Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Nemesis Worm - Guy Haley

Read my first science fiction of the year, and my first book entirely on my new Kindle. (And, it was free!)



The Nemesis Worm by Guy Haley. 2011. (Science Fiction, Male, New Author)

A standalone novella featuring the 22nd century's greatest detectives, The Nemesis Worm sees Richards & Klein involved in another high stakes investigation. Corpses are showing up all over Old London, and the finger of suspicion points right at Richards himself. Forced to clear his name, Richards and Otto uncover a fanatical group whose actions threaten the relationship between human and AI with destruction.
Unfortunately, there were some copyediting issues - but it was free, and the mistakes weren't all that glaring. I enjoyed reading something different than my normal fare - scifi AND a detective mystery. I suspect that if either genre were up your alley, this would be enough to make you want more. Technically, this was a standalone, but there's some worldbuilding elements and some character nuances that begged explanation.

This wasn't bad at all. The novella length didn't allow for the character development that I would have preferred. This felt more like a teaser to whet the reader's appetite for Reality 36which also came out last year. 

Any of you read it or anything else by Guy Haley? What did you think?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Video | HBO's Game of Thrones S2 Trailer, Power and Grace

If the first one gave you chills, then this one? Yes, this trailer is kicking ass.


Season 2 Trailer: Power and Grace

"The comet means one thing, boy. Dragons."

Bua ha ha! Also, more news and tidbits

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fantasy Races Physiology | Overview

True confessions of a world building geek.

Whether from mythology and legend or borrowed heavily from J.R.R. Tolkien's notes or the D&D bestiary, the fantastic races are another literary vehicle by which to explore the human condition, in a manner which is equally incredible and yet relatable.

No matter the origin of their usage, there are general expectations of the fantasy races which most readers will have.

My own world building includes several Fantasy races, hence the interest. I have mentioned elsewhere that I am not interested in calling a short, stocky bearded race of fantastic creatures Puddlefuds (or whatever) for the sake of being original. Nor am I interested in giving Elves facial hair for the sake of being different (with all due respect to those who have).

Rather, I'd like to go a step further; I want to explore what is expected of fantasy races as a trope, and craft some rules and ideas that I (and others) can build from further on down the line. In this, I expect to debunk some accepted ideas and give strength to others.

This becomes my new project, and I hope to get some feedback - because it'll make it more fun. I should note that I am not a doctor, psychologist, or a biologist, but I like to dabble. I haven't done the research (yet) to know whether someone else has already done what I'm about to do (I suspect someone has); if that's the case, then this becomes Zherlios canon and nothing more. No harm, no foul.

To begin, we have to answer the basic question of why there must be fantasy races to begin with. Because it's fantasy? No, of course not. There's plenty of fantasy tales that don't incorporate non-Human races. It's a lesson in cultural awareness. Non-human races allow us to explore (potentially exaggerated) themes of the human condition from the perspective of an outsider. The same holds true for aliens in science fiction.

In this post, I'm simply going to cover a few of the more well-known races and what will be my jump-off points for future articles.

Elves - In Tolkien mythology, Elves are a race of long-lived humanoids. They can represent longevity. Patience. A race that can look at humans and say, "Ah, you humans, always in such a hurry." They are nearly always attractive, graceful and particularly adept.

Physiology, not magic, can answer the questions of long life. Cellular regeneration must be high and overall metabolism must be slow.
Image source: Fanpop.com 
Dwarves - In Tolkien mythology, Dwarves are short, stocky, strong and bearded. Their affinity for mountains and mining seems to me a representation of labor as a human theme. Where power and magic can corrupt, can make humans greedy, Dwarves potentially represent the power of good old work ethic.

With Dwarves, we have to address muscle density. I've noticed that short, human athletes tend to have better muscle definition and are stronger, "pound for pound", then their taller counter parts. If you go with the trope that all Dwarves live in mountains (I don't see why that would necessarily be true), then there has to be some other considerations. For starters, a throat/nose/lung filtration system for the amount of dust that would be encountered in living underground, for mining, for forging, etc. (Otherwise, what, all Dwarves die at the age of thirty to emphysema?) Secondly, their blood would be more oxygenated from living at high altitudes where the air is thinner. Each breath has to carry more oxygen to the lungs, assuming near-Human O2 requirements, etc.

