Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fish Suicide

I sometimes go fishing, as I live right next to a river.  Friday evening the fish were biting pretty good. I catch and release them.  What I find myself wondering is: What if the fish know that lure is a lure? What if they're not fooled at all?  What if they're trying to kill themselves? Maybe it's a game and they try and see if they can get off the hook? 

Yep, I'm more convinced there is something to this--fish delibertely taking the fly or lure, knowing what it is and they don't care.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Cookies mmmm

I just had some cookies from a brand I haven't eaten in years--Archway. Now, this story isn't about Archway in any bad sense. They have fine cookies.  They were on sale and I bought some. It just happens that my story is about a package of Archway cookies.

I used to work as a laundry supervisor at a commerical laundry in Wyoming. We did hotel stuff. Anyway, we had a guy, Jerry, who liked to work on the loading dock sorting incoming laundry. He noticed my roommate back then kept going through trash cans (The guy really did go through trash cans). Well, this seemed to really bother Jerry. He mentioned it often.

So, one day, I suggested to my roommate that he pretend to find an open package of cookies in the dumpster that was next to the loading dock--and make sure Jerry sees it. So, he "found" half a package of Archway cookies in the dumpster, took one out of the package and ate it right in front of Jerry. Them he said "Mmmm" and went about his business, eating more of the cookies. 

Well, poor old Jerry just about lost it.  I thought he was going to throw up right on the loading dock. Then he had to come find me and tell me all about it.  I struggled to keep a straight face. It creeped him out totally. He talked of little else for about a week. And he never realized it was really a gag orchestrated by me. Ain't I a stinker? [And my roommate really did keep going through trash cans looking for stuff.].

Thursday, June 28, 2012

top 10 lamest names for a superhero

10. Festering Sore
9. Deadbeat
8. The Flying Whore
7. Sewage Man
6. Booger Man
5. Captain Alzhymer
4. Retardo
3. Fart Man
2. The Green Lantern
1. Congress Man

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

smoke & ash

It's  no secret that Colorado's on fire.  I was amazed how much crud was on my car yesterday. So far, we haven't had any fires in my neck of the woods. The crud is coming from pretty far away.

The way these crowning fires are moving, the fact that I live next to a river is prooving o be little comfort.  It reminds me of the summer ten years ago.  Back then I lived in Estes Park.    One night there was so much smoke from fires that it looked like a thick fog. My indoor smoke detector actually went off.  One of the tanker planes crashed only a few blocks from where I lived. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (movie)

I wasn't sure if I wanted to review this movie.  It's pretty much what one would expect. Abraham Lincoln runs around killing vampires.  They're certainly joining the trend of trying to stretch the envelope of vampire lore with vampires freely running around in the daytime, and a fairly new concept that vampires can't kill each other (which I find preposterous). 

So, this is certainly a new take on the Confederacy.  And it's a new take on Lincoln.  I like for movies to take risks, as so few seem to. This one certainly did.  But, overall, I didn't really care for it.  It has a choppy (deliberate) style that I didn't really like very much. And, I saw the ending, which is quite active, coming a mile away. 

I think the hardcore vampire buff will probably appreciate this film. I'm not sure others will.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vampire Monks

My vampire novel, The Brotherhood, has been reprinted and is now avalable once more. There's been a Kindle version out for a few months, but now you can have it in print as well.  It's about a bunch of monks who harbor a dark secret--they're vampires.

And my vampire monks could kick Abrham Lincoln's ass.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Pirate Dogs

A new review for my novella is out from Don D'Ammassa's Critical Mass web review site.


The Pirate Dogs by David B. Riley, Timescape, 2012, $5.95, ISBN 9781477533543

This is a novella about a pirate ship crewed by dogs in an alternate world. They have a variety of short adventures thwarting the British navy. It's all intentionally silly, of course, with cute twists on some of the tropes of that genre, although without a major sea battle, which is the best part of pirate stories. Clever at times, occasionally perhaps a bit too cute, but good natured and fun for the most part. The novella is an underused form of prose that I wish would regain its former popularity, but I don't see that happening within the mainstream publishing industry.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Intelligences

In the original War of the Worlds, the one set in England, not New Jersey, the story starts out talking about intelligences.  Intelligences that have been watching Earth.

Over at Science Fiction Trails we're putting together a special issue of our magazine.  It's our first and only all Martian issue.  We've got Martians in stores and Martians in Indian camps.  And we've got humans going to Mars in the spirit of Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon.  So, if you like Martians, then mark your calendars for September 1st cause that's when it comes out.

This issue almost didn't make it.  The first wave of stories were dreadful--and not one them had a Martian in them or even mentioned Mars. They were just mindless alien stories.  But, I resisted the urge to shoot myself and, finally, the issue started to take shape.  The Martian issue had no western content requirement, but most of the stories were still set in the American west. 

