The Second Recipient of the TSJ Future Writer Award is …
Yesterday, Rogers TV in London, Ontario began airing a spot featuring yours truly speaking about THE WAR BENEATH, my motivations, inspirations, and the meaning of the term “technothriller.”
FATHER SWEET is the debut novel by Canadian writer J.J. Martin. It centers around a boy’s life in a small hamlet near Ottawa in Northern Ontario and his intersecting path with not only the local predatory priest, but also his father’s mysterious occupation and reasons behind the cold-hearted manner in which he raises his children. The two stories converge near the book’s conclusion, and the novel is a riveting tale of abuse, strength, revenge, and redemption.
I subscribe to Game Pass through my Microsoft Xbox account. Each month, Microsoft posts games that subscribers are free to download. I’ve tried numerous properties there, such as RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER, and it’s a good way to experience different types of games that I might not have purchased otherwise. The monthly fee isn’t bad, and there are just enough exciting options to keep me enrolled. One such game I attempted recently was Season 1 of THE WALKING DEAD by Telltale Games.
The result was
Over at The Qwillery today you can find an interview with me on my thought process and the planning that went into writing THE WAR BENEATH, including a discussion of one of the novel’s major themes: Fathers and Sons. We also spoke about my process and why I enjoy writing books set in hostile (dangerous) environments!
This week, speculative fiction blog Aurelia Leo published an article I wrote on legendary SF director John Carpenter. Over the decades I’ve searched out any property I could find that Carpenter has directed. Find my thoughts on many of his SF films at the link, including THEY LIVE, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, THE THING, and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.
When I was a teenager I read a lot of 1950s Science Fiction. It was the tail end of the “Golden Age of Science Fiction.” Asimov, Pohl, Heinlein, del Rey and more. I fell in love with the genre because of those books. They sparked my imagination and took me to fascinating locations in futuristic settings. The stakes were always huge. It’s those books that really taught me how important YA Science Fiction is. Readers get hooked on the genre early; it’s what happened to me.
Over at Speculative Chic they’ve posted an article I wrote about the Science Fiction books and movies that I love most featuring the oceans. They helped inspire me to write THE WAR BENEATH. Some of them are novels from the tail end of the Golden Age of Science Fiction.
I recently purchased a PS4. Usually I stick to my X-box (for gaming and movie watching) but there were a few titles that were PS4 exclusives that I wanted to try. One was THE LAST OF US, which I reviewed here. The other was SPIDER-MAN, for which I have heard nothing but raves. Created by Insomniac Games, it has (as of writing this) sold almost ten million units. It was nominated for numerous awards, and won the Game Critics Awards for Best Console Game and Best Action Adventure Game. It won Best PS4 Game at Gamescon 2018, and at the 2018 Gamers’ Choice Awards it won Fan Favorite Action Game, Single Player Gaming Experience, and Fan Favorite Character of the Year (Peter Parker).
BIRD BOX is a gripping horror/survival/post-apocalyptic film. The disaster reveal happens near the beginning of the movie, but it does not explain the “monsters” in any real detail (more on this later). This is another film in the horror sub-genre involving a sensory deprivation. Recent examples include DON’T BREATHE and A QUIET PLACE. In those films, the story forces characters to remain silent or risk death. In the case of BIRD BOX, however, the sense involved is sight. If the characters see the monster, they die — in this case, victims kill themselves after witnessing the creatures.