Accepting Applications for the Street Team

Have you been following the Children of Nostradamus or Suburban Zombie High? Are you a  fan of my writing and want access to behind the scenes content, exclusive stories and newly made swag? Then this is your chance. I’ve finally decided to start my street team, a group of fans willing to help promote, review, and spread the word about current and future writing projects. I’ll be providing advance reader copies for upcoming releases and reaching out to ask for feedback and input in upcoming writing projects. I like to think of it as the group of fans who get put on the Christmas list!

To follow this link to the Facebook group:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/streetteamheroes/

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PAXEAST 2017: More Pixels Than I Can Count

I’m not really a video game geek. I bought a Playstation 3 so I could play Infamous, which of course is even making my video game geekery comic related. I fell in love with the cell shading of Borderlands and played that over and over despite it scaring the crap out of me when I played at night. I ultimately bought a Playstation 4 so I could play Destiny with some friends. I’ll probably play the same handful of games until I die. But when a friend invited me to my second PAX, I thought, why the hell not?

Maybe it’s because it’s my second time, or perhaps the displays weren’t as snazzy, but I walked away a bit lackluster this year. Don’t get me wrong, it was great, and I even stopped to play a few video games, but I found myself mostly confused by the games. I’ll admit, I want flashy graphics coupled with compelling stories. Retro gaming just leaves me bored. If I wanted games with 8bit graphics, I’d go back to my old Nintendo and break out Secret of Mana and Mega Man. Even Bethesda’s display didn’t leave me feeling warm and fuzzy. I will admit, they do put on a good show with their booths though. I may even buy Prey, which means I’ll just be scared all the time thinking weird goopy bug things are going to kill me.

I bumped into plenty of comic geeks and got to see a lot of great costumes. My favorite part is watching the people interact. It’s a friendly lot and similar to comic conventions in that regard. I was also delighted that there were fewer people. Perhaps the cold scared them away, it was frigid outside and sweltering inside. I’m still recovering. However, I did walk out of there rejuvenated and ready to do some work, so I’m back at writing and plotting out stories. Never enough down time!

 

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Logan – No Post Credit Scene (No Spoilers)

When the superhero genre is filled with over the top special effects and relies on the powers of its cast, Logan is a quiet movie focusing instead on the story of a man out-of-place and past his prime. When you’re a soldier without a war, and what you do best is kill, what does the world have left for you?

I’m not a fan of Wolverine in the comics. Much like Superman, his powers have been seen in a capacity that makes him Godlike and we lose the potential to fear for the character. Torn in half, decimated by a nuke, even the lost of his razor claws have done little more than slow him. Logan however quickly grounds us, bringing us into a world not far off in the future and with a character who is past his prime and barely surviving.

The story is loosely adapted from Old Man Logan, and fans of the series knew it would be altered due to property licensing. What we were given is story about a washed up mutant, trying to protect the one man who has always supported him. When a woman appears in his life claiming he has a daughter, Xavier, ever the headmaster, wants to see the child to safety. Logan on the other hand, he is an old man stuck in his ways, seeing the possibility for loss, tries to stick to his loner ways.

Tucked away in an abandoned mining silo, Patrick Stewart’s Xavier spends time caught between a man losing his mind and the sagely professor. Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman have a bond throughout this film that reminds us their lives have been interconnected for the last seventeen years. In heartfelt speeches and moments of tenderness between them, we see Logan’s regard and respect for the only man who has ever been a father to him. The movie goes to the extent of having them join another family for dinner to drive home the point. Sitting around a dinner table telling stories of their adventures in thinly veiled disguises, we see people, not heroes.

Similar to barn scene in Avengers 2, where we meet Hawkeye’s family, the characters are given a moment to be human. The scene is interrupted, as is the life of a superhero, but for a good long time, we are left with thought-provoking questions, something the genre is not known for giving us. What lengths would I go to protect my family? Could I be a father? Would I find commonalities with those different than me? What if my child was “different?” How does the most powerful mind feel about the fragility of his body? Will the world remember me when I’m gone?

