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921  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Tmobile's HTC HD2 on: April 03, 2010, 03:31:33 PM
Did anyone else manage to snag one? They sold out in about 4 hours but I wandered into a Radio Shack last weekend and they had them in stock. I upgrade phones a lot because I'm a technology whore. After a week of use this is the best phone I have ever owned. It also made me curb my desire for an iPad.

This monster has a 4.3" screen and razor sharp graphics. The downside is that it runs Windows Mobile. HTC did a nice job of covering up the OS with their 'sense' interface but you can still tell there is a ratty old dog hiding under the chrome. The phone is freakishly fast, comes with 16 gigs of storage and feels really solid. It is a big phone but I can live with that.

Oh it comes with the Barnes and Noble ebook reader - which is cool but you can't load your own books on it, you have to buy them from B and N if you want to read on it.

922  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: iWhat? This is My Next Phone... on: April 03, 2010, 03:22:40 PM
I just picked up a HTC HD2 over the weekend. I'm stuck on T-mobile. I think the EVO is going to be very similar but it does have HDMI output. The only thing that sucks about the HD2 is that it runs Windows Mobile.

EVO looks sweet and if the HD2 is any indication, be prepared for a very fast phone. I had a G1 and Cliq before this and they are way too slow for prime time. The screen on these new phones has to be seen to be believed. Watching movies on it is just ridiculous. They are so sharp they almost look 3-D.
923  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: April Fools, Git Yer April Fools! on: April 01, 2010, 06:00:19 PM
I announced my new series of books today: I even got a nice comment from Jonathan Maberry on my facebook page.  Tongue
924  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: I kind of want to see Hot Tub Time Machine on: March 24, 2010, 02:41:11 AM
I want to see this movie too! I thought there was something wrong with me. Well there might be something wrong with me ... uh. Anyway I still want to see this.  Tongue
925  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Official Review] God of War III - Monday, March 8th on: March 17, 2010, 02:16:50 AM
I played a few more hours and beat the next boss. I'm really loving the puzzles. Sure they don't make sense but they are fun to figure out. The boss fights are just epic.
926  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Official Review] God of War III - Monday, March 8th on: March 16, 2010, 08:41:42 PM
I just played this for an hour. It will probably take another hour for my jaw to close.

927  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Zombie-Wilson Diaries on: March 04, 2010, 06:47:43 PM
Hi All,

I'll be on a blogradio interview this weekend talking up Zombie Wilson Diaries and my first zombie book Among the Living. I will also have Jonathan Moon on. He and I are almost finished with our bizarro novel called The Apocalypse and Satan's Glory Hole. And yes, it will have armies of zombies.

Stop by for a listen or call in if you have questions about writing, zombies, or if you just want to say Hi!  biggrin  Should be a good time!

Linky here.

928  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / The Zombie-Wilson Diaries - Now Available! on: February 08, 2010, 03:10:09 PM
The book is now on Amazon. In a week or two it will start showing up on Barnes and Nobel and other book sellers. This is a complete rewrite of the online blog and it spent 3 months in editing. The book is also being considered for a movie option which just blows me away.

The Zombie-Wilson Diaries

It should have been the perfect vacation. A beautiful island without a soul in sight. Blue sea so clear I can see the reef. Palm trees swaying in the wind, and a girl with barely a scrap of clothing on.

There is only one problem. She is a zombie and she wants to eat me. That's right. My only companion is a creature with a hunger for human flesh. I should bash in her brains and toss her in the ocean but I don't have a volleyball to talk to.

All I have is this diary and my own Zombie-Wilson.
929  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Ubisoft unveils new copy protection system: on: February 03, 2010, 04:27:39 PM
I like how games like Mass Effect 2 and Dragonage have handled this. You buy the game and after the install you get access to bonus stuff right away. Not to mention free future stuff.

On the other hand I'm not so keen on the micro downloads that cost 8 bucks. Those things come out so fast I always wonder if it is just stuff they stripped out of the game so they could sell it later.

