Friday, December 3, 2010



What’s that you say? You’d like to make the world a better place while simultaneously winning fabulous prizes?

Then read on . . .

I've been helping with the amazing Worldbuilders program for the past couple of years. My author friend, Patrick Rothfuss, introduced me to it and I've been donating books and more to the program he's doing.

Please follow this link and check it out, since you can win fabulous prizes and help make the world a better place.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Nubian Queen
in Steampunked'd from DAW Books

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Residual Hauntings Live Interview

I'll be interviewed on an internet radio show tonight, called Residual Hauntings Live, a show about all things paranormal. I collect true ghost stories from hospitals and have a chilling story from a local children's hospital that you won't want to miss. Tune in to the free show at 10:30 PM Mountain Time tonight. Just go to the link and click on "Listen Live."

Paul Genesse
Author of The Nubian Queen
in the Steampunk'd anthology from DAW Books

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Steampunk'd [1] copy.jpg

Steampunk'd is the new anthology from DAW Books and releases November 2, 2010 and features my story, The Nubian Queen.

Read the first half of the story for free on my website in the Works section, or listen to a free podcast here:’d_Anthology_from_DAW_Books.html

The podcast is pretty awesome. It's read by Annie O'Connell-Torgersen, who is an acclaimed voice over artist and a friend. She's married to Brad Torgersen, a sci-fi writer and a Writers of the Future winner.

Annie happens to be perfect to play the role of Queen Sahdi and I knew that from the moment I met her. You see, Annie and Sahdi are both strong black women.

In The Nubian Queen, the last descendent of Cleopatra the Great must risk everything to save her country in an 1800’s alternate history Earth where Egypt is the center of the world.

Check out the book on

Back Cover Copy:

Science fiction is the literature of what if, and steampunk takes the what if along a particular time stream. What if steam power was the prime force in the Victorian era? How would that era change, and how would it change the future?

From a Franco-British race for Kentucky coal to one woman’s determination to let no man come between her and her inventions . . . from an attempt to turn lead into gold which has far-reaching implications to a reporter’s cross-country airship journey to cover the story of a scientist out to tame the desert’s heat . . . from the hunt for a near-extinct creature to an attempt to rid Europe of the fey . . . from “machine whispers” to a Thomas Edison experiment gone awry, here are fourteen original tales of what might have been had steam powered the world in an earlier age.

Stories by:

Michael A. Stackpole * Donald J. Bingle
William C. Dietz * Jody Lynn Nye
Bradley P. Beaulieu * Dean Leggett
Stephen D. Sullivan * Matthew P. Mayo
C.A. Verstraete * Paul Genesse
Mary Louise Eklund* Marc Tassin
Skip & Penny Williams * Robert Vardeman

Friday, October 15, 2010

Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies

Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies by Martin H. Greenberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Zombie Raccoons & Killer Bunnies edited by Kerrie Hughes and Martin H. Greenberg

This is a crazy book and the purposefully amateurish cover drew the ire of a many when it came out. Those who hated the cover may have missed the point all together of this mostly comedic exploration on two hilarious ideas: zombie raccoons and killer bunnies. If you’re looking for some spooky fun during Halloween you’ll find a lot of entertainment here, from hilarious to scary. There’s fifteen stories and the authors cover a lot of different ground.

Death Mask by Jody Lynn Nye has written a tale about some nefarious raccoons and a tough old lady with a shotgun that you won’t soon forget. BunRabs by Donald J. Bingle is the funniest story in the book and I laughed out loud several times. For Lizzie by Anton Strout explores a couple of secondary characters from his well received Simon Canderous novels (Dead to Me, Dead Matter, Deader Still, & Dead Waters). Faith in Our Fathers by Alexander B. Potter is one of the best stories in the book and it really tugs at your heart. It has a resonance that any of us who have ever lost a pet can identify with, and is written with the grace of a master.

Bone Whispers by Tim Waggoner is a Stephen King-esque horror story that comes to life and will totally creep you out. Bone Whispers is one of those bizarre and well-written stories that makes you cringe. Watching by Carrie Vaughn is a tale about pigeons and mind control that will have you watching those damn flying rats out of the corner of your eye for some time.

The Things That Crawl by Richard Lee Byers is in my top three of the anthology. It’s one of those awesome stories that has it all, creepiness, a hurricane, great characterization, murder, and it’s an awesome story about the kind of serial killer you’ve never heard of before. Dead Poets by John A. Pitts is the most literary of the anthology and is written in an interesting point of view with a liberal dose of poetry. Her Black Mood by Brenda Cooper is an exploration of a unique fairy world by a neglected young girl.

Ninja Rats on Harleys by Elizabeth A. Vaughan is such an incredibly amusing story about a writer and her new friend, Wan, a very unique mouse who would be utterly bad-ass if he weren’t three inches tall. This is the continuation of Vaughan’s story about Wan from the anthology, Furry Fantastic and even if you haven’t read the first one, you’ll love this one. I mean, who doesn’t like ninja rats on Harleys?

Bats in thebayou (not a typo) by Steven H. Silver is one of the most interesting science fiction stories I’ve read a long time and one of the best stories in the book. It’s about a breed of aliens that look like bats. They’ve secretly invaded Earth and have come up with a scheme to harvest the most valuable thing on the planet, mosquitoes, without anyone knowing about it. Twilight Animals by the award-winning Nini Kiriki Hoffman is about a slacker who discovers a terrible secret about the possums infesting a suburban neighborhood where he’s house sitting. The final tale in the book titled, The Ridges by Larry D. Sweazy is a great story that will keep you guessing until the end.

Overall, Zombie Raccoons and Killer Bunnies was rollicking good time about creepy animals that infest the dark and often funny corners of our twisted imaginations. It’s a perfect collection of stories for Halloween time.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

View all my reviews

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tracy Hickman and Paul Genesse


It's not everyday that you get to live out your boyhood dreams. Yesterday, I signed copies of my books while my boyhood hero, New York Times bestselling author Tracy Hickman signed copies of his novels and his XDM books beside me at Barnes and Noble. It was a "wow" moment for me and getting to talk with him was awesome.

I've known Mr. Hickman for several years now and have been a fan since I was twelve when I read the Dragonlance novels that he wrote with Margaret Weis. It was a cool day indeed to be able to do two signings with him, one at the Jordan Landing Barnes and Noble and one at the Borders by Fashion Place Mall. If you missed the signings, you can still get signed copies at each store. The store employees were excellent as well and took good care of us.

Both signings were fun and the best thing was getting to hang out with my writer friends and fans. I'm so blessed to have such awesome people in my life. Just about all of us writers, plus a few spouses, and a few friends from the signings went out to dinner afterward, (there were 21 of us at the Cheesecake Factory, which has delicious food). All in all, it was a fabulous day. I've posted the pics on Facebook. Here's the link:

Thanks to everyone for coming out and supporting us.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Super Writers of the Universe and Friends Mega Signing--Part One and Part Two


Super Writers of the Universe and Friends Mega Signing--PART ONE

Saturday, September 25, 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Jordan Landing in West Jordan - 801-282-1324
7157 Plaza Center Drive, West Jordan, UT 84084
West Jordan, UT





Book Signing Event Featuring Science Fiction/Fantasy Authors:
John Brown (Servant of a Dark God), Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance,
Dragonsbard, X-treme Dungeon Mastery), Larry Correia (Monster Hunter International), David Farland (Runelords), Brad Torgerson, Dan Willis (Dragonlance: The New Adventures), Jaleta Clegg (Nexus Point), Eric James Stone (numerous short stories), Howard Tayler (Schlock Mercenary).

Call and the store and reserve your books: 801.282.1324
For media inquiries call Micahel Tanner 801.499.4594


Super Writers of the Universe and Friends Mega Signing--PART TWO

Saturday, September 25 · 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Borders Bookstore; 132 East Winchester St, Murray, UT 84107 (801) 313-1020





Book Signing Event Featuring Science Fiction/Fantasy Authors:
John Brown (Servant of a Dark God), Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance,
Dragonsbard, X-treme Dungeon Mastery), Larry Correia (Monster Hunter International), David Farland (Runelords), Brad Torgerson, Dan Willis (Dragonlance: The New Adventures), Jaleta Clegg (Nexus Point), Eric James Stone (numerous short stories), Howard Tayler (Schlock Mercenary).

We are also waiting until the Sept 15th for theannoucement of a possible super author to come.

Watch for upcoming announcements on more authors attending this great event!


Mathew Grahl General Manager mgrahl@boardersstores dot com

For media inquiries contact: Michael Tanner mike@dicemediagroup dot com 801.499.4594

The authors will be up stairs in a big area. We are doing this event in case you can't make the earlier signing at the Barnes and Noble in Jordan Landing. Or if you just want another crack at all the books we will be giving away or other types of swag!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Last Breakfast


My writer friend Kelly Swails has a flash fiction story (1.5 pages) on my buddy Patrick Tracy's horror flash fiction website. This story is worth a read if you're into zombies. The website is called: Nasty, Brutish, and Short and if you have any flash horror fiction it's the place to submit. Kelly's story is a short blast of sweet, sweet cannibalism, just like you always wanted to read. It's a really good story, but not for the faint of heart.

