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Bill McSciFi's Blog

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Taking Two McWeeks Off

Newsletter Posted on Tue, June 28, 2022 07:00:00

This week finds me working with people who have people in an attempt to pretend I can be, in limited amounts, socially presentable. Despite this task being Sisyphean they seem determined to give it the old school try.

Next week finds me picking up a nice suit, doing a final run through of my vows, and topping it all off by marrying the woman I love. The good news is that she’s going to marry me right back so this won’t get awkward.

Hopefully.

Obviously, sales of all Merchandise and autographed items, including all comics, are on hold for a bit. All that cool stuff gets shipped out of my living room and, right now, ain’t no one got time for that.

Still, all is not lost.

You can get all the latest, and ginchiest, McSciFi gear. When you get to the page you will see a variety of images promoting McSciFi and various related titles. Once you click on one you will be given over one hundred and fifty different products you can have that image slapped on and shipped directly to your home. Not just the T-shirts, teddy bears, and such shown below, but coffee cups, mouse pads, pajamas, COVID face masks, phone cases, onesies for your toddler, and so much more it will make your little heart quiver in joy.

And there’s no reason not to festoon your bookshelves with copies of my novels as well as anthologies and magazines that contain my sacrifices to the gods of literature.

Should you want to wander through the radioactive remnants of my mind you have options. You can read through my archive of newsletters or give your earbuds a reason for existing and listen to all the episodes of The Big Wakeup Call hosted by Ryan Gatenby. Besides having me on from time to time, he also interviews celebrities and fascinating people you need to know about. He can even help you live out a vicarious fantasy or two as evidenced by his recent adventures while hanging out with the Sex Pistols.

Admit it, you wish you’d done that.

Thanks for all your support thus far and I look forward to having you join me as we go on more wacky adventures and share additional whimsical dystopian nightmares.

Stay safe and sane and I’ll see you soon.Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi



Chillin Like a McVillain

Newsletter Posted on Tue, June 21, 2022 07:00:00

As regular readers of this weekly missive know they are the coolest, most wonderful, humans in the known multiverse. Seriously, everything from amazing sex to gourmet food just falls in their laps no matter how awkward that may make any given situation when it happens.

“Um, gender neutral name, I can see you’re having amazing sex and there’s a bowl of Bouillabaisse, with fresh caught Monkfish, waiting for you, but could we please get back to your PowerPoint on Tertiary Markets and their spiritual impact on plaids made with pastels?”

These things happen to my readers all the time.

That being stipulated, it is then incumbent on me to give them stuff to read each week. And, to that end, I am about to disappoint.

Between prepping for my impending wedding in less than three weeks, working with the nice people behind the scenes who insist I pay attention to their every word, editing two projects at one time, helping Sci-Fi Lampoon find a real publicist to replace the newt who currently eats their bugs and poops on its rock but is of limited use otherwise (reply to this if you might be interested in not getting paid for a great cause), and trying to be a functioning adult at least two hours a day, I haven’t done anything I can share.

I’m sorry.

The best I can do is point everyone to my video promo page and hope it gets enjoyed.

Unlike the videos on my regular web pages, which are designed to sell books and spell out basic plot points, these are specifically designed to get business people to ask questions. Hopefully about the projects, but I guess worrying about my mental health is acceptable too. I tend to get that a lot.

So, have fun on my video promo page, it was updated as recently as yesterday, make sure to have the volume up since there’s some cool (cleared and credited) music there, and stay safe until next time.Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi



Taking it Eezy McPeezy

Newsletter Posted on Tue, June 14, 2022 06:00:00

A good friend once said, “You can tell it’s a pro project when absolutely nothing’s going on and you’re busy as hell.” That sums up my situation nicely. As to the “nothing” end of the equation; no one’s cutting checks, no one’s flying me to some exotic locale to interview wannabe Kardashians, in fact no one’s even set up a ZOOM meeting to discuss any of those things.

However, the people who can make those things happen, usually without Kardashians, and have proven track records doing so for others, have been taking up a ton of my time. And that’s okay. Because the one thing they all have in common is that they’re trying to make me better, to make my work more presentable, to make me successful in every nuance of the term.

Long story short, as cool as all that is, there’s not much I can share today.

But I can share some entertaining videos with you. Although that almost wasn’t so.

