Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Oh Christmas Tree

Well, the unabated ferocious winds we've been having destroyed the Christmas tree in my front yard. Well, they knocked it over and some of the lights got busted.  I put it back up and watered it and put new lights on it. Mother nature vandalized my display.  



Monday, December 11, 2017

True Review

It's always nice when a good review come out for your book.  True Review  just released a review of Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.  The link below will take you to it:



http://www.truereviewonline.com/b101v44n30_09.php




Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Two Devils

My first weird western novel was The Two Devils.  It even got a good review in the Denver Post and a few other places.  I have four still new copies of it that I'm offering while they last or until Christmas for $2.00 each plus shipping. This a print book, brand new. One hell of a deal. It's on Amazon Marketplace. Just go to Amazon and type in The Two Devils by David B. Riley.

This is the debut of my Miles O'Malley character and his horse, Paul. He gets into all sorts of trouble as he deals with the evil Mayan god, Ah Puch, the regular devil, and a few sexy fallen angels as well.

This book is no longer in print. You will never again see this offer.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cancelled

Caught  a list of cancelled TV shows the other day. Boy am I out of it. I'd only seen one of these shows. The others, not once did I watch any of them. Apparently I was not alone.  The one show I'd seen was Emerald City.  I really liked it.  It was a little different take on the Wizard of Oz.  I really liked it, but apparently no one else did.  Like I said, I must be really out of it. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Blowhard

The desert isn't known for heavy wind. This certainly isn't the open plains or Texas.  Yet wind is what we've got and lots of it.  I've had to reinforce my young trees in my yard to keep them from being destroyed from repeated high winds.  It's awful.  If climate change is a hoax, that hoax is doing a pretty good imitation of the real deal in my back yard.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Let There Be Light, Part 2

Now the one trend in holiday lighting I can't seem to get around is these projector lights.  I you haven't seen one, they're a projector you put in your yard and it shines light on your house. You can have pink polka dots or just about anything you want.  I think these houses that use them look hideous.  This is a new trend I can certainly do without.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Let there be light

In my gated community neighbors have been putting up their Christmas lights.  I myself have a tree in my front yard lit up.  Some of my neighbors have very elaborate displays.  I've always loved Christmas lights, although I think some houses get over done.  But, if you think about it, it's a weird idea.  I've tried to learn the origin of the practice and it's come up a dead end.  The Christmas tree indoor is rooted in Germany as best as I can tell, where they decorated the tanenbaum for the holidays.  That tradition migrated to England in the mid 1800s and from there to America.

But I can't quite figure out where the idea of decorating houses with lights originated. If I figure it out, I will share it here.  I guess the thing to do is enjoy the holiday displays and not worry about their origin too much. Snoopy won first place when he decorated his dog house.  Good grief.  Maybe I'll even start to like icicle lights. Nah.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Bizness

In college I took a marketing class in the business school.  I wasn't a business major, but I thought it would be interesting.  We had to come up with a product and develop a plan of how we would market it.  My product was Lump-o-coal.  It would be a piece of coal  shrink wrapped on a card with a punch hole so it could be hung on a peg in stores.  The cardboard would have a picture of Santa Claus and it would say on the front "For that Rotten Little Kid" On the back would be more info on the concept of giving a lump of coal to kids on Santa's naughty list.  I think I got a "B" on the project, mainly because the professor thought it was a limited market.  I always had visions of a Christmas morning with hundreds of Christmas stockings with a Lump-o-coal sticking out of them. It would've been awesome.

I never really had the resources to actually produce and sell this, although I always wanted to.  I always envisioned it as the next pet rock.  If someone wants to run with this concept and develop it, be my guest. It's obvious I will never get it off the ground.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Man Who Invented Christmas --Review

As any of the regular readers of this blog will tell you, I don’t do very many reviews.  Well, I’ve also maintained that I believe I have seen every English language film or television special portraying A Christmas Carol.   Naturally, when a new movie came out on this topic I had to go and see it.  The Man Who Invented Christmas is about how Dickens wrote the book, A Christmas Carol   It was later adapted to a play and later still adapted for film. 

I find this a difficult film to review.  I know every line in the dramatized versions. I believe it to be not only the best Christmas story ever written but also the best ghost story.  But what if someone were not as enamored with this concept?  While I was thrilled to see Ebenezer Scrooge develop before my very eyes, would someone less enthralled with this work feel the same? I’m not really sure. 

This movie is well acted.  It gives us a look at dark, gritty Victorian London and a look into Dickens’ personal life as well.  Scrooge, as he develops, forces Dickens to go some places in his own memories that he would rather forget–just as the three Christmas ghosts force Scrooge to do the same. Just go and watch it. This is much better than those stupid syrupy things that pass for Christmas movies these days.

Friday, December 1, 2017

South Pole Birds

Once again I find penguins on wreaths, penguins on Christmas cards, penguins on all sorts of holiday items. What the heck do penguins have to do with Christmas?  Assuming one subscribes to the Santa Claus mythos, Santa lives at the NORTH pole.  Penguins come from Antarctica, the home of the SOUTH pole [a few species live in South America]   What the hell do these stupid flightless birds have to do with Christmas?  My own brother has a wreath with a penguin on it--probably just to piss me off.  These damned birds have nothing to do with the historical parameters of the Christmas holiday season.I wish Santa Claus would take a shotgun down to the South Pole. That would show 'em.







Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Minimalist Xmas

Last year was the first year I had my own yard--ever. I lived in a condo in Colorado. So, when I bought my house in Tucson I went all out last year and put lights all over the bushes and cacti. This year I find myself in a more minimalist mood.  I put colored lights on one tree in my front yard and that's it. It looks nice--a little Christmas tree and that's all I'm doing.  A house nearby  out minimalized me--they replaced their white yard light with a green one and that's all they did.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Hotel Haunted

I note the guidelines for Hotel Haunted are finally up at the publisher's web site.  It's been mentioned here and elsewhere, but I'll mention it again in case anyone missed it.


http://www.wolfsingerpubs.com/OpenCalls.html

Monday, November 27, 2017

Black Friday

I bought a garden hose at Lowe's on Black Friday.  People were all running around at these stores. Not me. I bought a new garden hose and went home.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mister Heat Christmas

I do not remember the name of the show. It was one of those Christmas specials. This one had some heat miser who ruled the south and his brother, ice guy, ruled the north.  Well, it's clear where Arizona is. Even for here, it's unusually hot.  We're well  into the high eighties each day. Sure wish it would cool down. And greenhouse gasses continue to spew into the atmosphere unabated.



Saturday, November 25, 2017

Oh Tenenbaum

I needed a new tree as one of my beloved ash trees was killed by some fierce winds a few months ago.  I decided an evergreen might do the trick.  I bought one yesterday. It's some kind of pine.  So I set it out in my front yard even though it's eventually going into the back one. I'm going to put lights on it and it will be my Christmas decoration. After Xmas, I'll take it to the back yard and plant it near the place my ash tree went off to tree heaven.  

