Category Archives: Trivia

Piranha Solution Trivia

3d render book white

1. The name Stilicho Jones was taken from Cirocco Jones, the protagonist of John Varley’s seminal sci-fi novel Titan

2. Stilicho is also named after Flavius Stilicho, one of Rome’s last great generals, who was desperately trying to keep the empire from being conquered by the barbarians at their gates.

3. Karl Rossum is named after Karel Capek, the novelist/playwright who helped (along with his brother) invent the term “robot” in his 1921 play RUR (Rossum’s Universal Robots), which is also the name of his company in the novel.

4. Errol Flux is obviously based on Elon Musk (duh!)

5. ACE Corp is a play on ACME Corporation, the company that Wile E. Coyote frequently buys products from in his never ending attempt to catch the Roadrunner in Looney Tunes. The main difference being is that ACE Corp products actually work.

6. Mars First is based on Mars One.

7. PETR (People for the Ethical Treatment of Robots) is based on PETA.

8. ACE Corp’s transporter rocket is based on the SpaceX Interplanetary Transport System.

9. Silas Balsamic was supposed to be named Silas Florescent, but the name was way too silly.

10. There was supposed to be a subplot involving aerial blimps on Mars, but after consulting with space enthusiasts, it was proven that the Martian atmospheric pressure was too thin for use of practical airship designs, so the idea was abandoned.

11. The smartglass devices are based on a more advanced version of Google Glass.

12. The skinsuits everyone wears are based on the MIT Biosuit. It is a skintight suit that uses mechanical counterpressure to enable the wearer to survive in low-pressure environments.

13. The interplanetary spacecraft that bring the transporter ships to Mars are based on NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) drive designs.  NASA had plans for a Mars mission in 1978 and would have utilized this highly efficient and reliable drive on their Saturn V rockets had the project not been canceled in favor of the Space Shuttle.

14. Much of the research for the novel was taken from the Atomic Rockets web-blog. This site is a highly useful resource for sci-fi authors who want to add more realism to their works.

The sequel to this book is now out on pre-order!

3d render white

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Pagan Apocalypse

 

3d-rendersmall

Spoilers ahead! This article discusses the events that happen in the book Pagan Apocalypse, so if you haven’t read it yet, I would suggest you stop reading at this point. But since the e-book itself is FREE, then what are you waiting for? Go ahead and download a copy so you can read it already!

  1. It was written in 8 days: The first day of writing it was a little slow, but then something ignited in me and I ended up writing over a chapter a day. I would finish the day’s writing, eat dinner and be back at my workstation, typing away like mad until the wee hours of the morning. By the time I got to the middle of the book, the story was writing itself.

 

  1. The book’s inspiration came from Nick Stephenson’s marketing video: I watched a marketing video hosted by bestselling indie author Nick Stephenson, and in it he stated that a good way to build your audience of readers was to offer them something for free. A few hours after seeing that video I was instantly inspired, and the idea of creating a young adult, parallel series to the main Wrath of the Old Gods books seemed like a good idea.

 

  1. The book was written specifically to be a free e-book: Right from the outset, I purposely wrote the book as a short and fast-paced read. Although it would be a stand-alone novel, there would be enough of a storyline for at least a trilogy of books. And if it ever became popular, then I could definitely write more!

 

  1. It was written purely as a marketing tool to push people into the main series: While the main Wrath of the Old Gods series had plenty of philosophy and real world politics in it, I decided that Pagan Apocalypse would be a rip snorting, in-your-face thrill ride. It would be a fast-paced, no frills adventure story to appeal to the widest audience possible.

 

  1. It is my most popular book: Of all my books, I have gotten more emails thanking me for this book than all my other works combined. Readers of all ages, from all over the world, have commented and thanked me. It has been a wonderful inspiration to keep writing.

 

  1. There is at least one Monty Python reference in the series: the beans song was originally written as the spam song, until I realized that the lyrics were copyrighted, so I sort of made up a variation of it. I have continued this in the second book and have plans for another Monty Python Easter egg in the third.

