Thursday, March 31, 2011
I know it's tough to come up with fresh plots but really? Must we be treated to the ETS every two years (ETS = Evil Twin Syndrome).
This plotline between Sami and Faux Rafe is getting....sickening. Back in the 70's, it was new and fresh when Marlena was kidnapped and held captive by her evil twin Samantha, but now, after almost 40 years it's getting stale. Note the number of times you've relied on ETS to carry plotlines:
Andre DiMera/Tony DiMera
Patch reappearing after everyone thought he was dead and in the coffin with a new name I can't think of right now
John Black also reappearing after everyone thought he was dead, with amnesia
and I'm sure there are more I can't think of just now! C'mon, really. You want us to believe Sami really can't tell this guy is not her husband? Do they really have the same moves in the bedroom? Was Faux Rafe such an incredibly quick study? He seems kinda dumb to me. Don't get me wrong, Galen Gering is one of my favorite actors on the show, but this role has him playing an insensitive dolt - okay, maybe he's stretching his acting chops, but the writers are also stretching the bounds of belivability - at least for this blogging cat! and let's not even go into the whole memory erase thing Stefano did with the real Rafe. If I were to sit here and type out every incident of Memory Erasure Stefano has done over the last 30 years on the soap, I would need two new paws!
So what? We all know the real Rafe will turn up eventually - what are they gonna do, have faux Rafe get accused of murder and then bring in the real Rafe to take advantage of his death penalty sentence? And of coruse, some intrepid investigator (Jennifer, possibly, or Jack - we all know Jack is coming back at some point, whether he's played by Matt Ashford or not) will discover the switch at the last dramatic minute as Rafe lies on the execution table (think Sami and Lucas, way back when) and then it will be another year of Sami trying to find something to jog Rafe's memory so they can go back to canoodling in bed like they used to. It's pretty damn sad when a blogging cat can predict storylines, eh??????
Dont' get me wrong - I love this soap, and so does my master. We'd just like to see something fresh and not constantly dredging up teh same old storyline once in awhile. Is that too much to ask? Really?
Don't worry - we'll still DVR ya, and watch ya - hmmm - let's see. Who on the show hasn't had an evil twin yet? Nicole? Chloe? Carly? No, wait! Maggie Horton....hm, now there's a thought! Days writers, go for it! Oh, and if they do ax All My Children, maybe you can get Michael Knight...I hear he's very good at playing evil twins...at least that's what they said on HOT IN CLEVELAND.
ROCCO, THE SCI FI BLOGGING CAT
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Hey! Guess what! Today is a big day - my interview with SFR writer and blogger HEATHER MASSEY. Heather and my master/mom are buds, so of course I consented to do this intereview w/her. She's a really funny gal, with heaps of talent, so I think you will really enjoy this! (Plus she was very gracious to me - to the point of offering catnip tea)
Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express. Heather’s debut erotic sci-fi romance novel, Once Upon a Time in Space (Red Sage Publishing), features the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus on a desperate quest to find a new world. Standing in his way is Raquel, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.
And now, onto my interview!
RLT: Hi, Heather! Great to meet you! My master speaks highly of you. Good luck w/your new novel! Please tell us a bit about yourself…
HM:Rocco, the pleasure is all mine, meow. Thanks for your well wishes. As for who I am, I’m a blogger who searches for science fiction romance adventures aboard my blog, The Galaxy Express. That’s where readers can learn about the latest releases and news in the subgenre, as well as enter various giveaways. (Plus, they can have a bit of catnip tea and chase laser pointers if so inclined.) I’m also a published author with the release of my debut erotic sci-fi romance, ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE (Red Sage Publishing).
Here’s the premise: The last living descendant of Christopher Columbus embarks on a desperate quest to find a new world. Standing in his way is Raquel, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy. *** Interested readers can download the first three chapters for free on my Book page (multiple formats available).
RLT: What draws you to the SFR genre?
HM: So many different things! SFR is about romance, mind-boggling worlds, and action-adventure all rolled into one tasty bite. The subgenre delivers an entertaining way to experience technology-based settings and science fictional concepts through the lens of heroes and heroines navigating complicated emotional and sexual bonds. While I enjoy all different kinds of sci-fi romance, it’s the larger-than-life space opera tales that first got me hooked. Additionally, I’ve always gravitated to stories with strong characterization. Sci-fi romance allows me to experience both, plus it offers themes of hope and a Happily Ever After. Then there are elements like kick-butt heroines who are empowering for readers like me. Sci-fi romance abounds with heroines who are starship captains, soldiers, space pirates, scientists, and more. If you ask me, they rule!
RLT: How do you keep your writing “fresh”
HM: I refrigerate it. Ba-da-dum! Frankly, I haven’t been at this writing thingy long enough for my prose to go stale or feel as if it’s headed that way. So far, though, I’ve discovered that if a premise is exciting enough to keep me awake at night, then that carries over to the writing.
RLT: Are you currently working on any projects?
HM:Yes, but I’m embarrassed to say they don’t include any cats. Sorry, Rocco. No dogs are included either, if that makes you feel better.
RLT: Any advice for new aspiring authors?
HM:Never give up. Never surrender. Eat your Wheaties. And if you’re writing in a niche genre, give digital publishing a try. From both my research and personal experience, the booming ebook market has been a huge advantage for science fiction romance writers looking to break in. Publishers like Red Sage Publishing, Samhain Publishing, and Carina Press, among others, can’t get enough of these stories. In a period of industry upheaval, now is the time for creative risk-taking.
