Hulk cologne!

Great Moments in Hulk History

10. Hulk at the Tropicana

Class. That’s what this is.

9. “Nobody Loves the Hulk”

This song was for sale in issues of Marvel Comics.  You thought John Lennon’s “Imagine” was a tear-jerker?

Try this: “They dropped an H-Bomb on him, but Hulk only became annoyed.”

8. Hulk Rollercoaster at Universal Studios

At Universal theme park’s Marvel Superhero Island, don’t eat at the Fantastic Four cafe before you ride this.

It’s very exciting to hear the screams of terror from all the milksops.

7. Hulk 1970s toy commercial

The Hulk song in this toy commercial  is still stuck in my head a million years later.

I’m not sure why Hulk and Spider-Man have “fly away action,” but some questions are not meant to have answers.

6. Hulk Cartoons from 1966

In 1966, appeared to be the result of someone going crazy with the scissors on a pile of comic books, then moving the pieces back and forth. It offered a finger-snapping theme song that rhymed “gamma rays” with “unglamorous.” That is called “creative expression.”

5. Incredible Hulk #417

The longest-running Hulk comic book writer is Peter David, who brought humor and heart to the Hulkster (along with plenty of smashing).  Hulk throws a bachelor party for sidekick Rick Jones and invites the super-males of Marvel. Hijinks ensue, including Captain America attempting to hire a magician, and instead getting an ecydiast. (Google it. Totally worth it.)

4. Hulk cartoons from 1982 and 1996

The 1982 series had an awesome bass drum intro with Hulk growling and breaking things, as Hulk is wont to do. It was notable for Bruce Banner’s clothes, which ripped to shreds every time he Hulked out, but returned to buttoned-up shirt, tie, and nicely pleated pants when he returned to Banner form. 

The 1996 series had John Rhys-Davies as Thor.  Lou Ferrigno did Hulk’s voice and I have a story.

3. Meeting Lou Ferrigno

Lou Ferrigno appeared at Atlanta’s DragonCon sci-fi convention in the late 1990s, and I got in the autograph picture line. After seeing dozens of fans talk about the Hulk TV show with him, I decided to talk about something no one else did: his voice acting as Hulk on the 1996 cartoon. Some advice: Don’t be the one guy a celebrity remembers.

As the line drew closer, I plotted my message in my head: “It’s good the cartoon makers asked you to do the voice of the Hulk.” 

But what came out of my mouth, to Lou Ferrigno’s face,  was “I’m glad they asked you, because they must have said, “What could Lou Ferrigno be doing?”

Time stood still. I realized what I said. He realized what I said. He said “Thank you for enjoying the show,” and we shook hands. He squeezed my hand, as if to say, “I could rip this arm right off.”

This is a great moment in Hulk history because I survived. 

2. The Incredible Hulk TV series

In four seasons Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno taught us many life lessons.

Number one: Don’t try to fix your car during a lightning storm.

Hulk cologne.

Hulk cologne!
Smells like rage.

Hide and Creep: Behind the Undead

The tongue-in-cheek zombie flick Hide and Creep (TV Guide calls it “delightfully cockamamy”) was filmed in Alabama, the home state of a chunk of the RevolutionSF staff. In fact, part of it was filmed about five miles from my mom’s house. Friends of ours filmed it and acted in it, and a flesh-ripping good time was had. So we asked them to talk about it. We think it’s fun and we think you will, too. 

Devil Took the Wheel
by Kenn McCracken

If there’s one thing that stands out in my head about the days I spent on the sets of Hide and Creep, it’s the cold. I remember standing in the cemetary just outside of Montevallo, Alabama, in particular, filming the scenes that feature the first meeting of Chuck, Chris, Michael, and the mysterious government agent F.

These scenes, along with others, spotlight Michael naked (having lost his pants in what may or may not have been an alien abduction the night prior), and we didn’t have any sort of budget on this film. No special effects, no body doubles — that’s really Michael Shelton naked on screen. 

