Monday, February 22, 2021

Register to vote, check your voting status

I’m sure that after the last few months, you are sick and tired of hearing about politics.  But things are not fixed.  In fact, there is no end goal in politics because there will always be new problems that need solutions.  And while the 2020 Elections were the most important American Elections this century – so far – we can’t really say they are over.  With the fate of the Senate and the House up for grabs next year, you could call the 2022 Elections the 2020 Election Part B.  And then there’s the 2024 Election. 

Normally, I’d say that we deserve a break from politics, especially after the totality of 2020.  But there is a tyrannical element that thinks that they lost in 2020, not because the voters rejected their ideas, but because there were too many voters.  They will use every legal – and even illegal – trick in the book to make it harder for people to vote in the upcoming elections. 

Right now, one of the best ways for you to counter this is to register to vote if you’ve just turned eighteen, or if you’ve never bothered to register before.  To have any say in what the government does you have to vote, and before you can vote you have to register.  Information for this should be on your state’s website. 

Even if you are registered, you should still periodically check your status.  Some states have a place on their websites to let you check, but other states make it a little harder.  The reason you need to check, is that while voter rolls need to be updated because people move or die, too often actual voters are “accidentally” removed.  The sooner these “mistakes” can be found, the sooner they can be fixed.


I know we all need a break from politics, but right now there are people working to muffle the voice of the people in favor of certain interests.  And they won’t rest.

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Biden Inauguration Sale!

Just before the 2012 Election, I self-published Political Pies, a collection of forty of my stories with a political element.  I tried to make the stories as neutral or equally condemning of the parties as I could because I wasn’t trying to force an agenda, I just wanted people to start thinking about issues.  Since then, to try to get it into as many hands as I could, I usually have a free sale of it for the Fourth of July, elections, and inaugurations.  Usually I just have it by itself, but last year I started doing sales with multiple books, so that’s what I’m doing here. 

So, between Sunday January 17th and Thursday January 21st, you can grab the following five Kindle ebooks for free. 

Political Pies


Everybody complains about politics, but does anyone do anything about it? My attempt to do something about it is to collect forty of my short stories with a political element into my Political Pies anthology. My stories are either politically neutral or equally condemning of the national parties. Instead of trying to sway you to one ideology or another, my goal is to just get people thinking about politics in the hopes a rose might grow out of all the political manure.

The Future is Coming


As a science fiction writer, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how technology will change the way we live. I’ve come up with these ten short essays about science fictional elements that will – almost certainly – one day become science fact as a way for people to start coming to terms with them. Because I’ve spent time thinking about clones and AIs, I feel that I’ll be okay when they do finally show up whereas most people will probably freak out. I hope these essays will get people to start thinking about the future because, no matter what we do, the future is coming.

Brain for Rent and other stories


Brain for Rent and other stories is a collection of five of my short scifi stories to give a sampling of my writing. The collection includes: “Brain for Rent” about a ne’re-do-well failed writer with a conceptual implant who discusses his work with a young woman thinking of getting an implant herself. “The Demonstration” is about a different young woman wanting to show off her latest body modification. “Self Imprisonment” offers one solution of safe keeping the backup copy of yourself. “The Best Job Ever” is about a necessary – yet unpleasant – human/alien interaction. And the collection ends with “Why Stay?” which explains why, after years of fighting the humans, the robots just deactivate.

An Ounce of Prevention


Like most people, Jason Fisher wanted to make the world a better place, but he doubted he would ever have the chance to make much of a mark. Then a “woman” came to him, asking his help to save humanity by threatening it.

Lonely Phoenix



Partway to a new colony world, board member Geoffrey Ames is woken from hibernation by the caretaking crew of the Lucian. They require him to look into the matter of their fellow crewman Morgan Heller. Morgan’s claims – such as being over 1500 years old – would normally land him in the psychiatric ward, except he can back up some of his other claims.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Random Story – Y’all Need Jesus

This is just an odd little story from my life.

So I have a crappy, essential, retail job.  We have several signs in the store saying that customers need to wear masks, but it is a rural, middle of nowhere place, and only about half the customers do.  And I think corporate sees it as if we piss off the rednecks, we’ll lose half our business, so we don’t say anything.

This story happened a month or so ago.  The first character was a little, older lady of maybe sixty, who was wearing a mask.  The second character was a guy in his thirties with what I assume was his ten year old son.  Neither of them wore a mask.  The lady said something to the man, I didn’t hear exactly what, but I think it was along the lines of wearing a mask would help protect his son.  The guy didn’t yell, he just spoke at a notch or two above normal speaking voice so his son standing five feet away could easily hear him, but he said, “Why don’t you go out to the parking lot and get hit by a fucking truck.” Then he muttered a notch or two below his normal speaking voice, “Cunt.” The lady didn’t reply, she just walked away. 

The last piece of information for this story, is that the guy was wearing a shirt that read – with large letters – “Y’all Need Jesus.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Christmas sale!

So it’s Christmas.  Maybe Santa brought you a new Kindle, maybe in the last few months you’ve read everything in your house, or maybe you’re just looking to try something new from someone you’ve probably never heard of.  Well, I got you covered.  From Wednesday December 23, through Sunday December 27, my four Kindle ebooks listed below will be free to download. 

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season, and I hope you enjoy anything of mine you read.

***

A Man of Few Words

 


A Man of Few Words is a collection of fifty of my flash fiction stories. What would really happen if a “T-Rex on steroids” attacked a city? Why do science fiction writers make the best lovers? How does a company get to Second Base with VIPs? I explore these questions and more using less than 1000 words and in various genres from humor to horror and general fiction to science fiction.

The majority of the stories were previously published (most on my website) but all were revised for this collection. In addition, each piece is accompanied by some background information on the origin of the story or a funny tale about the writing of it to give a fuller experience.

