Top Ten Movies About Aliens

Top Ten Movies About Aliens

It’s no secret that since the beginning of the history of films, we’ve been infatuated with aliens. Whether they’re invading our world, or if we’re encountering them closely on spaceships and planets far away, aliens have abducted our hearts and imaginations for decades.

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Tales of Future Past Book Bundle

I'm proud to present the "Tales of Future Past" e-book bundle, featuring best-selling authors Kevin J. Anderson, Michael Bunker, Jason Andrew Bond and award-winning author, William Hertling!

If you like Sci-Fi and Steampunk, this is a great collection of fantastic fiction. On a personal note, my first published Steampunk story, "Cosmic Doppelganger," appears with a host of other great short stories in Penny Dread Tales 4. I couldn't be happier. It's an honor to have my story paired with one of my writing heroes, Kevin J. Anderson!

New Tales.jpg

Legends and Dreams E-book Bundle Now Available!

I'm proud to present an e-book bundle that features seven Northwest Independent Writers Association authors alongside multiple-best-selling authors Rebecca Moesta and Kevin J. Anderson!

The Legends and Dreams bundle features works by Rebecca Moesta, Kevin J. Anderson,Tonya Macalino, Roslyn McFarland, Pam Bainbridge-Cowan, Courtney Pierce, E.M. Prazemen, Ripley Patton and Luna Lindsey! This is a great bundle of e-books for a great price. Please drop by, pick it up today, and s...upport local independent authors!

Hurry, though! This bundle will only be running for the next 2 weeks and 3 days!

Just click through the image below to download these great books today!

Orycon 36 is Almost Here!

It’s hard to believe another Orycon is upon us! It only feels like a couple of months since Orycon 35, but it really has been almost a year, and Orycon 36 is just around the corner again! (11-7-14 thru 11-9-14)

For the uninitiated, Orycon is the premier Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror and all things Geek convention for Portland, Oregon, and surrounding communities. Going into its thirty-sixth year, the con hosts a great vendors room, panels on everything from writing to fandom interests, workshops, a costume ball and an entire hotel floor dedicated to nothing but parties and hospitality rooms.

I started going to Orycon when it was in its teen years—when I was around nineteen—and then drifted away from the con for many years, due to the usual rigors of life. But I have fond memories of wild parties, great costumes, con sex and finding a group of like-minded geeks to bond with. Ahhh, the stories I could tell from those days. But what happens at Orycon stays at Orycon.

 It’s also hard to believe that this will be my fifth year at the con as a professional writer and my second year appearing on panels as a pro. This will also be my fourth year attending with the writing group I cofounded, Northwest Independent Writers Association (NIWA). We’ve had a successful booth in the vendors room the past three years and will have a host of local authors and their books at our table again this year.

One of the fun things we’ve done there as a group is host our annual NIWA Anthology launch party. These parties have been wildly successful, offering attendees a chance to meet local authors, purchase books, eat free food and down copious amounts of free booze in a comfortable, energetic party atmosphere. This year we’ll be launching the 2014 Anthology titled, Underground. The cool thing about these amazing parties? You don’t have to register or attend the convention to come to the party. Yep, that’s right. You just need to bring your ID and a smile. The NIWA party starts around 7pm and goes into the wee hours of the morning. Just head up to the fifteenth floor and you’ll find us.

This year I’ve got a packed schedule, and by Saturday night, I will need a cigar, a strong drink and I’ll be ready to parrrr-tayyy! Below is my con schedule. Times and room locations are to the left. Panelists are at the bottom, below the description. The panel moderators are indicated by an asterisk and bold print. Also below, you’ll find a link to all the info you need to check out Orycon 36, taking place at the Lloyd Center Double Tree Hotel.

I know I’ll see some of you at Orycon 36! Let the madness begin!

 The Official Orycon 36 Website!

Mike’s Panel Schedule

Fri Nov 7 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Morrison Room

Steampunk! Explain It!

How much Steam is required in Steampunk? Is alternative history a must? Is it fantasy, or SF, and/or a lifestyle?

Tom Whitmore, (*)Stephen Couchman, Mike Chinakos, Janet Borkowski

Sat Nov 8 10:00 am to 11:00 am
Hamilton Room

Book Burning

Should you ever burn books because of a moral principle, or is it appropriate as a form of protest or to protect people from certain kinds of information? What if it`s a religious text? The history and modern context of a controversial, often inflammatory (sorry) subject.

A.M. Brosius, Theresa (Darklady) Reed, (*)Frog Jones, Mike Chinakos

Sat Nov 8 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Art Show Room
Next to Vendors Room

Autograph Session 1

Get your books (or whatever) signed by your favorite writers!

