Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Friday, September 30, 2011

NUELOW Games Best-Sellers for September 2011

Here are the top sellers for NUELOW Games for the month of September. If you haven't checked any of these out, maybe you should. October is Play a New RPG Month, and we're offering a collection of ROLF! products for 45% off the already low normal price to help you do just that!

Best-selling NUELOW Games titles for September 2011

Click on the titles for a detailed description of each product, as well as a preview.

#1: Dyvil: First Edition (Jeff Grubb's 30-Minute Roleplaying Game) [core game]

#2: Steve Miller's 30-Minute Roleplaying Game (SM-30) [core game]

#3: ROLF!: Supermodel Slapfest [supplement]

#4: ROLF!: The Rollplaying Game of Big Dumb Fighters [core game]

#5: ROLF!: Cap'n Jack on the Isle of Pirate's Doom [supplement]

#6: ROLF!: Herbert West vs. the Zombies [supplement]

#7: Names in the Black Book: Three Nightmarish Mysteries [fiction anthology]

#8: ROLF!: Icing Oetzi [supplment]

#9: ROLF!: Hammerin' Tongs [supplement]

#10: Modern Advances: Ghostmaster [d20 System supplement]

Samir Khan also killed in Yemen today

According to the AP, Samir Khan, editor of English language online al-Qaeda fanzine "Inspire", was killed by a missile strike at the same gay outing as Anwar al-Alwaki.

Here's the article: 2 US citizens dead in Yemen airstrike

The article refers to "Inspire" as a "slick Western-style internet publickation."

I wonder: Has that journalist SEEN any issues of "Inspire"? I've read three, and it seems to me that Khan deserved killing not just for being a terrorist asshole, but also for his many obscene crimes against layout standards.

Now, if we get word that the Adam Gadahn has also been killed, then this will be a banner day in ridding the world of American traitors (and just sons-of-bitches in general).

Al-Qaeda's Anwar al-Awlaki reported killed

According to reports, al-Qaeda "cleric" Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed together with "companions."

It's getting pretty bad for al-Qaeda these days. They can't even have their weekly gay orgies without risk of assassination anymore.

For more details, click to read the story from Reuters: Yemen says al Qaeda cleric al-Awlaki killed

More details as they become available.

(Regular readers of this blog may remember that Awlaki is the American traitor who ordered his fellow psychotic Mohammed-worshiping death-cultists to murder cartoonist Molly Norris after she made the mistake of apologizing to the "Muslim community" for offending them. They essentially succeeded in murdering Norris, as she was forced to change her name and go into hiding. On a positive note, Awlaki helped establish Mohammed Mondays over at my Shades of Gray blog.

Anwar al-Awlaki

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It’s Official: Miller Endorses Herman Cain.

That's a different Miller than me, though... we're talking Dennis Miller.

I've always liked Dennis Miller, and I've been a big an of Godfather's Pizza since before Herman Cain was personally appearing as a standee in a suit and fedora in Godfather's Pizza stores (and it's my preferred pizza to this day...).

But I'm not behind Cain for president yet. (I know you're all waiting to see who I endorse, so you can follow my lead... but there's plenty of time for me to tell you who to vote for. (What? My endorsement is every bit as valid as some director or rapper or actress, I should think.)

Cain as a politician holds a little more appeal to me than several of the other Republican candidates currently running--and a whole lot more than the potentials that the media seem so in love, such as Palin and Christie--but I don't know enough yet to say whether I like him as a candidate. (Almost anyone would be a better candidate than Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and the empty suit currently taking up space in the White House.

Interesting Development:
'Amazing Stories' is coming back

I've learned from numerous Facebook Buddies that blogger Crotchty Old Fan (aka Steve Davidson) has acquired the trademark 'Amazing Stories' and is currently in the planning stages of bringing back the venerable science fiction magazine.

