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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our Star Trek Christmas tree

I’ve gathered a lot of ornaments over the years. When I was a kid, it was a tradition that we’d get several from various family members on Christmas morning. So I came into our marriage with a bin or two filled with ornaments. Given my geek history, a lot of my ornaments were Star Trek-themed.

Dina was a good sport about it, but eventually pointed out that the shuttle craft Galileo and Lt. Commander Worf didn’t exactly fill her with Christmas cheer.

So she made an awesome suggestion: how about a second tree, one devoted to all things geeky? For going on ten Christmases now, we’ve been assembling our “Star Trek tree,” with blue and white lights, blue and silver ball ornaments, and an assortment of Star Trek ornaments punctuated by a few other geek-friendly friends, like Spider-Man, Godzilla, Superman, and Star Wars. (Alex, world’s biggest Luke Skywalker fan, takes particular delight in our two Star Wars ornaments—classic only, of course. No Jar Jar here.)

The tree topper is my classic Mego Captain Kirk, the topmost branches sliding under his belt.

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to post a few pictures this entire holiday season, but finally got around to it. Enjoy, and I hope you had a great Christmas.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My favorite holiday shirt

bat_supe_shirt

Yeah, I look a little goofy, but that’s just playing the hand nature dealt.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Adventures in Tulsa

I had a great day-trip yesterday. The Ink Slingers, a very cool writers' group in the Tulsa/Broken Arrow area, flew me up to Tulsa to attend one of their meetings. I got to spend some very enjoyable time talking to Travis, Heather, Flea, Eric, and Mark about the craft of writing, about how I managed to get published, about their own work, and more. It was a really nice experience that brought back memories of my graduate school days; it can be very energizing and inspiring to talk about writing with other writers, and this was a great group.


Lunch at Ted's Cafe Escondido was also excellent. More writing talk, this time with chips, queso, fajitas, and sopapillas. They know how to treat a guy.

Flea won the award for the second-weirdest request I've received in regard to author stuff. She wanted me to pose for pictures with her ceramic cows. (The weirdest was the lady who asked me to stomp on a book.) I think Flea must have taken several dozen pictures of me with those cows. But I kid--she was very hospitable and all of the Ink Slingers I met are like new friends. Flea blogged about the visit, so please read about that at her blog here (where she's giving away a copy of Devil's Cape to boot).

Thanks again to the Ink Slingers for a very nice visit.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rest easy, Andy

My friend Andy Mathews died yesterday.


Maybe I'm being presumptuous in claiming friendship with someone I never met in person, whose voice I never heard, but I considered Andy a friend, someone I'd known online for years, gamed with, exchanged e-mails and books with, joked with.

Andy was a talented designer who worked for Hero Games, someone who enjoyed gaming and superheroes and storytelling and a good number of things I consider important. He was kind and generous. I think he got a kick out of me naming a very minor character in my book after him, and he was very supportive of my writing.

I didn't know much about Andy's life outside of the narrow window of gaming that I shared with him. I only found out about his death today, and didn't even know until now that he had a blog. I read a couple of entries this afternoon and found myself missing and appreciating him even more.

My deep sympathies go to Andy's widow and his two sons, as well as his other family and friends.

You can read a little more about Andy on the Hero Games boards here and here, and some of his friends at Lost Coast Gaming are making tributes on that site. I found an obituary for him here.

I'll really miss you, Andy. I always figured I'd get to meet you in person at a convention one of these days and was really, really looking forward to that. I'm sorry that I won't get that chance.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Very cool Watchmen trailer

A friend directed me to this. I could kibitz a bit about some details (it sounds weird to hear Rorschach actually say "Watchmen" out loud; Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are maybe a little too badass). But man, this just looks very cool. I'm looking forward to the movie.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Real Mavericks against McCain

Fun video

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pipe wrench fight

This made me laugh (you will want to stick with it until the lyrics):



Thanks to Wil Wheaton's blog.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Devil's Cape book signing in Brentwood, Tennessee

I'll be there Saturday. Stop by if you're in town:

Time and Place
Date:
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Time:
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Location:
Borders Books
Street:
330 Franklin Rd
City/Town:
Brentwood, TN
Here's the event on Facebook, if you're on Facebook: http://www.new.facebook.com/event.php?eid=34102132326

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Rob at the Louisiana Book Festival

I'll be appearing at the Louisiana Book Festival this weekend talking about Devil's Cape, so if you're in that area, come by and say hi.

