chris_gerrib: (Default)
It speaks ill of my current schedule that I look forward to long airline flights in order to read a book. Having said that, herewith are my thoughts on two short books (novellas) that I read flying back from Puerto Rico.


The first book, Breathe by Douglas Van Belle, was pressed in my hands by a rather urgent fellow at last year's Worldcon in Kansas City. I now know that the fellow was the author, and the book was self-published. It languished in my to-be-read pile for some time, finally surfacing. I found the book merely okay.

The plot is this - a dozen or so construction types are building a habitat on Ganymede to support a larger follow-on group. Karl, the group's mechanic, highly socially inept, attempts to engineer a small disaster so he can get some alone time with Zoey, a woman he's smitten with. Karl's disaster gets way out of hand, two people die immediately and the rest are trapped in shelters running out of oxygen. Karl then tries to engineer their way out. His efforts lead to the humans being hunted by a swarm of killer robots.

The science in this book is hard, and the characters are more-or-less believable. (Some of the men are a bit wonky.) The real problem is that the last two-thirds of the book is a bloodbath, and nothing in the marketing or first third gives any warning of this.

All Systems Red The Murderbot Diaries

Martha Well's novella All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries has, like Breathe, murderous AI robots. Ironically, despite the title, All Systems Red is a much less blood-thirsty book. In this novella, the narrator, the titular Murderbot, is a security robot that has hacked its own governor and is self-aware. He also just wants to watch TV.

Unfortunately, he's been assigned a security gig with a survey team on a planet, and when the planet and other teams start trying to kill his charges, he has to actually do his job. Which he does in an entertaining manner. I was also taken with the ending, that's a bit of a twist.

Much has been said about the death of conventional publishing. These two novellas are the clearest case I've seen in a while for the need for conventional publishing.
chris_gerrib: (Default)
I've fallen off the wagon of daily posts here. This week the main reason was my getting sick on Wednesday, which put the whole week in a tailspin. In any event, I shall try to do better.

Since they've accumulated, have some links:

1) My radio interview is up for a re-run. Visit The Author's Show.

2) An interesting two-part history of one of the most popular cartridges in history, the .38 special. Part 1 and Part 2.

3) Cora Buhlert on false memories.

4) Some pretty pictures: Equihen Plage: The Village of Inverted Boat Houses.
chris_gerrib: (Default)
My radio interview on The Author Show is live! Click here then on my name to listen to it!

//Does happy Snoopy dance!//
chris_gerrib: (Default)
Shifting My Flag

In Navy-speak, "shifting your flag" means that an Admiral is moving his (or now her) headquarters from one ship to another. I have appropriated that term to note that my default long-form blog platform is now Dreamwidth. Please visit me at


I have a radio interview coming up on April 12. It will be up for 24 hours at this link.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
It's a Monday. My website WAS up over the weekend, but Hostgator seems to have broken it again. Yippee Kay Ay, and time to move. I hear GoDaddy does a better job.

In other news, I went to Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Friday to watch Love's Labor's Lost. In this version, the creative staff went out of their way to highlight how immature men can be versus women. Since the play was written 400+ years ago, I guess things never change.

I also attended the 50th birthday party for one of my high school classmates. She has a large group of friends, most of which aren't known to me, so I ended up hanging with another classmate and her husband. It was a good time.

In political news, I watched 60 Minutes and noticed how Mariane Le Pen is another fan of Russia. I have thoughts about this (not all bad, mind you) which I shall expound upon anon.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I've been busy, so have some links:

1) I'm still giving away free e-copies of my book The Night Watch.

2) You can read an interview of me.

3) An interesting article: Why Nothing Works Anymore. Best opening line: "“No… it’s a magic potty,” my daughter used to lament, age 3 or so, before refusing to use a public restroom stall with an automatic-flush toilet."

America’s military doesn’t need more money — what it needs is an engaged public to demand a genuine strategy

5) Among other things: Mars Needs Lawyers.
chris_gerrib: (Pirates of Mars)
Here's some shameless self-promotion:

1) You can listen to a recording of my appearance on the Speculative Fiction Cantina podcast by clicking here.

2) I've got a written interview up on The IndieView.

3) I'm giving away free copies of The Night Watch here.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Upcoming Events

1) Tonight (Friday February 24) at 5 PM CST - Speculative Fiction Cantina podcast!

2) Friday March 10 from 8 to 11 AM CST - Area Technology Experts Discuss Tomorrow’s IT Workforce March 10 at COD’s Tech Talk Live.

3) On Sunday March 19, I will be at the Indian Prairie Public Library for the Local Authors Fair.

4) On Tuesday April 25, my Rotary club will be hosting their Taste of Route 66 fundraiser and restaurant sampling. You can bid without attending, including on a chance to be a character in my novel!

Links of Note

My high school classmate, Mary Maskel-Szymonik, owns a Harley Davidson. She rides same, including in a fundraising drive for Little Angels home for disabled children. I gave and encourage you to give too.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
I will be pontificating about my book and why you should buy it providing entertaining comment on matters science-fictional on the Speculative Fiction Cantina this Friday @ 5 PM CST. Y'all are welcome to attend!
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Like the label on the tin says:

1) This Friday, S. Evan Townsend will be featuring me on his podcast "Speculative Fiction Cantina." Link when I have it.

