Ernie Cline: From Spoken Word to Armada

Ernie Cline gazes into space.

Ernie Cline. What is he thinking?

I first discovered Ernie Cline several years ago on a podcast called IndieFeed Performance Poetry. His spoken word piece “Dance Monkeys Dance” was witty, thought-provoking, and humorous. But it was another piece called “When I Was a Kid” that really caught my attention. Packed with pop culture references that any 80s kid would appreciate, this hilarious piece managed to be both current and nostalgic — and super-duper delightful.

I went off in search of more work by Mr. Cline and soon found myself buried in the pages of his first novel, Ready Player One, a dystopian science-fiction adventure with a cyberpunk vibe. It was a page turner, packed with the same kind of pop culture references that I loved in “When I Was a Kid.” Ready Player One became one of my favorite books of the past decade, so I’m thrilled that one of my favorite directors, Steven Spielberg, will be directing the film (totally apropos!).

When I heard that Ernie was going to be in my area for the release of his second novel, Armada, there was no doubt about it. I reserved a seat immediately. Read more

Last Chance to Get Engineered Underground for Free on Amazon

engineered underground

Special Offer!

This Friday and Saturday (June 12-13), the Kindle edition of Engineered Underground will be FREE on Amazon one last time.

Engineered Underground is the first book in my Metamorphosis series, a science-fiction story packed with action, mystery, and military intrigue. It’s also a real-world superhero origin story!

I hope you’ll head over to Amazon and pick up your free copy.

Amazon Kindle
Engineered Underground Kindle

Slippery Fish (A Poem)

slippery-fishSlippery Fish

That slippery fish you see
Dancing in poetry
She is a lie. I say
She is a fantasy
A pretty mermaid beckoning you
Casting shadows across your sea

She is the golden coin
Inside the fishbowl
We all want a piece

Consider instead the chameleon
Shifting her colors, rolling with the moon
She is the water inside your fishbowl
She is the goddess of the sea
In which lives your mermaid

Author’s Note: This poem was inspired by “The Fish” by Ahmad Shamlou

Engineered Underground Will Be Free on Amazon This Sunday!

engineered undergroundSpecial Offer!

This Sunday (May 17, 2015), the Kindle edition of Engineered Underground will be available for FREE at Amazon.


Wendy Watson is an engineer who has dedicated her life to building a machine that will revolutionize medicine, but her world is thrown into upheaval when she comes into possession of extraordinary technology and top-secret information that lures her into a world of military intrigue, government secrets, and revolutionary science.

How far will Wendy go in order to prevent an act of treason that could have devastating consequences for all of humanity?

Engineered Underground is the first book in my Metamorphosis series, a science-fiction story packed with action, mystery, and military intrigue. It’s also a real-world superhero origin story!

I hope you’ll check it out.

Amazon Kindle
Engineered Underground Kindle

The Star Wars Generation Awakens

generation-star-warsIn 1980, my family took a vacation in Lake Tahoe with some of our relatives. We rented a cozy cabin and spent the week listening to the only decent eight-track tape anybody had bothered to bring; I heard Blondie’s “Call Me” a thousand times while playing Risk that week.

1980 was a special year, because that was the year the much-anticipated sequel to Star Wars came out. My cousin, who was two years my senior, was infatuated with Star Wars. I remember his room being littered with Star Wars toys. He had every action figure imaginable and they all fit neatly into a Darth Vader action-figure case. He also had Luke’s land speeder and an Imperial Walker. I can’t recall a lightsaber specifically, but I’m sure there was one nestled somewhere among all the other Star Wars toys. It was an impressive collection.

Anyway, he’d already seen Empire Strikes Back by the time we went on our annual summer vacation, but he wanted to see it again. If I remember correctly, he had to see it again. His persuasive skills were unmatched, so eventually, he and I were shuttled to the theater and dropped off. It was the first time I was allowed to go to the movies without my parents, which was a big deal, considering how overprotective my mom was.

The Star Wars Generation

Going to the movies without adult chaperones was a big a deal, but not as much of a big deal as Star Wars was. I think you had to be a kid in the late seventies and early eighties to truly appreciate just how much it permeated the entire culture. We were the Star Wars generation.

I was just a hair too young to really remember when Star Wars came out. I’m not even sure if I’d seen the first film when I went to the theater and saw its sequel. But I do remember that it was a hot topic for conversation, and not just among children or the sci-fi crowd. Everybody was wowed by it. I can’t tell you how many times my parents have said, “It was unlike anything we’d ever seen.”

But that’s not how it was for me. Star Wars is something that has always been there; it’s woven into the tapestry that is the backdrop of my life.

The Force Awakens

The original movie was a breakthrough film unlike any before or since. It was the little movie that chugged along and exploded into a phenomenon.

The newest installment in the Star Wars franchise hits theaters this Christmas. It’s called Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and what an apt title. Return of the Jedi left us with just two souls who had the potential to tap into the force: Luke and Leia. And now after all these years, they are returning. The title suggests a Jedi revival, something Star Wars fans have spent decades hoping for.

I must say. I literally screamed when Han and Chewie appeared. Screamed I tell you! What can I say? I grew up on this stuff. And no matter how many times I watch this trailer (I’ve watched it a LOT of times), I still get all excited like a kid about to walk into Disneyland every time Han says, “Chewie, we’re home.”

Back when the films in the original trilogy were being released, there was no streaming video. We didn’t even have VHS tapes yet. You had to see the film while it was in the theater, which is why fans trekked to the cinema to see their favorite movie over and over again. Your only other hope was that it would eventually make its way to prime time television.

Home media changed all that, which is why I was able to plop down in front of a television and enjoy the original Star Wars trilogy (OK, not the true original where Han shot first, but the closest thing to the original that we fans can get our hands on). It’s been years since I really watched all three movies. Oh they’ve been on the television, playing in the background, and I’ve watched a few scenes here and there or caught clips of the films while watching documentaries, but this is the first time in years that I parked myself in front of the screen and paid close attention to the films.

So I was a little hesitant. What if the movies didn’t hold up? What if they felt dated or cheesy after all these years? Would Chewie suddenly look like a homemade stuffed animal? Would the droids feel fake? Would the chemistry between the actors be weaker than I remembered?

Well of course not. The original Star Wars trilogy is a timeless phenomenon for good reason: it’s a story that stands the test of time. I blasted through my Star Wars marathon and was sad when it ended. But luckily there’s some consolation: I’ll get to revisit the beloved world of Star Wars later this year when The Force Awakens hits theaters. I. Can. Not. Wait.

Today is Star Wars day: May the fourth be with you.