Saturday Review: External Relations by Pam Uphoff

514sfh4zoclPam Uphoff is one of my favorite writers. When I realized that I hadn’t read this one, I pulled it up on my kindle through the Kindle Unlimited program.

External Relations is set after Izzie Withione becomes Director of External relations. I’m going to copy the blurb here because it is better than what I’m going to write with this exhausted brain of mine.

“The Granite Peak Colony has been discovered, lost rediscovered, fought over . . . And now the Department of Interdimensional Security and Cooperation has informed all parties to come to an accommodation peacefully–or they’ll impose one.

Izzo Withione Alcairo had been appointed Director of External Relations and told to clean up internal corruption and nepotism. Now it looks like he’s going to have to do it while engaging in cross dimensional diplomacy. With a pregnant wife, a gothic horror of a residence, and a sexy young princess throwing herself at him, it’s going to be an interesting first year.”

All the colonists want to have this world to themselves. However Xen and his sister are invested in removing the colonists so that the natives can have the world to themselves. There is a lot of intrigue and suspense with the humor that Uphoff is known to bring to her writing.

I enjoyed this one a lot. I would recommend reading from the beginning book. Still this book can work as a stand-alone. I prefer to read her books in sequence.

If you like a hybrid of sci-fi and magic, this is the writer to read.

 

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Saturday Review – So little and So light

so little

I had forgotten the joys of short stories, until I read this collection by Sarah A. Hoyt.

Since I write a lot of novels, I read a lot of novels. I also write shorter works, so I can really appreciate the craft that went into this collection.

My favorite story in this collection is “Neptune’s Orphans.” It haunted me when I first read it a few years back. It haunts me today. It starts with a group of bioengineered children being destroyed after the treaty is signed. Three get away, but not without cost.

Each of these stories give you a taste of Hoyt’s worlds.

I recommend it very much.

I’ve been thinking

File Oct 09, 7 05 03 AM It’s always dangerous when my brain gears start clicking. I never know if what I come up with is good quality or not. Besides I’ve learned the term “GIGO” the hard way. Those who are not computer geeks, GIGO means garbage in garbage out.

I want to point out that after a long illness with medications that would curl your hair or make you lose it, I know that the brain is an organic computer.

When I say the meds do a number on my head, I mean that my logic chains get broken easily. The glitches get greater and greater until I am in a strange land of Cyn– which is filled with sharks and other water creatures. I don’t know why my brain conjures waterscapes when I am in the danger zone, but it does.

Can you imagine. I am swimming in deep waters, watching brightly colored fish and dolphins playing when “cue Jaws theme song” a huge water creature with sharp teeth  heads straight for me. The last time I was in deep waters, I saw an eye and then the beak of a huge turtle. I wondered if I had found Terry Pratchett’s turtle that swims in deep space.

Nevertheless I am marginally sane. I have a certificate to prove it. At least my last therapist was certain that sanity wise, I didn’t have anything to worry about. I do worry about certain things– my health, my dog, and promotion.

Yep I am a damn bad promoter. I had heard from a source that taking out ads on FB or other sites would up my exposure. Either I am really bad at writing ad copy or I am really bad at promoting because I saw “no sales.” I’ve tried other things which have just made me anxious.

When I am anxious, I don’t write. A sad truth.

fire2018 So today I am promoting a friend’s work instead.

I read the first book of Sam Schall’s (Amanda S. Green) a couple of years ago. The first book is about a warrior woman in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. This is the fourth book in the series. I would suggest reading the first book if you want to get the full emotional impact.

Schall’s writing is clear, descriptive, and the kind of story that grabs you and won’t let you go. It is in the sci-fi genre and probably more mil sci-fi in my humble opinion. I’ve read and enjoyed her work a lot.

So here is my two cents.

I’m back to writing on Hero of Corsindor. I want it to be finished and in the hands of my reader by the end of September.

Good reading.

Saturday Review – Shattered Under Midnight

So, it is time for my Saturday review. One of my invisible internet friends finished this book recently. The last book I read of hers Scaling the Rim was an exciting sci-fi story that pulled me into the story. I still remember remnants of the story and it has been a couple years since I read it.

When she told our group that this book was on Amazon. I snapped up Shattered Under Midnight immediately. Sadly I have a TBR pile that is pretty large. I also do my reading just before I go to sleep. It’s one of the reasons that I know when a book grabs me or is a snoozer.shattered

So a couple of days ago, I pulled this book up on my kindle .

It started with a young woman in a space port with an explosion behind her. That was the end of me and I was there with this girl as she went to the surface to find a new life.

The woman is much younger than how she dresses and as I continued reading, I found that she had many dangerous secrets. Many of these secrets were more dangerous than the man who accompanies her.

Plus she has red hair. I won’t tell you the significance of the red hair. You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Dorothy Grant needs to write more. I would love to go on adventures with more of her characters.

If you haven’t figured it out yet… I highly recommend it.

I borrowed this book on Kindle Unlimited.

Something about Quantum Mechanics

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CC0 Public Domain. DasWortgewand

Lately I have been reading about weird government programs such as “remote viewing,” a program that is immortalized in “Men Who Stare At Goats.” The movie has George Clooney as the main character. I saw the movie when it first aired on Netflix a few years ago. Then I dismissed it as fiction.

