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Bill McSciFi's Blog

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Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 21, 2024 07:44:47

Did you ever let rip a fart that was louder than two Harleys with bad timing belts trapped in an echo chamber? Whose fumes were so noxious as to be joyous? Yeah, well, apparently my wife, she who is the light of my life, the spark to all that is joy, the beauty which trancends the ethereal, is less than thrilled with my emanations. Oh well, you can’t pleae everyone.

When I was first shopping The Brittle Riders to film production companies one producer told me “If it’s a good enough project we’ll find the fucking money.” That is, somewhat, true. But, getting a film produced isn’t a linear thing. It isn’t “Bob likes it” and then “Bob cuts a check.” There are lots of Bobs who need to sign off on a project before it sees the light of day. That being said, yesterday, for the second time since I’ve been doing this, a company requested the Tone Reel and Pitch Book, and I included a script bible, as well as a link to reviews (the very first link in this newsletter).

The shopping process is pretty standardized. First are the initial readers. They are given purposely vague restrictions to limit submissions. That’s so the production companies don’t miss out on a script they’ll love but also to eliminate obvious misfits. If they’re looking for an apocalyptic action film, they’re not going to want to read a cool LGBTQ+ romance. Or vice versa. Someone will, but not them. So, thus doth the winnowing begin. Then it goes to a layer of professionals who aren’t producers, but are trusted aides, industry professionals, and assistants. This is where 90% of all rejections happen. Then, if it still has a heartbeat, it goes to the people who make ideas into movies. This is where I’m at. They are now attempting to justify the budget. The method for doing that is shrouded in mists and held in secrecy by the financing monks. All I can do is hope, pray, and dance naked in the moonlight in a public parking lot.

Back in the day I looked good naked. Today is not that day.

Now, I promised you free stuff. I did not lie. There’s no trick, you can keep your nudes, I just need your attention.

For a free PDF copy of The Brittle Riders: Book One, just click the link and make your literary life a joy.

This is a great way for Azoth Khem to lure innocents into their apocalyptic web. A lot of people are wondering what the hype is about. That’s a fair question. This is a way for them to join our cult of cool humans for free. You want to be a cool human, don’t you?

Also today, a company rejected Legends Parallel for not being boring enough. That sounds petty, but I saw the projects they picked and every single one was formulaic crap. They may do well, and I wish them no ill, but the production companies should have clarified they were looking for stuff that had already been made.

Think any Bruce Willis film that doesn’t star Bruce Willis.

Also, in the “Not boring” category, my short Twerking for Jesus is being released in NECRONOMI-ROMCOM Vol. 2. The dark edition. You expected nothing less from me, I hope. It’s the fun story of a grandma with a twitchy ass who kicks off the apocalypse. As grandmas are wont to do.

Okay, you’ve been tortured enough. Thanks for reading along and I’ll see you next week.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


McSCIFI LAND! YAY!

Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 14, 2024 08:45:56

As a writer I feel I’m more of a commentator on the world we live in than a dystopian fantasist. Because, really, how can I get any weirder than our former president who just praised the late, great, Hannibal Lecter. The problem here is threefold; (1) Hannibal Lecter isn’t real, (2) Anthony Hopkins, the actor who portrayed him, is alive, and (3) eating people is wrong. Or, at least, it used to be.

Moving on, I had a blast at the Flossmoor Public LIbrary Author Fest. I did a reading from Book III of The Brittle Riders and was incredibly well received. The scene involves a character who no longer wants to celebrate war. He’s been in battles, carried dead friends off the field, and wants to put it all behind him. He’s kept all of this inside him for years. Finally, at his wife’s behest, he lets it all out. At the end she says, “You deserve a better wife than me.” That line got an audible gasp from the crowd. That’s all an author can ask.

People were interested in the stuff that doesn’t really get any pub in my newsletters. That’s on me. I’ve been hyper focused on the cinematic stuff. Which is cool, but there’s other stuff that’s worth your coin.

