Just a few days ago I got an email from my eBook distributor - Draft2Digital - telling me that the book sellathon (apparently that’s not a word) called Christmas is approaching, and that if I want my latest book to be part of that particular maelstrom definitely a word, I would have to upload the text file and cover by 11th December. They are predicting that the flurry of pre-Christmas releases and the special holiday hours at online eBook stores will result in some delays.
I wasn’t super confident about the Runaways, probably for no better reason than because the Netflix superhero shows have been misfiring recently, including Iron Fist and The Defenders, which I enjoyed but which could both have been better. And a more direct rival, The Gifted, was also a little underwhelming. “What chance have HULU, of all people, got of getting this right, where others have failed?” I thought. There was never any question of my doubts actually preventing me from watching it though.
This post is the latest installment in my prog slog, which is where you read back issues of a comic book called 2000 AD. Often people start their prog slog with the first issue of 2000 AD, but that was not my experience of the comic. I’m starting my slog with the lesser-known and much more short-lived comic book called Starlord, which after a run of 22 comics was merged with 2000 AD at issue 86.
Happy Death Day is a slasher movie, but it’s not really a slasher movie. It is mostly a Groundhog Day Loop movie. A Groundhog Day Loop is where the main character is doomed to repeat a period of time over and over until something is corrected. This trope is named after the film Groundhog Day, which wasn’t the first to do this, but is the best known. It is this time loop element that makes this movie a slice of sci-fi rather than a horror movie, for the purposes of this review at least.
I have begun a prog slog, which is where some crazy person - in this case me - reads a swath of a comic book called 2000 AD. Often people start their prog slog at issue 1 of 2000 AD, but that was not my experience of the comic, so that is not how my prog slog is going to work. I’m starting my slog with the lesser-known and much more short-lived comic book called Starlord, which after a run of 22 comics was merged with the much better known 2000 AD at issue 86.
I have been hammering away at the keyboard for months, gradually grinding out Drifter Prime, the latest installment in my epic sci-fi series of novels. Just to give an idea of where I am, here are a few words that I have written today. This is a scene where one of the main characters, Altia, faces off with one of the antagonists, Admiral Haygon, with whom she has some history. This is a non-violent confrontation from just after half way through the book.
This is the twelfth post I’ve written about rereading an old comic book from my youth. This whole thing was prompted by scans of the entire run of the comic turning up on a website called Starlordcomic.com, allowing me to experience them again years later. It is actually a pretty frightening span of years later, as this issue of Starlord came out way back on the 29 July 78, about 40 years ago.
Things have been busy in the world of self-publishing sci-fi books, one huge book aggregator is going out of business, while another has just won the coveted rights to send books to the big kahuna: Amazon. So why is this big news, and what is an aggregator anyway? Indie authors who want to sell books have to do it through companies like Amazon. They can upload ebooks to these online ebook retailers directly, but that is a lot of hard work, battling through unfriendly interfaces.
Back in 1978, when I was a kid, there was a sci-fi comic book called Starlord, and it was wonderful. Now scans of just about every page of this comic book are available to read on the Internet, at Starlordcomic.com, so I can read them all over again. That’s exactly what I’m doing, and I’m getting a twin jolt of fun, with sci-fi thrills combined with warm and fuzzy nostalgia. I’m not the only one doing such a delve into childhood nostalgia, it turns out.
In the late 70s, giant robots started to appear in the UK, or at least toys and model kits depicting them did. I loved them, though times were tough in the grim north of the UK in those years, so I couldn’t afford to buy many. A plastic robot kit was a rare treat, for a birthday or Christmas. I didn’t know it, but the giant robots I loved had quite a history, even by the late 70s, and they have gone on to become an even more significant part of popular culture since.