Monday, January 16, 2017

Last Man On The Moon

Gene Cernan, the last man that landed on the moon has passed at the age of 82.  This is sad in several ways.  First off, the obvious, he was well liked and my condolences go to his family.  But on another aspect, it shows that no one has been on back to the moon for over 40 years.  I had hoped we would go back again, but after the Space Shuttle program was canceled without a replacement, I don't think we ever will if things continue on their current path.  And that is a shame.

It is a shame because we learned a lot during the Apollo missions, and the missions before it.  About our planet, about the moon, and much of the everyday technology we now enjoy came out of those programs.  Our computers would never have advanced to the level that we have now, freeze dried foods wouldn't have been developed, and even scratch resistant lenses came out of the Space Race.  But there is so much more.

I realize manned space exploration is dangerous and extremely expensive.  However, we also get a lot out of it.  Some may say that there are more important issues here on Earth.  While I agree, you need look at all the benefits we use each and every day that came out of our conquest of space.  In the end, it all comes back and we are better for it.

As a science fiction author that dreams about the future, Cernan's passing feels like we ran into a large sign saying DEAD END.  While our stories will never stop, I think we as a race need to take up the gauntlet once again and do the impossible.  Go back to the moon, then after we get that down pat, expand from there.  To simply put, nothing worthwhile happens unless you try.  The choice is ours, and I hope we chose wisely.


Don DeBon is the author of Red Warp, Time Rock, Soulmates, and The Husband. Currently available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and other retailers.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ringling Brothers To Close After 146 Years

I recently came across that Ringling Brothers circus is to close down this May.  At the moment I am left dumbfounded.  I never thought there would be a day where the circus was extinct.  Heck, how many science fiction stories used it to tell of a time in the far future where people still enjoyed a traveling circus?  Many I know.  Even quite a few television series have used the theme.

Ringling Brothers cite several reasons for the closing (high cost, traveling issues, animal rights groups, change in public interests), and while I understand them it still a shock.  I am sure the largest issue is the change in the latest generation of children.  The circus used to be a wonderment to be hold for a child, where the seeming impossible happened.  Now it is "ho-hum" pushed to the side by intensive games and movies that are available on their tablets with the tap of a finger.

I have seen children with tablets as young as three.  While in some respects it is giving them a head start on technology, it is also contributing to the problem of diminishing attention span.  Kenneth Feld, the CEO mentioned how the whole show is 2 hours 7 minutes with the longest segment being a 12 minute tiger act.

"Try getting a 3- or 4-year-old today to sit for 12 minutes," he said.

I knew there was a problem with attention span in today's children was bad, but not to this extreme.  To me, 12 minutes happens in a eye blink.  The average animated (cartoon) show is 20 minutes long (without commercials) and they can sit though that without issues.  Well at least most will.  Some kids won't sit still no matter what, and this was occurring long before tablets and video games.  But then again, if they are addicted to tablets or other screens, that is a different situation.

Personally though, I would much rather see the show in person than on a screen.  Although I have to admit, if you don't bring binoculars, the views from a video with a strong focal magnification is going to seem better in some respects than a live show.  But you can't turn your head and see other aspects.  The movement of the other performers as the hurry to get into place, or prepare for the next segment.  It is such a different feel that I still have difficulty seeing a child not enjoying the show, if they would actually go.  No animal on a screen can replace one lumbering up in front of you.  But as Feld mentioned, the challenge to maintain an affordable ticket price had become increasingly difficult.  I am sure this is the largest factor in the decision.  In the end, it all comes down to no longer being a viable business.

The closure of The Greatest Show On earth enters in another era, and I can't say it is an improvement.

Don DeBon is the author of Red Warp, Time Rock, Soulmates, and The Husband. Currently available on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and other retailers. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Night After Christmas...

The night after Christmas and all though Santa's house, not a creature was stiring, not even Santa mouse!

As you can see Santa is bushed after his long night.  Everyone, even the SH9000 needed some down time.  From what I hear, the elves did get a lot of the bugs fixed this year and she didn't drop even one present.


Happy Holidays

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Husband Enters the World Black Friday Nov 25th in E-book and Print!

I am pleased to announce The Husband, my latest book releases this Black Friday (Nov 25) in e-book and print editions!  This is a first as most of my books the print edition followed the e-book edition.  Another first, the e-book edition will be available FREE for the first week of its release.

