what a weekend……


On Saturday we had our First Annual Birthdaversary Party, in honor of the confluence of my birthday (the 18th of April), our wedding anniversary (the 22nd of April), and Wrenn’s birthday (the 2nd of May). About 30 people showed up at various times over the course of Saturday afternoon and evening to be fed handmade pasta with my tomato sauce, Wrenn’s barbecued chicken, cold antipasto from Little Italy (including Italian bread from Addeo’s, cold cuts and fresh mozzarella from Tino’s, and tomatoes and melons from the green grocer in the central market), salad with my mustard viniagrette, and Wrenn’s homemade brownies and whipped cream (both made from scratch, and the whipped cream is tinged with Chambord). Everyone seemed to be having a good time, and they certainly ate a lot of food….

We always start the party at 3, which gives us time for last-minute house prep, and it goes on until the last people leave. Some folks didn’t arrive until close to 9pm, and it finally broke up around 1am.

On top of that, the party was bookended by two karate promotions for my afterschool programs — one Friday afternoon, one Sunday afternoon — which both went supremely well. We also had Meredith for the whole weekend and Nokona and her brood for a chunk of the weekend, and we got to do things with them, also, from breakfast at the local bagel place to dinner at a ramen place on the upper west side.

Meredith also gave me my birthday present, which I wore on Sunday:


That’s Nokona’s daughter Ohana photobombing me. The shirt says, “A BLACK BELT IS A WHITE BELT THAT NEVER GAVE UP.” Especially fitting after achieving my sandan.

Now it’s back to the grind, as I have a ton of work to do on the tie-in novel this week, and it’s also Wrenn’s birthday on Wednesday and I’m doing karate spring camp this weekend, and then I’m going to L.A. for a week next week for a project I can’t actually talk about yet. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!


I’m a Scribe nominee for the ninth and tenth time!


I’ve received my ninth and tenth nominations for a Scribe Award by the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. Every year, the IAMTW gives awards for excellence in media tie-in writing, and I’ve gotten two noms this year, one for Best Short Story for “Ganbatte” in Joe Ledger: Unstoppable, and one for Best Young Adult Novel for Marvel’s Warriors Three: Godhood’s End.

Winners will be announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego in July. Let’s see if I can finally break my losing streak, as none of my eight previous nominees won………


4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Elektra


Jennifer Garner turns in a most uninteresting interpretation of Elektra Natchios in a movie that manages to waste Jason Isaacs, Will Yun Lee, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Terence Stamp, Colin Cunningham, and Goran Visnjic. The great superhero movie rewatch snores through Elektra.

An excerpt:

The biggest problem with this movie, though, is that there’s no real engagement with Elektra as a person. Her having died and been resurrected isn’t actually dealt with in any meaningful fashion, beyond explaining how she’s starring in a movie after her character was killed in another movie. Kimagure adepts’ ability to predict the future and resurrect the dead strikes me as something that should be of much greater moment, but these rather major abilities are used solely to facilitate plot mechanics and negate consequences.

I discuss DS9‘s “Tacking Into the Wind” on Enterprising Individuals


Enterprising Individuals is a nifty podcast hosted by Aaron Coker that does in-depth discussions of Trek-kish things, and in episode 6 of season 3 of the podcast, I join Aaron to discuss the fourth-to-the-last episode of Deep Space Nine, “Tacking Into the Wind,” which is one of my favorite episodes. Aaron and I covered a lot of ground, and you should check it out.


happy book birthday to Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot


Last year, Diversion Books released Baker Street Irregulars, a collection of 13 stories featuring alternate versions of Sherlock Holmes. Among others, the book included “Identity,” a story that paired up a brilliant young woman named Shirley Holmes with an African-American med student named Jack Watson.

Today, the sequel has been released! It’s the book birthday for Baker Street Irregulars: The Game is Afoot. Like the first one, it’s edited by the dream team of Michael A. Ventrella & Jonathan Maberry, and like the first one, it’s got a Shirley-and-Jack story, this one called “Six Red Dragons.”

Here’s the full table of contents:

  • Introduction: “My Old Friend Sherlock Holmes” by Jonathan Maberry
  • “The Problem of the Three Journals” by Narrelle M. Harris (Sherlock is an Australian hipster)
  • “Six Red Dragons” by Keith R.A. DeCandido (Sherlock is a young girl in modern New York City)
  • “The Adventure of the Diode Detective” by Jody Lynn Nye (Sherlock is a home security system)
  • “Investigations upon Taxonomy of Venomous Squamates” by R. Rozakis (Sherlock is a graduate student at a lab)
  • “Papyrus” by Sarah Stegall (Sherlock is a female librarian in ancient Egypt)
  • “My Dear Wa’ats” by Hildy Silverman (Sherlock is an alien ship’s captain)
  • “A Scandal in Chelm” by Daniel M. Kimmel (Sherlock is a rabbi)
  • “The Affair of the Green Crayon” by Stephanie M. McPherson (Sherlock is a grade school teacher)
  • “A Study in Space” by Derek Beebe (Sherlock is a teenager on a moon station)
  • “Sin Eater and the Adventure of Ginger Mary” by Gordon Linzner (Sherlock is a “sin eater” in rural post-Civil War America)
  • “The Adventure of the Double-Sized Final Issue” by Mike Strauss (Sherlock is a comic book character)
  • “A Very Important Nobody” by Chuck Regan (Sherlock is an investigator on one of Jupiter’s moons)
  • “Ho Ho Holmes” by Nat Gertler (Sherlock is Santa Claus)

And here’s an excerpt from “Six Red Dragons.”

