Thomas Galvin
Purveyor of Fine Pulp Fiction

Triquetra
I'm kind of an attention whore.

Big Break screenplay competition

I just found out that The Janus Project is a Final Draft / Big Break Screenplay Competition semi-finalist! Out of 7,000 entrants, we are one of just 138 to advance to this stage. You can see our entry here, under Hour Pilots.

You can read the novel that inspired the Janus Project screenplay on Kindle and in paperback, or read the first chapter right here.

It’s finally here. My latest novel, The Janus Project, is now available on Kindle and in paperback.

The Janus Project is the story of Emily Mason, an ordinary teenage girl. She goes to school, has a crush on her best friend, and is stressed out about college applications.

Oh, and one more thing: Emily isn’t real.

She’s actually Nocturne, the leader of a team of super soldiers created by the Janus Project. Genetically engineered. Surgically enhanced. Chemically altered. Psychologically conditioned.

Emily’s cover identity is so convincing that even Emily herself doesn’t realize that she’s been turned into a human weapon. When a crazed soldier from the rival Ares program comes gunning for her, Emily’s perfect life is shattered, and Emily has to fight to discover who–and what–she really is.

I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. check out the first chapter, or head over to Amazon to get your copy today!

I would watch the ever-living hell out of this show.

(via io9)

The Digital Reader is reporting, and I have verified, that Barns & Noble has removed the “download” link from users’ Nook Libraries. Reports that they have also purchased a gun, aimed it at their feet, and pulled the trigger remain unconfirmed.

Previously, when you bought an eBook from B&N, you could download it, load it into Calibre, and then load it onto pretty much any device you want. A laptop, your phone, even a Kindle. B&N has disabled this feature, meaning you can now only read Nook books on a Nook, or in a Nook app.

This is remarkably fucking stupid.

There are two ways to make money in the eBook business: by selling the eBooks themselves, or by selling the hardware used to read them. And only one of them works.

Amazon has decided that it is a content company first, and a hardware manufacturer a distant second. This doesn’t mean that their hardware is crap; it’s actually very good. But it does mean that they aren’t trying to turn a profit on it. They sell their hardware at near-cost, and sometimes even at a loss, and make their real money when you read a book, listen to a song, or watch a movie. This means eReaders are a commodity, with razor-thin margins.

Barnes & Noble is also a content company. First because selling books is kind of what they do, but also because the Nook hardware business is hemorrhaging money.

It’s good for B&N that their books can be read on multiple devices, because no one is buying Nooks. The hardware is an albatross around their neck, and content is their lifeline.

By disabling downloads, B&N has made their content less useful. Less valuable. Less likely to be purchased.

I’m a Nook user. I love it. I read on it almost every day. Virtually every eBook I’ve purchased has been from Barnes & Noble, even though Amazon is cheaper. But this is indefensible. This might be what finally pushes me into the Kindle’s warm, front-lit embrace.

And it makes me even surer about my decision to go Amazon exclusive.

The Gotham pilot was a great hour of television. It introduced a raft of interesting characters, dropped them into an interesting situation, and lit the whole thing on fire. It didn’t have the awkwardness of most pilots; I didn’t feel like anyone was still trying to figure out their character, and the cast all seemed to work comfortably with each other.

Gotham has a great premise. The whole city is corrupt; the politicians and the cops are all on the take, there’s a mob war brewing, and the best that people can hope for is that the more restrained, less violent crime boss comes out on top. Our protagonist is the only good cop in town, new to the city and too righteous to become a part of the status quo. The inciting incident is the murder–probably an assassination–of the city’s wealthiest couple, beloved icons and philanthropists. The series arc is the ripple effect caused by these deaths. The police, the criminals, the politicians, and the people of the city will all be affected in one way or another; these murders are the straw that breaks the city’s back.

It’s a great story. There’s just one problem, and his name is Bruce Wayne.

Jim Gordon is a fascinating character. Tough, moral, and too stubborn for his own good. He’s a knight in shining armor, a man who believes in the law and in justice. He’s a man who hasn’t yet given up on the system, and watching that crumble, watching him become a man who can accept a guy dressed up as a bat and beating criminals to a pulp, will be a hell of a ride.

Unfortunately, the show feels like a tease. Because as interesting as Jim Gordon is, he will always be overshadowed by the Batman.

As far as I know, no one has ever inspected Bruce Wayne’s early life. Like Jesus, he’s the focus of a childhood tragedy, and then he disappears until early adulthood. The opening half of Batman Begins, following Wayne’s progression from would-be killer of killers into the Dark Knight, was the best part of the movie, and I would gladly watch a series about that.

