Dragons are the epitome of magical fantasy stories

jonsnow_dragonThe last two episodes of Game of Thrones has excited many fans of the series, especially those of us who love dragons. Seeing dragons in all their glory, fighting against armies, attacking on the orders of the dragon queen is amazing to watch. I think this is why dragons are, to many fantasy writers and fans of the genre, the heart of magic.

Dragons have been portrayedin literature, movies and televisionas the villain, evil and vile with contempt for humanity and a lust for gold. Dragons are, in fantasy and mythology, a force of nature. They create, as in the mythical “Rainbow Serpent” Aido-Hwedo, and they can destroy, like Smaug from The Hobbit. The stories of St. George and the Dragon and The Dragonriders of Pern, movies like Dragonslayer and Reign of Fire and the Game of Thrones TV series each have their own interpretation of dragons.

In the Forever Avalon series, I use dragons for the basis of all magic. Dragons and unicorns are creatures of pure magic and, in their own way, are the source of magical energy. Both are born with that energy in them, but a unicorn’s magic comes from life, the power that resides in their horn throughout their existence. Dragons, on the other hand, comes from death. The death of a dragon results in the magic collapsing in on itself and forming an ingot of concentrated magic … A dragon stone.

Dragons are the most awe-inspiring, feared creatures in all of magical fantasy genre. I love being able to immerse myself in a world of dragons. Their majesty is only matched by the terror they possess. To show you what dragons mean to me, here is an excerpt from The Dark Tides illustrating the relationship between dragons and the people of the world of Forever Avalon.

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BRYAN FLEW ON GAMORG UP THE MOUNTAINSIDE OF EMMYR AND INTO one of many entrances into the mountain. These caves were home to the dragons of Emmyr. Bryan laid down low on Gamorg’s back as the dragon folded its wings around him so he could maneuver through the tunnels, deep into the interior.

Bryan grasped the ice jewel in his hand—the same one given to him by Archie all those years ago—to protect him from the intense heat inside. Once Gamorg reached the inner chamber, Bryan was overwhelmed by what he saw.

For the first time since he arrived on Avalon, all of the dragons were gathered inside, either on the floor of the cavern or up on one of the outcroppings in the cave. They were all mourning over Nihala and Kragmar, who lay quietly on the cavern floor. One would think a dragon couldn’t look sad, but they do. Bryan could feel it when he entered the room … An overwhelming sense of sadness and despair.

The dragons give way for Gamorg and the Gil-Gamesh as they make their way over to them. Bryan dismounted from Gamorg and thanked him for bringing him. He stepped forward and knelt before Kragmar and Nihala. Kragmar, King of the Dragons, lay still and quiet, barely breathing. Nihala raised her head ever-so slightly to speak.

“Thank you for coming Bryan MoonDrake,” Nihala gasped, her voice weak and raspy.

Bryan looked up at them as he tried to find the words. “It is the least I could do for my oldest and dearest friends.”

“Do not grieve for us Gil-Gamesh. We have lived a long and fruitful life,” Nihala wailed. “Our children will carry on to the next generation, but we do not have a lot of time. I know you are conflicted. If you don’t retrieve the broach for Morgana, your daughter and your grandson will die and Avalon will fall into chaos. The future is very bleak indeed.”

“There’s got to be a way to defeat her and save Avalon,” Bryan asked. “The Queen said something about ‘five spears’ as did Percival. Do you know what they are talking about?”

Nihala was quiet but the cavern became loud and thunderous with the sound of thousands of dragons roaring in disapproval. Gamorg gave a breathtaking roar that immediately silenced them.

“We do not speak that name … To do so would be the death of us all,” Nihala explained.

“Please Nihala, I need to know.” Nihala closed her eyes and sighed. She knew she may regret this but it may be the only hope for Avalon.

“Very well … Step forward Gil-Gamesh.” Bryan stood up and walked toward Nihala.

She bowed her head down so he could touch the gem on her forehead. Bryan reached out tentatively, bracing himself for the instantaneous flow of information he was about to receive. He touched it gingerly but it’s different this time. Instead of a flash of images, he found himself in staring into a pit of total darkness.

From within the darkness, five different sets of eyes appeared randomly. The eyes are different shades of color with no iris or pupil, just glowing eyes. “Who are you?” the red eyes spoke. The voice was deep and hollow, rippling with power with each syllable spoken.

“I am Lord Bryan MoonDrake, Gil-Gamesh of Avalon!” Bryan said, both in his mind and in the cavern that all the dragons could hear him.

“Why are you here?” the green eyes spoke in the same hollow voice as the first.

“I need your help to defeat Morgana le Fay! She is threatening the Dark Tides on Avalon! She …”

“Morgana le Fay is not our concern, she is a mortal concern!” the blue eyes interjected.

“She will bring about the death and destruction of all of Avalon if she is not stopped!” Bryan said adamantly. “Without Avalon, all that is magic will be gone forever. The Dark Tides destroys everything it touches … Elves, sorcerers and dragons alike.”

“Nothing can destroy dragons!” the yellow eyes shouted defiantly. “Dragons are immortal as the stars in the sky! Nothing can kill us!”

“But even stars can die. Look at Kragmar and Nihala … They are dying because of Morgana and the Dark Tides. She will spread this evil until everything except her and those serve her are turned to dust.”

“We do not serve anyone! We answer to no one!” the white eyes screamed at Bryan.

“We do not believe you Gil-Gamesh. Your ilk has lied to us before!” the green eyes stated plainly.

“If you don’t believe me then look into Nihala,” Bryan said. “Reach into her mind and see what happened. See for yourselves what the Dark Tides can do.”

The eyes grew silent and closed as darkness enveloped the Gil-Gamesh again. Then the eyes opened and spoke as one. “We will help you Gil-Gamesh but we require payment for our services!” the voice explained.

“Payment? What kind of payment? Who … Who are you?”

“Look into our mind and know us Gil-Gamesh!” the voice announced as the eyes started to glow brighter and brighter, blinding Bryan. His mind was overwhelmed until he realized who he was speaking with.

“Oh God, it’s you … isn’t it?” he asked sheepishly.

