Proof copy corrections and other news.

I sent out the proof copy corrections on Tuesday the 28th, and am now waiting anxiously for the start of my vacation.  I’m taking a month off to work on Zook Country’s sequel, Rogue Country. I hope that there’s somebody out there who wants to read Zook Country, and that this will lead to somebody wanting to read the sequel.

We lived through what would probably be called a hurricane if we lived in an area that had hurricanes.  Hills near us reported winds in excess of 100 MPH.  We had no electricity, running water, or telephone for about a day and a half starting Tuesday evening, and ending on Thursday morning.  The upside is that I’ve found a new small engine repair guy, so my chainsaw is running very well.  The downside is it’s been raining up here in the hills for three nights, and I don’t really want to wander around in wet underbrush cutting down alder and cutting up fallen trees.  I’m thinking the neighbors feel much the same, so maybe we’ll get together and have a pity party next week. The office I work at in Anchorage closed on Wednesday, because we had no phone or systems servers. I hope that there’s somebody out there who wants to read Zook Country, and that this will lead to somebody wanting to read the sequel. I may be repeating myself.

There is other news, but I think going to sleep might be the best plan for me.  Until later, then.

New Zook Country News

I just received (Thursday) the proof copy of Zook Country, and am spending the weekend reading my own literature on trade paper stock. I promised Lida that I’d get my responses to her by tonight.

Lida’s intent to publish on September 15th meant that there would be no Advance Reader Copies to deliver to reviewers. I wasn’t terribly happy with that, because most of the major reviewers that we’d want to put on the book cover won’t even read the e-book version. Lida and I had an e-mail discussion, and she allowed me to push back the publishing date. She offered December 15th, and the book will be available for pre-order for a month before publication. Since I’d already lost the summer reading crowd, I’m hoping that I can take advantage of the holiday crowd. This is a publisher being extremely flexible for an unknown author, and I’m really hoping that I can make it work out to her profit.

I guess the publishing party will have to be postponed, since I’ll not have signable stock until December. The upside, we’ll probably have Advanced Reader Copies for distribution to certain reviewers next month. Oh, it turns out that having a publishing party on publishing date wouldn’t have worked, because I wouldn’t have actual books to sign until the mail delivered them a few days later. Lida recommends that scheduling publishing parties wait until the paper copy is in hand.

Fox News – The Fascist Fake News


With this charming piece, I finally realized that Fox News, in its network entirety, has taken on the anti-Jon Stewart mantle, and become entirely self-promotional, generating fantastical perspectives with absolutely no value except to get their audience up in arms. They’re so good at it that I find myself wondering if they even realize what a joke their “news reports” have become.

They have to know, don’t they? I mean, it’s like The Colbert Report, and O’Reilly was in on the joke, right?

Believing impossible contradictions

We live in a weird political maelstrom. I cannot decide if it has been this way for as long as I remember, or if the current crop of extreme viewpoints is really boiling toward some sort of violence. The result is we all try to believe unreasonable numbers of contradictory things, and too many of us fall back on trusting the most sincere salesman in the room. Our right wing, which calls itself conservative, but does not believe in, or in any way support conservation (apologies to Ducks Unlimited; you are the exception that proves the rule, and you must be fairly aware of that), currently is up in arms that about 47% of the U.S. hasn’t paid taxes in the last three years. But that is caused not by people refusing to pay taxes, but by a campaign of lowering taxes, reducing the effectiveness of the IRS, and shrinking government in relation to the population of the United States, that has been underway, largely pushed by the conservative right, since Reaganrsquo;s era (oops, since his era ended. Reagan approved some pretty large tax increases to deal with federal deficits).span style=”mso-spacerun:yes”nbsp; /spanYet today, this largely conservative program is coming home to roost as a Democratic initiative gone wrong.span style=”mso-spacerun:yes”nbsp; /spanThe really sad thing?span style=”mso-spacerun:yes”nbsp; /spanItrsquo;s just another example of politicians directing attention away from the significant.span style=”mso-spacerun:yes”nbsp;br /!–/w:LatentStyles–br /That#39;s right.nbsp; When things were going well, Republicans gladly beat the drum loudly about lowering taxes to the poor.nbsp; Easy votes for negligible income, when you look at the federal balance.nbsp; Now, when the laws they lauded five years ago are actually providing relief to the poorest of us, but the political fires are burning hot in Republican Land to keep taxes off of the rich, the favoite complaint is that not everybody is paying a share.nbsp; This, in an era when the difference in wealth between the poorest and the richest in the US is larger than it has ever /br /I#39;m gonna quit complaining after this next one.nbsp; I heard somebody playing up the idea that the poorest 20% of Americans makes more money than 80% of the rest of the world.nbsp; This is an almost meaningless statistic.nbsp; The piece of shit appartment I lived in when my wife and I first moved in together probably cost more per month than half the world makes in a year.nbsp; The cheapest of two bedroom appartments in Anchorage costs more than $1000.00 a month, or about $2000,00 every year more than the average person on earth makes,a href=”” the worldwide income per capita being about $10400 each year./a/span/span Median is another deal.nbsp; The world median income was $1700 in 2005, and probably hasn#39;t done any growing since 2008.nbsp; That#39;s right.nbsp; The worst turd of a 2 bedroom appartment in Anchorage, AK, costs about $10300.00 more than the median income on the planet.nbsp;br /br /There are a lot of people in the US, whose personal weekly expenditures are 10 times what I make in a year, but who pay at a lower tax rate than I do, and the Republican part is ready to go to the mats for them, while screaming that people who have fallen beneath the poverty line should be taxed more heaviily before the millionaires consortium sees any increase./lj-cutbr /!–/lj-cut–nbsp; Yes, there is a class war going on.nbsp; Too bad us hoi poloi only just heard.nbsp; The march on that one was stolen years ago, and we#39;ve already lost.

