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Monday, April 13, 2015

Pretty New Badge

I got some good news at the end of last week, in the form of a lovely review of my latest novel, Playback Effect, from the Awesome Indies blog -- and a very pretty "AI Approved" badge to go with it.

Here are some high points of the review:

"This is a novel that’s impossible to pigeonhole into a genre. The presence of a technology that permits recording and playback of dreams is science fiction, but it’s also a legal/crime thriller. The author, who has an extensive legal background, weaves it seamlessly into the story from start to finish. This is also something of a dystopian novel, in its description of the various uses and, most importantly, the misuses of technology, by those seeking to make money, by government, and by criminal elements – and the disastrous impact all this can have on individuals within society.

"Playback Effect has an astonishingly diverse cast of characters, and while Wynne is the main protagonist, the others play roles that are no less important. The author uses third person point of view, and moves from one character to another to keep the suspense level high and the tension as tight as a steel cable on a suspension bridge.
"Dialogue, descriptions, and narrative are flawless – not a wasted word anywhere. This is a book that will linger in your thoughts long after you’ve stopped reading – and are likely to invade your dreams. I give it a resounding five stars."
And here's the pretty badge.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

A good book if accurate -- which I can't assess

I recently read The Zealot by Reza Aslan -- and would be reviewing it right now on Goodreads and Amazon if one could do so without choosing a numerical (star) rating. I can't make that choice, because whether I could recommend the book depends on the accuracy of its many assertions about Biblical scholarship and about the history of both Judaism and early Christianity. Without undertaking a good deal of independent research on those matters, I can't assess Aslan's accuracy.

If, and I emphasize if, Aslan has done his homework properly, then the book is a fascinating account of how Jesus fit into the history of Jewish messianic trends and of rebellion against both Rome and the Jewish priestly heirarchy.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Paperback update

Here's what's happening and scheduled to happen re the Playback Effect paperback.

The paperback is now available on Amazon and in Barnes & Noble's online store. However, I'll soon be replacing the current files -- twice.

Later today or possibly tomorrow, I'll be correcting a typo on the back cover and fixing some minor formatting issues inside. In a week or two, I'll be uploading text in a slightly smaller format, as the present text borders on large print.

So if you want a limited (unnumbered) edition, Future Collector's Item :-) -- order now!

If you want a corrected edition with slightly large print -- order around the middle of next week. To be sure, you could check my Facebook author page for paperback status updates.

To get a paperback with more conventionally sized text, order in a couple of weeks (after checking the Facebook author page).

Monday, December 08, 2014

Celebrating latest book release tomorrow on my Facebook author page

Rejoice or take cover as you prefer: my Facebook author page will get lots of my attention tomorrow (Tuesday, December 9th) as I celebrate the release of my latest novel, the near-future science fiction thriller Playback Effect. (I'll be interested to see whether readers think the label "thriller" is accurate. It is, at least, as close to a thriller as I'm likely to come.)

There's the lovely ebook cover from designer Kit Foster.

Throughout the day, I'll be posting excerpts, giveaways, trivia questions, and whatever else occurs to me. (I've already scheduled many of these posts, due to Facebook's handy scheduled-post feature.)

The ebook will be available from Amazon, Amazon UK, the Nook Store, Smashwords, and iTunes. Whether it'll be on Kobobooks by tomorrow I'm not sure. The paperback is already up on Amazon (better early than late . . .), and should be in B&N's online store within the next few days.

One aspect of the release isn't quite as I'd like it: I have no reviews yet, though some are on the way. Blame it on my quixotic decision to run for judge -- I had less time than usual, pre-release, for beating the bushes soliciting reviews. (So I'd be especially grateful to any reader who leaves one on Amazon or posts one elsewhere!)

Here's the link to my author page, so you can join the party. :-) Cheers!

Monday, December 01, 2014

For Cyber Monday, a better book description for my next novel....

Since my previous post about my upcoming near-future sci-fi thriller, Playback Effect, I've (I hope) substantially improved the book description. So here it is for your CyberMonday, along with the Amazon pre-order link. You can also pre-order it via the Nook Store, and (soon) on iTunes and Kobobooks.


"O wad some Power the giftie gie us/To see oursels as ithers see us!" But what if it's the other way round? 

New technology records the highlights of emotional experience for others to share. Buy a helmet and you can feel the exhilaration of an Olympic ski jumper, or the heat of a lucid dreamer's erotic imaginings. Commit a crime, and you may be sentenced to endure the suffering you inflicted on others. 

