DragonConIt's time for one of our favorite cons, Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA. This is an annual celebration of all things geek. Here's Scott's schedule. If you're coming to the con, make sure you come see us, or the FDØ might get violent and kick a droid. The Star Party is a great opportunity to hang out, even though we are just in attendance and are not presenting there.

 

 

SCOTT'S DRAGON*CON SCHEDULE

Atlanta Star Party: Thursday, August 29, 7:00pm (2 hours) Get tickets now!
Stargazing, food, drinks and conversations with astronomers (including Phil Plait, Pamela Gay, Nicole Gugliucci and Derek Demeter). Proceeds benefit CosmoQuest, one of Dark Øverlord Media's 2013 chosen charities.

FSL Tonight:
Friday 8/30, 5:30pm
Hilton Crystal Ballroom

The season finale of the premier fantasy sports league. Reports on fantasy & science fiction franchises. Starring: Tom Merritt, Justin Robert Young.

One for the Junkies:
Saturday, 8/31, 10:00pm, Hilton 203
We get down and funky with all Junkies cramming into a room to do Junkie things (translation: drinking, yelling, maybe llamas — BYOB).

Scott hosts the Parsec Awards:
Sunday, 9/1. 5:30pm
Hyatt Regency Ballroom V

Scott hosts the Parsecs along with the amazing Veronica Belmont. The Parsec Awards are a celebration of speculative fiction podcasting. Awards are given in several categories ranging from content to audio quality.

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Eusocial Networking, Part 1

Welcome to a new novella. This time out, EUSOCIAL NETWORKING, a story set in the 7th SON universe of J.C. Hutchins. If you like bugs you'll love this (and if you hate them, it will scare your undergarments right off). 

Narrated by our buddy Veronica Giguere

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As an author, sometimes you come up with this really killer idea that you know people are going to love. And sometimes (which is most of the time), you later find out that your really killer idea has either already been done, or — for scifi writers — kind of "came true" before you could get the story to the public. And when that happens, it sucks.

The story below was intended for our upcoming short story collection FIRE IS ORANGE. I finished it months ago and thought I was oh-so-clever. It is about a disturbed person finding creative ways to utilize a next-gen Google Glass. Then one day I was listening to NPR, and what did I hear? That's right, a story about people who had hacked the current gen of Google Glass to create the same possibilities I listed in the story. 

Boom: just like that, a forward-thinking story becomes dated and obsolete. The longer I wait to release this story, the more tired and cliché it will sound. 

FIRE IS ORANGE won't be out for many moons, so, ARealGirl and I decided to put it out now, for free, on this here site.

Wanna read the story? Just click the link below.

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Beam Up on Aisle Five, Part 3

The Rabbi and Big Ugly haven't yet made it out from under their obligation to Chad LaTilton, after the President wound up dead. After visiting Carnie, and getting info from Meth Cow, they're off to find The Magician. And Brock Sockman doesn't like it one bit. Not one little bit. 

The last installment of our non-Siglerverse tale featuring the voice work of Justin Robert Young (@JustinRYoung).

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Hello Junkies! This week's FridayFix™ is all about SiglerFest! lWe're working on plans for this year's event (October 11 & 12, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV at The Orleans, no matter what I say at the beginning of this video!) but this video is jammed full of cool photos for SiglerFest 2K12, taken by our good friend Bruce Press.

Bruce is also putting the finishing touches on a photo book with all the delectable photos from last year AND he's got a ton of great shots over on his website. Seriously, if you were there last year, check 'em out and snag your favorite. And if you weren't there last year, be sure to get there this year if you can! There will be bowling and Cards Against Humanity and human experimentation! No, really!

Big thanks to Bruce for making such beautiful photos. 

Click here to download this video.  

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Beam Up on Aisle Five, Part 2

The second installment of our non-Siglerverse tale featuring the voice work of Justin Robert Young (@JustinRYoung on the Twitters).

In the first episode, the Rabbi and Big Ugly were supposed to find the President and bring his money back to Chad LaTilton, only before our heroes could complete this task, the President wound up dead. Now Rabbi and Big Ugly are on the hook for that cash — they have to find a lady named "Carnie" who might have a clue as to the money's wherabouts. Listen in for more lubesters, violence, a few shots of Sea Breeze and some Pomeranian poop. 

