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Showing posts from May, 2015

Update on Public Reading

II mentioned a couple months ago that I will be reading some of my work at the Woburn Public Library and I now have a few more details to share.

First off, the reading will not just be myself but will also feature the literary talents of Nick Mancuso, who is an incredibly talented writer.

Second, the event will last 7:00 to 8:30pm and refreshments will be available.

I hope to see you there!
Lastly, within the next couple of months I'll have another development to share. It's hard to keep quiet about this but for the moment I'll have to be vague. 

I'm including the posting from the Library's website in case your interested:

Local Author Reading featuring Morgan Crooks and Nicholas Mancuso
Thursday June 25, 20157:00 AM until 8:30 AM

Join us on Thursday, June 25, at 7PM to celebrate the work of two local authors: Morgan Crooks and Nick Mancuso. 
Morgan has had his stories published in the Daily Science Fiction website as well as in anthologies released by Burnt Offerings, Dark…

Mad Max: Fury Road

There have already been plenty of interesting articles about this movie, an early pick for my favorite of the year (at least until until I have a chance to check out Star Wars). Some have noted the implicit feminism of this movie, the way the story revolves around women and their allies finding a new way forward through the wasteland of the real even while pursued by bellowing and decayed mockeries of the old patriarchies. Others have commented on the quality of the action film-making here, the style of drama sweeping the viewer into a tense and kinetic plot with unbelievable stunts and practical effects.


Two things grabbed my imagination about this excellent movie: its refreshing narrative clarity and coherence and the incredibly detailed and economical world-building.

After watching this movie I had a pretty good sense where everything happened. I understood the path Imperator Furiosa (great names in this film, BTW) took on her flight from the forces of the predatory Immortan Joe and …

Prose Forensics

Although not as obvious as poetry, prosody has an important role in making prose enjoyable to read. Chances are a piece of writing you like involves a deliberate and conscious application of rhythm and sound to achieve a certain effect. Sometimes these effects are obvious (Livia Llewellyn comes to mind) and sometimes the effects are vestigial (almost non-existant), such as a writer like Andrew Weir.

Personally I like either type of writing. There are times what I want is simple: writing that gets the job done. Other times I want to wallow in words, savor them, reveling in the heady brew of challenging diction and intricate rhythms.

A handful of works I’ve read recently use prosody to achieve a specific effect within writing that’s not typically thought of requiring close reading. As luck would have it, three of these examples even revolve around a common theme - forensic science. Relatively unadorned style is doubly effective because it goes by unnoticed by readers. Authors able to emp…

Avenger 2: Age of Ultron

The first time I watched the second Avengers movie I couldn't believe how long it was. The second time I watched it I found myself nodding along, swept up by emotions of this sprawling, disorganized, and curiously powerful summer spectacle. 

I would not recommend that you see Avengers 2 if you haven’t seen any of the other MCU movies. As a matter of fact I can't recommend it unless you have watched all of the other movies and are current with Agents of SHIELD, and have at least a passing knowledge of the Marvel comic universe. 

That feels like a very strange sort of recommendation for any movie particularly a summer tentpole. Shouldn’t a blockbuster be sort of independent, force-of-nature spectacle capable of entertaining massive numbers of people regardless of their interest in the movie? Avengers 2 exists to say no.

Age of Ultron is not an entry point story. Joss Whedon deserves a lot of credit for what he did in the first movie, creating a compelling story with six widely dive…

What I read in April

April found me reading a lot of horror and weird fiction. There wasn’t as much that grabbed me as last month’s offerings but I didn’t have any problem putting together this list of recommendations.




- Ghoulbird by Claude Seignolle (Weird Fiction Review) Translated by Gio Clairval. A visitor to a country manor learns of the horror of the ghoulbird, ultimately succumbing to its enslaving cry. The atmosphere here is what sells the story. By the final chapters I felt myself bracing for the echo of that awful, soul-rending cry.

- Postcards from Monster Island by Emily Devenport (Clarkesworld) Adorable kaiju story of NYC becoming a nature preserve for giant lizard lemurs. Another example of what Clarkesworld does so well, introducing and fully developing ideas that might take another author books to achieve.

- Spring Thaw by Charles Payseur ( Nightmare). Creepy multilevel story about a man who makes a dreadful discovery in the melting wastes of Antartica. While this story contains echoes of Lov…