The World in the Satin Bag has moved to my new website.  If you want to see what I'm up to, head on over there!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Guest Post: A Quest for Treasures in the Stacks by Cindy Young-Turner

The bankruptcy of Borders puts another nail in the coffin of the big box bookstores. As a reader, there’s nothing better than browsing the stacks and looking for new books to discover. I admit, I love the sheer volume of books available in places like Borders and Barnes and Noble, and the combination of books and a café is appealing. But the cost of a new book is often a deterrent for me. And if you’re looking for an older, less popular book, or something by an indie publisher, you have little chance of finding it.

Used bookstores, on the other hand, are a book lover’s paradise. Books for a quarter? I’ll take a dozen, please! I got hooked on SF/fantasy through used bookstores. I didn’t read much genre fiction as a kid, and I’m embarrassed to admit that when I initially picked up The Hobbit, it bored me (both The Hobbit and LOTR are now favorites, though). The first SF/fantasy books I tried to read were a jumble of confusing names and places, so I gave up on them for a while. Some friends in college successfully reintroduced me to the genre, and then after college a friend who shared my love of fantasy and creepy tales took me to his favorite used bookstore in Providence, Rhode Island. (Note: the year was 1996 or so, before Google and Amazon.) The best part about this

Saturday, July 30, 2011

American Lit Chalkboard Wonders: Vonnegut Ends (*sadface*)

I've been meaning to post this for you all to see.  I finished teaching Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five the week before last.  The following images are from the last day of lecture on the novel:


I'll have more lovely chalkboard images to show you all later, including some related to science fiction and great writers of American lit!

What do you think?

Question: What interests you about military science fiction?

As many of you know, I've been teaching The Forever War by Joe Haldeman in my Survey in American Literature course at the University of Florida.  Yesterday was the last day of discussion, which led me to wonder what so many science fiction readers find appealing about military SF.

I wouldn't consider myself a big military SF reader, though some of my favorite SF novels happen to be military SF (The Forever War and Old Man's War, for example).  That said, I do find the attention to detail, the technology, and the action that often occupies military SF stories appealing.  I'm a sucker for a good, logically-oriented battle (which explains why I prefer the space battles in the original Star Wars movies to the ones in the prequels).  Military SF isn't always about the battles, but I can't think of any military SF novels which don't include the actual action of military campaigns.

But as much as I like action and excitement in my fiction, I'm not drawn to military SF exclusively for such things.  Rather, I like military SF because it provides a gateway into the mind of the soldier, officer, or other non-civilian character.  As a staunch supporter of military personnel in the U.S. (as opposed to a supporter of the war(s)), I can't help wanting to understand what the nation asks of its men and women in uniform (nation is rhetorical here); military SF is one way to think about such things.  The Forever War, for example, is one of my favorite novels because of the way it approaches its singular soldier character:  Mandella.  I'm fascinated by the ways he copes with what he is forced to do and how the novel allegorizes the processes of alienation that often affect soldiers returning home from the battlefied.  Even the military jargon, the attention to military detail, and the discussion of tactics are fascinating to me, not because I like military tactics (I really know nothing about it), but because it's all part of a kind of mindset.  In a way, a book like The Forever War develops an authentic reality from its totalized military viewpoint, which makes for a consistent and fascinating book.  If not for the problem of repetition, I would teach Haldeman's book again in a heartbeat.

Now I'll throw the question(s) to you:
  • What are your favorite military SF novels?
  • Why do you like military SF?  What do you dislike?
Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

How To Be Annoying On Twitter

Twitter is a pretty awesome place.  But it's also a network like every other social network:  full of weirdos, annoying people, and spammers.  Thankfully, we don't have to follow such people!  We can pretend they don't exist (or make fun of publicly, because that's fun too).  My question is:
What are ways people annoy you on Twitter?  Let me know in the comments.
Here are the things that annoy me:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Teaching Science Fiction: The Definition

Today was one of the more surprising days in the American Literature course I am teaching this summer.  What surprised me wasn't their responses to the assigned reading (the first 68 pages of Haldeman's The Forever War, one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time); rather, I was surprised at how they defined science fiction when I asked them to do so (prior to my actual lecture on the topic of definitions).  None of them approached the genre via its tropes.  That is that no student said science fiction was defined by the prevalence of robots, spaceships, common themes (space wars, AI gone wrong, etc.), or other common features often associated with the genre even when the product in question is internally everything but science fiction.  While they didn't quite get the definition "right" (insofar as there is a "right" definition), a number of students suggested very compelling and rather sophisticated ways to explain how science fiction functions as a genre.

