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Greetings

G’day, eh.  Welcome to my blog.  I’m the author of the Corps of Discovery series (not the ghost author), so if you enjoy speculative fiction, you’ve come to the right place.  Never having blogged, this should be interesting. I don’t post much, or often, but I’ll occasionally throw something out there, so stay tuned.

Cute photo below.  I think it reflects the second book, Trekker.

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New Alt-History Author: James A Fisher

So, the other day, I was surfing Amazon looking for some good books to read (which I do, occasionally) and came across a new Alt-History book, The Eyes of Courage by James A. Fisher. This is how a good book catches your attention – a great cover followed by a good blurb. I decided to give it a chance and enjoyed it.

The plot opens with what I consider a standard trope – guy from our timeline steps through a portal to another timeline. From there, it becomes really interesting. Like Surveyor, it starts a bit slow, but it’s also hard to put down (too many nights I wound up reading until midnight). I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to the second installment.

New Author/Old Friend

As most of you who follow me (I’m looking at all three of you!) know, I generally read science fiction (or, as my wife calls it, Space Trash). I’m mostly into alternative history/multiverse stuff (duh!) and military sci-fi/space opera, along with historical fiction (usually related to WW2), along with contemporary cultural stuff (such as the Robert E. Lee and Me book I mentioned in an earlier post, or American Nations which is mentioned in Explorer, and just about anything by Peter Zeihan). Occasionally, I’ll delve into police procedural/fiction, or mystery, such as Apprehension by Mark Bergin or just about anything by Joseph Wambaugh.

So, what the heck does the title mean, New Author/Old Friend? Well, today, I found a new author who just so happens to be an old friend. Back in the ’80s, when I attended the University of Miami, my RA was an aspiring writer (more a screenwriter, I thought, but…). The other day we connected through LinkedIn, and it turns out he’s no longer an aspiring writer, rather he’s a writer – a mystery writer, to be specific. It turns out he has a series of books out, which I’ve just bought the first of (not sure when I’ll have time to read it). Anyhow, if you’re into mysteries, check out H.B. Berlow‘s books on Amazon. The first in the series is Ark City Confidential.

Audiobook Narrator

So, as I plan future releases, I’m also considering making an audiobook for the Corps of Discovery Series. Curious as to what voice you think I should find?

My initial thought is a young American male (early 20s) with a standard accent (Midwest/West Coast type). Thoughts? Comment below.

5.7x28mm now NATO

Today I found out that the 5.7x28mm (you remember, the cartridge used in the PDW-1) how now been designated as the 5.7x28mm NATO. This means it will become a standard issue caliber for NATO forces in their FN FiveseveN pistols and FN P-90. Unfortunately, the PDW-1 is still fiction, so it won’t be used any time soon.

So, what does it mean when a caliber is designated NATO? From FN Herstal (the manufacturer) – As a NATO standardized caliber, the 5.7x28mm caliber provides armies with the guarantee of interchangeability between ammunition from different manufacturers and operational efficiency in weapons of this caliber.

So, like the venerable 7.62 x 51mm NATO, the 5.56x45mm NATO, the 9x19mm NATO, and the 12x99mm NATO (aka .50 caliber), the 5.7x28mm gets the same NATO designation. Apparently it’s offered in five different bullets: ball (usually called full metal jacket), tracer, subsonic, frangible, and blank.

Do I now need to change the name of the caliber from 5.7x28mm to 5.7x28mm NATO? Naw, I’ll keep it as is.

“Robert E. Lee and Me”

The other day I happened to be in the Brick and Mortar Books store in Redmond, WA and saw a book that attracted my attention, Robert E. Lee and Me by Ty Seidule. What really caught my attention was the subtitle, A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause. Naturally, after having just released Explorer, I thought this would be worth reading. It is!

The book is basically Seidule’s journey from a youth and adulthood of adoration of that supposed Southern Gentleman Robert E. Lee to recognizing exactly what type of person Lee really was, and why the veneration of Lee is misplaced by those in the South (and in the military).

If you are one of those that believes in the Lost Cause and felt that the War Between the States (which I now refer to as the War of Rebellion, based on a further understanding from Seidule’s research) was about State’s rights, please read this book with an open and inquiring mind. It didn’t change my mind (I already agreed with the author), but it did educate me more on the matter.

