To be entirely honest, my writing has suffered since October. NaNoWriMo wasn’t anywhere near the success that it usually is for me. My only real excuse is distraction and blogging (you’re welcome, by the way), which is it’s own distraction.
That being said, I haven’t stopped planning out writing projects and thought I would give an update on those and where they are with proposed completion dates. Nothing like a deadline to give you something else to feel guilty about ignoring. Of course, the goal is to get these done way before their deadlines. But…best laid plans of mice and men, yadda yadda…
- Satan’s Salesman: Deadline 12/25/2017
This book has taken me a long time to write, and I’m finally nearing the end of it. I think the slowness of my writing this story has been entirely due to already knowing where it ends and how much of it is very close to real work that I’ve done (not selling souls, but selling in general). I’ve hashed it all out with multiple people, I’ve talked it up and ironed it all out, and the story is done as far as my notes are concerned. I just need to sit down and finish it. Another 10-20k words and that should do it. Aiming to finish this one by Christmas.
- Super Secret Mythos Project: Deadline 03/30/2018
Not a lot that I can say about this right now. It was born out of a collaborative discussion with friends/fellow mythos buffs. We’ve drawn parameters, we’ve set the schedule, and now we’re bringing it home. Stay tuned and prepare for awesome Lovecraftian writing!
- Andrew Doran Book 3: Deadline ASAP, but 04/26/2018 (I’m racing the birth of my first child with this one)
I started Andrew Doran Book 3 a while ago and was serializing it on the blog Shoggoth.net. I reread those first two chapters and wasn’t entirely excited about the direction it was headed. I’m going to re-use a lot of what’s in them, but changes are necessary. Book 3 will follow Andrew and Nancy as they hunt for the Book of Eibon. Most importantly, I’m super excited to be diving back into Andrew Doran’s head.
- The Multiverse Protection Bureau: Deadline 08/30/2018 (never had a kid before, all dates after Andrew Doran are subject to adjustment)
I had this idea about a month ago and fell in love with it almost immediately. The idea is pretty simple, X-files/Men in Black, but with Parallel worlds. The idea is to have fun playing with the science fiction concept, while also being able to play in multiple genres. It’s a series that will entirely be fun to write as well as an exercise in genre hopping while staying safely within science fiction. This will be a series.
- Broken Nights Spin-Off: Deadline 2018
If you haven’t read Broken Nights: Strange Worlds, than you haven’t met Coven yet. Well, she’s a kickass witch who is home to the souls of her entire coven. One person, 8 witches, all in one body. And she’s too kickass to be a cameo in Jason Night’s story. So I’m bringing her to her own book with my brother’s blessing.
- Broken Nights Book 3: Deadline 2018
Mike is writing notes RIGHT NOW… Right, Mike? Right…?
This book was a doozy. Seriously, I had to finish a liter of vodka just to choke this stuff down. Heck, that was after taking the pound and a half of cocaine.
Erich von Daniken started his research asking a couple of cousins and waiters if they knew what the Voynich Manuscript was. As expected, their answers were all in the negative.
Heck, I’m a professional archaeologist and I don’t even know what it is!
But I digress…
After Erich von Daniken asks about a 100 of these goobers he explains that everyone’s lack of knowledge on the subject is indicative of the lack of knowledge of the subject in academic circles. This, and only this, is the only point in this entire book in which I will agree with Erich von Daniken.
The purpose of archaeological studies (as I’ve stated repeatedly) is to enlighten and educate. The Voynich Manuscript is a 15th or 16th century, currently untranslated, document. Shy of a press release dating and marking its provenience, the public wouldn’t have heard anything about the manuscript until it has been interpreted. Instead of jumping on the sane train and saying what I just said, Erich von Daniken instead decides to state that the lack of public knowledge on the subject is instead part of some plot to hide what most academics are too close minded to admit: we can’t decipher it because it was written by aliens.
Fact: the Voynich manuscript is written in an, as of yet, undeciphered script.
Fact: the Voynich manuscript has detailed star/sun charts.
Scientific conclusion? An as of yet undetermined culture had the mathematical and observational skills to plot star/sun charts.
The Erich Von Daniken conclusion? Our inability to interpret the foreign language implies no failing on our part but instead implies that beings much smarter than us wrote it. Also, the detailed star charts are obviously contrived from mathematics too complex for early man to decipher and are indicative of beings who have grander perspectives than early man.
