Thursday Morning Coming Down

It has dropped!

Like every time I change genre, let alone medium, I was very nervous, and it was probably a mercy I didn’t realize it was coming out yesterday but thought it was another week.

Anyway, the reviews are decent.

https://www.grahamcrackers.com/products/barbarella_1_2021_cover_a.htm

and:

https://comicalopinions.com/barbarella-vol-2-1-review/

I expect there will be the usual, you know “I didn’t read it, but I don’t like her” reviews, but it’s not like I ever cared much about the opinions of the demented.

I find it kishmetic and bitter sweet that this is coming out while Cuba struggles for freedom.

And oh, on demented:

Yesterday we had the house inspection (and then drove back, getting home late, so this morning I feel like I’m coming down with something, but it might just be the air conditioning in the car blowing on me the whole way) and it went very well. So we’ll be moving in a month. Meanwhile I have books to write and edit. And a house to pack and paint and fix.

So?

So — this morning I install and train dragon. Must happen.

Also on more demented:

Yesterday, driving on the highway, there was an American flag on the road. Like lunatics, we went back, stopped with hazards on and yours truly ran out and rescued it. (Like a lunatic, yes.)

We can’t fly it — the experience tore it up a bit — but we’re going to frame it between two pieces of plexigas and it will be THE art on the wall of our living room.

We chose to regard it as a good omen.

Symbols are important, and that’s a powerful symbol for both of us, and leaving it in the dirt of the road, getting run over felt indecent.

So, what else?

Nothing much. I have things to say about centralized rule and such, that I was discussing with husband during drive. But right now? I’m going to put work clothes on and go pack, even if I’ll take it slightly easy, in deference to feeling yucky.

More tomorrow.

Nobody Knows The Trouble….

I’m becoming excessively fond of MeWe. It’s providing almost as much fodder for posts as FB used to, only from the other side. Maybe. I mean, these are at least purported non-leftists.

The problem, of course, is that due to both the American people’s tendency not to agree with anyone, including themselves individually, there are more sides to this argument than there are to an infinitely folded pocket universe.

Anyway, this person was self identified non-lefty, genus impatientus, species moronic. No, seriously, I didn’t realize how moronic, until I was talking about it to friends and realized what he had used as examples of countries that were rebelling against tyranny. When I went “Say what?”

So, it was late, and we were making last minute plans for trip today, and I was feeling a little irritated, when I came across this post on MeWe (where I was for legitimate reason of doing writing sprints with my writing-children.)

“In countries like Taiwan and Cuba people are revolting even though it might mean death, while here we sit still for fear of being cancelled and losing our jobs.”

I did mention I was feeling a little irritated, right? And also that it was late and I’d been doing sprints, which means I was dog-tired. So for Taiwan I read “Hong Kong” as one does. (Well, this one does.) But because I was irritated, I answered with “Well, they’ve been under tyranny for decades, so now they revolt. I don’t think we’ll take as long as they did.”

And then he comes f*cking back with “It’s been almost 100 years.” At which point I fired two warning shots. Into his head.

Okay, I didn’t. That’s a Chicago reference. And besides, the only super power I routinely pray for is the ability to reach through the screen and b*tch slap the living daylights out of people who badly need it.

Like this one.

Instead, I was rude to him on the subject of “What the hell are you talking about? Do you think you’ve been in the kind of tyranny Cuba has experienced for 100 years?” Advised him not to blow smoke up my nether orifice, and left.

It wasn’t till I was talking to friends later, that I realized he thought TAIWAN was no rebelling against tyranny. What tyranny? No, seriously. I mean, dude, what?

Sure, they don’t have US-type freedoms, but look, governments can be different without being utter tyranny.

Which brings us to “it’s been almost 100 years.”

Sure it has. As Bill Reader is fond of saying “If America finally succumbs, Woodrow Wilson and that bastard FDR will have their fingerprints all over the murder weapon.”

He’s not wrong.

But there’s tyranny and tyranny, you know. It’s a sliding slope to hell. But mostly the American frog has been boiled. And to an extent, for a while, there were benefits to it.

Before you start shouting and get all up in my face, look, Heinlein was right. The Constitution was designed for a rural nation not involved in world affairs. For the industrial giant of the 20th century corners had to be cut.

Stop. don’t throw things at me. I am a constitutionalist. I believe the sky can boil away, the stars could turn to dusk and not a comma will be obsolete in that immortal document.

BUT that’s not what people in the early 20th century believed. Read the stories they told themselves, the books of the time. Centralization of decision was necessary for the every increasing “savings” of more and more mass production. And they thought it would be like that forever. So…. well, the only distinction was “do you or don’t you want mass graves with that?” Heinlein HIMSELF believed that was inevitable.

It was assumed the era of the individual had passed. Dead. Gone. Ever more massive super-states were the trend of the future. So, the constitution was SLOWLY shredded to get us there.