Stuff About Things is one such book. As Azoth Khem Publishing notes, “The squishy brain of Bill “McSciFi” McCormick has been responsible for many words. Some of them coherent. What you are looking at is a compendium of short stories, fun looks at history, and the greatest rejection letter ever penned. It was so great it started his career.” My wife calls it the “Gateway drug to McSciFi.” This book was difficult to get out. Every time we’d assemble something I would sell one of the stories. I know, I know, first world problems. Still and all, it’s a great collection and I am deeply proud of it. And, since much of it was written with radio in mind, back when I was a guest on The Big Wakeup Call, it’s family friendly.

Alokia: The Kaiju Hunter. She is the last of her kind. Any hope of aid is long buried. Those she thought allies had betrayed her and it seemed the galaxy was hunting her to finish the job. But, thanks to the help of a drunken monkey king, hope may yet dawn over the distant horizon. I wrote this specifically for tweens. And, by golly, they do seem to love it when they discover it. It also is a great read for any kaiju fans in the audience.

Bob: Sins of the Son. Sure, your dad is Death and your mom was some twisted chick who had a thing for death, literally, and your sister is one of those peeps who likes rules. Does any of that mean you get to be a superhero? Or kill anyone who pisses you off? Maybe it does. And maybe it should. The sins of this son are the stuff of legend. This is solidly in the teen camp when it comes to readers. It has a couple of naughty words, and some themes might elude younger readers, but it’s a great story with amazing film noir styled art.

Once again, I apologize for sending out the faux Asian mess of a newsletter last Tuesday. Even my Asian fans were baffled by it. One likened it to reading soup. Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi



McUpdates and McLanguage Warnings

Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 07, 2024 19:25:46

Warning! This newsletter contains some naughty words.

Two weeks ago I shared how Marcie’s Marvels was going to be considered for development. That was to include possible streaming versions, new comics, and anything else smart people could conceive. Those discussions happened. The good news is that all involved love the project. The combination of philanthropy, empathy, and a great story make an enticing package. That said, there are only two issues of the series available. You can read them for free via the previous link. So, we’re all working on developing the story, adding some heft to the package, and trying to create the most marketable version we can. I have to admit, having people not named me pulling some weight is refreshing. 

In other comic news, the nice people, and they really are nice, over at Hadithi Sambamba Comix are upping their game and adding some new titles. That includes adding new issues of Legends Parallel, the granddaddy of them all. Speaking of Legends Parallel, a film script created for it has been accepted by four production companies for consideration. That DOES NOT mean people are cutting checks. But it does mean they’re not adverse to doing so.

Baby steps.

I should note that our West Coast distribution partner, Nerdantix is adding card games featuring characters from indie titles, like Legends Parallel, that you can play, guilt free, at home. That’s right, you can pretend to be Phystee Nicole Brown cosplaying as Oshun without being layered in guilt by your family.

You know you want to.

Speaking of film scripts, based on critiques received on The Brittle Riders pilot script that has been reviewed by multiple production companies we’ve, a/ka/ I’ve, been making some changes. A basic overview gives us this; (1) the story rocks, (2) the characters are fascinating, & (3) what the hell are you smoking? But it also gave us this, (1) the script is a gloss of the book and should provide more, & (2) it’s kind of mainstream, which the books are not.

Valid criticisms all.

So, thanks to the internet and tequla, I dove under the hood and tried to make this better.

Thanks to the gods of Agave, google it, it seems I did.

Here are the comments from beta readers who have finished The Brittle Riders Begins (film script).

** I want to see this.????
** Motherfucking make this thing!!!!!!!??
** oh my fucking god (I think that was a compliment)
** I want this to haunt my dreams ??????
** … and, when this gets made, I’m taking the entire office to opening night and telling them I know this motherfucker!

They also pointed out a typo, a possible logical inconsistency, corrected by fixing lazy grammar, and gave suggestions to enhance a couple of scenes.

The reviews are still coming in, but I’m finding them helpful and flattering.

So, where does this leave us? In a better place than 99% of the people who yell on the interwebs. That stipulated, no one has pulled the trigger. My wife is not laden with pearls, nor has she been forced to clog the faucet dripping gold. Nevertheless, every day brings us closer to pulling that trigger, unclogging that faucet, and making something happen.

