Saturday, November 28, 2015

Apple Cup Victory

Going into yesterday's Apple Cup (the annual rivalry game between the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State University Cougars), the Huskies were the underdog. They were 5-6 on the season so far (3-5 in conference). The Cougars were ranked #20 and were 8-3 overall (6-2 in conference).

The game was being played in Husky Stadium and home field advantage is huge in this rivalry game. But it wasn't supposed to overcome the Cougars consistent passing attack. The bad news for the Cougars, their lead quarterback was out with a head injury. But, again, that wan't supposed to swing the victory to the Huskies who's true freshman quarterback, Jake Browning, was still trying to get his bearings although he'd shown great improvement through the season.

During the opening drive, the Cougars marched down the field, their backup quarterback hitting his targets flawlessly. The Husky defense did manage to hold them to only a field goal.

The the Dawgs offense came to the field. And Browning was great. And running back Myles Gaskin, initially shut down by the Coug defense, eventually started making yards and became the first true freshman in Husky history to run 1,000 yards in a season.

And the Cougars turned over the ball seven times. Eight if you count a fumble that was overturned on review (and shouldn't have been). The final score was 45-10. Like last week, Jake Browning didn't play near the end of the game although he didn't come out of the game quite so early.

In other words, the Cougars "Couged it." Or the Huskies just played better football, depending on whom you talk to.

With this win, the Huskies are "bowl eligible" meaning they get one more game and a lot more practices to improve even more before next season. No word yet on which bowl. With a 6-6 record, it's not going to be one of the better ones. But, it is still a bowl.

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with J.R. McLeay and Jessica Marie Baumgartner

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are proud to welcome J.R. McLeay and Jessica Marie Baumgartner.

J.R. McLeary
J.R. McLeay

J.R. McLeay is a graduate of the University of Toronto and lives in Calgary, Canada with his wife and two rambunctious dogs. J.R. writes fictional stories incorporating the latest advances in science, especially in the fields of biogerontology (the science of aging) and astrobiology (the study of life beyond earth).

He likes to weave real science into engaging stories of what the future might hold for us as we continue to explore new frontiers. Most of his book themes are based on hypotheses he's developed after extensive study and scientific research. He wants his readers to be stimulated as much by the new applications of emerging science as they are about the stories and characters embodying these possibilities.

Stay tuned for more books from J.R. McLeay in these genres in the months ahead. Happy reading!

J.R.'s Book:

The Cicada Prophecy

J.R.'s Links:


Jessica Marie Baumgartner
Jessica Marie Baumgartner

Jessica’s word addiction has led her to become a member of the St. Louis Writers Guild. Unable to cure her of this ailment she has recently released a science fiction novella, the first in a trilogy, By the Stars, through European Geeks Publishing. Before finding her current publisher she released, Tale of Two Bookends, an erotic paranormal romance with Cobblestone Publishing LLC and My Family Is Different, a children’s picture book about religious diversity and acceptance with THG Stardragon Publishing. Genre hopping seems to be her thing. Maybe tomorrow she’ll write a book on quantum physics.

Jessica's Books:

By the Stars: Embracing Entropy Series

Tale of Two Bookends

My Family Is Different

Jessica's Links:


From today's show: Thumbstats.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


The Oregon State University Beavers are not having a good year. Before yesterday's game with the University of Washington Huskies, their record was 2-8 (0-7 in conference). So it was no surprise that the Huskies came to town and slaughtered them with a final score of 52-7.

The score doesn't even reflect how lopsided these teams were. The Huskies took out their starting quarterback when the score hit 57 in the third quarter and never threw another pass. They would go for it on fourth downs rather than take a field goal. By the end of the third quarter, it was obvious that both teams just wanted the game to be over.

Quite a contrast to the week before when the Huskies went into halftime with a 17-3 lead to a team they weren't supposed to beat. Then came out after the half and never scored again, ending up losing 17-27. I was so mad I didn't blog about it last week.

