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Non Compliant

The worst year, in my memory at least, is wrapping up in the worst way possible. Before I head home to carry out some extremely heavy drinking with a few close friends, I just wanted to address a sentiment I’ve seen going around:

If you think people are protesting and angry because “we lost” and are being petty, you either haven’t been listening for the past year or I don’t know what.

An extreme minority of Americans (60 million is 18% of 325 million), fewer than voted for the last two losers who ran for his party and fewer than his opponent, have managed to get elected a con man whose rhetoric and campaign promises have emboldened the worst elements of the populace. Not half. Not a silent, aggrieved majority. 18%. I’m not attacking these people, or the over 90 million people who sat out this election. This is about him.

The policies that he’s promised are a direct danger to a number of our friends, family, and neighbors who happen to not be straight white men. There are already reports of suicides and hate-based attacks as a direct result of this. Regardless of why people may have voted or not voted, this is the effect. Trump hasn’t even taken office yet, but this is the effect. We can’t even hope that his festering, lie-filled heart gives out on him, because his vice president and the other ghouls he’s surrounding himself with are just as bad if not worse.

We’re protesting because some of us are likely going to lose what little health care we’ve managed to eek out over the past few years. We’re protesting because some of us stand a good chance of having our marriage dissolved. We’re protesting because some of us might have to watch our parents or children deported because they didn’t fill out the right paperwork. We’re protesting because those of us who care about the environment are about to watch even the slim chance we had of averting disaster are completely torched. We’re protesting because our choice of religion might have us put on a list of potential enemies of the state. We’re protesting because those of use who stand a decent chance of being summarily executed in the street by an officer of the state are going to have to watch those officers receive even more money, weapons, and impetus to harass us and imprison us.

I could go on. Maybe we consider these things more important than blocking a road for five minutes. Sorry for the inconvenience. Sorry if it seems like we’re overreacting by taking seriously the things this man has said and done in the past and has strenuously, repeatedly promised to do in the future.

So yeah, people are going to protest and resist, and are going to continue doing so, and ill-informed condescension isn’t going to change that.

I’ll wrap up with this, a picture my daughter made the day before the election, her own vote for president. She thinks it’s weird boys can even be president. Another kid at school suggested to her that her Hispanic teacher might get kicked out of the country. Obviously this utopia of hair bows and puppies for everyone wasn’t going to happen, but at least we wouldn’t have had a rapist for president.


Ultimate Dino Fighting

Excited to report that a Kickstarter I’m involved with has fully funded! It’s called Ultimate Dinosaur Fighting, a dinosaur pit-fighting board game that’s quite fun. I’m helping write/edit the rule book and whatnot as well as providing some in-universe fiction for it. I’ve written a short piece for it already and may be writing something a little longer and more complete. I enjoy sports fiction, but have never really written any, so it should be an interesting challenge to stretch myself. And hey, you can never go wrong with dinosaurs.

In other news, I also have a flash fiction piece ready for Every Day fiction for when they get their submission system back in place. At the very least I can help them test out the new system, but if they actually can use the story then you’ll get to read that sometime soon.

Terra Nullius

Wrap your year up in style with my new story, Terra Nullius! Will the people of ∞ null +1 save the unsuspecting citizens of today? Find out inside!

It’s been a crazy couple of months for the folks over at Every Day Fiction, with their server and website crashing. I was invited to write a story for them as they scrambled to put together a month of stories to close out the year.

I’m rather fond of this one, and I think it represents something I’ve been seeking out for a little while now: a voice. I’ve been struggling to come up with a reason to write, since straight white dudes aren’t exactly rare in the marketplace, and I think this story sort of puts me on a path of finding things to say while being fun at the same time. Hope you guys like it.


I’m declaring my Writoween efforts a success, more or less. I got, let’s see…15 out of 31 days, about half. The weekends were pretty much impossible, so I wrote those off after the first, and I spent a week of the month sick with a sinus infection, so it’s more like 15 out of 20, which is pretty dang good. A couple of them were actually mildly entertaining, I think? At any rate, it’s more writing than I’ve done in a while.

I think my favorite is the one about the Goblin bard, just because I want to write more about that little guy, but I don’t think anyone read that one.

I have one story out looking for a home, since I gave up on Zero Gee. I rather like this one and hope you guys get to read it soon. I’m working on a couple of other things that may or may not ever see the light of day.

I also have some ideas for a story for the Star Trek Strange New Worlds contest, but I dunno. The restrictions on what you can submit are pretty tight, and I’m not really comfortable writing other people’s characters. If I introduce new philosophies or radical politics, they’d likely have to be from the villains, and I’m not really satisfied with that.

Busy Season

My 9 to 5 (7 to 4 actually, but whatever) has been insanely busy of late. I thought we were over the hump, but it hasn’t really eased much. So that explains why you haven’t seen any new Critique Fantastique lately, if that’s what you’re looking for. I have, like, half of the next one written. Those take some work, though, and I just haven’t been able to finish. My apologies! I’d intended for it to be a more regular feature, but it’s hard to find the time. Those articles are more work-intensive than they seem.

