Saturday, December 10, 2011

Well I Never Blogfest

The blog Rambles & Randomness recently posted a "Well I Never Blogfest" so I'm going to give it a try with experiences related to science fiction (better late than never!).

Well ...
  • I never bought a copy of the Battlefield Earth movie after watching it in theaters, but I did buy the book and read it.
  • I never knew that a 32X game I own called Spider-Man: Web of Fire is worth more than $100 until today.
  • I never read Isaac Asimov's Foundation books although own some of the books and want to read them someday (I have too many books to read as it is).
  • I never could get into Dune. I'm sorry.
  • I never dressed up as a character at science fiction conventions, although I did enjoy seeing Darth Vader.
That's all I can think of right now. Also, as a reminder, December is "Reid Kemper's Blog Swap Month," so check out my previous post to learn about it and sign up!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reid Kemper's Blog Swap

This CC BY-NC 2.0 licensed image was modified from a picture by Evan Hamilton.
Do you have great blog posts that are buried in your blog and deserve more attention? Or do you have a new post that you think will be great for a wider audience? Or perhaps you want variety on your blog by sharing a post someone else wrote -- minus any hassle? If so, I designed this blog swap to help you out.

How it works:
1. Enter your website URL in the list below to create a link.
2. Grab a post from my list of blog posts and use it for your blog.
3. Mention in the comments below which post you want to share in return.

Alternatively, if you want to swap with other bloggers, you may:
1. Enter your website URL in the list below to create a link.
2. Post your own blog swap on your blog.
3. List on your blog which posts you want to swap with those who participate.

You can swap on any day. Think of it as reciprocal guest blogging.

Enter here:

If you swap posts with me, I'll pick out one of your posts you listed and publish it on my blog. You may even write a new post meant for swapping. I'll credit you for writing the post I share and will link to your blog, so be sure to do the same.

I will not publish any posts that have obscenity, controversial topics or anything else I don't feel comfortable sharing. Please provide a variety of posts that are not time sensitive to choose from. For instance, if you have a post promoting a book you published, this would be a great way to promote your work. It's also great to spread helpful tips or resources for others. You can choose which day to participate.

You may use any post of mine before Dec. 1, 2011, for swapping, but below is a list of posts I recommend that are not time sensitive or are, to my knowledge, still relevant. Feel free to change any timely information (such as "today") and make edits.


Notice about my website:

Creative Commons License
My website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, which means you are free to share any of my posts without having to ask me, regardless if you participate in this blog swap. But you must attribute the work to me and link to this site. You also can not use it for commercial purposes or alter the work (unless I say otherwise). Posts on this website before Aug. 4, 2011, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, which means the same thing except you are free to adapt these posts.

(This blog post was last updated on Jan. 30, 2012)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reid Picks: The Best Website for Free Quality Science Fiction E-books

You can find free science fiction e-books on many websites, but if you want some top-quality e-books, I recommend the Baen Free Library located at Baen Books is a leading science fiction book publisher known for it's military science fiction novels. It also provides dozens of e-book versions of its published novels.
Image from Wikipedia.
So why does the publisher offer free e-books? One of the reasons is that if you read the first book of a series and like it, you may want to buy the other books. It's also compared to reading books for free at a library. If you like what you read, you may tell your friends and buy the books.

There are many Baen authors who participate, so I've narrowed the list to ten authors who are among the best. They are in alphabetical order, and I've included quotes about the authors from the site (click on their names in large print to go to their page with free books).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Early Impressions: How CassaFire Seems to Improve from Last Book

Author Alex J. Cavanaugh's book CassaFire has a new trailer, which piqued my curiosity as to what I should expect from the book.
For those who don't know, CassaFire is the sequel to CassaStar, which was published by Dancing Lemur Press, LLC, in 2010. The sequel is set to be released Feb. 28, 2012, by the same publisher. Visit Cavanaugh's blog at for more information.