The great thing is . . . Kelly wrote it in second person. It's a story about YOU, and how YOU crave the flesh of the living. What could be better? I don't know. Maybe a donut. Naw. It would take a fricken' BACON DONUT to be better than that.

I suggest you stop what you're doing, right this second, and Read Kelly's Story. (The linky deal just now was where you wanted to click. Yeah. You. Go back. Finish reading my blather in a few minutes, when you're done with Kelly's stuff.)

If you want to know more about Kelly, Here's Her Official Website, and Here's Her Blog.

Okay, I'm done bossing you around now. As you were.

Paul Genesse (who may have borrowed some of the previous words from Pat's website) :)

Little Miriam's Fundraiser


My friend, Daniel has a sweet little daughter named, Miriam. She was born with Down Syndrome. If you're interested in helping the Utah Down Syndrome Foundation and helping little Miriam, and children like her, please visit this website to donate or if you want to participate in the 5K or buddy walk on September 25, visit the website I've listed below.

Miriam's Donation page:

Buddy Walk/5K website:

Best wishes,

Paul Genesse
Author of The Golden Cord

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Mocking Jay review

Mockingjay (Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Mocking Jay Review

(This review contains spoilers)

The Mocking Jay, the final book in the Hunger Games series was my favorite of the three, but it was a bitter pill to swallow. It’s so dark, gritty, and very realistic. It doesn’t sugarcoat the effects of combat, and killing. There are consequences to what Katniss and the other characters have gone through. Terrible consequences.

I know that many readers are upset about how this series concluded. Two people I know have said they hated the book. They have good reasons to hate it, but the main issue is that they wanted a more Hollywood-type ending, or Disney ending if you will. Honestly, I would have preferred a Hollywood ending myself, but the story required a different kind of finale. I was very impressed with how Suzanne Collins unmercifully told this story and kept things rooted in the real world. It was very different from the other two books, but had similar elements that made the first Hunger Games books interesting.

Katniss is so messed up from all that she’s been through, and there is no recovering from it. My friends who hated the book wanted her to recover. I wanted her to recover. She doesn’t. She goes insane, which continues her downward spiral that started at the end of book two—remember when she scratched her drunken mentor’s face? Sure, we wanted Katniss to be okay. We wanted her to recover from her ordeals and survive and thrive. She can’t. Why? Because she’s human. She’s not a Hollywood heroine.

The message here is that we are fragile and delicate creatures. Even the ones among us who face combat and have to kill people, and most of those people in our society aren’t 15 or 16 years old. Combat destroys the souls of many of the soldiers who’ve been through it. I’m talking about strong men and women, like the ones I’ve taken care of at the V.A. hospital where I used to work as a nurse. The reality of war isn’t pretty. I think this book is the Saving Private Ryan of the mainstream literary world. Saving Private Ryan was the biggest antiwar movie of the last twenty years, beside Schindler’s List, both directed by Stephen Spielberg.

Those were important movies to see, but they weren’t fun at all. Collins out does Spielberg in some ways. Private Ryan survives. In many ways, Katniss does not. She’s a different person, and what she fought hardest for, dies a horrible death. The fact that someone so important to Katniss died set up the ending for me when she chose a different target than the one she was supposed to hit. I agree with her move. I think it was the right one. I don’t think she was manipulated at all there. She took out the real evil, though both targets were evil to the core. That was the strongest decision her character made in the whole series, and I did not see it coming. Bravo to Suzanne Collins for that one.

If The Mocking Jay were a heroic fantasy novel, Katniss would have probably come out a lot better than she did. I personally would have had her rise to the occasion and overcome her mental issues, though she would be damaged forever and bear great scars from all of it. I would have portrayed her as a strong character, making more decisions, and driving the plot, rather than being a prop for the rebel government’s commercials. She would have chosen her man at the end, rather than having the choice made for her. However, this is a dark science-fiction novel, and don’t kid yourself, this is science-fiction, though the publisher has decided to market it as mainstream, which is the reason why so many people read it.

These books are commentary on the world today like all good science-fiction. According to an interview I heard, Collins wrote these books with several things in mind, and she discusses a few of those ideas at the end of the audio book I listened to. She was watching the coverage of the war in Iraq and also watching some reality shows, and thought about how the two could be combined. She also was thinking of the ancient Greek myth of Theseus, where children were sacrificed to the minotaur every year, and Thesues volunteered to go.

What’s the message the author was trying to convey? Sacrificing your children because you can’t agree on something is wrong. Sending children (or anyone) off to war is not the right idea. The human race needs to figure out a better way of solving problems.

Yes, there are other points that Collins was trying to make, such as: don’t trust dictators or over-powerful governments, like the ones that exist today in our own world.

This whole series is supposed to make you think, and I’m so glad that Suzanne Collins had the courage to write these books, and write the ending she did. I think the publishers heard the pitch several years ago and decided to push these novels down the throats of America’s youth. It was a message the kids and adults needed to hear. Readers would be lured in after the first book, and then the second would wet their appetite even more, and then when they were least expecting it, the third book comes out and proves to be more than cheap entertainment. It has a message. Not a pretty message.

We want our heroes to come out on top and be okay. The truth of it is that in the real world, they’re not okay. They are broken people, like Katniss.

I’m so glad large numbers of people have read these books. Kids, and adults, need to be thinking about the issues raised in the series. The message isn’t new, but many of the generation who are reading these books haven’t heard it yet.

When I do school visits on my book tours I’m excited to be able to talk about The Hunger Games. There is substance here. It’s not some ridiculous and sparkly world where reality is distorted beyond belief. This is a post-apocalyptic world not so far removed from the one we live in today.

The Mockingjay is a bitter and mostly unsatisfying pill to swallow, but it shows the truth and holds up a mirror to all of us. We don’t like the way we really look, and perhaps for the first time we’re confronted with who we really are.

Paul Genesse

Author of The Golden Cord

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Did you always want to die for a good cause?


Here's your chance to die for a good cause. It involves donating money to a worthy cause so you can have your name in Larry Correia's next book, and you guessed it, your character gets killed. Here's the message from Kai Hintze, the father of the boy who needs a new kidney.

From: Kai Hintze catterwaller at gmail dot com

My son, Misha Hintze, age 23, needs a new kidney. Until he can get one
he is on dialysis to keep him alive. Once he gets a new kidney he can
expect to pay $1000 to $2000 a month for the rest of his life for
medication to keep the new kidney working. All that adds up to a
pretty large medical bill....

Larry Correia, author of Monster Hunter International, and the soon to
be released Monster Hunter Vendetta has generously offered to
red-shirt in an upcoming book anyone who will make a $50 donation to
Misha's kidney fund. Yes, your name will appear in the book. Yes, the
character with your name will die.

To participate, write a check and mail it to me. I will add your name
to the list, and give the check to the Rotary Foundation at the next
Tuesday meeting.

Make checks payable to: West Jordan Rotary Service Foundation
Note in the memo section: Misha Hintze Kidney Transplant
Mail checks for red-shirt to:
Kai Hintze
3087 W 7140 S
West Jordan, UT 84084

I've read a lot of tax pamphlets about donations lately, and I'm
pretty sure that the IRS will see this as receiving value for money,
so it will not be tax deductible. If you want to donate directly then
you can write a tax deductible check. Use the same payable to, and
memo, but send it directly to the West Jordan Rotary Service
Please send direct donations to:
West Jordan Rotary Service Foundation
Attn: Sharon Richardson, Treasurer
11168 South Hampton Way
South Jordan, Utah 84095

Again, if you mail the check to me it will not be tax deductible, but
you get to die for a good cause. If you mail the check directly to the
Rotary it is tax deductible, but you have to wait for another
opportunity to die gloriously. Decisions,

Please pass the word around!

Also, we had a donor lined up, but one of the final tests showed that
she had extra arteries going into her kidneys. That is good for her,
but bad for transplant. So we are looking for someone in good physical
condition, that has type O blood, and who can take a couple of months
off work to recover from surgery, and has a kidney they are willing to
share. The donor's medical expenses are all paid by our insurance.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Witches Kitchen

Witches KitchenWitches Kitchen by Allen Williams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Witches’ Kitchen by Allen Williams is a brilliantly written and gorgeously illustrated young adult novel that deserves a very large audience. Williams has been a prolific and superb artist for years, and now he’s unlocked his tremendous talent for writing. His paintings always told a story and now, thankfully for us, he’s written one of them down. The forty original pencil illustrations add to a fantastical journey in the infinitely large and dangerous magical kitchen owned by two malevolent witches. The main character, Toad, is about to be killed by the witches who are planning to steal Toad’s magical powers when she manages to escape their clutches—but ends up in a very fascinating place—the Kitchen.

