Thursday, March 18, 2010

Recommended Reading List

There is a small community of unknown writers that push the envelope of science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy & horror. These writers fight to get their voice heard over the noise of big business and marketing schemes, but sometimes fall short. These writers are talented, intelligent and extremely thought provoking artists. Their writing styles vary, but their love for the art is strong. New sub-genres like Sword and Soul are born from these writers. New characters that you can fall in love, with or learn to hate, spring from their fertile imaginations. I have written reviews on some of these authors in this blog. Now I am trying to lend a voice. Click HERE to visit Rage Books LLC Bookstore for a highly recommended list of some of these writers. If you want to read a book from an author who is an artist first, pick-up a copy of one of these books. Then let me know what you think here on this blog.

Thank you,

Malcolm "RAGE" Petteway

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Waterbury native re-releases books via own publishing firm

A Waterbury native who recently started a small publishing company with friends and family has re-released two science fiction chronicles he wrote as part of a series as its first two projects. The Virginia-based Rage Books LLC was founded by Waterbury native Malcolm Dylan Petteway. Petteway grew up in Waterbury before going on to graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy and California State University. A 20-year veteran of the Air Force, Petteway flew B-52s, logging more than 3,000 flight hours and 300 combat hours. A military analyst who received a Meritorious Service Medal and other awards including some for Operation Enduring Freedom, Petteway's, new company released "Homecoming" and "Revelations" ($14.50 each, Rage Books), from his science fiction series "Osguards: Guardians of the Universe." "Homecoming" tells the story of the battle between the planets of Kulusk and Chaktun and two Chaktun princesses who fled Earth to lead a universal peacekeeping organization. "Revelations" also delves into related plots of interplanetary war and conflict unfolding across planets and eras that entangles characters from FBI agents to inhabitants of other worlds.
— Brynn Mande -- Waterbury American-Republican

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

When Does the Artist End and the Businessman Begin?

Writing in today's fast pace world has lost the art of the science or should I say the science of the art. When I began writing, I did so because I had a story I needed to tell. The story was a part of my imagination that I opened up for the world to see, touch and feel. I bore my soul and heart to strangers in hopes that something I wrote stirred them…moved them…provoked them…or just plain entertained them. But somewhere along the way, the artist that put words to paper has to become someone else in order to get the story out.
The artist must decipher demographics, marketing strategies and business plans. The artist must learn how to promote, sale and spin words and ideas into 30 second sound bites. The artist must tailor the work for another purpose. In short, the artist must stop being an artist and become a businessman.
Becoming something other than an artist is something that most artists cannot do without pain. Under a traditional publishing arrangement, the artist gives up control to the businessman. That businessman changes, edits and reshapes the artist project…normally after much consternation; but now the project sells. The artist may lose part of his or her voice in the process, but royalty checks can soothe the hurt somewhat of a lost voice.
What about the self-publisher? Can the lack of another person running the business end of your project hurt your chances to push your project? There are people cut out to sale and there are people cut out to create. Self-publishers must do both, and they must do both extraordinarily well.
For the self-publishers out there…how is your journey from artist to businessman?

Malcolm Dylan Petteway
Rage Books LLC

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Why Science Fiction

In life we all need role models, someone that shines the light of inspiration to fuel our aspirations. The entertainment media, like books, usually provide that inspiration through strong characters doing the right thing during difficult situations. I am using science fiction to interject positive African American role models into an entertainment media that is bombarded with negative characters that somehow have become role models.

As a child I watched many action adventures, read comic books of superheroes and was captivated by science fiction television shows. However in the seventies, as I entered my teen years I noticed that the role models on television shows and in movies as well as in books were white. Upon further review, I concluded that in the entertainment media African Americans were portrayed as comic relief characters, sidekicks, pimps, hustlers or thieves. I remember having an argument with my friends over who was better, "Shaft" or "Superfly." Needless to say, I was in the minority. Then I noticed most of my peers who feared they would not go to college aspired...actually become pimps, hustlers and drug dealers. Unfortunately, about ninety percent succeeded. I attribute this to the lack of role models and the bombardment of negative stereotyping in the entertainment media. So as a teenager, I created my own role models through story form.

In my English and Creative Writing classes, I wrote police dramas, adventure and science fiction stories, with African American protagonists. The story of the Osguards is my science fiction creation that began as an honors English class writing assignment in 1978. It garnered laughs from both white and black students in the class because they could not fathom African Americans as leaders, especially commanders of complex and intricate spaceships. But I received praise from the teacher for a bold effort.
Several years ago, due to a professional setback in my career, I resolved to focus my frustration in a positive manner. So I decided to write. I chose science fiction because of the freedom of imagination the genre allows. It also allows me to inject other genres like mystery, crime, love or adventure stories into it.

My question to you...why do you read science fiction?

Malcolm "Rage" Petteway