Blog Image

Bill McSciFi's Blog

Stuff and Nonsense

This is where I'll post updates so the nice folks who host my various author pages can be updated automatically.

Read Free Shit

Return to Site

McRare and McAwesome

Newsletter Posted on Tue, August 22, 2023 07:57:26

If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’m going to start with the McAwesome section of this week’s newsletter. Through a series of fun coincidences, The Brittle Riders has been whipping up some global attention. The big mama-jama comes from Kirkus Reviews. Along with their admonition that readers should “GET IT” they also noted that the book is “Densely packed, SF-tinged high fantasy that mildly satirizes the genre.” Kirkus has been the review standard since 1933, so they have a ton of cache in the market. More importantly, they are the source that libraries and stores look to when they’re buying stock. Plan on seeing Azoth Khem spreading the Gospel of Kirkus far and wide.

Also, this week kicked off the Love Book Tour which features numerous people reading the entire trilogy and then discussing it online. You can read the first review when you click here. If you click, and you really should, you’ll be treated to a fun review from someone who bought in to the whole story and never looked back.


Ever since I did the interview with Smarter Cherry, which initially aired in Calcutta, I have been getting odd, if fun, messages from new fans in India. And, should you be so inclined, you can visit my Indian Amazon page. I wouldn’t order from there. The shipping will bankrupt you.

Anyway, we decided to test the waters and see if we’d stumbled into a legit new market. We started by working with an Indian based company, Readers Judge, to see if there was an appetite for McSciFi. As it turns out, there is. Part of the deal is getting newcomers to read and discuss each book in the trilogy. And, boy are they ever doing that. Reviews have been popping up all over the Internet. If you click here you can read a fun one.

Now, on to the McRare stuff.

©WATCH DOG ENTERTAINMENT®LLC is repositioning SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY in the marketplace. That means the original printing is over. More importantly to you, I have five copies left. If you want one, autographed upon request, just click here and place your order.

Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

Obviously, I hope SPLICE:HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY is back on the market sooner rather than later and finds the audience it so richly deserves. Also, and this is me being selfish, the sequel, C.C. HONEY: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY, is already outlined on my computer. Keep in mind, it’s not my story to tell. ©WATCH DOG ENTERTAINMENT®LLC owns the rights to all the characters. I would get in beaucoup amounts of trouble if I did anything with them. And, I’d rather not have that happen. Everyone at ©WATCH DOG ENTERTAINMENT®LLC has been a pleasure to work with so screwing that relationship up benefits no one.

(SPLICE is) “Brutal and deft, a secret ace up the sleeve for all fans of military thrillers, effortless to read, and fascinating to witness. Highly recommended.”
– Rik Ty

I think that’s enough for one day. Click the links, impress your friends, and stay safe and sane. See you next missive.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

The McLittle Things Are Cool Too

Newsletter Posted on Tue, August 15, 2023 07:00:00

Lately, I’ve been focusing on the big ticket items. And, to be fair, they’re all kind of cool. From the never ending journey to get The Brittle Riders on a screen, big or otherwise, to Hadithi Sambamba Comix getting national distribution with a hard copy kick off at the New York Comic Con, to my inclusion in the upcoming Love Books Tour which kicks off next week, there’s been a bunch of stuff to share.

All that being stipulated, I also write short stories and work on projects you might find interesting.

A little later this month you’ll be able to read my story, Miggy, in The Rabbit Hole Volume 6. While Miggy’s a story about a put-upon serf on an alien world, The Rabbit Hole is neither put-upon nor alien. It’s an internationally renowned series that has been polluting minds and corrupting the morally ambiguous since 2018 and shows no signs of slowing down. The broken minds behind the series include many of the staff from Sci-Fi Lampoon. The fact I’ve appeared in a few of those issues, as well, simply proves what good taste the editors have.

Over in the hall of future stuff (say it with reverb) I have been working as part of a testing team for Notion. It’s a versatile tool that can do many things but, at its core, it’s an Artificial Intelligence (AI) designed specifically to assist writers. Think of it as Grammarly on steroids. I’m not demeaning Grammarly. I use, and like, it. My writing would be a jumbled mess, according to my publisher and others who are smarter than me, without it. But, programs like Notion go far beyond grammar and simple suggestions. It offers alternatives in real time. It works off a wealth of donated writing, like mine, to give authors a wider variety of styles to work with. My job, in short, is to break it. I have and probably will again. But, between my interactions with its creators, and its own algorithms, it learns and doesn’t repeat mistakes. Which is better than any claim I can make about myself.

