#SFFpit Happening This Thursday!

“Writing a fantasy or science fiction novel is hard enough. Now, try pitching it in a single tweet. That’s the challenge set forth by #SFFpit, a twice-annual Twitter pitching contest.”

“Unlike Brenda Drake’s #PitMad, this contest is only for works of fantasy or science fiction. All age categories (PB, MG, YA, NA, and adult) are welcome. The last #SFFpit was February 24th, 2022. The next event will be August 25th, 2022.”

Click here for more information.

Predictions for Stranger Things Season 5

Stranger Things season 4 has broken several Netflix records. It was the biggest premiere weekend ever for an English-language TV show on Netflix with 286.79 million hours viewed. It was the first season to reach #1 in 83 countries on the Netflix Top 10.

Season 4 (in my humble opinion) was the best Stranger Things season, and perhaps even one of the best shows currently on television. Each episode (which was over one hour long) was like it’s own movie. And the final episode, being 2.5 hours, was really a feature length film.

And now, of course, there is much excitement about what’s coming next.

See some predictions below.

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

W

A

R

N

I

N

G

VECNA IS INJURED BUT NOT DEAD

A concrete law of any death on television is that if the body is missing, the person is not really dead.

In the “final” showdown between Vecna and the Steve/Nancy/Robin teenage trio, Nancy takes a shot at Vecna with her sawed off shotgun and blasts him through the attic window of the Creel house to the ground below. However, when the kids all run outside, Vecna’s body is missing.

It was also established in season 4 that Vecna was ultimately the puppet master in control of the Upside Down (so Eddie playing Metallica’s Master of Puppets on guitar was a nice tie in). Once Will realizes that One/Henry/Vecna is in control of the Upside Down, he says that he can feel Vecna’s presence. He feels this presence toward the end of the season 4 finale, when they discover rotting flowers and a strange dust filling the air.

It is most likely that Vecna is injured, but not dead. He’s biding his time in recovery before he sends his armies through the cracks he created between the Upside Down and the regular world.

EDDIE COMES BACK AS A VAMPIRE

A community manager for Wizards of the Coast made a very well written post on Reddit about the striking parallels between the plot of Stranger Things and the story canon of the D&D universe. Henry/One/Vecna of Stranger Things follows much of the storyline about Vecna from D&D, including the fact that he knows peoples’ darkest secrets.

Thus by following D&D lore, one may be able to predict the plot of what is to come in Stranger Things season 5.

There is a popular theory proliferating on the internet that Eddie is going to come back as a vampire.

In the D&D universe, Vecna has a resurrected vampire lieutenant named “Kas” who ultimately betrays him in the end.

At the end of season 4, Eddie gets bitten by demo-bats and dies. However, a vampire is technically dead themselves. They die before being resurrected back to life. So, there may be a chance that Vecna resurrects Eddie to serve in his army. And given the popularity of the character Eddie, the creators of the show may potentially resurrect him as fan service.

WILL HAS POWERS

While season 4 is arguably one of the strongest Stranger Things seasons yet, one complaint I saw among many fans was that Will was effectively side-lined this season.

However, I will say with all the different characters and plotlines going on, I think it would have been difficult to give Will more air time.

The show did heavily hint that Will had feelings for his friend Mike. This was very obviously suggested when he painted a picture of Mike, seemed embarrassed, and then said Eleven “basically commissioned it.” Yet, in the first episode of season 4, Eleven says that Will is painting something and she doesn’t know what he’s painting. There was also his speech he gave about what “Eleven” feels about Mike, which people are saying is what Will actually feels about Mike.

So there is much discussion over that plot element. However, something else that is interesting, but lesser discussed, is the theory that Will has powers. This theory is potentially supported by the fact that Will was stuck in the Upside Down for a week and survived without Vecna draining him and stealing his mind like he did to his other victims in season 4. There is also the fact that Will has a mental connection to Vecna.

There is also the interesting fact that the Upside Down resembles Hawkins from the day Will entered into it. One will notice in Henry/One/Vecna’s flashbacks about first entering the Upside Down, that it looks like a completely alien landscape with no resemblance to Hawkins. So there is a suggestion that Will actually changed the reality of the Upside Down and that he has the power to change reality. Some people say this is why Vecna didn’t treat Will like his other victims, he may have been scared of Will’s power.

VECNA WILL RE-ENTER THE WORLD THROUGH MAX

In the final episode of season 4, we see Max comatose in the hospital. Eleven tries to make mental contact with her, but when she enters Max’s mind, Max doesn’t seem present. Thus, there is a theory that Max will exist as an empty vessel for Vecna to enter into in season 5.

For more theories check out the link below:

Stranger Things: 10 Fan Theories About Season 5, According to Reddit (Screen Rant)

Is Vecna From Stranger Things Gay?

Vecna above having a hot ghoul summer.

For those of you watching Stranger Things Season 4, you’ll recognize Vecna above as the lich lord esque villain living in the Upside Down who causes his victims to go into a trance.

SPOILERS COMING! WATCH OUT!