Fun was had by all when we realized that many mobile providers had recently changed their security protocols. Happy pop up videos, like mine, are now considered a nuisance. In those rare cases they popped up at all they were tiny, wiped out the main screen so the viewer was stuck with no way back, and looked like absolute doggy doo.

That was not good.

Thanks to the hackers over at ANTLUR we got around that and now have beautiful pop ups you can view on any device.

I kid. They’re not hackers. They’re just really smart and know what the hell they’re doing. I am their competency counterpoint when it comes to things like this.

Anyway, due to their kind assistance, you can CLICK HERE and see the latest promos I am attached to. Each is around a minute, or less, in length and each is completely different thematically from the others.

The idea is to whet the interest of those who shant be named – to be more accurate, simply can’t at this early point – and give our people behind the scenes some useful tools.

Yes, I have people now.

Until next week, I hope you enjoy the videos and ask you to stay safe, sane, and healthy.

Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi



McSharing is McCaring and McCaring is Good

Newsletter Posted on Tue, June 07, 2022 07:00:00

You woke up this morning, nuked a cup of leftover coffee that tasted like an angry cross between rust and stale blood, opened up your computer to check your emails, saw me paraphrasing the Care Bears, and figured “Yep, the apocalypse is happening. May as well quit my job.”

Before you do anything Rash (go ahead and click, you’ll like it), please be advised that I am suffering from momentary whimsy. This condition is theoretically curable and I am working with professionals to get it under control. However, until then, now seems like a good time to correct a grievous oversight.

It was brought to my attention by a nice human (HOWDY BLAIR! SAY HI TO THE KIDS!) who stumbled across my social media posts that, while there are thousands of you on this email list, not everyone, not even Blair, follows me everywhere. I guess I can understand that. I wouldn’t want you to overdose on McSciFi.

What Blair specifically stumbled across were a selection of short videos being used to promote my various projects.

Here’s where things get a little complicated. While embedding the videos so you could click on a nifty thumbnail and watch in your email browser would be the most convenient thing to do, many email services mark embedded videos as a risk. But I also know how much people like looking at pretty pictures. So, I’m going to compromise. When you click on the little title cards below you will be taken to the video in a new tab. That keeps your security programs happy while you to get to check out all the coo-coo coolness that’s been getting shared.

Most videos are under a minute so you need not worry about being trapped in a podcast or anything. Also, all are being used for social media promotions so they are perfectly safe for work.

Okay, here we go.

Legends Parallel burst on the scene in 2016 to rave reviews and quickly developed a rabid fan base. Life, COVID, and stuff, got in the way and forced the title to go on hiatus. Now, times are different and the team is getting back together to bring you more socially conscious, mind bending, action. And, yes, there will be boobs. No need to worry there.

Hybrid Zero seeped into the public’s psyche in 2010. As it garnered more attention its creator, Cyril Brown, decided to expand his multiverse by bringing me in to write stories and develop the existing ones into something larger. Trust me when I say that’s easier said than done. But it was worth every second. Books started coming out, fans started knocking people over to get their copies (this happened in public – more than once), and things began looking a lot like unicorns bathing in rainbows. Unfortunately, just as with Legends Parallel, the real world intruded and made everyone wear a frowny face. But sad doesn’t equal dead. New titles are in the penciling stage and will be headed your way before you realize your boss thought the phrase was “dining al Fresca” and wondering why people were so devoted to a weird soft drink.

Regular readers already know that Azoth Khem Publishing has kicked things up a notch. SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY was voted best science fiction novel of 2020 by the Critters Readers Poll and then went on to earn a stellar rating from, the world’s #1 source for book evaluations, Kirkus Reviews. That review is being used to position the title for sale in libraries, major brick and mortar locations, and set up foreign licensing. Meanwhile, The Brittle Riders has begun the slow process of being shopped to visual media production companies. Each step accomplished has led to the next, and that’s all anyone can ask at this point.

Not to sit on my ample laurels (although I am trying to lose weight), I have been picking up new projects, working on finishing the final chapter of Goptri of the Mists, kicking short stories off my computer and into anthologies, and trying to keep Kim sane as we get closer to our wedding date.