The two primary examples were extrapolation upon technology and speculation upon real world "things."  I am, of course, paraphrasing their arguments, but it's quite unusual, in my experience, to speak with anyone who isn't rooted in SF culture and receive an explanation of the genre that tries to get at its functions rather than its tropes.

The Skiffy and Fanty Show 4.6 is Live! (Torture Cinema Meets War of the Worlds 2: The Next Wave)

The movie is bad.  Really bad.  Seriously.  Don't watch it.  Listen to us talk about it instead, because otherwise you might become an alcoholic or start smoking crack.  Don't.  Do.  It.

If the title isn't any indication, the latest episode over at SandF is our extended, slightly humorous review of War of the Worlds 2:  The Next Wave (a movie which will live in infamy, or something like that).  Feel free to let us know what you think of the show.  iTunes reviews are always welcome.
Anywho!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

WIP Snippet: "The Dream Machine"

The following is from a science fiction and fantasy mashup short story I'm working on, which I'm called "The Dream Machine." I'll likely change the title later. We'll see. This is the first paragraph:
A shadow swam across the frame of his vision, obscuring the charred hills beyond and turning the flames licking the sky into crimson eyes in a black mask. Where was he and what was he doing here? He knew those hills as if he had been there before, as if his feet had stood on this very spot, toes playing with the ash carpet, churning the dirt and spilling seeds into the renewed mud. The chutes of grass and little sunflowers sprang up between his toes as if in greeting.
What do you think?

Video Found: H+ (Web Series by Bryan Singer)

It seems fitting that a show about new social networking technology gone wrong would be announced weeks after Google+ graced our screens. It's almost like Singer knew + was coming. Like a conspiracy...

In any case, if you want to learn more about the series, go here. Otherwise, enjoy the video:

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Status -- A Very Long Summer and the WISB Funding Update

Two things:

1.  The Lizards and Financial Mumbo Jumbo
The last couple weeks have contributed tremendously to my long history of garbage-ness.  I had to have one of my lizards (Taj) put down, today marks the day when my other lizard is expected to go into surgery (Noodles), and so on.  Emotionally, I'm in one of those "well, life kinda sucks, but at least I woke up today" moods.  Such events also have other ramifications -- namely, financial ones (my vet has been very kind to me and allowed me to defer payments on some things; they've also reduced the cost of some of the bills when they didn't have to -- but cremation services and the like have still put a strain on my financials).  I've got about $5 until next Friday, which I hope will

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

American Lit Chalkboard Wonders

Technically the following images from my chalkboard-based lecture today include an essay on Slaughterhouse Five by Arnold Edelstein.  You'll need to scroll through the previous four images from my last post, but you all can handle that, right?

Feel free to leave any comments if you find these amusing or have questions.  Teaching Vonnegut has been a fascinating and educational experience.  I can't wait to teach it again!
American Lit (4081) Chalkboard Wonders
Note: I'm going to call these posts the American Lit Chalkboard Wonders (after the album), since future chalkboard images will have nothing to do with Vonnegut.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Skiffy and Fanty Show #4.5 is Live! (Interview w/ Stina Leicht)

The title says it all.  This week's episode is an interview with Stina Leicht, author of Of Blood and Honey from Night Shade Books.  The book is well worth a read, by the way.  I'll post a review of it here when I get a chance.

Here's the interview.  I hope you enjoy it!

WISB Podcast: Chapter Fourteen (The End of the Beginning)

The chapter is late and I'm feeling like crap about it.  Life is not being kind to me as of late, what with having to put one of my leopard geckos down, starting up school and teaching, and other similar issues.  But it's here and I'm going to get my crap together and put myself on a regular schedule.

The fourteenth chapter finds James and his companions (Pea and Darl) at the far edges of Arlin City, inches from escaping.  But escaping weights heavily upon James...and I'll leave it at that so you'll have something to look forward to!

Chapter Fourteen -- Download (MP3)

Thanks for listening.  Please give WISB a review on iTunes!

(Don't forget to check out what I've done to sweeten the pot for anyone who donates to the project.  Plenty of free things are available, from ebooks, paperbacks, random letters from me, and even a character written about you into the world of WISB. Please consider donating!)

(All podcast chapters will be listed on the Podcast page.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

"The book market be flooded with bad books," said the Bookstore Man!