RevolutionSF pal Kenn McCracken, coming to a SciFi Channel near you.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes factoid to keep in mind when you watch the movie: It was around 20 degrees the day we shot those scenes. I was suffering from the peak of peripheral neuropathy at the time (a side effect of my CIPD, peripheral neuropathy is the loss of sensation in your extremities — hands, feet, nose, etc.) — walking only with the aid of a cane, since I couldn’t feel when my feet had hit the ground and thus was prone to falling down a lot — and within an hour, I could feel (through two pairs of socks, heavy boots, and nerves that worked as well as George Lucas’ idea of prequels) the pain of the cold. 

All this to say: Don’t be too hard on Michael. 

I had worked with directors Chance Shirley and Chuck Hartsell before, doing the score for their short film The Seven Year Switch; they, in turn, were kind enough to kick start my filmmaking resume by providing invaluable assistance with the making of my first short, Goodnight Moon. And that’s the way the Birmingham film scene is — lots of people with varying abilities and degrees of experience, pitching in to help out other people of varying abilities and degrees of experience. 

The Crewless Productions group — Chance, his wife Stacey, and Chuck — had shot a couple of shorts prior to the undertaking of H&C;, and so they knew what was coming; they’re not called Crewless for nothing, and that’s one of the reasons that working with them is so rewarding. Keep in mind that a big-budget film shoot is a unionized affair of specialties: Everyone has one job and one job only. Costumes, set, direction, camera. A small-budget independent film, on the other hand, has no such room for titles, and it’s nice to see the director and producer doing the grunt work as much as anyone else. 

My credit on H&C; is for “Boom Operator” (guy who holds the microphone just out of frame) and “Sound Mixer” (which is misleading, since I didn’t actually do any mixing that I can recall); I also knew in advance that I would have a small role in the film, as Chance had written myself and my (now ex) wife Melissa into the script playing ever-so-slight-deviations of ourselves. 

Things change, of course; Melissa ended up getting one of the starring roles, and I play the complex bit part of Kenn, a guy who goes to a church for the first time in years to borrow money and curse a lot. 

(Yeah, I know. Big stretch. And I still don’t pull it off very convincingly. Though I did get the best death in the entire movie, hands-down. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but I will say that if I had to choose a way to go, this would be on the list.) 

Kenn suffers for his art.

Over the course of the months of shooting (mostly weekends only), I also played three different zombies, shot behind-the-scenes footage, handled props, helped recruit extras, cleaned up fake blood, recorded sound effects, cleaned up audio in post, and recorded the soundtrack for the film with the Exhibit(s). 

And everything I did, Chance did, too, and then some, as did Stacey, and Chuck, and everyone else involved with the film. It’s nice to be a part of creative ventures where no one is a diva, and everyone involved is ready and willing to do any job (no matter how mundane or banal) to get the best end result possible. 

All the hard work paid off. Hide and Creep debuted to a huge crowd at the opening night of the 2004 Sidewalk Film Festival, and has since gotten DVD distribution (there’s something slightly surreal about popping in to a Blockbuster in Chicago and seeing your movie on the shelf), made it to tens if not twenties of Netflix queues across the world, and gotten reviews that range from scathing (those people just don’t get it) to painfully flattering (those people got it — it being the cash I and others sent along with the review copies). None of us got rich off of the movie, but that was never the point (at least, not for most of us). 

In the end, we helped Chance and Chuck and Stacey make their first feature film — and as a short filmmaker, I’ll be quick to point out that’s a huge accomplishment, in and of itself. That the film is fun to watch, even after spending as much time as we all did reading and rereading subsequent drafts of the script, getting up at 4:30 a.m. (after playing gigs until 2 a.m. the night before) to drive fifty miles to backwoods Alabama locations in sometimes brutal cold, and watching edit after edit of the movie; that’s a miracle. 