Which, aside, would mean that Dwarves outside of their natural habitat, and at sea level, would be virtually cheerful and giddy (if not flat-out dizzy) from the extra amount of oxygen. (At least for a few hours?)

Image Source: lotr.wikia.com
Halflings - These are pretty much Tolkien's creatures, through and through, despite the use of this race in fantasy games. I believe that Tolkien wanted us to connect to their simplicity, their love of nature and its abundance.

Physiologically, I am drawn to the idea that they are a race of people that work with their hands and go barefoot, in addition to the scientific implications found in Homo Floresiensis. I am reminded of GRRM's Hornfoot tribe in ASOIAF, as well as the particular talents of relatively short people throughout human history, such as Bruce Lee, Sylvester Stallone and Napolean Bonaparte. If we use Dwarves to explore muscle density in their stockiness, then we can use Halflings to explore agility and litheness - think "The Amazing" Yen in Ocean's 11.


Image Source: Scifiscoop.com 
This post is getting longer than I wanted it to be, so I'm going to summarize the rest.

Giants, Amazons, etc. - Whether an all-female tribe or an entire race, I want to explore the physiological aspects of a humanoid race that are much bigger than humans. Basically, fiction meets WWF, right? Casual observation has been that human giants tend to have reduced life expectancy.

Half Elves - To be honest, I don't buy into the idea of Half Elves as a race of people. Going back to the idea that Elves will live hundreds or thousands of years - would you get married and have children with someone who was only going to live ten years? And if you have children with them, your children would only live twenty years? It's a great idea as a fantasy trope (My character has the best of both races! Magical, but real and relatable, too!), but functionally it's ridiculous.

It'd be like marrying your favorite pet. Having said that, it has to be pursued - love is stupid like that, and doesn't always embrace practical considerations. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has heard of some crazy old lady leaving her entire estate to her cat and her butler. But, you better believe I'm approaching it with a scalpel.

Orcs, of course. Goblins, too. Evil things to represent the dark sides of humanity.

Dog people, cat people, lizard people. Yes. Well. Eventually.

Centaurs. Unicorns. Pegasi. Dragons. Why stop at the humanoid races... though I'd like to focus on the races that can some how, some way, be a reflection towards human themes in storytelling. This project, however, as an exercise in world building and magical realism.



And... I'm taking requests! What fantastic race do you want to put under the scope and scalpel?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook

It's a safe bet these days that if I'm not blogging, I'm reading. Lots. Last week, I returned to the former job I had, that of "small town bartender" - that and everyone in my house being afflicted by some curious stomach ailment - which has slowed me down somewhat, pending a readjustment to my scheduling and activities.

This is where I get my reading goals caught up - for this was actually three books in one. Speaking of which, instead of labeling my posts "reading journal", I'm going to do this instead. Easier to glimpse and decide if you want to read it. Housekeeping and navel gazing, woo hoo!

Chronicles of the Black Company - Glen Cook. 2007. (Male, Fantasy, Series, New Author)

Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. 
Then comes the prophecy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more….
The three stories of the omnibus (as seen on the cover) are The Black Company, Shadows Linger, and The White Rose. While probably not the intention, I thought the first one was superior to the ones that followed.

This was straight up epic military fiction. The best description of it came from Steven Erikson's back cover blurb which reads, "Reading his stuff was like reading Vietnam War fiction on peyote."

The narrative voice was excellent - if you've ever watched a military movie, there's always some old general who does a voice over monologue, and that's how I heard it. Sharp, dry, chopped language. Some things get explained, some things don't. A lot of self-deprecation... it's that alpha male voice that looks back and says, "I coulda done that better."

Very entertaining. And despite it being primarily a military fiction, there were a great number of fantastic elements (flying whales, talking rocks, prophecies, and more) and plenty of magic. The magic was more LoTR than Codex Alera*, but this was balanced by making the practitioners relatively mortal, if not hard to kill. Moreso, the theme of The Black Company, as a military unit, was to use guile to force the enemies to make mistakes, so magic had a role and a place, and did not instantly solve the problems they faced.

