This is what happens without editors

I'm Marcus Pelegrimas, author of the SKINNERS series. Here you'll find various ramblings about movies, video games, TV, and...oh yeah...those books I write. If there's anything you'd like to discuss, just let me know. I try to update whenever the mood strikes me, so feel free to leave comments. There may be some occasional foul language, but anyone who's too easily offended probably doesn't read my stuff anyway.

Free Stuff

Here's how it goes. As usual, I've got my truckload of promo covers from EOS Books. I'll be going to some conventions, so I hope to see you there and I'll gladly sign your books. If you can't make it to a con, just email me your name, address and any inscription so I can send you a signed cover.


BONUS ---> If you would be so kind as to write up a review for any or all Skinners books and publish it on a site like Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, or any other major review site, I can send you something extra. I made up some bookmarks (which I'll sign) and I've even put together some Shimmy's VIP passes (which I'll also sign). Can't guarantee the passes will get you into a real strip club, but I think they look pretty cool. Send me a link to your review along with your name, address and inscription, and I'll get these out to you as well.



Thursday, August 28, 2008

Randomness

A few scattered thoughts about the last week or so:

- There's this place nearby called Chicago Dawg House. They sell Chicago hot dogs, get them right (oh, so very right) and I've talked about them here before. One of their sandwiches is called The Fridge and it's an Italian sausage with shaved Italian beef on it, plus peppers and the whole thing is dipped in au jous (spelling??) sauce. I've been waiting for a sufficient appetite to tackle that bad boy and I finally got the chance. Holy LORD was it good! DAAAAMNN!!

- Been playing Too Human and I really like it. I don't see what all the bad reviews were about. I just want to have a good time playing. The fighting kicks ass, weapons are cool, so it's fine by me. I just wish there was local co-op so my wife could play too, but oh well. She says it's "too sci-fi" for her anyway.

- A bunch of Adult Swim DVDs were on sale at Borders, so I finally picked up those Venture Bros, Aqua Teen and Squidbillies I've been after for a while. Those are perfect to have in my computer while I work. Write a few pages...watch a 12 minute cartoon...write some more.

- Had some family visit over the last few days. They brought White Castles. Sometimes, family really ISN'T a pain in the ass. Love ya, guys!

- Sending out preview copies of SKINNERS to get reviews and cover blurbs. Ugghh. Let the stomach clenching begin.

Friday, August 22, 2008

This week on Sci-Fi Channel...

I've got a fever. What I need is more crappy original movies on the Sci-Fi Channel!

The addiction started out simply enough. I switched to some movie about vampires, fell asleep halfway through it, woke up again during some cheesy fight and realized it didn't matter if I nodded off or not. That movie was a steady stream of cheesy scenes, bloody fights and all the stuff a growin' boy needs!!

Anyway, this week's movie is about a killer flu carried by mutant birds that attack (what else?) a bunch of young people on a hiking trip. Let the hilarity ensue. Of course, Monster Ark and Sasquatch Mountain are pretty tough acts to follow.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wait for DVD I will



I love Star Wars. I even liked all the Clone Wars stuff from the prequals. That miniseries on Cartoon Network? Very cool. Still, I just can't get myself to go to the theater to see animated Clone Wars movie. I do want to see it, but I'll get the DVD. In fact, my prediction is that lots of people feel the same way and judging by box office numbers, I'm right. My other prediction is that this movie will clean up on DVD.

It's just too far into the summer season for me to get all pumped about a cartoon. Even if it is Star Wars and even if it does look pretty cool, I'm just gonna hold out until I can see it at home. Part of me is also still hurting from the painful beatdown that was Indiana Jones and his Crystal Skull. That one still hurts when I think about it. The only reason to even rent that turd will be when the Riff Tracks comes out for it.

Star Wars-wise, it's just better for me to be able to fast forward at the proper times. When watching Episode 3, all I need to do is wait for the Darth Vader mask to come down on Anakin's head, the table tilts up...and I flash forward to the next scene. No more "NNNOOOOooooOOOo" and no more cheesy Frankenstein steppin'. Much better movie. Come to think of it, how about I race through the "death by shattered love" crap too?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sometimes it's just a game



I've been pretty pumped about Too Human for the 360. It just looked cool and the whole notion of playing through a sci-fi retelling of Norse mythology seems like fun. Today is the release date and the reviews are ranging from ok to downright bad. Here's the question: Do I pass on the game based on reviews?

I'm not totally uninformed. I've played the demo and I thought it was cool. The graphics were great and the combat was hectic. I liked it. I wanna play more. It seems like this game is just being crushed under its own weight. It's been in development for like 10 years or something, so everyone's expecting this huge event. Maybe it's just one of those games that are supposed to be played so you get some eye candy and can virtually blow shit up. If that's all this is, I'm ok with it. I'll pick it up and report back later.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Eh-lympics

I've never really gotten that worked up about the Olympics. I used to watch gymnastics and ice skating when I lived at home, but that was because my Mom watched them and I was too lazy to go outside. To be honest, for a country that won't get behind Soccer as a real televised sporting event instead of an activity for kids, I'm surprised there's so much buildup behind the Olympics. I enjoy watching real Football (huge monsters slamming each other to the turf) and Basketball. Those are fast paced, head to head competitions. Break all the stuff you do in those sports (running, throwing stuff, jumping, waving, etc) into separate events and you've got the Olympics.