A funny thing happened on the way to that future. Turns out superstates aren’t more efficient. Chaotic economic activity is better at everything particularly innovation. And it turns out that the Constitution is actually the path to the future.

Of course, you and I know that. Knew that all along.

So–

Sure, we’ve been under increasingly shredded Constitution and suffering abuses and infringements for 100 years, but let’s be real, okay?

We have not been — weirdly still aren’t. Weirdly, because it’s what the Junta wants — under the kind of oppression Cuba has seen.

Yes, normal people here sit on their asses, instead of rebelling against a government that wants to force everyone to take an unneeded vaccine and keep their mouths shut so they don’t get cancelled and lose their jobs.

Do you know the difference between them and Cuba? They still have something to sit on, and jobs they can lose. (Not to count those who have no clue anything is wrong. Fortunately I think there are fewer of those than we think.)

Cubans have nothing. And they have nothing to lose. They might get crushed, but what difference does it make, between slow and fast suicide.

Now, I don’t think we’ll get to that point without revolting. That’s because our culture is very different, but also because our focking idiots have forgotten to boil the frog slowly and have turned the temperature to a million while laughing evilly in public. Even a frog isn’t stupid enough to sit in that bath too long.

But it will be a while longer. Even political addicts expect the next elections to work. (Sweet summer children.) Because they sort of have in the past.

But the point is, don’t tell me Americans are uniquely passive or some crap. It’s easy to fight when you have nothing left to lose. We have too much left to lose. And at some point everyone will realize we’re losing it.

Not long now. How bad it gets after that is anybody’s guess, but the people who want to take everything away from us are afraid. That’s the measure of how bad it will get: their frantic panic.

Keep in mind that in a century we had precisely two presidents that didn’t go along with the left. Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump.

Two. Three terms.

The first put paid to sacred cows of the left that EUROPE is still mired in: managed decline is the only option! Controlled wages/prices/everything. Communism wins in the end.

The second just ripped the masks off the bureaucratic swamp, the geriatric kakistokrats of the left, their collaborators on the right, and the complete mess that is our electoral system. (I notice no one argues any longer when I say mostly the democrats win by fraud. But they did argue 8 years ago. Bah.)

I’m watching in fascinated horror as the MSM now reports on Hunter’s corruption. This is of course part of the palace war between Jill Biden and Commie LaWhorish. Commie is firing for effect.

But she’s too stupid (no, seriously, that woman is denser than the cores of some planets) to realize that every time she does that she’s burning away what remains of the credibility of the media the left needs to keep them in power/return them to power/make us believe they have legitimate power.

Is the situation grave? Sure it is. It’s dangerous, but not serious. Not serious because everyone on the left and the agencies bending to them are complete and obvious clown shoes. I mean, the WSJ now reports that yes, the Hunter laptop is real — duh — even though they denied it before. Our vaunted FBI REALLY IS THIS STUPID. It’s not so much that there are no adults on the left, but that there is no evidence of brain activity on the left.

The leftist ideology suffered a fatal stroke when the USSR fell and Reagan upended all their cherished notions. Since then it’s been hooked up to life support — race! Climate! Race Again! China! More Race! — but it’s all artificial, and the moment it’s disconnected, we’ll realize they’re dead.

The flurry of activity is really the corpse of communism being consumed from within.

All over the world, inchoately, blindly, people are revolting against the failing centralized model of government and living. And like some species of plants which can’t even think but turn to the sun, they might not know much about us and our current troubles, but they know the stars and stripes stand for freedom.

And sure, they’re getting crushed. So was our revolution initially.

But bless them, now they have nothing they’re trying to fight their way out.

I suspect in not very long we’ll join in and then the tide turns.

I have children and adopted/ish grandchildren, and hope of bio grandchildren.

I very much hope this moment can pass without fire and blood.

I very much am afraid it can’t.

So, do what?
So….

The American people will ultimately fight as they first did for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and for our prescient, miraculous Constitution.

And thereonto I pledge my life, my wealth, my sacred honor. And I’m not alone.

Which is why as we stir and wake, the tide turns.

Which is why the animated corpse of communism (yes, that’s a long way to spell Joe Biden!) is terrified, and going full Jackboots in record time.

We won’t experience what they have in Cuba, because they’re trying so hard to bring it here so fast.

Be not afraid. In the end we win, they lose. Because we are fighting for life and freedom.

And the world knows it.

In the end we win, they lose.

Under old glory, which they fear.

Stop Collaborating With The Enemy

You ain’t Tokyo Rose. Before words come out of your mouth and memes out of your fingers, ask yourself “am I being used?”

For some reason, I keep running against this bilge on mewe. I think because honestly when I go to Facebook it’s mostly or private groups, a chat with a friend, or for echoing the blog posts. So time spent looking at my main page is….. short. Though to be honest, my time on FB is short and getting shorter.