“Yes Gil-Gamesh, you know of us,” the voice exclaimed to Bryan, holding him within the light.

“We require payment for our services. What do you offer?” Bryan thought about what they were asking of him. He whispered something into the air. There was silence for what seemed like an eternity and then they speak to him again.

“We accept Gil-Gamesh. Call us when you need us and we will do as you ask.”

Back in the cave, Nihala’s gem exploded with energy, throwing Bryan across the room and into Gamorg, falling to the ground. His breathing was heavy and labored, as if he couldn’t catch his breath.

“Oh God,” he stammered. “Dear God … Alright, I understand. I understand.” Bryan stood up, still muttering to himself, until he noticed that Kragmar was gone. “What … Where is Kragmar? What happened to him?”

“He has become one with Avalon,” Gamorg told him. Bryan walked over to where Kragmar once laid. All that remained of him was a single dragon stone, glowing brightly. Bryan turned to see Nihala nearing the end of her life. She sparkled with magical light, like fireflies in the night, as she slowly began to fade.

Gamorg stepped forward as he lowered his head and touched his forehead to hers. In a blinding flash of light, Nihala disappeared and the gem, which was once in her forehead, was now centered on Gamorg’s. He had grown in size, almost as big as Kragmar was, and his green scales now glistened with a golden hue. All that’s left of Nihala was a dragon stone. Like Kragmar, it glowed brightly with magical power.

“Take them Gil-Gamesh … They wanted you to have them,” Gamorg explained. Bryan picked up the dragon stones and held them in his hands. They are warm and stimulating to the touch, magical energy pricked his skin like static electricity. It felt very familiar to Bryan as he reflected back to when Kragmar and Nihala lent him their power to fight Morgana. That same power now flowed through these stones.

“All hail Gamorg, King of the Dragons!” came a call from in the cavern. The other dragons roared in approval for the new king.

Bryan placed the stones in his belt pouch as he stepped forward and knelt before Gamorg. “Your majesty!”

“Bryan MoonDrake, you do not kneel before me,” Gamorg said as he reached his head down and nudged Bryan to his feet. “You are my friend Gil-Gamesh and friends do not bow to each other.”

Bryan hugged Gamorg around his head, something he’d always done with his friend, to show him he understood but then he stepped back and composed himself. There wasn’t time for formalities.

“I have a request for the Dragon King …” he stated, “… I need your dragons to assist with what remains of my fleet around Avalon. Morgana’s forces are threatening chaos and I don’t have the forces to stop them.

“The dragons of Emmyr would keep them from expanding their foothold outside of Idlehorn. Keep some behind to protect Emmyr, but please send out whomever you can. Without your help, we will lose so much.”

“No we won’t!” Gamorg growled. “They dared to come to our sacred home, kill our king and queen mother without a thought … No! They will not be allowed to spread their evil any further.”

“Dragons of Emmyr!” Gamorg shouted to all within the cavern. “Go now! Spread your wings and fly out across Avalon! Let those who fly the banner of Morgana la Fay know why we are to be feared! Bare your claws, rend their flesh from their bones, burn them to ash … Show them who rules the skies over Avalon! Not pirates! Not goblins! Dragons! Dragons rule the sky!”

The sound was deafening as dragons roared in approval! One by one, they moved out through the vast caves outside their mountain home. From down below, people saw something they’d never seen before. The dragons of Emmyr were pouring out of the mountain and flying away from their home all at once, spreading out across Avalon on a search and destroy mission.

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Chapter 3 of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.

My next project … “Corsair and the Sky Pirates” Steampunk adventure

As I work with my editor to get The Outlander War ready for publication, I am looking ahead to my next project. To be honest, I am planning to continue the story of the Gil-Gamesh and the MoonDrake family on Avalon with another trilogy, but I wanted to step away for a second. I wanted to try a science fiction adventure, specifically a STEAMPUNK adventure.

I have always been fascinated by the steampunk genre, from the Victorian sensibilities to the wild, gear-driven, steam-powered inventions. It reminds me so much of Jules Verne and his fantastic novels, which is why I decided to write this story. So, without any further adieu, I present to you the prologue for my next story, “The Adventures of Corsair and the Sky Pirates: Uriel’s Flame” on Inkitt.

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DesertShadows_Myke_Amend_desktop-Imagine that Jules Verne, the prophet of science fiction, and Nikola Tesla, the genius inventor, had met. What would the world be like? Steam-powered machines like you’ve never seen before, bringing about a new age of science and industry, and bringing the world one step closer to war. In this age of modern mechanical marvels, the wealthy have gotten richer off the backs of workers, toiling in the factories all around the globe to produce these wondrous inventions. The only person standing up for the people is the infamous Corsair and his Sky Pirates. In his dirigible, the Arkaroo, Corsair searches the globe for the source of power for these incredible machines… Uriel’s Flame. Meteor fragments from a passing comet provides unlimited power for these steam-powered, modern marvels. Whomever controls Uriel’s Flame controls the main source of power in the world, leading countries to the brink of war. The Edison/Roentgen/Fulton, or ERF, Corporation is searching far and wide for the meteors, giving them complete control of this valuable mineral. It’s up to Corsair and his Sky Pirates to stop them and prevent a world war from impacting the world.

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1887 in the city of Amiens, France. The port city in northern France was not the bustling seaport it appeared to be, but rather a quiet, little community divided by the Somme River. It’s home to one of the largest cathedrals in France and one of the world’s greatest authors.

At a small café in Quartier St.-Leu, Jules Verne sipped quietly on his coffee as he sifted through the newspaper. Verne enjoyed the quiet moments like this. It helped to clear his mind and arrange his thoughts for the next adventure.

You wouldn’t know by looking at this quiet, little man that he was such a renowned author. His white hair and beard match the wrinkles on his face. He rubbed his left leg, hoping to relieve the pain. It still ached where his nephew, Gaston, shot him. The poor boy, locked away in an asylum, with little to no explanation as to why he did it.

The pain was a constant reminder to Verne… a reminder of his own mortality, and it scared him. He left behind a legacy in his stories of science and adventure, but was it enough, he wondered? Do these ‘flights of fancy’ mean anything beyond the pages on which it was written?

