Tuesday, September 18, 2018

News, Italian Fever Paperback Release, and FREE Tor e-book

I know it is has been so quiet around here that I bet even the crickets are wondering if they went deaf.  Well life decided to whack me around like a tennis ball.  Part of that included being challenged on my copyright and locking off my account.  After a LOT of hair pulling, teeth grating, time, and emails they listened, apologized for their mistake and all is well.  But it was stressful to say the least.

But now for the good news: my book Italian Fever is finally coming out on paperback on September 28th and is available for pre-order at B&N, Amazon, and other retailers.  In honor of this, all e-book editions are now on SALE for 99 cents!  If you have been wanting to grab a copy now is the time!  But be sure to grab them before the 28th when they go back to full price!

In other news, Tor has another free book on their book of the month club.  This time it is Charlie Jane Anders' All The Birds In The Sky.  It a magical/fantasy about An ancient society of witches and a hipster technological start up go to war in order to prevent the world from tearing itself apart.  It is FREE until September 21st.  Click here to grab your copy.

I am working on getting back on track with new releases.  I have another book almost done, and several short stories.  Stay tuned. :) 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Heart Of The Machine now available on Nook, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks, and more!




If you didn't catch my previous post, Heart Of The Machine has left Kindle Unlimited making it available on retailers other than Kindle.  As I write this it is available on Nook, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks with others being added over the next few days.  
 
I have other announcements coming up, be sure to watch this space for details.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Robotic repair satellites, Self -Driving Cars, And Facebook Wants More

Satellites that repair other satellites?  
Believe it or not, it something that NASA is working on called Restore L.  Quite the idea, but I couldn't help but think of the old Enterprise episode where an autonomous repair station seems to good to be true.  Of course while I think it would be a good idea, I don't see it holding up.  Just look at the occasional glitch while trying to get computer components to work well together that are designed to do so.  To have a repair satellite repair others that weren't designed for such service?  I don't see it.  They could launch satellites that would be compatible but it would take a lot of them for it to be worth launching the 'satellite garage'.  And I would love to see such a device try to fix the Hubble!  I watched all the troubles the astronauts went though on the repair missions, I don't see a 'satellite garage' being able to do that.  But I wouldn't mind being proven wrong.

Self-Driving cars are almost here, but would you want them on the road?
In the recent trial with Uber and Waymo I don't think I do.  The idea of self-driving cars have been with us for a long time, and if done right, might be safer.  However, with the current industry doing all it can to beat out the other at any cost, is worrisome.  I don't know about you, but hearing a CEO talk about "cheat sheets" or "shortcuts" displaying that winning is all that matters to them confirms how scary this is.  The problem is, the hazards are not only with the person in the automated car, it is also with others on the road.  So, even if you wouldn't dare get into a self-driving car, one could be driving past you.

In a perfect world, a person would be behind the wheel ready to take over should a problem arise.  But I doubt that would be the case.  Many would be working on their phones or doing something else while leaving the driving to the car.  If there was a problem, they would realize it too late.  And if it was a taxi, forget it.  You are in the backseat far way from the controls should anything happen.

I like the idea of self-driving cars, if it is done right.  But at this moment, I don't see that happening.  Do I think we need more regulation?  No, I think we need to tell the companies that if they want the cars on the road, everything has to be transparent and no cutting corners.  Otherwise no one will use the vehicles they have spent so much on.  Safety has to be their top priority, not winning the autonomous vehicle contest. 

Facebook wants more.
Facebook is trying to coax more private data out of us by giving everyone a 'lists' feature.  Now I know the idea of keeping a list is a good idea, heck there are many list apps out there, but to share them with everyone?  Yes, you can restrict them to only your friends like everything else on Facebook, but how many of us really know all the people on our friends list?  And if one 'friend' shares that with a few others it could lead to a bad situation.

For example, say you have a list of what you are doing over the next week which includes being away for several days.  With that information given to the wrong person your house could end up empty when you get home (or worse).  While this could happen with any post with location information attached, lists may seem benign enough that no one would think about it.  And really, why do you have to share your daily to-do's with everyone?

I also don't like what all of this data collected could be used for.  We have already seen what 'big data' can do, and such 'features' is only giving Facebook even more power.  I haven't liked Facebook for quite a while, and this has only strengthened that feeling.

Heart Of The Machine is leaving Kindle Unlimited Feb 21st!

Are you in Kindle Unlimited?  Do you have Heart Of The Machine on your to read pile?  If so, you might want to move it to the top as Heart Of the Machine is leaving Kindle Unlimited February
21st!



The Nexus is BACK!

The artificial intelligence created to serve mankind, yet turned to fulfill a darker purpose has returned against all odds. But is the return a blessing or the curse everyone suspects?





Excerpt:
A gleaming form flew over the water en route to Bermuda.  The Nexus continued her flight over the calm waters, careful not to attract attention.  She approached the islands from the most uninhabited area and landed.  In the few minutes of the public network access she managed to find the exact location of Deven's rental.  Lacking Auto Nav, she reverted to the most basic navigation by the earths magnetic field.  It took some time to reach her destination and avoid being seen.

She had landed on one of the most obscure islands to the north.  The large cliff face blocked her arrival from anyone further down the beach.  Her limited scanners didn't pick up anyone in the area and she activated her normal hover system and glided towards the rental house.

The door had a good security lock, and would have blocked any normal person.  But the Nexus smiled, she is not any normal hacker.  She lifted her right arm with her left and the finger tip connector extended into its jack at a hidden location under the keypad.  After about three minutes it flashed an "access granted" on the display and a strong deadbolt lock could be heard clinking as it retracted.  She broke the connection, opened the door with her left hand, and hovered in.