The Erich Von Daniken conclusion that I just gave you is basically all of “History is Wrong” pertaining to the Voynich manuscript. You’ll also find that when reading this book you come across, repeatedly, two signature pseudoscience tools:
The first of these tools is the “piece it together yourself” questioning. Pseudoscience is opinion based over factual. For this reason, after a pseudoscientist makes a claim he/she will usually follow it up with a question instead of a factual explanation. This is a con man slide. It chooses to engage you in hopes that while contemplating related conclusions you’ll not question the lack of cited evidence. When asked to answer a question, you’re usually too busy answering to take the time to say “Woah…wait a second…that doesn’t make sense.”
Politicians use it too…a lot.
The second, and probably slightly more annoying, tool in the pseudoscientist toolbox is one I like to call “Look at my big friend…” This method is the presentation of proof that you know someone famous instead of proof to your claims. Its a means of von Daniken to say “I must be right because this famous person wrote me a letter.” The major example in this book is the letter from Neil Armstrong, also known as the first man to step on the moon.
In short, von Daniken claims to have been part of an excavation that discovered a metal library within a cave system in Los Tayos, in South America. After the supposed discovery, he claims that the press had covered it up and wouldn’t believe him, he also takes this moment to point out that documentation that would prove his point (photographs, journal entries) are simply missing (at one point, even saying “(my archive is missing)”[page 130 opposite the letter from Armstrong]). He then claims to have just surrendered until he heard that another crew had visited the excavation and brought along Armstrong.
Von Daniken mails Armstrong a letter asking for his take on the alien library in the caves and Armstrong states: “I understand that there have been magazine articles in Germany and Argentina which reported on the excavation and related it to your theories…I was asked in Ecuador whether I had observed any evidence of highly developed societies having been in the area, and I answered that I had not.” He continued the letter stating that he appreciated the offer to accompany von Daniken on an excavation but would have to refuse.
So…Armstrong said no aliens. Pretty clear cut, right?
Erich Von Daniken instead states that the letter is proof that he has been victimized by the media and that Armstrong had given him his full support. Very simply, a celebrity contacted von Daniken in response, and von Daniken is using it to drum up popularity.
This of course follows Erich Von Daniken’s refuting of the comments in the media that he admitted to never actually being in the caves in Ecuador.
I shall answer this one from personal experience.
I, Matt the Spaz, have actually watched the interview in which Erich Von Daniken states that he had never been to the caves. Back in college, in Riddles of the Past 101 with Dr. Marqusee, we watched the whole video and not only does he say that he’s never been to the caves, but also that half of the Nazca lines that he claimed were landing pads for alien beings he had never actually visited. He ended the interview saying that, when he writes his books, he knows he’s writing for an audience and that he brings a large portion of poetic license into each book he writes.
For those of you new to literary parlance, poetic license is “make-believe.”
Finally, the book ends weak. Erich Von Daniken falls into a lull and must have noticed, because he quickly starts just repeating stuff from his other books, all of it can be found in his original, “Chariots of the Gods?“
His book ends on a quote, pleading with the audience one last time to view him as the victim.
“Those who cannot attack the thought, instead attack the thinker.” (Paul Valery 1871-1945)
In response: Erich Von Daniken I don’t see you as a victim of the media or of “mainstream archaeology.” I see you as a person who completely ignores the Scientific Method. I love your “thought.” I think its awesome. Aliens rock. The purposeful bending of scientific evidence to your theories is what I attack. Read the evidence as it is, don’t make it fit your beliefs.
Pseudoscientists are either people who failed to correctly learn the scientific method, or snake-oil salesmen.
I encourage everyone to ignore this book, go out and buy Chariots of the Gods? and laugh your butt off reading that one. In forty years, he has come up with nothing new to write.
1 star out of 5.
This post was originally written back in 2009.
Thank you for the review BookNest!!!!
- Hey, they borrowed J’onn’s car! Love that car.
- DEO death package pays really well. That is a nice house.
- Alex is vulnerable. We know this because they take a moment to examine her after the shower. Showering people are vulnerable people.
- Eliza should worry more about Kara than Alex. Kara is an emotional wreck.
- Kara, you totally hashed this out in the first and then the second episode. Get over it. That being said, props to Eliza for rocking the the mom powers.
- “You can make it Irish.” Kara’s the sister I never had.