Signed copies of my books

Hmm. Maybe I’m missing out on a marketing trend, but here goes. If you want a signed copy of any of my books, let me know. I’m charging $25 (plus shipping, which is about $3). We can arrange payments through PayPal. Just shoot me a message. I currently have 1 copy of Surveyor, 9 copies of Trekker, and 19 copies of Explorer (actually on the way – should be here next week).

I also have a couple of copies of my little cookbook Camino Eats for the Solo Vegan available for $10 (plus shipping). It’s for anyone walking the Camino de Santiago (see my posts from Summer of 2019). Not just for vegans, but that’s mostly what I am (although I do eat cold-water variety fish and some cheeses) – health reasons, not for some vague idealistic reason, so don’t expect me to push my diet on you 🙂 (even my cookbook doesn’t).

WASP Sting

Every now and then I read a good novel, and WASP Sting by Lee Sweetapple is one of those. The story basically centers on a young lady in WW2 who is a ferry pilot for the Women Airforce Service Pilots (some interesting history there). Of course, it wouldn’t be as exciting if it was just about ferrying airplanes, so Sweetapple throws in some espionage and drama to go with it. My only complaint about the book is that it’s a standalone (it really should be turned into a series).

You can find Wasp Sting on Amazon Kindle for only $2.99 (but I bought the paperback – maybe one day I’ll get Lee to sign it).

Openings

Writing on Openings continues, now slightly over 60K words, which is a bit more than half-way through. I suspect I’ll be wrapping it up before the end of March (maybe April, depending on how hectic life gets). Lots of known characters in this one, but a lot younger than you’re used to.

For those that enjoy the Pleistocene scenes, plenty of that. The plot line is probably more like Surveyor than Trekker or Explorer, in that it’s not a fast and furious race, rather a day-to-day adventure (which, if you recall your reading, means somebody else in trouble far away). I think this journey is more like a marathon (which will take at least two books – the second book title is likely going to be Reset – but we’ll see).

Insurrection

No, not the title of a new book. Sadly, it’s what just transpired in Washington, DC. Like many, I was shocked by the events that transpired. Unlike many, I was not surprised. I have seen this building up for years. There is a great divide in our country right now, and unless cooler heads prevail, it will get worse.

I know, as a novelist, I should stay out of politics. I write for your entertainment, not to espouse my viewpoints. But, this is one time I will say something, which I hope all will take to heart.

If you’re carrying the battle flag of the Confederacy, I see you as a racist traitor to the United States and democracy. It’s quite simple. That flag has no place here. It’s the flag of violent treason.

If you think the Southern States seceded for states rights, then I suggest you read the actual articles of secession. Most state they were doing so because of slavery. Don’t take my word for it, find the documents and read them yourself.

If you’re carrying a Nazi flag, I see you as a racist hater of the United States and democracy.

If you’re wearing a shirt that says 6MWE (6 Million Wasn’t Enough) or Camp Auschwitz, I see you as an anti-Semitic racist hater. I have been to Dachau. I saw the evidence of the horror perpetrated by Nazis. Anyone that supports this is one sick puppy.

If you’re wearing a shirt with Che Gueverra, I see you as a racist homophobe who finds mass murder acceptable.

If you’re carrying a flag with the hammer and sickle on it, I see you as one who supports authoritarianism and mass murder.

I saw enough death caused by communist dictators when I volunteered to help at a refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border shortly after Vietnam invaded Cambodia. As a 17 year old, one of my tasks was moving people who had died from starvation from the make-shift hospital to the “stiff tent” (the tent where those that just died were placed prior to burial).

If you’re marching with people carrying these flags or wearing these shirts, how can I tell that you don’t support these ideals?

If you’re marching with these people, and you don’t believe their sick ideologies, but don’t force them out, then you’re part of the problem, not the solution.

Become part of the solution.

Explorer in physical form

For those that prefer the heft and feel of dead trees stained in indelible ink, Explorer is now available on Amazon in paperback format and will be available through Ingram-Spark for distribution to bookstores (such as The Sequel in Enumclaw and A Good Book and Cafe in Sumner, WA). Order (and read) away.

BTW, I’m about 54k words into Openings. Things are moving along.