The local arthouse theater showed Starship Troopers as its midnight movie this weekend. This film is the conspicuous chief source for my first full length novel, The Killbug Eulogies, coming out shortly. (I’ll be seeing the final cover very soon!) I hadn’t seen it in a couple years, so I thought it was time to give it another look.
When I first saw Starship Troopers during my junior year of college, I was immediately drawn to its witty satire of wartime propaganda. I even gasped at the scene where the children are encouraged to stomp roaches to death: it was uncomfortably close to footage I had seen of how the United States portrayed its enemies during the Second World War.
Writers have a unique set of words and phrases they use to describe the specifics of their trade. Here’s some of the more commonly used terms alongside their definitions.
My first full length novel, The Killbug Eulogies, involves human soldiers fighting giant space insects across the galaxy. Bugs appealed to me as adversaries in science fiction because they are among the least human adversaries an audience can imagine. A werewolf, for instance, is only ordinary human nature gone feral, but a bug’s life is completely alien to our way of thinking.
Over the last few months, I’ve been making final revisions to my first full length novel, The Killbug Eulogies. The original draft has been around a while—the earliest notes are dated 2011!—but the story seems more real now than when I wrote it. The characters, like those in my favorite space operas, fight to save the galaxy against overwhelming odds. These heroes, however, sense they are going to lose. Humanity faces eradication at the hands of an enemy that believes it performs the service as a favor. The mistake seems reasonable, since instead of mounting a coordinated last ditch offensive, human leaders feed each other to the wolves in petty political struggles.
With almost nothing left to hope for, soldiers deployed behind enemy lines try to find something to give meaning to what time they have left.
The best scene in any Batman story line is when the dark knight has captured the Joker and lets him dangle like a rag doll from his fists while he decides what to do with him. Batman stands erect, a tall muscular line silhouetted against the sky, while the Joker slumps in a tacky suit with a plastic flower on the lapel. But he is not afraid. An awkward smile stretches like a scar across his face. He is embarrassed for everybody.
“ReVUUUUUUuuuueeee . . .”
My landlord is selling my apartment out from under me without any forewarning. This is the second time this has happened to me in Nashville in the last two years. I have decided to move before the new owners maybe/maybe not throw my tail out on the street on New Years Day. Time to abandon ship, like the rat I am.
“ReVUUUUUUuuuueeee . . .”
In addition to boxes everywhere, packed with all the worldly possessions I finally just finished unpacking, I also have a herd of zombie seals in tutus swim-waddling through my living room.
Sometimes I think about the scene in The Unbearable Lightness of Being where Tereza first sees Tomas. He is carrying a book, so she automatically feels a kinship with him because she believes people who read have an immediate connection. Tomas, if I recall, thinks she is a little naive.
When I read this (fifteen!) years ago, my feelings aligned more with Tomas, but I’ve come to envy Tereza. As a rule, I much prefer the company of people who read to those who don’t, but I’ve never been able build an image of myself around the idea of books themselves. Many people do, however. They are book people.
How much fun is it to review a book? Why, even zombie seals in tutus can’t get enough. Don’t believe me? “Give me the ocular proof!” say you? All right.
You and your friend have just completed reading Kevin the Vampire. Soundlessly you both reach for your silver-headed maces. On your smartphone, that famous bit of Latin choral music starts to play, the one that means the fates have ordained this hour to toll a death knell for one of you. Only a few words of prayer offered to your capricious god escape your parched lips before you launch yourselves, each onto the other, in a cyclone of single-purposed fury.
But wait! This doesn’t have to come to violence! Instead of beating one another to a bloody pulp, you can talk about this!
I’m just saying, it’s like an option.
Fifteen years ago I published my first short story. It was about a dude whose roommate was a ghost who tried to steal his girlfriend. Before I sat down to write that story, I had never had the slightest inkling to write ghost stories.
Before I wrote Kevin the Vampire I had no ambitions to write about bloodsucking undead. That’s not true. I want to do a web comic called Sad Vampire. The title gives a pretty good idea what it would have been about.
In one comic, SV is up on a rooftop, where he has just defeated like twenty dudes in mortal combat. SV walks to the edge of the roof to gaze out over the sleeping city and then up into the night sky. Broken and mutilated corpses lie all about him in messy heaps. “The full moon is so . . . sad tonight,” he says.
In another comic, SV is about to eat a pretty lady. She says, “Before I die, I want you to know you have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen.” In the next panel, SV is gazing into an empty mirror. A drop of blood hangs from his lip as a tear runs down his cheek. “I’m so sad,” he says.
SV is walking through a wood on the night after a sudden spring snow. His vampiric collar is turned up against the cold. A wolf comes out from the trees and lays a bird’s nest at SV’s feet. The nest has fallen from a branch in the storm, and the eggs will not hatch. Timidly the wolf huddles down in the snow, its snout touching the nest. It whimpers as it covers its head with its paws. SV sits down next to the wolf. “I know Lupo,” he says. He pets the wolf behind the ears. “It is very sad.”
Anyways, I wrote a short book called Kevin the Vampire. You can get it as an ebook on Amazon right now. Click on the image to get it!
Print and audio coming soon!