What bilge? Oh, memes extolling the Chinese in relation to us. And all conservatives pick this crap up and echo it, because it happens to “side rail” against things they hate (and which it’s valid to hate.)

But the memes are crap. The aggrandizing of the Chinese bastards is crap. They’re either outright lies or laughable lies. And the memes, somehow, never hit the Chinese where it hurts: the fact their economy is so f*cked most of their people live like Medieval peasants; the fact their army of little emperors cried when they went up against India; the fact that they are having trouble feeding their own population; the crumbling empty cities they think are “investments”; their population collapse; Xi’s pretensions to world leadership; their slave camps. Which you know, tells you exactly where the meme factory is and who is propagating it.

The problem being when conservatives seize the memes and distribute, they are actively collaborating in the aggrandizing of China and putting down the US. They are also convincing the Chinese their victory over us will be easy. (This is good and bad, but if you have friends and relatives in large cities, think about the chances of it ending up with one of those catching a nuke because the idiots get cocky, okay?)

Chinese are masters of propaganda and psychological warfare, while Americans are so bad at it that it hurts. If you loved 2020 keep collaborating with the enemy.

If not, listen up:

Yeah, sure, the fact that the usurpers of our governmental institutions are making our armed forces participate in inclusivity and CRT training, and prioritizing bullshit SJW goals over preparedness IS a problem. But that doesn’t mean we’re not still the best fighting force in the world. Sure, it’s damning with faint praise, but comparing us to China and saying they’re “prepared for war” and “will win” is bullshit. You know it’s bullshit, I know it’s bullshit. It’s bullshit so rank I can smell it through the internet.

The Chinese have Little Emperors — single descendants of multiple families — who are no more prepared to risk themselves in war than I’m prepared to fly unassisted. Their army is bullshit.

Why is it bullshit? Because they don’t have a fighting force. The only fighting strength they ever had was the ability to submerge any enemy in a wave of people. But they can’t. Because the communists destroyed that too.

Their weapons are bullshit. I’d like independent confirmation of their “achievements in space.” Why? Because, well, the USSR achievement in space was a) what they could steal from us b) flimsy and c) mostly trumped up. In the sense that they only publicized their wins, while it might be one in ten that succeeded.

Look, by definition an authoritarian regime sucks at tech. I’m not saying anything about “capabilities of the people” (duh) but seriously? If you can’t report failed experiments, failed assemblies or builds that need to be improved, you’re going to have crappy tech. And you can’t report any of that, because in a centralized authoritarian regime you’ll be punished for failure, even if it’s not your fault. And you might get accused of doing it on purpose.

When nothing less than 100% success is allowed, the process is corrupt and the result is excrement. (Look at our “science” right now. No, seriously. We’re sliding that way.)

So, no matter how made you are at what the army and our government is doing, stop echoing Xi’s bullshit. And counter it every time you see it. This is war by other means, or in the ancient Chinese tradition, softening the enemy so they’ll surrender at first attack.

Yesterday, I came across probably the most egregious of this load of bullshit: It claimed we get MOST of our food from China.

No, I’m actually serious. It claimed that we get fish and meat from China.

I know we get some “food” ingredients from China. It’s very easy to find out which, if you remember what failed during the lockdowns and is still iffy.

Most of that, in most of the country (except for some parts but that’s explainable other ways. Like of course big cities when people mostly ate out, restaurant supply stores were overfull, and groceries empty, when restaurants closed) is extremely processed food (some of the low carb stuff, which I’ve started phasing out for obvious reasons, in favor or more locally available) or pet food. (And pet food now is not as much dependent on China as it was, since they killed a bunch of dogs and cats by doing Chinese trade bullshit.)

China, in point of fact, imports vast amounts of its food from the US. VAST. Without us they couldn’t feed their people even at the pitiful subsistence level they manage.

The US is largely food self-sufficient. And feeds half the world. Now we get out of season stuff from Mexico and other points South, and shrimp from tropical waters, but that’s about it.

Now, sure, you get a lot of your food from Chinese owned corporations.

That is because they have bought several American corporations like Smithfield Hams. But they did that not because they’re feeding us from their surplus, but because they want to make sure their people get food if/when they f*ck with us enough that food becomes scarce here. That’s all.

As for why our corporations (and politicians) are letting themselves be bought with what amounts to monopoly money? Because they’re stupid. And they believe the propaganda with which you’re collaborating.

You see, the Chinese money is worth what the Chinese government says it is. And that’s part of the reason why the local sh*theads believe you can just print money without diminishing the value of money. Look at the Chinese. They do it!

Yeah. There is one TINY problem with that. This type of scam goes on until it doesn’t. If the economy behind it isn’t worth what is being printed/distributed/used…. sooner or later it all implodes.

