SF Signal was kind enough to publish a guest post I wrote about the zombie apocalypse vocabulary. It’s a comedy piece. Enjoy.
Archive for the ‘English articles’ Category
SF Signal has just released its latest Mind Meld, where it asks various SF authors to discuss a different question every time. This time the question was about the future of AI and how dangerous it would be for us once AI’s achieve consciousness.
The panelists include Larry Niven, Wesley Chu, Karl Schroder, Madeline Ashby, Gregg Rosenblum, James Lovegrove, Guy Haley, Jason M. Hough, James K. Decker, Neal Asher, and myself.
There’s too much great stuff, I’m not even going to quote it. Check it out.
As part of The Emoticon Generation blog tour, I guest-posted at Over the Effing Rainbow. I talked about what makes a good science fiction story and how science fiction can change the world.
Here’s a little taste:
There are many, many types of good SF, and there are many, many criteria that make a good SF story. But the more I thought about it, the more it became clear to me that through all the different genres, through all the different stories and books that I love, runs one common theme: Science fiction can change the world.
Read the guest post here.
We all remember with fondness the time Americans stopped calling some of their citizens the offensive word ‘black’ and started calling them ‘African Americans’.
Non-American blacks, even those visiting or working in the US, were still stuck with the offensive name, but somehow persevered.
Recently, one of the MSNBC anchors called teachers ‘Unselfish Americans’ and that got me thinking that indeed many offensive categories, like ‘blacks’ or ‘teachers’, could use a bit more protection from the PC police. And so, as a service to the public, here are a few modest proposals that will cause millions of American citizens to live happier, more fulfilling lives.
- Models and supermodels will, from this point on, be called Photoshopped Americans.
- Farmers, from this point on, will be called Cock-a-Doodle-Doo Americans.
- Americans living in the South will now be called Fiddle-Dee-Dee Americans.
- Singers of any kind will now be called Tra-La-La Americans.
- Jews, from this point on, will be called Kosher Americans.
- Asians of any lineage will now be called Kung Fu Americans.
- Rapists will now be called Penised Americans.
- Women called Edith will, from this point on, be called Dingbat Americans. (That’s for you folks over forty).
- People who love Cher will, from this point on, be called Shoop Shoop Americans.
- Lovers of Tolkien’s works will henceforth be called Middle Earth Americans.
- Children between the ages of 3 to 6 will now be called Potty Trained Americans.
- And lastly: Lovers of S&M will henceforth be called Slapping Americans.
If you have any more categories that you want to share, in order to make this a better and less offensive society, please put them in the comments.
The day finally came to shoot the film, but Murphy’s Law attacked us in full force. Here’s an excerpt:
The weekend in which we were to shoot seven of the film’s eight scenes was upon us. And then Murphy’s Law struck once, twice, three times, and kept on bombarding us.
The climax was four hours before the shoot. Tamara Pearlman, one of the two leading actresses, was to wear a certain top to the shoot. We chose it months ago, one of her personal shirts, and when we did I said clearly: “From this point on you’re not wearing this shirt until the shoot. You’ll keep it stored, no one will touch it. It can’t get any stains on it, it can’t get torn. It needs to stay in the closet, safe and cozy and safe.” She said, “Sure.”
That was months ago. Four hours before the shoot, I get a text from her: “My husband tore the shirt in two.”
And the great battle of The Indestructibles crew versus Murphy’s Law began.
To read the full entry, click here.
The Indestructibles is an indepndent, low-budget, epic SF film I’m writing and directing. The latest installment of the film journal has just been published over at the Apex Book Company blog. This one is called War of the Worlds. Here’s an excerpt:
Every so often, I am starkly reminded that I live in two different worlds.
One is the ‘real’ world, the regular world, the one where most of you, the readers of this blog, probably live. Everybody lives in the real world. Everybody except crazy people and… There used to be a name for those people… What are they called? It’s on the tip of my tongue… Oh, yes: Artists. In particular, actors, actors in theater and film.
To read the entire article, click here.
The seventh installment of The Indestructibles film journal has been published at the Apex blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
Has Everything Been Done?
The question I keep asking myself as I plan the shots for the film is: Is there a new cinematic language to be invented?
I have a problem with the old cinematic language. It’s built for budgets. Everything we see falls under the scale that has Hollywood on one side, goes through almost-Hollywood, down the scale to not-even-close-to-Hollywood which is only a step above just-pure-piss.
The full article can be found here.
This time, in The Indestructibles film journal, I took a break from the serious job of rehearsing with actors how to save the world from dangerous superheroes and reflected back on the three most ridiculous rehearsal moments.
Here are the top contenders.
The Indestructibles is a 45-min science fiction film currently in production. It’s low-budget, intended for the internet, and is an epic film about superheroes… with a twist never seen before in a superhero flick or comic book. I wrote it and am now in the process of directing it.
The Apex Blog is kind enough to host the monthly Indestructibles film journal monthly blog. The first entry was just posted, regarding the background of the project. Over the next few months, once a month, we’re going to go over the auditions process, the rehearsals, the shooting, the post, and everything that might happen in the middle. (I don’t know what will happen – most of the process hasn’t happened yet).
Here are the first few lines:
A couple of months ago I decided enough’s enough. It’s time to embark on a new adventure.
It’s time to create a science fiction epic film.
I just needed to find a way to do it with no budget. Why? Well, allow me to show you my reasoning through a series of flashbacks.
Flashback: It’s seven years ago. I’m sitting in a café in front one of the country’s most influential producers, trying to convince him to produce a horror mini-series for TV I wrote and wanted to direct. At the same time, he’s spending more than an hour trying to convince me to change aspects of the script to something he can produce. Why couldn’t he produce it? His bottom line was (I’m paraphrasing): “I can’t put your show on TV because the audience doesn’t like horror. How do I know that the audience doesn’t like horror? Because there are no horror shows on TV.”
To read the entire article, click here.
If you want to be kept updated regarding The Indestructibles production, including film journal entries and the online release, join the mailing list by sending an empty email to this address with the subject heading ‘The Indestructibles’.
Continuing my weekly Story Design Tips articles, featuring tips about story structure, story timing, identifying with characters, and more, here are links to the last eight articles:
Identifying with Characters, Part I: 3 ways to get the players/readers to identify with your character.
Identifying with Characters, Part II: Being able to make your players identify with a character is a tool that cuts two ways.
Character Orchestration: Your story is music. Your characters are the musical instruments.
Depth through Surprise: Use surprise to help you create depth of character.
Stories have timing. Here are the rules: