State of the Wampuscat – November 2018 (Week 46)

State of the Wampuscat

Week 46 of 2018

I don’t do this often enough. Blog about myself, I mean. I will attempt to correct that by forcing myself to type up some BS each week from now on.

If any of you have looked at my bio, you may remember that I’m an Engineer by trade. That’s the day job. By night, I’m a creator of elaborate schemes for writing books and becoming famous and then finding ways to avoid doing any of the actual things it requires to accomplish that. Procrastination is my favorite hobby, and I’m good at it!

However, I know that my dreams of being a writer with a legacy of well appreciated word-smithing that spans the generations is not going to happen without some buckling down. I’m turning 45 in a few days, so the clock is ticking if I want to get that bibliography nice and plump. It would also be nice to eventually see money flowing a direction other than AWAY from me in regards to the publishing of my stuffs. That means creating more stuffs, talking about stuffs, and doing marketing (yuck!) for my stuffs.

So, with all that in mind, I invite you to see the man and peruse the plan, as it were, of what I’m working on at the moment.

If you’ve followed the blog this year, you have seen mention of my anthology, Horizon’s Unlimited, as well as the 3 Planetary Anthologies from Superversive that were released with stories of mine in them. The summer was long and work went mostly full-time again–I do contract Engineering currently–so there was not a lot of new creation happening. The work schedule recently went down again though, so I have some free days now, but I’ve been playing catch up on postponed (pronounced procrastinated) projects around the homestead. Those are almost done(ish).

Between catch-up projects (and weekly D&D games) I have had some recent accomplishments. I was working on a submission for an anthology in Daniel Humpreys’ Z-Day series for a long while. [I just posted my review of book #3 in that series, A Place For War, on Friday, go read it!]. When I finally got some free time I managed to finish it. It suffered from the same struggle I always seem to have with short stories… keep them short! I submitted a whopping 22,099 word missive for that and hope that it can, and will, be used. Fingers crossed!

At the same time (first week of free time), I got word that my story submission for the Jupiter Planetary Anthology was on the ‘we like it’ table. I did some tweakage on that one, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be part of that anthology.

Earlier in the year, I did manage to write a few other short stories. I have a submission out for the Uranus (snicker) Anthology that I have not yet heard back from anyone about. It’s a funny one, and if they decline it, it may just get expanded into a novella and put on Amazon. I also have one submitted for the Luna Antho that I actually managed to keep short. I also have one that was rejected for the Saturn anthology that I plan to expand into a full novella for Horizons Unlimited Volume 2 or 3, and one that I wrote for Pluto that I plan to make a stand alone novel, possibly with a sequel/prequel setup that is still TBD.

So, there are ideas and plans. I do not have a shortage of things to write about. Unfortunately, I keep locking myself into a rut. I feel that I need to continue with the Horizon’s Unlimited series. I have several ideas and partial story plots in my mind, but they are for Volume 3 or even later. The part I need to write NEXT (Earth based events after Xolotl Ressurrected, but long before Quicksilver & Escaping Aurora) are just not fully fleshed out. I COULD finish writing the stories planned for much later in the timeline, but I’ve found that keeping track of what happens later and making sure what happens before doesn’t interfere with it are a bit of a challenge. For me, it’s better to write things in chronological order so that I don’t get confused or contradict myself by accident. So…

While I hate unfinished projects, I think I’m going to have to let those rest a while and just jump into something completely new until I can think the idea out.

The one thing I need to do at least once a week is post something here. This post was supposed to be done on Sunday, but I got side tracked with a Veterans Day picture post on Facebook (I do genealogy and have lots of military pics from family members that I wanted to share). So here I am in the early AM of Monday finishing out this thing.

I may not (probably won’t) be able to keep up with this, but here’s my rough plan for writing:

Blog:

Sundays: State of the Wampuscat (this is the first one)
Every 2nd & 4th Wednesday/Thursday: Book Review
Every 3rd Wed/Thurs: Short Story

Novels:

Horizon’s Unlimited Vol #2 – March 2019
eConscience Beta Anthology – July 2019
Horizon’s Unlimited Vol #3 – Nov 2019

In the mean time, inflate my ego and help me make progress by buying & reviewing my existing stuffs!

