TalkCast 372 – Rick and Julia and Mad Max

MMM LogoOur guests for this episode are Rick and Julia Ingham creators of the Mad Max Minute Podcast.  This is a podcast dedicated to watching every Mad Max movie one minute at a time and dissecting it in excruciating detail. We get some history on this genre, from its beginnings, as a podcast about an examination of “The Big Lebowski” to what is now podcasts covering almost 60 different movie franchises. Rick and Julia show a passion for their chosen work, putting out 2 or 3 podcasts a week for the run of the first two movies in the Mad Max series and discuss it with the audience on Facebook. They MMM alternate logoare about to begin work on Beyond Thunderdome. As skeptical as I was when first talking with them, their podcast is both fun and interesting, and that is in no small part due to their effervesce and enjoyment of the subject.


Star Trek Discovery  (Isn’t that enough?)

Enjoy The Chaos!


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TalkCast 371 – A Valentines Day Extravaganza With H.P. Mallory



It’s always delightful to catch up with an old friend. As our Queen of Paranormal Romance, every Valentines Day H.P. Mallory has had a standing invitation to join us. This year she accepted and we couldn’t have been more pleased. It seems that as the years have gone on, she has become more prolific than ever. Author of:

H.P. is one of the most amazing and creative writers we have had the pleasure to know. We talked about all her current series, where they started and where they are going and, just because, we also discussed how she writes and how her process has changed as her success has accelerated.

Enjoy the hour. We sure did. Happy Valentines Day.


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TalkCast 370 – George O’Connor Abroad

George O'Connor

A funny story about this weeks show. George O”Connor joins me to talk all about his beautiful obsession with Japanese Professional Wresting and in particular Jyushin Thunder Liger. It is all chronicled in his recent whirlwind trip to Japan to see him the G1 Climax. This is an amazing and entertaining story. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did listening to it.


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Note: This weeks special end theme is Stormur from The Traffic Lights (Rob Watts) album Huldufolk.

Jushin Thunder Liger

Jushin Thunder Liger


The Writer’s Block Presents: Plinkety-Plink

This month, a bit of wistful fiction to whet your appetite for the new year.


by Rob Smales

“I can’t believe she’s gone.”

“Hon, I … look, I don’t mean to sound insensitive here, but she was nearly eighty. And living in a home.”

“I know.”

“It’s not like it came from left field or anything. I’m sad—you know I am. I loved her, too. But it’s not like it’s a surprise.”

“I know.”

Angie looked about the good-sized room. The units at Greenlawn Elder Care were designed like hospital rooms, making things easier for both the residents and the staff, but each resident put in their own little touches. Pictures, knickknacks, furniture … every person living in the facility had done what they could to make their rooms their own. Her mother included.

So here Angie was, come to clean out all the personal things she might want before the room was prepared for its next tenant. She set the box on the foot of the bed, and continued to look about the room, helpless confusion settling on her. This should’ve been simple—just pick her way along, taking anything she wanted, anything that had been her mother’s—but she couldn’t figure out where to start. Pictures hung on all the walls: grandkids, her dad, even Angie herself. Her parents’ wedding photo hung over the bed, where some might have expected a crucifix; that wasn’t Mom’s way. There were pictures on nearly every surface, even the vanity she’d been allowed to bring from home. The dresser had drawers, as did the night table, and then there was the closet … Angie just counted herself lucky there was only the room, and not a whole house.

“You might want to try the vanity,” suggested a voice. The nurse who’d accompanied them from the front entrance still stood in the doorway, sorrow in her eyes. “Everything in there is hers, so you don’t have to worry about taking the wrong thing, and it’ll give you a place to start.”

Angie nodded. “Thank you.”

“Marilyn was a great woman.” The nurse shook her head. “So full of life. We’re all sorry to see her go.”

Angie sat wordless as the woman nodded once, respectfully, before backing out of the room.

“I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings, hon,” said Don as soon as they were alone. “I didn’t mean to. I just wanted to … to point out the realities of the situation.”