Rise

 


“Rise” is a standalone story set in my Human Republic Universe. The story follows the events after the tragic deaths of the colonists on a small colony in a distant star system.

A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories

 


Hopefully, in the not too distant future humans will return to the moon. We will build bases and colonies, make farms and factories, and live, love and learn. “A Cabin Under a Cloudy Sea and other stories” contains five short stories that are all set upon the moon. They give the tiniest glimpse of the possibilities awaiting us there.

The Moon Before Mars: Why returning to the moon makes more sense than rushing off to Mars

 


Over the last few years a lot of people have caught Mars fever. It seems a week doesn’t go by without a report of some new group wanting to send people to Mars, or some big name in the industry talking about why we have to go to Mars, or articles talking about the glorious future humanity will have on Mars. All of this worries me. In my opinion, a Mars base is currently not sustainable because there’s no way for it to make money. A few missions may fly doing extraordinary science, but if it’s then cancelled for cost the whole Mars Project may just be seen as an expensive stunt.

Fortunately, there are other places in the solar system besides Mars. While bases on the moon and amongst the asteroids won’t be as inspirational as one on Mars, they will have opportunities for businesses to make goods and services as well as profits, meaning less chance of them being outright cancelled. This will make life better on Earth and secure a firm foothold in space for humanity. The essays in “The Moon Before Mars: Why returning to the moon makes more sense than rushing off to Mars” allow me to describe my ideas on what can be accomplished on the moon and with the asteroids, and why Mars isn’t the destiny of humanity its cheerleaders make it out to be.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Short story – “Too Good to be True”

“Too Good to be True”

Pointing out the passenger side window, Jeff said, “I don’t know what they sell, but I think I’ll do all my shopping there this year.”

His wife Diana glanced at him and asked, “Where?”

“Uh, a store back there.  I didn’t catch the name of it.”

Diana gave him a longer glance with a raised eyebrow.  “Let me get this straight, you don’t know the name of the store, or what they sell, but you’re going to do all your shopping there?”

“They had a big sign out front saying ‘We don’t play Christmas music.’”

Diana smiled and shook her head.  After a moment, she said, “You know, they’ll be packed.  It’s probably like Black Friday in there the whole month of December.”

Jeff sighed.  “Of course.  I find something wonderful and you immediately find fault with it.”

“What did you expect?  I’m pretty sure I put that in my vows.”

With a falsetto, Jeff said, “Oh, let’s write our own wedding vows, it will be so romantic.” In his regular voice he added, “I knew that was going to bite me in the ass.”

Diana playfully slapped his shoulder.

***

The other night at work – as I listened to the fourteenth version of “Frosty” in ten minutes – I thought that if a store put out a sign saying they didn’t play Christmas music, I’d go in, without even knowing what they sold.  I thought that was a great idea, so I hammered out this story.

As I worked on the story, I realized that what we really need is a holiday from holiday music.  If you really love Christmas music, there are plenty of ways for you to listen to it.  But for captive audiences – shoppers or the poor workers who have to listen to it for hours on end – it would be nice to have an auditory break.  So I’m proposing that December 15 become No Christmas Music Day.  It’s about the middle of the month-long assault by Frosty the Red Nosed, silver, jingle bell who’s coming to town to make out with your mom, so it’s the perfect time for a break.  If we’re lucky, and it takes off, this formally one day holiday may start to creep and we’ll have two or three days free from Christmas music. 

One can hope.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Perhaps it was best that Trump won in 2016

Hear me out.

A few days ago I had an idea for an alternate history story where Clinton won in 2016.  The main point of the story was that Republicans would be outraged at her handling of the pandemic.  They would say that because she had “allowed” say, 50,000 Americans to die that she had failed in her responsibilities as President.  I was thinking about this and then I wondered what Republican would face her in 2020.

If Trump had lost in 2016, would he have gracefully accepted his defeat?  Fuck no.  He would have spent four years claiming the election had been rigged and stolen from him.  He would hold rallies, and marches, and would appear on Fox News hundreds of times saying that Clinton wasn’t the legitimate President.  And given his appeal to the MAGAs, would any Republican challenge him for the nomination and would 2020 have been a rematch?

With Democrats staying home because of the pandemic and not waiting in line for four years to get rid of Trump, could he have won in 2020?  And then when the vaccines come out in 2021, he would – naturally – take credit.  And you think the MAGA cult is intolerable now?


Trump unleashed countless horrors on America and the world in his time as President, but if he had lost in 2016 only to make a glorious comeback in 2020, could things have been worse?

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Short story – “The Horror”

“The Horror”

An upset stomach woke Jack.  Even at his tender age he knew if he went to his mom she would scold him for not listening to her when she said not to eat so much of his candy.  So he lay in bed toughening it out until morning, like the cowboy he had been.

Some time later, his stomach had settled and he was drifting back to sleep when he heard a sharp thump.  At first his sleepy mind didn’t notice, but then it repeated.  After it repeated a few times, Jack thought, It sounds like someone’s knocking on the side of the house.

Jack sat up in bed, his mind filled with images of giant monsters bashing their tentacles on the side of the house.  He was about to hide under his covers when he remembered his mom.  I should warn her.

The knocking grew louder while Jack worked up his courage.  He then heard a muffled cry of, “Oh God,” coming from her room.  The knocking stopped.  She must have seen the monster, Jack thought.  What courage he had built up melted away as he dove under his blankets, unsure what he would find in the morning.

***

I wrote this (almost exactly) nine years ago and posted it on a site that unfortunately went belly-up a few years later.  The story stayed online, but lately there’s been formatting issues.  Which sucked because I always posted a link to it around Halloween.  So I’ve reposted it so I can link to it for Halloweens future.