Jul 172017

UPDATE: books have sold.

I’m selling some books. The usual approach is ebay, but I figured I’d start here with y’all. This first group I will try to sell separately *if* nobody wants the lot of them. If you buy the whole lot, it’ll be cheaper than individually. The individual prices are based on what they seem to be going for online.

If you want the whole lot, I’m selling it for $100 (sum of the individual books, $133), plus postage. If you’re in the US, it’ll be media mail, so it shouldn’t cost too much. If you want the lot, let me know via email or comment; first come, first served.

For right now, trying to sell these books as a lot. If nobody wants the whole lot within a day or so, I’ll make them available individually.

“The High Frontier” by O’Neill, larger paperback, 1982. $15

“Colonies in space,” by Heppenheimer, larger paperback, $3.50

“The Future of Flight” by Myrabo, paperback, 1985. $3.50

“Colonizing other Worlds” by Macvey, hardbound, 1984. $7

“The Exploration of Space,” by Clarke. Hardbound, dust jacket is torn, otherwise good, 1951. $3

“The high Frontier,” by O’Neill, trade paperback, 1978, $3.50

“Colonies in space,” Heppenheimer, trade paperback, 1977. $3.50

“Space Trek,” by Glenn, paperback, 1978. $5

“Moving Into Space,” paperback, 1978. $4

“The Third industrial Revolution, by Stine, paperback, 1975. $5

“Space Shuttle,” by Kaplan, hardback, 1978. $4

“Dark Sun” by Rhodes, 1996, paperback, $4

“Fallout Prediction,” US Army FM3-22, 1973. $12

“The Constructive Uses of Nuclear Explosives” by Teller, 1968. Hardcover, no dust jacket. $60

 Posted by at 1:07 pm
Jul 082017


Book-loving family in China slowly poisoned by their home library

In short: apparently the family was constantly ill, so they had the air in their home tested. It was found that they were being poisoned by formaldehyde coming off their large collection of books.

I have two questions:

  1. Do books really have that much formaldehyde in them?
  2. Couldn’t they just, I dunno, open a window or something?


 Posted by at 11:50 pm
Jun 012017

Tonight I tapped out the final sentence on my tome. All told… 137,000 words, or about 450 pages in a standard novel format. Yeesh.

And then came the question… “now what.” I’m going to spend the next few months editing, which will probably mostly entail making relatively minor corrections. Then it’ll get passed on and supposedly, hopefully, read by A Science Fiction Author Y’all Have Heard Of. Hopefully he’ll not throw it in the trash. And then… who knows. Maybe it’ll be good.

 Posted by at 12:22 am
May 272017

So, progress on the novel has been brisk of late. The end is in sight! I’m currently sitting at about 400 novel-length pages, which is frankly probably far too long for a first novel by an unknown nobody. But, y’know, editing… For all I know, cut all the drivel out of it and it might result in a pamphlet.

But let’s say it gets published, and meets with great acclaim. Huzzah! One thing that authors seem to do is book signings. Now, at the best of times this idea fills me with an uncomfortableness. On the one hand, being the center of attention? Bleah. On the other hand, how many times have you gone to a Books-A-Barnes & Borders and saw a book signing by an author you’ve never heard of, hawking a book that seems uninteresting to you, and the author is sitting at the table, piled with books… and there ain’t nobody there. Yeesh. Talk bout a buzz kill. About the only thing more distressing than being the object of attention of a bunch of strangers is to be *ignored* at such an event. I always feel *real* bad for the very sad and lonely looking authors at such empty events.

So, California has come up with a solution: basically make book signings illegal.

California threatens to shut down book signings and therefore small booksellers

If you are selling a “signed something-or-other worth more than five bucks,” guess what… onerous new book-keeping regulations:

Sellers must, among other things:

  1. Note the purchase price and date of sale,
  2. specify whether the item is part of a limited edition,
  3. note the size of the edition, anticipate any future editions,
  4. disclose whether the seller is bonded,
  5. divulge any previous owner’s name and address,
  6. if the book was signed in the presence of the seller, specify the date and location of the signing, and identify a witness to the autograph.

And what happens if you don’t have such records for a book signing that occurred, say, five years before the State official shows up to check your papers? Potentially tens of thousands of dollars in fines. Ta-da. No more book signings.

 Posted by at 6:10 pm
Mar 242017

Fiction writing is way down on my list of priorities, but I still poke away at it from time to time. When I wrote “Going to Gimli,” the plan was that it’d be the first of three short stories that would form one overall story arc, with the insane notion that I might actually turn it into a novel. After finishing “Gimli” I wrote one complete story that *wasn’t* part of the original plan, but it’s a direct sequel to Gimli. I guess it’d be story 1.5 of the three planned. I’m now something like halfway through story 2; it’s going slowly.

“Gimli” clocks in at about 30,000 words. Story 1.5 (tentative placeholder title is “Run Spot Run”) is about 25,000 words; story 2 (tentatively “Return to Origin”) is so far about 25,500 words. All told about 80,500 words. Novels are generally about 300 words per page… so I’m already at about 270 pages. That *used* to be a respectable length for a full novel, but thanks to the likes of Stephen King and J.K. Rowling, it might be considered only a short one. Still… I was surprised to find out how much I’ve got.

I suspect that a good editor would go through my manuscript with pruning shears, a  chain saw, a flame thrower and eventually a tactical nuclear device, removing perhaps half of it. But given that I’m technically only half done, when finished it’ll actually be a full novel’s worth of stuff. Whether it’ll be *good* stuff remains to be seen.

If interested, see my first story “Mass Disappearance,” followed by “Going to Gimli,” and then two story fragments, “Launch” and “A Matter of Some Gravity.”

 Posted by at 1:36 am
Mar 102017

So here I was, minding my own business when several of my cats started acting glitchy. This is not unknown… where some dogs will bark their damnfool heads off if they hear a stranger on their turf, my cats warn me of visitors or trespassers in their own quieter way. In this case it was a UPS truck and the driver bringing a box to my door. As I hadn’t ordered anything recently, this was a puzzlement.

As it turns out, it was a copy of Dennis Jenkins three-volume book “Space Shuttle: Developing an Icon 1972-2013.” This is the latest, and presumably last, edition of the premiere tome on the history of the Space Shuttle. It is vastly expanded from the previous editions, now over 1,500 pages.

In short… if’n you’re at all interested in the Space Shuttle, procure yourself a copy of this book. It’s a billet of hardback paper massive enough to brain an ape, filled with full-color art & photos, diagrams and data galore. The first volume describes the early history of the Shuttle from World War II up through the 70’s; the second volume is a detailed technical description of the Space Transportation System. The third volume describes the operational history of the Shuttle program.

If you like projects/unbuilt designs, the first volume in particular provides an embarrassment of riches.

In short, I wholeheartedly endorse this book. It’s friggen’ awesome.


With every purchase of “Space Shuttle,” you’ll receive one free Raedthinn-approved Fort Of Imagination.

Note: seems my copy came to me due to my having contributed very, very slightly to it, another concept I wholeheartedly approve of. Thus, thanks to Dennis Jenkins for providing me with this!

 Posted by at 6:51 pm