Hasbro, who came into possession of the Amazing Stories trademark by purchasing Wizards of the Coast, who had come into possession of the Amazing Stories trademark by purchasing TSR, Inc., who had come into possession of the Amazing Stories--well, you get the drift--failed to renew the trademark in 2007. Whether this was due to sloppiness, incompetence, or a lack of understanding of the fact that the Amazing Stories trademark still has lots of commercial potential (I was feeling charitable this morning and for once was going to ascribe it to ignorance and/or cheapness, but my friend Stan! pointed out to me that just a few years ago, Hasbro had refused to sell the trademark to Paizo Publishing. And there's also the fact that Hasbro couldn't even be bothered with the relatively minor undertaking and expense of filing the appropriate paperwork and paying the attending fees, and possibly of establishing a part of the WotC website with the "Amazing Stories" logo on it and a few stories and/or RPG materials archived to keep the trademark alive and under their control.

But Hasbro's loss is a potential gain for science fiction fans and creators. Writer and editor Steve Davidson (who operates the blog site The Crotchety Old Fan) has acquired the trademark, and he is planning a revival of Amazing Stories Magazine.

Davidson is currently in the early planning stages of his efforts. Here is a link to the press release he issued announcing he'd secured rights to the trademark, and here is a link to his intentions and an outline of his plans as they currently stand.

I wish him the best of luck and tons of commercial success!

(By the way, I had an article in one of the final (THE final?) issue of "Amazing Stories" published under the TSR, Inc./Wizards of the Coast banner. It was a roleplaying game adaptation of the "Battlefield Earth" novel that had been commissioned by then editor Kim Mohan. The biggest thrill for me was the fact some of my writing, no matter how humble and marketing-driven the subject matter, appeared between the same covers as a story by Ray Bradbury!)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

'I Sold My Soul to Satan'

Actually, no I didn't... but given how my career has been going in the past few years, it may be an option I should look into. The headline is the title of a documentary which was provided to me for review by start-up distributor Chemical Burn Entertainment.

I Sold My Soul to Satan (2010)
Starring: Kai Blackwood, Jymie Darling, and Maja d'Aoust
Directors: David Gaz and Alex Vazart
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Follow would-be rock star Kai Blackwood as he embarks on one last attempt at achieving fame... by selling his soul to the devil.

The focus of this documentary, Kai Blackwood, has a lot in common with me. We're about the same age and we're both faced with careers that are on the skids, but Blackwood is willing to go that extra mile for success. Or at least for a shot at fame through "reality television."

Directors Gaz and Vazart's cameras follow Blackwood around the Los Angeles area as he collects the ingredients needed to perform the ritual to sell his soul to Satan, and has he consults with various experts in the occult, first and foremost Jymie Darling who says brilliant things like "I've learned everything there is about the Unknown". Darling is actually a more interesting character than Blackwood, and she vascilates from mildly creepy to mildly goofy (but always very sincere) as she tries to explain the reasons for why the rituals to sell your soul to demons are what they are, and tries to stress to Blackwood that he needs to be serious about what he is about to do.

I never get the feeling that Blackwood is serious, however. The interviews with him interspersed with scenes of him shopping for or collecting the items he's going to need for the ritual show a guy who isn't following Darling's advice, but who seems like the typical, flaky "reality television"-type wanna-be. Although this does lead to some great viewing, such as when he's making the ink needed to sign his demonic pact.

Both fun and informative, this is a documentary that should appeal equally to you whether you have an interest in occult matters and whether you love or despise "reality shows." The only complaint I have is that the film only follows the path of Blackwood toward his pact with Satan. According to comments from David Gaz during the film, there were two out of the thousands of applicants for the film whom he thought were suitable subjects. We get a few snippets from the screen-test of that other person. a fashion designer named Sarah, and I would have liked to see how the same routines went for her.

"I Sold My Soul to Satan" receives its wide release on DVD on November 8, 2011.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Will I have to stop disliking the French?!

This may be the Broken Clock Effect in action!

French want Palestinians to drop UN membership:

Maybe there's going to be change... but not the sort of change that Abbas was hoping for. Maybe cartoons like this one will stop being true.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Avast, my harties... it's Talk Like Pirate Day!

You will always remember that this was the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow!

