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To Channel Your Inner Sci-Fi Moojoo, You Must Swim With the New Media

December 05, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Plot, Setting, The Craft  5 Comments

Some of the best science fiction stories lately do not come from books. While it seems that some authors are trying to grasp a straw from the playbook of the golden years of science fiction Grandmasters, there are visionary people working outside of traditional story-telling to deliver the goods. Interactively.

Take for instance, Portal. Portal is a three-dimensional puzzle computer/console game that requires spacial thinking. But it also tells a story, and is vaguely connected, in a creepy way, to another great science fiction story from a computer game, Half-Life and Half-Life 2. Set in the grand and so very bleak Half-Life universe, Portal is, at its heart, a complex tale filled with tension, foreshadowing and base malevolence hidden behind sarcastic humor. Over the course of the game, you are slowly fed this story and if you do not pay attention you can even miss it! And when you escape from the clutches of the antagonist, your are not really too sure escaping was a good idea.

My point is thus: If you want to write science fiction (and the Bunny Trouble story is science fiction which is why this subject is dear to my heart), then you have to play and understand the appeal of these games. For they are very good, and very compelling. They tell a story in such a way as to draw you in and keep you thinking about it long after it is done, much like a good science fiction book does. That is caused not just by the game itself, but in large part from the pure science fiction goodness presented to the player.  If you do not understand the appeal of the great  stories, in their complex universes, such as Half-Life 2, Portal, Mass Effect, etc., your future audience is limited, your readers left wanting for more.

Evolve or die.

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Monster Hunter International now on Amazon for presale

November 30, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, The Craft  0 Comments

Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International is now available for presale on

I have the pre-Baen version (which is now a collectable). It’s an outstanding debut genre-stretching novel. One could classify it as military urban fantasy, or near-future science fiction. I loved it thoroughly. Loved loved loved.

The novel has a great voice and the characters are wonderfully developed and three-dimensional. I could go on, but just buy the thing.

Give the gift this year in books. Anyone who likes the great contemporary monster story, this is the cat’s meow.

Buy it. Now. And then wait, knowing that a lucky few got a POD version before Baen found this gem.


A Young Man’s Muse

September 18, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Not Exactly Random, The Craft  1 Comment

Ken posted a wonderful, whimsical look into his motivations in becoming a novelist.

I wish my motivations were as pure as inspiration from Ray Bradbury. My literary foundation is a hormonal memory, programmed by my very first girlfriend.

Victoria was just cute: young and cute, perky and cute and then one day she went from cute to pretty. A big sci-fi and fantasy fan, I cannot begin to tell you how many books she introduced me to, and she even introduced me to Powell’s Books. There is a special place in my heart for someone who drove me to Powell’s for the first time; they actually had The Platypus of Doom on a shelf. We are talking major relationship mojoo. Wherever she is now, I am sure Life has blessed her with a kind husband and low-maintenance children.

Victoria was not just pretty, she was soft, girl soft, and she always smelled good. Just thinking about that fresh High School Girl Next Door scent makes me a day younger. She was easy to please, easy to smile and a mischievous pixie.

One afternoon while her parents and sister were out, we were kissing in her living room. Victoria was a fabulous kisser, and often when kissing her my mind emptied of thought. Little did I know Victoria, as smart pretty girls are wont to do, used this to her advantage.

(kiss kiss) “Anthony?” (kiss)

(kiss) “Hmmm?” (kiss)

(kiss) “You should write me a book.” (kiss)

(kiss) “Huh?” (yes, I was the master of conversation in 1985, let me tell you)

(kiss) “Write.” (kiss) “Me.” (kiss) “A.” (kiss) “Book.” (kiss)

(kiss) “Ok.” (kiss)

Then she stood up, pulled her gray sweater-dress over her head and threw it on the floor. There she was, standing in the middle of her living room, wearing nothing but little white socks on her dainty cute feet.

Someday Victoria is going to be walking around a bookstore, holding hands with her husband, because that is what you do when you walk with Victoria—hold her hand. She is going to see my book there, in hardcover, and suddenly exclaim (Victoria does not yell, she exclaims), “That’s my book!”

Her husband will roll his eyes and say nothing. Long ago, he gave up trying to decipher the mystery that is Victoria.

And that, my 7.3 readers, is why I started thinking about writing a novel, so long ago.

You ain’t killed nobody until you’ve killed them like this

September 18, 2008 Author: Anthony Pacheco Category: Awesomesauce, The Craft  1 Comment

The best murder mystery I have ever feasted upon appears in Vernor Vinge’s Across Realtime in the last story of the book: Marooned in Realtime. Now reprinted, be warned it is easier to follow if you have the Across Omnibus which contains The Peace War and The Ungoverned.

Let me just quote the Amazon reader review and be done with it:

Finally, and in my opinion the crown jewel of the book, comes Marooned in Realtime, a masterfully plotted mystery story spanning 50 million years into the future. Marooned in Realtime is centered around Wil Brierson and a small band of friends trying to restart the human race in a post-post-apocalyptic world of decaying high-technology. Marooned is so excellent that it alone is worth the price of admission.