It will be is available in Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords editions.  The print edition will be is available at Amazon, B&N, or anywhere books are sold.

The Husband is a Science Fiction Romantic Action & Adventure novel.  A bit different than my previous published works.

ISBN 978-0-9881783-9-7
ISBN 978-0-9881783-8-0 (e-book)

From the back cover:
One night Erin's husband returns a changed man.  He walks like him, talks like him, yet is treating her better than he ever did before.  No one believes her, leaving Erin alone to find out the truth.  Truth that could have dire consequences for the entire human race.  What happened that caused him to change so radically?


Excerpt:
The drive to Top Point was uneventful, but enjoyable.  Jack talked about work and the upgrades going on at the sawmill.  What some of the guys were up to.  She wondered what happened to Jack that changed him so much.  He didn't used to talk this much about the guys or work.  Granted he thought it would bore her, but to the contrary, she always wanted to know about his life.  She also ached for so long to be more apart of it.  Now here he was doing exactly that, and she didn't know what to make of it.

"So what do you think?"

Erin blinked.  "Hmm?"

"Earth to Erin ... Earth to Erin come in Erin."

She slapped him playfully.  "Will you stop!"

"So where were you?"

"Huh?"

"Well you weren't here with me, that is for sure.  You looked like you were million miles away."

"Oh.  I was thinking about a dress Jane was working on.  That's all," she lied.

"Hmm, here I am talking about the guys and if I should go with them to the big game next week, and you are thinking about dresses?  I didn't know I was that boring."

She grabbed his hand and squeezed.  "You aren't!  You get that thought out of your head this instant.  I love it when you talk to me.  Please don't ever stop."

Jack laughed.  "Okay, you convinced me.  You know I never could resist that look."

Erin's face cracked into a lopsided grin.  "What look?"

Jack laughed.  "And there is another one.  Geez, you have a bigger arsenal than our country does of nuclear weapons!"

"Only for you my darling."

"Good thing.  Ah here is our exit."  Jack said as he turned the wheel.  A few minutes later they were driving in a ocean of parked cars.  "See a spot?"

"Yes, I think I see one in the next row over," Erin said pointing.

"Ah, I see it."  Jack guided the truck into the narrow space.  They walked to the front gate and Jack pulled out his wallet.  Erin gulped when the price was quoted, but Jack didn't even flinch.  He even paid extra for the VIP pass, and gave one to Erin.

"Be sure to wear that all times."  The man in the ticket booth said pointing to the passes.  "They allow you to access the express lines or jump to the lead of others if there isn't one.  They also will get you two free meals.  Simply have the cashier scan the pass."

Jack nodded.  "Thank you.  Have a good day."

"You too sir."

Erin pulled him away and whispered.  "How much did you spend on these things?!  I didn't even know they had VIP here."

"Neither did I, but when I saw the perks, I couldn't resist.  We will make good use of them today."

"But--"

"Erin, I told you before, this is my treat.  Don't worry about it.  And before you ask, yes the mill is doing well.  It is not going under.  This is not a last hurrah.  I am trying to make it up to you for yesterday.  Will you please let me?"

Erin sighed.  "Sorry, I guess I am not used to you spending money like that is all."

Jack's eyebrow raised.  "Am I that bad?"

"Let's just say that you could give Scrooge a tip or two."

"I am not that bad."

"True, you are worse," Erin said with a smile.

Jack squeezed her hand.  "You are going to get it."

"Promises, promises."

"Nope, that's a guarantee.  Once I get you home that is."  Jack winked.

Erin's grin widened.  "I am looking forward to it.  Now which ride shall we do first?"

"How about the teacup?" Jack pointed to the teacups spinning around on a raised platform a few yards away.

Erin's eyebrows met.  "Teacups?  I thought you might want to ride The Warp."  She pointed to the large roller coaster on the other side of the park.

"Well I know coasters are not your thing," Jack chuckled.

"True, teacups it is."

They stood in line but as soon as the operator saw the passes hanging from their belt loops, he motioned them to come to the front of the line.  The ride stopped a moment later and they hopped into one of the large tea cups, and shut the door.  Erin slid up next to Jack and he put his arm around her.  The cups started up and they spun around the floor with increasing speed.  Erin held onto Jack.  They watched the world spin around them and smiled.