Not quite on par with coming back from the dead, but hey — at least none of us have a hunger for human flesh. 

Not one that’s associated with being undead, at least. 

I Was A Middle-Aged Gazebo Zombie
By Kenneth Carter

My ex-wife had always said I was dead inside. Now was my chance to finally prove it. My friend Chuck Hartsell was making a movie. But not just any movie. He was making a zombie movie named Hide and Creep.

He called me up and told me he had the perfect part for me to play — the pivotal role of a “Gazebo Zombie.” 

Needless to say, I was a more than a little apprehensive about taking on such an important part. Could I pull it off? What would be my motivation? Would there be snacks? 

I immediately began to piece together my character. I found some old clothes and shredded them. After all, I wasn’t going to be just some run-of-the-mill gazebo zombie. In my mind, my off-screen transformation into a flesh-eating supernatural creature would have come at great anguish and pain. 

I arrived at a small business in Leeds near dusk. The scene was to take place outside the Thorsby Police Department (for which the small business was doubling). As I prepared myself inwardly, I was also transformed outwardly. White makeup was applied to my face. More black makeup turned my eyes into lifeless pits. And then, I was splashed and slathered with fake blood. I would have thought it too cool, but I was already darkening my soul with the single-minded directive of the living dead. 

As my fellow gazebo zombies and I slowly marched beneath a, well, a gazebo, my face remained blank despite the sudden epiphany of how my character was named. 

My scene comes at the climax of the movie. At the time where all is revealed — the moment the protagonists realize how to defeat the evil, undead horde. 

But try not to clutter your head too much with such revelatory thoughts, or you’ll miss my big scene. 

Oh yeah, and don’t blink either. 

Behind the Scenes with “Doug the Bartender”
by Bryan Crowson

I stood behind the bar with a dishrag and a pistol close at hand — tools of the trade for a bartender. I searched the depths of my soul for my motivation . . . yes, there it is, the inner bartender that lies deep within the psyche. 

I had shed the trappings of my normal self and become “Doug the Bartender,” a man who believes unflinchingly in the God-given rights to drink, watch TV and bear arms. It was my first step into a larger world, the chance to practice my craft before the camera for the filming of Hide and Creep.

My theatrical experience was finally paying off. I earned the trophies for of “Best Actor” in both the junior and senior class plays in 1980 and 1981 at Bibb County High School, with all the respect and acclaim that come with the title. I took an acting class at Auburn University from a teacher who had previously taught Victoria Jackson, but this sullen thespian failed to recognize my native talent. Consequently, I was discouraged, and my yearning for the stage had lain dormant for more than 20 years. 

Then my friend Chuck Hartsell, one of the driving forces behind Hide and Creep, invited me to be an extra in the film. I showed up on a Sunday at a Fultondale bar to film a scene. Another friend of mine and Chuck’s, Shawn Ryan, was to be in the scene, too. 

Then an opportunity arrived like a free beer: The dude who was supposed to play Doug the Bartender didn’t show up. Chuck put two pages of script into my hands. 

Bryan Crowson makes his mark on Tinseltown. (Fultondale, anyway.)

Could I learn two pages of dialogue in 20 minutes? You bet I could. I began reading, although I was somewhat distracted by the spectacle of scantily clad women being adorned with ghoulish zombie makeup. 

We were in position. Me behind the bar. The scantily clad barmaid standing nearby. Shawn, who had lived the life of “Man at Bar” and was no stranger to his character’s wants and needs, wore his role like a glove. He stared, mesmerized and unblinking, at the fetching barmaid. 

Action! I slid into character and performed my part. I even interpreted the role and ad-libbed a bit, deliberately mispronouncing “ak-ee-hol” as I thought Doug might for comic effect. The directors seemed to like it and didn’t object. They really knew how to get the best out of their actors. 

My only regret was that I was unable to hang around for a later scene and be one of the men devoured by topless zombie women in the bar. It remains one of my goals, as an actor. 