That’s enough for now. Until next week please stay safe, sane, and neck deep in happiness.Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi



Talkin’ McComics

Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 31, 2022 09:04:53

Have you been frantically scouring the interwebs wondering what I look like without a hobo-esque goatee? Has your life crumbled as you worried how I might look if I started shedding pandemic pounds? Does your boss wear a frowny face when they hear you fretting about the possible fates of McSciFi? Do family members ask if I’ve succumbed to the color bleen? Well, fret not, gentle reader. Just like that time I worked as an exotic dancer, all will be revealed. CLICK HERE to watch Episode 32 of IN YOUR FACE hosted by KingDaniel Taylor. As you may have guessed, I am the guest. My apologies for the homophone. The “homo-” root means “same,” and the “-phone” root means “sound.” Homophones are words that sound the same. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Since we spent the entire episode discussing comic books I’m involved in, today seems like a good day to discuss comic books some more. Like all indies these days I spent the last part of the interview giving shout outs to other indies for reason or reasons unknown. I’m kidding, obviously, I like them and each is an inspiration in their own way. If you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing at least take a moment to check out the amazing worlds of Rik Ty and Christie Shinn. Ahh, who am I kidding? Check out the coolest indie creators in the multiverse at the Independent Creators Connection, home of ICC Magazine.

There are many more (HI ZEE!) I could have mentioned but my brain can only brain so much during a live interview before I start drooling on myself and muttering in Esperanto.

Okay, back to the wonderful world of McSciFi.

The lovely and talented, I’ve decided to start using that dismissive trope for all genders now, Cyril Brown (he of the wildly NSFW website) and I have gotten the band back together and are diving into the deep end of the Hybrid Zero multiverse.

When working with Cyril you can spend an inordinate amount of time deciding which layer of the multiverse you want to focus on, how ‘porny’ you want it to be (there will always be a little), and then, just for fun, maybe come up with a plot so the characters have reasons to interact and speak.

This is not as easy as it might seem.

Nevertheless, despite the complete lack of human sacrifices and ribald orgies, we agreed to start work on The Neutrinos; the Multiverse’s first, all silent, NC-17 rock opera.

The story follows an all female group of rock musicians, and their cybernetic manager, as they traverse space, but not time, trying to make some cash and have some fun. Also, because this is rock and roll, prodigious amounts of beer will be consumed. The fact their live shows will lead to societal upheaval, and the fall of the occasional empire, is just part and parcel of who they are.

Now, this is where my world gets fun. Every single title in the Hybrid Zero multiverse has to, eventually, relate to every other title. That means that the fun time family of soldier/assassins in Juggernaut, has to tie in with the dino-laden soft core world of Jungle Grrl and both of them will have to blend in with the gonzo alternate reality of Cassandra and the Changeling Sword. None of this includes the stuff lurking in Cyril’s TBD drawer.

While all of this is going on I’m updating the scripts and stories for Legends Parallel, tweaking Bob: Sins of the Son to eliminate any references that have dated out, and working assiduously to finally get Pestilent to see the light of day. The latter almost seemed to be cursed. But, now, I see it was like that dream date back in the day. It simply wasn’t ready. Now it is.

Now to deal with the one question that keeps popping up; “Why don’t (I) shop the comics for film adaptations like (I’m) doing with my novels?”

The simple answer is there’s not enough content. While novels create stories with defined beginnings, middles, and ends, comics tend to be fashioning complete universes and need to provide motion picture creators a wealth of material for them to make sense of it on the big screen, or streaming platform, or whatever. No matter the final venue, they need a ton of stuff.

Okay, that should bring you up to date on the stuff I’m allowed to bring you up to date on. Until next week I wish you peace and happiness.Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi
Bill McSciFi



Talking McFilms

Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 24, 2022 07:00:00

As more and more stuff is happening behind the scenes this will be the last time we chat about film progress for a while. The last thing I want to do is betray a trust and leak information before it’s officially confirmed. And that is easy to do. One minute you’re chatting offline and think “Gosh, I bet humans would love to know this” and the next thing you know you’re getting angry calls from lawyers and you’ve screwed the pooch. As my therapist likes to say “Pooch screwing is not allowed. Now, get back to work.”

One big thing we all are dealing with is the many issues in the supply chain. While major publishers can absorb the hit, and it’s not tiny, indies are scrambling. No one wants to increase their wholesale costs but that means many companies, just like the ones who sign me, are looking for ways to reduce their profits without ending up in the red on every sale or being forced to double retail costs. It’s a delicate dance but everyone is pulling together to make it work.