When the ride stopped, Erin stood up then fell backward into Jack's lap.  "I told you, not until we get back home."  He winked.

"Very funny.  I lost my balance for a second is all."  She stuck her tongue out.

"Careful Mrs. Winecker.  Them's fightn' words.  I might make use of that tongue."  He said closing the distance between her face and his.

She hopped up and left the tea cup before he could.  "Oh you are going to get it."

Jack grinned as he stood up.  "Promises, promises."

"Oh you will, trust me.  Now where to next?"

"Up to you my love.  I drove us here, now it is your turn."

"Hmm, how about that Haunted House ride.  If they still have it?"

Jack nodded.  "Sure, that will be fun."

They wandered around, and after a bit found the Haunted House.  The line was huge going around the building.  But once again their passes came in handy.  They were in the little car heading inside the Haunted House in less than five minutes.  "I have to admit, those passes were a good idea."

Jack leaned forward.  "What's that?  I couldn't hear you.  I thought you said I was right."

She slapped him playfully.  "Oh hush you."

"Maybe."

After the large double doors snapped shut behind them, various realistic projections of creatures appeared.  One even shot into their little car.  Erin forgot about that and she jumped into Jack's lap and threw her arms around him.  He could feel her heart pounding next to his.  "Hmmm I am going to have to remember this ride, and come here more often," he said with a sly smile.

Erin squeezed him then laughed.  "Oh I love you."

He gave her a squeeze back.  "Ditto."

They rode all different kinds of rides throughout the day.  Some were fast, others were more like attending a show with special effects than a ride.  For lunch they decided on tacos, and while included with their tickets, Jack paid anyway.  Erin's eyebrow went up and she tilted her head but didn't say anything until they sat down.  "Why didn't you want to use the pass?"

"Because I don't think that vendor is included in the deal.  Besides, he has a family of four to feed."

Erin's eyes went wide as she leaned forward.  "How do you know that?"

"Remember when you went to look for napkins?  He pointed to the extra cheese on my taco and said his kids did the same thing.  All four of them."

Erin nodded as she bit into her taco, but wondered as she didn't recall them having a conversation.  Granted it was noisy, but she wasn't that far away.  She swallowed and wiped some sauce from her chin.  "What would you like to do next?"

"I told you, you are driving.  You tell me."  Jack grinned, then took another bite from his taco.

Erin shook her head.  "Nope you have let me pick all this time.  Now it is your turn."

Jack swallowed.  "Nope."

"Okay then, The Warp it is!"

"What?!"  Jack sputtered sending two bits of taco that landed on his paper plate.

"You heard me.  Don't think that I haven't noticed the looks you keep giving it.  It's the only thing in this park that gets that look, except me!"

"Well ..." Jack looked down at his plate and moved it around with a finger.  "I do admit, I would like to ride it someday.  I mean, it has the latest in linear induction technology.  You don't get drawn up by a chain to a high peak, then dropped.  It blasts you out of the gate!  That must be wild!"

With Jack's enthusiasm for the ride, and that he was willing to put it off for her, only made her smile grow.  "I'm sure."

Jack took her hand into his and squeezed.  "Are you sure?  I mean, I know coasters are not your thing."

Erin nodded.  "Yes I am sure.  And if you think you are going in that thing, without me, you have another thing coming!"

"But I was just thinking--"

"I know what you were thinking, and while I could wait on the sidelines.  I will not be thought of as the wimpy wife that waited on the side while her husband rode The Warp."

Jack grinned.  "But no one would ever--"

"Uh huh, I can see the watercooler conversation at the sawmill now.  No way!"

"I wouldn't--"

She leaned forward and kissed his lips tasting a speck of sauce he missed.  "I know you wouldn't.  But I couldn't help teasing.  However, I'm still riding with you."

Jacked watched her unwavering gaze, and he sighed.  "Guess I am not going to win this am I?"

"Nope."  Erin popped the last of the taco into her mouth and munched.  "Not a chance."

Jack stood up, picked up their plates and threw it into the trash.  "Let's head over.  I am sure there is a long line."

She looped her arm into his.  "Right with you."

