Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Looking for something else to read?

There's no way I can write fast enough for my readers, so I want to recommend a series I ran into while looking for anything else that might be in the same odd niche as Combined Operations. It's just as tactical, and just as much tangled into the personal and the realpolitik, though despite what you'd expect from the covers, there's almost no romance in it. In fact, it's best if you just ignore the covers, and enjoy the stories. (Seriously. Ignore the covers. I hope he sells enough to fund new covers!)

Thomas Doscher's The Vixen War Bride series is set well after the galactic battles, the human colonies wiped from the face of their planet, and the fleets of starships fighting an alien menace. Instead, this is a human-scale military series, about the war for hearts and minds both of Captain Ben Gibson's human Rangers, left high and dry with orders to occupy a rural backwater in the conquered enemy's homeworld because they have nowhere else to go...

And the vulpine enemy, whose culture they never knew. Armed with only their weapons, their ability to adapt, improvise, and overcome, and an interpreter who's grasp on the local language is at best on a three year old's level, Gibson is setting out to make the best of a bad situation.

He isn't the only one. The local priestess has decided that in order to save her people from the vengeance of the conquerors, she need to be the token sacrifice. Armed with courage and inspiration, she demands he marry her, and succeeds... Only to realize that now she has to figure out how to tell him what he's done. 

Cross-cultural communications and the nature of people at their best, and their worst, are handled with a deft touch and light humor in this series, with both viewpoints shown so the reader can delight in the attempts at two very different people with limited communication to forge a path toward true peace.

You'll also enjoy the hijinks of bored enlisted, and the tense moments of dealing with the problems of repatriating guerillas, as well as the many small incidents, day after day, full of  unfounded assumptions, revelations, laughter, and tears as they work together and at cross-purposes to establish trust... despite the latest dictates from the far-away army headquarters, and the deep-seated prejudices on both sides.

A surprisingly heart-warming set of military scifi tales; highly recommended.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Introvert's Paradise

I found introvert paradise! 

Okay, besides used bookstores with miles of shelf space and a coffee shop attached.

And besides the ridgeline of a subarctic mountain chain, above the treeline and the mosquitoes, with a break in the weather so the sun is pouring down and you can see 150 miles in almost every direction, from the mountains near and far to the sun sparkling off the sea, with only the faintest hint of civilization.

And besides a scratch strip up near the glaciers, where summer has already faded to fall and the air is full of the scent of fireweed blooming, along with the airplane's hot oil and exhaust, and the ting of an engine cooling off chimes in with the birds to accent the sound of the wind, and other than the tundra tire tracks at your feet, there's no evidence that man was ever here.

Now that I'm in Texas, I have to work harder, and lower my standards to find my paradise where I can.
It can be done! 

This morning, for reasons, I was later to the pool than normal... and found I was the only one there

It's a adults-only, use-at-own-risk pool, so there wasn't even a lifeguard breathing my air. 


Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Something New to Read - Dust of the Ocean

So, I wrote another book, "Dust Of The Ocean"

It was a homage to Andre Norton, and to Michael Whelan's art, especially the subterranean and Passages series. I intended it to be horror, but none of my characters cooperated.

Which... is awfully like Andre Norton's stories, to be honest. 

What's it about?

In the ruins of an ancient alien city, a half-alien slave's act of mercy will change the course of a cold war.

When Mika saves Arkady, a wounded enemy soldier, he offers her a path to freedom. All it will take is finding a hidden artifact that may alter the course of an interstellar conflict…

But the path there will plunge their team into the depths of inhuman nightmares, battling ancient bioweapons and outwitting her former owners. It's going to take everything they have just to survive, much less escape with their prize!

It's much longer than my usual, at over 100,000 words. It is a stand-alone novel, but is set in the same universe as "Shattered Under Midnight"... 

And for those of you who've seen the anthology of incompetent evil, "Your Honor, I Can Explain" by Raconteur press, yes, Deputy Director Spurgle makes an appearance in this, too.