Final Days for Military SF StoryBundle


This bundle will be gone on Thursday!

12 book covers in the military SF bundle

The 2018 Military SF Bundle – Curated by Kevin J. Anderson

Strap in, adjust your uniform, fire up the engines, and get ready to defend the Earth against all threats, extraterrestrial and domestic! I’ve curated a new Military Science Fiction StoryBundle with a dozen great books from the high-tech battlefields right here on our home planet to the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

This StoryBundle contains two of my standalone military SF novellas, ESCAPE HATCH and PRISONER OF WAR, and COBRA SLAVE by Timothy Zahn, as well as OBLIVION by Steve White and Charles E. Gannon, part of the New York Times bestselling Starfire series. Baen Books provided the brand new, hot-off-the-presses YEAR’S BEST MILITARY AND ADVENTURE SF, edited by David Afsharirad, with excellent stories by David Weber, Jody Lynn Nye, Larry Niven, and more.

Three of these books are written by veterans of the armed services, who bring their own gritty experiences into writing, FIRE ANT by Jonathan Brazee, CRYING PLANET by Linda Maye Adams, and STRIKE EAGLE by Doug Beason.

Ron Friedman’s time travel thriller TYPHOON TIME, J.A. Sutherland’s INTO THE DARK, Steve Ruskin’s A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL’S BROKER, and Andrew and William Keith’s COHORT OF THE DAMNED round out the bundle.

As always with StoryBundle, you name your own price. Get the base level of four books for $5 or the entire dozen for as little as $15. You support independent authors and small presses, and a portion of the proceeds goes to benefit the remarkable work of the Challenger Learning Center for Space Science Education. The Military SF StoryBundle is available for only three weeks here: https://storybundle.com/military – Kevin J. Anderson

The initial titles in the The 2018 Military SF Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

  • Escape Hatch by Kevin J. Anderson
  • Strike Eagle by Doug Beason
  • The Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF Vol. 4 by David Afsharirad
  • Oblivion by Steve White and Charles E. Gannon

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular titles, plus EIGHT more!

  • Cohort of the Damned by Andrew Keith and William H. Keith, Jr.
  • Typhoon Time by Ron S. Friedman
  • Prisoner of War by Kevin J. Anderson
  • A Deal with the Devil’s Broker by Steve Ruskin
  • Into the Dark – Alexis Carew #1 by J.A. Sutherland
  • Crying Planet by Linda Maye Adams
  • Fire Ant by Jonathan P. Brazee
  • Cobra Slave – Cobra Rebellion Book 1 by Timothy Zahn

This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to The Challenger Center for Space Education!
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook.

 

Guess the Actress: Contest


This is now closed.  The actress below is Yvonne Craig, who starred as Batgirl on Batman, and as the green woman on Star Trek’s Whom Gods Destroy.

Like with the others, first person to guess who this actress is gets a coupon code for the 2018 Military SF StoryBundle.  This is very limited now, since the bundle comes down in 3 days!

You can check out the bundle here.  Onto the clues.

Actress seated a con table.

This actress was in a popular TV series in the 1960s and rode a purple motorcycle.  She also was green for a science fiction TV series.

This photo was taken at DragonCon in 1997.  The actress has since passed away (which is what I seem to be saying about a lot of these stars unfortunately).

Contest Giveaway: Guess the Actor


And we have a winner!  Peggy got the name!

This is Richard Hatch, who starred in the first (and in my opinion, the best) version of Battlestar Galactica as Adam’s son Apollo.

We still have the Star Trek lady below to guess, and another one above.

No one’s guessed the actress below.  If no one does, I’ll post who she is in a few days.  Meanwhile, here’s another actor to identify.

Actor seated in chair, a stuffed bear in one arm and a stuffed koala in the other

This was taken at DragonCon in 1997.  He sat a couple of tables away from David Hedison, so when he started playing around with the stuffed animals, I had to grab a shot.

The actor starred in a 1970s science fiction TV show.  He passed away last year.

First person to guess his name gets a coupon code for the 2018 Military SF Story Bundle.

Contest Giveaway: Guess the Actress


Since no one guessed this, I’m going to call time on it.

This actress is Barbara Luna, who starred as the captain’s woman in the Star Trek fan favorite (and mine!), “Mirror, Mirror!”  I had to crop the photo to not give it away–there’s a picture of her and the mirror Spock sitting on the table.

Photo of actress at her table at a con

I’m doing a contest!  First person to guess who this actress is gets a coupon code for the 2018 Military SF Bundle!

Hint: She was on Star Trek.

 

Check out the Bundle:

12 book covers in the military SF bundle

 

Writing Phrase I Hate


There’s a phrase I keep seeing over and over again, and it’s one I really hate because of the implied put down.

Worse, I don’t think writers realize it is a put down.

The phrase is…

“Aspiring author.”

It means longs for, desires to be, aims for.

Yet, if you write, you’re already a writer.  So this is somehow managing to say that even if you write you’re not really a writer.  I just saw it on an article about a writer who wrote two books and was called aspiring.

Just walking away and trying not to cringe.  As Bob Meyer said to me, there are so many people ready to put you down.  There’s no need to do it to yourself.

Cave Rescue


The boys in Thailand are starting to come out of the underwater cave.  I remember watching the adventures of Sea Hunt with Mike Nelson, and this is nothing like it.  But it’s riveting to see how the rescuers are working it out.

The rescuers have decided to scuba dive the boys out.  The boys have no experience whatsoever with diving, and the cave is so dangerous experienced divers are having problems.  But they came up with an interesting idea using tethers to bring out the boys.  Click on this link and look for the fourth image down to see what the rescuers are doing.