Friday, November 24, 2017

Feast and such

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone.  My turkey yesterday was superb.  I make the best turkeys in the world. No one can out cook me on turkey.  It was moist and tender and delicious.  ...

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Award Goes To

As I've mentioned before, I belong to the HWA.  One of the things the HWA does is give out the Stoker awards.  These are a writing award for various categories of horror writing.  I was even on one of the juries which reviews the submissions in the anthology category a while back.  Now, unfortunately, people send me pitches telling me about their book, or screenplay or whatever--mostly books.  There are zillions of them.  Frankly, these people are delusional for the most part. Their works have no chance of winning.  My own theory is the work has to have done fairly well commercially so people are aware of it, not from sending me an announcement but because it's in bookstores and has been reviewed and such. Obscure works never cut through all the clutter.

Another thing it needs is to be pretty good. I was talking to a writer friend a few weeks ago when I was in Denver. He's the editor of a pretty good anthology. He really wants it to win a Stoker award. It's done fairly well, even briefly making it to the best seller lists.  Problem is, it's not a true horror anthology. It's a weird western anthology. I would not consider a lot of it to be in the horror fiction category. Ergo, when I vote it's going to be difficult for me to vote for it and I like the book (should it make the ballot)..  I just question if it's the right book for a Stoker. This is a horror award. There are similar awards put out by Mystery writers and the Science Fiction Writers. Most genres have some type of writing organization concerned with the craft of writing in that particular genre. 

And that leads back to the problem of it being a weird western. They are by definition cross genre.  The weird westerns have grown a lot in popularity in recent years. I still call them the unwanted bastard stepchild of literature.  I've always thought about creating a weird western award of some kind. But, that would require a lot of work and you have to have some sort of prize to back it and a big awards ceremony and I don't think so. Maybe someone with more ambition will try that some day. So, I will be surprised if the weird western anthology picks up a major literary award like a Stoker. But, maybe it will. If it does, I'll mention it here next year when the awards come out.  

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Writers Guidelines, Hotel Haunted

Below are the guidelines for an anthology I will be editing along with julie Campbell, if anyone's interested in submitting.

Hotel Haunted
Writers Guidelines


Editors, David B. Riley & J. A. Campbell

Wolfsinger Publications is looking for story submissions for  a new anthology entitled Hotel Haunted. All stories must, at least in part, take place at a haunted lodging establishment. This can include a hotel or similar business such as a rooming house, dormitory or hostel. They can take place in any location or time period. 

All stories must have a supernatural entity i.e. ghost in them.  Ghosts come in many forms. We don’t care if it’s a full bodied apparition, a mist entity, a black/silhouette ghost, disembodied voice or even a demonic entity–as long as it’s recognizable as some form of ghost. This is a work of fiction. We do not want a retelling of Ghost Adventures episodes. Have interesting characters. Unusual villain or heroes are welcome. This is a horror book. We are looking for something scary with recognizable horror or dark fantasy content. We are not after Casper the friendly ghost. You can use humor, but our bias is toward something scary. 

Reading period will be December 15th, 2017–January 15th, 2018. Please, only one story at a time. Submit in standard manuscript format, 12pt Times New Roman or similar font. We do not like courier. We like simple clean manuscripts–don’t embed anything cute or fancy. All terms by written contract and acceptances are subject to final approval by the publisher.

You can review sample contract at the Wolfsinger Publications web page. Basically, the author will receive a $5.00 advance payment for the right to use the Work in all English language print and e-book editions of the Anthology. The listed amount is an advance against a share of fifty percent of all future income received by WolfSinger Publications from all editions of the Anthology less any handling costs, service fees, or discounts when paid in full by the distributor, bookstore, vendor, organization. The fifty percent share allocated to contributors shall be distributed  in proportion to the number of authors in the Anthology.

Submit stories as an attached file. We prefer /DOC or .RTF files. Please include a word count and put hotel haunted submission in subject line. Before you submit, look over your submission. Have you included full contact info on the first page of the manuscript? That means name, address, email & phone #. Does your manuscript have a word count? Is the file name similar to the story name? At the end of your story, did you include the words “The End” or something similar so the editor is certain he has the entire story? If you want italic use italic. If you want bold face use boldface. Do not underline. Underlining to get italic goes back to the days when writers used typewriters and compositors actually set type. Those days are mostly over and it’s an antiquated habit. We prefer Times New Roman in 12 point type. Stories should be from 1K-7K words in length. Query if you have questions. Send an attached file to: hotelhaunted@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving, I Guess, Sort Of

"Happy Thanksgiving" is what I hear if I buy a candy bar or a quart of milk from any store.  The blasted holiday seems to run for the entire week.  You can't get a medical appointment.  The blasted grocery store already has empty shelves.  I'm starting to get in humbug mood and it is only Tuesday. And so-called Black Friday has been raging all week long as well.  At least people don't put up Thanksgiving lights on their houses--yet.  I'm kind of starting to dislike this holiday.

What am I thankful for?  Redheads.  I have a thing for redheads.  And that's about it.  And dogs. I like dogs.  And my house. I'm thankful I have a roof over my head. Living in your car sucks.  And my refrigerator. I really love my new refrigerator.  And that's about it.  I don't have a problem with people being thankful. But that's not what the stupid holiday has become. It's become an excuse for gluttony and drunkenness and football.

An amazing number of people will burn their houses down as they attempt to deep fry their turkeys. It's around 20 houses on average that burn to the ground each year.  Let's not forget that. 

There is one good thing about T Day. If you see your relatives, your get it over with. If you see them on T-Day you're not obligated to get together on Christmas. And that's something to be thankful for. A lot of people don't understand the T-Day exception to going to see relatives for Christmas. Hell of a deal.

Oh, my turkeys are the best in the world. No one cooks turkeys better than I do. Mesquite grill. Keep the   damned stuffing out of the bird and they'll cook much better.  The turkey I cook will be wonderful.

By the way, let the dog have a little bit of turkey.  They work hard all year keeping you from being murdered in your sleep. Give them a slice of turkey.

Please don't wish me a happy thanksgiving.  And that's about it.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Refrigeration

I love my new refrigerator.  It keeps my food all nice and cold and it doesn't make strange noises in the middle of the night like the old one did.  In cleaning out the old one I found some salad dressing that expired a year ago. I threw it out. My brother thinks I should have used it. He says expiration dates are arbitrary. It's too late, I already tossed it out. It was thousand island dressing.  

