But I Digress…, Episode 25: Our Review of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

By Nathan On August 14th, 2014 | 13 views

“But I Digress…” Hosted by Nathan Marchand

After narrowly escaping the Comic-Corps at my local comic shop, my brother Jarod joins me to review Marvel’s latest film, “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Is this quirky space opera as awesome as “The Avengers” or as awful as “Iron Man 3″? Watch to find out!

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Teatime with Elopus (a GISHWHES story)

By Nathan On August 11th, 2014 | 56 views

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Author’s note: If you’d been following my Facebook page (and if you haven’t, why not?), you’ll remember I was commissioned to write a 140-word short story for a friend participating in GISHWHES. Well, now that the contest is over, here’s the story! The requirement, besides the word limit, was that it had to involve Misha Collins, the Queen of England, and the Elopus (the mascot for GISHWHES). Enjoy!

Teatime with the Elopus

By Nathan Marchand

Misha Collins kicked open the door to the Queen of England’s chamber, cocking his shiny magic shotgun. The elderly Queen dropped her teacup in shock, as did the half-elephant, half-octopus creature sitting across from her.

“Never fear, Your Majesty! I’m here to kill that unholy abomination!” Misha said, aiming his shotgun at the creature.

“But you’re just an actor!” replied the Queen.

“I’m a real-life monster hunter. Where do you think the Supernatural writers get their ideas?”

“Enough! You’ll do no such thing! The Elopus is my friend!”

Misha stopped. “That…spawn of Cthulhu…is your friend?!”

“How dare you call him that!”

“My apologies, Majesty.”

“Not all strange creatures are soul-eating monsters. Such prejudice!”

The Elopus huffed in agreement.

“Now go before I feed you to him!”

“But you said—”

“Be gone!”

“Yes, Majesty!” Misha said, stumbling out the door.

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See you at Gen-Con 2014!

By Nathan On August 7th, 2014 | 73 views

Talk about last minute!

Gen-Con in Indianapolis, Indiana. Aug. 14-17.

Gen-Con in Indianapolis, Indiana. Aug. 14-17.

I’ve been meaning to let you all know that I’ll be returning to Gen-Con in Indianapolis August 14-17—as in, next week! I haven’t mentioned it before because I was busy with my IPFW class, but it was mostly due to being on the waiting list for the exhibitors’ hall. I didn’t have the money to pay for a table at the end of last year’s convention, so I decided to wait until applications for it opened in February. But they sold out in less than 24 hours! Hence why I ended up on the waiting list. I didn’t get in until June, I think.

I’ll be at table N. (How appropriate, right?)

However, you won’t just see me at the convention. My brother and artist extraordinaire Jarod will be joining me. He’ll be selling prints of the artwork he’s made for my short stories and videos, including new illustrations I’ve yet to post on the site!

What books will I be selling? Some copies of my mainstays (Pandora’s Box, Destroyer, The Day After), as well as copies of Children of the Wells, Vol. 1 (I didn’t write any of the novellas included in that, but I want to promote the series).

Here’s a trailer for it:

I had hoped to have at least one more new book to sell here, but things don’t always go as planned in the writing world. In fact, they rarely do.

downloadBut I will be featured in two short story collections at the con. The first is Missing Pieces: Vol. V edited by C.E. Rocco. It’s a collection of stories written by authors who attend Gen-Con. The catch is it must be a story that ties into a book they were selling at the convention. So, True Believers, you will once again read a tale set in the world of Pandora’s Box. My story, “Agony in the Dark,” will help bridge the gap between that novel and the upcoming sequel, Hope’s War.

10557505_720808297985703_134042956122729818_oThe second collection is Mammoth Monster Mayhem edited by my buddy Ed Russell. It’s a collection of giant monster stories, so you know I had to jump at it. My story is entitled, “Defying Scylla,” and follows three young siblings as they try to escape their ruined city while being pursued by a giant beast purported to be a god. Unfortunately, Ed is scrambling to get it done, and there’s no guarantee it’ll be ready by the convention. Keep your fingers crossed!

