Tag Archives: 2019

Kal’s July 2019 Forecast

Hey everyone, it’s July!  For my fellow Americans, I hope you had a happy and safe 4th of July.  For everyone else, well, I ate lots of food and hung out with friends on your behalf.

I’ve just finished off Army Space Corps: Vernian Space Gun, which is headed to a potential publisher.  It was a blast to write and I hope that you guys will be able to see it soon.  The story sort of hijacked my brain and I didn’t get a lot else done while working on that.  On the other hand, I’m finishing off the seventh Shadow Space Chronicles book and I hope to have it finished off soon.

Next up in the cue is the follow-on series that starts after the events of Valor’s Stand.  I’ve got it outlined and as soon as I get The Star Engine finished I’ll work on knocking that out.  Then I have to hop back to the next Forsaken Valor book.  It should be a very busy next few months as far as book releases.

Speaking of busy, I’m moving in the near future.  The move is going to eat up a lot of my free time, so posts may be a bit scarce, but I will be trying to release books and get my writing done.   I am pretty much done with conventions for the year, mostly because moving, starting a new job with the Army, and lots of other life drama.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!

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Kal’s Spike Con Schedule

Hey everyone,

I’ll be at Spike Con this coming week.  Here’s my schedule:

Thu Jul 4 5:45:pm Thu Jul 4 6:45:pm Cats in Speculative Fiction
Stratus 9 Our feline friends, big and small, have always been in our tales of fear, magic, and even science fiction. They feature as pets, threats, and even protagonists. Come discuss your favorite books with cats in them and what makes a fictional cat believable.
Dr. Karen Purcell Elektra Hammond Gibbitt Rhys-Jones John M. Olsen Kal Spriggs

 

Fri Jul 5 4:30:pm Fri Jul 5 5:30:pm Kal Spriggs Signing
Autograph 3 Kal Spriggs Friday signing
Kal Spriggs

 

Fri Jul 5 7:00:pm Fri Jul 5 8:00:pm Yes, But What Are They Eating?
Stratus 9 World-building requires paying attention to all kinds of details, like government and monetary systems, climate, and more. But while food is something that every reader interacts with every day, it is often not considered during world-building. Our panelists talk about examples where authors have been successful in incorporating dietary habits into their world-building, and talk about what it takes to do it well.
Alastair Mayer K. D. Julicher Kal Spriggs Merri Halma Troy Lambert

 

Fri Jul 5 9:30:pm Fri Jul 5 10:30:pm Injury and Recovery for Character Building
Meridian E The injuries a character can sustain vary widely, as do the impacts of these injuries on the character and how well they recover. A look into reasonable injuries for various settings and how authors can use injuries to further the plot.
Anna Marasco Kal Spriggs Paul Genesse Robert E. Hampson Thea Hutcheson

 

Sat Jul 6 11:30:am Sat Jul 6 12:30:pm Playing Nice With Others: Shared Universes
Meridian E How do various shared universes work? Are contributors’ stories off to the side or integrated into the main plot? What happens when there are competing ideas of How Things Ought To Be?
Bradley H. Sinor Eric Flint Erika Kuta Marler Kal Spriggs Sue Sinor

 

Sat Jul 6 12:45:pm Sat Jul 6 1:45:pm Kaffeeklatsch with The Four Horsemen Universe
HIE Boardroom Kaffeeklatsch: From the German for “coffee” and “gossip”, an informal social gathering at which coffee or other beverages are served while chatting. Join your favorite presenters for all their insights. Seats are very limited so sign up at the Information Desk in the Sky Lobby 8am on the day of the social! Welcome to the world of Human Mercenaries in Mechs, killing aliens and getting paid. A new fandom featuring the works of Mark Wandrey and Chris Kennedy Publishing.
Kal Spriggs Robert E. Hampson Thomas Coonradt

Kal’s 2019 Liberty Con Schedule

Hey everyone.  I’m going to be at Liberty Con this year, but I’ve  got a bit more narrow of a window, as I’ll only be there Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s my schedule:

Day Time Name of Event
Sat 10:00AM Autograph Session (MJ Allen, Buettner, Del Arroz, Spriggs)
Sat 02:00PM Critters
Sat 04:00PM Chris Kennedy Publishing – The Year Ahead
Sat 05:00PM Author’s / Artist’s Alley (S. Osborn, Spriggs, Swann)
Sat 08:00PM Reading: Cedar Sanderson & Kal Spriggs
Sat 09:00PM Seventh Seal Press & Rob Howell present the Chris Kennedy Publishing combined Room Party and Book Launch for Alabaster Noon
Sat 10:00PM New Voices in YA Science Fiction
Sun 10:00AM Kaffeeklatsch
Sun 12:00PM Author’s / Artist’s Alley (Duntemann, J. Hunter, Ibson, Spriggs, Weyand)
Sun 01:00PM Author’s Alley (Q. Allen, J. Hunter, Malone, Spriggs)

If you’re attending Liberty Con, I hope to see you there!

 

Kal’s June 2019 Forecast

Hey everyone, June is here!

If you haven’t heard already, Stolen Valor, the second Forsaken Valor book, comes out June 8th.  I’m really excited for this one, it’s a pretty intense book.

I’m working on The Star Engine, this month, which is the seventh book of the Shadow Space Chronicles.  My goal is to have that one out for the end of the month.

I’ve also started working on Heir to the Fallen Duchy, the 4th book of the Eoriel Saga, my epic fantasy series.  If all goes well, that one will be coming out soon, too.