RLT: what do you like to do when you’re not writing?
HM:Answer questions from cats. Oh, and solve for that whole last digit of Pi thing.
RLT: Do you have a favorite author/book?
HM:I enjoy all different kinds of stories and read widely across both authors and SFR settings (e.g., space opera, steampunk, military SF). I love enjoy discovering new-to-me authors in particular. In science fiction romance, some of my favorite books include THE OUTBACK STARS (Sandra McDonald), ALPHA (Catherine Asaro), HOPE’S FOLLY (Linnea Sinclair), INTERSTITIAL (Ann Somerville), METAL REIGN (Nathalie Gray), DRIVEN (Eve Kenin), and UNMASKED (C.J. Barry). The list is actually longer, but I know you have to take your cat nap soon, Rocco, so I’ll leave it at that.
RLT: Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you?
HM:I can shoot laser beams from my eyes (but only on Wednesdays). I’m sure it will come in handy if aliens ever invade Earth (on a Wednesday).
RLT: Fantasy or Horror?
HM:Oh, that’s a tough one. Can’t decide. I love both equally.
RLT:If you could be any type of supernatural/SF character, who and why?
HM:Space pirate, because they’re so fearless.
RLT:What would you hope readers would take away from your writing?
HM:A sense of having been satisfyingly entertained, and perhaps a few Deep Thoughts. Thanks for having me, Rocco!
Thank you, Heather!
Interested to learn more about Heather and SFR? Then visit her here:
Blog: http://www.thegalaxyexpress.net/ Website:http://www.heathermassey.com/ Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/4b7l7cu Twitter (Galaxy Express)http://twitter.com/#!/thgalaxyexpress
Have a great day, and don’t forget to vote for your favorite on DANCING WITH THE STARS! I have to go cast my votes now (and no, I'm not telling you who my favorites are, Kirstie, Ralph and Hines! Although that Disney chick isn't bad either...wonder if she likes tuxedo cats?)
Tomorrow we will talk about a great charity: Kids Need 2 Read.
Until then, Meowingly yours,
ROCCO SCI FI BLOGGING CAT
Monday, March 28, 2011
also - I'm on a campaign to get my very own Browncoat! I'm serious - I think I would look WAAAAY cool in one. (And just imagine me all duded up when I hand over my $31 million check to Nathan Fillion to revive the series!) It's my dream...that and catching a plump mouse. I can't decide which excites me more, but...now I have to convince my master I'm worthy of getting a BROWNCOAT. She doesn't seem to get how important this is to me. Mumbled somethign about "Yeah yeah, and try and get you into one." Hey, dudes! I'd wear it in a heartbeat. Or maybe sleep on it. But it would definitely be my most cherished possession. Right next to my jingle ballies. And i wouldnt' lose it as easy as I lose them.
So, what do you say? Help me convince my master to get me my very own Browncoat! Post comments on this blog all this week! My master will pick the most interesting one and send a coupon for a free copy of either NO REST FOR THE WICCA or MY SUPERHERO SISTER. (BUT WILL SHE GET ME MY OWN BROWNCOAT??????) I guess we'll have to see, wont' we?
But ROCCO WILL NOT REST UNTIL HE HAS ONE!
Serenely yours, ROCCO THE SCI FI BLOGGING CAT
Friday, March 25, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Master has forgiven me for my predatory instincts and I, Rocco, once again have control of the blog! (C'mon, you missed me - you know you did. Who wants to read boring posts on writing and Dancing with the Stars!) However....
one condition of my return is that Master will blog once a week on her writing,books, authors, etc. It's a rotten job but someone has to do it :)
Today, though, is MINE! And I'm calling it WACKY WEDNESDAY! A recap of recent events that can be classified as....wacky!
For example, check this out: http://news.yahoo.com/odd
National Geographic launched a house with helium balloons, police found a burglar hanging over a vat of frying oil screaming, the latest rage in the UK is Mad Hatter crockery sets, and, yes, here's the best one: SEX CAN KILL YOU.
Does Pamela Anderson know????????
It's a great site for odd tidbits of news and articles - all true, supposedly. Ain't that a kick in the tail???????? that saying, truth is stranger than fiction, really applies here.
Well, first day back and I dont' want to overdo (press my luck, whatever) Master is keeping a close watch on me, so I have to behave...for awhile.
However, surfing the net I wandered onto the SciFi Saturday Night site, and noticed two great articles: One about the Firefly/Browncoat gang and a movement to get Browncoat Redemption aired onthe SyFy channel, and the other, one near and dear to my heart....A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO DARK SHADOWS! You've got to visit www.scifisaturdaynight.com and look at these, people! Especially the Dark Shadows one. the new Johnny Depp movie is just a year away - it will be here before we know it! and anyone who doens't know the history of Dark Shadows - well, this will be...enlightening, shall we say??????? A big MEOW to Maynard Winter for posting that!
And now I really must take a CAT-nap.
SCI-FI BLOGGING CAT
I'M BACK BABY
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Well, Rocco is still being punished....he tried to get his paw under the a/c yesterday - but then he curled up in my lap to watch tv so.....he might be back tomorrow.
Today, let's talk about my favorite TV show - yes, I admit it. I'm a Dancing with the Stars junkie. I'm not big into reality tv, and I'm definitely NOT into American Idol, but I LOVE DANCING.
