Looks Like I Need a Book Trailer

Lately I’ve been trying to get more organized in coming up with a gameplan for more properly marketing Maldene, and I’ve naturally concluded that it comes down to the first step being a good book trailer. Well, as you might guess, I’m pretty good with writing the words and imagining what imagery would be required, but graphic art is not my thing. I wrote up a script, found a one-minute piece of music that’s perfect, but… I can’t draw, nor can I really afford to shell out any money for some artwork to insert into the video.

Which brings me to my request. If there is anyone out there who wouldn’t mind doing some graphics for a book trailer for little more than some exposure or perhaps a promise and a prayer, or anyone who has an idea or two or knows someone who knows someone, then by all means contact me. Anywhere you see this post echoed just make reply, or go to the original posting at www.maldene.com and say something in the comments section to this post.

Thank-you ahead of time.

Reviewing Assassin’s Creed

Never played any of the games this movie is based on, so lowly me I actually have to look at this thing purely from the poiont of view of a movie goer. Okay then, here goes.

Basically, this film is about a guy who gets kidnapped just when he’s being put to death so he can play in a multi-billion dollar video game machine to revive his inner-assassin. In that same facility are a bunch of other people who have been in the same big game machine and already have their inner assassins revived. It all has to do with a rather weak wrap-around plot… but being as how said plot ends up being rather inconsequential, I’ll just be moving on. Anyway, guarding this facilities full of assassins that are being kept prisoner against their wills are a bunch of keystone cops armed with nightsticks; not so much as a taser amongst them. Now, you would think that since they are guarding a bunch of potentially threatning prisoners that the’d be far better armed, but it gets even worse, becauser you see they have a bunch of ancient assassin’s weapons on display in glass cases. This is apparently to stimulate those inner assassin memories, which I suppose is why they’re actually within reach of said assassins.

You can see where this is going, can you?

Our “hero” finishes playing with the big video game, then he and his cohorts grab hold of their ancient “useless” weapons- you know, swords, knives, explosive stuff- make short work of the keystone cops, then escape to retrieve the Apple of Eden (that’s the weak wrap-around plot) from the big bad Templars (who have somehow been responsible for the Spanish Inquisition, while the cult of assassins apparently originated from the Muslims conquoring Spain and are somehow the good guys espousing freedom- History lesson: The Pope appointed the Inquisition to take care of the rampant tide of blasphemers, while the Templars had a falling out with Rome and were actually ambushed by Vatican-backed forces though I don’t know in which year). Oh, we never actually see the Apple do anything more than act like a nightlight- the assassins get it, escape, then end of movie.

Now, the whole plot revolved around some ancient assassin trying to keep the Apple away from the Templars, so he tries to hide it by giving it to someone about to cross the Atlantic Ocean (it’s 1492, so you can probably guess which sailor). Now, me, if this was something I wanted absolutely no person on the planet to have, I’d just wrap a big heavy boulder around it and drop it somewhere around the middle of the Atlantic and be done with it. Of course, we’d have no movie then, which brings up the main problem with this flick: everything is forced. Nothing about this plot flows as a natural result of something. They HAVE to make the guards inept and leave edged toys around to be grabbed, then HAVE to have a weak wrap-around plot, they HAVE to force every single bit of this thing to make it go anywhere.

So, what’s good? Well… the fight sequenceas are good, but then again you could probably just break out a copy of one of the Assassin’s Creed games without the need of the multi-billion dollar game machien they used on the guy in this movie.

RIP Carrie Fisher

I don’t do obits or any of that entertainment magazine type stuff, but my God there are just some things that just call you to say something about it and I might as well do it here. The year 2016 has called several big names to their eternal rest, but it seems the year was not about to bow out without taking away one more really BIG one.
On a recent plane trip, at the age of 60 actress Carrie Fisher suffered a heart attack that proved ultimately fatal. Now for many years I’d heard rumors of possible drug and alcohol problems on her part, and looking at her in the Force Awakens one can easilty believe her to be at least ten years older than her actual age would warrant. For myself, I’d hoped I was wrong and that my eyes were playing tricks on me, but it seems that whatever she did to abuse her body caught up with her many years too soon. Maybe this could be a lesson to others to take better care of themselves, but that’s another subject.
She was one of the legends of Star Wars, an ingrained part of our modern age and pop culture, one of those people that we thought we’d still have for many years yet to come. Everyone remembers the defiant edge she gave to Princess Leia Organa, we all smile every time we think of that slave-girl outfit (and the ever-burning question of the time, did she have any underwear beneath it), and any convention she showed up at the house would be packed.
I leave it to the pros to review her career and life; I’m just here to mourn her passing. Carrie Fisher is one with the Force now, and may we ever remember its light that we saw shining through her.