As far as this scheme that Ubisoft is trying. I am out as well. If my internet goes down or I am on my daily commute I won't be able to play their games. No thanks.
930  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: First Mass Effect 2 teaser video on: February 02, 2010, 06:06:43 AM
Is this the ME2 thread? I thought I would see five or six pages of stuff. I'm very much enjoying the game. The story telling is top notch. The cut scenes are a bit annoying. I think for the first time the in game graphics kick the rendered stuff right in the junk.   icon_lol
931  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Self Publishing and eBooks? The future of Print? on: February 02, 2010, 05:53:28 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on February 02, 2010, 04:51:18 AM

Quote from: YellowKing on February 01, 2010, 09:43:00 PM

Artists still seem to need that promotional giant in their corner.

Traditional book publishers have pulled back marketing for all but their established authors. There is very little advantage to new authors anymore in professional publishing houses since the promotion went away. I don't know much about electronic distribution, but I do know that self-publishing is entirely respectable for print now that new authors have to shill their own work.

Well said. You would be amazed how many New York lit authors sell barely 500 copies of their books.

Also, and this is straight from an agent. Now a days to get a book published and make a tidy bit of profit you have to have more than just good writing. They look for that something special or unique that will help market a book to perspective publishers. They turn down well written books all the time because they simply can't market them.

It's a freaking crapshoot. Some make it and some fail. Self pubbed, old school pubbed, you probably have a better chance of winning the loto then making it big as an author. But there is always that chance that something will be so unique it will just sell. Case in point. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Seth Grahame-Green. Laugh and scoff at his mashup. I know I did. He went small publisher. But his book sold itself, with a good bit of help from Jane Austen of course. Now it is in the sixteenth printing and he just signed a deal for half a million. His next book? Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter. It will sell too because he has a name for himself already.
932  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Self Publishing and eBooks? The future of Print? on: February 02, 2010, 12:30:58 AM
Amazon now pays out 70% royalties on kindle sales provided you list the book between 2.99 and 9.99. It used to be 35%. I love it because I already split royalties 50% with my publisher. My first novel Among the Living has been out for about 6 months and has sold about 180 copies on kindle at $5.99 a shot. But it didn't become available until October last year so this has been a nice little boost to my sales.

A good friend of mine is self published. She started out online, writing a story on a forum. It grew into 3 novels. She took the books and paid an editor to go over them and paid an artist for the cover. Then she purchased a pro account on create space and put her books up. It was pretty risky but she was already developing a fan base. The nice thing about self pubbing is that you get a healthy chunk. Sure CreateSpace takes their cut but a writer can pull in 4 or 5 bucks a sale.

Of course it can also go the other way. It can be poorly edited, have crap artwork and sell maybe 2 or 3 copies. "Mom, Dad, buy my book please". A lot of people don't like self-publishing, they think it is a bad word like taxes. But publishing is changing. As long as you have a good marketable product and can reach an audience, what is wrong with doing it your own way?

As it turns out, her method was pretty well thought out. She went on to sell a lot of books. Like thousands of them in just a year. She has also picked up a movie option for the books and an agent that is actively soliciting her work to the big New York firms. Self publishing can work. The nice thing is that it looks good to the big guys. I know amazon picks up books that sell a lot and offer the authors full publishing deals.

Thanks for starting this thread!

933  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: February 01, 2010, 08:38:45 PM
I know this is swaying way off topic but the numerous points about self-publishing are near and dear to me - open a new thread on it anyone? Here here a great blog post by Jon Konrath talking about how much money he makes self published versus how much he makes with a publisher.

Go iPad! Kindle support or not I still want one.  Tongue
934  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: the Apple iPad/ iSlate / iThingie? on: February 01, 2010, 05:38:15 PM
I wonder if the kindle reader will work on the iPad. I love how I can take out my itouch and pick up where I was last reading when I have a few minutes to kill. I can't imagine they will be too keen on keeping it around when they have their own library to promote.

I am very surprised at Macmillan and amazon over the weekend. Publishing is changing and the big houses are acting like the music industry did a few years ago. They need to adapt or step aside.

Seriously, why should an eBook cost $15? There is no overhead. No warehouse cost. And the authors don't make any more royalties off the books. If they kept the price reasonable they would sell a hell of a lot more ebooks. AND Amazon has already announced that they are bumping royalties on kindle to 70% provided the books are priced under $9.99. I've actually asked my publisher to lower the price on my new book for Kindle. If I had my way it would sell for $2.99 but it looks like $4.99 will have to do. BTW. eBooks sell 6 copies for every 10 paper copies on Amazon.