Redneck boy makes good out there in the stars!

Ric Locke’s Temporary Duty (TDY) is a really solid read — one of the best I’ve had in several years. It’s about John Peters, a junior enlisted person in a believable near future US Navy, who volunteers to swab decks on an interstellar aircraft carrier/interstellar trading ship, crewed by aliens, Mankind’s first contact. Peters’ America is one where the poor don’t get school, the vote, or much chance to make something of themselves. It isn’t a glass ceiling, it’s more of an adamantium barrier. Wealth and privilege are birthrights of the wealthy and privileged, and American society has become a caste system in all but name.

But, all of that is backdrop, and Locke dribbles the info in over hundreds of pages of fun space opera. Peters’ adventures in space are engaging, his cynical attitude well earned, and his ability to rise to any occasion seems to flow naturally from the character. As a retired Coastie pilot, with a pinch of army warrant officer pilot in my past, I found that all of the human technical language was familiar to me, and the sort of interactions Peters has with fellow enlisted and officers generally rang true to the real world, with the exception that the behaviors Peters experiences in the officers of his story are behaviors that would have got me cashiered if I had acted that way during my military career.  This isn’t unreasonable, given the premise of a much darker, very hierarchical US social structure. Almost any of the worst behaviors the officers and senior enlisted personnel in Peter’s unit display are things I saw happen at some point in my career — but most of the time by people who got to experience civilian life within a couple years of doing whatever they did.

Another reviewer commented that this isn’t a military action book, and that is true. But fans of military SF, who know what they’re looking at, will really love this book. Fans of Andre Norton’s Interstellar trader stories will really love this book. Fans of Heinlein’s “Between Planets” or “Citizen of the Galaxy” and his other early adventures with sideline social commentary will really love this book. I even think that fans of the recent BSG will love this book. Fans of C.J. Cherryh’s alien worlds will really love this book, for its interesting alien cultures and environments. Fans of John Carter of Mars will love this book, especially the last half.  You’ve probably got my drift. One other thing — while this book reminds me of many things, it is uniquely Ric Locke’s creation. I’m really glad that I read it.

One of the things I love about TDY is the fact that it isn’t a simply premised adventure. Peters’ life changes, and the nature of his adventures change over time — a lot like real life. The man who we meet at the beginning is still there at the end, but is only a part of the whole. I think that the Gatekeepers of Modern Publishing can’t accept this thing because they can’t define it in a two minute pitch. Buy it.  Read it. You’ll probably tell friends to buy and read it.

Say one for the Marines.

Coast Guard Aviation Association

The Ancient Order of the Pterodactyl

We are asking everyone to say a prayer for “Darkhorse” 3rd Battalion 5th Marines and their families. They are fighting it out in Afghanistan & they have lost 9 marines in 4 days. IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE the message spread if more could pass it on.

“God Bless America and God Bless the United States Marine Corps… Semper Fi, The Battalion motto “Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever

Little in the media about these guys because few seem to care:

  • Justin Allen, 23,
  • Brett Linley, 29
  • Matthew Weikert, 29
  • Justus Bartett, 27
  • Dave Santos, 21
  • Chase Stanley, 21
  • Jesse Reed, 26
  • Matthew Johnson, 21
  • Zachary Fisher, 24
  • Brandon King, 23
  • Christopher Goeke, 23
  • Sheldon Tate, 27

All are Marines that gave their lives for YOU this week!