Slodive, a popular graphic and web design site did a feature on Fauji M. Bardah (aka BakArt), a very talented artist whose work I admire. I love his work with robots, how he integrates action into his scenes, and his future visions. I think the following three pieces really showcase those points. The last piece below I commissioned for the cover of Honolulu Hottie (the woman in the monitor with the knife, she’s the hottie).
Size Doesn't Matter
Check out his work in the Slodive feature and he has more on DeviantArt. And if you want to find out why the above Samoan is watching this woman on his monitors, get Honolulu Hottie for your Kindle reader.
You remember those Duke boys? Of course you do if you’re at least 37 years old. Though with the recent Dukes of Hazzard movie, there’s a whole new generation of fans of Duke-dom. The Dukes enjoyed worldwide viewership and was an American icon. (In the ’80s, I heard reports that people in Portugal thought that Americans all drove like the Duke boys.) Recently, I sent a “Dukes” story I wrote set in a science fiction near future during an environmental apocalypse. What better time is there then an apocalypse when you need red-neck ingenuity to save someone’s life (in this case, their cousin Daisy’s)? I hoped that the story (The Kooks’ New Hazard) would be a good fit for a collection called Once Upon An Apocalypse.
But is it a fairy tale?
I and Scott T. Goudsward, one of the editors of Once Upon an Apocalypse, discussed this.
My answer was “yes” based on the following criteria:
It’s a well known tale — Just like Humptey Dumpty or Jack & the Beanstalk, The Dukes of Hazzard is a cross cultural story that many are familiar with.
It’s been update to fit our times — The Dukes of Hazzard, same as the Grimm tales, have been adapted as times goes by and is available in multiple formats
During its initial 6 year run, the show survived a contract dispute that sent characters Bo and Luke leaving the show to race in NASCAR and in their place came two parallel universe brothers (well, not really explained in cosmological terms) Coy and Vance who were practically twins of the brothers.
Duke video games were made in various formats over the last twenty years (since Colecovision!).
The tale was brought to a newer generation with the 2005 movie and then another TV series for 2007 (The Dukes: The Beginning).
The tale’s mythos is supported by other branches of art such as the Dukes’ theme song by Waylen Jennings is a lasting classic. Waylen’s song refers to the Dukes as being “like modern day Robin Hoods.” So Waylen thinks the Dukes are fairy tale too!
Like the occasional Brother’s Grimm museums of Europe, you’ll find Duke museums in Tennessee.
It’s safe to say the Dukes of Hazzard is a cultural meme, which is another way of saying it’s as much as a fairy tale as tales such as Little Red Riding Hood. I won’t be at all surprised to someday see a flying car called “General Lee.”
I’ve been accused of being unsavory or even outright bad, but also I’ve been accused of being a great citizen. None of those charges, I’m happy to say, have stuck!
As an author, I get to create characters that are bad people. In “Better than God,” I plausibly simulate a very rich jerk who likes to show others he’s the boss, to the point of getting away with murder. This story has been published in a book filled with stories of people doing bad things, called Malicious Deviance. Its editor, Robert Essig, sent me a message about how he found the story a little offensive, and that’s why he wanted to buy it for the anthology. The anthology’s published by Library of Horror Press so it’s loaded with stories that are better than a triple latte for staying up at night (my mom had to force herself to stop reading James A Sabata’s “Gossip Hounds of Sherry Town” so she could sleep). The anthology was reviewed by HellNotes. My story, “Better than God,” is about this very successful jerk who owns a Ferrari and knows how to use it. What could be so offensive about that?
Some may say that to write such a character, I must have quite the inner jerk. And to that I say, NO! Maybe there have been causes where I was a jerk to you, dear reader, or perhaps I was just “writing.” For like Brad Pitt who is just acting handsome for the cameras (Angelina Joli says he has a horrendous beer belly), a writer who misbehaves so he can tap the correct keys on his keyboard, is just writing.
To everyone who wishes to defame my character, you’re wrong! I’m not a jerk–I’m writing. So I’ll not apologize for working on my craft. Someone has to suffer for art, so it might as well be you.
Do you agree? Take control of the world, even though it’s only one corner, but hey, if the world was square, you’d have 1/4 of it. So take control by answering the below poll. Defame Lancer’s character or cover the man’s back.
Awards. They’re so elitist and yet it’s a time for us to get together and decide who among us should rule the science fiction literary roost. In contrast to the President who has no power because Congress and the Judicial branch spoil the party, the Hugo award winner has pure unadulterated power, babe!
Those registered for Rennovation, this year’s World Science Fiction Convention, or those who attended (or supported) last year’s AussieCon get to vote for the Hugos. Last year, my pal Will McIntosh was nominated for a Hugo for best short story. After giving him the excellent exposure my blog affords, Will went on and WON BEST SHORT STORY! And he’s not the only author to whom this blog has brought great success. Kij Johnson and I needed to only discuss doing an interview and viola! She takes home a Nebula Award.
This year, I expect equally great outcomes.
Last year I signed up to be a supporting member of AussieCon because my fellow Seattleite and friend Tim McDaniel wrote a story with a really long title that’s so good, I was obligated to pay to be a supporting member so I could nominate his story this year. Now I need you to help me lock down his nomination and continue the streak of making the Hugos right. (If we let the Hugos go wrong, then I need to screw with a time machine to correct history and I don’t want to deal with that hassle. Try finding a time machine rental on short notice!) So if you’re eligible or know someone who is, get to the Hugo voting page and:
for Best Editor, Short Form, vote for Eric T. Reynolds. Eric has been busy editing great science fiction like Ruins Terra, (the book cover on the right side of this web page). The man has been working his shirt off (like Shatner) to put together great fiction for you to read.
If you’ve been thinking about going to the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, then hop to it and then vote. Help make the Hugos right. March 26th this month is the deadline. Go here to vote.
Daily Science Fiction started less than a year ago and has developed into a powerhouse of science fiction by pleasing it’s readership with new stories everyday, and they did it without disturbing trees. (A pleasing side effect of our speeding toward the singularity is that our forests will grow back because we won’t have time to chop them down.) Instead of trees, they use hand-crafted electrons which they place into an email or stick onto the Daily Science Fiction website. (The Internet technologies they use are also science fiction.)
Bit Storm, a story about an AI that wanted a cat and an engineer that wanted to get work done, has already been bit storming in the email boxes of Daily Science Fiction’s subscribers. (Go to their site and subscribe for free.) On Jan 14th, it’ll also be available on their Internet site. (Hand-crafted electrons and glue stick. A very small glue stick.)
If you’ve read Bit Storm, leave a comment about it on their wall.