One Page Podcast: Live And Let Bite by Declan Finn

Live and Let Bite (Love at First Bite Book 3) is a 2017 Dragon Award Finalist for Best Horror

Merlin “Merle” Kraft has been fighting the darkness for months. He left San Francisco in the capable hands of Marco Catalano and his anti-vampire team to defend them against vampires. With special operators at his command, Kraft has been killing every vampire he can find in the Middle East. After clearing out a nest in Tora Bora, he is finally brought back to New York, and the investigation that led him to vampires in the first place.

Marco is starting to spiral. He knows it. His team knows it. Everyone around him can see that he’s just a bomb waiting to explode. The only woman who can bring him back from the brink is also the woman who lit his fuse.

Ever since the demon Asmodeus tried to murder Marco, Amanda Colt has been hunting down every lead to find the ones ultimately behind the attempt. After months of investigation, she learns that something in the dark is colder than the dark. It is a vampire assassin that Amanda has faced once before, and Amanda lost. This assassin is stronger than anything they’ve face before, and it isn’t alone.

With Marco ready to self-destruct, and the armies of Hell ready to descend, the three of them must come together and stop a thousand-year-old assassin that has never been stopped, and has never failed to kill her target.

Astounding Frontiers Issue #2 is out now!

Astounding Frontiers is a new pulp magazine from the minds at Superversive Press that will transport you to far off worlds of adventure! In our second issue we have stories and continuing serials from Dragon Award winners and nominees and many other great authors. We have stories from Dragon Award Nominee Brian Niemeier, Scot Washam, Karl Gallagher, and Russel May. We continue on with Serial from John C. Wright, Ben Wheeler and Nick Cole, and we have a new serial starting by Corey McCleery called Daughter of Sol. . Please join us in travelling to Astounding Frontiers!

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The Superversive from the East: Giant Robo – The Animation

Giant Robo is, as the linked article states, both one of the oldest of Japan’s comic franchises and the source of one of the best original animation series in the last 30 years. As such there’s some familiar issues that any franchise faces, starting with multiple continuities that often drastically reshape the premise into something very different from other versions. That’s why I’m specifying the OVA series: “The Animation”.

The reason for this specific incarnation’s enduring appeal is that this story is one of the most boldly Superversive stories to come out of Japan. Just take a good look at the trailer below:

That’s all you need to know, right there. The details that really deliver on the story’s promise aren’t in the trailer, but you will see that every element gets used–and used well–to tell a tale that uplifts the audience, inspires them to face great fears with courage, and press on even when you think you’re done for. That boy, Daisaku, is your protagonist and he gets put through the ringer over the course of this short series, but he does make it happen at the end–albeit with help (and a Pellenor Fields moment that is ridiculous, awesome, and (by that point) makes logical sense).

And it is thoroughly entertaining at all levels. The music is fantastic, the aesthetics are brilliant, and the production team did your Avengers or Justice League style of “heroes band together to stop a world-wide doom” story better than Marvel or DC have to date, in any medium. Daisaku’s the plunky youth you want to cheer for, Big Fire’s villains range from love-to-hate to completely despicable, and the other Experts of Justice may be rough around the edges but they are still heroes.

And, as for the necessity of virtue, the plot centers around two virtue-related matters: the origin of the Shizuma Drive, and the truth about the disaster that nearly derailed its introduction. Big errors got made, and everything about this story is a logical consequence of those errors, but there is no fixing it without fixing those errors- and that final bit shows this story’s value as a Superversive work.

The commercial availability of this animation isn’t what it once was, but you can get it at Amazon in a boxed set on DVD at a reasonable (for commercial anime) price. It’s not a long series: just under 6 hours, total. Agent Carter‘s first season ran longer. Recommended highly!

One Page Podcast: Star Realm: Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz

Star Realms: Rescue Run (Star Realms Novels) is a 2017 Dragon Award Finalist for Best Military Science Fiction

Since being court-martialed by the Star Empire, smuggler and thief Joan Shengtu has done what she needed to do in order to survive—gaining a reputation along the way. When a new client’s mission goes sideways, Joan finds herself caught in the middle of dueling gambits between the Star Empire and the Trade Federation. Recruited to perform the heist of a lifetime, the fate of the Star Empire rests in her hands.

On the opposite side of the galaxy, Regency BioTech manager Dario Anazao sees an unsustainable situation brewing that promises a full-scale revolution. The megacorporations of the Trade Federation have kept the population in horrible working conditions, violating their human rights. With no one else to help, Dario must take it upon himself to rescue the workers of Mars.