Phyllis Irene Radford, Todd McCaffrey, Mike Chinakos, Bob Brown, William F. Nolan, Susan R. Matthews

Sat Nov 8 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm

Group 1 Weird West Fantasy Novel Excerpt

Closed One-on-One Critiques with Mary Rosenblum, Mike Chinakos and writer Alan Smith for novel White Steam and Black Grease.

Mary Rosenblum, Mike Chinakos

Sat Nov 8 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Idaho Room

Freaking Me Out, Not Grossing Me Out

Are intense descriptions of bloody death and torture really necessary to scare the pants off your audience? Discussion on how to terrify without all the gory details.

(*)Mike Chinakos, Jennifer Brozek, Andrew S. Fuller, Wendy N. Wagner, Paul Groendes

Sat Nov 8 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Idaho Room

Anachronistic Morality in Fiction

Does the audience really need to see our ethos portrayed by the Romans?

Doug Odell, Kristin Landon, Mike Chinakos, (*)Susan R. Matthews, G. David Nordley

Sat Nov 8 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Morrison Room

Fantasy vs. Science Fiction

Which is superior? Must we choose or can we have both at once? Discuss.

(*)Tom Whitmore, Joan Gaustad, Mike Chinakos, Jennifer Brozek

Sat Nov 8 5:30 pm to 6:00 pm (this may possibly be adjusted to 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm)
Washington Room

NIWA Meet, Greet, & Tastings

Members and friends of the Northwest Independent Writers Association welcome you to join this friendly, mutually supportive regional group of writers and editors, for fun, to further your own professional pursuits or to discover new paper or audiobooks for your collection.

(*)Mike Chinakos and other NIWA members

Sun Nov 9 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Hawthorne Room

Women Role Models in Science Fiction

Are there any good female role models in science fiction? Or are they still relegated to being damsels in distress? A discussion of both weak and strong female science fiction characters across all media.

(*)Wendy N. Wagner, A.M. Brosius, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Mike Chinakos



Property Rights: Who Owns a Work of Fiction When it Goes Global?

Property Rights: Who Owns a Work of Fiction When it Goes Global?


As I anxiously await the next installment of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, I've read the endless complaints from fans (both of the books and the TV show) as they voice their worries that the rather jolly writer might die before he finishes the proposed next two books in his groundbreaking series. Although at age 66, I think he’s got more than a few good years left in him! I've also read his retorts on the subject. As I have published two books since the last book in my Hollywood Cowboys series, I've had many people asking me when the hell am I going to finish the final book of the Hollywood Cowboys trilogy, Season of the Dead?

In some respects that means I’m guilty of the same literary crimes as Martin: I’m keeping my readers waiting while I play around in other worlds I create. But as a fan of the Fire and Ice books, I'm also guilty of the same worries about Martin as any other reader, which got me thinking—who does a work of fiction belong to once it has become part of the collective conscious of its fans?

The simple answer? Of course it belongs to its creator! Without the mind behind the imaginings that have attracted such huge crowds, there would be no zeitgeist to rally around. But am I applying Occam’s Razor to something that can’t be so simply quantified? Perhaps.

Take two of our much beloved national treasures, Star Wars and Star Trek, as examples: these are both franchises that have spawned works of fiction and fevered fans well beyond the original context of their creative vehicles.


Star Trek has had an amazing impact on the lives of fans and to the contributions of science and social equality in our nation. Gene Roddenberry and his wife, Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, are no longer with us to give their thoughts on the subject of how Star Trek has taken on a life of its own. But I think even Gene would be surprised if he saw the numerous fan made movies based on the iconic TV series proliferating the Internet.

The Star Trek movies and Internet TV shows expounding on familiar characters and expanding the Star Trek universe, are made with love. But are they taking the Trek Universe in a direction that Gene would support? Nobody but the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself could answer that question. For the time being, fans and actors from the original show get to create in the playground owned by Paramount. Much like fan fiction, it seems that no force can stop the creative energies of fans when they truly love a good story.

But on the flip side, we have George Lucas who is still with us, and he has thoughts and actions of his own on the subject.

How many times have fans railed endlessly about the butchering of Star Wars through the numerous versions George Lucas has released? I’ve seen ordinarily rational adults slavering at the mouth like audiences at a Roman arena calling out for more blood while discussing the fact that “Han shot first” and that the digital renderings look silly when beside the original optical effects.

Lucas himself has told the Associated Press, “It’s like this is the movie I wanted it to be, and I’m sorry if you saw half a completed film and fell in love with it. But I want it to be the way I want it to be.” 

And to ensure he gets the last say in this argument, Lucas kept the rights to the original cut of Star Wars when he sold the franchise to Disney. Yep, that right, fans: there will be no original cut Blu-ray release of the Holy Trilogy anytime soon. And to drive home his point that his creation is his movie—and his alone—he even put the Star Wars Holiday Special in the vaults, never to be seen again. Of course I don’t think that one would hold up to my childhood sentiments as much as the trilogy does!

