Friday, November 19, 2010

Recent News

So, as some of you might already know I recently received my third Honorable Mention from Writers of the Future. I entered three quarters of the contest and I got an HM each time. Not too shabby for someone who just started writing science fiction a little over a year ago. The trick is to get to the next level and I have a bunch of stories just screaming at me to complete them. I'm planning on entering the next quarter of the contest and hopefully will be entering in the Illustrators of the Future contest before long.

Odds are that I'll be attending grad school full-time next semester in order to complete my degree in a timely manner. Currently, I am working on my final project for my first 3-D class. I'm using Maya to create a science fiction cityscape. And I'll be doing a lot more science fiction illustration/rendering in the future as well as more game art. (I even have my own game in development). More news to follow...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Honorable Mention Certificate

So, my class was cancelled a couple hours before it was supposed to start last week, which was just as well because I spent the rest of my birthday sick as a dog from stomach flu. I really didn't feel well until Friday.

Today I got my 2nd honorable mention certificate. I think I was a bit paralyzed from going ahead with my writing until I received it. There's two weeks left for submitting to the 4th quarter of WotF. I'm partway through a few stories and I have no idea which one will find its way to completion by the deadline. Hmmm.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another Year Older (and Hopefully Wiser)

The much dreaded birthday is upon me and not as bad as I had feared. Actually, it's been kind of nice. I feel younger than I have felt for years. Time to put that new found energy to a purpose; there's much writing to do.

I will be spending part of my birthday in school, the first day of classes for a new semester.  I think I'm making the right decision by continuing forward with my studies. Only time will tell. Being published this year would be very welcome.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

WotF Facts & Figures

So what does it all mean? I've been trying to figure out exactly how I stacked up to the competition in Writers of the Future. For those of you don't know, its the most prestigious writing contest for new writers of science fiction and fantasy. Its judged by the best science fiction and fantasy writers in the business (some of whom were winners, finalists and honorable mentions themselves).

I entered the contest twice, (actually three times but I won't know the results of that quarter for several months), and I got a honorable mention twice. I started writing science fiction for the first submission. (I wrote it in three weeks, before the deadline, and sent it on the deadline).  So, if it weren't for the contest I wouldn't be writing SF.

There contest has four quarters every year. Basically, its ongoing. If you miss the deadline for one quarter, you'll make the next one. You're only allowed one submission per quarter and submissions can be up to 17,000 words. No nonfiction, poetry, etc... just original science fiction and fantasy. L. Ron Hubbard started the contest to help young writers break into the exceeding hard business of professional writing (i.e. getting discovered and published). (It has nothing to do with Scientology).

There are three winners each quarter. 1st prize is $1,000, 2nd prize is $750, 3rd prize is $500. All winners are published in the yearly anthology, which gets more industry attention than most anthologies. (Sometimes finalists are published in the anthology, as well). At the end of the year there's a ceremony in Hollywood, where a Grand Prize winner is selected, whom receives an additional $5,000. (Plus all the winners get nifty trophies). There are also a week of writing classes conducted by some of the leading science fiction and fantasy writers. And there's a book signing by the winners. Agents, publishers and the like attend the ceremony. Oh, did I mention that there's no entry fee to the contest!

No exact figures are available as to how many submissions there are every quarter. Some say it's in the thousands. I heard that it more like 1,200 to 2,000 per quarter. I spoke (emailed) to Joni Labaqui, the contest administrator, and she said that the quarter I just got my honorable mention, Q2 2010, had more submissions than they ever had before. So, let's safely assume that it's over 2,000 submissions. She has also stated in the past that the top 10%-15% get a honorable mention or better.

I tallied the honorable mentions for this quarter; there were 95. There were 3 silver honorable mentions, which is a new category created due to the increased volume of entries. The coming quarters are sure to see a big spike in entries as they now accept electronic submissions. (No more trips to my awful post office, at least not for this contest). There were 10 semi finalists and 8 finalists. I feel like I did pretty well for a fledgling author.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another Honorable Mention!