Pardon moi, monsieur,” came a voice, startling Verne. “Are you Jules Verne?”

He looked up from his newspaper to see a tall, lanky young man standing next to him. He bowed slightly, a bowler hat rested in his hand over his heart. Through his burly mustache and thick accent, Verne knew the young man had to be from Eastern Europe. His dark clothes reminded Verne of an undertaker. He hoped that was not the case.

Oui, may I help you?” Verne asked.

“I am Nikola Tesla,” he said. “I am a great admirer of your work, Monsieur Verne. I apologize for interrupting you, but your housekeeper said I might find you here. I was hoping I could have a moment of your time.”

Verne thought for a moment before nodding and motioning for him to sit down. Tesla was overjoyed as he sat in the chair across from Verne. Before he could say anything, the waiter came over to the two men.

Voulez-vous un café, monsieur?” he asked Tesla.

Oui, merci?” he replied. “Et un verre d’eau s’il vous plait.” Tesla waited for the waiter to depart before he said anything, but Verne spoke first.

“From your accent, I can assume you are from Eastern Europe, Monsieur Tesla. Austria or Hungary, am I correct?” Verne inquired.

“Serbia, Monsieur Verne, but it is part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, so you are quite correct.”

“And what brings you to Amiens? Surely you did not come here just to get my autograph?” Verne quipped.

Non, Monsieur…” Tesla stated, but stopped while the waiter brought over his coffee and set it down in front of him before leaving. “I work for the Continental Edison Company. I was sent here to work on your cities electrical system. I thought I might get the chance to speak with you before I return to Paris.”

“Edison, well, I must thank you for the electric lights,” Verne commended. “It is better than writing by candlelight at three in the morning.”

Tesla smiled and nodded in appreciation of the compliment. “Thank you, Monsieur Verne. Perhaps I can inspire you in another way,” Tesla remarked as he pulled out a folded piece of paper from his coat and handed it to Verne.

“What is this?” he asked. “I thought you weren’t looking my autograph.”

“No, no … this is something that your words inspired me to create.”

Verne’s curiosity was peaked as he unfolded the paper. When he saw what was inside, his eyes grew as large as hen’s eggs. It was an engine, one so complicated in design that Verne could not understand the intricacies of what he was looking at. Around the engine was a crude drawing of a ship, a submersible ship that resembled his description of the Nautilus from his novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Incroyable,” Verne whispered, amazed at what he saw. “What is it?”

“A steam-powered oscillating electric generator,” Tesla explained. “It can generate 20 times the electrical power of anything today, maybe more. This could power a ship, like your Nautilus, don’t you think?”

“Indeed … indeed it could, but it would take a ton of coal just to generate the amount of steam you would need for such an engine, wouldn’t you agree?”

“Yes, but not with this,” Tesla said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a small test tube. Inside were a few small blue stones that glowed slightly. He handed it to Verne, who stared at them in awe.

“What on Earth are they?” Verne asked.

“They’re from a meteor that fell near my home in Serbia,” Tesla began to explain, until the waiter stepped up and brought him his coffee and a glass of water, as he requested. He waited until the waiter departed to continue his explanation. “It generates a constant heat that never seems to die out. Here, observe…”

Tesla took the cork off the test tube vial and poured out one small meteorite into the glass of water. The blue rock began to bubble and burn, raising the temperature of the water quite rapidly. Soon, the water was boiling as steam arose from the glass. Tesla took a spoon and pulled out the tiny rock before dropping it on the table.

“You can pick it up, Monsieur, it won’t burn you.”

Verne reached down and tentatively touched it with his fingertips, until he realized how cool the rock was and he picked it up and held it in his hand. “Monsieur Tesla, this is quite, well… Remarquable!

“It burns on and on, without any reduction in size or mass,” Tesla boasted proudly. “It could change the world of science and industry as we know it.”

“Is there any more of this meteor?” Verne asked. “Where does it come from?”

“I have a colleague at the Royal Astrological Society who discovered a comet he named Uriel, after the archangel,” Tesla explained. “Fragments from Uriel are impacting the Earth from the Urals to the Alps and across North America as the comet passes by. We are working on a method to detect the fragments of meteorite. So far, I’ve collected nearly 500 kilograms.”

“You are an incredibly talented young man, Monsieur Tesla,” Verne said as he handed him the meteor, dropping it in the tube. Verne then folded the paper and handed it back. “But, what does this have to do with an old man like me? I am a writer, not a scientist.”

“Your stories have inspired me to pursue new avenues of science,” Tesla said. “I would like to collaborate with you on some ideas that I have. I have the scientific knowledge, you have an incredible imagination. Perhaps, together, we can bring about a new age of science and technology.”

“Won’t that interfere with your work at the Edison Company?” Verne asked.

“I have already put in my notice to leave my position with Edison,” Tesla explained. “I am planning to go to the United States to pursue my own dreams, but I wanted to work with you before I go.

“Besides, I don’t want my ideas to come under an Edison patent instead of my own. Something like this,” he said, shaking his design at Verne, “could change the course of human history. It just needs a little imagination to make it come true. You, Monsieur Verne, are a master of imagination. Imagine what we could accomplish together?”

Verne sat there, intrigued by the young man’s offer. For the first time, he saw how his novels can influence the future of mankind. “Very well, Monsieur Tesla. Where do we begin?”

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Chapter 3 of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.

Watching anime, reading comic books, and playing D&D is the foundation of my imagination

darkagesI love everything sci-fi/fantasy. I can remember reading X-Men and Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes comics in the 70s. I remember watching a wide variety of Japanese anime on UHF (if you don’t know what it is, look it up youngling) like Speed Racer, Marine Boy, Ultraman, Gigantor and others. I use to draw my favorite superheroes, cut them out, and play with them like action figures, and watch Superfriends every Saturday morning. I had all the “Glow in the Dark” monster models like Dracula, The Wolfman, and Frankenstein. I watched Hammer horror movies on late night TV, with Christopher Lee as Dracula. It was a great time to be a kid!