Stay safe, sane, and out of jail.

I set the bar low.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


Wish us Some McLuck

Newsletter Posted on Tue, April 16, 2024 08:03:16

Tomorrow morning, while you’re having waffles or tequila, you do you, Elizabeth Gerald, the creator of Marcie’s Marvels, will be on a plane headed to meet investors who want to take Marcie’s Marvels to a larger audience. That audience could include a streaming service. This series has been a passion project for me. I had a messed up childhood. I was a pack a day smoker by the time I was twelve. As a bisexual kid in a strict Irish Catholic family, repressed doesn’t begin to describe it. While nothing I experienced comes close to the horrors Marcie faced, and ultimately succumbed to, I still feel the need to keep other kids out of harm’s way. And Marcie’s Marvels is a good way to get the message out. Help is out there.

Marcie is a super powered teen who fights the exploitation and bullying of teens where ever she can. Marcie’s Marvels is based on the life of a young girl named Marcie who killed herself after suffering endless bullying. Her mother decided to use her daughter’s tragedy to provide hope to others. With that in mind she started the MJG Movement as a Children’s Advocacy organization dedicated to serving as a resource for children and families that are victims of sexual abuse and suicide.

CLICK HERE to read issue #1 and CLICK HERE to read issue #2.

In other comics related news, if you know any teens you can impress them by getting them Bob: Sins of the Son. It’s out and getting some love. For those of you who haven’t read Bob: Sins of the Son yet, I feel sorry for you. Here’s what Thomas Ryan, owner of Vivid Panel Comics, had to say.

Reading this comic feels like turning pages in Bill’s mind; Images barely coming together but supported by one of the best indie stories I’ve read this year.

The combination makes it IMPOSSIBLE to put down. It has an outstanding premise, keeps you guessing, and although the ending is satisfying, it leaves a little nagging bit of curiosity about the cast and the world the story takes place in.

It’s execution is play book, but its perspective was one I cannot recall seeing before. Bill should be proud. He put a great title into the world.

This is probably the only comic you’ll ever read that has a re-imagined Pater Noster (Lord’s Prayer) and a protagonist who is the son of Death with a disapproving father and a judgmental sister. Where did Death’s kids come from? That’s actually the least interesting thing you’ll learn in the book.

You can get a copy of your very own when you CLICK HERE.

Finally, for tweens on up, ALOKIA THE KAIJU HUNTER is out and finding fans. Alokia is the last of her kind. Any hope of aid is long buried. Those she thought allies had betrayed her and it seemed the galaxy was hunting her to finish the job. But, thanks to the help of a drunken monkey king, hope may yet dawn over the distant horizon.

Get all the copies you want when you CLICK HERE

You continue to be a wonderful audience. Until next time, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


Welcome McOne and All

Newsletter Posted on Tue, April 02, 2024 07:27:19

I hope you had a Happy Easter, Holi, or other holiday. It was a busy week on the holiday front. Since I seem to have started collecting new people – hello shiny people who have that new subscriber smell – I thought I’d cover some old ground, clarify what is happening where, and be the friendly, low stress, McSciFi I keep claiming I am.

Last week I got a rejection from an OWA (Open Writing Assignment) submission I’d made of my script, The Brittle Riders. No biggie, it’s not for everyone. However, this time, the author of the rejection letter went out of their way to praise the story and the script itself. They edited the usual list of reasons for rejection down to budget, number of scenes, and complexity. Those are all valid issues. I knew that when I wrote it and I know those are going to be tough hurdles to clear.

Even so, it is my firm belief that there exists a production company, or maverick individual, with more money than sense, whose sole consideration will be, “Is this a good story?”

I think, hope anyway, that having another script I wrote, which is now in pre-production and looking to finish financing by summer (details when funding is finished), may generate some interest in my other efforts.

We shall see what we shall see.

With that being said, let’s start with The Brittle Riders. For you newbies, I’ll try and explain what it is and why you should care.

Edward Q. Rohta was a scientist who created multiple species of slave labor. Furious at being persistently abused, they revolted. After the death of every man, woman, and child on the planet, things got a little weird.