And the Chinese economy isn’t worth spit, and will be worse less as we stop buying their stuff. (Which honestly has already started. And will get worse as their vice-roy makes our economy worse.)

Again, totalitarian regimes are above all terrible at communication. Which is all that money is. Money is communication. It’s a way to signal “more of this. Less of that.” When you cut that off and interpose yourself, you cut the bonds of the economy and leave production and demand to flap lose in the wind. Which is why the Chinese build ghost cities that crumble within years. (To be fair, so do normal Chinese cities.)

So, yeah, they’re buying us up with monopoly money, and lending us monopoly money, and our people are too stupid to understand that. But they are at danger and they know it. Which is why they buy American companies and land. Because they are desperate for something solid to own that won’t turn to vapor when the morning sun hits.

If you remember the early oughts, husband kept trying to explain to me how perception was reality or whatevs, because that’s what it looked like. Companies popped up overnight, and got massive IPOs without having produced a single thing, and seemed to be thriving. He interviewed and was actively headhunted by a bunch of these, so I read their brochures and researched them and kept telling him “That’s nice, but there’s NOTHING there. They’re fairy gold.”

And true enough, when the fog cleared, they were nothing.

For a strange illustration of this — it’s not what he thought he was doing — read Simak’s They Walked Like Men, where aliens are buying up the Earth using …. themselves. They’re shape shifters who turn into money, then revert to their form.

In the book, the time comes when everyone is homeless, because they’ve sold their house which stands empty. Until someone goes “Hey, you know what? The money disappeared anyway. Let’s go get our houses back.”

Which is what I envision at the end of China’s bullshit.

They think that because we deal fairly we’re weak. But in the end it is they who are weak, because all their streams of information are corrupt. And they’re so used to living in a semblance of reality that they don’t understand REAL reality. Which will bite their ass when the fog evaporates.

If we let the fog evaporate and stop collaborating with the enemy.

Because you know what? The left echoes these memes because since the USSR died China became their beau ideal, to show us communism can work. (More like fascism, but sure, whatevs. If you like slavery, China has slavery.) And the right echoes it, because they don’t like certain practices in our country.

When what we need to do is stand up for and by America. Sure, our government are occupiers, our political class is corrupt, our institutions need a fine scouring (which is a weird term for burning and salting the ground, I get it.)

But–

But we’re still the best in the world, and the last great hope of mankind.

D*mning with faint praise? Oh, sure. But broken and with our feet in a bucket, we’ve preserved civilization before, and I’m betting we can do it again.

The current sclerotic Junta is not a patch on Woodrow Wilson or FDR who were COMPETENT evil. They are in fact the decaying results of the left’s illusions. They are a paper tiger. And behind them, America remains, as strong and stubborn and able as ever.

Perfect? Oh, hell no. And yeah, there’s a reckoning coming, and we can’t avoid it.

BUT we’re still miles better than China or any of our other vainglorious, ridiculous “rivals.”

We have no rival, because we have no equal.

Oppressed people screaming for freedom — as in Cuba — lift high the stars and stripes.

Will you not do likewise?

Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

Book Promo

If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*

FROM SARAH A. HOYT: Deep Pink (Magis Book 1)https://amzn.to/3xAWOzo

DEEP PINK IS NOW ON PAPER (Yes, yes, sequel soon.)

Like all Private Detectives, Seamus Lebanon [Leb] Magis has often been told to go to Hell. He just never thought he’d actually have to go. But when an old client asks him to investigate why Death Metal bands are dressing in pink – with butterfly mustache clips – and singing about puppies and kittens in a bad imitation of K-pop bands, Leb knows there’s something foul in the realm of music. When the something grows to include the woman he fell in love with in kindergarten and a missing six-year-old girl, Leb climbs into his battered Suburban and like a knight of old goes forth to do battles with the legions of Hell. This is when things become insane…. Or perhaps in the interest of truth we should say more insane.

FROM MARGOT SINCLAIR: Not Exactly Murder: Vol. 1.

It’s the mid-90s in Charleston, South Carolina, and the city is only beginning to feel the effects of the “Third Yankee Invasion.”But Charleston is still Charleston. Large shabby pockets remain ungentrified, and the real estate has yet to be bought up by retired CEOs “from off.” The old families live in the old houses and maintain the old rituals. Eccentricity and ancestor-worship abound.Not Exactly Murder is an explosive and hilarious romp through a recent past when Charleston was still decadent and quirky, and when port city crime oozed through every street.The first in a four-book series that establishes a new genre. Let’s see, what to call it?”Southern Women With Guns”or”Elmore Leonard meets Janet Evanovich meets Dixie”Whatever you call it, you’re in for a ride.

FROM DENTON SALLE: Sworn to the Light: The Avatar Wizard – Book 1

“Power comes from either the Light or the Dark, lad. Nothing is neutral.”