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Elysium posterHey, want to watch an action flick? I can give you a quick, step-by-step plan to get the ELYSIUM experience without actually leaving your place.

  1. Load a classic action flick, like THEY LIVE, THE BOURNE IDENTITY or most any action movie made in the 80s, into a laptop or tablet.
  2. Pound down a gallon of coffee.
  3. Hit "play."
  4. When the first well-chorographed fight scene appears, shake the laptop or tablet as hard as you can, in all directions, while simultaneously thrashing your head all about, and also sprinting at top speed over uneven ground. 
  5. Enjoy!

You won't have any idea of what's hapening in that fight scene. If you're a fan of action movies, I just saved you $12 on a movie ticket for ELYSIUM, because it's exactly the same thing.

I try to avoid any kind of negative reviews on this blog, but after the dissappointment of SHAKY-CAM THE WOLVERINE, I have to vent about SHAKY-CAM ELYSIUM. It wasn't long ago that I watched SHAKY-CAM HUNGER GAMES and thought, "oh, well, that's a flick aimed at a younger demographic and was directed by someone who has never done an action flick, so of course when it comes to hand-to-hand battles, they get lazy, cop out and make the fight scenes some scrambly bullshit to convey the 'crazy confusion' the characters face in a fight."

Little did I know that HUNGER GAMES was just part of an overall trend.

A few days ago, I saw SHAKY-CAM THE WOLVERINE. Not knowing it was directed by Mr. Shakey-Cam, I expected great fight scenes because it was a big-budget comic-book flick. You know, superheroes and stuff? The first fight scene in that movie might as well have been left on the cutting room floor. If the point is to show that Wolverine is a total bad-ass, then the point is missed, because you have no idea what's going on. It was a shame, becuase I thought the first 15-20 minutes of that flick were awesome. I enjoyed the character establishment, the setting, the plot construction, all good. When the fights started, however, they were so bad it took me out of the movie. 

Wait, maybe the fights were good, but I wouldn't know: everything shook so damn bad. Nice directrial decision there, guy.

But then comes SHAKY CAM ELYSIUM. I'm a big fan of DISTRICT 9 and couldn't wait to see director Neil Blomkamp's next flick. Little did I know he was fired in mid-shoot, and replaced by Mr. Shakey-Cam. Are the Matt Damon fight scenes any good? I couldn't tell you, because the DP and cameraman were both so strung-out on meth DTs that they'd make a gyroscope tilt and shake and jitter.

Honestly, it's to the point where I want the Motion Picture Association to give a new kind of rating. In addition to "R" and "PG-13," I want "SC" for "shakey-cam." If it's got that rating, I don't want to see the movie. I don't want to pay good money for lazy filmmaking, or for a directorial decision where he/she wants the viewer to "know what it feels like" to be in a fight. Know what? I'm in a cushy theater seat, not in an alley in the bad part of town getting the crap kicked out of me. I don't need to "feel the frentic energy" of a fight. I need to be able to see what's going on. I need to experience what used to be the grand art form of fight choreography, of watching the big screen and saying "ohhh, snap! Did you see that?"

I mean these fight scenes? Unwatchable. I should have closed my eyes and taken a nap, not stared and waited to get my money's worth.

Oh, you want the overal review of ELYSIUM? I'll break it down the overly simplistic, heavy-handed political message for you this way.

  • All rich people are heartless monsters.
  • The future sucks donkey balls.
  • If we have tech so common it is an appliance in every household, tech that can heal any disease in five seconds, but we'll only let the 1% have it and everyone else can just get sick and die (refer to the first point, above).
  • Jodie Foster was in a hurry for her sound-dubbing, and isn't good at lip-synching. 
ON THE GOOD SIDE:
Elysium isn't all bad, there's plenty to enjoy.
  • The FX (that are not part of fight scenes) really kick ass. 
  • The ship design is great, and the big, titular space station Elysium looks fantastic. 
  • The robots are done so well sometimes it's impossible to tell if its a guy in a suit or full-on CGI. 

So, if you like big-picture eye candy, go and enjoy. If you like heavy-handed political messaging in your scifi, a-la AVATAR, put on your Che Guevera beret and dig in. If you like looking at a bulked up, tatted-out Matt Damon, expect your tingly bits to tingle overtime. I thought the art-design was top-notch, but after the second fight scene I really didn't care anymore.