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New interview live on HeroPress

I had a fun being interviewed again by HeroPress, where Devil's Cape is the book of the month for September. 
Check out the interview, where I talk about who I'd cast in a Devil's Cape movie, among other things. And stick around that site for other cool stuff.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Coke's new 100-flavor soda machine

From Engadget:

Your typical soda fountain in a fast-food joint features eight boring choices, usually offering nothing more exotic than "Orange." It's been that way for decades, but one of the oldest players in the market is finally shattering that paradigm. Coca-Cola is introducing a machine that can pour 100 different flavors. Early prototypes underwent testing earlier this summer and second-gen units are headed for limited markets early next year -- the same thing they said about those self-cooling bottles last year. Assuming they do come to market, swapping out the highly-concentrated flavors is likened to changing a print cartridge, meaning new choices can come and go quickly depending on popularity. It all sounds refreshing, but we're not looking forward to the lines as the thirsty yet indecisive ponder 15 different flavors of Diet Coke.
Sign me up! Before we moved, I used to make a morning religious pilgrimage to the local QuikTrip where I could mix up my coffee any way I wanted. I could have lots of fun playing around with a 100-flavor soda machine (as long as I could avoid diet flavors).

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Wordle

Gary Greenwood's Stained, Glass Windows blog (and, before it, Pop Candy, if I remember correctly) put me onto this cool tool called Wordle, which creates word clouds from any large chunk of type you enter or paste there. The clouds give some prominence to the words used most frequently. For the heck of it, I plugged in the text of Devil's Cape, and the results look pretty cool, methinks.




You can click the image for a larger version.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Doctor Camelot picture

A much-belated post: As I reported a long time ago, I won a caption contest over at HeroMachine, and as a result, artist extraordinaire and all-around-cool-dude Jeff Hebert agreed to illustrate a Devil's Cape character for me. I'm very happy with the results. Thanks, Jeff!

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Devil's Cape is "Book of the Month" at HeroPress

I was excited to see that Devil's Cape has been featured as the "Book of the Month" at Acrobatic Flea's HeroPress web site.


Here's an excerpt:
Rob Rogers' debut novel, the superhero/crime story Devil's Cape is simply phenomenal.

It's difficult to believe this is actually his first full-length piece of published writing as the story is told with the assured professionalism of an old pro.
Check out his full review here. And while you're there, browse around a bit. This is an excellent site with lots of discussion of gaming, sci-fi, and more. Thanks, Flea!

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Cool buzz from the Hero boards


I've got several blog entries planned and haven't gotten to them yet, so I'll try just knocking one out whenever I get a chance, even if it's slightly outdated (gee, isn't that how blogging is supposed to work)?

I've been a big Hero Games fan for years and my love of the Champions game in particular is one of the roots of Devil's Cape.

A couple of nice items came up on the Hero discussion boards about Devil's Cape and I thought I'd share them here. The first is the cool animated-style image of Bedlam that my old buddy Noah created. I've posted it to the left (or above, depending on how your browser window is set up).

The second is that some nice reviews have been posted there. I wanted to share one in particular, from forum member Log-Man. If you're a board member, you can read the post here. In case you're not (and if you're a gamer, it's a great community!), then I'll include the review in its entirety after the jump.


And here it is:

I finally finished the book last night. I know. I started reading it as soon as it came out, but I've had myriad distractions. Long story short: I was finally able to devote time to reading Devil's Cape. Before I move on to the review let me just say this: I generally hate reading stories written by people I know, even online acquaintances, because if they're awful I don't know what to say. Generally, if the writing is awful, I just don't say anything. That is not a problem here. Please believe me when I say this book is good. Damn good. In fact, I was blown away.

There are generally two types of supers prose out there: fan-fiction and mockery. I am pleased to see that a third category, genuine storytelling, is emerging at last. Devil's Cape is a real novel that supers fans can sink their teeth into. (This is a very good sign for supers prose readers when combined With Soon I Will Be Invincible in my mind.) The book logs in at over 400 pages, which is very long for this genre. The overall story being told is very complex, though, and requires a lot of space to explain the relationships, sub plots, and character development. I loved the framework for the novel with the clippings and the timeline at the beginning of each chapter.