Well, finally WotF came back with the final list of honorable mentions and my name was on it. Not bad but I was hoping to place better this time around. Still have not received a response that my story for the following quarter was received and I don't expect to. I never heard that my honorable mention story had been received and I was hoping that it wasn't lost in the mail or rejected. OK, time to finish another story and another four month wait to get the results of the last quarter of the contest!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I just received an advance uncorrected proof of "Gateways," an anthology tribute to Frederik Pohl, edited by his wife Elizabeth Anne Hull. Pretty cool. I signed up for it and they sent it, straight from the Tor/Forge publicity department. I'll be posting a full review in my column Science Fiction Examiner and a write up on Goodreads.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The New Science Fiction Pen

Sci Fi Pen is now Science Fiction Pen, again and hopefully for the last time. Its got a whole new, streamlined look. Check it out. Comment are always appreciated. In other news... slowly losing my mind waiting for Writers of the Future to announce the next round of honorable mentions, and possibly semi-finalists and finalists; holding my breath.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Gateway Recommendation

Gateway (Heechee Saga 1)Gateway by Frederik Pohl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Easily one of the finest science fiction stories ever written. It is unique in the fact that the protagonist relates much of the story, his past, while on a computer psychiatrist's couch. A must read for any true SF fan.

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just Under the Wire

Well, mailed out another submission to WotF today for the 3rd quarter of the contest. today, of course, was the last day to submit for that quarter. I really must try to get these things done sooner. Anyway, I hope to be hearing about my 2nd quarter story, in the near future.

I'm going to send out Simian D again for publication. A new online magazine called Lightspeed just opened, so I'll probably send it there if it doesn't make it into Asimov's. The next challenge, a big challenge, is to write a novel. I have a few good ideas, an opening or two but it is a daunting prospect. Well, justified or not, I have to believe that I can do it. The key, as Jordan Lapp, a recent WotF winner says is to "write fast and write often." I'm disciplining myself to do that.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting Back to Business

I have been a little lax on writing but I'm getting back to it now. I have a few stories in various states of completion. Yesterday, WotF announced the first set of honorable mentions for the 2nd quarter of this year's contest. I still don't know if my story was received on time or if it was received at all. I should find out in due course.

There are a couple more days until the end of the 3rd quarter of WotF, so I have my work cut out for me. It would also be nice to sell a story (or two). Considering the amount of science fiction films and tv shows I've been viewing lately (and read a bit, too) I feel pretty inspired. A writer writes...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hell Defined

I'm posting an email I got from a member of my writing group that put a smile on my face...

The following is an actual question given on University of Washington
chemistry mid-term.  The answer by one student was so 'profound' that
the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is,
of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well :

Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic
(absorbs heat)?

Most students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas
cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some
variant.  One student, however, wrote the following:

"First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So
we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the
rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that
once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are
leaving.  As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the
different religions that exist in the world today.

Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their
religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these
religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we
can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as
they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase
exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in
Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and
pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand
proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

 1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which
souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will
increase until all Hell breaks loose.
 2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls
in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell
freezes over.

So which is it?  If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa
during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I
sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her
last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell
is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this
theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not
accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only
Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains
why, last night, Teresa kept
shouting 'Oh my God."


Contest Results

I didn't win the Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest. Thought I had a pretty good shot at it. That I lost to at least one Hugo award-winning, professional writer takes a bit of the sting out of it. Haven't heard from the Writers of the Future that they received my story. Hopefully, better luck with that one.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Meetup

Attended another New York Science Fiction Writers Meetup. Still not sure exactly what to think about it. I got some valid constructive criticism, some was ill-informed, the venue and format of the meeting was not optimal. Maybe future meeting will go smoother. It would help if people brought examples of their work to review and critique (other than me). Otherwise it's just a meeting to talk about writing, which isn't very helpful. I remain doubtful but open to possibility. Might be some good contacts there, after all.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Twitter, the Social Network of Record

I didn't know that all my tweets would be publicly available for perpetuity when I wrote them. I guess I should be careful with what I say. It seems that the Library of Congress will be archiving all tweets since Twitter began in 2006. So, your tweets may be read by your great, great, great, great grandchildren in 2210. I hope you didn't say something stupid.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Simian D

I'm going to give Simian D another pass. I've gotten some good feedback on it and it has been generally well received. I have to thank George Galuschak for some helpful advice. Still trying to figure out where to send it off to next. Strange Horizons?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

First Rejection Letter

Well, my story wasn't accepted into Clarkesworld, which isn't too surprising seeing as how they only have 12 unsolicited stories a year (1 per issue). I got the news this morning. I'm pretty impressed that they have such a quick review process; I sent the story in Wednesday night. The good thing about that is now I can send it elsewhere and I may even make some small changes to it. I have some new stories in various stages of completion that I would like to finish first.