“It’s fine,” Angie said, but they both knew it wasn’t. She scooped up the box, trying not to snatch it angrily but not quite succeeding, and sat before her mother’s old vanity. She watched in the mirror as Don came up behind her, his hands on her shoulders as he looked into her reflected eyes.

“I’m sorry. I’ll tell you what: you get started here. No hurry. I’ll head down to the kitchen area, see if I can scrounge us a couple cups of coffee. When I get back I’ll help you, if you like. Okay?”

music boxShe nodded. His hands slipped from her shoulders, and she was alone. She looked around the room again, seeing all her mother’s old things, and the room began to blur around her as tears rolled, unchecked, down her cheeks, spotting her blouse-front as they fell.

“It’s not fair,” she whispered. “That nurse was right, Mom—you were so full of life. I don’t care what Don says—this took me by surprise. If you’d been sick, or frail, maybe I would’ve been prepared. But this? I never got to say goodbye. I didn’t think I had to.”

She sat in the chair, avoiding eye contact with her reflection as she wept.

Eventually, she pulled the box to her, yanked it hard, angered that the cleaning of the room needed to be done, and that she was the only one to do it. She pulled open one of the vanity’s side drawers and stopped with a gasp, fingertips covering her mouth. Reaching into the drawer with both hands, she lifted something out.

Mom’s jewelry box, she thought, breath hitching in her chest. Oh, she loved this thing! I wonder if it still …

She caught the edge of the lid with finger, lifting it easily, exposing her mother’s collection of rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Immediately the room filled with the plinkity-plink sound of music box music, and her breath caught again. Angie didn’t know the name of the tune, though she’d heard it all her life. It had always been “Mom’s jewelry box song” to her, and it always, always brought back happy memories.

Young Angie watching her mother dressing to go out, music playing as Mom held up earrings, checking herself in the mirror …

Angie smiled at the thought. Mom had always been such a beautiful woman. Then—

Angie, seventeen and dressed for her prom, sitting at Mom’s vanity, Mom now holding earrings up to Angie’s ears as the jewelry box plinked away. “Don’t tell your father I told you this,” Mom smiles over Angie’s shoulder, into the mirror. “But if you really want to get a boy’s attention, try …”

Angie laughed out loud at the thought.

“I’d forgotten about that,” she whispered. “And she was right: Dad would have—”

Angie, twenty-seven, sitting at the vanity again, listening to the little tune as Mom fastens a necklace for her, the one she’d chosen as her “something borrowed” for the way it lay across the neckline of her wedding dress. “Don’s a good man,” Mom whispers in her ear. “He’ll make you very—”

“What did you do?”

Angie jumped, snapping the lid shut, cutting off the song mid-plink.

“I didn’t do anything,” she said, turning toward the nurse who was standing once more in the doorway.

“You did something,” the woman said, striding forward. “That old jewelry box was one of Marilyn’s favorites, but it’s been broken for months. She couldn’t find anyone to fix it. How did you get it to play?”

“I just—” Angie began, but the woman reached out to flip back the box lid.

Nothing but silence.

“You see here?”

The nurse turned the winding key that stuck out of the side of the box, but there was no clicking, not a sound of winding, the key spinning freely in its socket.

“See there? The mainspring is broken—this thing won’t make a sound. What did you do?”

“I just opened it,” Angie whispered, eyes starting to flow once more.

“What’s going on?” Don was in the doorway, hands full of coffee cups.

“It was just Mom,” said Angie, smiling through her tears, “saying goodbye.”


Rob Smales is the author of Dead of Winter, winner of the Superior Achievement in Dark Fiction Award from Firbolg Publishing’s Gothic Library in 2014. His short stories have been published in over two dozen anthologies and magazines. His latest book, Echoes of Darkness, was released in 2016 by Books & Boos Press.

For more about Rob, including links to his published works, upcoming events, and a series of very short—but free—stories, please visit him at This piece originally appeared on his website.