Poor little Toad, who is not really a Toad, and can’t remember who she really is, meets all sorts of enthralling characters as she tries to escape the kitchen and recover her memories. She is accompanied on her journey by one of my favorite characters ever, NatterJack, an iron-handed imp who doesn’t want to become an evil demon like his despicable father and much prefers exploring his artistic side; a sword-wielding carnivorous fairy who would be utterly terrifying if she weren’t three inches tall; and a couple of other unique characters, Sootfoot and Pug, who provide lots of laughs.

Reading this novel aloud would be so much fun, as the inventiveness, great dialogue, and craziness of the pitch-black, constantly changing and living kitchen brings one amazing scene after another.

As I read the book, my imagination soared and I kept seeing the scenes unfolding like a great Hollywood movie, which this book certainly could become someday. The book is a little complicated and scary for younger kids, and they might not follow the storyline all the time, but overall young adults and older readers will be thoroughly entertained from beginning to end. The Witches’ Kitchen is Neil Gaiman’s Coraline mixed with The Wizard of Oz, and a generous helping of Terry Gilliam’s movie Time Bandits with the stunning visuals of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal.

Highly Recommended.

Paul Genesse

Author of The Golden Cord

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Time Travel, Parallel Universes, and Quantum Physics


I was asked to be a panelist on a very interesting panel being held at the Gen Con convention. I felt unprepared and started doing research. I ended up contacting a very brilliant and educated friend of mine, Dave Myers and asking him to give me his take on the subject of quantum physics. Below you'll find Dave's fascinating email, plus the panel description.

Gen Con Indy Writers Symposium Panel
on August 5, 2010 at 11:00 AM at the Hyatt Hotel

Time Travel, Parallel Universes, and Quantum Physics: In a parallel universe somewhere, you've already attended this session and know all about how wave theory, super-strings, quantum entanglement, and things like noetics bear on frequent sci-fi concepts like time travel and mirror Earths, but since you're not in that universe and the handy Gen Con map doesn't show you how to get to it, you might want to attend this panel and get some insight into actual physics . . . or just enough gobbledy-gook to make your next story sound credible even though it’s quite fantastic. Remember, in some universe, you are bound to be a well-known, well-paid, best-selling author, adored by fans, critics, and even your mother-in-law. Why not make this universe be that universe?

Panelists: Donald Bingle (Moderator), Paul Genesse, Bob Farnsworth, Tobias Buckell

Interesting quotes:

Science does not know its debt to imagination. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. ~Isaac Asimov

There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact. ~Mark Twain

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. ~ Albert Einstein

Notes from Dave Myers:

Quantum Mechanics are used along the same lines as Magic is in the realms of Fantasy. They are presented with broad hazy strokes of overlapping colors. This prevents the reader from focusing too closely on any particular concept and therefore uncovering the shallow depths to which the author actually comprehends the concepts. While this may seem harsh I should state that Quantum Mechanics are such a difficult concept to grasp in their entirety that there are only a dozen people in the last century that are credited with major discoveries in the field. I spent close to two years studying a Quantum Mechanics curriculum written by one of the most prestigious technical colleges in the world and I would consider myself a neophyte at best.

Before delving too deeply into Quantum Mechanics I would recommend that the student already have a firm grasp of Calculus, Classic Mechanics and be able to comfortably apply Schrödinger’s Equation to various wavefunction calculations. However, for use as an author I think far less knowledge is required to accurately portray the concepts embraced so haphazardly in modern Science Fiction. Below I will outline some of the common themes and explain how they mesh with modern scientific theory.

Important concepts to consider with close to and faster than light travel:

Kinetic energy and its affect on bodies travelling at the speed of light: A spec of meteorite, weighing 1 gram travelling at the speed of light would have the same kinetic energy as a bomb over 10 times the size of the First nuclear weapon ever detonated here on Earth. Now consider the mass of a spaceship travelling at the speed of light. Were it to impact a planet it could conceivably do enough damage to end all life and alter the planets axis or orbit.

The common description of safety for travelling at this speed is a deflector shield; but the energy required to deflect a 1 kg piece of space junk while travelling the speed of light is > 100 times the power output of every Civilian Nuclear reactor operating in the world today. Now this is a simplification since to convert kinetic energy to power requires an element of time, I assumed the enaction of the power over a second which is actually a much, much longer time than you would have to deflect an object at this speed. The concept of the ability to draw this sort of power in a fraction of a millisecond makes the power source exponentially higher; as in 108 higher.

This being said, we have theorized with calculation that it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object with intrinsic mass to the speed of light. This is due to the Lorentz factor which was derived from a Dutch Physicist who’s formulation later would provide some structure for mass-energy equivalence, or the infamous E=MC2 . This has later been tested in particle acceleration. In testing scientists were able to accelerate a particle to 99.99% the speed of light; however, no matter how much additional power they invested they could not achieve light speed.

Also, it is theorized that if an object were to travel faster than light it would create a violation of Causality as the object would move outside the normal time axis, essentially going backwards through space-time and creating potential paradoxes.

FTL travel ignores everything we know about space-time continuity and relative physics, and yet it is still used with abandon in various forms of fiction. I have to believe this is just ignorance, not intentional undermining of the Science community.

So, if FTL travel isn’t feasible, what are the options?

The easy answer is Einstein-Rosen Bridges. In 1935 Einstein and Rosen co-authored a paper that described the potential for a warp in space time that would allow a bridge from two essentially flat regions of space-time regardless of distance apart. They theorized that a tunnel like opening could join the two for a very short period of time. Travel through these tunnels would be impossible due to the shortness of duration, however it has been postulated that highly advanced civilization would have the technology to hold these bridges open long enough to use them for travel. These Einstein-Rosen bridges are commonly referred to as wormholes. Wormhole traverse could allow time travel, but to do so would either open up an alternative reality or you would have to subscribe to a true complete unified theory by which all of our actions past, present and future are governed. This theory of lack of free will is the most probable, but rarely used in fiction.

Books that succeeded in using Quantum Mechanics well are:

Dune by Frank Herbert – an excellent take on wormhole travel. The spacing guild navigators are augmented to the point of prescience by ingesting the spice Melange. This allows them to safely navigate the treacherous Einstein-Rosen bridges without encountering a singularity.

Timescape by Greg Benford - a Great portrayal of what a research physicist does as well as some interesting concepts on "realistic" time travel.

The Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson – A series of books written largely about the same characters in three separate parallel Universes. Very good use of Quantum Mechanics as they are understood today. You have to read all three to truly appreciate the series.

-The Universe Next Door
-The Trick Top Hat
-The Homing Pigeons

Next Topic:

Reactors. Assuming we are still using a fission reactor there are the issues with Ionizing Radiation. Ionizing Radiation comes in 5 main forms. Aplha, Beta, Gamma, X-Ray and Neutron.

We can disregard X-rays as they are not normally produced from fission. The four other forms have to be dealt with via shielding. This shielding works on a couple principals, but mainly the goal is to attenuate the energy of the radiation reducing it to a non-ionizing forms. Alpha and beta can be stopped with a layer of paper. Gamma requires a high density material like lead. Neutron need to be slowed to a thermal state or absorbed into a material that will not result in the formation of another radioactive isotope. Water having hydrogen atoms in abundance is a great Neutron moderator as the atomic mass of a Neutron and Hydrogen atom are essentially equal. Imagine a pool ball hitting another, equal and opposite reaction causes transferrence and dispersal of energy.

All of these are forms of Radiation. Only Alpha and Beta can be stopped with protective clothing. Every movie and book that I see that has the characters don their radiation suits to go in and work on the active reactor shows the lack of understanding of radiation. The suits are supposed to protect from contamination. Contamination is nothing more than the radioactive particles that are releasing these forms of ionizing radiation. Radioactive dust, mostly microscopic if you will.

Dave Myers graduated with honors from nuclear engineering school in the Navy in 1994 and spent the better part of 7 years monitoring nuclear reactors on both Los Angeles and Trident class submarines with a specialization in radiochemistry. He has worked the last 9 years in the Semiconductor field as head of operations for a prominent OEM. When he's not working with materials far inferior to Unobtanium he enjoys hanging out with his lovely wife Suzzanne, and riding super-charged motorcycles at speeds that he wishes approached the speed of light.

Thank you all for reading,

Paul Genesse
Author of The Golden Cord

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dungeon Crawlers Radio


I'm all about the radio interviews this week. Tonight I'm on Dungeon Crawlers Radio. The guys, Revan, Malak, and Bilf interviewed me at the ConDuit convention a little while back. They did a fifteen minute interview, which you can listen to at Or you can listen to the podcast on Wednesday July 14th. Get the podcast by going to or through iTunes. Here's a direct link:

This was a fun one and I revealed a few things about the origin of the Iron Dragon series that I almost never reveal.