This was my youth, my influential years, and it was filled with everything geek, which explains why I didn’t date a lot when I was young too. In any case, these memories are the foundation of my imagination; but even then, my imagination was quite limited. At that time, my goal was to be a comic book artist. I spent every waking moment creating my own characters, their origins, etc. I was focused on that.

I went to college, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh , where I was still focused on being a comic book artist. Then, I had an awakening. I started playing a game that changed my life forever … Dungeons and Dragons! It was like a fire was lit inside me and it started burning brighter and brighter with each passing moment. My imagination was on fire!

When you hear those stories about people spending an entire weekend playing D&D, drinking beer, ordering pizza, playing a never-ending game. Yes, it’s true, because I did it. I was spending my weekends, constantly playing D&D, either as a player or Dungeon Master. It carried over when I joined the Navy. I played with a group on duty nights, weekends, and when we deployed. It was a mainstay of my daily life, and it was those games that forged my imagination.

Those experiences made me the man I am today. Those trips into the fantasy world of D&D helped me develop my skills as a storyteller. It was through D&D that I created the world of Forever Avalon. Though I don’t play anymore, there are so many of things that continues to fire up my imagination as I write. The slew of movies, like Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and King Arthur; TV shows like Game of Thrones, Merlin, and Arrow; and video games like Warcraft, League of Legends, and Assassins’ Creed; all of these make a jubilee of fantasy for a writer like me.

I’ve written stories almost all of my life, but I never really considered myself a writer. I wrote stories for my high school newspaper, and as a Navy Journalist. It wasn’t until my first book was published that I really began to consider myself as a writer. Since then, I’ve published one other book, The Dark Tides, and working on publishing my third book, The Outlander War, this year. Even in my full time job, I am now (by definition) a writer-editor for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). I have reached my dream job, writing full time.

Now, to continue living the dream. There are more stories waiting to be written, and I hope you like them.

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Chapter 3 of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.

Attending San Diego Comic Con is on my bucket list, but not just yet

It is a dream of mine to one day attend San Diego Comic Con! To walk amongst my people–geeks from around the world–would be an adventure in itself. There is so much going on, from television to movies, books and comic books, any media imaginable is on display at SDCC. The cosplay is amazing as everyone puts on their best costumes for SDCC. The stars are everywhere, and this year was no exception, as Justice League and Avengers: Infinity War went head-to-head this year. As Netflix and Amazon become just as relevant as any big name studio, so too does their offerings, from Marvel’s The Defenders to The Tick, these smaller characters are getting an upgrade to the small screen through these “pay-for” media services.

The firs thing you have to talk about is the trailers, both the released trailers and the “secretly recorded and released” trailers. Justice League definitely made the biggest impact because fans got to see all these great characters in action, and we finally got to see the villain, Steppenwolf. I think that’s why they have a slight edge over Avengers: Infinity War. For some odd reason, Marvel is holding onto their trailer so tight that the “bootleg” recordings is the only reason I saw their trailer. That is really a disservice to the fans who can’t make it to SDCC. Don’t get me wrong, seeing all their movie franchises on one screen is AWESOME but I only saw it in low-res bootlegs.

I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, this is a great time for geeks. We have been waiting for technology to catch up and give us the superheroes we love on TV and movies, just like they are in the comics. It’s nerd paradise!

I really think that DC is starting to catch up with Marvel when it comes to movies and television shows.Sure, Marvel has a great lineup with all their Netflix series, from The Defenders to The Punisher, as well as the mutant series Legion and The Gifted on Fox, Cloak and Dagger on Freeform with the New Warriors with Squirrel Girl (yes, finally!). Agents of Shield and Inhumans on ABC rounds out a powerful line up of shows. These shows are (for the most part) grittier, down-to-earth, realistic versions of their comic book counterparts.

But DC has an amazing line-up going with their CW shows of Arrow, The  Flash, Supergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Plus, they’re adding Black Lighting, a Titans show on TNT, and Gotham is on Season 4 on Fox and getting better every year. Their shows are more like the comics with colorful costumes, the best villains and great storylines. They’re bringing in new characters, some updated characters and even some classics. I mean B’wana Beast? It’s just incredible. Sometimes, they variety of heroes passing through these shows is like watching the Justice League Unlimited cartoon. You’re always looking in the background just to see who’s there.

Fantasy shows aren’t too far behind either. Netflix’s Bright brings orcs, elves and magic into modern day Los Angeles, with Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. The trailer just blew me away. Even ABC’s Once Upon a Time is changing things up a bit, with a new town, new characters, new fairy tales, and it looks even more fascinating now.

This past weekend, I couldn’t tear myself away from YouTube of Facebook, just waiting for the next video or link to what’s been going on at SDCC. Even more fun is looking at the elaborate cosplay people come out with at a big event like SDCC. Tey get bigger, brighter and more elaborate in everything from comics to anime to video game characters.

So SDCC is definitely on my bucket list. It’s like a religious journey but for geeks. Sure, there are plenty of other comic book conventions across the country, but none hold the power of SDCC. It’s a definite check on the bucket list I need to check off.

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverseThe Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.

Stop fussing over Doctor Who becoming a woman, you’re embarrassing geeks everywhere!

jodie-dwSo much has happened in the world of science fiction and fantasy this weekend, I don’t know where to begin. D23 brought us great new updates on Star War: The Last Jedi and Avengers: Infinity War; Game of Thrones, Season 7, premiered with murder, mayhem and dragons; and the late, great actor Martin Landeau passed away. All that has been overshadowed by the announcement from the BBC that actress Jodie Whittaker has been cast as the 13th Doctor on the long-running sci-fi TV series Doctor Who.

Whittaker is the first woman to play the Timelord from Gallifrey and the fans reaction has been mixed. Some see it as a great step forward, having a woman finally play this iconic role, while others have condemned it as further example of the world over-compensating it’s political correctness. I say, GROW THE F#%K UP PEOPLE!

I am not the most “PC” person in the world. I didn’t like the way Marvel took a number of original characters and made them women, like Thor, but after I read the stories, I understood the change and accepted it. That’s the heart of Doctor Who … It’s great characters and amazingly written stories. This is a new direction for the show as Steven Moffat leaves and Chris Chibnall takes the helm.

