Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Heading off to Iscandar. There are only 213 days left. Hurry Kevin!

Hi all,

In August and September I re-watched STAR BLAZERS. I have wanted to do this for a long... long time. Since I was in high school actually.

About two years ago, on Christmas I saw a great deal on the season one DVD set and bought it. I think I paid about $79. It was normally priced twice that much. So there is sat on my shelf. I have been so busy writing that it has taken me this long to finally sit down and watch the 26 episode season.

Worth the price!

It is important to note that I have not seen a single episode of the show since it's original airing in 1979. YES... 1979. I was 5 years old at the time. I remember watching it and loving it and wondering why there were no toys for it. :)

So here I am 2013, 39 years old... and believe it or not... I remembered a lot of what I saw.

"In the late 22nd century, an alien race known as the Gamilons have attacked the Earth, bombarding it with radioactive bombs and forcing the population underground. However, the radiation is seeping into the planet; unless it's removed, Earth will become uninhabitable in one year."

Obviously, I remember the main plot. Clearly, I recall Desslok. And yes, I still sing the theme song in the shower once a week.
Derek Wildstar
Derek Wildstar... yep... I remember him, the main character and damn, he's still pretty cool. But I kinda liked Sandor the most. Sorry Venture and Captain Avatar. :)
One thing that I was surprised by as I re-watched Star Blazers, was all the similarities to Star Trek and Battlestar Galatica. Holo-decks being a major one. Who invented the Holo-deck, I wonder? Star Trek, right???
Anyway, Since I had not watched Star Trek or BSG before Star Blazers when I was young, I could not draw on these comparisons until now. And I found them all very interesting. I mean Battlestar Galatica is about a ship trying to find home but being constantly attacked by the enemy. Star Blazers is about a ship trying to "reach a distant star" and then back, while being constantly attacked by the enemy.
My biggest surprise was all the death and destruction and how the characters dealt with it. I remembered space battles and ships blowing up. But I did not remember that you often witnessed the deaths of the characters on those ships. One Gamilon ship was destroyed and you actually watched the ship's crew being overcome with flames. You also see the panic and terror of the Star Force, inside the Yamato. Sometimes they are crying, other times you actually hear fear laden dialogue. You even see them tired, battle-worn and exhausted. The ship's doctor even drinks!
Here Desslok used a radioactive poisonous gas when he attacked the Yamato, and Sandor shoots a whole through this baddie!
This is not GI JOE where shots are fired and no one is hit. Nope. There are funeral scenes where you see several dozen people put to rest. WOW... I watched this as a kid???
The communications room where the Star Force could call home. It's empty because Derek did not want to call home. He had no one to call.

Quite possibly my clearest memory as a child was one episode where they were allowed to call home and talk to family. I remember this being a sad episode because Derek Wildstar had no family left. And when I reached that ep... Episode 10 "We will return", I was shocked. I pretty much remembered it all, but at the same time I didn't. I forgot that the episode was structured in such a way that we saw Derek's back story in flashbacks and we witness how his family died.

It explained much, as Derek did not want his turn to call home and did everything he could to avoid it.

Leave me alone, IQ-9!
Not sure who wrote this episode, but it felt like it could have been a live action ep. of the newest Battlestar Galatica, not a silly cartoon. It was that good and it really made me feel. Great work!
Other than that moment, the one thing I was waiting for the entire season was the scene where Nova saves the day, but is knocked unconscious by the radioactive poison gas. The moment where Derek lifts her up and carries her around the ship, half expecting her to die. I remember him telling her he loved her...
Not Nova!!!
When that episode hit, the final ep. of the season, I was shocked by how much of a love story the series was. In fact, there was a lot of love story throughout the season, but it culminates here. Derek tells Nova how much he loves her and how he wanted to start and family with her on Earth once it was healed/repaired. She is practically dead in his arms as he reaches the bridge of the ship, but suddenly awakes... and at the same moment... Captain Avatar dies.
Poor guy...

So re-watching Star Blazers was a great experience. I really enjoyed every episode. I was shocked by how this show was much more mature than I remembered. I also wonder if this set my standard for cartoons as a kid. After watching this and moving on to shows like Voltron and GI JOE and Transformers... no wonder I did not like Tom and Jerry anymore.  
Sorry this is not really a review of the show, or its episodes. It really is just some ramblings of how I could not believe I remembered so much of a cartoon I had not watched for over 30 years and that I was surprised by how good it still was.
Here is a great place for episode reviews.
My favorite moments still remain the same: the asteroid field they use to shield the ship, seeing how the characters deal with calling home and of course, Nova risking her life to save the ship.
Our Star Blazers!
Kevin James Breaux

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hellfire Publishing closed. 3 of my works currently unavailable. Looking for new homes.