Is this selfish on Lucas’s part? Yes, in some respects. But creative people (including myself) can be very protective of their creations. They are our darlings—we’ve put our blood, sweat, tears and souls into their making. At the same time we need to realize that for those of us who tell stories for a living, we don’t create these things in a vacuum. For many of us, more than just financial reward compels us to share these stories. It’s an innate need to get our stories to as many eyes and ears as we possibly can.

And when we do this, in many ways our works of creation then become an interactive event. Sure we still hold the legal copyright to our works—nobody can take that away from us. But once our creation hits the minds of others, they use their own imaginations to interpret these creations, often in ways the creators never thought of. And in the case of larger-than-life successes, these stories form an emotional bond with those fans. And we all know once emotions are involved, somebody’s going to get hurt! And maybe as creators, we have a moral responsibility to avoid hurting our fans.

I’m not saying that those who create should heed every gripe and bitch from every fan, everywhere around the world. But we should try to look at all sides of the argument with open and rational minds. I know Lucas loves his movies. I know Martin can only write so fast. But they do owe something to those who turned their works into huge successes.

I think this is a debate that will go on for as long as works of fiction have avid fans supporting them. There is really no simple answer to the question. And so like everybody else, I’ll wait impatiently for my favorite books, movies and music to be released from my favorite writers, directors and musicians.

I promise to try to cut them a little slack. As a writer, I know what they’re going through.

But in the meantime, I’ll go on shouting for more blood in the arena, just like all of the other zealous fans.

#asongoficeandfire #georgerrmartin #StarWars #StarTrek

Youth Gone Wild: My Musical Evolution and the Hollywood Cowboys

It’s not news to those who know me well—hell, even to those who barely know me—that music is a huge part of my life. I can’t imagine what my world would be like without great tunes to get me through the day.

My love of music—especially Rock ‘n Roll in all of its permutations—began with the old vinyl records my parents had in their collection. I first dropped the needle on records from Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bill Haley and the Comets, to a host of Doo Whop bands when I was about eight or nine. To this day, although I couldn’t tell you what I had for lunch two hours ago, I can sing along with all of those songs—even the songs I haven’t heard in twenty-five years!

As I grew older, and my tastes more sophisticated, I moved onto the classics of the 60s and 70s they had in their collection: CCR, Led Zeppelin, Santana, The Doors and more. My evolution towards the middle years of my musical journey had begun.

By the time I hit middle school, thanks to great stations like KGON (remember when they used to play everything?), I had begun my love affair with the music that would make my parents look like old fogies. HEAVY FUCKING METAL!!! Yep, my parents might have been cool about the music of their youth, but you would’ve thought I had summoned Lord Lucifer himself, and sold my soul for Rock ‘n Roll when I started listening to Metal.

As hard as those middle school days could be on a D&D-playing, Star Wars-loving, glasses-wearing geek, Metal was like a healing salve for my soul. Or should I say it was more like pouring gasoline on an already roaring bonfire of hormones and barely contained energy? Without Hard Rock and Metal—and the life-long friends I made back then—things would’ve been pretty damned unbearable. Ozzy, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Krokus, the Beast That is the Priest and a host of other great bands spoke to me in a secret language that I still understand today.

High school found my horizons expanding with Nu Wave, Funk, Hip Hop and Punk—I think those formative years listing to the old vinyl taught me to keep an open mind and open ear to all kinds of music. If it’s good music, it doesn’t matter what the genre. To this day one of my favorite musicians is His Purple Majesty, Prince! But I never abandoned Rock and Metal. Especially with the coming of Thrash Metal! Bands like Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, Exodus, Metallica, and Testament played the perfect music for channeling all of the anger, frustration and energy of my youth gone wild!

I would continue to grow my tastes in the 90s with Grunge, Rap Rock, Nu Metal and the like. I’d also further immerse myself in the musical roots of all Rock ‘n Roll; the Blues. To this day I’m always on the hunt for new bands and new music, while supporting those artists I grew up with by following their careers and buying their new albums.

With all of that said, music has very much informed my writing. I always have music playing in the background when I’m at the keyboard. The tunes playing while I write vary depending on the genre and subject matter I’m creating. So, you would think I would’ve thought to combine both my love of music and fiction a long time ago. Nope. Sometimes I need to have someone club me over the head with the obvious to get my attention.

That someone was my long-time friend and heterosexual life-partner, Doug Cox of the killer Rock ‘n Roll band, FuzzBot. Back in 2009 the roots of what would become the Hollywood Cowboys series started as a short story I read to Dougie. After he heard it he suggested I should write what I know and turn the story into a full-blown novel. Duh. Write what you know. How many times had I heard that as a budding author?

And so the Hollywood Cowboys were born.

