My name is Steven Howell Wilson, and I do a lot of different things…

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I’ve written fan fiction and published fanzines. I’ve assumed the role of custodian for my friends who created a fanzine called Contact. I founded a convention called Farpoint, which has run for over two decades. I’ve been a comic book writer for DC Comics (Star Trek and Warlord) and a comic reviewer. I run Prometheus Radio Theatre, and we put out a (mostly) weekly podcast. I’m publisher for Firebringer Press, and a contributor to Crazy 8 Press. Finally, in the mundane world, I’m a recovering librarian, an IT Director and a consultant.And yes, I do all this because I’m allergic to work. I figure as long as I look busy, I won’t have to perform actual labor. It’s worked for nearly half a century so far…

(Blog) Hopping Down the Author Trail

This week’s entry is Phil Giunta’s idea. Phil asked me to join in this Blog Hop, where I answer four questions and then nominate three other writers to do the same, and they’ll nominate three other writers, and so on, and so on…

I don’t normally do these “pyramid scheme” types of posts, as my friend Nobilis Reed calls them. But this is an opportunity to talk about my writing and to give some other authors some exposure. These are a few of my favorite things, so I’m in.

1. What am I working on?

Lots of things, always. I’m outlining a sixty-minute radio play for performance at Farpoint 2015. I’m kicking around ideas for a flash fiction piece (I don’t think I’ve ever written one, unless you count this. It’s 1470 words, so it’s probably too long.) I’m writing a 6,000-word short story, my third in as many months, and I’ve got a novel outline in development. I’ve also got a page of bullet points for potential projects, including some possible Appalachian romantic comedies and ghost stories. Science Fiction is starting to chafe. Continue reading

I F___ing HATE Political Memes!

I hate political memes. Hate them with a fiery passion. A person’s political philosophy is, or should be, too complex to fit into a few words crammed onto a photograph. If a person’s philosophy is not too complex to do so, then I would submit that they need to delay participating in civil society until they’ve learned a bit more about the world and how it works.

That said, I can think of two philosophies that fit in a meme that are valid: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and “And ye harm none, do as ye will.”

I don’t see either of those being posted on Facebook, though.

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Please Re-cut This Film! An appeal for Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? (Part Two)

AtlasShruggedNote: If you haven’t seen the film, take my word for nothing in here. PLEASE see it and draw your own conclusions. It’s still running in 65 theaters around the country.

Continuing my review of Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt, I wish to pause for a disclaimer and a shout-out. First, the disclaimer: I am speaking frankly about this film because I believe in the project. I respect the passion of the creative team behind it. I understand the obstacles they had to overcome to bring an overwhelmingly popular book to film under the eye of a film industry that largely holds its audience in contempt, and believes that this book is only popular because most of the reading public is too stupid to know what’s good for them. I admire their effort, and I hope it will ultimately pay off.

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No Blog This Week

The_ScreamI had one all planned, and partially written, but circumstances have conspired against me. I decided, on a whim, to spend the weekend trying to meet a very short deadline on an opportunity I’d just learned about. I met it, but I spent all of my free time Saturday, Sunday and Monday evening writing and editing.

On top of that, I had a system outage at work Saturday night, had to plan for a long-overdue meeting with my staff Monday morning, and then Monday learned that we’d be pulling an all-nighter this Wednesday, and spending every moment until then scrambling to be ready.

So, sorry… No blog this week. But I hope to start next week feeling accomplished.

And, hey, if you’re coming to Baltimore Book Festival, stop by the SFWA tent at 4 PM this Friday and listen in on the panel I’m doing with fellow members of the Heinlein Facebook Forum on Robert A. Heinlein’s literary legacy.

Please Re-cut This Film! An appeal for Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt? (Part One)

imageI don’t want to write this review, but, dammit, I feel obligated.

