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Everything posted by W_L

  1. And in non-reading news, I finish binging on The Expanse, the 23rd century of the show is far more realistic than Star Trek, but quite a bit depressing as well. It's a good Sci-Fi TV show, on par with Babylon 5 in its epic scope and characters, plus it has 2000's Battlestar Galactica's bleak outlook. Still there's a few elements of "wonder" that reminds me of classic Star Trek: Next Generation, which is surprising since there's so few alien species humanity encountered in 200 years and the one encountered is so far advanced than us, they're more akin to Lovecraft's cosmic entities than Trek's Klingons, Romulans, or even the Borg. Essentially, the show inspires and it also humbles humanity in comparison to our petty struggles; the universe is far older an its occupants far more alien than us.

    I'm interested now in buying the book series The Expanse is based on to read,  probably will take me most of the holidays, but that's my next major reading. The show inspires and humbles, great science fiction should do that.

    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. Ron


      I'm on my second watch of The Expanse series all the way through (only a few episodes to go), but I have watched the earlier shows more than twice when catching up for a newer season. James Holden (Steven Strait) is a delight to look at... er, I mean watch. ;) As is Amos Burton (Wes Chatham) pleasant to watch but the character is complex. Really, it's a fascinating series with strong characters and a great cast -- they make show a compelling, watchable series. Kudos to Amazon for another great series!

    3. W_L


      @Zombie are you nerding out with me :) While I can appreciate TOS, especially episodes like the City on the Edge of Forever, the emphasis when encountering aliens was that they were very human-like to make the social commentary. It made sense and even advanced aliens seemed human-like in their childish games/tests.

      The difference between Star Trek with the Expanse's more human conflicts and an alien civilization that is far more alien than us, with technology that is unique. The human tech is sort of steam-punk chic for the Belters, Soviet styled cold industrial for Mars, and a modernist sterile compartmentalized for Earth. We're still using missiles and railguns in 23rd century, no phasers. Our future tech is aesthetically human, when compared to "living matter" technology of an advanced alien species that can bend space/time, extract consciousness/souls, and create/destroy star systems. Star Trek makes human beings seem like we've grown up among peers, the Expanse makes us look like 4 year olds fighting over swing sets and water fountains, when adults can launch nukes and bio-weapons.

    4. W_L


      @Ron Completely agree on the easy to watch characters :) Amos is easily the most interesting scarred sociopathic killer man-child that you want to both cuddle up to and run away screaming from :o Jim is easy to watch as an every-man character. Of course my favorite character is Chripian, she's ruthless and egotistical, but her reasons are usually benign and her ideals are pure.

  2. Question for authors: How do writers experiment with other genre of stories, i.e. Romance, Sports, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, History, and so on? For me, technical speculative fiction and science fiction were and still are my chief interests in writing. I'll be experimenting with a modern fiction soon, remote from my prior writing style. A down to earth drama about corruption and power, centered around a semi-fictional version of Boston, my current city of residence. Reason why I am doing this is due to the need to write with an anchor to what I know and what exists around me as points of context, while I experiment with a new genre. It's not difficult to write this story. I thought there may be many other approaches to experimenting with genres that are not your not natural storytelling interest, maybe we can share it with one another. My way is to create anchors of reality.
  3. For parents or young LGBT readers, if you are a fan of Greco-Roman themed mainstream fantasy with a LGBT lead character, I highly recommend Rick Riordan's Trial of Apollo series, a sequel to Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. I've followed the book series for decades and despite changes in the world, I still enjoy this world like visiting an old friend, who always has good cup of tea or coffee and a story to share with you.

    The series has just completed with the Tower of Nero and I've just finished it.

    For a young adult mainstream series, the idea of having a 1st person narrator with bisexual interests would have been unlikely in my teen years in the early 2000's. Stories like that I had to look around on places like here on GA, fictionpress, and nifty. Many of us, most prominently if you look at old fan-fiction stories, dreamed of a day when our voices could be heard and expressed. While many of our stories were fantasy of shipping/pairings same sex characters in unlikely situations, I think beneath all the window dressing of sexual orientation, all of us yearned to be heard and made...real, like a proof of existence through our words.


