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A Course For Humanity

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My new novel, A COURSE FOR HUMANITY, is available now in print and digital formats.

The future has been set in stone… or has it?  When a group of military scientists discover a ripple in reality, they must face their ultimate challenge.   Someone has travelled into the past and altered history, causing the timeline to shift.  The result?  Human extinction.   Now humanity’s only hope lies with the Continuum group.  They must break their own law against time travel, and prevent the temporal ripple from ever occurring.  They will need a secret weapon to do so, but that weapon is a threat to them all… Meet Francis Murphy.  He’s the last living vampire, and he’s out for revenge against those who’ve experimented on him.  Will he help the Continuum group set humanity on the right course, or will he side with a traitor in their midst?  Only time will tell.

A COURSE FOR HUMANITY is available at lulu.com in print and on Amazon.com for the Kindle.

Review: Logan

loganDafne Keen.  Remember that name, because she’s a talented young actress in a movie filled with every aspect of the emotional spectrum.  I’m going to review Logan in my typical breakdown, so if you don’t want spoilers, then skip down to the final paragraph for my rating.  Otherwise, stick around for my character break down and feel free to share your thoughts on the film.

James Howlett/Logan/Wolverine – Hugh Jackman gave us what we wanted.  He may not have always had the best material with which to work, but the man cared about what he did.  His portrayal of the character in this movie is the best out of them all.  The dynamic of his healing factor being practically gone made him very vulnerable.  Combine that with his care free attitude, and you’ve got a grumpy old man who is being poisoned by his own adamantium.  I must say that I’m happy he perished in the end.  I don’t want to see anyone take up the mantle of wolverine for a very long time after this (UNLESS it’s X-23).  We will get to that in a moment.

Professor Charles Xavier – As with Hugh, Patrick Stewart always shined in his role as the psychic mutant, but in this movie we are given another shift in the standard.  He’s got borderline alzheimers, and needs caring for.  I love that they addressed this disease in a mutant.  Imagine if in real life, one had his abilities and had no idea what they were doing with them.  There was a brief mention that he was the one responsible for the X-Men dying.  I’d have loved to have gotten a little more explanation on that, but I think it would have been unnecessary in the long run.  I was surprised he died the way that he did, which is a good thing.  It happened at a moment that was him confessing his own guilt.  What a perfect way to go (not in the manner that he died, but the fact that he’d gotten it all off his chest.

Zander Rice – Although a small role, it suited its purpose.  This was more about the characters, than the actual story, so he didn’t need to be doing more than he was.  We got his back story, and a nice tie in to the original weapon X program that his father ran.  In a way they respected all of the previous movies to an extent, despite the timeline being reset.  It shows that some of those original events may have happened the same or slightly different.

Donald Pierce and the Reavers – I was really hoping for Omega Red, a return of Lady Deathstrike, or Sabertooth as the villain.  When I heard the reavers were the antagonists, I shook my head and thought it was going to be a failure.  I am SO glad I was wrong.  They managed to make decent villains that matched the tone of this film in a way that was akin to Mad Max.  It worked really well.

Caliban – I loved Stephen Merchant in this role.  I don’t know why they recast him since Apocalypse, but he looked very similar, and for anyone not paying attention I’m sure they didn’t notice.  He played the part better than his predecessor, but I wish we’d have gotten a mention of his younger years in that way.  We were also presented with Zander Rice saying to gather the body, when Caliban sacrificed himself.  It set up 2 possible scenarios.  1) Caliban could be cloned and come back as a more deformed version (like in the comics) or 2) in the original Days of Future past storyline (in the comics) they used mutant hound trackers to locate the mutants.  This would make sense, as the anti-mutant sentiment was strong in this film.

Laura/X-23 – Remember that name I mentioned, Dafne Keen?  Well she played this part so well, that I think we can have a very VERY good version of wolverine from here on out.  In the comics, she’s the current Wolverine after the death of her father.  They’ve set it up, so I think she’d be perfect in all future incarnations.  I’d love to see her as part of the X-Force movie.  She did an outstanding job with her rage, caring, and rebellious nature, but when she was crying, “Daddy,” at the end I lost it.  I never cry in movies, and I could feel the tears trickling.  Excellent job, little lady.

Rictor and the New Mutants – Who were the new mutants?  Who knows, but the presence of Rictor could mean an X-Factor reference or set up.  While I’ve no real care for these characters in the comics, it’s nice to have this sort of nod in the movies, and despite James Mangold constantly saying this is a stand alone movie, the references to the greater universe seem to be abundant.  The use of the children here wasn’t overwhelming, but a decent nod to what’s possibly to come.  Could they be X-Factor like I said, or maybe recruits for Cable, or even a set up to what eventually could be an X-Men 2099?  Like I said, these don’t need to be all made into movies, but it’s fun for continuity and discussion sake.

X-24 – Here’s what I feel was a low point at first, but then my mind changed.  Hugh Jackman is basically younger here and more primal.  He’s even got a haircut and style to match what Sabretooth had in the first Wolverine movie.  Why then wasn’t Sabretooth used?  We never got a final showdown between the two.  It would have worked just as well as X-24.  Hell he could even have gotten his wish and become X-24 with Adamantium skeleton.  (Remember that is what he wanted originally).  So I complain about this, but then think to my childhood and how there was once a character named “Albert.”  Albert was a robot created by the Reavers that looked like Wolverine.  His storyline also involved a little girl that Logan had to take care of.  Okay, it got way more complicated than that, but I feel like this is not a coincidence.  I believe they used this angle to replace the elements they couldn’t use from the original Old Man Logan storyline.

