Aug 12, 2014

Guest Post - Michael G. Munz - Zeus is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure


Today, author Michael G. Munz is stopping by on his book tour... 




...so, without further ado, heeeeeeeeere's Michael!!

Hi everyone! It's great to be here on 1000 Trillion Suns! In honor of the release of my new comedic fantasy novel Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure, the powers-that-be have tasked me with giving you a list of five things you absolutely cannot leave home without when embarking on an adventure (monstrously inconvenient or otherwise). And so, in no particular order, because that's the kind of indecisive guy I am…

Some Manner of Companion-beast
What kind? It really depends on your particular needs. A dog, a dragon, a robot, a gardener, etc. Each has its uses. They can get you out of a jam (locked cell, socially awkward situation, Death Star trash compactor), they can carry your stuff, and the right ones can even go berserk at a comically appropriate time and kick three times as much ass as you ever could. Just make sure you treat 'em well.

Rope
Being a card-carrying geek (or I would be, if I could find where I'm supposed to get those cards), I've played my share of Dungeons & Dragons. If there's one thing D&D has taught me, it's this. In my groups, everyone always carried, especially after one DM showed us how much of a stickler he was regarding MUCH rope we had when we were needing to do things with it. (It's the only instance I know of a "rope lawyer.")
For extra utility, get a rope that can turn invisible! You can use it to trip pursuers or simply tie up any prisoners without anyone noticing they're bound!

A Seemingly Worthless Item™
It is guaranteed that a seemingly worthless item will turn out to be the precise thing for the most dangerous situation you will ever get into. Just—and I cannot emphasize this enough*—do NOT forget to show someone that you have it when you start so as to properly establish its existence. Also, if someone asks you WHY you're carrying it, be evasive. You'll cultivate more mystery that way: "Why are you carrying that Elvis Presley bobblehead?" "Why NOT carry an Elvis Presley bobblehead?"

*Seriously, I CAN'T emphasize it enough; this is a guest blog post and I have no control over font.

A Nice Set of Clothes
You never know when you'll have to clean up and have dinner with the king, president, or PTA-head whose kingdom/palace/high school gym you've accidentally stumbled into. Indiana Jones knew it. Thalia the Muse of Comedy & Science Fiction knows it. Now you know it, too.

Bonus points if they're made of some stretchy, fireproof material that repels stains. Because you never know.

A Laser Pointer
Use this to make people think you've got snipers covering you, shine a light to distant stars in order to call for help (please allow 4.367 to 2 million years for delivery), and keep yourself entertained (lasers are just neat). You can kill two birds with one stone here if you make this your Seemingly Worthless Item™, too!

Special bonus Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure uses: Laser pointers can also be used to deal with swarms of razorwings, the playfully feral, poisonous, bat-winged kittens that plague the American southwest.




HONORABLE MENTIONS:

A trusty weapon – the more unique, the better: Lightsabers are good, but hard to come by. A big ol' magical hammer that returns when you throw it is great, but usually requires a background check. Don't use a whip – it's been done, and you'll just hurt yourself. My recommendation? Some sort of bazooka that fires angry badgers.

A towel: Anyone who's ever read Douglas Adams knows this one. (Really, it's already such a given that you should bring along a towel that I didn't even think I had to mention it.) He said it far better than I, so I'll just quote him here:

"A towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have 'lost.' What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with."

So that's my list. Fail to heed it at your own peril, and be sure to check out Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure, which features Greek gods, muses, erinyes, and maybe even a hydra in Lake Michigan.


BOOK DETAILS:

Title: Zeus is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure
Author: Michael G. Munz
Genre: Contemporary Mythological Fantasy
Release date: July 21st, 2014
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
Length: 446 pages (paperback)

Synopsis:

The gods are back. Did you myth them?