The characters are intriguing and genuine. There are a lot of characters here, with many receiving long stories individually. There are heroes; legends of the past, a modern super team from another city and a trio of new supers. The three new heroes embody a number of myths and legends, from ancient Greece to Camelot to Voodoo. Each one is given plenty of time to develop into a character that we can sympathize with and root for.

Of course there are villains, too; a mysterious mastermind, squabbling mob bosses, the freakish circus of mercenaries, a sexy vampiric psychopath, street gangs, and even the city of Devil's Cape itself. While some of them are quite developed, there are others I really wanted to know more about. The Cirque du Obsurite is a wonderful collection of villainy. They are bloodthirsty killers with incredible power, yet they have spent their lives on the run, fearful of what may happen when anybody catches up with them. (The Behemoth is a great character, a ten foot monstrosity of muscles upon muscles that distort his tattoos. He eats raw meat and quotes Faulkner. Awesome.) We don't get time with the entire Cirque, though, and that would be my main quibble with the book. These characters have a lot of potential (Gork? What the hell is that??) but we really only see inside the heads of a few.

The setting is amazing, both the world in general and the city of Devil's Cape specifically. Most fictional cities give you a place for the action to occur. Devil's Cape is a fully realized character in the novel. The details and descriptions are just delicious. You can feel the humidity as you read. The best part, though, is that the images aren't forced down your throat in overly wordy passages. It's more like a puzzle being revealed piece by piece through to the very end. The final picture of Devil's Cape is one of true, complex realism.

My imagination was piqued by the fantasy level in play. There is no invulnerability, for example. Take Argonaut. Argonaut is Greek for "punching bag." He takes some massive damage without dying, but as he learns the hard way, gunshots can hurt like hell. Poor guy. And he's the hardest to hurt, apparently. Then there's Doctor Camelot. If I didn't know better I would swear that this book was written after the Iron Man movie came out. The level of detail with her battle armor is incredible. However, I find Cain Ducett's story the most fascinating, personally. His hyper senses make Daredevil look blind…umm, you know what I mean…and the descriptions of his awareness really help to get inside his head. His is a redemption story that fascinates long before he becomes Bedlam.

Ok, this review is going on too long. A final note from a gamer's perspective. The instinct is to wonder when we'll see this information in game form. The city is just rife with possibilities. I'm not sure I want to see the characters converted, however. Sometimes attempting to quantify something like this can lessen the wonder. I say leave the characters in the novel…even though I would love to see the Cirque du Obscurite take on Eurostar Just my opinion, of course, but we know the author is a gamer and it's being published by WotC (whom I imagine retain gaming material rights as well) so it's quite possible we'll see Devil's Cape: The Setting at some point in the future.

Rob, this is an incredible book. When the worst thing I can find to say about it is that I don't like the cover art, you know you have something special. Congratulations!


Due to the anonymity of the Internet, I'm not sure who Log-Man is, exactly, but I appreciated the kind review (and Noah's Bedlam picture as well).

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Jack Kilby, Texas Instruments, and the 50th anniversary of the integrated circuit

One of the many reasons I've been slow to post lately is that I've transitioned into a video production job at work. This is all new territory to me and that learning curve has meant extra hours at work and some extra exhaustion after work.

But I'd like to share one of my first major projects with you here: a video that I produced about the fiftieth anniversary of the integrated circuit (or microchip) and its inventor, Jack Kilby, who has become something of a hero of mine. Our world would be a very different place without him. This project took a lot of hours of work (from me and many others), and I'm proud of the result. The video is also on TI's web site and playing at a couple of local museums. One really cool benefit of working on the video was the opportunity to work with an old, old friend of mine (like since fourth grade), Traylor Woodall, who did the outstanding animated opening.

It's 8 minutes and 39 seconds long. If you don't feel like investing that much time now, then I'd recommend at least reading a bit about the life of Jack Kilby here or elsewhere. He was an astounding man with an impact on our world comparable to Thomas Edison's.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stop in the name of corporate America

Not up to regular blogging yet, but this video is a must see.

Yes, some of my projects seem like this.


http://view.break.com/542649 - Watch more free videos

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back from vacation


I seriously overestimated the amount of time and energy I would have to catch up on blogging and correspondance while on vacation. And of course now that I'm back, I'm busy playing catchup (and getting ready for the ArmadilloCon convention this weekend).

I'll try to post some more soon. I do have some reviews and other fun stuff I want to share.
Posted by Picasa

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Conan caption contest

Jolly Jeff Hebert of HeroMachine fame has an ongoing caption contest feature where he strips the dialogue from a panel of a comic book and then gets readers to submit funny text to insert. Much comedy ensues. I've entered a caption or two here or there, but I've never won the contest.