The line reached around the main entrance three times.  Even with their passes, the wait was over fifteen minutes before one of the small two seater trains were available.  They climbed in, the attendant lowered the shoulder harness, and locked them into place.  "Please remember to keep your hands inside the vehicle at all times."  They nodded and he returned to the control booth.  A voice boomed over several loud speakers.  "You are about to enter The Warp.  Prepare for launch ... 5 ... 4 ..."

Jack grabbed Erin's hand and squeezed.  "This is going to be fun."

Erin swallowed hard.  "Yeah right."

 "3 ... 2 ... 1 ... LAUCH!"  Powerful, unseen, linear induction motors powered up and they were shoved back into their seats as the small craft shot out of the gate like a cannon ball.  The craft curved as it followed the track, then spun several times entering a corkscrew.

"Yeah-hooo!"

Erin shut her eyes.  "Just tell me when it is over!"  The train continued on spinning, throwing them upside down, then back again in an eye blink.  "Ohh I wish I didn't eat that taco!"  Two minutes later they were slowing down and heading back into the building from the opposite side.  But suddenly, instead of breaking, the induction motors kicked in accelerating them at top speed.  It shot them back out of the building before the operator could blink.  With the added inertia, the train hit a sharp turn at speeds far beyond what the designers has intended.  It jumped the track and went hurtling towards a brick wall at the start of The Warp enclosure.

"Jack!"  Erin screamed and shut her eyes again.

They hit with a loud bang and the car crumpled.  The smell of sulfur stung Erin's nose as bricks and mortar rained down around them.  When the dust settled, Erin opened her eyes.  The train's front had crumpled, but stopped a nanometer short of touching them.  She looked over at Jack.  His face was ashen as he turned towards her.  "Are you okay?  Please be okay."

Erin coughed.  "I am okay.  What a ride!"

Jack threw back his head and laughed.  "Oh what a wife I have!  I love you."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Nook Press goes free!

Nook Press has finally given authors a real price choice!  While it has always been possible to have a ebook set as free on the Nook platform, you had to go through a distributer.  If you used the Nook Press platform to add the book yourself, the lowest price you could set was $0.99.

Now that has changed.  I received a email today saying that Nook Press has added the ability for authors to set their books as free.  I have tested it and it does work.  Although, it may take a day or two for the change to be seen in the Nook store.

It certainly took them a long time to bring out this service.  While using a distributer worked, it took longer.  Sometimes weeks for the changes to propagate though to the Nook store.  Any change I made in Nook Press platform appeared in the store a few hours after I made it.  I have always liked the Nook platform, the hardware B&N made especially.  I don't like how B&N has managed it, they have made mistake after mistake.  This is the first positive change they have made in a long time.  Gives me a little hope for the platform.

In honor of the change and hope of the platform, my book Italian Fever is now FREE for a limited time (well once the Nook store updates in a few hours).

Friday, August 26, 2016

Time Rock Print Edition is out!

Time Rock Print Edition is out! But there is still time to lock in 33% off at Amazon  B&N  or your local bookstore.   If you like Sci-Fi and time travel then you won't want to miss this!  I don't know when the pre-release sale ends (technically it should have already) so grab your copy before it expires!

Excerpt:
A balding man wearing only a subligar and waving a branch over his shoulder so that the leaves impacted his back as he approached.  His smile could swallow a whale.  "Gellius! So glad you could make it today.  And who are your friends?"

Gellius inclined his head slightly.  "Magistrate Nigellus, how could I not come today thank you for your gift."

Nigellus waved his hand dismissively.  "Why Gellius you are always welcome you know that.  Of everyone here today, I am glad you could attend most of all."

"You honor me Magistrate Nigellus."

"What is with all the formality?  Call me Nigellus.  I may have payed for the bath today, but that does not mean you need to kiss my feet.  Just remember this when I am up for reelection."  Nigellus leaned forward lowering his voice to a notch above a whisper.  "Which incidentally is next week."

Gellius' eyes widened as he leaned back in feigned surprise.  "Oh is it?  I had no idea."

Nigellus' smile broadened.  "No of course you didn't.  And who are your friends?"

Gellius' feet shifted uncomfortably on the mosaic encrusted floor.  "Well, we just met a little while ago, this is our first trip to Rome.  He was nice enough to help us earlier today," James said.

Relief washed over Gellius like a great flood.  "Yes the lady was not feeling well and I took them to my office."