Enjoy the interview,

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Paul's 2010 Gen Con Schedule


Gen Con Indy 2010 Schedule for Paul Genesse

Hello Friends, get in touch and we’ll get together while I’m in Indianapolis. Here’s my schedule so you will know where to find me.

August 4, Wednesday

Arrive in Indianapolis, Indiana at 4:00 PM
Stay at the Hyatt Hotel

August 5, Thursday

10:00 Panel: Plot-storming from Character
11:00 Panel: Time Travel, Quantum Physics panel

August 6, Friday

10:00 Panel: Crafting the Love Scene
11:00 Panel: Setting is King
12:00 Brad Beaulieu’s reading, which I’ll be helping read a scene

2:00 Book signing—get an autographed copy of Paul’s books or have a chat.
4:00 Prophecy Panel on 2012

8:00 Eye of Argon Reading—I’ll be there

August 7, Saturday

11:00 Paul’s Pick My Brain Session—come and ask anything you want, we might even play Truth or Dare.

3:00 Book signing—get an autographed copy of Paul’s books or have a chat.

6:00 My Reading of No-Tusks, my orc story set in the Abyss Walker world. I promise you will laugh your head off. Also, come and meet Shane Moore, the author of the Abyss Walker novels, and also hear Don Bingle who will also be reading.

August 8, Sunday

9:00 Panel: Dark Ladies
10:00 Panel: Rounding your World (Moderator)

Leave for the airport at 2:00 PM

Review of Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas

Buried Tales of Pinebox, TexasBuried Tales of Pinebox, Texas by Matt M. McElroy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very unique collection of short horror fiction and I can see why it was nominated for an ENnie award to be given out at Gen Con 2010. I loved the newspaper articles that go along with the horror stories, which are all very well written. Each one is unique, but all are of course set in the fictional town of Pinebox, Texas. I especially enjoyed: The Hanging Tree by Filamena Young, Pie by Monica Valentinelli, and Last Exit to Pinebox by J.D. Wiker.Pinebox is a creepy as hell town that sort of reminds of the small town where the HBO series True Blood is set. The place is backwoods and lots of crazy stuff happens there. The editor of Buried Tales of Pinebox, Texas, Matt M. McElroy did a great job and put together some exceptional talent. I think Stephen King would love these stories.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

View all my reviews >>

Magic vs. Technology

Magic vs. Technology
By Sabrina Klein

Magic influencing technology is something that is foreign to our world, we have no magic…well none that most people believe in. If we did how would it have changed the technological evolution of our race? The answer-dramatically. Not only would it affect physical technology but everything affected by Wallace’s technology continuum, (1966; Religion: An Anthropological View; ISBN-10: 0394442717). Wallace says that the higher level the technology the more complex the religion. Magic is often tied to religion in some aspect, so this line of thought is not necessarily true. If magic comes from religion, then the religion affects the everyday lives of its believers. Religion then becomes essential to the culture, but it may or may not become more complex than at its inception.

What if magic’s source isn’t from religion but from science? Then the perception of its origin has no bearing on the gods, religion and technology become separate. Do they become advisories? Probably, they are now in our world. Most of the time as long as the science backs the current majority the science is praised, but when it contradicts religion… pardon the expression but all Cain breaks loose. For example, what if the body of Christ was found and by scientific means proved absolutely beyond a scientific doubt. The rebellion of the Christians against the scientific community would be devastating, and the Jewish community would be moving with just as much force… and there would probably be a war of some kind.

However, if the bodies of the Fianna were found under the hills at Tara? What would be the response? These are holy characters to the old Irish Celtic religion (and many of the old pagan religions of the British Isles), but of no consequence to the five major religions of the world. This still may create a certain level of friction. Science is defined by absolutes but religion is defined by faith, and science only has faith in what it can conceivably prove. Most often religion only finds science useful and kosher as long as the science is in the religion’s best interest. If science, scientifically proved the body of Christ had been found the uproar and devastation would be catastrophic. Denial of the validity of the science by both logic and ‘heresy’ would occur from a variety of sources. Just as if science found undisputable proof contradicting any religion.

How would magic affect technology? What if electricity wasn’t required, or gas, or water to power anything? No need for all those environmentalists… or their jobs or sciences. Botany would just be the study of plants and wouldn’t include how the deforestation affects the planet, but would include its interaction with life on the planet. It might be divided into the study of magical and non-magical plants. Same instance for zoologists, geologists and the others. Elevators wouldn’t exist you’d just float up to a place or take the stairs, maybe you would just teleport. Planes, trains and automobiles…also most likely wouldn’t have been invented. Necessity is the mother of invention, remember it, its true.

Medicine? Magic would heal you. Pens would write as you spoke, or the words might just form on the page. There might not be a need for things like computers. Physical cleaning or repair might not happen either, just speak a few magic words and poof! All clean or fixed. That group of jobs might be held by a select group of magicians, a guild perhaps of ‘craftsman’. If stone was sculpted by magic, why would you need those chisels and hammers? If a deed is done by magic then the physical tool is unnecessary, keep this in mind. If things are held together by magic, why would a culture create nails or screws? Or is there a need for these things by those who can’t access the magic, and if they are who are these people?

Magic, I think, follows one of Newton’s laws most of the time. For every action there is an equal and/or opposite reaction. Magic, or the portrayal of magic, often work like science in this capacity. If you do something with magic there will be a reaction of some kind, most like of equal proportion to whatever you did. If you send the fireball down the hall at the bad guys, instead of firing a gun, bow, or smallest member of the party, it just might blow up the whole hall, and not only one of the villains. On that note, if guns fire magic, what need is there for bullets? In fact what need is their within the culture of magicians for physical weapons at all. Those “limited physical items” would be a marker of those less fortunate not to cast magic. Does magic create an upper class of magic users? Making anyone who doesn’t or can’t use magic a lesser person, or are the mages outcast as freaks?

Just remember, magic has laws of operation just like technology’s laws are rooted in the laws of science. Magic is not an excuse for not explaining yourself, and it certainly isn’t ‘poofty, solve a problem’ with no explanation of its origin because you went and boxed yourself in.

Sabrina Klein is a frequent contributor to the Writers' Symposium panels at Gen Con in Indianapolis and an anthropology student with a passion for world-building. Read more of her essays here on the Writers' Symposium Blog.

Inception Movie Review

Spoilers are present half-way through this post, but I will warn you when you should quit reading if you haven’t seen the movie yet.

Movie Review of Inception by Paul Genesse

I saw Inception twice on Friday, July 30. Once at noon, then again at 10:30 at night—which was my plan all along. You all need to see it twice. I loved the movie, but like many viewers, I left the theater wondering about the ending. More on that later, but for now I’ll give the spoiler free version of the review.

Note: the second time I saw the movie, after I went home read a bunch of stuff on the net, and thought for a while, I totally got the movie. The second viewing was so smooth and I feel like I got so much more out of it, whereas the first time I was in shock, just trying to keep up mentally. All of the dialogue made sense the second time around, and all of the scenes. It’s just an amazing visual feast it’s hard to catch everything the first time, at least it was for me.

First, this is a movie that will make you think and will blow your mind. It’s about thieves who steal from people’s minds while they are dreaming. The thieves are called “extractors.” Usually, the thievery is related to corporate espionage. However, in this case they are asked to do something different—plant an idea in someone’s mind—which is called, inception. To do this they have to share a dream with their mark, in this case, the heir to a massive corporation, and make him think he came up with a very specific idea.

The concept of the movie is fascinating. The writer and director, Christopher Nolan, who wrote Momento, and directed the new Star Trek and The Dark Night, did an amazing job. The visuals were stunning, the acting superb, the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer incredible, plus the movie keeps you on the edge of your seat. Partially because you’re trying to figure out what’s going on. No movie has ever been made that is quite like this one. If you’re in the mood for what I’ve described, please go and see this film.

The writing is top-notch. I couldn’t see how Christopher Nolan came up with this at first, but upon a second viewing I understood how he did it. I’m sure he was confused at the beginning writing stages, but when you’re with a work for long enough, it all starts to make sense, when at first it might not. Complex ideas are hard to portray, but Nolan is brilliant, and I’m sure he’s that way because he works incredibly hard at it.

Now, onto the spoilers. Do not keep reading if you haven’t seen the movie yet. I’m about to discuss some major spoilers. Stop reading now and watch the movie! Once, then read the rest of my entry, then see the movie again.


Still reading? Okay, I warned you. Here’s the deal: the ending of the movie makes the viewer question whether or not the main character, Kobb (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) is in the real world or is he dreaming? He arrives home and sees his kids and then spins his little metal top (his totem) to make sure he’s in the real world. In the dream world it spins forever, but in the real world, it stops spinning and falls over. In the last scene he spins the top and goes off to see his kids. We watch the top spinning, then the scene breaks before we know if it was going to fall over or keep spinning forever.