But such recordings may carry more information than the public has realized. What will criminals learn about their victims? When a husband is wrongfully convicted of injuring his wife, how will their marriage change? And what uses will a sociopath find for recordings of the experience of death? 


The pre-order price is $2.99 -- the cost of a latte, and hopefully more likely to linger.

Here are the pre-order links for Amazon and the Nook Store.


Nook Store:

Happy shopping! :-)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pre-Order Announcement, Cover Reveal, and Request for Description Assistance for my next book

Late last week, I clicked the right boxes to put my latest novel, Playback Effect, up for pre-orders on Amazon. Here's the terrific cover by designer Kit Foster.

And here's the pre-order link.

If you follow the link, you'll see a fairly short description. In fact, it's so short I'll paste it in here:

Hal Wakeman, demolitions expert turned sculptor, shows little interest in the dreams his wife Wynne records and sells. But when a bomb destroys Hal's latest public sculpture and Wynne is gravely injured, the policeman whose love Wynne could not return is ready to believe Hal guilty of the crime. Now it may be Wynne's suffering, rather than her flights of fancy, that Hal will have to share. After all, the prisons are filled with convicts who have endured the pain and terror they inflicted on their victims. 

But such recordings may carry more information than the public has realized -- with incalculable results. . . . 

Well, that's okay as far as it goes. But it leaves out a few things.

Like what? Like the actual bomber, a sociopath named Tertius Shaw.

And the fact that one of the technicians who records the suffering of the bomb victims accidentally records one of their deaths -- a recording in which various folks (including Shaw) are quite interested indeed.

(The description doesn't say that much about just what information the recordings turn out to carry -- but that's on purpose.)

So I'd welcome feedback, in the comments here or on my Facebook author page , on the following questions: how do you like the description as it stands? How could I clearly and concisely mention one or both of the missing elements I've identified?

Thanks! (Oh, and feel free to pre-order the book. :-) )

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Predictive capacity matchup: global warming models versus Ptolemaic astronomy

My husband, who doesn't blog nearly often enough, copied me on a fascinating email, which he's given me permission to post here (with a few very minor tweaks). The subject: Ptolemy's model of the solar system/universe and how it compared, in predictive value, with the models predicting catastrophic, anthropogenic (man-made) global climate change. (Spoiler: Ptolemy's model, completely inaccurate as we now know it to be, comes out way ahead.)

"Global warming orthodoxy reminds me a lot of the Catholic Church's involvement in the debate over the Earth-centered model of Ptolemy and the heliocentric model of Copernicus.  Church dogma attached itself to one model, which made the other heresy.  Statist and communitarian dogma has attached itself to CAGW.  The parallel is actually fairly close.  Most people tend to think of the Geocentric model has hopelessly flawed.  In reality, it had a LOT of empirical data supporting it.  Galileo's work, especially with Kepler's insight into orbits being elliptical, gave the advantage to the Heliocentric model.  The fact that Kepler was nominally Protestant may have been a factor in his not being molested by authorities the way Galileo was.  Perhaps the reception of heliocentrism in Protestant Europe was as much a part of the rejection of everything associated with Catholicism as it was the scientific arguments in its favor.  But I digress...

"The funny thing is that Ptolemy's model, unlike CAGW, ACTUALLY WORKED.  It was very accurate at predicting astronomical events.  Over time, however, it began to diverge from the empirical data.  Also, the problems with Mars' orbit observed by the last great eyeball astronomer, Tycho de Brahe, created more difficulties.  However, the degree of predictive rigor of the Geocentric model was orders of magnitude better than the global circulation models relied on by CAGW today - at least 2 orders of magnitude better, based upon the number of years Ptolemy's system worked versus the GCMs, which can't even hindcast accurately.  Here's the other thing.  To the extent that Occam's Razor is a workable rule (more correctly, a rule of thumb) in science, it must be noted that Ptolemy's model was actually simpler - had fewer cycles - that Copernicus'.  Also, Copernicus' system had a big problem in the lack of an observed parallax.  The Catholic Church's treatment of Galileo and heliocentrism makes a lot more sense on the basis of the EMPIRICAL DATA THEN AVAILABLE than the treatment meted out to CAGW skeptics by the bureaucrat-scientists and their political toadies based upon the data available today.  Consider, the Inquisition only showed Galileo the instruments.  RFK Jr. wants people who reject CAGW tried for crimes against humanity and imprisoned (or executed - that's implied though I don't think explicitly stated).  CAGW predictions based upon the GCMs fail the .05 level of significance test.  Ptolemy's system was way better than that in its day."