When the Doctor’s nemesis, The Master, became a woman and terrorized the world as Missy, we all loved it. Everyone embraced this new take on a classic Doctor Who villain, and today, those same people are crying fowl with the casting of Jodie Whittaker. You’re all a bunch of hypocrites!

I, for one, can’t wait to see how she interacts with characters like Captain Jack and River Song. It brings a new dynamic that we’ve never seen in the Doctor before. Even former Doctors’ like Colin Baker have given their approval of her casting. You forget, this is a woman who has worked with many previous Doctors’ and their companions like David Tenant, Arthur Darvill, Christopher Eccleston, and others.

Let’s stop all this petty “BS” and quit judging a show’s direction until they actually produce their first episodes. I think Jodie will bring in new fans to Doctor Who and she’s excited for the role. Jodie said, “I’m beyond excited to begin this epic journey — with Chris and every Whovian on the planet. It’s more than an honor to play the Doctor. It means remembering everyone I used to be while stepping forward to embrace everything the Doctor stands for:  Hope. I can’t wait.”

Neither can we, Jodie! Neither can we!

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverseThe Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.

Heroes come in many shapes and sizes

Heroes are some of the most complicated characters, in real life and in fiction. As a writer, you try to emulate the best qualities in your hero: humility, bravery, honor and compassion. When you look through history, there are many great examples for a writer to emulate in their characters. Sometimes, though, you find it in the everyday people you know.

Lord Bryan MoonDrake [2072845]In the Forever Avalon series, I patterned my main protagonist, Lord Bryan MoonDrake, the Gil-Gamesh of Avalon, after a number of people I’ve known or read about. I wanted to share my muses with you to demonstrate how intricate one character could be.

First and foremost, he was a Sailor in the U.S. Navy, a Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate working on the flight deck of a nuclear aircraft carrier. Now, I’m a retired Navy Chief, but I never worked on the flight deck on a daily basis. One of the most fearless men I ever saw was Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Gerald Farrier. On July 29, 1967, aboard the USS Forrestal (CV-59) off the coast of Vietnam, a Zuni rocket misfired, causing an explosion of jet fuel and munitions on the flight deck. Chief Farrier, ignoring his own safety, grabbed a PKP bottle (fire extinguisher for fuel fires) and charged toward the burning aircraft in the hopes of saving the pilots trapped in their burning aircraft. He continued to fight the fire until one of the bombs under the aircraft wing exploded, killing him and other members of the flight deck firefighting team. That was courage above and beyond the call of duty.

The only other time I witnessed something like that was as a young Sailor aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 74). We were on deployment when a fire broke out on one of the ship’s sponsons, spreading up to the flight deck and into the ship through the ventilation system. My leading chief, at that time, was Chief Gregg Snaza. He was in charge of the repair locker I was assigned too. Once the fire broke out, the ship was called to General Quarters. For four hours, we fought the fire. I watched as Chief Snaza, without regard to his own safety, donned an OBA (Oxygen Breathing Apparatus) and went in to relieve one of the team leaders in charge of the firefighters. I still remember watching him volunteer and don that OBA. It’s that bravery that sticks with you and finds its way into your characters.

Another trait of the Gil-Gamesh is the heart of a warrior: Fierce in battle, courage under fire, and a heart of gold. For these traits, I have dozens of examples to use for inspiration from John Wayne to Audie Murphy, Amelia Earhardt, and Michael Murphy.  The best example, though, is my father, Master Sergeant William Piggott, U.S. Marine Corps. My Dad served for 22 years, did two tours in Vietnam. He’s a quiet man, not much of a talker, but whenever I needed him, he was there. His quiet compassion and understanding is an example I try to set with my own children. He is my hero, and I don’t tell him that often enough.

Heroes are not perfect, but they’re really the embodiment of the many men and women who inspire us on the big screen and in real life. Translating those traits into the heroes of your own stories is not that difficult, as long as the inspiration for those characters resonate with your audience.

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverseThe Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.

Show your patriotism! Eat a burger, watch some fireworks, and wave the flag!

4th-of-july-independence-day-fireworks-03Ah, the 4th of July… bands, music, good food, fireworks and plenty of patriotism to go around. As a veteran and proud American, this is one of my favorite holidays. In this day and age, when we seem so divided over political discourse, it’s days like this that bring (some of us) together as a nation. As a writer, you look for inspiration for characters, stories, and adventures. I find hours of such inspiration in movies, especially those with a patriotic theme.

There have been a number of great movies you watch every year around July 4 that makes you proud to be an American. They’re not all war movies, though many are, but they all have that main theme of American pride, resiliency, resourcefulness and determination. A lot of these movies are focused on the American Revolution, but it’s these moments that we love about our history.

Before I go on, let me make one small disclaimer. I know we, as a nation, are not perfect. We’ve made a lot of mistakes in our 200+ year history… Slavery, Civil Rights, Segregation to name a few. No one is perfect, but it’s moments like these that make us, as a nation, look at ourselves and work on getting better by learning from our mistakes. Like the saying goes, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall!”

hqdefaultBack to the topic at hand, I want to start with some of my favorite movies based on the Revolutionary War. The Patriot, John Adams, Drums Along the Mohawk, and 1776 are some of the best movies based on and around the birth of our nation. One of my personal favorites is an A&E movie, The Crossing, starring Jeff Daniels as General George Washington. It tells the story of the crossing of the Delaware River and the attack at Trenton. This was not a big budget movie, but it really struck me on the terrible conditions these men endured and how we almost lost it all. It was this one battle that turned things around for our country and it is truly inspiring.

War has been a part of our nation, demonstrating the heroism and fortitude of the many men and women who fought for this country, on our land and across the sea. Glory, Gettysburg, To Hell and Back, Sergeant York, and The Longest Day are classics along with today’s movies like Unbroken, American Sniper, Men of Honor, Saving Private Ryan, and Lone Survivor.

