And it is much too early for any sane person to be up. Of course, I’ve never made any claims to being sane. I’m not sure any writer truly is. After all, we have all those voices in our heads and not only do they talk to us but we talk to them. Oh, wait, am I the only one who does that? 😉
Let’s face it. Right now the media would have us believe the country and the world are burning around us. We’ve got politicians panicking over models that are incomplete at best. As a response, people tend to either react like their hair’s on fire and know the world is ending or dig their heels in and start talking rebellion. I’ve fallen somewhere in the middle but, I’ll admit, I’m leaning more and more toward the latter. We can’t destroy our economy out of fear and that, if we aren’t careful, is exactly what will happen.
But I’m not going to beat that horse. Not today. Instead, I’ve got a few more books for your reading consideration. Two of these are two of my favorites and on my reread list every couple of years. The third is one I never thought I’d enjoy because I’m not much for the zombie genre. But let’s just say John Ringo does know how to spin a good yard. The final book is one I read just recently and want to recommend to all of you.
Finally, at the end of the post is a cover reveal. It is a draft cover only. I know there are things I need to work on. But it gets across the feel I want for the novella (one that is already out but that will be updated so it follows canon better than it currently does).
Years ago, I was looking for something to get me back into reading science fiction. Like so many, I’d been turned off by so many of the books coming from traditional publishing. That’s when a friend of mine recommended I try a series Baen had been publishing for a few years. The particular book this friend suggested was On Basilisk Station, the first book in David Weber’s Honor Harrington series.
Her demoralized crew blames her for their ship’s humiliating posting to an out-of-the-way picket station.
The aborigines of the system’s only habitable planet are smoking homicide-inducing hallucinogens.
Parliament isn’t sure it wants to keep the place; the major local industry is smuggling; the merchant cartels want her head; the star-conquering, so-called “Republic” of Haven is Up To Something; and Honor Harrington has a single, over-age light cruiser with an armament that doesn’t work to police the entire star system.
But the people out to get her have made one mistake. They’ve made her mad.
The second book in the series, The Honor of the Queen, is one of my favorites.
It’s hard to give peace a chance when the other side regards war as the necessary prelude to conquest, and a sneak attack as the best means to that end. That’s why the Kingdom of Manticore needs allies against the so-called “”Republic”” of Haven–and the planet Grayson is just the right strategic place to make a very good ally indeed. But Her Majesty’s Foreign Office had overlooked a “”minor cultural difference”” when they chose Honor Harrington to carry the flag: women on the planet Grayson are without rank or rights; Honor’s very presence is an intolerable affront to every male on the planet.
At first Honor doesn’t take it personally; where she comes from gender discrimination is barely a historical memory, right up there in significance to fear of the left-handed. But in time such treatment as she receives from the Graysonites does become wearing, and Honor would withdraw if she could–but then Grayson’s fratricidal sister planet attacks without warning and she must stay and prevail, not just for Honor’s honor, but for her sovereign’s, for–THE HONOR OF THE QUEEN.
I’ll be honest, the series has it’s problems. But the all series do. Hell, all books do. My gripes about the series is that, as it progressed, we went from focusing on Honor and her cohorts to such a large cast of characters across such a vast expanse of space, you need maps and a cast of characters to keep everything clear. Honor also moved far enough up the ranks that she became more of a supporting character and I missed her. But the one thing Weber did well was show her growing, sometimes painfully, as a result of everything that she experienced. That is something too few authors let their readers see.
Next up is John Ringo’s Under a Graveyard Sky. This is the first book in his Black Tide Rising series. As I said earlier, I’m not one who usually likes ZA books, but this one won me over. I enjoyed the characters. I appreciated the scientific plausibility of the set up. And, yes, this is another series I reread on a fairly regular basis.
When an airborne “zombie” plague is released, bringing civilization to a grinding halt, the Smith family, Steven, Stacey, Sophia and Faith, take to the Atlantic to avoid the chaos. The plan is to find a safe haven from the anarchy of infected humanity. What they discover, instead, is a sea composed of the tears of survivors and a passion for bringing hope.
For it is up to the Smiths and a small band of Marines to somehow create the refuge that survivors seek in a world of darkness and terror. Now with every continent a holocaust and every ship an abattoir, life is lived under a graveyard sky.
Finally, we have Minds of Men by Kacey Ezell. This is an alternate history novel and I really enjoyed it. If you haven’t read any of Kacey’s work before, give this a try. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Evelyn Adamsen grew up knowing she had to hide her psychic abilities, lest she be labeled a witch. However, when the U.S. Army Air Corps came calling in 1943, looking for psychic women to help their beleaguered bomber force, Evelyn answered, hoping to use her powers to integrate the bomber crews and save American lives.
She was extremely successful at it…until her aircraft got shot down.
Now, Evelyn is on the run in Occupied Europe, with a special unit of German Fallschirmjager and an enemy psychic on her heels. Worse, Evelyn learns that using her psychic powers functions as a strobe that highlights her to the enemy.
As the enemy psychic closes in, Evelyn is faced with a dilemma in her struggle to escape—how can she make it back to England when the only talent she has will expose her if she uses it?
Finally for the cover reveal and a reminder. The reminder first.
Nocturnal Prey will go live on Amazon on the 31st. This short story is set in the Nocturnal Lives universe and is the first of several shorter works that will bridge the story arc that ended with Nocturnal Revelations and the new one that begins with Shifter Rising (very bad working title).
Now for the reveal. Nocturnal Haunts is a long short story, short novella I wrote some years ago. I’ve never been quite happy with it because it didn’t really fit the story arc as it existed when the story demanded to be written. It didn’t dawn on my why until recently. So, in my free time, I’m re-editing the story and bringing it in line with the story arc of the first six stories. I’m also keeping Nocturnal Prey in mind as I do so. Any way, here’s the draft cover. And yes, I know it needs work. I’m still trying to get the hang of this.