Can two heroes from warring factions come together to make a difference in the galaxy?

Book Review: Murphy’s Law of Vampires

Murphy’s Law of Vampires is book 2 in the Love At First Bite Series by Declan Finn. The review for book 1, Dragon Award nominee for best Horror, Honor At Stake is here.

This time, Marco and Amanda are battling vampires on different coasts as well as a demon. Will their budding romance survive the distance? Will they survive Mr. Day?

The book picks up where Honor At Stake left off. While Amanda is accounting for her and Marco’s actions during Honor At Stake to the Vampire Council, Marco is headed to San Francisco to help Merle Kraft take on the vampire hoards there and attend college. In San Francisco he meets a whole new group of vampire fighting characters, including a vampire and werepuppy.

The new crop of characters, especially the members of the Vampire Council are fun and interesting. I loved all of the different personalities that showed up. It’s easy to imagine that a council with members of vastly different ages would be weird and it is.

The bad guy, Mr. Day, is a special kind of evil that doesn’t easily die. I love bad guys and Mr. Day pushes all of my buttons. He dresses well, he’s pure evil and he isn’t easily defeated.

One of the best parts of this book, besides Mr. Day, is the character development. This book brings out a side of Marco that you didn’t get to see in Honor At Stake. He really does have feelings, who knew?

Like Honor At Stake, Murphy’s Law if Vampires is a timeless battle of good vs evil, with lots of action, explosions and a crew of Vatican ninjas who have very cool gear.

Murphy’s Law of Vampires is an awesome read that is full of action and a bit of romance. Just like in the first book, the reader is left hanging at the end of the book. As a reader, I want to know how it ends. (As a writer, this is an ingenious way to hook readers for the next book.)

Well worth the read.

Astounding Frontiers Issue 2 is Out!

Dull and Preachy stories beware…

Astounding Frontiers Issue 2 is now out on amazon, featuring stories by Dragon Award Winner Brian Niemeier, Karl Gallacher, Scott Washam and Russel May. The serials by John C. Wright, Ben Wheeler, Nick Cole and Jason Anspach continue, and the cover features the beginning of a new serial by SuperversiveSF contributor Corey McCleery, whose awesome dad has been helping me with music videos. (there are more to come of those) Click on the image below to grab yourself a copy for the low, low price of $2.99!For those of you who’d like a more epic version of the above video, using some music by the ever-excellent Kevin Macleod, your wish is granted:

The Superversive from the East: Super-Dimensional Fortress Macross

Japan has several long-running science-fiction franchises, but few are truly global in reach. Mobile Suit Gundam is one. Space Battleship Yamato is another. Both got their start in 1979, but the third part of that era’s triumverate came in 1982: Super-Dimensional Fortress Macross, what many in North America may (unfortunately) know better as the most popular part of Robotech.

I won’t go into the details of what makes the original Macross great–you can read the TV Tropes article for that–so I’ll skip straight to why I’m marking this out as a Superversive work. First, and foremost, this is series is a counter-balance to the downbeat stories that the Gundam franchise often did; this was the era was “Kill ‘Em All” Tomino’s penchant for nihilism, despair, and audience-unfriendly narrative decisions were at their worst. While tragedy and loss are present in Macross, they are Things To Overcome and not You Suck Forever elements.

The story, despite the massive warfare going on, ends on a hopeful note that’s borne out before the credits roll for the final time and expanded upon in the many franchise expansions ever since. Brotherhood is rewarded, faith in things greater than oneself key to victory, beauty and culture are explicit superpowers (but that is not enough; Right Needs Might), and real love is not narcissistic delusion.

The transformable fighters and the Space Opera story are what many remember, but what gives Macross its heart is much like what we see with Gurren Lagann: an earnest, relatable hero who struggles to do what is right while doing what is necessary, overcoming his losses by keeping faith with his people (which is also difficult at times for him to do), and in time he becomes a leader in his own right. Maturity, marriage, and the embrace of responsibility are shown to benefit him and make him into the hero he saw in his big brother.

This theme persists across the series: those who embrace the elements necessary to build up a healthy culture with concern for the future are those that succeed, whereas those that embrace nihilism and succumb to despair are those that fail. Not only does this persist throughout the series, it persists throughout the franchise.

While not perfect, Macross is a beloved classic for good reasons- and if “Superversive” was a part of the vocabulary of the culture then, you would’ve seen it used prominently. Recommended.