Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I looked behind me. Just what I thought.
More flowers.
I pumped the handle seven more times and slammed the lever backward again. Backward, dammit, go backward!
The vibration shook the whole tub. I closed my eyes this time until the shaking stopped.
I took a deep breath.
I looked behind me.
More flowers.
I leapt out of the tub, kicked it over, then let myself topple, crushing my outline into the peonies.
I stared up at the sky. Empty. Empty as it will always be.
I was alone. Truly, utterly, inexcusably alone. No sign that humans had ever touched this planet. I’d wiped it out. Everything. Everyone. Even Laila.
I did it for her. I swear, I just wanted to make it better for her. Better air. Less crowding. I didn’t want to empty the whole planet.
I’m sorry.
I’ll write a note. Stick it in this tub. And maybe, just maybe, millions of years from now, some hyperintelligent peony will see that once upon a time there was one single idiot, alone and adrift, regretting the day he left the instruction book on his desk.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Man From Atlantis - the Music

It's no secret that getting a release of Fred Karlin's music from forgotten 70's TV series Man From Atlantis is my original holy grail.

While it's wonderful that, thanks to the power of the internets, I can regularly listen to the section of music that I've been humming in my head since 1977, it's still not the same as having a proper CD release of it, in clear sound and without dialogue and sound effects. But here it is.

I don't know why this wistful, harpsichord-y tune cemented itself in my memory bank, but it did. I still retain such strong affection for the show and wouldn't mind seeing the series released on DVD, since I haven't seen it since its original run.

But it's the music that really haunts me.

Here's the main title sequence.

And here's a cover version of the theme that's suitably trippy.

I also love Austin Wintory's cover version, available as a single download.Theme from Man From Atlantis

And now here's a rockin' version of that wistful theme, accompanying Patrick Duffy's race with the dolphin.

The closest I've gotten to a CD release of this music is Fred Karlin's Futureworld, which is similar in tone.

And so concludes this random post of nostalgia.

Friday, October 8, 2010


I glanced down into the blue light. I could make out an image, maybe a person, but I was too scared to really focus. I looked back at Tommy.
“Are you sure it’s real?”
“Hell, yeah,” he said, grabbing the rock from my hands. “If you’re too chicken shit to look in it, I’ll give someone else a turn. You can have your five bucks back.”
“But where did you get it?”
“I told you, I found it, that’s all you need to know.” He hopped back onto his bike, the rock under his arm. “You want to find out or not?”
“Okay,” I said.
Tommy smiled that devilish little grin of his and hopped back onto the grass.
“All right. Now just look in it until you see the picture. It will be there and it will tell you your destiny. Your best moment. The highlight of your life.”
“How do I know it’ll come true?”
“You’re such a chicken shit. Walt Greaney saw a bank vault and you know he’s a genius with money. And Sara Tomlinson saw herself at a beauty pageant – Miss damned America! It’s totally psychic, man. Just look!”
He stuck the rock out at me. I took it, sat down, cross-legged, and looked at the surface.
The blue light slowly grew and I could see an image. It was a person, definitely a person. It was me. I could tell it was me, but I looked so old, so bald and pudgy. I was holding a bowling trophy.
I threw the rock as hard as I could.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Contest! Win a copy of Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published

Workman Publishing kindly provided me with an advance copy of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, and I'll be reading through it and commenting about it later this month.

In other news, Workman also offered to let me host a book giveaway contest here on my blog. Woo hoo!

So here it is, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published.
The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published: How to Write It, Sell It, and Market It . . . Successfully (Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published: How to Write)
And here's some blurbage about the book:

The best, most comprehensive book for writers is now completely revised and updated to address ongoing changes in publishing. Published in 2005 as Putting Your Passion Into Print, this is the book that’s been praised by both industry professionals (“Refreshingly honest, knowledgeable and detailed. . . . An invaluable resource”—Jamie Raab, publisher, Grand Central Publishing) and bestselling authors (“A must-have for every aspiring writer.”—Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner). With its extensive coverage of e-books, self-publishing, and online marketing, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published is more vital than ever for anyone who wants to mine that great idea and turn it into a successfully published book.

Written by experts with thirteen books between them as well as many years’ experience as a literary agent (Eckstut) and a book doctor (Sterry), this nuts-and-bolts guide demystifies every step of the publishing process: how to come up with a blockbuster title, create a selling proposal, find the right agent, understand a book contract, develop marketing and publicity savvy, and, if necessary, self-publish. There’s new information on how to build up a following (and even publish a book) online; the importance of a search-engine-friendly title; producing a video book trailer; and e-book pricing and royalties. Includes interviews with hundreds of publishing insiders and authors, including Seth Godin, Neil Gaiman, Amy Bloom, Margaret Atwood, Larry Kirshbaum, Leonard Lopate, plus agents, editors, and booksellers; sidebars featuring real-life publishing success stories; sample proposals, query letters, and a feature-rich website and community for authors.

About the Authors

Arielle Eckstut, cofounder of Little MissMatched, the innovative clothing company, is a writer, entrepreneur, and agent-at-large for the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. She is the author of Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen.

David Henry Sterry is the coeditor of 
Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys (front page review, The New York Times Book Review) and author of Master of Ceremonies,ChickenSatchel Sez, and the forthcoming The Glorious World Cup. He is also an actor, media coach, book doctor, and activist for at-risk youth. The authors are married and live in Montclair, New Jersey, with their daughter.
By the way, the authors can be located on the Twitters at http://twitter.com/TheBookDoctors. And you can find me on the Twitters, too: http://www.twitter.com/thatneilguy.

So how can you win? Easy!


Just drop a comment into the comment field below. Make sure you've got an email address or twitter handle in there so I can contact you.

I'll draw a random winner on October 20. So you have until midnight eastern time on October 19, 2010, to enter. And you know what? If I get enough entries, I may just give away two copies. Because I'm a giver! And so is Workman Publishing!

The book doesn't actually get released into the wild until November 11. So this is your chance to SCORE EARLY! Woo hoo!