Here's my final bitch — if you're going to make an action movie and rely on fight scenes to pack the seats and move the story forward, then make a damn fight scene. Dear Hollywood: stop being so frigging lazy. No one likes Shaky-Cam. Yes, your movie makes money, because there don't seem to be any options out there. Honestly, fight scenes in THE WOLVERINE that are confusing and unwatchable? How does that even happen? 

Hopefully, DISTRICT 10 will see Blomkamp get back to the great action we saw in DISTRICT 9. But, I'll wait to see the tweets, because I certainly won't be there opening night to find out for myself. From now on, my $12 and I are staying home.

BAD MILO is a movie about a poop-monster. That makes it to the screen while the BEVERLY HILLS COP series doesn't? Wow, Hollywood. Just ... wow. Also cute dogs in STAR WARS costumes as film execs promise more real effects and less CGI.

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Beam Up on Aisle Five, Part 1

A new story and a rare foray into scifi/noir/comedy. Join Rabbi and Big Ugly as they stumble into quite a bit of trouble up on New Hoboken Station. Just hope you don't wind up with a pile of pomeranian poo on your forehead.

Voice talent for this story is Justin Robert Young, co-host of the amazing NSFW show along with Brian Brushwood. This is a very funny show, y'all should check it out.

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Siglerism tats!

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Siglerverse tattoos and news

Yes, this is an audio post to invite y'all to visit the Flickr photoset of all the Siglerverse tattoos to date! I'm crazy like that.

I love my empty set tattoo: it's geeky and scientific on it's own, but also personally very meaningful and important to me. As the best tattoos are. 

Which is why folks that choose the Siglerverse as the starting place for their body art are super cool in our book. Scott's always blown away by someone loving something in one of the stories enough to permanently ink it on themselves.  

How cool is it? It's one surefire way to get yourself written into a Sigler story. That's right: you get inked with something Siglerverse related, Scott will write you into the Siglerverse. Boom.

Anyhow, click on through and take a look at the cool art on cool folks. If you're inked yourself and not in the gallery, drop me a note at media@scottsigler.com so we can sort that out.

Enjoy, Junkies!
 

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Comic Book RackI remember being twelve years old. I remember pedaling two or three miles to TJ's Party Store. You know the way: down my dirt road, onto the highway, over the bridge, past the other party store the kids didn't like to go because the old lady would stare at you like a hawk watching a wounded seagull, then onto a bigger highway, with the cars and semis whipping by just a few feet away, and finally to the store with it's magical, towering rack of comics.

Hell but that thing was tall, wasn't it? Had to stand on tippy toes to reach Spider Man and the X-Men. I was all Marvel, all the time, mind you — I had some buddies into Batman and Superman and Justice League, but my parents taught me not to judge. And Daredevil: he was pimp before I even knew what the word meant (Badger — still my all-time favorite — would have to wait until I was riding five miles instead of two and could hit Cheboygan's only comic shop). I'd load up on comic books, candy, grab a pop or two (because what twelve-year-old Scott needed was sugar and caffeine, as you can well imagine), then pedal back home to read up on the exploits of my favorite characters.

And I loved the stories. I loved them all. The other day, I picked up a couple of comics the other day, one specifically because people rave about the writer's storytelling skill. The comic sucked. Maybe that's because it was a big ensemble cast and I wasn't up on the back-story of some fifteen characters, but the story was terrible. I found myself analyzing the story instead of enjoying it, picking it apart and finding the holes, errors and inconsistencies instead of just soaking it in the way I used to do.

Yes, I am going somewhere with this. 

That twelve-year-old, skinny-assed ball of hyper also loved the movies. There wasn't jack shit to do where I grew up (other than swim, bike, explore the woods, read and play D&D and Star Frontiers and Champions, which we did every Saturday and Sunday, all day long), so we were big into movies. At two bucks, hell, the theater was a bargain. Mom would ship me off with two bucks whenever she could. My buddies and I watched everything, usually more than once. It was also the beginning of the VHS era: what we didn't see in the theaters, my dad would rent and we'd watch at home. 

