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Bill McSciFi's Blog

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Say it with McPride

Newsletter Posted on Tue, June 15, 2021 06:30:09

Welcome and good morning. Well, it’s morning in Chicago. God only knows what time it is near you. I say that without trying to sound all high and mighty. Last week a person in Mongolia signed up for this newsletter. How they found me is a mystery, but, thanks to Google, I now know there’s a thirteen hour time difference between us. For them, and anyone else who may think they might have missed a newsletter, or just wish to crawl through the wasteland of my mind, CLICK HERE for my blog. It contains a copy of every newsletter I’ve ever written.

As you may, or may not, be aware, we are smack dab in the middle of Pride Month. In my work with Hadithi Sambamba diversity has always been front and center. From the very first issue of Legends Parallel to the ongoing madcap multiverse that is Hybrid Zero, every project, no matter how big or small, has represented characters from all walks of life.

Here’s why that matters.

About a year after Svarozic came out I was working a con in northwest Illinois. The audience skewed much younger than was good for me, so I’d resigned myself to watching cute kids do cute cosplays and maybe eating some pizza. Then a woman showed up at my booth. She’d driven over an hour to meet me and buy Svarozic. Fun fact, you could, and can, buy it for $2.00 online plus shipping and still get it autographed. Nevertheless, she was there, I had copies, so I sold her one, autographed it, and chatted for a bit. It seems her daughter had recently come out as trans and she wanted to show her she was represented too, and not just as a token background character.

Two weeks later I got an email addressed to Mr. McSciFi. I opened it and it was from the nice woman’s daughter. And, like all conversations with teenage girls, eye rolls and OMGs were easily noted. But, she also noted how much she loved the story, how cool it was to feel as though she had a spot in the world, and how she was looking forward to more. And, as I noted two weeks ago, we are finally in negotiations to make that happen.


More below.

Bill McSciFi

Once again I find that I have a story in the Autumn Issue of Sci-Fi Lampoon. This is my third story they’ve snagged. My humble contribution is called Fun Time at the Apocalypse a Go-Go. It’s a first person horror comedy based on a serial killer living in the land of Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica. Of course, I didn’t use those names. I have this aversion to being sued into oblivion. If you click that link you’ll be gifted with the dulcet tones that emanate from my mouth hole reading a snippet. You’ll also be gifted with some amazing pandemic hair. Not to worry, I did eventually buy a comb so now I can pretend to be adulting.

One thing I feel should be mentioned; this story has naughty words, graphic violence, and uses a cheese grater in ways you might not have considered. Proceed at your own risk.

The winter issue of Sci-Fi Lampoon has hit the streets as well. I guess they’re just clearing the decks so they can prep for the holiday season. Those Turduckens aren’t going to debone and stuff themselves.

I think that’s enough fun for one day.

Bill McSciFi

McSciFi in the McMagazine!

Newsletter Posted on Tue, June 08, 2021 07:42:02

Last week, due to a hiccup in the space/time continuum, last week’s e-blast got marked as SPAM and sent to everyone’s naughty folder. I do know that some companies, and colleges, have strict rules when it comes to emails and my little missive ends up in their spam folder every week. Yet, bless their souls, they keep digging them out and tagging along.

This was different. One hundred percent of my emails got marked, and I came thisclose to being banned from emailing ever again.

I’m working with all the governing parties to keep that from happening again and we have made great progress.

Anyway, if you want to read last week’s blast just click the above link and enjoy. It’s all about the three new comics I have in the pipeline. All three titles, Bob: Sins of the Son, Pestilent, and the full length version of Svarozic, will all be out this year on Hadithi Sambamba Comix.

This week I wanted to talk about something different. As some of you may know, and the rest are about to find out, I’m the assistant editor for ICC Magazine. The magazine is geared towards showcasing indie creators from many disciplines. It has featured scifi writers, comic book creators, cosplay specialists, and many more. It is the most library friendly thing I’ve ever worked on. Any library with kids interested in creating pop culture would benefit by having copies of it around. I know the library near me treasures theirs.

With that in mind I’d like to offer you, yes you and only you, the opportunity to get involved. All you need to do is CLICK HERE to advertise in the magazine itself, online, or both. ICC Magazine is a slick quarterly magazine that’s printed on glossy paper and is eye popping to look at. If you have any questions the previous link is your path to enlightenment.

Here’s a list of upcoming issues for you to consider.

Summer 2021 – July, ICC Magazine #15
Kid’s Comics, Movie Month, Free Comic Book Day

Fall 2021 – October, ICC Magazine #16
Halloween and Horror, Do-It-Yourself: How-To Make Comics Guides, Graphic Novels, Back to School!