In a strange way, this seems like the start of a professional career, as I fully except to receive many more rejections before selling a story. I am committed to continue writing and submitting, and eventually I will be successful. It is also very encouraging that my family and others  are so pleased with my writing. I have never gotten this kind of encouragement for my previous endeavors. They are genuinely taken with my writing, and I feel that it is something I do well. I'm getting better at it all the time.

Now, the wait is on for the Jim Baen Memorial Contest. I may have a chance at that one and I'll know if I've won by May 5th, which is not such a long wait. I haven't heard from Writers of the Future that they received my story yet... I probably won't hear that for another week or more. So, onward and upward. I had a pretty interesting dream this morning that has the potential to become a strong story...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

First Magazine Submission

OK, I revised my honorable mention story from Writers of the Future and I sent it in to Clarkesworld. God, I'm feeling jittery. They have a pretty quick turnaround so I should get my rejection letter within three days. On the off chance my story is accepted, I suppose it will be cause for celebration. I'm going to the opera on friday so that could work out swimmingly. Gulp.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ta Dah!

I seemed to pull a magical feat last night when I submitted a story for the Jim Baen Memorial Contest. It was writing and editing down to the wire, of a story started a few months ago but not written in earnest, until... this week! That comes on the heels of my new Writers of the Future story that was also completed just in time to make the postmark date! Didn't think I could do it, but pushed hard for it. So tired.

This morning I read about a 16 year old sailor who is attempting to break the record for the youngest person to complete a solo circumnavigation. She is doing it in a very fast boat, an Open 40, non-stop, and just rounded Cape Horn. Now, I don't feel like I accomplished such a Herculean task this week, after all.

As a life-long sailor, I have been dreaming of doing such a thing myself. Good luck, Abby!

The best I can do for now is write some new stories about sailing... on other planets and in deep space. I've been planning on that for a while and had already started one. Damn. Got to get back out on the water.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One Down, One to Go... For Real

Finally, finally, finally, I finished my story for Writers of the Future. Just got it out before the post office closed. I am so spent. I still have to finish another story for the Baen Memorial Contest by tomorrow. Man, nothing like a deadline to motivate a guy. I don't think I would have self-imposed these kind of deadlines for myself.

I have to thank my writing group, Writers of the Weird, for all their support and comments. I leaned heavily on their critiques to revise my story.

These are pretty bare-boned stories. I don't know if that's good or bad, but they're concise. It seems to be the kind of writing I'm doing lately. Well, at least there's nothing superfluous in them and they leave the reader wanting more. I'm much more focused now, so I don't think the wait should be so hard this time around.

But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.


ABC ruins LOST with annoying V countdown
I am so angry with ABC, I could spit!

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One Down, One to Go

I got some really good critiques of my new Writers of the Future story from the Writers of the Weird on Sunday. I had to rush out of there for a Pre-Passover dinner with my family. I didn't get back to the story until Monday afternoon. It is much shorter now, more than half as short as my honorable mention story, "Simian D." Speaking of which, I planning on revising "Simian D" and submitting it to Clarkesworld. First, I have to make sure this new WotF story is up to par before sending it in. I have another story for the Baen Memorial Contest that needs a lot of work. That isn't due until Thursday. Plenty of time ;)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dunna, Dunna, Dunna Dunna...

Ugh, two deadlines swiftly approaching like a great white from the murky depths, dunna! Could I procrastinate more? I think not. I seem to work best with a deadline, sometimes up to the last moment, but I'd like to get some feedback so I've got to get this done... tonight. Well, maybe tomorrow morning. Time for a self-imposed deadline. Tomorrow by high noon! One of these days I'm going get that whole Hemingway thing down, and write for four hours straight every morning. Definitely gotta pick up the pace to make some mullah and get some notice. Getting a novel done would be the penultimate.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Virgin Galactic successful test flight

VSS Enterprise completes "captive-carry" test flight

Posted using ShareThis

Luddite or Techno Geek

File conversion is beginning to piss me off. Whether it's Illustrator and Photoshop files to PNG and jpegs or Screenwriter files to Word and rtf. jpegs suck but are standard for the web. Word and rtf files don't preserve my formatting, PDFs do but not everybody can read or edit PDFs. I fully embrace digital technology but I'm a bit of a throwback, too. Which one am I? You be the judge.

