Friday, June 18, 2010

The Big Three

E3 is pretty much wrapped up now. I think it goes through today, but all the big announcements were made by the end of Tuesday. I was able to see the Microsoft briefing on Monday and the Nintendo one late Tuesday, but had a lot of trouble catching the Sony one. I had to watch them online, so there was a lot of crashed sites, buffering, broken links and that sort of thing. I finally caught up when Sony posted the briefing on PSN. So anyway, here goes.

Microsoft - They were all about their "controller-free" motion control system which is now called Kinect. Looks very cool at first until I think about how I'm going to play games where I do something other than swatting or jumping over stuff. The big focus is to get gamers off their butts and interacting with their TV. My problem is that when I have time to game, I WANT to sit on my butt. If I had kids, I'd be much more excited about this but being a guy who's pushing 40, I got winded from watching the Kinect demos put on by all those athletes and "active people". There are some games that look awesome such as a Metal Gear sword-type game where you can run around and slice anything into pieces, including trucks and (of course) people. YES! I'm severely pumped for Gears of War 3 and the new Halo game looks amazing.

Nintendo - There was a lot to like about this one. The new Zelda and Metroid games jump out right away, but their big focus was on the 3DS. It's a DS with 3D that's supposed to work without glasses. They couldn't show it to anyone who wasn't there to see it first-hand, but I have enough faith in Nintendo to figure it's probably pretty cool. The new Zelda looked impressive, even if it wasn't working at 100% for the presentation. Nintendo has a lot of hardcore fans and it's funny to hear them hoot and holler for the slightest things. New Kirby game? YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! He looks like a ball of yarn now??? HELL YES!!!!!!!!!!!! Not that I didn't blow my wad when I saw the new Gears, but it's still funny to hear such unbridled wonderment over so many things in a row. Kind of like dropping a pirated advance copy of Rob-sessed 2 into a middle school cafeteria. Or, my reaction to the Star Wars lightsaber game for XBox's Kinect.

Sony - They have a new motion controller too and this is the one I've been most excited about. It's an actual controller that looks much better suited for "real" games. A great deal of their presentation was in pointing this out (heh...get it? Pointing. It's a pointer controller! Moving on) and making fun of Microsoft's lack of buttons. Oddly enough, the coolest presentation they had for their motion control thing (The PS Move) was a game called Sorcery. This was odd, because I thought it was a game that could actually be played pretty well on the Kinect. Oh well. There were tons of games to love including Killzone 3 and a new God of War for the PSP. Sony also spent a lot of time harping their 3D tech. Do I need to buy one of those new TVs for that or does it come through fine with the PS3 alone? I'm not sure. It's one of those things that looks cool, but seems out of my reach. HA! Reach!! Like it's 3D and I'm reaching for....never mind. I'm burned out from looking at too many game trailers.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Radio spot

For those of you not in the Illinois area or if you just somehow missed my interview on WSPL a little while back, here's a link to hear the streamed version. Hope you like it and before you comment on how bad my voice is or how dorky I sound...I already know!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Writer's Jam Report

Yesterday was my first jam session. Ha. Hilarious. Hey, I've never been in a band, so at least let me say that once. The event at Krypton Comics turned out to be a lot better than suggested by first appearances. When I arrived, there were three cars in the parking lot: mine, another writer's and someone else's. Going by past experiences with signings and such, that car was our only audience member or possibly just someone looking to buy comics. The rest of us showed up and by the time the panel got rolling, all of the seats that had been set up for the event were filled!

A great group turned up both behind the table and in the audience. It's always nice to be around other writers since we don't really get a chance to commiserate in regards to shop talk. At least, anti-social, sun-dreading cave-dwellers like me don't get many opportunities like that. It's always so refreshing to swap editing stories and compare industry nightmares. There were plenty of great tips for the audience as well. That's good, since it was a panel for them.