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ghosts

I'm hoping the publisher will post the guidelines to a new anthology I'm going to edit. So far, they're a little behind.  It's called Hotel Haunted. Along with co-editor Julie Campbell, we'll be putting together a collection of ghost stories set in haunted hotels.  Why haunted hotels? Why not? Actually, I've worked in haunted hotels and always wondered what the story was behind these entities. While I may never know the actual reason ghosts live in them, I thought it might be an interesting area for fiction. So, if  you're interested, check with Wolfsinger Publications for the guidelines for Hotel Haunted.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wrong Way Mail

I keep getting mail for someone who does not live at my address.  I've been here a year and a half. The house I bought when I moved to Tucson sat empty for at least half a year before I moved in. Ergo, the mail for this person is at least two years obsolete. Why won't these companies ever update their mailing lists?  I wish they had goons that would go around and work them over when they sent out mail to the wrong place. That would show 'em.  Almost as good would be if they'd just update their addresses. Neither seems likely.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SFT 13

Well the new writers guidelines are up at the Science Fiction Trails site for issue 13. I sure wish more people would buy the darned thing. It's not all that expensive and has some great stories in it.  It'll open up for submissions in January.  I'm hoping to see some stories about robots. Why robots? Well, we've never historically had many submissions about robots and I thought it would be something to focus on.  



Monday, November 13, 2017

Con over

Well, Tuscon is over and done with. It's a little smaller con than most of those I go to. Frankly, I did not really connect with the programming. There was little I found interesting. The people were not particularly friendly. I doubt I'll ever go back.

And that concludes my con schedule for 2017..  I'm not sure what I'll attend in 2018.  I'll post it here later on, although I don't know why as it seems to make little difference if I list events or not.  Attendance at signings and cons has little to do with posting things here on this blog.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Refer Madness Part 2

I just love my new refrigerator. It was purchased at one of those big box stores that was having a sale. It's so quiet and it's laid out nice inside. In looking over refrigerators, I noticed that the simple refrigerators with the freezer on top are fairly cheap. You pay dearly for one with an ice maker. Side-by-sides and freezer on the bottom models cost a lot more. Mine is just  a simple refrigerator with a freezer on top and it doesn't sing to me or make ice or pour mixed drinks or nothin' except keep my food cold. I am so happy. And it doesn't beep all night long.

Note to the refrigerators out there who read my blog: if you want to go to  the scrap heap, just start beeping in the middle of the night. That'll do it real quick. It's not funny.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Refer Madness

My refrigerator started beeping at two o'clock yesterday morning.  Best guess is it was some type of problem with the door sensor.  And it would not stop.  Strange thing was, after I got back from physical therapy it had stopped beeping.  Listening to that thing beep whilst I am trying to sleep, well it's kind of like the Chinese water torture. You lay there wondering when it will beep again. It's an old refrigerator. It may be time to check out all the appliance sales they're having this weekend. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Off to Tuscon

Going to Tuscon this weekend.  This is a local con, so no lodging or transportation issues for me. Not really doing anything but attending. I'm not involved with programming and I'm not selling anything in the dealer room. Just an ordinary con attendee.  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Chick Flick

I briefly mentioned "Chick Flick" in pre-panel conversation at the Tempe Book Festival this past weekend. Was surprised people were unfamiliar with the term.  These are movies that women like and men should never watch them. If a man watches one he will have an immediate desire to commit suicide. I was surprised people were unfamiliar with the term. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Ghost Stories From the Airport Inn?

I am about to start editing a book of ghost stories.  The best ghost story ever written, at least in my opinion, is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I think Dickens may be one of the best writers who ever lived. It amazes me that every now and then someone tries and changes the story. They fail. If it is the best ghost story, changing it simply makes it into a feeble retelling that pales to the original. Case in point: the bird in the poultry shop was not a turkey; it was a goose.  Turkeys are an American bird that were transported to Europe. The first report of turkeys being consumed in England were in 1573, so it is possible the poulterer had a turkey. However, the original Dickens story had the bird as a goose, a traditional holiday meal in English homes of the day. Next, Mrs Cratchit   will be serving french fries. 

But others will inevitably try and retell the story in some feeble attempt to do so.  I don't know if I've seen every TV version of this story, but I've seen a bunch of them. 

Of course, my anthology would not include this marvelous story as it is a collection of tales about haunted hotels. I'm teaming up with Julie Campbell to do a collection of ghost stories set in haunted hotels. Since Ebenezer didn't rent out his home, it really would not qualify.  It'll be interesting to see what people come up with..  I wish Dickens could contribute, but I doubt he's going to return from the dead to write a new story for me.  I hope they're set in some place good and not the local airport inn right off the interstate.  Time will tell.

I've actually worked at two haunted hotels and have shared a few aspects of this on this blog.  Most recently I retold about a boy and the black ghost in the elevator at the hotel I worked at in Colorado. I've also mentioned the one in Wyoming.  Anyway, we shall see what type of stories come in. We don't know what kind of business Scrooge and Marley were in. The story never actually says. I doubt they were innkeepers. Too bad. Having someone like Jacob Marley with chains rattling to ward off people from smoking in non smoking rooms would be awesome.  

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Review

New Zealander Lyn McConchie just reviewed Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.

http://www.lynmcconchie.com/new/?cat=4


Thus far, the feedback we've gotten on this thing is simply incredible. People really seem to like it.
Did I mention your local Kobo bookseller can hook you up if you prefer ebooks and it's also available on Kindle?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Random thoughts on I 10

Driving to the Phoenix area for the Tempe Book Festival, I wondered:

Why isn't there any place to eat alongside the interstate but Denny's and McDonald's?

The roadside rest area is disgusting--far worse than the ones in Colorado. I can honestly say Colorado has some of the nicest rest areas I've ever seen.

Is it national truck day?  Does everyone with a truck just get out and drive at the same time?

"Don't pick up hitchhikers?" How are escaped inmates supposed to get anywhere if no one picks them up?

I never see any hitchhikers out here in the boondocks anyway. They're usually in town.

How come they never have any cute redheads hitchhiking?  Obviously, because cute redheads can get a ride without having to hitchhike.  Duh.

What was that roadkill?  I don't think it was a dog, but I'm not sure what it was.

Is that state trooper behind me going to pull me over? Nope.  He's probably just looking for someplace besides Denny's  to eat at, same as me.

When do we get driverless cars? I could be taking a nap. Taking a nap whilst driving is not a good idea in my car--but the future will be wonderful as I sleep blissfully whilst my car careens off a cliff.

Driverless trucks lumbering along at 75 mph--what could possibly go wrong?  At least they won't have to eat at Denny's.






Sunday, November 5, 2017

Book Fest Part 2

Yesterday's Tempe Book Festival went reasonably well.  Our panel discussion on writing science fiction went very well and had a decent sized crowd.  I don't know what the crowd size was for the outdoor booth area. I only sold a couple of books. Thanks to Duncan's Books & More for sharing space .  Overall, it was a nice event.  

