It’s time to move sites.
The amazing wizard of websites, Logan Greer, made me a shiny new site to call my own.
It’s time to move sites.
The amazing wizard of websites, Logan Greer, made me a shiny new site to call my own.
Posted by EllieAnn on July 8, 2013
Choose Your Apocalypse
By Ellie Ann
Apocalypse. You know it’s gonna come one of these days. But I’m not all about doom and gloom. That’s why I want to give you options to choose from in regards to your own apocalyptic demise.
Choice #1: Solar/Asteroid Apocalypse
(Examples: Book of Eli, Night of the Comet)
Bad: One day the sun will spaz out and solar bursts and radiation will burn the crust of the earth like an overdone cherry pie. Most people will be fried to a crisp.
Good: You won’t have to battle monsters, except the human variety.
Bad: If the solar flares don’t getcha, a comet party might get out of hand and will swerve and hit our planet, and that probably won’t turn out too well for us (just ask the dinosaurs.) No one can outrun a comet. Except perhaps John Cusack.
Good: There’ll still be a paltry existence left for the survivors.
Bad: More than half the survivors will be blind.
Good: Being blind might be a blessing because there’d be no beauty left to see on earth anyway.
What you’d give a thousand dollars for: sunglasses, chap stick, and sun block.
Choice #2: Machine Apocalypse
(Examples: Terminator, The Matrix)
Bad: Super creepy to fight sentient machines.
Good: This might be the most pleasant apocalypse, considering that the machines could hook us up to virtual reality. Then we’d get to pretend we live in a nice little world. It might not be so bad.
Bad: The machines might not hook us up to virtual reality, they might want our utter, total termination.
Good: You might get to hang out with Trinity or Sarah Connor, two of the coolest action heroines who ever wore tight pants.
What you’d give a thousand dollars for: an effective computer virus
Choice #3: Alien Apocalypse
(Examples: War of the Worlds, Signs, Battle L.A., Cloverfield, Independence Day, Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, The Day the Earth Stood Still.)
Good: It would be quite interesting to see another species.
Bad: That species might have no interest in getting to know us.
Good: This might be just the thing we need to discover efficient space travel.
Bad: We might get probed and our minds mapped . . . or worse!
Good: This is the easiest apocalypse to beat. You just have to find and kill their mother brain, or wait for a bacteria to destroy them. But first, try throwing water on them. This often works.
Bad: Motherbrains, bacteria, or water might not cut it. And you’ll be caught between an alien’s jowls or fed to their ugly babies or be made slaves to their every whim. Miserable.
What you’d give a thousand dollars for: a tin foil hat and Officer Warden Ripley’s gun.
Option #4: Unknown Apocalypse
(example: The Hunger Games)
Good: no one to blame.
Bad: no one to blame.
Good: At least some people will eat. You’d better hope you’re born in the Capitol.
Bad: You’d better hope you’re not born in the districts.
Good: You’ll lose all those extra pounds you’ve been trying to shed.
Bad: You’ll be hungry enough to steal bread or eat a possum.
What you’d give a thousand dollars for: seeds for your village
Option #5: Big Business Apocalypse
(examples: Wall-E, Mad Max)
Good: You’ll be proved right in suspecting that big corporations will bring about the death of us all.
Bad: There’ll be no gas to take anyone out on dates. You’ll have to revert to the bicycle, like you had to in 5th grade.
Good: Buy-n-Large probably has discounted funeral costs.
Bad: You’ll have to bury your loved ones under a garbage pile.
Good: Buy-n-Large can afford to get everyone off the planet that they desiccated.
Bad: You’ll be trapped in a spaceship with . . . everyone.
What you’d give one thousand dollars for: some privacy
Option #6: Zombie Apocalypse
(Omega Man, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, I Am Legend, Zombieland, World War Z)
Good: Once you die, you won’t feel a thing.
Bad: Once you die, you might eat your family.
Good: Zombies are slow and stupid.
Bad: Zombies are slow and stupid and there are a freakin’ 6 billion of them!
Good: Zombies can be killed.
Bad: Zombies make more zombies faster than you can kill them.
Good: They won’t eat all your food supply.
Bad: They’ll eat you.