Hey all,
Last week I was informed that Hellfire Publishing was closing. As in closing ASAP and today I checked and all of my works with them are gone. It's sad. Hellfire was a good group of people. I liked their editors, and other authors and their owner was very kind to me.
Sadly... these works are currently unavailable, but I will be seeking new outlets for them.
A Way to a Man's Heart is Through His Stomach - short story - published 2011
This was an early work on mine. A short story turned into an e-book by Hellfire. I loved their cover for it.
Dark Water: Beaming Smile - award-winning novelette - published 2011 .
Dark Water: Beaming Smile was well reviewed and was my first story to be on the prelim ballot for a Bram Stoker Award. It won a P&E readers poll award and it was even "acted out" in an old radio style reading (audio book file online). I am sure this one will find a new home soon. Also a great cover.
Dead Man's Party - published 2013
Dead Man's Party has had a long life... sorta kinda (and its a zombie story so, yeah that is also a pun). This was the first short story of mine to be professionally published back in 2008 and with its sale I gained access to the HWA. When its original 6 month contract ran out it was published a 2nd time in 2008. Hellfire picked it up in 2012 and re-edited it. It was only just published in July. Too bad its already gone from Amazon.
I will probably re-edit the first two and search for homes for them in 2014. If you are a publisher and interested in adding them to a collection let me know. Until then, I continue my search for an agent and keep writing.
Write Makes Might!
Kevin James Breaux

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

August, I'm glad you're gone. Time to write!

Hey all,
Well, August was not the break I was hoping for.
I was planning on taking the month off, and relaxing… resting my mind and my back. Sadly, things went sideways quick. My back was killing me for the first two week(really-really bad), and then my one dog, Amelia, died. She was almost 13, and had a heart condition…so it was not like her passing was unexpected…but she died at 3am, from a heart attack, right in front of my wife and I.

RIP - Amelia.

I was not prepared for that. Or the sadness and other messes that followed.
So August was a bad... bad... bad month. Not very relaxing at all.

Not. At. All.

All I can say for August is that I did finish re-watching Alias (which I started at the beginning of the Summer), and I did begin to re-watch Star Blazers and BattleStar Galactic (new version). Later I will blog about all the interesting comparisons I am noticing on those two Space Operas.
In late August, I did revisit my MG Boys Horror… but only to re-read it, not to finish it as planned. I am working on that now.

So September is about rebirth, renewal, and rebooting!
I have plans. (just like the Cylons!) Time to write!


So how was my re-watch of Alias? Well, I remembered a lot more of it than expected. And I never did watch the final season, only the last episode, during the original airing. I really enjoyed watching the first two seasons again. That first season is really amazing stuff. Great fun and well-written. I have to admit... I remember thinking Jennifer Garner was pretty before, but as my tastes have matured, I guess I found her more attractive now. I really appreciated her athleticism this time around; man she is physically fit and kicks ass!
Her famous blue dress.
You know, I guess I missed most of the season that she was pregnant before… and watching it now I found it really kinda annoying. Maybe because the whole season was structured differently… and I did not like that. APO (blah!) Although, I did like Fred, from Angel as a villain.
It still bothers me that Vaughn did not die when he… um... died... but more so, why does Sydney call her boyfriend, the father of her child "Vaughn" when his name is Michael! Well… not even. That's his alias… ug!

But all and all it was fun to re-watch and actually see the parts I missed before (because of Karate and just giving up on the show, I sadly say).
I will admit. I missed Jack Bristow and his scowl. He's a refreshing kinda character, in my opinion. He takes charge, is in control, and shoots first… cause he already has the answers. No not Jack Bauer... I said Jack Bristow!

That's right he's looking and scowling at you!

Oh, if you have not watched it lately, go re-watch the first season and be mindful of Bradley Cooper's weird hair and one red eye. Both will freak you out.

My favorite episode? Season 1 eps. "THE BOX - part 1 and 2." With Quentin Tarantino.
Kevin James Breaux