"Sounds like our Gellius here, always trying to help people.  I am sure it is why you became a doctor in the first place.  I am Nigellus, as you are no doubt now aware, and please remember me at the election."

"Someone that would pay for today on such a large scale?  We could never forget your generosity.  Thank you Magistrate Nigellus."

"Please call me Nigellus today, thank you.  I am very glad to see your lady is feeling better and you were able to bring her."

"Yes I am feeling much better, thank you Nigellus," Red said smiling.

"Wonderful, and I assume you have a place to stay tonight?"

"No, we had not found a location yet.  But we did pass several inns that should suffice."  James said holding his right hand on his toga to make sure it did not move out of place.

"A inn? That would not be wise for citizens such as yourselves.  If you didn't know, most of them are run by pleabean's and not worth your time.  I would also be wary of one's possessions in such an establishment.  Gellius has a large domus, I am sure he wouldn't mind letting you stay the night.  It would be much safer for voting citizens such as yourselves I can assure you.  Right Gellius?"

"Of course Magistrate Nigellus.  They are most welcome to stay with me for the night."

"How many times do I need to tell you, today it is just Nigellus.  Well I have many other voters, er citizens to greet, if you will excuse me."  Nigellus said as he walked towards another group of people who had entered the tepidarium then turned to speak over his shoulder.  "Please enjoy yourselves."

"Thank you for putting in a good word for me with the magistrate, now can you tell me why you are here?  Who sent you?"

Red shook her head.  "No one sent us."

"I do not believe you.  Someone must have.  You can tell them I will not do as they asked.  And in fact you helped me see that."

"Tell who?" James said blankly.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Time Rock Print Edition Releases Friday 26th!

If you haven't heard before, Time Rock print edition releases a week from today Friday the 26th!  You can pre-order and SAVE at Barnes and Noble, or your favorite book store!

Excerpt:

"Professor, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore," Trisia said wide-eyed.

"What do you mean?  We never were in Kansas!"

"Well umm come look."  She said pointing out the doorway.  The temporal energy field continued to shimmer just beyond it, blocking the exit.

Keleeigan walked over and gazed out at the sand and enormous mountain of stone that formed a pyramid shape in the distance.  "It would appear that the temporal matrix is more unstable than I thought as we traveled a great distance as well as time."

"We are in Egypt!" Kim exclaimed. 

"Not just Egypt, ancient Egypt about 2545 BC I should think judging by the Great Pyramid finished and the next one under construction.  That makes this the reign of Khafre, one of Egypt's most tyrannical pharaohs from the old kingdom.  Although they didn't call them pharaohs back then."

"Oh no!  Look!  I see someone walking, they will surely spot us and we will alter history!"  Kim said as he pointed to a worker walking across the sand.  The worker seemed to pause for a moment to look in their direction, then continued on his way.  "Hmm you would think they saw a lighthouse every day."

"I suspect we haven't emerged from the temporal field quite enough to actually be seen."

Trisia's eyes widened further.  "You mean we aren't actually here?"

"Oh we are most certainly here.  But they can't see us.  And this is very bad."

"Why?  We made it here, can't you just give us a boost and emerge when the power cell recharges?" Kim asked as he turned to face the Professor.

Keleeigan sighed as his eyes drifted down.  "No."

"Why not?"

"Because the power cell is fighting to maintain this field.  And if I shut it down, we will be forced back into the warp."

"Isn't that good?  We could head back home."

Keleeigan shook his head.  "No no, you don't understand.  Based on my research, we would be trapped in the warp ... forever.  The power cell will never be able to pull us back out if we shut down now.  Thankfully it takes less to maintain the temporal field than it did to create it in the first place.  Sort of temporal inertia, but the power system is fighting a loosing battle.  It will give out and soon.  Then we will have no hope of exiting let alone returning to our own time."

"Professor I think we have an even bigger problem."  Kim said as he looked over several consoles.  "If I am reading this right, the field is also very unstable it could shift at any moment."

Keleeigan walked over and checked the various instruments several times on the console.  "You are right.  I sure hope they can find us before we slip back into the warp."

"Who?" Trisia asked as a panel sparked than another before the whole building shook.

"No time!  We are jumping!  Hang on!"  Keleeigan said before the view of Egypt with its Great Pyramid disappeared being replaced by a large wall.