Jeremy has a problem: he randomly turns into a black and white bear cub. The transformations panic his mom, but his father says he knows a wizard who can help. That scares his mother even more.

The volkh wizards once ruled like gods in their power, building the great golden city of Miklagard, establishing kingdoms, and trading with legendary places like Sheba, Chin, and India. Then the Dark arose and the wars destroyed much of the world. Kingdoms fell, cities burned, and the volkhvy were merciless in crushing it.

Master Anthony remains the greatest of the living volkh lords. Can he, will he help Jeremy stop this random changes? And at what price? Why is Jeremy’s dad so worried? Isn’t the war against darkness over?

Join Jeremy as he enters the world of the volkhvy. A world of mysteries and secrets. Where women walk in shadow and men call lightning at will. Where endless war against the Dark continues. If you liked Harry Potter and the Heroes of Olympus, you’ll enjoy this series set in a Rus fantasy world where the lines between Good and Evil are clearly drawn.

FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY: ON SALE: Simple Service: Science Fiction Colonization Adventure (Martha’s Sons Book 1)

They’re stranded beyond the known stars. Will his treacherous mission on an unforgiving world end in death?

Twenty-year-old Peter Dawe has learned to keep his mouth shut around his father. So the super-strong, genetically modified, human hybrid keeps his focus on his strict parent’s bidding to recover his family’s weapons. But after barely escaping a manhunt, Peter encounters real trouble when he runs into his self-indulgent brother.

Forced to take the vain and reckless fool back into danger with him for a second attempt to retrieve the remaining blasters, Peter fears his sibling’s undisciplined ways will get them both killed. But as the colony begins its descent into tyranny, treachery and betrayal could be far deadlier enemies…

Can Peter survive a desperate plan that puts a target on his back?

Simple Service is the first book in the immersive Martha’s Sons science fiction series. If you like gripping action, insurmountable odds, and alien worlds, then you’ll love Laura Montgomery’s rugged adventure.

FROM D. W. PATTERSON: Mach’s Metric: Future Chron Universe.

Originally published in 2018.
The wormhole drive could finally give humanity the stars, if it didn’t destroy them first. An accident had killed thousands by disrupting the entanglement of spacetime and its continued use could lead to further disruptions unless a solution could be found. Young Elias Mach, physicist and inventor of the drive, took on the challenge with the help of a supportive few. He would have to find a solution to the drive’s dire side-effects before it was too late.

If you like a fast moving story, characters that never give up, and science with a sense of wonder, this is for you.

“Mach’s Metric” is set in the future (2390s) and is the first novel in the Future Chron Universe. If you enjoyed “Mach’s Metric” consider reading the next story in the series “Mach’s Mission” for more Hard Science Fiction – Old School.

For more information about the Future Chron Universe, including a chronological reading order, see the author’s blog futurechron.blogspot.com.

(Also published as “Mach’s Metric Book 1).

FROM LEIGH G. WYNN: The Eye of Elektron (The Sumrectian Series Book 1).

Two souls from different realms. Bound by sacrifice. Torn by fate.

Dawn has sixty minutes…
to plan her death…
so that her brother may live.

Competition to be a portrait artist at Crimson Estate is fierce. One lives. One dies. And participation is not voluntary.

To save her brother’s life, Dawn ensures her own execution by painting a forbidden magical device—the Eye of Elektron. Banned from use by powerful Sumrects, the Eye of Elektron has not functioned since the failed human rebellion against Sumrectian tyranny eleven years ago.

Somehow, it comes to life in her hands…

And seizes the attention of an ancient evil and its archenemy, Ansel Cassadian, the most powerful Sumrect in a thousand years. Strangely, he seems to know everything about her difficult past—a past that holds the key to her future.

As evil threatens to destroy all she holds dear, Dawn must reawaken the Eye of Elektron in time to free the humans and save the Sumrect who risked his destiny to protect her.

If you enjoy fast-paced fantasy and slow-burn romance, then you’ll love The Eye of Elektron, book one of a brand new, action-packed, urban fantasy series. Scroll up and grab a copy to start the adventure now!

FROM JONATHAN DE SOUZA: Solist At Large: The Last Solist #1

Adelaide Taylor is the newest Solist to have gained her powers. A magical warrior of the ancient and lost Dawn Empire, she moved from California to New Jersey in secret. Enrolled in a very Catholic high school, she has to find her Companions-five teenagers that will help her to defeat magical threats to the human race. But, in the process of becoming a Solist, Adelaide has to hide the truth of her past from everyone else. Including the five people that she needs to trust the most.

