Movie Reviews Far Too Late: Dragonslayer

So, let’s just come out and admit it: there were a lot of bad movies in the eighties. And especially, there were a lot of bad F/SF movies. There were a lot of people who, having seen the success of Star Wars, were convinced that they could do the same thing, either by blowing their money on special effects and not bothering to write a decent story (Lifeforce), or worse, by NOT blowing their money on special effects, and STILL not bothering to write a decent story (Yeah, that’s you Buckaroo Banzai). There were movies that tried to blatantly rip off other, better movies (Explorers and Starman).

But every now and then you got a real gem of a film that managed to do it mostly right. And it hovered on the background of your consciousness until you finally watched it. And for me, that film was Dragonslayer.

I think the thing that stood out for me was this: I can think of few films that used their limited special effects better. Oh, sure, you can tell that the director was stretching 1981’s technology to the breaking point, and by our standards today, it’s pretty laughable. But considering how difficult it was to film something as complex as a dragon (spaceships are easy by comparison) the results were stunning.

But mostly what blew me away was the dedication to telling an actual story that I, who live in a time of gritty anti-heroes, found refreshing. I really don’t want to spoiler this film (which can be watched for free on Amazon Prime: go watch it!), but roughly, it’s the tale of Galen, a sorcerer’s apprentice, whose master, Ulrich, is approached by a delegation of commoners whose kingdom is beset by a dragon. Their king is appeasing the dragon by feeding it virgins by “lot,” a lottery that his own daughter and those of his nobles are curiously immune to. Ulrich is killed by the king’s captain of the guard, Tyrian, whose lord doesn’t want to take the risk of upsetting the dragon, and Galen is left to attempt the deed himself, with only his master’s amulet to give him any power at all.

While the writing is sometimes clumsy and rough, the movie as a whole was like a breath of fresh air. Galen, our hero, is neither a whiner nor an overpowered Gary Stu. He just decides he’s going to get the job done, and faces it with courage. Valerian, his love interest, who has grown up disguised as her blacksmith father’s “son” to save her from the lottery, is actually believable in that role, and not a knockout beauty that leaves you wondering whether literally all the men in the village are blind. Casiodorus, the appeasing king, has a backstory that makes his cowardice understandable, if not pardonable, and probably believes, on some level, that he really is doing what’s best for his kingdom. Taken together, the heroes use brains and courage to defeat the dragon Vermithrax, and it’s a great ride.

In these days when men of physical courage and authority are often derided or suspect by definition, and the ninja supergirl is often called upon to improbably save the day, it’s a tale that recalls a more innocent time.

Win Five Free SIGNED Books!

I am honored to be part of a wonderful five-book giveaway sponsored by David (D.J. Butler), the author of WITCHY EYE (which is a wonderful read, BTW, set in an incredibly unique alternate reality America of the early 1800s). We are each giving away five signed copies of our work in five packages. You can enter multiple times, and I hope you will. Simply click here to be taken to the entry platform.

Take Responsibility. And Sarah Calhoun, St. Tommy, and Joaquin Serrano! Happy Reading!

Review: All Things Huge and Hideous by G. Scott Huggins

Very honored to have had my work attract this sort of attention. Thanks so much to Nate LaPoint!

Empyrean Blade

Doctor James DeGrande is slave to the Dark Lord. In the Empire of Dread, he is essentially head veterinarian, dealing with dragons, basilisks, dire wolves, wyverns, and other creatures and monstrosities. Most of which are visible.

This is what you get when you filter Terry Pratchett through Blackadder and G.K. Chesterton. The fantasy world is plenty quirky and the situations and side characters colorful and memorable. I actually had to put the book down once because I was laughing so hard. The Chesterton-esque wit comes to the fore in the author’s ability to take a tense situation and cleverly turn it on its head and show that it is not only tense, but also absurd. There is something very Edmund Blackadder about DeGrande frantically trying to stay ahead of the Dark Lord and his minions and keep his head. G. Scott Huggins gives us a book that is often painfully…

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FantaSci AAR: Anatomy Of A Novel Release

Okay, this is late for an AAR from FantaSci. I know, it was two whole weeks ago, but let’s just say that the two worst times for any writer whose day job is teaching are the end of May and the beginning of September. Now that the feverish activity surrounding the last two weeks of school are out of the way, I can pretend I have a blog again.

