Monday, August 31, 2020

The Loss of Chadwick Boseman


I could stand a bit more Okoye!

Hearing that still gives me chills.  This weekend we paid homage to Chadwick Boseman, by watching Black Panther.  It’s remains an excellent stand-alone film. Even the fight choreography is excellent.  More often than not, even in Marvel films, it’s a series of jerky-cam and confusion. 

It was also sad knowing that the relatively young Mr. Boseman, who is SO full of life and talent in the movie, is no longer with us. I was very much looking forward to seeing him in a follow up Black Panther in 2022. 

While his loss is unfortunate, I’ve seen a lot of “fans” calling for an end to Black Panther. That likely won’t happen for a number of reasons. The first, of course, is that Black Panther is a very marketable commodity. NBA franchises might retire a player’s jersey, but they don’t stop selling them to fans. 

More than just cold, hard cash though is the fact that King T’Challa is more, bigger than, just one actor. Just like the fictional Wakanda, the idea is greater than the sum of its parts. There are precious few characters that can only be embodied by one performance, and for that we should be very grateful. Successive versions of wonderful characters embodied by new actors can entertain and enlighten countless generations. There’s been no end of James Bond, Lara Croft, Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, etc. 

That’s a good thing. 

That smile!

The sudden loss of Boseman probably has more to do with the call for Marvel to not re-cast T'Chall/Black Panther than anything else. It is VERY soon to public consider moving on. It almost feels like a betrayal of that bright light that we've just lost. We should absolutely mourn his passing. Boseman was an amazing talent, seen, mentored, and supported by some of the biggest names in the business.

He is now, and forever will be, truly missed.

That smile!

I’m sure there’s a solid case to be made for shelving the propertynot to mention Marvel turning their backs on all that green stuff they’ve been raking in over the last twelve years—but I don’t think that’s the “right thing” to do here. Boseman’s legacy is bigger than just one character and one movie. He played Jackie Robinson, Thoth, Thurgood Marshall, and James Brown. 

If the King of Wakanda can also be the Godfather of Soul, there are very good reasons why we should hear and see WAKANDA FOREVER! 

Do you think T’Challa should be recast?
Why or why not?

Friday, August 28, 2020

Entertainment Round Up — Surviving the West the East the Jungle and the Stage

As promised, here are my mini-reviews for the past week. Some really good entertainment as

Yo da lay hee, yo da lay he. He rides alone!

we enter the waning days of summer!

Alone (Season 3)—Is good. Moving from Vancouver Island to Patagonia was smart. I liked the first two installments, but the second season was something of a repeat. It’s a very chill show, sometimes punctuated by short bursts of excitement, but the overall concept really carries the show for me. (Hulu)

Rustler’s Rhapsody—Still rules. This is another one of my “movies from the 80s” that my boys were certain would suck. While I did have to explain a few of the tropes that were being played off, that was only because my boys were so enthralled by the movie. It remains a hilarious send-up of B-movie westerns that deserves more love. (Amazon Prime)

The One and Only Ivan—Wow. The CGI on this film is simply incredible. Disney wants you to believe that this is a Disney-fied version “based on actual events”, but really it’s based on a wholly fictional book which was inspired by the actual events—which are much darker and more troubling. Still, there’s a lot to enjoy about this film if taken for the fiction it is. (Disney+)

The New Legends of Monkey (Season 2)—Is a win. I honestly thought this was never coming back, which would have been a real shame. The characters continue to delight in that very New Zealand/Hercules/Xena way. Sure, it’s Monkey King who ties it all together, but it’s that character played off the co-stars—Pigsy, Tripitaka, and Sandy—that makes it so fun. (Netflix)

Live from the Space Stage: Halyx—Is fascinating. My oldest son has followed Defunctland for several years now, reveling in the “forgotten” history of Disneyland and other theme parks. The story of Halyx, a rock band created to play at Disneyland, who almost crossed over into the mainstream. It’s worth watching, and since it’s free, you might as well. (YouTube)

Do you agree with my picks? What did I get right? What did I get wrong? What would you like me to review next? 

Tell me in the comments below!

