As I sit down to write this, it is the very early hours of Pearl Harbor Day. A day that can never be forgotten, a black mark on the calendar like few others in American history. As I was sitting in the dark at my desk contemplating what to write, digging my bare toes into the warmth of the sheepskin rug, and firing off a snarky comment to a friend’s message from overnight, I debated with myself what to write about. It’s the little things. It’s the implications of ‘what if…?’ that allure those of us who write fiction. I’m not a historian, a mere dabbler, but I do know a little bit about what happened in China in the late 1930s. I was contemplating that, and the Holodomor, and other massive genocidal events, comparative to the Holocaust that was in full swing at the time of Pearl Harbor. The difference? Record-keeping. We have minutely detailed records, photos, even video, that came out of Germany after the war. In the places where no one was writing anything down? We can only speculate. Speculations, on the other hand, can be backed up with forensic evidences, so we have a pretty darn good idea of what could have become of us if Pearl Harbor had been a pivot-point in the other direction. Read more
Posts tagged ‘James Young’
With Christmas almost upon us, I know there are folks out there like me who still have gifts to buy. So, with indulgence from Cedar, I am going to re-post the Indie Author Christmas Sale. After spending some time yesterday trying to find a book for my mother and absolutely refusing to pay $10.99 – $13.99 for e-books, I appreciated going to the Indie Author Sales listing and finding books that didn’t cost the price of a meal out.
That is the sort or a repost. The sort of not is simple and short. If you find a book on the list — or any other book you would recommend to someone else — leave a review for it on Amazon or elsewhere. If you have a blog, write a blog post about it. That is the best form of promotion any author, and especially an indie author, has. I know I’m not the only one out there who appreciates every review. Well, almost every review. The negative ones can hurt and the ones left by folks who haven’t read the book but who leave negative comments simply because they don’t like the price or author politics or whatever are always a head meets wall moment.
And now for the list:
By Cedar Sanderson
On sale for the first time from Dec 17-23rd
The pixie with the gun has come home to see his princess crowned a queen and live in peace. But nothing is ever easy for Lom. A gruesome discovery on his doorstep interrupts their plans and sends Lom off on a mission to save not one, but two worlds. It’s personal this time and the stakes are higher than ever before. With friends falling and the enemy gathering, Bella and Lom must conquer the worst fears and monsters Underhill can conjure. Failure is not on the agenda.
Or if you would rather give the whole trilogy, Pixie for Hire: Omnibus Edition is now available in ebook form only.
by Pam Uphoff
Free for five days!
It’s traditional for young lords in the Kingdom of Ash to spend two years in the army. Xen Wolfson is a young wizard, and Garit Negue a young prince. And the world is filled with adventures and danger . . . and learning experiences.
Their world has been in sporadic contact with two different cross-dimensional worlds–generally as a target for conquest. When the Empire of the One returns, the young warriors are standing foursquare in their path.
By Amanda Green
Brand New Release!
The one thing Lt. Mackenzie Santos had always been able to count on was the law. But that was before she started turning furry. Now she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy to keep the truth from the public-at-large. She knows they aren’t ready to learn that monsters are real and they might be living next door.
If that isn’t enough, trouble is brewing among the shapeshifters. The power struggle has already resulted in the kidnapping and near fatal injury of several of Mac’s closest friends. She is now in the middle of what could quickly turn into a civil war, one that would be disastrous for all of them.
What she wouldn’t give to have a simple murder case to investigate and a life that didn’t include people who wanted nothing more than to add her death to the many they were already responsible for.
By Cyn Bagley
In Delhaven, there is an Inn run by a retired mercenary. If you are a down-on-your-luck mercenary or men-at-arms, come to the public rooms and Hilda Brant, the owner, will give you a bowl of stew. If you want ale, hand over the coins. Hilda may give you floor space, but she expects you to pay in favors or coins.
Hilda isn’t prepared for the damage and chaos caused by a dragon, black mage, and elementals. And a very angry Lord Barton.
By Mark Alger
Dolly was reborn into a new body just last week. Right out of the birthing chamber, she was tumbled into a conflict that goes back to the stone age. Her creator, the Greek Goddess, Aphrodite, has disappeared, and the God in charge of her institution — the Babylonian Marduk — has called for her death. Her lover and Geppetto, Mitchell Drummond, is threading his way through political minefields to keep Dolly safe.
New in love, they soon find they can’t keep their hands off each other. Their sexual fever comes to worry them. They suspect there’s more to the situation than mere new love. Meanwhile, they have a job to do. Keeping up the pretense that all’s well and nothing’s going on is wearing thin. But in Upothesa, you’re not allowed to talk about secrets. Dolly is a secret. Trying to keep it together, Dolly and Drummond go on a mission to New Zealand to protect the Dolly’s secret and the life of a major TV drama star.