The audience reacts when the scene goes black and is confused. I was confused. Then I read a thorough post on a website, linked below, and felt like I understood the movie.

Overall, most of us were over thinking the whole thing. The director/writer, Nolan was just messing with us. He wanted to make us talk and think about the movie afterward. He wanted people like me to blog about it. It was a great decision on his part to write the ending like he did.

So, the top was about to stop spinning. Here’s why: it wobbled slightly and made a falling over type sound just before the movie ended. Never before in the dream world had the top stopped spinning or wobbled even the slightest bit. That is our clue. It was the real world. Kobb made it home to his kids at last.

The movie was very confusing the first time I saw it, but the second time it seemed so simple. Everything made perfect sense to me. All of the scenes made sense, which was not the case the first time. Kobb was a man who spent a lot of time in the dream world because of his guilt, but when you watch the movie again you can see when he’s dreaming or is in the real world. Sometimes he doesn’t know. Only the top saves him.

Need more proof? Okay, the little kids were older at the end than they were during the rest of the movie. Different actors played the kids at the ending, compared to the rest of the movie. Also at the end, they were dressed slightly differently, wearing different shoes and were physically larger and older.

If you want to read a very definitive blog post that covers practically every aspect of the movie and will answer all of your questions, please go to and read the whole thing. Reading that post and a few others online really helped me understand the movie. I totally agree with the blogger, and I think most of you will too once you’ve seen the movie more than once. It’ll always be up for argument, but I believe that the director/writer was just teasing us at the end.

Keep dreaming,

Paul Genesse
Author of The Golden Cord

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Freelance Writing

Here’s a great guest post by Alexis Bonari

Freelance Writing: Unlimited Possibilities, Tough Competition

Freelancing isn’t just an excuse to sit at home and sift through old high school friends’ latest profile pictures. It can be a full-time, rewarding job if taken seriously by individuals who are willing to cultivate their natural writing abilities throughout their lives. Because writing is closely associated with an ever-changing society’s language and culture, freelance writers have to be adaptable.

That involves not only a career of writing, but also one of reading. Staying current, following the news, and finding new sources of information are all life-long priorities for freelancers. Some of them write because they enjoy reading the news, because they love preaching from a soapbox, or even because they’re convinced that the populace must be warned of impending alien invasions. But the real attraction of freelance writing lies in its versatility.

The Job Description

Freelance writing venues can be online or in print, nonfiction or imaginative stories, informative or entertaining. The possibilities really are endless here, but that can be both a bonus and an Achilles’ heel. For example, some freelance writers earn six figures by developing relationships with magazines or other publications that regularly use their work, by writing books, or by consulting and writing for businesses. Obviously, this isn’t practical for every writer, so many freelancers have additional jobs or focal points in their work. Some examples are:

1. Blogging and ghost writing, guest posting, or just plain starting a blog.

2. Creative writing and short stories and poems can bring bacon, too.

3. Editing and proofreading grammarians and detail-oriented syntax junkies often find supplemental work in these areas.

4. Editorial management can involve interfacing with other freelancers, directing traffic for start-up e-zines, and reporting reader information to the publisher.

5. Fact checking and research gurus are all over this one.

6. Freelance reading services, publishers, agents, book summarizing services, and audio book recorders pay careful readers.

7. Grant research writing, with additional training, can be a fulfilling freelancer’s option.

8. Public relations and marketing in this field may also require specialized training or experience, but those who enjoy manipulating the printed word find it challenging and lucrative.

Where and How to Find Work

There’s a lot of competition among freelance writers, so it’s important to have a strong resume and portfolio, preferably accessible online. Many freelancers have blogs specifically for their portfolios and other information or experience that make them strong candidates. Beyond becoming a strong competitor, the successful freelancer will thoroughly and consistently research job opportunity venues. Some examples are the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, AP, Magazine Publishers of America, Media Bistro, Morning Coffee, Places for Writers, etc. The important thing is to make a habit of looking for opportunities, even if the current workload seems consistent. Freelance writing is a gratifying and challenging field, but it’s wise to cultivate multiple areas.

Bio: Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at, writing on getting her online degree. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dungeon Crawlers Radio


I'm all about the radio interviews this week. Tonight I'm on Dungeon Crawlers Radio. The guys, Revan, Malak, and Bilf interviewed me at the ConDuit convention a little while back. They did a fifteen minute interview, which you can listen to at Or you can listen to the podcast on Wednesday July 14th. Get the podcast by going to or through iTunes. Here's a direct link:

This was a fun one and I revealed a few things about the origin of the Iron Dragon series that I almost never reveal.

Enjoy the interview,

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

Friday, July 9, 2010

Predators Movie Review


Predators Movie Review

Here’s my written review of the new Predators movie, which I’ll be reviewing live on K-Talk 630 AM on the Sector Five radio show (9PM-11PM) on Saturday, July 10. The radio station wants me to become an on-air movie reviewer and Saturday we'll be talking about my books and stories. Check out

Predators (2010)

The hunters are back.

I just watched the new Predators movie at a 12:01 AM showing in my local theater. I give it three and a half out of five stars, a solid B+ grade film. I admit, it was a lot of fun to watch the film with friends and relive some of the feelings I had when I watched the first Predator movie back in 1987, when I was 14. If you liked that movie, you’ll like this one—though you’ll miss Arnold, one of his best movies. Ever since seeing the original I wanted to know more about the predators. Who are they? Where do they come from? To answer those questions I read every Predator (and Aliens) book. Yes, the universes do cross over, in case you didn’t know. You’ll learn more about them in this movie and there are is a new twist that will send the franchise in another direction.

Aliens vs. Predator: Prey, by Steve and Stefani Perry is the best book in the franchise. Read it. Trust me. You’ll get to learn a lot about the predators, and there are scenes from their point of view. It’s still available even though it came out in 1994, and don’t worry, it’s not the Alien vs. Predator movie that came out in 2004.

The new Predators movie brings us back to the jungle, though not on Earth. A motley crew of bad-asses is brought to an alien planet and hunted by high technology alien predators with plasma-type weapons, wrist-swords and cloaking technology. The opening of the movie is pretty awesome, but then it gets a little weird as the characters come together and figure out what’s going on. The dialogue is pretty over the top, and strangely enough, this horror movie has major action comedy aspects. It’s got all the cheesy action lines with the obligatory F-word in practically every line—which I mostly loved. The dialogue was supposed to be funny, as far as I can tell . . . (The producer, Robert Rodriquez made Sin City, Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Grindhouse, after all).

The movie (directed by Nimrod Antal, who is from Hungary) is fast-paced with seriously kick ass characters shooting big guns and blowing stuff up. It’s a man-flick and don’t drag your soft-hearted girlfriend or wife to the theater. Take your video game playing, beer drinking, guy friends and enjoy the carnage. One friend did tell me that it wasn’t gory enough for him, though I think it was pretty gory, especially the spine/skull removal scene.

You also might be put off by the lead character, Royce, played by the Academy Award winning actor Adrien Brody. I watched an interview and Brody said he was pitched another role in the film (that did not appear in the movie), but he wanted the lead character role. I think he did a pretty good job, but he changed his voice to be tougher. It was okay, but since I know what he usually sounds like, his voice threw me off at first—as it did some of my friends. He’s a great actor, but it was a risk for him to play this role and I don’t know if he was totally successful, though I mostly liked him. (sad sigh)

The other characters were pretty cool. A little quibble I had was the decision to say Alice Brago (a fabulous Latina actress) was an IDF sniper (Israeli Defense Forces), when she obviously has a Spanish, not a Hebrew accent. She was great, but casting her as an Israeli was a little iffy. Another notable character is Stans, the FBI’s most wanted criminal, played by Walton Goggins, who had some crazy awesome lines. Topher Grace was the odd man in the cast, but did an excellent job—especially toward the end of his performance. Lawrence Fishburne had a limited role, but was spectacular as Noland. His entrance into the film is brilliant.

Overall, the movie was not amazing, but was a lot of fun, and if you’re a fan of the original two Predator movies, you’ll dig this one, but don’t set your expectations too high. They didn’t create a world as cool as Pandora (James Cameron’s Avatar world), but we do get to see the predators in action in this truly exciting and frightening re-launch of the Predator franchise.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mozart's Blood


I'm so excited that just delivered the book I ordered. It's by one of my favorite authors, Louise Marley. The book looks awesome, and the main character is a vampire who drank Mozart's blood long ago, and still carries something of his genius inside her. She's an opera singer and has traveled the world performing, but changing her identity as she's come through the ages. What a great idea. I can't wait to read a vampire thriller by an awesome writer.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Golden Cord

2010 Young Writers Award

I just heard about the 2010 Young Writers Award from a friend of mine. I know some of you out there who should definitely enter the contest. The award is for writers 21 years old or younger. The details about the award, including how to submit are below.