What else is going on?  Well, in a real-life plot twist, I’ve been called back to active duty in the military.  There’s going to be a lot of changes for me and my family.  The short term effect is that in a couple of months, we’ll be moving.  That in itself is going to be an adventure.  I hope that the long-term effect is that I’ll be able to focus more on having just two jobs: the Army and writing.   While I’ve enjoyed civilian life, more than once it’s been hard to focus on that while also being a reservist.  Throw in the author stuff on top of that and it’s been stressful trying to balance everything.  While going on active duty orders for several years was somewhat unexpected, at the same time, I’m excited to see what challenges it brings.  If nothing else, I’m certain it will give me a lot more fodder for writing, and who could ask for more than that, right?

That’s all, for now, thanks for reading!

 

Steven Spriggs

My father passed away on Thursday.

Steven Spriggs passed away on May 2nd, 2019 while recovering from surgery.  He was sixty-eight years old.  Steven served thirty years in the military, as an officer and enlisted, active duty and reserve, in the Army and the Navy.  A father of four, he was preceded in death by his wife, Janis, who passed away in 2010.  He is survived by his four children: Jacob, Paula, Brooke, and Luke and one grandchild, Robert.

Steven was a complicated man.  He served in the military, he taught yoga as a certified yoga instructor, he rode a Harley, and drove a tractor on his farm.  He could give you his heart in one sentence and then dismiss your existence in the next.   He could be kind and generous at one moment and at another, the most miserable bastard in the world.   Steven grew up in an abusive family, dealt with PTSD from deployments, and in his final years he dealt with a chronic, painful condition as a result of injuries that eventually lead to his death.  He retired from the United States Army after thirty years of service, serving two tours in Vietnam, deploying in the Gulf War and again in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He obtained two masters degrees, one in Plant Pathology and the other in National Defense.  He worked construction, taught JROTC, instructed yoga, worked his farm,  made beer and wine, and loved art and music.

A conservationist, Steven loved the outdoors.  He was an avid hiker, camper, snowboarder, fisherman, and hunter.   A Colorado native, he  passed away in the state not long after returning home.  Services will be held at Fort Logan Veterans Cemetery at a date to be determined.

Kal’s Starfest 2019 Schedule

I’ll be at Starfest this weekend, so if you’re in the area, I’d love to see you there!  I’m on two panels:

Combat in SF and Fantasy (Friday 9 PM)

A discussion of the good, the bad, and the ugly scenes of combat and action in Science Fiction and Fantasy. To include the differences between games, movies, and literature and examples of each.  Also a discussion of the morality and emotional impact both upon the audience and the characters involved

These Aren’t The Drones You’re Looking For  (Saturday 8:30 PM)

A look at modern cyber and drone warfare and delving into the future of where things are headed.  Killer Robots aren’t just in the future, they’re here and now.  We’ll talk about how to use them in writing as well as where it’s going in the future.

Shazaam! Movie Review (No Spoilers)

DC/Warner Brothers has done a shift towards more light-hearted entertainment and they went to the kid/superhero Shazaam with their latest release.

It’s a pretty big shift, one that began (arguably) with Wonder Woman and continued with Aquaman.  Overall, it’s a shift I appreciate because, well, I’ll admit I detested their grimdark approach from before.

So how does it work?  Well… it’s complicated.  On the one hand, the actors involved do a fantastic job.  Zach Levi totally sells his role as the titular superhero/kid.  The kid actors, too, do fantastic jobs.   Same for everyone else, they play their roles brilliantly and some of the side characters are positively awesome, feeling far more real than anything else and therefore reinforcing the suspension of disbelief.

On the other hand… holy crap is the opening dark.  I was actually getting pretty uncomfortable with it and starting to wonder if I’d been sold a humorous superhero movie cover on another grimdark Zach Snyder flick.  It got better, but given the tone and theme of the rest of the movie, they could have cut that whole section out or done it as a flashback.  The villain, too, is a dark, vengeful type totally at odds with the lighthearted tone of other parts of the movie.  He didn’t really fit, nor did some of the CGI.  I mean, it was cool to see… but it was also pure nightmare fodder for kids.

Which brings me back around to some of the branding.  They marketed it as a family movie, but I won’t be bringing my kid to it (I nearly did and now I’m glad I didn’t).  It’s not just some of the violence & CGI (which are both borderline for what I’d feel appropriate for young kids), but there’s some themes on family that are really, really dark for young kids to take in.

They’re mostly done well.  There’s no promises that are made by the story that aren’t paid off (sometimes in heartbreaking fashion).  The story is tight enough and flows pretty well from scene to scene, with no moments jumping out as not fitting.  There’s a few loose ends and some things you just have to make assumptions on (or just sort of ignore as being sequel material or something they didn’t have time to wrap up).  But those are minor things.

The humor is awesome.  There aren’t any jokes that fall flat and it all works organically.  The kinds of humor that would naturally come from the ridiculous situation.  Once it gets going, the movie is a whole lot of fun.

There’s a bit of awkward wording, some lines just don’t make sense in the context of what’s happening in the rest of the movie.  It’s either the CGI not matching up to the scenes or editing having changed what happened.  They’re small things, though, and easily overlooked with everything else going on.

All in all, though, it’s a fun movie.  It’s not one I’m going to go see again in theaters, but I will be buying a copy.  It’s also, as I said, not one I’ll be showing my son until he’s a bit older.  It passes the fun bar, it’s almost on track to match Marvel’s movie franchise, except for that whole darkness at the beginning.