The following comment was left on John Ottinger's Grasping For the Wind.  Specifically, I left it on a guest post by R. L. Copple entitled "Wading Through the Crap," which is an interesting take on the "there will be so much crap" anti-self-publishing argument.  I take some issue with the logic, even if I now also take issue with the anti-SP argument being refuted, but the post is interesting enough to check out on your own (which I expect you all to do; go on, leave some comments!)

Here's what I had to say:
This post is just as riddled with fallacies, which is ironic when you argue that the post linked at the start is equally plagued by them. 
Two examples: 
1. You say: “Now let’s say with the explosion of indie books, it adds 20,000 new titles to the pile each year, giving the reader a total of 30,000 new books to browse through. And let’s say the average reader will only like 2% of those books, meaning among those 20,000 indie books, they would have 400 books they would enjoy reading if they came across them. That means among the 30,000 books they could wade through, there would be 900 they would pick up if they came across them, which amounts to a 3% chance of finding a book they like instead of 5%. If that scenario was true, it would mean it grew a tad harder to find a book the reader likes, but only by 2%.” 
While a 2% decrease seems minor, in the grand scheme of book “finding,” it’s not. When you take into account the time, energy, and other variables that go into book “finding,” that 2% decrease is substantial, particularly since it represents a 40% reduction in possibility. That’s nothing to scoff at. You’re using numerical trickery here to suggest something that isn’t such a big deal, but you leave out the primary thing that makes readers very unlikely to buy anything whatsoever: wasting their time. Even a 1% (or 20%) decrease would put off a substantial number of readers who simply can’t be bothered to put in the extra effort to find something they may or may not like (which, let’s face it, even when you take into account the various ways readers come to books, and, thus, choose them, that doesn’t include the time and effort it takes for that reader to actually discover if they got the right book; this implies that your model must take into account the percentage of occurrences in which a reader found a book, but discovered upon reading that it wasn’t to their liking — contrary to popular belief in self-publishing circles, most readers aren’t willing to read huge previews and the like; if you’re lucky, they’ll read a page or two, which explains why publishers are so adamant about those first few pages, even today). 
2. You spend a lot of time talking about slush piles and how readers see the demise of the slush pile as something good for them, since it means there will be more good books to find. The problem with this is that you earlier argue that the publication form is one of the least relevant methods by which readers come to books, and, thus, a direct contradiction of your earlier sentiments. 
Now, setting aside the lack of statistical support for most of what we’re talking about (nobody really knows how many readers care about the publisher and how many don’t, etc. only anecdotal evidence that suggests they avoid SPed books in bookstores), you still have the problem here of turning readers into slush readers. I hate everything to do with this concept, because the moment you make it my job as a reader to do a job other people should be doing and getting paid for (publishers, reviewers, editors, and related people, some of which may be related to non-traditional publishing models) is the moment you take all the joy out of reading, after which I’ll simply stop buying books. I’m not kidding. I will stop buying books completely, with the exception of things printed from the previous era of publishing. I have no incentive as a reader to participate in a system that wants me to do extra effort to find what I want. Most other markets don’t do this to me; in reality, most other markets have made it *easier* for me to find what I want to consume (think super stores, malls, online music stores with really good recommendation features, online music sites for streaming music, etc. etc etc etc etc etc). Yet it’s only in the book publishing world that we talk about making the consumer the worker. 
I wouldn’t be going out on a limb if I said a lot of readers who have recently come to routine reading would be equally inclined to leave the whole thing behind. Easy access isn’t necessarily a good thing (at least, it comes with consequences). It’s all about coupling easy access with tools that help the consumer find what they want without creating additional effort. The fact that SPers (and indies, trads, and other publishing models) are talking about a future which makes the consumer an unpaid intern is the most bizarre kind of archaic logic to me…
Don't tell me what you think on this post, though.  Go respond to me and Mr. Copple on John's blog.  It's an interesting discussion to have, methinks, even if I have made similar arguments elsewhere on this blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Haul of Books 2.0: Books Received Vol. 3

It's time for yet another edition of the Haul of Books, in which I tell you about the stuff that recently showed up at my door in one form or another.

Let's get started:

Promo Bits: If You Lived Here -- What's your favorite scifi/fantasy world?

The fine folks at Underland Press are up to no good, it seems.  They want to start a big mean argument about our favorite science fiction and fantasy worlds for their new book, If You Lived Here.  Of course, I'm joking.  The idea is really awesome, if you haven't heard of it before.

