Head on over to http://ellieann.net for all updates and blog posts. It’s my new home.
Head on over to http://ellieann.net for all updates and blog posts. It’s my new home.
Posted by EllieAnn on February 13, 2014
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