I'm an unabashed Machead. I type, illustrate, and edit video on the computer. I don't have a typewriter. I take notes by hand with a pen. I don't dictate, digitally record, or take notes on a iPod, Palm or such computer. I use email, almost never snail mail unless required to for work, which is becoming rarer and rarer. Seems everybody prefers email, even for business. I text. I tweet on Twitter, I face-off on Facebook. I write a column for I blog. I prefer reading paperbacks and hardcovers to ebooks or stories on the web. I bought Clarkesworld (Realms) to read their short stories even though they publish on the web for free. I know the Dewey Decimal System but hardly ever use it. I don't go to the library anymore. I do tons of research on the web. I get my news from

I sweep with an old straw broom and use a cheap Hoover. I'd love to have a Dyson again, though. I wash dishes by hand and use a dish washer. I like to do food prep and a lot of cooking. Don't like microwave meals. I use the microwave to heat up pizza, leftovers, and make popcorn. I prefer analog watches (the ones with hands) to digital, but prefer digital clocks to analog ones. Why, I don't know. I love sailing, don't like to flying or cruise ships. Prefer opening windows in the summer to the AC, even though it means being a bit hotter. I love hiking, walking. I don't like bikes, scooters, skateboards, skates, etc. I like to grill with charcoal rather than gas. Prefer gas stoves to electric ones. Like real fireplaces. I don't use an electric toothbrush.

I have glasses and don't use contacts, though I have in the past. No LASIK. I love live pets, not robots. Don't especially like electric blankets. I love IMAX and 3D movies, though they give me headaches. I love my HDTV. I use more incandescent lightbulbs than compact fluorescents. Sue me.
I prefer wood, cotton and wool to synthetics.

Hmm. Can't think of anything else right now but that seems like a
pretty exhaustive list.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

WotF New Deadline

It seems that the Writers of the Future deadline is actually March 31st, not April 1st as I had thought. One less day. Maybe they changed it. Anyway, gotta kick my butt into high gear.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


There's two weeks and counting till the deadlines for Writers of the Future and the Baen Memorial Award contests. I have two stories selected, one further along than the other. After attending Neil Clarke's presentation last Saturday I am planning on submitting a story to Clarkesworld in April. I might even submit a poem to Asimov's if I can get a handle on it. A few more stories are in the works. The next step would be to develop a novel and I've got a couple screenplays that are ripe for adaptation. A new novel idea, (pun intended), would be a good thing, too.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Writers of the Weird

I attended my first Writers of the Weird meeting on Sunday, a very talented group, indeed. My story was critiqued, the only story that was hard sf. The comments were extremely useful and I am definitely going to incorporate many of the suggestions into the revision. I joined the parent organization, Science Fiction Association of Bergen County (SFABC).

Overall, people generally liked the story and I have been getting positive reviews so far. I'm not really used to having such approval and I'll try not to let it go to my head. Instead, I feel encouraged to make sure that I make the work better. Just one month until the deadlines for WotF and the Baen Memorial Award contests. I think I'll go over my honorable mention story again and submit it to one of the prozines.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow Day

Thank G*d for the snow! Fortunately, I don't have a house anymore so no shoveling. If class is cancelled tonight I won't have to go there either. Wrote last night before bed, actually stayed up late because I was writing. Will get back to it after this post. But you don't need to have time to write.

Picked up some little tidbits from L. Ron Hubbard on his thoughts about that (it's in Writers of the Future XXII):

"That is a queer mental quirk with people. If a man is a writer, he is doing something everybody thinks they can do."

I found this also to be true about teaching, which I did for five years. I knew a guy who came from the corporate world to teach... he lasted three days. Another guy lasted a couple weeks.

As a filmmaker you don't get a lot of respect either.  People would say it was easy because they thought it was all fun and games, but I've worked on set twelve to sixteen hours a day with just a 15 minute lunch break. I was on set before anyone showed up and left after everything was put away, and before and after I was writing or editing videos. (I also worked with a lot of so-called "professional" crew who couldn't shoot worth a sh*t, or didn't know how to do their particular job and had to be lead around by the nose).

