Tim Byrd to be on Alpha Waves Radio 4/17/2009

radio
This coming Friday, April 17th, I will be on the Internet radio show Alpha Waves talking about pulp fiction and Doc Wilde:

You’ve been to Airlock Alpha, the best science-fiction news Web site on the Internet. Now listen to the online radio show that comes with it, featuring hosts Wayne Hall and Nick Chase along with great guests from all over science-fiction. Alpha Waves airs every Friday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on BlogTalkRadio!

The theme of the evening is pulp, and other guests will be Erik Mona of Planet Stories (a publisher of classic science fiction and pulp), and writer Gareth Michael Skarka, whose love of pulp fiction resulted in the roleplaying games Thrilling Tales and Mars (which recreates old-fashioned sword & planet adventures ala Edgar Rice Burroughs’s John Carter of Mars tales), as well as the pulp anthology also called Thrilling Tales (which features a new adventure of classic serial hero Commando Cody, precursor to The Rocketeer). Gareth’s also a friend.

So if you want to listen and see if I can actually converse in an intelligent manner, remember: Friday, April 17th, 8 pm EST, at this link. [NOTE: As I write this, the listing on their site has me as “Tim Boyd.” But really, honest, it’s supposed to be me, Tim Byrd. I’m only known as Tim Boyd in Brooklyn. I’ve emailed them to let ’em know.]

Another Great Doc Wilde Review!

Uber-reviewer Harriet Klausner has posted a review of my novel Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom. The first part of it is a plot summary that contains some major spoilers, but the meat of the review is all good:

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM is a fun pulp adventure that pays homage to Doc Savage while targeting the tweener crowd. The story line is fast and lighthearted as the heroes battle mutant frogs. With literary quotes ranging from Seuss to Lovecraft and beyond, Tim Byrd avoids dumbing down his novel. Young readers will relish the escapades of the Wilde family and friends as they struggle to save the world one croak at a time.

Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse: Smart as Hell, Kicking Serious Ass

dollhouse

If you’ve been following my reactions to Joss Whedon’s new show Dollhouse, you know I was luke-warm toward it at first, then really annoyed with it, then after seeing episodes 6 and 7, I really started to like it and said it was good, but not quite Joss good yet.

Well, now I’ve seen episodes 8 and 9, and I’m loving the show.

Since episode 6, “Man on the Street,” they have fixed the anthology-show weakness that plagued the first five episodes, and each episode has focused on the Dollhouse and its people rather than on the misadventures of their clients-of-the-week. The evolution of Echo as a character is fascinating to watch, considering there’s not supposed to be a character there, but there most definitely is. Those are some still waters running very deep. And the development of relationships and character backstory gets more and more compelling; in this latest episode, “A Spy in the House of Love,” we find out the major secrets of a couple of characters, one of which is a complete surprise and leads to a much deeper understanding of that character, leaving incredible potential for the stories ahead.

There are many themes at work here. This latest episode played brilliantly with matters of trust, from the first conversation between Echo and her handler Boyd, to the implications of their final scene. And seeing the Tabula Rasa Echo step forward as an instigator of significant action was a masterstroke of storytelling and character; I literally got goose bumps.

That a character with no agency develops agency through her own innate strength, even while devoid of her past and identity, is an incredible dramatic device. This show is all about how people use people, and issues of power and responsibility and all that, but the most important thing it’s about might just be the re-enfranchisement of the disenfranchised.

Who on earth could be more disenfranchised than the dolls? Their very selves ripped out of them, programmed and reprogrammed to serve the desires of others, they are the ultimate slaves. And here we have one of them somehow growing as a person right before our eyes, and you just know there are big things ahead.

And hopefully we’ll get to see all of the big things Whedon wants to show us. Fox is playing its usual bullshit games with the show, and now for some reason has decided to show this entire season (and a tenuous “kudo” to them for doing that, at least) except the thirteenth and final episode. Apparently the 12th wraps up the season tidily, and the 13th is sort of a coda after the fact…but still. It doesn’t indicate that the network is supporting the show, and doesn’t bode well for a second season.

But, hopefully they’re watching the reviews, which have been excellent since episode 6, and will recognize they have a gem on their hands and will allow it to grow. This is not just a damn good show, after all.

This show is Joss good.

[NOTE: As of this writing, you can watch episodes 5-9 at www.hulu.com. The show started really getting good in ep. 6, but 5 is pretty good and has some impact on events in later episodes. If you haven’t seen them, catch ’em while you can.]

Doc Wilde @ The Baryon Review

Order Now!

Order Now!

Another rave review for my book, Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, this time from Barry Hunter at The Baryon Review. Here’s a taste:

If you remember the pulps and Doc Savage, you need to pick this one up. It’s a true delight and will be something your children will enjoy as well…

[Tim] Byrd has taken Doc Savage, added in a pinch of Robert E. Howard, a liberal dose of H.P. Lovecraft, and mixed it all together in a well done, enchanting pastiche of the pulps that will appeal to the adult audience as well as the young adult readers. It is over the top, at times, rip roaring adventure that returns us to the days of yesteryear and leaves us wanting more. I hope to see more from Tim Byrd and Doc Wilde in the future.

The rest is here.

Got an actual copy of the book yesterday, a great review today…feeling pretty good.

Be All You Can Be (Stay a Civilian)

The past decade has seen a severe resurgence of militarism in the American psyche, a wave George W. Bush surfed gleefully as he destroyed our economy and standing in the world, embroiled us in a needless war instead of pursuing the actual war on terror, and decimated a generation or three as he enriched himself and his pals. It became mandatory to pay tribute to our brave troops and their sacrifice, and any criticism of the military or Bush’s invasion was refracted back on the critics as an accusation that they “didn’t support the troops,” were unpatriotic, or even that they supported our enemies.

