Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fanboy! Sneak Peek! Ten Cents!

If you haven't seen the international trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, do yourself a favor.  Click the link, load the video in high definition, turn on your speakers/plug in your headphones, and watch it.

Back?  Pretty sweet, huh?

If you've spent any time around me in the past few weeks, you're probably ready to murder me with a giant hammer, flaming sword, or telekinesis.  My gigantic crush on this movie starring Michael Cera and directed by Edgar Wright ("Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz") borders on obsession.

Ok, so it careens through the border of obsession and ends up barely short of mouth-breathing fanboy cyberstalking.  Deal with it (but please still hang out with me)!

The comic by Bryan Lee O'Malley upon which the movie is based caught my attention with its punchy black and white illustrations, silly dialogue, and complete disconnect from reality.  Sure, it's written by a Canadian but I'll give him honorary American citizenship and maybe build a theme park in his head.  I'd pay to watch this guy's dreams.  Ten bucks says they put any acid trip to shame.

I did find time between my fifteenth and sixteenth viewing of the trailer to think about how much of our identities are caught up in the media we consume.  My younger self was never fully comfortable with his geekdom.  Maybe he thought his soccer teammates would shun him, or his bandmates would mock him.  Neo-Matt (a term I've been using since about five minutes ago) has no clue as to the why.  But I hid my obsession with my Dad's yellowing sci-fi books from everyone outside my family and closest friends.

Something changed as I got older; just yesterday, I told my sublet-roommate about the countless days of my childhood spent in silent communion with those ten cent books.  They are objectively awful, filled with misogyny, colonialism, and horrid, stiff prose.  But instead of being shameful wives locked in the attic, they are eccentric uncles whose stories you ate up as a kid.  And as an adult, you smile during the tellings for different reasons.

Most of those authors couldn't write.  The weakness of their words hampered the power of their vision.  But even at their worst, they conjured desolate worlds orbiting dying suns.  Brokenhearted bounty hunters limping after their last big mark.  Alien geniuses plotting for the thrones of celestial empires and the hearts of eight-breasted princesses.

I am not ashamed to count myself among their fanboys.  No matter how old I become, how withered my body and brittle my bones, I will always dream these impossible dreams.

With this in mind, I proudly present a H&K exclusive sneak peek of my newest short story, "Reckoning."  It follows the last days of Sean, the sole survivor of a failed mission to an icy wasteland and maybe the last human in the universe.  You can find the first few lines under the tab at the top labeled "Reckoning" or by clicking here.  There will be more to follow on Monday.

Have a great weekend and enjoy the sample!

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