Holy Rewatch Batman! “Minerva, Mayhem, and Millionaires”

An excerpt:

There’s an early scene where Minerva walks into the room to talk to her employees and Freddie. She throws the door shut behind her, but it doesn’t latch properly, and it falls back open again. They don’t even bother with a reshoot, just letting it stand and going on with the scene.

That neglect is emblematic of this final season of the show, and the perfect symbol for this rather lame finish to a cultural icon.

throwback Thursday

Found this picture while digging around my computer for other things. It’s from a trip to Sequals, Italy in April 1984 to visit my grandfather. We also went to Paris and Chartres, and I spent my 15th birthday in Venice, all on that trip.

Left to right in the picture are my mother; my grandfather’s cousin Domenica; me (kneeling); my father; and my grandfather.


first Mermaid Precinct stretch goal achieved!

We’re past $5300 (thanks to Joe Rixman for his pledge to put us over the line), so now everyone who pledged $50 or more to the Mermaid Precinct Kickstarter not only gets eBooks of all the prior Precinct stories, but also of the four previous Precinct novels. Hooray!
Next goal: to hit $5500 and add two of my Super City Cops short stories to the pile for everyone who pledges $15 or more………..

from the archives: Gramma, RIP

Presenting “from the archives,” a regular feature on this blog, in which I present an entry from the previous iteration of this blog, which was on LiveJournal from 2004-2017.

Today is the entry from exactly one year ago, on the occasion of my grandmother’s death.

I no longer have any living grandparents.

My paternal grandmother died when I was two. I have absolutely no memory of her, sadly.

My paternal grandfather was quite the character. Nonno was a great guy, and some day I’ll write a blog post with all the great stories about him, but for now, suffice it to say that he was a major influence on my childhood. When he retired, he moved to the family home in northern Italy, and he died there when I was in college.

My maternal grandfather was also a major influence on my childhood, but I didn’t get to keep him around as long. He died in 1976, an event that I was, sadly, present for.

But since 1988, I have been fortunate to still have at least one grandparent.

That ended tonight. Ann Andreassi, my mother’s mother, died in her bed at the nursing home.

Gramma was the oldest of ten kids to my great grandmother, Grazia DeBacco. Nana, as I called her, was the matriarch of a huge family, and Gramma was her oldest kid (my mother is her oldest grandkid, and I her oldest great-grandkid). Nana (on whom I based the Star Trek character of Federation President Nan Bacco) died in 2003 at the age of 98.

My grandparents met just after World War II. Grandpa was from New York, but he was out in rural western Pennsylvania visiting family. His car broke down, and this was the 1940s, so these things took a while to fix. He met my grandmother and charmed the crap out of her, and not long after they got married. She moved to New York for him, but she never, ever liked it there. Nonetheless, they had four kids together, my mother, my twin uncles, and my aunt, raising them in a house in the Bronx.

Grandma and Grandpa’s wedding picture

Gramma babysat me a lot when I was a kid. My parents both worked full-time, and she’d often take care of me after school, and sometimes during the day when school was out. She had a pretty steady routine of game shows in the morning and soap operas in the afternoon, but sometimes she’d let me watch what I wanted to watch late in the afternoon.

My silly little-kid brain always thought it was weird that Gramma didn’t have a dishwasher when we did. So at one point, seven-year-old me announced, “Gramma, when I grow up, I’m going to buy you a dishwasher.”

After Grandpa died, Gramma immediately moved back out to rural PA. She shared a small house with Nana on top of a hill until Nana died, and then Gramma moved into a “high-rise” (five whole stories high, but a skyscraper by local standards) for elderly folks.

Neither of those places really had space for a dishwasher, sadly, so I was never able to fulfill my seven-year-old self’s promise.

The family having tea in honor of Gramma’s 86th birthday

About ten years ago, she came to visit for Thanksgiving, and it became obvious that she was having trouble remembering things. It was pretty obviously the early signs of dementia, and the subsequent months bore that out. Eventually, she had to go into a nursing home.

The last time I visited her was in 2011. My mother, the Infomancer, Wrenn, and I drove out to see her, and it was wrenching, to say the least. We kept having the same conversation over and over, and she kept thinking she was a little girl waiting for her parents to pick her up. It was horrible.