2) This Saturday, an interview with me will be on The IndieView.

3) Over the weekend, I read a great book: Warnings Unheeded: Twin Tragedies at Fairchild AFB. The book is written by the Air Force policeman who stopped a mass shooting by killing the shooter with a pistol at 70 yards. It's about how the mass shooter came to be as well as how, a week later, a B-52 practicing for an air show plowed into the ground doing an unsafe maneuver. No spoilers - both events were preceded by many unheeded warnings.

4) On climate change - our memories can be unreliable. I was in Chicago in 1999 and don't remember a particularly warm February.

5) Why don't many racist people think they're racist?. Answer: Because they probably aren't racist. Saying or doing something racist and being a racist is not the same thing.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Have a couple of links:

1) My book The Mars Run is getting some press.

2) An evacuated island - The story of St. Kildas

3) The minimum wage is not just for kids:

chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Another polar vortex has settled over Chicago. (Funny, I don't remember those from my childhood. Back then, it was just cold.) Yesterday was consumed by locusts and today I have a meeting of uncertain duration in the afternoon. Well, I could be outside trying to dig a ditch, so I'll stop complaining.

In other news, my book The Mars Run is getting some well-deserved press.

Lastly, a political thought from Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo. He analyzes the Election That Was and has some good thoughts. Key point: The final tally puts Trump ahead by .8%, or 22,748 votes. That's a tiny margin. Any number of things could have shifted the balance. Spending the final week of the campaign talking about a new investigation of Clinton's emails was more than enough to tip the balance. But now look at the shift from 2012. The shift in the direction of the GOP was 7.7%. That is a huge shift over four years.
chris_gerrib: (Pirates of Mars)
As we get ready for Black Friday, my books are feeling lonely. They need reviews, so I decided to do a couple of giveaways. Herewith:

The Mars Run

The Night Watch
chris_gerrib: (Pirates of Mars)
Here's a friendly marketing reminder - I write books! Mars, pirates, space adventure! Please share and if you've read one or more, an Amazon review would be greatly appreciated.
All books available here in electronic or dead-tree form.



chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
It's Tuesday, so have some links:

A) My book The Mars Run is featured on eBookSoda. Please share the love.

B) In regards to Black Lives Matter, a great video: Tolerance is for cowards.

C) Point Roberts, USA - An American city stranded at the tip of a Canadian peninsula.

D) Barack Obama on 5 days that shaped his Presidency.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Three thoughts, one head, one day.

Thought #1

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you to hear Trump said X and did Y. How Donald Trump's company violated the US trade embargo with Cuba.

Thought #2

On Facebook, somebody was saying that Scott Adam's endorsement of Donald Trump was the realization that Adams thought Dogbert was the hero of the strip. No, Dilbert is the hero. But Dilbert is the "angry white male" who likes Trump. In Dilbert's (and Adam's) mind, if people like the pointy-haired boss would just get out of the way, Dilbert would be great. What is missed is the answer to the question "if Dilbert is so good why isn't he the boss?"

Thought #3

Today is the last day to enter and win a free copy of my novel The Night Watch. You can also read an interview of me at the link.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
As I may have told y'all once or twice or fifty-seven times, I have a new book out, and have re-released two older books in New, Improved and Shiny editions. (All books available for purchase here.)

In the process of attempting to collect reviews for those books, I have done two Free Book Giveaways via Amazon. I (tried to) give away 10 copies of The Night Watch with a week-long event. I only ended up giving away seven. Then I tried to give away five copies of The Mars Run and all five went in as many hours.

I have no point to this ramble except to say I'm baffled. If and when I figure out a way to sell books, I'll let you know.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Thanks to a nap, a solid night of sleep and modern pharmaceuticals, I feel almost human today. Since they've been accumulating, let's have some links:

1) WaPo: Trump Camp Built Up Robust DC Policy Shop, Let It Die Of Neglect I am shocked, shocked I tell you to learn that Donald Trump would hire people and then not actually pay them.

2) I bought and enjoyed a previous anthology from these folks, so I encourage you to contribute: ZNB is at it again with 3 new anthologies with the themes of Robots, Water, and Death! Join us for another great adventure!

3) Presented without comment: The Tree That Was Arrested.

4) I'm told that my grandparents eloped and got married in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Had they been English, they would have gone to Gretna Green, Scotland.

5) Back in Ye Olde Dayes, when you went grocery shopping the clerk filled your order. When I was a kid in small town Illinois, there was still an old-style grocery store that my mother would send me to on my bike to pick up lunchmeat. You can thank Piggly Wiggy for the modern supermarket.
chris_gerrib: (Me 2)
Thought #1 for Tuesday

I see John Scalzi signed a deal for Zachary Quinto of Star Trek reboot fame to narrate a free audio novella. Contra one Wile E. Coyote, SuperGenius (tm) and the entire crowd at Mad Geniuses Club, these sort of deals don't happen to non-bankable authors. In short, everybody involved got One (1) Metric Shitload of Money (MSM). The people paying said money expect to receive two or three such MSMs.

Thought #2 For Tuesday

We're one step closer to a megawatt Death Ray of Death.

Plus Writing Neepery

I was continuing to struggle with my mystery novel Eastville. In order to move forward, I wrote the climatic scene last night. Now I have a target to write to.


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