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Mike Reeves-McMillan
Attended Massey University
Lives in Auckland
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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A 17th Century castle 'lost' for more than 250 years is rediscovered in the centre of a town on the Irish border.
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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This is well worth a read.
 
An alien ship lands on Earth. Its occupant gets raised as human, hiding special abilities for fear of reprisal. But when the superpowered extraterrestrial becomes an adult, Truth, Justice and the American Way mean something very different. Because this strange visitor from another planet is black.
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Yonatan Z. grabbed it, so it is definitely going to reach people here! :-)
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It's like brain surgery.
 
A team of neurosurgeons at Toronto's Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is part of an International team of medical experts that is giving people with essential tremor disorder a new lease on life.
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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And now, the third of three reviews of other novels with which my Hope and the Patient Man shares this excellent boxed set. (It's 12 novels, plus bonus short fiction, for 99c, and all of them have heroes with integrity and honour standing up against a dark world.)

You may not be as familiar with +Sabrina Chase as you are with Lindsay Buroker and C.J. Brightley, the other two authors I've featured. Like mine and Lindsay's, her book The Last Mage Guardian is a bit steampunkish - enough so that Amazon suggested it to me because I'd enjoyed Lindsay Buroker's work, and I'm glad of the recommendation. I awarded a very high four stars for this well-written tale of a young woman who finds herself in charge of the magical defense of Europe, some years after a devastating war started by the French.

It's set in an alternate world. The date appears to be mid-to-late 19th century, from scattered clues. There are trains, but it's magic rather than technology that gets the emphasis. The North American continent appears to be called Atlantea, and the countries of Europe have different names, their cities have different spellings, and there are other geopolitical differences like the continuation of a separate country of Bretagne distinct from France (or Gaul).

Although there's a romance subplot between the two viewpoint characters, the emphasis is on the adventure and the magic, with a great boss battle at the end. Flooding cellar, explosions, collapsing masonry, levitation, it's all good stuff. I liked both the main characters, enjoyed the world, and was happy to accept the more cinematic parts of the story in their own terms.

The editing (and writing) is fully as good as you'll find from any big publisher, and better than you'll often get from HarperCollins.

There's a sequel, which I've also read and enjoyed, and I've explored some of the author's other books (mostly SF, inspired by Lois McMaster Bujold, one of my own favourite authors) and found them up to the same high standard.

So, preorder this boxed set of 12 novels, including The Last Mage Guardian, for 99c, and you'll have some great reading come October.
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OOOH, Cool!
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A historic discovery -- Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our own Sun, has a planet circling it.
Proxima b is the closest exoplanet ever discovered, and it may even have the potential to harbor life.
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This would work really well in a fantasy setting.
 
24 August: #onthisday the gate to the underworld on the Forum Romanum was opened annually with a festival-like character.

"mundus patet", the "the mundus is open", the priests of Ceres announced on the forum, offerings to the gods of the underworld and the agricultural deities were made and the dead were given the freedom of the city for a day. One of the more obscure Roman traditions, full of archetypical symbols, but read more on:

http://wunderkammertales.blogspot.de/2015/01/mundus-patet-gate-to-underworld-on.html

Depicted below is Alice Pike Barney's somewhat ghostly imagination of Ceres (1901), while the blog includes a short video with yours truly narrating the tale.

#ancienthistory, #ancientrome, #history, #mythology, #romanhistory
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

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Sharing this to read later.

Glancing over the titles and abstracts, it strikes me that one of the most important things we can do is attempt to transform our political and economic systems from ones that primarily benefit those who already have access to power and wealth into ones that protect and provide for everyone and share the benefits more widely - not only for the liberal reasons of justice and fairness, but for the conservative reasons of security, liberty and opportunity.
 
From universal basic income to the gig economy, there's no denying technology is going to cause sweeping changes.
In early 2015, Singularity Hub ran a series of articles on the Future of Work. Sveta McShane kicked the series off by asking (and answering) the following question: "Have we... read more
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I'm building up my mailing list, so here's the deal: a copy of my first published novel, City of Masks, for signing up, and a bonus collection of short fiction in the Gryphon Clerks setting after you confirm your signup.

I only email when I have something new out (which, admittedly, is about once a month at the moment, but my point is that I don't just send a newsletter for the sake of it and clutter up your inbox).

City of Masks is a mashup book: it reads like fantasy, but with no magic, and is also a serial-killer mystery (not too gritty; this is me, after all). There's a quiet romance subplot, and, without bogging the story down in too much exposition, it explores the question, "What if everyone had to wear masks all the time and act in character with whatever mask they were wearing?"
Claim a free copy of City of Masks
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The point of this article is to write people as people.

I suspect there's a little more to it than that, but there isn't less to it than that.
 
Before I dive into #Parallax I wanted to share this very insightful article about the necessary role of empathy in writing, and its failure.

