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Mythographers we Love: String Demons

What if Lady Gaga attended a Greek country fair? What if a Greek folk song steps into the realm of heavy metal?

You’d get String Demons, and their new album Rise of Strings.

Konstantinos and Lydia Boudounis are doing their own thing and remixing from all over the soundscape.

You can get their album from all major services, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Deezer, Tidal:

Get the Rise of Strings Album

I especially like their “Pirates” music piece. It’s not on the album but you can listen to it on Youtube:

String Demons Website

 

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100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime

Amazon has a list of the year’s best books. What we care about is the Sci-fi list, so here it is:

Click to see the list on Amazon

I’ve already bought Oathbringer and Artemis.

Of the rest, Persepolis Rising is definitely on my list. David Wong’s “What the Hell Did I Just Read” is also on there, I loved the last book.

Ann Leckie has no chance of ever getting my time, ever again.

The Book of Dust is getting passed around all the time in my social media echo chamber, so I’ll give it a shot.

What else should I add to my TBR pile?

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Glitch Santa

Credit Rob Sheridan

They’re Coming to Town

You better watch out for airstrikes. You better not cry, when your buddy dies. You better not pout, when your house gets levelled. I’m telling you, they’re here and they don’t like you.
At all.
They’re making a list of captives, and they’re crosschecking them with our handy little check-ins and DNA databases.
They’re gonna find out who’s been naughty in their lives and who’s nice and stupid to a fault.
They’re coming to town.

They see you when you’re sleeping at night. They know when you’re awake in terror. They know if you’ve been bad or good, so no matter what you do it makes no difference at all.

You better watch out for airstrikes. Cause they like them a lot. You better not cry, when your family dies, cause you’re next on the red dot.

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A Course Correction as the Year 2017 Comes to an End

This is a short update on our future. Things have changed in the publishing world, and we’ve grown a lot these past couple of years.

That’s a gamer’s hand placement, don’t think we don’t know that, hand model.

We’re reviewing what we’ve done and what we haven’t done. We needed to, cause there’s now 5000 of you.

ZOMG, what?

Yup. Five. Thousand. Mythographers. How awesome is that?

In short:

  • The serialized format that was popular 2 years ago is gone now. So we’re revamping some series into the classic trilogy format. Namely, Maniai Case Files and Heartbreaker. Expect those to be fattened up, you’ll get an email when that happens. If you delete the file from your ereader and redownload you’ll get the new version.
  • We’re focusing on print editions. People seem to still like paper books, go figure! We’ve started making these available to you, first title to become available will be The Impossible Quest of Hailing a Taxi on Christmas Eve, very soon. Like this week, soon.
  • Upcoming titles and draft chapters are up on Patreon. If you want the polished stuff, do nothing and shop on Amazon or the other retailers from us. But if you want to be in all the crazy, read draft chapters, give feedback and get heard, get on Patreon and open the bags of Aeolus.
  • Audiobooks are here to stay. We love audiobooks, and some of you like them too. We’ll keep bringing titles in audio, with some of the novels slotted for production early 2018.
  • You seem to really like the omnibus, Myth Gods Tech. It was an afterthought for us but it seems to be quite popular. Maybe it’s the big letters or something. We’ll update it soon with our new content and keep it DLC enabled, meaning that you can redownload it and it will contain the updated version. If you bought it, there’s no added cost, ever.
  • We’re consolidating our social media channels. The most active accounts are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you’re on there, follow us so you get all the new stuff and the offers. If you want to hang out, we also have a chat room on Discord (Unmoderated, probably NSFW.)
  • We’ve started new partnerships with excellent artists in various fields. Narrators, illustrators (check out Antune Sketch.)
  • We messed up the Mystery Loot Chest but it was funny and you seemed to like it, so we’re keeping it. It was a 2 a.m. brain fart that worked out nicely. We’re giving a hint on the Loot Chest page on what to expect inside. It will always be an unpublished short story, taking place somewhere near our other stories. For now it’s the same first chest, but we’ll let you know when it updates.
  • We’re ditching Kindle Unlimited, or Kindle Select. We know some people really like Amazon’s Unlimited offer, but it requires exclusivity and we just can’t do that. The world is big, bigger than just the US. We tried it out, it didn’t fit our goals and now we’re rolling everything out of it. For non KU members this changes nothing. For KU members, well, we can’t do anything unless the exclusivity clause is lifted. Boo hoo. Send your woes to Amazon in email format.
  • We’ve launched official torrents. “You what? Really?” Yes, really. Read the page if you want to find out why we’re doing that.