Here's the promo stuff I got in my email:
The project, authored and edited by Jeff VanderMeer, is called If You Lived Here: The Top 30 All Time Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Worlds. It's a compendium, of sorts, but also a travel guide to places like Dune, Ring World, Middle Earth, Lankhmar . . . and beyond . . . We've all lived in these places--in imagination if not in fact--and we're all united by our common experiences of them. We wanted to collect the worlds together in one place as both a walk down memory lane and a place to start new dreams.

We're reaching out to readers, writers, and booksellers to ask for nominations of worlds to include. We've set up a web form at www.ifyoulivedherebook.com, which takes the nominations and asks respondents to describe what they love about the world. (If things go according to plan, we'll include some of the responses in the book itself.)
 So, I'm going to ask you for two things:

  1. Leave a comment telling me about your favorite scifi/fantasy world.
  2. Send in your nominations for the book.
Have at it!

Promo Bits: Tor at Comic-Con -- the Schedule

If you haven't received an email from them yet, then you'll be surprised to learn about all the fun things Tor Books will be up to at the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con.

They include (taken from the email):
This year at the Tor Booth (#2707), we’ll not only have our popular *in-booth signings and giveaways, but you’ll also have a chance to download exclusive content via QR codes and win a tablet from our friends at Tor.com!

And finally, our esteemed Tor Staff will participate in our popular #Torchat series on Twitter, live from the con on Thursday the 21st from 10am – 11am PST. Read on for all the details!

And (the schedule of Tor-related events):

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kurt Vonnegut and Slaughterhouse Five in Chalkboard Form

Those of you who follow me on Google+ may have already seen the images linked below.  Since I'm certain at least 350 of you have never seen these, though, I decided I would share them with you.
American Lit (4081) Chalkboard Wonders
If you click the image above, it will take you to the Picasa album containing a series of four interconnected images from my lecture on Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.  The writing is from the third day of class lectures/discussion.

Feel free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The New Writing/Editing/Podcasting/Reviewing Agenda/Plan/Thing (Yeah)

The last few weeks have been nothing short of crazy.  My sister spent two weeks (ish) in town, which was great because I've only seen her all of four hours in the last two years.  Likewise, the school season started up again, putting me head first into a poetry/film course that (let's face it) is way outside of my area of expertise (though I've been inspired to write some pretty nutty poetry as of late, which Adam Callaway has read and subsequently went nutty over -- you can read more about that on my Google+ page).  I'm also teaching a Survey in American Literature course, which is an amazing experience, but also a good deal of work.

The result of all these events has been a pitiful output of writing-ness, which includes, in partial-list form, the following:

Penelope Lively Says We're "Bloodless Nerds" (or An Old Hypocrite Speaks)

If you haven't heard, Booker Prize winner Penelop Lively, age 78, believes people who read books in electronic form are "bloodless nerds."  The article continues with the following:
She said that Kindles and other devices to which you can download novels are no substitute for real books and no self-respecting bibliophile should want one. 
“I have an iPad but I wouldn’t dream of reading a book on it,” she told the Telegraph Ways With Words Festival.
She makes a number of other typical arguments (how kids don't read like they used to and so on), but I think the above is really the crux of the matter.  Here is a person who has an iPad, which we can assume she uses to read things like online newspapers and magazines, blogs, and other forms of content, which at one point were provided to the public in print format.  This same person thinks reading ebooks is bad news...

So excuse me, Ms. Lively, if I treat your holier-than-thou assault on those of us who use eReaders with contempt.  The fact that you benefit from the very shifts in reading formats you deride for the book form is laughably ironic and hypocritical.  You can't say "I use an iPad" in the same breath as "reading electronic books is for bloodless nerds."  Reading is not exclusive to the book, and the shift in reading habits has been going on for decades.  For whatever reason, we're more concerned about the death of the "book" than we are about the death of the print newspaper or the print magazine or whatever other prints have been subverted by online "printing" practices.

Hell, you might as well bitch about all those stupid blogs out there and how in the old days you only got heard by your friends or if your local newspaper printed your letter to the editor.  Those were such good days when you didn't have much of a say in the way things ran beyond your vote.  Screw Tunisia and Egypt and all that social networking and online newspaper-ing and what not...

For the record, I quite like the "book" as we understand it in print form.  I still buy lots of books.  But I don't disparage people who have become readers via eReaders or converted to electronic reading.  It serves a social function as much as an economic and literary one.  In a strange way, that timeless phrase ("don't just a book by its cover") has a double meaning now.  Nothing wrong with that in my book...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Skiffy and Fanty Show #4.4 is Live! (Books Will Take Over the Universe)

We're back (though a little late) with some book-related rants and discussion!  And we know you love books.  Right?  Because we do, and we don't care if you don't.  So there!