You probably saw the press conference. Nine months ago, Zeus's murder catapulted the Greek gods back into our world. Now they revel in their new temples, casinos, and media empires—well, all except Apollo. A compulsive overachiever with a bursting portfolio of godly duties, the amount of email alone that he receives from rapacious mortals turns each of his days into a living hell.
Yet there may be hope, if only he can return Zeus to life! With the aid of Thalia, the muse of comedy and science fiction, Apollo will risk his very godhood to help sarcastic TV producer Tracy Wallace and a gamer-geek named Leif—two mortals who hold the key to Zeus's resurrection. (Well, probably. Prophecies are tricky buggers.)
Soon an overflowing inbox will be the least of Apollo’s troubles. Whoever murdered Zeus will certainly kill again to prevent his return, and avoiding them would be far easier if Apollo could possibly figure out who they are.
Even worse, the muse is starting to get cranky.
Discover a world where reality TV heroes slay actual monsters and the gods have their own Twitter feeds: Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure!

Find Zeus is Dead on:




Or you could try to score a free copy here



ABOUT MICHAEL G. MUNZ

An award-winning writer of speculative fiction, Michael G. Munz was born in Pennsylvania but moved to Washington State in 1977 at the age of three. Unable to escape the state’s gravity, he has spent most of his life there and studied writing at the University of Washington.
Michael developed his creative bug in college, writing and filming four exceedingly amateur films before setting his sights on becoming a novelist. Driving this goal is the desire to tell entertaining stories that give to others the same pleasure as other writers have given to him. He enjoys writing tales that combine the modern world with the futuristic or fantastic.
Michael has traveled to three continents and has an interest in Celtic and Classical mythology. He also possesses what most “normal” people would likely deem far too much familiarity with a wide range of geek culture, though Michael prefers the term geek-bard: a jack of all geek-trades, but master of none—except possibly Farscape and Twin Peaks.
Michael dwells in Seattle where he continues his quest to write the most entertaining novel known to humankind and find a really fantastic clam linguine.
Find out more about him at michaelgmunz.com. While there, it wouldn't hurt to get a FREE copy of Mythed Connections, the spiritual prequel to Zeus is Dead.

Contact Michael on 

ORDERING INFORMATION
ZEUS IS DEAD: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure
By Michael G. Munz
Paperback price: $20.95
eBook price: $4.99
Paperback: 446 pages
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Publication date: July 21, 2014
Print ISBN: 978-1-62015-426-7
Epub ISBN: 978-1-62015-416-8
• Available on Amazon.com in Kindle and paperback versions
• Available on BarnesandNoble.com in Nook and paperback versions
• Title is available internationally – please contact us directly if you do not see it on your preferred book purchase website
• Discounts or customized editions may be available for educational and other groups based on bulk purchase
• For further information please contact info@booktrope.com

PRAISE FOR ZEUS IS DEAD: A MONSTROUSLY INCONVENIENT ADVENTURE

Zeus Is Dead is full of laugh-out-loud moments, lashings of sly wit, moan-worthy puns, and a complex, fastpaced storyline. There aren’t very many humorous fantasy murder mysteries out there, especially not as intricately constructed as this one. Michael G. Munz takes a ’What if,’ and runs with it like a toddler with Mom’s smart phone. He evokes a pantheon of characters including, well, the actual Pantheon, plus modern characters who will ring the bell of familiarity without being trite or clich├ęd. Munz knows his craft as well as his Greek mythology, pop culture, and dysfunctional family dynamics. The guffaw-worthy throwaway bits (stay tuned for the battle sundae) will remind you of Douglas Adams. A very enjoyable read.”
—Jody Lynn Nye, author of View from the Imperium and co-author
of the Myth Adventures of Aahz and Skeeve

“Not since the people of Atlantis predicted ‘low humidity’ has there been such an original twist in Greek Mythology. This book is also far more amusing.”
—Brian Rathbone, creator of the bestselling Godsland Fantasy Series

Zeus Is Dead is a book about the return of old gods, but Cthulhu is not in evidence, and it did not drive me to the very edge of madness. Instead it is a hilarious, satirical, page-turning romp through a world beset by plagues of monsters, egotistical gods, and reality television shows. I highly recommend this book to those who value both their sanity and a hearty guffaw. ”
—Seamus Cooper, author of The Mall of Cthulhu

“Delivering us from a sea of endlessly morose and self-important supernatural fiction, Zeus Is Dead understands that Greek mythology is more than a little bit insane and—rather than ignore the unseemly aspects—embraces them with the appropriate level of snark and style. Munz’s tale echoes the bureaucratic insanity of Douglas Adam’s creations, the banter of Grant and Naylor’s Red Dwarf, and the cynicism of Ben Croshaw in order to bring us a clever, hilarious tale of adventure and grudging heroism.

