Balticon 46–Part 1

As I have been a fan of podcasts, podcasters, and books. I have heard so many people talking about Balticon being the podcaster con, and never got around to going until this year. Man boy have I been missing out. This was the most amazing time I have ever had, I met so many people that are from podcasts that I listen to. I was in constant fanboy and it was great.

I needed to rehydrate and calm myself from 7 plus hour drive

My room was nice though I think I like the hotel at Anime Festival Orlando better

Looks comfy don’t it


My Digital landscape

The con hub for Sportcenter




If you guys watched my twitter or my Facebook I came up on Thursday giving myself a bit of recovery then the next day I began the con off right with a panel about steam punk with Tee Morris, Philippa Ballantine Morris, and Doc Coleman. This was my first time meeting the good doctor even though that morning I was eating breakfast and he was just outside in the lobby waiting for Nathan Lowell. The whole time we had been tweeting back and forth. Then later on I met up with Tee and Pip and the Manly Man Morris began his preparations for the New New Media party which was everyone showing up with meat and good beer at the Marriott Residence Hotel and Tee grilling it up. This was so much fun, we plan on doing it again hopefully it will get bigger.








I began the day with another awesome breakfast







Then I started out with a panel about editing your podcast with Michael L. Stokes, John Mierau, Paul Elard Cooley, Tim Dodge and John Anealio. I recorded this whole panel I am not a good filmer but its not to bad some shaky bits but nothing to bad. Though I am using the free wordpress and I haven’t got the video upgrade so I will figure out something either youtube or facebook or something.

Awesome and informative

I also went to the Geek Radio Live Panel and it was a blast to behold SHO-NUFF!



Next up was Tee and Pip’s signing then following them was Nobilis Reeds signing. Things were going good until I made the fatal flaw of goingto the room to take a nap as I was still very fatigued from the new new media party and I aggrivatingly slept through the I Should Be Writing Live panel by Mur Lafferty…maybe next year. I did how ever go to Scott Sigler‘s panel on Expanding his Galactic Football League series.

If only pictures could talk

The Wiener is!!!?

I rounded out the evening with a little Erotica Ala Cart: Iron Chef. There are pictures but these are..well they involve a plus penis, and the miss use of Rumbas so I don’t know if they could be placed on the blog just yet gotta ask some people for permission lol. Let me tell you if you can make it to Balticon next year this panel is a MUST.

Finally I went to the Greoge Hrab Concert it was awesome. The one down side is that I had only my iphone I captured video but it is not good quality and it would not do the awesome that George Hrab puts down at his shows justice. Then I finish the night up with more hanging wih folks and hittin the bar. A real girl herself bought me a drink and Scott and I talked up the playoff and the coming football season needless to say it aint a party unless your double fisting some sort of alcoholic beverage which is the reason I didn’t end up back in my room til 3am or so lol.



I started with some Mickey D’s I  McGriddles lol. Then I hit my first panel which was on building a religion in your Fiction with John C.Wright, Barbara Friend Ish, Gail Z. Martin, Bernard Dukas, and the awesome P.G. Holyfield. Then I went to Anime for parents and the Scifi in anime panels. The notable things about this is after wards I walked with the members of the panel who are on the Balticon Anime track and they want me to do Anime panels next year so look out Balticon 47 Big Bear will be in you.

After a nap(these podcasters can drink) I grab some lunch and head to the live Shared Desk. I recorded all of this as well(I need a youtube account) but the most exciting then other than a visit from Crazy Uncle Charlie was the world premier of the book trailer for the second Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences novel The Janus Affair.

Devo Spice Nerdcore at it’s finest

Riding this awesome wave I went to the Devo Spice concert and it was Fucking Hilarious and awesome and I will totally have to make a youtube account so I can post it up for you guys I recorded the whole thing every song from begining to end. Then I was off for the last night of partying

Monday’s big goodbye.


Was fun but sad for it was the last day of the con I attended Nathan Lowell’s reading and Doc Coleman’s reading

Reading Divine Inspirations: A blasphemy in 3 acts(Act 2)

Doc Coleman, and Yoji Kondo

Well That was my balitcon in a nutshell I have a blast and cannot recommend this convention enough to anyone who loves podcasters, or SciFi, or both. Part to will be just all the random pics I took from panels, around the con and the Monday goodbye/send off lunch. Well this is Big Bear signing off for now.




Crimes Against Magic by Steve McHugh

‘Crimes Against Magic’ is one of the first debut novels I have had the pleasure of being asked to review. It’s author Steve McHugh had obviously spent a massive amount of time building the world of the story. The plot without spoilers, is about a magic user named Nathaniel Garret.  An amnesiac thief for hire, whose past comes to catch up with him after a job goes bad.

This is nothing new, most stories you will read are just that, nothing new. With this being said the way, an author handles tropes and used subject matter, is the difference setting apart books and stories being told in this changing world of publication.

Steve McHugh in this debut novel sets himself apart in the urban fantasy genre. The main character to me is like James Bond with magic being directed by John Woo. He takes some very well known creatures of the fantasy genre and makes them savage, brutal, beings putting an edge back onto the fantastical. This makes ‘Crimes Against Magic’ a hugely exciting journey.

This is not a flawless masterpiece but as I said before this is his debut novel. There are some newbie author habits/mistakes in the novel. One of these I picked out was character diversity, as he uses alot of blond female characters.  Another is Nathan himself. He is untouchable, taking out werewolves and other supernatural beings with relative ease. Very Bondish indeed. I must say the MC does take one savage beating at the hands of a well crafted villain.

