Good things to read.
Cain’s Blood/Project Cain. Geoffrey Girard’s adult and YA novels are terrific and terrifying reads. It’s like the reverse of the teen fantasy that you’re secretly the son of a prince or a lost wizard: instead you’re the clone of a serial killer. And you have to help track down some of your brethren on a rampage. The books have everything you could want in a serial killer romp: cloned serial killers, conspiracy theories, terrifying science, chemical weapons, teenage killers, and a really cool black guy.
The Lives of Tao. Wesley Chu has a powerful debut out from Angry Robot books. An out of shape IT guy suddenly realizes that the voice in his head is actually an ancient alien life form. Not only that, but he has to get in shape in order to save the human race. It’s both laugh out loud and smart. Hurry up and read it as The Deaths of Tao is about to drop in November.
Crimes in Southern Indiana/Donnybrook. I first heard of Frank Bill when he came into my hometown to do a reading from his collection Crimes in Southern Indiana. From page one of his twisted crime stories with characters that read like Elmore Leonard characters on crank, I was hooked. Donnybrook is his first novel, the Donnybrook in question being a three day bare knuckle tournament in the back hills of southern Indiana. So a cast of characters in search of their reward: drugs, sex, violence, whatever, make their way to the tournament. Sort of a follow the meth filled road romp where no one wants to meet the wizard for real.
Good things to watch.
Thanks to Hulu and Netflix, I consume A LOT of television. My television hours frankly are frightening to the point where I should be embarrassed. I go through a season of television in a couple days and not counting my recent discovery of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (how have I been so late to this party?!?) here are a few things which have caught my attention.
Orange is the New Black. If I were to pitch you a show that was Weeds meets Oz you’d have Orange is the New Black. Essentially it’s a fish out of water series, the fish being a suburban woman dropped into prison. Highly addictive.
Justified. You had me at “there’s a show based on an Elmore Leonard novel.” (Technically I watched this on Amazon streaming)
Copper. It’s a steampunk police procedural without the steam. Or the punk. Which basically makes it a historical police procedural. Kevin Corcoran is an Irish immigrant police detective in the Five Points neighborhood in 1860s New York City. He’s haunted by the disappearance of his wife and death of his daughter. The show has Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana as its executive producers, the team behind Homicide: Life on the Streets.
Good things to use.
Dropbox. As a writer, this has proved to be essential. It stores my stories in the cloud or whatever you call it (since I’m convinced the internet/cyberspace works by magic), syncs to my devices and my favorite feature is that it saves every draft of everything I write. Because, 1) it only takes losing a story/chapter/article once due to a crash to convince you to have constant back up; and 2) sometimes I’ve been guilty of saving one file with the name of the other.
Decked Builder. As a gamer geek, there’s nothing like having an encyclopedia of Magic: the Gathering cards at your finger tips PLUS the ability to see the cards in sample decks and then purchase the cards from the sites of your choice.
Samsung Tab 2 7.0. As a borderline Luddite (did I mention that the internet works by magic?), even I have to admit that this tablet was the best couple hundred bucks I’ve spent. Constant access to my stories (via Dropbox), constant access to researching my latest Magic deck (via Decked Builder), plus it uses Google, since I am a slave to the beast and need my gmail, calendar, and hangouts at the push of a button.
Connect with Maurice on Twitter, @MauriceBroaddus.