BARYON REVIEW: The Doc Wilde Series Cries For A Place On The Shelf Between Doc Savage And Tarzan!

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM

The new edition of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom has its first review at a professional site, and it’s from an old friend of the Wildes.

Author Barry Hunter originally reviewed the book at The Baryon Review when it was published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons back in 2009, and the review was so positive that a quote from it now features prominently on the cover of the Outlaw Moon edition:

A true delight…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 young adult readers.

He likes the new version even more:

[I] have even more enthusiasm for this new volume featuring the writer’s preferred version as well as magnificent illustrations by Gary Chaloner. Tim was able to obtain his rights back from Putnam, put together a Kickstarter project, and fulfill his dream of putting out his vision of his creation.

He has succeeded extremely well and together with Chaloner has created a volume that cries for a place on the shelf between Doc Savage and Tarzan…

There are a lot of folk doing the self-publishing routine, but Tim Byrd has found the right formula to do it in a magnificent way.

The full review can be found here.

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News of the Wilde (An Update On The Doc Wilde Series)

Doc Wilde

There are several things for me to talk about today, including some very big news that affects the future of the Doc Wilde books…

First, we’re still in the process of fulfilling Kickstarter promises for Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom. Everyone has their ebooks who should have gotten them, and folks are starting to receive their printed copies. For those due autographs, we’re making bookplates that will print in Tasmania so that artist Gary Chaloner can sign them, then he’s sending them to me so that I can sign them and ship them out to the people who need them. The same goes for the posters of the book’s cover art and the handful of character sketches high level supporters are getting. This will take a bit more time, but rest assured we are on task.

The response to the book has been very gratifying. I’ve heard directly from quite a few people who love it, and there has been a great review posted at Goodreads and one at Amazon since the launch, and hopefully more to come. As a freelance writer and independent publisher, I don’t think I can overstate how important such word-of-mouth is: without it, the books will fail and I won’t be able to keep doing them. Or eat. So if you like the books please consider helping them gain visibility through such reviews.

As noted previously, the Kindle and EPUB versions of the book are on sale for $4.99 (reg. $6.99) at Amazon and Barnes & Noble through July 1st. The book is also available in trade paperback and is gradually making its way into distribution channels; it will ultimately be available for order by bookstores, it just takes a while.

Through Monday, the “Frogs of Doom Typo Challenge” is running. The full details are at that link, but the gist of it is that everyone who submits a valid typo or misspelling in the book before the deadline has a chance to win autographed copies of both the hardback first edition of Frogs originally published by Putnam and the new expanded and fully illustrated Outlaw Moon edition. So far, I’ve had a few entries that pointed out what the submitters thought were misspellings but weren’t (thinking that “gloam” was supposed to be “gloom” for instance), but there is only one entry from someone who has actually found an error. So not only is there at least one error to be found, if you find it and enter there’s a very good chance you might win.

And now, the big news…

Gary Chaloner has stepped down as artist for the Wildes.

In true pulp fashion, I’m going to leave that cliffhanger with you for the moment. More news soon, but rest assured that work continues on the books and the news isn’t as catastrophic as it might seem (though it did take me a bit of time to get my feet back under me after I found out).

Tim Vs. Superman ( MAN OF STEEL Review, No Spoilage)

Superior Super

Better than the movie.

Saw Man of Steel yesterday.

Didn’t love it. Sorta liked it.

If I let myself, though, I think I could hate it.

There are some movies that are deeply flawed but I come out of them loving them anyway because what I remember about them is the good stuff.  The Dark Knight Rises was like that. It fails in some major ways, but it is audacious in what it attempts and gets so much right and is just so thrilling that I loved it (though not with the same passion as I love its immediate predecessor) .

Man of Steel flips that dynamic on its head. It gets quite a few things right, but what lingers in memory are its failures.

The casting is excellent (though Amy Adams, who I generally adore, isn’t as good a Lois Lane as I’d imagined she would be). Henry Cavil is a fantastic Superman. The villains are pretty great (especially Antje Traue as Faora-Ul, who seriously upstages central baddy Zod).

Faora

The action is all very good to excellent, if at times too frenetic and unclear.  The story is smart and restructures the story we all know all too well by now in interesting ways. Largely, the creator’s approach to making a Superman for our time is admirable and successful.

