The Visage of a Hero

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By: Michael Worthan

A persons view of a hero is based upon many factors, and those factors vary upon the person, the beliefs, their interests, and so much more. Simply put no one thinks the exact same thing about a hero all the time, and even when opinions are similar it was a different train of thought that brought that person to their conclusion. Now the same can be said about literally anything, why do you like your favorite novel, color, website and so on and so forth. The internet, and Social Media to a major extent, have exacerbated these differences and turned them into hate riddled arguments all the while breaking up friendships and ruining movies and shows just because “enter opinion here” did not come about or look the way you felt it/she/he/they should have.

Most don’t recall when we did not have a new superhero/heroine movie out every year, let alone two or three of them, and as we became spoiled with our favorite heroes on the big screen, we also began to complain. We started with minor things and then started nitpicking the plot, the characters looks, their cadence, their race, their gender, and those opinions started to spark outrage, to move fan against fan, and it separated us. Our fandom has been splintered by hate and anger, by bigotry and vitriol from people who are brave behind a keyboard and cruel to boot. We have forgotten what it was like to be the unpopular mass, to be able to go to a Convention to just have fun and speak to people who get us, who understand our fandoms and don’t judge us for them, even if they don’t understand them. There’s always been divisive opinions in comics and movies, but hell we enjoyed hearing about them and were able, at one point, to discuss them as people, as fans, regardless of who we are. Being a nerd has gone from all inclusive to mocking those that are new to fandoms and making sure that they don’t explore other ones by mocking their likes and dislikes. The state of our world, the state of our nation, and the state of nerdom are starting to mirror each other and that is not a reflection I want to be a part of.

For every hero there must be a villain, a foil to rage against the just and righteous, but what happens when that villain is the very group that has made that hero? What occurs when the hero themselves are taken out of being heroic and made to be a symbol for something not so amazing? What is the visage of your hero? Maybe it’s taking someone who knows nothing about something you love and introducing them to it, maybe it’s listening and understanding each others points of view without name calling or yelling. Possibly you can simply be a hero by accepting that not everyone will like the same things, and that sometimes letting go of reality and just immersing yourself into fiction for a few hours could be worth the trip. Maybe being a hero is allowing your tattoos, art, writing, or collection tell their own story and sharing it when asked. We as nerds have always wanted to be on the top of the food chain, and now that we technically are maybe we should bring others into the fold.

I know I will, will you?

 

Celebrate the Doctor! Dr. Seuss That Is

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By Michael Worthan

We now live in a world if divisive talk, painful rhetoric, and in general all of our Facebook feeds are full to the brim of bad news. So here I am looking at something a bit more cheerful, something that not only will bring a smile to your face, but if you read his books as a child like I did it will bring back some pretty amazing nostalgic memories. Tomorrow is the birthday of Theodor Geisel otherwise known by his famous moniker Dr. Seuss.

Whenever I hear the name Dr. Seuss I begin reminiscing about all of the different books of his I read, and am also put in awe of how influential his books have been in literature. To this day children and adults alike still enjoy his words in one form or another.

He was a true wordsmith, an person who inspired literacy as well as creativity, and is a legend for all to enjoy.

If you’d like some sweet sweet Dr. Seuss gear check out TVStoreOnline.com! Great people, great product, great prices, and a great amount of nerd swag beyond the great Doctors.

“We bust more rhymes than Theodor Geisel did…”
-MC Frontalot “Nerdcore Rising”

Re-Introducing an Interview with the Incomparable Brent Weeks!

Written by: Michael Worthan

Every now and then I get to meet someone I am a massive fan of and who shatters my expectations of how they will be. I have been following Brent Weeks since the Night Angel series came out and it is one of the better reading choices I have made in my life. Getting to interview him has always been a great experience and he is open and honest about his feelings, and has taken time out a number of times to speak to me on the different sites I have been a part of. It is now my genuine honor to have him on my website, one I own outright. So check out the interview below, buy his book HERE and visit his site HERE .

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How did the Lightbringer books go from trilogy to series?

Funny story. I had always sort of thought that this was going to be a significantly bigger story than the Night Angel Trilogy was. But I had originally pitched it to Orbit as a trilogy. However, as soon as I sent off the completed manuscript of the first book, The Black Prism, I sent an email to my editor, saying, “Yeah, this isn’t going to be three books.” Unfortunately, the memo never made it to the UK, so some UK readers got a book labeled “The Lightbringer Trilogy”, where the US has always seen “Series” on the title. As for it being five books instead of four, I had thought that I could squeeze all the awesome action that I’ve had planned into just four volumes. But when I started doing that, I realized the series would lose a lot of depth of feeling and resonance if I forced it into four books. So with many apologies, I changed it to five — so far fans have been really happy.

Within your books you’ve always been descriptive, but in this series you make race, eye color, and marks on characters’ bodies very important as it pertains to their magical abilities. Was that a difficult task to keep track of?

Actually, I’d quibble with calling my writing descriptive. I’ve never been the kind of writer who is going to tell you about all the sequins on a dress, or every detail of a feast, or belabor a landscape for half a page, much less two or three. What I do instead is describe the character traits that are important to the characters themselves, and thus have an impact on the plot and their decisions. Is that hard to keep track of? Yes, absolutely. In fact, I often pepper my assistant with questions: What was this guy’s hair color again? Were they cousins? Who were their parents? And so forth. Once you get in the neighborhood of a million words, it’s probably impossible to keep track of all the history and lore by yourself. 