Until now.
And what better place and time than in a contest supported by another Jeff buddy of mine, the Evil DM?

Here's the link to the contest announcement. Be sure to check out both Jeffs' sites.

And I'm very psyched about my prize: a black and white drawing from Jeff Hebert. I'm thinking I'll ask him to draw a character from Devil's Cape: it's just a question of which one.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Why has Rob been slow to post?

Kind of a long story, but I've been kind of... tied up.



Yeah, okay. Sorry about that. Kind of disturbing, huh?

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Sticky problem in Sugar Land, Texas

According to numerous news outlets (this one picked up from Excite):

5,000 gallons of molasses spill on Texas highway


Jul 18, 6:37 AM (ET)

SUGAR LAND, Texas (AP) - A sticky mess has been cleaned up after an overturned tanker truck poured 5,000 gallons of molasses onto a major Texas highway.

Drivers heading to Sugar Land were rerouted Thursday after the afternoon accident shut down Texas 6 at Southwest Freeway for eight hours.

City of Sugar Land spokeswoman Pat Pollicoff told The Houston Chronicle the road was closed until midnight Thursday because of the coating of "healthy, all natural molasses." The spilled molasses was supposed to be used in cattle food.

The 26-year-old driver of the truck, Joe Albert Loya, was taken to a hospital with minor head injuries.

A huge molasses spill. In Sugar Land. The jokes practically write themselves, don't they? The road will be slow going for a while.

Sigh. Yeah, I know. The blog's awfully dusty. I'll try to pick up. This seemed like a place to start.

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Geekerati update

Sigh. We jumped in live so quickly I didn't get a chance to post a new message here. The interview is over--it looks like it had about 16 minutes of dead air. They're going to try to get that edited out so that it can be downloaded as a more or less clean whole, but I'm not sure what the time frame is on that. I'll post more when I find out. On the positive side, the interviewers were nice all around and I enjoyed the interview.

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Geekerati update

We seem to be experiencing some technical difficulties. They're trying to reschedule it for a few minutes later. I'll post again as soon as I know when that is. Sigh.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Podcast on Geekerati on 6/23/08


I'm very excited to report that I'm going to be on Geekerati's podcast tomorrow night at 9 p.m. Central time. Please tune in! The particulars are below. If you miss it, the episode should be available for download later.

Discussing DEVIL'S CAPE with Rob Rogers

Geekerati Radio

Date / Time: 6/23/2008 9:00 PM

Category: Blogcritics

Call-in Number: (646) 478-5041

Rob Rogers joins the geeks to discuss his "superheroic" addition to the Discoveries line of books by Wizards of the Coast.Heroes with a Southern Gothic edge. If New Orleans has earned its "Sin City" nickname for its debauchery, then its nearby sister Devil's Cape has earned its "Pirate Town" moniker for the violence and blatant corruption that have marred the city since its founding.

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Blog catch-up

I've been lax, lax, lax in posting. Many apologies for that; I'll try to do better. I've got a couple posts coming up soon. One quick update in this post: The poll over whether Leonard Nimoy's "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" is more or less painful than William Shatner's "Rocket Man" has closed with an anemic four votes. It was a tie. I'll have to decide whether to mount more polls or not. If you have an opinion, please post it in the comments below (I'm certainly not going to run a poll on it!). Peace.

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Monday, June 09, 2008

Tag me


I appreciate the reviews and such I've gotten on Amazon.com. If you are so inclined, please go to the Devil's Cape page on Amazon and click the tags there that you think that are appropriate. Feel free to add additional tags, of course, but even just checking the boxes next to the tags you agree with would be great. I'd particularly like Devil's Cape to be one of the most recognized books under the "superhero novel" tag, for example, or "superhero fiction" or "urban fantasy."

If anyone is so inclined, I'd also love to see honest reviews cropping up at the non-U.S. Amazon sites, at the Barnes & Noble site, and at the Borders site, as well as pretty much anyplace else. :)

While you're at it, if you'd mark any reviews you agree with as helpful, that would be cool, too.

Thanks, all!

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Which is more painful?

Today's question of the day: Which is more painful?

William Shatner's rendition of "Rocket Man"?



Or Leonard Nimoy's "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins"?