And, there are secrets that Adelaide still has to discover about herself and the world she has become a part of…

FROM MACKEY CHANDLER: Common Ground and Other Stories

Common Ground and Other Stories by [Mackey Chandler]

A collection of seven Science Fiction short stories by Mackey Chandler.
The lead story, Common Ground is big enough to be a novella. It was published in Jim Baen’s Universe e-zine. Sadly that has gone out of business. They had a goal of paying professional rates which made it more difficult. I’m somewhat spoiled because this was the first short story I ever attempted and it sold.
I won’t ruin your read with detailed spoilers – sufficient to say the seven shorts contain an alien with a very human foible, a joker Joyboy banished to selling shoes on the moon, a crotchety old man holding aliens at bay with a leaf blower, the ultimate Windoze -FAIL-, a self made billionaire who never lost his touch, a sword wielding Earth diplomat who was either very very good or incredibly lucky, and a future Mama’s boy dealing with family in an era of extended life times.

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: ARROGANT

Tired Now

I know this is going to sound unbelievable, but it turns out that three cities in three days, viewing six to seven houses each, with a bunch of driving every day, and oh yeah, two offers (one rejected one accepted) is EXHAUSTING. Yes, tongue firmly in cheek.

And I’m sorry I’ve been more absent than not from the blog. But–

Well, but the next month things will be funky (if all goes well) as we get this house ready to go up, and things packed to move.

Neverthless, Bowl of Red is on track to go up early next month, (hopefully before closing) and my evenings are right now taken up with editing/fixing/etc the darkship series, so it can start going up one a week.

I have August 15th through 25th penciled in for sleeping, but with my luck that’s when hell breaks lose, right?

(But Sarah, you said June. I know. I also said it would be so small/silent in June we might not notice. But I’m not going to weasel. This sense of what’s coming is an imperfect instrument, and it’s possible I’m completely wrong. I’m still holding on to hope all this resolves without fire and blood. But judging from how people less inclined to think so are acting, I’d say chances are slim. Still, praying never hurt anyone. Pray for peace. Prepare for otherwise, yes, including disruptions and chaos. And always follow Heinlein’s advice: keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. The life you save might be your own.)

And now that I’m upright and moving (Well, shambling) I’m going to get my headphones on, audiobook playing, and go clean the house. (It’s okay, I’ve trained myself to think of this as “resting” since it’s normally half of my day off) so serious scraping/sanding/painting can start tomorrow.

I’ll drop by now and then, hopefully to be amused. And will sit down to write at 5 pm or so….

Thank you for putting up with irregular hours and crazy times here at ATH. I’ll try to post regularly through the next month, but some days I’ll fail. Thank you in advance for your patience.

Try to defend the ATH ship from pirates and the pirate-like regulars who will try to burn it or scuttle it because some troll infestation got in.

Be not afraid. We’re going to get through this. All of this. Because we’re the people who get through things. By the time most of us survived childhood, there was nothing they could do to us that held any terror.

So, we go!

Home Again

Should be doing a post, but very tired.

Put in an offer, but there were three, and though we went above asking, we were rejected.

Which leaves us…..

Making an offer for “#2 house we’re considering.”

In probably an hour or so.

V. tired. Working on Bowl of Red.

But wanted you to know I’m okay.

Book Promo And Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike

YES, THIS IS A LATE WEDNESDAY PROMO POST AND VIGNETTES. IT’S NOT ATH THAT’S GLITCHING. IT’S THE WORLD THAT IS GLITCHING. WHAT? YOU’VE BEEN ASLEEP SINCE MARCH 2020? DO NOT PANIC, THOUGH. HERE AT ACCORDING TO HOYT WE NEVER PANIC. WE MEANT TO SET OUR HAIR ON FIRE. IN THE CALMEST MANNER POSSIBLE. ALSO, SHUT UP. PLEASE REBOOT THE UNIVERSE, ADD CHEESE AND TRY AGAIN.

If you wish to send us books for next week’s promo, please email to bookpimping at outlook dot com. If you feel a need to re-promo the same book do so no more than once every six months (unless you’re me or my relative. Deal.) One book per author per week. Amazon links only. Oh, yeah, by clicking through and buying (anything, actually) through one of the links below, you will at no cost to you be giving a portion of your purchase to support ATH through our associates number. I ALSO WISH TO REMIND OUR READERS THAT IF THEY WANT TO TIP THE BLOGGER WITHOUT SPENDING EXTRA MONEY, CLICKING TO AMAZON THROUGH ONE OF THE BOOK LINKS ON THE RIGHT, WILL GIVE US SOME AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR PURCHASES MADE IN THE NEXT 24HOURS, OR UNTIL YOU CLICK ANOTHER ASSOCIATE’S LINK. PLEASE CONSIDER CLICKING THROUGH ONE OF THOSE LINKS BEFORE SEARCHING FOR THAT SHED, BIG SCREEN TV, GAMING COMPUTER OR CONSERVATORY YOU WISH TO BUY. That helps defray my time cost of about 2 hours a day on the blog, time probably better spent on fiction. ;)*

FROM ROBERT ZIMMERMAN: Leaving Earth: Space Stations, Rival Superpowers, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel.

