Category Archives: Guest Posts

SPECIAL EPISODE: The Geek Wolfpack Podcast and a Review of MAGFest

A SYNDICATED SPECIAL
with the Geek Wolfpack Podcast!

A special episode (dropped into the Shared Desk feed via the Geek Wolfpack Podcast feed) where Papa Wolf  (Nick Kelly) and his special guest (Tee, first time in studio!)  recap the events of MAGFest 2017. Hear these two discuss the unique vibe of this festival, cosplay, retro gaming, our panels, and all sorts of insanity from this incredible Washington, DC music and gaming festival over fine, malted beverages…

MAGFest Recap Notes

0:00 – Intro
1:07 – Fanboyglass – Destiny glasses
2:02 – MAGFest

2:16 – Brie gets her cameo
2:35 – Momma Wolf gets her cameo
3:08 – Rob Aldrich at www.teachthesky.com
3:49 – Rob’s panel on the Top Ten Episodes of the Transformers

Rob Aldrich presents on the Top Ten Transformers Episodes

4:11 – What is MAGFest?
4:50 – Tee’s intro to MAGFest
5:41 – Awesomecon
6:45 – The attendees are as diverse as it gets, and we love it
8:04 – Our friends at the Geektitude podcast and State of the Geek
8:14 – Locked, Loaded and Liberal
8:54 – MAGFest did a great video of our panel, Storytelling in Video Games
9:03 – Tee’s podcast, The Shared Desk
9:37 – There might be Time Travel
10:03 – Last year, Tee did “The Big Score: The History of Soundtracks in Movies and Video Games
10:22 – Major kudos to all of the staff. The A/V crew was amazing.
11:10 – Always give thank you’s in the most public way to sound, A/V and lighting people
11:45 – Thursday’s arrival
12:20 – eBro-la is now a thing
13:08 – 4 day cons are actually 6 days long
14:14 – Battletech: Fire Storm
17:04 – The end of a con is not unlike Fat Tuesday

Squirrel Girl!

17:31 – Comics & Gaming
17:51 – Thermal’s new Assassin’s Creed jacket

18:18 – Ashamei got new earrings
18:50 – Sonic Boom gets Overwatch ears
20:16 – How Tee and Rob Aldrich met (in 2003)
21:51 – Hingle McCringleberry
22:10 – Pre-Order Rob Aldrich’s “Rockaiju
22:55 – Rob mentioned Final Fantasy VI
23:35 – Rob also mentioned Ratchet and Clank
23:38 – Nick talked about Asheron’s Call
24:04 – Xenoblade Chronicles
24:31 – Tee talked Myst
24:45 – Tee also talked Destiny
25:28 – Get a gaming crate from Lootcrate
25:35 – Smuggler’s Bounty – Star Wars themed crates
26:14 – When is the story too much?
26:36 – Overwatch needs a story mode
27:27 – Matthew J Drake
28:25 – Overwatch was the predominant cosplay
28:55 – Rayden from Mortal Kombat
29:40 – The giant Team Skull contingent was outrageous
31:40 – Garrison Tyranus from the 501st Legion
32:35 – The Wolfpack did Friday
33:10 – The Voice Acting Panel
34:57 – Say “good-bye” like this…

Thermal Wolff’s Assassin’s Creed jacket

36:14 – Rail Theory Kickstarter in February
36:36 – 2064 Read Only Memories
37:44 – Shout out to Machinae Supremacy!
38:11 – Old Town Man Cave – Manassas, VA
38:26 – IT WAS COLD!
39:12 – Buy an electric vehicle
39:20 – The Blink charging app
40:12 – Aldrich is reviewing every episode of Transformers ever

43:42 – Do not Chipotle at MAGFest
44:03 – Redstone American Grill
45:27 – We love Luke Cage. Congrats to their stunt crew!
46:18 – We played Joust!
47:55 – The sound that ties MAGFest together, the Colossus roar!
49:00 – Some of the pinball machines (There’s a Big Lebowski game!)
50:28 – Our late night panel, “Slightly Off-Key: Great Soundtracks to Truly Terrible Films”
52:35 – A little Billy Idol history
54:02 – Steve Stevens has a grammy for flamenco