- Damn straight Alex! Tell her off! Kara’s being stupid!
- Most sisterly fight they’ve ever had.
- Little Alex and Kara are perfectly cast.
- Really makes you think the Kents had it easy with having no other children and with Kal-el being a baby.
- Really, I just feel bad for Eliza.
- Haha, Kara is a Superman fangirl.
- Oh hey, it’s the Midvale chapter of the Mean Girls.
- Same school colors as Smallville.
- Astronomy Fun! She’s going to cry over Krypton. I’m calling it.
- Nope, no tears. She almost kissed a human, though. Seems dangerous. Passing alien plagues and such.
- Shit! When he said “You’d be surprised what it sees,” I suddenly remembered the Tom Welling from Smallville using his telescope like a peeping tom.
- Alex is not cool.
- Oh No! They Killed Kenny!
- Tough girl Kara, getting up in the jock’s face.
- I like this cop. Must be the badguy.
- Heat-visioning Alex might not make her like you more.
- Clark has a friend named Chloe!!! WITH A WALL OF WEIRD! There’s a Chloe on Earth 38! I’m so happy! So Happy!
- Shit! The Teacher is a pedophile…
- I’d watch a Midvale series. Seriously.
- “Crikey, watch as the sisterly bond develops between the adolescent human and her adopted alien sister. This is where it could all go wrong, or all go right! Keep back now, we don’t want to anger the females.”
- Erica Durance is really J’onn. No one could look like her mother to that degree. J’onn’s an ass.
- Kara needs family. Why hasn’t she called Clark.
- Way to reverse psycho out your sister, Alex.
- Sheriff is the Killer. That sucks. I liked him.
- Email from CHLOE!!!!!
- I’ll bet Alex lives…
- Wait, random thought. If Chloe is here, does this mean that there is also a version of Oliver on this Earth that likes near-neon colors of green?
- “Screw it,” Good call, Kara!
- Badass Alex is always badass. It’s somehow genetic. Btw, Badass entrance for Kara.
- Kenny Lee was cool with Secrets. He could have been Kara’s Chloe.
- Lesson for the adults: “I’d rather be human than risk losing you.”
- Now Kara can be a peeping tom just like her cousin.
- Took her 10 years to set up that telescope. That’s what happens when you give a telescope to someone with telescopic vision.
- Awwww, “I feel at home with you.”
- “That possum came from nowhere.” – Kara, showing that she cares more for possums than white martian lives.
- Same crook tries to rob Barry that did in Season 1.
- “Stop shooting him!” -Barry, I’m kind of on Ralph’s side on this. That dumb crook sees that when he shoots Ralph he gets shot instead and then proceeds to shoot him again. Idiot.
- “What’s the second job? Long-winded lectures before noon?” – Ralph
- “One day, I’m going to throw a lightning bolt so far up – I’m taking him to the hospital.” Frustrated Barry is hilarious.
- Damn, the Thinker is good. That was cool.
- Cisco has ran out of damn’s to give.
- Harry has friends? Haha.
- “Pretty sure I relived my own birth.” – Cisco
- The Therapist comes back!
- Woah! Meta moves statues! Night at the Museum, anyone?
- “Remember the days when we wouldn’t calmly consider a stone statue a prime suspect?” – Barry
- Council of Wells!!!! Harrison Wolfgang Wells, H. Lathario Wells, Wells 2.0, and Wells the Gray!
- Of course Cisco names them…
- Wells 2.0 ate his Cisco… That’s pretty fucked up.
- Dark Matter is the new meteor freak from Smallville. Not complaining, just noticing.
- Puppy’s raincoat!
- I kind of agree with Black Bison. Choke the asshole!
- Barry Savatar’d the suit of armor.
- “I can see your frank and beans.” – followed by – “Baby violence solves nothing.” – Council of Wells
- “It’s like your junk has been burned into my brain.” – “You’re welcome.”
- Ralph dropped the ball.
- No HIPPA Laws on Earth 1. Barry and Ralph can hear a full medical diagnosis for a kid they have no reason to know anything about.
- “I hate them, I hate them all.” – “I’d like to gouge out the other eye.” – Harry on the Council of Wells.
- “Sometimes, you’re a Wizard, Harry.” – Cisco with the Harry Potter reference.
- Seriously, I love the Council of Wells.
- Touching Ralph and Barry moment.
