Chasing UFOs

I gave Nat Geo’s new parashow “Chasing UFOs” (link) a look. I really didn’t see anything new that I haven’t seen on other TV shows.

Look Ma no hands!!!

Ryder shows us the official “Chasing UFOs” driving technique that I like to call “look Ma no hands.” If you can’t talk without using your hands maybe driving while talking is a bad idea. I’ve heard of driving defensively but is this a new driving martial art? Driving Fu the art of driving without driving. The episode may start as a UFO show but driving like that could end as a ghost show.

I’m not sure if I will give Chasing UFOs another try. Warmed up ideas from other parashows just doesn’t do it for me. There is just way too much competition with parashows and I really want something fresh..

I can tweet space aliens — and you can too

Thanks to a shameless publicity stunt from the National Geographic Channel, we can tweet a reply to the famous “WOW!” signal of 1977. On Aug. 15, the tweets will be beamed into space in the direction of the source of the enigmatic signal. All you need to do is tweet your message with the hashtag #ChasingUFOs between 8 p.m. EDT Friday (June 29) and 3 a.m. EDT Saturday (June 30).

Should Aliens from outer-space be actually listening to Earth broadcasts, I am sure that they will be more interested in the “I Love Lucy” episodes than our tweets. Nat Geo is doing a UFO hunting show — hmmmm what’s next — Home and Garden Gnome Hunts? SoapNet ET love stories? Food Network Alien recipes?

On the plus side, we get to see Erin Ryder again. Probably one of the sexiest women in paranormal TV. I’m sure that she will be striking this pose throughout the Chasing UFOs series.

Twisted Dixie: ghost hunting redneck style

(source)

Just when you thought that ghost hunting shows were on heir way out, CMT plans to air a southern ghost hunting show. Didn’t someone tell them that this had been done before — Ghost Lab?

They are part of Twisted Dixie, a group of six that seek the paranormal throughout the South. Grady Carter, Chris’ father, owns the business and finances it. Andy Carter, a talker, leads most investigations. Chris “Moo Moo” Phillips is rotund, funny and wears a cap displaying the words village idiot. Margie Blalock, who was absent from Wednesday’s adventures in Iva, is a psychic. Steve Keaton, who is Chris’ uncle and Grady’s brother-in-law, good-naturedly sat on the front porch of Ross’ house and listened to a combination of excitement, chaos and cursing.

[…]

They travel in an old white limousine to assignments because it’s the only vehicle they’ve found in which they can all fit. Before entering any house, they stand in a circle and pray for protection and for the peace of mind of any spirits they’ll disturb. They use a homemade Ouija board, which they call the Margie board, out of respect for Chris’s Catholicism.

Sounds like Ghost Adventures meets the Beverly Hillbillies, and an uncomfortable dose of southern religious enthusiasm tossed in a’la Paranormal State.  Expect to see these beer swilling demon-fighting mercenaries in the fall on CMT.
By the way, Twisted Dixie charges ” … upward of $2,000 per demonic possession, they camp out at night in clients’ houses, barns, businesses or woods and ‘document paranormal activity,’”  (source NYT link)

PHOENIX FearCON V

Are you a horror fan and live in the Scottsdale Arizona area, or plan to be there October 13? If so, you may want to visit the “Phoenix FearCon V (link)!”

PHOENIX FearCON V

Saturday October 13 2012
Noon till 1:00am
Ultra Star Cinemas
Scottsdale Arizona

Enjoy events like the Celebrity Appearances, Feature Films, contests, Horror Author Book Signing, and much more. Speaking of book signings, the authors of the Barry the Handsome Zombie Book Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse (link) are planning to be there. Buy a copy of ZHoA and get it autographed. Tell them Barry the Handsome Zombie sent you — they’ll love that….

Review: Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse

Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse
by Julie Ferguson and Sharon Day

Product description:

The toxic bomb apocalypse of the 1950s didn’t stop Stella and Liz. These housewives reanimated and continued their days as usual, only with a hunger for living flesh. Stella, the perfect housewife, continued her housekeeping in her zombie state and Liz, the drunken, slutty divorcee housewife, stirred up a Bloody Mary and fell into her usual stupor. This photo and resource book for all things zombie is a fun and playful look at the zombie-like existence of housewives through the ages and incorporates housewife tips and recipes, showcasing zombie artisans and listing lots of zombie resources for all those readers who love zombie-everything!

My thoughts:

“A Dead Woman’s Work is Never Done”

“Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse” by Julie Ferguson and Sharon Day is a fun romp, or should I say shamble, through zombie pop culture. The book includes a nice section called “zombie artisans” including links and commentary on zombie websites, zombie artwork, zombie movies, books, games, magazines, products, comic books, etc. Having said that, the real meat (or is that brainzzzz) of the book would have to be the zombie story and eye-popping pictures.

The tale takes a look at the lives of Liz and Stella during the zombie apocalypse of an alternate timeline in the 1950s. This book is planned to be the first in a series of Zombie Housewives books covering the 60s, 70s. etc. How do Zombie Housewives deal with their zombie existence? Is this a metaphor for our everyday life? Read it and see for yourself.

