Parsec Awards Finalist

There may be a good possibility you are new to this blog this week. If you are — I hope you had fun in New Orleans! I hope to see you again in Savannah!

(If you are curious as to what I mean by that, stay tuned. I have another blogpost in the works about that.)

Being new to the blog, I’d like to bring you up to speed on some good news from the podcasting front, made official on receiving this badge:

If you are not enjoying podcasts because this is the first time you have heard of them, a podcast is some sort of online media (usually audio or video, but really any kind of file) automatically delivered using iTunesJuiceBloglines or some kind of app that can subscribe to its feed. It sounds complicated, but trust me — it isn’t.

The 2012 Parsec Awards, now in their seventh year, honors podcasts featuring Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, celebrating the best in speculative fiction. I’ve not been up for a Parsec since 2008 when Billibub Baddings and The Case of the Singing Sword won that year for Best Audio Drama (Long Form).

This year, however, I’m apparently making up for lost time…

Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form)

Best Speculative Fiction Magazine or Anthology Podcast

Best Podcast about Speculative Fiction Content Creation

What makes this year’s Parsecs so special for me is that this year marks the first time Pip and I are appearing as producers, not just podcasters. Tales from the Archives also appears twice in the Best Short Story (Large Cast) category, and I don’t know who is more excited — Starla, Paul, or Pip and myself. We are so proud of the talented authors appearing in the Tales from the Archives (all of them — even the ones that weren’t nominated), but the Ministry’s presence at this year’s Parsecs only validates what we already knew. Thank you, everyone!

And to everyone in the Final Round, congratulations. To make the finals in the Parsecs is practically standing in the Winners’ Circle as far as I am concerned, and it’s a nice place to be. I wish you all the best of luck!

Onward to Dragon*Con…

Being Kenneth Branagh: 11 Tips on Filming a Book Trailer (Part One)

With The Avengers topping the box office for the month of May, it’s easy to forget the long road paved for Joss Whedon. As I mentioned in a previous blog, this title was a real gamble for Marvel Studios as there has never been a film hyped for four years, using other films to — more or less — ride shotgun for each other, one film feeding into another to build up to this superhero epic. So with S.H.I.E.L.D. bringing it hard to the movies, it can be easy to overlook some of the previous milestones we’ve enjoyed.

If there is one guy I don’t want forgotten in this journey (apart from Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and the amazing storytellers that made all this awesome possible), it’s this guy…

Kenneth Branagh has been my hero for decades in many respects. He made Shakespeare cool. He was in his twenties an accomplished stage actor, but with films like Henry V, Hamlet, and Dead Again, he established himself as an accomplished screen actor as well. While British media found the project beneath him, Branagh made his own gamble, stepped up, and directed one of The Avengers’ cornerstone pieces — Thor. This film consequentially gave those critical haters back in Old Blighty 449.3 million reasons to suck it.

I’ll go on and say it: I have an extremely unhealthy (borderline obsessive) man crush on Kenneth Branagh. (Author Chuck Wendig coming in at a close second.) And right now, I’m getting a glimpse at what it’s like to be him.

As creepy-scary-stalker-boy as this sounds, track with me… Continue reading

Going for Goodreads Gold…well, okay, how about Silver?

There’s a real two-edged sword when it comes to honors and awards. I remember reading about the “importance of awards” when reading titles about getting published, grabbing an agent’s attention, and even marketing a book once it is out there. Across the board: Awards and distinctions help sell books. At least that is what the pros I was reading were telling me.

For a while, though, I’ve been giving awards a sideways glance. yeah, they’re nice and all; but did The Case of the Singing Sword go gangbusters when it won a Parsec? No, not really. Picked up a few more listeners, sure, but it didn’t really give Billi a boost in print sales. So, yeah, awards — nice, and it was very cool going home with that trophy…but I can write without them.

Then Pip and I won the Airship Award for Best Steampunk Literature of 2011. Regardless of what it did for Phoenix Rising sales, I won’t lie to you — it felt good. Really good. I mean, coming-in-from-playing-in-the-snow-and-having-Cream-of-Tomato-soup-with-a-bagutte-side good.

Then, two days before heading out west to Blogworld and ComiKaze Expo, we received word from Goodreads that Phoenix Rising had been short listed for Best Science Fiction of 2011.

At first I was just happy with the nod, but then I took a closer look at the company we were keeping: Continue reading