Frankly, I didnt expect much last night. I mean face it - this season could well have been called DANCING WITH THE STARLESS. I mean, the biggest names on there were Sugar Ray and Kirstie Alley. But I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the stars were good - really good - and Ralph Maccio lived up to the earlier hype and blew the competition away (much like Jennifer Gray did last season). there were a few surprises - I mean, who knew Kristie Alley could dance? I mean, really dance! John Travolta must have taught her a thing or two on all those "talkin" movies, becasue she had the moves! She could actually give Ralph a run for his money. There are a few who could give Ralph competition, actually. Kendra looked good. So did Chelsea. And the judges were in rare form - Bruno especially! I'm waiting for Len to change seats with Carrie Ann :)
Rocco seemed especially entranced by the dancing. I suppose now I'll see him practicing his "moves" around the house. (Just as long as I dont' trip over you, Rocco. You're in enough trouble as it is).
All in all, Dancing was worth staying up for. It'll be interesting to see how it all plays out. The last few seasons have been so predictable...I'd really like to see a tight competition for a change.
How do the rest of you feel?
OK, got to get to my job now. Rocco will most likely be back tomorrow. I'm getting the "hairy eyeball" so I will hope he's learned his lesson :)
Mom to Rocco, Maxx, Trixie and Gata
Monday, March 21, 2011
which means y'all are stuck with me :)
So since I'm doing the posting today, I thought I'd talk a bit about what I love to do: writing.
The main question I always get is, where do you get your ideas? the answer is: I can't tell you. Not becasue I want to keep it a deep, dark secret or anything, I jsut can't tell you becasue I really dont' know. They jsut come, and at odd times and in odd places. I can't tell you how many times I've woken from a dream in which I had the best idea or breakthrough ever, and if I dont' get myself up and write it down immediately forget it! (that's exactly what happens - I forget it) I also get a lot of ideas in the tub. Yes, the tub. Water is extremely good for promoting creative energy - a psychic friend of mine told me that once. And i've found it to be true. Some of my best characters were created in the tub - case in point, Autumn Hathaway.
Autumn is the main character in my series that did not sell. the first book was entitled SOAPSUDS, SEX AND SILVER BULLETS and it actually interested an agent who, at the time three years ago, was regarded as somewhat of a powerhouse in the industry. It went out on one round, attracted the attention of an editor at NAL, went all the way up to the editorial board - and was shot down becasue a) its author was unknown, untested and untried, and b) it was too similar to Eileen Davidson's soap opera mystery series. Said agent lost interest and eventually we parted ways - but that's another story.
Anyway, there's just something in me that refuses to give up on Autumn Hathaway and her world. ONe thing I've got to change is make it more of a romance than a mystery - seems they sell better. but aside from that, I truly believe that I created a group of characters just as memorable as any others. For example:
Autumn Hathaway - a mortal girl. Totally mortal, no powers of any kind. what the heck would she be doing in a paranormal romance/mystery, you say? THAT'S THE HOOK. She's mortal! autumn's a gal who's had a spotty, bad love life and as a result she's sworn off men. Moved to New York from LA after a failed love affair and got a job as Headwriter on a daytime soap, STORMY SEAS (I'm thinking of making it a nighttime series in the rewrite, as soaps are getting passe) Stormy Seas was created by a vampire, and stars a werewolf and a vampire (real ones) as the main characters. Autumn has lusty feelings for her werewolf star, but they're merely the manifestations of her sexual repression - her real feelings are for....ta dah.....
Logan Slade - an Inheritor Vampire detective. Inheritor Vampires are a special breed of vamp who, thanks to a mortal strain in thier background, have many human traits while still retaining some of the ones that characterize a vampire. For example, they do have a thirst for blood, but they find it easier to control becasue they can also eat regular foods. They can walk in sunlight, look at crosses, see their reflection, yada yada, but they can also shapeshift into bats, mind meld like most vampires. Autumn meets Logan when he's called in to investigate a murder at the studio, and sexual sparks fly! there's also...
Simon Halliwell - a Luna - he's a half breed, the result of a mortal mother and a werewolf father, but he can do anythig a regular werewolf can do. He's sexy, he's handsome, he's the star of Stormy Seas and he gets accused of a murder he did not commit. Which brings us to....
Henry Bourne - Autumn's boss and another Inheritor Vampire. he's fiercely devoted to his two nephews, simon and Bryce - but would he kill for them? And then there's
Selena Carter - Autumn's best friend, another mortal who's got a giant sized crush on Simon and who has no reservations whatsoever about dating a werewolf.
there are lots and lots of secondary characters, too. I was criticized for having too many of them but you know what? The better for spin offs, my dear.
and I thought of all of them in the tub!
Autumn and company will have another life - I jsut havent' decided how, yet. But they will. Some characters are just too good, too memorable to let rot in your computer :) How did i think of them? Well, I've always loved mystery shows, and I was a huge DARK SHADOWS fan growing up. this idea's been germinating for years. sometimes all you need is just a little shove, a little spark ofj something to get you going...in my case it was a rejection letter on another novel that I'd written thast sparked, once agains, the idea of writing about a gal who's human, and who writes for a show where the entire cast and crew are supernatural....all but her, and yet she's the one who solves the mysteries. Kind of like a combo Buffy/Nancy Drew.
and then there's the superhero, ONYX, who's inspiration was the name on the side of a garbage truck...but that's a post for another day.
We'll have to see if Rocco is back tomorrow....he misses typing, and he's trying to be good. But he's so good at being BAD.