This is the story of what happens if Frankenstein’s monsters rule the earth. Apocalypses are funny that way.

Simply put, I tried to write a novella, ended up writing a trilogy and, while not an international best seller, it has garnered fans from around the globe. The “Frankenstein” quote is from a Chinese national living in London.

Of course, in other opinions, I also got a rejection letter informing me that The Brittle Riders was not a good fit for animation.

Moving on.

The first real project I ever got tasked with, Legends Parallel, has been requested, by people with money and smarts, to be a script for submission. The basic idea is simple. It’s high concept, but will cost less than The Brittle Riders. Not to be a Negative Nelly, but there are those who think that TBR could cost more than Dune. Based on real world evaluations by people who make movies, as opposed to those who choose what to make, that evaluation may be a tad exaggerated.

But, to get to the realists, I must first entice the rest.

Which brings us to Legends Parallel.

Just in case quantum physics wasn’t violent, or sexy, enough for you.

LEGENDS PARALLEL is a, single story, comic book which will span twelve issues.

It tells the tale of five Earths, each very different from the others, and the one woman who wants to control them all.

A man, his mom, and her lover have to save these worlds. No one said this shit would be easy

Legends Parallel has had an interesting history. Long story short, I was going through a rough time. Think mixing couch surfing with sleeping behind dumpsters. Suddenly, my writing was making me money. Brian “Bigger Lion” Daniel, the owner of Hadithi Sambamba Comix took me in, gave me a safe haven, and supported me as my interpretation of his crazy idea of a superhero working in a multiverse began to garner fans and grow. He’s also responsible for me meeting my wife, albeit unintentionally, but that’s why he was the best man at our wedding.

Add in the fun of Phystee Nicole Brown (pronounced fai-stee), see below, embracing her body modeling of the character Oshun, and suddenly humans were paying attention.

Now distributed by Nerdanatix, west coast, and Vivid Panel, east coast and multiple conventions, Legends Parallel is organically winning fans.

Due to its use of Hugh Everett, III’s theory of the multiverse, there are even colleges using it as a primer for freshmen.

As one professor said, “It’s got tits, math, and violence. It’s the perfect gateway drug to physics.”

Far be it from me to disagree with her.

Marcie’s Marviels, the only true teen friendly book I have out, has been getting interest from several production companies. I was hired to write this so all I can do is support it. And, I can do that happily.

Marcie is a super powered teen who fights the exploitation and bullying of teens where ever she can. Marcie’s Marvels is based on the life of a young girl named Marcie who killed herself after suffering endless bullying. Her mother decided to use her daughter’s tragedy to provide hope to others. With that in mind she started the MJG Movement as a Children’s Advocacy organization dedicated to serving as a resource for children and families that are victims of sexual abuse and suicide.

Sometimes you pick up a project because it’s the right thing to do. I am well pleased with Marcie and am looking forward to be involved in more.

You are all wonderful people and I thank you for your continued support. According to one fan, all I need is more nude cosplay selfies based on my work to put me over the top. Since he refuses to send any, I’m thinking his motives may not be pure.

Until next week, stay safe, sane, and occasionally clad.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


A Little Help for my McFriends

Newsletter Posted on Tue, March 19, 2024 07:41:09

Here in Illinois, and a few other states, it’s an election day wherein concerned citizens take the time to vote for their favorite candidate to represent them in the general election. Some people, like me, take advantage of early voting options and avoid the crowds. I am not a fan of crowds.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. I recently appeared at the Kankakee Fantasy Con and had a blast. One guy, pictured below, drove three and a half hours to satisfy his McSciFi jones. His name is Scott, and he’s single ladies. It was a great way to start a con that had been on a four year hiatus. The staff was friendly, the crowd curious, sales were steady, and my mailing list grew.

HI EVERYONE! WELCOME ABOARD!

Now, for the fun stuff. This year the Ringo Awards are allowing anyone to nominate their favorite comics. If you read my suggestions below and wonder why I don’t list Legends Parallel for best series, it’s because Marc Alan Fishman, the guy I’m asking you to vote for, made sure I was aware of this so I could take advantage of this opportunity. Support those who support you is an easy motto for me to live by.