Check out the episode and let us know what you think.

Thanks for listening!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Debt is Wonderful (*deluding myself*)

I've got this whole Google+ thing going on, and today I posted this long comment about something that has been frustrating me today:
I'm having one of those "WTF was I thinking when I decided to go to college and take on $31,000 in debt for an English degree, which I'd defer for 6 years while going to grad school, after which I'd be lucky to get a job in my field, let alone make anything over $20K a year" moments. And I'm telling myself that "yes, it's worth it, because you love literature and teaching and all the things that come with being in academia and getting to study what you love and writing about it and spending your days participating in its communities." Because I do. 
But that still leaves a debt on my head that I'll spend the next 20 years trying to pay off on a salary that society deems I barely deserve, despite the fact that what I do is essential for society to function. The world crumbles without people like me teaching young kids and adults and the like how to read and write. The world cannot sustain itself without language. But heaven forbid that we pay the creators of society, the first line of defense against barbarism, anything close to what they deserve. 
Excuse me while I have some kind of weird existential crisis about life...
I suppose some people would say, "Well, you decided to do this, so it's your own fault that you're in debt," but then I think about all the countries where their citizens go to school for free or for very little whatsoever, without having to have full time jobs and the like, and it makes me wonder whether I got my early education in the right place.  I once wanted to go to school in England.  Maybe I should have.

Don't get me wrong.  Where I'm at now, I'm not paying anything in loans (technically, unless

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Day in the Life of a Poem (and Other Visual Narratives)

In the interest of sharing the absurdity of my life, I present to you the following images for your amusement.

First is a page from my notes for my summer seminar, which I subsequently used to draft a poem:

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Book Clubs: Stereotyping Men Based on Football Commercials and Sexism

I don't know why we still perpetuate the mythologies of maleness in this culture.  We know they're mostly bullshit, in part because today's society is drastically different from the one in which such myths were formed.  But we keep pushing them out there, repeating them in our heads, our news and TV shows, our blog posts, and so on.  Maybe it's some kind of genetic nostalgia for the old days when we knew what men were like.  Or maybe there's some kind of sick gene in our species that wants men to be non-feeling masculine bodybuilders who utter one-word sentences and grunt a lot.

Ugh.

Which brings me to this Book Group Buzz post about why men don't participate in book clubs.  I'm not going to deny that most men don't participate in book clubs.  To be honest, I've never been in an actual book club, so I can't speak from experience about such things.  What I can say is that Ted Balcom's nonsensical rambles about how men don't like to share their feelings is a disgusting stereotype which verges on sexist (granted, it's hard to say Ted is a sexist when you consider that Ted has never been a girl's name).

Let's start with the first offense:

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Sensawunda Donation Drive: Help a Friend in Need

My friend Adam (who you all have probably heard enough about on this blog) is having some financial problems.  Like many Americans, he is having issues finding a job, which is particularly troublesome as a newlywed and a quasi-semi-not-really-graduated-college-student.  He and his wife need some financial help to pay off their overdue power bill, but rather than take your money and give you nothing but an Internet-thank-you for your trouble, Adam is offering up all kinds of free fiction, books, and other goodies (similar to what I'm still doing for WISB, but now w/o the financial necessity).

Adam's short fiction is really quite good, so if you've got a few bucks to spare, please head over to Adam's site and donate.

Who knows, maybe if someone agrees to cough up a goodly amount, Adam and I will write a story together involving you as a villain, with he and I as the exaggerated heroes.  It'll be like Arnold Schwarzenegger had a love affair with a bizarro story and Mary Poppins...a kind of weird fantasy/scifi/horror threeway.  Without protection...

RIP: Taj

I've had Taj (a bold stripe/jungle leopard gecko) for several years, but had to have her put down today due to severe symptoms of what appears to be gout.

I was going to say some sappy stuff about the vet appt., the time I had with Taj, and so on, but I don't feel motivated to do that right now.  I've lost five leopard geckos in two years, so it's not exactly been the easiest of journeys.  Florida and I are certainly not best of friends these days...

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go watch The Pacific (for the fifth time) and maybe some bad TV while munching on a greasy burger, ice cream, and baked potatoes.  Because I'm feeling pretty low and I need heart-killing food in me...

