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Bill McSciFi's Blog

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Catching Up the McNew Kids

Newsletter Posted on Tue, September 19, 2023 07:00:00

Today seems like the perfect time to step back, take a deep breath, and put all my ducks in a row. The reason it seems like a perfect time is because we have new members from the Readers Judge book club, Love Books Tour, and Stage 32. The latter is a website dedicated to creatives who want to be involved in film, television, or related media industries. If you join you can learn from many posts, lease time with industry professionals to help you with your project, and expand your contact list dramatically. If you’d like to visit my page to get an idea of what it’s like, just CLICK HERE and have fun.

Welcome everyone.

While I will soon be appearing in a couple international anthologies and at speaking events and cons, I’ll focus today on the one project that makes my wife smile in anticipation. Specifically, The Brittle Riders series, project, and journey.

As you’ll note when you click the link, the book has fans. Many have asked when it will be made into a film, not understanding that it’s not realistic for me to call a potential investor and say, “I’m a nice guy, people like my books, give me several million dollars. Please.” And, when this journey really started, there was no one in the industry claiming this would make a good movie or series. Hell, there wasn’t even a cheerleader for a five minute cartoon.

Fortunately, there was a place you could go to get an idea of whether or not your creative efforts are worth other people’s money. The company, now defunct, was called BookScribs. The site was run by Allen Redwing who has moved onto to create some amazing literary aids using AI over at

A nice rep Skyped with me and let me know that I would need a sixty percent or better score to be shopped via BookScribs. When you glance down you’ll note my score was ninety-seven point nine two.

Yes, I railed at clouds wondering why I didn’t get one hundred.

That led to a series of meetings that, while none led to financing, taught me tons about the industry I was falling into. I had thought my years in the music business would have prepped me for most of this. I was wrong. Fortunately, I’m the guy who asks directions when lost, and the nice people I’ve met have been more than willing to assist.

Near the end of 2022, thanks to Voyage Media, I ran into Garrick Dion, a film producer who’s worked on JokerDrive, and many others. He liked the idea and even gave me the new pull quote we’re using on the back of the book. You can read it when you review The Brittle Riders link.

One thing that became apparent was, good book or no, we needed more materials than we had and we had no clue how to get them. A patient film producer named Rocky Lang took pity on me and showed me how to build a pitchbook. After some rough bounces, it got done. Just CLICK HERE to take a look. Since it’s a high resolution PDF I would suggest looking at it on a larger screen.

Another thing we needed was a tone reel. 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 it 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.

Again, Rocky swooped in to save me and introduced me to Freddy Noriega. Not only did Freddy accept the challenge, he created a masterpiece. As with the pitchbook, this is movie-theater quality footage with a great soundtrack. Do yourself a favor and watch it on a big screen with good sound. A minor CONTENT WARNING; like the book the tone reel contains graphic violence and chimeric nudity.

I followed that by writing a script for the pilot and getting people smarter, and more experienced, than me to edit it. While we’re calling it a “pilot” it’s really more of an “introduction to the universe.” The story is so dense, and the world building so detailed, that creating a single episode and hoping people would get it simply proved impossible.

As Garrick said in one of our meetings, “The good news is you’ve created a unique IP. The bad news is you’ve created a unique IP.”

Over the last couple months I’ve had a few meetings and only one, outright, rejection. They were terrified of the budget. Which is fair. Although I’ve met some VFX specialists and they seem to think this could be done for a reasonable amount of money.

I guess this brings you up to date. As always, if you have any questions, just reply to this email. I’ll get back to you within a day. Until next time, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

Step Inside my McLife

Newsletter Posted on Tue, September 12, 2023 07:12:13

Today’s a nice day to kick back, pop open a cold one, and let you take a careful peek inside my multiverse. For the most part, I’m just like you. I love my significant other, enjoy paint peeling hot sauces, try to turn any conversation into a zombie fueled musical, have sky-dived naked, been arrested for public indecency, and punched a Nazi (those are three separate events), own at least one item of clothing that isn’t black (my wife insists on this one), wrote and sang odd love songs, and did other things that have unclear statutes of limitations that make law enforcement itch no matter what. You know, normal people stuff.

And, as a self-proclaimed normal people, I interact with other normal people and we discuss normal people bits and bobs that all normal people experience and discuss. To be honest, I’m so normal I make Barney Fife look cutting edge.

Which is why I’m going to share, with you – and only you, this little vignette of a Day in the Life of McSciFi.

I had to go in for a simple medical procedure. Since I smoked for almost fifty years, did coke for twenty, and so on and so on, making sure I’m not dying or something seemed wise. Especially since my wife insists I keep living.

That said, the med tech looked familiar. So I asked her if she happened to be friends with another nice lady who also provides me health care. As it turned out, she is. Then I asked if she had ever cosplayed as a succubus.

Quick side note. There was once a Halloween party where costume choices were apparently more difficult than they needed to be, and I suggested this nice human should go as one of the succubi from The Brittle Riders. No, I never thought, not for a minute, she’d do it.

Not only did she go full succubus, five of her friends joined her.

Anyway, the second lady actually had done this perfectly normal thing with the first lady and they’d both had fun. Tequila was involved.

Possibly copious amounts.

The second nice lady quickly realized who I had to be, and also realized I must have seen pics of her topless while she was wearing little more than bat wings. For the record, I have seen the pics but was not given them. Which makes me sad, since I can’t share them, but makes me happy, since everyone gets to keep their jobs.

All that being said, I should like to add you can always feel free to send me pics of you cosplaying any of my characters. You need not be unclothed.

Moving on.

I told her she looked good that way (she truly did) and we both had a laugh at the whimsy of the universe. Eventually, she said after all this she’d probably have to buy my book.