One funny / embarrassing thing. There was a woman in the audience who I recognized as someone I'd gone to high school with. She's been to one of my signings and I was happy to see her at this event. I saw her in the audience, smiled and acknowledged her a few times with a nod amd afterward, I figured she'd come up to say hello. She came up, talked to the person next to me and left without a word to her old classmate. Odd. Well, not really. I checked that high school friend's Facebook page and found out she's been in Cincinnati since Thursday. To that very nice complete stranger in the audience yesterday...sorry about all of that smiling and nodding. To that high school on the alert because you have a doppelganger!! Honest mistake on my part. Remember, I don't get out much.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Almost E3 time!!

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) happens next week and I'm looking forward to it. That's when all the big video game announcements for the next year or so are made and it's pretty exciting for gaming geeks like me. Seems like the festivities have kicked off a little early, because this new trailer hit the internet and it looks AWESOME. Seems like the new Mortal Kombat is taking a cue from the newest Street Fighter games by keeping the gameplay 2D while boosting the graphics and everything else to current gen standards. See for yourself...


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

OSFest is shaping up!

Next month is the OSFest convention here in Omaha. I'm always glad to do local events like this. There's a great community out here and the previous OSFests have been wonderful. This year looks to be even better! Click on the link in the "Out and About" section above to see their website.

I recently got a list of the panels that are scheduled and it looks like I've got some fun ones to look forward to. On Friday night, there's one called, "Bump, there goes the neighborhood". I don't have details on every panel, but I'm thinking this has something to do with monsters in modern day or urban settings or something along those lines. Should be cool. On Sunday, there's a panel on World Building and I was also supposed to do a reading. Then I saw my reading was scheduled opposite a panel called, "Vampires Don't Sparkle". Now, I'm not one to rock the boat with programming, but I HAD to be on an anti-sparkle panel! I contacted the OSFest guys and told them I'd sacrifice my reading to sit on that panel. They were gracious enough to not only put me on the panel, but reschedule my reading for late Saturday night. I hope to have a few people show up for the reading, which should be a lot of fun. One convention had me there to promote Skinners, but listed me with all of my western credits and billed my reading as something of a good ol' time to round up the cowpokes. Needless to say, some of the people in attendance were horrified when I read the opening mutilations from Howling Legion instead. Oh well. Being a horror author, that kind of reaction is fine with me.

So it looks like OSFest is going to be great. Anyone in the Omaha area the weekend of July 23-25 should check it out! The folks from Nevermore Paranormal will be there as well, so come on down and say hello to some real MEG guys! See you there.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Making your weekend plans so you don't have to!

This weekend wasn't bad, but wasn't as cool as this weekend will be! This Saturday is the Writer's Jam at Krypton Comics here in Omaha. For those of you in the area, come on over to enjoy a panel of writers including me, Chloe Neill, Matthew Rotundo, Travis Heermann and others. My apologies to the others. This is the list of participants as far as my latest info tells me. The event is set up to be a series with panels held every so often on the subject of the craft / business of writing. Should be a lot of fun for anyone interested in writing or writers. There will be plenty of chances for Q & A and of course you'll be able to buy our books and get them signed. Sounds great, doesn't it?

Krypton Comics is a great store anyway, filled with all the stuff that makes every geek's heart sing. At least, it makes THIS geek's heart sing. Anyway, I hope to see a bunch of you there. If you're a writer, the best advice comes from other writers. If nothing else, talking to more of us makes you realize you're not the only one who goes crrrrazy trying to piece a story together.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

...but I'm not making a habit of it.

Yesterday, I woke up earlier than usual and for some reason was thinking about Iron Man. That sounds weird, I know, but there it is. I figured I could get to an early show and be back in time to start work. Well I did and it was actually good. I was expecting Iron Man 2 to be pretty good and it WAS! Took a little while to get to some real Iron Man action, but the movie was great!! What I'm surprised about was the actual theater experience. I've been spoiled with the home theater and annoyed with the "high price / loud jackasses with their phones" combo pack, which has gotten me into the habit of waiting for DVD releases.

