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Black Friday Promotion: Mildred – a tale of psychological suspense – FREE for Kindle

My new creepy story, MILDRED, is free on Black Friday at Amazon.com 11/28/14: http://www.amazon.com/Mildred-Ryan-Sean-OReilly-ebook/dp/B00LDYMTU6/ref=la_B0081B0SX4_1_2/177-3520902-4255907?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408448912&sr=1-2

Synopsis: A diary, noises from the attic, a resident cat, and piles and piles and piles of boxes cast shadows over Josephine as she digs through her new home and discovers the disturbing circumstances surrounding her purchase of the place.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/u2ek3Tf9yZ0

Get it now for free before it’s too late!

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Posted by on November 28, 2014 in Mildred, News

 

Book Review: “Mars” (Ben Bova)

A very REALISTIC story about man’s first trek to mars. The story is dutifully speculative fiction. Painstakingly thoughtful on all the circumstances that would surround such a voyage, from earth-bound politics to interpersonal relationships of the travelers themselves. Lets also not forget the science which Bova provides in generous amounts.

If you love mars and you love scientific fiction about space exploration then you will love this book. I feel the author made a hard choice in keeping away from fantasy and he sticks to it through and through. Its hard to explain without giving away spoilers.

Overall, I felt somewhat unsatisfied with the result. While the work is done masterfully for what it is I felt a tad bit cheated in the end. That said, I will state unequivocally that I was glued to this book throughout my reading. I found myself compelled to keep picking it up and the writing is done well so I was able to plow through it quite swiftly despite its length. So kudos to the author for keeping me quite interested from start to finish.

I did not like the politics of the book or the interpersonal relationships. Which I suppose you were not supposed to like as they serve as potential sources of conflict for the main character. They were done fine. However, I feel like the author kept threatening to derail the mission because of various political problems on the ground or petty jealousies among the chief characters. All of this would be quite good, and it served a purpose of putting this space exploration in a realistic world – yet I felt that the author shied away from really raising the stakes with these things. And because the politics and interpersonal relationships only seemed to threaten thing in a weak way I felt that the peaks and valleys of the story were less dramatic. I guess it felt a bit like the story was sacrificed for the mission. So I wonder if the book could have been shortened if we took out some of the these elements.

I would say this story is really a 3.5 star rating.

And yet, I feel duty bound to leave you with the notion that I could truly not put down the book. So if you are at all interested in Mars missions and realistic science fiction, I would definitely check it out.

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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BOOK/MOVIE SUGGESTIONS????

As the year winds down, the crew at “No Deodorant In Outer Space” is thinking about what the next year will hold for them. We are open to suggestions from people for material. Our show reviews classic and contemporary literature and movies in science fiction, fantasy and related genres. The caveat is that it has to be a book turned into a movie, though we take a fairly broad interpretation of the definition of science fiction and fantasy genres. Check out this past year’s line up to get a better idea (www.nodeodorant.com).

So if you know of a book or story turned into a movie (or TV series) that you think we should check out, comment to this post or message us. We’d love to hear from you!

 

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2014 in News

 

Book Review: “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury

With purple prose Bradbury waxes nostalgic about childhood bogeymen, wonderfully creepy.

This book is part of Bradbury’s loosely constructed Green Town trilogy (there’s also a collection of related short stories). A sort of classic tale in its telling, the story unfolds as a nostalgic coming of age yarn mixed with horror involving two young boys. The main struggle explored by the author is that of desire and temptation. Chiefly this evolves between the contrasting main characters. The protagonists, Will and Jim, are best friends, with the main difference being that Will is a bit more cautious and Jim is a bit more adventurous with a slightly edgier worldview than his friend. Will’s father (another main character), is old—to put it simply. Charles has come into fatherhood later in life and doesn’t know how to make amends with that, as the youth of his son seems only to be a constant reminder of how aged he is. This dynamic sets the stage for things to come. Enter the horror.

Bradbury’s language is flowery, purple-colored prose from an older time. In looking at other reviews, it seems that this style is off-putting to some readers. Bradbury does not take a “window pane” approach to describing things (as author Brandon Sanderson might describe the style). His words fall from the abstract and are more akin to poetry. The author paints the scene with notes and chords and melody. The wording is thick and may take some chewing, depending on your mood or frame of reference. It’s is rife with allusion. That’s not to say that the story is not there—nor is it boring or stylized. There is real tension and suspense. But, Bradbury coats the story in vivid hues to invoke tone, mood and perhaps the nostalgia he must have been thinking of when he wrote this. Indeed, the story itself is inspired by the author’s own real life childhood experience from when a carnival came to his hometown.