Actually, I feel torn. One the one hand, I supported this movie financially via Kickstarter. I think very well of the producers and creative team who have, thus far, brought us one excellent film and one pretty good one in this trilogy. Criticizing them in public feels a bit like airing dirty laundry, disloyalty to the cause. And yet… When I see something done poorly, by people who want to do a good job, and I know how it could be done better… I feel like I have to say something. Even though saying something seems to put me in the ranks of the many film critics who will say this movie is a desperate, laughable attempt to bring recognition to a set of lunatic fringe ideas, and that the poor quality of the film is just a testament to how unsound their thinking is.

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Review – Space: 1999 – To Everything That Was

space1999_classicI happened upon this volume almost by accident. I’ve always been a huge fan of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s 1975 – 1977 science fiction series, Space: 1999. I’ve got a bit of a chip on my shoulder about it, in fact, because the show seems to provoke resentment from most corners of Fandom. If you’re a fan over the age of about 35, you remember how it felt to like Star Trek or comic books, back before Fandom became just another cash cow for Hollywood? Before the Marvel Movies conquered the box office? Before The Big Bang Theory? (The show, not the actual theory. Note the italics. Punctuation is key.) Before geek was chic?

Yeah, it was a bad feeling to be a fan in those days. Everyone looked down on you, to include your peers, siblings, teachers, sometimes even your parents! Well, as bad as that felt for, say a Star Trek fan, it was worse for a Space: 1999 fan. Everyone looked down on us, including all other fans! To this day, I’m careful at cons and on panel discussions about mentioning my love of this series, because people actually groan in revulsion.

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Goodreads Giveaway – Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity by Phil Giunta

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

by Phil Giunta

Giveaway ends September 24, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

I’m very proud of this little collection, which introduces five new authors and a new artist to the Firebringer stable. I hope everyone will enter to win a free copy, and, if you don’t win, will buy a paper or e-edition from Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or the retailer of your choice!

The Globe Wernike Elastic Bookcase

IMG_0518Is writing about bookshelves a little too silly even for me? Well, sorry, but that’s what I got this week. It’s been a long, baaaaadddd week, with server crashes and badly delayed project deliverables and more than a few shouting matches. At such times, the most trivial things can grab our attention, amuse us, and lighten the load.

I’ve always liked barrister bookcases. The idea of keeping books under glass, like precious delicacies, appeals to me. They’re great for collectibles, too. If you like things like plastic action figures and Lego models (in which case, you’d love my house!) then you know what a chore it is to keep dust out of all the little nooks and crannies on them. Dust, I’m told by my action-figure-expert son, is deadly to plastic collectibles. It can actually soften and damage some plastics. (If you hate dust, you’d hate my house. 144 years’ worth of dead skin cells, old carpet fibers and dog and cat hair… plus some mouse skeletons in the walls. I’ve seen them.)

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Please help P.G. Holyfield!

1965850_1408294617.4618Today, Evo Terra’s words (below) are far more important than anything I could say:

I’m emailing with terrible news. One of our own — P.G. Holyfield — is quickly losing his battle with cholangiocarcinoma, a particularly vicious form of cancer diagnosed only two weeks ago. There are no treatment options. The doctors are giving him days to live.

There’s nothing to be done medically for Patrick (the “P” in “P.G.”,) but there are things that can be done for the three young children he leaves behind. Effective now and for the foreseeable future, 100% of all donations made to his serialized audiobook — Murder at Avedon Hill — will be transferred to a fund set up for them. In addition, audio inserts will run for all listeners of his book making them aware of the situation and asking for them to donate. Generously.

[Please] donate to http://www.gofundme.com/pgfund.

More details on Patricks cancer can be found at http://specficmedia.com/2014/08/17/pg-holyfield-announcement. Spread it far and wide. The campaign has already received attention from Boing Boing.

Tell someone close to you how much you love them and how important they are to you. And then do it again.

And remember — there are no treatment options for Patrick. What we do now, we do in his name for his family.