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Eric Lahti Reviews Beneath a Fearful Moon

If you haven’t read an Eric Lahti novel, you should. His writing is so crisp and clean, it punches

Timberjiggers need love too!
you right in the gut. You get that sense from the review he wrote for BENEATH A FEARFUL MOON, and I couldn’t be more appreciative that he still reads my work, let alone takes time to review it:

I’ve always felt the novella doesn’t get enough love. In this day of digital and on-demand publishing, there’s really no reason to focus exclusively on massive tomes just because they’re easier to run through the printing press. Not every story needs to be four hundred pages long and trying to stretch a shorter tale into a full-length novel just gives you Star Trek: The Motion Picture. A story should be precisely as long as it needs to be and no longer.


Thank you, Mr. Lahti.

Read the Rest Here!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

No, Really. This Time It IS the END of the Batman Franchise!!11

[Mini-rant] People get so angry about a particular actor being given an acting role in a film and

Will the real Batman please stand up? Please stand up?
asked to act!

It's almost as if they've only seen that actor in one thing and can't think of him/her acting in anything else. And yet, they do. They do act in other things. That's why their job is called "acting" and they are called "actors" and they take on roles that they like (or want) and that other people casting them in those roles believe they will do well in. 

It’s almost like the people making these movies have some sort of “process”. 

The most recent in a long line of actors who “fans” claimed could never do justice to their favorite characters is Robert Pattinson who has won the dubiously coveted role of playing yet another iteration of Bruce Wayne/Batman. It’s hilariously facepalm-worthy to watch people fume and fuss over an ACTOR who has also ACTED in a series where he played a wholly different dark and brooding character who seemed rather fond of the night. 

While there certainly have been miscast actors, I can’t believe this is one of those times. Viewing the trailer this morning, I saw absolutely nothing objectionable about Pattinson in the role. In fact, I saw nothing OF Pattinson. I saw Batman doing Batman-y things. 

Before Affleck was going to destroy the franchise, it was Bale would couldn’t carry the cowl. Before him, Kilmer and Clooney were going to trip on their own caps. Before that, it was Keaton who the studio insisted on replacing. 

Yet, here we are, with the 12th film The Batman looking to release next year. [/Mini-rant]

Monday, August 24, 2020


Wow! BENEATH A FEARFUL MOON received a very nice five-star review over the weekend.

Not sure about the braces, though!
As a fan of steampunk, it’s very humbling to hear that someone new to the genre not only picked your book, but found it compelling enough to read more of the same:

This was my first steampunk book and it won't be my last. The character of Aubrey Hartman was engaging, and likable without being a pollyanna. She also has some depth to her character which was teased at in this novella and I'm hoping that in future books we learn more about here time in the Cimarron. The inclusion of Fae into a Victorian-esque setting works extraordinarily well thanks in no small part to the author's style which I can best describe as descriptive minimalist - which is a good thing and points to a writer who chooses words carefully to maximize their impact. Beneath a Fearful Moon was the perfect introduction to a genre rich with colorful aesthetics and more colorful characters. I cannot wait to return.

 Thank you very much Rosaire Bushey!

While we may get more background about Aubrey’s time in the war (on the Cimarron Fields) there probably won’t be a full book about it. One such story already exists: Grenadiers and Dragon’s Fire was published in the anthology Gears, Gadgets & Steam (Tinkered Tales Book 1).

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Rob's Mini-Movie Reviews

Movies. I LOVE movies. There's not much I'd rather be doing than watching a movie. There are

a couple of things, but they are few and far between.

When I was younger, I loved the theater-going experience. I couldn’t always afford that, but my college roommate and I would spend what little hard cash we had on renting videos. That’s right, kids. Back in the old days, we had to actually go to a bricks-and-mortar store and browse a limited selection of VHS cassette movies.

The only think I enjoy slightly more than watching movies is talking about movies with other people.

That wasn’t always the case, but has started to become so again.

Online discussion groups ruined that for me for a long time. It seemed to me that if you didn’t absolutely hate everything, and deride all the little mistakes made by a movie, then you just weren’t in any position to discuss them.

I even bought into that for a little while, and I really started to hate talking about movies. I refused to talk about movies with anyone but close friends and family.

But today, I’ve found a nice set of rules that allow me to talk about the movies and television shows that I watch AND ENJOY, and over the last year or two I’ve been sharing again.  The rules are pretty simple: 

1 – Unless I’m asked a specific question, I don’t argue.

