it’s a major award!

The Independent Book Publishers Association gives out its Benjamin Franklin Awards every year, and they’ve announced the three finalists in each category for 2021. Who wins gold, silver, and bronze among those three will be announced in mid-May at the awards ceremony, and I’m pleased to see that Icarus: The Longest Fall is one of the finalists for Best Graphic Novel! This is the graphic novel that I adapted from Gregory A. Wilson’s science fiction novel, with art by Áthila Fabbio, published by Atthis Arts.

Our competition is Dead Max Comix Book 1: The Deadening by Dana Sullivan and The Saga of Evil Monkey Man! Season One by N. Blake Seals & Butch Mapa.

Yay us!

KRAD COVID reading #93d: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Invincible Book 1, Part 4

For 2021, KRAD COVID readings is covering the only short fiction I didn’t read in 2020: my novellas for the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, a monthly series of eBooks that ran from 2000-2007. I’ll have a new reading every #TrekTuesday.

This week, we finish Book 1 of Invincible, which was a collaboration between me and David Mack. Gomez has killed the monster shii and is able to get the subspace accelerator project back on schedule — but then disaster strikes! Which, yes, is a cliffhanger leading into Book 2, which will kick off next week.

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “Think Tank”

It’s a bit of stunt casting, but it’s also one of the best performances of Jason Alexander’s career as he plays a very un-Costanza-like role. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch consults the “Think Tank.”

An excerpt:

Jason Alexander has made a career out of playing short, obnoxious, loud fellas, even before his most famous role on Seinfeld, so to see him so perfectly portray a quiet, manipulative intellectual is a real joy to watch. Kurros has none of the smarm that Alexander traditionally brings to his roles (I’m thinking, not just George Costanza, but also his role in Pretty Woman), and it makes him a particularly compelling character. Though it might have been better if they hadn’t revealed the Think Tank’s nasty side in the very beginning. It’s the same mistake that the show made in “Revulsion” (and TNG made in “Violations“): letting us know from jump that a character is the bad guy, which drains all the suspense out of it. Alexander’s friendly calm could have easily lulled the viewer into a false sense of security, and have viewer and characters learn of their duplicity at the same time. Instead, because we already know how nasty they are from the treatment of Saowin in the teaser, we’re waiting around for our heroes to catch up.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s “New World Order”

The first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is all setup, but it’s mostly really good setup, and it’s a chance for Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes to get a bit more development as things other than Steve Rogers’s friend. Check out my full review.

An excerpt:

Both Barnes and Wilson are trying to figure out how to live their lives in the titular new world order. When Raynor tells Barnes that he’s free now, he plaintively and frustratedly asks, “To do what?” And Wilson’s attempts to reconnect with his family is nowhere near as successful as he’d like, especially since Sarah has to constantly remind him that he’s the one who went off and joined the military, leaving her to run the family business alone after their parents died, and it’s a bit late in the game for him to be trying to be the responsible brother.

Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch: “The Fight”

Ray Walston is utterly wasted in his final appearance as Boothby as Chakotay gets to be the focus of The Inevitable Boxing Episode. It’s a nifty little first-contact story, but it’s still The Inevitable Boxing Episode. The Star Trek: Voyager Rewatch gets into “The Fight.”

An excerpt:

The general story here is perfectly serviceable. “Chaotic space” is yet another bit of nonsense that sounds cool but isn’t based on any actual astronomical phenomenon, which by this point in Trek’s evolution had become depressingly commonplace. But the general storyline of two very disparate life forms trying to communicate with each other, and of the problem of the week being solved by talking, is very good to see, and nicely played out. Yes, we’ve seen this sort of thing before—the original series’ “Devil in the Dark,” TNG’s “Darmok” and “Night Terrors,” DS9’s “Emissary,” etc.—but it’s still a solid premise.

audio of Spider-Man: Down These Mean Streets now out!

After several delays, the audio of my 2005 Spider-Man novel Down These Mean Streets, narrated by the redoubtable Tara Sands, is now available! The book itself is long out of print and hard to find, and there was never an eBook, sadly, but now you can listen to it with the greatest of ease!

You can get it from Amazon/Audible, Barnes & Noble, and any number of other audiobook dealers.

a brief history of Falcon and the Winter Soldier in the comics

In anticipation of the new MCU Disney+ series that debuts on Friday (and which I’ll be reviewing for Tor dot com), I wrote a brief history of both Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes in the comics. Falcon was created in 1969 and Bucky in 1941, so as you might imagine there’s a lot of history, plus both of these erstwhile partners to Captain America have also been Captain America at different times.

An excerpt:

While the front stories of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier in the MCU track pretty well with the comics, the backstories have been significantly changed. Sam Wilson is a social worker in the comics, not an ex-soldier, and his wings came from Wakanda rather than the U.S. Army. And the Bucky Barnes of the comics didn’t meet Steve Rogers until after he became Captain America. His MCU role as his childhood friend basically tacked the role of Arnold Roth, introduced in Captain America Vol. 1 #286 by [J.M.] DeMatteis & [Mike] Zeck (1982) as the guy who defended scrawny Steve Rogers from bullies, onto Bucky.

KRAD COVID reading #93c: Star Trek: S.C.E.: Invincible Book 1, Part 3

For 2021, KRAD COVID readings is covering the only short fiction I didn’t read in 2020: my novellas for the Star Trek: Starfleet Corps of Engineers series, a monthly series of eBooks that ran from 2000-2007. I’ll have a new reading every #TrekTuesday.

This week, we continue the two-book Invincible, which was a collaboration between me and David Mack. In this third part of Book 1, just as everything is going well for Commander Sonya Gomez’s subspace accelerator project in Nalori space, a giant shii–much larger than is typical for that native fauna–attacks the project with fatal results…..

Check it out! And please subscribe to the channel!