One of the great actors, and an even greater American, was John Wayne. I think he starred in more patriotic movies than any other actor today. The Sands of Iwo Jima, The Fighting Seabees, In Harm’s Way, Back to Bataan, The Horse Soldiers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Green Berets, and The Alamo are just a few of the wonderful films he made, displaying his prowess as a great actor and a proud American.

miracleThere are also a number of 4th of July movies that don’t have a lot to do with the holiday, just like many of those who consider Die Hard a Christmas movie. Independence Day has one of the best inspirational speeches in movie history. It still makes my heart swell with pride whenever I listen to it. Miracle, based on the dramatic and unprecedented run by the USA Hockey team at the 1980 Olympics, will make you root for this team again and again, even though you already know the outcome.

Argo, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Rocky IV, Top Gun, The Right Stuff, Red Dawn, and Apollo 13 are movies that demonstrate that keen American spirit as well. It that patriotism, pride in ourselves, our country and the American spirit that makes these movies worth watching on the 4th of July. I know I might have missed a few, so please tell me your favorite patriotic movies in the comments below.

So, on this 4th of July, let’s get together with family and friends, raise your glass, grill some burgers and hot dogs, and watch some fireworks displays. Don’t forget to thank a Veteran for making this day possible. Happy Independence Day!

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverseThe Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.

Prophecy has been an essential part of science fiction writers

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“I, for one, bet on science as helping us. I have yet to see how it fundamentally endangers us, even with the H-bomb lurking about. Science has given us more lives than it has taken; we must remember that.” Philip K. Dick

One of the thing we love about science fiction is that it allows us to see the future. Do you think someone who read Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea could imagine being aboard a submarine? Or flying into space and landing on the moon after reading 2001: A Space Odyssey? The future can always be found in the pages or science fiction novels.

Books like Brave New World, 1984, Stranger in a Strange Land, and I, Robot are just a few of the 20th Century novels that accurately predicted the future; but it’s not just authors who can be hailed as prophets. Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek accurately portrayed digital music, hand-held computers, ebooks and so much more.

Isaac Asimov said, “Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today – but the core of science fiction, its essence, the concept around which it revolves, has become crucial to our salvation if we are to be saved at all.”

9c074ebf323afe53d646eb1465cfb837It strange how right, and sometimes how wrong, science fiction has been. I remember watching Lost in Space on TV as a kid. The Jupiter 2 mission was supposed to have taken place in 1984. Granted, that prophetic vision didn’t come true, but it was something that stuck in the memory of an impressionable child.

I think that’s why a genre like steampunk is so popular today. It combines the past, present and future together, as if people are living within the world of science fiction. It also explains the popularity of movies like Star Wars, Blade Runner, Star Trek and Jurassic Park. They show all that is good and all that is wrong with the future.

I know there are a lot of dystopian future novels like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and others out there, and they do espouse a new future, but I really don’t consider them prophets. Their future doesn’t look ahead to better things but rather show us a world after war, famine, or pestilence through the eyes of our children. These novels were meant to be a warning, not a prophecy.

Science fiction writers can be prophets but they also act as harbingers, as it were, of those things that could doom the human race. Ray Bradbury’s classic Fahrenheit 451 made us look at how knowledge and education that comes from books can be abused and even lost. He said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading.”

That’s the crux of science fiction prophets. They are establishing what direction we take toward the future. We can work hard to created a new world on another planet, like The Martian Chronicles, or start a new life under the ocean like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, or maybe a new world within cyberspace like Neuromancer.

“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead, little by little, to the truth.”  Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth

Science fiction writers go beyond stories about aliens, other worlds, and future tech. They are explorers of what could be and what will be. We should embrace the future and, as writers, look ahead to those many possibilities. You don’t have to be a scientist to write science fiction, just someone who can see beyond the horizon and imagine more.

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverseThe Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.

 

Villains should be feared, not misunderstood

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“All things truly wicked start from an innocence.”─ ERNEST HEMINGWAY, A Moveable Feast

I don’t get it … Villains are becoming more popular than heroes nowadays. People cheer and rave over characters like Venom, Hannibal Lecter, Darth Vader and Dracula. What happened to the days of good guys who wore white and bad guys wore black. You could clearly identify who the bad guys were and you never felt an ounce of sympathy for them.

Today, there writing books, TV series and movies centered around villains. For example, Fox’s TV series Lucifer. I mean, its a show about the devil on Earth. Here’s the guy, whom I was taught in endless Sunday School lessons, was the epitome of evil and he’s portrayed as if he cares about humanity. How can a guy be the ultimate evil if he’s a softy for solving crimes? It doesn’t make any sense.

Comic book characters like Venom, Deadpool and Harley Quinn are being pursued as quasi-heroes, characterized as bad, yet somewhere, deep down inside, therein lies a hero. Even Disney villains are not what they’re cracked up to be. Maleficent was, by all counts, and evil sorceress. That’s how she was portrayed in the Sleeping Beauty movie I saw as a kid. And yet, with the help of Angelina Jolie, she’s became a complicated villain and Aurora’s father is the true villain of this movie. Wait, what?

“Many evil things there are that your strong walls and bright swords do not stay.” ─ J. R. R. TOLKIEN, The Fellowship of the Ring

You see how confusing it has become. There are more movies, books and TV shows out there with villains who are loved, not scorned. I mean, vampires and demons used to be some of the scariest monsters out there. I remember the Exorcist, The Omen, and all the old Hammer horror films featuring Christopher Lee’s Dracula. Even the original Salem’s Lot TV movie (starring David Soul of Starsky & Hutch fame) was as terrifying as the Stephen King novel. Every time I heard something at my window, I wondered if there was a child vampire floating outside, asking to invite me in.

I believe there is good and evil, no in between. To me, you can’t justify the immorality and wanton disrespect for life. A killer is a killer, plain and simple. Can you really justify someone like Charles Manson or John Wayne Gacey? The monsters are not redeemable nor should they be.

In the article “So bad it’s good: Why do we find evil so alluring?”, writer Terry Eagleton had a simple answer. “One answer might be: when goodness began to look boring. We can blame this on the puritanical middle classes. It is they who redefined virtue as thrift, prudence, meekness, abstinence, chastity and industriousness. It’s not hard to see why some people should prefer zombies and vampires. Goodness came to seem negative and restrictive.”

As a writer, I take evil quite seriously. To me, evil is just that, evil. Writers have the responsibility to show people what evil looks like. I we can help them recognize what true evil is, you can avoid it, and even destroy it.