Even though this is IX
She's definitely an X!
That’s it. I post up my mini-reviews about whatever latest and greatest entertainment that I’ve watched. People are free to comment on their love or hate or apathy. They can even argue amongst themselves. My opinion has already been given. I might feel a twinge to defend it, but why?  What’s the point? If someone really, truly, madly, passionately cares that I loved Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker they’re probably going to reach out to me to discuss it.

That has happened.

I'm thinking of gathering my mini-reviews and posting them here in a weekly round-up on Fridays. That way, should my opinion hold any sway for you, you can easily peruse the list and determine your entertainment for the weekends.

All that said, if follow me on Twitter or Facebook—and you should—and you read one of my mini-reviews, absolutely share your own opinion. Just don’t be upset when I don’t respond.

What movie do you want me to review next?
Tell me in the comments below!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Beneath a Fearful Moon Gets Five Stars

 Aww, thanks Carol!  What a wonderful review of BENEATH A FEARFUL MOON:

Have you ever danced with the Fae
under the fearful moonlight?

I know a lady you really need to meet. I strongly suggest you allow author R. A. McCandless to introduce you to Aubrey Hartmann, a decorated war hero with a wide streak of practicality. She, and her clockwork leg, are well worth your time. The star of two previous novels (which I also recommend, if you are interested) makes her latest appearance in Beneath a Fearful Moon, a beautifully crafted novella that is over far too soon. A creative blending of murder mystery, fantasy lore, and steampunk, this story shows you a world where huge mechanical devices called timberjigs, designed for efficient logging, operate in woods inhabited by the Fae, who certainly do not value human life above all else. Aubrey Hartmann cannot be described as a saint or a sinner, and instead is a compellingly complex lady that… well, that you should meet. If you care to dip your toe into the waters of her world, this novella offers you the chance to do that. But my guess is that you will be left wanting more. I know I do.

Constable Hartmann began life in a short story, and I loved the character so much that I knew she deserved a lot more effort. That’s where THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE came from.  I’m so pleased to share this novella as I continue to work on Aubrey’s next full-length novel.

What would you call Aubrey’s next adventure?
Tell me in the comments below!

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Release Day - Beneath a Fearful Moon

 It’s release day!

She seems nice!

The Moon is Waning Gibbous, the first phase after the Full Moon. This will last about a week, with the illumination growing less and less until the Moon becomes a Last Quarter Moon with about half its illumination.

This is ALSO one of the most exciting days for most authors. It’s probably second only to “I’ve been accepted by a publisher/agent” day.

Today is the day and the novella is BENEATH A FEARFUL MOON. Here’s an excerpt for your reading enjoyment:

Across the mill pond a flash of light and movement caught her attention. It took her a moment to track, but once she had sight of it, she followed it easily. A wispy, gauzy, slightly luminescent form that moved along the water’s shore. If she hadn’t known better, she might have taken the figure for a child at play. But no child ever moved with the grace and speed that the figure exhibited.


“Burgher.” Aubrey kept her eyes on the Fae creature. “Does this pond have naiads?”


“Hmm?” Abela spoke through his handkerchief. “Oh, I suppose. Most any body of water around here that you can’t step over has one or two.”


“You have accords with them?”


“Of course,” Abela said. There was a light sarcasm to his response. “If we built where a naiad had claim, she’d be nothing but a bloody nuisance. Lure the workers away and leave them in the forest, steal essential parts for laughs. I’d sooner pour resin in all the wheels and cogs than build without Fae approval. Even with an accord, it’s as much like making peace with a bear. Never know when they might turn and take your head off.”


“I don’t suppose you have a silver spoon, burgher? A new or newly polished one would be best. Or any silver. A penny?” Aubrey had one or two in her pouch, but Abela had pushed her. It was a small revenge, but she would take it where she could find it.


“A few, yes. Gold too.” Abela reached inside his coat and produced a velvet bag with ornate silk drawstrings worked with gold that clinked of precious metals. “Why?”


“It might be that your Fae friends know a bit more than you do.” Aubrey gestured toward the naiad skipping along the shore.


