Welcome!

I'm James Maxey, the author of the Dragon Age fantasy series of Bitterwood, Dragonforge, and Dragonseed, the Dragon Apocalypse series of Greatshadow, Hush, and Witchbreaker, as well as the superhero novels Nobody Gets the Girl and Burn Baby Burn. I use this site to discuss a wide range of topics, with a heavy emphasis on cranky, uninformed rants about politics and religion and other topics that polite people attempt to avoid. For anyone just wanting to read about my books, I maintain a second blog, The Prophet and the Dragon, where I keep the focus solely on my fiction.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Eric Rudolph

Am I a nut to think that if Eric Rudolph had been a left wing environmental terrorist or an islamic terrorist who killed two people an injured dozens of others, he'd get the death penalty? In the plea agreement, the government said that one thing they got out of the plea was that Rudolph had agreed to reveal the location of explosives he had hidden. Isn't this dealing with terrorists? I have no proof, of course, that there was a political motive behind the plea--but Rudolph is a hero among some of the more radical right. Giving him the death penalty could have pissed off some of the more wacko Bush supporters.

This is setting aside, of course, the issue of whether the death penalty is ever justified. One can make a blanket case that no one, not even Osama Bin Laden, should be executed. But if you are going to have a death penalty, what crime is more deserving than to plant bombs designed to kill random people? His bombs sometimes had a two-stage component--they would explode once, then explode again a few minutes later after police and firemen had time to arrive. It's really tough to imagine a more loathsome sort of murder. The fact that Rudolf doesn't show any real remorse, and even sounds boastful at times, only adds to my feeling that this plea bargain is a bad one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Story doldrums

So, last Saturday night I finished the latest revisions on my novel Bitterwood. Then, Sunday, yardwork, then, Monday, I started my new job at the CPC in RTP. (One day, our language will consist of nothing but initials. But I digress.) Normally, after finishing a novel, I like to use some of my creative momentum to crank out a short story. I'm planning on starting another novel very, very soon, this week, I'd hoped, and when I'm working on novels I almost never write short stories. Since I have two sales to Asimov's now, and stories in a half dozen anthologies, I'd like to have more short work to keep out there on the market. Alas, this morning, everything fizzled. Some days, you sit down, and you are on fire, the words just flow. Other mornings, the well is dry, even if you have a fairly firm idea for the story. This morning I had a setting: The Scar. I know that China Mieville has a novel called the Scar, in a setting called the Scar, and maybe I'll have to rename my setting eventually, but right now I have this image of a nearly dead planet similar to the moon, only it's been smacked by a huge comet so hard the planet has a huge crack. (Maybe I'll call it the Crack instead of the scar.) Anyway, miners have swarmed to the planet and placed a shield over the surface of the Scar. Deep down in the crack, there's easy access to a zillion heavy metal and precious minerals. In the upper levels of the scar, there's oxygen and water left over from the comet impact, so human life is possible in this warren of houses carved into the cliffsides. The downside to life in the scar is that everyone works for the mine, and if you are fired by the mine, you are essentially dead. They have no legal obligation to feed you--basically you have to turn to crime since you can't work and can't afford a ticket off the rock, and even petty theft is punishable by death. My protagonist would be one of these men who've been fired and has to find a way to survive in such a hostile environment. He's been fired because he refused to carry out an execution of someone or other, I hadn't figured this out yet. Lots of times, this is all I'll need to start a story--a setting, and a character with a problem. A first sentence will come to me and I just plow ahead, letting momentum take me to places I didn't expect. Alas, I had several attempts at that first sentence, and nothing worked. The best I came up with was, "If I stayed on Earth, I wouldn't be a murderer, a thief, or a cannibal." Oh well. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Hungry Edge

Sorry for the paucity of postings lately. I've been in the final crunch on my novel Bitterwood, polishing it up to prepare for submission to publishers. I've also been working on an audio magazine called The Hungry Edge. The first episode is now live. Find it at www.codexwriters.com--there's a link to the story on the main page. I'm the host, and I'm very happy to present a terrific story by Ian Creasey called "Night Shift on the Support Line." Very funny fantasy, and Ian has a terrific voice. Check it out.

The Hungry Edge

Sorry for the paucity of postings lately. I've been in the final crunch on my novel Bitterwood, polishing it up to prepare for submission to publishers. I've also been working on an audio magazine called The Hungry Edge. The first episode is now live. Find it at www.codexwriters.com--there's a link on the main page. I'm the host, and I'm very happy to present a terrific story by Ian Creasey called "Night Shift on the Support Line." Very funny fantasy, and Ian has a terrific voice. Check it out.