July 8, 2012 — 296 words
By A.M. Harte
The Legion of Nothing: Rebirth, the first volume of the series, is a coming-of-age story about Nick Klein, a teenager who has inherited his grandfather’s superhero identity and powered armor. But with power comes responsibility, for Nick has also inherited his grandfather’s unfinished business. Between homework, corrupted politicians, teenage relationships and supervillains, Nick struggles to solve the city’s corruption--before it solves him.
In Jim's own words:
“The story comments on the various ages of comic book history, and people who know their superhero fiction recognize them instantly. But I deliberately chose points of difference important to comic book and superhero fans. For example, characters grow gradually older, and when a character dies, they're really dead. No resurrections. Set in the non-existent city of Grand Lake [read Grand Rapids], I let the characters live the life of any teenager in West Michigan.”
Needless to say, I'm delighted Jim has chosen to publish his serial with us.
The Legion of Nothing began serializing online over on inmydaydreams.com in 2007 and is still going strong. Over the last few months, we've edited, revised and fine-tuned the first part of the series... and I hope you enjoy the finished product.
Please give Jim a warm welcome and -- if you like your superheroes kickass and with a hint of humour -- keep an eye out for the book, coming soon.
July 7, 2012 — 303 words
By Tim Sevenhuysen
With Overard gone, Tic and Libden were led into the heart of the curator's battleship, the ESS Reflux. More soldiers fell into step with them along the way. Upon reaching the bridge, Tic and Libden were greeted by the square-jawed curator, who was perched atop a plush velvet chair and surrounded by guards. "Welcome aboard," he grinned. "Can you believe this thing was sitting in mothballs two days ago?"
Tic held up the Adam Astrobot. "Here's the evidence."
"Excellent," said the curator. "You haven't tampered with it, have you? Wouldn't want to compromise the case."
"Of course not," Tic assured him.
"Good." The curator gestured to a soldier, who carried the action figure to his general. "This really was a clever, low-key method for hiding the backup NCVD schematics," the curator told Libden. "Should've hired a more reliable courier, though." He inspected the Adam Astrobot. "You know, I've never understood the collectors' appeal of these things."
"OH, THEY'RE GREAT," sneered Libden—the soldiers around her cringed at the volume of her voice. "THAT ONE'S GOT VOICE RECOGNITION. IT CAN HOLD FULL CONVERSATIONS."
"Fascinating," the curator deadpanned. "I'll give it some 'play time' later. Guards: throw them both in the brig with the yetis and that cripple woman."
Tic blinked hard. "What!?"
"Oh, I said she was dead, didn't I? My mistake." A light on the curator's armrest blinked. He answered: "What is it?"
"Sir, Jeffries just arrived in medical but, um... It isn't Jeffries."
"Then who...?" The curator glared at Tic.
In a loud, clear voice, Tic declared: "Nobody messes with my ship!"
The Adam Astrobot beeped and raised its arms. The curator frowned, then his eyes flew wide open and he hurled the toy away, just before it burst apart in a spray of red acid.
July 6, 2012 — 320 words
By Tim Sevenhuysen
"All this because of a stupid toy," muttered Tic. He flipped open the bottom of the Adam Astrobot's boot and connected a cord from the hidden connector there into the Pelican's dashboard.
"Interesting," said Pelly after a moment. "Yes, dear, I think you'll find this very interesting."
"YOU DON'T ACTUALLY THINK THOSE WARMONGERS PLAN TO TAKE ME TO TRIAL, DO YOU?" sneered Libden as Tic entered the hold.
"No," admitted Tic. "That's why I'm planning to turn you in myself. But for that to happen, we both need to leave this planet alive."
"YOU'VE GOT A CLOAKING DEVICE, DON'T YOU? JUST FLY US OUT OF HERE!"
"The Entulovians built this cloaking device. I'm betting they can see through it, too. If I even hint at running they'll tractor-beam us in a heartbeat. Pelly's pretty sure we're surrounded right now. They've got cloaks of their own, of course."
Libden made a sour face. "WELL WHAT DID YOU HAVE IN MIND?"
The docking connection between the Galactic Pelican and the curator's massive, armour-plated battleship sealed into place, and the side door to the hold swished open, admitting three uniformed Entulovians, two of them carrying a stretcher.
"Watch her," said Tic, jerking a thumb at Libden. He led the two with the stretcher into the passenger cabin.
"This one's Jeffries?" asked one, indicating the uniformed man on the bed.
"Yep," said Tic.