So, please go to Ringo Awards dot Com, before March 31, 2024, and cast a vote in each of the following categories.

Best Cartoonist
Jiba Molei Anderson – The Horsemen

Best Writer
Bill McCormick – Bob: Sins of the Son

Best Letterer
Lex Aleman – Bob: Sins of the Son

Best Continuing or Limited series
The Samurnauts – Marc Alan Fishman

Best Original Graphic Novel
Blooms: Heist on the Magical Girl Vault – Marc Alan Fishman

Best Web Comic
Our Little Universe – Zee Bee

Fans of this newsletter remember Jiba from the amazing work he’s done on The Horsemen these last twenty years and have cheered his success at getting his story picked up by, animation legends, Roc Bottom Studios. Marc’s books are family friendly. He’s the father of seventeen kids at my last count. Maybe more, maybe less. It doesn’t matter. I can say for sure he has more than two. Zee Bee is my favorite  Jamaican/Panamanian lesbian. And, yes, I have several options in that seemingly niche category. Her “Our Little Universe” series has been exploring Sapphic love for years and has a wonderfully dedicated following. It, like her, is cute as the dickens.

For those of you who haven’t read Bob: Sins of the Son yet, I feel sorry for you. Here’s what Thomas Ryan, owner of Vivid Panel Comics had to say.

Reading this comic feels like turning pages in Bill’s mind; Images barely coming together but supported by one of the best indie stories I’ve read this year.

The combination makes it IMPOSSIBLE to put down. It has an outstanding premise, keeps you guessing, and although the ending is satisfying, it leaves a little nagging bit of curiosity about the cast and the world the story takes place in.

It’s execution is play book, but its perspective was one I cannot recall seeing before. Bill should be proud. He put a great title into the world.

This is probably the only comic you’ll ever read that has a re-imagined Pater Noster (Lord’s Prayer) and a protagonist who is the son of Death with a disapproving father and a judgmental sister. Where did Death’s kids come from? That’s actually the least interesting thing you’ll learn in the book.

Click one of these to get your digital or autographed copy. Of course nothing’s stopping you from getting both.

For those of you who asked about the nice Japanese man and his questions about The Brittle Riders, I can say this much, he has a wicked sense of humor, thinks limits are for idiots, and is trying very hard to wrap his head around the world I created. It seems to both fascinate and repel him simultaneously. He’s not the first one I’ve had that effect on.

Until next week, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


Success isn’t McPie

Newsletter Posted on Tue, March 05, 2024 08:07:53

Before I begin, I need to congratulate my long time friend Jiba Molei Anderson for selling his popular comic The Four Horsemen to the legendary animation company Roc Bottom Studios. The series will be produced by the world renowned production company, Man of Action Studios. Those last two studios are responsible for some of the world’s most famous animated series. Having been a fan of The Four Horsemen for longer than I’ve been writing sci-fi, I am happier for him than I would be for myself.

For the record, none of my stuff is on any of their desks, nor do I think I’d be a good fit. So, this is what it is. Me celebrating a friend’s success.

In related animation news, I had something funny happen concerning The Brittle Riders. Long story short, whenever I submit to a foreign company I always make a note, placed prominently near the top of my submission, that I’ll need a translator. Even if I speak a language to some degree, I’m sure I don’t speak it well enough to understand local legal nuances and so on.

So far, so good.

The other day my phone rang around 3:00 PM, central time. The man on the phone was chatting amiably in Japanese. I do not speak Japanese. However, I heard my name and the name of my book, so I tried to interrupt him and explain Watashi wa nihongo o hanasemasen. Yes, I used Google to get that. Keeping in mind that this nice man was calling at 3:00 AM his time, I was slightly surprised when a woman got on the phone, spoke English better than I, and sorted things out. She started by reading the cover letter I’d sent, which contained the request for a translator, and realized no one had told the nice man that part.