All in all this is a well written and put together story with well done flashbacks to give you a movie like quality. I typically HATE flashbacks, but McHugh gives you exposition and character development amidst supernatural action. The action is well crafted and choreographed sequences.

This being an urban fantasy story there is magic. The system used to govern magic use in the story is well thought out, and ties directly into the stories plot. I can’t go into more detail, because it would spoil rather pivotal scenes and events of the story.

‘Crimes Against Magic’ is an exciting, fun page turner of a story. An impressive feat from a debut author well worth being picked up.

By BigBear85 Posted in Books

Friday Flash: A Long Walk Home

Immortal Whispers #4 – A Long Walk Home


“Fuck man, I will sure be glad when we get out this tower, where the hell is that change over” Jayce said chewing the end of his rather stale but enjoyable cigar.

“I bet Sarge made’em walk and used the fucking golf cart himself” Groves griped


Jayce went to continue his complaints when two headlights illuminated the gloom. Then Groves grabbed the radio as Jayce leaned down looking through the night vision/ thermal scope on the 240 Bravo machine gun. His eyes and the barrel of the weapon tracked the vehicle,a white sedan. A favorite of bombers, and the groups that supported such acts.

“Call it up, zero two, four two hundred hours” Jayce said “ passing west north west at about three hundred and forty degrees” he finished the machine like rhetoric, Groves repeated it.

“We got’em on the raid camera, Towers 5, 6, 1 do you confirm sighting” came over the radio

The towers confirmed, tracking the vehicle out of our sight range. It wouldn’t be out of the raid cameras range for another several clicks.

“Were coming up! Asshole made us walk”

“Glad I didn’t bet you B, or I would be short on cigar money” Jayce looked at his friend and shrugged

Jayce told Groves he was skipping chow, and would be trying to get some phone time in with his young wife, and child. The lines for the phones at this hour weren’t long at at matter of fact if you got in on the phone early enough you could talk as long as you wants really, and that was one if not the only reason for the mid to late guard shift. The booth was just a wooden box with Category 5 telephone/ether wire, or Cat 5 cable, ran down from the ceiling to a lan phone. They did what they could and accepted what they must. It was a blessing to have this Jayce knew as he remembered his month on the COP, Combat Operation Post, cooking for grunts. It was four metal containers, four towers, two platoons, and four holes in the ground.

The interruption of the droning ring brought him back to reality. The his wife made it all worth while.

“Love it’s me”

“Its so good to hear your voice, been almost two weeks?” her statement was an accusing question

“It wasn’t us Bae, another companies COP got over run… ” he paused not wanting to finish

“A lot of families to notify huh?”

Jayce let that hang, then spoke “How is she?”

“Hungry like her daddy.”

He laughed “can I talk to her?”

“She’s asleep finally love, next time promise”

“Its aright bae. So you wannna? You know? I am by myself” he stiffened at the thought her pleasing herself for him, moaning her desire for his return, echoed in the groans of her orgasm.

“When you get the Internet in your room from the guy you gave steaks, I’ll invite Cathy over to celebrate” she teased him , more accusation flavored the comment but he let it slide

“You sure do-”

The world around Jayce became a tornado of smoke, flame, and wooden shrapnel. Ears rang, fist still clutching what remained of the phone. He staggered to his feet, another explosion rocked the FOB. Machine guns fired mixed with the screams of the wounded and the dying. He had to find his weapon.

He frantically searched until the cool steel of the barrel met his hand. The soldier turned on. Thirty round magazine checked, slammed home, bolt drawn and released. A satisfying chunk sounded as the round seated. Locked and loaded, he turned to moved to the HQ tent when the war cries came. In the sparse lighting he could make out their indigenously garbed forms pouring through the breached wall, over the wrecked burning hulk of what remained of a white sedan.

“Fucking towel heads” he spat raising his M4 Carbine, and opened fire.

The world was chaos, bullets buried themselves into sandbagged bunkers he skirted for cover. He never stopped firing. Switching magazines with precision a cook normally wouldn’t have, but as a country boy weapons were like his cooking natural extension of him life. He made sure those at the business end felt all he expressed. Bodies fell to quick tight shot group. Hours passed, the report of weapons died out as the sun began to rise. In the carnage he had found Groves and they now stood back to back. The rumbled of heavy vehicles filled the air, Jayce sighed relief, the armored company must have came as back up. What came through the wall wasn’t a tank but three dump trucks. They froze.

“More?” was all Jayce got to say as the trucks stopped. Then all was noise and flame.

Jayce awoke, looking at the sky and coughed up a gout of blood, he hurt so bad. The hammer blow fell, he couldn’t feel his legs. Gritting his teeth he looked, his waist was a mass of entrails in a pool of his own blood. Upon awaking the second time he saw something he never could’ve imagined. His legs were bing pulled up to his torso by tentacle like tendrils of blood and sinew and before his eyes they reattached themselves. He wiggled his toes, they danced for him, next was the hard part, He tired to stand.

He staggered, fell, staggered again then finally found his footing. He was alive it was a miracle, he would see his daughter, his wife. He jumped for joy, slipped in something and fell. He looked over and there was the torn open chest cavity of Groves eyes open face askew in horror at his sudden death. Jayce picked up the weapon Groves clutched, took the ammo that hadn’t cooked off in the explosion, and closed his friends eyes.

He surveyed the devastation around him, locked and loaded his M4 and turned North towards there sister FOB.

“This is going to be one long walk home”