What to expect in 2018?

Expect more Nanodaemons, more Muses and the zany new series Cyberpink. Expect some titles to be tightened up and published into trilogies. Now that we’ve gotten excellent feedback from you, we can focus our efforts in stories that you like.

Make sure you’re in the Certified Mythographers so don’t miss an email.

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7 Principles on How to be Invincible, by a Metal Prometheus

Photos taken by Alexandra Alexiou, credit Aherusia Theatrical team.

So I went to see a show unlike any other. It’s by a folk metal band called Aherusia (You can find them on Facebook here.)

It was a mix of Greek folk music, with ancient Greek theatre, under the thrashing of electric guitars. The music is made for the stage and the play is made for the music. You can’t have one without the other, but unfortunately, the show has only limited nights in Athens, so you’ll have to make do with just the digital download. Listen with the app below and get the album.

pliskinfemto on bandcamp: Truly God-tier metal with emotional and epic guitar riffs like you’ve never heard before. Never expected anyone to blend hellenic folk with black metal so well. Aherusia keep getting better with each album they release and have already earned their place next to the top metal bands of Greece. Favorite track: Ocean.

Or if you prefer Youtube:

Aherusia’s third album is an ambitious and profound concept based on the Promethean myth. A definite bold step forward for the band, who streamlines their sound while maintaining its core characteristics.

If you’ve noticed, I’m running quite a few of these articles under the category “Mythographers we Love.” There are a lot of people doing new things, reimagining mythology all the time, presenting new mythographies. So I’ll do my best to share some of them with you.

Recorded live in the studio, Prometheus sounds extremely lively and pulsating. Its lyrics written in common Hellenistic script lend the verses an authentic aura of antiquity. Accept this gift of fire.

Find Aherusia on Bandcamp

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Slow Up

The novel Slow Up has a lot of things going on. While knowing these is not a necessity in enjoying the story, a deep background in the possible technologies and techniques involved will make it a much better read.

10. Rapid Serial Visual Representation

Can you read it?

It’s a speed-reading trick where text is parced into single point. Some speed readers like it, others do not.

Here’s an online tool to try it out.

9. Most of the IT Scenes Are Inspired by my Own Job at Wind Telecommunications HQ

Most of the tickets came in at a frantic pace, just like in the novel.

The scenes have nothing to do with real persons and situations. But the feeling of an uphill battle, that Sisyphean task of fixing hundreds of computers every day is there in Galene’s job.

8. For More on Nootropics, Check Out Reddit

Nootropics are real and have measurable effects. If you want to try them out, consult an expert. There is a lot of info online, but don’t push yourself too hard. Again, consult a doctor, not the marketing brochure.

Nothing is like the movie Limitless of course, that was a magic pill with insane powers. Real nootropics help you focus, help with creativity, memory.

Read up about Nootropics on Reddit.

7. Polyphasic Sleep is Real But You Should Take it Slow

 

Going directly at Uberman will most probably make you a zombieman.

We’ve all heard about geniuses who simply skipped sleep like Leonardo Da Vinci. That is not actually possible, of course, they only took short naps, powernaps as they call them now, to help their brain recharge.

My opinion is that getting good sleep is more important that gaining a few drowsy hours. I’ve seen that sleep deprivation cuts down on creative thinking. And there are serious medical risks involved.

Again, Reddit has a nice beginner library on polyphasic sleep.

6. The Cybathlon is a Sports Event for Augmented People Where Doping and Pushing the Limits is Kind of the Whole Point

Credits: Angel Giuffria, Bionic Actress. Cybathlon. The Spartan Race. Oscar Pistorius.

The logical next step in athletic events is to have augmented races. Some augmentations actually give an advantage over other athletes, like in swimming. Especially with world-powers sending out troops at stupid wars and having young veterans come back disabled all the time, the day where augmentations are common-place is today.