Monty Python’s Spanish Inquisition showed up at MAGFest

54:55 – Why Nick is pissed about Heavy Metal 2000
56:42 – Brian May’s involvement in the New Horizons project
57:45 – We gush over Highlander
58:20 – We talked a ton about Jim Steinman on the panel
59:02 – Nick loves Meatloaf
59:55 – The types of movies we cover: “If they weren’t absolute stinkers, they were train wrecks.” – Tee
60:30 – Where the video game based movies rank on RottenTomatoes.com
62:03 – Shout out to our friends at Horrorview
63:57 – The Batman vs Superman movie themes – fortissimo or djent, however you want to put it…
65:34 – We sold books!
66:16 – We agree to disagree on Van Helsing
66:56 – The different scores of Legend
69:33 – So, Nick, how did you feel after the panel?
71:29 – There’s a lot of Jim Steinman to the Protomen

View from the stage during the Thursday panel

74:22 – MAGFest is a two-way communication at all times
75:44 – Tee had fans of the Ministry in attendance
76:34 – The vibe at MAGFest is contagious
78:44 – Reciprocity!
80:34 – Shout out to Tyler Waldman
81:05 – Shout out to Pip Ballantine!
81:30 – Countless Hues of Crimson
81:38 – Pip Ballantine’s “Immortal Progeny
81:45 – The Curse of the Silver Pharaoh
81:56 – Shout out to the staff!
82:06 – MAGFest
82:29 – Happy Birthday David Bowie and Elvis Presley. Bowie released an EP on 1/8/17
83:18 – All MAGFest all the time!
83:38 – Outro

Finally….The Colossus Roar!

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Filed under Episodes, Guest Posts, Special Featurettes

SPECIAL EPISODE: The Geek Wolfpack Podcast and the Nerd Out App Kickstarter

Hey, everyone!

No…this is NOT Episode 69, dudes.

We have a lot happening this month. We’re working on our final season (and yes we admit to be using the term “final” liberally…) of Tales from the Archives, work to do on Operation: Endgame, and planning a special two-part head-to-head episode here on the Shared Desk with in-studio guest Nick Kelly over a science fiction epic, and how it ended. However, we wanted to take some time and share with you this episode of the Geek Wolfpack Podcast, Nick Kelly’s premiere podcast featuring the entire Kelly family. (Give it a listen. It’s a hoot!) This particular episode features the Wolfpack Podcast’s first interview, their guest professional nerd and entertainment professional Elle Jensen, founder of the Nerd Out App.

Elle sits down with Nick, Tee, and Pip to talk about the app’s Kickstarter campaign and how geeks of all backgrounds should be taking advantage of this wonder of technology!

Episode 16 (Show notes by Nick Kelly)