In this definitive account of the quest to establish a human presence in lifeless outer space, award-winning space historian Robert Zimmerman reveals the great global gamesmanship between Soviet and American political leaders that drove the space efforts of both following the Apollo lunar landings in the 1960s and 1970s.

Beaten to the Moon by their Cold War enemies, the Russians were intent on being first to the planets. They knew that to reach other worlds they needed to learn how to build interplanetary spaceships, and believed that manned space stations held the greatest promise for making that possible. Thus, from the very moment they realized they had lost the race to the Moon, the Soviet government worked feverishly to build a viable space station program — one that would dwarf the American efforts and allow the Russians to claim the vast territories of space as their own.

Like the race between the tortoise and the hare, the ponderously bureaucratic Soviet Union actually managed to overtake the United States in this space station race. Their efforts — sometimes resulting in terrifying near death exploits — not only put them far ahead of NASA, it also served to reshape their own society, helping to change it from a communist dictatorship to a freer and more capitalist society.

At the same time, the American space program at NASA was also evolving, but not for the better. In fact, in many ways the two programs — and nations — were slowly but inexorably trading places.

Drawing on his vast store of knowledge about space travel and modern history, as well as hundreds of interviews with cosmonauts, astronauts, and scientists, Zimmerman has superbly captured the exciting story of space travel in the last half of the twentieth century. “Leaving Earth” tells that story, and is required reading for space and history enthusiasts alike who wish to understand the context of the space exploration renaissance taking place now, in the twenty-first century.

FROM ERIC TESTERMAN: Enter Prehistoric.

After retiring from outlawing, Jedidiah Huckleberry Smith just wanted to be left alone in Wyoming with his guns and regrets.

But then he discovered an entrance to a lost world, a place full of grand adventure, as well as spectacular dangers from both prehistoric dinosaurs and a race of savage apes intent on conquest.

Now, a new fort has been established on the other side, and a strange civilization of humans and dinosaurs have been located. The people are descendants from another time, long trapped in prehistory, and with them a fragile alliance is created.

But will it be enough as Jed faces vengeance from enemies both new and old?

Will his savagery and cunning keep him and his love alive?

Or will they die, on a mountain of fired brass, amidst the guttural bellows of barbaric apes and roars of monstrous dinosaurs?

Jed doesn’t know, but he’s always willing to shoot first and figure out the rest afterwards.

FROM LAURA MONTGOMERY: Fractional Ownership

When his company demands either a move to Mars or the loss of his job,
perpetual plaintiff Lewis Ostrow finds he can’t even get a ticket to
the world without lawyers.

A short story.

FROM C. V. WALTER: The Bear and The Bees

Aoife has always known her family was cursed to ward the gates between the worlds. As curses go, hiking up in the mountains and doing a ritual four times a year to keep the gates closed wasn’t a bad one… especially when she wanted to get away from the reminders of Garrett walking out on her and never coming back.

But things are worse than they seem; Garrett’s disappearance was the result of a curse from forces allying to unseal the gates, and trying to use his bear-form as a pawn to kill her. Even after Aoife breaks the geas on him, there are still far too many curses and enemies loose, and something infernal on the other side of the gate that is about to break through…

It’s going to be a race against time to reseal the gate on Solstice night, but don’t bet against a bear and his honey!

FROM JULIE PASCAL: Traditional by Accident

Can you say yes, if it’s impossible to say no?The encroaching Solaran empire has gobbled up Svana’s world. Svana fled her planet with the first wave of refugees, swept up with members of a different clan. Space is vast and she finds herself on a space station, alone, waiting hopelessly for her own family to arrive to save her. Thomas is from her world and similarly adrift. He offers to save her, and it’s an offer that Svana can’t refuse, but that doesn’t mean that letting him save her is the right thing to do.

Unless, perhaps, they can somehow save each other.

FROM ROBERT ZIMMERMAN: Conscious Choice: The Origins of Slavery in America and Why it Matters Today and for Our Future in Outer Space.

Robert Zubrin: “Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.”

The human race is about to go to the stars. Big rockets are being built, and nations and private citizens worldwide are planning the first permanent settlements in space.

When we get there, will we know what to do to make those first colonies just and prosperous places for all humans?

Conscious Choice answers this question, by telling a riveting and accurate history of the first century of British settlement in North America. That was when those settlers were building their own new colonies, and had to decide whether to include slaves from Africa.

In New England slavery was vigorously rejected. The Puritans wanted nothing to do with this institution, desiring instead to form a society of free religious families, a society that became the foundation of the United States of American, dedicated to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

In Virginia however slavery was gladly embraced, resulting in a corrupt social order built on power, rule, and oppression.