And I loved the movies. Everything I saw seemed to be more amazing than the thing that came before it. I'll give you a partial list of the movies that I went crazy for back in the day (in no particular order). These range from 1980 to 1989, but the general reaction was the same throught that era:

Star Wars V (80) Star Wars VI (83) Aliens (86)  Brainstorm (83)
Predator (87) Robocop (87) KAAAHNNN! (82) Night of the Comet (84)
The Thing (82) Tron (82) The Fly (86) Back to the Future (85)
Escape from NY (81)   Flash Gordon (80) Cyborg (89) The Last Starfighter (84)
The Abyss (89) They Live (88) Weird Science (85)   Galaxy of Terror (81)
Terminator (84) Philadelphia Experiment (84)   Lifeforce (85) Battle Beyond the Stars (80)

 

The ship has boobs, man!

There are some rock-solid classics in there, sure, but have you ever treated your adult eyes to a re-watching Galaxy of Terror? Tron? Night of the Comet? And don't even think about firing up Battle Beyond the Stars. Trust me. I know of which I speak.

Some of those movies were great, some were awful, and I loved every single one of them.

When I go to the movies now, I start analyzing even before I take my seat. I break down plot beats. I critique character motivation. I seethe at the easy stereotypes. I watch lazy storytelling and feel that the people who made the movie don't respect me, and don't give a damn about my hard-earned money. And this is every ... single ... movie. Even for the movies I like, I walk out with a shopping list of things that bugged me. 

Sure, I'm older now. Sure, I've seen more of the world and have a larger body of knowledge, more context that the thing I thought was so cool when I was twelve was actually a rehashed plot beat that's been used over and over again since the first frames of celluloid cast the first flickering images on the first movie screens. And what's more, I tell stories for a living: it's my job to analyze these things, to break them down and look for ways I can be better at what I do. 

But this caustic, over-analytical method of consumption is so pervasive, for books, comics and movies, that I have to ask myself: what happened to my sense of wonder? Why can't I just take it all in without slicing and dicing? I mean, it can't all be bad ... can it?

ComicCon logoLast week ARealGirl and I went to ComicCon, along with 130,000 or so of our closest friends. While there were plenty of jaded entertainment professionals in that crowd, by an large it was packed with people who went ga-ga for freaking everything. "Oh, man, look at this!" "Wow, did you see that thing over there?" "No way! A pirate ship? Get out!"

There were many in-depth conversations of that nature. Nerds nerding, geeks geeking, and a general level of love for story and character that even the most crotchety, jaded douchebag in the world couldn't help but appreciate.

The people at ComicCon haven't lost their sense of wonder. And now, I want mine back.

But I'm worried that losing your sense of wonder is very much like losing your virginity: there are no take-backsies in the latter, and maybe not in the former, either. How do I lighten up when I step into that movie theater? I mean, now it's $12, not $2, and if I don't get my money's worth I feel all stompy and cheated. So there's that.

I need to learn how to shut off parts of the brain and just watch. I at least need to try. Once upon a time, going to the movies was one of the best damn things one could do. Now the best I can hope for is three out of four "mehs" on the "well, it wasn't awful" scale. 

Is it my competitive streak? Is it the fact that I look at everything and wonder how it could be better? Is it the sad fact that — quite often, dammit — the storytellers are just lazy and take us for granted? Is it the cult of personality that has popped up around certain writers and directors, creating an Emperor's Clothes effect where I think many people are pre-disposed to throwing out the word "genius" before they even see the product?

Lindelof lostIs it because my sense of wonder was dangling by a thread, then finally put six feet in the ground by the ending of my beloved BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and because I actually believed the producers of LOST knew where their show was going?

I don't know the answer. I do know it would be fun to just sit back and enjoy a film for a change. 

How about you? Do you just enjoy your genre entertainment, or do you slice and dice? Pretty sure a big part of this is because it is both my job and my life's goal to make great entertainment, and analyzing the craft is part of constantly getting better, and that doesn't apply to most people. 

Or, is this just because we're all getting older? We've been there, seen that. When a book comes out that is clearly a rip-off of something else we've read, we are offended, while the younger peeps that have no idea the former book existed think the later book is pure gold. As far as I know, the book I liked when I was a teenager was a direct rip-off of something else. Still, it sucks when blatant, pandering copycats are rewarded. The public doesn't seem to know better ... or, more accurately, the public doesn't give a shit. They want good stories. As long as they get that, where's the harm?