I reviewed CassaStar on March 19, which can be viewed here. I enjoyed reading the book and pointed out areas I thought needed improvement if he wrote a sequel (which I'm glad he did). Now that there is a book blurb and trailer for the sequel, I already can tell some of those issues have been addressed. Below are some of my concerns from the first book followed by how I think the sequel seems to remedy those problems.

1. One of my concerns for the first book was the lack of a strong female presence, and I hoped that a female plays a lead role in a possible sequel. I'm elated to read that there is a lead female character named Athee in CassaFire. According to the book's blurb, Athee is a pilot "whose skills rival Byron’s unique abilities." I also like how Byron no longer has the best mental abilities. Not every hero has to be the best at everything, so hopefully, Byron's personality will shine more.

2. I also didn't think the universe in CassaStar was fleshed out as much as I hoped. I wrote, "You only get the closed-in view of the military, which may have been done so the reader feels isolated like Byron." In the sequel, Byron is an explorer, like he said he was going to be at the end of CassaStar. I'm glad Byron kept his promise to his mentor. Having Byron leave piloting to explore the universe does two things, in my opinion:

a. It keeps the sequel fresh without sounding like just-the-same-story-with-a-new-enemy plot.

b. It gives Cavanaugh a chance to do some world-building and give the reader insight into the universe.

As for the trailer for CassaFire, although some people may say the graphics are 15 years old (I, myself, am reminded of the intro to Tekken 2 for the PlayStation in 1996), please be aware that Dancing Lemur Press, LLC, is a small book publisher, so they probably had only one person working on the trailer. It's also hard to do facial expressions in CGI (computer-generated imagery). Overall, I loved the voice of Byron, the music that comes in at the right time and the pacing of the trailer. Well, here's the trailer for CassaFire:

I look forward to reading the sequel and congratulate Cavanaugh for having his second book set for print.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Xenoblade Chronicles Should Be Released in U.S.

(Dec. 10, 2011, update: I'm glad to report that Xenoblade Chronicles will be released in North America on April 2, 2012, exclusively in store at GameStop. Visit for further details.)

Xenoblade Chronicles (called Xenoblade in Japan and originally titled Monado: Beginning of the World) is a Japanese role-playing video game (JRPG) for the Nintendo Wii video game system that deserves to be released in the United States. According to reports I've read, there are currently no plans to release the game in North America. Hopefully, that is just a ploy to gain interest in the game here so it can maximize its game sells when it does release in North America (fingers crossed). However, Monolith Soft's game Soma Bringer that was released in Japan in 2008 for the Nintendo DS never came to America.

Although I hardly have time to play video games nowadays, I still try to keep up with new titles and buy them (yes, I even have some unopened games I bought last year and haven't played yet but will eventually get to). I only focus on few games when I do have time, and from what I've seen of Xenoblade, it will be on the top of my list if it comes to the U.S. The game is both beautiful and exciting (with top ratings to boot) and looks like a mixture of fantasy and science fiction. It was created by Monolith Soft, known for creating the science fiction Xenosaga trilogy, which is spiritual prequel to Xenogears created by Squaresoft (now Square Enix). There are rumors that Xenoblade is somehow connected to Xenogears and Xenosaga, but I have yet to see any concrete evidence.

If you think Xenoblade deserves to be released in North America, visit Operation Rainfall's blog at For an IGN article on Operation Rainfall's effort (which, in addition to Xenoblade, wants The Last Story and Pandora's Tower released in North America, click here.

Anyway, below are some videos of Xenoblade. The first one is the introduction footage to the game in English (United Kingdom version), the second one is a UK-version trailer, and the last one shows the breath-taking scenery in the game (it has some Japanese words but there is no speech in the video).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Three Websites You Should Know that List Short Story Magazines

If you have trouble finding the right magazines to submit your science fiction short stories, if you're new to the submission process, or if you just want to a find a magazine for your reading pleasure, there are only three websites you should know, which are valuable resources:
The links above will either go to a page that lists magazines or to one where you can search for magazines.