I listened to a lot of Rock ‘n Roll while writing about the boys in the monster-hunting, ass-kicking band from the Sunset Strip. Specifically a lot of Metal from my formative years in the 80s. Each chapter in Hollywood Cowboys, Kiss of the Traitor and the upcoming Season of the Dead, is named after a song, a lyric, or and album title from late 70s to late 80s Rock or Metal albums.

It all came about pretty naturally. I wrote what I wrote for the chapters and then went back and thought about how the subject matter related to a song I knew from those times. Surprisingly, the chapter names fell into place quickly and with ease.

The books are very tongue-in cheek. I wrote them purposefully pulpy as homage to both my favorite music and my favorite horror movies. One of the best compliments I heard from a reader was that reading the series was like reading a movie of the mind. That floored me, because that’s exactly how I approached writing these novels! With that thought, a great movie deserves a great soundtrack!

Below you’ll find links to soundtracks for Hollywood Cowboys and Kiss of the Traitor (as well as a link to the band FuzzBot). The soundtracks  go chapter by chapter, and cover a healthy variety of Rock and Metal from the era.

Thanks for hanging with me as I rambled through a bit of my musical evolution! I hope you enjoy and share the soundtracks with other lovers of Rock and Metal! Remember to support your favorite bands and artists. Don’t forget about your local musicians too!

Now click the links and rock the fuck on!

Grim Highways Now Available!

Grim Highways is now available in paperback!! E-book version to follow later this week.

Mike Chinakos, author of the Hollywood Cowboys series and Dead Town, brings you nine tales of terror to keep you up at night and checking under your bed!

From the lonely roads of Route 66 to the darkest corners of the soul, Grim Highways takes you places beyond imagining. Fear fuels these stories, and the pages roll by like twisted roads on a map of mayhem.

Climb into the passenger seat, and let Mike Chinakos take you for a ride as you encounter vengeful spirits, dark intruders, ancient gods, the undead and writers living out nightmares stranger than the horrors they conjure in their imaginations.

The Road to Hell Unfolds Before You.

Purchase the Grim Highways paperback here:


Time Traveler's Market Place & Ball

A few months ago I made my first foray into Steampunk and sold a story to Penny Dread Tales Vol. 4, which can be found here:

Not knowing how I would do, or feel, about writing Steampunk, I found writing in the genre very satisfying and entertaining. I immediately followed up Cosmic Doppelganger with another Steampunk short story in conjunction with the band Fuzzbot. That story, Letters to Abigail, was based on the music and lyrics of Fuzzbot's song by the same name. Again, I had a blast writing in the genre, and it's been well-received. With that said, I have the inklings of a Steampunk novel in the works that I'll get started on when I finish the third installment of the Hollywood Cowboys series.

My venture into Steampunk has landed my first Steampunk panel at the Time Traveler's Market Place and Ball. TTMB is an event being held in Hillsboro this coming October. The Market Faire & Ball is a benefit to support the Hillsboro Historical Society. I'm very much looking forward to this great event and the panel. As a history buff, and someone who loves to learn about local history, I think this is a wonderful way to help preserve our past.

In our hustle and bustle everyday existence, I think we're always concerned with the present moment and what the future may bring. Sometimes we lose sight of the past, and what we can learn from it. It's not news to most that Americans as a whole tend to put less value on our past than other Western cultures. This has always saddened my heart, and I'm glad to take part in an event that will help an organization that educates and preserves the colorful local history that is everywhere around us.

I've heard nothing but good things about past TTMBs. If you have some free time in October, please drop on by the event! I sincerely hope to see you there!

You can learn more about TTMB here:
Or follow them on Facebook:

To check out Letters to Abigail, a FREE E-book, go here:

Grim Highways Set For End of the Month Release

Grim Highways, a collection of horror short stories, will be released towards the end of September!

I'm very excited by this collection, where I get to explore some similar themes through different stories. Some of the themes include vengeance from the grave, man vs. the gods, the effects of suffering from serious trauma and writers living out nightmares stranger than the horrors their own imagination can conjure.

The cover art is by Pixel Smith Digital Imagery, the same artist who created the stunning cover for my Steampunk story, "Letters to Abigail." Once again, I'm incredibly impressed with the work done by Danny Smith.

I'll keep you all up to date on Grim Highways as it nears release, and once it hits the market!


Welcome to the new blog and website

Just a quick welcome to my new website and my new blog! Please check out the links to all of my books by clicking through the cover image on this site's homepage. I'll be posting here at least once a week to keep y'all up to date on what's happening with my current writing projects. I'll also be keeping you informed about events and releases as well. Check back for updates and thoughts I intend to share about a variety of writing and pop-culture subjects!

Currently my website is listed as This is temporary while my custom domain name is being set up. Once that process has been completed you can find my website and blog as

Thanks for your support!