By James Young
My God, we are losing this war.—Lt. Nicholas Cobb, USN
March 1943. The Usurper’s War has resumed, with disastrous results for the Allies. In Hawaii, the U.S. Pacific Fleet lies shattered after the Battle of Hawaii. Across the Pacific the Imperial Japanese Navy, flush with their recent victory, turns its gimlet eye towards the south and the ultimate prize for their Emperor: The Dutch East Indies.
For Commander Jacob Morton and the other members of the Asiatic Fleet, the oncoming Japanese storm means that the U.S.S. Houston and her Allied companions must learn to fight against overwhelming odds against an enemy who claims the night as their own. In the skies above Houston and the other old, tired vessels of the ACDA Fleet , Flight Lieutenant Russell Wolford and his men attempt to employ the Allies’ newest technology to even the odds. With full might of the Japanese Empire falling on them, the ACDA’s soldiers, sailors, and marines must fight to hold the line long enough for reinforcements to come.
By Alma Boykin
$.99 Dec 21-24, 1.99 Dec 25-28
One man becomes all that the Turkowi fear – and respect. Matthew Charles Malatesta, second son and rumored bastard of a mercenary, grandson of Duke Edmund “Ironhand” von Sarmas. One man, who will fight to the last breath to carve a place for himself, who will create a court of learning and civilization, who stands alone between the might of the Turkowi Empire and all of Godown’s people.
By Amie Gibbons
On sale for $0.99 from 12/19 to Christmas
Turns out coincidences do happen, and it sucks when it leads killers from an alternate reality to your door…
Rose plans on partying her last weekend of freedom before her residency starts, but fate has different plans. When men straight out of a fantasy novel attack, she gets pulled into a blood feud between magical beings thanks to a random stroke of luck. Now she has to adjust to her new world view and help one of the men to save herself from a fate worse than death.
By Travis Clemons and Michael Z Williamson
A man awakens in a 21st century Illinois hospital, holding very distinct memories of being shot in Switzerland decades earlier. The nurse calls him Detective Crabtree and says the DuPage County Sheriff will be by to check on him shortly. Yet he remembers his name being Sherlock Holmes.
When Sabrina Worthington is killed during a home invasion, her billionaire husband has an ironclad alibi. But Adam Worthington does not appear to be the grieving widower people would expect to see. Meanwhile, their former girlfriend keeps tugging on every possible string to convince the authorities to indict the man for murder.
By the tick of the clock, it would seem impossible for a man to be shot in the 19th century and wake up more than one hundred years later. It would also seem impossible for a man to shoot his wife while she’s at home and he’s at a theater thirty miles away. But when the seemingly impossible is properly analyzed, will Holmes determine the improbable truth behind her death and his life?
by David L. Burkhead
Pricing will be $0.99 the 19th through the 26th.
A young mother hears the Norns. They tell her of terrible things to come. When Ulfarr wants her gift of prophesy to serve him, he takes her, murders her husband, and steals away her children. Can the young mother escape from Ulfarr’s clutches and save her children from him? Only the Norns know.
by Tom Rogneby
on sale from the 19th to the 26th for $1.99
Marcus Aemelius Paullus has a problem – he is playing with fire and falling in love with the wrong woman. Appius Plinius also has a problem – he has a unit full of warriors who continually get themselves, and him, in trouble. Caesar Augustus has a solution to their problems, but it may cost them their lives. Eastward lies fame, fortune, and the key to returning home. Deserts, mountains, marsh, and ocean lie between, occupied by barbarian cultures and hostile rulers. On this grueling journey, Marcus and Appius will find their courage tested to the limits. But before they’re done, the world will know the unconquerable spirit of Rome!
I asked fellow author James Young to give me a guest post on diversity, rather unfairly, as he is a new writer, and this is a sticky topic. But he was game enough to rise to the challenge and send his thoughts along. Thanks, James, and I know, there is no good way to tackle this topic. But it needs doing, and I appreciate your contribution very much.
Diversity in Science Fiction
(Or “Y’all are about to kill us all with your shenanigans…”)
Diversity (n.)– The state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness: diversity of opinion.
Sorry for the dictionary quotation, but I’m just getting a definition out of the way before I set about getting myself uninvited from all the right parties. Thanks to Cedar for maneuvering me into giving her a week off, I mean, asking me to guest blog. Imagine my joy at opening up my “guest blogger” gift box and finding a topic for which there is no clean end to pick it up: diversity in science fiction.
Due to recent events, diversity in Sci-Fi is in the news a lot lately. I mean, between some members of the Science Fiction Writer’s Association (SFWA) crowing about an all women Nebula slate, accusations of Hugo padding, the announcement of Tim Bolgeo being disinvited from Archon (gee, guess I won’t be driving to Collinsville), and the unveiling of a Kickstarter for a project entitled Women Destroy Science Fiction, I must have missed the memo directing the formation of a self-destructive, circular firing squad within our genre. What both sides don’t realize (and boy howdy is that amazing for people who craft wastelands) is that the “Diversity War” is going to end up like Hamlet’s duel with his uncle: one side dead, the “victor” wondering why the lights are getting dim. There are way too many options these days, and rather than listening to a bunch of spoiled brats whine about their feelings being hurt battle a cohort of wrongfully maligned people proceeding to take said idiots (and their enablers) to the woodshed, consumers are likely to limit their Sci-Fi exposure to the leviathan franchises and gaming. There are not enough hours in the day as is, and those without a dog in the fight aren’t going to waste their leisure time putting up with either side.