If you just want to know the professional magazines or anthologies that publish science fiction short stories -- which meet Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America qualifications -- here are 21 markets from (they are not all currently open to submissions, however):

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks affected my writing

Scenes from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. (From Wikipedia)
Sept. 11, 2001, the date of one of the most terrifying terrorist events in U.S. history, will resonate in our minds for decades to come. The sight of two planes crashing into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, sending dust and debris among New York City streets, pierced our hearts with disbelief and sorrow on that day 10 years ago. Innocent people died that morning, including at the Pentagon and in the plane that fortunately didn’t reach the White House. It affected family, friends, U.S. citizens and others across the globe. It certainly was a mournful day affecting my life as well.

What I learned that day was to appreciate life more and not to put my goals on hold. The understanding that life can be taken away in the blink of an eye was much more prevalent that day, and I was determined to live my life at the fullest. I worked even harder on my science fiction book and continued to write -- to finish it. I eventually completed it a several years later despite a full load of college; unfortunately, I wrote it longhand, and it was more than 700 pages long. I considered it sufficient training for writing my second novel, so to this day, I've never typed it all up. Don't worry, I'll type and rewrite it some day -- and divide it into three books while I'm at it.

As for my second novel (or fourth depending on how you look at it), I typed it from the start (thank God). I'm more than halfway through writing it, and that story, too, likely will be divided into three books. Unfortunately, I haven't written on the novel in a year and haven't written anything significant in two. I lost that passion to finish what I started -- the passion I had for years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Sure, I wrote short stories and blogs in my free time, but something was missing. My complete story was missing.

I'm hoping to rejuvenate that spark I had. I'm hoping to finish what I started. How did Sept. 11, 2001, affect you?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Reid Review: "The Armageddon Machine" by Simon Kewin

I recently navigated through my selection of unread books on my e-reader and picked out a random story to read. That book -- actually a novelette -- was The Armageddon Machine by Simon Kewin. The story is self-published, so I paid close attention to the first page to see if either 1) the author had no talent, which is why he self-published, or 2) he was someone with great talent using self-publishing as a tool to build readership and notoriety. I'm glad that he fell into the latter category.
Click image for e-book info.

In fact, I venture to say that this is the best ebook I've read in quite a while. The story grabbed my attention from the very first sentence, "Mackenzie watched the universe end." As I read on, I was whisked into a science fiction world that reminded me of Star God by Allen Wold: Sure, The Armageddon Machine may have needed more editing and may have had some unanswered questions, but it was good, nonetheless.

After reading the roughly 13,000-word story in one setting, I wondered why the story wasn't published by a traditional publisher. I gather that it is difficult to publish work at that length because it is too long for most magazines and too short to be a novel. Perhaps Kewin could expand the story into a novel. I think it would work well that way, would answer many questions and would give him more time to develop the characters.

Here's my honest review of the story (it has some spoilers, however):

Monday, August 29, 2011

Reasons Capcom should resume Mega Man Legends 3 project

I didn't find out about the Mega Mega Legends 3 video game being in development for the Nintendo 3DS until writing my June 6, 2011, blog post about my top three favorite games. I also didn't find out about the game's development website ( until after the game was canceled. So if lack of participation in the development website was a factor in canceling the game, it seems to me that the video game company Capcom didn't do a sufficient job letting the public know about it in the first place.

Image from
Hopefully, either Capcom resumes the project or CyberConnect2 (which created the .hack series) takes over (its CEO expressed interest in doing that). If so, they should rerelease Mega Man Legends 1 and 2 (and, if they want, The Misadventures of Tron Bonne) on the 3DS to get new fans of the series. There are plenty of younger people who have never played the first two games, and, hypothetically, they wouldn't play the third one if it came out because they may want to start with the beginning and can't do so without a PlayStation or Nintendo 64 video game system.

Even if work on the third game is not resumed, a package of the first two games would garner more fans and may spur more interest in a third title. It also would interest new fans in other Mega Man games (as was the case with me when I was younger).