Now the Huskies are 5-6 (3-5 in conference) and to be bowl eligible they have to beat the Washington State Cougars in the Apple Cup game this coming Friday. The game is at home for the Huskies, which will help. But the Cougars are having a great year and beat a lot of teams they weren't supposed to beat, including Oregon. They are 8-3 overall and 6-2 in conference. They will be tough to beat next week.

But, here's the thing about the Huskies. They have a true freshman quarterback who is getting better an better. They have a very young team that is getting better and better. They may lose next week but look out next year and the year after. Yes, I've been saying "wait until next year" for 15 years now. But I think this time it'll work.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Diane Student and W.A. Fulkerson

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are proud to welcome Diane Student and W.A. Fulkerson.

Diane Student
Diane Student

Diane Student is an author, blogger, podcaster and entrepreneur. She began her journey in blogging in 2008. Diane is creator of The Lewis Chronicles, a YA speculative faction series set in a dystopian, steampunk future Earth and author of Book One of that series: The Shattering. She is currently working on Book Two of the Lewis Chronicles: The Janus Seed, as well as some non-fiction works around the haunted history theme. When not writing books and short stories, Diane is writing, producing and co-hosting the History Goes Bump Podcast that delves into haunted history. She lives in Florida with her co-host and wife Denise and two furry kids.

Diane's Book:

The Lewis Chronicles, Book 1: The Shattering (Paperback, Kindle)

Diane's Links:


W.A. Fulkerson
W.A. Fulkerson

W.A. Fulkerson is the talented author of the Starfall trilogy and a slew of other novels coming to market soon. He has a passion for foreign languages, outdoor adventure, music, and of course good books. He lives in Los Angeles where he works as a screenwriter for Arbella Studios and consults on various film projects.

W.A.'s Books:




W.A.'s Links:


From Today's Show: New Horizon's Second Fly-by Mission

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with CJ Matthew and Ian J. Malone

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are happy to welcome CJ Matthew and Ian J. Malone.

CJ Matthew
CJ Matthew

CJ Matthew is the author of paranormal romance suspense series Dolphin Shore Shifters. The first three books in the series, Blood Tide, Risky Tide and Dangerous Tide, feature a pod of shapeshifting dolphins that pose as humans to protect the oceans at any cost. Inspired by her love of the Pacific Ocean, CJ spreads awareness of dolphin, marine life and oceanic conservation through her writing. A member of Georgia Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America, CJ lives and writes near a lake in the woods northeast of Atlanta.

CJ's Books:

Blood Tide (Dolphin Shore Shifters, #1)

Risky Tide (Dolphin Shore Shifters, #2)

Dangerous Tide (Dolphin Shore Shifters, #3) Coming soon!

CJ's Links:


Ian J. Malone
Ian J. Malone

As a graduate of Florida State University, I’ve written in a number of arenas over the years ranging from public health to news and sports.  When it comes to my fictional work, however, I’m a firm believer that nothing shapes an author’s writing like experience.  That’s why I credit my tenures in radio, law enforcement, sport management, and the military for much of my thematic inspiration, plus the legion of family and friends who’ve stood with me along the way.

Beyond writing, I’m an avid fan of audiobooks and sports, though it’s also not uncommon to find me at a concert (LOVE music!), a movie, or somewhere out by a grill.

At present, I reside in Durham, North Carolina with my incredible wife, son, and our two dogs — but I’ll always be a “Florida boy” at heart.

Ian's Books:


Red Sky Dawning

Ian's Links:


From Today's Show: NASA's Plan to go to Mars (and Stay There)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Social Changes

The other day I was watching the classic science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. A great movie even if the special effects are a bit dated. But it was made in 1968, so what can you expect (although the floating pen scene still is very well done).

If you haven't seen the movie, this will have spoilers.

Toward the end of the movie, astronaut Dave Bowman, the only survivor of the computer HAL 9000's trying to kill off the crew of the ship Discovery, deactivates the computer.