Reviewing Passengers

Deep space passengr liner/colony ship is going along and someone wakes up a few decades too early: looked lik a good setup in th commercials, right?
Okay, first, what’s okay: Wll, it has emotional content and lots of neato looking sciency tech stuff.
Now for what’s wrong: Pretty much all the rest, but I’ll make a list.
First off, while it does have an asteroid deflection shield- that works only from th front- while going through an amazing density of space rocks in interstellar space- and while it has a capable auto pilot- said autopilot seems unable to make a simple cours correction when a really big asteroid is on a direct collission course. But, since that invoplved the set-up as to how th ship gts damaged in the first place, we’ll move on…
Next, this is probably the single worst design ship in all of space. No backup systems, no contingency for waking up the crew to fix something when it goes wrong, and once they’re awake, no means of putting them back to sleep again… save with the only autodoc unit on the entire ship.
Oh yes, ONE autodoc for 5000 people?! That must be just to have the artificial “only one of us can get back to sleep again” choice. Anyone thought of squeezing in two people to the same unit?
The company behind this colony ship has apparently been doing this before, for the last few hundred years, so it begs the question: 400 years of colonizing planets and nobody’s been able to come up with a better star drive in all that time?
There are a lot of flaws in this, big logic defying ones who’s only purpose seems mandated by a hamstrung plot put out by one of limited imagination and intellectual capacity. A downs-syndrome Ferengi could have strung together a better plot.
I could probably go on, because th more i think back to the film the more I can find wrong with it, but I’ve wasted enough time on it for one day.

Rogue One Review

Okay, so I saw Rogue One, and I must say i really liked it- both for the story, effects, and the miracle they pulled of bringing dead actors back to life. Through a combintation of doubles, computer wizardry, old vocal tracks, and a remarkable attention to detail, you have Peter Cushing as the old Grand Moff, all the old familiar faces gathered round the rebellion table, and even an unexpected cameo near the early part of the movie.

Fiorst the cameo: remember the classic cantina scene and the pair that gave Luke trouble before Old Ben took off both of one guy’s arms? Well, this being a short time before the first film- one of the characters literally bumps into them somewhat briefly. Love it!

The rest… well, it makes for a perfect interface between the original Star wars and the Clone Wars cartoom series. Yes, you heard me right, because they took one little bit from from them, specifically concerning the Khyber crystals found in light sabers, and used them in a way that only adds to the mythology and explains how the Death Star is so powerful.

This would be the first Star Wars pic whose music is not done by John Williams, but then considering how many SW projects Disney has in mind, even the Legend himself can do only so much. it’s also the first with no opening scrawl to explain things, but then this is not in the mainline sequence, and who on this planet doesn’t know what this is leading up to?

The story is exactly what it needs to be, with the stakes, all-powerful Empire forces, and even a bit of Vader using his light saber to deflect blaster bolts as casual as you please. There’s a whole lot I could go on about, but that would be spoiling too much. Just go see this on a big screen.


One Million Hits!

Hey, just noticed- Maldene.com has passed its millionth hit. Yay!

New Maldene Video: What Makes Maldene Different

Got around to doing another video, this time a video version of my article “What Makes Maldene Different,” where I attempt to answer that question in the expected one-line sound-byte… I failed; there IS no simple answer, but i’ll let the vid say it for me (please forgive the poor production quality- I’m a writer not a video guy or public speaker).

You can either go to the Video page on maldene.com or direct to the YouTube link right here.

New Xmas Price Specials for Maldene

Well, it’s finally the Christmas Season (I don’t start counting until Dec 1), and time to start handing out presents.  So, here’s mine.  After giving it some long and careful thought, I have reduced the prices of the ebook versions of Maldene Volumes 1 and 2 down to $4.95 each.  Quite a deal now, but there’s more.  In that same vein I’ve knocked a buck off the Bundle Deal price as well, so you can get Volume 1 + Volume 2 + the really big Maldene world map, for a total of $6.90.  That’s over 330,000 words worth of epic story telling for under seven bucks.

How long will this special last?  Well, if I get a strong enough response then maybe for good.  So come on and convince me I should keep these prices by buying a set… then maybe by this time next year we’ll be talking about the second full Maldene novel (spoiler: it’s called “Maldene II:  Mysteries of Olde”).

Merry Christmas from Maldene!