Anyway, if any Martians read my blog and are interested in co-publishing a Martian edition, let me know. I don't read the Martian language.

The picture kind of looks like Earth, in a reddish sort of way. I'm told it is Mars. It's bluer than most Martian photos that I've seen.

Anyway, I'm reading a book by Gustavus Pope called Journey to Mars.  It predates War of the Worlds, but is more in tone like the John Carter books written by J. Edgar Hoover under his pen name of Edgar Rice Burrows.  I haven't finished it yet, but it's not bad.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kredit Kardz

I'm getting a little tired of the Capital One commercials where the guy is trying to get the baby to take the cash back card and the baby wants nothing to do with it.  Well, when I was a baby, I didn't have a credit card and I got by fine.  The truth is, when you're in a stroller, you don't have much opportunity to buy anything, anyway.  Of course, the E-Trade baby apparently has a mobile ap to access his E-Trade account.  Presumably, if he had a credit card, he could order stuff from Amazon right from the comfort of his play pen.

What I can't really figure out is why Capital One wants the baby business.  I didn't have any money when I was a baby. Even if I had figured out how to get out of my stroller and buy myself some new duds, I would have had no way to pay for the purchase when the bill came. I can't believe this is a profitable segment for Capital One. But, the credit card market is somewhat saturated, they say. So, I guess the baby segment is about all that's left to market to.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fighting Evil

Most people, if you were to ask them, would likely say that fighting evil is a worthwhile endeavor.  But, the question comes how do you define evil? In my case, evil is very specific. It comes in the form of an 80 year old man who starts screaming obscenities at me every time he sees me. To this day, I have no idea who he is or why he finds me so offensive.  These altercations started last winter at the post office and continue whenever our paths cross.

So, two days ago, I was having a sandwich in a local eatery and there this guy was.. And he had not noticed me as I was sitting at the bar and he was in the dining room.  Anyway, I noticed he got up and headed off to the restroom. It was an opportunity I could not resist. The wait staff seemed preoccupied, so I quickly went over, grabbed his plate, and dropped his food in the garbage, then replaced the empty plate on his table and went back to the bar. 

Well, he returned and sat down to finish his lunch and realized his plate was empty.  He yelled at the waiter, who came over. He insisted someone had taken his lunch. The waiter, the only one, was quite certain he had not touched it and was convinced this guy had eaten the food and thought it unlikely anyone would want a half eaten chicken salad. Then the manager got involved. And there was a lot of screaming. Then, this guy stormed off without paying. 

And I finished my lunch, paid my bill and left, oblivious to the commotion.  You never know what these crazy old coots will do. To be continued.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Economic woe

Over at Science Fiction Trails, where I am publisher, I've noticed something that is in alignment with what we hear about the Euro zone mess.  Earlier this year, our European sales were starting to pick up. Then, about two months ago, they came to a grinding halt. Absolutely no sales of anything. I had long lamented the lack of British sales, since I used to do fairly well in the UK. Then, miraculously, as our distribution got better, we started to see some life.  Now, the UK buyer is gone again.  On the continent, we never really did sell much. Just an observation.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Writin Stuff

I'd forgotten how vicious some of the editors out there can be.  That's because I went about a year without writing anything.  Well, I've been submitting stuff again. Damn.  I got reminded.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mayonnaise Flavored Ice Cream

I keep having this weird dream where I've gone into the ice cream business and my company brings out Mayonnaise Flavored Ice Cream. "It's like eating mayonnaise out of the jar, only frozen."  I don't even like mayonnaise. 

I tried some red velvet cake ice cream. I think it's too sweet. Maybe that's why my subconscious is creating mayonnaise flavor.

Dogs seem to like ice cream.  My experience is they prefer strawberry, but some of them like vanilla.  I'm not making this up. I've done taste tests with dogs. They really like ice cream. [Never give them chocolate. It's not good for fido]  My dad once had this golden retriever who loved Smith's strawberry ice cream. When Smith's merged with Kroger, that ice cream vanished.  He wouldn't eat any ice cream for quite a while. Then, he eventually decided Safeway's vanilla would be okay. Only Safeway's. He was very picky about his ice cream.

My personal favorite is coconut ice cream. Good luck finding any. 

On a related note, do Zombies like ice cream?  They never eat any in the movies. 
Would they like mayonnaise ice cream?

We know what flavor vampires would want--red velvet cake. Honestly, it is too sweet.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cartoon Glasses

I've been collecting cartoon character glasses off and on since 1974. I've been going through my collection trying to figure what I want and what I might sell off. That's not easy since there hasn't been a new price guide published by anybody since 1995.  I do know that my glasses are probably worth less now than they were15 years ago.  The market is really bad.  If I'm going to get serious about selling them I can go on eBay, where I've never had much luck unless I give stuff away. Alternatively, I can try and rent a stall at some antique mall. The problem with that is, simply, there aren't any around here. Driving to Denver is not practical. 