Here's that scene

At the 2:54 mark, HAL says "Good afternoon, gentlemen, I am a HAL 9000 computer" (obviously accessing an old file as his upper level functions are turned off). HAL goes on to say he became operational on January 12, 1992.

And the problem? No, it's not that we didn't have computers as sophisticated as a HAL 9000 in 1992 (or even today). It's that he says "gentlemen."

In 1965 (when the movie was written), it was probably safe to assume that there would only be men at the presentation of HAL 9000. But by 1992, we all know, there would probably be some women present, too.

And this is a challenge for those of us who write science fiction. What social or societal changes are so ingrained in us that we don't think twice about them but will sound archaic in 47 years? Maybe saying "Ladies and gentlemen" will sound as old fashioned as saying only "gentlemen." Which society becoming accepting of more genders and even gender fluidity, I interviewed a person of the Speculative Fiction Cantina who described themselves as "gender queer, non-binary." They preferred to be referred to with the pronouns "ze/zir/zim."

So in the future (not to distant, probably), saying "Ladies and gentlemen" will be considered quaint if not insulting to people who are non-binary. (This is already happening on college campuses.)

And by 2030, who knows what will be considered polite (and inclusive).

I think this is part of why I started writing fantasies set in the past. Don't have to deal with these issues.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Heartbreaking Game

Usually heartbreaking games are those that have close scores. Last night's Univeristy of Washington Huskies football game didn't have a close score, the Huskies losing the Utah by 34-23. No, what broke the heart was why they lost.

First was mistakes. The Huskies couldn't hang onto the ball the first half of the game. Admittedly, it was pouring down rain, but still a dropped punt and a later fumble both led to Utah scores.

Then there was the officiating. First a Washington touchdown was negated by a questionable holding call. Then on the very next play, blatant defensive pass interference wasn't called. Then the officals called offensive pass interference on our receiver, when even the television announces admitted it shouldn't have been called.

I was hoping after last week's blowout of Arizona, the Huskies would play at least that well. Even the odds makers had them 1.5 point favorites against the 7-1 Utes who were ranked #13 in the nation last night (they moved up to #12 this morning). But with the mistakes and Husky quarterback Jake Browning not hitting his receivers as well as he did last week, it was no soap. Add to that a Ute player named Devontae Booker who could run through defenders like he was a bulldozer, and I'm surprised the score was so close.

So now the Huskies are 4-5 overall and 2-4 in conference play and in second to the last place in the Pac-12 North. We need two more wins to be bowl eligible (and it'll be a louse bowl if we make it. Next week we take on Arizona St. in Tempe, a game we should win. Then we go to Corvallis to play the Oregon State Beavers, a game we'd better win. Then on Black Friday we play Washington State in the Apple Cup. And as good as the Cougars are playing this year, that's going to be a tough game. But it should be a good one.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Sara F. Hathaway and Bobby Nash

Today the Speculative Fiction Cantina is please to welcome writers Sara F. Hathaway and Bobby Nash.

Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway

Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the book, Day After Disaster. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor’s degree in business management, she returned to her passion for a rural existence. She has extensively researched and practiced survival techniques and utilized forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first novel.

Sara's Book:

Day After Disaster

Sara's Links:


Bobby Nash
Bobby Nash

An award-winning author, Bobby Nash writes novels, comic books, and short prose tales for a number of publishers and clients. Publishers including Dark Horse Comics, Sequential Pulp Comics, IDW, Random House, Moonstone Books, Airship 27 Productions, Pro Se Press, Raven’s Head Press, Stark Raving Press, Farragut Films, Dark Oak Press, Radio Archives, and more.

Bobby’s most recent offerings include the novels, Alexandra Holzer’s Ghost Gal: The Wild Hunt, Domino Lady “Money Shot”, Snow Falls, and Fight Card: Barefoot Bones as well as work appearing in several anthologies, with many more projects scheduled for release throughout 2015. Bobby’s first screenplay debuted recently with Starship Farragut’s “Conspiracy of Innocence.” A comprehensive list of Bobby’s titles can be found at Bobby is a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers.

