Doc Wilde to debut at Little Shop of Stories!

UPDATE: This event has been rescheduled from Friday, May 15th to Saturday, May 16th.

It’s official: Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom will debut May 14, and two days later I’ll have my first ever signing:

The Day: Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Time: 7 pm

The Place: Little Shop of Stories in beautiful downtown Decatur, GA.

Little Shop is one of the finest bookstores in the Atlanta area. It lives next to the Starbucks in Decatur, GA., and is mostly dedicated to books for young people, but also has a smart selection of grown-up fare for grown up kids.

It’s one of those small bookstores that springs from a place of obvious vision and love, with a warm, knowledgeable staff and comfy couches. They’re very active in the community, working with schools and literacy programs as well as helping organize the famous Decatur Book Festival. And so much stellar talent has passed through that the wall behind the counter is like a museum, covered with wonderful sketches and notes from writers and artists who have visited.

I’m thrilled and proud to be officially debuting the Wilde’s adventures at Little Shop, and hope to see you there!

Kirkus LOVES the Wildes!!!

Order Now!

Order Now!

I just received my first HUGE review for Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, from Kirkus Reviews (Wikipedia: “Kirkus has long been a respected, authoritative pre-publication review source within the literary and film industries”). And it’s, quite frankly, a rave:

When their scientist grandfather disappears again, 12-year-old Brian, his ten-year-old sister, Wren, and their world-renowned father, Dr. Spartacus Wilde, are off on an adventure to kick off Byrd’s debut novel and the first volume in a new series. The high-tech Indiana Jones-type tale takes the adventurers to the uncharted South American jungles of Hidalgo to find Grandpa Wilde, who had researched dark matter and the possibility of traveling to other universes. The problem is that Frogon, a dark god from another universe, wants to take over ours. Besides finding Grandpa, the Wildes must face a glut of frogs-spy frogs, man-frogs, saber-toothed frogs and the dark elder god frog-and save the universe.

Written in fast-paced, intelligent prose laced with humor and literary allusions ranging from Dante to Dr. Seuss, the story has all of the fun of old-fashioned pulp adventures. A tale “terrifying and dark, of indescribable horrors and eldritch mysteries,” this is sure to be Wilde-ly popular, and readers will anxiously await future installments.

So far, everybody likes it. The Wildes are off to a good start.

Just a reminder: the book comes out May 14th, but can be ordered already at this link. If you plan on getting it, please pre-order, because a book’s initial sales are crucially important in building its success.

Feeling Mortal

Today’s my birthday.

I’m 45, if I’m figuring correctly. Something like that. And I’m feeling my mortality, not because I really care how many years I’ve been alive, or even how many more I have left. I’m feeling mortal because my world is bashed in like an old box that holds some of your favorite things but fell off the moving truck on the highway.

The overwhelmingly most important thing about my birthday is this: I’m not spending it with my son.

This is, literally, my own fault, because my ex offered to swap days this week to accommodate my birthday, and I declined. I’m planning to celebrate with him when he’s back in a few days, and I really don’t care much when the day is celebrated, just that I get to celebrate with him.

So, then why is the fact that he’s not here today the “overwhelmingly most important thing?”

Simply because life has brought me to this point, at all. There used to be no question about whether I’d get to be with my kid on my birthday, or his, or Christmas, or Saturday. Now, it’s an issue to be decided, to be bartered with, to dwell on.

So, really, the important thing isn’t that he’s not here on my birthday…it’s that he’s not here.

Add to that the Damoclesean blade hanging overhead that is the custody fight, and my ex’s stance that she should have him 75% of the time, and the dreary fact that instead of doing something enjoyable today, on my birthday, which I’m not going to spend with my son, I’m being forced to do legal discovery paperwork to defend the time I do still have with him (and defend his desire and right to have equal relationships with his parents)…and I sort of feel too soul weary to give much of a damn that I was born on any particular day a lifetime ago.

The Shadow Over Comcast Town

aka  A Tale of Too Shitty.

This is a great commercial:

Sure, it’s sort of creepy in an Invasion of the Body Snatchers kind of way. But it’s catchy and clever, and it works.

Unlike, say, Comcast.

I’ve been a resident of Comcast Town since last May, when I moved to my current apartment, where the management won’t allow anything but Comcast. And Comcast Town is nothing like the place in that commercial.

No, Comcast Town is a dark place. Its infrastructure is old and out-of-date, prone to breakdown, and its workers are slow to respond and incompetent when they do. The power flickers in and out, the windows of its HD are bleary and indistinct, and the city managers are known to filter opposing political ideas (even in people’s personal email)and punish those who speak out.

As I’ve written before, I’ve been planning to phase out Comcast’s cable TV in favor of other options, like Netflix’s streaming and rental of TV series DVDs, watching new episodes of shows on Hulu and network sites, or in a pinch using P2P to find something. But I hadn’t gotten around to actually canceling the service, as I’ve been embroiled in divorce BS and trying to write a new book and promote the one coming out, and other things.

Today, though, the picture went out. Full screen of fluorescent green. Still had sound, could still change the channel, could still access menus and play recorded stuff…but I couldn’t see any of it. Rebooted all the electronics several times, waited an hour, rebooted everything again…still no picture. Called Comcast, and they tried to confirm the signal to my DVR, but couldn’t find it (even though it was still receiving, because I could hear it).

I also heard another sound, that of a camel’s back breaking. This was it, this was the sign from the gods that the day was here, and here I was on the phone with a Comcast representative, so I bit the bullet and canceled. This cuts my monthly Comcast bill pretty much in half, which is a jubilating thing. I’m still stuck with their Internet service (which has been getting spotty again the past few weeks), but I feel I’ve scored a victory here.

It’s like I put up burglar bars and got my house painted, here in scary ol’ Comcast Town.

A Short Doc Wilde Review…by KENNETH ROBESON!


Author Will Murray just gave a short review of my upcoming novel:

Over the weekend I read Tim Byrd’s young adult Doc Savage pastiche novel. Let me say that DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM is a pulp-pounding ribbiting croaker of a tale! It mixes a 21st century version of the Man of Bronze and his extended family of adventurers with evil Lovecraftian frogazoids infiltrating our reality via the South American republic of Hidalgo.

This particular review is significant. Murray is one of the most renowned and knowledgeable pulp scholars in the world, so he knows good pulp adventure when he sees it. But more importantly, among the fifty-plus novels he has written are seven official Doc Savage novels, published under Lester Dent’s pseudonym “Kenneth Robeson,” and he is the chosen executor to Dent’s literary estate.

Doc Wilde is my tribute to the Doc Savage stories I loved as a kid, and Will’s comments are basically official validation by Lester Dent’s direct literary descendant. That’s pretty cool.

Will Murray's PYTHON ISLE

Will Murray's PYTHON ISLE

Saturday Night With Cthulhu

Do you know Cthulhu?

If you knew Cthulhu as we know Cthulhu, oh, oh, oh what a god…

cthulhuI’ve always loved scary stories. One of the few positive memories I have from my childhood was staying up with my father and watching classic Universal monster movies in a rocking chair. I loved scary comics like Creepy and Eerie and monster comics like Marvel’s Werewolf By Night (I remember, when I was about 9 or so, scrambling around the desolation of our suburban neighborhood by moonlight in a torn shirt pretending I was the werewolf). I could quote Edgar Allen Poe, and read all the horror I could get hands on, from Dracula to “The Monkey’s Paw” to Something Wicked This Way Comes. Well, I read most things I could get my hands on. But horror was among my favorites. Continue reading