“At Least I Get To See Her. Even If She Is Being Chased By a Psycho With a Machete.”

When I first heard about The Final Girls back in August, I was totally delighted by the concept and I had every intention of watching the movie in theater. Unfortunately, I then discovered that this was not meant to be, for the film had a limited release, and Sonoma County–not shockingly–was not part of said release. I was pretty bummed by this.

Now, however, I’ve finally had time to watch the film. My conclusions?


Yeah, I’m pretty sure The Final Girls just made it on my list of Favorite Horror Comedies of all time.

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At The Book Smugglers: “The Price You Pay is Red”

Rejoice! (Or whatever.) “The Price You Pay is Red” (the sequel to “The Case of the Little Bloody Slipper”) is HERE, sort of like an early birthday present, only it’s one I made myself and then submitted to The Book Smugglers by saying, “Please please PLEASE fix this because I can’t gift wrap for shit.” And then they gave it back to me, all super nice and spiffy, and simultaneously offered it to the world so that everyone might enjoy it, or else find it wanting. What I’m saying here is that I hope you read the story, and I hope you like it and have fun, but if it doesn’t work for you . . . sorry, and maybe we can post our harsh critiques on any day that ISN’T this Saturday?

Here’s the abbreviated summary, stolen once again from The Book Smugglers:


The story is available to read for free at the link above. (You can also read about my inspiration for this story here.) OR, at the same link, you can download “The Price You Pay is Red” on your e-reader of choice for ($2.99). The eBook comes with exclusive content, like Case Files, a Q&A with yours truly, and–most importantly–“The Girl Friday Blues,” a bonus short story from Jack’s POV.

Happy reading!

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“Mars Will Come to Fear My Botany Powers.”

Earlier this year, I read The Martian by Andy Weir, and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it the way most peopled seemed to. Which, honestly, kind of feels like my personal theme for 2015, much to my annoyance. I’m totally okay loving an It-book; like, despite the name of this blog, I’m not actively looking to disagree with my fellow nerds. It just seems to keep happening to me.

Still, I was really excited to see this movie because I felt like a lot of the problems I had with the story wouldn’t actually be applicable to the film itself, and I was excited to see if this was the rare — nay, the first — film that I enjoyed more than the book when I’d read the book first. Up until last week, that had never happened.


But now it has because I thought The Martian was a pretty solid film.

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I Have Returned! (With a Cover Reveal, Even!)

Hello, again. Sorry for the unexpected absence last week, but I’m back now for all the usual analysis, snark, and shameless self-promotion.

As far as self-promotion goes: “The Price You Pay is Red” — the second story in my Spindle City series — will be available to download/read next Tuesday, 11/24. Today, though, is the big cover reveal. If you’d like to see it and/or read more about the story, click here. (It is, if I may quote The Book Smugglers Twitter Feed: “The  Empire Strikes Back of our little series, AKA, Where Everything Turns To Shit.”)

As far as analysis/snark goes: I’ll have a movie review up tomorrow. More analysis than snark, on that one, but I’m sure I’ll manage to poke fun at something somewhere, as is my wont.

It’s been a hard few days for the world. Here’s hoping for a more peaceful, more tolerant week ahead.

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Season Premiere Review Round-Up – Numero Tres: 10/26 -11/6



Oh, I’ve missed you, show. Admittedly, I’m slightly annoyed with you for casting the excellent John Noble (everyone’s favorite dad for daddy issues) and then only giving him roughly twelve seconds of screen time at the very end of the episode — bastards– but other than that, this was a very solid premiere. (I know, I know, he’s sticking around. You’re still a bunch of damn teases, all of you.)

I will never get tired of watching Sherlock and Joan trying to take care of each other. They have one of my very favorite platonic relationships anywhere on TV, and Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu work really well off one another. I also really liked Sherlock’s moment with Gregson, since I was expecting the latter to be all, “Grrr, argh, you did bad things!” instead of saying, “You’re acting like you did something; something was done to you.” It was a welcome surprise, and maybe, hopefully hinted that Elementary isn’t planning to just let Sherlock recover from what happened in an episode or two? (Elementary is usually pretty good about that sort of thing, actually, which is undoubtedly one of the reasons I enjoy it so much.)

The case itself isn’t anything deeply exciting — I guessed David Zayas was the bad guy just from seeing his name in the credits — but I didn’t mind so much, considering just how much emotional fallout the show had to deal with. And can I just say, that killer dude who shot himself in the head? He was super effectively creepy. I tried to look up the actor to give him kudos, but couldn’t seem to find him. Well, anyway. Kudos, Mystery Actor!


Not sure. “My compliments to the virgins whose blood you bathe in” was a pretty great line. Also, the scene were Joan threatens to punch Sherlock’s Dad’s Snotty Assistant in the face. That was pretty good for me.



The Librarians


I was so happy when The Librarians got renewed — it’s such a silly, fun, enjoyable show — but the two-part season premiere was really just okay for me. It wasn’t bad, exactly; it just felt a little off for some reason. Forced, maybe. Part of it, probably, has to do with Flynn, who I just don’t think fits in all that well with the rest of the team. And I was a big fan of Carter and ER in my day, but I can’t help but feel that Noah Wyle just doesn’t have quite the right amount of manic charm for the role. (I’m sure I’ve said this before, but watching him here mostly makes me yearn for Matt Smith, who could probably do this part blindfolded.)