This really encapsulates the challenge and issues around writing people who have different life experiences than the author. I particularly resonated with this:

"If you cannot write other without the assistance of a dedicated team of marginalized people to check your every sentence, then you should likely interrogate the writing that is about self. Writing requires you to enter into the lives of other people, to imagine circumstances as varied, as mundane, as painful, as beautiful, and as alive as your own. It means graciously and generously allowing for the existence of other minds as bright as quiet as loud as sullen as vivacious as your own might be, or more so. It means seeing the humanity of your characters. If you’re having a difficult time accessing the lives of people who are unlike you, then your work is not yet done."

http://lithub.com/there-is-no-secret-to-writing-about-people-who-do-not-look-like-you/
Stories have many functions: entertainment, healing, education, illustration, explanation, misdirection, persuasion. Stories have the power to shape worlds and to change lives, and so there is a lo…
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Writing people, if you understand them not at all - including yourself, is challenging. I like my casual writings, I just don't feel able to write people.
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Name generator, trained on a baby names book.
 
#RandomExperimentSundays : I was curious if char-rnn (https://github.com/karpathy/char-rnn) can generate new, fun and plausible baby names. So I got a dataset of 8,000 baby names from an NLP repo (http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/project/ai-repository/ai/areas/nlp/corpora/names/), trained a 2-layer LSTM and generated some.

To my amusement many fun unique names come out and 90% of them are not found in the training data. Here are 100 example samples that do not occur in training data:

Rudi
Levette
Berice
Lussa
Hany
Mareanne
Chrestina
Carissy
Marylen
Hammine
Janye
Marlise
Jacacrie
Hendred
Romand
Charienna
Nenotto
Ette
Dorane
Wallen
Marly
Darine
Salina
Elvyn
Ersia
Maralena
Minoria
Ellia
Charmin
Antley
Nerille
Chelon
Walmor
Evena
Jeryly
Stachon
Charisa
Allisa
Anatha
Cathanie
Geetra
Alexie
Jerin
Cassen
Herbett
Cossie
Velen
Daurenge
Robester
Shermond
Terisa
Licia
Roselen
Ferine
Jayn
Lusine
Charyanne
Sales
Sanny
Resa
Wallon
Martine
Merus
Jelen
Candica
Wallin
Tel
Rachene
Tarine
Ozila
Ketia
Shanne
Arnande
Karella
Roselina
Alessia
Chasty
Deland
Berther
Geamar
Jackein
Mellisand
Sagdy
Nenc
Lessie
Rasemy
Guen
Gavi
Milea
Anneda
Margoris
Janin
Rodelin
Zeanna
Elyne
Janah
Ferzina
Susta
Pey
Castina

Here is a much bigger sample: http://cs.stanford.edu/people/karpathy/namesGenUnique.txt

Some of my favorites include "Baby" (haha), "Killie", "Char", "R", "More", "Mars", "Hi", "Saddie", "With" and "Ahbort". Well that was fun.
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Thank you. I always love looking through Neural Network stuff. :)
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Sam has done a couple of great covers for me. I recommend him.
 
If you're in the market for a book cover, or you know any self-publishers getting ready to finish a book, I could use a few commissions. I have the feeling I'm going to be spending a lot of money over the next couple of months, and I'm hoping it won't be for another clinic visit.

http://www.sahuntbooks.com/cover-commissions.html
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I am a big non-fan of the Hero's Journey, in large part because it's overused and produces a lot of very similar stories with embedded assumptions that I think it's past time to question.

This, however, is a form of refresh, and, if not followed as a rigid formula, could potentially give you a useful mythic story structure.
 
The Hero's Journey can, of course, star a female lead. That's not what the Heroine's Journey is about. The second is about a more "feminine" plot arc than one sees in the first. If I were to develop the journeys anew, I think that I would use the words Physical and Spiritual rather than invoking gender. (Or perhaps Tangible and Intangible?)

Both Journeys can, and should, involve both action and emotion. But is the focus on battling the Empire or coming to personal terms with the Force?


H/t to +Troy Campbell​ for pointing me to this article.
The Hero's Journey has become widely popular. Unfortunately, the original was clearly intended for men and not women. In response, some feminists have created their own, female-centered version. Lucky for us storytellers, both can be ...
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Mike's Collections
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In his circles
653 people
Have him in circles
2,625 people
Mike Bennett's profile photo
Bryan Murphy's profile photo
Wendy Jones's profile photo
Joannah Miley's profile photo
Junior Dennis's profile photo
John Conway's profile photo
H Gibson's profile photo
Shakti Pudasaini's profile photo
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Education
  • Massey University
    Health Science, 2008 - 2010
  • University of Auckland
    English, 1986 - 1989
  • Waitakere College
    1981 - 1985
  • Swanson Primary School
    1973 - 1980
  • Auckland University of Technology
    Celebrant Studies, 2005 - 2006
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Michael McMillan
Story
Tagline
Novelist, short story writer, copy editor, book reviewer, nonfiction author
Introduction
I write a steampunk-fantasy series about heroic civil servants called The Gryphon Clerks; an urban fantasy series, Auckland Allies; and a lot of short stories, plus the occasional nonfiction book. I do a lot of book reviewing, too. I'm harsh but (I hope) constructive. Currently not accepting review requests.
 
I'll probably only circle you back if you engage me in conversation, and if you either mostly write about writing or something else I find interesting, or you're an unusually interesting and insightful person. Exception: I don't circle erotica writers, just because of what might show up in my stream. Nothing personal.
Bragging rights
While working for a certain notorious NZ publisher in my freelance editing days, I got out with all the money owed to me (if you knew NZ publishing up to the late 90s you'd know who I mean, and be impressed).
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Currently
Auckland