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Book Fest

Today I will be at the Tempe Book Festival.  They have me on a science fiction panel. Otherwise I'll probably be hanging out around the Duncan's Books booth, where I expect to have some books on consignment.  Stop by if you're in the area. The whole event is free.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Dinosaurs

There are at least four businesses around greater Tucson that have large dinosaurs on their property. By large, I mean ten feet tall or so. By dinosaurs I mean T Rex. Of course, they're not real dinosaurs. They've been built out of something. One of them is even at a McDonald's.  

One of them is just a few blocks from me. That one is made of metal of some kind and sits in front of a rock and mineral store. Dang, I sure wish I could have one.  I'm sure our homeowners association wouldn't allow it. Dang it would be cool. Alas, I am far too stupid to figure out how to build my own big dinosaur.  I sure enjoy driving by those that are publicly on display.


dino outside McDonalds

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Things That Go Pop For 100

Well, I've started physical therapy on my shoulders.  They've been bothering me for some time.  The nice physical therapist thinks I have both arthritis and tendonitis.  I hit the daily double.  Well, she thinks they can help me.  I was amazed at how many popping sounds my shoulder could make. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Novemberoo

Well, Halloween came and went.  Now we stuff ourselves with turkey and trip over Christmas items in the stores.  I'll be at Tempe Book Festival Saturday, November 4th. This will likely be my final author event for the year.  Come by and buy some books. And you can come to the panel I'm on--writing science fiction.  Wait, don't I just hate writing panels? Well, I do, but the nice folks at the library asked me to do it and I said I would.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

The following story has been reprinted many times. it's a whimsical take on Halloween.


THE HIGHWAYMAN

by David B. Riley


He couldn't tell for certain no one had seen him, but there weren't any sirens screeching through the night and there was no sign of any military aircraft approaching.  Kal opened the hatch and climbed down.  So far, so good.  He hurried across the park, then stopped by the statue of some guy on a horse.  The house he’d selected was just across the street.  He looked right, then left, then scurried across the open area and slid underneath a tall bush.  So far, so good.

Kal hoped the commander wouldn't find out what he was doing.  He doubted he could explain why he was 100 light years off course.  If all went well, he wouldn't have to. Kal looked around.  Surely, this was too easy.  He switched on his voice translator and readied his ray gun.  It was time.

He climbed out from the bushes and strutted boldly up to the front door.  A slight sense of dread was trying to overcome him.  He fought it off.  If only humans weren't so darn big.  He reached the porch.  His antennae were vibrating from the music inside.  At least they were home.  He readied his ray gun and pressed on the door bell button.  He liked the pleasant chiming sound it made and rang again.

Slowly, the big door opened and he peered up at a human female.  He raised the weapon.  “Give me Earth food now,” he ordered in his most forceful manner.

“Oh, George, come quick,” she yelled.

It's summoning its mate, Kal thought.  He prepared to fire.  Then, a human male arrived holding a tray of candied apples.

“He's so cute.  Just like a little space man,” the female said.

“Less talk, more food,” Kal ordered.

“Of course.  You've got a long way to get back to your planet,” the male said.  A very sensible individual.

“I just made them,” the female stated.

He placed one in his loot sack.  The candied apple was so big he decided not to ask for more of them. He didn’t want humans to think his kind were greedy.

“Good night.”  The male closed the door.

Kal scurried back across the street.  A small human female wearing a mask ran towards him.  He readied his ray gun, though she looked young and harmless..

“They got candy apples?” she was asking.

“Yes.  They look good.”  He held tightly to his sack in case she tried to grab it.

“I'll go get me one.”  She trotted across the street.   Kal holstered his weapon and watched in amazement.  Without any weapon, the young female obtained a candy apple from the elderly couple.  Kal reasoned the mask must be frightening to humans.  The young female stood at the edge of the sidewalk and waived at him.  “Happy Halloween,” she yelled.

“Yes, happy.”  He felt oddly pleased the young child called Halloween had gotten an apple as well.  Earth food was so addictive.  He headed for the ship.  This had worked so well he would try it again, tomorrow.
                        THE END

Monday, October 30, 2017

Random Thoughts From New Mexico

Driving home from Mile Hi Con, random thoughts:

It seems like the only place to eat alongside the  I-25 are McDonald;s and Denny's.
Must be hunting season, I hope it's hunting season, there sure are a lot of men with rifles.
Why do they have such crappy restrooms at highway rest area?
Gas is higher than in Tucson
Drinking fluids makes me appreciate the crappy bathrooms in New Mexico rest areas and wish they had more
Really cute redhead driving that police car ;[near Albuquerque].Should I blow a red light and see if she pulls me over? Then I could talk to her.  (What guys won't do to meet women).
Is it national Truck Driving Day--They're everywhere.
Damn I wish I'd gotten to talk to that female officer.
Amazing how cold it was in Colorado, then I go into New Mexico and it's warm.
They don't seem to have many houses decorated--must be a Tucson thing. [It's almost Halloween].
Damn, I sure wish I'd have gotten that redhead to pull me over. Would've even been better if she'd handcuffed me and searched me.
Petro Truck stops have better bathrooms than roadside rest areas.
Going through Border Patrol checkpoint. What would they do, after they asked if I was a U.S. citizen and I said I couldn't remember?



Saturday, October 28, 2017

Postcard from Denver

Having a good time at Mile Hi Con.  A few random thoughts:

People who wear Star Trek uniforms always wear a rank of lieutenant.  If it was me, I'd be an admiral or at least a captain.

It seems there are actually fewer people running around in costumes these days. Don't know why.

Damn it's hard to get people to buy books. 

Con suite food is disgusting.

Cute females are in really short supply

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mile Hi Con

I'll be at Mile Hi Con this weekend. It's held every year in Denver.  They have me moderating a panel on cover art for books; I'm on a panel on weird westerns & steampunk and doing a themed weird western reading. Should be fun.  I'm hosting a small celebration of the release of my new book and whatever else I can get into.

If  anything noteworthy happens, I'll update when I get back from Denver. Maybe from the con if the wi fi gods cooperate.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Clean hands

One of the things I like about Costco is their restrooms actually have hot water. So many places cheap out and all they have is cold water. It's nice to be able to properly wash your hands after using the restroom. And they keep their restrooms clean, too. Damn I love Costco. I wish I could live there. I wouldn't take up much room, just a little tent somewhere. Somehow, I don't think Costco would go for that. 

I have Kirkland glasses[Costco's own brand for you Sam's Club readers.] They're really good. In fact, I liked them so much I went back and bought another pair of prescription driving glasses that are tinted darker and don't have the bifocal part. The gas in my car is from Costco. The slice of pizza I had for lunch is from Costco. And my hands are nice and clean, too. Few stores have happier customers.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fair enough

I was in the doctor's office waiting room yesterday.  This couple seemed to be making plans for the State Fair, which is apparently running now. That caused me to wax nostalgic. About five years ago I went to the fair in Colorado.  I even had a date, a lovely red-haired woman named Daphne.  And we were strolling around the place and this one booth caught her attention.  They printed your name on t-shirts in Chinese characters.  Well, she bought one and stopped by the ladies room and changed into her new shirt.  A few minutes later some guy went by and said"cock sucker."  I thought that was rather crude. A few minutes later a woman said the same thing. And it appeared to be directed at Daphne. 