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day from Cinema Steve and NicePeter!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

If you read 'Archie Comics' as a kid...

... and have a slightly warped sense of humor, you're probably going to find many things that will make you laugh at Archie Out of Context. God knows I did!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What rap through yonder speaker breaks?

Epic Rap Battles of History returns with Dr. Seuss vs. William Shakespeare!

It's not as good as "Albert Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking" but can that one ever be topped?

By order of Our Dear Leader....

... all good citizens are to monitor websites and their neighbors and co-workers for opinions and thoughts that don't meet the standards approved by Him and His Thought Police. It is your Patriotic Duty to help silence those who would speak ill of Our Dear Leader.

Click here to report any Thought Crimes you encounter.

(I'll give give the Obamatons and their Dear Leader this much: At least they're finally being up front with their desire for a totalitarian state, right down to the stark black-and-white design of their Informer Website. I hope minions of The One have the decency to Friend Me on Facebook or become a Follower of this blog should they decide I am an Enemy worthy of monitoring. Once they discover that all the NUELOW Games releases contain secret Anti-Obama Double-Coded Dog Whistle Messages, I've no doubt they'll be checking up on me every day.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Michael Stern Hart dead at 64

ANNOUNCEMENT: In honor of Michael S. Hart's memory, I am donating my earnings on "From Dark Corners: Thirteen Unusual Tales from Famous Authors" to Project Gutenberg. Please get a copy, and please spread the word.

Michael Stern Hart is the inventor of the e-book and founder of the Gutenberg Project. Without him, I probably never would have discovered the obscure side of authors like R.E. Howard and E.R. Burroughs, or even known about forgotten authors that have become personal favorites like John Kendrick Bangs, Anna Katherine Green, and C.J. Cutliffed-Hyne. I also never would have realized that Edgar Wallace's and Sax Rohmer's stories are far more entertaining than the movies based on them.

Without Hart, there would not be a Kindle, there would not be the current incarnation of NUELOW Games, and I certainly never would have thought about publishing fiction in the format I currently am.
Obituary for Michael Stern Hart

Michael Stern Hart was born in Tacoma, Washington on March 8, 1947. He died on September 6, 2011 in his home in Urbana, Illinois, at the age of 64. His is survived by his mother, Alice, and brother, Bennett. Michael was an Eagle Scout (Urbana Troop 6 and Explorer Post 12), and served in the Army in Korea during the Vietnam era.

Hart was best known for his 1971 invention of electronic books, or eBooks. He founded Project Gutenberg, which is recognized as one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects. He often told this story of how he had the idea for eBooks. He had been granted access to significant computing power at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On July 4 1971, after being inspired by a free printed copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, he decided to type the text into a computer, and to transmit it to other users on the computer network. From this beginning, the digitization and distribution of literature was to be Hart's life's work, spanning over 40 years.

Hart was an ardent technologist and futurist. A lifetime tinkerer, he acquired hands-on expertise with the technologies of the day: radio, hi-fi stereo, video equipment, and of course computers. He constantly looked into the future, to anticipate technological advances. One of his favorite speculations was that someday, everyone would be able to have their own copy of the Project Gutenberg collection or whatever subset desired. This vision came true, thanks to the advent of large inexpensive computer disk drives, and to the ubiquity of portable mobile devices, such as cell phones.

Hart also predicted the enhancement of automatic translation, which would provide all of the world's literature in over a hundred languages. While this goal has not yet been reached, by the time of his death Project Gutenberg hosted eBooks in 60 different languages, and was frequently highlighted as one of the best Internet-based resources.

A lifetime intellectual, Hart was inspired by his parents, both professors at the University of Illinois, to seek truth and to question authority. One of his favorite recent quotes, credited to George Bernard Shaw, is characteristic of his approach to life:

"Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable
people attempt to adapt the world to themselves. All progress,
therefore, depends on unreasonable people."
Michael prided himself on being unreasonable, and only in the later years of life did he mellow sufficiently to occasionally refrain from debate. Yet, his passion for life, and all the things in it, never abated.