Mom to Rocco, Max, Trixie and Gata
Friday, March 18, 2011
- Captain Mal Reynolds, Firefly 2002-2003, Serenity, 2005
- Caleb, the psycho priest, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 2003
- Kevin, LOST, 2006
- Dr. Adam Mayfair, Desperate Housewives, 2007-2008
- Joey Buchanan, One Life to LIve, 1994-1997
Fillion is beloved by hoards of Sci-Fi fans for his portrayal of Captain Mal on the now defunct Firefly series. He reprised the role in a 2005 film, SERENITY, but it failed to revive the series (as creator Joss Whedon of Buffy fame had hoped). In the article, Fillion stated that he loved doing Firefly and, were he to win the lottery, would buy the rights from Fox and produce a revival. (and I, Rocco the Sci-Fi Blogging Cat, have promised that if i win at least 31 million in a lottery of any size, shape, or form, to contact Mr. Fillion and invest and co-produce) He was touched by the fans starting up a webpage in a "bring back Firefly" campaign, but also mentioned that he didn't want people sending in money for it, although he was touched by the gesture (waht a nice guy - imagine that - hunky and nice!)
the whole tone of the article, which Fillion fans will enjoy, is that Fillion is basically NICE. He loves acting, feels he's been very fortunate with the roles he's gotten in life, and he's just...nice! WHO SAYS NICE GUYS FINISH LAST!!!!!
As for upcoming projects, Fillion will appear as "the Holy Avenger" in the upcoming film, SUPER. Release date April 8.
On his Castle character and his "romance" with Beckett: While Stana Katic feels it would be great to explore getting those two together and see what bumps they could throw into a relationship, Fillion feels that "jumping the shark" would be a bad idea. Quote: "When you get people together, they stop with the yearning." Rocco has to agree! Look what happened to Maddie and Dave, Amanda and Lee, Jeannie and Captain Nelson!
Moral of the day: Romantic angst is best!
And Nathan Fillion is tops! Go buy Entertainment Weekly and read the article! It delivers!
Have a wonderful weekend,
ROCCO - SCI FI BLOGGING CAT
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I thought we could celebrate by recapping a bit of the history of the day, and the person. As usual, much of the info below is courtesy of Wikipedia, Rocco's approved source of information :)
Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the 4th century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father and grandfather were deacons in the Church. At the age of sixteen, he was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken captive to Ireland as a slave. It is believed he was held somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, possibly Mayo, but the exact location is unknown. According to his Confession, he was told by God in a dream to flee from captivity to the coast, where he would board a ship and return to Britain. In 432, he again said that he was called back to Ireland.J By then he had become a bishop, and his mission was to Christianise the Irish. (Irish folklore tells that one of his teaching methods included using the shamrock to explain the Christian doctrine of the Trinity to the Irish people. ) He died on 17 March 461, and according to tradition, was buried at Downpatrick. Although there were other more successful missions to Ireland from Rome, Patrick endured as the principal champion of Irish Christianity and is held in esteem in the Irish Church. (remember the popular legend that he drove the snakes from Ireland? A euphemism for driving paganism out of the country).
Saint Patrick's feast day, as a kind of national day, was already being celebrated by the Irish in Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries. In later times he became more and more widely known as the patron of Ireland. The first Saint Patrick's Day parade held in the Irish Free State was held in Dublin in 1931 and was reviewed by the then Minister of Defence Desmond Fitzgerald.
The first Saint Patrick's Festival was held on 17 March 1996. In 1997, it became a three-day event, and by 2000 it was a four-day event. By 2006, the festival was five days long; more than 675,000 people attended the 2009 parade. Overall 2009's five day festival saw close to 1 million visitors, who took part in festivities that included concerts, outdoor theatre performances, and fireworks.
New York's first Saint Patrick's Day observance was similar in nature to that of Boston's. It was held on 17 March 1762 in the home of John Marshall, an Irish Protestant, and over the next few years informal gatherings by Irish immigrants were the norm. The first recorded parade in New York was by Irish soldiers in the British Army in 1766. Of coruse, it has now grown into the day-long celebration it is today, with national television coverage (NBC devotes practically an entire day to it), school marching bands, etc. Popular eating establishments such as Shannon Rose, Friday's, etc, offer green beer, and some places even offer green eggs! and, of coruse, everyone wears SOMETHIGN green today, even if they are not Irish (except me, sorry. No collars of any color for this bad boy kitty, although I do have a green ballie). The popular drink of the day besides green beer: IRISH COFFEE!
so there you have it! Have a Happy St. Patrick's and we will see you tomorrow.
SCI FI BLOGGING CAT
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
It's a Canadian based site and they have lots of cool stuff: Book reviews, latest news, podcasts, etc. Some of the books on their home page caught my eye:
(This is taken directly from their site)
John Dies at the End by David Wong: Those who like to delve into the realms of the unreal and offbeat, this is a really good one. What other cover has a severed hand on it wearing green nail varnish? This is as good an indication as any that what's inside is a fun read. It is an unusual novel that has several influences from some of the most notable horror fiction writers around, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King and dare one say, Douglas Adams.
that was under first novels and I must say, piqued my interest! they also mention favorites such as the Kitty Norville series (Kitty Takes A Holiday). There is also a discussion board and much more!
Rocco, the SciFi Blogging Cat, highly recommends! Check it out!
