Blake Powers has a new book out. I wrote the intro. It's worth having. Here's what Blake has to say about it:
I am pleased to announce that my latest book, A Different View: Travels to Al Qa'im and Beyond, is now out as a trade paperback via Amazon's CreateSpace and on Kindle. This new volume in the A Different View series showcases day-to-day life of Marines at Al Qa'im on the Syrian border while I was with them on the last part of my first embed. It then transitions to Germany and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where I introduce readers to a very special ceremony for arriving wounded.
To borrow from my preface: "This is not a book about combat, or combat photography. While every combat reporter wants that one-in-a-million shot or video snippet, such images can only show a few seconds out of what can seem an eternity. Blood sells, and the 99 percent of time that is routine or even boring is not news. It is, however, real." This volume is part of my continuing effort to share the "real" with the public at large.
Author and veteran Michael Z. Williamson provides the introduction, and MaryAnn Phillips of Soldiers' Angels Germany provides a very special foreword to the book. Here is a taste of what others are saying:
"A Different View is a personal and vivid narrative of the author's experience in a combat zone, showing not combat but the mundanity, humor, and boredom that make up ninety-nine percent of life 'inside the wire.' The author's photos and narrative illustrate how service members cope and adapt to the surreal conditions, and how injury and death are still close by. This is a valuable book, and anyone who cares about America's troops and the fight in the Middle East will find it worthwhile."
Larry Bond, bestselling author of Shattered Trident
"My first thought as I looked at the pictures was"I've been there," "I think I know that guy" and the fine details of multiple deployments come rushing back like they were yesterday. I can smell the pictures. Blake captures a reality through a very narrow opportunity that many will never understand. Those that have been there will look at the pictures, remember their experiences, and if they are viewing with another warrior, they will simply glance at one another as they both will remember the events they lived through and will do so with a smirk on their face. They will do it for those that were there with them, that didn't come home."
Maj Pain (USMC),http://www.OneMarinesView.com
"Lest we forget - Blake Powers helps all of us who were not there witness the everyday lives and achievements of our armed forces in Iraq with gorgeous pictures and thoughtful commentary."
Toni Weisskopf, publisher of Baen Books
"None of us really know what it's like to be 'on the front lines' unless we've served. Which means most Americans really have 'no clue'. Blake shows these guys and gals in their environment. Sure, there are fun times, how could there not, you'd go bonkers otherwise. But the real deal is just being 'in country'. Living it, breathing it, seeing it, being enveloped by it every waking moment (and sleeping too) then getting through it as best one can. He has really put this out there for all of us, those lucky individuals who have been lavished with the most amazing country in the world, to feel safe, made so by the sacrifices of these brave men and women."
David Mecey, former Staff Photographer, Playboy magazine
"A Different View is well-titled; it gives the reader an alternative perspective of the fruit yielded by the American effort in Iraq. Most of it is good fruit. The book is well worth your time...and your money."
Juliette Ochieng, author of Tale of the Tigers
Given feedback from readers, the Kindle version of this new book was created specifically for Kindle in an effort to deal with format and photo issues that were reported with the previous volume. While the print and Kindle covers will be slightly different, it is hoped that the presentation of the photos will give readers the best possible experience.
Full copies of the reviews provided by David Mecey and Juliette Ochieng can be found at http://laughingwolf.net/?p=541.
An Ad That Might Have Saved John Carter
Jun 18, 201211:10AM
So, the lesson here, as they should have known, is never to let the director do the marketing. No, people in 2012 don't instinctively know who John Carter is, and they've seen special effects before.
Here, then, is one example of an ad that would have doubled attendance and made it successful:
SNAPSHOT OF HELIUM PALACE WITH BABES IN ARMOR
"Before Star Wars"
BIG, LUSH PANORAMA OF HELIUM
"There was John Carter"
CARTER LEAPS INTO MELEE AND STARTS SLAYING GREEN MARTIANS
"From the creator of Tarzan"
SHOT OF AIRBORNE GUNSHIPS RAKING EACH OTHER WITH FIRE
"And the director of Wall-E"
CARTER SHOUTS, "STAY BEHING ME, THIS COULD BE DANGEROUS" AND WADES IN TO KICK ASS.
DEJAH THORIS CATCHES SWORD, CHARGES IN FRONT OF HIM AND STARTS GUTTING BAD GUYS. "LET ME KNOW WHEN IT GETS DANGEROUS."
"A century old epic, in a universe not quite our own."
MORE LIGHTSHIPS SHOOTING, ARENA SCENE, CLOSEUP OF SEVERAL HELIUM CHICKS IN ARMOR SLAYING ENEMY, AND SEVERAL BUFF, HELIUM MEN IN ARMOR DOING SAME.
"John Carter of Mars."
There y'go, Andrew Stanton. I polluted your pure vision of JC, but sold the fucking movie. You're welcome.
Survivors, Book Bomb Day Tuesday
Oct 03, 201112:03PM
Survivors, a Novel of the Coming Collapse by James Wesley, Rawles, editor of Survivalblog.
"Survivors" runs concurrently with "Patriots." You need not read "Patriots" first, though of course, I would always encourage buying more books.
These books are narrative training scenarios--How to guides written as fiction. They do have a story, but the reason to read them is for the information they impart and the consideration they provoke. It's much easier to remember a story than dry facts in a list.
Order or buy Tuesday, and you'll get to hear the pollyannae scream as a nice bonus.
ROGUE in stores, and signing at Uncle Hugo's!
Sep 07, 201106:34PM
Rogue is in stores nationwide, on Amazon, on BN.com, everywhere. If you don't already have an order in, now is the time to do so--sales velocity in the first week is what counts for bestseller ranking. Amazon has it at about 40% off the cover price, which is a great deal.
Rogue is a sequel to The Weapon, but it does stand alone, so you don't need to buy The Weapon as well if you don't already have it. Of course, if you choose to buy it, Baen Books and I will completely understand.
Also, this weekend I will be personalizing the signed, plated edition of Rogue at Uncle Hugo's SF Bookstore in Minneapolis http://www.unclehugo.com/prod/index.shtml. They still have a few copies you can order, and I'll be happy to personalize them if you tell them how. And if you're in the Minneapolis area, I'll be glad to meet with you at the store. Stop on by.
A FREE Story For Your Reading Pleasure
Aug 23, 201112:07PM
Please feel free to download and share.
I will be in Minneapolis on 10 Sep, signing books at Uncle Hugo's SF Bookstore, including the signed edition of Rogue.
I'll have a little time on Friday night, Sat evening and possibly Sunday to catch up with fans I haven't seen in several years, and take care of other business.
If you're in the area, do please swing by the store and say hi.
Four Stories Out This Month
Jul 25, 201111:09PM
It's a busy month for my books. Below are the August releases:
In an alternate Bronze Age where the Chicxulub meteorite never impacted, sentient saurians and felines must fight for territory, as the Mediterranean Basin infills. A shared universe with Harry Turtledove, SM Stirling, Jody Lynn Nye, John Ringo and myself.
In Hell, airborne lawyers including Joseph McCarthy and SV Benet must seek the head of the most honest man in Hell, to be deposed by Satan himself. Also catch my friend Leo's story, "Revolutionary Justice," wherein Che Guevara is condemned to be recognized as, "That guy off the T shirt."
A collection of stories by veterans, including several classic works and some new ones. Eric Frank Russell's "Alamagoosa" is my favorite.
A paperback reprint of last year's Ripple Creek story. A family that owns an entire system of resources hires Ripple Creek's best team to keep them alive in a domed mining colony of hostile agents.
"Are Short Stories Dead?
Jul 25, 201102:05AM
Interesting discussion. I note that half or more of the comments are by people pimping their own short stories or fanzines.
Then there's this comment:
says:Absolutely not. Simply asking the question shows that the medium still has relevancy.
"Does anyone still speak Linear B?"
No, I think that reply is a logical fail.