Please respond in the new poll I put up, then check out DeForest Kelley's response to Shatner's performance.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

Where creative juices come from

A coworker sent out a link to this and I found it pretty funny (overly long, maybe, but funny). It's called "The Harvest."

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Podcast live with Dead Robots' Society

My interview by Ry Stevenson of the Dead Robots' Society has gone live. Check out the interview on this page. And if you have trouble getting it to play, you can access the mp3 directly through this link. After that, check out some of the other cool podcasts on the site (writers on writing with a science fiction and fantasy angle).

We talk about Devil's Cape, writing, Canadian accents, and more.

UPDATE: You can also find this podcast free on iTunes. From the iTunes store, search for Dead Robots' Society. The interview with me is Episode 36!

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BEA report, part 2

Back for more, huh? Above is a picture of me signing books in the Wizards booth. You can see the cool framed pictures of the Discoveries books behind me, including Devil's Cape. More info, including an image of the Wizards booth's exterior, after the jump.

  • As promised, the Wizards booth. Kind of makes you think of a cleric, a thief, a fighter, and a magic-user meeting up on a late night, yeah? With a storyteller in the corner and brown ale being poured.

  • The time sequence doesn't matter much, but over the course of the weekend, I sought out autographs (and books) from a number of cool authors and celebrities, including Judy Blume, Marilu Henner, T. Jefferson Parker, Ridley Pearson, Brad Meltzer, Steve Niles, Mike Mignola, and Lee Child.
  • I met R.A. Salvatore and his son and coauthor Geno, which was very cool (and they were both very nice and approachable), but didn't have the right opportunity to ask for an autograph.
  • Other celebrity sightings included Kevin Nealon, Leonard Nimoy (who was autographing this rather unique book), Garrison Keillor, and Wil Wheaton.
  • Friday night I got to go out with my old college friend Jennie, who I hadn't seen since Dina and I were married, and to meet her family. I had a great time, but was so tuckered from the day that I kept nodding off in the car on the way back to the hotel. Sorry, Jennie!
  • Saturday morning was a big thrill. Andre Dubus III was one of my favorite professors in graduate school. I knew he was at the convention promoting his new book, but wasn't sure I'd be able to get a chance to speak with him (the two autographing sessions I could find listed for him overlapped with my own). But walking in to the convention center (it was just a mile from the hotel and the weather was great) I bumped into Andre at a street corner, heading on in with his publicist and editor. After I reintroduced myself, he either remembered me or did a very gracious job of pretending to, and gave me a good 10 minutes of his busy day as we walked in together, getting very excited to hear about my book and asking for an autographed copy. He's a very charismatic, classy guy.
  • Later Saturday morning I attended a graphic novel breakfast with a panel including Jeff Smith, Jeph Loeb, Art Spiegelman, and Mike Mignola. It was very cool listening to their opinions on the evolution of comics.
  • J.M. McDermott and I shared a table at author's alley for an hour and signed a lot more books. Another fun, rewarding time. I think that by the end of the weekend, Joe and I could easily pitch each other's books, answer each other's FAQs, and tell each other's jokes.
  • Saturday night was a very cool celebratory dinner thrown by Wizards of the Coast at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion. Delicious. It was nice getting a chance to chat more casually with everyone there without a million other things going on around us. Afterward, I headed out with Joe Casey again and went to a party of a friend of his. More fun.
  • Sunday was a quick trip back to the expo, a lot of packing, and the plane ride home. LAX and American Airlines conspired to make the return trip as much of a pain in the ass as possible. Several long lines in tight, confusing quarters (lots of people wandering around, dragging luggage, trying to figure out where to go). At one point a woman behind me looked at the latest line we'd entered and told one of the crowd control people in a worried voice that her flight was at 2:15 (just five minutes before mine). Like me, she'd arrived in what should have been plenty of time, but the whole system just slowed everything down, and with only an hour left to go until the flight, she was rightfully worried she wouldn't make it to the gate in time. He just shrugged, smiled dismissively, said, "Good luck," and walked away. Jerk. We both cleared security in plenty of time, though, so I assume she made her flight.
  • We were on board my flight preparing to take off when the captain announced that there was an exhaust problem or something making gases run through the air conditioning, and we'd have to get another plane. This ended up delaying our departure by more than two hours (although we got to wait back in the airport, thank goodness) and meant that my new arrival time would be well after the boys' bedtime. The only nice thing was that enough people changed flights (in order to try to make different connections) that I was able to switch to an exit row seat. Much less sardine-like, although it meant I didn't have a tray. No movie on my laptop on the return either, then.
  • I was greeted at the luggage claim by Dina and both boys, the latter in their pajamas. A nice ending to the weekend.
  • I picked up lots of free books this weekend (probably at least 75 pounds of them), so I might be reviewing some on this site as time goes by.
That's all for now. If I remember something significant I left out, I'll do an addendum post or something.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Devil's Cape on Sci Fi Wire