    1. Show previous comments  4 more
    2. Page Scrawler

      Page Scrawler

      @Timothy M. Alex Fierro is my favorite person in Magnus Chase. I had never heard about Apollo and Hyacinthus until I picked up The Trials. 

    3. W_L


      @Timothy M. Thanks, I'll probably switch over to the Norse Pantheon stories soon, I know the series is centered in Boston after all, so it goes to reason :)

    4. Timothy M.

      Timothy M.

      @Page Scrawler  Yeah, Alex is a lot of fun and also very clever. I like the dynamic between them and Magnus.

  4. Actually, it's not a bad idea. I follow a few youtubers who used their channels to promote similar concepts that they in turn wrote books on later for health and nutrition in connection with various products. You can go in-depth on dynamics of shopping, brands, and product placement with the cost of products versus false marketing gimmicks, like the "Natural" vs "Organic" labels. I hope you do consider it
  5. Finished Tyack and Frayne Mysteries for now, waiting for next book (Damn you Harper Fox for that cliffhanger! :) ). From a nice mystery procedural to modern fantasy elements with fun Celtic references, it's very unique for a series with short novelette reading times of 90 or less minutes. Book 10 currently is making me uneasy, I won't spoil the plot, but it's a "what might have happened"/"Alternative Road" story type, which I love for sci-fi and fantasy, but I am emotionally invested in these characters and hate what has happened.  To top it off, I am left with a horrible cliffhanger and need to wait for the author

    So I am switching to a different genre, still LGBT fiction but more fantasy. starting the Alphabets series. I have never been into Shifter stories before, nor the interactions of "Alphas"/"Omegas", but I do like the premise and it reminds me of @Bill W Castaway Hotel in a fantasy premise.

    One thing I can say, I have been thoroughly exploring various LGBT genres of fiction during this Pandemic induced stay at home, I feel like that guy from Twillight Zone and Yes "There's time now". It has definitely gotten my muses running

    1. Zombie


      the road not taken...

  6. Reading a new novella series: Tyack & Frayne, a British LGBT mystery series set in the rugged area of Cornwall England. Pairing an obstinate small town constable and a empathetic psychic as they solve mysteries in the British countryside. It's very atmospheric and quite charming little romp at 2 hours a book, it's a simple sitting reading.

  7. My muse is talking to me, feel like writing something new in a direction I haven't tried yet. I'll test the waters with a short story/backdoor pilot story

  8. I have ended my diet as of today, stating from 222 pounds back in March 24th 2020, when Covid-19 forced me to work from home and begin dieting and working out methodically, to now September 12th 2020, I weigh 155 pounds.

    Basically, I am not a muscle bound guy, nor a pencil. It's going to take a while to get myself into the runner body type I prefer, high stamina/energy and lean muscle. I started my diet limiting my intake to 500 calories per day and walking 2.5 miles, now I am averaging 8 miles a day at jogging pace of 3.8 mph and eating around 1300 calories.

    Weight loss turns out to be the easy part, building your body to what you want is much harder. For those who have succeeded on this 1st step, I'd appreciate learning if you guys have ideas on how to get rid of excess skin.

    For those wondering how I did it? 6 months to lose 67 pounds isn't a miracle cure/diet plan/workout from some actor, it's just a lot of work. I have a google sheet to prove what happened and what I did.

    1. Page Scrawler

      Page Scrawler

      Great job, dude! Congrats, Teddy.   :hug: 

    2. Timothy M.

      Timothy M.

      Well done !

  9. Reading No Shame Series by Nora Phoenix, interesting story of vulnerable emotionally scarred gay guys with complex backstories and a close knit poly relationship between males. I was going to stop after chapter 1 of the 1st book, but as I continued to finish book 1, I found myself enjoying the complex characters and their backgrounds.

    This is a good series for the unconventional with a decent amount of m/m romance and spicy sexual details.

  10. Reading non-LGBT sci-fi series: Harry Turtledove Worldwar

    This is fun alternate history fiction series with the basic premise: what would happen if a 21st century equivalent alien civilization traveled to earth via controlled atomic fusion (relativistic speed) on a mission of conquest during World War II in year 1942? The alien technology is only a century ahead of WWII combatants and their invasion sparks a lot of interesting questions on the meaning of "humanity", persistence of prejudice and bigotry despite proof that humanity or "races" or "classes" among its populations are "divinely chosen", and so many more topics.