Mega Man Legends was the first Mega Man game I bought. I picked up a free pamphlet of the game coming out (or already out -- I can't remember) at my local EB Games store. I liked what I saw and bought the game. It became my favorite game almost instantly. Then I told my friends at school about it, and they also bought copies. I even found the Rockman Dash Original Soundtrack CD and bought that as well, playing it constantly. We had a joke back then that I was using the "Apple Market" song, which I called "the town music," as a mind-control technique.

It goes without saying that I bought the other games, including Mega Man 64 (which is a rerelease of the first Mega Man Legends game). I then bought other Mega Man games, in which before Mega Man Legends, I had no interest in them. My point is that if Mega Man Legends 3 is finished and sold, it may start a chain reaction, and it likely will produce lots of sales for Capcom -- not just from the Mega Man Legends series.

I hope that the Mega Man Legends 3 project will be resumed. Do you know of any other games in development that you were interested in but were canceled?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Prophecy to science fiction to reality? The history of electronic chip implants

I found quite interesting an article on io9 on Aug. 11 titled "Breakthrough: Electronic circuits that are integrated with your skin" (
Picture is from io9 and other sites; origin of photo is unknown.
But the idea isn't new. Technology for flexible chips has been around since at least 2006, chips have been implanted in the skin since at least 1998, science fiction have used the idea of implanted technology since at least 1972, and there's prophecy—about a time when mankind cannot buy or sell without a mark on the right hand or forehead—that dates back to the first century.

Here are some information and quotes from various sources related to the idea of ID implants or marks (starting from present technology and going backward in history):

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What You Should Know About the nVoidz Omniverse

"Stream of Consciousness" is a micro fiction story I wrote scheduled to be in the online publication "Flashshot" today. The micro story takes place in my nVoidz universe -- er, I guess it should be "omniverse" since it deals with multiple universes and dimensions.

The micro story is in the perspective of a super-computer called the Counsciousness. I created a tab on this website giving details of the nVoidz omniverse, and here's a quick explanation I used:

"Humans have been extinct for millions of years. However, before their demise, they created a living machine called the Consciousness. This being of thought in turn created ghostlike beings called Overseers whose purpose is to unlock and harness the powers of the omniverse (multiple universes). By fusing the dimensional powers of a universe into adaptable alien chromosomes, they created nVoidz, self-efficient beings with universal powers such as light, gravity, friction, and other fundamental abilities."

Read the micro fiction story here and check out the "nVoidz Omniverse" tab on this website for more information.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Have you heard of 'Exosquad'?

With more Marvel and D.C. comics movies coming, I'm strangely reminded of Saturday morning cartoons. That's likely because I was introduced to the superheroes that way. But there are other cartoons that deserve attention.

Have you heard of "Exosquad"? I came across the science fiction cartoon series on the video-streaming website Then I remembered that I likely own a DVD of the show that I may have bought for a dollar (which I haven't watched) and that I had owned an action figure of an E-frame (mech) when I was a kid. There also is a Sega Genesis game based on the cartoon that I remember seeing in the past.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Farewell, space shuttle program

I bid farewell to the space shuttle program. This doesn't mean there won't be any space travel, however. The International Space Station is still in orbit and in operation.

It seems that NASA's next big mission is to send mankind to Mars by the 2030s, since a bill was approved in September to go in that direction. See the article on here.

At once considered a thing of science fiction, a trip to Mars is possible and welcomed. Let's hope the idea of Martians stays with science fiction.

For a video of space shuttle Atlantis' astronauts getting a wake-up call from band R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe, click here (the video is on the NASAtelevision channel on YouTube, but apparently, the audio doesn't work if shared to another website). The astronauts are taking a break today, but should return July 21 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, according to "Shuttle Astronauts Take Much-Needed Break from Busy Mission" by Denise Chow, staff writer.

Here's a video of the last NASA space shuttle launch:

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day! And you can tweet that!

From Wikipedia.