On a related note, I collect Boris & Natasha stuff [From Bullwinkle]  There isn't much out there. I got outbid on a Natasha glass the other day.  The dealer had really high shipping charges, so I tried to keep my bid low--too low, it appears.

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Tiny Percentage

If a tiny percentage of the world's population would go to Amazon and just buy one of my books--just one of them--I could retire. If one million people--a tiny percentage of the world's population, would just buy one of my books, I could retire.  I'd like that.  What's wrong with you people? Don't you want me to be happy?  Get on Amazon and place your order.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Prometheus

Prometheus is exactly what I was expecting. Alas, that's not really a good thing. My expectations were quite low. I never liked the Alien movies and I figured this would be about the same. The movie is visually interesting, but there are so many holes in the story I can't even begin to count them all. If you take away the glitz, you have damn little else. The acting is unremarkable. And there just isn't much to this movie. The underlying question that drives the movie is never answered. I won't be a spoiler, but there is fundamental concept about man's origins and the pivotal question for why this planet they go to even exists is never even dealt with. A total dud of a movie, in my book.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Book Review: Doc, The Vampire Hunting Dog

Doc, The Vampire Hunting Dog. by J.A. Campbell

Well, I've found the coolest little book. It's about this dog who hunts vampires. Now, I freely admit that I'm a sucker for dog stories. Heck, I was a blubbering idiot after I saw Ten Below a few years ago.  [The movie where the sled dogs were abandoned in Antarctica]

This is a  novella, probably originally intended for kids. Thing is, it's told from the dog's point of view. And it's done really well. And we follow Doc, a very smart border collie, as he learns he has a talent for hunting vampires.

You've got to read this book. It's way cool. And I'm picky as hell. I've never seen anything like it. I just wish it was a little longer.

Monday, June 11, 2012

TOP 10 SIGNS YOU MAY NEED A NEW DOCTOR

TOP 10 SIGNS YOU MAY NEED A NEW DOCTOR

 



10. You ask about rust spots on surgical instruments. He says, "That ain’t rust,   it’s dried blood."

9. Something called "malpractice fee" starts turning up on bills.

8. Anesthesiologist asks if you want oxygen or you just want to hold your breath during the operation.

7. Doctor tells you, "If leaches were good enough for George Washington they’re  good enough for you."
                  6. There are more process servers in waiting room than patients.
5. During exam, doctor keeps talking about the good old days treating prisoners when you didn’t even need a medical license.                   4. Wants to put you under. Complaint was for an ear infection.
3. Receptionist tells caller, "Sure we’re taking new patients. That’s all we have. No one ever comes back."

2. Doctor asks if you mind if he eats a sandwich during the exam.
                  1. Has diploma on wall from same bogus mail order university you went
                      to.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Straws

At least where I live, if you order a beverage at a restaurant it always comes with a straw sticking out of it. I wonder where this practice originates from.  I seriously doubt very many people drink through a straw at home, so why the need for a straw when dining at an establishment? And, the related question is do people actually want the blasted straws or do they just get them because the waiters are robots? And, may restaurants provide straws that are too short commiserate with the glass the beverage comes in--probably because they buy the cheapest straws Bargain Barn provides.  We've gotten rid of the weird tradition of putting parsley on plates. Maybe it's time to reconsider straws as well.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

circle C

Over at Science Fiction Trails, where I am publisher, I sometimes get art pitches.  It amazes me how incredibly ignorant people are about copyrights--especially copyright notices.  Works of art were never required to have copyright notices. Yet I always get these things with a circle C and so and so plastered all over the thing. Looks like hell.  This brings us to the fact that since the United States signed the Berne Copyright Treaty, no copyright notice is required at all on anything.  Yet, I've been criticised by ignorant editors for not putting such notice on manuscripts. It's not required.

Then there is the practice with anthologies and such of listing twenty different copyright notices, one for each author. That also is completely unnecessary. And, if one wishes a copyright notice for a collective work, one notice by a rights holder such as a publisher has always been deemed sufficient.

Yet we keep blundering along. I'll rant on more about this later. As if it'll do any good.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Martians

As I've mentioned before, over at Science Fiction Trails we're going to have an  all Martian issue come out a little later this year.  We got off to a rocky start with some real crap coming in, but ended up with some pretty good material.  What I didn't get was any English steam. Steampunk remains hot. Since this issue didn't have a western requirement, I thought some might come in, but that didn't happen.  However, I actually ended up with two stories on Mars. So, it's all good.

Our regular issue of Science Fiction Trails  will also come out later this year. It has some steampunk, of the western variety anyway.  I think this issue of SFT may be the best one yet. I hope it's not overshadowed by the Martian issue.  Anyway, we've never put out two issues, but I thought it would be better since each issue is so different. 