Also, as I’ve noted here and there, I’m slowly coming out after the pandemic. Well, I was bisexual before the pandemic. I’m not sure how much more I can come out. Nevertheless, in October, date TBA, I’ll be sharing a stage with NPR’s favorite son, Steve Silver, at Live Wire Lounge. Steve’s book, This Might Hurt a Bit is a raw look at a life lived hard. But, it’s also a book full of love for the people who saved him, those who trusted him even when they shouldn’t, and the life he has now. Which, by comparison, is gloriously boring.

We did this back in 2016 when The Brittle Riders was first out. Back then I got to tell the fun story of a Russian bootleg site that sold, approximately, 30,000 digital copies without paying me a dime. And, when I mentioned to someone at their embassy that I fond this behavior irksome, I was informed that my use of LGBTQIA+ people, people of color, and others who have empathy, in my book made me a threat to their social order. I never did find out if they actually issued that warrant for my arrest, but nor do I care. Until the crazy people go home there’s no reason for me to go.

In November I’ll be at Windy Con. I was last there in 2019. It was the first time I met multiple fans who had come to a convention to meet me. I’ve had one or two before, but this was different, and welcomed. Hopefully, as publicity ramps up this September, more complete strangers will mark their calendars and come on out to say hi.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to my nephew, Danat’e. Since the very beginning, he has come out to Motor City Black Age of Comics, he lives near there, and helped his uncle Brian and I man a booth, sell to attendees, and basically be helpful at every turn. He, his sister, mom and step-dad, are always quick to remind me that I’ll never need a hotel room nor go hungry when I’m in Detroit. That’s some love right there, and that’s his pic below.

That’s enough for now. Thanks for sticking around and have a wonderful week.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

All the McBirthdays

Newsletter Posted on Tue, August 08, 2023 09:10:44

My lovely bride celebrated her second birthday as my wife in high style. On Sunday, we went to church, ushered an improvised service, enjoyed a mimosa brunch, and had a relaxing day all around. On Monday we went to Bonefish Grill. This was going to be the beginning of our running errands and so on. Instead, it became a restful respite. We enjoyed two hours or so of doing nothing but eating great food, enjoying great service (THANKS ANDREW!), and wallowing in each other’s company. The errands will get done some other day. This weekend was all for my princess.

Today, in keeping with our theme, would have been my grandmother’s 112th birthday. Like many people who came through the Great Depression, she had difficulty grasping certain concepts. When she and my grandfather bought their home in 1939, it cost $20,000 and they got a thirty year mortgage. So, for around $1,000 a year, they owned a home. That’s what Kim and I pay in monthly rent. Still, she was popular and loved by all who met her. She and my mom spent their final years together in the same nursing home, so that was a comfort to them. My grandparents raised me and that was a task they didn’t need. She and grandpa were planning retirement activities and raising a precocious (I’m being kind to me) child wasn’t on that list. Still, they did the best they could and I’m not a serial killer, so all’s well that ends well.

In non-birthday news, BOB: SINS OF THE SON is finally in the hands of a professional letterer and is nearing completion. Alokia the Kaiju Hunter is about ninety percent complete and is looking incredible. WIth Hadithi Sambamba Comix now getting national distribution, getting fresh titles into the market will be the key to making this all work. We’re all excited by the opportunities.

Finally, as you can tell by the second image below, I will be embarking on a virtual book tour. Love Books Tour is a well known company that arranges these things and they are a blast to participate in. Different bloggers will read The Brittle Riders and, on their specific day, share their thoughts with the world. The full schedule is below so you can follow along. The whole thing kicks of on August 21, so mark your calendars.

Until next time, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

Living in McBarbie Land

Newsletter Posted on Tue, August 01, 2023 10:45:16

It might seem that I live 24/7 in McSciFi-Land, still the world’s weirdest amusement park, but that’s not entirely true. While I spend the majority of my time here I need to take a break every now and then. Sunday was one such moment.

My lovely bride and I went to the moving picture palace to watch a moving picture. Specifically, we went to go see Barbie. When we got there the projector was broken in our theater and no one told us. After a solid half hour of back and forth we finally got our tickets switched so we could watch the movie in a theater with a working projector.

I highly recommend seeing movies in theaters with working projectors.

My spoiler free review is as follows. This movie was a riot. It skewered everything in its path. Did it earn the right-wing ire that involved burning dolls and Elon Musk posting a coherent, if malevolent, thought? It not only earned it, it embraced it. One important note here, while the movie is about a beloved doll, it is not for kids. From the out-of-nowhere drop of a M******f****r, to the sexual innuendo – both subtle and not, to the politics writ large in every frame, this movie doesn’t even pretend to be for kids.

Kim and I loved it. The people in the theater with us were all in. Several woman brought their Barbies out during the film so they could watch it too. At its core, this is a film about female empowerment and what it means for real women to exist in modern society. It hits some points a lot harder than you might expect in a movie about a toy.