"And who's that?" The soldier pointed at a figure on the floor, shrouded under a bedsheet.
"Friend of mine," said Tic. "He didn't make it."
"Ah," said the soldier. He and his companion loaded the stretcher and headed out.
Sorry, Mak, thought Tic. I had to send them someone.
The Revita Tube beeped. Tic said, "Make sure Milly gets full treatment in there."
"I will," promised Pelly. "Be careful, Mr. Bolter."
July 5, 2012 — 527 words
By Letitia Coyne
Me neither, BUT that is only because it is not my scene. Many, many, many writers began their online careers writing fan fic, and its popularity never wanes. If you love a show, a genre, a cartoon, a comic, a book, a series, a serial or even movie, you can read on outside the box.
Hava a look at:
Archive of Our Own. The Archive of Our Own is a fan-created, fan-run, non-profit, non-commercial archive for transformative fanworks, such as fanfiction and fanart.
Fanzines from Ashton Press . We have zines available in many different fandoms, including Highlander, Supernatural, Stargate Atlantis, Miami Vice, Blakes 7, Man from UNCLE, Stargate SG-1, Rat Patrol, Star Wars, Alias Smith & Jones, the Western genre, and multi-media. We carry both adult and "gen" titles. At this link you'll find details about all of our zines, including excerpts of text, samples of artwork, and descriptions of zine contents. We’re accepting submissions for a whole slew of new Stargate zines, including some brand new titles. We’re accepting submissions for Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Supernatural and Boston Legal zines and we also can publish stand-alone novellas or novels!
FanFiction – Unleash You Imagination. Everything you could want – plus forums.
Winglin Fan Fiction. Provide a simple yet elegant way to post and edit a story. Organize a story for easy navigation. Allow customization of display options. Included with each story is a mailing list, whose subscribers will receive automatic e-mail notifications whenever a new chapter of the story is posted. Included with each story is a guest-book style message board, where readers could leave feedback and comments. The author has an option to receive an automatic e-mail notification whenever a new feedback/comment is posted. The author could also delete malicious comments on the message board.
Anime Fanfiction. We have 298 stories and 3038 registered authors.
And if you are concerned about the legalities of your beloved characters:
Chilling Effects Clearinghouse Fan Fiction. When authors write stories featuring characters from other stories, movies or TV shows in new situations or adventures, these works of "fan fiction" (see FAQ: "What is FanFic?") may run into legal challenges because the borrowed characters, scenes or plots may be protected from unauthorized use under intellectual property laws. Specifically, fan fiction authors could be faced with copyright or trademark infringement claims. This page explains the rights original authors have under copyright and trademark law and gives fan fiction authors information about when their works might infringe those rights and what might happen as a result. Authors can use this information to understand the legal issues involved and to avoid infringement of other’s works while creating fan fiction. We explain two major sources of intellectual property rights which fan fiction authors could infringe.
Who do you recommend? Anyone, even your own site. Go on, spread the love.
July 5, 2012 — 317 words
By Tim Sevenhuysen
"Dunter dead, Libden captured..." said the curator. "Excellent work, Bolter!"
Tic looked wearily into the viewscreen. "We almost didn't make it, but Gal saved our butts. Good thing your guys installed such a proactive AI into the Pelican."
"He seems to have done his job well," agreed the curator.
Not quite well enough, thought Tic. "And you got everyone out of the HQ in time?"
"Just about. A few good men got left behind. But their sacrifice helped us take down two dangerous war criminals. It's a pity only Libden survived to be taken to trial."
Right, thought Tic. I'm sure Jeffries felt the same way while he was killing Dunter...
The curator continued, "I'm told Jeffries and Cogs didn't make it aboard our evac ship. Are they with you?"
"Cogs didn't make it, but Jeffries jumped on at the last second. He... Well, he's in rough shape. I put him in our Revita Tube."
"When you dock with my battleship, I'll send a stretcher over. We have better medical facilities here."
"Sure, sounds good," said Tic. Crap.
"We'll make sure Libden faces galactic court. It's too bad we don't have any hard evidence. If there were some plans, schematics, something like that..."
Playing it dumb, eh? "Actually," said Tic, "Jeffries recovered an Adam Astrobot action figure that we think has schematics hidden inside it."
"Really?" The curator's excitement was genuine, Tic was sure. "That's perfect! Bring it over. We'll take care of it."
"Will do," said Tic. "Oh, by the way, how's Haglyn?"
The curator's face fell. "I'm sorry, Bolter. In the chaos of the evacuation, I'm afraid she was... left behind."