One blessing is that not everything has to be done immediately. Just as it took three months to get that amazing Kirkus Review for SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY, it takes about the same amount of time to roll out a promotion that will be seen by libraries, distributors and independent book stores around the country. It’s not like sending your Aunt Martha an invite to the weekend Bar-B-Q. There are a few more hoops to jump through first.

Even so, the nice people at ©Watchdog Entertainment® and Azoth Khem Publishing are working closely with the nice people at Kirkus Reviews to get SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY out to the masses. Which seems like a good idea since readers everywhere are just crazy about this book. Even readers in India (readers_judge graphic below) are raving about it. In other words, getting more readers seems like a magnificent idea.

It also doesn’t hurt that the increasing positives are all happening while ©Watchdog Entertainment® is beginning to develop the feature film. Timing is everything.

In other film news, we have begun the arduous – sorry, I mean “whiz bang golly wolly fun” – process of creating a film treatment for the The Brittle Riders’ pilot. It’s not as simple as copying scenes from the book into a template or anything like that. Due to the fact I’m a jerk – sorry, I mean “terse writer” – brief scenes in the book could end up eating minutes worth of screen time. Since each minute of screen time is more sacred than sperm is to Monty Python it requires an attention to detail at a level I’m not normally noted for. Grand epic stories that bend brains? Yeah, cool, they’re my jam. Figuring out which shade of white should be on the third wall in the eleventh room? Not my strong suit.

Still, like SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY, fans tend to gush when they talk about The Brittle Riders. And it’s not just fans. A collection of film critics gave The Brittle Riders a 97.92% adaptability score out of a possible score of 100%. That ranks higher than several major films which were recently made. Additionally, major film producers, like Garrick Dion (graphic below), have had wonderful things to say and haven’t been shy about sharing them. Simply put, this project has legs and it’s starting to walk on its own.

All in all, we’re in a happy place.

Speaking of happy places, I’d like to wish a Happy 9th Birthday to the Independent Creators Connection, home of ICC Magazine, the wonderful place that has honored me by letting me be their Assistant Editor for these last four years.

I’ll have some comic book news for you next week. Maybe some other stuff as well. Until then, stay safe and sane.





Brittle Riders & SPLICE Getting Big McLovin’!

Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 10, 2022 07:00:00

It didn’t take a clinical psychologist to figure out I was a little down in the dumps last week. No one had done anything wrong, no one had ruined my career, no one had been mean to me or even all that unreasonable. I asked a bunch of companies to pony up millions upon millions of dollars to make my dystopian nightmare come to life and they asked me to provide them a clear look at my vision. Basically, poop or get off the pot.

Unfortunately, the specific poopage they seemed to require would use more resources than little old us happened to have available.

The thing is, just like there are many ways to skin a cat – please don’t skin any cats – it turns out there are also many ways to successfully poop. Neither I nor my publisher knew these mystical ways, this is rare air for us, but people who bring home seven figure salaries from making movies took time to share some basic ones that had worked for them and others. In essence it all boiled down to one thing: shore up our business team.

To that end, allow me to introduce you to Leeaura Lee and Susan Dunaway. They are not here to expand my social media presence or entice barely legal teens ogle my form. Although the former may be a byproduct, the latter is completely useless to a guy who already wakes up next to the cutest patootie in the multiverse.

Instead, they will be honing my various and sundry presentations down to a single topic each and culling anything that doesn’t enhance the whole. I have tried doing this in the past and …. SQUIRREL!

Their efforts should result in some interviews for me but, more importantly, will allow them to do some adulting and meet with venture capitalists and give us a chance to grow my many terrifying beasts into a money making chimera filled petting zoo.

One of the first tools they can use is being able to share the thoughts of respected film and television producers with interested parties.

For example, this is what Garrick Dion, co-executive producer of CAPONE, had to say about The Brittle Riders in his review to our agents.

A very unique tone and world, reminiscent of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY meets a MAGNIFICIENT SEVEN/DIRTY DOZEN-type set up, but with a look, flavor, and lexicon all its own. In a world where studios and streamers are looking for IP that’s expansive, both narratively and in terms of ancillary possibilities (prequels, offshoots, video games, etc.), (The Brittle Riders) certainly seems to offer up a number of possibilities.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

The world’s favorite tale of a wayward teen who grows up to become its most feared super villain, SPLICE: HIT BIT TECHNOLOGY, just got the most important review in its short life.

