The Endless Wars: The Descent

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Sycophants and Ass-Clowns

First of all, if you're hitting this blog via the front page, please allow me to apologize for that Star Wars music that just auto-played. I hate that shit, too, but I didn't realize, two posts ago, that video was an auto-play when I embedded it. My bad. Just take a moment, scroll down, and pause it.

I'll wait.

Okay, so before I begin this tirade, I want to point you to a really good blog.

If you like this blog, but find yourself longing for something that's written much more coherently, and caters much more specifically to those that are interested in the craft of writing, and has fewer run-on sentences, and is less of a shambolic shithole, please allow me to introduce you to Fists & Angels, Christs & Angels. It's written by one of my good buddies, Bucho. We used to be super-tight, but then he turned into a better writer than I am, so fuck him.

Also, fake beer can really hit the spot on a Friday night when buried in your creative mental space. Yes, I'm THAT guy, now.

The title of this post ... it came from a conversation that I was having with some friends at work ... I vent a considerable amount lately, and for good reason. I vent for good reasons that I'm not going to get into here, but if you know me, you know what the deal is. The short version is that I plopped down in the chair next to Captain Butthurt's cubicle and muttered, 'I am so sick of dealing with sycophants and ass-clowns.' Yeah, there's some shit going down that I'm part of, but I'll survive it one way or another.

ANYWAY, the Captain said I had to use 'Sycophants and Ass-Clowns' as this weekend's post title. Since I do what I'm told, I did.

I sometimes fantasize about the inevitable future. Right now, the world is controlled by money, but eventually, all of us SysAdmins are going to rise up and grab them by the surprisingly undersized balls and demand a change.

You see, we control the world.

You don't necessarily know it right now, but your computer was able to be manufactured because several sysadmins allowed it to happen via networking and server administration. Your internet connection is maintained by an army of sysadmins. Your power stays on because sysadmins allow it by making sure that the right servers can talk to the right systems, in addition to maintaining the networking that goes into that.

We control the lights. We control the TV. We control the internet. We control the phones. We control the traffic lights. We control the porn. We control Justin Bieber. We control the world.

One day, reality TV will go away, or I will rally the troops and bring this world to its fucking knees.

Just think about it.

Network Programming
I want to talk about Alphas and Falling Skies for a moment.

It's rare that a major network doesn't fall upon its own sword to avoid producing a good science fiction series. Somehow, Falling Skies managed to become quite good after 2-3 episodes.

What it did well was follow the Walking Dead roadmap. It treated the aliens as a device, rather than as a focus, and shifted the emphasis to the people, and how they re-learn to live their lives.

While it's not nearly as good as The Walking Dead, it definitely filled a niche this summer.

If it wants to reach The Walking Dead status, it needs to make the characters more interesting, and stop just relying on conflict to achieve that. Conflict can be a good way to engage the viewer, but it gets tiresome if that's all that's going on.

They did seem to catch onto this a bit as the eight-episode season went on, but the show hasn't truly blossomed yet.

As for Alphas, this is my new SyFy show. This one has been solid from the pilot on. The characters are engaging and sympathetic, and the plots have been fun. It really is Heroes + X-Files.

If I had to recommend one new show for the summer, it would be Alphas.

That Phone App
The Windows Phone app is proceeding apace. I've been looking at approaches to the game logic, as well as incubating the 'story' in my head. I use quotes because it's not one linear story. If a story is a thread, this is a tapestry.

The logic part is challenging because this can really be approached a number of different ways. I could have a left-to-right branching series that starts skinny on the left, gets fat in the middle, then gets skinny again on the right, then gets fat again going further right, then gets skinny again, etc. I could also use an Enum, as suggested by Captain Butthurt, to tick a set of events, that once fulfilled, opens the next section, then repeats a few times. Additionally, I could also plant a few key decisions in a branching series that then set the path to one of several middle points, which then each open up to their own sets of branches, wash, rinse, repeat.

So, I've got some planning to do, then some writing, then some coding, and then a cigarette.

That Science Fiction Novel
This coming along well, if in a somewhat halted fashion. This is the first novel I've ever written in which I get self-conscious. It's very unlike me, but I'm really pushing things in a VERY adult direction, a la Battlestar Galactica or The Walking Dead, but with a dash of Firefly. I think part of my discomfort comes from the fact that I'm working in the holiest of genres for the first time, so I'm having to relearn my approach somewhat.

Also, this is the first book I've ever written while not totally shitfaced most of the time, so I'm having to rebuild my process somewhat. A writer gives him or herself permission to do a lot more when they're 'altered' while writing, and that can be a very potent thing, and I've handcuffed myself somewhat in terms of the creative process.

So, I'm loving this book so far, even if it makes me a little nuts sometimes. I think I'm lingering too long on certain characters, but it's because I'm so interested in them, and that's what editing's for, dammit.

Where the hell is the next Endless Wars novel?
It'll come. Not soon, though. There are other projects I want to get out the door first, and that's a series that's complicated for me to approach now.

Book Recommendations
I need some good non-licensed works reading. What ya got?


Red Fang - Prehistoric Dog
Pearl Jam - The Fixer
Eddie Vedder - Can't Keep
Rob Zombie - Werewolf Women of the SS
Tres Mts. - She's My New Song
Rob Zombie - The Man Who Laughs
Tres Mts. - God Told Me
Brad - Luxury Car
Rob Zombie - Sick Bubblegum
Eddie Vedder - Dream a Little Dream With Me
Limp Bizkit - Loser
Avenged Sevenfold - Welcome to the Family
Brad - Runnin' For Cover
Foo Fighters - Dear Rosemary
Slash - We're All Gonna Die
Chris Cornell - Long Gone
Deftones - Diamond Eyes
Them Crooked Vultures - Spinning in Daffodils
Alice in Chains - Your Decision
Korn - Pop a Pill


  1. thanks for the shoutout, hoss! glad you like what you're reading. this has actually prompted me to write a little craft bit about conflict within a story now.

    as for "alphas" and "falling skies," i too think both shows have been better than i expected. both are formulaic in some sense (the larger greater conspiracy in "alphas" and the everyman turned hero in "falling skies"), but the writing has been pretty solid. i think some of the acting in "falling skies" falls a little short, but it's definitely progressed over the season. i'm sure the second season may be even more solid.

    shit, i think i may have to post up something about my own process of writing while under the influence now too.

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