Just a few random thoughts ...

935  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Zombie-Wilson Diaries on: January 29, 2010, 04:05:20 AM
Hi all!

I expect to have a proof of Zombie-Wilson Diaries by this weekend. The book has gone through 4 months of rewrites and edits. To celebrate the upcoming release, my publisher is holding a contest. We are giving away signed copies of the book and some other cool stuff including a complete Zombie-Wilson survival kit.  

Just head over to the blog for all the details.

Here are a couple of blurbs I managed to pick up along the way.

"Something different for lovers of zombie fiction. A fast-paced, darkly comic tale with a hint - maybe more than a hint - of madness."
-David Dunwoody, author of EMPIRE and UNBOUND & OTHER TALES

"A dog-rough zomedy that'll have you laughing your (undead) ass off from start to finish. Daniel Defoe fans beware!"
-Wayne Simmons Author of Drop Dead Gorgeous
936  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Books Read in 2010 on: January 02, 2010, 05:41:47 AM
Reading - The Apocalypse Shift by Derek Goodman and cracking up!
937  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Demon's Souls PS3 US version on: January 02, 2010, 05:30:34 AM
I know I am late to the party but I just picked up a 250 GIG PS3 today and Demon Soul! I have been lusting after this game for months and this thread has not helped at all! Well, here's to the weekend with DS. Cheers!
938  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Barnes & Noble Nook on: December 09, 2009, 11:28:46 PM
Another Nook review that points out problems with all of the platforms. I've had a kindle for about 8 months and I would rather boil a puppy than get rid of it. The Nook looks very nice. It has an Apple look to it.
939  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Zombie Driver on: December 05, 2009, 07:50:08 AM
Noooooo I was really looking forward to this game but I can't get it to start. Probably something dumb on my end. My new computer seems to run everything else but this game won't even start - anyone else had similar problems? My new laptop will be here Monday. Maybe it will work there.
940  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Zombie Driver on: December 01, 2009, 08:06:56 PM
IN! GTA with Zombies sounds like nothing but a good time.
941  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've aquired an interest in writing on: December 01, 2009, 04:28:33 PM

Quote from: dfs on December 01, 2009, 03:03:41 PM

mrs-dfs has published several novels and has spent a lifetime writing things of all sorts.

Give it up now and chose between selling blood or becoming a register monkey. The pay will be better.

(If you are serious about it...most of the advice you've been given is very good. The King book is superb. Write every minute that you can. Look at your work critically. Get a community to look at your work critically. Network, Network, Network.)

Again, if you can stop then go ahead and stop and feel good about it. Writing is not for the weak of spirit.

HAH! This is a great point. Most writers have full time jobs. Even my current editor who is self published and sells about 700 books a month has to work a full time job (but not for long since she just signed with a literary agency and her books are going to auction). Think about it this way. Most publishers pay about .50 to .70 for a paperback sale. Think of how many books you would have to sell to make a living at it. A first time author can expect to sell 500 copies of a book the first year. It just takes time to network and build up a fan base. You pretty much have to turn into a promotional whore to sell your books.

That being said, I have been very lucky with my first book and sales are very strong. This has led to two more book contracts and about a dozen stories sold to anthologies. I'm also editing two anthologies and the money from those is quite good. But I know that this will always be a hobby that supplements the income a bit.

Here is an interesting article on publishing. Tradition publishing vs self publishing
942  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Who has a Google Wave account? on: December 01, 2009, 02:51:58 PM
I just got mine and I don't really know what to do with it either.  icon_lol I do have a few invites. Anyone want one? Drop me a PM.

943  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've aquired an interest in writing on: December 01, 2009, 02:46:19 PM

Quote from: Eduardo X on December 01, 2009, 05:05:08 AM

For fiction, I try to follow one rule: the entire story should be about building up the characters. Even action should build the characters. The plot should be in service of the characters, rather than vice-versa.

It's all about the characters, couldn't have said it better myself. I get a lot of emails and comments from folks that the characters in my first book are really well drawn out and where did you get them from - are they based on you, etc. I always reply "I am nothing like those twisted f*cks".  icon_twisted

Characters change as they grow. I had no idea that one of them would meet an untimely end until I wrote it. But it was cool because it led to some character growth for the sequel. In fact I was rereading my book (to gear up for the sequel) and I remembered that two of the characters I originally came up with for the book were changed dramatically when I wrote it. I wanted them to be a certain way but they ended up being something completely different. That said I am very please with how they 'grew up' in the book.

944  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've aquired an interest in writing on: December 01, 2009, 04:19:53 AM
Razgon - you have great English. I say go for it.

I don't know about others writing process or how they get ideas. I usually come up with characters first and then let them loose. I have a very organic writing style in that I don't really plan much ahead of time. I take a basic character and or very rough idea and see where the narrative leads. This is purely personal preference. I know some writers that plot out their books from beginning to end and stick to the outline. Whatever works, just stick with it.

The next trick, once you have finished your masterpiece, is to send it out. No sense in writing and wanting to get published unless you take the plunge. Torture your friends with your work. Find someone you trust to help with editing. If you are happy and confident your work is the best it can be - send it out for publication.

945  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've aquired an interest in writing on: November 30, 2009, 10:11:43 PM

Quote from: Eel Snave on November 30, 2009, 09:41:23 PM

Also, some creative writing teachers will tell you not to use, "He said," "she said," "they said" but rather "he exclaimed," "she stated," "they yelped," etc.  That's dumb.  Your dialogue should tell the reader how the character is saying something, unless there's a specific emotion you want to get across, in which case by all means add in a different word other than "said."

Elmore Leonard is famous for saying that you only need to use 'he said' and 'she said' in your writing. This makes for very boring dialog.  icon_neutral
946  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: So, I've aquired an interest in writing on: November 30, 2009, 05:07:43 PM
WRITE! Don't talk about it, do it. Write everyday. Write 500 words a day and when that is a breeze write 1000.  finger

Take a creative writing class. I had a lot of success at the Gotham Writers Workshop. After a year of classes there I felt like I had a handle on the craft. But really the first 10 week course taught me more than a dozen writing books ever did. But do read Stephen King's On Writing. As others have pointed out this is a great book. I'm a horror novelist but this book is for any writer.

I recently did an interview as part of my friend Rhiannon Frater's tips for beginning writers. I also have a new blog series called It's Freaking hard to write a freaking book where I talk about the thought process involved in doing a novel. I have part three just about done and will try to post it today.

Feel free to drop me a PM if you want to talk about writing more.

947  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Why is your handle your handle? on: November 12, 2009, 03:12:55 AM
Crusis is short for Anacrusis which is a term from Poetry that I barely understand.  icon_biggrin I found that when I started using it a long time ago people would shorten it and call me Ana. I dropped the first three and called it good, it does sounds sort of evil but when I tell people where it came from they usually say "huh".
948  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Wheel of Time 12: The Gathering Storm on: November 10, 2009, 09:13:25 PM

Quote from: Isgrimnur on November 10, 2009, 07:58:26 PM

It looks like Sanderson will be signing in town this Saturday.  So I just might have to go pay retail for the book and get me an autographed copy.

Sanderson seems like a really cool guy. He posts a lot of great info on his webpage/blog and he has released one of his books on his site for free. I know at a Jordan book signing I went to he was very brusque but I was all awestruck and barely got out a "Nice-ta-meet-cha" before he handed me my book and I was pushed out of the massive line of people.
949  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Wheel of Time 12: The Gathering Storm on: November 10, 2009, 07:55:54 PM

Quote from: Purge on November 10, 2009, 01:16:50 PM

Jordan is dead - he doesn't need an editor to trim things up, he needs a necromancer.

That got a serious LOL out of me.

I'm halfway through the new one and it is really good. I am quite surprised at how Sanderson managed to step in and make the characters flow like they used to AND advance the plot. There was a section last night where I could not put the damn book down and go to sleep.

Unless it goes south in the second half I think there is hope for the series. I am a huge fan of book 1 - 6, have been reading these since 1990.
950  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Meat Hand. That is all... on: November 05, 2009, 03:03:23 AM
I MUST make this for the next family get together.
951  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Motorola Cliq on: November 04, 2009, 04:03:02 AM
So the Droid is getting a lot of press but I am on T-mobile so I decided to check out the new Cliq. The name is dumb but the phone is not. If you are a social networking whore you need this phone (or the Pre). It compiles all of your inboxes into one and even provides the emails in one big pile if you want to look at them that way.