In non-Barbie news, The Brittle Riders garnered its first official rejection. To get there, we took a circuitous route, to say the least. I had met the agent on a public blog. She had our tone reel up on her office screen and was planning to show it to some coworkers as an example of how to do one of these things correctly. Her job requires her to manage millions of dollars of contracts and ensure what needs to be somewhere gets there. It is a detail oriented role and she’s been doing it for a while.

Anyway, she has a new boss who, to be polite, likes micromanaging. Obviously, for her, distractions could mean large sums of money not going out or going to the wrong location. In other words, constant interruptions are not welcome.

As you may have guessed, new boss walks in and asks what she’s working on. It may have been the umpteenth time that day he did that. So she motioned to her one hundred inch screen with the awesome surround sound (God, I wish I could see it that way) and said, “This.” Three minutes later, with the blood drained from her boss’ face, he mumbled, “Looks expensive” and left the room. She noted he hadn’t said “HELL NOOOO!” so she took that as permission to make a formal presentation to the network’s buyers.

She reached out to me, got copies of everything related to the book except the book, asked me a bunch of questions, and made a formal pitch.

The notes she shared were universally positive, but no one could justify the potential costs involved. However, if we get it funded independently, I’m allowed to circle back.

One common thread, when people first become aware of The Brittle Riders, is they start by saying “This needs to be animated.” Which is fine. But, as they become more familiar with the content the refrain switches to “Ah, hell, this has to be live action.” Every single time. It’s why we built the tone reel around live action examples.

This journey I’m on can be maddening, but it can also be joyful. The network that turned us down wasn’t even on our list for shopping, this was all organic and odd. And, while a deal didn’t happen, there are now a room full of powerful people who are saying nice things about all of this. I know that since several employees reached out to me privately telling me how cool The Brittle Riders is.

All that being said, I want to thank you for taking this journey with me. I have no idea where it will end, but I’m betting we can get tequila there.

See you next time.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

Our McComix Are Going Nationwide

Newsletter Posted on Tue, July 25, 2023 08:58:20

Comics are truly where I got my start. While I had written, and shopped, The Brittle Riders it didn’t have a home yet and its prospects looked grim. Into that dire world fell Legends Parallel. We sold the comic in bars, restaurants, computer repair shops, pawn shops, and, believe it or not, comic book stores. The important thing was it sold. The second most important thing was people liked it. Still do.

Brian “Bigger Lion” Daniel, the best man at my wedding and creator of Legends Parallel, wanted more titles than just Legends Parallel and opened up Hadithi Sambamba Comix in 2016. Tiles have come and gone, but the company remains and is growing steadily. And, now, I’m honored to tell you it has taken a big step to becoming an indie comic powerhouse.

First, we have signed an East Coast distribution deal with Vivid Panel Comics. This deal will make all Hadithi Sambamba titles available at New York Comic Con and many other East Coast conventions. Also, Vivid owns a store so, even if you miss a con, you can still buy copies. As well you should.

Second, over on the West Coast, we have re-partnered with our old pals at Nerdanatix. While they got destroyed by the pandemic, they have gotten the band back together and are up and running stronger than ever. For now they will concentrate on digital sales, but are looking to get back in stores at the first opportunity.

We’re also setting up an online store to catch anyone who gets missed by our distributors. It’s still a work in progress, but you can check it out here. All products are live, so if you order something you will get a nice digital copy for your collection. Nothing’s stopping you, that’s all I’m saying.

As you can see, things are jumping here in McSciFi-Land, still the world’s weirdest amusement park. Until next time, feel free to ogle Sabrina (below) and enjoy all we have to offer. Stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

C’Mon Barbie Let’s McParty!

Newsletter Posted on Tue, July 11, 2023 09:06:42

Last Sunday was our one year anniversary. The wedding was a beautiful affair, you can watch it here if you’d like, and it cemented what I’ve known for a while. I love her so much that I was willing, and able, to ignore how much I hate wearing suits and being in crowds. It was a long, strange, trip to get there and I find myself looking forward to the rest of this new journey into the unknown. As long as I’m with her we’ll be fine.

As some of you may remember, after that things began heating up for The Brittle Riders. I’ve been in meetings, some of those meetings had meetings with other meetings, and so on. One offshoot of all this hoo hah is I’m, once again, being invited to interact with humans. I’m going to share some of the more intimate conversations, a/k/a podcasts, but would like to remind you that I and twenty thousand of my closest friends will be at the Huntsville Expo in Huntsville, Alabama from April 11th to April 15th, 2024. This con draws some A-list stars, is near the Rocket Center, home of the internationally renowned Space Camp, and down the block from the main offices of my publisher, Azoth Khem. It’s going to be a blast.