“Hey, Shirley,” I said as I led Lestrade in. “Your cop buddy’s here.”

She was arranging the pastries on the three-tiered tray and didn’t look up at either of us. “Welcome, Detective. Hello, Jack. I see you had a difficult shift in the emergency room.”

Shirley hadn’t known that I was doing an ER shift today—mostly because I hadn’t known myself until I showed up at work. Like most med students, I went where they told me to go, and because someone called in sick, I got the ER shift instead of the lab shift I was scheduled for.

With a sigh, Shirley added, “Before you ask how I knew, you’re wearing a different shirt than you were wearing when you left, specifically the one you keep in your locker as a backup, you have the same soap smell you had the last time you had to shower at the hospital after your shift, there are tiny flecks of blood and vomit on parts of your shoes, and a bruise on your left arm, all indicators of the somewhat more chaotic nature of an emergency room shift. Also, you have bags under your eyes, which has only happened when you’ve worked the emergency room.”

“I wasn’t gonna ask that,” I said with a smile. I’d given up asking how she knew stuff, ‘cause it was always just that she noticed every damn thing. And it was Saturday night in the ER, which meant lots of puke, piss, and shit on top of the expected blood. “I was gonna ask if I could join you and the detective here for your tea.”

“I did not set a place for you. However, your need for caffeine is obvious, and the traditional tea service is generally more than two people can reasonably drink, so you may join us, yes.”

I had to admit, as soon as I saw the two places set out, I figured she was gonna kick me upstairs because I wasn’t part of the already set service, but she worked her way through letting me stay. I was kinda hoping she wouldn’t. The detective owing me a favor was nice and all, but I was really tired.

Still, she was also right that the caffeine hit would be good.

I offered to get my own place setting, and Shirley said, “That will not be necessary. I am the host, and it is my responsibility to adjust the place settings accordingly.”

“Maybe, but I know where everything is, and you look like you want to start hearing what the detective has to say.”

“That is true.” She sounded almost relieved. Even though she had talked herself into letting me stick around, I could tell that, on the one hand, she didn’t want to do the extra work, but on the other, she felt obligated to. She sounded pretty relieved that I just gave her an out.

Of course, she didn’t thank me.

This link takes you to Diversion’s page for the book, which includes a complete set of ordering links.

So check it out!

table of contents for They Keep Killing Glenn

At Shore Leave 40 this summer, Crazy 8 Press will be releasing their latest anthology, They Keep Killing Glenn, in which twenty authors come up with imaginative ways to kill C8’s web master, production guru, and all-around tall person Glenn Hauman.


That’s Glenn on the right, with his attorney Michael Ventrella.*

* Not really Glenn’s attorney, but it was the best picture I had of Glenn on hand.

Anyhow, here is the table of contents for this rather ridiculous anthology, put together lovingly by Peter David & Kathleen O’Shea David in honor of one of their oldest friends, although possibly not for much longer………………


“They Keep Killing Me: A Foreword of Last Words” by Glenn Hauman
“The Killing Croak” by David Gerrold
“The Look on Your Face” by David Mack
“Revenge of the Clipper Kin” by Joe Corallo
“‘Is it You?'” by Bob Greenberger
“The Hardwicke Files: The Case of Hauman’s Comet” by Russ Colchamiro
“House Hunting” by Keith R.A. DeCandido
“Patient Zero” by Dean Scott
“Buried in Books” by Mary Fan
“The Case of the Industrial Revolution” by Kathleen O’Shea David
“For Whom the Bell LOLs” by Setsu Uzume
“Too Damn Tall” by Lorraine J. Anderson
“DuckBob: All In” by Aaron Rosenberg
“R is for Roadster” by Blair Learn
“The Long and the Short of It” by Brett Hudgins
“Marathon” by S. Brady Calhoun
“For Cockeysville” by Michael Jan Friedman
“Rhino” by Amy Lewanski
“Waking Things” by Jenifer Purcell Rosenberg
“The Day of Killing Endlessly” by Paul Kupperberg
“That’s All, Folks” by Peter David


Monday music: “St. James Infirmary”

I know, I’ve done this song a lot, but it’s one of my favorites. I even did this combination doing this song before: Rhiannon Giddens fronting the Silk Road Ensemble doing the classic old N’awlins ditty “St. James Infirmary,” which has been sung over the last century by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Cisco Houstin, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Dave Van Ronk, and more.

But I stumbled across this live version, and it’s an absolute delight.