For those curious, here's a picture of Taj from before her illness.  She was a beautiful lizard.
*sigh*

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

The Skiffy and Fanty Show #4.3 is Live! (Story South Million Writers Award)

You all know about the Story South Million Writers Award, right?  If not, then you'll need to listen to the latest episode of The Skiffy and Fanty Show to hear our take on the top ten entries.  Then you should go vote!

Hope you enjoy the episode!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

WISB Podcast: Chapter Thirteen (Of the World Below)

After a short delay, the new episode is here. James and his companions are stuck in the dark world below the earth while Arlin City fights of Luthien's forces. But the world below is not what it seems. Listen to find out more:

Chapter Thirteen -- Download (mp3)

Thanks for listening.  Please give WISB a review on iTunes!

(Don't forget to check out what I've done to sweeten the pot for anyone who donates to the project.  So far, six people have donated. Plenty of free things are available, from ebooks, paperbacks, random letters from me, and even a character written about you into the world of WISB. Please consider donating!)

(All podcast chapters will be listed on the Podcast page.)

P.S.: In case you missed it, I've agreed to do two very embarrassing things on camera if I meet my funding goal. Find out what they are here and support this podcast!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Syfy: Will it Destroy Science Fiction?

Criticizing the Syfy channel in the SF community is almost like fulfilling a requirement for entry.  After all, the channel plays more wrestling and phony ghost-hunting/crypto-BS than any other channel on cable, which makes it really easy to hate if you're not into such things.  It wasn't always that way, though.  I remember watching old science fiction classics on Scifi (the name it used to have before they went moron and came up with Syfy).  Godzilla, cheezy 80s flicks, The Twilight Zone, and The Outer Limits.  All of those wonderful shows were there.  Now?  Not so much.

But is Syfy detrimental to science fiction as a genre?  Kyle Mizokami thinks so.  One of his recent tweets reads as follows:
Syfy's express purpose seems to be to destroy the genre of science fiction.
Mizokami is certainly being facetious here, but it might be worth wondering whether Syfy, in a general sense, is good for science fiction.  I highly doubt the creators or its current "controllers" intend to destroy SF, since that would make their station pointless, but they certainly have made many decisions which many would consider damaging to SF, or, at the very least, damn well questionable.

In defense of Syfy, I think it's necessary to point out that they are the only station dedicated to

Friday, July 01, 2011

Ari Marmell and Me: Look, My Name is in The Goblin Corps!

What? You don't believe me? Well see for yourself:
Morthûl, the dreaded Charnel King, has failed.

Centuries of plotting from the heart of the Iron Keep, deep within the dark lands of Kirol Syrreth-all for naught. Foiled at the last by the bumbling efforts of a laughable band of so-called heroes, brainless and over-muscled cretins without sense enough to recognize a hopeless cause when they take it on. Machinations developed over generations, schemes intended to deliver the world into the Dark Lord's hands, now devastated beyond salvation. But the so-called forces of Light have paid for their meddling with the life of Princess Amalia, only child of the royal family of Shauntille.

Now, as winter solidifies its icy grip on the passes of the Brimstone Mountains, disturbing news has reached the court of Morthûl. King Dororam, enraged by the murder of his only child -- and accompanied by that same group of delusional upstart "heroes" -- is assembling all the Allied Kingdoms, fielding an army unlike any seen before. The armies of Kirol Syrreth muster to meet the attack that is sure to come as soon as the snows have melted from the mountain paths, but their numbers are sorely depleted. Still, after uncounted centuries of survival, the Dark Lord isn't about to go down without a fight, particularly in battle against a mortal! No, the Charnel King still has a few tricks up his putrid and tattered sleeves, and the only thing that can defeat him now may just be the inhuman soldiers on whom he's pinned his last hopes.

Welcome to the Goblin Corps. May the best man lose
This is just like when Simon Pegg wrote that movie based on my life as relayed through a zombie metaphor.  Or very similar to how this guy stole my name to make an acting career for himself on 90210.  (No, Mr. Moosekian, you cannot have my Twitter name.)

Then again, maybe this is all coincidence and I'm simply an egotistical idiot with a blog babbling about how great I am via other people's clearly far superior work...

The cool news is that you can learn all about Ari Marmell at his website, which is cleverly entitled Mouseferatu.  But perhaps it is just another coincidence that I happened to show a few minutes of Nosferatu (and D. W. Griffith's Intolerance, incidentally) in my Survey of American Literature course today...  Yeah, coincidence.  That's it.

In any case, you can get The Goblin Corps right now!  It's available.  Everywhere.

P.S.:  Pyr is awesome.