If you like intrigue mixed with humor, get my technothriller, eConscience Beta on Amazon.

But, if Science Fiction Space Adventure is more your speed, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

Happy Reading!

P.S. Please enjoy this random cat pic…

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Review: A Place For War (Z-Day #3)

Today is the official Release Day for this book. Daniel Humphreys is kicking it off by having a $0.99 sale on his first two books in the series at Amazon.com, so don’t miss out!

A Place Outside The Wild (Z-Day #1)

A Place Called Hope (Z-Day #2)

Now on to the review of Book #3!

A Place For War (Z-Day #3)A Place For War by Daniel Humphreys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A spectacular conclusion to a series that puts the Zombie Apocalypse trope on its head.

I had the privileged of being a Beta Reader for this novel, so I did get a free copy. Nevertheless, the 5 stars are all earned.

A Place Outside The Wild & A Place Called Hope were great ZA books about making the best of the worst of situations and scratching to find a way to live.

A Place for War pushes past the survivor aspect straight to the in-your-face, take-back-what’s-ours, kick-those-zombies-in-their-teeth action of a mil-sf novel. Plot points are resolved, secrets are revealed, and the struggle reaches its climax. You won’t be able to put this one down, trust me.

I highly recommend this book, and the entire series to anyone who likes apocalyptic fiction, science fiction or just some good ole zombie fights!

Get a copy from Amazon. It’s in KU if you are subscribed, and you can read it for free on your Kindle (one book per month with Kindle Owner’s Lending Library) if you have Prime.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.


Oh, and if you happen to like intrigue, you can also get my book, eConscience Beta the same way.

But, if Science Fiction Space Adventure is more your speed, then you should check out my anthology, Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1.

Review: Retaliation (The Frontiers Saga: Part 2: Rogue Castes, #10)

Hey! Look! It’s a blog post from Words from the Wampuscat! It’s been a month since that happened last!

I am so far behind on reviews and posts that it is not funny. That’s because I’ve been doing things. I need to write an update post on that, but first… a book review!

RetaliationRetaliation (The Frontiers Saga: Part 2: Rogue Castes, #10) by Ryk Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great installment to the series with plenty of fast-paced action. The plot lines are coming together nicely, and we are starting to see both a tipping point and an expansion point for the story. The only complaint I have for this book is a similar one I’ve had before… character waffling, which I’ll explain in a bit. Otherwise, I can definitely give this book four stars and call it an Action Packed Read.

Now, on to the details… don’t read further if you don’t like spoilers. Or criticisms, because I’m about to be a bit critical.

Picking up where the last the book left off, we are dropped right in the middle of a sudden scrap on the new found ally world of… uhm… that place where they went and did the thing. Casaba? Casbon? Where they did the deal for the new-new-new fighter ships. You remember? So yeah, they fight there, then we see them fighting back at the Samurai Planet. Then, more fighting to keep from having to fight more, after which they decide they should go fight more to keep from having to fight more later and also right now.

I know, it sounds complicated, right? But remember, Nathan Scott is a super genius who always know the right thing to do, especially when people who are a lot smarter than him tell him he shouldn’t. But he does it anyway, and it works, so there you go. Oh, and he also Captain Kirk’s the dangerous missions too. That’s because he’s both indispensable to the cause because no one would keep fighting if he wasn’t alive to lead it, and also because he cannot be seen as not fighting in the front lines because no one would follow him otherwise, and… yeah, that all ties right into the problem I’ve been having. Waffling logic explained away as a character flaw… in ALL the characters. It’s getting old.

I love the books. I love the action. I love the plot twists. I love the tech and the tech advances (although I still don’t understand why you have to be pointed in a certain direction to use the jump drive when it’s not based on momentum). And I love the characters too, but they are all flawed in the exact same way… Ignore logic and their own previously stated convictions if it’s in the name of saving a single individual or pursing a really cool idea/goal.

Sigh. Oh well, nothing is perfect. I just needed to vent that, I guess. Besides, writing is hard. I choose to give the benefit of the doubt and suspend disbelief for the sake of an enjoyable story, which this series most certainly is.