No magical answers here, Junkies, just a multi-part question to you all: have you lost your sense of wonder, and if you have, how come? Do you want that back, or do you enjoy being a more critical watcher of all the entertainments?

Finally, Supes & Bats square off on the big screen. And Harry Potter dukes it our with Frankenstein? Holy cats. And Swarzenegger gets his zombie-killin' on? A long episode (6 minutes), but a lot of cool news.

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Click here to download  BONES ARE WHITE #3: 
Chuckles Mulrooney, Attorney for the Damned, Part 2

The second half of our short story about deals with the devil, horror writing, clowns and seedy deeds done in the soup aisle of a Meijer grocery store.

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Click here to download  BONES ARE WHITE #2:
Chuckles Mulrooney, Attourney for the Damned, Part 1.

Stop the presses! We're doing something new this episode, and that is using voice talent other than Scott to bring you your weekly story.

This is a story many of you have heard before, but re-written to prepare it for the BONES ARE WHITE collection. The voice talent is Alec Volz, a very cool cat with a very cool voice. He's also a fan who loves NOCTURNAL, so he clearly has skill and great taste. 

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Click here to download FRIDAY FIX:
Your input for THE CHAMPION (GFL Book V)

Hello from the San Diego ComicCon! The FDØ and I are in San Diego, seeing all the of the geeky things and talking to many fun folks. We want your input on THE CHAMPION, GFL Book V, which Scott started outlining this week.

How many times in your life have you finished a series, then thought, "wow, how did they screw that up, and why didn't they ask me?" Well, Junkies, that's part of what sets us apart: we are asking you. Give us your thoughts on where the series is going, what you'd love to see happen, what plot threads are dangling, etc. Listen into the episode to find out how you can make your voice heard.

Scott says "we do this because we love you, which is also why we will kill you last."
 

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BONES ARE WHITE #1: Kissyman & The Last Song
 

THE MVP is in our rear-view mirror, and now it's time for a brand-new podcast title. Here it is, folks, the free serialization of our short story collection BONES ARE WHITE. The eBook is available for purchase, but you're getting the podcast even before the audiobook is in stores. 

Our first episode features the first new Kissyman audio story in over three years. It's a short-but-sweet tale of Kissyman's tender side. Sometimes a hard man is good to find — when that hard man finds you, not so much.

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Today's FridayFix™ is video from our GFL booth at the National Education Association Expo in Atlanta, GA, held in July, 2013. Boom! Our booth rocked, thanks to the artistic stylings of Scott E. Pond and the organizational mastery of one Director of Døøm (ARealGirl herself). We talked to thousands of teachers and librarians from all over the country.

Download this video by clicking here.
 

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"Pierre" by Wayne Barlowe

The news in case you missed it: my horror novel NOCTURNAL is being pitched as a TV series. 

There, I said it. And yes, it's true. 

And as of Monday, July 8, it's on like Donkey Kong. The pitching part, I mean. No gold-plated Ferrari for me just yet. 

But I'm sure you're thinking, "Okay, Scott, while we know you're are devilishly good-looking and you have that luxurious head of hair, I don't really understand what it means to pitch a TV show. Does that mean I can download the first episode from Pirate Bay tomorrow?"

The answer to that question is "no," but it does bring up the point that the world of TV is mysterious at best. I thought I'd share what I've learned so far, what we've done up to this point, and what happens from here on out.

NOTE: I am not an expert in the field of television. Get that through your skulls right now, suckas. 

WHO IS RUNNING THIS SHOW?
The culprit's name is Lloyd Levin. He's a producer. You may know him from the handful of little independent flicks he produced, like HELLBOY, HELLBOY II, BOOGIE NIGHTS, THE WATCHMEN and EVENT HORIZON (I'd list more, but since you've never heard of those five flicks, what's the point?). ARealGirl and I have met Lloyd several times, talked to him on the phone and exchanged more email than a Washington whistle-blower. He's a damn good cat. As a crazy fan of HELLBOY and HELLBOY II alone, I couldn't be more excited. This dude knows how to produce monster stories. 

HOW THIS ALL STARTED:
Lloyd read NOCTURNAL in April of last year, and loved it. He initially wanted to option it for a movie. The more we talked, the more it became clear that to tell the story correctly, we need more than two hours. He asked if I was open to making it a TV series. This is a Golden Age of TV, if you ask me, with amazing long-form storytelling like BREAKING BAD, GAME OF THRONES, DEXTER and many more, showing that a 12-hour story is far more powerful than a 2-hour story. So I said, "hell yes." And thus began the arduous process of creating the "Series Bible." What's that, you ask? Why that is ...

