I spent the day working with Mike Banas. “How exciting!”I imagine you saying. “Were you involved in a car chase? A shoot-out? Did you catch the bad guy?” After all, with a name like Mike Banas, you’d assume he’d be a private detective of some sort. (MIKE BANAS, P.I. Starring: Mike Banas as Mike Banas, Connie Stevens as Trixie the secretary, and William Conrad as Police Chief O’Hara. With special guest star: Charles Nelson Reilly as Dr. Emil Fitzwater the Third. Tonight’s episode: “Death Rides A Luge“.) But you would assume incorrectly because Mike is, in fact, one of our ace editors. Today marked the very first time I’ve actually worked with Mike. I had a great time and I can honestly say I’ll no doubt be working with him again. Most probably tomorrow as the cut is still a minute and a half long.
But great progress today. The director’s cut was terrific but, at five minutes and thirty seconds over, it desperately needed some trimming. And most of those trims came from the first act. No scenes lost, but some of the dialogue had to go including a reference to Carson’s wee turtles, Michelle and Jeffrey. Well, you’ll read all about them after the episode airs – provided I don’t find a way to squeeze them into another script first.
Speaking of scripts – I’ve finally made some headway on episode #15. Sort of. I’ve expanded the story and included throughlines for three separate characters, an A story mystery, and a B story probationary review.
Well, with less than a week to go before we commence our next round of book of month club discussions (check the sidebar for the books and dates), I thought I’d go ahead and announce July’s selections so as to give you all plenty of lead time. Looking over past BOTM selections, I’ve noticed that female authors have been underrepresented – so I’d like to address the imbalance by going with an all-female line-up for July…
In the scifi category, it’ll be Kage Baker’s In the Garden of Iden, the first book in her Company series. From Amazon.com: “In 16th-century Spain, everybody expects the Spanish Inquisition, as they have a well-known tendency to cart people off to their dungeons on trumped-up charges. What 5-year-old Mendoza, on the brink of being tortured as a Jew, is totally unprepared for is to be rescued by the Company–the ultimate bureaucracy of the 24th century–and made immortal. In return, all she has to do is travel through time on a series of assignments for the Company and collect endangered botanical specimens. The wisecracking, mildly misanthropic Mendoza wants nothing to do with historical humans, but her first assignment is to travel to England in 1553–uncomfortably close to those damn Inquisitors–with Joseph and Nefer, two other Company operatives.”
Discussion on In the Garden of Iden begins the week of June 30th.
In the fantasy category, it’ll be K.J. Bishop’s The Etched City. From Amazon.com: “Set first in the dustbowl wasteland of the Copper Country, Bishop introduces the battlefield sawbones Raule and her gunslinging companion Gwynn. The duo’s relationship of necessity is cemented as they flee the justice of “The Army of Heroes,” a force created to put down a rebellion in which they were active participants. Wanted and destitute, they make for the uncharted Telute Shelf to find new lives amid the sprawling metropolis of Ashamoil. Gwynn’s ruthless knack for violence sends him to the top of the town as an enforcer for the Horn Fan Cartel and its bustling slave trade. Raule, meanwhile, heads to the bottom where she tries to erase her brutal past through ministrations to the city’s forsaken. Between the opposite poles of Gwynn and Raule is a languid tale wandering through a sideshow menagerie of lovelorn mobsters, debased priests, brutal imperialists, sorcererous drug dealers, gangland warlords, and otherworldly artists that deftly examines the nature of violence, compassion, spirituality, redemption, and reality.”
Discussion on The Etched City begins July 7th.
In the horror category (although “Dark SF” would be a more appropriate description), it’ll be Jennifer Pelland’s Unwelcome Bodies. From Amazon.com: “Pain. Pleasure. The sensation of touch.we feel everything through our skin, that delicate membrane separating “I” from “other,” protecting the very essence of self. Until it breaks. Or changes. Or burns. What would you do if you were the one called on to save humanity, and the price you had to pay was becoming something other than human? Or if healing your body meant losing the only person you’ve ever loved? Wander through worlds where a woman craves even a poisonous touch.a man’s deformities become a society’s fashion.genetic regeneration keeps the fires of Hell away.and painted lovers risk everything to break the boundaries of their caste system down. Separate your mind from your flesh and come in. Welcome.”
Discussion on Unwelcome Bodies begins July 14th.
Today’s blog entry is dedicated to Sebastiaan. Wishing him all the best for a speedy recovery.
Today’s pic: Whispers.