 

  1. Amicus Tarr was supposed to be a nice wizard: my original plan for Amicus was as to be a kind of mentor for Steve. A sort of Merlin to a young King Arthur, so to speak. But in the end, it was much better to turn the old wizard into a villain since I had seen way too many friendly wizards both in books and shows. I always prefer to subvert established tropes as opposed to going by the book.

 

  1. It had a different ending: to put it quite simply… Ray was supposed to stay alive! Or at least he was still to exist in his ghost form, merrily going off on further adventures with Steve. But in the end, I realized that there had to be some sort of sacrifice, otherwise the story would be meaningless popcorn. If you look at every great mythological epic, the hero’s achievements always come at a price, or otherwise the quest itself would be devoid of any importance. Sorry, Ray.

 

  1. I was in tears when I wrote the farewell speech: Even though Ray existed in my head and he was purely a fictional character, I had grown an attachment to him and it was hard to kill him off. But in the end I knew I had to do it. I tried to make it as poignant as possible, in order to give some meaning to his final fate. But then again, death could only be the beginning!

 

  1. Amicus Tarr was named after Amicus Productions: an old movie studio in the UK that specialized in horror and science fiction films during the 1960’s and 70’s (a rival of Hammer Films). The surname Tarr is taken from Ricky Tarr, one of the characters in John LeCarre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Glooming

ppwh7i9

Spoilers Ahead!

Since I’m a writer who writes without a plan, I made a lot of changes from my original concept on writing Book 1 of the Wrath of the Old Gods series. If you haven’t read The Glooming yet, you might not want to read any of these entries!

 

  1. Patrick Gyle’s original name was Blake Rockatansky and vice versa– yes, I was in sort of my Mad Max mode when I made up the name for him. I ultimately changed it to make it a little less convoluted. Patrick Gyle was supposed to be the leader of the black ops team in the museum, but I switched their names at the last minute.

 

  1. Patrick Gyle was supposed to die in Chapter 1- yes, I had originally planned for poor old Gyle to get killed at the end of the first chapter. But later on as I kept writing, I realized I needed to have a character in that region who would act as a focal point to the story so I kept bringing him back for another chapter hoping to kill him off at the end. But then it just snowballed until he made it to the end of the book! He just wouldn’t die!

 

  1. The chapters regarding the racism was written as tongue in cheek- yes, there were some complaints about some of the very nasty racists in a few of the chapters, but I had never planned on intentionally making a big deal out of it. I wrote those chapters with an eye for comedy, albeit more black comedy than slapstick!

 

  1. Ilya was supposed to end up in Sweden and find Thor’s hammer- yes, at one point I actually wrote a chapter that Ilya had escaped from Baba Yaga’s hut and into the snow stormed lands of Sweden, right near the base of the mountain where the giants attacked the UN research team. I decided against that plotline simply because it seemed to turn a post-apocalyptic novel into a superhero book.

 

  1. The Mexican drug lord was supposed to die- yes, the Aztec demons were supposed to tear his guts out at the end of the chapter. I don’t know why I decided to make it look like an ambiguous end for him with the possibility that he might still be alive, but it all worked out since he does return in Book 3!

 

  1. The original cover artwork of the book looked like this:

The-Glooming 1st draft small

Yes, that’s right … asteroids!

 

  1. Larry was supposed to be a nice guy- yes, I had originally planned for Larry and Tara to be sort of a older man, younger teen team that would end up fighting evil skinwalkers in the southwest. The end result sure turned out differently!

 

  1. The main villain of the book was supposed to be Tlaloc, the Aztec Rain God- yes, you can clearly sense the rains in New York when Valerie stumbles upon the Aztec cult in Manhattan. But in the end, I just couldn’t find a plausible way to bring all the characters together for a final battle in Mexico.

 

  1. All the characters were supposed to meet each other just before the climax- yes, I had originally planned for like a gathering of superheroes like The Fellowship of the Ring or Marvel’s The Avengers, but there was just no way any of them could have plausibly ended up meeting up in such a short time.

 

  1. The whole book was written in less than 8 weeks- yes, when I am inspired I could write quite a lot of words in a short time. My original plan was to publish the book sometime in early 2016, around March, but it ended up going live in December of 2015.

 

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of trivia, Book 3 of Wrath of the Old Gods will be going live soon!