It’s A Wonderful Death Is Published!


TALES OF FORTANNIS: IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH by Derek Beebe (Edited by Michael Ventrella)

A brave knight breaks her vows to fight against a lunatic king calling himself “the Doomsayer” and ends up dealing with unreliable henchmen, political assassins, and a sarcastic disembodied head in a bag.

Can she and her friends save the Hidden Kingdom from an unstoppable foe before her prophesied death?

“It’s a Wonderful Death” is a stand-alone novel in the shared fantasy world of Fortannis. The story takes place after the novels “Arch Enemies” and “The Axes of Evil” and features Terin Ostler and the squires from those stories.

Movie Reviews for Random

I’m pleased to announce I am now writing movie reviews for !

REVIEW: Star Trek Beyond

REVIEW: Suicide Squad

Star Trek Beyond & Finished Editing

STAR TREK BEYOND was pretty good.  I’d say it was just a smidgen below the first two, mainly for a very weak villain and a waste of Idris Elba’s talent.  The story was smaller and more “episodic” this time.  Still, the action scenes were great and it was a lot of fun.  The ending twist was really good, I just wish it appeared sooner.  Special nerd points for multiple shout outs to Star Trek Enterprise; not my favorite show, but still nice to see!

After a long, long month, editing is finally done on IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH!  Coming in September-ish!

Final Final Edits and Mr. Robot

Wow, I said on June 10th I was doing final edits on my book… well, it’s June 21st and I’m STILL doing final edits!  It’s an interesting but aggravating exercise to agonize over every word… for 80,000 words.

I just recently discovered Mr. Robot.  This is an amazing tv series!  I’m completely hooked, and now that I’ve seen all the existing episodes, I’ve had to go cold turkey.  Argh.  An incredible well written show, it keeps you on the edge of your seat even though it’s actually a pretty slow and ponderous story.  And it feels so much like a Stanley Kubrick movie it’s really unsettling (in a good way!).


I’m re-reading Michael Crichton’s book Congo for the first time in oh 20 years or so.  Great book!  Complete page turner!  Now I’m starting the movie version on Netflix, and it’s amazing how it’s mostly faithful to the material yet really, really bad in execution…

In writing news, I’m still doing frantic last minute edits on my first published book with Michael Ventrella, It’s A Wonderful Death.  And I’m approaching the end of writing the third book of my sci-fi series.

Final Edits

I just finished spending every spare moment of the past week doing final edits on IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH, my first and forthcoming published novel. It’s a full length expansion of my short story published last year, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF BERYL TRUESWORD.  It begins with a re-write of the original short and goes on to tell the rest of her story, as well as including Michael’s characters from his own stories.  This past week has got to be the longest I’ve ever actually sat down and worked on a book in my life!  My attention span was rallying against me the entire time.  Coming soon, September-ish!

Beryl Truesword, a knight of Ashbury, travels to a far away land called the Hidden Kingdom to defeat an evil warlord who can foretell the death of anyone around him.  A prophecy about her death binds her to the land, so she remains to make the Kingdom a better place.  Unfortunately, quite a few people (and some creatures that aren’t people at all) stand in her way.  Terin Ostler and his friends from Ashbury are sent to the Hidden Kingdom to track down an evil necromancer and find out what happened to Beryl but they all become caught up in a much larger crisis that could threaten the entire world.

In other news, I’m 2/3 done with the THIRD book of my big 14 book sci-fi series!

I read the new Star Wars novel BLOODLINE by Claudia Grey.  It stars Leia six years prior to The Force Awakens and reveals the backstory about the New Republic, the Resistance, and the First Order.  It was pretty enjoyable and very informative about the galaxy at large.  This was the novel I wanted to read after seeing the movie!

Beyond the Ice Limit

Oh, man.  I’ve been waiting FIFTEEN years for this book!  The Ice Limit was one of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child’s earlier books and while the story itself was thrilling, it ended on a massive cliffhanger I was dying for the resolution of.  And then I had to wait.  Fifteen years.  Worse still, they kept teasing it in their books.  Characters would be reading books called “Ice Limit 2” and “Ice Limit 3”.  They introduced surviving characters from the book into the larger continuity, and showed them working off-screen on the meteorite problem.  Those teases!

Well, the book was pretty good.  It certainly went in an unexpected direction and told a very creepy and horrifying story.  I would say it met my expectations and wasn’t disappointing.  I did originally think it was odd to do this story in the Gideon Crew series rather than with Pendergast, but it worked.  Still, I always hoped to see Pendergast dealing with the meteorite…

Now I’m starting another book I’ve been dying to read, Star Wars Bloodline, the story that’s going to fill in some of the missing pieces between Return of the Jedi and Force Awakens.  Can’t wait to find out the history of the Resistance and the First Order!


Man, there were a lot of cancellations this week.  A lot of really great shows I’ll dearly miss, and some that were just cute but worth checking out.  I can’t image next season having the wherewithal to replace them properly.

Galavant.  Agent Carter.  The Muppets.  Heroes Reborn.  Castle.  The Grinder.

Crowded.  Grandfathered.  Undateable.  Truth Be Told.  Telenovela. Cooper Barrett.  Bordertown.  Angel From Hell.  Minority Report.  Second Chances.

I’ll miss Galvant and Agent Carter most of all…

At least I’ll have a long awaited prize to tide me over…. the sequel to The Ice Limit!  The original was published in 2001 and ended on the most tantalizing cliffhanger imaginable… and then I had to wait 15 damn years for the followup, but it’s finally here!

Ranking the Marvel Movies

(note: this is Marvel Cinematic Universe only)

I don’t have any major problems with any of these movies; none of them are bad.  Thirteen movies in and I’m still terribly excited about them.

  1. AVENGERS: perfection. a masterful balancing act of story, character, action, humor…
  2. AGE OF ULTRON: unfairly maligned, this movie does an amazing job of juggling far too many characters and stories. While not as strong or fun as the original, its shot better, has better action, and generally does all the little things better.
  3. CIVIL WAR: unfairly overhyped, this movie does an amazing job of juggling far too many characters and stories. Spider-Man is great but utterly superfluous to the story.
  4. WINTER SOLDIER: love that this is Avengers 1.5 with the greatest plot twist in the MCU.
  5. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: so much more fun than anyone would have thought possible.
  6. THOR: a great introduction to the larger cosmic world and a great character.
  7. CAPTAIN AMERICA: so glad this is a proper WWII period piece.
  8. THOR DARK WORLD: rubbish villain, but everything else is great.
  9. IRON MAN 3: I still kinda hate the Mandarin twist, but it’s a good movie otherwise.
  10. IRON MAN 2: the villain is uninteresting, but the Avengers set up is fun.
  11. IRON MAN: the only reason I rank this so low is because it’s all origin story which makes for tedious re-viewings.
  12. ANT-MAN: a fun movie but it’s basically a remake of the first Iron Man movie.
  13. INCREDIBLE HULK: not a bad movie, just not terribly interesting.