Let us look now…to the future!

I made a bunch of progress today on my next book, the one that will come out after Earths in Space vol. 2.

What is it? Well, we have to keep some of the mystery alive, now don’t we?

But here’s one little tidbit: It’s a concept and characters I’ve written first as stage plays, then years later as a television pilot script, and recently as comic book scripts. Now all that work spanning eleven years and multiple media comes together in a novel.

And then after this unannounced project…more RIP! I shan’t neglect the ghost fights for too much longer.

Super Comics: The Avengers #19-22 (1999)

avengersv3-022Over at Smash Cut Culture, I’ve started a series looking back at the comic books that inspired the films and TV shows. And where better to start than a great Avengers storyline featuring the titular villain of the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron film?

Avengers stories are at their best when the stakes are both huge and personal, and that’s what we get in the “Ultron Unlimited” storyline that ran in The Avengers (vol. 3) #19-22 in 1999, written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by George Perez—two top, veteran talents in the comics industry.

The cast includes a few Avengers moviegoers have already met—Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor—as well as some they’re about to meet—the Scarlet Witch and Vision—and even a couple whom they might meet versions of in the upcoming Ant-Man movie—Hank Pym and the Wasp. The Black Panther, who’s got a film in the works, rejoins the team for this adventure. And then there’s Wonder Man, who filmmakers will probably get around to eventually if the super-hero trend keeps up long enough; Firestar, who ‘80s kids might remember from the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon; and Justice, who…well, they can’t all be in the pictures, can they?

In this storyline, Ultron is taking another shot at his usual goal of replacing organic life with robotic life. But this time includes some twists. He actually does destroy an entire small country as his opening salvo, which gives tremendous gravity to the proceedings. And he kidnaps his “family” so that he can use their brainwaves to generate unique personalities for the robotic life he wants to take over the world.

Read the rest, please.


The scientific process vs. a preschooler’s imagination

I was babysitting my 4-year-old niece the other weekend, and she posed a deep philosophical question.

“Uncle Danny,” she asked, seriously, “do toys come to life at night?”

That immediately created different philosophical questions within my own mind—What’s the right age to take away that magic? And do I want to be the one to pull the trigger?

Normally for this type of inquiry, my response would be, “Let’s see what Mommy thinks.” But my sister was working, so the buck could not be passed. The kid was looking to me to fill her in on the secret lives of toys, because naturally Uncle Danny is an expert in such matters.

I initially tried to hedge a bit: “That sort of thing might just happen in our imaginations.”

“But I think they do come to life,” she insisted. Continue reading

Get to Know…Nathaniel Danes

Last Hero cover artIt’s been a while, but it’s author interview time! Joining us today is Nathaniel Danes, author of The Last Hero. Welcome, Nathaniel!

Tell us about your book.

It’s a space opera/military sci-fi novel that takes place a couple hundred years in the future, not long after first contact with a race of pacifists conveniences mankind to disarm. After Earth’s first colony is destroyed by a third race humanity starts a crash remobilization, forcing my main character out of an uneventful, though, fulfilling civilian life.

The book is far more than just about the struggle of war. In addition to a healthy dose of combat, the book has a strong emotional core surrounding the main character’s detachment from his daughter because of the time effects of near the speed of light travel.

What’s the book’s opening line? Why did you start there?

It starts off with Trent Maxwell, the last Medal of Honor recipient, performing a boring task at work before slipping off into a day dream of when he was a war hero. He’s content with his family life but misses the thrill of combat and the glory his brought him.

I began there to start setting up the reader for the internal struggle Trent battles with throughout the book. His warrior’s soul desperately wants to get in the fight, but his father’s heart pushes back.  Continue reading

The pre-order page is live for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve

earths-in-space-v2-front-coverWhat’s this? A Kindle pre-order page for Earths in Space: We Must Evolve?

Why, yes, it is! And the pre-order page will turn into an order page on January 30, 2015.

Since it’s a pre-order page, preview content isn’t yet available. However, if you explore the hashtag #EIS2 on Twitter, you’ll find all sorts of mini-snippets I tweeted during the editing process. Additionally, I had posted a handful of work-in-progress excerpts on this website. You can find them by clicking on the “Earths in Space” category. I’ll be sure to add more over the next few months.

Meanwhile, the 116,000-word manuscript is currently in the hands (or at least computer) of editor Todd Barselow, who will no doubt help me find those all-important last-minute tweaks to take the book to the next level before its launch.

Evolution is a slow process, but it’s finally coming. Until then, you’ve got some time to catch up on Volume 1. (Many thanks to all who’ve read it!)

I’ll be at the Ladysmith Library this Wednesday!

I’ll be at the Ladysmith branch of Caroline Library, Inc., in Virginia this Wednesday, Nov. 5, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

So what’s in store? Perhaps some reading. Perhaps some Q&A. Paperbacks will definitely be available, and I will sign my name to them if so desired. It all depends on who shows up and what they want. I don’t like to give speeches, so we’ll keep it informal.

The Ladysmith Library is located at 7199 Clara Smith Drive, Ruther Glen, VA 22546.

By the way, I’ve donated one paperback each of RIP and Earths in Space to Caroline Library. A copy of RIP is also available in Henrico Public Library in Henrico County, Virginia. If you’re in those areas, please check them out so they’ll remain available.

Hope to see lots of nice people this Wednesday.