I just got my paneling schedule for Salt Lake Comic Con 2014. Check it out! SLCC will be held September 4th-6th in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Thursday, September 4th
- 7:00 P.M. – The Appeal of Fear (Room 255F)
Friday, September 5th
- 5:00 P.M – Magic, Myths, Legends, Archetypes and the Supernatural: What Writers of Speculative Fiction Have to Work With (Room 255E)
- 8:00 P.M. – Vampires: The Many Faces of the Most Adaptable Monster (Room 251A)
Saturday, September 6th
- 12:00 P.M. – Monster Song Writing: Music With Teeth (Room 255B)
- 5:00 P.M. – Structuring Life to Support Creativity (Room 150D)
- 8:00 P.M. – Mad Scientists, Supervillains, and Sociopaths: The Road to Insanity (Room 255C)
I will also be selling my books Maladaptive Bind and Blood Oath: An Orc Love Story at Dave Butler‘s table of awesome indie authors.
More information will be posted in the weeks leading up to the convention.
If you’re planning on going, be sure to stop by one of my panels or Dave’s booth to say hi. See you there!
The Loon. A speculative horror novel by Michaelbrent Collings.
Listened to the Audible version, narrated by John Bell. Michaelbrent’s own description of the story works best: “A doctor who has lost his child. A woman in an abusive relationship. A man who thinks he is god. A madman who lives only to kill. These are the people who will come together and find that they are not alone. Cut off by a freak storm, they will discover the meaning of terror…in The Loon.”
The performance was enjoyable, and the story had me on the edge of my seat as the chaos inside the prison setting progressed. It was a little slow and melodramatic to get into at the beginning, but a very tight and intense story by the end. Lots of characters, both likable and unlikable, are killed off in brutal ways, and there’s quite a bit of implicit horror as well. I found this book very intense and enjoyed it much better when I digested it in small doses, listening a few hours at a time. Yet, the story was extremely engrossing. Be warned that this is not emotionally light reading.
The ending was satisfying and…dare I say “happy,” in a way? The characters who survive at the end are the ones that matter most…and I’ll leave it at that.
I’ve read Collings’ “Darkbound” and first three installments of “The Colony” series. While there was still a speculative element in “The Loon,” the horror in this particular story was more real-world than fantastic.
Unique to the audio experience, I’d have to say The Monster passages had cool effects and were my favorite to listen to. Paul, Rachel, and Becky were the characters whose points of view I craved most to return to. Steiger was also extremely creepy and well done in the voice of John Bell. There were a variety of accents that came through in various minor characters that I thought were well done. The narrator did a good job making the unlikable characters unlikable, and the likable characters sympathetic with tone of voice, accents, and other effects.
I went to a steampunk convention up in Salt Lake yesterday called Salt City Steamfest. I haven’t yet produced any steampunk literature or other art, and I’ll confess it’s not a genre I’m personally into as much as others. I didn’t bring anything to sell, but rather went to get a sense of the convention’s atmosphere, network, and say hello to people I knew. The convention became a fun opportunity to reconnect with friends from my indie network, including Carter Reid, his wife Kelly, Dave Butler, James Wymore, and David West.
Xycher Publishing, who will be incorporating a short story of mine into their upcoming Mr. and Mrs. Myth anthology, had a booth in the premium vendor’s room. I had a chance to meet Penny Freeman, McKenna Gardner, Scott Tarbet, Sarah Hyatt, Aly Grauer, and others from the “X-team,” as they…or rather we call ourselves. They’re a very warm, enthusiastic, and easy-going bunch, and I’m pleased and excited to be associated with them for this project.
(I snagged this picture of myself with Penny Freeman at the Xchyler vendor table from the Xchyler Publishing FB page)
I was also spontaneously invited to be on two panels today. One that Dave and James invited me to ended up having no attendance, so we disbanded. The other panel consisted of seven authors and editors (plus myself) from Xchyler Publishing. As most of the audience’s questions focused on authors’ experiences with the editing procedures at Xchyler, and I have yet to go through them, I didn’t say much on that particular panel. It was, however, such a nice feeling to be included by both my indie associates and my new publisher in these things.
The next event I plan to attend is Salt Lake Comic Con, September 4th-6th. My plan is to certainly be on panels and selling my indie books. I will also be bringing some hand-painted dinosaur jewelry boxes to sell. See you then!
David J. West traded me a copy of his novella “Whispers of the Goddess” at Westercon a few weeks ago for a copy of “Blood Oath,” and I had the opportunity to read it this evening.
One of the main characters, Tyr, is the Indiana Jones of Crusade times. This novella and two short stories follow his warrior exploits, from retrieving a relic in medieval Constantinople, to a street chase in Andalusia, to a race to claim an island for himself and his two sons near his native “Northland.” Descriptions are punchy and the action is relentless. Though the stories are highly speculative, the settings, political-religious meshing, and other attention to details make for a fascinating glimpse into some of what the world was like during medieval times beneath a break-neck, fun ride. I enjoyed this, and recommend the read to anyone with a free afternoon looking for an adventure-filled escape.
You can find this novella here on Amazon.
I saw this message on Facebook and thought it would be perfect to share for the local Utah holiday today, as well as life in general. Happy Pioneer Day!
Credit to Mormon.org
This #PioneerDay, remember your pioneer heritage, whether they crossed the plains in a covered wagon, established a new life in a new land as an immigrant, paved the way for a faith-filled family, or set the foundation for generations to come.