Glen Cook is one of those authors that gets a lot of mention on book review blogs. I can see why. He created a solid world, with a memorable cast of well-developed characters. The stories were very fast with lots of gritty action. Having said that, this wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, leaning more towards a Joe Abercrombie** notion on the fuzzy vs gritty scale. This much action, in a military setting, inevitably leaves less room for character development and warm fuzzies at the ending.

However, Chronicles of the Black Company wasn't all doom and gloom, and it certainly wasn't as dark as Abercrombie or GRRM. Mind you, while the omnibus edition came out in 2007, the original stories came out in 1984 and 1985, so this was absolutely pretty dark and gritty for back then.

Overall, I enjoyed it, though. Glad I read it and I'll be returning to read more of it in the future. Solid characters, interesting world, and a stimulating pace. I'm a better writer for having read this.

------

* & ** - I'm not doing book reviews, but I can't really help but to measure things on a scale.

On the magical realism scale, I'd place Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter on one end as the most unrealistic. Wave your fingers, chant a funny word, and something wonderful happens. On that end, magic has more to do with your age and/or destiny.

On the other end of the scale, I'm using Jim Butcher's Codex Alera as a good, balanced, realistic, magical system. In a balanced system, everyone has access to magic, it requires study and practice and it has notable costs and limitations. (Magical realism is all the buzz in bloglandia lately - probably deserves its own post.)

The other scale is the Fuzzy vs. Gritty scale. I'd use LOTR as one end of the scale again, where everyone pretty much grows up and lives happily ever after, the much more wiser for their adventure. The other end of the scale belongs to Joe Abercrombie, where sometimes the bastards win and the heroes get killed. Also, the amount of doom, gloom, blood and generally unacceptable social conditions.

I may have to rework those ideas somewhat. I'm open to suggestion.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Manifesting Change - Mike Dooley

I decided to change up the format for my reading journal (in case that wasn't obvious). In keeping with my reading goals, herein is my first (completed) non-fiction of the year. It took me some time to read it, not due to its length, but rather due to wanting and/or needing to absorb the concepts within. 



Manifesting Change: It Couldn't Be Easier - Mike Dooley. (2010) (Male, Non-Fiction)

Author and international speaker Mike Dooley illuminates exactly how to move beyond the law of attraction to the next level—manifestation. In his most powerful and comprehensive work to date, Dooley reveals his master guide for following your heart and taking action on your dreams. Manifesting Change explains the actual mechanics behind every dream, how you fit into the equation of “Reality Creation,” and which steps you can take that will lead you to the desired end results without worrying about the details. Dooley expands upon the universal mysteries of why you are here, who you really are, and all that you deserve. It includes easy-to-understand exercises, stories, and analogies, and reveals the extraordinarily unique concept, the “Matrix” that clearly shows the flow of events that will, or will not, automatically trigger changes in your life based upon your thoughts, words, and actions.
When I was young, and more angsted than I was/am as an adult, I read a number of pop psychology books inbetween the classics, comic books and fantasy fiction. I read Dale Carnegie. I studied sales courses. Always, all of it, about the "power of positive thinking."

Like you're supposed to shrug off the bad things that happen. Not worry about how your bills are going to get paid or if anyone is going to love you. Just be happy and bouncy and that's enough. You know, those books will always sell, because people are always looking for an answer to make their life better, and we all eventually get to looking deep within. But, ultimately, they're all instructionals. Do this. Think that.

None of them had any premise. Anything that you could hold onto, other than "be positive". So vague. So seemingly impossible when life thumps you in the head again and again.

Sometimes I look up quotes and put them on twitter or facebook or append my emails with little clever phrases - I've always had a thing for quotes, since I was in high school. I've also got a thing for pattern recognition - and the thing I noticed this year was that all of the "inspirational" quotes that I found all had the same message, inherently.  The same message that Dooley teaches in this book. It's more than "be positive" - it's ... set your mind upon your success.

About a year and a half ago, I did a brief write up for Dooley's first book, Infinite Possibilities. I did well with the information contained within, but my life still sees challenges and I struggle against myself and my demons. I studied too much psychology, so I knew I needed to keep reading, to keep pushing my own personal limits. Enter Manifesting Change.