I hope the Sci-Fi Channel doesn’t delete my scene when Hide and Creep is on television Thursday night, because of the scantily clad barmaid. If they do, you can still see my compelling performance by renting or buying the movie. Just tell them Doug sent you. 

Check out the trailer here.


I Spent the Night With Mazinga, Shogun Warrior

I’d always been a bit of a sucker for a man that wasn’t afraid to dress with style. And the fact that he had those giant, gleaming metallic glide-wings welded right to his back I have to admit did a lot for me. 

It’s the kind of wardrobe flair that really turns my head. Call me a romantic, or call me an idiot — I’m just that kind of girl. 

I had actually run into him on the street a few times when he happened to be working near my building. But this was long before I’d worked up the nerve to do anything about it. 

I knew I’d never be able to pull off “accidentally” bumping into him again some time or “accidentally” being threatened by Godzilla — so I did what I normally do in these circumstances: I took out an ad in the “Missed Connections” section of the Daily Yomiuri. 

YOU: Defeated Rodan yesterday as it tried to create a giant nest in the top of the office building I work in. 

I: Was nearly burned to death by afterburners when you shot a rocket right into Rodan’s face. Was it just me, or were things heating up between us even without the rocket exhaust? Thought I detected more than just a metallic gleam in your eye as you passed my way afterwards. Be at the Asahi Sushi Bar n’ Grille Wednesday at 10 for drinks and… whatever… if I’m not wrong. 

Silly, I know. But nothing ventured… Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time I’d sat all night alone in Asahi waiting for some robotic titan to show up. And then when he showed up at Asahi after all (!!!), I was a complete tongue-tied idiot. It didn’t help that he just sat there and didn’t say ONE WORD the entire time. 

I even tried doing a “footsie” routine with him under the table — what am I, in eighth grade?!? I can’t even stand that term!!! – but no reaction from Mr. Steel. Well, his feet are gargantuan metallic boots the size of my apartment — so to be fair he probably couldn’t feel it. 

I was starting to get a little annoyed, (Are ALL the Shogun Warriors this shy? Why couldn’t I have gotten a crush on Daimos or Gaiking?!?) not to mention a crick in my neck from craning to see his face twenty stories up. 


But then a jet flew into the restaurant, made some kind of docking procedure in the back of his head, and he perked right up. He even ordered for me. All right!

Later, at my place, I thought about making some kind of suggestive comment about his detachable hands and what other attachments he came with, but thank God I thought better of it. Why do I have to be so forward? 

Then — OH GOD — I made the mistake of mentioning that I’d once gone out with a guy that could Transform from a Semi into a giant robot spider. Mazinga didn’t say a word — just rolled his eyes. 

Or did he? I don’t know, his eyes were twenty stories up and covered with metal. But I think he did. Anyway, I shouldn’t have mentioned a previous boyfriend on a first date. Not to mention one that was ALSO a giant shape-shifting robot. Great, now Mazinga’s going to think I just have some kind of fetish. 

So he ended up staying the night, which was another disaster — let’s just say there weren’t a lot of rockets going off between us. I don’t know why — maybe because the instructions were all in Japanese, which is Greek to me. Why am I such an idiot? How many times do I have to do this to myself before I find a nice guy? 

We went out for a few more weeks, but I could tell he wasn’t listening to me when I talked, mainly because the jet plane that served as his brain and control center would always fly away about five minutes into the conversation. No wonder Shogun Warriors never have girlfriends. 

Chris McCaleb is a short filmmaker. By that, I mean that he makes short films. And he is small in stature. Behold his works at Artwork © Rob Mansperger.
Gandalf! Gandalf!

Lord of the Rings: The Novelization

Gandalf! Gandalf!