Winter 2022 – January, ICC Magazine #17
Indie Comics Holiday Gift Guide, ICC Magazine “Big Toy Chest”

ICC Magazine also produces a Holiday Gift Guide where you can get your books or comics listed for free.

Until next week, stay safe, sane, and inside.

See You in the McFunny Pages

Newsletter Posted on Tue, June 01, 2021 09:58:23

Due to the pandemic eliminating personal appearances at conventions, some things had to take a back seat. Our comic distribution agreement went belly up on the carpet and we had no viable venues to sell in anymore. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but prospects weren’t looking all that good.

But, as they say, when one door closes, open a damn window. Hadithi Sambamba Comix partnered with a couple other indies, helped assemble a list of over three hundred stores that sell indie comics, and then we met, virtually, to discuss the best method of rolling things out.

After some back and forth, we came up with a solid plan. Hadithi’s owner, Brian “Bigger Lion” Daniel has made arrangements to appear at multiple pop-ups to sell off back inventory and start ordering re-branded comics with the new, exclusive, Hadithi logo.

Plus, and this is the truly exciting part, we, once again, have new comics in the pipeline.

First up will be Bob: Sins of the Son. The story of the son of Death who wants to be a superhero in Chicago. Unlike my usual fare, this is aimed firmly at teens. So, money changed hands, concept art got approved, and this bad boy is on it’s way. Look for it around the end of summer.

Next up is Pestilent. This is more in my wheelhouse. The story is about a distant future where Earth has been abandoned and humans search the galaxy for aliens to eat since alien essences prolong human life. It’s a dirty, wild, head trip. Warren Belfield, the editor, made a note at one point that sums this up nicely; “Honestly I think the anal sex joke later in the story is much stronger than this one. I’d maybe skip it here or come up with a different act to cause the private to blush in order to not steal any thunder from that one. As a secondary note, I’m not sure I thought I’d ever write the preceding sentence.

Plus, negotiations have already begun to bring Svarozic to life as a full length comic. The story of a woman trapped inside a man and a god trapped inside a human gave people their first, true, transgender superhero. We’re letting people read it FOR FREE ONLINE in the hope of getting as many people as possible familiar with the character.

Not to worry, the cult phenomena Legends Parallel and Hybrid Zero will be adding to their, Rated “M” for Mature, multiverses as well.

After the disaster known as 2020, it’s good to see things moving in a positive direction.

That seems to be enough for today. Until next week, stay safe, sane, and inside. Oh, and wear a mask.

Getting McSocial

Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 25, 2021 11:01:50

Today’s just gonna be chill. There’s stuff percolating behind the scenes but none of it is ready to be shared. Even so, there’s fun to be had. And, oddly, all of it relates to our Armed Forces. So, that’s new.

If you scroll to the bottom of this newsletter, you will be greeted by a series of pretty icons. Each is a link to one of my social media sites. In the middle is a brand new link to TikTok. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be twerking or anything like that. But, the nice people at TikTok have made it easier for authors to connect with their audiences. My page is only a couple of days old but I’m hard at work creating content that will be used to target SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY to the United States Military. Fully a third of the book revolves around Splice’s tour as a U.S. Marine. And, while the sample size isn’t the largest I’ve seen, vets and active troops really seem to like the book.

SPLICE is a non-stop thrill ride, taking the reader on an edge-of-your-seat experience through the military and organized crime worlds. Bill McCormick absolutely captures the senses of the military and combat from sight to sound to smell and leaves you only wanting more at the turn of every page. This book gets it right and keeps it coming!

Josh Grenard
Former Infantry Captain/Combat Veteran
U.S. Army

As those who follow closely know, I put a lot of research into my books. I talk to those who know what they’re talking about so I can sound like I do too. I don’t. I’m more like a cool parrot that can type, but it gets me where I need to be.

Many years ago, when I was first starting to assemble what would become The Brittle Riders I interviewed several people in the military. Former combat nurses gave me the best insights into the ravages of war. However, one man, a Brigadier General with the U.S.M.C., was kind enough to let me buy him drinks while he discussed common, and not so common, battle strategies. I gave him the technical abilities of my creatures and he gave me reams of information on how they could engage in combat. Of course, this was years before the book came out so he’d never read it.

Until now.

A couple days ago I got a brief email from him reminding me he was still active duty so I can’t use his name in advertising or promotion. Nevertheless, he’d just finished reading The Brittle Riders and had this to say about that.

So, if I get this, you’ve got lesbians, poly amorists, Muslims, sorry Muslim cows, giant Christian cockroaches, and so on, fighting for the betterment of all who live? I’ll never admit this publicly, but I’m glad we’ve got a president who thinks you’ve got the right idea. Great story, kept me buried in it, and I just ordered hard copies for the den. Some day you can sign them. You’re a strange guppy, but you do write like a pro. Semper Fi crazy stranger.

So, another satisfied customer.