Manifesting takes everything a notch further. Gives reasons and explanations that pop psychology never will. It's a logic that once you embrace its roots, you will begin to see candles behind the silk screen. I'd been out of work for a month, and a day after I started reading, a former employer called me and asked me back. There are no coincidences.

As a writer, I'm my own worst critic. I spend most days reading blogs on sf/f, author interviews, agent articles, publisher news releases, and a gazillion writing tips. It's so overwhelming, so intimidating. My blog has few followers, I've barely any friends on facebook, there's so much to learn, to know, to try.

It's so EASY to get mired in the swamp of doubt and hesitation and procrastination - and fear. It's not enough to have someone pat you on the shoulder and say, "Oh, it'll be fine. Just smile and think happy thoughts!" Right. You can kiss my a*s. I think for a living, man, give me something to chew on. Explain it to me like I'm a four year old.

I would suggest reading Infinite Possibilities first, but it's not necessary. And while I have strong views on politics, religion, and social psychology - I'm not inclined to soap box too much here, either. I think you'd be surprised to discover that everything that happens to you - is your own doing, one way or the other. That's not a terribly hard concept to grasp - but overcoming the doom and gloom of the daily grind in a world where there's just so much death and destruction, that gets a little more complicated.

Sometimes you just need a reminder. A jump start. A nudge, in the right direction, to get your life the way you want it. No one does it better than Mike Dooley. I said it a year and a half ago, and I'll say it again - if you read just one self-help book in your lifetime, if you open your mind just once to the possibility that you can do and have all of your dreams come true - then read Mike Dooley.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Musical Interlude - Whitney Houston

Pop music sensation Whitney Houston passed away earlier today from unknown causes, though the unfortunate speculation is the cause of death is drug related.

As a karaoke host in the 90's, I've heard more of Whitney's songs than I could possibly count - hers was a beautiful voice filled with soul, and it was no surprise that so many wanted to emulate that. Her involvement with Bobby Brown was a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions and even after divorcing him, her career was never the same, though she still had the talent.

Whitney Houston was one of the very few pop/ballad vocalists with a voice that I never grow tired of hearing; she was just that good. However, the song that I picked brings back a great memory. My junior year in high school, I played Varsity football (mostly from the bench, alas), and the team was pretty good. We went 7-3, which was our best record in a long while (til my Senior year when I thought I would become a boxer, so I didn't play football that year, and we ended up going 9-1).

Had some great friends playing football. I was probably the smallest guy on the team (besides the kicker), but the players treated me with respect, and the coaches made me work out as if I wasn't supremely scrawny. (Seriously, I was put at nose guard at one point.) I got tough, I got strong, and developed a great deal of self-respect, while fortifying some amazing friendships. I never had much of a sports career, nor glory days, but I always look back on my athleticism with fondness for what it did for me, the geeky guy.

At the post-season banquet, there was a highlight video reel, and this was the song that served as the soundtrack. Every time I hear it, I think of 3-a-days in a Florida summer, of the first time I got hit so hard I saw stars, and the coach mutilating my name at the top of his lungs while motivating me to play harder. Good times.

No matter the mistakes she made in this lifetime, the power of her voice, and the impact of her inspirational songs, will always be her legacy. The good far outweighed the bad, no matter what the media would have you believe. May she rest in peace.



Lyrics:

Each day I live
I want to be
A day to give
The best of me
I'm only one
But not alone
My finest day
Is yet unknown

I broke my heart
Fought every gain
To taste the sweet
I face the pain
I rise and fall
Yet through it all
This much remains

I want one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity

I've lived to be
The very best
I want it all
No time for less
I've laid the plans
Now lay the chance
Here in my hands

Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity

You're a winner for a lifetime
If you seize that one moment in time
Make it shine

Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will be
I will be
I will be free
I will be
I will be free

Monday, February 6, 2012

Reading Journal | 2-6-2012

Got about a hundred pages further into my January non-fiction, but alas, didn't finish it. I think, also, the nature of the topic. Perhaps this week I'll finish it.