    Also, for heterosexual/bisexual audiences, there's a good amount of lurid sex scenes between male/females.

  11. Re-reading Harry Potter Series, Book 1-7, finished book 1 and am now in the middle of book 2

    I am wondering if Time Lords and Wizards co-existed in the same multi-verse; a Ford Anglia that can fit 8 people, luggage, broomsticks, and animals sounds pretty similar to a good Doctor :)


  12. May the Fourth Be With You!


  13. This is a really sweet story from one of the most recognized gay reporters in media. https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/30/media/anderson-cooper-father/index.html Hope he, his partner, and his new son Wyatt the best.
  14. I am attempting a new story, not sure if it will be Novella or Novel length. It's modern fantasy tale regarding the most famous traitor of all time, Judas Iscariot. The summary to describe the story: "The most infamous traitor in history, or was he? To all the world, Jude is just a mid-level thirty-something Accounting manager, trustworthy, honest, and loyal to a fault. A stranger with connections to his past will re-open old wounds that never healed over the last few thousand years." Some supernatural elements and mystery involved with modern twists Any interested editor please PM me and I'll send a draft of chapter 1 and 2.
  15. Agreed, an ending should fit a story and American sensibilities are more geared towards HEA ending at any costs sometimes hurting the story. I love the Wedding Planner like any romantic movie watcher, most of all, because the hero doesn't make it in time to the wedding and his love interest made the choice. Contrast that with an ending like The Graduate, the lover runs off with the bride to be in a somber and romantic ending, which is also really good too as I find "Nothing/Unresolved" endings good modern realism. I can imagine both a tragic ending and a happy ending for characters based on my mood when re-watching it.
  16. One of the best and hardest things a writer can ever write is a proper ending for a story. In the past, a majority of fiction has focused on Happily Ever After (HEA) or at least Happy For Now Endings (HFN), since it's much more desired to give a reward to both characters and readers for going on extended journeys in your narrative. Of course, there is an opposite side to both these "good" endings, tragedy. The ancient Greeks probably found out that a good tragedy spurs more discussion than a charming happy ending, Shakespeare's greatest plays were also tragedies too like Julius Caesar, Macbeth, and Hamlet. In modern times, we also have started seeing "unresolved issues" ending. Basically, an evil writer is teasing his/her readers, then leave them without any satisfaction. It's a great way of creating a cult following for a story, promise something and keep promising new things as story progresses, but do not give a satisfying conclusion for all issues. J.K Rowling made Harry Potter mandatory reading throughout the original 7 novels by keeping reader's attention (though I am not a fan of book 8/the play that shall not be mentioned). What type of ending do you prefer?
  17. Since Hockey is not being played, I am reading a gay romance about hockey players. It's part of 2 book series. Fun, sexy, romantic, and inappropriately perfect.

    HIM by Sarina Bowen


    1. Page Scrawler

      Page Scrawler

      Hey, Teddy.   :hug:

  18. I was being stalked by a female black cat, she kept walking towards me and followed me for a few blocks. When I let her come towards me, she hugged my leg,  then skirted off to my right side.

    Am I doomed?

    1. Zombie


      it’s not looking good

    2. Page Scrawler

      Page Scrawler

      Maybe she needs a home?   :)

    3. Timothy M.

      Timothy M.

      Pretend to be British - they think black cats are good luck. :yes: 

  19. Watched "Prince of Egypt" yesterday, just because I really liked the music and thought Dreamwork's animated version is better to Charlton Heston's live-action 1956 version.

    However, the side effect is the music is still stuck in my head.


    1. Page Scrawler

      Page Scrawler

      It is a good movie.   :yes:

  20. Playing Buffy the musical episode "Once More with Feeling" soundtrack as I read; don't know why?


  21. I should probably re-read Circumnavigation, but there's so much to explore!

    For me, when choosing a story, I do gravitate to classics I loved and explore outwards from there. A lot of GA stories are like potential partners, so as a reader, I guess I am monogamously remaining loyal to a story's concept. After a story is over, I will try to find others like it; some are one chapter reads (no offense it's me, not you, story) or I will fall in love from through a series. There needs to be a lasting impression with a story for me.