Chapter the Third

Gandalf was back in town, it seemed, the hobbit Lumbertoe Proudfoot thought, as he rode by on his wagon with Frodo Baggins the hobbit boy. He gave him a scowl, a dirty look, because he was not happy to see him. Not happy to see him at all. He thought of the last time he had seen Gandalf, when he had taken his son Edgewood on an adventure to the Forest of Darkness. His son mysteriously vanished, Gandalf had said.

Or had he? 

The hobbit children were all playing hobbit games until they saw Gandalf ride up on his wagon, which was pulled by a donkey. The children all liked Gandalf, because he had a pointy hat and fireworks. They ran after him, hollering “Gandalf!” 

Then more children joined them, hollering “Gandalf!” “Gandalf!” another child, young Billysmart Gamgee, yelled. What would his big brother think if he saw him yelling, Billysmart thought. 

“Gandalf! Gandalf!” all the children said together, and they all chased him down the dusty trail, their hairy feet kicking up more dust. But he did not stop, nor did he even say hello. Was Gandalf mad at them? Did they do something wrong, the children wondered? 

Then out of the back of the wagon, fireworks went off. A little shower of them, going “Bing! Bang! Bing ka-boom!” and it made the kids happy.

They knew Gandalf was not mad at them, and that made them happy. So did the fireworks. 

Lumbertoe saw the kids being happy, and he could not help but smile. Then his wife, the she-hobbit Appleroot Stumptoe-Proudfoot, came out and saw Lumbertoe smiling at Gandalf. Appleroot disapproved, and it made her mad to see Lumbertoe smiling at Gandalf. So Lumbertoe stopped smiling. 

But he didn’t stop thinking. 

What if he could find Edgewood, his son? What if he sneaked out after Bilbo Baggins’ party tonight, and went to find him on his own? Yes, he could do that, he thought.

After all, it’s not like he hadn’t been on adventures before. He thought back to that time at the Prancing Pony. So many years ago . . . and what was that gorgeous elf’s name? Ah, yes . . . . Arwen.  


Chapter the 37th

Arwen was on her horse, with Frodo, dying, in the saddle in front of her. It was a white horse. The Nazgul chased her, and chased her, and chased her. They chased her across plains, and past trees, and up and down hills. They went through the woods, but she still outran them.

Her horse was fast.

She knew she had to hurry, or her little friend Frodo would be dead. Finally, she arrived at a stream. Her horse crossed it, clippity-clop, splash, clippity-clop, splash, splash.

She could feel the breath of the Nazgul upon her neck, and it reminded her of Aragorn, but in a bad way. Finally, she wheeled around on her horse.

The Nazgul started to cross the stream, but drew back, as if they were afraid of water. Arwen drew her mighty sword, and held it before her. It was a mighty sword, she thought, mighty enough to cut someone if she had to. 

“If you want him,” she hollered, “Come and claim him!” All of the Nazgul drew their mighty swords. 

One of them yelled, “I’ll cut you, bitch!” 

Then the Nazgul started crossing the stream! Arwen thought, “I have to think of something, but what?” 

Ah! Then she remembered — she would use her power! Her power of hydrokinesis — the ability to make water appear and do whatever you wanted it to do. Summoning up her mental will, she looked down at the stream, and it started filling up with water!

Then she looked up, and lots of water, a flood of it, started pouring down the river! With a smirk, she made the water take the form of giant, wet horses as it hurtled down the river toward the Nazgul. 

As the water reached them, and flowed over them, the Nazgul and their horses, black as midnight, were all swirled away as if by a rushing flood. 
“I guess they’re all wet, eh, Frodo?” Arwen laughed. 

But Frodo felt like he was going to die. He was very sick. He had been stabbed. It hurt. Who was this woman with the funny ears, he wondered.

All he could think about was how he had been stabbed. And he felt like he was fading away, and like he was very sick. “We’ve got to get you to Dad! He’ll know what to do!” Arwen shouted, and hurled Frodo on the back of her white horse. 

“To Rivendell — AWAY!!!” Arwen hollered, and her horse listened to her, because she was a kind mistress to him. 