Kushiel's Justice (Kushiel's Legacy) - Jacqueline Carey. 2008. (Epic Fantasy, Female, Series)
Imriel de la Courcel's blood parents are history's most reviled traitors, while his adoptive parents, Ph├Ędre and Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions. Stolen, tortured, and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood, third in line for the throne in a land that revels in beauty, art, and desire. 
After a year abroad to study at university, Imriel returns from his adventures a little older and somewhat wiser. But perhaps not wise enough. What was once a mere spark of interest between himself and his cousin Sidonie now ignites into a white-hot blaze. But from commoner to peer, the whole realm would recoil from any alliance between Sidonie, heir to the throne, and Imriel, who bears the stigma of his mother's misdeeds and betrayals. Praying that their passion will peak and fade, Imriel and Sidonie embark on an intense, secret affair. 
Blessed Elua founded Terre d'Ange and bestowed one simple precept to guide his people: Love as thou wilt. When duty calls, Imriel honors his role as a member of the royal family by leaving to marry a lovely, if merely sweet, Alban princess. By choosing duty over love, Imriel and Sidonie may have unwittingly trespassed against Elua's law. But when dark powers in Alba, who fear an invasion by Terre d'Ange, seek to use the lovers' passion to bind Imriel, the gods themselves take notice. 
Before the end, Kushiel's justice will be felt in heaven and on earth.
Incredible read. I ripped through 880 pages in a matter of days. The friend who introduced me to Jacqueline Carey, through Kushiel's Dart (book 1 of 3 in the first trilogy of this ongoing, epic series), noted that her interest fell off with Imriel as the protagonist. When I wrote about the previous entry in this series, back in December, I spent more time praising Carey's skills as a writer and the effects of her prose on my mind.

In the middle book in this second trilogy, Carey's prose continues to shine, soothe, and entertain. This entry is much more provocative than the tales have been in awhile - a welcome change, because expressing sensuality is Carey's absolute finest talent as a writer.

Imriel is of age, and Carey takes him to task. His journey and plight is unbelievably harsh, which made for great storytelling. While the author does an amazing job of portraying well-rounded, intelligent and strong female characters, her men tend to be a little flat or a little too perfect. She's getting better as the books progress, and did quite well with some of the male secondary characters (Maslin and Mavros, in particular, I felt stayed true to their character arcs). Perhaps Imriel is somewhat too circumspect for a man his age - no matter how brilliant and gifted we are, it's hard to imagine an 18 year old boy making all the right decisions for the right reasons. But I guess that's why they become heroes and we read their tales.

Overall, I love the story, and the next (Kushiel's Mercy) becomes a "must read" even though there can be little doubt what will happen in the big plot - the enjoyment of Carey is reading the words that describe how it all comes to pass. Beautiful storyteller.

For her skill in soft, intimate, provocative storytelling that still manages to engage blood, battle, magic, heroic journeys and political intrigue, I can't recommend her enough.

Viewing Journal:


I found Spartacus: Gods of the Arena on sale during Black Friday 2011, and it sat on my DVD shelf undisturbed since. I am revising some fight and battle scenes in my WIP, so this past week seemed a good time to go ahead and take a look.
The House of Batiatus has towered above the city of Capua for many years. Spartacus: Gods of the Arena will explore its deadly history before the arrival of Spartacus, and the death he carried with him. Loyalties will be tested, lives shattered, and battles waged in this thrilling prequel to Spartacus: Blood and Sand.
For the sake of continuity, I imported my review of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, and simultaneously provide you with a reason why I don't review things for a living. Fortunately, back then, my blog had a couple readers who endured my ridiculous analyses.

Anyway. I didn't realize S:GoA was only 6 episodes. The realization made me sad. The other thing that made me sad was one of the major subplots was all about Crixus, the monotone gladiator who was easily the least convincing character on the screen (maybe in the world).

However! Lo and behold, the experience of a full season behind them - the chemistry and storytelling between the actors, directors and producers in this second season was clearly evident. Since it's a prequel, the viewer already knows how it's going to turn out - but - the telling was very good. Quite a few "ooh ahh" moments as pieces of the puzzle come together.