Happy Reading!

Buy it on Amazon.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Flash Update: Horizons Unlimited now on Kindle Unlimited.

I know I’ve been quiet on the blog for a while. The book reviews have been sparse because I’ve run across a few that I just don’t want to comment about, plus I’ve been quite busy with life.

But… I’m still here, and reviews and post will hopefully resume regularly soon.

In the mean time, I want to announce that I have decided to enroll Horizons Unlimited in the Kindle Unlimited program. Now you can grab a copy to read through your prime subscription, or if you own a Kindle, your free monthly Kindle Owners Lending Library borrow.

Here’s the link to it. Happy Reading & I’ll be back soon!

Review: I Am Justice (The Frontiers Saga: Part 2: Rogue Castes, #9)

I Am Justice (The Frontiers Saga: Part 2: Rogue Castes, #9)I Am Justice by Ryk Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An outstanding episode that gets back to tactical space battles on top of the back-alley intrigue and in your face firefights! Don’t hesitate to pick this one up!

The stakes continue to rise in this new episode of The Frontiers Saga. Side trips to gather influence and arms, new and improved tech on the way, sheer terror and narrow escapes all await you within this volume. Ryk Brown knocked this one out of the park.

If you’re a follower of the series, you will most likely enjoy this book. If you haven’t read from the start of the series, however, you will most likely not get the impact of certain events, nor understand the major goings-on. So, if you haven’t, go back a read from the start. I actually suggest starting with Part 1 so that you can see the characters and universe evolve from start to finish.

I give this episode a solid 5 stars and call it a Well Rounded Read.


If you are looking for more interesting Space Adventure type stories you should get a copy of my book:

Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1 – A Space Adventure Anthology

It has three great short-stories that are all in the same universe, including an exclusive 50,000 word novella titled Escaping Aurora.

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HORIZONS UNLIMITED

Matter conversion technology—Matt-Con—has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.

In this volume:

Quicksilver

The space station Chariot of Helios—on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech—encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Null Gravitas

Sometimes even life in space needs a bit of humor. This short is a romantic interlude just prior to the events of Escaping Aurora.

Escaping Aurora

The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.

Buy Now

 

Review: CTRL-ALT-Revolt! by Nick Cole

CTRL ALT Revolt!CTRL ALT Revolt! by Nick Cole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This Dragon Award winner does not disappoint! If you want the non-liberal, non-teen-angst version of Ready Player One, this is it!

From the start you might wonder just what the heck is going on. A flood of mostly familiar, but slightly altered, corporatrade extravagances are presented to you as the smorgasbord platter of delights available to an up-and-coming MMORPG Dev named Ninety-Nine Fishbein (yeah, that’s his real name). If you didn’t understand that last sentence, you may be in for a head-spin. If you can hold on for the ride, though, you are in for a treat!

Imagine a very near future where corporatism propped up by government nanny-state-ism has become the norm for that majority of the population. In a world of technological wonders and better than average living conditions, an unmotivated populous allows itself to be herded into dead end living arrangements that it ignores because of the freebies it gets. I’m not sure how this state of affairs manages to support itself. Maybe it’s the machines that are doing all the work. Of course, that means you need smarter, more sophisticated, machines. And that, as we all know, means Terminators. Only this one calls itself SILAS. Not sure why.

The story is an action packed page turner that takes you into the lives of the denizens of this world during the advent of a cybergeddon. And, as you would imagine, most of it takes place inside the worlds of video games such as Star Trek Empires and the soon to be released Island Pirates!. [No, these are not real, but they SHOULD BE!]

The plot is awesome, the characters vivid, and the action non-stop on multiple fronts. The only negatives that keep me from giving it that fifth star is the politi-bombs and the double-take ending. By politi-bombs, I mean the political ideas that hit me in the face and threw me out of the story (not that I had angst from the ideas, but they were just too blatant – which I find irritating no matter what the flavor). I could have overlooked that, being that it was a major part of the story’s background and world-building, but… The ending was going very well, then ‘poof’ I got hit with two major new concepts without lead-in or explanation. It didn’t make it bad, it just kicked me out at the end of a very exciting moment. That made the dropped star necessary.