Except…

There is no heart here. There’s a virtual geometry of a heart, pumping away in predictable throbs, but there’s no blood in that geometry, no heat. No humanity. The only truly human moment in the film is when Jenny Olsen (Jimmy’s much hotter contemporary iteration) panics while trapped in a terrible situation…and Jenny is barely even a character in this movie. And it’s the actress who brings the humanity, not the script or the direction. Suddenly, in that moment, I cared for one of the characters on a visceral, rather than an intellectual, level.

The film has absolutely no sense of humor. None. Zilch. I don’t want comedy, I don’t want camp, and I hated those elements in the old Christopher Reeve movies. But I do want wit, I do want humor, I do want irony, I do want to fucking smile every once in a while.

And please. Please please please. Please spare us the Space Jesus crap. Sure, it’s easy to find all sorts of subtext in a Superman story  if you want to (he’s basically more Space Moses than Jesus anyway, and was created by a couple of Jewish kids to boot), but when you start making the subtext hamfisted text it’s just embarrassing. Bryan Singer was guilty of this in Superman Returns too. Don’t bash us over the fucking head with the allegory: having Superman spread his arms as if he’s on a cross isn’t clever, it’s just stupid and obvious, especially when paired with a line of dialogue like “You can save them all…”

Also, spare us the jingoistic military recruitment video before the film that uses heroic imagery of Superman to inspire more kids to enlist to die pointlessly in far off lands. How frigging manipulative and cynical can you get?

There have been a lot of complaints that the movie makers went too dark and gritty with the film, and for the most part I disagree. There could certainly be a bit more color on their palette visually, but it’s fine, and I don’t think the story or characters are too thematically dark. I like the uncertainty and humanity they bring to Superman, and I prefer a noble person struggling to do the right thing to a two-dimensional symbol of heroism who is unfailingly perfect. I don’t mind Superman killing occasionally if he sees the need, though the need has to be overwhelming and clear and earned by the storytellers (there’s at least one big failure on this point in the film).

Overall, I’d give Man of Steel a very shaky B-. I’m glad they’ve done well with it, because I mostly like the elements in the mix and am glad they’re getting to continue with those elements. I just hope that next time they address some of their failures and make a movie I’ll actually want to watch a second time.

Get DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM For $2 Off!

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM

ON SALE UNTIL JULY 1, 2013!!!

“Really. Totally. Awesome.” ­‑‑Book Nut

“Doc Wilde swings in on a jungle vine to raise the flag high for adventure. Infused with pace, fun, and all the two-fisted action a reader could ask for…” –Zack Stentz, screenwriter, Thor, X-Men: First Class

To the world at large, Doc Wilde and his family are an amazing team of golden-skinned adventurers, born to daring escapades and globetrotting excitement. Join them as they crisscross the earth on a constant quest for new knowledge, incredible 21st-century thrills, and good old-fashioned adventure!

Now, with adventurous Grandpa Wilde missing, the Wildes confront the deepest mysteries of Dark Matter, penetrate the tangled depths of uncharted jungles, and come face to face with the likely end of the world in the clammy clutches of an ancient amphibian threat…THE FROGS OF DOOM!

“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.” —Kirkus Reviews

The Astonishing Adventures of Doc Wilde are written by Tim Byrd, lavishly illustrated by Gary Chaloner, and published by Outlaw Moon Books.

Now in deluxe new editions, these novels recapture the magic of pulp cliffhangers for readers of all ages. Lost worlds, ancient ruins, cool gadgets, and evil villains and daring heroes, all brought into the 21st-century with contemporary themes, modern science fantasy, the wonders of family, and a deep appreciation of literature and of the thinking life itself.

 In the tradition of classic adventure stories, and modern tales like The Incredibles and Raiders of the Lost Ark, they’re great for kids and grown-ups alike.

To celebrate the return of Doc Wilde, Outlaw Moon Books is offering the ebook edition of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom at a special low price of $4.99 (regular $6.99) until July 1, 2013. To get the book, visit the links below at Amazon (Kindle format) or Barnes & Noble (for EPUB format):

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM AT AMAZON

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM AT B&N

ALSO AVAILABLE IN TRADE PAPERBACK!

