Saturday, October 31, 2015

Military Sci Fi Star Wars Flaws


This is my At-At, This is my Gun.

Ah, Star Wars hardware. Those big, tall, dinosaur-looking tanks from the Empire Strikes Back always fascinated me. But I could never get my head around them as weapons. They seemed designed as enormous, expensive and impractical behemoths. (I'm surprised the Untied Stated hasn't developed one for fighting ISIS.) Joe Pappalardo also ponders the military flaws in the Empire's weaponry. For instance, regarding the above mentioned dino tank, officially known as an At-At:

". . . they are not well suited for front-line action. Scaling up a 4-legged design to mammoth AT-AT walkers brings few advantages, and numerous disadvantages. Sure, the AT-AT could step over many obstructions, like trees and boulders. But steeper inclines and the inability to roll upright—its awfully boxy for such a maneuver; a barrel shape would help—makes this a dangerous ride."

Some guy with heart and a FGM-48 Javelin could knock one out. The Riders of Stinking Rohan could topple these big boys. There's more on SW military tech in Pappalardo's Popular Mechanics piece. If it were possible to speak with Emperor Palpatine, I'd have to say: Keep it simple and buy Russian, dog.

Happy Halloween!

h/t: Instapundit

Friday, October 23, 2015

H.P. Lovecraft Tips on Weird Fiction

Lovecraft is top left. His agent is bottom right.

Five Ways to Structure Your Horror, Sci-Fi, Fantasy Story

Who would know better? In addition to gracing the pages of Weird Tales with weird tales, Howard Phillip Lovecraft was a letter-crafting dynamo and would expound at length on the process of writing. For instance, H.P. opines on what elements go into fantastic fiction:

"The true weird tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains according to rule. A certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain—a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space."

Over at Open Culture, Josh Jones lays out a quintet of Lovecraftian tips that will aid in your outre scribblings. May all your moons be gibbous.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Thomas Edison's Secret Lab Surfaces

Lo, a secret lab.

Animated TV Series Now on Netflix, Other Venues

Thomas Edison bequeathed to humanity a clandestine laboratory. According to Genius Brands International, "the secret lab, Edison's virtual ego, and his prototype robot remained hidden until a 12-year old prodigy cracked the secret coded message that Edison left behind. The young genius and her science club move into the lab and the fun begins."

One of these fine episodes is mine. (Or more properly, my name is on a script that story editor Grant Moran rewrote—but such is the nature of the business.) Kids, a lab, a robot, a virtual dead guy, but a very, very smart dead guy. These elements await you. Check out 13 action-filled tales on Netflix or your local PBS station.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Indie Comics Want In on Hollywood Dough

Dark Circle Comics

Small Publishers Push Properties for Films, Series

D.C. and Marvel went big with their characters and it's paid off. Now, according to a New York Times article, the little guys crave passage on that royalty gravy train. But as Gregory Schmidt writes:

". . . the publishing model of smaller houses differs from that of their larger counterparts. Instead of having a monthly series that can run for years, they publish shorter series, usually about five issues. If a series is a hit, the publishers can order a second short series or make it ongoing. To bolster revenue, the series can be repackaged and sold in collections."

Comics into live-action are another venue for writers and artists to earn an honest buck. Read the rest as time and fortune dictate in your busy day.

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