Moving on, let’s get to some of the fun podcasts I’ve done recently.

A Stoked Podcast w/ JaVon Stokes

JaVon has been hitting the digi-verse in support of creators for a long time. I was, and still am, honored to have been his fiftieth guest. He was kind enough to let me do a deep dive into my past and my history with underground creators.

Chillin On Da Green Box w/ Specks Thompson and the View

A fun romp through culture variances Specks and Bill endured growing up, a great look at Hadithi Sambamba Comix, the effect of AI on comic creators, a pictographic look at Marcies’ Marvels, and more. It was nice being introduced to future fans.

Twisted Lies Tell the Truth w/ Angie Tournado

Angie, my new BFF, joined me in discussing everything from creating properly erotic love scenes to building a world to developing a character. It was lots of fun.

Some of you asked if the cool box graphic I use to promote The Brittle Riders could be made into a T-shirt. The answer is an emphatic “BOY HOWDY YESSSS!” It can also be jammy pants, bandannas for dogs, oneises for your toddler, hoodies, and many other items. CLICK HERE to festoon yourself in the latest McSciFi gear, just like those cool people you see below.

Of course, you’re far cooler than they’ll ever be, but they’re still kind of cool

As always, if you wear some McSciFi gear, please send me a pic so I can share it with the glorious humans who will gladly start a cult in your honor. After all, who doesn’t deserve to be worshiped as the gender fluid deity of their choice? I know you do. And that’s especially true for you hiding in the shadowy corner quivering in antici ………… pation.

And, don’t forget, keep those shrine fires burning bright so I can find your offerings in the dark. Until next week stay safe and sane and thank you, forever, for sticking this out with me.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

Happy McBirthday America

Newsletter Posted on Tue, July 04, 2023 08:31:57

I live in Chicago with my beautiful wife, we drive our beautiful automobile, so I celebrate this holiday. To all my Canadian friends, I hope you had a wonderful freedom celebration on the first. It seems that observing the moment a country throws off the yoke of British rule is kind of a global event, just memorialized on different days. Enjoy our first pic as a couple below, from our first date even, and I’ll see you next week.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

Wrapping McUp

Newsletter Posted on Tue, June 27, 2023 08:28:48

I used to work for a record company and every time something bad was about to happen to an artist that would magically enrich the company, the president would say MAG-nifi-CENT. I didn’t stay long. I worked for another company where the president would constantly say we needed to work on our “kung fu” even though no one in the office studied any martial arts. He also used to say completed projects were baked. I doubt he could find a kitchen, let alone use a stove, but here we are.

I share these bon mots for no particular reason other than, like those jobs, I’m about to put something in my rear view mirror. Specifically, all of the parts of The Brittle Riders investment package. And, since you’ve been along for the entire ride, I’m going to share the final products with you.

The first two files, the script and the pitch book, are PDFs. If you have Chrome as your browser they will simply open up. Otherwise you may have to download them and view them later.

First, I give you THE SCRIPT! Admit it, you heard a fanfare when you read that. Encompassing the first third of BOOK ONE of the trilogy, it introduces viewers to the world The Brittle Riders inhabit, the denizens of the plains they call home, and sets up the conflict that will permeate the series should this all come to fruition.

If nothing else, it will make some people queasy. I guess I’ll take what I can get.

Second up is the PITCH BOOK. Think of this as a power point presentation to encourage people to read the script. It’s a collection of images and brief synopsis of various scenes. The images are of the titular characters as well as others who live in this world. They also include glimpses of what Anapsida, home of all that is evil, might look like. It’s a combination of original art mixed with some AI, all properly credited, to help immerse neophytes into the workings of my squishy brain.


Whew. Do us all a favor, watch it on a big screen with good sound.

THIS IS NOT ORIGINAL FOOTAGE IN ANY WAY. And we don’t own any of it.

Some background: tone reels are industry oriented shorts that use footage from other sources to create a single feel, or tone, so that investors and others will grasp what we’re trying to create. And, let’s be honest, The Brittle Riders is not easy to match with anything out there.

I began to understand how hard getting this done would be when the third company that does these things turned me down. Oh, sure, they wished me luck too, but they still turned me down.

Freddy Noriega, owner of Fredits, not only accepted, he nailed it.

WARNING: Contains graphic violence and brief chimeric nudity.

Honestly, I feel as though Sisyphus finally cleared the mountain top. This has been a labor of love, to be sure, but a labor nonetheless. And, without the help of people like you who critiqued everything and suggested stuff I’d missed, I’m not sure any of this would have gotten done at all. Certainly not as well as it has.

To those of you who actively helped me, I owe you thanks and a drink or two. To everyone else, I am grateful for your continuing support. Until next time, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

« PreviousNext »