Reddit Writers Contest

Here’s the link from the fantasy writer subreddit.  December Challenge

This month writers have to create a short story in the fantasy genre.  The challenge is that the people in the story are limited to Stone Age technology.




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Thoughts on Rogue One


My first reflection on Rogue One is how the script-writers (or plot mechanics) completely destroy the battlefields.  First, the city of Jedha is destroyed after the rebels rescue some hi-jacked crystals which are being collected to fuel the Death Star.



Second, the Imperial Archives are destroyed on planet Scarif in a vain attempt to wipe out the plans for the Death Star.


As a plot mechanic, the movie should be called, “No Loose Ends” one as the obliteration of the battlefields and the main characters pigeon-holes the movie.  If you look at Earth military history, never has a battlefield been obliterated; instead we build monuments, museums, and memorials,  over old battlefields, until such a time passes that the land is reclaimed.

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Published Vampires of Niagara

I haven’t been active on my blog for months, but have been busy writing.  My latest novel, Vampires of Niagara, is now on  It will take a few days for Vampires to link to my author page, but here is the link.


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Saturday Science Fiction

I haven’t posted in a few weeks due to real life, but here is an interesting little critter I came across:  the jerboa.


This little guy looks like he came from an alien planet, and he is perfectly adapted to either the desert or the cold.  Here are a few pictures of the jerboa: try to imagine one on Mars or your favorite desert science fiction planet.





In a science fiction landscape crowded with large monsters, killer robots, and evil alien civilizations, let focus on this humble critter.  I’m not sure if a simple animal like this could make a great science fiction story, but at least we can imagine finding something similar on another world.

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Etra Project

A few weeks ago on our Sunday Reddit Rewrite thread, I posted about a shared novel in a fantasy world called Etra.  I’ve always wanted to write a fantasy novel about mermaids, and have joined the novel-writing team.

One of the many cool things about this endeavor is the use of 21st century technology.  We have one editor who takes multiple submissions via email.  Morgan also sets the parameters of the shared world.  We, the writers, then have creative freedom to develop our characters and plots on any part of an entire planet.  Imgur and other websites have the maps and we are using a wordpress blog to host the chapters.  In due time, our characters will leave the “creation and formation” stage and adventure, cross paths, etc.

How cool is that?

Here’s the link!  Be sure to pass it along, and look for the chapters about mermaids!




Etra: Shared Fantasy World

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Ocean Meets Land

For today’s science fiction scenes, I found two different pictures which represent the power of our ocean planet.  Here’s a simple website with amazing facts about the world’s oceans as a reminder that over 2/3 of Earth is water.  science facts

These two pictures are from Imgur.   Here is the first one:


This picture captures some of the magic of life on Earth and, perhaps, other worlds.  The current odds on favorite for extraterrestrial life are the moons of the gas giants.  Ganymede alone has an ocean sixty kilometers deep across the entire moon.  NASA finds ocean on Ganymede

So what could live in such oceans?  Giant sea creatures.


George Lucas added this idea to the Phantom Menace with the line, “There is always a bigger fish.”  For science fiction, I  concur.

But what about land meets sea?  Here is an incredible picture of a giant ocean liner, broken in half, and wrecked on a reef for years.


Think of the resources in labor and steel which were poured into the construction of such a ship!  How about this for the science fiction parallel?


The Force Awakens features an desert landscape punctuated by the wrecked behemoths of some colossal battle between the Light and Dark forces of Star Wars science fiction.  What caused that cruise liner to wreck?  What caused the star destroyer to wreck?

But is it too improbably a connection?  Anyone remember this science fiction cartoon series from the 1980s?


The Yamato, the largest battleship of World War Two, was raised and refitted as a galactic spaceship in Japanese science fiction.

I hope these pictures and ideas give you some mental food for science fiction consumption this weekend.  If you’d like to read about some of the science fiction spaceships I’ve dreamed up, download my first scifi novel, Dark Veil.  Obligatory book plug!



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Giant Crystals

For today’s Saturday Science Fiction Scenes let’s travel to Mexico.  Mexico is one of the largest mining and mineral production areas on Earth.  The many active volcanoes dredge heavier elements from the deep below the surface.  Furthermore, the constant heat and pressure combines, recombines, and forms a myriad variety of “outer-worldly” crystals.

So, behold! The crystal cave of Mexico…


Yes, that miner is dwarfed by colossal gypsum crystals.  These crystals aren’t particularly valuable, but don’t they spark the imagination?  Untouched for 500, 000 years, they grew in an empty lava tube.  Other such caves have been discovered, but none as large as this one.



How long in the future until a new generation of miners bring back tales of minerals wealth from asteroids, dwarf planets and planets.  My prediction is within our lifetime.  Remember Ceres, that dwarf planet the size of Texas?



Ceres is surrounded by millions of bits of debris, some quite large.  These fragments of whatever existed there millions of years ago are already “premined,” in that the no one needs to dig or bore into them.  In other words, if a mineral deposit was 100 miles deep into a large body and that body disintegrated into many smaller parts, then the minerals are simply on the surface.

But are humans ready to convert science fiction to science fact?  Almost!  Did you know that President Obama signed a law which allows individuals and corporations to mine asteroids and keep what they find?  Here is an article explaining said law:

You keep what you mine

roid_grid.jpgThe science fiction game, Eve Online, already has a robust economy build on mining asteroids.  Perhaps in the time of grandchildren science fiction will be eclipsed by science fact in this direction.


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