Ehhhh....pass.


Sure, women's beach volleyball is fun to watch, but it's not worth cancelling everything else on TV. Maybe that's just me getting old. Then again, when I want to see the best parts of women's beach volleyball I've got the Internet. Plenty of free hotness on there that doesn't interfere with my regularly scheduled down time.


Now, I did have a bit of an epiphany when I flipped to the Olympics on the HD channels. That was really cool to watch, but in the same way that the nature channels are cool in HD. Once the shiny factor wears off, it's time to flip. I guess it's just not my thing. In a country that is gobbling up MMA in all its forms and doesn't have the patience to wait through a Hockey game for the fights, watching track and field events or swimming up and down a pool shouldn't be so riveting. It could just be that the press building up the games and throwing all those athletes on every ad you can see, but I don't think so. From what I've seen, people really are into this stuff.

Good for them. Go USA. I just don't get it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Outsourcing my TV awesomeness


What is it with all the awesome Brit sci-fi? I’ve been a fan of Doctor Who for a long time (started watching reruns on PBS as a kid and stuck with it from the 3rd to 5th Doctors). Sure, Who is cheesy, but that was its charm. The robots looked like guys in old refrigerator boxes and every alien planet looked like the English countryside. The stories and characters were cool, so the rest just worked. Douglas Adams was (still is) a huge influence on me, so I watched the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy TV show. That was cheesy in much the same way as Who, but it worked. Red Dwarf is cool. There are others, but they’re all cheesy and charming.

Then, a few years ago I see the “new” Doctor Who on Sci-Fi Channel. I was skeptical. Looked like the effects were better, but that would take away the cheesy charm, wouldn’t it? The effects were better, but there was still that cheesy aftertaste we all loved and it worked! My wife watched it and became a fan and she won’t even give the old show a chance. Ok. Doctor Who worked, but that’s the BBC’s baby and they took good care of it. Then, along comes Torchwood.

Torchwood is a spin-off of Who with a decidedly more adult flavor. Lots of naughtiness, but still sci-fi. It was different than Who, but still felt like it was in the same place. Even though I’d prefer a bit more guy-girl naughtiness, the show still works. In fact, it’s excellent! It’s the only show I’ve ever seen that is consistently different from episode to episode, but doesn’t lose its overall feel. Ok, BBC. You’re 2 for 2.

There’s the Sarah Jane Adventures, but that looks like it’s geared toward kids. To be honest, it seems ok, but I’ve never really given it a chance. From what little I’ve seen, it seems decent.

Last night, BBC America launched Primeval. I thought it looked like a monster show (which, of course, I want to see), but it took a definite sci-fi turn. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it was really good! I mean, DAMN! Three for three?? You’re making us look bad, BBC! I’ve got my hopes up for Fringe and the new season of Heroes, but these BBC shows usually leave me smiling, shaking my head, and wondering why the hell I wasted time watching anything else. Ok, so that’s a little extreme, but these shows are just great on so many levels. Some episodes are better than others and there are a few things I could tweak here and there, but that’s just staring up close at a picture because it looks so good and you’re just trying to find fault SOMEwhere.

I’m also a sucker for the ladies in these shows. Are American women hot? No doubt about it. The women in the BBC shows just seem more real. Gwen on Torchwood has that hot little space between her teeth. Rose Tyler is an awesome blonde, but she looks like someone you could actually spot out in the world. Plus, don’t forget about Robin Hood! Another BBC show. It’s got a fantasy, swashbuckling feel to it while still being everything we want from Robin Hood. Plus, Maid Marion wears this great green dress that shows off curves that REAL WOMEN have. What a concept! Maybe I’m just sick of the typical stick figures that are rattling around, whining on nearly every American show. I’m a fan of brunettes, but if I see another skinny, doe-eyed, big lipped teen pouting on an ad for a CW show, I’m gonna punch someone.

Wow. I started off just wanting to talk about what a nice surprise Primeval was and it turns into this. Oh well. Check it out. Check out all these shows. I just noticed that they do like the "one has arms crossed and other stands with them hanging at sides" pose for their pictures, but they still look cool. Hopefully we Yanks can get some good stuff out there when the new season gets rollin’.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Interesting news

Just found out that the publication date for the first SKINNERS was moved from November to February. When my editor called and told me this, he said it was "interesting news". Undoubtedly, that was to soften the blow before I freaked out at having to wait an extra couple of months. It's as if he thought I was over-anxious or chomping at the bit or something.