The Cybathlon is not quite an Olympic-level event yet. But it showcases what can be done, and it won’t be long before augmented athletes can compete side-by-side with regular ones, like Pistorius did in the Summer Olympics of 2012. Yes, we know what he did afterwards, that’s not the point.

You can watch the scene mentioned by Gregoris in the novel, where the winner shows unprecedented evgenis amilla (fair game spirit) and swaps out his number with Oscar’s so he can be the winner:

5. Humans With Amplified Intelligence Could Be More Powerful Than AI

Artificial intelligence is all well and good, but there are those who believe that we can expand the limits of our intellect and reach amazing levels.

Frankly, a merge of mind and machine where a trained user can hook up and amplify his intelligence for short amounts of time is what we consider most plausible.

Another archetype of this is the Mentat from Dune. Human Computers that crave information and can help with decisions.

Wacky hair is a must

From David Lynch’s Dune, we got the Mentat Mantra (It’s not from the Frank Herbert novels but fits so well it got adopted instantly):

It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
It is by the juice of sapho that thoughts acquire speed,
the lips acquire stains, the stains become a warning.
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.

And now you’ll say it too.

4. Mean Girls is a Must Watch

Mean Girls quotes can be applied to any situation

Nuff said. Watch it.

3. Unlike Wanted’s Turning Bullets, Turning Arrows Are Real

It seems crazy but it’s true. An expert archer can shoot turning arrows around corners.

2. You Can Speed up Online Videos, Audiobooks and Video Files for Faster Input

It might seem weird at first, but the mind adapts very quickly.

Here are some tools with pitch correction:

Chrome plugin for online videos.

Video file speed control with VLC

Audible Narration speed control

1. The Tech is Real: Artificial Wombs

It looks adorable. The real-live version, not so much.

External wombs are being researched and seem to work just fine. There are many real medical conditions where external wombs would be suitable. Of course, that opens up a can of worms, since humans could be raised from prime genetic material without people knowing. It’s almost like a dystopian sci-fi story.

Slow Up is Available to Read Now

Limitless meets Black Mirror in this novel that pushes the limits of a couple’s minds.

When Galene meets a man who’s only goal in life is to make his mind go faster, she ends up falling for him. But will she manage to keep the relationship going at the top of the glass tower, when in reality she’s too much of a slob and is bogged down with all her unfinished goals, when their age difference becomes too much of a problem, and when his work places them in the sights of an unforgiving huntress?

Do you want to know what’s next for the computer geek Galene? Do you wanna meet Artemis? Then read this bittersweet story in a world where thinking too swiftly can get you killed.

Read Slow Up
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The 3rd ΦantastiCon Event in Athens Was Memorable And Full of Zombies

Athens is becoming an important stop in the worldwide fantasy event circuit. This year, we had guest visitor Kate Madison, who’s made an indie series called “Ren – The Girl With the Mark.

The cosplay competition was extremely fun and very popular. Here are some indicative pics, for the whole gallery from CosplayersGR click here.

And we had the author Ioanna Bourazopoulou, who has been translated in English and won awards for her novel “What Lot’s Wife Saw.” Here’s where you can get copies on Amazon US and UK:

There were plenty of other stuff, mostly in Greek of course. Check out the convention’s English page here and contact them in case you want to take part next year. The visitors gobble up English content like there’s no tomorrow, stuff like Saga comic volumes, memorabilia, Chibi figures and whatever sort of loot you might peddle.

To end this article, here’s Sci-fi author Judith Blish getting eaten by a zombie. Um, guys, maybe we should be taking better care of legendary writers, especially now that Star Trek is cool again? Guys? Anybody left alive?

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This Year The Nobel Goes To Science Fiction

Kazuo Ishiguro has won the Nobel prize in literature this year, and we’re ecstatic.

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

Why?

Well, the reason is that some people think that genre fiction is somehow less than literary, as if the injection of a fantastical or a technological element somehow lessens the impact of a perfect story.