Enough rambling from me.  Here are my final thoughts for potential on what this movie COULD mean for the X universe.  Here’s my speculation:  GAMBIT is in the works.  Where he falls into this all remains to be seen, but he could be a good element to X-Force since Archangel was killed off in Apocalypse.  Now that Wolverine is dead, perhaps the film could see this lineup: Cable, Deadpool, Domino, X-23, and Gambit… NEW MUTANTS is in the works as well.  Maybe this will center around the new team of kids, but who would lead them?  Again, there’s no telling, but if James McAvoy’s run ends then we could see Cyclops, Jean, and Storm leading the new team.  I realize there is a time problem here, but when hasn’t there been in these movies, and with Cable involved this is all possible.

In conclusion: Logan was a film made for comic book fans, and movie goers.  It reminded me of an old western with comic elements.  It was a roller coaster of emotion that didn’t disappoint.  There will be bigger nerds than me complaining about certain little things, but who cares?  This was the best interpretation of Wolverine yet.  Stewart and Jackman played the roles better than they ever have, and Keen showed talent rare for even veteran actors.  She’s a natural.  I’ll give the movie 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins.  What did you think?  How would you rate it?  Comment below.

Think, Sip, Write: ep26 – Video Games

We get in touch with our inner geek in this episode, as we chat about our favorite video games.  What games do you think are the best?  Check out the episode and feel free to comment and share.

You can follow Roberta @homemadedelish and myself @rickpipito on social media if you already aren’t.

Day 27 #authorlifemonth – Author admiration

I have often talked about some of my inspirations as an author, but the one who has been there all along since my youth is L. Frank Baum.  His Oz series was the perfect example of creativity and an author who cared about his readers. Why his original 15 novels haven’t all been turned into screenplays yet is beyond me.

Who are your favorite authors?  Comment below.

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Day 26 #authorlifemonth – bookish gift

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Day 26 #authorlifemonth is a bookish gift. I decided to do a little giveaway. All you have to do is comment below and tag a friend, and I’ll randomly pick a few winners. All entries on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will count. Sharing the post will gain you an additional entry. Winner will be chosen March 1st. Best of luck.  @rickpipito

 

Day 25 #authorlifemonth -Self Reward

So I went a little nerdy and gave myself a reward.  Hey, a guy needs to have his toys right?  I picked up a sega genesis mini and NES classic, of which the latter I used some games I had to mod.  It was a fun little side project that is taking me back to my youth.

Are you into video games at all and if so, what is your favorite system or game?

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Day 24 #authorlifemonth – Challenges Overcome

Day 24 #authorlifemonth is challenges overcome. I’m always up for a good challenge, and I attribute much of my happiness in life and success to having little to no negativity. There will always be hard times for everyone on different levels. There will always be haters or negativity along the way. There will always be bumps in the road, and unexpected things. There will always be people with strong opinions that don’t know how to discuss sensitive topics. None of that matters. In order to succeed at anything you have to remain positive. There’s always a brighter side to things, and if you can’t find the light in something then cast it from your life. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” Mr. Mandela was right. Just do it! I wish you all success and happiness.

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Philly Current Magazine chooses it’s 2017 picks :)

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been chosen as one of Philly Current Magazines PC picks 2017. There’s a batch of really great people in this issue, and I’m honored to be selected among them. Preorder a copy today.  Simply hit up phillycurrent.com/subscribe ! Issue drops on 03.06.17 – come get it, folks!
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Day 23 #authorlifemonth – 5 Star reads

There’s a few 5 star books I’ve read recently, and they range in genre.

First up is “The Patchwork Girl of Oz.”  I’ve been reading L. Frank Baum’s Oz novels along with my daughter.  I have her choose a character in the book to be, and she reads those lines, while I read the rest aloud to her.  For this book she was Scraps, the patchwork girl; Bungle, the glass cat; and Dorothy Gale.  It’s one of my favorite books in the series so far, second only to the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Second is a return to my childhood, as I read “Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage” with my son.  He is the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and has loved every page.  It’s one of my favorite Spidey stories to date.

Next is H.G. Well’s “The Time Machine.”  It was the first classic movie I remember watching, and one of my favorite all time books.  When I began writing my next novel (A COURSE FOR HUMANITY – will be available next month), I wanted to check out some already existing time travel stories, and this was one of them.  I always find researching through fiction is just as important as through fact, because you don’t want to do something someone else has already done.  What fun would that be and where would be the originality?

As research goes, I do always try to base as much of my Fiction work in fact, so I also read “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy”.  If you’re a science geek, then this is for you, but if you aren’t this is still an interesting and informative book.

What is on your shelf?  What have you read recently?  Share in the comments below.

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Day 22 #authorlifemonth – reader/fan love

I received this email back in September, and it makes my day every time I read it.  I’ve received some kind words from readers over the past couple of years, but this was the most recent full letter to me.  I had to repost it because it is fan love day of #authorlifemonth.  Thanks again, Jared.

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