She also realized that a phone call, with her as an intermediary, was not going to be the best way to get anything done. It seems the man – her boss, husband, father? – had questions that would require answers before the next questions could be formed. Instead, we worked out an arrangement wherein they would email me a question, I would answer it as fully as possible, and then we’d move on. I’ll admit it’s tedious, but it’s also kind of fun. At no point has he said “Screw this, let’s do Dragon Ball Z” or anything similar. As long as there’s interest, I will do everything in my power to help.

If you have any questions, you can ask me directly as I’ll be appearing at the Kankakee Fantasy Con. This was one of my favorite cons and I was bummed when COVID killed it. But, they’re back up and running and I’m going to be like a kid in a candy shop. Drop by Saturday, March 9th, from 10 AM until 2 PM and see what all the fuss is about.

Until next time, stay safe and sane. Or, at least, do the best you can.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi



Don’t McDo What I McDid

Newsletter Posted on Tue, February 27, 2024 07:00:00

Last Wednesday I was suffering continuing chest pains coupled with shortness of breath. This had been going on for a couple of weeks. Instead of going to the emergency room like my wife and doctor wanted, I blew it off so my wife could take the car and get her hair done. This made complete sense in my tiny mind. If YOU think I’m an idiot, chat with my wife. It took all her self control not to kill me herself when she figured it out.

Still, to get everyone off my hairy back, I promised to go to the hospital by 8:00 AM Thursday. I figured I’d be in and out and could still make an afternoon teleconference about The Brittle Riders. After all, this was clearly no big deal and I was sure the doctors would call me a hypochondriac and kick my flabby ass to the curb.

That was a minor miscalculation on my part. My wife moved up my admittance time to 5:00 AM to beat the traffic. Within an hour of my arrival I was hooked up to two different types of heart monitors. One for continued observation of my BP and pulse and another for multiple EKGs. These were all deemed important after the first doctor, and this is true, listened to my heart and couldn’t find it. She only heard echoes. It was there, I’m not that odd, but it had slid off axis for a variety of reasons that seemed vitally important to the medical staff at Advocate Trinity Hospital.

Over the course of the day I was given a total of thirty-one tests, including one cognitive. I guess I had that one coming all things considered. By the time my wife went home the doctors were speaking to each other in hushed tones around my bed and then would turn, smile wanly, and tell me everything was going to be fine. I did not believe them.

Also, as to the meeting I’d mentioned, I sent them the below photo of me in the hospital as my excuse for blowing them off. They were very polite, as well as mildly amused, and agreed to try again this week.

Friday morning, after one test got canceled, a nurse interrupted my breakfast by asking if there was anyone I would prefer to read my last rites. Well, if I was going to be wrong about everything at least I was spectacularly wrong.

By Friday afternoon the light at the end of the tunnel was no longer an oncoming train. They thought they’d figured it out and my medications and treatments were changing on the fly. By the time my lovely bride came to visit me I was feeling better, had some color in my skin, and was in a pretty good mood.

Long story short, I have a blood clot in my right calf which is being treated with blood thinners. They figure they will kill the little bastard without requiring surgery. Also, my meds had conspired to kill me by blending together in my kidneys – one of them was not supposed to do that, but what the hell, party on folks! – and releasing toxins that were causing my heart to clutch which caused me to have trouble breathing. Toxins removed, clutching gone, breathing was and is easier. As I write this I am on day three of some minor changes and a using a new way to take my pain meds. Today, I walked down a short flight of stairs without needing a railing for the first time in years. So, yeah, I’m a fan.

Obviously, I need to give a hearty shout out to all the doctors, nurses, techs, and staff at Advocate Trinity Hospital. They had never seen me before, knew nothing about me, but between accessing my medical history and asking pointed questions, every test, every action, became aimed at getting my flabby ass upright and out the door in better shape than it came in. And, if they couldn’t accomplish that, they at least tried to save my tortured soul.

More importantly, I need to thank God for my wife. Without her I have no real reason to live. She’s even the reason I keep writing. I might not under other circumstances. Simply put, this might have all gone horribly wrong without her in my life.

Nevertheless, I’m easing back into the McSciFi stuff so, until next week, don’t be me.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi


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