was my first attempt at really anything besides a novel.

Anyway, here's where you can READ IT. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Duran Duran's 'Rio'

Duran Duran's RioDuran Duran's Rio by Annie Zaleski
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Writer Annie Zaleski dives deep into the creation and history of 1982's Rio by Duran Duran for the Bloomsbury 33 1/3 album series. Zaleski paints a vivid and detailed look at all aspects of Rio, from the creation on the heels of Duran Duran's 1981 debut to the various industries and technologies making strides and changes, such as MTV, rock radio formats, and VCR mass availability. The research dives deep into the mysterious world of remixes and multiple formats, giving a behind-the-scenes look at how a band from the UK "breaks" in America. Most importantly, the band themselves are given proper due as the songwriters, creative visionaries, and cultural influences that have only grown more respected with the passage of time. The format of the 33 1/3 book keeps them to less than 150 pages, but Zaleski's deep dive could have easily warranted an even longer length.

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Friday, May 07, 2021

The Spy Who Came In From the Cold

The Spy Who Came In from the ColdThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le Carré
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Not my first le Carré book, but first of the George Smiley series. What can I say that hasn't already been said. It's a classic, taught and thrilling with pages of back-and-forth dialogue that slowly ratchet up the tension and suspense.

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Thursday, March 18, 2021

A Small Town In Germany

A Small Town In GermanyA Small Town In Germany by John le Carré
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My introduction to le Carré and was quite entertained. Takes a bit to get into it, setting up the characters, the stakes, etc. Once it gets rolling, the tension and suspense slowly build, and the story unfolds with precision. I struggled at times with the density of some of the descriptions, often becoming long asides, but respect the decision to add them for color and depth.

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Monday, March 08, 2021

New Double Album "Luna" Out 3/19


Double album, fourteen ambient instrumental electronic tracks.
Available to stream everywhere 3/19 via Reverbose Records.
Download via Bandcamp.