Also checked out the Firefly site. Looks as if they have met thier donation goal for March - and you can also support the cause (if you're a Firefly or NATHAN FILLION FAN) by buying DVD's of Firefly, Serenity and CASTLE at their Amazon store. Check it out at www.fireflyfans.com
SCI FI BLOGGING CAT
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
And in the world of science fiction, there is a site devoted to fans of the defunct series, FIREFLY (starring that hunk, NATHAN FILLION) http://www.fireflyfans.net/
They have a campaign to raise money to bring back the show - hmmm. Should I tell them when I win my $31 million it's full steam ahead?????????
signing off from space,
ROCCO THE SCI FI BLOGGING CAT
Monday, March 14, 2011
For those of you who missed it, here's the link so you can hook onto the podcast: http://www.scifisaturdaynight.com/
Please note the title: EVEN CATS LOVE SCI-FI
And we do, we do, we do! We'll post more on them (they have a few ComicCons coming up, which I love) books, movies, etc., in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!
I also want to give a shout out to two people who deserve a mention, but who I couldn't get to on Saturday Night: Jeff Taormina, the guy who did the fabulous artwork for SHS - and my good friend Heather Massey, who does a wonderful job helping promote SHS on her blog, Galaxy Express. We'll get you next time!
(Note: Disclaimer from Maxx: PLease, Sci Fi People, dont' feed into him. He's conceited enough as it is. This has really put him over the top)
Friday, March 11, 2011
In the 1970's, DC started pairing off some superheroes - most notably the Green Arrow and Green Lantern. (Maybe they liked GREEN???) Green Arrow was portrayed as street-smart and angry, whereas Green Lantern came across as more of a "good guy". thus began the classification of superheroes into two groups: the "classic superhero" and the "brazen anti-hero".
The next superhero to undergo serious makeover was Batman, as DC changed playboy millionaire Bruce Wayne into a darker figure and brought the Caped Crusader back to his original vigilante roots. Marvel also jumped on the antihero bandwagon, introducing dark heroes such as Wolverine, and Daredevil. Possibly the most popular of these was Batman: The Dark Knight REturns, which ran from 1985-1986 and which featured him returning from a alternate future emerging from retirement. Batman became an obsessed vigilante (cue the new movies starring Christian Bale) and appears to be more at odds with authority figures, including Commissiner Gordon. Batman's new look continued in Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Strikes Again, wherein Batman battles a corrupt government, led by Lex LUthor! and, oddly, Superman (whose submission to Luthor's power structure is in the name of saving lives). superman also underwent a makeover: he was killed and reborn, (The popular "Death of Superman" series, that went on for over a year), and eventually married Lois Lane.
Superheros hit their stride in films with Alexander Salkind's 1978 version of SUPERMAN, wherein the late Christopher Reeve delivered his most memorable performance as Kal-El, the visitor from another planet who becomes Earth's guardian angel, at the expense of his own personal life. Reeve was (still is) the embodiment of the Man of Steel, the fantasy hero that Lois Lane soared high above the clouds with. This went on for four movies, the first two masterpieces, the last two forgettable. In the interim, Tim Burton introduced us to a new improved Batman in 1989. Michael Keaton took on the cape, with Jack NIcholson delivering a memorable perfomrance as the Joker. the sequel Batman Returns, did not fare as well (despite Michelle Pfeiffer, looking VERRY tasty as Catwoman, Selina Kyle). Keaton shed the cape, only to have it donned by Val Kilmer and then George Clooney. Many said Clooney's performance killed the franchise and Batman disappered...but only for awhile.
Batman Begins in 2005 marked Christian Bale's donning of the cape. Minus Robin but with Michael Caine as trusty Alfred, BB marked a new page in superheroes. Bale's performance as a troubled millionaire who turns into a caped vigilante was an instant success at the box office, and spawned a sequel which won the late Heath Ledger an Oscar for his turn as the Joker. 2006 also saw Superman Returns, but critics panned the film for not having enough action - and for at the end, alluding that Lois' son was also Supe's. (In comic book canon, even though Lois and Clark married, they never had a child). The Superman series is now undergoing major changes, with a new movie due out in 2012.
Television has had its share of superheroes too: Buffy and Angel could be considered dark heroes, and the series Lois and Clark in the late 80's explored the relationship between Lois and Clark more than it dwelt on Superman's activities. IN 2001, the series Smallville debuted on the WB, retooling Superman's origins in a teen weekly soap. (I myself never warmed to this - c'mon, all those episodes obsessing over Lana? YOU KNOW HE ENDS UP WITH LOIS). Smallville, now in its tenth and possibly final season, now also focuses on the relationship between Clark and Lois as reporters for the Daily Planet.
So, superheroes have come a long way, and ther journey is far from over. My master's book, MY SUPERHERO SISTER, is more of a homage to the comics of old....a sweet, coming of age story about a mortal girl with a super-sister! Hear her talk about it (and other things) on SciFiSaturday night tomorrow night, 8-9 p.m.
Yawn! typing all this has made me hungry! Guess I'll wander out and see what my piggo sisters have left me in the dry food bowl. Dont' forget: more posts next week, and our interview with author HEATHER MASSEY!
Have a great weekend,
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Superheroes can trace thier origins back to the ancient Greek gods - Hercules with his superhuman strength (there were several stories about Superman, Hercules and Lois Lane back in the 60's) Perseus, etc. Folklore heroes evolved from these: Robin Hood and his band of merry men comes to mind. Even though RH did not possess super-powers, he performed feats of derring-do and appeared super to those he protected. Dime novels and radio programs in the early 20th century featured mysterious heroes with costumes and secret identies who fought the baddies - take for example, Zorro, the Green Hornet. Tarzan might also be considered an early super hero- his extraordinary strength and ability to communicate w/animals is often thought of as a sort of "super-power".