Alan Kevin J.M. Salvatore-Foster-Stevens has seen many movies, and has written novelizations for all of them. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and they have cats. 


Book Probe: Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

RevolutionSF’s Book Probe helps you find good things to read. OR ELSE.

Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

This is an intensely imaginative fantasy adventure about dead gods and fanatic cults and you should read it right now.

Author Frances Hardinge has thought way too much about the world she has created here, and I mean that as a compliment. Only someone who obsesses over minuscule details could have constructed such an elaborate thing.

The story presents a complete pantheon of gods in a complex, inviting fantasy world. In that brilliantly detailed setting, the story involves a mystery about dead gods and a teen who gets in over his almost instantly.

I am just now, with this book, discovering Frances Hardinge. Luckily for all of us, Hardinge has written more books, which I have sought out after reading this one.

I suggest you likewise seek out her other books. I would also suggest creating Dungeons & Dragons game statistics for the gods herein because they are perfect for Dungeon Masters to kill your players with.

You could, of course, make D&D stats and read Hardinge’s other books. Both ways, you’re doing something valuable for yourself and for other humans.

The Book of Dragons

Anthologies by their nature are fickle creatures. Sometimes they are mostly delightful, while sometimes they can be irritatingly bad with maybe two good stories.

The Book of Dragons defies such anthological expectation. It’s really good throughout.

All the authors have interesting takes on the subject matter, from poetry to fables to swords and sorcery. My personal favorite is Scott Lynch’s “Maybe Just Go Up There and Talk To It.”

I must award points to the title, a bold proclamation. THE book of dragons! When I searched for it on the webs, I found a veritable plethora of books claiming to be the book of dragons, but none with such a large font. So there you have it.

But for those who don’t generally choose books based on cover font size, the luminaries within include Jane Yolen, Ken Liu, Kelly Barnhill, Beth Cato, Peter Beagle, Michael Swanwick, Theodora Goss, and more than a dozen more.

Corporate Gunslinger by Doug Engstrom

This one is a brilliant, Twilight Zone-style speculation about a future ruled by corporate greed. It’s brutal and violent, and it’s smart and deep, too. 

It’s tough to get into why this premise works so well without spoilers. It takes aim at a societal ill while also being a deeply personal story with a female hero. 

It’ll make you ask questions, and that’s the best stuff that speculative fiction does (besides exploding spaceships). 

Highly recommended. 

Heir of Ra by M. Sasinowski

This book is so fun. It’s an Indiana Jones movie and a National Treasure movie and The Mummy and tons of other fun action flick-style stories in convenient book form. 

The author clearly, absolutely loves what they’re doing. You can tell from the sparkling dialogue, the detailed storytelling, the crazy concepts. 

This book is number 1 in a series, so naturally, you should start here. Right now. Have you started yet? What about now? 

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Hi y’all. I updated the plugins and the WordPress version just now. Everything still seems to be functioning? Keep it real. Keep it safe. Wordzzzz.

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Book Probe: Illustrated World of Tolkien

Book Probe reviews sci-fi books so you don’t have to. Buy these. They’re good.

The Illustrated World of Tolkien by David Day

Good to read while enjoying second breakfast.

This is a  very cool hardcover where artists talk about Tolkien and how his work inspired their work. 

It’s also a handbook of Tolkien creatures and characters. 

Reading the artists’ insights and seeing their interpretations of these legendary figures is a joy, and their creativity is infectious. 

Like Gollum and the One Ring, you will need to grab this right away. 

It’s also possible that possessing this book will drive you bonkers like Gollum. But don’t throw it into a volcano. It’s too precious.

Dragon Age: Tevinter Nights

Dragon Age Tevinter Nights book cover.
Like the video game, but with words.

This is an anthology of fantasy adventure stories, and they are good stuff whether you play the game Dragon Age or not — it’s classic, good ol’ fashioned fantasy action, with elves and magic and monsters and such. 

