Wednesday, March 30, 2016


I have just watched the first season (it was only six episodes) of Portlandia on Netflix, the IFC comedy about the biggest city in Oregon. It is sketch comedy, with no plot, really. There are a few reoccurring characters but they have no story arc.

Now I lived in Portland one summer when I was doing an internship in Oregon City. And for five years I lived in Vancouver, Washington, which is a suburb of Portland. So Portland is not an unknown thing to me. And the show nails the culture of Portland almost perfectly from the feminist bookstore to the aggressive bicyclists to the all-consuming more-liberal-than-thou politics of its residents. If you've lived or visited Portland, you'll recognize something, and not just the scenery.

And just when I keep thinking I'll give up on the show, it does something laugh-out-loud funny. Like when the mayor had to come out a "reggae" and his stoic wife stood by his side (he'd been caught playing in a reggae band).

I don't know if I'll keep watching it. But I probably will. It just manages to be funny enough to keep me interested. Plus I'm waiting for Better Call Saul season two.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Jason P. Crawford and Joshua Delaney

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are proud to welcome writers Jason P. Crawford and Joshua Delaney

Jason P. Crawford
Jason P. Crawford

Jason P. Crawford is an award-winning fiction novelist who specializes in the far reaches of the imagination – magics hidden for centuries, mythical beings coming to light, fantastical technologies from the stars, and the elemental powers of dragons are all grist for his literary mill. Since September 2012 he has published six novels in a variety of speculative genres. Currently typing up his latest works in the tropical paradise of Hawaii, he has plans to move back to the mainland United States very soon. He draws inspiration from legends, games, and random conversations.

Jason's Books:

Dragon Princess

Bonds of Fate

Cycles of Destruction

Jason's Links:


Joshua Delaney

I’m 20 years old, and have an associate's degree in Culinary. Where when I was going to college began to work on my first book. I do most of my writing from 12 am to 3 am in the morning as I work long hours during the day.

Joshua's Book:

Joshua's Link:

 From today's show: 3-D Printing in Space

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Spring into Reading Giveaway

Ah, spring, when a young man's thought's turn to Benedryl.

And time for a Spring into Reading giveaway! There's hundreds of prizes from over fifty authors and a grand prize of $180 PayPal Cash. So enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And good luck!

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Austin C, Slawinski and John Paul Carinci

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Austin C. Slawinski and John Paul Carinci.

Austin C. Slawinski
Austin C. Slawinski

Austin C. Slawinski is an American writer with an unadulterated love for life, freedom, and the universe. Born in 1993, Austin enjoys driving, listening to loud music, drinking cold beverages on hot beaches near beautiful bodies of water and stargazing. An Almost Fluorescent Universe is Austin's first book.

Austin's Book:

An Almost Fluorescent Universe

Austin's Links:


John Paul Carinci

John Paul Carinci has been a successful insurance executive and president of Carinci Insurance Agency, Inc., for over 35 years.

John is also an author, songwriter, poet, and CEO of Better Off Dead Productions, Inc., a movie production company.

As a worldwide published author, some of John’s works include: An All-Consuming Desire To Succeed, The Power of Being Different,  In Exchange of Life,  Share Your Mission #5, A Second Chance, The Psychic Boy Detective, Better Off Dead, Better Off Dead In Paradise, Defying Death In Hagerstown, Awesome Success Principles and Quotations, and A Gift from Above.

His newest novel, Defying Death In Hagerstown, has received rave reviews, and he is trying to have it made into a film.

John is also co-writer of the screenplays: Better Off Dead, A Second Chance, and Better Off Dead in Paradise, which were all adapted from his novels, and may one day be produced as motion pictures.

John’s three self-help books, The Power of Being Different, An All-Consuming Desire To Succeed, and Awesome Success Principles and Quotations, have been translated and published in many foreign countries. John’s latest novel, Defying Death In Hagerstown, is being traditionally published and will be available in paperback by April of 2015. It is currently available in e-book format.