“One does not make friends with animals.” Abela poured the contents of his bag into his hand and sifted “If they weren’t so damned dangerous, we’d be better off driving them out. They’re termites in the floor.”

Read the rest from BENEATH A FEARFUL MOON available on Amazon now, and all other fine ebook retailers soon!

What should Aubrey’s NEXT adventure be?
Tell me in the comments below!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Beneath a Fearful Moon - Release Information

August is moving fast and faster.

Constable Aubrey Hartmann
walks the Aqualinne streets again!

I want to start by thanking you all for your continued support with both the Del books and the new Aubrey books. 2019 was a banner year for me as an author, and that was only possible through everyone’s support. Together, we achieved Amazon best-seller status in various countries around the world. The new covers for the FLAMES OF PERDITION series were released to rousing praise, and THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE received a very steampunk bronze medal!

This motive train isn’t stopping!

Today, I’m pleased to announce that another Constable of Aqualinne adventure—a short novella—is going to be published this week. Tuesday, August 11th, BENEATH A FEARFUL MOON will release digitally at all the finest book vendor sites on the interwebs. This is a stand-alone novella, meaning that you don't have to have read any of Aubrey's other adventures in order to jump right into this one. The story is also bit removed in time from that of THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE timeline, taking place about a year after those initial events—some of which are still forthcoming in the next books!

Anyhow, on with the fun:

Constable Aubrey Hartmann did her duty, fought for the Empire and lost her leg in the process. All she wants is a quiet life, and the chance of some fun, romantic entanglements in the frontier town of Aqualinne.


When bodies start turning up, slashed from head to toe, she’s duty-bound to investigate. As the clues start to point to the reclusive and deadly Fae in the prohibited Old Forest, Aubrey must rely on her war-forged nerves and her trusty Manton pistols. The challenge isn’t just to solve the case, but to survive it.

Aubrey’s full-length novel storyline adventures will continue very quickly after her first adventure in Aqualinne, and I'll start making book updates as I progress. For now, I hope this novella will entertain and delight as another window into the steampunk world of Constable Aubrey Hartmann!

I’ll post a follow up tomorrow with all the details about the book and its availability. 

How is Your Summer Going?
Tell me in the comments below!


Friday, August 7, 2020

Novella Is A Go!

 “I declare this manuscript is clean.”

That was Maer, my publisher, after we had ironed out the last of the changes for my novella BENEATH A FEARFUL MOON an Aubrey Hartmann story. Back cover blurb will be ready soon. Cover art will be ready soon. 

I'll be providing dates for the reveals as they are given to me. 

In the meantime, here’s a small teaser to whet your steampunk appetite:


Pulled from the mill pond, the corpse was bloated, swollen into a horrible caricature with a bluish-gray pallor. Aubrey knelt to examine the man, torn between revulsion of his current state and fascination for how he died. Only scraps of cloth remained on his body at the wrists, ankles and neck as reminders of the clothes he’d worn. Long, deep gashes crisscrossed him in a rough zig-zag pattern from the top of his head down to his toes. They looked like knife or sword wounds in tight groups of three. Doctor Glocken could tell her for certain, but Aubrey believed the man would have died from the first or second cut. Yet the mutilation had gone on for dozens of strikes.


One of the man’s eyes was filmed over white so that only the dark pupil could be seen. The other was missing. The empty socket peered back at her.

The story takes place a year or so after the events of THE CLOCKWORK DETECTIVE and also the next full novel (which I’m still working on). Aubrey has quite a case on her I’ve always enjoyed this story, and I’m pleased to share it with all of you.

How do you think the victim died?

Tell me in the comments below!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Interview With Lunatics & Monsters Podcast

Hey, hey, hey!

Are you pondering what I'm 

The interview I did with Lunatics & Monsters is live and ready for your listening pleasure.

Let me know what you think!

Monday, August 3, 2020

A Few Good August Announcements

A few quick notes:

No princess.

First, the cover art for BENEATH A FEARFUL MOON will release in a week or two. I’m not exactly certain the date, but things are moving fast, so stay tuned.

Second, the novella itself—the same BENEATH A FEARFUL MOON—will release in the next two months. Again, not certain as we’re tearing it up, but likewise stay tuned.

That’s all for now.

Thanks for staying tuned!