0:00 – Intro
1:18 – Our Interview with Elle Jensen of the Nerd Out App!
1:42 – Pip Ballantine!
1:55 – Tee Morris!
2:31 – Elle Jensen, Founder of the Nerd Out App
2:48 – The plug bell
3:06 – What exactly is the Kickstarter for?
3:45 – App development is like LEGO bricks
5:05 – Nick starts counting cities where he’s used the app
5:13 – What exactly is the Nerd Out App? Elle’s Comic Con story
6:00 – Nerdy Burlesque!
6:33 – The growth numbers on Nerd Out App 1.0
6:44 – The Average Geek Show
7:15 – Where does the App team get their events?
8:04 – The Chicago crew needs to get on the Nerd Squad
8:22 – A Klingon Christmas Carol
8:39 – DreamstoBecome.com
10:12 – Currently, events get added via a manual process. It’s going to be way easier in 2.0
10:53 – #furriesruineverything
11:12 – How are events vetted?
12:31 – Nerding responsibly
12:57 – The coolest events ever hosted in the app
13:24 – Poltergeist as a burlesque
13:55 – Nick’s list of cities, and the count is…
14:08 – Shout out to Geektitude.com
14:30 – Nerdcon!
14:36- Dumbells and Dragons and the Wekk podcast
15:06 – Other features in 2.0 – Geolocation, additional locations
15:45 – NEW ZEALAND!
15:53 – EpicCon – V’s Cosplay will be there as Agents Books & Braun
16:35 – Overseas requests come in bursts, but 2.0 will be able to expand more
17:15 – What is the financial goal of the Kickstarter campaign?
17:54 – If you do a Kickstarter campaign, factor in taxes
18:15 – What questions does Elle have for Tee and Pip?
19:45 – What’s the frequency of posts?
20:15 – How many posts are we boosting?
21:00 – What was Pip’s strategy in boosting posts?
21:33 – The West Coast Steampunk folks need to get posting more!
22:08 – What are the incentives?
23:02 – Audiobook giveaways are popular
23:22 – Other authors are happy to provide eBooks
23:50 – Additional feature – filtering so you can keep it kid friendly
24:28 – Stickers! Game of Thrones! Harry Potter! Deadpool! The Flash! Stranger Things!
25:02 – The Con Survival Pack – Everything you need to survive a con
25:45 – Sponsorship levels
26:12 – Tee explains the uber level
27:32 – Personalization is a big, big thing
27:47 – Friday the 13th: The Video Game
28:28 – Mystery Science Theater 3000
28:50 – Habitica gets a mention
29:20 – What are some personalization options for Nerd Out 2.0?
29:49 – King or Queen Nerd of your town
30:50 – You could be the nerd in the logo!
31:50 – A launch party, with the nerdy burlesque people and Geeky Tees
32:38 – Do you have a plan b?
33:40 – The timing of the kickstarter
35:40 – Nick’s experience from the field – www.starwarsdays.com
36:00 – Garrison Tyranus of the 501st Legion
36:19 – +2 Charisma
37:06 – Tee foreshadows the Nick vs. Tee Westworld episode
38:30 – Here we go. Elle’s street cred…
39:02 – Agent Carter
39:35 – Riverdale
39:55 – The CW Alien Crossover event
41:44 – I know my value
42:32 – Where can we find Elle and the Nerd Out App
42:55 – Thanks from the Wolfpack to Elle, Tee and Pip!
43:50 – ADHD D&D
44:31 – We continue to search Vrath Keep, after a PSA about flammable oven mitts
45:03 – NO DEMIGORGONS!
45:50 – Comfy chair
47:16 – It’s a conference room
48:21 – We all react to the ridiculous goblin map
49:13 – Turgen wants halflings to eat
49:55 – Do not spill ranch dressing on yourself
51:45 – Young Shecky Greene
54:03 – Battle of Lexington and Concord
54:30 – Hey, Pharaxes, go set everything on fire!
55:39 – You want an arcana check?
57:20 – Take an automatic 20 (why not?)
58:58 – The nightmare refugee scenario
59:50 – Outro

Find us on Twitter at either Tee’s or Pip’s account,
leave us a voicemail or questions for the show at 703.791.1701,
or leave us a comment here at the blog.
We’ll talk about it!
And remember, you can find the show on iTunes or Stitcher!
Subscribe, listen, and review.

Enjoy the ride
and we’ll catch you later.

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Love of Adventure: The Crossover Between Steampunk Tales & Epic Stories

I am currently blog touring to celebrate the release of “The Gathering of the Lost”, the second novel in my epic The Wall of Night quartet.

I was delighted when Pip and Tee asked me to stop by here at The Shared Desk:  not least because when I read the rambunctious, rollicking opening to their Phoenix Rising, the first in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, I thought, ah—now here are a pair of storytellers who share my own love of an adventurous tale!