While the movie features Hugh Jackman’s title character, a role he has grown and expanded to new layers of complexity, it is Patrick Stewart who steals every scene. Having killed hundreds of people with his telepathy as a seizure erupted and he lost control, we’re given a man whose strongest attribute is slowly failing him. Having already lost the use of his legs, we’ve always found comfort in him being able to step outside his body and move freely with his telepathy. Wrapped in self-doubt, grief, and blame for the atrocities he has caused, we see a man with no legacy, a man who tried to change the world and failed. His own mind has turned against him, and we understand his frailty. And while this sounds gut wrenching, we find ourselves often laughing at his old crotchety nature and the sharp jabs he gives to Logan. The playful Patrick Stewart we’ve grown to love, the one wearing matching outfits with Sir Ian McKellen also has a strong presence. I find myself frequently wondering where the role ended and where the actor began?

I should also include Dafne Keen for her role as Laura. X-23 is a complicated character because she simply does not understand who or what she is. Manufactured for war, she is the biological daughter of Wolverine, but has never known a father. While Logan’s mythos is wrapped in mystery from the fateful day within WeaponX, Laura has been bred for war. Watching her fight is amazing, probably the best choreographing I’ve seen in years, but it’s the moments in which she lets down her guard and becomes a child that we connect with her.  She matches Logan in intensity, rage, fighting, and even comical moments, the pair together were magnificent in being reflections of one another, a true father/daughter dynamic.

I can continue to gush, and remind people that in the 70 years of comics we’ve read, we’ve grown to love the people more than the powers. We see momentary glimpses to the young cigar smoking Canuck, but more than that, we see the story of a man who is ready to say goodbye.

Since 2000, I have had the opportunity to watch my passion play out in front of me. For good or for bad, I have been along for the ride. Seventeen years I’ve watched Hugh Jackman play my angry uncle and Patrick Stewart play my second father. While I am sad to see them leave, they are giving the characters the farewells they deserve.

Now, we wait for the Next Generation.

<SPOILER>
As the title says, there is no post credit scene. I spent a good chunk of the movie trying to figure out where the next movie (even if not starring Hugh Jackman) would come into play? Would X-23 assume the mantle and have a movie of her own? Do we see the potential of the New Mutants? When the screen remained blank, I felt cheated. It took me time to process this, but overall, I’m content that there is no continuance. Fox set out to say farewell to the characters and the moment I realized they were gone, I came to grips with what type of story this was. No “to be continued,” simply a story of a man’s last actions.

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Boskone 54 – Sci-Fi & Fantasy at Boston’s Seaport

I had the opportunity to work at Boskone 54 as both a vendor and a panelist. I sat on some amazing panels and met some pretty spiffy folks. The event, overall, it was amazing. The people in attendance were voracious readers looking for new material to consume. I talked more about science fiction than I had in my entire life. I recommended books, sold some of my own, and had a chance to make some new friends with both readers and other vendors.

I was so incredibly nervous attending, but familiar faces through the New England Horror Writer’s made it bearable. I have to give a special shout out to Cat & Barry for making sure I had food and bathroom breaks. Trisha was kind enough to cover my table while I spoke on a panel and Suzanne talked geek with me while bringing me chocolate. I’m still constantly amazed with how wonderful this tribe of writers in the Northeast can be. I’m thrilled to have met them.

While at Boskone I also got interviewed by Max Bowen and Matt Zappa from Citywide Blackout of WEMF Radio. They were a riot to talk to and did a great job loosening me up while we shot the shit. We talked superheroes, zombies and where they intersect. If you want to check it out, you can listen over on Citywide’s Blog.