In a lot of ways, I said goodbye to Gramma five years ago on that visit. The woman who babysat me, who made me sit through The Price is Right and As the World Turns, who fed me wonderful food (both my chicken soup and my tomato sauce are at least in part derived from Gramma’s recipe), who took care of me so many times in my youth, was pretty much gone at that point.

Gramma on her 93rd birthday (which this year was also Easter Sunday)

This past Sunday, she lapsed into a coma. On Tuesday she woke up long enough for my aunt Monica to say she loved her and for Gramma to say she loved her, too. Then she lapsed back into the coma until she finally died on Wednesday evening, seventeen days after celebrating her 93rd birthday.

The funeral is Monday. I will still be attending some of Treklanta this weekend, but I’ll be leaving early to fly home so Wrenn and I can drive out to PA to say goodbye.

(And yes, Monday is my birthday. Spending my 47th birthday at my grandmother’s funeral wasn’t on top of my list of things to do that day, but such, as they say, is life. And death.)

Rest in peace, Gramma…………..

Dead Kitchen Radio Volume 2 Episode 4: Aliens: Bug Hunt


The new episode of Dead Kitchen Radio: The Keith R.A. DeCandido Podcast is live! On the eve of the release of Aliens: Bug Hunt, edited by the mighty Jonathan Maberry, I discuss my love of the Alien film franchise in general and the new anthology in particular, in which I share space with luminaries Dan Abnett, Rachel Caine, Larry Correia, David Farland, Matt Forbeck, Ray Garton, Christopher Golden, Heather Graham, Brian Keene, Paul Kupperberg, Tim Lebbon, James A. Moore, Yvonne Navarro, Weston Ochse, Mike Resnick, Scott Sigler, and the aforementioned Mr. Maberry.

I also read my story in the anthology, “Deep Background.” So check out the podcast!


Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: “The Practical Joker”


There’s a practical joker on the Enterprise–or, rather, in the Enterprise… The TOS Rewatch meets “The Practical Joker.”

An excerpt:

The jokes are all incredibly unimaginative and very basic stuff. The dark-eyes-from-the-microscope thing doesn’t even make sense in the setting. (Why would there be a microscope on Spock’s console? How’d a disembodied computer even get it there?) They’re just variations on contemporary pranks, and not particularly interesting ones. Plus, there’s the completely absurd giant inflatable Enterprise decoy that the Romulans somehow don’t realize is a giant balloon until after they fire on it. I can’t even…

new Supernatural book that I wrote the text for

I overcomplicated that a little, but there’s a new bit of Supernatural merchandise coming out this September (just in time for the launch of the show’s thirteenth season: Supernatural: John Winchester Hardcover Ruled Journal, which includes facsimile text and art of John’s journal from the TV series. I wrote the text that accompanies it.

It’s being published by Insight Editions (who also are publishing my Orphan Black book in the summer), and it’s available for preorder right now. Check it out!


new stretch goal for Mermaid Precinct

The Mermaid Precinct Kickstarter has a new stretch goal: if we hit $5300, everyone who pledges $50 or more will not only get electronic copies of all thirteen previous Precinct short stories, but also e-copies of the four previous Precinct novels. So if you pledge fifty bucks (or more), you get Dragon Precinct, Unicorn Precinct, Goblin Precinct, Gryphon Precinct, and all thirteen short stories in the universe (that part was already there if you pledged $50+).

just one week left!

There’s only one week left in the Mermaid Precinct Kickstarter, and we’re also only $176 to go to make the first stretch goal of extra short stories for $15 or higher pledges!
The Kickstarter for the latest in my fantasy police procedural series is already funded, so go support not only the book, but also get nifty rewards. And we get more if we hit the stretch goals! So go pledge and please put us over that threshold!

Holy Rewatch, Batman! “The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra”

An excerpt:
This episode has to set a record for double entendres in a single Batman ’66 episode. Besides the two mentioned above—Batman’s comment about the oncoming thrust of Robin’s manhood and Cabala lamenting Batgirl getting flatter—there’s also Cabala’s line about how husbands and wives should bump into each other every once in a while, Cassandra dismissively telling Batgirl that other women’s numbers don’t interest her, Gordon’s reference to the prison matron nicknamed “Mrs. Frisk,” and Minerva’s line about how she would feel like a new man.