Weekend Reading Recommendations # 2

Happy Friday Everybody!

The weekend is coming and here’s another recommendation for your reading pleasure.

Dave Duncan’s “The Seventh Sword” Series

The first book of the series is “The Reluctant Swordsman”

the reluctant swordsman cover art

I found the first three books of this series at a garage sale before the turn of the century (I’ve always wanted to say that).   I liked them so much that every couple years or so, I’ll pull them out and re-read them.  They were written back in the 1980’s but I just found out that there was a new addition to the series added in 2012. So it looks like I’ll be dragging my worn and tattered old paperback versions back out and brushing up so I can read the new one!

This series is about a guy named Wally who awakens from his possible death into a new world of swords and sorcery in the body of a master swordsman.  The Goddess runs this world and has chosen him to be her champion and save the world from the invading Sorcerers who worship the Fire God.

These books aren’t high art or anything.  This isn’t epic fantasy. It is adventure, and swashbuckling, and hunky guy get’s the girl, kind of old fashioned good time.  Written before the age of PC if you know what I mean.  I give the first three books a hearty two thumbs up and highly recommend you go hunt around and find a set at a garage sale this weekend.  Or failing that hop onto Amazon and buy them the easy way!

The Seventh Sword Series:

“The Reluctant Swordsman”

“The Coming of Wisdom”

“The Destiny of the Sword”

“The Death of Nanji” (new novel published in 2012)

Weekend Reading Recommendations # 1

I like to read. I have a lot of books. I want to write. I like to write! However, I haven’t written any books…yet. The problem is I haven’t disciplined myself to write consistently and often. So In an effort to get myself writing more often I figured it wouldn’t hurt if I blogged more often. So, here we are. I don’t have anything profound to discuss but I need to write.

*Light bulb*

I can recommend books, once a week. That’s a start! So every Friday I’ll recommend a book, or author, or a series of books. Not new books necessarily. I’ll start with books already in my library. If you’ve read them, awesome, let me know how you liked it. If you haven’t, well, I can certainly recommend them…because, well, I just did!

This week I recommend…

“Freehold” by Michael Z. Williamson

freehold cover

Look this isn’t a review, none of these are going to be reviews.  I wouldn’t be recommending them if I didn’t find them to be a great read.  So therefore just get the book and read it.

Freehold is what I would categorize as a military Sci/Fi tale about a girl (OK woman, but that’s just how I talk, so sue me) who ends up on a planet, Grainne,  that has embraced a very libertarian society.  She’s from Earth,  which has become, shall we say…very liberal (in a US politics sense of the term), yeah, we’ll use that term.  She’s on the lamb, wanted for a crime she didn’t commit.  She makes it to Freehold where she finds out that (TANSTAAFL) freedom isn’t free.   Over the course of the novel she makes a transformation from an insecure, dependent drone to a free and independent soldier.  It’s certainly in my Top 100 Sci/Fi novels list that I have yet to compile.

The first in a series, this book was my introduction to MZW, who although he has a very different writing style, still manages to remind me of Robert A. Heinlein.  That is a pretty good compliment in my book.   Anyway go get a copy.  Heck there’s even a free kindle version on Amazon so your argument is invalid.

Please let me know how you liked it!  Unless of course you didn’t like it.  In which case you can get stuffed!


The Official Alphabetical List of Author Success


HA! HA! Love it…except I’m officially in the “U” List at this point. Still love it.

Originally posted on Monster Hunter Nation:

I’ve often been derisively referred to as a “D List Author” by my critics.  Curious, I had to look up where that list came from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-list

Sadly, as usual my critics suck at everything. This scale is based on how recognizable movie stars are, and since most regular people wouldn’t recognize any but the most famous (or funny looking) authors, it doesn’t really work for us at all. So I have created this super helpful guide so critics know what bucket to arbitrarily stick writers in.

What’s way better than fame? All fame is good for in Hollywood is determining how much they have to pay actors. So screw recognition. Show me the MONEY!

Since the super reliable Guardian newspaper reported that only the top 1% of all authors make more than $100,000 a year from writing and the average mid list author makes around $30,000 a year we’ll just…

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The Adorable Oddball

“Daddy…Daddy…Daddy!” repeats my daughter getting progressively louder with each utterance.

I finally break my concentration from intensely staring at the microwave, willing the impossibly long two minutes to be done so I can scald my tongue on a lava hot piece of leftover pot roast.

“Yes, Pumpkin” I reply without taking my eyes from the slowly rotating piece of dead cow.

“I’m not a Pumpkin Daddy!”

“OK, peaches, what do you want?”

“I’m not peaches either, I’m not a vegetable or a fruit! I’m Emma Jo!“.

“Gotcha Princess!” My finger races to the microwave button in another attempt to beat the beeper as the last second winds down. “What do you want honey bun?”

“Can you set a timer for my silly string?”

