Awesome Pictures: William Tecumseh Sherman

William Tecumseh Sherman

What is it:

Major General William Tecumseh Sherman, taken in May of 1865 by Mathew Brady.

Why is it Awesome?

First of all, just look at him. Look at that face. Look at those eyes.

He might be famous as the first modern general, the man who burned his way across the South waging what he called ‘hard war’ to bring the Confederacy to its knees, but that is not the face of a victor. That’s the face of a man who has stared into the abyss until the abyss stared back.

Continue reading “Awesome Pictures: William Tecumseh Sherman”


The Problem with Science Fiction on Television

Science_Fiction_003I was talking to my father the other day, and he mentioned a new television show that I should check out: Defying Gravity. I had heard something about ABC’s new drama vaguely a few months back. Someone had called it, ‘Grey’s Anatomy in Space,’ which failed to spark my immediate interest.

I told my father that, and he was the first to admit it was a little soapy in places, but he pointed out –quite correctly, too– that almost all scripted dramas are, and always have been. There’s a lot to recommend Defying Gravity, he said. It’s fairly realistic hard science fiction set in the not too distant future. It takes its premise seriously. The special effects are well done without getting in the way of the storytelling. It has Ron Livingston. Plus, he said, it was already through its first season.

That was a real selling point for me. I like to have a few episodes available when I get into a new series. I watched the first three episodes yesterday and decided I really liked the show. As I often do when a television program or a movie catches my fancy I went to Wikipedia and the Internet Movie Database to find out more about it, and that’s when I learned that the show has already been cancelled.

Ah, televised Science Fiction. How I love you. How I loathe what networks do to you.
Continue reading “The Problem with Science Fiction on Television”

Notable Quotes: On reading, writing, editing, and the publishing industry

booksThis is the first of another new category: Notable Quotes. Sometimes a turn of phrase really catches my fancy, and if I like it enough I write it down. Here’s a list of quotes I’ve found over the years that deal with reading, writing, editing, and the publishing industry.

“A classic is a book everyone wants to have read but no one wants to read.”

–Mark Twain

Continue reading “Notable Quotes: On reading, writing, editing, and the publishing industry”

Best of the Web: The Beatles on Ukulele

From time to time I stumble across something on the internet that I find remarkable. Sometimes it’s a one-off article, and sometimes it’s a whole website. I’ve decided to creat a ‘Best of the Web’ category on this blog to give honourable mentions to the content I find online that blows me away, and I want to start off with

274-001~The-Beatles-PostersThis is a website with a simple goal: Starting from Obama’s inauguration on Jan 20, 2009 and going until the London Olympics opening ceremonies in 2012 this blog will publish each week a ukulele cover of a Beatles song. Every single Beatles song will be covered, in genres ranging from Metal to Country and everything in between, but always including a ukulele. Each cover also includes an essay on the song in question, as well as a great bio on the artist or band. So far I’ve been blown away, and I will review the covers from time to time on this blog, too. In the meantime, please visit their site. You can stream or download everything they’ve done so far. Enjoy!

Book Review: Sharon Kay Penman’s Henry II Trilogy


Sharon Kay Penman has recently cemented her place in my pantheon of favourite authors. I love historical fiction, and she is one of the shining lights of the genre today. Her specialty is the Middle Ages of Great Britain and France, and her attention to detail in that time period is every bit as impressive as Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series. She write hard historical fiction: The history always comes first, and the fiction is sprinkled in just enough to make the real events and people of that time period into a novel.

Continue reading “Book Review: Sharon Kay Penman’s Henry II Trilogy”

The least likely ending to a party, ever.

I asked a few friends what my first story should be, and this one won the straw poll. I cannot say that this actually happened, but I suspect strongly it did. For a couple of summers I worked in a factory that cooked steel, and I heard this from a co-worker of mine who rarely spoke at great length, and never demonstrated having enough imagination to come up with this out of the blue. I’m sure I’m embroidering the tale some, but that is the prerogative of a storyteller. Wherever it came from, it’s my story now, and I’ll tell it to you, just as I would across a table, over a beer, in the back of my local watering hole.

This is the story of a party, a great party, and that party’s ending makes it one for the ages; a story worthy of being the first posted on this blog.
Continue reading “The least likely ending to a party, ever.”