Huh. Maybe he reads this blog.

Yeah, I tried to keep my cool, but I was freaking out. Then again, there's more than my anxiousness to consider. Apparently, there are other books coming out in November written by some fairly well known people. One of them is some dude named Dean Koontz. I don't know. Some of us still haven't healed from the slapstick turn of events at the end of Tick Tock. Other than that, I suppose he is pretty good.

Seriously, I don't mind stepping back to let the heavy hitters take the holidays. In fact, I'm grateful that someone actually cares about a good time to release a newcomer like me. My wife will have to shoulder the burden of putting up with me bouncing off the walls for a while longer. Then again, as long as I'm writing, I'm sure I'll be bouncing off the walls about something or other.

Now, when November rolls around, I can focus on what's really important. Gears of War 2!!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

What do YOU want for Christmas little boy?


Ok, so maybe I couldn’t get the life sized werewolf statue, but I got me a freaking Lancer Rifle, baby!!!! Well, I pre-ordered it anyway and it looks pretty cool. For those who don’t know, the Lancer is the main weapon from the game Gears of War. More than your standard shooter rifle, this one has a chainsaw bayonet; one of those simple, yet elegant modifications that makes for some excellent spray during those up-close encounters. Speaking of excellent spray, my reaction to seeing this replica gun (ok…big toy) isn’t exactly something I’m proud of.

Still, this thing looks f’ing awesome. It’s being released with Gears of War 2 this November through Amazon.com. It’s life size, has a removable clip, a fold-out side handle for those heavy fire engagements and…wait for it…a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time!!! No, that’s a BB gun reference from A Christmas Story. This one does actually make the chainsaw sound and rumbles when you pull the trigger. Don’t roll your eyes at me! It’s better than that little helmet that came with the Super Special Edition of Halo 3.

Needless to say, my wife isn’t happy about this. She can handle the inevitable appearance of this gun in just about any family photo op for the next year or two. She doesn’t even mind me being such a flaming geek. In her words, “You’re a dork, but you’re a cute dork.” She’s just not thrilled with the knowledge that, since she’s the only one in the house with me most of the time, she’ll be the victim of countless plastic chainsaw attacks. Eh, if Inspector Clouseau could get used to being ambushed in his own home, so can she.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Slightly less heat = slightly less crankiness

The only good thing about summer lately is the TV schedule. Sure the real shows are on hiatus (except for the ones on Sci Fi Channel, bless ‘em), but there are so many spectacularly crappy reality shows to choose from! My wife likes So You Think You Can Dance and I admit I’ve gotten into it. There’s some real talent there and all those routines are very entertaining (plus the girls with their tight little dancer booties wrapped up in tight little dancer outfits). Also, American Gladiators. I mean…what more do you want?

What more? How about Last Comic Standing (not nearly as good the last few seasons, but still good stuff in there sometimes), Wipeout (boneheads getting punched in the nards by electric boxing gloves and then getting knocked off a pedestal by a giant rotating crane), I Survived a Japanese Game Show (more boners taking idiotic contests way too seriously while the Japanese audience laughs at them and makes fun of them in their native tongue), I could go on and on. One of my VERY favorites is Hell’s Kitchen, which has already wrapped up and declared their winner. Being a former waiter myself, I cannot get enough of watching Gordon Ramsey chew out the customers who complain. “Sit down and get some more Botox, you DONKEY!!”

In short, I like watching attention-starved idiots (not Ramsey, he’s a genius) get knocked around and made to look like morons on national TV. Sure, they’ll tell you they’re getting’ paid and all that, but I still enjoy watching them cry and wince. Hell, if I was some all-powerful emperor, I’d pay them do dance for me like that. Heh.

Seriously, though, you’d better pray I never become an all-powerful emperor. My plan to turn all cities into Mordland (home of Dethklok…see picture) would destroy the world economy and possibly a few ecosystems.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Summer SUCKS!!


So far this summer, it’s been warm and sometimes hot but still just summer. Then, all of a sudden, the earth cracks open and the skies start to boil and my car’s tires meld with the scalding pavement!

Ok, that may be a bit dramatic, but it’s gotten really freaking HOT!! I hate the summer anyway, but this has made me retreat into my house like a pecker on a cold day. Guys, you know what I mean. Even sitting in my office trying to work is a damn chore. You just can’t escape it. Has the earth gotten too close to the sun? I know there’s some science thing to that effect, but my brain is too scalded to come up with it.

WHEN WILL IT BE AUTUMN!!!??????

Fine, I’ll stop whining about the weather. In other news, I’m plucking away at SKINNERS 2 and it’s coming along swimmingly. Mmmmmm. Swimming. You know what’s been keeping me typing through the late hours and holding my core temperature down to an acceptable level? Scooters iced lattes. More specifically, the peanut butter and chocolate espresso smoothie. I think that’s what it’s called. I know where it is on the menu. I’m rambling now.