THE GOLDEN AGE OF COMIC HEROES
Fast forward to 1938, where writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joseph Shuster came up with the idea of a planet exploding and sending to earth its only survivor. the yellow sun of earth would give this survivor (whose home planet had a red sun and thus his dense molecular structure) amazing abilities, far beyond the capabilities of mortal man: he would be faster than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings, yada, yada, in short: SUPERMAN! Superman introduced many of the traits we associate with superheroes today: secret identity, superhuman abilities and...a colorful costume! DC Comics, which took a chance on Siegel and Shuster and published Superman, (who made his debut in the first issue of WORLD'S FINEST) were so thrilled with his popularity, they quickly introduced others: Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman. DC also created the first superhero "team", which later became known as THE JUSTICE LEAGUE.
Other companies quickly followed suit: Marvel Comics, DC's prime competitor, came out with the Human Torch, and Quality Comics had Plastic Man. Superheroes grew in popularity during WW II, Wonder Woman in particular. Post-war, however, superheroes lost a lot of their luster. Claiming they promoted "sexual undertones", the comic industry adopted the Comics Code, and by the mid-50's only Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman remained popular.
THE SILVER AGE
In the 1950's DC began a relaunch of their comics characters, triggering what many like to call "the Silver Age" of comics. Flash, Green Lantern and Hawkman were recreated and in 1960 DC officially launched a revamped JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA, which quickly became one of their most popular comics.
Not to be outdone, Marval Comics and its editor writer Stan Lee jumped on the bandwagon as well, creating a new line of superhero comics beginning with the FANTASTIC FOUR AND continuing with THE INCREDIBLE HULK, SPIDER MAN, THE X-MEN and DAREDEVIL, TO NAME A FEW. The Marval characters concentrated less on story and more on character development. (i.e, Spider Man was actually troubled teen Peter Parker). The 50's and 60's were brilliant times for comics; however, by the late 60's interest again started to wane....comics were ready for another deconstruction!
TO BE CONTINUED.....
Yes, kiddies, waaaaaay too much for one post. How much do you think these paws can take LOL.
Tune in tomorrow for the rest.
Note: Our intereview with Heather Massey will appear next week!
Flying off for now,
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I also wanted to post a disclaimer: I am NOT, as some people have inferred, a conceited, opinionated tuxedo cat! I have strong beliefs, but I am not opinionated! Far from it! and as far as being conceited....well....just look in the mirror, meow! I mean, have you ever seen a more handsome specimen of tuxedoness?????? (From MAXX: BARF! I mean, really. He licks the bureau mirror in the morning. LICKS IT!!!!!)
Anyhoo, I have some more lengthy posts to prepare so I have to go do some research now....just wanted to throw out a reminder about SciFiSaturdayNight!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
think about it - way back in the 60's we had GET SMART and I DREAM OF JEANNIE. Both were huge ratings hits when there were covert glances and innuendo of what might be between Maxwell Smart (MAXX's namesake!) and 99, and Jeannie and Major Nelson - the minute the couples married - CANCELLATION.
Fastforward to other shows wherein getting two angst ridden prime players together has turned out to be the KOD - take Moonlighting. we loved the witty repartee and the "will they or won't they" attitude between Maddie and David - the minute they got hot and heavy under the sheets, down went the ratings.
Sometimes the fans WANT the main characters to get together - as in the case of Amanda and Lee in SCARECROW AND MRS. KING. After three years of constant teasing, they finally got together, and married on a Valentine's episode! Ratings plummeted. However, that wasn't the reason the show was cancelled in its fourth season (Kate Jackson had health problems, and so decided to end the show). But it still enjoys a HUGE cult following and there are tons of sites devoted to fan fiction on Lee and Amanda - both BEFORE AND AFTER marriage!
Shows with families already in place do amazingly well - the Huxtables, Everybody Loves Raymond, Home Improvement, etc. But when you put two main characters together with amazing chemistry, the secret to success has always been don't get them together too early - or at least not until you have enough shows to sell the series for syndication. HOUSE, despite the coupling of House and Cuddy, seems to not have lost one iota of its spark - if anything, the good doctor is EVEN MORE NEEDY than he was before - and in this case, that's a good thing. (Spoiler alert) They apparently broke up on last nights episode - we shall see. HOUSE is just one of those characters who can't be TOO happy - that's just not HOUSE. Another show with the angst ridden back and forth is another favorite of mine, CASTLE. These two have had more near misses than a hydrogen bomb. Would it spoil the series if they got together? Only time will tell, but maybe not. The writers on CASTLE do an amazing job of keeping all the storylines fresh and the characters "zesty".
Coupling does not have to be a KOD - but history shows they've got a better chance of surviving more seasons on the air apart than together. (I plan on doing future posts on these two hunks, NATHAN FILLION and HUGH LAURIE. I also cannot understand why Laurie hasn't won more awards. We'll campaign for this later, too.)
Just food for thought on a sunny Tuesday!
Monday, March 7, 2011
firstoff, my master has an interview and giveaway running at I'm a Reader, Not a Writer. win a free copy of MY SUPERHERO SISTER just for following my blog (and friending my master). See the interview and giveaway details here: http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/2011/03/author-interview-ebook-giveaway-my.html
Second: I'd like to thank each and every person following this blog. It means a lot to me, especially since my siblings all made fun of me the first time I sat down at the computer (okay, i had on glasses and a beret,but i was trying to get in the mood). As I get the hang of this thing, my posts will get even better! Trust me!
