Friday, April 29, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Kim Alexander and Sara Dobie Bauer

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome Kim Alexander and Sara Dobie Bauer.

Kim Alexander
Kim Alexander

Kim Alexander grew up in the wilds of Long Island, NY and slowly drifted south until she reached Key West. After spending ten rum-soaked years DJing in the Keys, she moved to Washington DC, where she lives with two cats, an angry fish, and her extremely patient husband. She began writing when she ran out of authors to interview (and they pulled the plug on her channel, Sirius XM Book Radio.)

Kim was in her twenties when she finally read a book not prominently featuring spaceships and/or wizards. Turns out Jane Austen was pretty funny!

The Sand Prince is Kim’s first novel and begins a fantasy series called "The Demon Door." Her husband tells her she needs to write at least ten more books if she intends to retire in Thailand, so thank you for your patronage.
Kim's Book:

Kim's Links:

Sara Dobie Bauer
Sara Dobie Bauer

Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model, and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. She spends most days at home in her pajamas as a book nerd and sex-pert for Her short story, “Don’t Ball the Boss,” was nominated for the 2015 Pushcart Prize, inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch. She lives with her hottie husband and two precious pups in Northeast Ohio, although she would really like to live in a Tim Burton film. She is the author of Life without Harry, Forever Dead, and Wolf Among Sheep. World Weaver Press will publish her novel, Bite Somebody, summer of 2016.

Sara's Books:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ten Interesting Facts about Me

Continuing on with the "blogging challenge" the next category is "Ten interesting facts about you."

Not sure I can come up with ten interesting facts about me. I'm pretty boring.

1) I have owned at least one computer since 1981. I still kick myself for not going into computer science in college in the early '80s. I could be a Microsoft millionaire by now. But the math intimidated me.

2) I have a BS in Forest Resources earned from the College of Forest Resources at the University of Washington (go Dawgs!). Side note: the College of Forest Resources is now the School of Forest Resources in the College of the Environment, a change I did not support. My major was Pulp and Paper Engineering. I know more than I want to know about how paper is made. Ironically, I had almost as much math earning this degree as I would have had in computer science.

3) I was in the U.S. Army for four years. My job (or MOS) was linguist. I learned Korean at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. But that was nearly 30 years ago and I can barely speak a word of Korean now.

4) I was in Military Intelligence in the Army. I still know secrets although I Googled one a while back and found the "secret" all over the internet.

5) Some of my earliest memories involve politics. My mother was very active in local politics and took me to all sorts of events. To this day, I'm very interested in politics and enjoy watching the tactics and strategies of various campaigns.

6) I like to drive fast. I have even driven on a race track.

7) I worked as a disk jockey at a country music station for two years between high school and college. When the ratings came out, I beat Paul Harvey in our local market. I felt kind of bad about that.

8) I have what dermatologist call "type one skin." I sunburn in less than 15 minutes without
protection. I have never had a tan in my life (my freckles get darker and the skin around them burns). If I am forced to be outside in the sun for any length of time, I use the highest SPF sunscreen I can find (usually 75). Even then I can burn in a few hours. This is partially why I took to wearing hats (that, and they are classy).

9) I taught myself to type at age 12. I knew if I wanted to be a writer I'd have to know how to type. My older sister was taking typing in high school, so I borrowed her instruction book and used it to learn how to type. Yes, at age 12, I wanted to be a writer.

10) I am diagnosed ADD and am pretty sure I'm dyslexic. I am on drugs to help the ADD (and they do help) but the dyslexia has meant I've always been a poor speller and not a very good reader, either. I tend to "whole word" read which can have hilarious results as I assume a word is something it's not. Since I'm a poor speller who has trouble concentrating, I decided to become a writer.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with J.E. Bean and Nicholas Conley

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are happy to welcome writers J.E. Bean and Nicholas Conley.

J. E. Bean
J.E. Bean

J. E. Bean is a talented young author whose writing style is action-packed while developing strong character relationships. She is an avid reader who wrote her first novel Intellectual entirely at age 11. She is a native of Michigan where she lives with her family. She wants to inspire other persons her age to start
reading books again.  Watch for J. E. Bean’s second novel coming out later this year!

