Good Times

An old back injury that has only worsened with time has flared up just as my wife imagesunderwent shoulder surgery that will keep her laid up for at least four months. You might think it’s all doom and gloom around Casa Paolinelli these days.

Far from it.

The back comes and goes, as it has for nearly two decades, and her shoulder will heal. Despite the physical woes that sprung up this month, August is shaping up to be a great month for me as a writer.

Coming off winning a second place medal in the ETWG’s Blue Ribbon Book Cover Contest second_place– ok, I’ve seen the first place winner and I have to admit it was a worthy choice – my novel Escaping Infinity was named a finalist for Best Sci-Fi Novel in the 2017 Dragon Awards. You can listen to me about 60 seconds after I was informed right here: August 3rd, The Writers Block Radio Show as I was about to go on air as a guest co-host. As you can probably tell, I was a little wound up. Trust me, you should have been in the studio during the 60 seconds before we went live.

Voting for the awards is ongoing, Escaping Infinity is available on Amazon Kindle for just $0.99 for the rest of August as my way of saying thank you for the nomination, and if you are so inclined after reading it, you can cast your vote for it right here.

And while you have your ballot open, there are 14 other categories with about 100 worthy finalists to choose from. You don’t have to vote for every category, but I’m sure whoever you do vote for will be just as appreciative as I am.

The rest of August is looking busy as well. I’ll be on the Catholic Geek show with several other Dragon Award finalists on the 13th at 4:30 PM PDT. Tune in here. On the 15th, the New Apple Summer E-Book awards will be announced to the winners and Escaping Infinity is in the hunt there too.

On August 31st I’m going to be at the Pipe & Thimble Book store in Lomita, CA near Torrance from 5-8 p.m. as part of a sci-fi panel. I’ll have a copy or two of my book available there too.

The following day, the Readers Favorite award winners will be notified and Escaping Infinity is up for the science fiction category. Of course, on September 3rd in Atlanta, the Dragon Awards ceremony will be held and 15 creators will walk away with one of these:

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As fate would have it, I’ll be back on The Writer’s Block on September 7th at 7 PM PDT, this time as a guest and hopefully with something to celebrate.

So yeah, there are some not so fun things going on that I would like to go away. But overall I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going.

And I hope you are able to say the same thing too when you sit back and take stock of how life is working out for you.

 

My Thoughts On The Dragons

If you are a regular follower of my blog you’ve heard about the Dragon Awards. They started last year and I like to think I was one of the earlier supporters of it.

 

dragon_award-221x300What drew me to the Dragons was the fact that, unlike two other “major” sci-fi/fantasy awards, voting was wide open to anyone who is a fan of science fiction and fantasy in every facet of literature, cinema and gaming. Literally everyone on Planet Earth, all seven billion or so of us, if so inclined could nominate our favorites and then cast a vote from among the finalists.

 

This is not the case for the Nebulas, where nominating and voting is limited to the less than 2,000 total members of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. By the way, not every sci-fi/fantasy writer can join this organization even if they have earned real money as a sci-fi/fantasy writer, how’s that for an extremely exclusive and limited club. Nor is it the case for the Hugos, limited to the less than 9,000 people who paid, that’s right they bought their way into, nominating and voting for their award.

 

There is no way you can tell me that a total of 11,000 people represent an accurate portrayal of what the entire world of sci-fi/fantasy fans like. But the Dragons, open to everyone across the planet, certainly does. And they do so without the political intrigue that has infested both the Nebulas and Hugos over the past decade.

 

You’ve no doubt heard about the Justice Warriors/Rabid Puppies/Sad Puppies kerfuffle that sprung up between 2013 and 2016. I myself hadn’t until late 2015 and found the actions and conduct of the Justice Warriors (who had overrun both the Nebulas and Hugos) and the Rabids (who vowed to burn down everyone’s house to make their point) disgusting. I gravitated toward the Sad Puppies because they seemed to be the reasonable group that just wanted to make sure the playing field was level for everyone.

 

Needless to say, it didn’t end well.

 

cropped-banner2Then came the Dragons, with open voting and no need for the political BS that had ruined the legacy of the other two awards. When nominations opened for the first year, I threw all of my support behind the Dragons, even though I had nothing that was eligible. I continued to support the Dragons when the finalists were released and have done so again in this, the second year.

 

This year, I was fortunate enough to have a novel eligible to be nominated for a Dragon and very fortunate to have enough people nominate it so that it is a Dragon Award finalist for Best Sci-Fi Novel.

 

So yes, I am promoting the awards as much as I can here on my blog and across all of my social media. I’ve even promoted it during several on-air radio show appearances, and not just for my category, but for all of them.

 

I will continue to fully support the Dragons for every year they exist, whether I have something eligible or not. Why?

Logo_no_backgroundSmallBecause the Dragon Awards represent, to me at least, the best Con in the world. (San Diego, I feel, has higher attendance only because a lot of Hollywood types from A to Z listers show up just to be seen.) It is attended by over 70,000 fans who, like myself, live, breathe and eat sci-fi and fantasy and have done so all of their lives.

 

I will continue to support the Dragon Awards because I feel they are the only award that truly represents lifelong sci-fi/fantasy fans like myself, whether or not I ever have another work eligible to be nominated. I believe this award is the best and will do all I can to help it remain that way.

 

I will continue to support the Dragons because I feel they have no intention to ever allow groups like the Justice Warriors or Rabid to turn their award into a political statement, nor will they allow the voting system to be gamed by any group, ever.

 

I thank every single person who nominated me and who will vote for me. I also thank every single person who takes the time to vote, no matter who they vote for, for doing their part in making the Dragon Awards the premier award in Sci-Fi/Fantasy fandom.