Why the New England citizens were able to reject slavery, and Virginians were not, is the story that Conscious Choice tells, a story with direct implications for all human societies, whether they are here on Earth or on the farflung planets across the universe.

FROM DAVID BURKHEAD: The Ships of Elemak.

The kingdom of Aerioch has fallen. Only Kreg and his newfound friends remain. And while the fearsome changeling armies are no more, the task of rebuilding Aerioch remains daunting. They must first escape the land of Chanakra and somehow cross the sea of Elemak.

It is then, when their troubles will really begin.

FROM T. L. KNIGHTON: Sabercat.

Despite his rich-kid roots, Tommy Reilly is struggling to make it as a freighter captain. Despite a universe of possibilities, he finds himself running afoul of both pirates and corrupt bureaucrats who seem determined to get in his way at every point. It’s like karma for his bullying past is smacking him in the back of the head.

All of that changes when a figure from his past asks for his help.

Now he’s finding himself at odds with a greedy and overly ambitious business owner who has government backing who happens to be the same man who impounded the very load he needs on his ship. The fact that the load is only the first step in securing information that could bring down the status quo might have something to do with that, however.

Tommy and his crew of misfit rejects have to use skills most of them would rather forget to secure their load, all with eyes watching them everywhere.

FROM RICH RYDER: Dropship City Lovers.

Deion staked his future on discarding his past on the way to orbit… but leaving behind love and community isn’t as easy as he thought it’d be.

After 3 years away, he told himself he was just passing through the Dropship Yard, a community cobbled together from old disposable shipping containers, in order to visit friends and family… and retrieve the one man he couldn’t leave behind.

When old secrets and new revelations threaten, Deion must choose between love and duty. Can he have the man he loves and the career he’s sacrificed everything else for?

This M/M Romance Novella is a stand-alone story with a very happy HEA.

(AND YES, IT’S INCREDIBLY AWKWARD SELF-PROMO. GIVE ME A BREAK, IT’S LAUNCH WEEK!)

FROM SARAH A. HOYT: Other Rhodes

Lily Gilden has a half-crazed cyborg in her airlock who thinks he’s Nick Rhodes,
a fictional 20th Century detective. If she doesn’t report him for destruction,
she’s guilty of a capital crime.

But with her husband missing, she’ll use every clue the cyborg holds,
and his detective abilities, to solve the crime her husband was investigating
when he disappeared.

With the help of a journalist who is more than he seems,
Lily will risk everything to plunge into the interstellar underworld
and bring the love of her life home!

Vignettes by Luke, Mary Catelli and ‘Nother Mike.

So what’s a vignette? You might know them as flash fiction, or even just sketches. We will provide a prompt each Sunday that you can use directly (including it in your work) or just as an inspiration. You, in turn, will write about 50 words (yes, we are going for short shorts! Not even a Drabble 100 words, just half that!). Then post it! For an additional challenge, you can aim to make it exactly 50 words, if you like.

We recommend that if you have an original vignette, you post that as a new reply. If you are commenting on someone’s vignette, then post that as a reply to the vignette. Comments — this is writing practice, so comments should be aimed at helping someone be a better writer, not at crushing them. And since these are likely to be drafts, don’t jump up and down too hard on typos and grammar.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.

Your writing prompt this week is: AQUATIC

Everything All the Time

So this week is special, and I think we’re going to have an ultra special Wednesday Vignettes and Promo.

I’m so sorry, but we’re making a last ditch push to find a home in intended landing place. If we can’t…. If we can’t we’ll start search elsewhere. (Yes, Doug, Matthew, Emily I know. I might come to you sometime next weekend, though looking that far away will be special. This far away is killing me.)

This is why we didn’t have a second post yesterday, as I got sucked down the rabbit hole of “we must go down again” then making a list of prospects.

And so – that’s what’s happening. I thought I might have time to put the promo up before we hit the road, but mistakes were made, I was insufficiently caffeinated, I was never there, and besides I was led astray by evil companions.

And now I seal the laptop in the briefcase, and we hit the road.

See you on the other side. Wish us luck, and pray for us.

RHODES NOW DOWNLOADABLE

Yes, I know. And yes, (Mary,) I’m putting the promo post up in a couple of hours. We’re dealing with “finding a place to move” plans.

It still doesn’t have a paper edition, which must be some new level of insanity at Amazon/Bowker. I’ll deal with it hopefully today too.

FOR NOW and meanwhile:

OTHER RHODES

Lily Gilden has a half-crazed cyborg in her airlock who thinks he’s Nick Rhodes, a fictional 20th Century detective.  If she doesn’t report him for destruction, she’s guilty of a capital crime.

But with her husband missing,  she’ll use every clue the cyborg holds, and his detective abilities,  to solve the crime her husband was  investigating when he disappeared.

With the help of a journalist who is more than he seems, Lily will risk everything to plunge into the interstellar  underworld and bring the love of her life home!