Woo hoo! I knew the article was coming, but I didn't know when. An article about Devil's Cape just went live on the Sci Fi Channel's news outlet, Sci Fi Wire. Go check it out.

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BEA report, part 1

As you probably know if you're reading this, I spent last Wednesday night through yesterday afternoon in Los Angeles for Book Expo America (BEA) as part of a promotion of Devil's Cape and the other Wizards of the Coast Discoveries titles. I had a great time, saw some old friends, signed a lot of copies of my book, and spotted some celebrities, too. The short version is: it was a great several days. The long version is after the jump.

I'm going to slip into bullet mode here (rat tat tat--watch out for the tommy guns!). It will be easier to keep the details bite-sized that way, and what I've got is less a coherent analysis or story and more a series of impressions. I got partway through this and crashed, so it's part one for tonight and we'll get part two up soon.

  • I was keyed up the night before the trip--I got very little sleep and was practically bouncing up and down all day at work. My inner child isn't really all that inner sometimes.
  • The trip west was largely uneventful. I had kind of planned on watching Justice League: The New Frontier on DVD on my laptop on the way over, but we were crammed in tight to a little McDonnell Douglas MD-80 and the jerk in front of me decided to lean back. I watched about five minutes and gave up--I had to contort myself to a terrible position to see the screen and it would have been murder on my back. Plus I wasn't about to do to the person in back of me what the guy in front was doing to me. The plane ticket holder had some marketing copy about the American Airlines experience being like a "group hug." Give how tightly we were packed onto that plane, it was woefully, ironically appropriate.
  • I had a quick, pleasant taxi drive to the hotel. Wow, the rates are expensive, though. Seems like the rates in San Francisco were much lower, but maybe that's just my imagination.
  • After checking into the hotel, I quickly hooked up with fellow Discoveries authors Richard Dansky and J. M. McDermott, who I found out had been waiting for me at an Irish pub (Riordan's) for something like three hours. Yikes! I had a quick burger there with them, then we dashed off and ended up at the Library Bar, where we swapped anecdotes for quick a while. If you meet Dansky, be sure to ask him about the French scotch gnome.
  • Thursday was quieter than I expected, at least during the day. There were educational sessions, but most of them not up my alley, and the exhibit halls were under frenzied construction. Many of the booths were pretty cool. The Wizards of the Coast booth was one of the coolest--it was a small, roofless building decorated to look like a classy fantasy tavern (the ornate frames on the walls held paintings of the covers of the books on display, including Devil's Cape). It made me feel like I was stepping into a Dungeons & Dragons adventure.
  • Thursday night, a shuttle bus took the Discoveries authors and the Wizards brand manager Jessica to Dark Delicacies bookstore for our group signing (we were joined by several other authors, too). It's a very cool store--I was told it's the only one in the United States devoted solely to horror. My book wasn't exactly the target demographic, although we sold a couple copies, but I didn't mind since it was just neat being there. Steve and Melanie Rasnic Tem were like rock stars, though. People came in carrying cases filled with old books they'd contributed to, magazines, and more. It was a nice thing to see.
  • My old buddy Joe Casey picked me up at Dark Delicacies and I got to meet his wife; we treated her to embarrassing old stories about junior high. It was great getting to see him again. Afterward, he took me back to the hotel via a roundabout route that showed me some of the Hollywood sights, including the Hollywood Palladium, which served as the exterior for the late, lamented, much-maligned Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Good times.
  • Friday I got up at the crack of dawn to snag some autographing tickets so that I could get a couple of bigwig autographs. Of course, even though I was organized and made a chart for myself of where I wanted to be when, I still goofed and picked up tickets for authors I wouldn't actually be able to stand in line for--since I was going to be autographing at the same time. As an exhibitor/author, I was able to get into the exhibit halls early to wander around, but the real action started at 9 when they opened the doors for everyone else (the main target audience of BEA is made up of booksellers and librarians--the ones who decide which books they're going to stock in their domains).
  • At 9, wow. An impressive number of people surged into the exhibit halls. The booths were well-stocked with freebies, including lots of free books, and they began to be snatched up in a frenzy. Signs forbid people from bringing rolling suitcases into the exhibit hall without special permission (as from a doctor's note), so that limited most people to what they could carry, but people could carry an awful lot.
  • Okay, yeah, I picked up a lot of books this weekend.
  • Heck, I'm getting tired writing this and I'm only to Friday morning.
  • One of the first autographs I got was from the incomparable Robert Crais--a new Elvis Cole novel on unabridged audio. I can't wait to listen to it. It was very exciting meeting him, as he's one of my favorite living authors. Shortly after meeting him, I called Mom, who also reads his books. Very cool.
  • En masse, the Discoveries authors signed at the Wizards booth for two hours on Friday, giving away free copies of our books. It was exciting. We were all signing pretty much constantly for that two hour stretch, and several of us ran entirely out of books.
  • The most surreal moment of the convention came during this signing, when I glanced up and saw a very short lady standing about two feet from me getting Richard Dansky's autograph, then realized it was Dr. Ruth. I completely lost track of the conversation I was having with the person whose book I was signing, and just kept saying "That's Dr. Ruth" over and over again in my mind.
I'll get to the rest of the weekend next time. Peace out.