Third: I mentioned our friend, Heather Massey, has a new book coming out - ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE. If youlove SFR, then you should definitely pick this up! We will have an interview with Heather later in the week - and I will be asking the questions, so stay tuned for that!
Readers can purchase ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE at eredsage.com and All Romance Ebooks right now, and Ibelieve it will also be available at Amazon.com. Cool!
Lastly, for all us DARK SHADOWS FANS: Helena Bonham Carter discusses her role of Dr. Julia Hoffman here:http://www.reelzchannel.com/movie/233735/dark-shadows/?utm_source=Player&utm_medium=Player-Link&utm_campaign=Player-Referral-OnReelzChannel
OK, that's it for Monday. Watch for our Heather Massey interview later this week!
Signing off for now,
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I thought since mymaster is out doing some errands I would do a special Saturday post. She always hogs the computer on Saturday for her writing,but.....cats rule,as you know :) And while the human's away...you get the idea.
Master received a very nice review on her paranormal, NO REST FOR THE WICCA, on the BookBee blog. You can check it out here: http://thebookbee.blogspot.com/2011/03/no-rest-for-wicca.html
And Master would appreciate if any of you who have read her books and liked them, would post a short blurb on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Any little bit helps! (and we want a jungle gym)
In other news, Master's friend, Heather Massey, jsut had her SFR released! We will do a special post on this next week becasue HEATHER ROCKS AND we want to give her our full attention. Meow!
I have some interesting things lined up for this blog and March so keep reading and invite your friends. I will also continue to post updates (as I find out) about DARK SHADOWS AND THE M OVIE! So stay tuned!!!!!!!!
also wanted to alert you to a good cause: the walk to fight MS will be on April 10, and a donation to help fight this deadly disease would be not only humanitarian, but tax deductible :)
visit www.mda.org for more information.
And now, i hear Master in the hall with the groceries. got to get off the computer and see if there are any treats in those bags!
Have a good weekend,
Friday, March 4, 2011
IN 1970, MGM gave Dan Curtis the go-ahead for a movie version of the soap. Curtis decided to do a movie wherein, instead of becoming a tragic hero, Barnabas remained evil and was destroyed, as was the original fate of the character. the result was a film more graphically violent than its tv counterpart, with ten times the bloodlust. Released at the height of DS's "golden age", it was a commercial, if not a critical success. the plot started out similar: Willie, hunting for Naomi Collins' jewels, releases Barnabas from his coffin - by that time Alexandra Moltke had left the show to have a baby, so the governess role was filled by Kathryn Leigh Scott as Maggie Evans - Barnabas, as in the soap, notices her resemblance to Josette and wishes to make her his bride. There were, of course, differences: prime among them the death of practically every major cast member. CArolyn is turned into a vampire and staked; so are Roger and Professor Stokes. Julia is strangled by Barnabas after she turns him into an old man in a jealous rage. About the only characters left alive at the end are David Collins (he appears at the beginning and we never see him again), Jeff Clark (Viki's true love on the soap, now Maggie's) Maggie, and, perhaps....Barnabas? It's amazing how after having a harpoon crash through his chest the guy can still turn into a bat and fly away (hoping for a sequel, of course). However, by the time they were ready for a sequel, the show was off the air and Frid had moved onto other projects so...they threw - and I mean threw - together NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS.
NIGHT had the potential to be the far superior of the two - however, it was rushed into production and before release, many key scenes were cut from the film (execs claimed it ran too long) making it a disjumbled, confusing mass. The story focused on Quentin Collins (the shows werewolf heartthrob, played by David Selby, was just an ordinary guy in this movie) his wife (Kate Jackson, of Charlie's Angels and Scarecrow and Mrs. King fame) who move into the collins mansion after Barnabas has destroyed the family and Mrs. stoddard has passed on. The house is haunted by the spirit of Angelique, who, while still a witch, pines for her lost love Quentin and not Barnabas. The movie rockets back and forth with confusing flashback and dream sequences until finally reaching a totally predictable conclusion. It's been said the missing scenes would have explained a lot and smoothed out the wrinkles, but unfortuately the footage was lost, and nothing was ever re-shot, which might explain why it's never been released on VHS, let alone DVD.
All of which brings us to...the present.
In July 2007 Warner Brothers (which brings us SUPERMAN, BATMAN, FANTASTIC FOUR, ETC) bought the rights to Dark Shadows from the estate of Dan Curtis. shortly thereafter, WB announced it was teaming with Johnny Depp and his production company to bring DS to the big screen. Depp partnered with another fan/friend of his, Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd, etc). both were huge fans of the show as kids. Post-production began in January of this year, with a planned 2012 release. Johnny will star as Barnabas, and recently signed on were Helena Bonham CArter as Dr. Hoffman and Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Stoddard. Tim Burton's films are always dark and mysterious - we can't wait to see what he does with this. And Depp is good in these period pieces (remember LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW?)
There are many trailers and videos on this to check out on You Tube. click here to find some good ones: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Depp+Dark+shadows+trailers&qpvt=Depp+Dark+shadows+trailers&FORM=VDRE
So meow, my work is done! You've all been brought up to date and I hope this whets your appetite for DARK SHADOWS! I know mine is!