Thankfully, after eight years of Bush’s shit, all but the dimmest of the dim realized what a disaster he was as a president, and what a colossal fuckup the Iraq war has been. We have a new president, who is doing a pretty good job overall, though I have concerns (then again, after two terms of Bush, Obama could do nothing but stand in the sun smearing feces in his hair for a year and I’d still give him kudos for doing a better job), and hopefully sanity has mostly returned.

I have always been against the war in Iraq. When Bush “won” in 2000, I predicted that we’d invade. Being correct was not a point of pleasure. I am not blind to the inevitability of war, or the necessity to defend one’s nation “against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” and indeed I voluntarily served in the US Army in large part out of a sense of duty. I believe in fighting when you have to, or when it’s the right thing to do (like our routing of the Taliban and al Qaeda).

So, as a patriot, and a veteran, I’d like to share with you, Continue reading

Doc Wilde Appears…

…and my day is made.

An unexpected delivery this morning, and suddenly I have in my hands a hardcover copy of my novel, Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, with a very nice note from my editor.

docfirstbook

It’s beautiful, and I’m looking forward  to seeing stacks and stacks of them once they start hitting bookstores. And it came at a really great time: my son (who the book was written for, and is dedicated to) has his birthday next Monday, so along with the other gifts I’ll be giving him, I can give him the first actual signed copy of the book.

I can’t wait.

Podcast Adventures (aka My Life As a Meme)

My post about optimism and action, pulp heroes, and the roleplaying game Spirit of the Century has proven to be one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written. It seems to have become a small-scale meme, bouncing around from reader to reader, echoing in other blogs, other places…

One place it echoed was on the gaming podcast Canon Puncture (if you don’t want to listen to the whole thing, the pertinent segment begins right around time-mark 24:34):

Canon Puncture Podcast

I really enjoyed these guys’ comments.

Some Amazing Kinetic Art

This video is about the artist Reuben Margolin, and his amazing kinetic sculptures based on waveforms in nature. His work is incredible in its complexity, and gloriously beautiful to gaze upon.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Some Amazing Kinetic Art“, posted with vodpod

Tiny Frogs of Doom Discovered

Many of you know I have a book about to come out (Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom) chronicling Doctor Spartacus Wilde’s dire battle with mutated eldritch amphibians in the jungles of South America.

Not to spoil anything, but the Wildes saved the day, as is their wont. But you know that already, because the earth still exists, and you’re reading this.

The threat may not be over, however. Scientists recently discovered a tiny beast, the smallest frog known in the world, in the Peruvian Andes (perhaps not far from the area of the Wildes’ final battle with the Frogs of Doom).

What evil lurks in the heart of this frog?

What evil lurks in the heart of this frog?

From National Geographic:

…But scientists searching the Andes mountains’ upper Cosnipata Valley in southern Peru, near Cusco, spotted the coin-size creature–a member of the Noblella genus–in the leaf litter of a cloud forest between 9,925 and 10,466 feet…

“The most distinctive character of the new species,” scientists write in the February issue of the journal Copeia, “is its diminutive size.” Females grow to 0.49 inch (12.4 millimeters) at most. Males make it to only 0.44 inch (11.1 millimeters).

What’s most surprising is that the frog lives at such high elevations…In general, larger animals are found at greater heights.

Yes, in general. But if these tiny monsters are indeed another variety of the Frogs of Doom, perhaps they are arcanely adapted to the higher elevation.

And if so…what sinister purpose do they have in our world?

Last Chance At Limited Edition Doc Wilde Stuff [Updated]

[UPDATE: The shop is now closed. It will probably reopen later with items featuring the actual cover art by Tim Gabor.]

A good while back, I opened a Cafe Press shop of Doc Wilde merchandise. It has largely gone unnoticed and unseen, though a handful of sagacious souls made their way to it and enriched their lives with the purchase of an item or two.

The items on the site showcase the original (unused) cover art by Australian master comic book artist Gary Chaloner:

docwilde_chaloner

As I’ve written before, this isn’t the artwork that will be on the actual book. But I have always loved it (I have one of the large posters framed in my living room, and this version of Doc still peeks from the Doc Wilde logo I use on the website) and wanted to let you get a chance at it before I take it offline.

It’s April 1st as I write this. I’ll leave the shop open and Gary’s art available through Wednesday, April 8th.

So this is really limited edition merchandise. It won’t be available again, and I don’t actually expect many sales in the next week, so if you do get any of it, and Doc Wilde becomes popular, the items will probably be quite collectable (especially if you ever get me and/or Gary to sign yours).

If you visit the shop, make sure to read the item descriptions, I had a lot of fun writing them. Here are a couple:

Doc Wilde Logo Preppy Shirt

Doc Wilde Preppy Shirt

Infiltrate a cult of power-mad evil golfers in this comfy shirt sporting the Wilde logo over your courageous heart.

Doc Wilde Trucker Hat

Doc Wilde Trucker Hat

Use small words, spit tobaccy, and wear this ventilated cap sporting the Wilde logo next time you’re hunting a bad guy at a NASCAR event. (Hey, I’m from Georgia, I can say this stuff).

Remember, this is your last chance at this stuff, it comes down Wednesday, April 8th, 2009. The shop can be found here:

Doc Wilde Adventure Gear