Something inside Tic snapped. Left behind!? Probably not by accident, either. Messing with his ship, killing his friends... Now you've made this extra personal.
July 4, 2012 — 301 words
By Tim Sevenhuysen
Once he'd tied Lady Libden up, Tic returned his attention to getting Overard into the Revita Tube. The healing machine set to work, humming and blinking as it diagnosed the medical problems that it had been presented with and worked out the most efficient solutions.
Tic's brain was performing a similar process, churning through the curator's betrayal. In a short span, the Entulovians had gone from rescuers arriving in the nick of time to dangerous, deceitful enemies. It was a difficult turnaround to grasp. Could he have seen it coming? The only hint Tic could recall was Cogs' warning, delivered as they were leaving the NCVD chamber, but that had come far too late. Now Cogs was dead...
Libden's question kept circling through Tic's thoughts: What now? Should he fight? The Entulovians had far greater numbers and superior weapons. Should he surrender the Adam Astrobot and wash his hands of the whole thing? They might not let him go, even if he did. Should he just get out of here while he still could? That would mean leaving Haglyn behind—assuming she'd made it out of the HQ before the NCVD went off. And there was a decent chance the Entulovians had already zeroed in on the Pelican's location. Escaping wouldn't be easy.
No options seemed viable. Meanwhile the clock was ticking and Milly was still in pain. Tic carried her into the passenger cabin and began tending to her the old-fashioned way, cleaning and bandaging the wound in her side. She grimaced at every touch.
As Tic tied the bandage off, Pelly said, "We're being hailed, dear."
"Is it the curator?"
"I believe so."
Tic sighed. Then he had a spark of inspiration. "Pelly... Think you could answer with Gal's voice?"
July 3, 2012 — 545 words
By Guest Author
by Lauren Clark
I'll admit it--I'm a book cover junkie! I love an eye-catching concept, great colors, and crisp, bold graphics. A great cover will get me to pick up a novel... but then I have to read the summary... and check out the author bio!
Anytime I'm shopping in a bookstore, or checking out a novel online, you'll find me turning to a book's inside back flap (or clicking through the Kindle pages) and reading the paragraph below the author photo.
If you've ever tried to write a bio--your own included--you know that it's a challenging process! Here are my Top Ten Tips for making 'Bio Writing' a little easier and a lot more fun!
Read author bios from ten to twenty different books. Jot down what you like and don’t like.
Write out another list--this time, 20 to 30 things about you! What do you enjoy? What makes you interesting? Don’t leave anything out. Then, choose the best elements to include.
If you’re writing the bio for your first novel, it can be as short and sweet. Shoot for about 50 words or fewer.
Convey your personality and writing style. Don’t try too hard to be funny, but do include something that makes you seem like a real person. Do you cook? Love to hike? Stargaze?
Relate it to the genre in which you are writing--if you're writing a novel about a marathon runner--and you love to compete in 5Ks or just completed your first triathlon, mention it!
What gives you credibility? Are you a member of a professional organization? Have you published any articles? Written for a newspaper or magazine?
Hit the highlights. You don't need long lists of resumé information (education, job history).
What helps people connect with you? (Twitter handle, Facebook page, website, or blog)
Have at least one other person (who is not a relative or BFF) read and critique your bio.
Sleep on it. Have a different person read and critique your bio. Revise and update as needed!
What do you think? Share your best bio writing tip!
A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local bookstores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com. You can also find Lauren on GoodReads, Twitter, and Facebook.
July 3, 2012 — 293 words
By Tim Sevenhuysen
"I can't believe it!" said Tic, slumping into his swivel chair. "The curator told me you got completely wiped back on Entulov 5."
"I did," said Pelly, "but not because of damage. I was on auto-shutdown, yes, but fully recoverable. Jeffries' crew ransacked my hard drives and learned about the Norway Corrosive Vapour Disseminator. They completely deactivated me and overwrote me with their own replacement AI. I've had precious few system resources available to me since then, but based on the clues I believe their goal is to construct their own NCVD."
"And do what with it?"
"What all Entulovians do, I assume: make war."
"Man," said Tic. "I thought they were on our side!"
"They were," said Pelly, "at first. But then they found a better side to be on: their own."
"Well, they can give up on the NCVD project. The only prototype was just destroyed, along with the engineers who created it—and about 10 city blocks. The only hope they'd have of replicating that death machine was if..."
"If somehow the schematics had been rescued?" said Pelly.