Still, no matter the author’s style, there is a clear framework of a story. At times, it may seem a bit long—but not much. It’s easy to see how other authors (like Stephen King for instance) were inspired by someone like Bradbury, when you have scenes involving sewer hideaways and sideshow freaks stalking through town on ill intent missions to find the two pesky young boys. Each time the protagonists escape the clutches of the Carnival, a new struggle ensues with solid reversals of fortune. And there is also the ever-present worry, that nobody will ever believe what is really go on here.

Another thing to note of Bradbury’s style is his use of the language to construct scenes. His prose may be purpled—but it is not so verbose. He has a wonderful way of describing these evil things lurking about the town as they tangle with the protagonists, and he does this without resorting to overwrought, visceral descriptions of violence. I felt particularly creeped out by the Dust Witch, Mr. Dark and even the eviscerated Mr. Electro who drolled out stoic declarations like a half-dead toad. All the characters of this dark Carnival had a presence, though not described in complete physical detail–I still had a sense of them. I could feel the mood, the fear they put into the protagonists.

The story is a tad romanticized, and perhaps the voice of the young boys feels out of age at times. Yet, it pretty much works. All the capers the two get into seem realistic enough and appropriate for their age. The evil of the Carnival provides a stark contrast to the idyllic air around the boys, which keeps the nostalgia from going overboard.

Also wonderful is the way that Bradbury creates problems between the boys, who are the best of friends in every sense of the word (at times they seem like they are right out of a 1950’s sitcom). However, the absence of Jim’s father coupled with his curious and more daring side give him a darker edge and we are genuinely worried about him—just as Will is. This also rings true for Charles (Will’s father) who starts off as a nice fellow, but weak. We get to know Charles and understand his feeling of helplessness and struggle through this with him as he must put aside all his neurotic worrying about getting old, embrace life, and understand that his age is what it is (and that it is not even close to as bad as he has convinced himself it is).

This story started out as a short story first (check out the slightly darker version called “Black Ferris”) and then morphed into a screenplay which Bradbury hoped his friend Gene Kelly would produce. That never happened so Bradbury took the time to turn the treatment into a full novel—which is what we have here.

The book is a story of boyish adventure, yet Bradbury’s style makes the stakes much grander. The Carnival is not just some group of street criminals meant to rip off the good townspeople. There is something more sinister at work. Jim, Will, Charles and the citizens of Greentown come face to face with the physical manifestations of evil of the world and learn that even their small idyllic town is not safe. The struggle is eternal, for today’s struggle will be yesterday’s battle. The war lasts a lifetime. Yet, it’s not so heavy as all that, when the protagonists learn that they must trust to life’s good graces to keep evil at bay. They find the necessary strength within themselves to arm against the evil “Autumn People” of the world.

Lastly, the elixir of life plot device, which Bradbury plays with in this story, is also refreshingly simple and yet a wonderfully unique take on this common trope. What dangerous consequences lie behind the glorious promises of a fountain of youth? Read and find out.

A heartfelt tale through and through.

Podcast: If you enjoy my review (or this topic) this book and the movie based on it were further discussed/debated in a lively discussion on my podcast: “No Deodorant In Outer Space”. The podcast is available on iTunes or our website.

 

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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Review: “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury and “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Jack Clayton (Jason Robards)

Ryan Sean O'Reilly:

New Episode for my Podcast!

Originally posted on No Deodorant In Outer Space:

September Review – Episode Nine

PODCAST:

Listen to the podcast here (click to play/right click and select “save target as” to download):

Episode Nine – Something Wicked This Way Comes (book/movie)*

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Ryan: 4 Stars “…With purple prose, Bradbury waxes nostalgic about childhood bogeymen, wonderfully creepy…

Wilk: 2 Stars “…Its basically the same plot as every care bear tv show. Only it is not as edgy…

Rick: 4 Stars “…Bradbury’s writing has exceptional poetic quality…

John Doyle a/k/a Dole (Special Guest): 4 Stars “(no written review)”

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)

As mentioned on the podcast, Dole, is the writer and musician who created our theme music. If you want to know more about him or check out his band visit: http://www.i-decline.com/. Dole has also wrote, co-wrote and composed music for Ryan’s various book trailers…

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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in Podcast

 

Halloween Promotion: Mildred – a tale of psychological suspense – FREE for Kindle

My new creepy story, MILDRED, is free Halloween Weekend at Amazon.com 10/31/14 to 11/2/14: http://www.amazon.com/Mildred-Ryan-Sean-OReilly-ebook/dp/B00LDYMTU6/ref=la_B0081B0SX4_1_2/177-3520902-4255907?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408448912&sr=1-2

Synopsis: A diary, noises from the attic, a resident cat, and piles and piles and piles of boxes cast shadows over Josephine as she digs through her new home and discovers the disturbing circumstances surrounding her purchase of the place.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/u2ek3Tf9yZ0

Get it now for free before it’s too late!