Even now as I write this, there is a report sitting here I have to look at. Guh.

I’ve managed to finish a new story, though. It’s a little bit about being a dad, and a lot about being a robot trying to solve a murder. It’s out at the writing group for review! More on that as it develops.

Rules of the Road

The Coyote / Road Runner shorts were my favorite of the old Warner Bros. cartoons. I loved them as much as I hated Tom and Jerry. Tom and Jerry just seemed cruel and spiteful, and the violence was never clever. There’s no animosity between the Coyote and Road Runner, though, you know? They don’t hate each other. The Coyote just wants something to eat – his greatest enemy is himself and his failure to perceive that the laws of physics are not his friends. The Road Runner doesn’t want to be eaten. The Coyote was my favorite cartoon character and so I found this delightful.

Hat tip to Mark Cognata (@markedly on Twitter) for this photo from the Chuck Jones exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

Welcome to the Fantastique

I’ve created a new set of pages for my Fantastic Four recaps that I hope is a little easier to navigate and organize, and won’t clutter the main page for the odd person or two who wanders in here from my regular fiction writing. You can find them all under the “Critique Fantastique” drop-down on the upper right there. Probably I’ll have to further nest the menu to keep it usable, as we get into the double digits, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

People seem to like them, so I’ll keep it up on as regular a schedule as I can manage. It’s actually a lot more work than it seems, so I may have to settle down to doing them every two weeks.

In writing news, I just the other day sent in a few minor corrections to Bill over at Big Pulp for Mercier’s Flight. Mine is the very first story in the issue! Probably it’s just an alphabet thing, but whatever. I’ve seen the cover and it’s pretty awesome.

I have two other stories out looking for homes at the moment. More on those rejections as they appear.

Citizen Journalist

I have a photo and a blurb I wrote about my commute up over at the esteemed Guardian. Check it out!

In other news, the writer’s group critique of my latest story went really well. I have a bit of work to do to polish it up, but I’m looking forward to you guys getting to read this one. It’s a lot of fun.

Other thing I learned from the meeting? Apparently lady-on-dinosaur erotica is a thing that exists. I will not link to any of it for fear of ruining your fragile, delicate minds, and can only recommend that you heed my advice not to look it up. Now it’s on you if you decide to look up “Taken by the Pterodactyl” on Amazon. Perhaps it was naive of me not to assume long ago that it existOH god, oh god, there’s a “Taken by the Minotaur” someone please kill me.


On Wednesday nights I seek out the solitude of my favorite local hit-or-miss-coffee-but-good-wifi-and-plenty-of-wall-outlets joint, and there I toil at this writing business. Of late there has been a group of Magic the Gathering players squatting at one of the tables near the front. This is offensive to me, as I am clearly several levels above them on the unwritten but universally understood hierarchy of nerds. Still, I push past their “tapping” and cries of “land!” or whatever and work. It is thankless work, but I do this for you, my gentle readers. Why they can’t play a proper game like HeroClix or Star Trek Attack Wing is beyond me.

Also, if the coffee is bad that night the beer is exceptionally cheap.

I finished up a rough draft of a new story last night. It is good, and fun, and involves sex with a beautiful alien space man. It’s about 1,200 words or so at the moment, so I’ll need to decide if I can whittle it down to 1k for flash or expand it a bit for short-story size. I will say that when I go back to trim things I keep adding more, so we’ll see.

While I was out I stopped by the greatest used bookstore in north Texas just down the street and nabbed these for a buck.  If you ever think you’re writing something too weird or crazy for a broad audience, just remember someone probably got there first, they probably won a Hugo or something for it, and don’t worry about it so much.


Tales from Snoozeland

I was in a Halloween mood when I wrote that “Tales from Oakwood” post. Then I started to continue it and immediately grew bored with the whole thing. So it goes.

I’m in the middle of two rather large projects. If and when either comes to fruition I will not only speak of them at great length, you will grow weary of my constant plugging of them. “Stop going on about these awesome things,” you will cry, with much gnashing of teeth. I’m quite excited for both and hope you guys get to see them one of these days.

I’m also working on the occasional flash piece. I have one making the submission rounds now. It collected its first rejection this past weekend!

I don’t recall if I mentioned it before, but I got the schedule for Big Pulp’s upcoming stuff, and Mercier’s Flight will be in the September 2014 Issue. Big Pulp is changing up their publication schedule and format next year, and it’s all pretty exciting. It’s a pleasure to be part of the experiment.

Speaking of pleasure, I saw Thor: the Dark World and loved it. I would like to live in this world where everyone you meet is stunningly beautiful and charming and live lives of epic nobility. Later that evening I went to a Janelle Monáe concert and thought: oh, here it is.