For more information on Bobby Nash please visit him at and across social media. If you see him wandering around a convention, please say hi.

Bobby's Books:

Freelancer: The Traveler Sanction

Domino Lady “Money Shot”

Alexandra Holzer’s Ghost Gal: The Wild Hunt

Bobby's Links:


From today's show: Mission to Save the Planet

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Weird Words

I was sitting at my computer a few moments ago when the word "fugacity" popped into my head. Don't ask me why.

I first heard that word in college as the difference between a perfect gas and a real gas. A perfect gas (which is an ideal that doesn't exist but works well in a lot of cases) follows the perfect gas law. Fugacity modifies the perfect gas law so that it works with a real gas.

So I wasn't sure if I was spelling it correctly, so I googled it. And, I found out that, much to my surprise, it has another more poetic meaning: "the quality of being fleeting or evanescent." Cool, I thought.

That got me think about other strange words. I like to collect them. Here's some of my favorites:

Crepuscular Rays: (noun) rays of sunlight coming from a certain point in the sky. Also known as “God's rays.”

As in this picture:

Phosphenes: (noun) the lights you see when you close your eyes and press your hands to them.

Pareidolia: (noun) seeing shapes (such as faces) in random stimulus.

Sometimes I experience pareidolia with phosphenes,

Here's a fun word: Brobdingnagian (Adjective):  big, huge, colossal.

Battology: (non) wearisome repetition of words in speaking or writing.

Here's one that sounds dirty but it's not: Aureole: (noun): a radiance surrounding the head or body in the representation of a sacred personage.

What strange words to you know?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Winter Wonderland of Books Giveaway.

The Halloween giveaway (closed now) was such a huge success, we're doing another one. This time it's the "Winter Wonderland of Books" giveaway. Hundreds of authors with lots of prizes and a grand prize of $200 Paypal cash. Get your entries below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Sunday, November 1, 2015


I should be writing on my NaNoWriMo novel (word count so far: zero), but I can't not write about last night's University of Washington Huskies football game.

Going into last night's game, the Huskies where four and a half point favorites over the University of Arizona Wildcats. I'm not sure why. Before the game, Arizona was 4-4 on the season, the Huskies 3-4. Arizona was 2-3 in conference but the Huskies were 1-3 (only having beat USC). So I was worried we'd lose this game and we needed to win this game for having any hope of being bowl eligible (need to win 6 games out of 12).

Arizona got the football to start and marched down the field (helped by a controversial defensive pass interference call). The Husky defense did manage to hold them to only to a field goal. Then the Huskies went three and out. But when Arizona got the ball back, the Husky defense made an interception. Then the Husky offense went three and out. I was not very happy at this point.

Then a second Husky interception seemed to turn the whole game around. Freshman quarterback Jake Browning suddenly came on fire (he missed the Stanford game last week with an injury). The running game and the throwing game were just amazing. And the hapless Wildcat defense could do little to stop it.

Meanwhile, the Arizona offense never scored again. To call it a "blow out" is not to exaggerate as the final score was 3 - 49. Late in the fourth quarter Browning stopped playing and the backup quarterback was put in, and we still scored. Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez was visibly frustrated and upset on the sidelines.

I kept saying during the game, "Where was this team all year?" If we'd played like this from the beginning of the season, we'd probably be 6-2 (or better) not 4-4 now. I'm hoping this game is a preview of things to come. Not just for the rest of the season, but for next year as our very young team matures and gains experience. Browning could hardly miss and the running backs were all over the field. It was an amazing game.

Next week we play Utah who is ranked #13 in the nation with a 7-1 record.

And last night, the Washington State Cougars almost beat #8 Stanford (who moved down to #9 in this week's poll). But they "couged" it, missing a game-winning field goal.