Gaming for Sanity (and a Laugh or Two)

Right now, checking Facebook and Twitter is truly a labor of love for my friends. I want to stay in touch with everybody, but the stuff coming through my feed is a lot to take in.

You probably heard the news but there’s a lot of shenanigans happening on Capitol Hill right now. And I mean serious shenanigans. I mean the kind of where the spoiled-brat kids aren’t just pouting on the playground over not getting their way, but the spoiled-brat kids are changing the rules of the playground games so everybody can be just as miserable as they are. It’s gotten so bad that even the upcoming season of The Deadliest Catch is being affected by it.

And it’s affecting craft breweries, so now, it’s personal.

But that’s not what this blogpost is about. Continue reading

Two Minutes of Purest Awesome with Tom Hiddleston

I keep thinking that actor Tom Hiddleston will hit a peak. You know? It seems as if he just kicked off on the right foot when he appeared opposite Kenneth Branagh in Wallander, charmed geeks everywhere when he posed for a candid shot with a young Avenger, and then made a lasting impression as Loki at this year’s ComicCon in San Diego. I honestly thought that Tom Hiddleston could not get more awesome.

How I underestimated the actor behind the Trickster God and young Prince Hal…

Tom — please don’t ever change.

Dragon*Con 2012: Booksignings, Parsecs, and Unabashed Geekgasms

Yep. It’s here. Dragon*Con.

Tomorrow morning, Pip and I hit the Interstate system of the Mid-Atlantic, heading to the grand event where tens of thousands of geeks of movies, television, books, costuming, and just about anything else you can think of descend on the unsuspecting city of Atlanta. We’re facing our busiest Dragon*Con ever (see what happens when you go a few years without hitting an event like this — they make you work!), and the breakdown is here:

Thursday

  • We check in. We see whatever we can. We party a bit with Alex White.

Friday

  • The Retro-Cast: Steampunk Podcasting & More – 8:30pm in Westin Int’l BC (Main Room)

Saturday

Sunday

  • Steampunk Author Roundtable (Part 1) – Sunday 1oam in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)
  • Book Signing, Larry Smith Books, Sunday 12:00-1:00 in Marriott Booth 309
  • Book Signing, The Missing Volume, Sunday 1:30-2:30 in Marriott Booth 614

Monday

  • Social Steam: Steampunk, Social Media, and Making It Work – Monday 10am in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)
  • Steampunk 101 — Monday, 11:30 a.m. at Hyatt Embassy D-F
  • How Do You Take Your Steampunk — Light or Dark? – Monday 1pm in Westin Int’l A (Roundtable Room)

Once more unto the breach, dear friends.

Let’s see exactly what kind of trouble the two of us can get into this weekend. Pictures to come…

Skylanders: Where Gamer Girls (and Their Characters) Kick Butt Too!

Roughly six weeks ago, as you might have heard on a recent episode of The Shared Desk, a friend of ours — Lisa-Anne Moore — introduced me, Pip, and Sonic Boom to the new Activision game Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures. Sonic Boom was intrigued by the concept of this game, that concept being that at any point you can swap out characters within a game, all dependent on what you need at that moment. The Boom perked up, however, when she heard about a character named “Sonic Boom.”

Imagine her elation when she found the character of Sonic Boom was a girl.

From the Skylanders Portal Masters’ website, here’s Sonic Boom’s story: Continue reading

A Steampunk Tweetup in Texas!

With only a few days remaining until FenCon, Pip and I are planning furiously for what is promising to be a really fun weekend of panels, podcasting, and steampunk. We owe a special thanks to Matt Bowerman for being our location scout for our own “kickoff celebration.” If you’re in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area on this Friday at 8 p.m., we are hosting a Texas tweetup — steampunk style — at Spring Creek BBQ.

For non-FenCon attendees, it a chance to hang. For FenCon attendees, the restaurant is just five blocks north of the hotel. Pip has made an event page live on Facebook (please RSVP there), but here are a few extra details…

TIME: Friday, September 23, 8:00 p.m.
ADDRESS: 14941 Midway Road, Addison TX
MENU AND INFO: www.springcreekbarbeque.com

We are also planning to wear our steampunk gear for the tweetup! Ladies, strap into your favorite corsets. Gents, wear your best bowlers (or, if you’re doing the Wild, Weird West, your sharpest ten gallon hat)! It’s time to gear up, chow down, and jump into a good time in Texas! Pip and I hope to see you there!

Counting down to one wild weekend ahead…

Yes, it has been a little quiet on my blog…but that doesn’t mean I’ve been standing still.