The people at FantaSci were awesome, and I’d like to especially thank my editor, Rob Howell, who shoehorned me onto panels and shared his reading time, because up until we knew that my novel was releasing here, I wasn’t really officially part of the con.

I’m so honored to be part of Chris Kennedy Publishing and New Mythology Press; these guys really made me feel at home. And for the first time in my life, I had fans — like, actual, honest-to-God FANS — stop me in the hall and ask me to sign copies of a book. MY book. With, like, my actual name on the cover! And they bought copies! Of my book!

Here’s my book, which I have hardly mentioned on this blog.

So, I got to hang out with Larry Correia, who was nice enough to blurb this novel, and he is one of the most helpful senior authors I have ever met. Friday was my reading, and while it was understandably not well-attended, neither was anyone else’s, let’s be honest.

The highlight of my con was undoubtedly the Baen Roadshow, because 1) my picture was up there TWICE as the only mortal to have yet achieved the honor of winning both Baen Awards, and 2) Toni Weisskopf, the publisher of Baen, used the opportunity to mock the difference between Fantasy Scott and Science-Fiction Scott pictures. Hey, what can I say: those Jim Baen Memorial pictures of previous winners were intimidating. They were wearing ties and I lost my cool.

Fantasy Scott



Science-Fiction Scott

But people kept coming up to me and congratulating me on my wins. Like it meant something! See, the thing is, if you tell your “normal” friends or co-workers, “I won a SFF writing award,” they’ll go, “Oh. That’s nice. Congratulations.” But, really, it’s not part of their world, and it’s kind of like telling them that your club curling team won the state championship. Okay. That is a thing that some people — odd people — do.
But at FantaSci, people are INTO club curling! I mean, SFF. And they GOT why it was a big deal!

Also on Saturday, I was on a panel with Rob Howell and Barbara Evers discussing what made magic and magic users work. Probably do another blog entry on that. And then I also got to hang out with Robert “Speaker” Hampson, who kindly gave my kids little stuffed Wroguls (NOT octopuses) and whose book about these awesome aliens DO NO HARM I heartily recommend!

No, Seriously, I’m Giving Away A Signed Book. And Reading from it!

So, I’m giving away a signed copy of my new novel, and all you have to do to have a chance to win it is reblog and like the post. Chances of winning are dropping all the time, but there’s still one day before it releases tomorrow!

I’ll be at FantaSci in Raleigh, NC in just a few hours, and will be reading from the novel in the Oak Room at 3 pm CDT tomorrow!

Please stop by if you happen to be there!

BOOK GIVEAWAY: RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CROWN! (AND EXCERPT)

BIG BOOK RELEASE GIVEAWAY! MAY 21ST LAUNCH!!

I have a whole box of fresh, book-scented copies of my new, first-in-the-series novel, RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CROWN. Would you like a signed copy? Here’s what you do:

LIKE AND REBLOG this post between now and the LAUNCH DATE, MAY 21st! That’s all. And then, I will draw ONE NAME, and send you a copy of the book. Winners will be posted on May 29th, and books sent out on June 7th!

And it is with great pleasure that I present this excerpt, in which our protagonists assault an enemy airship:

Elazar turned to Azriyqam and Merav. Azriyqam felt as though she were trapped in a soap-bubble that might pop and take this whole unreal situation with it. At the same time, his voice took on an eerie clarity. “Stay on my wing. Azriyqam left, Merav right. We’re going to skim the trees and then climb from darkward. We attack out of the dark. I’ll be in front. You land behind our target. If you’re hurt, get back down as fast as you can. Now, fly!”

With that, he ran for the beach. Azriyqam followed, with Merav a half-second behind. They spread their wings, climbing in the gentle breeze. The great airship was very close now, but Azriyqam could not look back at it. Trying to look around while flying was an invitation to losing control.

The flat leaves of the palm trees formed a surface of dark waves beneath her, undulating in the wind. Ahead of her, Elazar’s deep bronze and Merav’s pale mauve skins glinted in the silver light, and her own pale green flesh doubtless did the same. How visible are we? She shuddered, remembering the terrible, tearing drumbeat of the Consortium’s guns—was it only yesterday?—and the far worse, sickening sensation of sliding her airswords through flesh that had followed.

Azriyqam strained against the air, putting everything into climbing. Elazar accelerated upward and she slid below him. Sure enough, a column of warm night air filled her wings and she rode the thermal after him. They flew higher in a wide spiral.