This is what L. Ron has to say about people saying they could write if only they had the time...

"It's their way of an apology, I guess. Nearly everyone makes that remark and, to be brutally frank, it is a source of much merriment in the professional ranks... I have a law around the house here which says that writing comes first and the hell with everything else. The lawn grows into an alfalfa field, the pipes drip merrily, the floors need paint but I turn a deaf ear to pleas and go right on writing."

He goes on to say that his writing pays for all those chores to get done and covers all the other expenses. When times are tough you just got to push yourself to write. You make the time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Writers Groups

OK, I'm jumping into the water. I'm planning to attend my first writers critique group meeting, Writers of the Weird (WOTW), on Sunday. Also going to attend the general meeting for their parent organization, Science Fiction Affiliation of Bergen County (SFABC). Looks like a good group. As they are in Bergen County, NJ, I will be crossing the river. I'm also checking out NY Science Fiction Writers Meetup. Who knew I'd find such groups (or be found by them) by going on

I've been spending a bit of time working on my Science Fiction Examiner column. I'll try to keep this blog more up to date. If you are reading this please subscribe or write a comment so I know you're out there! TIA.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

WOTF 4th Quarter Winners & Other News

The winners of the 4th quarter of the Writer of the Future contest were announced today. The judging process for the 1st quarter of the 2010 have already begun. I have one story in progress for submission to the 2nd quarter and another I plan to enter in the Jim Baen Memorial Contest. The entry deadline for both contests is April 1st. With any luck I'll have at least one other story completed by then to submit to a magazine.

I've also been toying with the idea of forming (or joining) a writing group in New York. The other option is to do that online with writers around the country or the world. Hmm, not sure if that's a good idea. While it may be helpful for support and collaboration, I'm kinda hesitant to share my ideas and I like working alone. Conundrum. Anybody want to weigh in on this?

William Tenn, Dead at 89.

William Tenn, science fiction satirist, died on February 7th at the age of 89.

Posted using ShareThis

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

WOTF Review by Publisher's Weekly

Writers of the Future was recently given a golden review by Publisher's Weekly. Check it out on the WOTF blog,

Monday, February 8, 2010

Science Fiction Examiner vs. Sci Fi Pen

As I am now writing for as a Science Fiction Examiner the Sci Fi Pen will be changing focus to be more of a personal journal of my writing and so forth. My Science Fiction Examiner column will focus of science fiction news, technology and publishing. My first article on the Science Fiction Examiner is about the state of science fiction in 2010. I'll be posting links to new articles here on the Sci Fi Pen.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lost Again and Again

"LOST" had its 2hr. season premiere last night. The survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 are back and so is a mind-numbing alternate reality also with the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. Confused yet? No? Well, there's another group of Others; call them the Other Others or the Anothers. Time is both present and past. Men turn into smoke monsters, the dead come back to life (or appear so) and nuclear detonations just throw you through time. More to come...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Science Fiction Oscar Nominees

This morning the 82nd Academy Award nominees were released. Among the picks were a few science fiction films. James Cameron's blockbuster "Avatar" was nominated for nine Oscars; Best Picture, Best Direction, Art Direction, Cinematography, Film Editing, Music (Original Score), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. "District 9" received nominations for Best Picture, Film Editing, Writing (Adapted Screenplay) and Visual Effects. "Star Trek" got the nod for Makeup, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. The much criticized "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" was nominated for Sound Mixing.

I predict "Avatar" to sweep all nine nominations though it faces very stiff competition for Best Picture (there are a total of ten nominees). All three nominations for Visual Effects went to science fiction films.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Amazon Relents, Blio Invents

As a follow up to the previous post, Amazon announced Sunday night that it would agree to Macmillan's terms allowing Macmillan to set prices for its e-books. Amazon did so grudgingly, stating that this would only hurt customers. The new pricing would mirror prices that Macmillan is setting with Apple for the iPad.

In other news, another e-book format called Blio is set to be released in February. Blio is a free format that works on PCs and is being developed for the Mac and iPod (and presumably for the iPad as well). Blio differs from other e-book formats in that it keeps the original formatting, fonts and pictures as the original books in full color.

Blio can display books with a 3 dimensional perspective so page turns simulate flipping through an actual book. Setting the cursor on the last word read allows readers to easily return to the place they stopped reading. E-books could also be preloaded with read-aloud content and associated sounds.