"What'd you call me?" she asked.

"Your shirt said cock  sucker in Chinese," the woman insisted.

Daphne tuned bright red, almost as red as her hair. She flagged down another passerby, who looked Chinese. "What does it say on my shirt?"

He stared at her, reluctant to answer.

"What does it say?"

"Cock sucker," he reluctantly answered.  

I started laughing so hard I damn near injured myself. I couldn't stop. She was getting madder and madder, turning her rage from the people in the booth toward me. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, they say. But I could not stop laughing. Things like laughter are involuntary responses, but no telling that to her.  And the booth was closed when we got back over there. It was a very long ride home. She never went out with me again. I actually rather liked her, but I could not stop laughing. And she was not very forgiving. 

I still think it was damn funny, but rather mean that those people did that. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bookz

Well, the book signing yesterday was a bit of a dud.  They often are.  They take up a lot of time and you rarely sell very many books at these things.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mostly Books

Today I'll be at Mostly Books in Tucson  from 3-5 pm.  If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. The store is just down from Bookmans at  6208 E. Speedway.  By the way, they have Halloween cards if you haven't gotten yours yet.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spooky Stories, part 2

Here are some more books for Halloween.  Let's start with one that's in many reprints, Edgar Allen Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart." A classic.

Ghost Hunting Critters. This is an unusual anthology edited by J. A. Campbell.  It's about ghosts but told from the viewpoint of animals--really.  She's a master at this type of story. I found it to be kind of a mixed bag with some good and some not-so-good. If you like stories with animals in them, this is for you.








Similar to the previous one. The difference here is it's all J. A. Campbell. Remember, I said she's very good at this type of story. Brown: Ghost Hunting Dog is set in the Old West era. She goes around with her person and exorcises ghosts from saloons and such. It's actually a lot of fun. Very good one to read if you have kids [but not really young ones].







The Brotherhood is my vampire novel. It's about a group of monks who happen to be vampires. And it's got good vampires and bad vampires and some really nasty alchemists. It's kind of an epic story, spanning 2000 years from biblical times to the modern era.









Ronald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories.  Ghost stories just seem right for Halloween and this is a nice collection of them.












If you like Zombies, this is the place.  A large collection of all kinds of zombie stories.  A funny thing about this book. The editor actually wrote me to get reprint permission for a story. Thing is, it's a story by the other David Riley--the one who lives in England. I wrote back and explained there are two of us and that's why I always use the middle initial of B. They sent me a free copy. It's a good book.






Haunted Nights is a brand new anthology of 16 stories about Halloween by my fellow HWA members.







Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Spooky Stories, part 1

Hey, I'm an active voting member of the Horror Writers Association, as hard as that may be to believe.  I know a thing or two about horror literature. I really do.  Halloween is coming up fast. Want some stories to sit around and read with the lights down low? Try these. More book suggestion tomorrow.

The Dead Ride Fast, an Ebook from Jackson Kuhl.  Buy it for "Realgar." It's a really creepy story.











I'm the editor of Heat of the Midday Sun.. There's some good stuff here. The story that will keep you up is J.A.Campbell;s "Serpent's Rest."










Gunslingers and Ghost Stories,  I'm the editor. This is the best selling book I've edited.  All ghost stories set in the Old West.










The Astronomer's Crypt by David Lee Summers.  A very unusual location with a creepy story set at an observatory.











Mine again. Don't buy it for my story. Buy it for my co-author Laura Givens' story. "Chin Song Ping and the Long, Long Night" has some good first rate dark fantasy including some hungry ghosts.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

E Books

Like Ebooks? Some of my books are on Kobo and Kindle.  Actually, a lot of my stuff is on Kindle and some of my stuff is on Kobo.  There's all sorts of digital platforms that have come and gone. These two seem to be all that really matter. I've hardly ever had a sale on any other venue.  I used to sell a few things on Nook, but those sales are a distant memory.  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Pancakes

Ever wake up in the middle of the night wanting pancakes?  I did yesterday.  It's nearly a half hour drive to IHOP and or Denny's.  I ordered some blueberry pancakes.  And ate them at IHOP. I didn't go to Denny's. Then I drove home. If I'd had pancakes mix I could've fixed some and not had to drive across town.

Then I went to the store later in the day. They don't have frozen blueberry pancakes. They just have regular pancakes. I hadn't noticed this change in the cosmic order. The store guy confirmed they don't make blueberry pancakes anymore. Further proof the world is coming to an end. At least IHOP still sells them.



Saturday, October 14, 2017

Envelopes

I was at the store yesterday. I needed some envelopes--the regular business envelope.  I started to put a box in my cart, then noticed they wanted two bucks for them. I put them back. On my way home I stopped by the dollar store. The same envelopes were available for a dollar.  I was so pleased I saved a dollar on my box of envelopes.  Counting the extra time of going to the dollar store, it was not really that great a  bargain. Still, I'd saved a dollar and I was happy.  


Orville Who?

I rarely do reviews.  There's this show called The Orville.  The concept of some bumbling commander flying around the cosmos with his ex wife and the dumbest moron in the galaxy for a helmsman seemed like a looser out the gate.  Add to that some very tired story lines that have been done to death. And, strangely, I like it.  It seems like everything is wrong with this show. Nonetheless, I find it oddly entertaining.  And I can't really explain why. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Halloween Tree

I sure wish minions pf people would order copies of Legends of the Dragon Cowboys to put under their Halloween tree?  You do have a Halloween tree to exchange presents don't you?  Where does the Great Pumpkin put them if you don't have a Halloween tree?  

They say Halloween is now the second biggest holiday in terms of money spent, second only to Christmas. I believe it. Around Tucson people really decorate their homes and have all levels of parties and merrymaking. Now order the books so you can place them in the Halloween stockings. Get to it.



Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Halloween Haunts

As I've previously mentioned, my listing for the HWA's Halloween Haunts is today.  Just click on the link.  Each entry requires you to click on the title to get the full text. Or are you afraid? Haunted hotels your thing then click below for a true ghost story that happened to me on Halloween.

http://horror.org/says-can-ban-halloween-david-b-riley/




Monday, October 9, 2017

The Trump of His Day

When I was in the fifth grade or so, our teacher gave us some sort of assignment about Columbus.Day.  Well, I'd read about this guy--and not just in the sanitized textbooks full of questionable facts provided by the school.  And I turned in my little paper about the accomplishments of Christo Columbo. She marked that up even though that was his name. It was not COLUMBUS and his first name was not CHRISTOPHER.  A man who was such an inept mariner that he thought he was in India--wrong continent pal.