To my fellow Americans, happy Independence Day! I doubt there will be an alien invasion like what happened in the 1996 "Independence Day" movie, but, hey, I can't think of a better Fourth of July science fiction reference. Comment below if you can!

To those of you from other countries, I hope you have a great day as well!

And to everyone who tweets (or just follows them), check out my newly created Twitter page. You are welcome to tweet my blog entries.

Follow me:

Tweet this:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Reid Picks: 'Anthem' by Ayn Rand

Image from Wikipedia.
I came across an article that mentions author Ayn Rand. The article, "Science fiction meets Disney in author’s first book" by Isabela Morales, was published online today, June 29, 2011, in the The Crimson White, which apparently is a student publication of the University of Alabama. To clarify, that article is about author Cory Doctorow, but Rand is mentioned.

The website also has another article on Rand ("Ayn Rand wrote science fiction?") that was published June 8.

Since I had already planned to blog about Rand's science fiction novella "Anthem," I find it ironic that I happened to randomly see an article mentioning the author. Anyway, here's what I have to say about the story:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Is Green Lantern Movie Worth Watching?

"Green Lantern" recently came out in movie theaters. I haven't seen it yet but have heard mixed reviews by those I know who've seen the movie. A fan of the comics disliked the film while another not so familiar with the comics liked it.

Below are two trailers for the movie. If you've seen the film, is it worth watching? If you haven't seen the movie, what are your impressions?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Free Music by John Anealio: The Angry Robot Remix Album

John Anealio has some free remixes of his "Angry Robot" song on his blog, Sci-Fi Songs. The remixes were created by others as part of a competition. The songs below were remixed by Dale Chase, Denis Cherryman, David Ritter, Mike Crooker, and Chooch Schubert, respectively.

Check out the songs below or click here for the posting on his website and for more information.

Here's Anealio's original song:

Monday, June 6, 2011

Reid Picks: Top Three Video Games

, author of the science fiction book titled CassaStar, is hosting a blogfest today called: "It's All Fun and Games Blogfest." Participants are asked to list their "three most favorite games and why. Board games, card games, RPG, video games, physical games - even mind games!"

I'm not too excited about board games, so I'll scratch that out as a topic. Card Games? Not really. Role-playing games (excluding video games)? Nope. Physical games? I guess not. Mind games? Cool, but no. That leaves video games for my favorite list.

Since I hardly have the time to play video games as I used to, my picks are going to be some older titles (but not as far back as the Sega Master System and NES era). Here are my top three video games:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Reid Review: 'Star God' Novel By Allen L. Wold

There have been so many science fiction books published that it's impossible to read them all (unless you're really an android). So I'm going to highlight a little-known book by a big-time publisher. It's called Star God by Allen L. Wold, published in 1980 by St. Martin's Press. Although I believe Wold considers his Planet Masters series better, I haven't read those. Also, it's been a while since I read Star God, so I'm mainly going to discuss what the story is about rather than get into minute details.

Image from
Frankly, one of the reasons I bought the book is because I liked the title. That and I've met the author at a convention. The short blurb on the back of the book didn't interest me. It says, "There is a strange force at work in the universe. It must be stopped. But first, it must be understood." It seemed too generic and vague, but after reading the novel, I realized how true that phrase is.

Here's the review:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, George Lucas

Today (May 14, 2011) is George Lucas' 67th birthday. He's widely known for creating Star Wars, but THX 1138 was the first feature-length film he directed. It was based on a short film he did in 1967 as a student at the University of Southern California.

So let's wish him a birthday blast with some THX 1138!
THX 1138 costume from moviemaker29 on

Here's a trailer of the director's cut version of the movie:

And here's part 1 and 2 of his student film version, titled THX 1138 4EB:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Portal 2 Review and Gameplay Videos

I had originally thought about posting a Portal 2 video game trailer before the game came out, but it was shown a lot on TV, so I opted to wait until the game was released before talking about it. Naturally, I wondered whether the game would flop or exceed the high standards the first game set. It did the latter, and top video game reviewer gave it a 9.5, rated higher than its predecessor.