Although your book is full of strong men, you have also developed very strong women. From Karris, to Teia, and especially in Book 4 we see Tisis grow. How important was it for you to see these characters develop and not just become stagnant?

It’s important to me that every character comes across as honest and vibrant. And I think the very best characters are capable of growth and change, albeit not always in a positive direction. And sometimes our world and our choices can change us positively and negatively at the exact same time. 

As someone who grew up with many strong women in his life I see these characters and relate to the reactions others have to them, what inspired them for you?

I’ve known strong women, and I’ve known weak women; I’ve known strong men, and I’ve known weak men. I don’t see the problems of writing female characters as unique problems, I see them as another iteration of the same problem: how can I write a character that feels real, and is deeply interesting, whether I like them or not? Certainly it takes some special labors to get characters right if they are very dissimilar to me. But I refer back to Dorothy Sayers, who snarkily titled an essay she wrote, “Are Women Human?” Women are human first. Does gender matter? Does how society treats you matter? Absolutely. But let’s not miss the forest for the trees. 

There is always talk about making books movies. We’ve seen the good and the bad when these come down the pike. Has there been any talk about making either the Night Angel Trilogy or the Lightbringer Series a show or movie? What fears do you have about doing something like that?

Mostly I fear just getting sidetracked. A lot of writers, I think, see getting a movie made as their ticket to being socially relevant and wealthy. So they spend a lot of time reaching for that and getting excited when some random producer from Hollywood sends an email. Sure, it’s exciting to get an email from a random producer. But what I do is write the best books I’m capable of. So for the time being, I am holding on to my movie rights, and I’ve said no to everybody who’s come and asked. If Steven Spielberg or Peter Jackson came knocking at my door, I would certainly let them in. But I’m also perfectly content to never make a movie deal. I’m already doing what I love.

Now that we have book four, and even though you are just now going on a book tour, what can fans expect next from you?

I’ve already started writing Book 5. I’ll be saying no to side projects and working on that. That will probably be the next thing fans see from me. No promises about when that will be published. I’ll point out that I have written a book every two years for the last 14 years now.

Last question: As a fellow facial hair aficionado I must say nice beard. What care products do you use?

Haha! I use some beard oils. I’ve tried a few, but I like one from Cliff Original, and a beard soap from the same. I have to keep my cheeks shaven on my daughters’ and wife’s request/demand, so I also use the Cliff Original shave butter, which is a total indulgence because it’s way too expensive. So I’ll sort of ricochet back and forth between dollar store shave cream and that. Thanks for having me on, I can’t believe we talked beard care!

A Review Of Sorts: Roses and Rot

By: Michael Worthan

I am terrible at reviews, not because I lack the vernacular to write about something, see that there that’s at least a two dollar word, it’s because I feel I never do justice to what I have read. I have a terrible habit of reading others reviews and seeing that they break down every page, every twist, every turn, and even delve into what things could or should mean. I’m not that guy, again I am intelligent and thorough enough to do that, but when I read something I want to make my own conclusions, draw forth my own thoughts.

So I always come to a compromise, I will tell you what the book is about in the vaguest of senses, like you might as well read the back of the book to get a feel for it kind of vague, and then I will tell you what I thought of the book without giving even the slightest possible thing away. I do this with all my reviews or books and even movies, I want the reader to read the book, but also to connect their own dots, like a great song an amazing book means something different to everyone.

When Imogen was young she told her sister Marin fairy tales. Once upon a time, she’d tell her, there was a way out, out of their awful lives, away from their abusive mother, this way was on the backs of fairies. As an adult Imogen realizes that the true escape had been in telling those tales and so she continues to tell them as a writer who is still grappling with the nightmare that was her childhood. Reunited with her sister at an artists’ retreat Imogen is forced to confront her past.

The debut novel of author Kat Howard (I linked you folks to the Amazon pages, spoiler the book is great go buy it) is nothing short of amazing. A fan of all sorts of Fiction Roses and Rot had me enthralled in the story the entire time. I was no longer just an audience member reading a book to what will definitely become a best seller, I was a part of the story, a witness to something beautiful yet horrifying in the same way.

Howard’s Attention to detail, ability to surprise me as a reader, and use of the Grimm styled fairies that I have come to love and fear in the world of Fantasy had me smiling and grimacing all the same. Like I said before I refuse to spoil this book, but I can definitely assure you that this is one that I will share with all of my readers, friends, and family. Kat Howard deserves nothing less than a standing ovation for this novel, and I personally can not wait to see what she does in the future.

Armada: A Late Ass Review

By: Michael Worthan

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Okay, so I’m pretty late to the game here, and for the most part that’s my fault. I am a huge fan of books, so much so I have a stack of then just waiting to be read, and so one after another I devour them and love every minute of it. Problem is keeping track of my favorite authors books and them finding the proper time to fit them into what is an already busy schedule. So my sincerest apologies Mr. Cline, also if you’re reading message me on Twitter @notsosilentmike and I’ll gladly interview you or just shoot the breeze with you about nerd things.

So this is going to be a far from usual review as I am doing this right after reading Armada (read it, buy it, love it!) and I’m writing this with the glee of a five year old who just found where all of the Halloween candy is being hidden. Armada was amazing, from the very beginning you’re pulled into Zack Lightman’s world. The depth and beauty with which things are explained, but not overly so which allows you, dear reader, the ability to throw your own bit of allows twist on some stuff. The nerdy mentions, the gaming jargon, the stories of the characters, all of these were set to create a rich universe that I could see myself in.

To conclude what is basically me gushing about this book I highly recommend it. As always share, comment, but never hate!