Thursday, September 24, 2020

Book Review: Mars Time-Project

 The Mars Time-Project, by Anthony N. Fucilla 

Published 2019 by arima publishing

Life on terraformed Mars is not easy, and it becomes more complicated when time travel enters the story. Inspired by fame and a healthy cash payment, Marcus Harlan volunteers to become the first man to travel in time. His visit to the future goes well enough, but the consequences pile up on his return to the present. Meanwhile, the mind control program that has taken over Earth is reaching its tentacles into the society of Martian colonists. 

The Quantum Effect Agency implants a device into Marcus that will serve as a backup, in case anything goes wrong on his trip to the future. That chip in his brain will record everything that he sees and hears, so the agency will have a record of it, even if he does not survive the trip. He does survive, but he does not consciously remember what happened in the future.

Marcus gains an ability to foresee the near future, but he is unable to stop the events from happening. By the end of the story, he learns that he has been chosen by a higher power to perform an historic mission that has little, if anything, to do with time travel. His newly found mentor, Democritus, teaches him what he needs to do and why he needs to do it.  

I enjoyed reading this novel, and I recommend it to those who are interested in a philosophical approach to the issues that science fiction often explores. You will encounter power-hungry political leaders, mutants seeking social welfare benefits, ordinary people working to make a living, mind control and much more. 


Sunday, August 30, 2020

Book reviews in the future

 I've read some fascinating books and stories by Anthony Fucilla, and I will be writing reviews. Other things kept getting in the way, but now I'm slowing down and taking some time for reading and writing. Check out Androids and the Gods, by Anthony Fucilla. Also look for some of his other works. Science fiction with a Christian perspective, not preachy, just fascinating reading. I'll get my reviews up soon. 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Do not panic

Okay, I understand that toilet paper can be valuable in a crisis, but this is getting ridiculous. If you have enough to last two weeks, you're fine. There is no need to wipe out the store shelves (pun intended) and fill your cart with TP. If you were planning to sell it to desperate people during a quarantine, why not stock up on cigarettes or liquor? They will be even more valuable. 

The same goes for food and bottled water. Just make sure that you have some tap water stored (pour it into empty juice bottles) and kept in a cool place. You can boil it and filter it (I use a Pur filter pitcher, but there are other brands) -- let it cool before pouring it into the pitcher.

Make sure that you can heat up your food in a power outage. A fondue pot or a barbecue grill should be fine. In a pinch, you can use candles for cooking. Bread and milk will keep for a short time, so don't grab so much that it goes bad before you get around to eating or drinking it. A few cans of soup will get you through a food shortage. You don't need five years' worth of canned goods.

Please apply a little common sense to the situation. Corona virus can be deadly, and it is highly contagious, but the best way to stay healthy is to practice good hygiene, which you should be doing all the time, not only in a pandemic. Wash your hands with soap and warm water. If you can't get wipes at the store, just pour a little rubbing alcohol onto a paper towel or a clean cloth. Try not to touch your face, since your hands touch everything, and your face is where the virus (any virus) gets into your body, usually through the nose or the eyes.

And go on with your life. There is not point in living, if you don't live it up.


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Authors call out ChiZine

I found this while diving into weeks of email that have been sadly neglected.

Posted: 10 Nov 2019 11:57 AM PST
From File 770:
ChiZine Publications, the Canadian horror publisher run by Sandra Kasturi and Brett Savory, has been under fire from writers this week for slow payment and nonpayment, accused of bullying and blackballing an author who complained, and in connection with remarks made by some individuals associated with CZP of a sexist and racist nature.
The social media outpouring seems to have been precipitated by the sharing of what passed between author Ed Kurtz and ChiZine Publications. I haven’t sourced the beginnings of this conversation (which may not have been public), but the details appear in CZP’s denial and Kurtz’ rebuttal below. But before turning to them, it’s helpful to look at one of Michael Matheson’s posts.



Heads up, problems at ChiZine Publications

Complaints about failure to pay royalties and more are coming in, although some authors defend ChiZine Publications. You can read more at Writer Beware, but here's a snippet:

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

If you're not part of the horror or speculative fiction community, you may not be aware of the scandal that over the past two weeks has engulfed ChiZine Publications, a (previously) highly-regarded Canadian independent publisher.

In September of this year, several authors, including Ed Kurtz, made a complaint to the Horror Writers of America about long-overdue royalties at ChiZine. On November 5, after the complaint became public knowledge, CZP posted a statement on its Facebook page, claiming that Kurtz's royalties were "currently paid in full" and that "Any other monies he might be due will be paid on his next royalty statement". Kurtz's response, posted by his partner on Facebook a day later, was blistering:

Read more: 


Friday, November 8, 2019

Story contest, enter at your own risk

If you enter the Sunday Times/Audible short story contest, you are giving away many of your rights as an author.

From Writer Beware:

Founded in 2010, The Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award bills itself as "the richest prize for a single short story in the English language." And indeed, the prize is major: the winner receives a cool £30,000 (no, I did not add extra zeroes.)

With judges yet to be finalized, the selection process will include a 20-story longlist announced in May 2020, a six-story shortlist unveiled in June 2020, and the winner revealed on July 2. The shortlisted stories will be published in an Audible audiobook, with included writers receiving "an extra £1,000 fee, on top of a prize payment of £1,000". To be eligible, writers must previously have had at least one work published in the UK or Ireland by an "established print publisher or an established printed magazine" (the Terms and Conditions include an extensive list of the kinds of publishers and magazines that don't qualify). The contest is open for entries until 6:00 pm on December 13.

  . . . 

 So what's the catch? -- because you know I wouldn't be writing this post if there weren't one. Well, as so often happens, it's in the Terms and Conditions.

 . . .  

To summarize this dense paragraph: simply by entering the competition, you are granting a sweeping, non-expiring license not just to Times Newspapers Limited (The Sunday Times' parent company), but also to Audible and any other licensees of TNL, to use your story or any part of it in any way they want, anywhere in the world, without payment to or permission from you. 

  . . . 

Read the entire article at:


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Recent news from Writer Beware, canceled publishing contracts

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware®

Last week, the SFWA Contracts Committee issued this advisory.
SFWA Contracts Committee Advisory on No-advance Contracts

Recently, SFWA's Contracts Committee was made aware of a situation in which a well-liked publisher canceled the publication of a number of books it had contracted to publish. The publisher said the decision was made because of "unexpected changes" at the company. The Committee has reviewed the contract in use, which lacked a provision for such a cancellation. The Committee believes that canceling a contracted book that satisfies the author’s obligations is at odds with the spirit of the contract. Making this situation worse is the fact that these were no-advance contracts. Because no advance was paid, the publisher could make this decision without financial penalties. The authors' books, were, in effect, put in limbo for many months and the authors received nothing but an apology. Besides depriving the authors of the ability to sell the books elsewhere during this delay and putting off any income from the books into the indefinite future, the authors careers suffer as a result.



Book Review: Mars Time-Project

 The Mars Time-Project, by Anthony N. Fucilla  Published 2019 by arima publishing Life on terraformed Mars is not e...