Production wise, they toned down the homoerotica without hiding either the not uncommon period homosexuality nor the prevalence of sweaty, oily, slave men. In other words, they found their target audience without being dishonest about the reality of ancient Rome.

Also, it's rather curious how the villianous Batiatus' of Season 1 become almost sympathetic as the viewer learns how and why they become what they did. There's something quite charming about an antagonist with depth. 

While there's a megaton of info dump in the first episode, the story picks up well and steams to its conclusion by the end of the sixth hour. You could probably watch the first episode twice, and catch all the nuances - I didn't, because the accents and dialogue and 'telling' made me feel like I was at Shakespeare in the Park.

Overall, Starz' upped their game with this, and showed the ability to take the concept a little further. S:GoA was a strong improvement over the first season. This will never compete with the budget or complexity of The Borgias or A Game of Thrones, but I think it stands well enough on its own as indulgent, fast-paced visual entertainment, reflecting a time in history when troubles were settled with less complications.

*

What have you read or watched this last week that's worth noting?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Comic Relief | On Sonnets

Sonnets are my favorite poetry form to dabble with, elsewhere.

Click for bigger image, or go to the link below. 

Brilliant. I love it.

Source: http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2136

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

TiStF | Pythons taking over the Everglades

I was born in south Florida, some many years ago. As a child living on the west coast with relatives on the east coast, my father and I took many road trips down "Alligator Alley." At the time, it was an unlit, two lane highway cutting through the Everglades. 90 miles or so. No gas stations, no guard rails, no traffic lights. If you were a five year old and had to pee, you held it - or took your chances on the side of the road that a gator or a panther would come up and eat you.

The upshot of that trip was that sugar cane grew wild on the Miami side. Hack a stalk down with a machete and it would last longer than any tootsie pop. Very 1970's, hmm? Yes.

This article on Yahoo caught my eye. According to it, The National Park Service has counted 1,825 Burmese pythons that have been caught in and around Everglades National Park since 2000. Among the largest so far was a 156-pound, 16.4-foot one captured earlier this month.

And now, the smaller mammals that live in the Everglades are slowly disappearing. Imagine that.

Two things happen. One is that pet snakes get too big for their owners - so the clever owner turns it out into the wild, thinking to do both himself and the pet snake a favor. Good idea, bad implementation. Better to take it to a zoo, or a place devoted specifically to the species.

The other thing that happens in south Florida, is hurricanes. When hurricanes hit, people are saving themselves, their children, their bread and water - and not necessarily their pets. Maybe their dogs, but your 10' python isn't fitting in the back of your toyota when you're trying to evacuate. Also, homes and pet shops get storm damage, and those creatures go free. Animals tend to be a bit more resilient to natural disasters than humans, survival instinct and all that. Flooding and power outages and debris keep some storm-ravaged areas unoccupied for days and weeks at a time.

What we end up with is an over population of animals that aren't designed for the particular environment where they end up. A Burmese Python will have no natural predators in the Everglades - because it doesn't belong there.
Although scientists cannot definitively say the pythons are killing off the mammals, the snakes are the prime suspect. The increase in pythons coincides with the mammals' decrease, and the decline appears to grow in magnitude with the size of the snakes' population in an area. A single disease appears unlikely to be the cause since several species were affected.
The report says the effect on the overall ecosystem is hard to predict. Declines among bobcats and foxes, which eat rabbits, could be linked to pythons' feasting on rabbits. On the flip side, declines among raccoons, which eat eggs, may help some turtles, crocodiles and birds.
What's so fantastic about this? Throw this scenario into a fantasy setting. There's some predatory exotic pet that is fashionable to keep. A mighty storm - or war - or dragon fire - ravages the community in question, and suddenly these exotic pets are free. They take up residence in the nearest geographical haven, multiply because their life cycle is uncontested, and next you thing you know you have the cliche' of "The Haunted Forest" filled with man-eating creatures.

Interesting video clip on the situation. Alligator vs Python - it's a draw!



But! Let's go to PBS, where the first python gets eaten. Yay? The second one, however, eats a gator half of its size! Do the math.



Better book those air boat tours to the Everglades now, before it becomes the Python Glades, hmm?