Given this, it’s time for the more mature side to stop trying to counter the other side’s idiocy head on. There’s a saying about wrestling with a pig in mud, and it certainly applies to anyone who is going to try to bean count your characters based on race. Yes, they’re guilty of exactly what they’re trying to accuse more traditional writers of, but no matter how many times it is pointed out that withholding publication without a given quota is in and of itself racism the other side will still do it. Zealots are funny that way, and unfortunately most site admins are more interested in appearing “fair” than in doing their jobs. (Note: Fair is tossing out the asshat who is ruining the party for everyone, not letting him be rude because he has “just as much right to be there.”)
This is not my way of saying conservatives should concede the field. Instead, I’m saying perhaps it’s time for the conservative, established side to vote with their check books and time in several ways. First and foremost, it’s time to start organizing events that are truly diverse by example. For example, there are people to the left of John Ringo who are perfectly capable of sitting on a panel without falsely interjecting race and gender. Invite these people to every con possible, then buy their books when they put together a good story. If you know of someone in an “underrepresented community” who loves Sci-Fi, take them to a con as a gift. Word of mouth is a powerful weapon, so when this individual talks about what a great time they had at LibertyCon, perhaps it will make others question the larger narrative. In that same vein, if you’re a conservative invited to a convention where the hosts have a spine and a willingness to apply pepper spray to unruly protestors, go.
“But why should we go where we’re not wanted?” Because if there’s one thing I have learned in a lifetime of being either the sole or one of two minorities in a room, there’s more gained by a minute of articulate discussion and quiet dignity than hours of rage. Is it easy? Hells no. Indeed, sitting on a school bus while listening to fellow bus riders chant “Biggity biggity boo, the Klan is after you…” or having to flee another town because the local racist welcoming committee was sure to drive by and show me a noose was not easy (thanks Warsaw, MO!). However, rather than screech about how I was oppressed, I found that the judicious application of logical jujitsu on the resident racist gained lots of allies in a given room even if the original idiot was unmoved. You will never silence the screaming nimrod brigade who thinks they are owed something, but simply explaining your plot will probably convince dozens of folks on the fence that conservatives do not possess tails or horns.
With regards to telling the stories, do what’s natural to you and do not lose heart. First off, despite what the current crop of thought police claim, science fiction was never a seething cauldron of racism and misogyny. To cite a few examples, I must have missed the part where Honor Harrington was an oppressive male, Elizabeth Winton is as pale as Queen Elizabeth I of England, and Poul Anderson’s Emerald Moody and Hope Hubris could have qualified to lead an Einsantzgruppen. Or alternatively, maybe the folks crying about a lack of diversity need to read farther afield, as I’m pretty sure space opera and military sci-fi have had minority characters for at least the last five decades.
Does the above mean that minorities, LGBT, and women are necessarily well represented? Not just no, but Hell no. However, the solution to this is not to demand all writers start complying with some arcane formula lest the powers that be freeze them out. That sort of thing never ends well, and to keep with my Hamlet analogy there is a horde of proverbial Danes just waiting to waltz right into sci-fi’s current market space if that becomes the new norm. Instead, perhaps the journey to having a more diverse character field has three paths. In lane one, rather than yelling about how conservatives need to start “writing more inclusively,” the burning keyboard brigade needs to get off their collective asses and write stories themselves. Second, established writers without these characters can provide help on how to break into the market, learn the ropes, etc. when politely asked. Last but not least, we can stop defining characters by their plumbing, orientation, melanin content, etc.. Considering I still have the comment sheet from a prominent sci-fi magazine that says, “This character is black, but he talks like a white man…”, it is readily apparent to me that this is not only a widespread problem, but that people are apparently comfortable with it. It is well past time to start having characters who are people, period, and through that mechanism create true diversity in our views of what the future holds.
James Young is a Missouri native who escaped small town life via spending four years at a small, well-known Federal institution in upstate New York. After being set free from the Hudson River Valley, Mr. Young spent the next six years of his life in various locations (both foreign and domestic) having the cost of his education repaid one nickel at a time. Along the way he collected a loving, patient, and beautiful spouse…and various animals that did not fit any of those descriptions.
After leaving the Republic’s employ, James returned to the Midwest to pursue his doctorate in history–a process that has taken approximately twice the time he planned. Currently living with the same great woman and roughly three times the weight of pets (in the form of a snoring, flatulent Newfoundland/Lab mix), Mr. Young spends his time researching history, working for the Republic (again), and plotting new and interesting ways to torment characters.
Check out James’s fiction on Amazon. You can begin with the free short Ride of the Late Rain, which opens his tales set in the Vergassy universe.