SFT has been like a yo-yo over the years. Some issues sold, some did not. Some issues had good participation for story submissions, others not so much.  But, our readership has grown and the magazine is a lot bigger. I noticed at the reading last week that even issue six was quite a bit smaller than issue 7 (the current one). The two new ones will be of similar size to number 7. 

Almost all of our sales are through Amazon. We have almost no retail distribution. If somebody is interested in a distribution deal, let me know. The good news is that we're selling more and more through Amazon--in both ebook and print.  So, I'll be chomping at the bit for the nest few months, wondering how the two new issues will do. I've learned not to release anything during the summer. Learned that the hard way.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ray Bradbury

Well Ray Bradbury has passed away.  They say he brought literary respect to science fiction. Fahrenheit 451  was one of the first adult science fiction stories I ever read. I started out, like a lot of kids, on Heinlein juveniles, then advanced to Bradbury. He was a major force in my development. Although he's gone off to that great nebula in the sky, his stories will live on for quite some time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Viewz

Well, over at Science Fiction Trails, where I am publisher, the website is approaching 32,000 page views.  That seems like a lot.  What I can't figure out is what all of these people are looking for. They don't submit stories. They never buy anything.  I really just can't figure out what they want. There even was a time when I had a deal where people could leave comments. Nobody ever did.

Also over there, is a super good deal where people can get a package of four publications for a huge discount. They don't seem to like that offer, either.  I guess I'll never know what folks want. It's probably just one demented person visiting the same sight 32,000 times anyway.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Royal Stuff

I didn't make the Queen's Jubilee.  I doubt that I'll make the Olympics in London, either. It's not that I didn't want to attend. It's just I have yet to win a free trip to London.  I'd actually like to go to London, but my funds just don't seem to be there.

I've always had fantasies about British police women. There's something about that uniform. I've probably said too much.

So, if somebody would like to give me a free trip to London, please let me know. 

Now, as for the regatta down the Thames.  The barge was okay, I suppose.  It kind of reminded my the royal yacht, Britannia, was decommissioned. She doesn't have a yacht anymore. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Case of the Missing Planter

I live in a condo. Although I don't have a yard, I did have three outside planter boxes. Well, now there are two.  No one ever consulted with me about one of the boxes. Just, suddenly, it was gone. I have no idea why someone would take a beat up old wooden planter box, but they did.  Guess I'll never know where it went.  The remaining two are growing corn this year. I've never tried to grow corn. I don't have high hopes.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Guest Blogger

Hi, I'm Karl. David is out of town today, so I'm blogging.  Back when I was little in the cretaceous, I never figured I'd be around in the 21st century cause that makes me something like 60 million years old. But, here I am thanks to the wonders of time travel.  I like the world now, It's a lot easier to catch prey. Back in the day everything had armor or could fight back, or run really fast and get away. Whether it's elk or migrant farm workers, I can catch just about anything these days.

And then there's the movies.  Believe it or not, we didn't have movies back in the cretaceous. I just saw Snow White & The Huntsman.  Boy, that queen is about the most evil thing I've ever seen. And those dwarfs, they wouldn't make much of a meal.  But I really liked that Snow White gal.  In the end, well, I don't want to be a spoiler, but she's tougher than she looks.  Although I like the movie, they should have bigger popcorn buckets.  They just don't give you enough and when I ate the popping machine they got mad at me.

David will be back tomorrow. Well, until next time.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Snow White

Went and saw the new Snow White movie.  All I can say is this sure ain't the Disney version. If you like dark fantasy this one is well worth your time.  This is a very different take on the traditional tale. I rather enjoyed it. This is not recommended for young children. The PG-13 rating is good advice. This is a very dark and violent story. And there are some surprises in the story.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Come on by.

If you're in the area tomorrow, stop by.

Saturday, June 2, 2:00 pm – “Of Gears and Guns” – A roundup of 5 (five!) Steampunk and Weird Western and, yes, dare we say, even FairyPunk authors:  Quincy Allen, David Boop, Laura Givens, David B. Riley & Peter Wacks. Broadway Book Mall, 200 S. Broadway, Denver, CO.

No Mas Gulpo


Well, it would appear that New York City is about to ban large soft drinks.  I hardly ever buy a large soft drink and usually drink iced tea (unsweetened), so I can't say this a concept that would even affect me if it caught on in other places. Still, this food police concept bothers me.  It's fine to sell folks liquor, which has all kind of negative consequences, but no, we send in the food cops to take away people's  beverages. But they can buy all of the cigarettes they want.  I just don't think government boards should be telling people what they can consume.  Obviously, there are those who feel otherwise.  And, I can confidently say nobody really cares what I think. 

I've found that Seven-Eleven has rather good prices on fountain drinks, as a rule.