Now Azriyqam could risk a look back. The Consortium’s airship gleamed at the edges like a stretched egg, but dark at the center. Then, a beam of brilliant white light stabbed out from beneath it, probing down at the beach.

Ice settled in Azriyqam’s gut. Now they would find Senaatha for sure. Elazar said nothing, but continued his climb, and she and Merav followed for interminable seconds. The balloon hung below them, motionless now, just above the level of the trees. Elazar stopped climbing and arrowed back along their path in a shallow dive, and Azriyqam followed, wings aching with effort.

Elazar folded his wings, grabbed something from his harness, dropping sharply. The other two followed.

Now the earth rushed at her, the ovoid of the airship getting big. Bigger. Unbelievably big, becoming a curved surface. Against the moonlight, for just an instant, Azriyqam saw a black protrusion become a man standing within a small, circular railing. Clamped to the railing was a long, deadly shape. Suddenly, he rose, fumbling for the machine gun.

Elazar’s wings swept forward. Two silvery darts shot from between his fingers. The man staggered back, clutching at his chest, and Elazar was down, running across the canvas surface of the envelope. The throwing darts were light weapons, meant more to distract than to kill, but propelled by the momentum of his dive, they had struck their victim at over a hundred miles an hour. His scream had been ripped away by the wind, and as he levered himself painfully off the railing of his station, Elazar buried his airswords in the man’s chest. He fell with a soft moan.

Azriyqam’s own momentum carried her past him and she staggered, going to one knee on the taut but yielding surface. She staggered to her feet.

FantaSci Appearance: Reading And Book Release!

Hi, friends, i know it’s been an incredibly long time. The short and brutal reality is that being a high-school teacher in COVID times is a lot more work than normal, so in the belief that most of you would rather have me producing fiction than blogging/newslettering, I have been forced to give it up, mostly.

HOWEVER, there is good news on the publicity front. RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CROWN, the first book of the ACROSS THE ENDLESS OCEAN series, is coming out MAY 21st! I will be appearing along with it at FantaSci in Durham, North Carolina.

It is going to be AWESOME! There will be panels, and a READING, and fun! Please come down if you can!

My schedule will be as follows:

Friday 3pm: Book Reading (Oak Room)

Saturday 12pm: New Mythology Press (Rose Room)

Saturday 4pm: Mystics and Magic (Main Room)

Sunday 9am: NMP Kaffeeklatsch (Camellia Room)

May be a cartoon of text that says 'RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CROWN G. SCOTT-HUGGINS'

A Tiny Slice Of History: Jim Baen Memorial Award.

Today, I am honored to confirm that my story, “Salvage Judgment,” has been selected as the winner of this year’s Jim Baen Memorial Award. I am rather aghast to realize that my story will be taking its place among so many excellent stories. One of my favorite short stories in the past decade is, in fact, Brad Torgersen’s “Gemini XVII,” and that story took second place in 2011.

And I won? Surely not.

For a long time, I described myself as “G. Scott Huggins, Very Nearly Award-Winning Author,” because I came in second a LOT. In fact, my professional career began with coming in second in the Writers of the Future contest in 1999. Then I came in second in the very first Baen Fantasy Adventure Award in 2014. Then I came in second in a Twitter Pitch contest called #ReviseAndResub.

And last year, after many submissions that never even made it to finalist status, I won the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. And now, the Jim Baen Memorial Award.

I’m the first, and so far only person to win both Baen Books short story awards. And that’s… that’s a little tiny slice of SFF history. And I can be happy about that. That’s… more than i could have ever expected when I started writing, sometime in the last century.

I really think you’re going to like this story when it debuts in a month. I’d like to say that it was written in a burst of inspiration, but I have to tell you, it was a bear to write. I hacked it mercilessly out of the dead void of space, and then had to cut twenty percent of it. It was not a pretty process, and I sometimes can’t believe I finished it. But when I did, I really, really liked it.

Thank you to all my readers who have borne with me so long. I’m finally getting to the place where I want to be. The places I want to show you.

Keep following. I have such sights to show you.

NEW NOVEL ANNOUNCEMENT: ACROSS THE ENDLESS OCEAN

Image by Stephanie Law. Used with permission. Original illustration for “Abandoned Responsibility,” in Fantastical Visions IV

This is the announcement I have been waiting a lifetime to make: New Mythologies Press, an imprint of Chris Kennedy, Publishing has accepted my novel, Across The Endless Ocean. I am honored to be their new editor, Rob Howell’s, first accepted author since he took over the press. We both hope and intend that this will be but the first of a series of adventures featuring Responsibility, the halfdragon heroine of the series.