This of course got me thinking, because although the Wall series is epic fantasy, steampunk is a genre I have loved since first reading Tim Powers’ The Anubis Gates—and I have been a keen follower of Phil and Kaja Foglio’s Girl Genius Online for quite some time now… “Adventure, romance, mad science”—what could be better? Unless, of course, it is “adventure, romance, and ‘strange magic’”

Adventure is definitely one of the key ingredients I enjoy in my storytelling. Yes, I like the deeper questions around who we are and why we are here, and what makes for the good and true between protagonists or within a society. But if that comes in a wrapping of rooftop chases and duels, border skirmishes and glorious charges, bands of brothers—and/or sisters—standing shoulder to shoulder against the odds, then I know I shall more than likely enjoy the read. And the two most adventurous classes of fantasy, in my humble opinion, are steampunk and epic fantasy.

Another similarity between the two is that both tend to draw heavily on particular historical periods. With epic it is usually the medieval period, although David Gemmell’s Lion of Macedon and Dark Prince duology uses alternate classical history. Steampunk’s era is the mechanical age of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, although tales such as Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series also bring in “Darwinist” ideas of genetic engineering.

The ethos of each genre is not only the culture of weapons and clothes, technologies and social mores, but also the sense of adventure inherent in the age. This can mean the tournaments and heavily armored knights that feature in “The Gathering of the Lost”, or the Victorian notion of the “gentleman adventurer” that pervades both Phoenix Rising and The Anubis Gates. Full-blown war characterized both historical eras and can be seen not only in The Lord of the Rings, but also in tales such as Girl Genius and Leviathan. In “The Gathering of the Lost” too, one feels that war is coming…

I have also been debating whether there is a substantive difference between the two styles of fantasy, beyond the trappings of culture and historical era. On balance, I think there may be—but it is not a toss up between “mad science” and magic. Instead I feel that conflict in epic fantasy is more often centered around a “twilight of the gods”, the notion that everything will fail if the great war is lost. (And there is almost always a “great war.”) I pick up on this theme in The Wall of Night series with the epithet, “If Night falls, all fall.”

In steampunk, I find that the conflict is usually less “final”—a society or regime may be at stake, but not life and the universe as we know it. Within these respective frameworks though, the style of storytelling remains very similar. These are tales of quests and chases and mysteries to be resolved, with plenty of swashbuckling fun and edge of the precipice adventure to keep the reader entertained.

And on that note, here is a little rooftop adventure from “The Gathering of the Lost”:

“… Kalan was moving as he spoke and Malian sprang to catch up, feeling a rush of exhilaration, so darkly fierce it was almost joy, as they cleared the first narrow street, cobbles flashing beneath them. To fall would be to die—but they were not going to fall. Her blood sang as they ran on, keeping to the narrow lanes and close-packed houses of the poorer quarters where there were plenty of sharp angles and deep shadows to hide in.
Soon they were running as one, each knowing intuitively how the other would move, racing up roof slopes without hesitation and plunging down the far side, floating effortlessly across the gaps between buildings until Malian felt as though she were flying above Caer Argent. The pale gold moon kept pace alongside, so close it seemed she might touch it, or gather the white stars for a crown … if only she stretched out her hand at the right moment.
They dropped down to street level again several times, but the old parts of the city were a maze, the streets little more than alleys with many dead ends. The roofs offered a clearer path, and they could orient themselves by the towers of the palace complex, and the basilica’s dark crown. Malian was unsure when the mindsweeps stopped, but it was a long time after that when she noticed the stars growing pale, a reminder that the midsummer dawn came early. She knew they must have crossed half the city and by rights she should feel tired, but instead she felt wonderfully and gloriously alive.”

 

Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet, and interviewer. She has won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for achievement in SFF for both Thornspell (Knopf) in 2009, and The Heir of Night (The Wall of Night Book One) in 2011. The Heir of Night has also just been shortlisted for the Gemmell Morningstar Award and Helen is currently the Ursula Bethell writer-in-residence at the University of Canterbury. She posts every day on her Helen Lowe on Anything, Really blog, on the 1st of every month on the Supernatural Underground, and occasionally on SF Signal. You can also follow her on Twitter: @helenl0we.

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