John's Books:

Defying Death In Hagerstown

Awesome Success Principles

Psychic Boy Detective

John's Links:


From Today's Show: All the Aliens Might be Dead

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The World is Not Kind to Introverts

The world is not kind to introverts. You know, those people (like me) who don't really enjoy large groups, who would rather be alone, and for whom dealing with other humans is exhausting.

Why? Because people do pretty much everything in groups. You want a job, you have to deal with people: co-workers, customers, bosses, subordinates. Unless you can make a living at your solo art such as writing, you have to deal with people in your work.

It's always been this way. Even back in caveman days people congregated together for mutual protection and cooperation. You might be able to gather alone, but hunting anything bigger than a rabbit probably required cooperation. You aren't going to bring down that woolly mammoth by your self.

And, of course, Og the extrovert caveman, got all the cavegirls.

As an introvert myself, I find technology is helping. I can buy gas without having to interact with a human. If I can send an email or a text rather then calling someone, I will.

Give me more of that as A.I. improves. Of course, if A.I. is indistinguishable from a person, then will the introvert know or care?

Introverts must have figured out a way to cope. We haven't been bred out of the population so we must be reproducing, passing our introverted genes down to the next generation. And this must have been going on since Og got all the cavegirls. We got the cavegirl who liked to spend her days reading the wall paintings. You know, the introvert cavegirl.

Most jobs where you can be most successful seem to require extroversion. Or at least being able to fake it. But at the end of the day the extrovert wants to go out for drinks. The introvert wants to go home and recover. Who is going to gain the favor of the extrovert boss, the raises, the big pay? Yeah, the extrovert.

I don't think there's a way to solve this. I suppose we could have a federal level Department of Introverts. But then we'd all not want to talk to each other.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Robert S. Hoyle and Sommer Nectarhoff

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are please to welcome writers Robert S. Hoyle and Sommer Nectarhoff.

Robert S. Hoyle and Ollie
Robert S. Hoyle

Then was hired by UNIVAC the 2nd biggest computer company in the world which, by accident, involved me with the USSR buying organization who were sold some computer which were becoming obsolete.

Went to the Univac training collage in Ilion NY where another accident after 5 months resulted in me
Going to the US Air Force in Germany where I installed the first two overseas online computers. Then 3 years in Libya, during King Idris’s reign based at Wheelus Air Base outside Tripoli. The wonderful Roman cities of Sabratha and Leptis Magna were visited and my wife and I discovered a new small Roman site nearby with great mosaics and many coins lying around.

A year after the Arab/sraeli 1967 War I went to IBM Tripoli and one year later to Beruit ,Lebanon leaving Tripoli 2 days before Ghaddafi took power. I moved to the Arabian Gulf, based in Kuwait and 3 years later was hired by OECD {Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development} as a Visiting Assistant Professor to teach MBA and MSc students at a Turkish University in Ankara.

Five years later I moved to alluvial diamond mine in South West Africa {now Namibia} but disliked the Afrikaaner attitudes [this was under apartheid] and was glad to get out after only 15 months.
I then went to Saudi Arabia working for Ralph M. Parsons, supervising the first days of the building [to take 27 years] of a brand new city at Yanbu on the Red Sea. We had first to build a town for the 27,000 workers from all over the world with a floating desalinization plant and all supporting services.

My wife, together with the majority of foreign females in Saudi Arabia, was less enthused with the life there although a long holiday in Hawaii, Hong Kong, USA and Crete helped.

We moved to Sri Lanka, which my wife considered her favorite country and I gave management advice to tea planters and other businesses. We also visited many areas in India [my favorite country], the Maldives and Kashmir.

I was planning to go to a S. American country but after receiving letter of welcome addressed to Comrade Robert and signed by xxxxx. Comrade President took a job in Scotland for 7 years before retiring to Spain 25 years ago,

Robert's Book:

The Winners? COCANZ v. The Group

Sommer Nectarhoff
Sommer Nectarhoff

Sommer Nectarhoff is a writer from Chicago. He's always loved to read and write both fiction and poetry. His shorter pieces have been published in a variety of literary journals, and he is the author of numerous books to date, including the fantasy series The Book of Lokk. Also I’ll be attending an MFA program next fall.