What you’d give a thousand dollars for: an endless supply of shotgun ammunition.
If you can’t get enough of apocalypses (or worse, it can’t get enough of you,) then you’ll most likely be interested in my super bestest writer-friend’s new novel, Firelands.
Archer and her community are outcasts. Ever since the volcanic apocalypse, the cultish leaders, Josephites, have ruled the people with an iron fist–doling out food to those who believe and follow them, and leaving the rest to starve. When Archer finds a Josephite runaway with important information, she must decide whether to continue just getting by…or stand against the Josephites and save her people.
You know how some books are full of action and explosions, yet you never really feel on the edge of your seat because the characters don’t matter to you? Well, this isn’t like that. Piper is a genius with characters. They are all completely real and fleshed out–from Archer and Quinn, to the barkeeper and Spooge. When they were even in the slightest danger, I was sweating.
The plot is full and interesting. I enjoyed the journey each character went on, especially Archer. Her character arc is cool to see, and has a satisfying conclusion.
The themes are also very real–it asks hard questions and doesn’t give easy answers. Archer has to decide what’s really the best thing for the community, not just for her. And she has to decide what to do when she promises something almost impossible to do, and she must complete it no matter how heartbreaking it is.
This is a gritty, exciting dystopian thriller. It’s also full of hope and promises of new life in a crumbling world.
So step right up! Pick up a copy of Firelands by Piper Bayard! And pick your favorite apocalypse! How would you like our world to end?
Posted by EllieAnn on July 3, 2013
1.) The illustrations are phenomenal. You can enjoy them as art on their own, besides what they add to the story.
2.) I’ve done several studies on Animal Farm by Orwell, and this is a wonderful companion to the classic book. I was somewhat disappointed in Fable’s lack of development over WHY the animals revolted (there was only one line regarding it), but I can understand it because comics just don’t have the word count to justify a long backstory.
3.) Talking animals.
4.) It’s more than just a story about talking animals. I loved the smart way in which they handled Snow White and Rose Red’s relationship. These sisters had to overcome the past, and it was always on the fence whether they would move on or not. This relationship made the story less preachy (which Animal Farm always ends up being), and more poignant.
5.) Snow White refuses to accept what’s happening until she’s bowled over by it. This is a brave and marvelous decision on the writer’s part, it made everything so real.
6.) Rose Red gets significant character development in this story. Her arc is very well written! She also finds her place in the world, which gives the story a satisfying conclusion.
7.) The comic doesn’t shy away from the hard questions, and it doesn’t give easy answers. It makes the characters face their bad decisions, makes them face the consequences. No one is left unchanged.
8.) There are two stand-out side characters: Reynard the Fox (good) and Goldilocks (bad). They steal every scene they’re in. Reynard is especially funny and witty.
9.) There’s a scene at Old Mother Hubbard’s house you’ll never forget.
10.) The pacing is so well done, the pages fly by. I read it in one sitting, and instantly wished I had bought Fables #3. Time for another trip to the comic store!
Here my little video review of the comic:
Posted by EllieAnn on July 2, 2013
Lookee here! The first review of The Silver Sickle is up over at Life is Story, a cool review site. Many thanks to the awesome Jeremy McNabb for writing such a great review for it. He’s a fellow steampunk writer, you should check out his short stories, Snowball’s Chance, Gravesight, Joy & Carnage, and others.
He says, “Ann gives her audience a depth of emotion and intrigue that the Western world tends to miss in ancient stories from the East.
Ellie Ann rips up your expectations and hands you back characters who possess such single-minded ambition that you’ll be afraid to stop reading lest they come after you, too.”
Posted by EllieAnn on July 1, 2013
#1: It’s not really a book about zombies, it’s a book about society and how people respond in crisis.
#2: It’s a badass book about badass people doing badass things.
#3: Max Brooks takes you on a journey, he gives you an experience. And his most generous act–he’s invisible. He only writes what the character would say, not what he wants to say.
#4: So much fact and history is woven into this book it’s hard to tell where fact ends and fiction begins. You’ll probably start to embarrass yourself in conversations by giving bits of history and fact that are from WWZ, not an actual war.