"...The Adam Astrobot!" said Tic. "We can't let the curator get his hands on it. It's back there with Jeffries, isn't it?"
"Might I suggest the direct approach?" offered Pelly. A wall panel flipped open, revealing a snub-nosed scattergun.
"Ooh," said Tic. "Did the Entulovians put that there?"
"Yes, sir," confirmed Pelly. "Ironic, isn't it?"
Tic stood at the door to the hold, scattergun readied, watching through one of Pelly's cameras. Jeffries was lying on his stomach, grimacing, holding his blaster. The moment he turned his head...
The door whooshed open. Tic leapt through and fired two blasts. Only one had been necessary.
Lady Libden sniffed. "NICE SHOT, BOLTER. NOW WHAT?"
June 30, 2012 — 320 words
By Tim Sevenhuysen
Via a projection on the wall of the hold, Tic watched, horrified, as acres of land surrounding the Dunter Yeti Security building crumbled like a collapsing soufflé, dropping into a gaping, shadowy hole. The HQ itself began to rumble, shake, lean, and then sink down into the pit. Faster than it could descend, however, the acid effusion ate its way upwards, dissolving floor upon floor into a shimmering spray that roiled in the moonlight. In seconds, the acid had devoured the immense skyscraper to its very tip.
All fell still.
Gal levelled out.
"PROTOTYPE MUST'VE BEEN A DUD," sniffed Libden.
"You call that a 'dud'!?" said Tic.
"IF IT HAD FIRED PROPERLY, THE WHOLE CITY WOULD BE GONE BY NOW, AND IT WOULD STILL BE SPREADING. SOMEONE MUST'VE SABOTAGED THE DESIGN."
Not exactly, thought Tic. Bye, Doc...
Overard choked. Tic gave Libden a kick—she was harmless now—and grabbed Overard under his arms. "Don't die on me," he grunted. "You're going into the Revita Tube!"
"S-stop!" gasped Jeffries. "Put me in, Bolter."
"Sorry. You may lose your legs, but Mak's dying, here."
"No, Bolter." Jeffries' tone was icy, and the compact blaster that had appeared in his hand backed up his words. "Galactic Pelican, deactivate the Revita Tube until I'm inside it."
"Yes, sir!" trilled Gal.
"What?" said Tic. "Gal, don't listen to him! I'm the Captain."
Jeffries chuckled, then winced. "This ship is ours now. Right, 'Gal'?"
"Absolutely, sir!" said Gal.
Tic carefully lowered Overard to the floor, raised his hands... and bolted for the cockpit.
"Stop him, Gal!" screamed Jeffries.
But the order didn't come fast enough. Tic whipped out the thumb drive Dr. Fester had given him and jammed it into an input port on the dashboard.
"...Bolter?" said a female voice.
Tic grinned broadly. "Pelly!"
June 29, 2012 — 306 words
By Tim Sevenhuysen
A message blinked onto Tic's PAI. It was from Cogs, and read, simply: "Sixty seconds."
"Crap," breathed Tic. "Gal, keep the ramp down, but be ready to slam it shut and climb straight out of here in 30 seconds or the moment I say so, whichever comes first!" Then he pounded back into the hold.
Peering out, he saw Jeffries was standing over Dunter's corpse, cradling the Adam Astrobot in one hand and staring at it with a manic grin. The Entulovian ship was dwindling into the sky.
"We're out of time!" shouted Tic. "Get in here!"
Jeffries' head snapped around, as if he'd been drawn out of a trance. Then he raised his blaster. Tic didn't even have time to cringe before Jeffries pulled the trigger, but instead of feeling the impact of a laser beam to the chest, he heard a muffled groan and looked down to see the head and shoulders of a Liberati slumping beneath the hovering Pelican's ramp.
Then Lady Libden herself popped up and scrambled aboard, puffing like a fish out of water with the exertion. She reached back to retrieve the Liberati's blaster, but Tic pounced on the plump virtuoso, pinning her hands.
The ground quivered, then rumbled, then shook. A dull growl from the tunnel mouth grew into an overwhelming roar. The Norway Corrosive Vapour Disseminator had been activated.
"Thirty seconds have passed," announced Gal calmly.
Jeffries was sprinting towards the Pelican and saw the ramp begin to rise. He dropped his blaster and flung the Adam Astrobot ahead of him; Tic caught it. Leaping up, Jeffries grabbed the lip of the ramp and hauled himself up. It slammed shut, crushing his legs mid-thigh.
The Pelican's boosters fired.
Haddock's surface dropped away beneath them.