I’m less convinced about watching a series about thirteen-year-old Wayne. It makes sense that this is where Batman really got his start. He’s supposed to be one of the best athletes in the world (Dick Grayson, currently Nightwing and the original Robin, is acknowledged as a better pure athlete, although Bruce is still a bette brawler), and Olympic-level athletes almost all start their training very young.

It makes sense, but it isn’t very compelling. I understand that Bruce Wayne would have to start his preparations at a young age, but I don’t particularly want to watch a thirteen year old every week. That, of course, is why Jim Gordon is the focus of the show. But whenever Jim Gordon is on he screen, I can’t help but wonder what Batman would be doing in his situation.

And, like most of these origin stories, the world of Gotham feels too small. The Penguin works for Falcone’s rival, who has the Joker up on stage. The Riddler works in the police’s CSI division. Catwoman watched Bruce’s parents get shot, and will eventually teach Batman parkour. Poison Ivy’s dad gets framed for the crime. I get that they’re exploring how the Wayne Murders affected all of these people, and made Batman’s villains as much as they made Batman himself, but it feels just a little too forced, especially all within one episode.

Gotham is a good show that is, I think, hampered by the fact that it’s also a Batman show. I think I’d be able to enjoy it more if I wasn’t waiting for a cape and cowl that will never appear.

Well, this should pretty reliably break the internet.

Jeremy Renner as Scarlet Johansen

via Unreality

Jack Skellington Cosplay

via Reddit

Fox made the best decision in their long and storied history this week, and announced that the Deadpool movie will be in theaters February 2016!

Why is this the best thing in the world? Because Deadpool is a fourth-wall breaking super ninja assassin with Wolverine’s powers and a mouth that never stops. Here’s the test footage:

And here’s Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, which was the only good thing about X-Men Origins: Wolverine:

For a while, I’ve been wrestling with the idea of Amazon exclusivity.

Amazon makes no secret that they want as many authors as possible to be available only on their devices, a program they call Kindle Select. The biggest incentive they offer used to be the ability to offer five free promo days in a three-month period, and a lot of authors have made their career by giving away the first book in their series to a few hundred thousand new fans.

They sweetened the deal with the Kindle Lending Library. The Lending Library lets people who own a Kindle device to borrow a new book every month, and read it for free. The author, though, still gets paid, out of a fund created by Amazon.

Recently, they introduced Kindle Countdown Deals, a way for authors to temporarily put a book on sale and have it automatically, gradually increase in price.

The latest benefit is Kindle Unlimited. Unlimited costs $9.99 a month, and gives the reader access to an all-you-can-eat buffet. Basically, it’s Netflix for books. Like the Lending Library, authors still get paid whenever someone reads past the ten percent mark (basically, they get through the free preview), and like the Lending Library, the only way to get your book in is to be Amazon exclusive.

There are a lot of perks to being Amazon exclusive. I’ve resisted, because I’ve wanted my books available to as many people as possible. Recently, though, I decided to take the plunge. Starting today, and until at least the end of the year, my eBooks will be available only through Amazon (but the paperbacks will still be available everywhere).

Why?

Exposure

This is the big reason. Between free promos, Countdown Deals, the Lending Library, and now Unlimited, there are a ton of ways to get noticed on Amazon. And just as importantly, my books are on the shelf next to a bunch of other authors’ who are using these tools to make their books more affordable and more attractive. Being in the Kindle Select program isn’t even about gaining an advantage anymore; it’s about evening the playing field.

The vast majority of my sales come from Amazon anyway

Sure, I might gain exposure on Amazon, but I’m also losing all of the sales I’d have coming from Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and all of the other eBook outlets, right?

Kind of. Almost all of my sales come from Amazon already, so I might be giving up five or ten percent by going Amazon exclusive. My bet is that the perks of Kindle Select more than make up for that loss. Hugh Howey, author of Wool, has been experimenting with this for a couple of months, and he’s found that the sales jump on Amazon easily overcomes the loss of other outlets.

Still, I want as many people to be able to read my stories as possible. Turns out, there’s an answer for that.

Kindle apps everywhere

If you have a Mac, a PC, an iPhone, an Android phone, a tablet, or even a Nook HD, you can download a Kindle app and read your books right on your device. And, unlike the Nook, this app actually works on Mac.

Also, my books are sold DRM-free, which means you can easily load them onto another eReader, including Nook. You can use Calibre to do your conversion and loading automatically.

Becoming Amazon exclusive gives me more exposure, and really doesn’t limit readers from getting ahold of my stories, so I’m going to experiment. I expect this to be win-win. And if not, I’m only committed for three months.