#5: ”Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” -Albert Camus – A lot of truth about our species is told in this book.
#6: Scenes in this will make you proud to be human.
#7: Scenes in this will make you ashamed to be human.
#8: It has a Japanese ninja warrior zombie slayer. A blind Japanese ninja warrior zombie slayer.
#9: It holds a mirror in front of you. It makes you ask important questions such as:
-who am I without my family?
-who am I without my job?
-who am I without my society?
-what offering do I bring in a crisis?
In Arthur Sinclair Junior’s chapter, he says, “We needed carpenters, masons, machinist, gunsmiths. We had those people to be sure, but not nearly as many as were necessary. The first labor survey stated clearly that over 65 percent of the present civilian workforce were classified F-6, possessing no valued vocation.”
#10: It’s practical.
There may never be a zombie war, but there are world crisis’. This book shows the before/during/after effects of our world in crisis. How prepared are you?
What did you think about World War Z?
Note: I read Cemetery Dance’s fantastic new edition of the novel. It enhanced the story, as it looked more like an report than a novel. The details, like ink splotches and clean typography and lots of whitespace on each page, were so well done. I highly recommend it.
Posted by EllieAnn on June 24, 2013
I have the honor of getting speaking at Sherlock Holmes: Past and Present conference at the Institute of English Studies in the University of London.
Now, one of the only things better than gabbing about Sherlock, is gabbing about Sherlock while in London. I swear, Sherlock Holmes fans are the smartest and most attractive of any kinds of fans. Since I don’t have the joy of getting to be there, I’ve put up my notes from my presentation here in hopes that you’ll give me an opinion or two regarding them.
I’m speaking on Bending the Canon.
Which led me to meditate night after night, as I sat on pillows and smoked an ounce of shag, “What makes Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes?”
Posted by EllieAnn on June 21, 2013
I really don’t care what a superheroine looks like. She can be as scantily clothed as Starfire at a nude beach, or as well covered as Persepolis in a snowstorm…
I really don’t care if the superheroine saves the superhero, or visee versee…
I really don’t care if she’s a working girl on the streets, a CEO, a housewife, or a trapeze artist…
I really don’t care if she’s intellectual smart, street smart, people smart, or as dull as a drunk tortoise…
I really don’t care if she’s skinny, fat, buxom, leggy, mouthy, tattooed, gothith, school girlish, nursish, nunnish, or Yiddish civil rights servant working in the Amazons…
Just please, puleeeaze give me a character.
Give her a name, give her a friend or a reason she has none, give her a reason men like being around her besides her boobs, give her a purpose besides decoration, give her something interesting that she does, give her interests, give her a backstory, give her great lines.
Basically, don’t make this:
And certainly, please not this:
A little character development goes a long way. Trust me. If you want to use a woman for decoration you might as well just stick a lamp shade on her head:
I’m desperately in need of a good super heroine movie. Totally starving for one. I can’t wait until one of the biggies like Wonder Woman or Miss Marvel or Catwoman or Black Widow has a film of her own.
But until then, I’ll just comfort myself with watching Firefly again.
Posted by EllieAnn on June 18, 2013
Sometimes I think about perfectly normal things, like how to escape a room if a ghost attacked, or how much butter to add in my butterbeer,
but other times I think about weird things, like what my favorite literary characters would read.
Jane Eyre would love Walt Whitman and Tolkien
Bree from The Horse and His Boy would, of course, love Marguerite Henry and The Carrot Seed.
Shadow from American Gods would love Tom Clancy.
Ender Wiggin would love G.K. Chesteron.
Harry Potter would eat up Scott Westerfield’s work, and Sport’s Illustrated.
And Aragorn would be deep into Jack London and J.D. Salinger.
I’m pretty sure that title is, “catcher in the rye.”
And Sherlock Holmes would be reading…
well, actually, the illustrious and animated Baker St Babes have already compiled a list of what’s in 221B. It’s a great article. Check it out.
Side note: What happens when I study copious amounts of Sherlock Holmes and On The Road by Kerouac all in one week? Pipe smoking, that’s what.
Posted by EllieAnn on June 8, 2013
No doubt you’ve already seen the hilarious parody poster of The Avengers by Kevin Bolk.Totally bootylicious.