Kirkus Reviews has been the industry standard for almost one hundred years. Keeping things simple, the lack of a positive Kirkus Review means no distribution to libraries, major chains, and most mom and pop bookstores. They are a trusted source that reviews new releases and tells people whether or not they should spend their hard earned money on them. Given the whelming number of new releases from indie and mainstream publishers, that has become more important than ever. Just because someone’s grandma said something nice on Amazon doesn’t mean distributors should lay out thousands of dollars to stock shelves with a book nation wide.

SPLICE earned a “recommended” rating. On the Kirkus pyramid, that is a pretty darn good place to be. First a book needs to get a positive review of any sort. The majority don’t.

Then, if that hurdle is cleared, books become accepted, recommended, or starred.

The majority get the first rating (which is an impressive feat on its own), a slim number get recommended (which is where SPLICE is), and a rare few get a star. For our first time even trying I’ll take this happily. So what did Kirkus say?

“McCormick offers a blood-soaked tale of upward mobility … An engaging dark comedy rife with retribution.” – Kirkus Reviews.

Click the link to read the whole, absolutely wonderful, thing.

There’s more burbling beneath the surface, and I will share what I can when I can but, until then, stay safe and sane. I’ve grown fond of most of you.




McPish, McPosh, McMoving On

Newsletter Posted on Tue, May 03, 2022 13:05:37

Once again I find I need to welcome my new subscribers. This is not a bad problem to have. Each week there are a few more converts to the cult of McSciFi. Okay, not so much a cult as an international coffee klatsch. With no pastries and nary a doily in sight. Still, we have fun so I guess it’s all good.

I know many of you have been paying rapt attention to the slow path we’ve been walking to see if we could get The Brittle Riders made into a film. For you newbies, just CLICK HERE and scroll through the last few posts to get brought up to date.

I’ll make a VERY long story short. Last night I got asked to turn over a fully developed script for a pilot. I know many of you are high fiving each other, busting out the good booze, and saying how great this is. Yes and no. It’s more of a good news / bad news thing. The good news is that some companies are interested in seeing what this could look like on screen. The bad news is that developing such a script will require me to shut down for six months, focus on this exclusively, and not make a penny. Or, I could hire someone to take six months out of their life to develop it and pay them.

Neither option works well for me. I can’t afford to pay rent with nothing but my stunning good looks and award winning personality, and hiring a Hollywood pro to do this would cost about the same as a new car.

Certainly, with the connections I’ve built over the years I could get a break on the price. But a break is not free. I’m sixty years old and not some kid playing with a trust fund. I plan on getting married this July, which costs a couple of bucks on its own, so having an extra five figures lying around that I can burn through isn’t realistic.

On the plus side, the people who have been working with me behind the scenes live in the same reality I do so no one is burning bridges or calling it a day. We have a few options, some more viable than others.

The problem with corporate Hollywood, as I have discovered on this journey, is it expects you to be at its beck and call, with every possible permutation of your presentation, at a moment’s notice. I have been called in a grocery store, on a Sunday morning while prepping for church, and have been asked to describe, in detail, the pilot for The Brittle Riders. Because, as you know, even though I have never directed a film, I can whip a ninety-minute film précis out of my butt at will.

Clearly, I have a magic butt.

Also, to be polite, I have no intention of joining the immortal zombie ranks of people who flitter from function to function attempting to get someone, anyone, to read their screenplay.

However, it must be noted, I’m asking production companies to put a lot of money into this so I need to have some skin in the game. That’s not the issue. The issue is defining some sort of worth for my skin. We all already know how much money is worth.

Don’t get me wrong. If I get something a little more concrete than “interest” I’ll dive into the deep end with weights on my ankles. But I need crystal clear justification to make that kind of commitment.

All things considered, this is more of a bump in the road than a death knell, but it does put a damper on my plans to celebrate James Brown’s birthday. There are some very good, and well connected, people who want this to happen. That doesn’t mean it will, but it does mean it has a puncher’s chance. Which is all anyone can ask.

Let’s be honest, a cinematic universe which has Geldish, R’yune, and Sland knocking back flagons of skank while N’leah and Braarb steal bar rags to wipe the evening dew off their naked breasts, all while the five of them snag (allegedly) raw meat off a platter as they plot a violent insurrection is exactly the kind of cinematic universe the world needs.

That’s just the opening scene.

So it is written, so should it be done.

If anything useful happens you’ll be the second to know. With me being the first, obviously.

Until next week stay safe and sane.



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