As we have every year for the last several years, Wrenn and I are doing the Great International Scavenger Hunt, a.k.a. GISH, run by the Mighty Misha Collins (the guy who plays Castiel on Supernatural). While the general point of the hunt is to bring a little weirdness into the world, a big part of GISH is charitable things, from minor to major.
This year, GISH has teamed up with photographer Giles Duley to help the people of Laos, who have hundreds of unexploded mines in their country, and which need to be cleared out as, five decades after they were placed, they’re still going off unexpectedly and killing people.
Far worse is Horton, who is set up as the exact type of bad-ass operative that Karl Urban’s Cooper was in the first movie—and it’s the perfect role for Neal McDonough’s hard-faced deadpan—but then he’s taken out in half a second by Bailey. This violates the Second Rule of Bad-Assness: a bad-ass must be stopped in an appropriately bad-ass manner. (The First Rule is that a bad-ass can only be defeated by an equal or greater bad-ass. That rule, at least, is not violated, because Bailey proves to be a worthy adversary. It’s the method that falls down.) Worse, Horton is inexplicably spared by Bailey on the plane, so you figure the former will either get his revenge or be taken out in a huge manner—but no, Bailey later just stabs him, making you wonder why he kept him alive in the first place, beyond McDonough being in the opening credits, and therefore more important.
Today is the official on-sale date for Alien: Isolation! Taking place between Alien and Aliens, Isolation is the story of Amanda Ripley, Ellen’s daughter, a 25-year-old technician who is trying to find out what happened to her mother, who went missing on the Nostromo fifteen years earlier. A lead takes her to Sevastopol Station, but while the station holds Ripley’s secrets, it also holds a Xenomorph that is determined to kill everything in its path…
Based on the 2014 videogame, my novel also includes detailed backstory on both Ellen and Amanda Ripley, giving the background of one of the most compelling heroes of science fiction film.
Author Keith DeCandido, who has written a plethora of sci-fi works including media tie-in books such as Star Trek as well as his own fiction, was tasked to adapt the game. Titan Books couldn’t have chosen a better writer. What you get with Alien Isolation the novel is a lot more than just a mirror image of someone else’s work, he literally adds depth to the back story of Amanda Ripley. We get to see her childhood, and the moment when she had to say goodbye to Ellen before that ill-fated trip aboard the Nostromo. DeCandido also includes a scene one month before her eleventh birthday when her stepfather Paul gets the news that the Nostromo is being declared “missing in action”.
While it started out fantastic—with the first seasons of DD, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage in particular achieving greatness on multiple levels—it petered out pretty quickly. Part of it was some weaker entrants (Iron Fist season one), part of it was sophomore seasons unable to live up to their debuts (DD and JJ’s second seasons were both steps downward), and a huge part of it was Netflix losing interest in partnering with Marvel once Disney announced their own streaming service. As a result, The Punisherseason two and Jessica Jones season three were released this year with minimal fanfare or buzz, feeling for all the world like Netflix was releasing them solely to fulfill contracts.
8. Yay Fantastic Four in development! Marvel’s flagship heroes have been botched so badly onscreen on three separate occasions, and this is finally their chance to do it right. Here’s a hint: DON’T DO THE ORIGIN. One of the biggest problems with a lot of Marvel’s early origins is that they’re tied to the time they were written. The Hulk was the result of an above-ground bomb test, which stopped being legal a year after he was created. Iron Man was created in the midst of conflict in Southeast Asia. And the Fantastic Four were part of the 1960s space race. Every attempt to update their origin on screen has failed, especially since so many elements of it are kinda dumb.
So just skip it. We don’t need it, and it’s the least interesting part of the FF’s story. Just have them be a family of adventurers who happen to have super-powers.
(Also just cast Michael Chiklisas Ben Grimm. Nobody has done it better, and I suspect nobody ever will. He was born to play the role. Just do it. We’ve already had J.K. Simmons brought over to set the precedent…..)
eSpec Books is having a sale on the eBook editions of their backlist, which includes my “Precinct” series and Without a License and a bunch of anthologies. Here’s the whole list of my stuff you can get for cheapsies:
On Episode 275 of Literary Treks, Bruce Gibson and Dan Gunther talk about my 2007 novel Q & A, and both of them really like it, which makes me happy. I especially like the comment that reading this novel has affected the way he views Q episodes, which is really kind of awesome.
The first weekend in August, when many people will be at GenCon, I will instead be at Tampa Bay Comic-Con — my first time ever in Tampa, as it happens! I’ll be there with the gang at Bard’s Tower, Booth 1435, where I’ll be joined by Jazzy Jason Fry, Mighty Melinda M. Snodgrass, and Dangerous Dan Wells. EDITED TO ADD: Also at the booth will be Prolific Peter David, Terrific T. Allen Diaz, Canny Carlos Ferro, and Magnificent Megan Mackie.
I might also be doing some panels, too, so if you’re in that part of Florida on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th of August, come check it out!