Side note: Man butts are hilarious.
But I just came across this *giggle* nice cosplay of *snort* the Hawkeye Initiative.
Side note: the Hawkeye Initiative is when comic artists, sick of drawing women in ridiculous poses, drew Hawkeye in them instead. “It’s funny, but it makes you think.” -Sergeant Bilko
Other side note: poor Hawkeye. His suits look TERRIBLY uncomfortable to fight in. Or, to lounge around in. Or to do errands in, for that matter. Itchy leather up the butt crack never goes well with a trip to Walmart.
Now, may I introduce to you, Matt as Hawkeye with his ever-professional sometimes-partner, Black Widow.
I’d say that times are a’changing, and artists and writers are much more aware of drawing slightly real women in slightly less-ridiculous poses (and, there are of course awesome women writers who are on the scene like Cat and Marjorie Liu, telling their artists to ‘zip it up’). There are even some artists and writers who have done away with unreal women altogether, and actually draw them as people! (huzzah!)
But if you’ve been to a comic con lately, you’ll know that it’s the majority of women in comics are dressed in bikini chain mail.
Side note: do not try that in real life.
Side side note: check out E.A. Aymar’s new multi-media serialized story, When The Deep Purple Falls. It looks exciting! And you know how multi-media tickles my fancy…
Posted by EllieAnn on June 6, 2013
Once, there was a judge in Israel named Gideon. He has an exciting war-story in which he defeats an army with only jars and trumpets and torches and faith, but that’s another story for another day. Gideon’s good. I want to tell you a bad story.
Speaking of bad, he had a son named Abimelech. This guy was drunk on power and blood, and would do anything to get more.
Speaking of more, Abimelech had SEVENTY brothers. Yeah, you heard right. Seven oh. Seventy. That means that Gideon was a rather prolific spreader of seeds. He had wives from all over, or…I’m sure ‘wives’ is a generous word for what they were. Anyways, Gideon had made a foray into Shechem at one time in his life…saw a pretty slave girl…one thing led to another, and here comes Abimelech a few years saying to his mother’s people, (in the best sultry power-hungry voice you can imagine), “Ask the leading citizens of Shechem whether they want to be ruled by all seventy of Gideon’s sons or by one man. And remember that I am your own flesh and blood!”
Like anyone, the men of Shechem would rather be led by one power-hungry, blood thirsty king they have some ownership over, so they gave him seventy coins. With those seventy coins he went out and bought “reckless troublemakers.”
Don’t think this:
Then he went to his father’s house, forcefully took it over, and beheaded sixty-nine of his brothers, using the same stone as a chopping block. Blood flowed like wine. I can’t imagine the degree of heartlessness you’d need to kill your entire family in one day, in their own homes…and I’m sure not all of his brothers were grown. Only one of the brothers escaped, the youngest. His name was Jotham. He was like a prophet poet. And he was super angry.
Now Abimelech was king, and no one could come against him.
When the leaders of Shechem were crowning Abimelech king, Jotham went to the top of the neighboring hill (he wanted to be sure he had a good distance between him and them): and he shouted a poem at them.
No, it was more like an angry punk rap. He basically said, “Yo yo leaders of the people: the trees asked an olive branch to become their king but it refused to quit its work because we need olive oil. Next they went to the fig and implored it to be king, but it said, ‘should I quit makin’ my sweet fruit? I don’t think so. Then they begged the grapevine to become king but it refused, because it was too busy makin’ grapes for wine. So finally, they turned to the thorn bush and asked IT to be king. And it accepted.”
I’m sure everyone gasped. Them’s fightin’ words! NO ONE wants to be called a thornbush. But Jotham didn’t stop, he kept shouting (by this time I’m sure his voice was hoarse):
“If you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Gideon and his descendants today, then may you find joy in Abimelech, and may he find joy in you. But if you have not acted in good faith, then may fire come out from Abimelech and devour the leading citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo; and may fire come out from the citizens of Shechem and Beth-millo and devour Abimelech!”
So basically, Jotham prophet isn’t just warning the wicked Abimelech, he’s warning the leaders that the wicked Abimelech will eventually turn into The Mandarin and go all mouth-fire dangerous on them.