Evo Terra
Friend of P.G. Holyfield
President of Podiobooks.com (way less important than the first title)

All I can add is my hope that you’ll donate generously, as Evo requests, and also that you’ll check out the work of this talented, creative individual. May he live forever through the stories he has told us:

Murder at Avedon Hill

The Sovereign Era: Year One

Canary in a Coal Mine

P.G…. Thank you.

Thank you for sharing your gift of creativity, a gift of yourself.

Thank you for giving the world the gift of children who will carry forward a bit of your spirit, your strength and your values.

Thank you for being one of us.

Can’t Make it to Worldcon?

Well, neither can I! And, if I could, I’d just blow way too much money buying books anyway. But WAIT! Even without going to Worldcon, you can pick up some amazing new books, and WITHOUT blowing way too much money! In honor of both Worldcon and the release of Firebringer Press’s new anthology, Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity, I’m teaming with a bunch of my colleagues to present the “Can’t Make it to WorldCon” eBook sale. We’re all slashing prices on one title, starting today and running through August 20th. So tell your friends, buy early, and buy often, and maybe some of these deserving, hardworking authors will be able to make it to WorldCon next year!

All is Silence

Robert L. Slater

What if death forgot you?
Lizzie, suicidal teen, searches for reasons to live and a stranger she thought was dead in this realistic apocalypse.

$3.99

(regularly $6.99)

Kindle | Nook | Kobo

The Armor of Light

Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett

Dark magic threatens Elizabeth I of England.
Royal agents Sir Philip Sidney and Christopher Marlowe are sent to track the evil to its source, but at least one of their patrons would prefer that the culprit was never found…

99¢

(regularly $3.99)

Kindle | ePub | PDF | PRC

Dance for the Ivory Madonna

Don Sakers

The cyber-thriller that predicted Google Glass
“Imagine a Stand on Zanzibar written by a left-wing Robert Heinlein, and infused with the most exciting possibilities of the new cyber-technology: Dance for the Ivory Madonna.” -Melissa Scott

$1.99 / £0.99

(regularly $3.99/£2.49)

Kindle US | Kindle UK

Death by Silver

Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold

Murder and magic in a Victorian London that never was.
Metaphysician Ned Mathey certified that the Nevett family silver held no curse, but Nevett patriarch is dead, struck down by a silver candlestick. Can Mathey and his sometime lover Julian Lynes find out what really happened before more people die?

$3.99

(regularly $9.99)

ePub | PDF | PRC

The Emperor’s Agent

Jo Graham

Courtesan, actress, mediumspy.
Elza is Napoleon’s secret agent, tasked with uncovering a British spy in the camps of the Grand Army. With the life of the man she loves hanging in the balance, it will take all her cunning, charm, and a magical ability she is only beginning to learn to use.

99¢

(regularly $4.99)

Kindle | ePub | PDF | PRC

Railroad Spine

Geonn Cannon

Steampunk adventure.
After having her child taken from her for the crime of sharing knowledge, an airship captain teams up with a group of terrorists to bring down an oppressive government.

$1.99

(regularly $3.99)

Kindle

Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity

edited by Phil Giunta

Thirteen imaginative tales of horror, science fiction, fantasy and the supernatural by Daniel Patrick Corcoran, Michael Critzer, Phil Giunta, Amanda Headlee, Susanna Reilly, Stuart S. Roth, Lance Woods and Mark Time & Parsec Award-Winner Steven H. Wilson.

99¢

Use Smashwords coupon HN84Y

(regularly $2.99)

Kindle | ePub | PDF | LRF | RTF | PDB | TXT

Sword and Chant

Blair MacGregor

Epic Fantasy
Shala and Jaynes are enemies, but they must lead their people to reconcile before the god of sacrifice – strengthened by mortal bloodshed – grows powerful enough to crush any who defy His commands.

$1.99

(regularly $4.99)

Kindle | Nook