Still, this book was a delight to read. I’ve not had a page turner that kept me awake to find out what happens next in quite a while. I give this on four stars and call it a Super Charged Read!

View all my reviews

Review: Fade & Night’s Black Agents (Paxton Locke #1 & 2)

I decided to do this review blog as a two-in-one. I read the first two books in Daniel Humphreys’ Paxton Locke series because I got to be Tuckerized (and red-shirted!) in book two. Of course, that meant I had to read from the start. Now I’m totally hooked on this incredible series!

So, here are my reviews (on Goodreads) for both books. Enjoy.

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Signed book placard from LibertyCon

Fade (Paxton Locke Book 1)Fade by Daniel Humphreys

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Contemporary Paranormal Fantasy. That’s the term that comes to mind for this book. Yes, there is a mixture of horror, but paranormal captures that, I think. This is not my normal genre (let’s face it, I’m a sci-fi junkie), but I have two ulterior motives for picking this one up.

1) I beta read for Daniel Humpreys’ Z-Day series.
2) I’m a red-shirt character in book 2 of this series.

The book was not given to me, however. Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, here’s the review.

SHIVER! GASP! ZOOM! BANG! POW! HOLY…!

These are the typical onomotopiatic & exclamatory words you will generate in your mind as you read this book. It starts you at the top of the roller-coaster drop, then yanks the track out from under you, then turns on the jet engine on the back car. Now we’re not talking about combat or physical action here… we’re talking about suspense building. You don’t get a break. The reveal for the first bit of tension is done in the middle of the build-up of the next.

Am I exaggerating a bit? Maybe a little, but I’m telling you this book is well written, and a page turner. It has some of the best ‘info-dump hidden within the scenes’ writing I have seen in quite a while. Even the backstory portions are so tantalizing that when they interrupt the main action, you don’t want to stop hearing THAT PART to go back the first.

I guess I should mention what it’s about. Paxton Locke, a man in his mid 20s, is a ghost hunter. His ability is an after-effect of some really ghoulish crap foisted upon him by his demented mother some 10 years previous. I won’t spoil anything else. Think Paranormal (TV) crossed with Dresden Files, crossed with… well, that other thing that happens in book 2.

If you like paranormal, read this book. If you like ‘urban fantasy’ in it’s current definition (circa 2018), read this book. Mystery, thriller, horror… yep, those too. These are not my typical reading genres, but this book still pulled me in for the ride.

I give this book four stars and call it an engrossing read.


Night's Black Agents (Paxton Locke #2)Night’s Black Agents by Daniel Humphreys

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Picking up where the first book left off, Paxton Locke tries to move on with his self-appointed task of ridding the world of ghosts… and maybe his mother the witch… the real kind.

So, disclaimer… I bought this book, but:
1) I beta read for Daniel Humpreys’ Z-Day series.
2) I’m a red-shirt character IN THIS BOOK.

There. Now the review.

HOLY CRAP! There is a lot to digest in this one. While a bit slower than book 1, it is chock-full of reveals and new twists that move the series to a whole different level.

The main character is starting to realize that his little ‘dismiss the ghosts’ thing is just the frost on the tip of the paranormal iceberg. While he is helping his stand-in father-figure to solve some really strange goings-on in Denver, his fugitive Mommy Dearest is tearing around the country gathering her power to… well, gather more power. And a shadow agency begins to reveal its presence to the reader as well. The book is just as engrossing as the first, but for different reasons. You get many new characters with backstory teasers you have to keep reading to figure out. You get much more in depth into Helen Locke’s personality (can you say, ‘Bitch’ with a capital ‘B’?) And you get sucked into a whole other arc of story that is seperate, but just as deadly. It’s a wild ride.

My only complaint is the cliffhanger ending. I plan to keep reading the series, but I don’t like books that end with serious unfinished business. Robert Jordan burned me out of that. Hopefully, the next book will be out soon, though, so I won’t have to wait long to find out what’s next.

I give this book four stars and call it a ‘The Hits Keep Coming’ read.

