Mike Sirota's Blog – Swords, Specters, & Stuff
Welcome to My World
I started this blog in January 2012 for one simple reason: I love to write. I named it “Swords, Specters, & Stuff” because I especially love to write about writing, about books and movies in my favorite genres, about authors that mean a great deal to me. But there’s so much more than that, hence the all-inclusive “Stuff” in the title. It is “Stuff” that gives me carte blanche to write about anything, which is why you’ll see stories about special trips to Cooperstown, Sedona, and other places; about getting older; about baseball; about the otherworldly way in which I met my soul mate; about the loss of good friends, and so much more. Enjoy! And feel free to leave a comment.
Over the past decade the British/French “mystery/comedy/suspense” series, DEATH IN PARADISE, has been one of the highest rated shows going, especially in England. My bride and I just finished binging on the first nine seasons (72 hour-long episodes on BritBox) and are eagerly awaiting season ten…
Once again, I’m re-running this post from a few years back. Why? Because it seems that EVIL is running rampant, not only around the world, but also in our own country. And if anything, it is getting worse.
Day Whatever of the coronavirus pandemic: I stopped counting at around 25,000 days. Feels like it anyway. Am I right?
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, the ninth film in the franchise and the third in the latest reboot, is a brilliant film, both uplifting and heart-wrenching. Actor Andy Serkis’s third go-around as Caesar, the leader of the intelligent apes, is Oscar-worthy, I kid you not.
“Oh, you’re a writer, but what do you do for a living?” Well, if you are a writer, you’ve probably heard that question in one form or another. I sure did, even more so than the one directed at my four horror novels.
The above quote, with a few variations, was something I heard numerous times after the first of my four horror novels hit the shelves thirty years ago. People knew me as a rather quiet, passive guy (ha!), not particularly prone to any sort of violent or dastardly deeds. So where did all the blood and gore come from, eh?
If RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES was outstanding, then its sequel was even better. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES received a great deal of critical acclaim (90% on Rotten Tomatoes), and it took in over $700 million at the box office. Not bad for a franchise once thought moribund.
When I wrote the first Jack Miller book, BICYCLING THROUGH SPACE AND TIME, in the ’90s, it didn’t take me long to learn that his many crazy comedy/satire adventures needed to be tempered with some scenes of a more serious nature. The chapter where he meets an eight-year-old Adolf Hitler literally helped sell the novel to Ace/Berkley.
After the “craze” died down following BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES in 1973, not a whole lot happened for a long time regarding the series’ return to the big screen. Plans for a remake of the original began in the late ’80s but would wind up in “development hell.”
Day 21,453 (give or take) of the coronavirus pandemic: barely a few weeks ago I mentioned to Jacqueline that the Covid-19 death count stood at 997 here in San Diego County, that it would top a thousand in the next day or so. As of this writing it is likely we will surpass 1,300 deaths this week.