Signal Boost: Mars

 

Three down, 8 more to go.

Mars, the red planet and our closest neighbor. It has haunted our imaginations for centuries, inspiring tales of heroic deeds and courage. . Mars is also the god of war and the father of fear and panic. Here are 18 tales of war and adventure set in and around the red planet. 

Planetary Fiction explores the themes associated with these heavenly bodies as well as their astronomical, mythological, and in some cases even alchemical significance.

Featuring stories from

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Murder of Alfie Evans

The more I look at Europe, the more I think it would look pretty whilst on fire.For the past twenty years, I’ve watched Europe fall apart. I saw the EU throw their entire Christian history under the bus in the vain hope of some bright sparkling secularist future. I’ve seen Europe disrespect their elders to death. I’ve seen them disrespect the dead by either turning them to fertilizer or just keeping them on ice while the family went on vacation. I’ve watched Muslims drive Jews out of Europe and have their own pogrom of gays.

I figured that there was always some measure of hope for them. It’s not like they were going to murder people, right? There were no boxcars.

Then there’s Alfie Evans.

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Culture, Health, History, Rants | 5 Comments

Tales of the Pius Trilogy

My collection of shorts for The Pius Trilogy is coming back. 

Originally when I wrote these shorts, they were basically meant to promote the series. Usually when I design characters, shorts like these gave me background material to work with.

The characters evolved enough during the short stories that I actually had to rewrite parts of the novels in the Trilogy itself. Scott Murphy’s origins shifted around a little. I was able to show off Matthew Kovach a bit more without needing to write the novels I’ve had outlined for him since 2000. Background characters ended up in the Trilogy, even though I had never planned for them to be there when I finished the first few drafts.

There is even a good chunk of the novel that used to be in A Pius Man. One bit on the first months of Pope Pius XIII, because it was ten pages of background material. I also cut out an example of Father Frank Williams’ operating in the field. I really wanted to use them, and they worked. Who knew?

The stories?

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Way of the Dragon

Well, my first post on the Dragon awards was “Enter The Dragon,” and I tripped over film on DVR recently, so I found the title for this post.

However, a quick reminder before we do the Dragons…

Yeah, this one is still here, and all votes must be in by the end of April

This one is a book blogger’s award. They have two categories: short and long. Click on this link for the instructions on how to vote from your blog onto their award.

But yeah, if you have a blog and write about books, knock yourselves out.

…. Come to think of it, I should probably vote for this as well. Oops.

This year, Good to the Last Drop, book four of my Love at First Bite series is nominated.

It’s going to be interesting. I don’t know an awful lot about the award. And, since the book was pulled for rerelease by Silver Empire, campaigning would be odd. I don’t think my publisher would appreciate me handing out ARCs of the book before he gets to edit a new version.

Oh, and while I think about it, I’m also up against Nick Cole and Robert Kroese. So, I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Once again, votes are due in at the end of April. If you have a book blog, time to vote. If you don’t have a book blog … now might be the time to start one.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Final Stand

It’s occurred to me that I haven’t written a lot about the writing of A Pius Stand: A Global Thriller, even though it came out for rerelease this month. Looking back over my blog, I never really discussed the construction of the novel the first time through, either. As I tend to write more about writing than anything else (after all, I will only discuss politics if I’m pissed off) I’m a little surprised.As Stand is book three of a trilogy, there are, of course, some spoilers.

When I first started on The Pius Trilogy, my thought process was fairly linear. The solution was cui bono: who benefits? In the case of A Pius Man, who benefits from destroying the Catholic church? I can come up with a list of nation states, a few dozen dictators, and every Left-wing organization in America, and that’s before I even start writing the fiction. In choosing the villains for book one, Russian mercenaries with old Soviet ties felt right — jihadis aren’t organized enough for what I had in mind, and Russians have just the right level of Byzantine thinking. And after 80 years of old Nazis being the only acceptable villains, I think it’s time that someone looks at the Soviets as actual bad guys for a change.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ironing out A Wrinkle in time

The novel A Wrinkle in Time is a classic of children’s literature. Perhaps the proper new term is “Young Adult,” but, as with Narnia, they are books probably too good for children. In my estimation, while they are not Narnia or Middle Earth, author Madeleine L’Engle is right underneath, if not side-by-side with, CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien.

It is the story of Meg Murray and her little brother Charles Wallace, and the search for their father, a scientist who vanished. Joining them is the popular kid in school, Calvin O’Keefe as well as Weird Sisters (TM, Will Shakespeare) Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, and Mrs Which. These three are older women — one as very old, one as plump, and one as a ball of shimmering light / traditional Margaret Hamilton.

To find their father, Meg and Charles must travel to an alien world via folding space and time (hence a “Wrinkle”), fight an IT that makes Stephen King’s alien clown look like …. a clown… and his henchman, a man with glowing red eyes who looks like Satan’s understudy.  There’s good versus evil, saving those you love, sometimes through the power of love, and while there are Christian themes, if they didn’t bother you in Narnia and Tolkien, they won’t bother you here — assuming you even notice as you’re reading.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Planetary Awards are in

So, the Planetary Awards are in for the best SFF stories of 2017.  Anyone who has a blog, podcast, or YouTube account can vote. Which is most of the people I know, come to think of it.

Short Stories / Novellas
  • “Acadie” by Dave Hutchinson
  • “The Bitten Body” by AC Spahn
  • “Death on the Moon” by Spencer Hart, found in Cirsova issue #6
  • “The First American” by Schuyler Hernstrom, found in Cirsova issue #5
  • “The Pilot” by Andrew Mayne, found in Predator: If It Bleeds
  • “Trouble in an Hourglass” by Jody Lynn Nye, found in Straight Outta Tombstone
Kneejerk reaction?  Jody, hands down.
If other people, who read this blog want another suggestion? …. it’s a tie between the two Cirsovas.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment