July 27, 2013
This is it! The last day I’ll be able to work with my desktop for the next month or so.
I’m retiring and moving from the DC area to south Florida. That will mean more time to write, edit, take photos, and relax.
I’ll still be available via email, but I hate touch-screen typing on the smartphone, so response might be a bit slow.
Hope everyone is having a great summer!
April 14, 2013
April 2, 2013
Foreword by Tome Wilson
Tome is the founder of the web’s largest and most active dieselpunk community. The dieselpunks website provides a home for most anyone with an artistic bent that enjoy working the era between the world wars.
Tales of the Aether Age
by Grant Gardner
This is an all-too-short ride through an alternate history where the Great Depression triggered a rather nasty breakup of the United States. Rather than the simplicity of the civil war, a new series of alliances and power brokers established a half-dozen industrial city-states.
The tale is told from the viewpoint of a pair of minor gangster who run in a film noir Chicago of prohibition and flappers. It’s a fun ride and I’m looking forward to more from Mr. Gardner’s keyboard.
Pandora Driver: Who are the People in Your Neighborhood
Created by John Picha
A beautiful woman hiding behind a mask and driving an indestructable car. A midwestern city in nineteen forty provides the backdrop and John Picha’s knack of filling his tales with the speech and mannerisms of a forgotten time.
The world of Pandora Driver gets better with each new read.
Me? I love the cars.
The Troubleshooter: What the Wise Man Says
Created by Bard Constantine
“After the Cataclysm nearly wiped out humanity, the remnants of mankind survived in Havens: city-sized constructs built to reboot society and usher in a new age of mankind.”
That is how the Bard starts this tale. As the story unfolds, the reader comes to understand this isn’t so much a pre-WWII world as the current day, complete with computers and modern radios. The difference is the corruption and dark under belly of the Haven. Mick Trubble is a man who has lost his memory and becomes The Troubleshooter.
The World of Mañana: A Friend of Spirits
by Jack Philpott
Mr. Philpott has taken notes from various native American tribes as well as current political intrigue to weave a masterful tale of dedication and betrayal. This glimpse of the world of Mañana promises other dark tales. It is well worth the read.
November 10, 2012
The famous science fiction author, Vernor Vinge’ has been credited with originating the term singularity.
From Wikipedia, we have this, “…his 1993 essay “The Coming Technological Singularity”, in which he argues that the creation of superhuman artificial intelligence will mark the point at which “the human era will be ended,” such that no current models of reality are sufficient to predict beyond it.”
Both the term and related concepts have been further advanced with a series of books and lectures by Ray Kurzweil.
Although I believe this rapture of the nerds will occur, I don’t think it will be the all-encompassing revolution that these futurists predict. As my friends and fans know, I’m a history buff, and this allows one to take a wider view of things.
Just as today, there are those of you, reading this on some sort of screen that is driven with micro-electronics, at this same instant, at other places around the world, there are semi-literate people who’s very existence depends on herding animals. A deeper search can still reveal naked humans, armed with blowguns and arrows, living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle that would have been familiar to a Neanderthal.
Just as we have very intelligent and well-read people in the United States that are totally aware of the benefits of high-technology and yet choose a simpler lifestyle, I believe the future will not be a singularity, but rather, a multiplarity.
That is the universe I have depicted in the Multiplarity Trilogy. The first book sets the stage when humans finally break the tyranny of disease and death itself. As one would imagine, this sudden change in the way we view ourselves isn’t painless. But it does show a way around some of our current issues. Unfortunately, every solution comes with a brand-new set of problems.
The second book, Selenaphiles, deals with some of the basic problems of establishing an off-Earth colony. This became much more of a world-building exercise than I had originally planned. I’m a bit picky about the technological items in my stories. They all have to have some basis in current scientific research and prototypes. The inflatable structures of Bigelow Aerospace that I’ve described in both Omniphage and Selenaphiles, are in fact quite real and are undergoing orbital testing at this time.
Next week, we’ll take a look at some of the space travel hardware described in the Multiplarity Trilogy.
October 31, 2012
The forth book in a five book shifter series from Red Rose Publishing, Echopharte tells of the origins and evolution of the shifters.
The ancients revered them. The colonists feared them. Today, no one believes in them. Shifters have lived and worked among humans since before recorded history.
Echopharte tells of the first community and how both good and evil have continuously shaped our society, from ancient times up to the present day.
October 13, 2012
This is a short, Paranormal Romance in celebration of Halloween.
She was cold and hurt. Again.
He had been drunk. Again.
This had been the worst one yet. As soon as he went to sleep, Kelly was going to leave and call the woman’s shelter. Perhaps he already was asleep. She didn’t hear him and now that her headache was easing a little, she realized it was way too cold. Had he set the AC to freeze in his drunken stupor?
She slowly opened her eyes, expecting the headache to worsen in the morning light. But there wasn’t any light.
Cold. It was so damn cold. And she realized she was still nude and laying on the floor. Wait a minute! Their bedroom had hardwood floors as did most of their home. She felt bare concrete under her. No wonder she was cold!
Tentatively, she reached out and her fingers brushed a concrete block. “Honey?” Her soft voice was totally lost in the darkness. Quickly rolling over, she felt her knuckles tear against another concrete surface, above her. “Honey! Where am I?” This tumbled out of her almost as a shout.
It only took a few seconds of scrambling about on her back to realize she was in a concrete box. Smooth on all sides except the one where she felt the rough edges of the blocks. The smell of curing cement finally woke her completely.
Kelly tore at the walls until her fingernails were gone and screamed until the air ran out.
June 19, 2012
Last week, I posted a brief tutorial on how to use Audacity to create your own audiobooks. Now, I’ve decided to share some of my experiences during the creation of my latest project.
First, a little background… I’ve recorded some short tales and a friend’s poem in order to test and hone my skills. This process has taught me a few things.
#1 Use a decent microphone. I have been using the same $20 headset and boom mic combination that I’ve used for Skype. It works. But the sound quality is just not that good. A couple of week’s ago, I broke down and purchased a Blue Yeti.
#2 However long it takes you to read a chapter slowly and distinctly, translates to four to five times that long to create the final MP3. Yes. The post-edit process is time-consuming. Plan on it.
#3 I’ve started recording Shifter Born, the first book in my Shifter Series. I’m on chapter ten of thirteen. As I finish reading each chapter, I’m doing the basic noise-reduction and editing out the screwups. That’s it for now. I’m going to leave the rest of the post-production, such as adding spacing, music, titles, copyright, and overall level balancing… until all the chapters are in the can.
It’s just the start. Feel free to ask questions along the way.