Many bloggers have donate buttons so you can support their work and help them pay the fees to the web host. Not me.
I just ask you to buy my books. It’s a win-win! I get another book sale and you get to not only keep reading my blog, but have fun with a new book!
My latest — coming only a month after my last novel “Big Stick” — is an anthology I edited which contains stories from some of the top writers in science fiction and fantasy!
The idea was simple: Each story had to contain the phrase “release the virgins.” We even had a humorous short promotional video made which features all of the writers (and me)!
Look at this great lineup of stories:
“Valedictory” by Lawrence Watt-Evans
“Sidekicked” by Hildy Silverman
“Command Decision” by Steve Miller
“Are You There, Cthulhu? It’s Me, Judy” by Beth W. Patterson
“Innocence Lost” by Gail Z. Martin
“How Mose Saved the Virgins of Old New York” by Allen M. Steele
“The Fires of Rome” by Jody Lynn Nye
“Salvage” by Shariann Lewitt
“The Midwinter of Our Discontent” by Keith R.A. DeCandido
“Coming Attractions” by Daniel M. Kimmel
“Cracking the Vault” by Matt Bechtel
“The Coffee Corps” by Alex Shvartsman
“The Vestals of Midnight” by Sharon Lee
“Paradisiacal Protocols” by Gordon Linzner
“Brass Tacks” by Cecilia Tan
“Old Spirits” by Brian Trent
“The Running of the Drones” by Patrick Thomas
“Dangerous Virgins” by David Gerrold
It’s available in hard cover, paperback, kindle or nook versions! Upon its release, it even made the top 10 for “science fiction anthologies” on Amazon.
So grab a copy yourself and release the virgins!
Back when I was young, I was happy to see even one new animated film a year. Now there’s practically one a week.
In the 80s, I started a magazine called “Animato!” that later grew quite large and popular. I got to meet and interview great animators like Chuck Jones and Ralph Bakshi but later sold the magazine, and it went on to even bigger successes until the internet killed all magazines.
So I’m still an animation fan, but it’s basically impossible to see all the films and all the animated TV shows these days unless you’re a full-time animator or animation historian, I guess.
There were some really great films this year I did get to catch, though.
These days, with so much CGI, we can debate what an “animated film” even is, but generally the accepted definition is that the main characters must be animated — not just the monsters or effects. (And “motion capture” doesn’t count.)
So here’s the end-of-the-year list of best and worst animated films (based on their Rotten Tomatoes score). It only includes films that actually were released to theaters and had at least five reviews in order to get a Rotten Tomatoes score. (Lots of bad films go directly to DVD or cable.) Ties are broken by number of reviews.
- Paddington 2 (100%)
- Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (97%)
- Incredibles 2 (94%)
- Teen Titans Go to the Movies (91%)
- Mirai (91%)
- Isle of Dogs (89%)
- Ralph Breaks the Internet (89%)
- Mary and the Witches’ Flower (87%)
- Sgt. Stubby (86%)
- Early Man (81%)
- Liz and the Blue Bird (78%)
- Smallfoot (75%)
- Peter Rabbit (64%)
- Hotel Transylvania 3 (59%)
- The Grinch (57%)
- Sherlock Gnomes (27%)
- Monster Family (10%)
I once had a job raking the leaves
Out in the woods
A socialist job keeping them safe
The best I could
A Scandinavian task that was needed it seems
I moved the leaves from the forest and into the streams
So day after day I raked away
Down through the snow
“An important task” they’d say when I’d ask
I didn’t know
It was demeaning and tiring and I couldn’t see
How this was a process done in any other country
So one day I stopped and took a break
There’s my mistake
The forest caught fire
I didn’t do good
But a Norwegian would
My award-winning artist wife Heidi Hooper will be a guest on the ABC TV show “To Tell the Truth” this Sunday, June 17th, 10 pm EST. Heidi makes art out of dryer lint! Consumer Reports has called her “The Andy Warhol of Dryer Lint” and To Tell The Truth flew us out to Hollywood (all expenses paid!) to film the show last summer — and it’s finally going to be on!
Please watch and support her!