Series Bible image

THE SERIES BIBLE:
What's a "Series Bible?" Wikipedia has a little info on them. For us, it is a cohesive, 60-page document that covers the mythos of NOCTURNAL. Historical timeline, plot, character bios, setting, theme & tone, that's all in there. It also contains detailed synopses for the first season's twelve episodes, and a page each for Seasons Two through Four.

Right now, the bible is the main tool for the pitch. Lloyd is showing it to network execs to illustrate that this isn't just some loose idea for a show. I worked closely with Lloyd and the screenwriters (see below) to make a document that lets him communicate the grand vision of where this thing can go. When Lloyd goes a-knockin' on network doors, he takes the series bible, some fucking amazing drawings by an are-you-kidding-me-with-this artist (see below) and the pilot script. Speaking of pilot scripts ...


THE PILOT SCRIPT:
Yes, we have a finished script for the one-hour pilot, which is likely also the first episode of the series. The screenwriters of the pilot are Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo. These guys created THE SENTINEL, a TV series that ran on UPN from 1996 to 1999. So, yeah, the writers of NOCTURNAL have a pedigree — they are made guys. They've done this dance before.

Nocturnal Script Image Page One

They are also cool as all get out. This process has been amazing. As a writer, you hear all of these horror stories about what happens when you option your intellectual property and other people carve it up like Wile E . Coyote would carve up the Roadrunner (if he could ever get his hands on that filthy piece of fowl, that is). That hasn't been my experience with NOCTURNAL.

During all phases of this project, Lloyd, Danny and Paul start with me, as in, "Scott, we have to adjust this part for X reason — as the creator, what are your thoughts?" I give my thoughts, and they try to make it work. Sometimes they can't and have to do something else. Or, more often than not, my thoughts give them ideas, which they bounce off of me, which gives me ideas that I bounce off of them, which then gives them ideas, and so on, until the end result is something really quite fantastic.

A TV show is not a novel. They are different things. Lloyd required specific changes to make the story appealing to networks. That's the biz. Other elements of the book just flat-out didn't fit into the 12-hour timeframe. That's also the biz. Again, a TV show is not a novel. If this series gets made, you will see a bazillion changes to the original story. But at this point, I have the luxury of approving every single change. I can't tell you how amazing that feels, or how lucky I am to have that kind of input.

Keep in mind: we don't have a network yet. When the people who write the checks get their hands on this, they may request (or demand) significant changes. There is no way to account for that right now. There is no way of knowing if I'll have any say. I hope so, and Lloyd is confident we'll manage that process, but he who has the gold makes the rules. 

But Scott, why didn't you write the pilot? You are awesome and your farts smell like flowers.
Because I'm a novelist. Danny and Paul are scriptwriters. Those are very different disciplines. Will I write an episode? I sure as hell hope so, but only after watching what they do and learning as much as I can. Remember I told you about their pedigree? In a pitch, that matters. Executives want to know they are spending millions of dollars on proven talent. Danny & Paul made a show that ran three seasons. I haven't. End of story.

THE ARTIST:
Wayne Barlowe is awesome. He's done creature design for some of the biggest movies of all time, including GALAXY QUEST, HELLBOY, HELLBOY II and AVATAR. He's also the lead creature designer for PACIFIC RIM (which I haven't see yet at the time I write this post, but man am I geeked for it).

Barlowe's Guide to ExtraterrestrialsLloyd brought Wayne in to do creature-design sketches for the NOCTURNAL TV show pitch. Hoooo mama, that just makes my head spin. I got permission to post his take on "Pierre," (top right) one of Marie's Children from the novel.

When I was a kid, I had a book called Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials (a page of which is pictured at right). I loved that book. So now to think that the Wayne Barlowe is drawing pictures of my creatures? Super-crazy-awesome and, quite frankly, I don't really know how to handle it. It makes me all flush in the face. 

Let me put it to you this way: Wayne is perfect for bringing Marie's Children to life. I'm like a kid at Christmas with all of this. And if you think Pierre is sweet, dude and dudettes, you should see Mommy. Oy. The drawing makes me cringe, and I invented her. And no, you can't see her. I have to keep something hidden away to whet your appetites (although after one sees her, one usually has no appetite whatsoever). 