- Black Bison is quick with her hands.
- Onions Everywhere! (I don’t remember why I wrote this note, so if anyone doesn’t mind reminding me. I’d appreciate it. Maybe I’ll rewatch the episode this afternoon.)
- Dinosaur time! Getting Harry Dresden vibes…
- Good Job Barry!
- Good guy Ralph mailed the necklace back to the Sioux Reservation.
- Hospitals let stretchy pervs into people’s rooms. Seriously, why would they let him in there?
- Council of Wells succeeded!
- Woah! The Thinker changed his outfit pretty quickly.
- 1937 at the WB, great start CW…owned by WB…
- Holy Canoli!
- Love the old timey Legends Logo!
- Nanites courtesy of Ray Palmer!
- Ha! They’ve been freaky Friday’d.
- Great actors. Well done on the switch.
- Hollywood Trojan War
- “Don’t knock the Academy, Gray.”
- Helen’s a perfect victim. Like of all time. And why do WB Execs carry guns?
- Gray has it bad for Hedy Lamar. Of course he does.
- I like Nate’s hat. Of course I do.
- Mick doesn’t even try to dress up. Love it.
- “I’d do her.” – Mick.
- Why doesn’t Helen ask why nothing makes sense or why she’s even there?
- Oh, they answered that.
- Darhk is her agent and now a series regular? Love him as a villain, so I like this decision.
- By the way, when the Crossover happens are they going to address the whole Oliver not knowing that Darhk is alive? I feel like he wouldn’t be too happy about this.
- I’m liking the advance of the Totem plot.
- She’s totally Amaya’s descendant.
- Mick is crazy smart.
- Ooooh! Ray knows her! She has to be Amaya’s descendant. He knew the water totem lady from the cartoon. They are bringing more cartoon info into it. Love it.
- Nasty in the pasty. haha.
- Is Helen blind? They ARE killing each other in your name.
- I hope Helen falls for Sara. That’d solve everything.
- Why can’t they take the mini-time-ship thing?
- “Better not be calling in your hall pass, Gray!”
- Sometimes, you have to be crazy if you want to burn bright. – That’s a good quote.
- How does Darhk use magic now? In Arrow, he had that head thing that provided magic based on how many people you killed. He doesn’t have that now.
- Pee Break!
- Fight Time!
- Hedy believed the nuclear man thing very easily.
- Sara is so kickass. Seriously. Great fighting.
- Oh right. Hedy is smart.
- Eleanore is Darhk’s daughter!!
- Kickass Gray!
- “Please tell me Firestein’s a thing!” – Nate
- Gray gets hit on by Hedy. That’s fun.
- Thymescara is part of the Arrowverse! That also means that Zari knows about it from 2042. So, Wonder Woman must come about before then.
- Deathstroke with nothing left to lose. Yikes.
- Flashbacks! Touching flashback with flashbacks in it. Meta flashbacks!
- Diggle’s drugs are wearing off.
- Enter the Dragon!
- Lyla! Haven’t seen her in a while. Maybe now would be a good time to ask her about getting the FBI off of your … oh, nevermind. You’re just gonna bang her.
- Shit! No more drugs.
- Reassignment of Resources? Vaguebook much?
- I don’t like this Nylander guy who keeps teasing Deathstroke.
- One Year Back From The Dead is totally a thing in the Arrowverse. Sara Lance celebrates Deathaversaries. So does Thea.
- Somebody wishes Oliver was really his kid…
- Mirakuru flashbacks?
- Dragon supplies Arrow with Drugs. Introducing Ricardo Diaz.
- Deathstroke doesn’t want to kill anyone.
- Stress-eating time! Wild Dog is my kinda teammate.
- Diggle knows Ricardo!
- Honest up, Diggle, please.
- Oliver got caught by Nylander? Right. I’ll believe that the same day I believe that Mick isn’t the best thing about Legends of Tomorrow.
- Ghost Shadow is a bitch. Anybody weirding out seeing Slade makeout with the air? I guess they wouldn’t say anything. He might get stabby.
- Diggle is telling Lyla! First right thing he’s done all season.
- Blade by the eye. Not cool.
- Oh, Joe. Don’t threaten Oliver’s son. That’s the dumbest thing you could do.
- Yes. That was a “little too convincing.”
- Poor Slade. Gonna have to kill his son.
- Oliver is great this season. He’s turned into a legit good person.
