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Archive for December, 2008

Settle Down in There!

My sincere wishes that the holiday(s) have been happy ones for everyone who reads this. Bride and brood are off in Fresno visiting family; the decision was made that I should remain homebound for two good reasons, the first being that, with school having been closed the previous week, I got almost no work done with the kids around; and second, with the weather, there were concerns for the condition of the house. Turns out the second one was pretty accurate – I woke up the day after their departure to find water leaking through the ceiling into the ground-floor bathroom. There was a leak coming in from my son’s room directly above. Got it managed, but that was the better part of a day shot, and now the requisite concerns about water damage arise.

Have been trying to get work done. Not nearly as productive as I’ve wished to be. Wrote 12 pages of script that I’m pretty certain will have to be junked wholesale. Working on the rewrite of a long-form work, and that’s giving me a minor headache, as well. Jen and the kids return tomorrow, so the window for being exceptionally productive is rapidly closing, and that’s its own frustration. As I was getting ready for bed last night, I realized that the sheer number of characters currently vying for attention in my head right now is potentially out of control.

So I thought I’d make a list. Then I thought I’d share it.

At the moment, there are:

  1. A young twenty-something sleight of hand expert trying to figure out what to do with her life and her skills.
  2. Her sixty-something mentor wondering if his life has been a failure.
  3. A man and a woman working together on a protracted espionage assignment who have no idea the depth and breadth of the conspiracy they’re up against.
  4. A middle-aged Federal Marshal dealing with grief and loss on multiple levels.
  5. A recently-divorced FBI Agent who has no idea how his life is about to change.
  6. A man who honestly believes he’s helping the woman he loves.
  7. A woman who’s self-loathing is matched only by her skill at her job and her love for her child.
  8. A man who believes the mission comes first, and as a result, has seen his career suffer for it.
  9. A career soldier wondering how he could have been so wrong.
  10. A soldier who, bound by her honor, was denied the opportunity to serve, now struggling to find an alternate way to fight the same war.
  11. That soldier’s enemy.
  12. That soldier’s sibling.
  13. That soldier’s True Love.
  14. A genetically grown slave who killed in self-defense, and now must be put down.
  15. A very confused, and confusing, private investigator.
  16. A mentally retarded young man who is pretty much the only person around him who has the first idea what’s really going on.
  17. The two children of a very dangerous crime boss, each vying to take over the family business.
  18. The crime boss.
  19. The crime boss’s right-hand man, who’s in love with one of his boss’s two children.
  20. A four year-old who never knew her father and is beginning to think her nanny is her mother.
  21. A college student trying to figure out what to do with her life.
  22. A former Special Forces soldier trying to stop a nefarious plot in a magical kindgdom.
  23. An amnesiac thief who has made a deal with the devil for protection.
  24. A Very Bad Girl.
  25. A brilliant scientist and philosopher mourning the death of his son.

There are more. Those are just the ones shouting the loudest.

fullburl pointed me to Rachel Maddow’s incredibly kind comments about Queen & Country. May be the kindest, nicest, most flattering thing I’ve ever read about my work, all the more so as it comes from a woman who’s work I hold in such high regard.

Brain…fried….

Flamebird.

Nightwing.

Flamebird.

Nightwing.

Flamebird.

Nightwing.

Flamewing.

Nightbird.

Too cold outside.

Brain…hurts….

Walking Dead due April 28

Walking Dead

Walking Dead

Walking Dead, the newest continuation of Atticus Kodiak novels from Greg Rucka, now has a release date of April 28, 2009. Mark your calendars.

Greg recently provided a glimpse at some of the early chapters of the novel on his blog. Here’s a taste of the novel from the first chapter:

People came to Kobuleti to hide. It’s why we were there, and it’s why Bakhar Lagidze had brought his family there, and I knew it, and I never asked him why.

I should have.

I was awake but unsure of it, my eyes suddenly open, the last whispers of dream vanishing, leaving me with no true memory, just the impression that it had been unpleasant, that I had done things of which I was not proud. Full-moon blue filtered into the bedroom, shadows swayed behind the thin curtains as long pine boughs rocked in the breeze.

Our dog, Miata, an old Doberman with no voice, was pacing at the door. I tried to focus my blurred vision on him as he turned a circle in place, raised a paw to scratch at the door, then glanced back my way. I fumbled my glasses off the nightstand and onto my nose, watched as he repeated the sequence. It had been the noise or the motion or both that had pulled me from sleep, and I knew the behavior for what it was, and it shifted me fully awake, and I put a hand on Alena’s shoulder.

“Trouble,” I said.

She murmured, refusing to surface.

“Wake up.” I’d been speaking in Georgian, now switched to Russian. “Trouble.”

I looked to the door in time to see Miata finish another circuit, this time to fix me with a plea in his eyes. Any other dog, I’d have thought he was fighting a weak bladder. I slipped out of bed, felt the hardwood immediately leech heat from my feet. There was a pistol in the nightstand drawer. I put the gun down long enough to pull on my jeans.