Consider the work of the following authors: Dave Eggers, Etgar Keret, Wells Tower, Roddy Doyle, T. C. Boyle, Miranda July, David Schickler... You cannot possibly tell me that you are unable to parse out a heartbeat there.
So people are writing short stories. The followup question is, are they making money at it, and are their publishers? I also get the impression he's trying to impress us by namedropping. Keret hasn't published anything in several years, and his Amazon rankings are not impressive. Eggers is doing well, but he's also one of those literati darlings. He may be an excellent writer, but I suspect his sales have more to do with zeitgeist than quality. Schickler has published two whole books, one of which is out of print and one ranking down around 1,000,000. So regardless of quality, sales seem to...suck. July dabbles in everything, her last book was 4 years ago from a small press. I had to google them and I haven't heard of the others. They're certainly not "Stephen King," who did write a lot of shorts but now mostly writes whole books, nor Hemingway.
In SF, Heinlein got paid 5c a word in the 1950s. That was serious money. And around 2006, SFWA raised the minimum "professional" rate for SF to....5c a word, from 3c. You are not paying any bills with that.
The mid-length short story may be in somewhat of a (temporary?) decline as print magazines are struggling with all the publishing changes. However, ultra-short fiction forms (flash fiction, micro fiction, hint fiction etc.) are on the rise as more people discover (free) online reading and the range of ezines available.
Oh, it's hardly temporary. Magazines that had circulation in the hundreds of thousands have dropped into the mere thousands, and there are less all the time. The specialty mags are happy to get hundreds of readers (out of a US population approaching a third of a billion). As for free content--it's worth what you pay for it.
It is true more content is moving online. There's likely more of it, but, with the proliferation of amateur sites, it will become increasingly difficult to find an audience, and there will be less development by the practitioners. You will see less and less great stories, and even if they exist, you'll see less of them as they are swallowed in the mire of puerile shit.
See, part of what professional publishing brings to the table (as many of us in the field try to remind people), is that development and filter. Few people can finish a story. Fewer a good one. Fewer still can convince someone to part with a mere nickel per word up front for their story. If no one is willing to pay a nickel per word, in the hopes that advertising will recoup those few dozen dollars, is the story really any good? Probably not.
In exchange, the publisher brings a podium. You can have the best message in the world. Shout it in the middle of the Tibetan Plateau and you waste it. Whisper it in the right location in Times Square, say, and you'll have half the world as your audience. Then the message can do some good.
Now, the short form is not dead. However, it's not what it used to be. The magazines are dying, the web won't really offer much in the way of money. These days, the primary reason a writer produces short stuff is for promotional purposes. If you like the short content (and blogging counts), you may spend money on the heavier content.
So the answer comes in three forms:
Yes. Kiss the mags goodbye, they're done.
No, but you're really going to have to dig to find it.
No, but it's never going to be what it was in the past.
I do still write quite a few shorts, but largely as promotion to keep my name out there. I mean, I enjoy it, and I try to deliver the best story possible, but they're all in existing universes and the publicity benefits me more than the few bucks.
Lawyers In Hell, Coming Fall 2011
May 18, 201112:04AM
We were told to take historical people, especially lawyers, and create their perpetual demise and torment.