I guess what I’m saying is that unless you really like your supernatural fiction all mopey and dull, you’ll find
something to love here.”
—Jonathan Charles Bruce, author of Project Northwoods

“A hilarious mythological tale of god-like proportions. Munz has crafted a tale of bizarro comic fantasy that sits comfortably among the ilk of Gaiman and Pratchett.”
—Andrew Buckley, author of Death, the Devil, and the Goldfish


Thanks for stopping by, Michael. Good luck on the rest of your tour!

GSY

Aug 7, 2014

Movie Mayhem #1


Greetings, Earthlings...

So, this week I watched a handful of movies and thought I'd share some thoughts with you. If you follow me on TWITTER, you probably already know that I enjoy all kinds of stuff (and things) with movies being up there amongst my favorites. If you don't follow me on Twitter...why not?? You're missing the brilliant comedic styling of @Spartagus:
*instals calories* *updates mood* Thank for installing Spartan 3.0 *sigh of relief*



&


Watching #Noah ...and Noah has just been punched in the head by a rock monster...so...there's that.

The first tweet is me being...well, me. And the second tweet refers to the movie I watched last night...and I'll get to that in next week's post.

For now though, let's start with Guardians of the Galaxy...
So, you take Marvel's box of toys and Disney's marketing machine and what you end up with is a colossal $95M opening weekend for a movie with a talking Raccoon and a sentient tree who can only say "I am Groot." 



And I think it deserves all of its success.

This movie is a LOT of fun. Sure, it suffers from the usual problems of summer movie bloat, featuring a third act that has everything but the kitchen sink thrown in, but all the Guardians are great, the humor irreverent and the effects top notch. A sequel is due in 2017, by which time I fully expect Marvel to be our evil overlords. The upside being there will probably be a really cool President/Emperor...probably Robert Downey Jr.

~~~

After the superhero fun of GOTG, I decided to try out Liam Neeson's new throat-punching extravaganza, Non-Stop.

Basically, it's Speed on an airplane, with Liam Neeson's air marshal up against a bad guy (or girl...let's keep some mystery here) who will kill passengers if he (or she) is not paid $150 million.

Liam has managed to get his second wind as a movie action star, but attempts to replicate the bare bones, muscular, voicebox wrecking, euro face-smashing success of Taken invariably fall short. Non-stop isn't bad, but it's hamstrung with an overly elaborate bad guy plot and some harebrained character decisions that left me thinking "really???"

This one is for a Saturday night when you've worn out your copy of Taken. Alternatively, you could watch the vastly superior "bad guys on a plane" movie Executive Decision with Kurt Russell and Halle Berry if only to watch ***SPOILER ALERT*** Steven Seagal get sucked out of an airplane halfway through the movie. Little has made me happier at the movies than that moment. lol.

~~~

Next, I watched 12 Years a Slave, further proof, if any was needed, that mankind has serious issues. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a free black man from New York who is abducted and sold into slavery in the South. It's an incredible story, and one filled with moments of sheer frustration and anger at the level of hatred, violence, indifference, greed and cruelty shown by the bulk of the white characters. Despite Michael Fassbender's character appearing to be borderline bat-shit insane, the bulk of the white people in the movie seem to be in full control of their faculties, so the violence perpetrated against Ejiofor's character Solomon, and the other slaves, seems even more brutal. The film is based on a true story which makes it all the more...powerful.

The cast is filled out with several well known actors in smaller roles, including Brad Pitt, but the accolades belong to Ejiofor as Solomon, newcomer Lupita Nyong'o as Patsey and Fassbender as Epps. The director, Steve McQueen and his director of photography deserve some accolades too for the look of the movie. Also, for the unflinching eye they cast on scenes as they play out. One scene, where Solomon has to balance on his tip-toes with a noose around his neck for hours, plays out in relative silence for much longer than other directors would allow. You aren't allowed to just look away, you are forced to watch and to shake your head and wonder why those who see him hanging there don't cut him down. Powerful scene.

This is not light viewing, but well worth a watch.

So, there ya go. That was this week's eclectic selection. I'll be back next week with some more, including Noah...a new take on an old story. Until then, take it easy.

Spartan out.