S

P

O

I

L

E

R

S

As the show progressed through Vecna’s background story, we discovered that he was actually One (or Henry), the original child involved in the clandestine experimental program for psychic children that Eleven was also part of as well.

As Henry is describing his childhood to Eleven, he told her that his parents saw him as “Broken,” and they kept trying to change and control him and couldn’t accept him for who he really was.

After murdering his family, Henry was sent away to a place that was specifically designed to experiment upon young kids and force them to suppress their instincts and conform to strict rules.

Vecna talks much about the oppressive norms of society, norms that try to bend people into something they are not.

Also, just in terms of the way that the actor Jamie Campbell Bower portrayed Henry, it seemed to me that there were subtle hints that he was gay. But maybe I am reading too much into his role?

However, I’m not the only one who thinks this.

Stranger Things’ Vecna is the queer icon you didn’t know you needed (Digital Spy, 7-5-22)

Is the Actor Who Plays Vecna Gay? (Netflixdeed, 7-8-22)

What’s Going to Happen in Stranger Things Next?

Predictions For Stranger Things Season 5 (Stories From Tomorrow)

Sufi Mystics On Mercury

There’s not an abundance of sci-fi stories written about Mercury.

So in conjunction with writing my guide to World Building on Mercury, I also wrote a short story.

I am fascinated with the Dan Brown style of combining two seemingly unlike things. For him it was the Vatican and CERN’s atom smasher. For me, it was spiritual mysticism and Mercury.

I was inspired by the Sufi wisdom in The Way of the Sufi Kindle by Idries Shah. So I wrote a story that encapsulated some of these lessons.

CHECK IT OUT HERE: The Blind Mystic in Vanishing Point Magazine

#SFFpit on Twitter Today!

Image courtesy of hqwide.com

Today is #SFFpit on Twitter. You have a chance to pitch your science fiction or fantasy novel to agents in a single tweet.

#SFFpit has already started, since it is 8am-6pm EST, but you still have plenty of time to jump in. 

The rules and details about #SFFpit are here

Make sure your novel is actually finished. If you want to help your friends, you can retweet their tweets but don’t like them, unless you are an agent. 

Unlike other pitch days, #SFFpit is only for sci-fi and fantasy. But what’s great about it is that you can make one pitch per hour. Giving you 10 chances to pitch your story.

Have fun and good luck! 

New Dune Trailer!

The new Dune movie (based on Frank Herbert’s 1965 “Dune”) is slated to come out December 18th, 2020. 

So SOMETHING good will happen in 2020. 

Denis Villeneuve is the director. He also directed Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival. 

The movie will have big name actors such as Jason Momoa and Oscar Isaac. 


READ MORE BELOW: 

Dune 2020 Characters Cast Plot Explained  (Polygon)

3 Reasons Why Dune 2020 is Nothing Like Other Dunes (Inverse)

Dune (IMDb)

Citizen Standing – Short Fiction on Citizen Scores

What would it be like if a society had “citizen scores” in addition to “credit scores?” The government develops a number to evaluate their judgement of your character as a person. This number governs every aspect of your life.

I decided to write a short cyberpunk story about a fictional society that is run by citizen scores and apps. It got published in The Weird and Whatnot Magazine. 

You can read it here!

Interview With Successful Self-Published Author – Martin Wilsey

(Shadows of the Sentinel. Just published today. Check it out on Amazon!)

Martin Wilsey is living the dream. He is a self-published author who was able to sell enough of his books to quit his day job and focus exclusively on writing. But I will warn people that this path isn’t easy. Not everyone who throws a kindle book on Amazon can make a living off of it. Most won’t. The average self-published book sells under 250 copies and 25% of all authors surveyed earned $0 in book-related income. (Medium)

So how to make it work? I decided to find that out by interviewing Martin Wilsey himself.

JBJ: How did you get into writing science fiction? 

MW: It is an odd path. I always loved reading SciFi and Fantasy. I read about a hundred books a year and always wanted to write one myself. Over the decades, starting in the early 80s, I tried several times. I was not trained in writing. I took a couple of creative writing courses from teachers that hated SciFi. I always sucked at spelling and grammar, so in the early days, I was discouraged at every turn. I sucked at spelling, but was I was great at computers.

I started blogging in 1994. That got me writing every day. I was enjoying it. And as computers got smarter, tools for spelling and grammar got better. I got better. I still didn’t know what I was doing yet. I’d start one thing and get distracted by another idea and never finished anything. I was in a classic cycle of writer self-sabotage.

They out of the blue, my brother suddenly died at age 52.

There were six siblings in my family, and my brother Eric was 4 of 6. I was 5 of 6. It was a complete kick in the gut. He was the first of us. It really made me assess my entire life. It made me realize that I could go at any time. It made me look at what I wanted to get done before I shed my mortal coil.

The same month Eric died, I managed to get a severe spine injury. It left me unable to do much of anything. I went through Prime and Netflix faster than I thought possible, and to stay sane, I started writing every day.