 

And I congratulate all of the finalists and wish all of them the best of luck going forward. I’ll also be among to first to congratulate all of the winners announced on September 3rd.

 

Sadly, there are two finalists who have publicly asked to have their works withdrawn from the Dragons. One of them has done so for the second year in a row.

 

This is an insult to the fans who nominated their works and have already voted for them. It is also an insult to the integrity of Pat Henry and the rest of the DragonCon organizers. I applaud them for their response to these two authors.

 

I suggest you head over to File 770, a website run by a former Hugo winner, to get an idea of what those authors and their supporters really think of the Dragon Awards and possibly even DragonCon itself. They have spent a lot of time questioning the integrity of the Awards and its organizers.

 

Then ask yourself who you’d rather hang out with: People who want to make the realm of Sci-Fi/Fantasy the greatest it can be for everyone? Or hate-filled people who want to send “wrongthinkers” and “NotTrueFans” to the dungeon?

Chasing the Dragon

Wow, what a whirlwind 24 hours it has been.

I got a late call to fill-in as a guest co-host on The Writer’s Block last night and quickly prepped for the show and then made the 30-mile drive to the studio in Sherman Oaks.

Not one minute before we were to go on the air live (listen to last night’s show here), I got a message informing me that my book, Escaping Infinity, had been named a finalist for Best Sci-Fi Novel for the 2017 Dragon Awards.

Here’s what all of the shouting is all about.

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The winners will be announced on September 3rd at DragonCon in Atlanta.

Here is the final ballot and you can register to vote right here. Both the registration and the voting are completely free. For the rest of August, the e-book version of Escaping Infinity is available for just $0.99.

Get your copy today, give it a read and if you like what you’ve read, please consider voting for it and for as many of the other worthy finalists in all of the other categories that you like.

EI_DRAGON_COVER BADGE

For now, I wanted to thank everyone who nominated my novel for what I consider the premier award in Science Fiction anywhere.

And thank you to all of you who will be voting for it during this round of finalists.

I am deeply honored and humbled by your support.

Thank you all!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As We Wait, A Thank You

The nominations for the 2017 Dragon Awards closed about an hour ago. Over the next 7-10 days the nominations will be tabulated and the finalists in each category will be announced and the final vote to determine the ultimate winners will get underway.

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The Dragon Award nominations for 2017 have closed. The finalists will be announced on August 2nd. Winners will be announced on September 2nd at Dragon Con in Atlanta, GA

Escaping Infinity was nominated by several people that I know of for Best Sci-Fi Novel. I will now wait to see if it garnered enough nominations to make it to the final vote. I know I really hope it does and will be happy with making the finals if it fails to win the award on September 2nd.

But, at this point and time, before the final results are tallied and released. I wanted to thank everyone who nominated my novel as well as everyone who has read it and left reviews or sent my such wonderful comments about it.

The idea for it first came to me in 1996 and it took the better part of two decades to work it out and shape it into the final form it was released as in January of this year. When I first started it I had no idea what would become of it and no hint of the journey it would take me on.

Thank you again, for your nominations and for accompanying me along the way.

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What’s The Hold Up George?

So apparently, it’s a thing now and I want to jump on board the bandwagon too. So here goes.

Jump on the band wagon

It has been several years since George R.R. Martin has released a new book, 2012 to be exact. Some authors are listing all the books they’ve written and released since 2012. In my case, all you have to do is look at my Books page and you’ve got my list.

For the record, since 2012 I have released six standalone novels, two novelettes and two short stories that were part of Sherlock Holmes anthologies. This year I have written two more anthology-bound short stories, am almost finished with a third and hope to release two new novels before the end of the year.

We call it the #PulpRev – short for Pulp Revolution. Back in the golden age of sci-fi/fantasy authors like Doyle, Burroughs and Wells cranked out a steady flow of entertaining material for their readers to eagerly consume. Nowadays, it seems like the bigger houses like to torment their readers with a slow drip of stories that preach to the reader rather than entertain.

So those of us that identify with the #PulpRev make a serious effort to get entertaining stories of great quality out as fast as our fingers can type. You’ll also note – unlike a certain house with certain authors – we don’t charge print edition prices for e-book editions of our books. We want to entertain you, not bankrupt you.

So when you see the hashtag #PulpRev attached to the name of such great authors like Declan FinnJon Del ArrozLarry CorreiaDawn Witzkesome dude with a hard-to-pronounce Italian last name and a host of many, many others I haven’t listed here but are just as worthy, you know you’ve got a good story at your fingertips.

Award Season Off To A Nice Start

So this arrived in my inbox yesterday and, of course, I was on the road traveling and just now back home so I can post the news here.

second_placeThe East Texas Writers Guild has awarded Escaping Infinity its Second Place Ribbon in the Guild’s 2017 Blue Ribbon Book Cover Contest during its annual gathering on Saturday.

The contest was judged by artists from Dallas, Texas and the winners were announced on July 15th.

It is the first of four awards Escaping Infinity is in the running for over the next two months. As you can imagine, while first place would have been wonderful, I am delighted that the cover earned the recognition that it did. I want to thank the Guild for the contest as well as the judges for the award. I’ll just have to see about doing a little better next year, of course. And I plan to have more than one eligible book to make a run and the top ribbon in 2018.

The next date on my awards calendar is July 24th, the day the 2017 Dragon Awards nominations close. Shortly after the finalists will be announced with the winners set to be announced on September 2nd. I’m hoping to see Escaping Infinity among the finalists for Best Sci-Fi Novel (there’s still time to enter your nominations.)

On August 15th, the New Apple Self-Published Summer E-Book Awards will announce their winners and on September 1st the Readers Favorite Awards will announce their winners. Escaping Infinity is in the running for both of these awards as well.