The next Cat Among Dragons book, now re-titled, has finished being edited. Cover design is in progress and a mid-May release looks pretty certain.
The next Colplatschki book is being edited for a late summer release.
The next Powers book will be released in December. Continue reading
Author’s note: This is a very broad overview. Please bear in mind that the Eastern Front is my specialty. US participation in WWI is a topic that can be a blog in and of itself, and there are several very good web sites on the war.
The United States declared war on Imperial Germany a hundred years ago last week (April 6, 1917). We had: no army; an air force of 30 planes give or take, the majority of which were used to supply parts for the others; a minimal navy; and some experience with fighting – in northern Mexico, or tropical climates. Granted, we had been supplying things to Britain and France, and US citizens had been serving as volunteers in the Entente armies since 1914, but we weren’t exactly ready for all-out war Over There. And a goodly number of the residents and citizens of the US were not entirely in favor of fighting for Britain. A smaller number opposed our fighting against Germany, and a number, mostly socialists, communists, and trade-union organizers recently immigrated from Europe, were opposed to our doing anything to help anyone in the war. And a number of US citizens read the proclamations of “Fighting to make the world safe for democracy” and wondered who was kidding whom, because they had limited rights at best – African-Americans, Indians, and women. Continue reading
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We don’t have a dog in the fight. We have to make the world safe for democracy. We have to defeat the Hun. England deserves to lose because of what she’s done to Ireland. The US should be a model for world peace and stay out of the war. The US has a duty to defeat Imperial Germany because we owe France and because of what the Hun have done to Belgium.
The US entry into WWI was a strange moment in history, and one that historians still wonder about. Continue reading
the history post has been rescheduled to Monday.
I’m working through the recommendations and edits on the next Cat book. I’ve gone through my usual phases, starting with “How dare you flag that usage” to “Er, he’s got a point” to “Hmm, no, that one stays,” to “OK, OK, dang I thought I’d stopped doing that, OK.”
I can haz grammar?
Thus far there’s only one major-minor reworking that’s going to be needed. I do wish I’d quit picking new words to over-use. It started with “very” and then “quite” and now it is “rather.”
I thought I’d already fixed that? And where did those words come from?
Edited to add: The Edits are Done!! And what remains of my brain is checking out for the rest of the day.
I should know better than to read academic papers and monographs. They send the Muse into overdrive, ginning up new story ideas, in this case a fantasy novel I suspect, based on medieval trade. Continue reading
An excerpt from one of the North American Power stories, featuring Leigh Kendall, geologist and trouble-shooter.
Jake Nutter, the driller in charge of the John Marshall # 5, started pulling the bit as soon as he heard the sound and felt the vibration in the platform change, but he was too late. The heavy steel pipe dropped almost out of sight and all the available drilling mud vanished down the hole, pulled into a void that should not have been there. “Damn and blast it,” Jake swore. Once everything had slowed and the drill bit stopped, the roughnecks on the rig floor started pulling the pipe up enough to add additional sections, while the mud man worked to keep the critical fluid moving into the hole so it didn’t try and collapse. This was the fourth time in a week that something had gone wrong with this well, and although he wasn’t superstitious, Jake started to wonder.
He took a moment to climb down from the drilling platform. A hot summer Texas sun glared down on the crew and Jake pulled a clean-ish bandana out of his back pocket and wiped the sweat from under his hardhat. Typical August, and not as bad as some places he’d worked, Jake grimaced. I’ll go work in the Amazon before you get me back in Saudi he promised yet again. In Brazil you only had the environment working against you, not the environment and people too. The driller kicked a rock, making a puff of reddish dust as he walked over to where the geologist and the mud man were looking at the rig readings. “Not supposed to be a hole,” Jake stated.
Amos McKenna, the geologist, spread his hands in a “don’t look a me” gesture. “Here’s the seismograph, and here’s, well, something that’s not supposed to be there.”
“There’s nothing there.”
“Nothing’s not supposed to be there,” Amos growled. “We’re past the gippy layers and now that we’re under the Rodrick shale, we shouldn’t be hitting anything but sandstone until we reach the Lipscomb granite.” He pointed to the log from the John Marshall #4 mounted on the side of the trailer. Continue reading
The Powers play roles in the Cat stories (some of them) and are central to the three-volume alternative history set that starts with A Carpathian Campaign. They also appear in the novella “Cities and Throngs and Powers,” and in two stories in Tales from the Upland They choose a few humans and others to act as their avatars, so to speak, in exchange for knowledge of the land. But what are they?
Short answer: I have no idea. Continue reading