Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why I'm Crap at Deadlines

It's August. Well, for me, it's still July, but it's August by the time this is being posted.

If you're reading this, then I've missed at least one (but probably 7) deadlines and not released what I wanted to release in July.

This is a good thing I promise you, because I have been working my ass off to get these to you and if I am not ready to release them, then well, it's because they're not ready, not because they haven't had hundreds of hours of work put into the lot of them this month.

I'd really not rather go the route of Blizzard and CONSTANTLY have delays on EVERYTHING, but I'm also not going to release something before it's ready. Personally, I have a lot of things that affect me that cause me to be late, but let's go through some of these and explain why they're not a factor anymore.

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Sailor Moon Anime o_O

I've recently come out on this blog as being a childhood fan of Sailor Moon. So imagine my surprise when the same week I say this I hear about an all-new Sailor Moon anime!

Remember, I tempered my appreciation of Sailor Moon by saying that the show was not the best and that the Sailor Moon that I remember is the one from the many fanfictions of Sailor Moon that I read back then.

So this is an approximation of how I reacted to hearing there was a new Sailor Moon anime coming as early as this winter:

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Redshirts by John Scalzi: A Review

One of the things I do now with breaks in my writing is make sure that I start reading the best of what my chosen genres have to offer. It's a way of feeling productive without really being productive.

My chosen genres being speculative fiction of all kind, but especially fantasy, science fiction and horror. John Scalzi has been on my radar for a while now, his blog, (http://whatever.Scalzi.com) is one of the best writer's blog out there, he was the (until very recently) president of SFWA, and he has been lauded as a great writer and a great science fiction writer (no, they're not the same thing). Not to mention, from his essays and his public speakings, he seems to be a stand-up guy.

So I journeyed to the one place someone in my position can get good fiction to see if Scalzi was represented there...the library. Quite absurdly, there was only one of his books there (have I mentioned there's about five of John Ringo? ಠ_ಠ Who, although entertaining, is not in Mr. Scalzi's league?) and it was one of the most recent. Redshirts is a science fiction parody of the habit of many writers killing off minor characters while the main ones are incredibly lucky and only suffer terrible afflictions which they inevitably miraculously recover from. This was first made famous in Star Trek where all the minor characters wore red shirts.
Update: Here's the Amazon link:
 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Jack the Giant-Slayer: surprisingly not bad. A review

I'm not sure what convinced me to give "Jack the Giant-Slayer" a chance. I suspect being free at the library and me burnt out from a month of all-nighters had something to do with it, but they actually had a good premise for the retelling and they made some choices that I probably would have made myself.

Here's the Amazon Instant Video link:
Remember, you can find the other formats through that link too if you scroll down.

On Fanfiction

Today I read a fanfiction of Harry Potter.

It was markedly bad in a variety of delightful ways; it needed the usual good edit, but was also based on dimensional travel, gender bending, and a weird incestuous egophilic relationship.

And in spite of being worse than the original Harry Potter, I enjoyed it more than the original.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker

I've long been a sucker for gaslight fantasy (even before I knew what it was), and I'm similarly a sucker for wintry settings (don't know what it is, but winter nights arouse the feeling of magick more than anything for me), so Lindsay Buroker's The Emperor's Edge had a dual-edged sword against my reluctance to read a self-published author's work.

Thankfully, the over 300 four and five star reviews of this work made it quite easy to take the plunge. Here's the Amazon link:


Oh, and did I mention it's free?

Cloud Atlas: The movie that could have been the greatest ever. A review

I had read an article about Cloud Atlas quite a while ago, and was put off quite a lot by it. After reading the article (I think it was in the New Yorker), I expected nothing but artsy-fartsy pretension.

You know the really cool art friend you have that then goes away to art school and overnight becomes a douchebag? That's the level of pretension (or should I say pretentiousness) that I was expecting going into this movie.

What I found instead was an utterly riveting and remarkably told story that left me with no disturbing images of the multiple directors masturbating all over the film (like how I feel after every Quentin Tarentino movie in spite of enjoying them!)

Here's the Amazon streaming link:
you can find the other formats on that page also.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

John Scalzi's Convention Harassment Policy

I'm not a big author if that wasn't clear. I'm an Amazon bestseller of nonfiction math ebooks (and that series I admittedly love fondly and feel are quite important in a way my fiction books might never be); my speculative fiction books (which are my darling) are next to unknown (in the sense that they are more unknown than unknown is, not sorta' unknown which is also next to unknown).

Conventions to me are not necessarily a sign of being successful, so much as they are a sign of having the time and money to travel and go to them. I strongly look forward to SOMEDAY visiting MANY conventions and hopefully being able to forge connections and expand my skill sets by my attendance to them.

So I hesitated before co-signing John Scalzi's laudable Convention Harassment Policy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Free Promotion...MAYBE

Hi Guys!

I'm sure you're aware I've been writing (and now revising, drawing, formatting, etc) my butt off to try to meet all the deadlines this month. With so many releases coming out, I'd really like to do something more than just offer a $0.99 book for free, but I'd also really like to increase my base.

