Prank Calls With My Nephew

Whenever I visit home, I always give my awesome and hilarious nephew, Jordan, my iPhone. He flips through it carelessly, and I let him call whoever he wants... well, within reason. If I spot him calling my boss or a media contact, I take it away. Let's be real here.

I shot this over Thanksgiving and finally got around to piecing some of my favorite clips together. Thank you Allie (aka Alex Hack-cher), Jess, Mikey, Sarah, and Linzy for being such good sports about the whole thing.

Next installment... Christmas edition.

Pretending To Be On Television

So last weekend was interesting.

My pal Glen Tickle, a guy I went to college with (and took a monster road trip with last year), is one hell of a funny stand up comedian. Once a month, he hosts a show called Pretending to be on TV. It's a late night talk show without the actual television, hosted at a gorgeous theater in Bethlehem, PA. He's been talking about it for quite some time now, but as much as I fancy myself a good friend, I couldn't figure out what the hell it was.

Until this past weekend.

Glen had me come on to chat about the Master Chief suit and essay, my book, my love of Skyrim, and just some general stuff about myself, like work and what-not. I was joined by celebrated blogger (and former college classmate) Jill Pantozzi, who oddly enough I pitch a lot of Quirk titles to. She spoke about comics, why she writes about them, etc. All in all, it was a fabulous time, and was actually the first time I've gotten to hang with Jill outside an industry event. Which is a shame, cause she is fabulous.

Jill wrote about her experience being on Glen's show, here. She'd actually read about the Master Chief story, but didn't know it was me. Ah, small world.

There's a video clip of my talk over on Pretending to be on TV's official website / Tumblr, check it out here. And of course, some (terrible low resolution iPhone 3G) photos below. Thanks for having me on Glen. I'm super proud of you.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Science Fiction, Steampunk, & Dystopian Young Adult: My Favorite Novels of 2011

There's a soundtrack to my favorite 2011 novel! Get it here!

The great thing about working in publishing, is I get to read a hell of a lot of books. And not just the books my job puts out (though I do read every single one), but the titles published by our friends in the industry.

BEA and Comic Con are just fantastic for loading up on bookish swag, and I actually discovered most of my favorite reads this year in the form of sweet, sweet free ARCs.

Anyhow, thought I'd write up a little post about my favorite reads this year. I was pretty much all about science fiction, steampunk, and dystopian YA romance this year.


What's wrong with me?

1. Ready Player One by Ernest Kline: If my inner child were to write a book, and was a competent writer, I'm pretty sure this would be it.

I adored this book, so much that I even wrote a review of it on Geekadelphia back in August, and I never write book reviews on there. Loaded with 80's pop culture references and set inside a virtual reality landscape that makes World of Warcraft look like Pac-Man, it is impossible not to get sucked into Kline's geektastic masterpiece.

While the rest of these titles aren't in any particular order, Ready Player One is, hands down, my favorite book this year. You can read my ramblings about it on my other blog. I only wish the ARC cover ended up the final cover. Oh well.

2. Robopocolypse by Daniel H. Wilson: Even though I scored a free ARC of it at BEA this year, I went ahead and pre-ordered the hardcover, just so I could own it. I let a friend borrow it, and I never saw that copy again. So I bought another.

The only other book I've bought this many copies of is High Fidelity, and that's my favorite book of all time.

Wilson's epic science-fiction saga reads like any number of Michael Crichton's well researched classic sci-fi thrillers, blended with the narrative structure of Max Brooks' World War Z. You're introduced to a number of interesting characters and plotlines, each entirely enthralling. And Wilson's seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of robotics shouldn't surprise readers. Not only did he write the hilarious How To Survive a Robot Uprising, but the guy holds his Ph.D in Robotics. (more…)

Master Chiefing: Walking to FYE

So Halo Anniversary came out last Tuesday, and unfortunately, due to a busy work schedule (I was at Random House on Tuesday, SocialMediaPlus on Wednesday, teaching on Thursday...) I was unable to pick it up on its release date.

However, due to being free Saturday morning pre-Friendsgiving, I wrangled up my buddies Jess (featured in the video) and Dan (the videographer) for a stroll to FYE, where I purchased the game wearing my Halo armor. This was something I had always wanted to do, and I look forward to doing the same exact thing when Halo 4 comes out. Maybe at a midnight release, who knows.

Man, I sure do love how the light looks when I hit Rittenhouse Square. Saturday was such a perfect day for this. Anyhow, enjoy. And to see it full rez instead of in a tiny 480x window, hit up my Vimeo page.

Friendsgiving 2: Turducken's Revenge

Another year, another fabulous Friendsgiving... even though one of the co-founders greatly dislikes that name.

2011 was a pretty stellar year, save for a couple of hiccups. Good times at work, great students at Peirce, awesome events with Geekadelphia (especially the awards back in the Summer), some success with writing... and through all of these awesome happenings, these folks here in Philly have played quite the integral part.

Yes, even with work, considering one of my bloggers is my current intern and all my friends come out to my local events (what's up Broetry slam).

Anyhow, I'm lucky to have so many fabulous people in my life here in this big city. Especially when these are the sort of people who purchase several turduckens just because, spend twelve hours creating Companion Cube dessert cakes, and quote Ron Swanson in huge chalk letters on their kitchen walls.

Couple of favorites after the jump, all taken by Linzy and Mikey. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. (more…)