Friday, November 17, 2017


I've uploaded Survivors as an e-book and it should be live some time this weekend. Here's the cover:

I've gotten some grief over the covers in this series; apparently readers expect a romance novel behind covers like this one. Well, it's not a romance novel. It's a science fiction novel with a romantic subplot.

And it is also, by the way, a demonstration that I can rise above temptation. I found a Youtube video of the complete Kalman operetta Czardaskiralyno. Sung in Hungarian. With rather casual English subtitling that is evidently designed for speed readers, since you can miss a whole speech if you blink. I've been drawing this out for several days, using it as a reward for tasks accomplished. Pay credit card bill, one song. Write a scene for Star Burst (working title for Book 3 in the Stars series), one song plus the extended dance scene that follows. Get Survivors uploaded and oh well, it's Friday, let's just watch the entire third act and see all the pieces click into place.

Subtitles definitely help; I've gone from recognizing one word in a hundred to one word in fifty, which while pleasing is not exactly enough for listening comprehension. Watching this production resolved some of my questions about the story line while raising others. For instance, why do all the actors remind me of Klingons? Oh, it's the "inconspicuous" microphones taped to their foreheads that look like some kind of growth. People, if you're going to attach equipment to your singers' faces, maybe don't do so many closeups, ok? And even apart from the Klingon Pucker, it's not nice to do full-on closeups of your soprano when she's reaching for that high note.

And even with subtitles, I really have no idea what to make of the wounded veteran with PTSD who weaves in and out of the scenes, occasionally re-enacting his last battle by raising his crutch and imitating a machine gun. Sir, what are you doing in a fluffy operetta about a prince and a night club singer?

I guess there are some things we're not meant to know.


  1. I hate to be among the cover questioners, but as I pulled this post up I thought, ah, those good looking, even clean cut young people again, not your typical sci fi characterizations, or at least the ones living in MY head. I expect grit and tousled hair and women that look like they could stand up to laser blasts, not ready to go out on a date. Good looking, yes, but not as polished as these two. Guess I've been watching too much recent Star Wars and Star Trek. Which brings me to your Klingon opera. There IS a tradition of Klingon Opera you know. :-)

  2. Yes, but Klingon Operetta? With dance numbers???

    Thanks for the cover feedback. I have a lot to learn on this topic!

  3. Well, I had to google, as I was going on my somewhat hazy recollection of a Star Trek Deep Space 9 episode. I expected to find some esoteric Trekkie dissertation on the subject (and I did:, but I also found that someone had written and performed one, a portion of which ended up on youtube. It's enough to drive you right back to your writing, I'm guessing.

    Now that I think of it, all this Klingon opera puts me in mind of Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries

    And then I ran across this gem:

    "wa’ SaD ram wa’ ram je is the first Klingon Opera-Ballet, and the first Klingon Opera performed in the US. It was composed by Jon Silpayamanant to a libretto by Jon Silpayamanant and Robert Bruce Scott.

    The earliest version of an excerpted performance (45 minutes) of the Opera-Ballet took place at ConGlomeration in Louisville, Kentucky on 23 April 2011."

    So not an operetta but there appears to be some dancing as you requested. Obviously, someone has too much time on there perhaps I do as well to look up all this! :-)

  4. I'm disappointed. No subtitles on the Klingon Opera!

    Funny you should mention Ride of the Valkyries. It's, um, kind of a recurring motif in this series. Chaos and Wagner erupt whenever this secondary character puts on her horned helmet.

    1. Love it! And you saying that suddenly made another image pop into my head - that of Bugs Bunny donning a horned helmet with blonde braids hanging out of it in the cartoon version of Wagner. This clip even has some dancing for you:

      As for lack of subtitles to the Klingon Opera, I think I ran across either a comment with the same lament or an indication that there are translations somewhere. Again, people with too much time on their hands that they took a simple tv show's few lines of made-up dialogue and have developed an entire language out of it. And then the cult followers who have learned that language and consider themselves fluent in it. Bobbles the mind!


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