The Young Writers Award is an award given to the best young writer for the year, whether the writer in question is a poet, short fiction writer, or novelist. The contest will be judged on merit and execution and will serve to highlight the exceptional talents of one writer. Our hope is to make the award annual.


$250 (other prizes will be announced in the future, which may include books and other items)


The award will be judged by author Jason Sanford. His work has appeared in Interzone, Analogy Science Fiction and Fact, Tales of the Unanticipated, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Pindeldyboz, The Mississippi Review, and 3:AM Magazine. He is a recent Nebula Award finalist (for “Sublimation Angels” in Interzone #224), winner of the Interzone Readers’ Poll two years in a row, and a nominee for the Pushcart Prize. He is also founder of storySouth, a magazine that focuses on literature from the New South.

Award Rules

--Writers must be: a. 21 years old or younger AND b. Active members of Young Writers Online at the time of the deadline for the award. The definition of "active" is left to the discretion of the owners of Young Writers Online and will take into account post and critique frequency. It should be assumed that posting less than once a day (in sheer numbers), whether in the discussion sections or writing sections, does not constitute "active."

--Writers may submit up to a total of 10,000 words of unpublished fiction in up to five short stories OR up to a total of 120 lines of unpublished poetry in up to 6 poems OR a combination of fiction and poetry not to exceed 5,000 words of unpublished fiction (in no more than 3 stories) and 60 lines of unpublished poetry (in no more than 4 poems). Quality over quantity is a rule of thumb.

--Fiction may be of any genre and must either be completed short stories or completed chapters of novels.

--Poetry may be in any style.

--Submissions for the award should be sent as .doc or .rtf files (no .docx, .pages, or any other file types, and do not post your submission in the body of the email) to sbsmag [at] yahoo [dot] com with the subject "Young Writers Award." Provide your real name and your YWO account name. Please follow standard manuscript format with the following alterations: a. The text of your submission should start on the second page with the name of your submission and the page number in the header. Your first page should contain your name, your YWO account name, the title of your submission, and the word count. b. Do not put your last name in the header of your submission. We intend for all entries to be judged blindly and will cut out the first page for submission to our judge.

--Submissions must be sent no later than Sept. 1st, 2010. Winners will be announced in October and the award will be distributed via Paypal (other arrangements can be made in the event that the winner cannot use Paypal).

--Questions should be sent to sbsmag [at] yahoo [dot] com or posted in the forum section for the award.

Review of The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Hunger Games by Suzzane Collins

Everybody told me to read this book, and I’m glad I did. The Hunger Games is a hot YA novel that is definitely science fiction, but it's not marketed that way from what I can tell. I finally read it and and finished last week. It started pretty slow, but the main character, Katniss (named after flowering water plant), was awesome. I really enjoyed how the author portrayed her and was impressed at how much I was made to care. Katniss has a self-deprecating sincerity that makes you love her.

The book is very character driven and tells the story of a future North America that has been brought under the control of a cruel central government that imposes its will on twelve districts with starving populations kept poor and hungry by draconian policies. The government (referred to as, "the capital") forces each district to send a boy and girl to participate in the Hunger Games once a year--they draw lots to see who goes—but it’s probably rigged. Then the capital game makers lock the teenagers into an arena where they proceed to kill each other live on television—which shows how big and powerful the capital is--and keeps the districts in line.

Only one person can survive and win. Good thing Katniss is an amazing archer—she hunted illegally since she was young. She's a truly interesting character and the entire novel is from her point of view. I love it that Suzanne Collins didn’t muddy the waters with other characters points of view. She stays in tight on Katniss and this really allowed me, and I think any reader, to really become vested in the character.

The story is a little far-fetched for me, but I can mostly buy it, and the world that Collins created is fascinating. In the end, the book is well written, interesting, and has some cool characters, especially Katniss. I don't see it as a must read, but I was quite entertained. I'm now listening to the audio book of the sequel, Catching Fire, and I like it a lot so far. Book three in the series is out now and I'm glad I'll be able to read it without a long wait. In summary, Suzanne Collins has created an excellent series for young adults and adults, that entertains as well as educates the reader about the dangers of inhumanity and the consequences of having to do anything to survive.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

View all my reviews >>

Dracula: The Undead

Dracula the Un-Dead (Thorndike Basic) Dracula the Un-Dead by Dacre Stoker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Dracula: The Undead

By Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

When I saw news about this book, Dracula, The Undead online, I knew I had to read it. The line on the book cover was: He returns . . .

What?! Dracula wasn't dead and he's coming back? I was into it. Great marketing on the publisher's part. This book is a direct sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula and a member of the Stoker family was part of the writing process (more on that later).

Let me say, I'm a huge Dracula fan. I loved the novel by Bram Stoker, and have loved so many of the movies. In college I entered an MTV sponsored contest sending in 25 postcards for the chance to visit Romania and see Vlad Dracula's castle in Wallachia. I didn't win, but my interest in Dracula only grew. The historical figure was a true monster, and the fictional Vlad was another kind of monster. Sexy, cool, and so powerful. Vampires have always fascinated me, espeically the Anne Rice type of vampires, like Lestat, and the True Blood HBO series vampires.

This novel was a lot of fun. The intro features a letter from Mina Harker telling her son, Quincy, that she may have been killed by a vampire, and reveals that a lot was kept from him over the years. The letter is genius, and Dracula's fangs were in my neck right after I read the letter from Mina--I mean the literary hook was solidly set into my brain. I wanted to know more.

It's set during the early 1900's and had a very Victorian feel to it. I didn't fly through the novel, but found it quite entertaining, though predictable. The best thing about it was that the original Bram Stoker story was turned on its head. We find out that the events recounted in the novel by Bram Stoker were not represented accurately. Yes, it really happened, but not as Stoker described.

All the survivng characters from the book are back, and they are so messed up and flawed. Dark and gloomy would be an understatement. It was like a car crash you couldn't look away from. Ian Holt and Dacre Stoker did a pretty good job portraying the characters and keeping the plot moving, but by skipping into so many points of view it lessened the impact for me.

The idea of the novel was to weave historical events into the narrative, and though I found that interesting, I didn't think it was totally necessary. I can see why the authors took this tactic, but I would have rather had "the Prince" be the main focus, rather than the extremely famous murders that acutally happened in London.

I would recommend this book to any fans of Bram Stoker's original novel. It was cool to see what the greatest living Dracula fan (Ian Holt) and a descendent of Bram himself (Dacre Stoker) would do. Reading the very long Afterward about the writing of the book was possibly the best part of my reading experience.

Bram Stoker's widow went through terrible times regarding the copyright of the original novel, and now we Dracula fans have a chance to help the Stoker family get back some of what was stolen from them so long ago.

And we get to read the direct sequel to the original classic! What else can I write except: He returns . . .

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

View all my reviews >>

The Prince of Persia Movie


The Prince of Persia Movie

Last weekend I finally saw The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. I really enjoyed the movie and thought it was well worth seeing in the theater. It let me escape from our world for a while and visit a fantasy Persia where magic does indeed exist. The main star, Jake Gyllenhaal (Jarhead, Brokeback Mountain) did a great job as Dastan, the adpoted son of the king of Persia. Dastan has something to prove, and wants to show his father and brothers that he is more than the street urchin the king plucked out of the gutter and made a prince.

The story was somewhat familiar (the movie is based on popular video game), but features one of the coolest concepts in all of fiction: time travel. It had all the action, comedy, and romance that you need in a blockbuster. Princess Tamina, played by Gemma Arterton was wonderful. Gemma and Jake on the screen are a gorgeous couple, though she pretty much hates him for most of the movie--which is awesome. She's smart, funny, competent, and brave. I'm so glad that she doesn't need to be saved all the time.

Another strong character is played by Ben Kingsly (famous for playing Gandhi). Kingsly plays Dastan's uncle, the advisor to the Persian king, and he's excellent. Luckily the writers gave him some good material to work with.

The movie had some fun surprises, and kept me entertained throughout. Alfred Molina as Sheik Amar, a tax-evading ostrich race organizing rogue made me laugh, and the ultra-bad ass assassins sent at Prince Dastan were creepy as hell.

I anticipated much of the ending--which was epic and awesome--but I was caught off guard by how it all worked out. The twist was good. Overall, Jake Gyllenhaal gave a strong performance, the story was fun, the special effects were fantastic, and I loved watching the characters. The movie has made well over $200 million dollars worldwide and I wonder if they'll make another one?

If you missed it in the theater, definitely check out the DVD.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monster Hunter Vendetta


Monster Hunter Vendetta coming soon!