I went on to point out his own men mutinied and locked him up on his third voyage because he was such an inept commander.  Oh, and I also pointed out he never set foot on the mainland of America, North or South.  So, how on earth could he be credited with discovering it?

Then I pointed out the Vikings had been to North America 600 years earlier. If anyone had discovered the place, it was Lief Erikson, not Columbo.  

Well, there was red ink everywhere.  I think I got an F on it. My first F ever.  I always got mostly A's in school back then. And I was right. What I had written was the truth. Yet the Donald Trump of his day got a holiday named after him and I got an F.  Thing is, I knew I'd be blasted and did it anyway.

Needless to say, Columbo Day is still not my favorite holiday. 

I always wondered if he was banging Queen Isabella. I can't think of any other reason why she would have backed this loser. Love is blind, they say.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Potables

My brother made me a few bottles of Martian Red Wine to take to Mile Hi Con later this month.  That was nice enough of him.  We'll toast or curse his winemaking ability in due course. This all started because I wanted Martian Red Ale, which is what Sarah Meadows drinks in Bonded Agent.  I couldn't find anyone who would make any for me and I don't know how to make beer.  Then my brother, who makes wine, offered to make me a little Martian Red Wine.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Legends of the Dragon Cowboys

Authors David B. Riley and Laura Givens have combined two novellas into one book.  “We wanted it to be like the old Ace Doubles that used to double up two stories. We both like the size of novellas, but they’re tough to get published on their own–too big as a short story and two small for a regular novel,” said Riley. The book is published by Hadrosaur Productions of New Mexico.

In “The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung” by David B. Riley, a wandering businessman encounters a Mayan god, crooked enterprises and Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, when all he really wants is to open a gun store.  Ling Fung is not any ordinary Chinese entrepreneur–he’s highly skilled in Kung Fu and he can shoot good, too. While his heart is set on business, providence seems to have other plans for him.

Laura Givens brings wily acrobat Chin Song Ping to the Wild West in search of adventure and fortune. He finds little fortune, but plenty of adventure. Chin Song Ping is a scoundrel, a gambler and a trouble magnet. His heart of gold lands him in schemes to outwit would-be gods, cannibal ghosts, insane robots, Voodoo despots and the ultimate evil--bureaucrats.  But he is a romantic, and the love of his life is the true treasure he seeks. The odds are always against him but if he survives he will become the Western legend he always was in his own mind.

The Wild West just got a lot wilder!


Genre: fantasy, weird western.

The book is available in trade paperback and ebook formats through most booksellers.
Print $ 12.95 Ebook $3.95
:ISBN: 1-885093-83-7


Thursday, October 5, 2017

He's A Moron

He's A Moron. When I say it nobody cares.  When the Secretary of State says it it's a big deal.  And that's okay.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Book Stuff

Putting out a new book really soon now. When you bring out a book certain decisions have to be made.  In consultation with my co-author and the publisher we decided not to bother to get quotes and just go with a description of the book. Quotes can be something of a pain. They can also tie up production sitting around waiting for someone to read the darned book and provide said quote.  

Still, here are some quotes I'd love to see:


Better than most books that I didn't read.

I liked it real good. Where's my Twenty bucks?

If I'd actually read this book I'm sure I would've liked it.

The babe on the cover is hot.  

It would be better if there was a babe on the cover, a really hot one. Otherwise it's okay.

I liked the babe on the cover, then I was informed that's a dude so I don't like it anymore.

It looks like Chinamen on the cover. What kind of commie crap is this?

My dog could write better than this crap. In fact, he says they stole his idea.

This is the sort of thing we publish in hell.   -Nick M., The Devil.






Monday, October 2, 2017

Books

I went with my father to buy books last week.  He likes westerns.  He can trade in the old ones and get more of them at one of the used book stores.  I guess it keeps him off the streets.  What I noticed though, was this bookstore had customers and seemed to be a viable business. Yet, gone are the chain bookstores.  Well, they say they still  exist but I never see them anywhere.  I don't know why.

At the same store, I have a few of my books on their shelves.  They don't sell well.  But they do sell every now and then. I seriously doubt my father realizes I have books that I've written for sale in that same book store. He's never shown much interest in my writing and I'm sure it's never occurred to him that I have books in there.  My books are not westerns.  

Well, people read what hey want.  They had some cute birthday cards, too. My brother has a birthday coming up. I suggested he buy a card. He wouldn't do it. Then we left.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Halloween Haunts

Every October the Horror Writers Association has its Halloween Haunts event.  Every day at least one member is featured and posts an article, essay or story on writing or Halloween. Most write about Halloween. The neat thing about this event is that it's free. Oh, and you can win prizes, too. Many members give away stuff from books to audio books, or even signed stuff.  AND it's all free.  And you can enjoy some really good takes on Halloween by some of the best writers in the business. 

My entry is scheduled for October 10th this year.  But I hope people will view it daily.  It's a good deal and it doesn't cost a thing. So, tell your friends.

Friday, September 29, 2017

kar repairs

It took all day yesterday to get my car fixed. Wait, didn't I just get it recalled earlier? Yep, but that was my other car. Backup car needed new belts and it took forever. Hopefully I'm good for a bit.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

mirror, mirror...

As I mentioned before, my car went into the Ford dealer yesterday for its third recall.  They did the work and gave me back my car right on time.  Then I discovered the mechanic had reset my mirrors.  I don't see why my mirrors had to be changed to drive my car 20 feet into the service bay. It takes me hours to get my mirrors back--yes hours.  I'm real picky about my mirrors. Not happy about this at all.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Old People

If you're bored some day, go to an apartment complex or other senior housing place dominated by seniors and hang out by the mail box [for incoming mail]. It is astonishing how long it takes them to get their mail out of their mail boxes. Simply astonishing.

Then go to a post office with curbside boxes for outgoing mail. That;s a show. A lot of these people are barely able to mail a letter.  If I get like that I hope someone shoots me.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

recall

Of I go to the Ford dealer.  Third recall of my car. Nice way to kill a day.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

gridlock

In Tucson you know summer is gone and fall is here. Not because it's below 100 degrees--no siree.  Because the traffic turns to gridlock.  They say a lot snowbirds won't show until November, I notice a huge increase in automobiles clogging the roads right now.  

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I don't like them

I bought stamps yesterday.  Can't say that I liked any of the ones I was offered. I'd heard they were trying to unload the jack-o-lantern stamps from last year. No such luck. I ended up with some Disney stamps. I don't like them.  