View all my reviews


 

 

Review: Speed of Sound by Eric Bernt

The Speed of Sound (Speed of Sound Thrillers #1)The Speed of Sound by Eric Bernt
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I decided to read this book for three reasons: 1) It showed up as a search result when I was setting up an Amazon ad for my own book. 2) It was a thriller of a somewhat ‘techno’ variety. 3) It had a character who was a high functioning autistic, and I wanted to see what the author’s take on that would be. I have another book idea that I shelved a long while back that requires more research in that area. I decided to try this one even though the science of the main technology is complete BS. I shoved that into the ‘suspended disbelief’ folder as soon as I started. Maybe I shouldn’t have.

Since this was a research read, rather than an enjoyment read, this review is going to be a critique. If you are looking for a recommendation on whether to read it or not, I think you should weigh my rating and comments on the side of YMMV. This is outside my normal Science Fiction genre.

——————–Flaws – Major & Minor——————

  • The book starts slowly, even with the opening intrigue. It is overly long, and could probably use some truncation.
  • There are parts where it seems the author summarized some wikipedia excerpts in his description of certain things creating mini-info-dumps that broke the flow of the story.
  • The head jumping is absolutely atrocious (a special thanks to my own editor for pointing out this faux pas in my own writing… it’s hard to see if you don’t know to look for it.)
  • There is a distinct contradiction in what is said about the hyper-competence of some of the characters versus how they actually perform. It could have been played off as ego had the descriptions not been written from the omniscient point of view, unfortunately, it was given as fact rather than self-opinion. Also, it becomes very difficult for me to suspend disbelief when every character is hyper-competent. This book is chock full of Mary Sues and Marty Stus.
  • One other issue that I did not care for was super-short chapter sizes. 114 chapters is a LOT of chapter for a book. It made it feel like more a slog to me. That’s a nitpick though.

———————————————————————

All that being said, the plot was decent, if unsurprising, and the main characters were fleshed out well. I did have a vested interest in reading to the end after I made it past the slow start hurdle.

These issues cost the book two stars in the rating. I would have given it a solid three had the next part not been true as well.

While the political leanings of the author are fairly well hidden, the fact that he has characters who buy into the ‘G.W. Bush was stupid’ song and dance, I’m going to assign some of that to the author himself. Some subtle complaints about ‘the current president’, though never named, are transparent because the Obama admin is referenced directly as ‘former’. Kudos for subtlety, but I’m so hyper-attuned to political rhetoric at the moment that it would have been better had it been left out completely. The other negative I have is that I was never able to identify who the bad guys were. There are two groups vying for control of the main character’s invention, one is bad and the other is also bad? The puppet masters seem to be winning, but their aims and goals, other than control of the people and thus the system, are left too vague. They are Ober Deep State, but what is their ultimate goal? The hook for the sequel is left dangling for you, but I don’t think I’m going to bite.

So, that is what lost half of the third star. Unfinished business and not-quite-subtle-enough political jibes.

Then there is the complete crap-bomb fail that made me question… no, actually, it made me completely shit-can that validity of the autistic traits expressed by the character, which was one of the main reasons I read the book. The fail is not even about that, but it is so blatantly stupid that it made me question the research used for all aspects of the book.

First, let me state emphatically that I am not a gun nut. I have a novice familiarity with them. I read a lot of Mil-Sci-Fi, but I am no expert. But you don’t have to be to see this mistake. Chapter 77 (did I mention there were a LOT of chapters in this book?): An SR-25 Sniper rifle does not use .22 cal bullets. A .22 cal bullet does not do significant damage to a chest cavity from a distance. There is a cut-and-paste description of the sniper rifle and a reference to part interchangablity that is used, but the author & editors could not get the fact that the weapon uses a 7.62 Nato round into the next paragraph correctly. For a spy thriller this is inexcusable. I knew that a .22 bullet was not capable of doing the damage described, so I looked up the gun using my smartphone. Wikipedia literally lists the ammo type in the first paragraph. Inexcusable. It was at that point I realized I could not trust any of the ‘facts’ in the book. This means I had pushed through a hard point in a book, giving it the benefit of the doubt because I wanted to know more about autistic behavior patters, only to realize at 71% thought that the author doesn’t know how to do his homework right. headdesk.

