Three Fantastic Surprises

This is the Fantasy portion of your free gift (in every box.  Be the first kid on your blog… ahem.)

The first story was published in Baen’s Big Book of Monsters and the third is The Camels of Christmas.  The middle one is a never before published short story, which I hope you enjoy.

Again, give it away to friends, relatives, enemies, acquaintances, strangers or aliens.  It was pointed out to me in my author’s conference on Facebook that you can also trade it for sexual favors.

Just don’t claim it’s yours and don’t sell it and we’ll remain friends and my lawyer won’t have to get bent out of shape.  (And you don’t know how interesting a shape he can bend into.)

Oh, and don’t revise it.  I know it will have typos, they’re the fault of the green dragon who lives under my desk (okay, he’s black and he’s a cat, but never mind.)  However those are my typos, and if you fix them you might add your own!


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51 thoughts on “Three Fantastic Surprises

    1. Beggin’ y’all’s pardon, but did anybody notice whether I clicked the “Notify me” box? I has fears that in my eagerness to download I neglected that task.

  1. Oooh! More presents! Thank you Beautiful But Evil Space Princess. Most generous of you!
    *runs off to read the new goodies*

            1. You know the type. The first one is free, and the next thing you know you’re blowing all your spare cash on mind-bending skiffy novels bought from Odd dealers in indy booksellers back alleys…

              Which reminds me: Old Solinus entry… (does a bit of duck,duck,go-ing because I’m not driving down to work to pull out the on-dead-tree file)

              Here ya go:


              The first 9 + #16 are ours (Society Gaius Julius Solinus v. Washingtonius… though in all fairness we could have gotten it second hand ourselves). The rest are accretions from the following 6 or so years. This one has legs!

  2. *rips open wrapper, tears top of box, digs through cereal* Hey! I got a, um, *bats it across floor, sniffs it* ELoE and BbESP super secret magic decoder ring! Cool.

  3. THANK YOU! for this and the USAians collection.

    And Happy New Year to all!

    PS PSA – I do book reviews of conservative & libertarian writers, specially indie ones. If anyone wants an extra review let me know. Will cross post the same to amazon & goodreads. My blog is and I can be reached via email to vm at blogname.

    1. Here’s my review of Torchship (A Free Range Oyster reccy IIRC)

      What can I say? The “why” of it is made of compromise. Five star reviews are for the Lord of the Rings-quality books. At the same time, I know that the number of stars can affect sales and that people tend to read five-star, rather than four-star reviews: fair enough.

      So… we have down-on-her-luck pilot who walks into a into a spaceport looking for a work: It’s almost a cliche in science fiction. Except the pilot isn’t telling the truth about why she needs a job and the owner of the ship has his own agenda. In the very best science fiction the world is a character. This is no exception. In the ‘verse of Torchship, Artificial Intelligence brings a golden age to mankind. AI brings genocide as well. The choice for the survivors appears to be between complete disconnection from computer technology or a fusion into a paranoic, jealously guarded network.

      If you like early Tom Clancy, Firefly and Star Trek (And I mean to say, the kind of intelligent Star Trek you get from someone like Sylvia Louise Engdahl) this is the book for you. Fair warning: don’t start this book in the evening because you won’t be able to put it down.

      So maybe it kind of does deserve five stars. Or at least 4 & 1.2.

      (Note: edited original review to make more sense: I stayed up until after 2 in the morning to finish it, then wrote the review. Phew! Still love the book & can’t wait for the next one.)

      Feel free to use, copy, do what you like. No need to credit, But if you want to edit, contact me first.

      1. Overgrown Hobbit, actually I am wondering if you would like me to feature your cute webcomic on my Sunday Funday post(s)?
        I would link back to your original blog post in each case.
        You can answer via email if that is easier – vm at bookhorde dot org
        Let me know, thanks!

    1. Speaking of eggs, oldest child just demonstrated the power of steam and the fallacy of the Marxist idea of value as per Heinlein by bursting eggs all over the microwave.

      1. in re: Microwaves and eggs…

        I was most surprised to discover that merely breaking the eggshell and placing the contents into a bowl or similar container is not sufficient to prevent this. It is necessary to at least break the yolk (I did not experiment with greater and lesser amounts of scrambling to determine and approximate amount of breaking necessary to keep egg from the walls of the microwave).

        1. when I was just starting as a Teen, my Uncle got a microwave. He was the first in the family to do so. When, a bit later,the oldest of my 3 sisters was hit by a car, the rest of us stayed there for a bit while Mom and Dad spent time in Green Bay for her treatment. Uncle Bud would boil up eggs and then they would later be warmed in the Micro (without us 3 there he still had 7 kids he was feeding at that time. They had 2 more later). My youngest sister learned that if you dialed in a bit too much time, and even if the egg did not go BOOM inside the box, it might still when you were carrying it. Yep, it ‘sploded all over her and the kitchen while she was transporting it over to where the Salt and Pepper were.

            1. The Egg? Nah, just surprised her and we all laughed (then again if it burned her, we’d have laughed too, our family is a bit odd like that)
              The Sis who got hit by a car? 39 day in the hospital, of that 30 days in ICU.

              1. Oh, the egg whites will also explode. And breaking the yolk is not enough. But a really tall mug is a good containment device, albeit a coffee cup can do it.

                1. these were already grenades with the pin pulled. fully cooked and the shell removed. Who knows what blew first, the yolk or white. but “pop” and there were bits scattered about

      2. My wife has (twice) proved that if you put eggs in a pot of water and boil them long enough, they will explode.

        The Burnt Crunchy Bits(tm) indicate the water had boiled away some time before detonation, though.

        1. My wife has (twice) proved that if you put eggs in a pot of water and boil them long enough, they will explode.


          I’m not sure that’s really adequate. She needs to do it a few more times at least to make sure the result can be reproduced.

          1. It must also be proven for a variety of altitudes atmospheric pressures.

            It might be necessary to demonstrate it for a variety of eggs: chickens’, turkeys’, ostrichs’ and rocs’.

          1. Ooo, I hadn’t seen that one. I think I downloaded the book as an audiobook via Project Gutenberg; well, the book is Lost Princess of Oz with the gnome king.

      1. I knew a kid from Plaquemine, La who had Sam I Am across the back of his racecar. But it was a Seuss Sam, not Freefall Sam he was referring to.

  4. Story the First: Most interesting.

    Story the Second: Hehehehe… and am I reminded of the Animaniacs short ‘Green Eggs and Meat’ which is, of course, not at all the same.

    Story the Third: Well now, I might be biased, but it’s always nice to return to Goldport.

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