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I, along with my co-editor Hayden Trenholm, have been nominated for an Aurora Award in Best Related Works for our anthology Lazarus Risen.

This will be my third Aurora nomination. The first was for my short story, A Bunny Hug for Karl in Masked Mosaic. The second for the anthology Second Contacts which Hayden and I won.

Three nominations, a win, and I still feel like it’s all just a fluke.

 

 

 

 

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My thoughts on Orville, Young Sheldon, and Star Trek: Discovery

A lot of trailers for upcoming TV shows have come in. Here is my take on them because I know everyone is waiting for my input.

Orville.

Everyone is comparing this to Galaxy Quest and I haven’t a clue why. Galaxy Quest took a group of actors who played space-faring heroes on a TV show and forced them to make the characters they played become actual heroes. Along the way it showed us what life was like for those actors after cancellation like appearances on the convention circuit, type casting so that you can’t find other work, and the notorious infighting. It was brilliant, funny, and heartbreaking and everyone who was a fan of Star Trek and all that followed understood the jokes.

From what I’ve seen, Orville looks like a combination of Quark and Macfarlane’s movie, A Million Ways to Die in the West. Quark was about a space garbage man and as a spoof of science fiction shows, had its moments, but on the whole it was just a bunch of bad jokes. Orville looks about the same. When the jokes are Trek-centric, sure everyone gets it, but if the opening relies on a cheap gag like mistaking a marble for a mint…well, if I wanted to see that I would watch sitcoms on the Disney Channel.

I give it five weeks before it gets cancelled, and that’s being generous.

Young Sheldon.

Just watched the new trailer for Young Sheldon and was pleasantly surprised. Sheldon is going to be the spin-off of The Big Bang Theory with Sheldon Cooper as a young child and narrated by Jim Parsons as the older Sheldon. Unlike the sitcom format of TBBT, Sheldon is more like, dare I say, Community meets The Wonder Years.

I do have my reservations. I think the casting of the young Sheldon could have been better. There are thousands of young actors in Hollywood. One of them must have looked more like a young Sheldon than this kid. Nor does he ‘act’ like Sheldon which in this case I think is important. In Star Gate: SG1, Michael Shanks chose to play the Dr. Daniel Jackson character much like James Spader had, and this gave the series a unique connection to the movie. Other than Parsons’ narration, I just don’t feel the same connection. This could be any family in Texas dealing with a child gifted with a high IQ.

My prediction, the show will likely follow TBBT on the fall schedule which should guarantee a success. If not, the studio will dole out extra shows if they sense an audience building, but I think the kid is going to make or break this show, and it feels broken.

Star Trek: Discovery.

A lot of people have been waiting for this. From what I’ve seen the Special Effects are Big Screen quality…and will likely kill the show on budget alone. If you go big you have to stay big. You can’t give an audience the spectacle of the galaxy then follow up with a Styrofoam rock dangling from a wire. Being a Trek set in JJ Abrams universe is not going to make TOS fans happy, but then nothing ever makes them happy…for long. (See, that’s satire.)

Of course, what will really make ST:D is what made all the previous Treks special in their own way. (Yes, even Enterprise). Story. Star Trek has always been more than just aliens and the Federation pew-pewing throughout space. Star Trek has always tried to have something to say about our present world. Sometimes the message is clumsy, but more often than not they were spot on and even the worst of the Star Trek episodes made us think.

That said, it is Star Trek. If they go the same route as ST:TNG and go straight to syndication it will likely get a 5 year mission, even if every planet they away team visits looks a lot like British Columbia. (More satire, but not really.)

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Limestone Genre Expo 2017

 

 

This year I will be representing Bundoran Press at Limestone Genre Expo in Kingston, Ontario. Unlike standard conventions, Limestone includes all manners of genre fiction including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, and Crime Mysteries. In a nutshell, something for everyone. So, come on down and give it a visit, listen to great authors of their respective fields give readings and discuss their passion–writing.

Oh, and buy some books.

This is the Expo’s third year and it is growing both in size and popularity. Here is the schedule of panels and readings. You might notice I am on the very first and last panels of the Expo. It seems the party begins and ends with me. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ad Astra 2017

Ad Astra is coming up next weekend and the old Con Fire is starting to burn in my belly. Here is my schedule:

When Did We Stop Being Funny?: Examination of the use of humour in genre writing; specifically, why humour seems to be embraced by genre aimed at younger audiences (Including YA) and less so by genre aimed at adults.
• Friday 7:00 PM – Aurora: Hayden Trenholm, Jen Frankel, Nicholas Eames, Mike Rimar

Historical Fantasy: What is it and how does it differ from fantasy or historical fiction? What makes for good historical fantasy? What are some variations within this genre?
• Saturday 11:00 AM – Richmond CD: Jane Ann McLachlan, Guy Gavriel Kay, Steve Stirling, Rebecca Diem, Mike Rimar

What are Old Heroes Supposed to Do, Die? Even while the population ages, most speculative fiction features young, fully abled protagonists. What happens after our favorite characters turn 50? Can aging mages, spacefarers and warriors still have adventures, find love, make a difference and change their lives forever?
• Sunday 12:00 PM – Newmarket: Arlene Marks, David Clink, Nicholas Eames, Alexandra Renwick, Mike Rimar, Hayden Trenholm

I’ll also be at the Bundoran Press tables selling our books, and at the Launch Party for Brendan’s Way by Matthew Bin Saturday 9 pm. Otherwise, you’ll find me wandering around looking at stuff. Feel free to say hello and chat.

 

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Brendan’s Way by Matthew Bin – New SF from Bundoran Press

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