This book could get newbies into playing Dragon Age, so then it would be doing its job. If you’re already playing the game, this book is tailor-made for you because you already know where Tevinter is. 

I have a tiny criticism of the book’s title. 

The book title, “Tevinter Nights,” seems to suggest that these stories will be dark and sexy, but they are not. Well, any more than usual for Dragon Age stories. Maybe I’m thinking of “Baywatch Nights” starring the legendary David Hasselhoff. 

Black Leviathan by Bernd Perplies

This one is Moby Dick, but with dragons. 

There. You just bought a copy. 

If you didn’t, dude, I don’t think I can help you. 

The fanatical ship captain hunts The Firstborn Gargantuan, which I have to say is a better name for Moby-Dick than “Moby-Dick.” Sorry, Herman Melville. 

Besides all that, this is an absolutely thrilling fantasy adventure, with dragons and fighting and more dragons. You know, the good stuff. 

Voice of the Sword by John Paul Catton

Voice of the Sword by John Paul Catton

This is the first book in a trilogy, and luckily, the other two books are already out, so you don’t have to wait for author John Paul Catton to eat, sleep, or spend time with his family while he’s writing them. 

It’s good stuff. It’s clearly inspired by some genres of anime, and Catton’s writing shows the affection he has for those works; here, he has made his own in book form. 

The female hero is an incredible character, a high school student caught in between a war between factions that include creatures from Japanese mythology. The story contains outlandish action, weirdness, and outlandishly weird action. 

Creating the tone of the visual medium of anime with just words, I would imagine, would be an uphill struggle, but the author makes it happen in excellent fashion here. 

I can’t wait to read more from this author; luckily, he has plenty of published works to keep me going. But that doesn’t get him off the hook. Back to work, Catton! 

Ruthless (Eye of the Beholder Book 3) by Sarah Tarkoff

Prophet by Sarah Tarkoff

You’ll need to read the first two books in this series first, but I recommend that you do that because they’re good. 

I’ll wait right here. 

Hey! See, what’d I tell you? Good stuff. 

This one is about a woman fighting against a government conspiracy that convince people that the Great Spirit saved humanity and now we’re living in a post-salvation world where you toe the line or you get got (I’m paraphrasing.) 

Author Sarah Tarkoff has done this style of awesomeness before and I did not know it until after I had finished the series — Tarkoff wrote for some of my favorite things: The TV show Arrow and the Arrowverse cartoons The Ray and Vixen

The story is mind-bending and thrilling, with deeply detailed characters. Book 3 is cathartic and exhilarating, a worthy conclusion and a terrific, satisfying finale. 

Puzzler’s War (Tarakan Chronicles #2) by Eyal Kless

Puzzler's War Eyal Kless

Author Eyal Kless is a classical violinist, but he can whomp up a sci-fi adventure novel, too. 

This one is a sequel to the first one, so you’ll need to read that one first. This one I like better. That is to say, the first one is really good, too — but this one ramps up the action and the adventure, and the motley crew of companions mucking about in a future where everything went into the pooper. 

(That’s the technical definition of a dystopia, by the way.) 

It’s fun, thrilling, and well worth a read.

Warlord (Makaum War #3) by Mel Odom

Warlord by Mel Odom

This story is the third in a series, but it’s not vital to read the first two. I recommend that you do, because they’re fun like this one is fun. 

This series reminds me of the Mack Bolan Stony Man series, the paperback action novels that 80s kiddos like me found in dog-eared copies from our libraries or in pristine, good-smelling copies from Waldenbooks. 

I mean that comparison as a high compliment. These books are sci-fi war novels with gritty intensity and bombastic action and quotable dialogue while the heroes blast aliens. 

I haven’t read much from the author Mel Odom, but now I need to. Preferably, while listening to an 80s movie soundtrack on cassette. 

