Workshop Episode 53 (Guest Host: Michael R. Underwood)

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 53, with Michael R. Underwood and Linton Bowers Michael R. Underwood – author of the marvelous “Geekomancy” and the forthcoming sequel “Celebromancy” (gracing bookshelves in July 2013) – returns to the Big Chair at the Roundtable to help Brion and I workshop an exceptional story idea from Linton Bowers. The working title for Linton’s YA superhero tale is “Fat Boy Hero” and, while that certainly piqued our interest, the story workshop itself was a creative froth worthy of the RTP. The internet was persnickety again, but that did NOT deter us from unearthing a veritable mountain of Literary Gold… so there’s plenty to share with you (and you know there’s even more writerly goodness to be had over at Mike’s Showcase Episode!)

PROMO: “The Podio Rookie” Podcast with Kenn Crawford

Workshop Episode 53 (Guest Host: Michael R. Underwood)

[caution: mature language and themes – listener discretion is advised]

Check out this and all our episodes on iTunes and on Stitcher Radio!

Mike has a lot going on! Check this out…

  • Mike has empowered geeks everywhere, transforming our cultural fixations into glorious magic (literally) in his novel “Geekomancy
  • And sequel is already in the works! “Celebromancy” will hit shelves in July
  • And definitely stay on top of all Mike’s doings at his website

Mike also wanted to raise awareness about Spec Fic icon Jay Lake’s struggle with cancer:

  • Jay’s “Sequence a Science Fiction Writer” (referenced during the show) has completed and was funded and then some ($48,665 raised)!
  • There are many opportunities to A) discover the awesomeness of Jay Lake, and B) any other opportunities to offer help and support at Jay’s Website

Conventions on Mike’s schedule:


And goodness from Linton…

  • Linton has been very active in developing this story and very cool about sharing his progress. You can stay plugged in to his efforts at his website

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Comments (5)

I want to agree with Mike on the use of Hite’s essay on setting the dials for a superhero setting. Decide how the world has or (will) diverged and you will have a foundation to work from.

In addition to the comics that Mike mentioned, taking a look at things like the Skrull invasion might be useful for ideas.

Thanks, Paul! I love Ken’s design work, and it was cool to be able to bring that into play as an extra resource.

I think you’re spot-on about the Skrull invasion(s) as a good source for thinking about the bigger picture of the invasion.

Hey hey!
Awesome workshop. I’m acquainted with Linton from online stomping grounds, so it’s good to see him under the microscope.

I posted this to Linton in IM already, but I wanted to repeat myself here. This whole “fat as a superpower engine” thing is genius. it’s like the missing X-Man mutant. So much of X-Men has a core of racial/social conflict and personal struggles with your power: this piles right on top that. Awesome world to start with.

Once again you guys have molten levels of awesomeness!

I agree with Daniel where was this Ruben Berger when magneto was inciting the mutant uprising?
Any way good stuff all around.

This was a great episode. I really loved the idea behind Fat Boy Hero and think it’s really original. I think that Dave, Brion, and Michael and Linton; you all really produced some gold with this (not hard considering the genius of the original pitch). I’ve not posted before so I am not sure how best to throw out an idea so I’ll just plow into it.

I was really struck by what Mike said about Women in Refrigerators and I had a thought. Ruben gives Aniya some of his nanites and shows her how to maintain control over them (as you said). Then she somehow comes across Xander and he confides in her his fear for Ruben’s safety (telling her that he is a friend of Grandma Burger and wouldn’t want to see anything happen to her grandson – or whatever). She has seen him talking to Grandma Burger before and he lives in the complex so she believes him. She agrees to help him in his plans not realizing that they entailed capturing Ruben and stripping him of his power. In Ruben’s confrontation with Xander he finds out that Aniya was working with Xander just as she realizes that she was manipulated. He is hurt by Aniya’s lack of faith in him. He defeats Xander with Aniya’s help (though he doesn’t want it). Aniya realizing that in her powered state she thought less of Ruben gives up the nanites. I think her giving up her powers as opposed to being stripped of them makes Aniya a stronger more proactive character. This could also give you a conflict between your main characters that you can use to explore the depth of their relationship and affection later in your story.

Really loved the idea Linton, I am going to keep an eye out for your name in the “Knights” section of the website so I know when the book comes out. I am ready to buy it now.

Great show.

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