PITCH SEASON:
Why am I talking about all this now? Because "Pitch Season" starts up on July 5th of every year. The network peeps like to take the Fourth of July to recuperate (or make sacrifices to the Old Ones, I'm not really sure). After the July 4th weekend, they get crack-a-lackin' on looking at new shows. This year, that day fell on July 8, which was Monday.

As I mentioned, I don't know much about any of this. Look up Pitch Season if you like. I'm telling you what I have learned thus far. I'm not in these meetings, Lloyd is. I like to think he wears a robe, waves his hand and says, "this is the show you've been looking for," and that's all there is too it.

WHAT NOW? AND WHEN DO YOU SHOOT THAT JOHNSON'S BABY SHAMPOO COMMERCIAL? 
Now Lloyd does what Lloyd does, which is pitch. The goal is the get a network or production company to pay for the pilot. That would move us to "Pilot Season," which is a whole different animal. In a perfect world, someone at a network would say "holy crap, this is the show I've been looking for!" and sign off on the entire first season.

We don't live in a perfect world, so we'll see.

And I shoot that shampoo commercial in 2014, because my scalp is so baby soft it makes the angels weep.

THAT'S ABOUT ALL I'VE GOT TO SAY ABOUT THAT:
All of that work above, a year's worth of back-and-forth, of dozens of revisions on the series bible, of creating art and reviewing the script, it all comes down to, well, to now. Lloyd is out having fancy meetings and pimpin' the Sigler goods to several networks, including one or two that will really surprise you if they pick up the show. I can't talk about that, unfortunately. 

I'll be crossing my fingers. You cross yours, too. 

Our Eastbay coupon page http://www.scottsigler.com/eastbay-coupon can get you lots of NFL jerseys or hats or gear from your favorite team!Click here to download THE MVP Episode #39 

ARealGirl here. We recorded this Q&A last week, on the last day of our trip for the NEA Convention (Sigler mugging in the booth is our pic at left!)

It's all over but the questions, Junkies, and this is a huge episode where we give y'all all the answers. Well, most of the answers. After this, though, no new GFL for you until Book V hits in September, 2014. Oh! If you listen in, we even reveal Book V's name during this hour. Awwwww yeah!

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Stay on target ... stay on target ...Junkies, I am brain dead (and yes, to those of you who say "what's new?" I say "ha ha ha" and also "aren't you proud of yourself for mocking me while I am too dumb to fight back?").

I'm working on PANDEMIC line-edits. That means the final draft has been approved and passed on to the line editor, who checked for grammer, style, continuity, etc., then sent the manuscript back to me to approve those edits.

This is my last chance to make significant changes to the novel, so I'm going over it with a fine-toothed comb. Since I fell behind thanks to some excellent-but-critical projects (like finishing the first draft of my next novel, attending the NEA convention with ARealGirl, and completing the NOCTURNAL TV Series Bible), I need to proof 100 pages of PANDEMIC a day to meet my Monday deadline.

Looking at things this closely, I average about eight pages an hour. So, that means 12-hour days through the July 4 weekend. I knocked out 102 yesterday, and just finished my hundo for today.

Stay on target ... stay on target ...

If all goes well, I turn in the line edits on Monday, then spend Tuesday shooting squawking aliens in HALO Reach. It's a busy time, fo 'sho, but I definitely brought this on myself due to my proclivity to say "yes" to too many projects. I'm almost finished living up to those commitments though, then perhaps a little sanity in the FDØ's work life (one can dream, suckas, one can dream).

And come Wednesday? I start outlining GFL Book V, baby!

Key bullet points for the people who don't bother to read before becoming outraged:
• I am not calling anyone unpatriotic.
• I am not questioning your right to your beliefs, nor am I saying your beliefs are wrong. 
• I am not saying "you damn Republicans!" or "you damn Democrats!"

So today I did what I do most every morning, which is get up, snarl at the world because the world hates me and I hate it right back, stumble to the coffee machine, make the Blessed Brown Juice of Happiness™, then sit down at my kitchen table and hop on The Twitter. Yes, even on Independence Day, I do this (I am @scottsigler on The Twitter, by the way, so follow me already).

