Saturday, June 2, 2012


is a loud, dumb, testosterone-fueled, nonsensical film that at no point makes the slightest bit of sense. 

I still very much enjoyed watching it. 

I've puzzled a bit about why.  Some of my affection is due to the simple, obvious things:  I like me a bit of testosterone-fueled alien fighting, particularly when lots of things go, "BOOM!"  Mostly, though, I think it's because throughout the entire more than two hours of this movie it never took itself too seriously, and director Peter Berg and the cast always seemed to be having fun.  Each time we'd wander too close to emotional complexity, Berg would wisely insert some action and move rapidly forward to the next piece of fighting silliness. 

In fact, the only times the movie sagged at all were those when Berg was not quick enough to cut away, and we had to deal with the sad spectacle of Taylor Kitsch or Brooklyn Decker actually emoting. 

Of course, this analysis assumes you are willing to check your logic at the theater door.  If you are not, the strange ways of the aliens,, I just won't.  Either you sit back and let the fun wash over you, or you'll hate Battleship

If, however, you can surrender to the movie's craziness, you're in for a fun ride.

Friday, June 1, 2012

You know you're sleep deprived when

you're up so late that you remember this article about insanely expensive men's socks, and then you check out the most expensive pair, and suddenly you find that you've put them in a shopping cart. That's when it's time to clear your browser's history, push back from the desk, and fall into bed.

On the other hand, you have to admit that it would be pretty cool--and pretty insane--to wear a pair of $200 socks that also happen to be so fragile that they begin to disintegrate after six or seven wearings.


Best to push away from the keyboard, I think.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's that time again

I need to watch this movie again, and soon. 

Who's with me?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

No Going Back is busting out all over!

My newest novel, No Going Back, the fifth in the Jon & Lobo series, went on sale yesterday, May 29.  I'm excited that the physical book is now out there!

And, indeed, it is in bookstores, as this photo of the shelves of a nearby bookstore's new science fiction section shows. 

Over at Baen's Web site, you can still vote for the No Going Back trailer you prefer.  If you haven't already done so, please check out both trailers and let us know which one you believe does a better job of making you want to buy the book. 

The redoubtable John Scalzi was kind enough to let me do a Big Idea piece on his very popular blog; you can check out that write-up here.  With these pieces, John lets other writers explain some of the backgrounds of their books.  He was nice enough to let me write one for Children No More and again for NGB, so I am grateful to him. 

NGB is also in all the online bookstores, and you can order the ebook via

Over at Fantasy Book Critic, Liviu Suciu has posted a fairly long and very nice review

You can also, by the way, get the audiobook version of No Going Back from here

So, what are you waiting for?  Nothing says summer fun, birthday present, or even very early holiday gift like a lovely hardcover copy of No Going Back!  Pick up one today--or, better, go for two so you have a spare.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

On the road again: Balticon, day 6

It's amazing what you can accomplish these days while barreling down the highway at 74 (or more) miles per hour.  With an iPad and some concentration, along with more than a few typos, I was able to stay current on work for most of the drive home--specifically, for all of the parts I was not driving.  No, I do not do email and drive, nor do I text and drive.

The big news of the day is that No Going Back is now out!  I still don't have my author copies, but I have seen the book, and multiple folks I know have received their copies.  I'm psyched and now must hope the book does well. 

It's been a long day, so I'm keeping this short.  More NGB news tomorrow, I hope. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

On the road again: Balticon, day 5

The morning went to sleep, work, and packing, as well as a few good-byes to folks who passed by.

Then, we headed into the country--specifically, to Patrick O'Connell's wonderful Inn at Little Washington. Along the way, we stopped at a wonderful ice cream shop so new its name was not yet over its door, so I cannot report it here. (I am trying to get it.) The owner makes all his own ice cream and frozen yogurt entirely from local ingredients, and every flavor I tasted was intense and wonderful. I wish him the best.

The Inn is related to a project I'm not yet ready to announce, but it is also simply an exemplar of hospitality and service. The dinner at the kitchen table was as reliably amazing as always. If I ever become an insanely rich bestselling multimillionaire writer, I will go to the Inn to hide away and write.

Work beckons now, so I must go to it.

Tomorrow, the drive home.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

On the road again: Balticon, day 4

I worked late last night but was able to sleep late this morning, so I awoke feeling far less sleepy than usual. After a little morning work and a shower, the first order of con business for the day was the Liars Panel.

Sunday at noon is not a great time for this particular panel, which demands both energy and money of the audience, but it was the slot we had. The audience was far smaller than usual, but we kept everyone entertained and laughing for an entire hour. When we finished, we'd raised a couple hundred bucks for Balticon's books-for-kids charity, which is a good thing.

After counting and delivering the money, I had time for a quick bit of lunch from the hotel's snack cart before I had to go to my next panel.

In this one, the Xenoarchaeology Road Show, we four panelists had to guess what future archaeologists will make of 20th century objects? We analyzed a wide variety of things, and the results were pretty funny. Both panel and audience had a good time.

A small group of us headed straightaway to the large movie theater across the street, where we caught a 3:50 show of Men In Black 3. I'll write about the movie in a separate entry someday soon, but I have to share with you the delicious snack that I and Kyle, against his better judgment, tried: the hot dog sliders, with extra cheese sauce.

As always, click on the image to see a larger version.

Yeah, that's some healthy eating for you.

Dinner, by contrast, was a meal both far more unusual and far better than these tubular sliders--which were, I hasten to add, rather tasty. Of course, I've had only good meals at Pazo, a perennial Baltimore favorite. We shared multiple small plates and several desserts, and every single item was delicious. I'll definitely head back to Pazo on my next visit here. And now, to work!

On the road again: Balticon, day 3

This morning arrived entirely too soon for my taste, but it brought something fun:  an early lunch and good conversation with friends Eric, Rebecca, and Kim. 

From the moment we hit the hotel afterward, however, I was rushing to gather the giveaways for the Baen presentation, set up for that slide show, and then present it.  We filled the room, looked at many images of covers and the original art for them, and gave away a bunch of books.  As friends were tearing down the presentation, I signed some books and talked with folks until we had to surrender the room. 

After ditching the laptop and other gear back in the room, I finally had time to check out the dealer's room and the art show.  I didn't make any purchases--this was my first pass--but I did see some attractive books that are tempting me.  This visit, though, also revealed my greatest sadness of the trip:  no dealer at the con was able to get any copies of No Going Back.  I've heard from multiple people that Amazon claims to have shipped copies for arrival on Tuesday, the book's official release date, but according to one bookseller and friend, there were no copies in the Ingram warehouse and none in their Simon & Schuster shipment of June titles.  This is really a bummer, and now I am worried that the book will ship late enough to simply disappear without a trace.  I sure hope that doesn't happen.

After hanging signs to entice people to attend tomorrow's Liars' Panel, I did a short reading.  At first only three people showed up, and two were friends, but a few minutes later, a bunch more folks arrived.  By the end, I had more than a dozen.  I think the selections went over well, but of course it's hard to tell.

After a very short break, I moved to my last panel of the day, one on collaborative writing.  With half a dozen people on the panel and maybe fifteen in the audience, it was frequently one of those odd, lurching con affairs where everyone is involved, but in the end I think it came off okay.

The UFC held a major fight card tonight, so after the panel we left with Kyle and spent the evening with him watching the fights and eating delicious Indian food.  It was an entertaining and relaxing time. 

During all the gaps in the action today, I worked, so I ended Saturday not behind on PT work and no worse off on my personal projects than I began it. 

All in all, a good day. 


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