Frugal to a fault, Michael glided through life with many possessions and friends, but very few expenses. He used home remedies rather than seeing doctors. He fixed his own house and car. He built many computers, stereos, and other gear, often from discarded components.

Michael S. Hart left a major mark on the world. The invention of eBooks was not simply a technological innovation or precursor to the modern information environment. A more correct understanding is that eBooks are an efficient and effective way of unlimited free distribution of literature. Access to eBooks can thus provide opportunity for increased literacy. Literacy, and the ideas contained in literature, creates opportunity.

In July 2011, Michael wrote these words, which summarize his goals and his lasting legacy: “One thing about eBooks that most people haven't thought much is that eBooks are the very first thing that we're all able to have as much as we want other than air. Think about that for a moment and you realize we are in the right job." He had this advice for those seeking to make literature available to all people, especially children:

"Learning is its own reward. Nothing I can say is better than that."

Michael is remembered as a dear friend, who sacrificed personal luxury to fight for literacy, and for preservation of public domain rights and resources, towards the greater good.

This obituary is granted to the public domain by its author, Dr. Gregory B. Newby.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Useful Idiots" 9/11 anniversary cartoon

By James Hudnall and Val Mayerik

Never forget

I've used the phrase in the headline several times when referencing 9/11/2001, the day a gang of psychopathic Muslims killed thousands of hapless Americans and destroyed the World Trade Center in NYC with hijacked airliners. All while praising their god and professing their idolatry for the Prophet Mohammad.

Unfortunately, as Lawrence Myers points out in this column, America as a nation has forgotten. As Myers says, "We have forgotten that this was a terrorist attack on America. We have forgotten that we are at war. We have forgotten that a cancer exists whose sole and only stated goal is our destruction. That cancer has a name. It is Radical Islam."

I'm not saying that all Muslims are at war with the United States or want to see Americans slaughtered or enslaved to the whims of a death cult centered on the idol worship of the Prophet Mohammad. There are, obviously, uncounted numbers of American Muslims who love this country and who want to see it and their friends and neighbors survive and prosper. There are also, obviously, Muslims around the world who just want to live in peace and who would never murder anyone. I am saying that we need to remember who the real enemies are. And what they did.

Just like all Germans weren't Nazis, all Muslims aren't members of the idol-worshiping Mohammedan Death Cult of Radical Islam. However, just like all Nazis were evil, so are all the bloodthirsty, murderous adherents of Radical Islam. Those who would appease them or make excuses for them range from stupid to evil themselves, just like those who espoused appeasement against the Nazis.

September 11, 2001 should have been the alarm that spurred this entire nation to action in an effort to crush an enemy that's been growing in strength since the 1980s. But this does not appear to have happened. At best, we've taken half-measures, because our leaders are weak. Generally, we've done nothing, because our leaders our cowards. At worst, we've forgotten what happened, because we've allowed those who sympathize with the Radical Islamic death cultists obscure what happened that day and who conducted the attacks and committed the mass murders.

Read Lawrence Meyer's column: Reminder: We Are at War.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mohammedan Idol Worshipers: Not All Bad

This is the week and weekend for blog posts and other events memorializing the mass-murder of Americans on 9/11/2001. I'll be posting a little something myself in a couple of days.

Today, though, I want to remind everyone that not all Muslims are murderous death-cultists who practice Mohammedan idolatry. Most Muslims are just like you and me, people who want to mind their own business and live their lives in peace. Likewise, most Muslims don't support the Mohammedan idol-worshipers, even if it's sometimes hard to tell with so-called Muslim advocacy groups like CAIR doing all they can to run interference for Hamas, al-Qaeda, and other fringe Islamic idol-worshiping death cults.

And I also want to point out that even the Islamic idol-worshipers have their good sides. Take Al-Qeada in London as an example:

These fellows have put on a production of "Oklahoma" that ranks among the best the world has ever seen. Their love of musicals and show-tunes is second only to their love of little boys. Or maybe the Prophet Mohammad (may peace be upon him). It's a toss-up.