- Ricardo Diaz doesn’t show up on traffic cams, but they have surveillance of him so he’s not that good.
- Ricardo fights with his men. That’s a good bad guy boss to work for.
- Your days as the Arrow are done now, Diggle.
- Nylander is totally the fall guy. Cane/Joe knows that the guy who pulls the trigger is going to die.
- Oliver is killing again. If you recall, he kills because he “likes it.”
- I said last week that Joe totally saw Slade kill the spy on the camping trip.
- Brother Drop! Grant? Is the Flash his brother? Oh, no, he killed him.
- Both of them? How is Slade going to find both of them. Grant’s dead.
- Neat mist vanish scene.
- Aww, Diggle’s doing the right thing!
- Ice cream for dinner. Felicity gained cool points.
- Damn straight you’d better apologize to Wild Dog!
- Curtis is so right! Literally used science to make a woman walk again, he can fix your nerve damage. Seriously.
- Haha, “Kiss ass.”
- Of course Dinah is keeping the secrets now.
To be completely fair, I haven’t read the entire series of currently available titles in the Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I’m read three of them, and I’ll try to limit my remarks to only those three titles.
First of all, I’d like to mention that the best thing about these books is the narrative. As a proper fan for the original works by the master, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I find the voice of Dr. Watson in each of these stories to match perfectly with the vocabulary and use, as well as the mind set, of the originals.
The first I read, right at the beginning of the New Year, was The Ectoplasmic Man. The story focuses on how Harry Houdini, recently on tour in London, made the mistake of demonstrating his act in front of several police from Scotland Yard. Then the very next day a crime takes place that only an escape artist could have achieved. Naturally, the recently impressed police arrest Houdini and Holmes is fast on the case to prove the frame up. This story was awesome and silly. On the one hand it reminded me, in concept only, of Scooby Doo when he met the Globetrotters and Batman. On the other hand, it was very specifically a classic Holmes tale that availed itself towards being a Houdini biography. Even better though, was that it wasn’t written like a biography, and instead kept my rather easily bored attention span. You get to see the trials and problems that Houdini had to go through as a Jew in a still predominantly Anti-Semitic culture. And of course, I enjoy any scenes in which Mycroft Holmes gets to partake. Not because I greatly like his character or feel he was never fully fleshed out, so much as I love the interaction between the brothers. This book was great and managed to entertain me thoroughly.
On a slightly more fantasy scale of things, we have the Seance for a Vampire. Only partially narrated by Watson, as parts of his manuscript were lost or not up to the par of the more recent narrator’s opinion. The rest of it though was narrated by Dracula, the Prince of all that is unholy as well as the distant cousin to Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes. This story involves Holmes being asked to prove foul play in the death of a young woman who is of the lineage of a thief who wronged another thief, turned vampire, 200 years previously. Long story short, she’s a vampire now, and never wanted to be. Her entire turning is treated like a rape, an interesting way to put it, as it was sexual for the evil vampire (evil because he’s not Dracula), and because she really didn’t want to be turned, and now that she has been, she hates it. And while fantastic in that it includes vampires, one thing the author does is include historical notes about the rise of Stalin and the entire Russian aristocracy, including an introduction to Rasputin. It was both a great branch off into science fiction and a great telling of another Holmes tale.
The final of the three that I’ve read is The Man From Hell. This tale was more classic Holmes than the rest I think. No guest stars and no vampires. It even had a note at the beginning from Watson about how the characters are still alive and well and how the names must be changed in the retelling, which I thought was the most classic element of all three. Holmes is called to do his own investigation into the death of Lord Blackwater, who happens to have died, as the police put it, by poachers. Holmes immediately deducts that it’s not poachers, but a flat out murder. We learn about the mid-19th century penal system known as “the System” and how it effected children and men, and we learn of a mysterious group known as the Ring. The previous two kept my attention because of their guest stars. This one kept my attention because it was just a great mystery. I couldn’t put it down when Holmes was doing his thing. This one also had some very nice notes in the back for historical context, which I think only proper since anyone writing in the early 20th century would be referencing events I would know nothing about.
Long story short, all of the Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes are more than worth your time and I encourage you to run or type your way to the mystery section of your bookstore or ereader and purchase a copy immediately.
Now I’m going to eat dinner and watch a cartoon.
This review was originally posted to an old blog of mine back on 1/27/2011.