    I wish GA had a suggested story follow-up, like Amazon or other sites, where authors and reader can make suggestions for new stories to read after you are done with the one you read.

    1. Daddydavek


      People can leave story comments on the other tab from story reviews.  Anyone could leave a comment suggesting a follow-up story.....

  22. Pants if temp is under 50 F, but otherwise no pants I am also partial to No shirts as well on warmer weekends We all do what makes us happy and relaxed in these troubled times
  23. Reading "Saving Silas", a harlequin gay romance between an abused 19 y/o gay college kid and an 33 y/o ex-army gay EMS. It's a 3 hour novelette, but it's cute short story on amazon.

    Netflix is fun in burst, but sometimes a light gay novel is far satisfying, at least to me.

  24. Here's one that I wrote part way and stopped: Setting: It is 1842 in Cologne, Germany. 22 year old Fred is in a local jail cell for trespassing and destroying property at a local factory. His father, a wealthy industrialist, bails him out and admonishes him, then tries to enroll him into the University of Cologne. Karl is a 24 year old journalist, who due to his controversial views on social order and disdain for people in authority, had been unable to enter a career in academia, but still haunts many of the beer halls in cologne of the intellectual circles. They meet up in a bar, where both accused the other of being "fake", in modern parlance. After some misadventures, they become friends and more. They will uncover plots like poisoned water supplies, monarchist cabals enslaving people, and other grander schemes, where they will face their ultimate foe: the Prussian Chancellor Bismark with a grand plan to unify everyone under a "Reich". (Think of him as a younger Palpatine at this time only 27 years old with a lot of ambition) A little chance encounter at a bar leads them to eventually create the most enduring legacy of modern world history. ------------ Basically, I was writing a Queer Historical semi-fiction, most people know who my subjects are and what they will create. It was just a weird little idea based on 19th century history and plots. It read well, but then, I had 2nd thoughts. Who would ever be willing to edit this? Beyond that, who would be interested in reading this? The key problem here is my "heroes" are very controversial figures, their antagonist has long since been forgotten as a footnote in world history books, but what he did to/for his homeland and the world as whole would be felt in 20th Century. At its core, this story is a 19th century political thriller with deeper social philosophies that are still controversial even in 21st century. It's a neat idea, but not likely to generate any interests from folks.
  25. I thought about putting this in the Pit, but it's health issue, not a political or sensitive topic for debate (Please do not turn this into a political topic, I just want to raise health awareness). Probably it's a good idea to start a topic here in the lounge to clear the air and give people good guidance without overreaction. In the last couple weeks, I've noticed that in Boston at least, it seems so much quieter. The weather has been unseasonably nice for New England (we hit 60's last weekend), there's no major holidays, and still a few normally busy establishments are dead. I've read up on the history of HIV/AIDS' affect and one of the things I remember most from my reading was that there was too much fear with conspiracy theories, veiled hatred, and lies that were spread from word of mouth, which took decades to end like the fear of LGBT blood donors for instance. So here's my attempt at a little myth busting and hopefully alleviation of fear: 1. Don't let fear of "potential" infected in your area cause you to panic and buy all the cold/flu medication from your pharmacy/drug store. The majority of the infected Coronavirus population is isolated in China under a province wide quarantine. In total, 82,166 people have been infected and 32,812 people have already recovered. This is not the "Black Death" with high mortality rates. 2. The best way to prevent infection is: a. Wash your hands with soap and water as much as you can b. Try not to congregate closely with people, who appear sick. 3. A face mask is not going to ensure 100% protection from this virus. There's been many notable cases of medical professional with advanced face masks treating patient, who have been infected as well due to careless exposure, like scratching an itch under your mask after contacting an infected person. Most face mask are not tight enough to protect your nose or mouth from tiny droplets from sneezes, either. .John Hopkins has few more facts on their website in addition the ones above: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/2019-novel-coronavirus-myth-versus-fact
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