Stamps I'd like to see

Great Barbarians series
Attila-the-Hun, Genghis Khan

Great outlaws:
Seth Wilmouth [a distant cousin, robbed a few trains in Missouri]
Clyde Barrow
Bonnie Parker
John Dillinger


Evan Rachel Wood
[she's not even dead, yet. Dang, she's hot looking. I'd buy them]



Haunted Hotels
The Stanley
Hotel Jerome
Hotel Coronado


Note to post office:
one side a card of stamps, other side a scratch off lottery ticket.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Signing

Well, I'll be at a book signing this Sunday. Haven't done one in a while.  I gather they have a ton of local authors of all flavors there and it's something of a madhouse.  That doesn't sound too bad. Sure beats sitting in the back of a store on a flimsy card table in Grand Junction, Colorado. That was my first book signing. People would alter their routes in the store to avoid coming near me. It was simply awful. At least this one will have people there.  If anyone is interested it's this sunday at Bookmans NW in Marana.  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anticipation

Had various communications with the publisher about my new novella project.  Just routine matters like whether there's going to be an about the author page and a few housekeeping matters.  I'm looking forward to seeing it.  One thing I noticed in my bio is I've written over 100 short stories. Actually, I crossed that milestone quite a few years ago.  I've shifted to longer works and I've done more editing, but my output is way down. I used to really crank out stories--not so much these days.  Of course there used to be a whole lot of magazines that published regularly. Not so any more.  The number of markets, mostly anthologies, has really shrunk. There are just not as many places to send short fiction to. 

I digress, "The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung" is a novella, that's a short novel in author speak, is a story about some of Ling Fung's adventures in America and a little bit about some things he did in China.  He's not the first Chinese character I've used.  In my Miles O'Malley novels, Miles' friend Wing Ding also tries to make it in America.  But, thus far, Miles and Ling Fung have not crossed paths.  Although a mutual villain, Ah Puch, appears in both stories.  Ah Puch is a Mayan god of death who's decided he likes 1880s California and wants to rule it for himself.  Both Miles and Ling Fung end up, reluctantly, taking him on. 

In the Two Devils [now reprinted in The Devil Draws Two]  Miles goes after Ah Puch and meets some interesting people along the way.  One of them is a very sexy fallen angel named Mabel. Mabel, I just love her. I've never seen a character like her. She lives in hell and comes along now and then to entertain herself with Miles. I rarely talk about her and she's not mentioned in reviews because she's kind of back story.  Described as a stunning redhead, she can pretty much charm poor Miles into doing whatever she wants.  And Miles knows she's manipulating him and doesn't care.  He's a guy. Still, Mabel never really hurts him and is becoming a more irresistible character on her own. I've been writing some stories about her as a much more expanded character.  If I can find some markets, my readers [both of you] may soon see more Mabel in action.

To counter Mabel, I also have Buffy.  While Mabel may seem like an 1800s name, Buffy may not. Buffy is a real angel. She lives in heaven and is not a fallen angel, but the real deal. She also likes Miles, although would never have physical relations with a mortal the way Mabel shamelessly does. So, this is a little different type of weird western and even I don't know how it's going to turn out. But the Mabel stories are turning into a lot of fun. I know weird westerns don't generate the sales other types of speculative fiction do, but they sure are fun. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Tree of Death

We had some really bad winds about a month ago.  Many of my neighbors had serious roof damage. I lost one of my beloved ash trees that I planted earlier this year.  The storm snapped the trunk. No way to fix it. I chopped the broken part up and disposed of it.  Now the bottom two feet of the trunk, which I left alone for some odd reason, is blooming out. Looks like I may have an ash bush of some kind.

It's been a hard summer, ferocious winds and very limited rain. Oh, and much hotter that it should be for mid September. It's amazing my other trees survived.

Monday, September 18, 2017

It ain't Xmas

Okay, so one of the local dollar stores is putting up Christmas decorations. Apparently, we're not going past Halloween and Thanksgiving and direct from Labor Day to Christmas. It's ridiculous. Look out 4th of July--you're next.  Make this madness stop.  

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Get ready for Halloween

Get ready for Halloween.  It's coming up fast.  Have little Suzie or Johnie go as insurance salesmen. All they need is a second hand suit from a  thrift store and a small briefcase. People are terrified of insurance salesmen. It'll be great.  And don't forget your dog. As I've mentioned before, they LOVe getting dressed up in costume and going around to visit the neighbors.  They also like the extra treats.

Also, put electric lights in your jack-o-lantern.  It works way better than candles.  Oh, and drink some hard cider. We always had apple cider when i was a kid, but it was that sweet crap from the store. Give me some hard cider please and drunk kids will be just more memorable.

More ideas later. Get started on these.



Friday, September 15, 2017

Gates of Hell

I live in a gated community.  That means there's a gate out front to keep me safe. Hah!  It's like trying to stop a flood with a spaghetti strainer.  Yesterday I came back from a meeting and it was around midnight.  Well, the blasted gate would not open.  I tried my key and nothing.  I called myself on the call box. Since it goes to my cell phone, in theory if I call myself I can press 9 and it'll open/  No can do. Well, I sat there and eventually someone else showed up. Her key worked fine. The gate opened and I went home.  

There's no reason for this.  According to property management, the gate is functioning fine and my key is good.  "I must've done something wrong."  Yep, it's always my fault.  At least I didn't have to leave my car out on the highway all night.  We'll see what happens tonight.  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Sound of Music

I don't know what it means should someone  ask for an  E flat. I took piano lessons for two years, starting in third grade. I did not have interest in piano. My grandmother decided I needed music in my life. I hated that damned piano. I never had any interest in it   And when I finished taking lessons, my brain purged itself of all music terminology,  Now I don't know nothing.

It's been a long time since I was in the third grade taking piano lessons.  I note it as there's a recital this weekend just down the street from me.  Some poor kids have to go and play music they couldn't care less about so mommy and daddy can put on their good clothes and come and watch. poor little bastards.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Dark N Stormy

Well, the climate change hoax sure showed Florida.  Florida grows a lot of crops. This can't be good for food prices.  I'll bet they manage to keep gas prices jacked up the refineries in Texas are all up and running.  

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bonded Agent

I sure wish a million or so people would buy my science fiction novel, Bonded Agent  You can order it from these places called bookstores and/or from mighty Amazon.com

Now I know that few people will do something just because I said to.  Still, it's actually a good book. The problem with it is the main protagonist.  She's a Martian citizen who works for an insurance company. Ew insurance.  It's true.  Yet it's really a military SF story.  But back to Sarah.  Sarah Meadows turns out to be a genius at military tactics.  She's so good at it, the emperor of  this reptilian race hires her to fight his war against Earth.  Uh oh.  Fight Earth? Yep. As I said, she is a citizen of Mars. Earth is at war with a reptilian race. And the lizard men are sick of being pushed around by a very militaristic Earth. War has broken out and Sarah joins the lizard men.  

Thing is, the typical male science fiction reader seems to prefer that white dude from Earth to be the hero.  There is no white dude from Earth in this book.  There's a strawberry blond chick from Mars. Female readers like this story a lot more than guys do. At least, that's the feedback I've gotten.  Now Sarah's not perfect.  She is a little too fond of Martian Red Ale. And, in one scene, she actually kisses a boy.  Pretty risque stuff, eh. 