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Devil's Cape is Daily Dose at Powell's Books

BEA was terrific. I'll post more about that soon, probably tonight. In the meantime, Devil's Cape is today's Daily Dose at Powell Books! You can find it on the home page today or, if you're reading this later, try this more direct link.

This particular review is short, so I'll also include it in its entirety here, but I'd be grateful if you clicked through and marked it as helpful. :)

I am a 7th grade language arts teacher, so I've read a lot of Y/A Lit. This is the best book I've read in five years. This is book is "Sopranos" "Super Friends" and "Stephen King" all rolled into one well-crafted tale. I would love to use it as a class novel, but it might be a touch too violent for 7th graders-- or at least for their parents :)
I do get a lot of questions about the appropriate age group for Devil's Cape. Just to clarify, it's not a YA novel--it's written for adults. But I certainly think it's appropriate for a mature young teen. Any of you who have read the book, please let me know what you think about the age range in the comments.

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Monday, May 26, 2008

RIP, Robert Asprin

Sigh. Sad news that Robert Asprin has passed away. He was a bright talent and reading his books gave me a lot of pleasure. His later work suffered as a result of some problems he went through at one point, but the early Myth Adventures books, in particular, are gems.

The best single-dollar purchase I ever made was in high school. One of my favorite stores, The Great Escape, had one of those Science Fiction Book Club combined editions on sale for a buck--a jacketless edition of the first four Myth Adventures books. I'd read a bit about the series (in an old Dragon magazine, I think) and decided to give it a shot and was absolutely hooked. I've re-read that volume at least a dozen times. I really, really like the first six books in that series, and have enjoyed some of the later ones, too. This Amazon Listmania list has a good take on the progression of the series.

The first two Phule's Company books are great, too. And that's not even touching on the tremendous influence of the Thieves' World series.

Sigh again. Peace be with you, Robert.

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Devil's Cape signings in Los Angeles


Come see me in Los Angeles this week!

I'll be in the city as part of Book Expo America and will be signing copies of Devil's Cape there as well as in a local bookstore. Here's my itinerary:

  • Thursday, May 29, 7 p.m.: Signing at Dark Delicacies Bookstore, 4213 W. Burbank, Burbank, CA 91505
  • Friday, May 30, 2 to 4 p.m.: Signing at Book Expo America, Wizards of the Coast booth
  • Saturday, May 31, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Signing at Book Expo America, Autograph Alley, table 29 (I think this is the Random House table)
Hope to see you there!

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dead robots, superheroes, and me

I don't know the exact date yet, but sometime in the next few days, my first interview for a podcast will go live at The Dead Robots' Society. My old buddy Ry Stevenson, one of the site's hosts, does a one-on-one interview with me about Devil's Cape and the writing and publishing process. I had great fun with the interview--I hope you check it out. I'll post the details when I know them.

UPDATE: The Dead Robots' Society has posted its own coming soon message.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Review at Michael Paciocco's Mind

Blogger Michael Paciocco, who specializes a bit in cool faux motivational posters, has taken a look at Devil's Cape, and deemed it worthy of the cool image above. Man, some people I went to junior high with would be floored at the idea of me being associated with anything badass. Take that, kid who punched me in the stomach in the hallway for no reason in 8th grade.