What Makes Maldene Different

This is a question I have been asked on occasion, and certainly one you want an answer for if you’re to market a novel, but it is to me the single hardest question to answer. Why, you ask? Because there is no single thing that makes Maldene different. It is a revolution in fantasy, a world made complete. And yet, over time you will see that it is not even pure fantasy, for there are lurking elements of another genre in there as well; Maldene is where magic meets science, intertwining until you are challenged to tell one from the other.

See my problem?

Before I even began writing Maldene, I had the map drawn up, notes on everything from culture to weather patterns, to the different races of human, animals, beasts, a few plants, the whole deal. Heck, I even had the solar system mapped out, as well as the timeline from its very birth so very long ago. Lastly, of course, I had the plot for the entire series outlined in my head. In short, I was doodling with all things Maldene in my spare time for fifteen years prior to finally writing the story itself. That’s a lot of work and a lot of detail for the reader to pick up on.

Is it any wonder that Maldene looks, feels, and sounds like it could be an actual real world? Just think, somewhere out there in the vastness of space, there could be a Maldene-like world, where its denizens are in the midst of a conflict of truly epic proportions. A place where there really are a hundred different cultures, a world with places such as The Sea of a Thousand Islands, the great whirlpool Tedelnosho, the thousand-foot trees of My-Thov, or the fabled Harbor of the World.

Now you know why I’m having so much trouble with such a simple-seeming question.

Perhaps it’s the plot that makes Maldene different? After all, it spans many thousands of years, by Earth’s measure, reaching across the world’s many continents until it finally spreads across the stars… and beyond. Or maybe it’s the hundreds- yes, I said hundreds- of characters, each with their own unique personality, look, mannerisms, humor, and ways of keeping us glued to the page. It might be the alien vistas, wrapped in magic and colored by life. Or the many mysteries, such as that which lies behind its three moons, the reason behind Tedelnosho’s never-ending spin, or even- No, that would be too much of a spoiler.

But you see my problem. It is a land of so much variety, color, and spectacle, that “Maldene” itself becomes the adjective to its own description.

And yet, all of this wonder and mystery, all of this color and personality, are as mere backdrop to a plot of unprecedented proportions involving what may be the most evil villain of them all. The perfect villain, if I do say so myself. One who has been around for all known History, is apparently all-powerful and unstoppable, plans for centuries in advance, doesn’t waste time bragging about his pending victory so the good guys have time to throw a wrench into his plans, and yet he’s the one our heroes have to thwart. A villain with style and grace, someone who can give you a cultured smile while watching the world burn to his designs. Everyone loves a good villain, and this is one of the best.

Okay, this is not helping my problem any.

The plot is epic, but many others are. But then, how many have had someone compare you to the great Homer because he couldn’t think of anyone else epic enough? The world has so much detail and richness that it has Life; you can feel it coming out of the page, trying to draw you into the world of my creation. In the end, there is no single “magic whatsis” that will beat our villain, nor lead the heroes through the maze of mysteries, but rather the world itself around which things revolve.

Maldene defies short description, and yet perhaps it is this very fact that makes it different. The best one-liner so far is that which I use as my tag line- one my yoga teacher came up with (thanks Rupa!): “A world beyond time… an adventure beyond imagining.”

Perhaps there is a better way of briefly defining Maldene’s difference from other epics, I don’t know. Maybe you can figure one out yourself after reading through a book or two. A warning if you try, though: just when you think you have the answer figured out, some new marvel will come up to nip you on the nose. Until something better comes up, though, I think I’ll stick with my favorite tag-line to sum things up.

Maldene: A world beyond time… an adventure beyond imagining.

Movie Review: Dr. Strange

I’ve never had a chance to really read comics but I have seen every comic-book-inspired TV series and movie that came out since I was 3… including the first attempt at Dr. Strange on TV back in the 70s.  Always wanted to see a lot more of him.  In fact, my user name around the Net for about the last 26 years has been Dr.Strange (as dubbed on me by some friends that thought I was both really smart and a little strange, but that’s another story).  Anyway, I had my fingers crossed and hoped that marvel could keep up their successful pace.

And they have!

Origin story?  Check.  The whole Steven Strange look?  Check.  Visuals and magic stuff?  Double check!

The best way of summing up, is when Harry Porry grows up then this is the ‘real world” he gets to enter.  The pacing and build up in crisis is correct, villians and threat level is good, and we see enough of Dr. Strange’s magical world to keep us wanting more… which I definitely do.  This film was great.

But, does it connect up with the Avengers end of things?  Well, as usual, for that you have to stay through all of the end credits, and i mean ALL of them because there are TWO epilogue scenes tucked away in there and you need to see them both.

But the very best part of this film?  The line at the end of the creditds thyat says “Dr. Strange Will Be Back”.  Can’t wait.

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