“Can I set a timer for your what?! You can’t microwave your silly string honey!”

“No Daddy, set the TIMER for my silly string.”

“Uh…cause why?”

“So I know when I can take it out of the fridgerator.”

“Um, ok sounds legit. How long does it need to be in there?”

She scrunches up her nose and wrinkles her brow with intense thought.

“How about, 60, 30, Hundred, Thousan’ minutes!”

“OK Dokie, Pumpkin. 30 Minutes it is.”

I set the timer on the microwave as she reverently places two small cans of silly string on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Reach into the microwave and burn my fingers on the 400 degree plate, slap the meat between two pieces of bread and take a tentative bite, my mouth salivates in anticipation of devouring the thick slice of scrumdillyiscious piece of beef.

I burn my lip!

Still cold in the middle!

“Curse you infernal contraption!”

Just another lunch break at my house.

Writing Milestones

I am pretty excited for myself.  I feel like that kid who finally figured out how to whistle or snap his fingers.  You know that sort of wonderment we all had as kids when we learn a new skill or stuck with it long enough to get it right? Well I’ve long been an aspiring writer.  But sadly, I’ve also always been a habitual procrastinator.  Which as you’d probably expect means that there’s always been a heavy emphasis on “aspiring” and very little “writer” when describing me!  In the past I’ve made minor attempts to write something fictional and finish it.  I have these great ideas, I get excited, I put a paragraph on paper, then for a variety of reasons I end up walking away from it.  I decide its either crap, or I lose my focus, or I am just plain lazy.

But now I’ve had another bright idea, and yesterday, I hauled out the old keyboard, sharpened my keys, and put pixels to imaginary paper.  I had put a 1,000 words on the page before I knew it!  It’s not much, but it is a start.  I don’t think it is crap, I haven’t lost my focus, in fact I am looking forward to adding to it.  Yes, I’m still lazy but I think I may have finally convinced myself that I can circumvent that laziness by just doing a little bit each day, maybe a little more the next, and so on until I finally finish something.  What makes this time different?  I don’t know, maybe nothing.  Or maybe I don’t care if it is good or not, I just want to write a story and finish it.  Once I’ve done that, maybe I can begin to hone my skills and create something worth sharing.

It may come across as silly to brag or boast about this as if its a real achievement and I understand it is not, its just exciting to finally start a journey you’ve always wanted to take but never had the courage to begin.  I owe a little bit of a thank you to some writers whose blog posts have given me some encouragement and if you are a science fiction or fantasy fan I highly recommend you try their published works.  Thank you Cedar Sanderson, Larry Correia, and Sarah Hoyt.

I also want to thank my wife who recently decided to go back to school and get her degree.  That’s pretty challenging when you consider we have 4 kids and she’s ten years out of high school.  Her courage in stepping up to the plate after being out of the game for so long makes me realize my own fears have kept me from trying to achieve my own goals and for that I’m very grateful.  It sounds sappy, I know, but I don’t have to worry!  She never reads my blog…


Discovering Sarah Hoyt was a Happy Suprise!

If you know me, you know I’m a huge Science Fiction and Fantasy fan.  I literally devour the stuff.  But I have a problem, almost a phobia really.  I am often afraid to try out a book by an author I don’t already like.  How the heck do I read anything, right?!  Well, honestly I re-read a lot of books, but even I can get bored with re-reading John Ringo’s “Legacy of the Aldenata” series, or GRRM’s “A Game of Thrones”, or Heinlein’s many assorted works for the umpteenth time.  After a while you want something new…

Which brings me to Sarah Hoyt.  She hasbooks with several publishers but I found her through Baen (my current most favored publisher) and I have to put in a good word for her today.  I just read “Draw One in the Dark” which is available for FREE (Woohoo!) at Amazon, here, and it was excellent.

I’m not going to give you any info on the book, amazon did that just fine.  If you like fantasy then you’ll probably like this one.  There’s a few editing mistakes, repeated words, etc. but it’s free version so what can you expect?

Download it, Read it, Thank Me Later.  Then buy another, you’ll be happy you did.


Bitter Clingers

Originally posted on According To Hoyt:

For those of you living in a hole, who haven’t read about how Damien Walter, who for inexplicable reasons is taken seriously enough by The Grauniad to be given column space, has so far pursued his fascination with Larry Correia as to indulge himself with a fishing expedition on Twitter, trying to find “proof” of whatever crazy prejudices he attributes to Larry.

He also indulged himself – poor man – with yet another column Whining the Future, and explaining to the world how everyone who disagrees with him (the problem is it’s so hard to agree with someone who says crazy stuff like “the future is queer” – which leads one to add “and short”) is a dinosaur clinging to his guns and religion – oops, sorry, that was another person running his mouth about people who didn’t agree with him and whom he didn’t understand homophobic/racial/cultural/purple dinosaur privilege/prejudices, and…

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