Podthingy! Episodes 1-5

Me and the Boys always play nice

Me and the Boys always play nice

I haven’t had much free time lately and part of the reason why is a new project I’ve been working on called Podthingy with John Mulhall, author of Geddy’s Moon; Blayne Alexander, lead singer of Idiot Stare; and Hayden Lawrence, NerdBFF and Geek Outlaw. Basically, we sit around and drink and talk about awesome nerdy stuff. Here are episodes 1-5. Click the title to listen and be sure to “like” us on facebook!

Episode 1: “That’s What She Said”

Podthingy is where the geeks meet over drinks to discuss the latest in pop culture. This week’s episode features: WonderCon, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Bryan Singer and the future of X-Men, Jager Bombs, and more!

Episode 2: “Do Not Fact Check This Podcast”

Podthingy is where the geeks meet over drinks to discuss the latest in pop culture. This week’s episode features: Batman vs Superman, Zack Snyder, Transcendence, Sippy Bras, and more!

Episode 3: “Not His Exact Words”

Podthingy is where the geeks meet over drinks to discuss the latest in pop culture. This week’s episode features: Fantastic Four, Gravity, Bird Man, unnecessary sequels (Goonies 2, Ghostbusters 3, etc), remakes vs reboots, and baby sharks.

Episode 4: “Licking the Tip”

Podthingy is where the geek meet over drinks to discuss the latest in nerd culture. This week’s episode features: things nerds hate about nerds, The Hobbit movies, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, books vs movies, and casual geeks.

Episode 5: “Same Sad Batman Time…”

Podthingy is where the geeks meet over drinks to discuss the latest in nerd culture. This week’s episode features: a group review of X-Men-Days of Future Past, Godzilla 2014, the title of the newest Superman movie, Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, sequels that ignore previous movies, and picklebacks

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Just a heads up that Geek Outlaw and I will have a booth at Long Beach Comic Expo this weekend so come visit us at Booth 4000!

Like our intro and outro music? Want to hear more? Blayne’s band Idiot Stare is participating in a “pay what you want” promo. Download the album for free or for what you feel you should pay here: http://idiotstare.bandcamp.com/ (FYI, the song used on Podthingy is “Future Popped”)

Looking for a new book to read? Enjoy horror? Check out John’s book Geddy’s Moon (I’ve read it and it’s amazing)

 

2014 Writers and Illustrators of the Future Awards

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Hanging out on the red carpet – is it weird to see Geek Outlaw out of uniform?

First let’s address the giant oliphant in the room. Yes, this is called the L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future Awards. Yes, this made me very nervous when I first got the invitation to cover it. If you are unaware, L. Ron Hubbard was the founder of the Church of Scientology, a church that has seen its share of controversy. Then again, I’m half Catholic (in theory, not in practice), so who am I to talk about religious controversy? I was quick to ask if the Awards had anything to do with the Church and was given a quick, but polite response that L. Ron Hubbard was also a prolific science fiction writer and the Awards had nothing to do with Scientology. I did a little research and it seemed that they do try and keep the two quite separate. After talking it over with my NerdBFF, Geek Outlaw, our curiosity got the better of us and we decided to go and see what it was all about for ourselves. I will say that there was no indication that it was a Scientology event aside from that it was an L. Ron Hubbard love fest. A large portrait of him hung from the stage the entire time except during the music and dance performances, there was a rather lengthy video montage honoring him, and his name was mentioned every few minutes, at minimum.

Hanging out before the awards

Hanging out before the awards

Now, that being said, if there is one thing that I took away from the Writers and Illustrators of the Future Awards, it’s that it was a very positive experience and a very big deal for the winners. They were obviously well taken care of by Author Services and enormously grateful for the week of classes and activities that were organized for them, including workshops with talented and established authors and artists, trips to museums, etc. They also receive cash prizes that are much higher than other contests, are given opportunities that they wouldn’t otherwise have, and many of them go on to become highly successful authors and illustrators in their own right. Regardless of whether or not there is any religious affiliation, I think that there is a place for this competition.

Some of the winners

Some of the winners on the red carpet

For me personally, the highlight of the evening was having the opportunity to chat with the winners and presenters on the red carpet beforehand. The winners were nervous and excited, the presenters approachable and proud of the honorees. Geek Outlaw and I had the pleasure of interviewing the evening’s keynote speaker Astronaut Leland Melvin:

Astronaut Leland Melvin

Astronaut Leland Melvin

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BL9_7szTMLE] – June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Challenger Astronaut Dick Scobee:

June Scobee Rogers

June Scobee Rodgers

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FDJwC1h5UA] – Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Orson Scott Card, author of the Ender’s Game series of sci-fi novels:

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOJqORDz3Lg] – Robert J. Sawyer, author of Flash Forward:

Robert J. Sawyer

Robert J. Sawyer

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRST4raF_SQ] – And Kevin J. Anderson, author of Dune and X-Files fiction:

Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFlrp3tRRGU] – The winners were announced alternating between the writers and the illustrators who created the original artwork for that particular story. The winners were from every conceivable walk of life. From high school teachers to high school students, computer scientists to real estate agents, Veterinarians to former military. And from every corner of the planet including South Korea, Jamaica, Canada, Finland, East Siberia, England, Portugal, Germany, Australia and, of course, all over the United States. Some of the awards were interspersed with circus performers, Indian dancers, BMX cyclists and musical performers. DSC01960 (Large) The grand prize is the Golden Pen Award and the Golden Brush Award. These two gentlemen received $5000 and had previously delivered two of the most emotional speeches of the night. Both were enormously grateful and humbled by the fact that they had won. Golden Pen Award: Memories Bleed Beneath the Mask by Randy Henderson DSC02029 (Large) Golden Brush Award: Trevor Smith DSC02024 (Large) The evening wrapped up with a reception and a chance to have our copies of the Anthology signed by all of the winners. I tried to get as many signatures as I could but the crowds because ridiculous and I reluctantly gave up since I had to drive back to San Diego that night. There and back in one day was a doozy, let me tell you! We did get a chance to hang out with writer Tim Powers for a bit before we left. His 1988 novel On Stranger Tides was optioned for Disney’s fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film. DSC02034 (Large) All in all it was a delightful evening and anything that helps writers get their foot in the door is a good thing.