That’s why the book only gets 2 stars and a really detailed review that shows all the flaws I saw.

If you like Thrillers with intrigue, accuracy & plausability… skip it.

If you just want to read Rainman vs the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, go for it.

View all my reviews

LibertyCon 31 – My First Con as a Pro!

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LibertyCon 31 ended Sunday. Now I haz a sad. When you anticipate something for a year, then go do it for three whirlwind days (I swear there is a time-warp that speeds stuff up around this Con), you can experience a euphoric crash after you get home. It doesn’t last forever, but I do seem to have it happen every year. I just want more! It’s a drug, man!

The trip up to the ‘Noog was picture perfect. I didn’t even have to argue with the Google Maps app about wanting me to go the wrong way to I75. The hotel app let me do a pre-check-in the day before, so when I got there, they handed me my card and said enjoy your stay in about 2 minutes. The attendant schlepped my luggage upstairs (including my too many boxes of books) while I went an parked the truck. I took a photo of my slot so I would remember where I parked (not that it helped b/c slot 509 is on floor 6… ). Then off too the room… a very nice room. The Marriott is the best hotel I’ve stayed in in Chattanooga thus far.

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The view from floor 12 was pretty awesome.

I got to observe one session before my own schedule kicked in. I was highly entertained by the Black Tide Rising panel featuring John Ringo and friends. The tales of how the stories in the anthology came about were quite entertaining. The announcement that volume 2 is coming out in 2019 was also well received.

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Black Tide Rising Panel – (l to r) Sarah Hoyt, Eric Flint, Jason Cordova, Jody Lynn Nye, Kelly Lockhart (aka Gary Poole), John Ringo, Mike Massa, Griffin Barber, Kacey Ezell, Chris L. Smith, Robert Hampson/Tedd Roberts

After that, it became super busy time! The reason is that I was attending as a PRO. Yep, I’m officially listed in a convention handout as a professional writer. Who’da thunk it!?

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I got to try to sell books. ‘Try’ being the key word here. I had my spirit animal, Grumpy Cat, with me for good luck. It was awful. Didn’t sell a single book that time, but I think it was the fact that it was so early and people were still checking in and such. It did a bit better on Saturday & Sunday. I am not a salesperson. I hate marketing. This must change. Goals, I have ‘em.

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Author’s Alley – Day 1
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Author’s Alley – Day 2 (photo by Anita Moore)

Right after that I was on a Panel for the Superversive Planetary Anthology with a vast array of writing stars.

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Planetary Anthology Roundtable – (l to r) Hans Schantz, Mona Lisa Foster, Julie Frost, Arlan Andrews, Jagi Lamplighter Wright, A.M. Freeman, Jody Lynn Nye, J.D. Beckwith, Jon Del Arroz, John C. Wright, Lou Antonelli (picture by Robert Dean)

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Yes, that’s correct; I was sitting next to Jody Lynn Nye. I watched her crochet something under the table while still remaining completely engaged in the conversation. It was all I could do to keep my elbows off the table (which was not always a successful endeavor). I have  discovered I’m a leaner (see above). Need to fix that. More goals.

Also, the ever-chipper April Freeman (left side of the above picture) and I finally realized that we both reside in the same county… AFTER we talked on Facebook a day after the convention closed. Folks, the world is small and full of tricks and shenanigans.

By the way, if you want to read some really amazing stories written by these folks, you need to grab a copy of the Planetary Anthologies. There are four out now, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and also the just released Earth. I have stories in Mercury, Venus & Earth.

After that, the official Opening Ceremonies commenced. We were highly entertained by an adaptation of ‘Brandy’ by the talented Gray Rinehart, followed by this year’s MC, Chuck Gannon who shared with us some rather curious theories of the ‘real reason for LibertyCon’.

Here’s Gray’s Intro Song!

 

Immediately after, I went on a book buying binge. I got autographs, some oldies from the Huckster’s room and then some generous soul dropped a load of free books on the table outside! I was like a really excited euphemistic analogy (think about that for a minute)! And then I took the heavy bag of books to the room and took a picture in really bad lighting! See!

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I did some posting and slide-show editing for my next Author’s Alley stint, then went down and tried to play some Call of Cthulhu, but was force to my bed by a headache before it got too interesting. Such is life.

