So, I happened to spot my Planet Of The Apes (60s/70s version) Blu-Ray collection lying under the cupboard and thought I’d watch the first movie.
What I’d forgotten was that it doesn’t work. The disk starts, there’s an animated ape, then a log, then it goes to a black screen with all the buttons disabled.
I remember there was a way to get past that, but can’t remember what it was. I tried numerous buttons, but nothing worked. Then I tried for about the fifth time, and suddenly I was at the main menu; the only thing I did differently was keep hitting the skip button, but maybe that was a coincidence.
Does anyone know how to make this disk actually play? This kind of crap is why I rarely buy Blu-Rays any more.
Edit: this time, pressing ‘Top Menu’ on the remote when the ape started speaking seemed to do it. I suspect, though, it’s just random, so sometimes it gets through the animated menu startup and sometimes it doesn’t.
My weird libertarian Halloween story, Twilight Raid, is going to be in a charity anthology with David ‘Trouble With Tribbles’ Gerrold, amongst others. I wrote it back in the 90s, but never found a market for it, and rewrote it for the anthology; the basic idea is still there, but I think only the first line hasn’t changed.
One of my favourite fan fiction stories: I read it years ago and came across it again online recently:
THE LAST TESTAMENT OF DAPHNE PICKMAN
Working through the final act of the fourth Dirk Beretta story, which has been sitting on my hard drive for months, unfinished. I’m beginning to think I should expand it from novella length (currently it’s about 20,000 words) into a full novel, but I’ll have to think about it; not sure how it would fit into the rest of the series if I did.
Endangered Species cover
The last of the original Dirk Beretta stories is now available on Amazon. The first of the new stories, and the fourth in the series as a whole, is about 3/4 done and up to novella length this time.
A hundred light-year quarantine zone protects the primitive jungle tribes of the Platypus Planet from unauthorized interference. But not from BastadoCorp acquiring mining rights through bribery and fraud.
When Dirk Beretta’s girlfriend tells him to get off the couch and look for a job, he finds the perfect opportunity, thousands of light years from her, with free guns and beer, as security chief for the mines.
But no-one told him what happened to the previous security chief, or that the Platypoids would rather die fighting than see their land defiled.
Should he follow his new boss’ orders, and nuke the jungle until it glows… or save the furry native girl with the leather bikini, and risk a messy death in Bastado’s grinding machines?
A 12,000 word science fiction novelette.
Death To Democracy cover
No, not a call to arms, but the second of the Dirk Beretta short stories. I’ve revised it to fix a few things that bugged me, and make it more Createspace-compatible, and released it today on Amazon. I’ll probably make it free when I re-release the third story in the series.
After Dirk Beretta saves the Winterbotham Nachos heiress from a fate worse than death in the Space Weasel kibble factories, a romantic cruise around the galaxy with her looks like a well-earned rest.
But Royalist revolutionaries on the Planet Of The Squid have other ideas. When they hatch a plan to replace the democratic government with moronic monarchy, Dirk Beretta faces a difficult choice: can he kill his new drinking buddy to save democracy?
Space Weasels cover
First of the revamped Dirk Beretta stories should be out on Amazon shortly. I’ve changed a few things that always bugged me, and added a completely new blurb and cover which better represent the story. I should be uploading the other two before Christmas, and hopefully the fourth story will be out in January.
Currently free until the end of Monday, so grab it while you can.
Vicious, congenitally bureaucratic, and proud of their resplendent flame-red uniforms which give them a five minute life expectancy in combat, the Flaming Space Weasels wiped out most of Dirk Beretta’s fellow space marines at the battle of Din Bin Foo… then served them for lunch with a nice Merlot.
In the aftermath, Dirk quits his job as poster boy for the Space Marines, to drown his sorrow in cheap booze and cheaper women. But when a gang of pirate Weasels come hunting fresh meat for the kibble factories, his brand of pig-headed determination and excessive violence may offer the chance for redemption… and revenge.
A 7,000 word science fiction short story.
I was going to write the third short story in the Area 52 universe, but I think now I’m going to just reissue them reformatted to match the rest, and expand those two into a novel.
Edit: actually, reformatting ended up with revising too, but there’s not much difference between the first and second editions of the first story. Mostly tweaks around the edges and formatting issues.
As Chekhov said: If you hang a scythe in the barn in act one, it should stab something through the head in act two.
Well into the second act now in NaNoWriMo at around 33,000 words. I’m busy splitting the characters up, one is dead, one is badly wounded, several are mildly so, and the werewolf fetishist makeup girl has got some action.
Horror Movie cover
I’m busy writing the new version of Horror Movie for NaNoWriMo. I think I’m going to rewrite the original later, and release it as Horror Movie 2: The Sequel; I like the characters too much to abandon them, but it’s more of a comedy than a bloody, rip-your-throat-out horror.
Cover still needs some work, too.
I finally watched this old British fake documentary from the 1970s, telling a story of the coming global catastrophe which had lead governments to build a base on Mars to sustain some members of the human race. It’s been a stable of wacky conspiracy theories for years, even though it was admitted as fake at the time.
I don’t remember seeing it on TV when first shown, it was probably too late in the evening for my parents to let me stay up to see it. I can see how the ‘low information’ viewers could well have been fooled. It looks like a real documentary of that era, and goes to some lengths to make the footage look real, but the use of actors rather spoiled it for me; I’m sure I’ve seen the lady in the first scene in other shows, and Shane Rimmer from Thunderbirds and other Gerry Anderson shows plays a major part as an Apollo astronaut who never existed. At least, in this one, he got Miss Norwich as his buxom blonde wife.
Not something I’d pay a lot of money for, but an interesting historical artefact for a few bucks from Amazon.
I realized the other day that zombies are really a metaphor for Marxists; they come into your world, eat your friends’ brains, and turn them into mindless drones who want nothing more than to make you one of them for their own greedy ends.
Starts tomorrow. I’m going to write a new version of Horror Movie, and see if I can release it before Christmas. The original version will probably become Horror Movie 2: The Sequel.
Probably had about eighty kids at our door so far… slowed down a lot in the last half hour, the rain is probably putting them off!
In the meantime, I’m watching old Hammer horror movies.
New, Improved Cover
The One That Got Away is back in its new, improved version. It’s about 800 words longer, with a new cover and blurb, and a Createspace version.
The e-book will be free on Friday and over the weekend, for Halloween.
1. Sold more than 50 books on Amazon.
2. Sold more than 25 books on Amazon in a single day.
3. Sold more than 50 copies of one book on Amazon.
4. Broke the 10,000 ranking on a single book (8.161 was the highest I saw, but Author Central claims it hit 7,437).
Fade To Grey at 8,161.
5. Broke the 500 ranking for science fiction authors (377 was the highest I saw).
6. Hit three subcategory top 100 lists simultaneously.
#17 in First Contact
7. Probably made more than $100, but I’ll have to wait until the sales numbers come in.
I need to write more :). Now I’m owed more than $100, I also need to get an IRS tax ID sorted out so I can actually have them pay me.
In honour of these breakthroughs, Petrina is free again this weekend.