One sale at a time, that’s how I roll.

I feel it’s salient to note that, unrelated to anything in The Brittle Riders universe, Legends Parallel, Issue #4, is being printed as I type and will be presented at the New York Comic Con this October. That is part of a larger Hadithi Sambamba promotion plan that will see their titles, including the ones I wrote, represented at multiple conventions on the East Coast.

As the second pic below shows, Legends Parallel has fun fans too.

I should note that Leslie Tejlor, the artist behind Legends Parallel who created Sabrina’s avatar below, likes to draw sexy avatars of Legends Parallel fans, like he did with Sabrina. In other words, buy some Legends Parallel gear, or get hard copies of the comic, and send in your pics celebrating same (clad or not, depending on your preferences) to see if Leslie can make you a cartoon god or goddess, as it applies to you.

To be clear, unrelated nudes aren’t required or appreciated.

Until next time, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

Big McFun with the WGA/SAG-AFTRA Strike

Newsletter Posted on Tue, September 05, 2023 08:31:46

As most of you know, the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are on strike. Money is the main issue, but not the only one. Members are tired of being treated like chattel. They’re tired of seeing their work get “one million streams” and then getting a check for $11.27. With the studios, allegedly led by Netflix, digging in and doubling down, this may last a while.

That being said, studios still need content. You might think they would realize that simple fact and settle with the strikers. You would be tragically wrong, but I can see why you’d think that.

Nope, what they are doing, instead, is what just happened to me.

This nice gentleman, a/k/a sleaze ball, reached out to me with the offer of a lifetime. Long story short, he and his peeps were willing to develop The Brittle Riders and save a ton of money by using non-union cast and crew. Well, gosh, where do I sign?

Dear God, can you imagine a community theater version of this? High quality visual effects done by Chad who has temporary access to his cousin’s copy of Photoshop. Featuring a cast who all recently starred in the Oshkosh production of Brigadoon.

While there was never a moment where I even considered agreeing, I did hear them out.

The staggering level of bullshit was stultifying.

In essence, they were promising that there would be no repercussions. That all the nice people on strike would welcome me with open arms when the strike ends. That, somehow, despite the fact I’d be undercutting even the lowest pay scales, I would be respected.

I come from a union family and know full well that nothing they said is true. Had I gone along with this crap I’d be the proud owner of a shitty movie and a dead career.

At least they didn’t offer to make it a musical.

Well, I dodged that bullet and, by proxy, so did you. Until next time, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

The People Have McSpoken

Newsletter Posted on Tue, August 29, 2023 07:00:00

Last week I noted how The Brittle Riders had become the featured book for two book clubs. One, Love Books Tours, decided to promote the entire trilogy. The other, Readers Judge, stuck to promoting the first book. The former has members from Western Europe and America. The latter has mostly members from India. One thing needs to be noted. Submitting your books to clubs like this does not, in any way, guarantee you good reviews. Just like Kirkus Reviews, about sixty to seventy percent of the reviews are not positive. They all tend to be polite, “The author’s refusal to use punctuation may have seemed like a daring choice, but hopefully this will be a lesson learned and they will never do something like this again.” But negative is still negative and unusable for the author. Which is why getting a RECOMMENDED rating from Kirkus Reviews, combined with positive reviews from these clubs, is getting us traction and bringing in new fans. As such, I thought it might be fun to share some with you so you can use them to bludgeon nonbelievers into submission.

In McCormick’s fantasy/SF novel, a lone mystic gathers allies to defeat the hordes of a sadistic warlord on a fantastical future Earth. Densely packed, SF-tinged high fantasy that mildly satirizes the genre. – Kirkus Reviews

This book took me through all the emotions, there were parts of the book that disturbed and horrified me, parts of the book had me laughing out lots and parts had me ugly crying.

I would definitely recommend reading this if you like sci-fi that has a good amount of backstory included. Five stars. – Kirsty the Fiction Vixen

McCormick’s writing style is sharp and unrelenting, drawing you into the dark and twisted world of the novel’s protagonist. The characters are complex and multi-layered, with motivations. And the plot is a labyrinthine web of intrigue and deceit, leaving you guessing at every turn. I loved how Author interpreted a Sci-fi thriller story; bringing it with such interesting theme.

I loved the experiments the author did and the risks he took with a new concept. The writing flowed beautifully, creating a cocoon, I didn’t know when it ended.

The ending was: GREAT!

I am still reeling from this read and it’s gonna stay with me for awhile. Five stars. – Kaynat Parween

Y’all this series was so so good. It’s so different from what I normally read. It was a sci-if dystopian and the author does such a good job of combining science fiction and fantasy like I would have never thought to combine those genres ever but it works and it’s so good!! I mean the fantasy world is so beautifully done and I could legit picture it so well ! I mean you can’t go wrong with this series at all. It legit hooks you and just reels you in. I was hooked and I couldn’t put down. Y’all need to bust out of your comfort zone and try this series !! These are such good books I can’t say enough good about this series !! Legit go over to Amazon and get!!! Five stars. – Amanda Felton

In conclusion, “The Brittle Riders I” is an ideal choice for fans of both fantasy and science fiction genres. McCormick’s meticulous world-building and deft character portrayal guarantee a gripping reading experience that caters to adventure enthusiasts and connoisseurs of thrilling narratives alike.

Five stars. – Gurpreet Kaur

There are many more, but you get the idea. Overall, the reviews have an average rating of 4.5 stars and I couldn’t be happier. If you haven’t already ordered your copy of The Brittle Riders, now would seem to be an excellent time to correct that lack.

Until next time, stay safe and sane.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi

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

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