Until next week,
Thursday, March 3, 2011
Dark Shadows, the product of a dream by the late producer Dan Curtis in which he saw a girl, dark and mysterious, huddled agasint a window in a train riding to an unknown destination, debuted on ABC June 27, 1966! The original concept did not contain any supernatural elements,but rather just a hint of mystery, somewhat along the lines of another popular soap, EDGE OF NIGHT. Vicki Winters came to Collinsport, Maine, to the ancestral mansion known as Collinwood, to be governess to David Collins, son of Roger Collins and brother of the family matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. From the begining there were spooky instances but nothing really wierd - most of it centered around a murder mystery involving the aforementioned Roger and Vicki's first love interest, Burke Devlin. (It later turned out that Burke had been sent to jail for a murder which Roger committed). Part of the fun was watching madcap heiress, Liz's daughter Carolyn (played beautifully by Nancy Barrett) go through the gyrations of being exactly that - a spoiled brat heiress. Plagued by low ratings, Curtis was convinced the show would not be picked up at the end of its option period so...they started to throw in supernatural characters, feeling that if the ship were sinking, they might as well have some fun going down. There were ghosts, and a phoenix (one who rises from the ashes of fire) but nothing extraordinary...until episode 211.
Episodes 211 to 365 (which began on March 22, 1967 for those who care...or remember) introduced the first foray into the really dark world of the supernatural: Barnabas Collins, a "cousin from England" who was in reality a nearly 200 year old vampire just released from the coffin in which he'd been chained. Barnabas started out evil...chililngly so...and Jonathan Frid's portrayal of him evoked images of Shakespeare's greatest villans. (Frid, from Canada, started his career as a Shakespearean actor...and someday Im gonna do a post about all the great actors we've gotten from Canada, prime among them NATHAN FILLION...but I digress) Barnabas had a fixation with waitress Maggie Evans, a dead ringer for his lost love, Josette (whose spirit also haunted the "old house" and appeared on occasion to David Collins). he kidnapped her and had plans to make her his "vampire bride" but his faithful servant, Willie Loomis, had other ideas and helped Maggie escape. Enter Dr. Julia Hoffman (Grayson Hall) who's called in to investigate her kidnapping. Julia discovers the truth about Barnabas and agreees to help him find a cure (because she's just as hopelessly in love with him as he's hopelessly in love with Vicki, now). It backfires and Barnabas turns into a 200 year old man - he bites Carolyn in order to restore his good looks. In episodes 366 to 460, A seance at the old house follows, and Vicki travels back in time, to 1795, wherein we learn Barnabas's condition is the result of a curse put on him by the jealous witch, Angelique. Often called the "Golden Age" of Dark Shadows, ratings soared during this timeframe, and also during the one that followed, wherein Barnabas was temporarily cured of his vampirism when Dr. Hoffman completed an expiriment allowieng a Frankenstein type monster, Adam, to come to life, using the vampire part of Barnabas as the "life force".
The writers went crazy, now, with a hit on their hands, "borrowing" every type of monster known to man and Universal Studios. Werewolves, gypsies with curses and tarot cards, an ancient Lovecraftian race of superbeings, parallel time and travelling into the future...nothing was left out. Eventually the convoluted storylines brought about the series demise, and we said farewell to Dark Shadows on April 2, 1971. BUT...
DS was never really forgotten by its legions of fans. Conventions were held yearly, celebrating the show, which still in some states enjoys a healthy run on SCIFI channels. IN 1991 NBC bought a revised, revamped version of the show, starring Ben Cross as Barnabas and Joanna Going (of Another World soap fame) as Vicki Winters. However, the timing was not right - coverage of the Gulf War crisis continually pre-empted the show, causing it to lose its tenuous fanbase. It was cancelled after 12 episodes, ending on a cliffhanger that was never resolved: Victoria leanred that Barnabas was a vampire (something the Vicki in the soap opera never did).
And now...Johnny Depp, a longtime fan, is playing Barnabas in a new movie, filming now to air next year...and we shall discuss this tomorrow.
Did you see how long this post is? My paws ache!
ps: Interested in learning more about the old soap? there are a number of places, Wikipedia of course, and here:
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The DS post will air tomorrow and Friday...today I wanted to introduce you to a fabulous YA author, Amanda Hocking. Amanda is an "indie" (meaning she's not traditionally published) but she writes wonderful YA stories and has been on many bestselling lists. Her blog is very informative, and you can visit it here: http://amandahocking.blogspot.com/
You should also check out some of her books becasue they are WAAAY Cool!
My master also discovered another paranormal series she really enjoys: it's put out by Sourcebooks and the author is Ashlyn Chase. My master is currently reading #1 in the series, STRANGE NEIGHBORS. it's about a building whose inhabitants are all on the supernatural side (remember Rosemary's Baby? And The Sentinel?) and it's also a SEXY romance! How can you beat that combo? You can check it out here: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Strange-Neighbors/Ashlyn-Chase/e/9781402254277/?itm=2&USRI=ashlyn+chase
Forthcoming titles in this series include: The Werewolf Upstairs and The Vampire Next Door!
Thought these might put you in the mood for what is to come.....(cue spooky Dark Shadows music)
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
My master has a story in an indie paranormal romance anthology, KISS ME KILL ME which is available at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and Amazon, along with other indie authors such as HP Mallory and Lori Brighton, and the profits from the sale of said book will benefit charity! GreaterGood.org™ partners with and funds leading nonprofit organizations around the world in order to alleviate poverty and hunger, promote peace, address cancer and other widespread health problems, foster literacy and provide education, preserve vital habitats in peril, and provide protection and care to vulnerable animals. (And I especially support the last endeavor, heh heh)
To find out more about Greater Good, click here: http://www.greatergood.org/
Here is the Amazon link for the anthology:
And whilst you're there, do check out my master's other books! Now, go out and support charity and my master! and I will see you all tomorrow (cue spooky music)