Here is an excerpt from my upcoming third novel in the Forever Avalon series, The Outlander War, where the two villains of my story–Abdel Ben Faust and a “yet to be named” master–meet and discuss their plot to destroy the Gil-Gamesh and take the throne of Avalon.

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On Avalon, South Essex was known as a city of artisans. The finest craftsman could be found in South Essex of all mediums—wood, metalwork or canvas—as well as exceptional tailors, tinkers, and tradesmen. It was a town full of the finest shops you could ever find outside of New Camelot.

The Black Swan was one of the most reputable taverns in South Essex, with the finest wine and spirits in all of New Camelot. The food at the Black Swan also had a reputation for being the best served in all Avalon. But even the best places can attract some unsavory characters.

Inside, the tavern was brightly lit with the glow of candlelight and roaring fires. The rooms were decorated in the finest silk drapes and tapestries of red and black. The décor epitomized the name of the tavern as swans could be seen represented in various shapes and sizes from statues to wall sconces.

While the rest of the tavern was crowded, as usual, the back of the room was empty, except for one guest. The owner did this at the request of the guest but also so his other patrons wouldn’t be subjected to his company.

He sat alone with his back to the wall, gorging himself on rare roasted beef and bottles of 500-year-old Aldinian Whiskey. He appreciated spirits, especially rare ones, and he always came to the Black Swan whenever he was in town because they always carried the best.

His name was Abdel Ben Faust, a mercenary by trade and considered by many as the finest swordsman on Avalon. His long black hair was pulled back tightly in a ponytail, exposing his pointed ears and long face. A scar ran from his left temple, across his nose, and down his right cheek … A reminder of being cut from his mother’s womb. His mustache was long and thin, hanging down below his chin, but that was where his true heritage showed through.

His skin was reddish-brown and, from his chin, grew horns that resembled a goatee, twisted like braided hair. Abdel Ben Faust was a half-demon, the son of a witch and an Incubus, conceived during a blood moon in a magical ritual. His mother died while giving birth to him. He had to be cut from her womb by the same clerics that killed his demon father.

Faust was raised a slave, tormented regularly for his demonic form, but in his torment grew strength and resolve. He molded himself from slave to warrior, becoming a master swordsman, available to the highest bidder.

He has avoided conflict with the Gil-Gamesh since his return to Avalon thanks to an innate ability from his demonic lineage. Faust can conjure “demon holes” to move from place-to-place, unseen. Demon holes were doorways of black smoke, fire, and brimstone. Only binding him in iron chains prevented him from using his power.

Faust came to South Essex to indulge his tastes while the Gil-Gamesh and the rest of the Knights of the Round Table moved to the coast to protect Avalon from the Outlanders. He knew there would be no trouble coming to the Black Swan and drinking his fill before moving on to his next job.

The curtain to the back room was pulled aside as young Finnick Devereaux, son of the Earl of South Essex, Sir Robert Devereaux, stepped in. The young man was nearly 50, young for a noble of Avalon. His dirty blonde hair, dashing good looks and fine clothes endeared his upright lineage. He pulled a handkerchief from his inside pocket and waved it in front of his face as he tried to dispel the stench coming from Faust.

“He is here milord, just as I said,” Finnick said to someone behind the curtain. A robed, hooded figure stepped through, walking right past the young noble.

“Good … Leave us Finnick, and make sure we are not disturbed,” the hooded figure said.

“Are you sure you want to do this milord?” Finnick asked. “The last man who interrupted Abdel Ben Faust while he was eating had his head chopped off and tossed into a stew pot.”

“Not worry, I’ve come bearing gifts,” he said as pulled a bottle from out of robe pocket. Finnick just bowed and left the room, closing the drapes behind him.

The stranger walked up to Abdel’s table but stopped when he drew his sword as he chugged down the last of the whiskey, resting his blade across the table. It was a broad sword, nearly four feet long, with a jagged edge etched along the top edge of the blade. Wisps of smoke rose up from the sword, as if it was burning, as the runes etched on the blade glowed softly. This was Deathsong, a cursed blade that only Abdel Ben Faust could wield and he did so very well.

“I’d think twice before sitting down,” Faust warned as he finished his drink. The stranger just placed the bottle down in front of him. Faust dropped his own bottle to examine the gift.

“Can it be?” he exclaimed. “Panaque, distilled from the vines of the dryads of Meliai, over 4,000 years old!” He popped the cork and smelled the delicate bouquet of the fine spirit. He looked up at the stranger and nodded his head to the chair in front of him. The hooded figure sat down as Faust sheathed his sword and poured himself a drink.

“So to what do I owe this honor and who do I have to kill to keep this bottle?” he asked as he took a sip of the delicious liquid.

“The bottle is yours, Abdel Ben Faust, a gift for listening to what I have to say,” he began. “But first, I have a question for you. Last year, when Morgana le Fay was resurrected, why were you not part of her forces at the Battle of Idlehorn Mountain? Surely a swordsman of your caliber could have turned the tide in her favor.”

Faust seemed to be insulted by the stranger’s accusation but took it in stride for the moment. “Her cause was lost from the moment she began,” he scoffed as he took another sip.

The hooded man seemed irritated by his answer but just sat back and listened. “Why do you say that?”

“Because she let the Gil-Gamesh live,” he answered. “You don’t give someone like the Gil-Gamesh any glimmer of hope. She should have killed him when she had the chance. That’s always been the problem with despots like Kraven Darkholm and Morgana le Fay. They want that power but they want to gloat about it in the process. That’s what got them killed.

“I don’t side with losing causes,” he concluded as he downed the last of his drink. “I’ve answered your question, now you answer mine … What do you want?”

“I want you to lead an army to take Avalon out of the grips of the Pendragon’s and the Gil-Gamesh,” the stranger said without skipping a beat.

Faust just laughed under his breath. “Well if you wait long enough, the damn Outlanders with all their technological weapons will do it for you.”

“Oh, I doubt that,” the stranger impugned. “If the Gil-Gamesh is as resourceful as you say, then all I have to do is wait until he restores Avalon as it was before, hidden from the outside world. Then, we tear Avalon apart, taking the throne and killing him in the process.”