 In other good news, Nighthawks is currently in the process of being turned into an audio book. I’m thrilled and a slight be terrified. While that is being done behind the scenes I’m still in the middle of writing Morning Sun and on track to have it available come May. I’ll have even more good news coming in the next few weeks, but I wanted to share what I could now. Thanks for the support everybody, this wild and crazy ride is still going strong!

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Boskone 54 – Jeremy Flagg’s Schedule & Panels

DO YOU LOVE SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY?

Join me at Boskone, the longest-running science fiction convention in New England! Join more than 1,000 fans and professions for a weekend filled with panels, readings, kids activities, demonstrations, small-group discussions, filksinging, videos, games and more. I’ll be there selling books in the vendor area along with David Price. This will be the first time people can get Night Shadows signed! I’ll also be participating in a bunch of panels! Stop by and say hi!

Author Jeremy Flagg’s Boskone Schedule

Nontraditional Magazines
Friday 20:00 – 21:00, Marina 2 (Westin)

If print is dead, then printed magazines are. But, at least in our genres, they’re going strong as online magazine and perhaps we should include blogs and both audio and video podcasts. What is the future of the magazine online and in any mutation or combination? And what does this mean for the journalist/writer?

Panel: Jeremy Flagg (M), Robert B. Finegold M.D., Julie C. Day, Ken Altabef, Neil Clarke


The Perfect Teenage Hero
Saturday 11:00 – 12:00, Harbor III (Westin)

Teenage heroes are not just relatively younger adults. They are people who step up to save the world — perhaps because of their youthful enthusiasm, not-yet-dimmed idealism, and unique perspectives. What does it take for a young Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, or Katniss Everdeen to emerge? What experiences change them? To what extent are they just pieces in older players’ games? Can they really do it on their own?

Panel: Ken Altabef (M), Jeremy Flagg, Tamora Pierce, Lauren Roy, Erin M. Hartshorn


Autographing
Saturday 15:00 – 16:00, Galleria (Westin)
Jeremy Flagg, James Patrick Kelly, Jo Walton, C. S. E. Cooney


New England: The Legend, The Lore, The Mystery
Saturday 17:00 – 18:00, Marina 3 (Westin)

New England is often a setting in speculative fiction. What is it about this place that makes it so full of wonder … and dread? It’s a magical location beyond the page or screen. Let’s talk about the real mysteries, legends, lore, and supernatural goings-on here in New England.

Panel: Peter Muise (M), Theodora Goss, John Langan, Jeremy Flagg, F. Brett Cox


Boskone Book Party
Saturday 18:30 – 19:30, Galleria – Stage (Westin)

Join us for Boskone’s Book Party! See what’s just out from authors you love, and discover new favorites. The book party will include E. C. Ambrose ( Elaine Isaak ), Kristin Janz, Milton Davis, Ian Randal Strock, Cerece Rennie Murphy, Jeremy Flagg, LJ Cohen, Christine Taylor-Butler, Brenda Noiseux (M), Erin Underwood (M), E. C. Ambrose, Kristin Janz, Milton Davis, Ian Randal Strock, Cerece Rennie Murphy, Jeremy Flagg, LJ Cohen, Christine Taylor-Butler, Neil Clarke, Carlos Hernandez, Hillary Monahan, Grady Hendrix and more!


Reading by Jeremy Flagg
Sunday 10:00 – 10:30, Independence (Westin)


The _Sense8_ Sensation
Sunday 13:00 – 14:00, Marina 4 (Westin)

It’s shot on locations worldwide and produced by the creators of The Matrix and Babylon 5, yet this Netflix TV original has largely flown under the radar. (Still, season 2 starts in March.) Panelists examine the intricate storytelling and dizzyingly diverse connections of this sens8tionally groundbreaking SF show. From gender, race, and religion to the struggle of coming to terms with one’s identity, Sense8 treats its subjects in ways network television would never touch. SPOILERS ABOUND for nonviewers, but why not sneak a peek anyway?

Darlene Marshall (M), Lauren Roy, Gillian Daniels, Rob Greene, Jeremy Flagg

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