Worse, the more time we spend with Flynn, the less time we spend with the characters I’d rather be watching, which is literally everyone else in the cast. I feel kind of bad about it, but I’m pretty happy Flynn’s not going to be in every episode because I think the team actually has a more interesting dynamic without him.

Lest it all be negative, I did still have some fun watching “And the Drowned Book” and “And the Broken Staff.” I enjoy the whole idea of the Fictionals and I look forward to their villainous shenanigans. (Although Prospero and Moriarty, while decent enough, kinda make me miss Matt Frewer as the Big Bad. Then again, I’m pretty partial to that guy.) I know Baird made me laugh a few times, although I can’t seem to remember any of her lines now. (I really should start taking notes for these things.) And I was definitely amused by the failed hug-it-out defense against Frankenstein’s monster. I love it when hugs fail because I’m a terrible person.


Yeah, probably Frankenstein’s monster. (Though I wouldn’t minded if he looked even slightly less silly.) Oh, or Ezekiel’s defense on why he doesn’t know how to use a card catalogue: “It’s the 21st century. I don’t know how to shoe a horse, either.” Word.





This show has been getting some serious love online — nerds, critics, presumably some regular people, too — but so far, I’ve gotta be honest: I’m kinda iffy on it. On the upside, I think Melissa Benoist herself has a ridiculous amount of charm, and I really enjoy watching her as Kara. Not everyone can fully rock that whole adorkable vibe, but so far she seems up to the challenge. I also didn’t call that her sister Alex — crap, it’s gonna be really hard not calling her Lexie — was a secret field agent, so that was a pleasant surprise. And Jimmy — crap, it’s gonna be really hard not calling him Eggs — is pleasant enough to look at/listen to. Also on the plus side: casting Dean Cain and Helen Slater as Supergirl’s adopted parents, not to mention pretty much everything about Calista Flockhart.

That all being said . . . look, I don’t mind showcasing more optimistic superhero stories; I really don’t, but guys, some of the dialogue here is painfully earnest. Obvious, too. I don’t want to be able to guess half the things the characters are about to say, especially if they’re going to say supremely stupid things like, “Why, because she’s a girl? That’s exactly what we were counting on!” Sweet Jesus, enough. You could make a drinking game off this pilot; take a shot whenever a character makes it obvious that this is a Female Superhero Show. And don’t get me wrong — I’m not asking for Supergirl to be a show where the superhero just happens to be female, like I’m totally fine with them acknowledging her gender and the bullshit she has to face because of it. But the lack of the subtlety in the dialogue just kills me dead. I want to feel empowered watching Supergirl, not pandered to. Mostly, however, I felt pandered to, and pissed off because of it.

Being fair, though, this is a pilot. There’s plenty of time for improvement in the script . . . but I know that if it doesn’t come in the first season, there’s no way I’m making it to the second. I will also need Friendzone to improve rapidly because I can’t possibly express just how bored I am by that whole tired setup. And while I know Hank Henshaw is supposed to be an ass, could he somehow be, like, less of an annoying ass? Because his dickishness is so one-note at this point that I just want to yawn whenever he opens his mouth.


Hm. Maybe Kara’s excitement when she saves the plane? It’s always nice seeing someone embrace the powers that you would kill for, rather than treating them like it’s some massive curse.



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Well, Here We Go

Okay, folks. It’s been a long time coming, but my story “The Case of the Little Bloody Slipper” is now available for free to read on The Book Smugglers.

Here’s a brief plot summary, shamelessly stolen straight from The Book Smugglers themselves:

Jimmy Prince is a private detective with a tendency to make bad decisions, take on hopeless cases, and ask too many questions. But no one is answering his inquiries about Ella, the mysterious dame who slipped into the Prince family gala, stayed for a dance, then disappeared at midnight leaving just a single bloody glass slipper behind.

With the help of his trusty assistant Jack (a street-savvy teen runaway who is as tough as she is resourceful), Jimmy finally catches a break when one of Spindle City’s most powerful players, the Godmother, lets slip that Ella is part of a much larger conspiracy and not at all who she seems. With every new clue, Jimmy finds himself a step farther down a path that threatens to uncover some of the city’s best kept, and most deadly, secrets.

In Spindle City, all kinds of tales get told… for a price. Asking the wrong question is a guaranteed one-way ticket to the long and silent ever after.

Taking on this new case might just be Jimmy Prince’s biggest mistake yet.

And as a reminder, this is only the first story in a trilogy of novelettes that will be updated every few weeks. So if you like what you see, good news! The next story will be available on 11/24/15.

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Happy November, Everybody!

Couple things to talk about today. Numero Uno: while “The Case of the Little Bloody Slipper” will be available at The Book Smugglers tomorrow, my Inspirations & Influences essay is up today, should you be interested in reading it. I discuss how the story came to be, the kind of female characters I wanted to write about, and why it’s not enough to just retell Romeo and Juliet when the only change is that Juliet’s a robot.

Second, Halloween is over. I know, sadface. I had a pretty low-key Halloween myself (dinner, costume bowling, eating candy while watching the most recent episode of my latest obsession, How to Get Away with Murder), and I figured I’d post a few pictures of my Casey Becker costume cause, you know, why not?


Jiffy Pop


Now that I’m done with that, I’m going to go collapse face first into my bed because I’ve been up all night and I’m exhausted, but feel free to comment about your own Halloween shenanigans. Pictures get you extra kudos.

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