Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Other Car is a Spaceship became available a few hours early!

It was supposed to go on sale after midnight Eastern time tonight in the U.S. but somehow it ended up going live at 4:12 p.m. instead. Even weirder is that when I discovered that fact an hour later, there were already two copies sold. I have no idea how people found it already, but I'm happy they did. LOL!

The introductory price is US$1.99 through September 20, 2014. Here's the link on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MV0GMVI

In case you somehow missed all the previous postings of the cover, here it is:

Monday, August 18, 2014

Frequently Misused and Misspelled Words and Phrases, part 93

From my upcoming book, Frequently Misused and Misspelled Words and Phrases (and how to use them correctly).

People vs. Peoples vs. Persons

Wrong: The many people of Africa offer diverse cultures.
Right: The many peoples of Africa offer diverse cultures.

Wrong: The incredibly huge number of peoples in India leads to economic hardship and health problems.
Right: The incredibly huge number of people in India leads to economic hardship and health problems.

Wrong: We’re hunting for three specific people who escaped from jail.
Right: We’re hunting for three specific persons who escaped from jail.

The word people refers to a group of human beings in a general sense. But a people is used for a body of people sharing a similar culture. When discussing multiple such bodies of people, use peoples. Persons is a plural of person, naturally, and refers to particular individuals, even if unidentified (as in “person or persons unknown”).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The cover for Frequently Misused/Misspelled Words and Phrases (and how to use them correctly)

Here is the cover of my upcoming self-help book for all types of writers (fiction/nonfiction/business/emails, etc), Frequently Misused/Misspelled Words and Phrases (and how to use them correctly).

What do you think of it?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The official release date for My Other Car is a Spaceship is August 20, 2014!

The release date for My Other Car is a Spaceship is August 20, 2014. It will come with an introductory price of US$1.99 until September 20, 2014. 

In case you haven't seen the cover before, here it is:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

ISEE-3/ICE probe is back in operation!

This is so cool! In 1978 NASA launched a probe (International Sun-Earth Explorer; ISEE-3) to investigate comets. Its mission complete, in 1997 NASA sent the probe a shutdown signal. But in 2008 NASA discovered that the probe was still operating, had plenty of fuel, and was on a course to bring it back near Earth in 2014.

NASA considered trying to regain control of the probe and retask it with a new mission, but money was short and NASA no longer had the equipment and software necessary to interface with the 30-year-old probe, nor the money to rebuild and reprogram as needed. So they dropped the idea.

Then, in April of this year, two men, Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing, decided to see if ISEE-3 could be saved by dedicated civilians, using crowdsourcing for funds. With the assistance of NASA and the staff at the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, and a lot of hard work by a lot of people, on May 29th they succeeded and took control of the newly rechristened International Comet Explorer (ICE).

They hope to be able to reprogram the probe to chase another comet. But equally interesting, to me at least, is that the probe will have a lunar flyby no more than about 30 miles above the moon. Who knows what it might observe?

I found out about this amazing achievement just today, from a "blag" written by Randall Munroe at http://blog.xkcd.com/2014/05/30/isee-3/#comments. He links to this report from the ISEE-3 Reboot Project with a lot more information (and links) about their progress: http://spacecollege.org/isee3/we-are-now-in-command-of-the-isee-3-spacecraft.html.

I hope I got all the details correct. If not, sue me. Or, better yet, follow the links I provided to see the details for yourself. Once again, enterprising individuals were able to do what government bureaucracy could not (and probably at a fraction of the money NASA would have needed to accomplish the same result.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Last chance to get The Mars Imperative for $1.49!

The introductory price of US$1.49 for The Mars Imperative ends on August 14. This is your last chance to buy it before the price goes up. 

How about this double rainbow?

I spotted this on my way home from playing golf. I was two blocks from home and just had to stop to take some pictures. I think know exactly whose house to dig under to find that pot of gold!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Imperative Chronicles, Books One and Two: clarification

For anyone who is more interested in the plot of The Tesserene Imperative (Book Two) than that of The Mars Imperative (Book One), or who doesn't want to get "hooked" on another never-ending book series, there is something you should know. These two books are only loosely connected. Yes, they're set in the same fictional universe, but the stories take place a decade apart, with different characters. And where The Mars Imperative is set in our solar system, The Tesserene Imperative takes place almost entirely in deep space.

For comparisons, think of Saberhagen's Berserker series (Berserker Throne, etc.) or McCaffrey's Brainship series (The Ship Who Sang, etc.), each with different characters and stories, with only slight overlap between them.

Therefore, either book could be read alone, or in either order, without affecting your enjoyment of them. I do, however, have plans for a third book to follow The Tesserene Imperative. I thought it would be fun to have an adventure involving characters from both books working together. (The working title is The Galactic Imperative.) 

There is also the possibility some day of a prequel (Book 0?) to The Mars Imperative, set two decades earlier and involving two of the secondary characters from The Mars Imperative at an earlier point in their careers, but that's speculative at best. I have no plans for any other books in the series, so you don't have to worry about The Imperative Chronicles turning into a Game of Thrones and having to wait a decade for me to finish the series. Except for Book 3 (which would benefit from reading Books One and Two first), the others could be read in any order--or skipped entirely. (You wouldn't do that, though, would you???)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Introductory prices expire soon!

The introductory US$1.49 price for my sci-fi novel, The Mars Imperative, expires on August 14. So now would be a good time to buy it, before the price increase. The same introductory price will expire for The Tesserene Imperative on August 28, so there isn't a lot of time left for that one either. :)

Here are the links for the two books:
The Mars Imperative
The Tesserene Imperative

New book cover postcard for My Other Car is a Spaceship

Here's a low-res image of how the new postcards will look when they arrive in a week or two: