Friday, July 31, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Stephen Schwertley and Tom Lucas

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are please to welcome Stephen Schwertley and Tom Lucas

Stephen Schwertley
Stephen Schwertley

A graduate of Arizona State University with a B.S. in Biology, Schwertley early beginning’s were as a salesman in the medical equipment industry, progressing to a National Award winning salesman in the reprographic, semiconductor, automotive software marketplaces. As Schwertley’s professional career blossomed, he achieved positions as National Sales Manager MGI Systems, Director of Sales for BL-Systems, and National Account Manager for Kwik-Way Products, Inc. Schwertley is known for his is quirky sense of humor that permeates his life. Schwertley lives in Cave Creek, Arizona with his wife Joy and their two Yorkies Jack and Foxy.

Stephen's Book

Enemy in the Heartland

Stephen's Links


Tom Lucas
Tom Lucas

Tom Lucas was born and raised in Detroit, and although currently enjoying the lack of snow and ice in Florida, remains a son of the post-industrial apocalypse.

He is a college professor, author, blogger, poet, book reviewer, and spoken word performer.

Tom has been published in Writer's Digest, The South End, The Oakland Press, The Macomb Daily, Orbit, Anthropomorphic, and U. Magazine. He has also been featured in literary journals such as The Write Place at the Write Time, Graffiti Rag, F*cked Up Fairy Tales, and Dark Fire Fiction. As a staunch supporter of spoken word he has performed on the Lollapalooza stage as well as guest spots on CIMX, WDET, and WJR.

He has shorts appearing in the upcoming anthologies: They Did It For The Money and Southern Haunts III.

Tom's Books

Pax Titanus

Leather to the Corinthians

Tom's Links

Email List (signups get a free story)

From today's show: Mini Glider on Mars

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Canadian Rockies Part Three: Driving North

In Part One of this series, we had pictures of Lake Louise. In Part Two, we drove around the Banff area. Thenwe headed north toward (but not to) Jasper.

The second full day we were in the Canadian Rockies, we decided to go north into Jasper National Park. It was a rainy, cloudy day. But that didn't stop us from halting our progress to take pictures.

I don't remember the names of this lake:

We got as far north as the Columbia Ice Fields.

Heading south again, we stopped at the Saskatoon Crossing where I took this picture:

In part four: the Gondola Ride!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Canadian Rockies Part Two: Driving Around

In Part One of this series, we had pictures of the lovely Lake Louise. But Lake Louise was right outside my hotel window.

On this trip we also did a lot of driving around to see sights. In fact, during the whole trip we put 1,589 miles on our car. Of course, that included driving there and driving back.

As I stated in Part One, the weather was not ideal, often cloudy and sometimes rainy. Occasionally this gave a nice picture with low clouds against the mountains. But often it did not.

The first day we first went to Moraine Lake which is near Lake Louise. It looked pretty despite the low clouds:

After that, we took a drive down the Bow River Parkway which went the Lake Louise to Banff. And I snapped this picture:

Banff was touristy and crowded and I wasn't very impressed. So we drove out to Lake Minnewanka and I took this picture:

(You may note I didn't even bother to get out of the car.)

We returned to the hotel because it started raining and I snapped another picture of Lake Louise:

In Part Three I'll show pictures from out journey into Jasper National Park.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with S. A. Bolich and Michael Cantwell

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are proud to welcome S. A. Bolich and Michael Cantwell

S. A. Bolich

S. A. Bolich is a full time freelancer with seven books currently in print and four more due out soon in her “Fate’s Arrow” high fantasy series. Her first published short story earned an honorable mention in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror; her first novel, Firedancer, was a finalist for the 2013 EPIC Award for Fantasy. A native of Washington state, she resides there again after serving six years in Germany as a regular army military intelligence officer. She graduated summa cum laude from college with a degree in history, which she confesses was greatly aided by devouring historical fiction of every era and kind through her formative years. Since then she has taught web design, trained horses, spent a few hectic and thoroughly enjoyable years volunteering with the United States Pony Clubs (kids and horses, oh, my!), worked in global marketing and project management, and finally managed a long-overdue escape from corporate world to write.

S. A.'s Books:


The Mark of God

Out of the Vaults

S. A.'s Links:


Michael Cantwell
Michael Cantwell

Michael Cantwell, CCIM (1958-present) is an author and commercial real estate agent in Florida as well as a published photographer. He was born in Ft. Campbell KY, raised in Trenton, NJ, graduated college at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA. He now resides in Palm Beach County, Florida. He is married with three children and one dog. He loves music and is a Miami Marlins, Dolphins, Panthers and Heat fan. He has served on many board of directors and volunteered many hours as a coach for baseball and basketball as well as for Junior Achievement in many schools around South Florida.

Michael's Books:

Michael's Links:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Canadian Rockies Part One: Lake Louise

I spent the last week in the Canadian Rockies. This is a part of Canada north of Montana. It is renown for its beautiful scenery.

We first stayed at Lake Louise and when we arrived, this was the view out our window:

As you can see, low, gray clouds diminished the beauty of the view. But still, it was very nice to look over Lake Louise to the Victoria Glacier.

The weather varied but the last day we were there, the say we left, I woke up to this:

The glacier is pink because it's reflecting the sunrise.

Later I went down to the water's edge to take this picture:

I was so glad we got at least one day of nice weather.

More Canadian Rockies pictures to come.