Blio's audio and picture capabilities would be especially useful for education and for children's books. These capabilities could be a real boon for science fiction and fantasy cover art, illustrations and audio, leading to a rich multimedia experience. This could allow literature to compete more favorably with film and television content.

Blio's website is at

A very incisive and derisive take on Amazon's response to Macmillan from science fiction author John Scalzi entitled "All The Very Many Ways Amazon Failed the Weekend" can be viewed at Whatever.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Amazon Pulls Macmillan

The fallout from Apple's entry into the e-book marketplace has already begun. As reported in the New York Times, Macmillan publishing, one of the largest publishers in the U.S. whose brands included the science fiction publisher Tor Books, has been pulled from Amazon over an e-book publishing dispute. Macmillan is one of the publishers that signed with Apple to publish their e-books on Apple's new iPad.

Macmillan has been pushing to raise the price of its e-books from Amazon's set price of $9.99. Amazon deeply discounts their e-books to encourage sales of Amazon's Kindle e-reader. Apple is expected to allow publishers to set higher prices for e-book sales which could cut into Amazon's strategy.

Expect an ongoing struggle between other publishers and e-reader distributors over the future of nascent e-book industry. It will be interesting to see what the effects of the more e-book distributors with different e-readers and e-book formats will have on traditional publishing.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Future is Here, Now What?

Let me preface this by saying that I am an Apple geek. That being said the Apple iPad brings personal computing and media interaction to a new level. A large touch sensitive screen for viewing and manipulating print, video and other media applications. How far are we away from "Minority Report" when we'll be able to control computing with hand gestures alone?

To be fair, Microsoft might be the one to get us there. Their Project Natal is designed to control video games through hand gestures alone, rather than the Wii's wireless controller. I can't help but think that it will be used for other applications as well. Maybe we'll be dreaming of electric sheep before too long, too.

By the time I publish, my works will probably appear in e-book form either on Amazon's Kindle or the iPad, or both. It's a brave new world and the publishing industry is just going to have to find a way to make it work so that authors get the royalties they deserve and the publishing companies can still make a decent profit. I just don't like the idea of paying for the New York Times in e-format.

Avatar Tops List

Well, "Avatar" is now the highest-grossing film of all-time, earning more than $1.86 billion. Hopefully, this will spark renewed interested in science fiction literature. There are a few top-notch science fiction films over the past year that have not been huge box office draws but are not to be missed including "The Road," "Moon" and "District 9." They reaffirm that science fiction is alive and well.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Writers of the Future on YouTube

Yesterday, Writers of the Future started a YouTube page which includes videos on the last awards ceremony and interviews with the contest judges including notable science fiction writers Jerry Pournelle, Robert J. Sawyer, Kevin J. Anderson, Tim Powers and Doug Beason, among others. I highly recommend you check it out to learn more about this amazing contest.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

An Honorable Mention

I received my honorable mention certificate from Writers of the Future along with my story with a short note from coordinating judge K. D. Wentworth.  They're a real stand up organization. I've got to come up with a story that's got a real shot against some serious competition. I'm looking forward to reading the winning stories.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

WOTF Results 4th Quarter 2009

I just saw on the Writers of the Future blog that I got a honorable mention. Not bad considering this was my first science fiction story and there were literally thousands of entrants. While I was hoping for a better finish, this will only serve to motivate me to continue writing. I have some stories that I am currently writing that I believe will get me to the next level. Better luck next time!

Friday, January 8, 2010

WOTF January Update

The first set of honorable mentions for the 4th quarter of Writers of the Future were announced last sunday. I wasn't among that set and with any luck will make it to the next round. More honorable mentions should be posted soon on the WOTF blog, then the semi-finalists and finalists. The suspense is killing me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Avatar Soars

Avatar is now the third highest grossing film of all time, only behind "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" and James Cameron's other home run, "Titanic." It also received a "black lung" from for Sigourney Weaver's character, a scientist on another planet who can't put down the smokes. Despite that anomaly Avatar is a fun, totally immersive ride. While I didn't find the 3-D to really jump off the screen, the lush imagery was more than enough to suck me in. From the applause at the end of the film it's apparent I wasn't the only one. Avatar is definitely worth seeing, and if you are going to see it do so in 3-D.