While we are still hard at work hammering out the edits, we intend to get the novel ready to publish as soon as possible, and I can hardly wait to present it to you all. If you are interested in a foretaste, though, the story that started it all, “Abandoned Responsibility,” (and which comprises the first two chapters of the book) can be reached on Podcastle through the link.

A further adventure, also included in the novel, can also be found on Podcastle as “Responsibility Descending.”

Why is this novel so special to me? There are several reasons. Mostly, it is because it is the first time I have ever sent out a whole novel to a publisher, cold, and had it accepted. And while I will always be grateful to Jason Rennie and Superversive Press for giving All Things Huge And Hideous the green light, it was something that took shape over several stories. In some ways, it still IS a collection of short stories. It was funny and delightful to write, but it is also farce.

Across The Endless Ocean is not farce. It’s about courage, and honor, and what it means to become an adult in a hostile world. It comes from somewhere deeper inside, if that makes any sense. I hope you will enjoy it.

BOOK TOUR: SATURN ANTHOLOGY!!

Hey, Loyal Readers!

I’d just like to welcome you to the blog tour for the SATURN Anthology, a group of stories featuring everyone’s favorite ringed planet! I’m super proud to have my story “The Lords Of Titan” featured in this book. It’s the story of an old man who learns to give love, and a young man who learns to trust himself: and they’re the same man. Please enjoy this, along with the wonderful stories of all the other great authors!

Saturn. The Ringed Planet. Harbinger of ideas and wonder. These are the stories of Saturn, the great Titan. Tales of time, age and endings. – Saturn (Planetary Anthology Series) 2/16Tweet

Saturn
Planetary Anthology Series Set 11
Genre: Mixed Fantasy, SciFi, Speculative

with stories byBokerah Brumley, Karl Gallagher, Carlton Herzog, G. Scott Huggins, C.S. Johnson,P.A. Piatt, J.F. Posthumus, James Pyles, Denton Salle, Ben Wheeler, Josh Young, Richard Paolinelli, Arlan Andrews Sr., J.M. Anjewierden, Dana Bell, Vonnie Winslow Crist,Karina L. Fabian, Rob Fabian, A.M. Freeman, Julie Frost

Saturn. The Ringed Planet. Harbinger of ideas and wonder. The planet that gave birth to the modern era of science envisioning the myriad of multi-colored rings circling the planet, one of the reasons for the invention of the telescope and the second largest in our solar system. These are the stories of Saturn, the great Titan. Tales of time, age and endings.

Goodreads * Amazon


https://videopress.com/v/z4jxbbvN https://videopress.com/embed/z4jxbbvN?hd=1

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Swag pack, editor-signed signed paperback, and $25 Amazon gift card!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Feb 12
kickoff at Silver Dagger Book Tours
J. F. Posthumus
A Wonderful World of Words
FabianSpace
I Read What You Write
I Smell Sheep
Inside the Insanity
Craving Lovely Books
Musings From An Addicted Reader

Feb 13
The Logoccentric Orbit
Whimsical Words
The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’
IndiePowerd by No Sweat Graphics
Writing Dreams
Drako’s Den
Girl with Pen
Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’
Scrupulous Dreams
Why I Can’t Stop Reading

Feb 14
Lady Hawkeye
#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog
Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – REVIEW
4covert2overt ☼ A Place In The Spotlight ☼
Always Love Me Some Books Blog
Books all things paranormal and romance
Sylv.net
Bedazzled By Books
The Book Dragon

Feb 15
Books A-Brewin’
nanasbookreviews
lyndi alexander’s worlds of fancy – REVIEW
Romance that’s ‘Out Of This World’
Anna del C. Dye official page
❧Defining Ways❧
A Pinch of Bookdust
Midnight Book Reader
The Bookshelf Fairy
Eclectic Unicorn’s Book Reviews

Feb 16
The Faerie Review – REVIEW
ⒾⓃⓉⓇⓄⓈⓅⒺⒸⓉⒾⓋⒺ ⓅⓇⒺⓈⓈ
Literary Gold
Kayden McLeod, Author
Westveil Publishing
Books, Authors, Blogs
Teatime and Books
Insane Books
Twisted Book Ramblings