LAWYERS IN HELL OFFICIAL NAME/ENTITY LIST
© 2011 Janet Morris, all rights reserved
The Adjudication of Henrietta (Hetty) Howland Robinson Green--Allan Gilbreath
Henrietta (Hetty) Howland Robinson Green
Edward (Eddie) J. O’Hare, Esquire
And Injustice for All--Jason Cordova
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and of Navarre
Prophecy Dolls, LLC
Perdition Broadcasting System (“PBS” )
Gremlins Chinese Theater
Hellywood Walk of Shame
Counselor John Pym
Madame Toadstool’s Finery
Dishonorable Raum, Great Earl of Hell and Demonic Lord
Lost Angeles Uncivil Circuit Court of the Hall of Injustice
Decapitol Records Eternal Waiting Room a/k/a The Lobby
Appellate Angel--Edward McKeown
Arkiel, watcher cast down for dalliance with human women
Yoko, demon of lust, being a lawyer to punish being too sexy
Gravelog, demon limo driver
The Appellate Section of the Grand Court of Hell, Pandemonium Division
Aztec Priest Huemac
Check and Mate--Bradley H. Sinor
Demon’s Gambit Chess Club
Big Bill Jansen, Proprietor of
The Hellegality Club
Captain Meriwether Lewis
The Dark Arts--Kimberly Richardson
Penemue (fallen angel)
Rue de la Mort in Lost Angeles
Aaron “Monty” Montgomery
Rudolfo (Imp, elevator operator)
Demetrius the Chief Librarian of hell’s Law Library
Golgotha Gardens Retirement Home and Assisted Living Center
His Satanic Majesty
Mari (female slave to Pazuzu
Infernal Action Request
Asmoday, Amdusias, Amon, Marchosias, Marbas & Zepar, Attorneys At Law
Marquis Marchosias (demon)
Prince Vlad III Drakulya aka Vlad Tepes aka Drakulja, Prince of Wallachia and Transylvania
Sultan Mehmed II
Enemies Like These--David L. Burkhead
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Lieutenant Colonel William Dunlap Simpson, Fourteenth South Carolina Volunteers
Nidhogg, the World Serpent, the Death of the World
World Ash Yggdrassil
Surtr, the fire giant
Vafthruthnir, the giant
Gjöll River, the river resounding
Ragnarok, the Fate of the Gods
Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead
Asgard, the Abode of the Gods
Gold-thatched Hall of Gimle
Ginungagap, the yawning void from before the world was
Gjällerbru, bridge over Gjöll
Modgud, the giantess
Garmr, the Hel Hound
Fenris the wolf
Jörmungand the world serpent
Erra and the Seven--Chris Morris
Lysicles the Athenian
Erra and his Seven Sibitti
Lethe the water of forgetfulness
Mnemosyne the water of remembrance
Alexander of Macedon aka Alexander the Macedonian
Ten Courts of Hell in Diyu
Almighty Kur, lord of Ki-gal
Eshi, Kigali boy
Irkalla, Babylonian goddess of the dead
New Hell’s Hall of Injustice
Laelaps, hound of Zeus
Heads You Lose--Michael Z. Williamson
Captain Joseph McCarthy, “Tail-dragger Joe"
Lt. Roger Upton Howard, III
William Rehnquist, paralegal
Henry J. Summers, II
General S.V. Benet
Sergeant Strom Thurmond
His Satanic Majesty
Coordinating Legal Airborne Platoon (CLAP)
Regulatory Statutes of Unfairness
Kabum, capital city of Ashcanistan
Supervising Legal Airborne Group (“SLAG” )
Forced Unified Central Kabum Emergency Resistance
Perdition Seal on official legal documents
Interview with the Devil--Janet and Chris Morris
New Hell Times Sinday Magazine
Frank Lloyd Wright
Pernicious Demonic Avatars (PDA)
Island Out of Time--Richard Groller
Oracle of Delphi
Richard (“Dick” ) Welch
Croesus, king of Lydia
Zeno of Elea
Infernal Observatory, Department of Apparent Time, Mount Sinai
SATSATPHORECNET (Satanic Satellite Photographic Reconnaissance Network)
USS (Underworld Satanical Ship) Arizona,
NUDET (Nuclear Detonation) sensors
(Infernal Japanese Navy) Yamato
Erik Weisz aka Harry Houdini
Captain John B. Merkerson
Major John Wesley Powell
Society of American Magicians
Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP)
Measure of a Man--Deborah Koren
William Barclay “Bat” Masterson
Unlucky Strike Hotel
Dead Hat Joe