Reading as a Reader, Not a Writer


Baby penguin in a life vest and holding a life preserver
Just because I liked the image.

I just finished a Harry Bosch book.  I really like most of his books, and especially how he describes Los Angeles.

And there’s a probably a writer out there reading it, but not enjoying the book….instead  searching for faults.

When I first got online, I was influenced by all the writers around me.  We all read books to see what NOT to do.  Particularly, we all read each sentence and picked at them.  That writer did too much showing and not enough telling.  This writer made a grammatical mistake.  That kind of stuff.

One day, I felt discouraged as a reader because all the books I was getting were terrible!

It was so bad I thought writing had gone downhill from when I was growing up.

So was out wandering around at work and someone had left a few copies of Mack Bolan or Nick Carter books.  These were men’s fiction, with a lot of action.  I’d read a number of them (yeah, I had a weird childhood.  Other girls read romances, and I read science fiction and action fiction).

I snatched those books up, looking forward to proving my point that writing had gone downhill.

Instead, I could see how the writing of books had evolved over time.  The problem wasn’t the books.

It was how I was reading them.

I made a decision then and there to read the next book without picking apart.  Just try to enjoy it.

That book was The Di Vinci Code.  That’s one of the books the writers on message boards really hate.  It was a runaway success and sold millions and millions of copies.  So the writers read it, pick at the sentences, and wonder how a book with so many “flaws” can be a best seller.

Also implying that the readers are stupid because they don’t see the flaws.

The readers don’t care.  As long as the story gives them whatever they’re looking for, that’s enough.  Doesn’t have to be perfect.  Perfect is boring anyway, and a book isn’t an English assignment, waiting to be graded.

Letting go of Army Things


I’m still in the process of tackling the black hole of my closet.  I pulled out nearly everything in the closet:

Boxes stacked on the floor, along with presskits, photos, and fanzines.

This is most of it, though there’s a separate pile of books, and a small pile of movie posters in tubes.  The two piles in the back are donations, and electronic discard.

As part of all this clean-up, I decided to give away two items that came from Desert Storm.

The first was a prayer rug that I purchased at the airport while I was waiting to go home on emergency leave.

The reason I’m donating it to the thrift shop is that so much changed since then.  We had September 11, and I was in DC when the Pentagon was hit.  I experienced all of that and was terrified and in shock for two weeks.  Plus the political climate here is just poisonous…it’s just not something I want contaminating me.  And the rug was sitting rolled up in the closet and that’s all it was going to do.

The second thing was a small ceramic Siamese cat.  It was given to me by my best friend going into Desert Storm.  I believe she gave it to me after the war ended.

The war and an event that happened during the war destroyed her.  I watched this bright cheerful friend dip into depression and great anger.  A lot of us–the lower enlisted–tried to help her (leadership appeared disconnected to the problem from our level), but she was stuck.  She was smoking three packs a day and not taking care of herself.  A relationship with a married man finally ended, and she decided to married to a guy she’d known for two weeks–for the reason, “I need a man in my life, and it might as well be him.”  This man gave even the male soldiers the creeps.  Two weeks after she got married, she was divorced.  It was so hard for me to watch, and I found she was dragging me down.  I had to quietly separate myself from her.  She eventually failed the physical training test multiple times by intent and got kicked out.  I have no idea what happened to her.

While I liked the ceramic cat, it also reminded me not of the good times I had with her, but all the bad things when she went downhill.

Sometimes some memories are best left without any reminders.

Photo: Michael Ansara of Star Trek


Michael Ansara on stage with his wife

 

One of my favorite characters of all time on Star Trek was Kang, played by Michael Ansara.  He brought nobility and pride to the Klingons, which clearly influenced later development of the aliens.  So when he was on the guest list for Farpoint in 1997, I jumped at the chance.

The photo is of him and his wife.  This was the first appearance he ever made at a con, and I believe he only did two.  (Sorry the photo is blurry.  The lighting was really bad, and these were the best I was able to get).

He was astounded at the crowds, at the number of people who came to see him.  If we hadn’t run out of time, we would have kept him on stage with questions!

But there was one that I still remember….

George Takei and James Doohan were both blasting William Shatner at the time.  So, naturally, “What was it like to work with William Shatner?” came up.  I imagine some expected him to dish up dirt.

And Michael Ansara stayed professional.  He said William Shatner was great to work with.

Contrast that to another guest at the same con, Mark Goddard.  He worked on Lost in Space for producer Irwin Allen.  Because he was in a TV series, he was horribly typecast and landed in soaps so he could work.  But then, soaps were the thing you took because you couldn’t get work and looked down on.  So he was very bitter and ranted on stage about Irwin Allen, though it wasn’t the producer’s fault.  Mark Goddard had accepted the role, and the culture that comes with popular series is that it can be hard to get roles afterwards.

I was shocked when I heard Mark Goddard, because that is going to turn some fans off.  Some come from a long ways to see actors.  That’s what they’re getting?

Anyway, after Michael Ansara got off stage, he went out to the lobby to sign autographs.  I got in line, which was quite long.  I was looking forward to actually meeting him.  But the crowds had worn him out, and the con shut down the line before I got there.

Sometimes the stories are best about photos!

 

Socks, Socks, My Kingdom for a Sock


When I was growing up, we had what we called “The Orphan Pile” in the laundry room.  It was a bunch of my father’s socks.  He always bought black socks, same brand, all looked alike.

Then they got washed.

And some would get eaten by the dryer or the washer.  Or maybe the cats or dogs.

So they would go into the orphan pile with the hope of eventually find the missing sock.  Somehow, despite all starting out in the same color and same brand, they emerged from the washer mutated and none of them would ever have mates again.

What the heck does the dryer do with them?