J.E.'s Book:


J.E.'s Link:


Nicholas Conley
Nicholas Conley

Nicholas Conley's passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books and horror movies. His novel Pale Highway is influenced by his experience working with Alzheimer's patients in a nursing home, a subject that he has also written about for publications such as Vox. When not busy writing, Nicholas spends his time reading, traveling to new places, and indulging in a lifelong coffee habit. In order to better establish himself on the planet Earth, Nicholas has currently made his home in New Hampshire. More information on Nicholas can be found on his website,

Nicholas's Books:

Pale Highway

The Cage Legacy

Nicholas's Links:


From today's show: A Comet Blew Away Some of Mars's Atmosphere

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Watch this!

Watch this on the biggest screen you can (it's high definition):

Jessica Jones

I have had it with Marvel.

I am sick and tired of the countless, endless Marvel movies. I have no desire to see Captain America: Civil War. Well, maybe if the reviews come in very good. It seems the public has not lost their appetite for Marvel movies so I'm in the minority here. But I am tired of Marvel superhero movies.

Then I decided to watch Jessica Jones, the Netflix original series. I knew it was Marvel but I gave it a try anyway. And I was immediately hooked. Jones, played by the very talented Krysten Ritter, is a deep, complex, and feeling superhero. Sort of a fallen Avenger, even though she was never an Avenger. She is sarcastic, caustic, and yet you feel, see, and hear her pain. She has a horrifying back-story that during the course of the first season they leak out slowly.

The show also has a wonderful villain in Kilgrave, played by a former Doctor Who actor, David Tennant. Tennant seems to relish being the bad guy. And an awful bad guy he is who uses his superpower in the most horrific ways.

The supporting cast is great. Carrie-Anne Moss as a slimy attorney, for example.

I loved Jessica Jones. I've watched all the first season now and, no spoilers, but it build and builds and builds to a climax in the last episode.

Jessica Jones is set in the Avengers universe (if that's the right way to put it) and there are a few hints to tell you that. But unlike the Avengers movies, Jessica Jones is dark, complex and, frankly, not for the squeamish.

If you have Netflix streaming, watch this. If you don't, it's almost worth the price.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Kiss and a Cat

Back the the thirty day blogging challenge. The next subject is "your first kiss."

I hardly remember my first kiss. I think it was in the front of a pickup truck as I dropped off a girl after hanging out together (we were in play together).

So I'm going to talk about my first kiss with my wife.

We were on the porch of her house (she still lived with her parents) and saying goodnight. It was a rainy, dark day in the Seattle area and we'd gone and seen a movie (don't ask me which movie, it might have been this one).

So I stepped in and took her in my arms and kissed her.

And a cat jumped on our faces. It was black. I remember it was sitting on a brick ledge as we were saying goodnight but I ignored it. I don't know if it thought I was attacking my wife or was envious of the attention, but it jumped on our faces between us as we kissed.

Needless to say, the kiss was interrupted.

My wife and I still joke about that first kiss and the cat.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Amy H. Sturgis

Today on a special edition of the Speculative Fiction Cantina, we welcome speculative fiction expert, Dr. Amy H. Sturgis.

Amy H. Sturgis
Amy H. Sturgis

Amy H. Sturgis earned her PhD in intellectual history from Vanderbilt University, specializes in Science Fiction/Fantasy and Native American Studies, and teaches at Lenoir-Rhyne University. In addition, she contributes the regular “Looking Back on Genre History” segment to StarShipSofa, which in 2010 became the first podcast in history to win a Hugo Award. In 2006, Sturgis was honored with the Imperishable Flame Award for Achievement in J.R.R. Tolkien/Inklings scholarship. In 2015, the Los Angeles Press Club named her Reason Magazine article "Not Your Parents' Dystopias: Millennial Fondness for Worlds Gone Wrong" the "Best Magazine Review/Criticism/Column" of the year. She has authored four books, edited six others, published over fifty essays in scholarly and popular publications, and given over 200 presentations at universities, science fiction conventions, and other venues across North American and Europe. She also has been interviewed as a genre expert in a variety of programs and publications such as NPR's "Talk of the Nation" and The Huffington Post. Sturgis lives with her husband in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Her official website is