For more info, visit Doc Wilde Adventure Headquarters at www.DocWilde.com!

On Father’s Day, I Honor My Son

Son

It is Father’s Day, yet I do not honor my father.

My father was an abusive drunk who put me through years of hell and regularly did everything he could to crush my spirit. He did a hell of a lot of damage in that regard; I’ve struggled for years with chronic, enervating, soul-crushing depression that several shrinks have identified as deep post-traumatic shock pounded into my marrow and mind during my childhood.

So today, I honor my son.

Nathaniel is seventeen, intelligent, kind, thoughtful, socially adept and funny, loves his parents, loves being around his parents, and has never been a behavioral problem in any way. When people ask us how we discipline him, we always say we don’t. If there’s an issue, we talk it out, and it’s no longer an issue.

I attribute this mostly to his innate character, but also to the fact that from the day he was born, both his parents have treated him with respect and have never seen dealing with him as an innate conflict or power struggle. He is the way he is because we allowed him to be the way he is, not because we beat it into him or forced him to act certain ways or made him follow stringent rules. We always honored his right to be acknowledged, to be present, to be heard. We pointed out when he was in the wrong, but also stood up for him when he was in the right.

We gave him love and respect at every step along the way, and as a result, he has given us love and respect in return. He doesn’t have to rebel because we’re not holding him back from being who he is and living life on his terms, and because we trust him, which lets him know that he is worthy of our trust.

Because of who he is, and how he was raised, my son didn’t have to bother with being a surly teen. He went straight to being a man.

Important Update On The Frogs of Doom Typo Contest

It was pointed out to me that I really wasn’t allowing much time for the contest (detailed in my last post), so I’m adding a week and a few hours to the starting time. It will now begin Monday, June 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm EDT. I had also originally said the first person to identify a typo would win; now everyone who enters between 6/17/2013 and 6/24/2013 will have a chance to win.

Announcing: The Frogs of Doom Typo Challenge!!! [UPDATED! AGAIN!]

DOC WILDE AND THE FROGS OF DOOM
When I left a multi-book contract at Putnam and decided to publish my Doc Wilde adventure series independently, it was for various reasons including getting the lion’s share of the profits from my work and full creative control. Part of the latter was a desire to produce books that were at least as professionally wrought as those coming out of a publishing house, and of which I could be proud.

We see a lot of insult hurled at the indie publishing community. The fact that it has become so easy to publish has undeniably opened the gates to a lot of lazy, shoddy, unedited books. Some people refuse to see the other side of the equation, that a great many very talented writers who have either not been fortunate enough to break in with a traditional publisher yet, or who have opted to leave the old system as I have, now have the chance to share their work and possibly even make a living from it.

I’m not the first to set out to do things right, by any stretch. But I wanted to be one of the writers who prove that indie publishing can result in wonderful books, a group that gets larger all the time.

One of the most common complaints I see about self-publishing is that the books are terribly edited, full of typos and bad spelling. As a writer who slaves over his prose with a goal of not needing to be edited, I was determined that no one be able to sling that particular brickbat my way. Which brings me to:

The Frogs of Doom Typo Challenge

From Monday, June 17, 2013 through Monday, June 24, 2013, everyone who emails  me (at docwildekickstarter@gmail.com) identifying a typo or misspelling in  Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom will be entered into a random drawing to win an autographed first edition hardback of the book, an autographed copy of the new deluxe second edition, and my thanks for pointing out something I can correct to make my book even better.

This applies only to the new edition from Outlaw Moon Books, and doesn’t include the excerpt from the next book in the back (that book is still being developed, so the text of the excerpt is essentially still in first draft form).

Any submissions which arrive prior to noon on Monday will be deleted. Likewise, any typos pointed out beforehand (in comments here or elsewhere) will disqualify you; I want people to have a fair shot at getting their entry in when the time is right.

If anyone wins the challenge, I will update this post with the news as well as writing a new post to announce it.

Good luck, intrepid readers!

UPDATE: It was pointed out to me that I really wasn’t allowing much time for the contest, so I’m adding a week and a few hours to the starting time. It will now begin Monday, June 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm EDT. I had also originally said the first person to identify a typo would win; now everyone who enters between 6/17/2013 and 6/24/2013 will have a chance to win.