Faust was not convinced by the hooded stranger’s plan. He laughed again as he poured himself another drink. “Well in the first place, you’d need an army at least 10,000 strong,” Faust calculated. “Hell, the goblins don’t even have half that number anymore, and the trolls are all whipped lackeys for that Shield Maiden now. So where is this army you speak of?”

The stranger reached into his robe and pulled out the ruby amulet, still glowing from the strong magic’s imbued within. Faust just looked at the amulet, unfazed and uncaring. “What’s that supposed to be?” he asked.

“The key to controlling the most powerful army in creation, the Wraith Legion of Purgatory!” Abdel Ben Faust was stunned, aghast at the stranger’s claim. The Wraith Legion was an army of fallen knights, trapped in purgatory because of some dishonor or shame that fell upon them in life. They served a penance, keeping the demons of the underworld in check until, one day, they’ve earned their place in Heaven.

“No one can control the Wraith Legion. It’s impossible,” he exclaimed.

“You can with this,” the stranger said, dangling the amulet. “With this amulet, they will follow your every command. You will be their General, Abdel Ben Faust, and you will conquer Avalon for me.

“In return, I will give you the Twin Swords of the Dragon Moon as payment, for your collection.”

It is known that Abdel Ben Faust has, over time, collected the sword or weapon of every knight, every warrior and every monster he ever bested in battle. He kept his collection hidden from prying eyes. He liked to savor each and every victory by looking at the weapons of his fallen enemies hanging on the walls of his vault. Adding the swords of the Gil-Gamesh would be the centerpiece of his collection.

The stranger had intrigued Faust with his offerings but wasn’t convinced completely just yet. He needed to know something more. “Who are you?” he asked.

The hooded figure stood up and peeled back his hood, revealing his face to Faust. The half-demon was stunned as he recognized the face almost immediately. “You? But that’s impossible, you’ve been dead for centuries, millennia even! It can’t be you!”

The stranger pulled the hood back over his head and sat back down. “I assure you, it is me, Abdel Ben Faust. I have many machinations at work, but I need a general to lead my army. You are the one man I can entrust with this task because I know that you will only accept my offer if you believe it can succeed.

“So will you, will you join me?” he asked. Faust sat there, stroking his chin, contemplating all the stranger has offered him. After a few moments, he raised his glass to him.

“When do we get started?”

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverseThe Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.

The 13th Doctor SHOULD BE …

“I’ve got pictures of all your faces. You never show up in the right order though. I need the Spotter’s Guide.” — River Song, The Time of Angels

Besides the legion of fans worldwide, regeneration is what has kept the award winning TV series Doctor Who going  for more than 50 years. We have all witnessed our favorite Timelord change from one face to the next. It’s through these changes that the Doctor has aged more than 2,000 years in the span of the BBC series; but that time has come again. Time for another actor to take up the mantle and breathe new life into Doctor Who.

This time is especially significant because series front runner, Stephen Moffat, is leaving the show in the very capable hands of Chris Chibnall. As Peter Capaldi finishes his run as the 12th Doctor (okay, I know he’s actually the 13th but we don’t count the War Doctor in that line), the task of all Whovians around world is to nominate and root for the next Doctor.

Male or Female? Black, White, Asian or Hispanic? Tall or Short? Fat or Thin? Young or Old? The Doctor could regenerate into anyone, so here are my top choices for the next Doctor!

The majority of people across the internet wants the Doctor to be a woman. Since the Master has become Missy, why not the Doctor. I have two favorites if the Doctor is to regenerate that way … Dame Helen Mirren or Haley Atwell. These two are fan favorites, to the point that there’s already fan art portraying them that way. These women are accomplished actors with the intelligence, sex appeal and swagger to step into these shoes. They would bring a level of sophistication not seen since William Hartnell, Peter Troughton, and Jon Pertwee.

I mean, can you imagine the banter and innuendos between Helen Mirren and John Barrowman in the TARDIS? That alone is worth the price of admission. It would bring a level of charm and sex appeal that the Doctor hasn’t seen since 10 & 11. In any case, those detractors who think the Doctor shouldn’t be a woman really misunderstand the role. That’s the beauty of regeneration. The Doctor can be anyone he/she wants to be. I think if the Doctor regenerates into a woman, it wouldn’t be any different from other regenerations. It would bring a different perspective in how the Doctor interacts with others on his/her adventures.

Another big twist for the 13th Doctor is as a black man. Again, it’s more about the person rather than what sex or skin color they have. If I had to chose someone, I would pick Idris Elba or Chiwetel Ejiofor. Both are brilliant actors who have action movie credentials as well as that same level of charm and sophistication associated with the Doctor. However, I don’t think they would take the part being that they both have big franchise movie roles (Thor, The Dark Tower and Doctor Strange respectfully) so their schedule is pretty full to add a full-time TV production.

Lastly, there are the big name Hollywood stars, some of which are actually campaigning for the part. Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Rupert Grint (Harry Potter franchise) and Alexander Vlahos (Versailles) have all expressed interest in the role, more so when asked about it. I think they would all be excellent choices for the role, taking us back to the days of David Tenant and Matt Smith with their smoldering good looks, wit and charm. Bonus points for Rupert Grint, as the Doctor always wanted to be a “ginger” for some reason.

In any case, they will be making the announcement soon as we get closer and closer to the end of Season 10 and the upcoming Christmas episode, where the regeneration will take place. A great addition to that episode already is that David Bradley will reprise his role as the 1st Doctor (William Hartnell) in this episode. Adding in the 13th Doctor will be a bonus that all of us Whovians are desperately waiting for.

It doesn’t matter who plays the Doctor, as long as the role continues on to inspire the next generation. Just remember these words when he/she appears:

“When you love the Doctor, it’s like loving the stars themselves. You don’t expect a sunset to admire you back. And if I happen to find myself in danger, let me tell you, the Doctor is not stupid enough, or sentimental enough, and he is certainly not in love enough to find himself standing in it with me!” — River Song, The Husbands of River Song

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. The Dark Tides is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iUniverseThe Outlander War can be previewed at Inkitt.