EDIT: My mind is blown. After I finished writing this review, I looked up Mel Odom. He has FOR REAL written Mack Bolan books. That is awesome. Now I have even more books to dig up. 

Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi

Scarlet Odyssey by CT Rwizi

This is a heroic quest story with a ragtag group of misfits, which is the best kind of misfit group. 

It’s the launch of a series by young African writer C. T. Rwizi, and the world here is inspired by cultures and myths of sub-saharan Africa (according to the book’s PR information). 

It’s a thrilling, fanciful debut, crammed full of imaginative world-building and excellent dialogue. You can tell that the author had a very fun time writing the book; the imagination positively leaps off the page. 

I look forward to seeing what’s next. But in the meantime, this one is worth re-reading. 

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Body by Starfleet

Book Probe: Body by Starfleet

Book Probe: We review books of geeky interest so you don’t have to. Our opinions are the correct ones. 

Body by Starfleet

Body by Starfleet
Today is a good day to diet.

This book is so good that it makes me want to be a healthy person.

Ha ha, that’s not true, Book Probe is already healthy. Ha. ha. ha. [abject weeping]

This book is crammed full of silliness, while also being a pretty good exercise book, no joke.

I’m almost positive this is not the first Star Trek tie-in product to include Discovery, but it was a pleasant surprise to see Tilly get a fun exercise: Tilly’s Command Training Program Sprints.

Writer Robb Pearlman digs deep for Trek references from all generations, and they are excellent: Riker’s Leg Extensions. Deanna Troi’s Active Listeners. Chekov’s Cossack Squats. Ambassador Collos’ Medusan Vessel Stretches. Why haven’t you bought this book yet?

Is it because you were hoping for Deep Space Nine exercises? Boom — Quark’s Odo-in-a-Bucket Walks.

Doing the exercises is optional, I suppose, but I’m doing them because I’ve never been so expertly targeted with a fitness program.

Also, Georgiou commands me to do so.

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Exciting Updates to the Blogs!

Hello, RevBloggers! I’ve you’re logged into your blog, you’ve probably noticed that it looks different. Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been into here, doing cleanup and maintenance, so a lot of plugins had to be updated, and we hadn’t yet made the big jump to WordPress 5.XX. The big difference to WP5, is now you get to use the Gutenberg interface. This is a drag and drop styling system. There’s a lot of versatility here, you’ll be able to do things like have a picture with text right next to it, something that would have required coding in previous versions. I also had to re-do the main blog page a bit, but it should be mostly working now. Anyrate, relax and be confident that you are now working with the cutting edge of blogging technology!

Give me a holla’ if you notice anything weird or have any questions. Cheers!

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Book Probe: Up Against The Wall by David Hasselhoff

Book Probe seeks out this most Hasselhoffian experiences you can have, and provides links to them. Other books without Hasselhoff in them are also noted. 

Up Against the Wall by David Hasselhoff


David Hasselhoff is on a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist.

Is this the greatest thing you can ever listen to?

I’m saying, “Probably.”

This is an Audible exclusive, a novel read by Mr. David Hasselhoff, starring Hasselhoff as himself, as well as a CIA agent who looks like David Hasselhoff.

Listening to Hasselhoff deliver the precisely accurate amount of humor and drama is great fun. He leans into it, chewing scenery in audio form, just like he does in musical stylings in the “Kung Fury” soundtrack and on “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

It takes place in 1989, and Hasselhoff is on his way to perform on top of the Berlin Wall, when action-adventure hijinks ensue. The CIA agent who looks like him takes advantage of that fact to take on some bad guys. The story is so very 80s, and I mean that as the highest compliment.

Hasselhoff has set the bar pretty high for all audio dramas now. This one took me a long time to get through, because it was a challenge to withstand the barrage of Hasselhoffian excellence. At times I felt like I didn’t deserve it.

But I did.

We all do.

I will assume this is a true story, even if told otherwise. Listen now.

Get More Hasselhoff:


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