Okay, time for a commercial break.
Announcing a kickstarter campaign for a new anthology (edited by me!) where the only requirement is that each story must contain the line “release the virgins” somewhere within. We have commitments so far from award-winning authors David Gerrold, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Jody Lynn Nye, Allen Steele, Steve Miller, Sharon Lee, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Gail Z. Martin, Cecilia Tan, Patrick Thomas, Shariann Lewitt, Alex Shvartsman, Hildy Silverman, and Daniel M. Kimmel. More will be added (especially if we raise enough from the kickstarter).
Pledge and reserve your book today (and/or get other goodies)!: https://www.kickstarter.com/p…/667435382/release-the-virgins
Previous first drafts: Band names and Movie titles
Here are my favorites in the “book title” competition (and the ones that got the most “likes”). And if you want to join in future ones, send a Facebook friend request.
Michael A. Ventrella
- The Okay Gatsby
- War and Not-War
- Donkey Hotey
- The Left Pinkie of Darkness
- The Sound and the Furries
- The Catcher in the Pumpernickel
- Strawberry Finn
- The Selfie of Dorian Gray
- J, Robot
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sleep?
- The Man who Folded His Wallet
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hellos
- To Seriously Injure a Mockingbird
- Moby’s Dick
- Stranger In A Strange Place
- The Puppet Monsters
- Time For Enough Love
- The Left Hand of Dorkness
- The Grapes of Rage
- Beau Jest
- Harry Pothead and The Goblet of Weed
- Okay Omens
The Dragon-Walkers of Pern
- The Stray Cat, the New-Age Yoga Teacher, and the End Table
- Gone With the Light Breeze
- Sooner Rather Than Later, Voyager
- Tinker, Seamstress, Reservist, Snitch
- A Streetcar Named Intrigued
L.M. Kate Johnston
- The King James Babble
- A Christmas Carly
- A Haunakah Hymn
- The Old Man and the Pond
- Casino Royale with Cheese
- Heart of Dimness
- Lady Chatterly’s Liver
- An Arbor Day Carol
Cheryl Lynn Jones
- Green Eggs and Food Poisoning
- A Tree Grows on Staten Island
- The Man in the Aluminium Foil Mask
- Gulliver’s Staycation
- The Call of The Domesticated
- Concern and Dislike in Las Vegas
- Plucky New World
- Pride and Mistaken Assumption
- Crime and Plea Bargain
- No County for Millennials
- Nurse Yes
- Civil Disagreement on the Bounty
- Around the Neighborhood in 80 Minutes
- The Second Cousins From A Previous Marriage Karamozavs
- 10,000 millimeters under the Sea
- The Past Puberty But Not Yet Middle Age Man and the Sea
- The Hatchback of Notre Dame
J. Spike Rogan
- Goodnight Reverend Sun Myung Moon
- The Moon is a Rude Girlfriend
- The Dunce and Future King
- The Sternly-Worded Letter of the Worlds
- Do Androids Dream of Book Titles?
- A Tryst with Rama
- I Have No Mouth and Would Like a Breath Mint
- The Martian Direct Mail Circulars
A clever April Fool’s joke is always welcome, especially when it’s just plain funny, like an Onion article, where you first go “This can’t be real!” and then you realize it isn’t. If you can pull off that kind of joke, more power to you.
However, too many people simply post a lie and then after everyone believes you, you say “April Fools!” It doesn’t take skill or talent to say “Oh no, I broke my leg! Ha ha, April Fools.”
That’s not clever and distracts from people who really do have serious things happen to them tomorrow. Posting that you had something terrible happen to you may simply remind people who have had that terrible thing happen to them about it, and what’s the fun in that? You’ve just made people sad instead of entertaining them.
For instance: The same year my wife and I got married, we made invitations exactly like the ones we sent out for our wedding, except these invited everyone to come to our divorce, to be held at the Suffolk County Courthouse, on April 1. It went over well, because people first thought it was an official invitation to some special event, then they went “Whaaaaa?” then they laughed.
Anyway, please be clever if you’re posting an April Fool’s joke. Thanks.