And then Jotham ran and hid.
Not even three years passed before God sent dissension between the leaders of Shechem and Abimelech. You see, God wanted to punish Abimelech for slaughtering his brothers. Interestingly, an entire town was completely destroyed off the face of the earth because of it. No, that’s not interesting. That’s horrific. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
So, Shechem nobles rebelled. It happened this way:
A new brother moved to Shechem, named Gaal (worst name ever). He saw all the taxes and fruits leaving the city and going to Abimelech, and it made him bitter. During the annual harvest festival, after all the money and best of the fruits were shipped away to Abimelech, and THE WINE FLOWED FREELY, Gaal incited rebellion. He said, “Abimelech isn’t a part of our family! Why should we serve him? If I were in charge here, I would get rid of Abimelech. I would say to him, ‘Get some soldiers, and come out and fight!’”
So no one in Abimelech’s family is claiming him.
But Gaal was a little too big for his britches.
Zebul, the leader of Shechem, was furious with Gaal and his loud mouth, so he tattled on Gaal. Not only that, but he told Abimelech exactly how to destroy Gaal. Bad decision. You know what happens to rats? They reproduce prolifically and are found in every corner of the world. Oh wait, no. Not that. Rats always get discovered.
So Abimelech splits his army into four groups and surrounds the town. And Zebul says to Gaal, “Now where is that big mouth of yours? Wasn’t it you that said, ‘Who is Abimelech, and why should we be his servants?’ The men you mocked are right outside the city! Go out and fight them!”
So Gaal takes his men and goes out and fights Abimelech. And gets massacred. Like the Little Giants did against the Pee Wee Cowboys. Except it was much bloodier.
But after Abimelech destroyed Gaal and his men, he wasn’t done. He met the army of Shechem in the fields and mowed them down. Then he went to the city. The city was in a panic. All of the leaders, and whoever else could fit, ran into the temple and hid there. Shechem killed everyone in his path. Then he and his men took branches, laid them down at the foot of the temple, and set fire to it. Everyone died. One thousand people.
Then he leveled the city and sprinkled salt over its ashes. Nothing would ever grow there again.
But do you think this guy was done? No way! His thirst for blood was only whetted. He and his men marched to Thebez. They attacked it, and conquered it. Killing everyone in their path. Stealing the valuables. Burning homes and stores. Bringing apocalypse.
But there was a strong tower in the town. Everyone went and hid in the tower, and barricaded it.
By this time Abimelech was probably drunk on blood and power.
Then the strong went to the top of the tower, presumably to shoot arrows and pour hot oil on the invading forces.
But not everyone needed an arrow or oil to get the job done.
A woman was on the roof of the tower. She watched as Abimelech and his men went to fetch wood to lay at the bottom of the tower. Once they returned and lit the branches, everyone she knew and loved would be toast.
She was not going to let that happen.
She loosened a rock from one of the walls. I presume it was a hefty rock, one that probably took two hands.
Abimelech drew nearer, with a huge branch across his shoulder. He was intent on his task: headed straight for the wall. She had only a second for this to work. Abimelech leaned down and set the branch at the foot of the tower. She held her breath, aimed carefully, and hurled the rock at his head.
It caved in his skull.
He lay on his back, he knew he was dying. His sword bearer pulled him out of harm’s way.
The woman looked down on him. Everyone was silent. And then there must have been a cheer go up on the top of the tower, and much congratulations to her, because Abimelech was completely and utterly humiliated. So humiliated was he that he turned to his sword bearer and said, “Draw your sword and kill me! Don’t let it be said that a woman killed Abimelech!” So the young man gladly ran him through with his sword, and he died.
When Abimelech’s men saw that he was dead, they disbanded and returned to their homes (as they should have from the beginning).
The end of the story goes thus:
In this way, God punished Abimelech for the evil he had done against his father by murdering his seventy brothers. God also punished the men of Shechem for all their evil. So the curse of Jotham son of Gideon was fulfilled.
But the moral of the story is this: That’s what you get if you ever underestimate the throwing ability of a woman.
(story found in Judges 9)
Other bad bible stories:
Posted by EllieAnn on May 26, 2013