“What’s going on?” Alena asked.

“Miata’s got something.”

She looked at me blearily, half-heartedly shook her head, as if unsure she was dreaming this or not. “Not the alarm?”

“I’ll check. Stay here.”

She was readying a pistol of her own as I left the room.

Some Things You Gotta Share

The freeze continues here in town. Kids went to school today, which was good for them and better for me, and then, bedtime, 8pm, the automated phone system from PPS calls to inform us that all schools in the Portland Public School system will be closed tomorrow.

The kids actually seem more perturbed by this than either Jen or I. Go figure.

Philip Tan has been outstanding throughout Final Crisis: Revelations, just thoroughly professional, a delight to work with, incredibly talented and, to top it all off, just plain ‘ol nice. But I’ve got to give some props to Jonathan Glapion, who’s been inking Philip — these two together are creating some gorgeous work. Case in point, this little beauty, that rolled into my inbox late this afternoon.

Check this out.

I Can’t Feel My Hands

Been nothing but busy. Too much to do, not enough time, blah-blah-blah, but hey, soon announcements will come and wrath will follow, and all will be right once more in the world. Galley pages for Walking Dead are almost completed, next come the ARCs, and then, I am told, April 28th sees the birth of a bouncing baby novel. Mark your calendars. Or don’t. They’re your calendars, after all.

It’s freezing, literally, here in Portland today. Hovering in the mid-20s, and for those of you that scorn, I would simply remind you that this kind of thing is, ahem, unusual in our neck of the woods. The weather has forced Portland into a semi-carbonite freeze, ie, the schools have closed, so both kids home, which is really conducive to getting work done, let me tell you. We spent the weekend in LA, visiting Andrew and Xtie along with my brother, Nick. Snuck in an hour to meet up with Geoff to discuss upcoming plots, events, stories, and like entertainments. The heart of the trip was the DeFilippis-Weir tree-trimming where our children assisted in the decorating, a first for them, and a treat, what with our lack of treenesses. All sorts of drama getting back due to weather, only to discover we could’ve stayed an extra day and no harm done.

Irony.

Less ironic, my birthday present from my bride arrived a few days ago. One of these, made by the fine folks at Darkwood Armory, with a companion three quillon dagger.

Now I just need someone to fence with. Gombach, if you’re reading this, that’s me calling you out!

Just finished Fallout 3

…I liked the ending of Star Trek II better….

Walking Dead – Chapter Five

Thanksgiving. Birthday. Another bout of illness running rampant through the household. Long-form project completed, now in rewrite stage, with revision due December 17th to erstwhile and long-suffering Hollyweird agent, Angela Cheng-Caplan. Too much time spent on Fallout 3 (with planned long-winded thoughts on the game and on the state of console RPGs in general to eventually follow). Comic scripts.

And Dan DiDio, in true fashion, remains a man who cannot keep his powder dry, God love him. (It’s his answer to number 1, for those of you who have neither the inclination nor the time to read the whole thing.)

The announcement about Action Comics is the first of three (well, kinda four, but two of them are joined at the hip) upcoming books for DC. It is not, as some have speculated, that I left the industry in a huff, nor was it that there was a grand falling out. Nothing so dramatic. I do not live that kind of drama. It is, more than anything, that my enemy in all things is time, and time has effectively tied me down to the surgical steel table and is casually walking away as the industrial laser inches inexorably towards my nethers, saying, “No, Mr. Rucka, I expect you to die.”

Elliot and I will be watching Goldfinger today. No, I do not plan on explaining the meaning of the name “Pussy Galore.” Sue me.

I am behind on just about every single thing I need to be doing at this point. Matthew Southworth is waiting for Stumptown pages. Steve Lieber is waiting for Whiteout: Night pages. Michael Siglain is waiting for pages on REDACTED and REDACTED. Philip Tan is not waiting for pages, but that’s only because I type exceptionally quickly, if I may say so myself, and will have him squared-away before the end of the day.

Oh, and the LiTG “amber” that was posted last week regarding mercuryeric‘s and my “difficulties” doing FC: Resist? Total and utter bullshit.

If you’ve made it this far, bless you for sticking with me.

I promised Chapter Five of Walking Dead quite a while ago. Been holding off on posting it for a couple of reasons. Time, as mentioned, was one of them. I’ve also been arguing with myself about giving so much of the book away so far in advance of its release. And then there’s the nature of the ending of this chapter. And other things. As it stands, I suspect this’ll be the last of the preview chapters, though I may relent and post Chapter Six around the start of the new year. I don’t know. I am, as they say, undecided.

Again, it is worth noting that there will be minor differences between what has been posted and what will be published at the end of April. We’re through the copy-edit now, and I expect the galley pages by the first of the year. Things will continue to be tweaked, adjusted, and corrected.

As ever, the review course may be found here (Chapter One), here (Chapter Two), here (Chapter Three), and, finally, (Chapter Four) here.

For your patience and pleasure, I present Chapter Five