That seems to be enough for today. Until next week, stay safe, sane, and inside. Oh, and wear a mask.

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Cool McNew Stuff Coming

Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 18, 2021 06:00:33
First off, I want to thank everyone who took part in C. L. Cannon’s Bookfest. For my part I had a lot of fun, met some great new people, and expanded my To Be Read list exponentially.

They say that life is a marathon, not a sprint. They say good things come to those who wait. They say lots of stuff. None of it’s pertinent here today.

Last year, after we got all our ducks in a row and got SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY released, the nice people at ©Watch Dog Entertainment™LLC asked me to create an audio book. That’s where the fun began.

Just for the record, I have produced audio and video at the professional level. So, ability issues were not the problem. Nope, the problem is that my apartment has reflective surfaces everywhere. I sounded like I was in an echo chamber.

Not appealing.

Finally, after several local studios couldn’t fit me in, Stan Skora from Black Parrot Music offered to record me. The only problem was scheduling. His Illinois studio is a forty-five minute drive and I don’t have a car. Or a driver’s license. So we worked it out that my fiancée would drive me. This meant we could only record on weekends since she has a job.

It’s even one she wants to keep. Nice people, good company, plenty of room for advancement, and so on. She’s not going to throw that away so I could sit in a small room and listen to the sound of my voice.

Simply put, it was slow going, but it progressed. However, as time went on my injured knee kept getting worse, as in standing for more than five minutes was painful, and my doctors couldn’t schedule “elective” surgery due to the pandemic. Toss in lost weeks due to each of us getting exposed to COVID-19, end of the year holidays, and me finally getting put under the knife, things crawled to a stop.

Post surgery I, stupidly, thought I could be back at full strength in a few days. However, when they used the phrase “here are the bone fragments we found floating in your leg” I really should have known better. It took four weeks for me to be strong enough to enter physical therapy. By then Stan was getting ready to return to his home in Melbourne. That would be too much of a commute from Chicago.

We ran some options through our squishy brains and came up with a solution. Essentially a way for me to have a home studio and not sound like the voice in a 1950s horror movie ad. Now, having completed physical therapy, as in I can stand and walk up and down stairs – not run a marathon, we are finally back in business.

In other words, this a long-winded way of saying you’re going to get an audio book of SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY later this year. Since this is a whole new process for me I don’t want to put a hard time-line on things, but please know this bad boy is getting made.

One thing I have learned from this whole ordeal is that I’ll never do something like this again. People who do this professionally will happily take my money and I’m more than willing to give it to them. Heck, if something like this darkens my doorstep again I’ll even be a little anxious to do so.

I think that’s enough for one day. I’ll be back with more good news next week. Until then, stay safe, sane, and inside.

McFun on the Interwebs

Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 11, 2021 07:59:31
Greetings and salutations. As some of you may have heard Kim, my fiancée, and I were in a nasty car wreck Sunday. While neither car was drivable, no one was injured. We’re taking that as a win and are now beginning the joyful process of dealing with insurance companies.

Last Friday I plopped on to the internet to be interviewed by Jude Matulich-Hall for her show Titles, Talk, and Tipples. Read that carefully. I screwed it up the first time I saw it. Fortunately Jude has a sense of humor. We ended up doing two interviews.

The first one focused on my novels. We took a look at each release separately so that viewers would have a basic idea of what each title was about. The second focused on comics, supporting human rights, and a little bit about my life.

The fun part about the interview was the Tipples portion. Jude makes it a point to drink what her guest drinks. So, there we sat, two time zones apart, day drinking vodka on the rocks.

More below.

Don’t forget, this is the last week you can enter C. L. Cannon’s Sci-Fi and Fantasy Bookfair.

If you’re a fan of either genre, and I assume you are since you’re reading this newsletter, this is a great way to get your hands on a gift cards, books, and more. It only runs until the fourteenth and then it’s gone. So click that link and join the fun.

Just as a selfish aside, over one hundred people decided to sign up for this newsletter above and beyond participating in the Bookbub promotion. It’s that kind of stuff that warms the cockles of my heart.

More below.

Goptri of the Mists: Kitaab Ek is now out in paperback. Just CLICK HERE to get your hands on a copy. If you want to know about the Goptri’s universe, before busting out your credit card, I created a fun video to help you immerse your mind in its awesomeness.

This world is our world and not. It is our future, and not. When multiple nuclear missiles can rightly be used as an example of subtle persuasion it becomes a testament to the deep, and twisted, humor that permeates this series. The fact that a gay wedding is the capstone for a bloody revolution is a perfect example of how dichotomies constantly intertwine to tie every story thread together. All in all, this is world building, and story telling, at its finest.

Sarah Z. Gallagher, PHD

More below.

SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY continues to wow new fans every week. If you’re not sure if SPLICE s for you, click here to watch a brief video which lays out the basic plot.

All you need to do is CLICK HERE for all your purchase options. Or, if that special someone has a special day coming up, you can CLICK HERE to get an autographed copy. I recently restocked my shelves, so you’re good to go.

SPLICE is a non-stop thrill ride, taking the reader on an edge-of-your-seat experience through the military and organized crime worlds. Bill McCormick absolutely captures the senses of the military and combat from sight to sound to smell and leaves you only wanting more at the turn of every page. This book gets it right and keeps it coming!

Josh Grenard
Former Infantry Captain/Combat Veteran
U.S. Army

I think that’s enough for now. Until next week, stay safe, sane, and inside.

Lots of Pretty McColors

Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 04, 2021 08:14:54
“It’s got lesbians and math? I’m in!” – Sheila K.

The, summer of 2016, launch of Legends Parallel was not a smooth one. No one’s fault, we were just new at this and learning as we went. But, as the initial year rolled on people began discovering, and liking, it. By the second, we were being invited to conventions and getting introduced to new fans. The above quote was courtesy of Fantasy Con 2018 and it was squealed loud enough that it attracted more customers.

2020 saw the release of a full Trade Papaeback with a custom photo shoot featuring Phystee Nicole Brown. One hundred ages of coo-coo coolness, pages dedicated to new merchandise, and critical acclaim arriving daily.

There is much to ponder here in terms of thought-provoking issues of race, sexuality, culture and society’s attitudes to history and relationships. You want anthropological context and sociological commentary? This has jugs of it.Sci Fi Comic Nexus

While I was toiling in that multiverse I got tagged to work in another. Cyril Brown’s Hybrid Zero had been around almost a decade but he wanted a new voice, and that was me. The timing was perfect. Legends Parallel had just signed a distribution deal with Nerdanatix and they were aggressively recruiting new titles.

We brought the title into the fold of Hadithi Sambamba and began repackaging everything for physical distribution. Within six months we, literally, had people shoving others out of the way at cons to get their copies. While none of us are prescient, the debut title, Juggernaut, nicely summed up what we’d created.

As time went on the Hybrid Zero multiverse continued to expand. While Juggernaut remains the flagship, Jungle Grrl and Cassandra and the Changeling Sword are bringing new fans every day.

Brown’s art is an unrestrained explosion of Expressionist fervour, portraying hyper-expansive worldbuilding and surreal sensuality. He also created the characters and conceived the original story, so this is from the heart, and it shows. It’s not all cartoony spectacle, though, he also excels at vast, atmospheric futuristic cityscapes and complex exotic architecture and infrastructures. There is plenty here to delight the eye. Sci Fi Comic Nexus

Above and beyond these behemoths, I have written for a wide variety of titles and have more coming out. All you need to do is CLICK HERE to get all the latest news.

I think that’s enough for now. Until next week, stay safe, sane, and inside.

This is McBoring

Newsletter Posted on Tue, April 27, 2021 10:07:19
This is going to be a low key newsletter. There’s not a lot of hip-hop-happening McSciFi news to share. And, I suppose, that’s not a bad thing. Not all of the universe revolves around me. And it’s not like I’m going to delve into a dissertation about the demise of Dodger Dogs. I mean, sure, they were cool while they lasted, but that company’s been sold more often than bit coin in Nigeria. It wasn’t the same product.

Back on February 20, 2021, my publisher received notice that Goptri of the Mists: Kitaab Ek was available as a paperback. While Azoth Khem isn’t a major publisher, they do allow me to pay my bills. So I started promoting the PROMO VIDEO I’d created. But, and this is always fun, the paperback sat in limbo. No reason was given. No emails were answered. It just sat in the purgatory of Ingram Spark. Until yesterday. We now have confirmation that the paperback is being released, will be made available to brick and mortar stores, and will not carry a demonic possession warning. All good things.

This Friday I will be recording an interview with Jude Matulich-Hall for her show Titles, Talk, and Tipples which I read as Titties, Talk, and Tipples when I first got the invite and I was terribly excited. Oh well. I’m still allowed to teach Sunday School. So the important things are still in place. Once the show has been edited, most likely to remove all my F-bombs, I will share a link to the finished product.

Recently I was interviewed by Anastasia Washington and Jenna Busch for the Spring 2021 edition of The BookFest. If you click the link you’ll be transported to a whimsical land of merriment and joy. Not too much merriment and joy, however, as we all wore pants.

You know what? I think that’s enough. Next week I’ll have links to all the cool new stuff you can buy. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that you can buy AUTOGRAPHED STUFF when you click that link. Nor do I have to bring up the fact you can buy COOL GEAR if you click this link. You’ve been here long enough to know all that.

Until next week, stay safe, sane, and inside.

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