Now this is my second Android phone, my first was the Fisher Price inspired G1 which was a great phone but slow and rather generic. The Cliq is sleek and sexy, like me on a word processor. It has a front page with all of my feeds on it so I have twitter, FB, various email addresses. You hit a feed and you can flip through all your messages with the swipe of a finger which is similar to the Pre.

The hardware is quicker than the G1 but Android still lags somewhat. I have not been into the city yet to see if the 3G is any better.

The keyboard is pretty stiff and the space bar is annoying because it is concave. Not sure what genius decided to make the space bar lower in the center than all the other keys. I was trying to enter an email today and did not see the @ symbol on the keyboard and had to switch to the on-screen. Minor annoyances.

Keys are back lit. It has a satisfying slide that really does 'cliq' open and closed. Very bright screen, brighter and clearer than the G1. It has a headphone jack on the top. Nice addition.

This is not the best phone in the world but I like it a great deal. Anyone else pick one up or considering it?

952  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Torchlight, a follow-up to Fate and Mythos on: November 01, 2009, 04:57:32 PM
Stupid game!! I need to be writing and I can't stop playing.

Stupid game.
953  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Online Schooling? on: October 28, 2009, 08:50:12 PM
I have taken all of my writing classes online at Gotham Writers Workshop. Now, some would argue I need to take more  Tongue but for the most part I loved them. Granted, this is not a university but they really targeted just what I wanted. The virtual structure of the class was such that I could go when I had time. We had weekly chats but they were always at a good time and didn't interrupt my schedule. The best part was the classes were taught by published writers and one of them was even the president of the SFWA. Another has taught Clarion.

Overall I give online classes a thumbs up.

954  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Zombie-Wilson Diaries on: October 28, 2009, 07:48:06 PM
Hi all, your friendly neighborhood zombie author here. I just got a look at the final art for The Zombie Wilson diaries and thought I would share it. But before that - I have some good news for fans of the blog. It lives! I am not content to let the thing die so I put up the newest entry.

Anyway, here ya be!

955  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Amazon Kindle on: October 13, 2009, 03:02:26 PM

Quote from: kathode on October 13, 2009, 12:39:43 AM

I think I've posted about it before, but I don't recommend the DX unless you've got a specific need for the size - like technical diagrams or textbooks maybe.  I had one and didn't like the size.  It's like reading your book off a legal pad, and not comfortable to hold in one hand.  I sent it back and got the Kindle 2, and it's much better for plain reading IMO. 

I saw someone on the bus the other day reading a DX. It was freaking huge I can just see his backpack getting dropped of bent and the screen cracking - ouch. I think I am happy with my lil 6" screen. I do love the kindle and I really dig pre-ordering books and waking up on release day to see them already loaded.
956  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Zombie-Wilson Diaries on: October 13, 2009, 01:55:15 AM
After consulting with my editor and an angry fan. LOL I did some adjustments to the last day. It is a little more upbeat now. I think I rushed the end and some didn't catch the last joke. Now it is much clearer.

This one is on the fast track for publication. I'm already looking at cover art. The thing grew by about 10K words as I revised it so it really is a proper book now. As soon as the cover is finalized I'll put up a pic. I get a lot of visits from GT so thanks everyone for swinging by.

957  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My book Among the Living is now on Kindle on: October 12, 2009, 09:17:15 PM
Yay!  icon_cool
958  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / My book Among the Living is now on Kindle on: October 12, 2009, 08:16:28 PM
FINALLY! Man that was painful. My book was waiting for amazon approval for a month. It is finally live for $5.99. Thanks for your patience.

<a href=">Among the Living - Kindle[/url]

959  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Zombie-Wilson Diaries on: October 09, 2009, 02:15:04 AM
The kindle version. Please avert your eyes for just a moment while I vent ...


Thank you.

Because of the rise in people uploading public domain stuff - or stuff that just plain doesn't belong to them,  Amazon has been taking forever to approve books. Mine and three other authors on my label have been waiting over a month for our novels to be approved.
960  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The Zombie-Wilson Diaries on: October 08, 2009, 10:51:23 PM
This is the first review I have seen on my book:

My publisher wants a sequel so I will start on it soon. With any luck I can have it out by about April/May next year.

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