If I can get 150 Likes on my Facebook page (http://facebook.com/zawota) by July 20, then I'll offer both "Zero Angel's Mathematics #1: Arithmetic and Number Sense" AND The Warrior's Way as free downloads.

It takes a little bit of time to organize the free promos, so the promos will be in August and will be for 2 days each (both books are exclusives to Kindle).

Both books are regularly sold for $2.99, ZAM #1 has never been offered free before, and TWW is coming out this month (so it's never been offered free before either...if that wasn't clear).

Don't forget you can also connect with me on Twitter, by following this blog, and through my newsletter (just e-mail me that you'd like to sign up for the newsletter: zero [at] apocalypsedesigns [dot] com)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Whatever happened to...

Sometimes I'll get the question, "Whatever happened to Champion of the Gods?" or "Whatever happened to Coming of the Comet?" or the same question applied to this or that short story that USED to be available.

Keep reading after the jump to find out...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Newsletter Preview

Hi everyone,

In case you were curious what will be included in the upcoming ZA newsletter, I've compiled a quick list:

A sneak preview of The Warrior's Way. The reveal of the title for the first "Of Faeries and Demons" story. And the dates of the next free promo for Zero Angel's Mathematics.

If you'd like to join the mailing list before it goes out, then please e-mail zero@apocalypsedesigns.com with your request to join. Right now everyone on the mailing list has elected to receive updates on everything, but eventually there you can elect to receive just my speculative fiction updates or just my math updates, so if you'd rather receive updates on one and not the other, please let me know in your e-mail.

You can also message me on any one of the MANY social media sites I'm on. Check out the Contact and Submissions page above or the links to the right.

Newsletter goes out at the end of the week!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Making Undead #5: Corrupting Elysia

Time for another "Making Undead", this time I am focusing on the elysia, commonly known as star elves.

Note: Making Undead is part of a blog series. Each post consists of creating original undead creatures from the building blocks of the world of War of the Ages. You can read the rest of the series here.

Warning: Making Undead is not for children or for those weak of stomach or easily offended. Even in a standard fantasy, undead creatures may be horrific and the ideas behind and creation of undead is rarely something that will be pleasant. 

I'm growing bored with just focusing on physical corruption, and I think everyone is starting to get the idea on how it works. Instead, this time I'll branch out and focus on anything and everything that catches my attention with the elysia. This is more useful as well since the elysia are not as fleshed out as some of the previous races I have covered. In Ao, they are mostly a background race, and they really are not prevalent until you start into stories going back or sideways from the main series. (Although there is a half-breed in Book 2).

Quick background, the elysia are the original elves. They are the elves that stayed behind on their homeRealm, Lysia, when their sun exploded instead of fleeing to Ao like the elves that would become the high elves and the wild elves did. The elysia were not unchanged however, and the uncontrolled energies released by the exploding sun warped and twisted them. Overnight, the mystical star citadels of the Lysian heavens were filled to overflowing with magicks and the runoff was channeled into entire moons consisting of nothing but pure magickal power. To this day, the eruption of Nova, the sun of Lysia, is ongoing and being contained by the other star citadels and the prayers of every living being on Lysia. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Mythic Guide to Characters by Antonio del Drago Review

A while back (in fact, quite a long while back, my focuses have not been on the review portion of this blog I'm sorry to say), I was given a review copy of The Mythic Guide to Characters by Antonio del Drago. I have finally been able to give this book my attention (due to my Internet being effectively down for a few days this week).

(You can click to the Amazon page via the picture above)

I'm quite sorry that it took so long, not just because I promised a review much earlier, but because I found the book to be a spectacular resource after everything was said and done...but only after everything was said and done.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Announcement: Compilations and Relaunch of Mailing List

Announcement: After the first 3 prequel shorts to The Throne of Ao come out this month, I will be collecting these AND ALL FUTURE PREQUELS to Throne of Ao in one compilation. The compilation will be priced at $2.99 and will eventually contain ten short stories between 4000 and 12000 words each (normally priced at $0.99 each).

Being able to do things like this is one of the nice things about the ebook formats. All I have to do is update a file and everyone that already purchased it will be able to receive the new story at no additional cost.

Note: these prequels do not include novellette/novella/novel length stories or those shorts that I do not classify as a true prequel to Throne because they include unrelated characters or are about history or legends.

Also planning to do this with transitional short stories and other collections. May do dynamic pricing where it is cheaper to buy earlier before the books are full up.

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to comment.

If you'd like to make sure you're always up-to-date, then please join my mailing list by messaging me or e-mailing zero@apocalypsedesigns.com with your address and "Mailing List" in the subject. Also, if you only want to receive fiction news or nonfiction news instead of all news, please make sure I know in your message. Mailing list content includes all new publications, new editions, awards and honors news, and more. Also includes sneak peeks and specials. If you were already on my mailing list or the short-lived WotA Online quarterly newsletter, then your subscription will be rolled to the new newsletter. Thank you