Sommer's Books:

The Death of Ydain

Death’s Keep

Sommer's Links:


From today's show: The floating hills of Pluto.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Netflix Streaming Trauma

It's been a traumatic few weeks. In the past month I have:
  1. Watched the last Mad Men episode
  2. Watched the last Parks and Recreation episode
  3. Watched the last How I Met Your Mother episode
Parks and Recreation's last episode was cute and sweet and didn't tug at the heart much. Maybe because of the format of the show you're not as invested in the characters as you are in other television shows. Parks and Recreation was funny and I loved the character of Ron Swanson.

Mad Men ended nearly perfectly. Of course, the entire show was done nearly perfectly. It was interesting how it wrapped up the stories of the six main characters. Each one sort of ended up where they belonged, and most with a happy ending (except Betty Draper/Francis). And Don Draper's smile said it all. Small spoiler: it ends, appropriately enough, with a commercial.

Now How I Met Your Mother was sort of a guilty pleasure. I enjoyed the show because it made me laugh. But the last two episodes really worked hard at pulling the heartstrings. Small spoiler: the blue french horn makes an appearance. 

With all the many actors who, over the years, appeared in that show, I only spotted two instances where they didn't get the same actor to appear as the same character. First, Robin's father was originally played by Eric Braeden (an actor I've always liked) but then was switched to Ray Wise who I'll always remember as Laura Palmer's father in Twin Peaks. And Blabla (they couldn't remember her name) was originally played by Katy Perry but they apparently couldn't get her to come back for a one-line shot in the third-to-the-last episode. So they got a no-name actor who kind of looks like Katy Perry to play her.

So, I'm looking for new things to watch. I've started watching Better Call Saul which is a spin-off from Breaking Bad and is nearly as good. And I started watching Luther, a BBC production that is interesting. I've only seen two episodes, so far.

But I need a comedy. Something to make me laugh. Any suggestions?

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Speculative Fiction Cantina with Hank Brown and Bruno De Marques

Today on the Speculative Fiction Cantina we are pleased to welcome writers Hank Brown and Bruno De Marques.

Hank Brown
Hank Brown

I've always been an action-adventure guy. My own real-life adventure began as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division, at 18 years old. I've wanted to write for a long time, and I never stopped dabbling in it, even when I was too busy (and immature) to take it as seriously as I should have. After accumulating some life experiences, I matured enough to produce work that readers enjoy. I hope to continue for as long as I'm able.

Hank's Books:

False Flag

The Greater Good

Tier Zero

Hank's Links:


Bruno De Marques
Bruno De Marques

Bruno De Marques was a consultant for Accenture and a marketing professional for a large bank (BPI) before becoming a writer. He lives in Portugal with his wife, Rita, and his two daughters.

Bruno's Book:

Future Man

Bruno's Links:


From Today's Show: Luxembourg aims to jump-start asteroid mining.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Update on Works in Progress

I currently have seven published novels:

But, I also have four novels at various stages from writing "Chapter One" to publishing.  They are:
  • Forces (science fiction) which is at my publisher waiting for editing.
  • Treasure of the Pirate Planet (science fiction, Treasures of Space series book two) which is almost ready to be self-published. It was my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel (which goes to show how much work goes into polishing a manuscript).
  • Treasure of the Rogue Moon (science fiction, Treasures of Space series book three) which was my 2015 NaNoWriMo novel that I haven't looked at since finishing the first draft.
  • GIGO: (science fiction) which is maybe about one-half finished with the first draft. Title subject to change.
You'll note that all my works in progress (WIPs) are science fiction. I've always considered myself primarily a science fiction writer, but then I got off on the Adept Series of fantasies. I currently have zero plans to write another fantasy.

I might even write that Rock Killer prequel and sequel I've been thinking about for years.