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Every once in a while, I like to talk about some of the media I’ve been consuming and enjoying. Now is one of those whiles.

I finished Joe Hill’s The Fireman not long ago, and I have to say it was H-O-T. OK, that was bad. But the novel was great. After reading another of his novels, Horns, I found The Fireman to be much more accessible to a wider audience. I loved Horns, but I could understand if it were a bit weird for a lot of people. I was really surprised that it was made into a movie. The Fireman, on the other hand, begs to be shown on the big screen. IMDB says a movie adaptation is currently in development, so we all have that to anxiously anticipate. I found it to be a wildly fun suspense story written with Hill’s exceptional characters and injected with just the right amount of humor. It does describe what could be the end of humanity, so laughs were welcome. I won’t spoil it. You should read it immediately.

I finished my Luke Cage binge on Netflix much more quickly than I thought I would. I should have known, from his brief appearances in Jessica Jones, that I would find his own series fantastic. Mike Colter couldn’t have played Power Man better, though I confess to little knowledge of the character from the comics. (I read the only available issue in my orthodontist’s office a dozen times when I was a kid, but my interest at that age was generally monopolized by Iron Fist.) Outstanding performances from Alfre Woodard and Simone Missick made for extremely compelling television. With 13 episodes to pepper with details of origin story and character development, there was a lot to love.

Black Ops 3 surprised me with its excellent game play and gritty realism. I don’t typically like FPS games, but my son loves those he’s been able to try, like Garden Warfare and Destiny. He’s at an age where most FPS games are inappropriate for him due to language and violence. That’s what sold me on Black Ops 3. As a parent, I could opt to blur out mature images and gore, as well as censor objectionable language, in effect keeping a mature-rated game at a PG-13 level. We got all the excellence of a challenging campaign plus additional zombie levels that he loves, and I was able to stick to my parental obligation to limit his exposure to inappropriate content. We can play together in a cooperative, split-screen mode, which makes it even more enjoyable. If you have a kid too old for kids games and too young for more adult games, Black Ops 3 fills the gap much like Destiny and much more enjoyably than I found Star Wars Battlefront.

How do I have time to write when I’ve been reading, watching, and playing all this stuff? I don’t sleep (enough)! Actually I do far less of the others, so I can make time to write. In the past couple of months, I finished the first draft of my very first novel. I wrote nearly all of it in longhand during lunch breaks, so my first round of editing is also my time spent typing it. I also wrote the chronologically second, long short-story featuring my character, Os. The first of these appears in Nonlocal Science Fiction Issue 3. I just recently finished typing that up and look forward to editing it more in the coming months. Already ideas are percolating for the next story in the series, and let me tell you, Os is in for some trouble (again). Finally, I’ve written several new short stories that I’m currently shopping around. No takers, so far, but I’m optimistic after positive reviews from some beta readers. And I’m not about to stop there. Currently I’m writing a fantasy short inspired by Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay sessions with my friends. I’m also in the extreme beginning stage of planning my next novel, using the Snowflake method to hopefully finish it much more quickly than my first.

Have you read, watched, or played any of the above? I’d love to hear your thoughts about those and any other recommendations you have, so please leave me a comment!

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