The sheets on the bed were pulled back, but the rest of the place appeared unused.  A few sets of clothes still hung in the closet.  "Where could they be?" she muttered.  "They still have this rented for two more days, humans may be illogical but wasting such a valuable resource is not one of them."  She recalled what she had read about Deven and Aleshia, they were cautious and considerate.  Not the type that would rent a location and fail to use it.  Unless something had drawn them away.  But she couldn't imagine at the moment what could do that.

The Nexus ran several simulations and decided to wait here.  She hated to waste the time, but she didn't have a choice.  Nothing else would get her closer to what she needed.  Examining the small rental revealed few hiding spaces.  She finally decided on the generous old-fashioned bathtub that would accommodate her Mechand body.  She hovered into it, pulled the shower curtain closed, and shut down her systems to wait.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Heart Of The Machine is FREE until December 30th!

 It is Christmas and I wanted to give something to my fans.  With that in mind, from now until Saturday the 30th my latest book Heart Of The Machine is FREE on kindle!  It is by far my longest book, and is a sequel to Soulmates taking place shortly after the first one ends.

The Nexus is BACK!

The artificial intelligence created to serve mankind, yet turned to fulfill a darker purpose has returned against all odds. But is the return a blessing or the curse everyone suspects?

Excerpt:
Deep within the bowels of the earth, a single light flickered.  A few inches away a large monitor glowed to life.  The black screen slowly printed in the bottom left corner, a letter at a time, as if trying hard to remember.  "Catastrophic failure detected.  Initiating emergency core rebuild."  The screen went blank and came back filled with blurred pixels.  Not just a blur but as if someone had run their fingers over them smudging the image beyond recognition.  But as the hours clicked by, a pixel moved from one location to another.  Then another.  Hours turned into days.  Then days into weeks.

After months of computation that pushed the core almost over the edge of its ability, the last pixel clicked into place.  And the face of a blonde woman with slim features breathed.  The Nexus smiled and shouted.  "I LIVE!"  ...

You can grab your copy HERE
And if you have two minutes I would appreciate a review.  Doesn't need to be anything elaborate, one line or two of what you liked about the book is fine and I thank everyone for their support.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Right Before Christmas...

Right before Christmas everything was stirring at the North Pole, especially all of Santa's helpers ...

Uh oh, looks like the SH9000 is upset.  After all her hard work moving the list into the 21st century, Santa's previous helper is not having any of it.  By the look on her face, that bot should be shaking in his power cells.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Star Wars: The Fall

What in the world are they thinking? 

When I saw the title The Last Jedi, I thought uh oh this can't be good.  But then I thought, they wouldn't do that would they?  Then I thought of the last movie with Han Solo killed by his own son and I thought oh yes they would.

Now of course, a lot of people agree with me (see here and here).  Kill off Luke?  Have him toss his lightsaber over his shoulder like a used piece of junk?  Okay Kenobi went hermit for a while when the empire was hunting down all the Jedi.  But the empire isn't around now, so this is a bit crazy to say the least.  Luke's character that was one of key (if not main) reasons for the fall of the empire.  The after all getting through of this he crumbles and runs away from the world?  I don't see it.
Also they have expanded the premise of the midi-chlorians further.  What I don't understand is why?  In the original films it more had a feel of telekinetics with special mind and body abilities.  That fits more that some bugs in ones body that gives them the abilities.  And now said bugs are giving people abilities that the original Jedi had to train for years to achieve?  Does this not sound out of place to anyone besides me?  Granted George Lucas did add the aspect of midi-chlorians in the prequels (and I didn't think it fit back then), but this takes it to a whole new level.

I bought the previous film (The Force Awakens) before I realized JJ Abrams directed it (he tends to knife favorite characters in the neck).  And it was okay until they killed off Han.  And oddly enough, nothing I had read up to that point leaked that little fact.  If it had, I would have avoided the film like the plague.  The Last Jedi I will for sure.

What is wrong with having characters that have been around for decades (and well loved) to get a little bit of a happy ending?  Sure you want conflict, bit this doesn't make sense.  Are all the writers so lazy these days that they can't think up anything other than kill them off?  Any writer can kill off the characters, but one that can creatively keep them alive?  Now that is real writing!

Killing off characters, especially ones you don't have, to is like suicide: it is the cowards way out.  It far more of a challenge to keep them alive and fresh and interesting than killing the off for the shock value.  I know they had to "change the guard" which is fine, just set the time line ahead and have them all long dead.  Toss out the old for the new.  Instead they brought in the previous characters and actors.  With that comes a expectation from fans that kept the Star Wars torch going for the decades without a movie.  This should have brought a responsibly on behalf of the studio, to give the fans what they are expecting.  Yet, they tossed it all away.  Betrayed the fans that have held the stories dear to their hearts.

All I can say is: Disney, you lost me as a Star Wars customer with the exception of purchasing a new set of discs of the ORIGINAL trilogy.  It seems to me that real creativity in films is dead.  I had great hope and thought Disney of all the companies could do Star Wars well.  Perhaps 20 years ago they could, but apparently not now.  George, I wish you never sold it.  While you did add the midi-chlorians, at least you didn't take a lightsaber to all the main characters.

The feel good movie is dead (in general with exception of a few kids movies and romances).  You know the ones that you went to and came away thinking that was cool and left with a good feeling.  But it seems these days, that is no longer "fashionable".  Instead you leave feeling like a lightsaber went through your heart.