Anyway, here's a quick quote from his review:

Rogers' strongest achievement is creating a setting that is reminescent of Gotham, New Orleans (a clear inspiration) and the Mos Eisley Spaceport from Star Wars, and has amplified the corruption and vice to their (super)natural extremes.

Please take a look at the review and browse his blog a bit to check out some of his cool posters and such.

Thanks, Michael.

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Keeping Austin weird

I've been remiss in my posting and am overdue for a report of the signing at a Barnes & Noble in Austin last Saturday. I was there with two other authors, J.M. McDermott and Martha Wells, and had a great deal of fun. I'll take a bulleted list approach to my thoughts and reactions to the signing after the jump.

  • Got to have lunch with buddy Jeff Hebert. Very glad for the opportunity.
  • Joe McDermott arrived a few minutes late (but with doughnuts--a good guy, that Joe) because someone purposely gave him bad directions. Weird.
  • It's interesting signing with other authors. You kind of support each other and that offsets that weird, "I'm sitting here at a table greeting random people who are trying to avoid making eye contact with me" vibe. But you have to amend your approach a little bit. I didn't want to call out, "Hey, do you like superheroes?" like I might have otherwise, because if superheroes weren't that person's bag, I didn't want to drive a potential sale away from Joe or Martha.
  • My old college friend Randi, who lives in Austin, came by with her sister and they bought three copies! I hadn't seen Randi in about 15 years, so it was really nice to catch up with her. Let's hope she likes the book!
  • Joe and I chatted for a while in the parking lot on the way out, and while we were there, a man approached us to tell us he'd just picked up an autographed copy of Devil's Cape inside (this is one he'd purchased from the stack that I'd signed right before leaving for the day--not one I'd signed for him inside) and had already started reading it and enjoying it. I added a personal note for him; it was just cool that he walked over more or less just to tell me he was enjoying the book so far.
  • I got Joe to autograph my copy of Last Dragon and bought a couple of Martha's novels, too. I'm looking forward to reading them.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Devil's Cape pictures

Devil's Cape reader Danny Montooth, who describes himself as a "Deviant Devil's Cape Citizen," was kind enough to send me these pictures he drew of Bedlam and Doctor Camelot. He drew these on a whiteboard at work, which is backstage at Disneyland! How cool is that?

Thanks very much, Danny. These are very cool and I'm excited to get to post these for others to enjoy.

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Gene Colan ailing


There's sad news that legendary comic book artist Gene Colan is quite ill, suffering from liver failure. He's in need of expensive medical treatments. There are a couple of fund-raising efforts launched on his behalf. You can read more here and here.

I've been a big fan of his for years, first discovering his artwork in the Night Force comic book, which I wish would be reprinted. I gave him a little shout-out in Devil's Cape by adding the name Colan to a junior high school. A tiny thing, I guess.

Anyway, if you're in a position to help him, please consider doing it. If not, I encourage you to seek out his artwork. It's great.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Make my logo bigger cream video

As someone who's worked in print and web design for several years, I found this video very funny and clever (and it reminded me of a client or two!). It's a little longer than it needs to be, but it's still good stuff.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dream a little dream of Dreamfinder

Mark Evanier reports that Walt Disney World might be considering re-revamping its Journey into the Imagination ride at Epcot, bringing back the lost-missed Dreamfinder character. This would be awesome. The ride lost almost all of its heart when it was gutted and modernized some years back. It's regained a bit since the more recent addition of "more Figment" to the mix, but to me, the perfect solution would be recreating the original and then never messing with it again. And yes, this would include using Chuck McCann as Mark suggests.

For an interesting look at the original ride, check out this site.

Bring back Dreamfinder!

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Come see me in Austin

I'll be autographing copies of Devil's Cape in Austin next Saturday, so please stop by to see me if you're close by. This will be a group signing with J.M. McDermott and Martha Wells, so you'll get to meet three authors at once. What could be better?

May 17, 20082-4 PMBarnes & Noble
Sunset Valley Village
5601 Brodie Lane, Suite 300
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 892-3493
Store's web site

P.S. Yes, I know that the store doesn't list the event on its web site. I've learned that bookstores can be pretty flaky about such things, which is frustrating.

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