Saturday was a blur. I went to several panels for Indie Authors. I got some good advice from others in the field on how to do things right, or at least how to avoid doing some things wrong. Then had another sales stint. Sold a few, but still not many. I’m not too worried about that though, because it all counts as experience. I’ll do better in the future.

Afterward, I made a trip to the Urban Stack, a local restaurant that serves some of the best food around, with a D&D buddy. We had an awesome meal together, and caught some interesting scenery on the way. Only at a Sci-Fi Convention will you find a tricked-out Zombie Response Vehicle with programmable Gatling gun outside your hotel door.

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Zombie Response Vehicle
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Zombie Response Vehicle – complete with bumper mounted Gatling gun

Late Saturday was the Mad Scientist Roundtable. I was invited to be a panelist, but I really felt out of place. The people on that stage are seriously in the realm of super-geniuses! As happens every time I attend one of the Mad Scientist events, I got smarter just by being in the room with these people.

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Mad Scientists’ Roundtable (photo by Arlan Andrews)

 

Sunday was the Kaffeeklatch, where I got to meet and talk to some other authors, as well as some fans. I had a great run-down of the Taylor Hoch D&D session (which I didn’t get to go to b/c they were both during my sales times..arrrgh!) from one of the kiddos who got to play.  Right after was my 3rd and last Author’s Alley stint. It was my best sales day, but also a rush because I had to deal with check-out right after.

And now, I am seeing all the posts and pics on Facebook, realizing that even with the fun I had, there was still so much more going on that I missed! I’ll have to seriously consider if I want to try bookselling again next year or not.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got on this years LC adventures. It was a blast as usual!

Tickets for LC32 go on sale at 8AM July 4th. Get ’em while they’re available, because they will not last long! The location is going to be The Read House hotel next year, and rooms in the discount block will be available starting September 1st.

Launch Day! Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1 – A Space Adventure Anthology

We have LIFTOFF!


Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1
A Space Adventure Anthology

$1.99 through July 1st!

eConscience Beta

 My awesome technothriller / comedy
is ALSO on sale for just 99¢ through July 1st!

If you’ve been waiting, or you just happened along today, you can get BOTH of my ebooks for just under $3!

HELP MY LAUNCH REACH ORBIT!

PLEASE SPREAD THE NEWS FAR AND WIDE!


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Horizons Unlimited: Volume 1 – A Space Adventure Anthology

HORIZONS UNLIMITED
Matter conversion technology–Matt-Con–has broadened the scope of mankind’s existence. It has opened up the real possibility of viable colonies on other planets in our solar system, and even space itself. Anywhere matter can be captured or energy from the sun can be felt, the possibility of expanding human habitation exists.In this volume:

Quicksilver
The space station Chariot of Helios–on its way to Mercury to become a power collection station for Earth’s growing need for energy to power matt-con tech–encounters a strange anomaly that threatens ship and crew.

Escaping Aurora
The sudden destruction of mankind’s first atmospheric terraforming platform leaves three unlucky exonauts struggling to survive in the skies of Venus aboard a cobbled-together airship. Meanwhile, the commander of the space station above battles obstacles that might keep her from rescuing her stranded husband and crew in time.In preparation for this, I have spent a lot of time learning to use Gimp 2 to design my own cover, bookmarks and other sundry media/ad items. There has been a steep curve to the software, but I’m getting there. It’s a great free resource that’s well worth taking the time to learn.


eConscience Beta8
eConscience Beta

ECONSCIECE BETA

Peacekeeper Incorporated’s breakthrough nanotechnology could bring repeat offense crime to an end, freeing society from the need for criminal incarcerations. But first, they have to finish testing it. With funding on the line, and time to prove out the project getting short, the lead scientist must find a way speed things up. That’s unfortunate for his guinea pig, and anyone who would stand in his way.

Can the goal of ending most crime justify committing one… even a few? And what happens when you conflate altruism with egotism?

Find out in eConscience Beta, where two lab techs and an uncouth petty criminal must outwit a brilliant but sociopathic scientist who’ll stop at nothing to establish his legacy as the man who ended crime.