By the way, check out page 57, “I’m watching you Barry Huddleston.” My review may be a little biased by my inclusion in the book. I’d like to give it the unofficial title of “Barry the Handsome Zombie Book” but I’m afraid that the authors wont go that far.

It’s a fun coffee table book and a must-have for Halloween. Great pictures, and packed with all sorts of zombie goodness, I highly recommend it.

Product details:

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: Black Bed Sheet Books (April 20, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0983377359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983377351

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the authors. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The 2011 Nebula Award Winners!

Congratulations to the 2011 class of Nebula winners!

NOVEL: Among Others, by Jo Walton (Tor)

NOVELLA: “The Man Who Bridged the Mist,” Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Science
Fiction, October/November 2011)

NOVELLETTE: “What We Found,” Geoff Ryman (The Magazine of Fantasy and
Science Fiction, September/October 2011)

SHORT STORY: “The Paper Menagerie,” Ken Liu (The Magazine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction, March/April 2011) (read it here)

RAY BRADBURY AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING DRAMATIC PRESENTATION: Doctor Who:
“The Doctor’s Wife,” Neil Gaiman (writer), Richard Clark (director)
(BBC Wales)

ANDRE NORTON AWARD FOR YOUNG ADULT SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY BOOK:
The Freedom Maze, Delia Sherman (Big Mouth House)

2011 DAMON KNIGHT GRAND MASTER AWARD: Connie Willis

SOLSTICE AWARD: Octavia Butler (posthumous) and John Clute

SERVICE TO SFWA AWARD: Bud Webster

Dear Sir/Madame PR spam

I like to think of this blog as a PR friendly blog. If you have a product or a book that you would like reviewed, I’m interested in working with you. That being said, I do have a problem with PR spam who offer a review copy only to withdraw the offer for whatever reason.

Recently, I was emailed by Louisa Bradshaw, Publicist at abundant www.abundant.co.uk , to do a review of Piggy a British horror/thriller film due out this month.  A few hours later, another email from Lou, as she likes to be called, landed in my email with clips to the movie. I liked what I saw and I’ve been wanting to do more products like DVDs so I replied that I’d like to do a review. Lou’s reply, “but this is just for the UK.”

Is it asking too much for PR folks to take a minute to know who they are contacting? The thing that really bugs me is not that Lou said no to a review copy, but that her email sounded as if I contacted her when I was replying to her emails (plural). I understand that PR people are busy, but if you want me to take some of my time to review your product shouldn’t you take a minute to learn a little something about me and my website (in this case my location)?

A few weeks ago, I was bombarded with ebook review requests (5 requests per hour). I imagine that the majority got my email from some sort of list. They didn’t know my name or my blog nor do I believe that they even cared. I don’t think its asking too much to actually have a rough idea of whom you are emailing? I don’t expect you to know that my dog’s name is Peppy, my favorite food is potato salad, or that I eat last night’s pizza in the morning. I do expect you to know that my name is Barry.

Truth be told, I enjoy PR people. I like getting the heads up on new books, it makes me feel important. I love getting free things it is like Christmas, although I am sure that my mailman does not share my enthusiasm. But after my recently contact with Louisa Bradshaw, I wouldn’t watch your movie Piggy if you stopped by the house, popped it into my DVD player, and popped popcorn for me.

WINNERS: 2011 Aurealis Awards

The only one I have is Ghosts by Gaslight

It looks like I have some good reading ahead of me. The 2011 winners of the Aurealis Award are:

  • CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words): City of Lies, by Lian Tanner
  • CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures): Sounds Spooky, by Christopher Cheng (author) and Sarah Davis (illustrator)
  • YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY: “Nation of the Night,” by Sue Isle
  • YOUNG ADULT NOVEL: Only Ever Always, by Penni Russon
  • ILLUSTRATED BOOK/GRAPHIC NOVEL (Tie)
    • Hidden, by Mirranda Burton (author and illustrator)
    • The Deep: Here be Dragons, by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator)
  • COLLECTION: Bluegrass Symphony, by Lisa Hannett
  • ANTHOLOGY: Ghosts by Gaslight, edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers
  • HORROR SHORT STORY
    • “The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt,” by Paul Haines
    • “The Short Go: a Future in Eight Seconds,” by Lisa L. Hannett
  • HORROR NOVEL: No shortlist and no winning novel
  • FANTASY SHORT STORY: “Fruit of the Pipal Tree,” by Thoraiya Dyer
  • FANTASY NOVEL: Ember and Ash, by Pamela Freeman
  • SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY: “Rains of la Strange,” by Robert N Stephenson
  • SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL: The Courier’s New Bicycle, by Kim Westwood
  • PETER MCNAMARA CONVENORS AWARD: Galactic Suburbia podcast – Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Andrew Finch (producer)
  • KRIS HEMBURY ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD: Emily Craven of Adelaide
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