Sten by Allan Cole and Chris Bunch

I walked into Half Price Books, because Kid 2 decided to lighten her load of YA.  We dropped off roughly a dozen novels and were told that it would take half an hour to get them into the system.  It took an hour and a half.  Being trapped in the Half Price books for an hour and a half and growing more aggravated, because we were all really hungry, I finally grabbed an omnibus edition off the shelf.  It had a dude in a military space suit and looked like something you would find in the early Halo series.

Upon getting home, I realized that the omnibus contained books 4 through 7.  Epic fail.  I thumbed through it.  Written in 1985…  Something something Eternal Emperor… Landmark SF series something…  So I broke down and ordered the first one on Kindle.

stenIt’s like they took Citizen of the Galaxy, Starship Troopers, and Star Wars, and made a panini out of it.  It has ultra-industrial worlds, social uprisings, a really well done boot camp sequence, psionic alien teddy bears who want to kill you, an evil Baron, an ever-living Emperor, and anti-matter rifles.  The world has that Star War-sy grittiness about it.  Everything isn’t clean and shiny. Despite being written in 1985, female characters do kick ass and there is an awesome passage in support of gay relationships. There is a romance, but it takes very little screen time. But Sten is very much the Hero. It ends happily, so it’s not a tragedy at all.

It takes a whole bunch of things that are by now viewed as cliche and mashes them together into a very fun space opera.  I inhaled it.

As always, your mileage may vary, so please try a sample first before buying the book.  If you’re into space opera tinted with a bit of humor and are looking for something fun and light, I highly recommend it.  I am trying to get Gordon to read it.  I think he’d love it.

As an aside, unfortunately Chris Bunch had passed away in 2005, but I was able to find Allan Cole’s website.


Don’t go into the Jungle

Image courtesy of Wikipedia,
Image courtesy of Wikipedia,

I was Google driving around Houston looking for a good place to have bad things happen for Nevada, when Facebook dinged at me.  Somehow from there I clicked a few things and ended up on this interesting site.  Are you feeling down this morning?  No worries – your life could be worse.  You could be Isabel Godin des Odonais.  Spoiler: she survived this eighteenth century version of Naked and Afraid, but it sounds like pure hell.  I read it and I am so happy now that I’m in Texas in a comfy suburban house.

I have no idea if this story is true in its entirety, but a quick search says all these people actually existed. Their story makes for one seriously weird read, so if you have a few minutes, grab a coffee and enter the jungle.

Haunting Voice

So, I’m a big fan of searching You Tube for music. I saw this video a long time ago while clicking through other songs.

I, personally, love this version so much more than the rap version. There’s something so haunting and emotional about her voice, with nothing more than the piano accompanying her.





Warning: personal post.

Last night for no apparent reason, as I was getting ready to fall asleep, my heart started racing. This almost never happens to me unless I am doing battle with an elliptical. So I got up, I splashed water on my face in the bathroom and walked around.  I did the breathing thing, where you take a very slow breath in and let an even slower breath out.  Imagine your stomach being a balloon that you are inflating and deflating.  This is an old, practiced technique and it usually works for panic attacks and anxiety.

Nope.  No dice.

I had no other worrying symptoms, so I crawled into bed, betting that eventually sleep would win and it did.  The worst thing was being acutely aware that my heart was beating too fast.

I slept badly and had nightmares.  One was about some kind of convention and the other, the one that woke me up in the morning, involved a strange dog snapping one of our dogs’ neck.  Yeah.  That sucked.

Now I feel weird. I am not exactly anxious, I am just not quite myself. I feel oddly jittery and off, and  I haven’t even made my way through my coffee.  It’s like my body desperately wants to freak out about something. But there is really nothing to freak out about.  Bleah.  Some days are just odd, I guess.  I don’t need this weirdness today.  I have a whole day of writing, going to the gym, and doing all the other important things like making dinner.

I don’t get it.  I’ve been eating right, I’ve been working out on schedule, and you’d think all this would have a calming effect.  Instead I have this odd urge to jump out of my chair.  Maybe this novel is just too hard to write and my subconscious is secretly trying to make me flee. Hehehe!  All joking aside, I am having a lot of fun writing White Hot, so I am probably going to try to do that and hopefully whatever that is will go away.  Like soon.

Update: I know you guys mean well by making me aware of all the terrible things that could be wrong, but honestly, it’s probably an anxiety thing. I drank some chamomile and my jittery feeling is slowly going away.

Writing With Animals

And despite all of that, I wanted to…

Muffins 1000Sookie, stop bumping my elbow.

…I wanted to…

Tulip!  Stop growling at that cat!  She’s outside. You’re inside.  That’s it.

Sookie, stop!  I am trying to write a woo-woo part and it doesn’t involve bulldogs.

… step over and kiss him. I could….

Sookie! Pillow.

Edward 1000What the hell was I going to write… I could something something…?

Muffins, what do you think you’re going to do about that garbage truck?  You weigh two pounds.  Literally.

Muffins! Shut it.  Do you think kibble grows on trees?  Because it doesn’t!

… picture it in my head.

Edward!  Stop growling at the outside cat!


Once the kids have completely moved out and are standing on their own two feet, two dogs and one cat.  That’s it.