Monthly Archives: October 2015

Has The Walking Dead Jumped the Shark?



If they bring Glenn back after Sunday’s gruesome demise–which seems increasingly likely in lieu of his absence from “The Talking Dead”, the “In Memoriam” segment, and the fact that he is under contract for next season–then I must say that the show has officially jumped the shark.

As painful as it was, Glenn getting devoured in first person point of view by walkers breathes life into a show that, in my view, is getting repetitive, stale, and too safe.

I have two ideas for an ending to the series and, no, they aren’t Disney endings. One involves Michonne as the last survivor, and the other involves Rick playing the role of Moses being forbidden to enter the Promised Land.

If AMC is reading this, give me a call and I’ll write you both scripts! LOL.

Thoughts on the MileHiCon

Star Trek or Star Wars? And what is this “Firefly” show everyone keeps invoking?

I attended this annual sci-fi convention on Sunday. I took my place at my assigned co-op table, unpacked my books, cards, and placards, and tried to strike up conversations with the other aspiring authors. I would have to say that my genre was a bit out of place, here. Perhaps gun shows present a more amenable audience for my books. I expected to find more of a libertarian crowd but instead found what I find everywhere else: people rooted in a belief of the possibility of benevolent, rational, authoritarian government. “If only we could just get the right dictators in charge.” Maybe I’m being too judgmental. I get like that. Technically, I didn’t get a chance to apply my ideological profiling test:

“Which do you prefer? Star Wars or Star Trek?”

If the answer is “Star Wars”, then they root for the rebels and must therefore be anarchist libertarians.

If they answer “Star Trek”, then they root for the empire (aka “The Federation”) and are thus utopian, socialist authoritarians (<sarcasm).

See how simple that is?

A good chunk of my allotted time was gobbled up in cross-banter with a self-proclaimed hippy wearing a Tom Brady jersey. The discussion ranged from why his dismissal of the Battlestar Galactica reboot is irrational to the implications of a variable speed of light. Heavy stuff. He brought his friend over from the bar and he insisted on shaking my had at least 10 times. Also, whenever I asked someone to describe their writing, they all said: "It's like Firefly meets (this or that)." I felt like a dork not knowing anything about this Firefly. A dork amongst dorks, now that's really pathetic.

But it wasn't all frivolity. I met some authors who poured out their experience and knowledge. Some included:

Kal Spriggs: Sci-Fi and Fantasy author and former marine who liked Heinlein. Check out his blog.

Ian Thomas Healy: A very prolific author with tons of fans that reminds me a bit of L. Neil Smith. Website.

Paul Lell: A very chatty fantasy author and game designer. Check out his site.

Dane G. Kroll: A fantasy author with a great book cover designer. His facebook page.

I can’t recall who said what but the advice seemed to come back to building a following by word of mouth, giving books away or offering special pricing to build that following, and attending conventions to get a bump in sales. Mostly the same old shit I’ve been trying. Kal suggested Bookbub but it’s pricey.

One fellow had a terrific idea. He writes 40 minute screenplays and converts them into podcasts complete with full sound effects. It’s more than just an audio book. It’s almost like the old serial radio shows, but leveraging the internet, of course.He gives them away for free but only once per week…or, you can pay up front and get the whole season at once. Great pricing model! His website is The idea is terrific, but he set up at the co-op table with no materials, no placards, no sound system, and no brochures explaining what it is he’s promoting. He just sat down with his tablet and headphones. Hopefully he will get more creative or get some help with his marketing because I think he has a great idea.

All in all, it was fun. These are intelligent, creative, thoughtful people and I regard them as kindred spirits.

Review of Oathkeeper by Aaron Turpen, (the Militant Libertarian)

Great Novel for Everyone To Read, October 17, 2015

Another great from Troy Grice. This one is closer to home than some others he’s written. It’s also more in line with today’s times (not sci-fi) and focused on an issue that, frankly, is likely to become a real-life drama sometime soon. More so than it has already. The sheriff in Grice’s novel is believable and realistic rather than being some hardcore, perfect right-wing guts-and-glory type as seen in novels with a similar premise from other authors. He’s fallible, does things for what he believes are the right reasons, and isn’t a Rambo wearing a badge with the capability of laying waste to entire squads of enemies.

Most of the action in Oathkeeper follows the local climb to fame and then trial of a veteran in the sleepy town the novel is based in. The trial of this man is trumped up based on the false accusations of a (real-life) federal agency already publicly known to lie, cheat, and steal as standard operating procedure. It stems from the accidental killing of the man’s wife by agents of that same agency and the unapologetic, imperial way that the agency deals with the aftermath.

Oathkeeper does include some violence, but it’s understated and not graphic, staying within the PG range. As does language in the book. This makes the novel readable by anyone, including those who do not tolerate cursing or bloodshed, and makes it a good choice for parents who want their teens to read, but aren’t interested in books that might make an R-rated film blush with embarrassment.

In all, this is a solid novel that is well-written, thoughtful (without being preachy), and in line with the times. Well worth the read.

Note: this review is based on a author’s review copy sent to me for consideration.

Please check out:

James Dakin of Bison Prepper, Review of Oathkeeper

Writes Mr. Dakin:

Like “Indivisible”.  I’ve read it twice, have it in paper rather than digital, and will likely read it again.  I love Troy’s writing style.  He is passionate, but logical and witty.  There is no jingoistic blather so common to the genre of post-apocalypse fiction ( no doubt due to the original Survivalist series being so popular, it became 99% of the new writers template ) which is usually Militia Porn with nuclear detonations thrown in to sell tripe to the suckers. Their testicle tingling uber-patriotism fully endorsed by our fascists overlords usually makes me ill.

Check it out

This is a terrific blog. Irreverent, blunt, opinionated–great stuff! Please check it out.