Essentially, Portal 2 is a first person science fiction puzzle game. You use a portal gun to travel from one place to the next to solve puzzles. There also are new puzzle elements introduced. It's available for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

Here is IGN's review of the game:

Here's a video showing the gameplay from Portal 2:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Bunny and Boba Fett

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

Here's an Easter-related picture I found:
Picture from incomT65 on

I guess chibi Boba Fett from Star Wars needs the bunny alive to collect on the bounty.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Want to Be Published? Here Is a Video with Some Tips.

It can be tough submitting your writing for publication, but don't get discouraged if you keep getting rejections. Editors and publishers have different likes and dislikes. You should also keep a record of your submissions.

David M. Harris, who "has taught English at Vanderbilt University and elsewhere," according to the description of the following video, shares this advise to whoever aspires to be a published author. He also gives helpful websites. One such website is, which lists science fiction and other speculative fiction markets.

Check out the video here:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Odd News and Transformers

A saw a video of odd news from Yahoo News that I'm going to share. It includes an alleged sighting of a Bigfoot as well as the existence of a Chupacabra being debunked. There also is a man named Moses Lanham Jr. who can turn his feet backward.

Lastly, Drew Beaumier wants to market his "morph machines," or Transformers suits, that can transform and drive. Beaumier was on American Idol with the suit. It's good to know that the science fiction cartoon and now movie series Transformers has such a devoted fan. I'm sure he gets lots of photo opportunities.

Do you remember Greg Proops from the Whose Line Is It Anyway? show (hopefully you've watched it)? Well he's the anchor, so he puts a funny twist on the odd news. Here's the video:

And since Beaumier is the star of the video, as a tribute to him, here's a trailer for the next Transformers movie coming to theaters July 1.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Falling Skies TV series trailer

The Falling Skies TV series is coming June 19 on TNT, and here's a new video of it. It's a science fiction series by Robert Rodat and Steven Spielberg for TNT.

The TV series also has a Web comic here:

It looks like Falling Skies is going to focus on family relationships, and apparently the aliens only want the kids, so children will likely play a major role. The series doesn't seem very original, but we'll see how the show progresses when it comes out.

What are your impressions?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Reid Review: CassaStar by Alex J. Cavanaugh

I recently read Alex J. Cavanaugh's debut novel, CassaStar, so I am going to give an honest review. Although Alex is a member of this blog, I was not asked to review the book, and I avoided reading reviews of the novel so I'd have a fresh perspective.

Imagine Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game with a young adult protagonist instead of a child and starfighter training instead of zero-gravity drills, and you have the basis of CassaStar. They both are about a tactically brilliant person who feels discredited by his instructor despite being the best there is. From there, the books differ in many respects, and CassaStar has a different edge that makes it unique.

Before I proceed, be warned that this review will contain some spoilers. Ultimately, I recommend the book, but it's not without its flaws. If you plan on buying it and don't want spoilers, stop reading this review and visit for the book's blurb. Otherwise, continue at your own risk. Perhaps you'll want to read the book after learning more about it.

Here is the book's trailer:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hubbard Would Be 100, Writers of the Future Contest Lives On

Today is Daylight Saving Time in the U.S. and what would have been science fiction writer L.Ron Hubbard's 100th birthday.

Although he's the controversial founder of Scientology, he's written many bestselling science fiction stories such as his Mission Earth series and Battlefield Earth (the movie is horrendous, though). He also started the Writers of the Future contest for new writers, which has great judges such as Kevin J. Anderson, Gregory Benford, Anne McCaffrey, Orson Scott Card, Eric Flint, Brian Herbert, Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, Robert J. Sawyer, Robert Silverberg, and Dave Wolverton.

Here's a video of Card talking about the contest:

If your interested, judge Dave Wolverton (pen name David Farland) offers daily writing tips through his website:

Although Hubbard died in 1986, I'm glad the Writers of the Future contest has continued to help many great writers become successful. What are your opinions?
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