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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Writing Milestones

Monsters of Venus, the long-anticipated sequel to my 2013 novel Seven Against Mars, has been submitted to the publisher, Wildside Press. My hope is that this book, which I have been working on since last year, will be out sometime in the new year--perhaps not long after my first horror novel, All Souls Day, is published in February by Silver Leaf Books, kicking off a four-book series. So now it's on to start Book 2 of the Big Yuck (I have got to come up with a better name for the horror series) during NaNoWriMo! Happy reading adventures, everyone!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fabulous Author Interview and Novel Outtake

...for the pending release of All Souls Day. "The Gal in the Blue Mask" has interviewed me and posted a diary entry by Suzie Mitchell from All Souls Day.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Meet the Author at Capclave!

Meet author Martin Berman-Gorvine at the science fiction convention Capclave, October 9-11, 2015, at the Hilton at 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, Maryland. My schedule is:
  • 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9: Panel on Retro Nostalgia Science Fiction with Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda (Bethesda Room)
  • 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10: Panel on Alternate History - Why Are Some Periods More Favored? With Bjorn Hesseler, Walter H. Hunt, and Michael Swanwick (Salon B/C)
  • 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10: Panel on Small Press Vs. Self-Publishing with Roger MacBride Allen, Scott Edelman, and Ian Randal Strock (Rockville/Bethesda Room)
  • 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10: Panel on Why the YA Explosion? With John G. Hemry, Will McIntosh, and Darcy Wold (Salon A)
  • 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10: Autograph session with other authors in Salon A/B/C
  • 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10: Panel on Read While Hiding Under Your Bed (horror fiction) with Dina Leacock and Bernie Mojzes (Rockville/Bethesda Room)
  • 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 11: Reading from my work in the Frederick Room

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Interview at Dab of Darkness!

Go to Dab of Darkness for an interview and book giveaway!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Thrilling Fantasy Adventure (Review of Tash McAdam's Blood in the Water: Warp Weavers)

This fast-paced novella is told in the voice of Hallie, a teenage "weaver" whose magical powers enable her to close dangerous gaps between our world and others where ferocious people-eating monsters lurk. I was intrigued by the democratic idea that all human beings have magical powers but only some will be called to develop and use them to guard our world, either as weavers, "warlocks" or "warriors"--all three categories open to both sexes, though people in their teens and early twenties are generally the best at using them. Not too different from the usual age of soldiers in the real world, one might add. McAdam captures perfectly in the character of Hallie that tension between rebelling against and desperately wanting the approval of one's elders that is so typical of adolescence. And the remarkable thing about her lesbian relationship is that it's so unremarkable--the differences in sexual desire really make so little difference in what's really important and special in human relationships. My only critique of this satisfying adventure story is that there is too much explication front-loaded into the first chapter. I urge readers to get through it to the fun and thrills that follow.
Three Phoboses (out of three)

Friday, June 5, 2015

"Sharknado 3" Is Coming!

Yes, it's true! I'm so excited because it gives me an excuse to resurrect this joke:

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Review of Evangeline Jennings' No Christmas

Evangeline Jennings' No Christmas is satire written with a pen of fire, with blood for ink. She utterly demolishes the anti-abortion rights, anti-health care Christian Right, with a humble little story about as modest as Swift's proposal. Not an exercise in subtlety, but her sharp eye for human and material detail lends this exercise a rare power.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Is your iPhone watching You?

So dig this, o Interwebs: I just learned from an article I am editing that mobile devices often track where you are without your knowledge or consent. "For iPhone users interested in seeing how powerful such sources of evidence can be, go to Settings / Privacy / Location Services, then 'Frequent Locations' to see a map of your most frequent locations. Many users are often unaware that such data is, by default, being automatically collected." Holy Big Brother Apple, Batman!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Squeal of Tires, the Sizzle of Hot Writing (Review of Riding in Cars with Girls, by Evangeline Jennings)

Hey "noir" tough guys, watch out. The girls in Evangeline Jennings' Riding in Cars with Girls want to play, and they have been schooled in hard knocks of the kind most guys don't even know enough to have nightmares about. They're hot, sure, but they're not interested in you (and given the swinish males they have experience of, who dast blame them?) Look at them crosswise, or get in their way, and you're likely to get a bullet in the gut rather than a fist to the jaw.
The writing pops and sizzles. Graphic sex and violence done with high literary flair and panache. Highly recommended.
This review is cross-posted on Amazon and Goodreads.
Three Phoboses (out of three).