Happy Holidays


From The Cast and Crew Of

Sci Fi Saturday Night

Have A Safe And Happy Holiday Season

See You All In The New Year

TalkCast 369 – Jay Mooers Returns

Jay Mooers

Jay Mooers

In this episode, we welcome back Jay Mooers. Jay is here to talk about volume 6 of his serialized comic Autumn Grey and where the second half of this episodic adventure is going to go. Jay also introduces two new projects he is currently working on: HUSH with Jason Moulton and Gang of Two with Steve Offord. We talk about the new normal in conventioneering that is currently evolving and how is it affecting not only artists and content providers but also the affect on the public and what they have come to expect. Additionally, Jay talks about … Dragons.

Enjoy the chaos. 

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5 timers club FINAL

Autumn Grey #6

         Autumn Grey #6

TalkCast 368 – Author Brian James

Brian James

Brian James

Author Brian James joins the show to talk about his newest book Mjolnir. The Viking gods have been banished from Asgard by Odin. Today they make the best of life on Earth. Thor is a professional athlete, Freya a prostitute, and Loki sells cheap products on QVC. Lurking in the background of their lives is a prophecy; one that declares that their time is at an end. Ragnarok is about to throw the gods into a state of civil war and the one who controls the hammer of Thor may be able to change the arc of destiny.

The book is a quirky mix of Viking Lore and Alternate Universe Sci Fi mixed together into a wonderfully intense world story.

Brian talks about how this worldview came to be and how his high school years formed a direct line to this book. It’s an interesting story, an interesting author and fun interview.

Enjoy the chaos.


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TalkCast 367 – The Other Shakespeare

Nick Shakespeare

Nick Shakespeare

Nick Shakespeare joins the show to talk about the difference between a storyboard artist and a comic creator. We met Nick at Keene Comic Con earlier this year and had a wonderful discussion about his latest creation, The Siren’s Song as well as his work in television and film as a storyboard artist. Surprisingly (perhaps only to me) there are many more similarities than differences. Nick also talks about the way storyboards look depend on the director you’re working with as well as the genre. All in all, its an interesting discussion about a not so well know artistic endeavor and Nick proves to be both eloquent and knowledgeable.


In The News:

Peter Capaldi’s last (and Jodie Whittaker’s first) appearance as the Doctor teased in official Doctor Who Christmas Special synopsis

Captain Marvel Casts Jude Law As Dr Lawson Opposite Brie Larson

Fantastic Beasts 2: Cast Photo And A New Title

‘Avengers 4’ Promises To Be A Finale For The Heroes That Built Marvel Studios

Scooby-Doo’s Daphne and Velma Starring in Live-Action Origin Movie

Studio Ghibli Promises Future Projects After Appointing New President

Enjoy The Chaos………


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Sirens Song

TalkCast 366 – Silent Knight

George O'ConnorIn this episode, we talk with our old friend and multi-talented bon vivant, George O’Connor whose latest invention is a new comic based on what Santa does the other 364 days of the year. In a venture whose inception was the result of a conversation in 2016, this story came alive with the help of DaFu Yu doing ink and penciling, Lesley Atlansky as colorist and Beth Scorzato as editor. We talked in some depth about the process of this particular project and how it is significantly different from anything George has done before. Join us as we explore some of the subtlety and nuance of this amazing new series. Download your own copy here.


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Silent Knight

A 5 Timers Club Inductee

An Official 5 Timers Club Inductee

TalkCast 365 – Andrew Stanleigh

The Jewish Comics Anthology Volume 2

The Jewish Comics Anthology Volume 2

In this episode we are joined by Andy Stanleigh to discuss his new Kickstarter, SCI: The Jewish Comics Anthology Volume 2. It’s a more than interesting process as to where and when this series began, where it is today and the product that his small press publishing house AH Press has been producing since 2011.

AH stands for Alternate History, a themology that carry’s thru, to some extent, in all of their publications. The inception of AH, in some ways, is rather dependent upon Andy’s own personal background and history as well as the amazing serendipity of reconnection with old friends and ideas to begin and continue this wonderfully inventive process and productions. Join Andy and the cast as we discuss what Alternate History Comics has done, is doing and has coming up. It’s an engaging interview with a fresh voice in comic invention and publishing.

Enjoy the chaos. 

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AH Comics



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