I’m only cosplaying for one day this year. When will it be? Who will I be? Come find out!

(Wow. That’s a lot of links and multimedia. Overwhelmed?)

SEE YOU AT THE BEST FOUR DAYS OF GAMING!

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From a Falcon to a Mastodon

By Nathan On August 6th, 2014 | 77 views

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Not unless you count the new vlogs (or episodes of my YouTube show, whichever you prefer). There’s a reason for that.

I was taking a graduate school class this summer.

61-61796Yes, I finally went and started grad school, which is something I’ve talked about doing for a while. I’m attending IPFW (Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne). I only took one class, but it was tough. Not because the class itself was difficult, but because I haven’t done any formal schooling since 2006. Things have changed a bit in eight years. I had to take a crash course in using online submission systems for assignments, among other things. I’m also attending a secular university, which is a huge contrast with Taylor University Fort Wayne, where I studied for my undergrad degree. No one has persecuted me or anything, it’s just that I have to get used to significantly different worldviews in the classroom.

My plan is study English with a writing concentration. In order to do that, I’m going for a teaching assistanceship. This would allow me to get some teaching experience (I like teaching writing), lower/pay for my tuition, and be a good job. The class I’m taking (and which finishes this week) is one I had to take in order to get the TA position. Unfortunately, I learned this week that IPFW won’t be adding any more TAs for the coming semester. Since I need that job to pay for my tuition, I’ve decided to wait a year before I start taking more classes.

But I shall not be idle. I plan to spend this coming year focusing more on my writing—as in finishing and publishing a book or two—freelancing more, and working to pay down my student loan debts. It’s time for a change in my life. I plan to move ahead with purpose.

Keep me in your prayers!

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But I Digress…, Episode 24 – How to Write Speculative Fiction, Part 2: Story Construction

By Nathan On August 5th, 2014 | 38 views

“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

Are you an aspiring writer? Love science fiction and fantasy? I give some handy tips on how to write speculative. In part two of my four-part series, I explain story construction conventions, including the MICE story types, and how to handle exposition and literalism. I did have some help from the great author Orson Scott Card, though.

If you’d like to see Part 1, watch it here.

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But I Digress…, Episode 23: A Review of ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’

By Nathan On July 19th, 2014 | 61 views

But I Digress…
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

Would you believe I’m a Transformer? In this episode, I become Nerdimus Prime and go against the critical grain in my review of Michael Bay’s newest Transformers movie–but not before battling the evil Hatertron! Is the movie “more than meets the eye”? Watch and find out!

(With apologies to James Rolf, aka the Angry Video Game Nerd, for “stealing” a modified line from his “Nightmare on Elm Street” NES game review).

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But I Digress…, Episode 22: How to Write Speculative Fiction – Part 1: Worldbuilding

By Nathan On June 21st, 2014 | 256 views

“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

As promised, I’ve started my series on writing speculative fiction. In this episode, I give tips on world building. Be sure to take notes. Leave comments so we can discuss the topic.

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A Response to Arthur Chu

By Nathan On June 5th, 2014 | 258 views
Image courtesy of www.quickmeme.com.

Image courtesy of www.quickmeme.com.

Recently, I read an article by Arthur Chu where he likened the motivations of Santa Barbara shooter Elliot Rodger to the frustrations espoused by nerdy guys. It’s a well-written, thought-provoking piece with valid points, but it offended because of its blanket statements. It prompted me to write this response. I recommend reading it before you continue. There’s much I could address, but I’ll limit it to a few big points.