This time was great! At first, it looked like I was going to be the only one in the theater. Eventually 5 more people wandered in but kept to themselves. No screaming during every quiet part. No yapping on their phone or texting while using the most blindingly bright screen setting possible. And no tossing beach balls around before the previews started. What the HELL is up with that??? Is that a local thing or some new and improved form of douche baggery?

Even more surprising was the fact that I was the ONLY ONE who stayed through the credits to see the last scene and most recent teaser for the next Marvel movie. Now, this is where it's very cool seeing a genre movie in a big crowd on opening day. We're all there as one big geek collective. We all know about the secret scene and applaud after watching it with baited breath. Although the home theater is great in every other way, there's no beating the experience of sitting in a theater packed full of like-minded nerds who just want to see comic books come to life.

This was a very cool movie and a fun day out. You know what brought me back to my original line of thinking? The price of my ticket and snacks was about the same as buying the DVD.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Seriously...I did do SOME work over the long weekend

Although I don't generally get to partake in long weekends (or any weekends) like everybody else since writers typically always need to work, I did get some down time over this last one. Mostly, I caught up on a bunch of housework type of stuff like cleaning the bathroom and buzzing my hair. I know it's time to shave it off when there's enough hair to get bed-head. Since I could actually feel some movement up there when the wind blew, I was getting dangerously close to "hippie phase".

Also, and much more interestingly, I caught up on some movies I've been wanting to see. First up was Land of the Lost. This one is the embodiment of why NetFlix is so great. I mainly use the Instant Queue on the XBox, so the DVDs they send me through the mail are freebies in my mind. Land of the Lost is one I wanted to see because Will Ferrel is always pretty funny but the movie had the chance to be too stupid for words. Well, it was pretty stupid, but in a great way. I laughed my ass off at some stuff. Then again, I still find the Three Stooges to be hilarious so that's that.

Next was Legion. When I think of a movie where angels come down from the heavens to kick human ass, the first one that comes to mind is The Prophecy. That movie is AWESOME. Legion, while not as good as that, was pretty cool. I liked the premise of God getting "fed up with all the bullshit" (as stated by the main character) and deciding to clean house again. Instead of a flood, He sends in a bunch of flippin' cool demon type things. Michael stands up for us, Gabriel comes in to get his hands dirty, angelic throwdown commences. Very nice! I would have liked a little more of the creepy stuff and action, but that's no surprise, right? Recommended.

Day Two started off with Dragon Wars. This is a movie that's all about expectations. Anyone who's read this blog knows about my fondness for those crappy Sci-Fi Channel (since I still cringe to call it SyFy Channel) movies. You know, like Mega-Shark vs Giant Octopus? Those movies are perfect relaxation tools where you watch some over-the-top stuff and plot-wise it doesn't matter if you fall asleep anywhere along the line. Dragon Wars seemed like one of those with a much bigger budget. Well, that's actually a fair description. Are you expecting a riveting plot that makes sense all the way through with characters that behave rationally and get wounded when they're shot? This one's not for you. If you're ready to kick back and see some huge and honestly very cool giant monsters stomp and fly through modern cities? Then you'll have a fun time with this. I was fully signed on for the latter of those and enjoyed myself thoroughly. Were there laugh-out-loud dumb moments scattered throughout? Oh yeah, but that's part of the fun.

Finally, there was Daybreakers. Seems like I saved the best for last because this one was great! Very cool premise. Awesome effects. Scary vampires. Willem Dafoe!!! It starts off with the vampires having already taken over and settled in to make the world their own, complete with vamp advertising campaigns and cars that are protected against sunlight. I thought the Subwalk underground walkway was a cool touch. Humans are slapped into giant milking machines and drained of blood. I especially loved the horrific bat-vamps that came about when regular bloodsuckers were starved for too long. They mutated into these big Nosferatu dudes with wings and feet that could grab onto the ceiling Spider-Man style. Awesome?? I think so.

And today I run out to the store to buy The Wolf Man on DVD. Or should I go Blu Ray? Can't wait for this one. Please don't let the ads make this look better than it is. I want to love this movie SO MUCH!! I'll let you know.

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, 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.