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Speculative Fiction Cantina Replay with Susan Kite and Frances Pauli

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina, a replay of our June 19th show with Susan Kite and Frances Pauli

Susan Kite
Susan Kite

Susan Kite was born in Indiana, but moved extensively during her growing up years. The library was the first place she found after a move, avidly reading the works of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, and many others. In her teens, she dabbled in writing, but with college and marriage, writing was mostly put on hold.

That changed about fifteen years ago when the writing bug bit again. A visit to the Mission San Luis Rey in California in 2001 and subsequent research became the catalyst to write her first novel, My House of Dreams. A fantasy short story was included in an anthology published in 2013 called "aMUSEing Tales."

The author earned her Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Instructional Media at Utah State University. She has worked in public school libraries for over thirty years, most recently in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ms. Kite has been married to the love of her life, for over 35 years. They have two children, seven grandchildren, and are owned by one bossy cat and an opinionated chiweenie-terrier.
Frances Pauli
Frances Pauli

Frances Pauli writes across multiple genres. Her work is speculative, full of the fantastic, and quite often romantic at its core. Whenever possible, she enjoys weaving in a little humor.

Once upon a time she was a visual artist, but she’s since come to her senses. Now she fills her minuscule amount of free time with things like crocheting, belly-dancing, and abysmal ukulele playing.

Frances's Latest Books

Seen (Princes of the Shroud Book Two)

Carried Away (Kingdoms Gone Romance Book 1)

Frances's Links


From Today's Show: Microbes Survive in Space

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

School Lunches

When I was in first grade, sixth grade, and middle school (called "junior high" back then), I often ate the school lunches. (In second through fifth grade I lived close enough to home that I would walk or ride my bike home for lunch. The same with high school.)

We ate on metal trays like the ones pictured at left.

Tuesdays were usually chili day and also cinnamon roll day. Loved Tuesdays except when they'd switch out navy bean soup for chili.

Because I liked (and still do) vegetables, I would use that to my advantage. You couldn't go back for seconds unless you ate everything. And a lot of kids didn't like vegetables (especially spinach) so I'd offer to eat their vegetables for them so they could go back. But I demanded their dessert in exchange. So I got more vegetables that I liked, plus more dessert. It was great.

There are vegetables I won't eat, such as lima beans and brussel sprouts but they never served those at school, to my memory.

But for the longest time I couldn't figure out why vegetables at school were so much better than the vegetables my mother served at home. Finally I figured out that the vegetables at school were canned and the ones at home were frozen. Canned vegetables, at least back then, had a lot of salt in them.

The biggest difference was green beans. At school they were heavenly. At home, they were pedestrian. Even if you added salt they just didn't have that wonderful canned flavor.

Sometimes I miss those school lunches. But most of the time, I don't.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Kelly Mitchell and Rachael Acks

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are please to welcome Kelly Mitchell and Rachael Acks

Kelly Mitchell
Kelly Mitchell

I’ve been badly burned, am a serious Buddhist, and live in Cape Breton - where the winds regularly hit 90 mph.

Kelly's Books

Scar Jones (free)

Kelly's Links

Rachael Acks

Rachael Acks is a writer, geologist, and dapper sir. She's written for Six to Start and been published in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and more. Rachael lives in Houston with her two furry little bastards, where she twirls her mustache, watches movies, and bikes. For more information, see her website (

Rachael's Works

"Only a Crack in a Black Glass Wall" in Welcome to the Future

"They Tell Me There Will Be No Pain" in Lightspeed (free)

"Asleep in Zandalar" in Abyss and Apex (free)

Rachael's Links

From Today's Show: NASA's Europa Mission

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Defining Laughter Down

I have noticed a phenomena when it comes to texting and internet.

If something makes me smile, perhaps chuckle a bit, I'll say "lol." But "lol" means "laughing out loud." But I'm not laughing out loud, I simply want to say "that was funny."

So when something really does make me laugh out loud, I have to up the acronym. I'll put "rofl" which means "rolling on the floor laughing." But I'm not, I'm just laughing. That should be "lol."

And of course, I never really "roflmao" (roll on the floor laughing my ass off) no matter how funny something is. But if something is very funny, I'll say "roflmao."

A while back a friend of mine recommended replacing "lol" meaning "that's funny" with "salts" (smiled a little, then stopped).

It didn't catch on.

But if we keep defining laughed down, pretty soon we'll be lol'ing mildly amusing bad puns. Actually, they usually make me roflmao.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Phil Locascio and Alonna Williams

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are proud to welcome Phil Locascio and Alonna Williams

Phil Locascio
Phil Locascio

I am 61 years old, born and raised in Chicago with a degree in Psychology from Northern Illinois University.  Married for 25 years to Jane and have a daughter Lucy who attends Iowa State University.

Retired from the State of Illinois where I worked as a policy writer for what you know as the welfare department.  Since I have retired I have turned much of my energy to painting.  Have been selling many of my works to my utter amazement.

Besides writing and painting, I have been in my church choir for over 25 years.

Phil's Books

The Fragility of Contrition

The Harbor of Ill Will 

The Reincarnation of Josef Mundt

Phil's Link

Alonna Williams
Alonna Williams

Alonna Williams has been writing since she was a little girl. It started with a short story and soon progressed to novels. Alonna has worked on, and grew up with a Pirate series entitled, Pirates of the Lost Cove, which is her favorite series of all; she's worked on a mystery series, a children series and a Sci-Fi drama. 

When she's not writing you'll most likely find her dancing, whether it be, Tap, Ballet, Jazz or Lyrical, or watching a good classic movie.
Alonna's Books

The Journal of the Red Skull (Pirates: The Lost Cove) (Volume 1)

Alonna's Links

From Today's Program: Tunneling cyrobot.