What got me interested in this subject was a you-tube video in the Dark Matter channel, where Art Bell interviews one of the remote viewers. My first reaction is “this can’t be right.” Why would they use military personnel for basically a psychic untested theory? So I went further and researched the heck out of it.

After reading four accounts of folks who worked in the program and a little online search, and found to my shock that it was true. There are only a few reasons that government agencies would use this type of program. One, the Russians were using psychic spying. Yes, they were. Two, the program had a high success rate. Considering the program ran approximately twenty years, it had a good success rate until it lost funding and was turned over to the CIA. Of course, the CIA gave it the coup de grace in 1995.

So where does this put me??? A naysayer? A person who truly believed that psychic phenomenon couldn’t be measured? If you read the accounts, the remote viewers describe it as a virtual video game instead of a psychic experience because they use the entire body. Some call it a “martial art of the mind.”

It’s been a wild journey through my brain as I read these accounts. We are more connected and less isolated than we believe. We live in a Quantum world instead of the Newtonian world, we had always known.

Some of this I could see as a fiction story– and might have been written in the 1950s by one of the classic sci-fi authors. It blows my mind that this program is in the past and not the future.

Some of these remote viewers started teaching their techniques to ordinary people and to natural psychics. Some of these remote viewers help find kidnapped children.

Let’s explore interconnectedness. It means that the good wishes and prayers have an effect on all of us.  A few decades ago, I was blown away when we found that the brain had weak electrical fields. Now researchers have an “Electromagnetic Brain Theory.” Go and read that one and you’ll think you were living in the future.

I don’t know why this is so fascinating to me. I know that after all this reading, some of it will find its way into my stories.

Happy Release Day – Late Payment

GKTC2015ebookcover1So today is the day, that my two short stories: Late Payment and If You Should Chose This Mission are live on Amazon. These are new stories with Joe and Donald, two intrepid representatives who fix technical, physical, and customer problems, when terraforming goes awry.

Just because I am such a nice person (this is the same as saying trust me), I have the first story The Green Knight Terraforming Company free for the next two days.

We first meet Joe when he is being attacked by several blades of grass.

If you want to go paperback, the three stories are bundled in Green Knight Terraforming Company. I didn’t manage to get the paperback online at the same time as the release date. I will have to do better timing next time.

So please enjoy these stories. Thank you in advance for leaving a review.

If you should choose this mission VII – Friday excerpt

Just a reminder that this is Memorial Weekend. Remember the ones who died fighting in our wars. I will remember my grandfather who fought in WWII and was lucky to survive to know his grandchildren.

Back to our story:

Previous installment

Kaboom. The gate disintegrated. Klaxons screamed. Ermie was screaming with them. I pulled him out and put him into his capsule. It would take him some time to calm down from the noise. It looked like Ermie was down for the moment. Still I had Donald. What! Donald was grinning.

Yes, I was grinning back. We hadn’t had this much fun since we were out in the field. In fact we had so much fun with guns and explosions that Ms. Frigg had pulled us to work for tech support call center. That wiped the grin off my face.

I would give my left nut to stay out in the field and off those phones.

I peeked above the barricades to see if our explosion had been noticed. It was eerily quiet. If there had been a guard on that gate of any species, we would have heard some swearing and shots at my exposed head.

“Donald,” I said. “Check with net control.”

Since Donald was slightly telepathic. Humans were the only species in the cosmo that was head-blind, which sometimes put us in a disadvantaged position against other species. But, our abilities to adapt to most situations and flexible mental structures made us very dangerous. Well, we were a quarantined world.

Though I wondered if we were actually rats in a laboratory experiment.

I adjusted my telescopic vision. This was a biological implant that worked with my eyes to see better and farther than normal vision. Unlike Ermie, it wasn’t sentient. I saw a long black line against one of the square ugly buildings. While I watched it moved so slowly that I wasn’t sure what it was.

I bumped Donald so he would take a look. He began swearing up a blue smoke.

“Damn,” he finished. “That is one helluva big roach.”

I wasn’t seeing it until he pointed up. I was seeing the legs. The body of the roach blocked out the sun and was over the roof of the ugly squat building.

“What the hell.” I spit out.

“I’ve never seen on that big.” He urgently hit all the telepathic buttons to the lab animals. If Ermie was still in my ear he would be screaming and fainting, and fainting and screaming. I felt like doing it myself.

We backed away slowly. Maybe the roach wouldn’t see us. It was so big and we were so little. Long thin extensions around the mouth reached for us.

Donald yelled, “Down.” We were flat and the things passed over our heads. “Stay away from the maxillae.” Donald yelled.

I had no idea what the maxillae were, but if they were the things trying to grab us, he didn’t have to tell me twice. I scrambled on my hands and knees. The rocks bit into my hands. If I jumped into one of the sticker bushes, maybe it would discourage the roach.

I wasn’t quick enough. The roach reached down and picked me up by the bug spray strapped to my back. I think I screamed when I saw the mandibles crunching. I patted pulled my big knife from my belt and held it in front of me. If it got me anywhere near its mouth, it would hurt before I became roach food.

continued next Friday