Monday, May 29, 2006

Miscreants at the Mall

I went with three teenagers (my daughter and a couple of her friends) to the opening day of X-Men III at the Mall of Georgia, which is located a bit south of my home, on I-85 . When I went into the already darkened theatre, I noticed that there were a number of lights, not flashlights, but the screens of cellphones, being waved about by the young audience. I sat with the crew, at their request, although I often sit elsewhere to give my teen a semblance of being on her own, even though she doesn’t yet drive herself around.

The movie started, with some cheers from around the theatre, and I smiled. Not only would this be an enthusiastic crowd, but maybe my Marvel stock will go up. (In the stock market, I believe in buying what you know, so I own Marvel. I also own Electronic Arts, which makes video games, and my all-time winner was Pixar, the pioneer of modern animation, which recently morphed into quite a few shares of Disney.) Buying movie tickets isn’t exactly cheap anymore, so knowing that I might profit from a big opening for this Marvel flick eased the pain a bit.

Then the miscreants behind us began misbehaving. These overdressed, under-cultured teens were jumping around, sometimes running up and down the aisle, then falling into their seats. Also, they talked loudly and incessantly, and continued waving their electronic devices around during the whole movie. Although I had wanted to see the film, which has gotten decent reviews, I couldn’t say whether or not it is worth seeing. The zoo behind us was rather interesting, however.

Statistically, movies are making more and more of their total sales when they hit pay-per-view and DVD, rather than at the theatre, which is why you have to pay $9.00 to get a diet coke and popcorn from that surly acne scarred teenager behind the concession counter. The miscreant show is free, however.

Increasingly, many of those who study the movie industry believe that all films should be released to theatres, to pay per view on satellite and cable, and to DVD simultaneously, so that all selling venues would benefit from prerelease publicity efforts. The only reason for the delay is to keep theatre owners happy, and it is time for them to face reality. Too many miscreants haven’t been taught civil behavior by their parental units, thus showing movies to a mass audience is becoming a thing of the past.

Now, let’s see what is on PPV this week....

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

For fans of Science Fiction Romance

If you are new to romantic science fiction, and some of the folks who have read Trinity on Tylos are, then what comes next? I could write a lengthy essay on romantic science fiction, and I’ve already commented on it from time to time here, but what books might my readers like if they wish to check out offerings in this subgenre of fiction?

I used to be frustrated by what was available to read, whether the source was the local library or a bricks and mortar store, because they all seem to feature the same few authors from the big New York publishers. First and foremost, the internet is a great resource for recommendations and vendors of books that you might not find otherwise.

Here are some books from my keeper shelf, in no certain order, except I have divided them with those primarily available in print first and eBooks second. Also, I tend to like more science fiction and less romance, but most of these offer a blend of the two genres.

•Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Conflict of Honors, Agent of Change, Carpe Diem (all 3 are in the omnibus called Partners in Necessity)
•Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire Series-- to begin, try SkyFall or The Last Hawk; also check out the stand alone title, The Veiled Web
•Elizabeth Moon, Remnant Population, and her Heris Serano series
•David Weber, Path of the Fury, Apocalypse Troll, and the early Honor Harrington books
•Susan Grant, Contact
•Linnea Sinclair, An Accidental Goddess
•C. J. Barry, Unearthed and its sequels
•Catherine Spangler, Shielder and its sequels
•S. L. Viehl, StarDoc and its sequels
•Anne McCaffrey, Freedom’s Landing and its sequels
•Lois McMaster Bujold, Shards of Honor and Barrayar (available as an omnibus edition called Cordelia’s Honor and as eBooks) as well as the excellent short story, The Mountains of Mourning, available from Baen Books Free Library
•Angela Verdenius, Love’s Sweet Assassin, Heart Of An Outlaw
•Myra Nour, Love’s Captive (this is rather sensual)

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Monday, May 08, 2006

A Mother’s Day book review

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

This novel is a science fiction story; the main character is Commander Cordelia Naismith of Beta Colony’s Astronomical Survey. As the story opens, she commands the Survey Ship Rene Magritte. Along with a shuttle load of various experts, Cordelia has made camp on an unnamed planet. While she and her team’s botanist, Ensign Dubauer, are away, the camp is attacked by a Barrayaran military force. When Cordelia and Dubauer see the shuttle make an emergency takeoff, she contacts her ship, orders them to get away from the planet, and realizes that she will probably be captured by the Barrayarans.

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Author blogs

I began Pam’s Pages last May, in part as an experiment in marketing. Having up to date web content is a bit challenging, but the great blogging sites available make updating web content about as simple as writing a diary entry was in my youth. Of course, we couldn’t upload pictures, and we were rather selective about who saw the contents of our diaries. The public aspect of blogging is still ackward for me, because I tend to be the same online as I am in person— straightforward and sometimes brutally honest. However, I hope that readers who have discovered Pam’s Pages have found it both entertaining and informative.

During April, my goal was promote my website and my writing, including online publicity efforts. I’ve submitted my web addy to several more directories and sites; I’ve offered review copies of Trinity to some additional review sites; and I have approached the event directors of a couple of science fiction conventions, seeking guest status. I’m still working on those, so I’ll wait to write a post about that. Hopefully some of these activities will help garner some sales and build interest in my writing, but I’ve already discovered an unexpected benefit: new writers’ sites and their blogs.

After signing on as a book reviewer for Round Table Reviews— a site I discovered while looking for promotional opportunities— I got my first assignment: Rhiana by Michele Hauf. Her web addy is, and her work is quite interesting. Fans of fantasy or paranormal romance should check out her Changling series. I’d read a couple of books by John Ringo, a prolific Baen books science fiction writer, for a few years, but now I’ve seen his website, featuring some unpublished essays and many links. BTW, Ringo is a fellow resident of Jackson County, GA.(Okay, he was before his divorce. That happens, I guess.)

Susan Grant is another author with a great web presence. I’ve been reading her work since her debut novel, Once a Pirate, a time-travel romance, was published by Love Spell. Grant writes stories which are more romance than science fiction, but often her characters have something to do with aviation, because Grant’s day job is being an airline pilot. My personal favorite of her work is another stand alone, Contact, and she has written a couple of series along with a few short stories. See her webpage at One of her blogs, Come Fly With Me, is highly entertaining, and you don’t have to be a fan of sci-fi or romance to enjoy it.

As I work on other projects, I may not meet my once a week goal for posting entries on Pam’s Pages, but I’m sure to share a bit of what’s on my mind from time to time. This is my Anniversary Post, and I hope you enjoy visiting enough to return to see what happens with me and my writing for another year.

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