Ungrand Opera House
Marshal Lee Hall
Orientation Day--Sarah Hulcy
Demetrius, Chief Librarian of Hell
Justice Benjamin Cardozo
Altos – the volunteer angel
Makalani, First Assistant to Demetrius
Dr. Miguel Bartsch
Hell’s Law Library
Register of Preeminently Damned Lawyers
Infernal Revenue Service
Out of Court Settlement--C.J. Cherryh
Sargon of Akkad
Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, Secretary to the Second Chancery de la Repubblica di Fierenze, lately Secretary to Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus
Julius’ sons: Caesarion and Marcus Junius Brutus
Caius Iulius Caesar Octavianus Augustus
Stalenus, Dolabella & Crassus (law firm)
Marcus Licinius Crassus
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Erra and the Seven
Plains of Hell--Bruce Durham
General James Wolfe
John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough and Governor of the Hudson Bay Company
Prince Eugene of Savoy
Marquis Louis-Joseph de Montcalm
Judge Roy Bean
One Ear (demon)
General Benjamin Arnott aka Benedict Arnold
Plains of Abraham
Edward R. Murrow
The Rapture Elevator--Michael A. Armstrong
Kinmont Willie aka William of Morton Rig aka William Strang
Scott of Buccleuch aka Scott, the Bold Buccleuch
Queen Elizabeth I
Jamey (Willie’s horse)
North Road, New Hell
Shanidar the Neanderthal (sometime bouncer at Oasis)
Dick of the Side, Nixon aka President Richard Nixon
Job, the Ombudsman
Sassenach (derogatory term for English)
The Register--Michael H. Hanson
The Hell Register of Preeminently Damned Lawyers
Gefjon, Malfean, Alalahe, and Gemmeul (succubi)
Nile Boulevard, Pandemonium
Pandemonium City Courthouse
Death Rattle Club
White House contractor John McShain
Laborers’ International Union of North America
Register Ratings Department Demons: Mayet, Astraea, Mynndie, Vali, Naru-Kami, and Chantico
‘Dante and Virgil in Hell’ by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Miranda Attorney Alvin Moore
The Apostasies, Hell’s Supreme Court
Remember, Remember, Hell in November--Larry Atchley, Jr.
Anton Szandor LaVey
Harlot of Hell
His Satanic Majesty
Eyjolf Bolverksson, Icelandic lawspeaker
Eric Blair (George Orwell)
Revolutionary Justice--Leo Champion
Eric Blair (George Orwell)
Erra and his pitiless Seven
Harry Innis, Third Associate Section Head for Traffic and Parking Enforcement
Infernal Bureau of Sewage and Drinking Water Management, Fourth Division, New Hell Department
Brigadier-General Henry Martyn Robert
New Hell Times
Tale of a Tail--Nancy Asire
Countess Marie Walewska
The Duke of Wellington aka The Iron Duke
New Hell City
Grand Marshal Duroc
Hellview Golf and Country Club
Attila the Hun
Ildilco, Attilla’s wife
Erra and the Seven
New Hell I.D. card
Martin Chase Standish, Esquire, President Hellview Estates Home Owners’ Association
New Hell Human and Urban Development
Infernal National Guard
Hellview Estates Home Owner’s Association versus Demon of Unknown Origin, Emergency Petition Alleging Fraud Against the Infernal Government
King Leonidas, son of Anaxandridas
Skiritai (Spartan Scouts)
Spartan shields, the inverted ‘V’ of Lakedaemon
Simonides of Keos
Ephialtes of Trachis
The Ataphoi – Shades of the Unburied
Caeadas, Temple of the Ephors
Kore (Hades’ wife, Persephone)
Kerberos, the Hound of Hades
Alexandros of Macedon
The Ephors: Chosen of Persephone
Lykourgos, called the Lawgiver
Tribe of Hell--Janet Morris
Almighty Kur, ruler of Ki-gal and the Kigali
Eshi, Kur’s protégé and erominos
Erra and the Seven (the Sibitti)
Draco, lawgiver of Athens
Thomas Edward Lawrence (of Arabia)
Alexander of Macedon (the Great) aka Alexandros Philippou Macedon
The Downward Road
The Three Fates, Atropos and her sisters
Vote For Me And Other Great Authors
May 16, 201109:19PM
I'm in "Space Opera" somehow, second to Dave Drake, which is not a bad place to be.