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Passover Bellyachin'

I am eating peanut butter on my matzah, which according to Jackie makes me a "bad Boo" because peanuts are kitniyot, which according to the fanatical and illogical custom of our Ashkenazi Jewish ancestors may not be eaten on Passover. I have declared myself Sephardi Jewish for this holiday, based on my grandmother's folk etymology of her father's original family name of Rapoport as being derived from rofeh, Hebrew for doctor, and puerto, Spanish for port--being "doctors of the port" we must have come from Valencia or somewhere.
If I am wrong, of course, my punishment shall be as one who forgets Jerusalem: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my tongue cleave to the roof of mouth" (Psalms 137:5).

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Writing Life

Now that the first draft of my first horror novel is done, instead of getting drunk and sleeping for a week, I have to edit it. Being a writer is its own punishment.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Welcome to an Engaging Superheroine

I greatly enjoyed the first adventures of Gwen Maule, aka The Shrike, in Emmie Mears's The Masked Songbird. I like my heroines strong yet believably human, and that is what Gwen is, with her lousy accounting job she can't afford to quit, her scummy boyfriend she can't quite bring herself to dump, and the parents she hasn't visited in two years because she can't face watching her mother waste away with dementia. I liked the fact that even when she gets superpowers, she still needs other people, like the roommate who sews her costumes and the trainer who teaches her to fight, because having super-strength doesn't mean you know anything about martial arts... a point often overlooked in tales of this sort, along with the possible downsides of superpowers for a woman's body and various gritty physical discomforts that Mears describes vividly.
Now as to my critiques, cards on the table, I am not a supporter of Scottish independence, a crucial plot point in this novel. The reasons for my views aren't important here (and certainly aren't due to any dislike for the glorious land and people of Scotland). I was more than willing to root for a free Alba and to believe the worst of the Unionists for the sake of the story (and after all, the terrorist Orangemen in Northern Ireland certainly showed that supporters of Great Britain aren't necessarily civilized). But the bad guys in this novel behave in a way that isn't just one-dimensionally evil, it's also unbelievably stupid for people whose aim is for Scotland to remain part of the United Kingdom. The Shrike deserves fully fleshed-out villains to fight in her next adventure, which I for one am looking forward to.
This review is cross-posted at Goodreads.
Two-and-a-half Phoboses out of three.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

We Apologize For This Apology

Inspired by Brian Williams's online apology for falsely claiming he was in a helicopter that was hit by enemy fire in Iraq, I want to apologize for a mistake I made in recalling the events of 9/11. When I told everybody, like, several million times that "I was in the Twin Towers and I personally carried twelve babies and a pregnant lady to safety," it was a bungled attempt by me to thank our brave First Responders and, by extension, everybody everywhere who has ever done anything heroic, which I have not.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Aw, shucks!

Mary Fan has some mighty kind words to say about the frustrating time I had trying to reinvent the transistor in my bedroom on Mars under conditions of the utmost adversity (I'm talkin' about you, Rachel Zilber aka Ray). To get the full scoop, y'all are going to have to read Brave New Girls, a forthcoming anthology edited by Ms. Fan and Tina Closser, due out in June 2015 (that's in the
α timeline--it'll be June 2172 in the β timeline where Ray and I now live, but I won't confuse y'all any more than I have to.) All proceeds of this fine anthology of stories about girls excelling in science and technology will be donated quarterly to a scholarship fund for girls through the Society of Women Engineers.

Thumper, GIT out of my box of electronic parts! Bad kitty!