I'm so excited to read the sequel to Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia. Monster Hunter International was my favorite book of 2009 and I know the sequel is going to be awesome. BAEN Books just released an advanced reader copy of it as an ebook. Check out the link to learn more:

Here's the description:

Sequel to Monster Hunter International. Owen Pitt never met a gun he didn’t like or a monster he couldn’t shoot. But now, the monsters are shooting back.

Accountant-turned-professional-monster-hunter, Owen Zastava Pitt managed to stop the nefarious Old One’s plans last year, but as a result managed to make an enemy out of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Now an evil death cult wants to capture Owen, just to curry favor with the great Old Ones.

Lucky for Owen, the government is here to help him: they have assigned the enigmatic Agent Franks to be Owen’s full-time bodyguard—which is a polite way of saying Owen is monster bait.

With supernatural assassins targeting his family, a spy in their midst, and horrific beasties lurking around every corner, Owen and the staff of Monster Hunter International don’t need to go hunting, because this time the monsters are hunting them. Fortunately, this bait is armed and very dangerous…

About the Author:

Larry Correia is hopelessly addicted to two things: guns and B-horror movies. He lists his occupations: gun dealer, firearms instructor, accountant, and writer, and was until recently part owner of FBMG (Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns) a company specializing in firearms and movie props. He shoots competitively and is a certified concealed weapons instructor. Larry resides in Utah with his very patient wife and family. He has also designed a special patch for the agents of Monster Hunter International, Inc. As he puts it, “If you don’t look good while you’re killing stuff, then you’re not really a monster hunter.”

A Newbie Writer's Questions

I recently received an email from a newbie writer and took a moment to answer her questions. Her questions and my answers are below.

Thank you for your email. I did my best to (briefly) answer your questions, but these are huge questions and I have only so much time. I think you are quite new to this, and need to do a lot of research. I hope these answers will be a starting point for you.

My answers are in bold.

1. How do I know when and if my book is good enough to send to a publishing company?

You never know, but unbiased people from writing groups can help let you know, or online writers’ groups. Family and friends don’t work so well. Put some of your work out there for people to read and get some feedback.

2. How do I go about finding an agent when I am ready?

You query agents who represent your kind of book. Learn about query letters and practice writing one. It’s so hard to get an agent. Meeting them at a convention like World Fantasy is good.

3. How do I find out when and where writing conventions are being held?

Go online, google writing conferences or writing conventions.

4. How do you find out if a publishing company is right for me and my books? (yes I have a series on my hands).

Find a company that publishes books similar to your own. You never know if the people at the company will be right for you unless you meet them and learn all about them.

5. How risky is it to create your own realms and worlds? (this is a second book issue, I have completely created a realm of my own, from the realm itself to people, inhabitants, layouts and landscaping).

Risky? Do you write fantasy? I write fantasy and creating my own worlds is the best thing about writing. Fantasy is a little harder to sell than some other genres.

6. What are the pro's and con's of righting a novel vs. a novella.( I do not consider my books to Novellas but some pub. co. require so many words to be considered a novel; like 100,000 words or more.)

There’s almost no paying market for novellas. Young Adult novels can be around 60-75 thousand words though. Write short stories or novels.

7. Exactly what is considered a "word", the rule of thumb I learned in school was at least three letters with the exception of and, the & but.

Use the word counting function in your word processing program. This is an accurate count, so just use it.

8. There are some who do not like the names of my characters, should I change them? I will admit, some I am not even fond of, but the names came to me attached to that character.

Change them!

9. How do I know how to tell the difference between good advice about ideas vs. how that person would write it. I mean they did not write it, I did. Naturally there are going to be differences in writing styles.

Consider the source. Everyone likes different flavors. Some people hate chocolate, so if you wrote chocolate, they’re going to hate it no matter what.

10. Should I credit everyone who has helped out with small parts, such as reading a paragraph or just those who contribute to the whole project.

I did my best to thank a lot of people in my first two novels. You don’t have to thank everyone though. It’s your call. You can always thank people on your blog.

Best of luck with your writing!

Paul Genesse, Author and Editor

Author of The Dragon Hunters
Book Two of the Iron Dragon Series
(Five Star Books, May 2009)


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Subject: RE: Hello Amber
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 20:15:10 -0500

Thank you for the fast response time, i really did not expect to hear from you so quickly. so to answer your questions;
1. over 18 but not 50, no i am not trying to be sarcastic but this question threw me. In truth in my 30's
2. aprox. 60,000 words, but I am not sure if word 2007 counts and, the, but as words or not.
3. I was on the sfwa website and some how ended up on your site, i did read your article on how to get published while i was there

Subject: Hello Amber
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 18:27:28 -0600

Hello Amber,

Thank you for your email and your questions. I'll do my best to answer them, but I'd like to know a little more about you before I do. 1. How old are you? 2. How long is your book? 3. How did you hear of me?

As soon as I hear back from you I'll get started on answering your questions.

Paul Genesse, Author and Editor

Author of The Dragon Hunters
Book Two of the Iron Dragon Series
(Five Star Books, May 2009)


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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Recap of ConDuit 2010


(Paul Genesse and Tom Carr)

My Recap of ConDuit 2010

I had such a great time at ConDuit this past weekend. ConDuit is a science fiction and fantasy convention held here in Salt Lake City. This was its twentieth year and the convention planners and volunteers did a wonderful job. Anyway, I got to hang out with friends and fans, which was a blast. Saturday, May 29 was also my 37th birthday, so that made it even better.

Here’s a public link to a few pictures and below I’ve written a little about the major events I was a part of.

A public link to the pics:

Friday May 28

Time Travel: Playing with the concept of time seems to be a fun and mind-bending plot device. But what about those pesky logic contradictions that pop up with alarming regularity in many time travel stories? Can there be time travel that works?

Panelists: Roger White, Julie Wright, Eric Swedin, Paul Genesse, Tom Carr.

This was a fun panel and we had an excellent discussion on the topic. None of us believed it is physically possible to actually travel in time, but we all agreed that the concept is not going away any time soon. We all love reading about it and writing about it. The concept of zeitstromen, (timestream) that I use in my Iron Dragon series is a lot of fun for me.

Exploring the Classics: Stories You May Have Missed:
There are certain books, movies, novellas and short stories that should be required knowledge for a sci-fi or fantasy fan, stories that form a base for all other stories in the genre. We all know about The Lord of the Rings and Dune, but what other classics are there that are often missed?

Panelists: Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury, Eric Swedin, Dan Willis, and Paul Genesse.

I’ve posted my notes on this panel here on my blog. Check out the list of authors and novels that I think are great examples of classic sci-fi and fantasy. The discussion was lively, and it’s hard to come up with a small list of books, as there are just so many out there.

Saturday May 29

Riding the Rocket: How to Handle the Career Blast-Off:
The New York Times best-seller list. Second, third and more re-printings; book tours and book signings; lighting has struck and your career went from zero to warp speed. How do you survive the pressure, expectations and distractions with your wits, not to mention future projects, intact? What should you watch out for, and what is normal (if anything) at this stage?

Panelists: L.E. Modesitt, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, James Dashner, and Paul Genesse

This was quite an interesting panel, featuring some amazing writer friends of mine. L.E. Modesitt has been writing for decades and has had such a great career. Brandon Sanderson is the biggest fantasy writer today, and his career seriously blasted off since he was selected to finish the Wheel of Time series. Dan Wells’ book, I Am Not Serial Killer is incredibly successful and it is one of the most disturbing novels I’ve read in years. I can see why he’s so popular and think he’s going to have a long career. James Dashner’s Maze Runner and Jimmy Fincher books have been big hits and I’m so happy that a nice guy has finished first.

My own career is taking off, as my first novel, The Golden Cord is the best selling novel my publisher, Five Star Books has ever had. It’s been reprinted six times, but in many ways, all of us felt that we still have a long way to go in our careers.

The Mike! Show
Do you have a question you want to ask CONduit’s guests? Come to the Mike show, a question and answer talk show hosted by Mike Oberg and featuring Barbara Hambly, Kevin Wasden, James Dashner and Paul Genesse as guests.

Mike Oberg was the host of this interesting panel that featured Kevin Wasden—the artist guest of honor, Barbara Hamby—the autor guest of honor, James Dashner and myself. We had a great time and Mike did a wonderful job with the questions.

Book Signing, 3:00-4:00 PM—My signing went pretty well and I got to meet a bunch of nice people.

Dungeon Crawlers Radio Interview: Malak, Revan and Bilf(spelling?) interviewed me on their internet radio show. We had such a fun time and getting to know them was fantastic. We’re all just gamer geeks at heart. I’ll post a link to the interview when they post it.