I was lucky that I had gotten to know a couple of authors that gave me excellent advice. Next thing I knew, I had a novel. STILL FALLING. To my great surprise, it hit number 1 in the Hard Science Fiction category.

I never stopped writing. I have published projects about every six months since then.

JBJ: Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?

MW: My decision to go the self-publishing route was easy.  I submitted my novel to several agents, and their suggestions for changes were horrible. Deals offered were worse. I wanted to retain full rights to my stories. Createspace was already running, and it looked like a far better option for me. 70% royalty sounded way better than the 13% offered by traditional routes. I also had the power of not caring about the money. I had a great career and an even better salary as a research scientist. So on March 31, 2015, I self-published STILL FALLING.

Less than three years later, I was able to quit my day job and write full time. I got to retire eight years ahead of schedule at 57 years old.

JBJ: What is the most difficult thing about self-publishing?

MW: As an Indie-Author, it’s all on you. There are hundreds of things to learn that have nothing to do with writing. It’s a lot of work. All the jobs are your job. I think the hardest job, the farthest from writing, is Marketing. The Marketing aspect still evades me. It turns out the best marketing is to keep writing.

JBJ: What is the best thing about self-publishing? 

MW: You are the Boss. Everyone works for you. You get to decide EVERYTHING. This is awesome if you are a control freak like me.

There are lots of people that work for me now: Accounts, Lawyers, Editors, Illustrators, Cover Designers, Web Designers, PR People, Audio Producers, Narrators, Interns, Translators, Beta Readers, and more.

Managing it all is a lot of work, but I love it. I get to keep my Intellectual Property, and I receive the maximum percentage of the royalties.

JBJ: What is your advice for other authors who want to self-publish? 

MW: Finish things. Don’t work on more than one thing at a time. Finish all the way before moving to the next project. Otherwise, you will never finish anything. It’s the most common sort of self-sabotage.

Pay for an Editor. It’s an investment, not an expense. The best story in the world will not sell and get bad reviews if the editing is not up to par.

Pay for a great cover. People DO judge books by their cover. A cover must be professional, genre-appropriate, and easy to read as a thumbnail in Amazon.

JBJ: What books have been the most inspirational to you in your work? 

MW: I have been profoundly inspired by Robert Heinlein, Arthur C. Clark, Simon Hawke, JRR Tolkien, and other classic SciFi.

The books I like the most about the craft are ON WRITING by Stephen King and SAVE THE CAT! WRITES A NOVEL by Jessica Brody.

JBJ: Would you like to share anything about your most recently published work, Shadows of the Sentinel? 

MW: SHADOWS OF THE SENTINEL is a stand-alone novel that takes place in the Solstice 31 universe. It’s a companion book to VIRTUES OF THE VICIOUS. The novel is available now in Kindle, Paperback, Hardcover, and on October 1, the Audio edition is scheduled for release. For more information, check out the links below. 

JBJ: By the way, how is your cat? 

MW: Great! Excellent!


SHADOWS OF THE SENTINEL

However did it come to this? Cobb wanted a simple life. He wanted excellent steaks, great coffee, friends, and a quiet place to restore his favorite ship. Working for a recovery operation turned out to be the best place to find parts cheap. She had other plans for him. He wanted the staff of the deep space salvage ship, OXCART, to treat him just like another member of the crew. Not the man he really was.  Light-years from Earth, he thought his secrets, his past, wouldn’t matter. Especially not to her. When that past leads them to the SENTINEL, like it or not, the biggest single salvage of all time will change everything. Some secrets are so big, they can start a war. Or stop one. Or remain too big to explain when the timing could not be worse. And it was all the damn cat’s fault.

Buy it off Amazon.


MARTIN WILSEY’S LINKS

Amazon Books

Audible

Martin Wilsey Official Website

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Free Short Story on Audio

In Search of Tomorrow – The Definitive 80’s Sci-Fi Documentary (Official Trailer)

In Search of Tomorrow, from director David Weiner, is a four-hour-plus retrospective of ‘80s Sci-Fi movies featuring interviews with actors, directors, writers, SFX experts, and composers.

The film takes the viewer on a year-by-year deep dive into the most iconic and eccentric science fiction films of the 1980s, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Blade Runner, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Back to the Future, Dune, RoboCop, Aliens, Tron, WarGames, The Terminator, Ghostbusters, 1984, Brazil, Predator, Akira, The Road Warrior, The Thing, The Abyss, Short Circuit, Highlander and several more. The film also examines the science and technology behind the fiction amid insider tales of the creative process.

The movie is supposed to come out in 2021.

The video above seems too long for a movie trailer in my opinion (a whopping 3.45 minutes!) It doesn’t say much about the making of the documentary and who is involved, but it did show a lot of killer sci-fi moments from 80s cinema, so that was cool.

Looking forward to watching the documentary when it comes out.

LINKS

In Search of Tomorrow – Kick Starter

IN SEARCH OF TOMORROW Documentary Explores ’80s Sci-Fi (Nerdist)

In Search of Tomorrow Wikipedia Page