Twitter Independence DayThe people I follow on Twitter cover wide swaths of various political beliefs. Most I followed way back when, when Twitter was new and I followed everyone who followed me. As a fiction writer who gave stories away for free, I drew everything from ultra-right conservative Christians to ultra-left progressives (the fact that my fiction seems to be apolitical continues to delight and surprise me). So in my daily Twitter feed, I get about equal amounts of rehetoric from both sides. It helps keep me, I think, from becoming a lever-puller for ideology, from becoming someone who spouts the party line an shouts "it's all that team's fault!" It helps prevent me from not thinking for myself.

So today on the Fourth of July, America's birthday, as usual I see many of The Tweets. Large numbers of them express pride for our country and for being an American. But what drives me crazy is most of them also include something America does wrong. Examples:

  • I'd feel patriotic today if the TSA wasn't busy groping me.
  • Enjoy your Independence Day, because you know the NSA is watching to make sure that you do, good citizen.
  • I'm proud to be an American, but this government makes me sick! 
  • This is not the America if our founding fathers: they wouldn't recognize this country. 
  • Note: I'm not going to list names of the Tweeters or show their Tweets, because they are absolutely entitled to say whatever they like and they don't need to catch hell for it. 

There are so many similar sentiments that seem to say: "I love my country, but I feel bad for saying so unless I qualify it with something we do wrong." And to these people I say, "It's OK to just be flat-out proud to be an American today." 

You can qualify your national pride if you want, of course, but don't feel compelled that you have to, or it somehow shows you're not smart, not perceptive, that you're part of the problem, or that you are a "sheeple." When it comes to your love of your country, particularly on Independence Day:

  • You don't have to qualify it to assuage your national guilt.
  • You don't have to qualify it so others know how smart you are, and know that you see the real story.
  • You don't have to qualify it because you think that if you don't, it means you approve of everything this country does. 

Yes, Virginia, it's okay to just flat-out be proud today. Has America done (and continues to do) shitty things? Absolutely. Has every other country on the face of the planet also done shitty things, throughout history? Absolutely.

But, has America also done great things? Of that there is no question. No matter what your political bent, you can point to that historical timeline and see things that America has done well, things that we continue to do well. And the starting point of all things "American," all the things that we can say that our nation invented/performed/perfected/adopted/changed/sacrificed/fought/altered, that officially began on this day, 237 years ago, when a group of people signed the Declaration of Independence. 

To me, that sounds like something worth praising, something worth celebrating. I don't need to qualify this good thing with something bad.

It's okay to be proud. That doesn't take anything away from your outrage, and it doesn't mean that you aren't one of the special people who are "truly in the know." 

Happy Birthday, America. I am proud to be one of your people. 

That's all, folks! Brought to you by the Mozy Code page at http://www.scottsigler.com/mozy-code

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THE MVP Episode #38
 

* We had audio issues in our first post of this episode, so we fixed and re-posted. You might get two copies of #38. Sorry about that!

Well, Junkies, all great stories must come to a close, and THE MVP is no exception. What's in store for Quentin and the Krakens as we finish up Book IV and prepare for Book V. Listen in to find out.

Speaking of the as-yet-untitiled GFL Book V, I am working on that in July. I have to finish line-edits for PANDEMIC and also work on the first-draft of my next novel, which I also won't tell you the name of, so there is many games afoot.

Needless to say, however, I can't wait to start working on the next installment of the GFL series. Just for you, Junkies, just for you.  

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PANDEMIC cover, peliminary

I posted this on G+, Facebook, Twitter ... can you believe it slipped my mind to post it here? Yeah. Idiot. I know. Actually, I thought I had posted it, and was suprised this morning when I came to see if anyone had any thoughts or comments. Go, Junkies, I give you the cover of the final installment of the INFECTED trilogy, PANDEMIC.

Click here to download THE MVP Episode #37 

The aftermath of the Galaxy Bowl's snowy field, brought to you by Stamps code page at http://scottsigler.com/stamps-promo-codeThe Galaxy Bowl is over and a new champion has been crowned. As a universe tunes in to the most-watched event in the history of everything, the winners celebrate and trophies are raised.

This novel is called "The MVP," so who will be named as the greatest game's greatest player?And if you think this story is over, well, you've got another thing coming ... and so does Quentin Barnes.

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