Barbara Hambly’s main address on Saturday was enlightening. She spoke about many things and I learned a few tidbits that I’d like to pass along. First, she is the most tattooed history professor in her department (she has a lot of tattoos! No kidding!); she plays World of Warcraft for two hours every Thursday night; she hasn’t watched TV since 1972 or so; she’s written 50 novels; she doesn’t read much fiction; she listens to heavy metal on her iPod on her way to work; she had been a full-time author for 25 years before recently joining the faculty at a community college in California; and she has performed as a belly dancer in the not too recent past. Who knew?

My birthday dinner with friends at Biaggi’s was fabulous. See the pics on Facebook. I got to hang out with some of my best friends, and we celebrated many things, especially the amazing recovery of author Eric Swedin, who almost died of a ruptured brain aneurysm less than six weeks ago. He’s doing great and is smarter than ever. How that man has recovered his intellect in such a short time is quite unbelievable. I was on several panels with him and if he hadn’t told me, I would have never known about his brain aneurysm. We’re all extremely fortunate to still have him with us.

Around 9:30 PM I was interviewed live on the Sector 5 radio show. Talk-Utah (local radio station 630 AM) had me on and we discussed my work. The show should be posted online at some point in the future. I’ll post a link when it is.

Sunday May 30

My reading went extremely well. It was standing room only as many people came to hear Tom Car and I. I read the first chapter of The Secret Empire, book three of the Iron Dragon Series—which is the first time that anyone has heard anything out of book three. I did the voices of the characters and did my best to read aloud from a work that I’ve never “performed” before. My preparation helped and it went great. Then I read the first three pages of No-Tusks, my orc story coming out in the Abyss Walker anthology at some point in the future. It was awesome and I’ve now decided that I have to read No-Tusks aloud whenever I can. The crowd loved it.

Then author and paranormal investigator, Tom Carr read from his book, Talking to Myself in the Dark. He was awesome and his book is so fascinating. See my review previously on my blog or on

Then I had to run off to a panel. I was sad to have missed the next reading, as Larry Correia read from Monster Hunter International, my favorite book of 2009. I heard he did a fantastic job, and he read from Grim Noir, a book he has coming out in the future.

Different Dragons, Different Visions:
Dragons are a staple of fantasy, whether small or large, friend or foe. What do dragons represent to authors, and to their readers? Why are they given certain traits and characteristics in one story but not in another? A panel of authors discusses dragons, from their own stories, and others’.

Panelists: Barbara Hambly, Jessica Day-George, and Paul Genesse

We had a fascinating discussion regarding the different approaches that authors have taken on dragons. Both Hambly and Day-George have done some amazing things in their books. One of the stand-out authors we discussed is Naomi Novik.

ConDuit was a blast and I’m looking forward to next year, as author Tamora Pierce will be the author guest of honor.

Thanks for reading,

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters

Friday, May 28, 2010

My Notes for the ConDuit panel: Exploring the Classics of Sci-Fi/Fantasy

These are notes for a panel I’m on at ConDuit, titled Exloring the Classics: Stories You May Have Missed. I'm posting this in case the attendees or online readers are interested in the stories/writers/books I'm planning on mentioning. There are so many more authors and books, but I can't mention them all. If you have any other classics that you'd like to mention, please let me know.

Panel description:

Exploring the Classics: Stories You May Have Missed:
There are certain books, movies, novellas and short stories that should be required knowledge for a sci-fi or fantasy fan, stories that form a base for all other stories in the genre. We all know about The Lord of the Rings and Dune, but what other classics are there that are often missed?

Books and authors that are very influential in the field of sci-fi and fantasy:

H.G. Wells—The Time Machine
Jules Verne—20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Bram Stoker—Dracula
H.P. Lovecraft
Edgar Rice Burroughs--Tarzan
J.R.R. Tolkien
C.S. Lewis
Lord Dunsany—The King of Elflands Daughter
Fritz Leiber—Fafard and the Grey Mouser
Robert Howard--Conan
Robert Heinlein—Starship Troopers
David Eddings—The Belgariad Books
Arthur C. Clark
Anne McCaffery—Dragon Riders of Pern
Isaac Asimov—Foundation Lost
Frank Herbert—Dune
Roger Zelazny—The Amber books
Michael Moorcock—The Elric Saga
Ursula LeGuin—The Earthsea books
Terry Brooks—The Elfstones of Shannara
Marion Zimmer Bradley—The Mists of Avalon

The War at Troy by Quintus of Smyrna

Age of Wonder: Exploring the World of Science Fiction, edited by David Hartwell
Alternate Worlds: An Illustrated History of Science Fiction, edited by James Gunn
The Best of the Nebulas
Science Fiction Hall of Fame
Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
Tales Before Tolkien: The Roots of Modern Fantasy

Thursday, May 27, 2010

ConDuit 2010


Paul Genesse’s Panels and Events at ConDuit 2010

Friday May 28, 2010
12:00 PM—Time Travel
2:00 PM—Exploring the Classics: Stories You May Have Missed

Saturday May 29 (my birthday, I’ll be 37)
10:00 AM—Riding the Rocket: How to Handle the Career Blast-off
1:00 PM—The Mike Show (Mike O. will be interviewing me, Barbara Hambly who is the author guest of honor, Kevin Wasden, and James Dashner).
3:00-4:00 PM—Book Signing

Sunday May 30
11:00-11:30 AM—Reading, I’ll be reading from The Secret Empire. Tom Carr will be reading at 11:30 from his book, Talking to Myself in the Dark in the Executive Board Room.
12:00 PM—Different Dragons, Different Visions

Panel Descriptions Below:

Friday May 28

Time Travel: Playing with the concept of time seems to be a fun and mind-bending plot device. But what about those pesky logic contradictions that pop up with alarming regularity in many time travel stories? Can there be time travel that works?

Exploring the Classics: Stories You May Have Missed:
There are certain books, movies, novellas and short stories that should be required knowledge for a sci-fi or fantasy fan, stories that form a base for all other stories in the genre. We all know about The Lord of the Rings and Dune, but what other classics are there that are often missed?

Saturday May 29

Riding the Rocket: How to Handle the Career Blast-Off:
The New York Times best-seller list. Second, third and more re-printings; book tours and book signings; lighting has struck and your career went from zero to warp speed. How do you survive the pressure, expectations and distractions with your wits, not to mention future projects, intact? What should you watch out for, and what is normal (if anything) at this stage?

The Mike! Show
Do you have a question you want to ask CONduit’s guests? Come to the Mike show, a question and answer talk show hosted by Mike Oberg and featuring Barbara Hambly, Kevin Wasden, James Dashner and Paul Genesse as guests.

Book Signing, 3:00-4:00 PM

Sunday May 30

Reading: I’ll be reading from The Secret Empire. Ghost Hunter, Tom Carr will be reading at 11:30 from his book, Talking to Myself in the Dark in the Executive Board Room.

Different Dragons, Different Visions:
Dragons are a staple of fantasy, whether small or large, friend or foe. What do dragons represent to authors, and to their readers? Why are they given certain traits and characteristics in one story but not in another? A panel of authors discusses dragons, from their own stories, and others’.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Mercur Cemetery


Mercur Cemetery (check out all the pics on the public link to my Facebook page,

You’re walking on the unmarked graves of gold miners, prostitutes, and children when you set foot in the old Mercur Cemetery near Tooele, Utah. It’s a creepy place, with a strange amount of dark beauty. Think haunted forest with a view.

What I’m referring to is my third ghost hunt with Wasatch Paranormal Investigators on April 9, 2010. It was quite interesting, but had a different vibe than the last hunt I went on. This time I was only freaked out a couple of times, and only very briefly. The feeling at the cemetery was more peaceful, than terrifying.

We tramped around the forested cemetery on a ridge for several hours looking at the marked graves and wondering how many unmarked graves we were walking on.

We did have some strange encounters. At one point during the freezing night (32 degrees) we were standing around a small campfire, taking a break, when I was inviting any spirits present to come and join us. I was shushed by Tom Carr and Larry Correia. Very loud, heavy footsteps were right behind us on the gravel path, not more than ten feet away. We shone our lights on the path, but no one was there and our whole group was standing still around the fire.

We also had some serious K2 sessions. A K2 meter is an electromagnetic field monitoring device that lights up when there are changes to the electromagnetic field. At Annie’s grave, the little girl’s grave is in my pictures, we had a long yes/no session with a spirit—probably hers. We would ask yes or no questions and the spirit would respond by tapping the device once or twice. Once for no, twice for yes. It was very creepy.

We had a few other K2 sessions that night, but we didn’t see any full-bodied apparitions. Tom Carr describes his first investigation at the cemetery in his book, Talking to Myself in the Dark, and sadly, we didn’t have that sort of experience. That time, Tom and his group ended up fleeing the cemetery not long after they arrived.

You just never know what sort of experience you’re going to have when you go on a paranormal investigation. Some crazy part of me wanted to be terrified out of my mind, but the more rational part was relieved we left on our own terms, instead of being chased away by angry ghosts.

Paul Genesse
Author of The Dragon Hunters