So, dear reader, get a couple million of your friends to buy this book in print or ebook formats.  I need motivation to write a sequel. I need more readers who crave Sarah Meadows' return.  We left her, with the war over, unemployed at a bar in Dry Gulch, Mars.  That's no place for Sarah.

Friday, September 8, 2017

What's In a Name?

Call me old fashioned, but when I grew up hurricanes were female. They always had female names. I wasn't happy when they changed that practice.  There are some things where tradition isn't so bad. Heck, my cousin was named for hurricane Carla because she was born during the famed storm that blasted Galveston, Texas back in 1961.. Harvey? That's not a storm name. 

I detest naming ships for living people. We've got the John McCain, the George HW Bush and who knows what else out there. And I don't like them being named for boys, either. A ship, since ancient times, has been referred to as a she. They are the feminine, so naming them after a dude is doubly bad.

Well, I don't think anyone cares about my opinion, but I lay it out there just the same. This blog is called Rants & Raves and I'm ranting.   So many blogs and web pages are just I'm the great writer buy my books. Not me. It's no fun for me to do a blog like that. This thing is really the column I never had.  Back in the good old days writers had columns in newspapers and magazines and people paid them. 

Now, if the navy wanted to name a ship the David B. Riley, well ...

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Entertainment

Ya know, the movies have sound now and people actually talk. I haven't actually been to a movie in about a year. I watch them on Netflix, but don't go to first run movies because they're expensive and they never seem to have anything I'm particularly interested in.  Locally we have:

Home Again--a very tired idea.

Hallo Hombre - no idea

All Saints - haven't a clue

IT 2017 -- must be some kind of sequel

Dunkirk -- I almost considered going to it.

I think I'll stay home-- That's not a  movie. I mean it, I think I'll stay home. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Back From the Grave

A lot can happen in a year.  Science Fiction Trails 12 came back from the grave.  All the contributor copies and author payments are done. That's it until next year. The darn thing is an annual.  J.A. Campbell wrote a fun story that's a different take on Red Riding Hood and a Werewolf version of the wolf. Oh, but this is Science Fiction Trails. Where's the science fiction?  It's got little green men from Mars as well.  

It's also got a reprint story from the late Aaron B. Larson. Alas, few people probably remember Aaron or knew him in the fist place.  He was an outstanding writer and I wanted to bring back one of his stories.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Home Despot

I found out in conversation the other day that our millennial generation don't know nothing. I was having breakfast at a local diner and some of the staff were arguing about an odd topic.  They couldn't agree why we [USA] import so much stuff from a country like  Korea that threatens us constantly.

Finally, I'd had enough. "Listen, we import nothing from there. There are two Koreas. We import all the tires and cars and stuff from South Korea.  North Korea is the country that wants to kill us.

"No," the ignorant waitress said.

"Check please," said I

Yep, the future of our country is in good hands.  I think I need a cave to move to,


Getting together

Happy Labor Day! I guess. I don't really like this holiday.  I tend to view holidays as a nuisance. I guess it's because I worked in the hotel business for so long and always had to work on holidays. Can't enjoy them if you're working.  This year I'm not doing anything.  A few family members are gathering at my brother's house for a cookout.  Nothing fancy. And that's about it.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Labouring

Where'd summer go? It just got here. I'd swear it just got here.  And I've got so many projects I'm working on, no rest for the weary.  I hate three day weekends.  It's too crowded to go anywhere. No mail delivery. I don't like them at all.  But if you're off, have a nice holiday. Spend it reading some of my stories.   I really could use a couple million more people to buy my books. That's just a tiny percentage of the global population.  

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Sneak Peak

I can offer a sneak peak at my new novella.  The book is called Legends of the Dragon Cowboys.  I team up with Laura Givens and we each contribute a novella to the book. So, two stories in one book. It's meant to be in the tradition of the Ace Doubles where you had two back-to-back books so both covers looked like a  front cover.  But that was not possible to set up in the age of digital books and bar codes on covers.  Laura's story is "Chin Song Ping and the Long, Long Night." My contribution is "The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung."  They're both Weird Westerns set in the 1800s.  I'll have more information when the book is released.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Oh No!

When I hear someone else is writing about me I get uneasy. This time, it's good. In fact, some amazingly nice comments about me, or really my writing, turned up on David Lee Summers Blog along with a really great bargain to buy a few of the remaining copies of my novel The Two Devils. Check it out.

https://davidleesummers.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hot one

Boy howdy is it hot.

It's plenty hot to fry an egg on the sidewalk.  The thing is, I don't really like fried eggs. I prefer scrambled eggs. And the sidewalk flavorings, the dried dog piss and bits of people's shoes. Well it's not conducive to dining, at least not for me.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Science Fiction Trails 12



                                                                                                                                                                 Science Fiction Trails 12 is now available.  
Back from the grave! After a four year hiatus Science Fiction Trails returns. We're the home of the science fiction brand of weird western adventure.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Just in time for Halloween

Just in time for Halloween, J. A. Campbell has come out with an anthology of ghost stories your kids will love and so will you.  These stories are told from an animal point of view in the vein of her Brown, the Ghost Hunting Dog series.

















These ghosts don’t stand a chance...

From the beginning of time to the distant future, special animals of all species have answered the call to fight evil.

From dogs and cats to birds, horses, even dinosaurs, and one unusual fish, these spirited tales of ghost hunting adventures will thrill and delight readers.

Sam Knight, Laura Hargis, Carol Hightshoe, J. D. Harrison, Shoshanah Holl, Rebecca McFarland Kyle, Jessica Brawner, Jamie Ferguson, Dana Bell, Boom Baumgartner, J. L. Zenor, and J. A. Campbell have come together in this anthology to contribute to J. A. Campbell’s Brown, Ghost Hunting Dog universe.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Choo Choos

The new issue of Science Fiction Trails may be known as the choo choo issue.  Not only does it have a train on the cover, but a couple of the stories are train related as well.  Trains are a staple of the west.and of the western.  It was only after the transcontinental railroad was completed that we saw the massive expansion of the American west.  Sure some folks ventured around South America on ships and there were the families lumbering along on the Oregon Trail.  But it was the iron horse that really opened the floodgates of white people colonizing the west.  

Yet, those very rail lines now seldom carry human passengers and are exclusively devoted to the hauling of massive amounts of cargo. For years there have been bottlenecks in the rail system as the railroads struggle to keep up with the strain on their infrastructure.  

So, what's the next big thing in transportation going to be?  The SST was too costly and had serious pollution problems.  Tubes that allowed a new type of train to glide through a vacuum were promised in the golden age of science fiction, but never materialized.  And a Star Trek like transporter--well I haven't seen one open in my town yet.

And now we have self driving cars and aircraft on the near horizon.  Thanks, but I'd rather take the train.