“Blood Heir” and Beyond

blood heir

Cover art for the novel “Blood Heir” by Amélie Wen Zhao

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao is not the sort of novel I’d read, but as I’ve said once, twice, and most recently a third time, I hate bullies, especially those who pretend to be workers of “justice”.

Over absolutely unjustified allegations of racism (the book hadn’t even been published yet), the author herself voluntarily “apologized” for her racism in her book and withdrew it from publication.

Horrible mistake. Grievous error.

Fortunately, not long later she realized this was all part of some ridiculous campaign against her that had nothing to do with racist themes in her story (the story was based on elements of the author’s ethnic and national past) and everything to do with the bad character of her opponents. She went ahead and released her book for publication. That was November 2019.

So how did the book do when real people read and reviewed it:

Continue reading

Book Review of “Nemesis Games,” Fifth in The Expanse Novel Series

ng

Cover art for the novel “Nemesis Games.”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

James S. A. Corey is the pen name of fantasy author Daniel Abraham and writer Ty Franck, who once again return with Nemesis Games, the fifth edition in the Expanse novel series.

Actually, the first misstep in the story is the raid conducted by the belter thug Filip and his band of any man left behind gets killed on Callisto a year before the book really begins. It’s clear they’re stealing tons and tons of stealth material, stealthy, but that means it still have lots of mass. Yes, they get away with it, but stealth doesn’t mean immaterial (you still have to cover three really, really big rocks with it).

Ever since that moment, the owners act like they can’t figure out what was taken? What? It was stealthy so now that it’s gone, you can’t figure out what was there in the first place? You don’t have cargo manifests? You don’t have lot assignments? I guess it’s to keep the readers from figuring out too soon that the radical Free Navy version of the OPA run by Filip’s Daddy Marco Inaros is going to drop a bunch of rocks on Earth.

Continue reading

Update on Amélie Wen Zhao’s “Blood Heir”

blood heir

Cover art for the novel “Blood Heir” by Amélie Wen Zhao

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

In reviewing my blog stats today, I saw someone had read an article I wrote back in February 2019 called Amélie Wen Zhao, “Blood Heir,” and Social Justice (or is it vengeance).

Apparently, even before Amélie Wen Zhao’s book was published, a whole bunch of self-righteous online pundits accused Zhao of writing an anti-black tome which should, from their perspective, be shunned and never see the light of day. You can click the link I provided for the details, but among the bullies I was was able to find on twitter were Ellen 오 Oh and Paige Cee (Cee had made her twitter page private during the backlash against her, but I see now it’s available).

Unfortunately, after being brutally and unjustly attacked, Zhao did the worst thing she could do. She apologized to her abusers. Metaphorically speaking, this is like the victim of domestic violence apologizing to the person who has beaten her black and blue with their fists.

Continue reading

“Time’s Abyss” Comes Out Next Month!

time's abyss

Promotional image for “Time’s Abyss.”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

Last April, I announced that my novella Time’s Abyss was available for pre-order at Amazon for delivery to your Kindle device on October 15, 2021. That’s just a hair under six weeks now as I write this, and I’m really excited (you can find more links at books2read).

With a word count of over 29,000, this will be my longest published piece. Believe it or not, it can be difficult to sustain a set of characters and a common storyline past “short story” limits, at least for me, so this is a real accomplishment. Sadly, a long-time (in real life) friend of mine who was one of my biggest fans won’t be able to read it. He succumbed to ALS after many years of struggle.

Continue reading

Three Weeks Until “Theo Klaagorn, Private Eye”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

Three weeks until “Theo Klaagorn, Private Eye”.

I’ll post the pre-order link when available. Just three weeks until the 2021 edition of Fall Into Fantasy is available.

In 2019, my short story “The Demon in the Mask” appeared in this edition. When I went back to Amazon, I found out that one reviewer last year put my tale in the top five that she enjoyed. It was, what I consider, a traditional fantasy tale of dark demons and fallen heroes, a story of redemption in the face of unbelievable loss.