Mr. Chu, you’re of the opinion that all nerdy guys are misogynists. Not all of them are potential murderers and/or rapists, but they all suffer from misogyny. This was fed to them by the culture thanks to movies like Revenge of the Nerds or characters like Steve Urkel from Family Matters: the “lovable nerdy protagonists” who scheme and obnoxiously pursue women until they win them. They feel like they’re “entitled” to any woman they want because they work hard to win them, but those women reject their advances, so they end up hating and/or mistreating women.

That’s not true.

First, I know nerdy guys who are happily married. Second, pardon my ignorance, but did (the shooter) identify himself as a nerd/geek, or are you just applying his frustrations to that of nerdy guys? Third, how dare you accuse me of misogyny! I’m not a stalker. I’m not a murderer. I’m not an abuser. I’m not a hater. Yes, I have been rejected by multiple women. I’m 30 years old and still single. I’m not happy about that. Did I try too hard to win some of them? Yes, but that was after they dumped me and I was trying to mend things. Will I do it again? No. Did I do it because of those “lovable nerdy protagonists”? No, I did it because of stories I’d heard about couples breaking up and then reconciling. Have I wanted to blame all women for mistreating me? Sometimes, but it never took hold.

This issue cuts both ways. Why did this mindset propagated among nerd culture get started? Because women found nerds unappealing. Originally, that was probably due to their, yes, social awkwardness and lack of athleticism. (That old nerd stereotype exists for a reason). But that stereotype has been getting eroded for years. I don’t look like Steve Urkel. Big Bang Theory doesn’t use the stereotypical appearance of a nerd. That, however, isn’t my point. My point is this: women have bought what culture has fed them—that nerds aren’t appealing. They were taught that nerdy guys were annoying and/or unattractive. Sometimes even in the same shows or movies you site as misogynistic! So, this is a two-fold problem. To say the only victims are women is to ignore how nerdy guys have been mistreated by women. I know because I’m one of them, and so are several friends I know. Neither side is completely innocent.

I believe that nerds/geeks of both genders (though I’d still argue that nerdy guys outnumber nerdy girls) have trouble dating because they’re substantially different from other people. They’re creative, intelligent, and passionate. They can just as easily muse about silly things like which fictional characters would win in a fight as they can talk about the philosophies of Plato. Many people don’t know how to relate to that. It takes either a fellow nerd/geek or someone with a special understanding to appreciate them. But when that connection is made…it is glorious!

I would direct your attention to a blog post by Chelsea Fagan entitled, “Why Everyone Should Love Nerdy Boys.” It provides the opposite perspective of your article. The gist: nerds are genuine. When they find a special someone, they love that person with the same un-ironic passion they do their interests. I can vouch for that.

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‘Destinies Entwined’ now available!

By Nathan On June 4th, 2014 | 190 views
Cover art by Nick Hayden.

Cover art by Nick Hayden.

I have a new book published!

Well, I’m part of an anthology.

I’m part of the team that created the fantasy serial Children of the Wells, and for our first anniversary, we’ve released an anthology of tie-in short stories entitled, Destinies Entwined. I wrote a story that was inspired by Nick Hayden‘s novella, The Select’s Bodyguard. It tells the backstory of the soldier who took Calea’s arm (and was written before Nick conceived The Well’s Orphan, I might add).

The eBook can be purchased here from PayHip. You can pay whatever you want–even $0!–and it’s yours!

Enjoy, True Believers!

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But I Digress…, Episode 21: A Review of ‘Godzilla’ (2014)

By Nathan On June 3rd, 2014 | 111 views

“But I Digress…”
Hosted by Nathan Marchand

My hiatus is over! (“And there was much rejoicing. Yay…”) I’ve made it no secret that I’m a huge fan of Toho’s Godzilla franchise. Most of those films are among my guilty pleasures. So, since my friend Sergio Garza is a horror movie fan, I decided to have him review Garth Edwards’ big-budget reboot of Big G with me. Enjoy!

You can read my review of the film for GigaGeek Magazine here.

My review as a guest host on the Strangers and Aliens podcast is here.

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