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Posted by on November 1, 2014 in Mildred, News

 

Epic bio for an epic band: Bury the Machines (conquering writer’s block)

A few weeks back I was tasked to write a bio for a new musical group called: Bury the Machines. I don’t usually do writing like this so I was a little hesitant and voiced my concern. However, I was assured they were familiar with my writing and all would go well. We’ll see, I thought. Though, the name alone was enticing enough to to peak my interest: Bury the Machines! What’s that about – what could it be about?

My friend John Bomher, the brainchild behind this duo (which includes Mark Serpico) sent me an early preview of their debut track, “Mutant Magnet.” He added that it was inspired about people going into the desert and building homes out of garbage called “Earth Ships“. Then he tossed the lyrics my way and touched on a few personal moments and influences to which I was familiar and said go to town.

Some of you will know that music is a big part of my writing process. When I write, it is almost exclusively while listening to a playlist over and over again. I also spent an earlier part of my life in the local music scene managing a Stoner Rock band (I Decline). John Bomher was a part of that scene, but has since moved out to Los Angeles. Bomher is a musician and all around sound guru who is also associated with Horse Drawn Productions. At some point Bomher had a collaboration project with my other long time friend John Doyle (I Decline). You might recall, that the two of them agreed to let me use music from their collaboration for the book trailer that was developed for “Curious Anomalies“.

When I donned my headphones to start my writing process for this project I began by perusing the lyrics Bomher had sent me for Mutant Magnet. The words strode out bold and defiant and filled my mind with desert images, old rusted out machines and these strange Earth Ships. As the sands blew about inside my head, I also thought back to my past with Bomher and some of the touchstones we shared. I let my mind wander. The music was heavy, filled with a dirge of emotion. The beats and melody came fast, the song cried out like voices lost in the wind. A wash of electronic sounds, pulsing beats and striving riffs. Definitely something I could sink my teeth into.

However, I had recently been struggling through a stretch of writer’s block. Words just hadn’t been coming lately and I was very rusty. I hoped this project would break me though that. I was worried that it wouldn’t.

At first I let my consciousness run wild and chased all the ideas I could grasp. They frittered about like loose kite strings flying free on a windy day. Words came–as they will do–and I occasionally grabbed hold of the strings and yanked the kites backward and upward. Yearning to bring them into proper place. Still, there were many kites and the wind kept changing directions. Writer’s block sometimes means that you sit at a computer (or pad of paper) and stare at nothing, other times you do actually write, but it’s hard-pressed crap. Not the usual self-doubting crap, where you’re just questioning the level of your talent but real blockage. You put words on paper, but they seem to mean nothing and refuse to go anywhere. Real blockage. Like trying to unclog a toilet by flushing again (sometimes it works, but sometimes it becomes a real mess).

Oftentimes, as a writer, it’s best to just let these things happen when you’re starting something new. Stream of consciousness writing can be fruitful for getting all your ideas out to see what you have and unblock the stopgaps. After you do this for a bit you hope that workable patterns and themes will form. This time, the useful parts didn’t come so easily. My mind seemed to be going in lots of directions at once. I pushed on. There were lots of false starts. Things got longer and longer. And seemingly less coherent.

I’m primarily a fiction writer and I wasn’t going to write a straight-forward bio. I wasn’t charged with that. So I searched over all the themes and events I had explored, trying to find a meaningful thread to pull them together.The process took longer than I expected (though I knew the recent bout of writer’s block would be a struggle), and I feared I wasn’t going to have anything useful. In the end I spoke to Bomher and set a deadline for myself. That seemed to help. I managed a first draft and sent it to Bomher who gave me some input and encouraged me forward.

Slowly the story pieces revealed themselves like rocks surfacing in the desert sands. The more I worked at it the bigger and more polished the stones became. In the end, I had the story. It’s part personal, part abstract. A little long too, but I think the voice comes through. So, if you’re interested in knowing more about this band, take a look at the bio I wrote.

Here’s a short teaser, but you can see the whole bio at the band’s website (www.burythemachines.com):

“Bury the Machines is born from the flames of a February tragedy. The proclivities of a mind gone to rot. Cold stirred ashes, reinvigorated from the burning remnants of life, destroyed in heinous depravity. Endings swallowing endings. A terrible and hopeless act of desperate violence. Unbearable waves of grief and unanswerable questions. John Bomher, in one phone call, found out that his long-time, road brother had put a decidedly definitive end to their friendship…”

The other awesome thing is that the band is releasing new tracks at scheduled intervals online. The first track is “Mutant Magnet” which Bomher let me listen to it while I wrote the bio. The Track is being released today so you should go check it out now!

 
 

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