By contrast, “Theo Klaagorn, Private Eye” or “private detective,” I can’t decide which, is whimsical urban fantasy, a world where fantasy creatures escape a horrendous war in the dragon realms to certain places on Earth, like Las Vegas in 1974. Theo is a dwarf who, with his friends, a giant, a werewolf, and a fairy, try to solve the murder of an elven prince and free his half-elf wife who was framed for the crime.

Continue reading

My Short Story “The Last Astronaut” to be featured in the anthology “Exploring Infinity”

infinity
If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

A few years back, I read Richard Paolinelli’s novel Escaping Infinity, which I subsequently reviewed. I found out that although Richard hadn’t planned on writing a sequel, the novel’s fans kept pestering him about it. So he did, or rather, he will, in the forthcoming book “Expanding Infinity.” 

However, in between this and that, he invited authors to write a series of short stories for an anthology he is calling Exploring Infinity. Technically, with a hotel blipping in and out of 5,000 years of human history, kidnapping people to repopulate a devastated Earth in the far future, there must be a lot of stories to tell. Pre-order it at Amazon.

For me, there was only one: “The Last Astronaut.” I mentioned this just a few days ago. It takes the events in Richard’s novel and does a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead on the original material (a play first staged in 1966 which I first found out about through a Shakespeare-obsessed friend in the late 1970s).

My character Booker Robinson is the observer of the events in Richard’s novel, but by the end of the story, he becomes much more than that. In Richard’s introduction to my story, he says:

Continue reading

Another Short Story About to be Published in the Anthology…

infinity
If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

This is one of those things I really want to talk about but I can’t give out too many details yet. The publisher hasn’t given me the green light to name names, but one of my short stories has been accepted in an anthology that should become available the weekend after Labor Day (or so).

It’s a tad unusual. The publisher wrote a novel and thus created a universe. He’s writing a sequel to that novel, but in-between the first and the second, he invited various writers to try their/our hand at crafting a short tale in that self-same universe.

So of course I did and it was accepted.

The graphic at the top is a heavily cropped image of the poster for all three books, and while it’s pretty colorful, it (hopefully) reveals nothing.

I will provide you with a bit of an excerpt just to whet your whistle, metaphorically speaking.

Continue reading

Book Review of “Cibola Burn,” the Fourth in the “Expanse” Series

cibola burn
If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

Last night, I finished Cibola Burn (2015), which is the fourth book in The Expanse novel series by James S.A. Corey (Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). As with the previous novel Abaddon’s Gate, it was a little difficult for me to get into at first, but once I was hooked, I was hooked hard.

The general plot is pretty straightforward. Now that the Ring is operational and the gateways to other parts of the galaxy are open, a group of belter refugees took their ship on an unauthorized journey through a gate and ended up in another solar system. For a year, they’ve been colonizing Ilus (called New Terra by the UN) and have set up mining facilities. However, the UN has chartered the Royal Charter Energy (RCE) corporation to both scientifically explore and materially exploit the world, seeing the settlers as “squatters.”

A small group of settlers, including Basia Metron who we briefly saw in Caliban’s War (yes, people who have appeared before come back) planning to blow up the landing pad for the RCE ship’s big shuttle as a protest don’t realize the shuttle is on final approach. In trying to abort the explosion, Basia sets it off, either killing or terribly wounding everyone on board including the UN appointed regional governor.

Continue reading

To Be Published in “Fall into Fantasy 2021”

fall

Proposed cover art for “Fall into Fantasy 2021”

If you like my work, buy me a virtual cup of coffee at Ko-Fi

Since 2019, my short stories have appeared more or less regularly in the Cloaked Press anthologies Spring into SciFi and Fall into Fantasy.

I’m proud to announce that my urban fantasy tale “Theo Klaaggorn, Private Eye” will be appearing in the upcoming “Fall into Fantasy 2021.”

Here’s a small preview:

Continue reading