Steve Bein, writer & philosopher

Find all of the Fated Blades novels at Powell's, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Audible, or from your favorite neighborhood bookstore.

The newest addition to the saga of the Fated Blades is the novella Streaming Dawn, an e-book exclusive available for any platform.


Rocky IV Part II?

Okay, so Vladimir Putin -- as in Russian President Vladimir Putin -- has just been awarded a ninth-degree black belt in taekwondo. That means Grand Master Putin now outranks Chuck Norris. I swear I am not making this up; here’s the article from the BBC.


Obviously Chuck can’t take this lying down. I can’t help but think of
Rocky IV, where Rocky Balboa goes to fight the pride of the Soviet Union, Ivan Drago. And like Drago, Putin has considerable combat training, including a black belt in judo. (Here’s a video clip from the DVD with the best title ever, Let’s Learn Judo with Vladimir Putin.)

Unlike Drago, Vladimir Putin is not a roid monster and has never beaten Carl Weathers to death. But as you can see in these images, both men employ the same Soviet supersoldier stretching techniques.


I can only hope that Chuck Norris is in a barn in Siberia right now, doing Pilates or running through the snow with a tree trunk on his back. Preferably with Survivor singing some kind of training montage song. That’s what it will take for an aging underdog fighter with a lowly eighth dan to defeat one of the most powerful men in the world. After that, maybe Putin can be the bad guy in
The Expendables 3.