The 2011 Steampunk World's Fair

Our first steampunk exposition, The Steampunk World’s Fair in Somerset, New Jersey, is happening this week; and they are making us feel welcome! The guest list is mind-blowing, and yet we — the steampunk rookies — make their Lovecraftian promotional poster.

I think this is a sign of a FUN weekend ahead!

Both Pip and I will be there as part of “Ministry MAY-hem” and there are more details about the weekend to be found at the Ministry website. Track the weekend on Twitter by following the #SPWF hashtag.

We hope to see you this weekend as we get our steampunk funk on!

Kia Ora from the Future!

Hi, everyone!

It’s been a week and what a week it has been. Sonic Boom, fresh off her first-ever plane ride, walked the now-working set of Hobbiton, settled in Rotorua for the night, got up close and personal with Ella the Lion Cub at the Paradise Valley Reserve, and then worked the Poi Dancing as the youngest in attendance at Te Puia. Safe to say, we’re having a blast! There will be YouTube videos coming.

This week, we’re looking ahead to WorldCon 68, also known as AussieCon 4. Pip Ballantine, Sonic Boom, and I arrive in Melbourne, Australia (Yes, her second country in two weeks. Pretty impressive for a six year old!) and alongside familiar friends John Cmar, Laura Burns, Mur Laffery, and Gail Carriger, we’ll be taking part in good geekery from the Southern Hemisphere. This is my first WorldCon, and the Australians have handed me a rather robust schedule: Continue reading

GUEST BLOGPOST: In Which a Delivishly Clever Archeologist Writes with a Most Scandalous Flair!

Hey, everyone! You may all think I’m suffering some sort of steampunk kick; but as you heard in my previous podcast, it is the focus of my attentions. My current work-in-progress now circulating the market is a steampunk romp entitled Books & Braun: Volume One — Phoenix Rising, co-written with Philippa Ballantine. I have always been fascinated with this sub-genre ever since hearing about it from two of the most creative people I know, J.R. Blackwell and Jared Axelrod.

And it was another creative type, the incredibly-witty, and delightfully-sultry Gail Carriger who — in a ways and means of promoting her paranormal steampunk romance, Soulless — made the offer to write guest blogpost.

Gail is my first. You always remember your first…

So I’m bumming about the internet, as you do, and Tee tweets me…

“Wanna guest blog?” says he.

“Delighted,” says I. “Got a topic?”

“What makes Steampunk so sexy?” says he. Continue reading

Feeling the Love from across the pond!

In this picture are two people that I hold very dear in my life. One of them is my daughter. I will let you try and figure which one of them is her…

martyn_kiddo

The other “bloke” is Martyn Casserly, a journalist, an accomplished musician, and now he is an award-nominated podcaster with his one-minute Movie Mantras podcast. (Martyn is also a dad and a good mate to boot…although his opinions concerning the new Craig-Bond films and recent Doctor Who are completely wrong, but I digress…) With the many endeavors he had going, Martyn approached me this Spring to talk about an article he was penning on podcast authors. He was optimistic that Wired Magazine (UK) would pick up the column. So I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

This morning, I checked my Twitter stream and found this waiting for me:

My article about Podcast Authors is up on Wired ! @scottsigler, @sethharwood, @jchutchins, @teemonster all appear. http://bit.ly/Pv53w

Now live on the site, Wired Magagine (UK) picked up  “Novels by Podcast” where Martyn discusses how we authors are giving away our hard work in audio format for free. He also goes into the genesis of the podcast novel and why we do what we do.

“Giving away your stories isn’t a risk… it’s a competitive advantage,” explains Scott Sigler. “If a reader who’s never heard of me has $25 to spend and they’re looking at my book next to a Stephen King book, who are they going to choose? They take King. He’s a proven storyteller. But if King is $25 and my story is free they may try me out first. Why not? It’s no risk to them. If they like me, they buy me. If they don’t they buy King. Whatever happens the customer gets what the customer wants.”

It is a tight article covering successes and milestones; and while many who follow us on Twitter, on blogs, and through podcasts, may consider what we do “old hat” after four years, podcasting — and more importantly, podcasting fiction — is still a brand-spanking new concept to the mainstream market. Articles like Martyn’s and venues like Wired are getting the word out about what we are doing. That’s what is important here: getting people to listen.

Show Martyn appreciation by blogging about this article (and yep, I got it covered from the business perspective over at Imagine That!), syndicating his link in your feeds, dropping him comments on the article’s page, and talking it up on your podcasts. Let Wired know we’re paying attention and appreciate their support, and let Martyn know both on Twitter and on Wired that his words ring true.

Thanks, Martyn. Well done!