Here’s the article about his Nobel:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/oct/05/kazuo-ishiguro-wins-the-nobel-prize-in-literature

And here’s Ishiguro’s opinions about transhumanism:

https://futurism.com/kazuo-ishiguro-soon-we-will-be-able-to-create-humans-who-are-superior-to-other-humans/

Ishiguro, like Heinlein before him with Stranger In A Strange Land, has proven that you can talk about love, you can talk about science fiction, you can talk about mortality and make it shine.

Start reading Ishiguro’s books and see for yourself.

What I really like about him is a tidbit of a belief that I have injected into my own stories, this quote below:

Like the saying goes, history is written by the victors. But history is rewritten every day, in every tiny event, in any major revelation. Steve Jobs was said to ignore facts that didn’t match his beliefs.

And people, when they tell themselves that something happened a certain way, they alter reality for themselves. Because it’s impossible to be truly objective, you can only be subjective and hope for the best.

The God Complex Universe is a warped version of events, a splintered timeline branching out from 2009, in which people have told themselves how certain events happened and have affected the future.

And when a powerful billionaire tells himself that something happened a certain way, everybody bends to his will eventually.

As for Kazuo Ishiguro, we can state for certain that he did it by himself, he won the Nobel prize fair and square. No Muses were dispatched.

Honest.

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Jump On The Bandwagon, Quick!

We made a Facebook group for all you Mythographers. It still has no identity, just a place for all of you to hang out. We’ll make it work together.

Got a stamp of approval and everything.
Got a stamp of approval and everything.

This group is currently beta. Meaning things are about to change at any time.

So what can you do over there? Well, except talk about the God Complex books, we can discuss articles, favorite mythologies, movies like Wonder Woman and Thor, books like Ilium and Percy Jackson, anything you like. Keep it civil, but light swearing is allowed.

I Wanna Join The Facebook Group

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Summer Of 2016 Is The Time We Went Full Cyberpunk

People said this picture summed up the events of this week perfectly.

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It would be funny if it wasn’t so bad.

I say it marked an entire era.

The pure irony behind it is staggering. This is:

  1. A grainy, smartphone shot
  2. Uploaded on Twitter (A massive equalizing communication tool)
  3. Of someone playing an augmented reality game (Pokemon Go)
  4. In front of a line of riot police
  5. Because a person was killed by the police while a woman streamed the whole thing on Facebook Live
  6. And because a police drone was deliberately used to blow up and kill another alleged offender during a standoff.

I mean, if someone had written that story in a novel somewhere, they’d have called it far-fetched. And this is real, it’s happening now.

Notice I didn’t say “a black man” on point 5. I said a person. Because that person was killed in front of a woman and a small child, and that just shouldn’t happen. But the dialogue on this is enormous, I don’t want to touch on that.

Yes, this photo is a chapter-break in our history. We have a full-scale dystopia posing as utopia, civil rights violated, technology both liberating and influencing ourselves, our minds, our decisions.

I worked a bit on a couple of news channels, and have a unique perspective on what things mass media want to show or not. I can’t actually write examples, but trust me on this: The media shows what it wants to. But you already knew that, deep down.

Also, with technologies like Live-U (multi carrier video broadcast from a mobile unit through any and all available cellphone companies) and Youtube, and Twitter and every person carrying a computer in his pocket, media has become more instantaneous. If the shot is there, the news channels will want it. A news crew carries top-of-the-line equipment worth easily 60-70 thousand euros, but if a kid on his iPhone got a better shot of the news-story, the news channel will broadcast the latter. Doesn’t matter if it’s shaky, doesn’t matter if it’s grainy, dark, out of focus. It will play, because it is valuable as news.

One day we had some faulty equipment and in our frenzy, we joked about having the weather guy just live-stream through Skype.

Then we got the go ahead, and we just put him through just like that. Fingers crossed and praying the line won’t drop.

And if you don’t care what we do in tiny little Greece, here’s the same event in USA. “Twitter’s Periscope Becomes a Lifeline for Democrats After Republicans Turn Off C-SPAN.”

But it’s not just news. Our lives, what we care about, the events we like are getting online right now. Periscope and Facebook are becoming our allies (now that’s ironic) in world events. Facebook’s safety check feature worked despite Turkey’s blackout, and band Radiohead is helping fans live-stream their concerts.

There is no conclusion to this post. Read the linked articles and make up your own.